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Sunday, September 23, 2018

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Greetings from Gail

July 30, 2013

Dear Samuel Morey Families,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you and your children to the 2013-2014 school year. I hope that your summer has been filled with fun family activities enjoyed at a leisurely pace under beautiful, blue skies filled with sunshine (and some rain too!) I love the summer months. They allow for reflection and recharging and I always manage to fit in some great reading at the beach or on my deck. This summer I again had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my granddaughter who is now two. What a fun age!

We will have some new faces joining our Samuel Morey family next year. We have two new teachers:

  • Mathew Acquiliano will be our new physical education teacher. Matthew is a recent graduate of St. Barnaventure in New York.
  • Lauren Fifield will be teaching first grade. Lauren attended the Upper Valley Educator's Institute last year and interned with Crystal Larocque at Westshire and with Kevin Petrone in first grade at Thetford. Kevin is a former SME teacher.

We also have some Rivendell folks moving to SME from WSE and the Academy:

  • Crystal Larocque from WES will be part of our fifth and sixth grade team teaching math and fifth grade language arts. 
  • Gordon Christie-Maples from WES will be returning to SME to teach social studies and sixth grade language arts.
  • Wendy Bergren, WES special educator will be here part time in the upper grades.
  • Angela Hannett, a special education assistant from WSE will be joining us.
  • Audrey Wolf, a special education assistant from the Academy will also be joining us.


Please join me in welcoming all our new staff.

Summer is also a time for teachers to reflect on their past year, obtain new learning and think about their new class and students. Many of our teachers attended summer courses and workshops, read professional literature or worked collaboratively writing or revising units. Here are some of the exciting learning adventures our teachers have had this summer:

  • We had a teacher attend the Teachers College reading institute presented by Lucy Calkins, a leader in literacy instruction.
  • One teacher attended a week long training in Responsive Classroom I and one teacher attended the second level of Responsive Classroom which deepens understanding of the Responsive Classroom Approach.
  • Three teachers and I attended The Vermont Reads Institute Summer Conference. This is a three day conference which focuses on reading and writing instruction with a focus on the new Common Core Standards.
  • One teacher attended an intense, one week training on Leveled Literacy Intervention. Leveled Literacy Intervention focuses on intense reading intervention instruction for early readers.
  • Abraham Lincoln's life and experiences as president during the Civil War and 19th Century industrialization and immigration in New England were studied in week long conferences by a teacher.
  • A Fundations workshop, which teaches students phonics, spelling and handwriting was attended by one staff member.
  • Grade level teams of teachers met with Kathy McGowan, our math lead teacher, to revise math units to align with the new common core standards.
  • Teachers met with the Montshire Museum teaching staff to write a new science unit and to revise an existing science unit.
  • Other teachers have been busy reading professional literature to learn about best instructional practices and almost all our teachers have been planning for the coming year.


It is early August already and time to think about the new school year. Professional development for our teachers during the new school year will continue to focus on aligning our curriculum and instruction with the Common Core Standards. We have already made much progress aligning our math curriculum with the standards. We will continue to examine the new writing genres and expectations and also the expectations for more nonfiction texts, close reading to provide evidence from their reading and an increased emphasis on building a strong vocabulary.

Samuel Morey has done an exceptional job on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), meeting Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) every year our students have taken it. Next year will be the last year for the NECAPs. The Common Core Standards are driving a new assessment that will be administered in the spring of 2015. This curriculum work will help our students get ready for this new assessment.

Teachers have been in and out of their classrooms all summer bringing in the treasures they found for their classrooms or starting to arrange their furniture on their freshly waxed floors.

Here are a few notes and dates to help start our new year:

  • First day of school for students—Monday, August 26th. On the first day students and families meet in front of the school where students find their teacher holding a sign. We invite parents to join us to see their children off and to wish them best for a new school year.
  • School begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. There is supervision on the playground starting at 7:30 a.m. Please do not drop your child off before 7:30 a.m.
  • Thursday is an early release day for students. Students are released between 1:45 and 2:00 p.m.
  • There is no Visions/After School program the first few weeks of school. We will send home information as soon as it is available.


In closing I would like to thank Gary Collins and his amazing team who prepared our building for students and teachers to arrive! The floors are shiny and waiting for the footsteps of our students. I hope the last weeks of summer vacation are relaxing and fun! I could not be more excited about this upcoming school year! I miss the students and look forward to seeing their bright smiles at the door on August 25th.

Don't forget your child's summer reading!!

With Great Excitement,

Gail Keiling
Head of Elementary Schools/Principal of Samuel Morey