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Greetings From Gail

September 19, 2014sme-news-091914

Nonfiction Mondays at Samuel Morey!!

Over the summer all teachers read Finding the Heart of Nonfiction by Georgia Heard. Every Monday each class will be engaged in a nonfiction reading lesson and adventure. During in-service week teachers discussed how they would utilize the teaching strategies in this book. One each month during professional development time teachers will share their lessons and discuss ways to
help students read and write content rich nonfiction.

Why this school-wide emphasis on nonfiction reading and writing? The new common core does call for
a 50-50 balance between informational and literary reading. More importantly is that nonfiction texts support students in developing knowledge about the world. And...students love nonfiction texts. Nonfiction books today are filled with metaphors, similes, personification, beautiful writing and amazing photographs or illustrations. What an engaging way to learn new information.

Nonfiction texts also serve as mentors for writing. When students learn to write from writers, they shift the way they usually read. They put on the lens of a writer that will teach them how to do their best writing.

When your child comes home from school on Mondays, ask him/her, "What nonfiction book did you read today?"

Greetings From Gail

September 12, 2014sme091214

We have been working very hard at Samuel Morey to help the students that have difficulty with self-regulation or exhibit disruptive behaviors in the classroom. Our goal is to help the student and to minimize disruption to the class.

I would like to introduce you to three people that are part of our system:

  • Robert Bryant has provided crises response services for schools and hospitals and youth service organization in the Northeast during the past twenty-eight years. His work with Rivendell utilizes his skills as coach in support of all staff. He helps staff support students to find greater safety and success and is a member of our education support team at all three schools. The majority of Mr. Bryant's work is in supporting staff is learning new ways to respond to challenging behavior. He may observe or talk with students to better understand the situation.
  • Phil Metayer has been a special education assistant for the last few years. This year Phil or Mr. M. as the students call him, is our behavior intervention coach. He supports students in many different capacities. He helps students that need extra support with self-regulation, social skills or just need someone to help with a success plan. His position is grant funded.
  • Leanne Levesque is our new school-based clinician. Leanne is supported by Clara Martin. She will be attending 504 meetings and IEP meetings as needed. She will work with students in small groups, students in crisis or may just be someone that students can talk to if they need to process an issue. She will also be a support to families that may need services outside of school.

We are lucky to have these talented people expand our system of support for students and families.

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September 12, 2014 Newsletter

SME Bring Your Family to School Night

bring-your-family-to-school-night

Greetings From Gail

September 5, 2014elem091214 2 Here we are at the end of week two and the students are already well-established in the routines of their classroom and larger school community. The kindergarteners are adjusting nicely. Cassie our kindergarten teacher and the other adults in the room are seeing the positive influence of preschool on the children. They are very comfortable sitting in circle, listening to stories and know their way around the building.

Student government (5th & 6th grade) elected class representatives this week. They are: Sophia Isenberg, Makaleigh Eastman, Adele Tilden, Ezra Avery, Declan, Alex McFate, Kyle Carter, Taylor Bricker, Dylan O'Hearn. They will meet once a week to discuss different ways to plan special spirit activities and ways to help our school. They will serve for one trimester.

Assessments are given at the beginning of the year at different grades to get a starting point for eachelem091214 3 student. The kindergarten through second grade teachers and Barb Griffin, our primary reading teacher will be administering the POA (primary observation assessment) in the coming weeks. They will also be administering the PNOA (primary number observation and assessment) with the help of Linda Cook, our early intervention math teacher and Kathy McGowan our math leader and coach.

The students in grades four through six will be taking the DRP (degrees of reading power) to assess their reading. Third grade will be giving informal reading assessments to their students.

This sounds like a lot of assessing but it provides important information for the teachers.

Important Announcement

Starting Monday, our front door by the drop-off area will be locked at 8:30 a.m. and unlocked at 2:45 p.m. Simply press the buzzer and Angel will ask you to identify yourself, see you on her computer and buzz you in.

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September 5, 2014 Newsletter

Welcome Back Everyone

August 29, 2014elem082514

This is my fifteenth year as principal and the first day of school never loses its magic for me. Amid all the preparation and administration, the real reason for school shows up on the first day when students pour into the halls eager to meet new teachers and friends. I love the first day when children with new clothes and backpacks enter onto the freshly waxed floors. My hope is that we can all remember the excitement of this first day and the energy continues for the entire school year.

I would like to remind everyone that we have adult supervision on the playground starting at 7:30. All students are to go out to the playground unless they have made special arrangements with their teacher. Breakfast is called at 7:45. If you arrive before 8:00 please have your child go outside. Teachers are busy getting their classes ready for the day.

If your child arrives after 8:00, please stop in the office and sign him/her in on the clipboard by the door. Angel will give your child a late slip to bring to class.

We start calling dismissal between 2:50 and 2:55. If you need your child earlier than that, please let Angel know and she will call down to your child's teacher. Dismissal is a very busy time for teachers and they need their attention on how all the children are getting home. Thank you for your cooperation!!

Don't forget early release is 1:45 on Thursdays!!

Please know that your child's teacher is your first line of communication if you have concerns and my door is always open. Here's to a great year!!

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Important Dates

Sept. 1st—No School, Labor Day
Sept. 16th—Parent Group, 6:00 p.m.
Sept. 18th—Bring Your Family To School Night (Open House)
Sept. 26th—All School Hike
Oct. 6th—Picture Day
Oct. 13th—No School, In-service Day for Teachers
Oct. 17th—Walk Your Child to School Day
Nov. 6th—Three-Way Conferences
Dec. 17th—Holiday Concert, 6:00 p.m.
More information about all these events will be sent home close to the date of the event!

August 29, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

June 13, 2014

Summer Reading

Teachers are creating some new and exciting summer reading assignments for students this year. Kindergarten through fourth grade students all have a summer reading activity card. Reading during the summer is essential to maintain their reading progress and not fall behind. Please read the research below on summer reading.

Fourth graders also have a "must read" book, Touch Blue. There is a bookmark and assignment for this book. Fifth grade students have a "must read" book, Wonder. There is also a bookmark, reading assignment and reading challenges. Please remember that the "must reads" are required of all students and will be discussed the first week of school. This will also be part of their Language Arts grade.

Please help us by making sure your child completes the assignment and returns their summer
reading sheet to school in the fall. We are expecting 100% participation from all grades.
Here is the research about summer reading that I share each year.

There has been much research done on summer reading loss. Here are some of the powerful findings on the reading development of children and ways to help your children prevent a loss in reading achievement over the summer.

  • Summer vacations create on average an annual reading gap of about 3 months between children who read over the summer and those that do not.
  • A summer reading loss of 3 months accumulated over the elementary grades becomes a gap of 18 months by the end of 6th grade. These children will always be behind children who read over the summer.
  • Children who read throughout the summer gain skills; can start the new school year with a better understanding of language and the world around them.
  • Children who read over the summer discover the joy of reading. The more they like to read, the more they will read. 
  • Children learn through a variety of activities, and almost everything we do presents an opportunity to read. Reading every day, even if it's for just a few minutes, improves children's ability to read and learn all year long.

(From Reading Rockets, excerpted from "Summertime Reading
Adventures: A Guide For Parents." Reading is Fundamental, 2001)

June 13, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

June 6, 2014

The end of the school year is fast approaching! As is usual for this time of year we have been busily working on the transition of students from 6th to 7th grade as they get ready for Rivendell Academy, and also the transition from 4th to 5th when students will move into our "upper elementary model" where they will be joined by Westshire students and change classes with three different teachers.

Our younger students will also have new learning adventures as they move to the next grade level. Second graders may be thinking about learning cursive next year as third graders and be using an
assignment notebook. First graders will be taking care of the Three Sister's Garden as second graders as part of their social studies unit. Third graders will be in charge of picking up recycling as fourth graders. Our kindergarten students will be learning about the arctic and insects as first graders. All of the students look ready for the next part of their journey.

As always, I would like to thank each of you who volunteered or who have helped the school in any
way this year. Schools rely upon their communities to support them. The support efforts of each and every one of you is greatly appreciated and to show our appreciation to the many volunteers in our school, we are hosting a Volunteer Breakfast next Friday, June 13th from 7:45-8:30. It will take place in the library and you are welcome to stay for community meeting at 8:30.

June 6, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

May 23, 2014elem05272014 1

Fourth grade students recently took the science NECAP assessment. The tests are designed to measure student performance on standards in science. Specifically, the tests are designed to measure the science content and skills that students are expected to have as they complete the K-4 grade span.

Each test contains a mix of multiple choice and constructed-response questions. The science test also includes an inquiry session that requires students to answer questions based on results of an actual scientific investigation.

As we shift to the new common core standards, the reading, writing and math NECAPs will no longer be given. The science NECAPs will, however, continue to be given.

The Vermont State Board of Education did approve the Next Generation Science Standards or NGSS in June 2013. These standards are now considered to be the foundation of all Vermont science instruction. Schools will be expected to incorporate these standards into curricula and instruction.

What will the new science standards include? (from DOE)

The NGSS incorporates three major aspects of science learning:

  • Disciplinary core ideas—critical science content
  •  Science and Engineering Practices
  • Behaviors that scientists employ to investigate and model scientific theories and processes utilized to design solutions to modern problems
  • Strengthening the connections among science, technology, engineering and mathematics in everyday experiences
  •  Cross cutting concepts—overarching ideas that bridge disciplinary boundaries

From the Kitchen

All bills must have a positive balance starting June 1st. Students with more than a $5.00 negative balance will not be allowed to get snack juice or milk and will get a bag lunch instead of what is on the menu lunch.

Did You Know?

We had a lock down drill on Tuesday. Each month we alternate between a fire drill and a lock down drill. Students are getting very good and either evacuating the building quietly or locking down in a sheltered place in their classroom.

May 23, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

May 16, 2014

This Saturday is our seventh annual Raptor Run. For those of you new to our school, you don't want to miss this fun, family. community event. It takes place on the grounds of Lake Morey.

Registration begins at 8:30 and the family fun run begins at 9:00 a.m. The fun run is one mile and you can walk, run or push strollers. The five mile walk/run around Lake Morey begins at 10:00 and is an official race. At 11:00 the celebration begins with live music, a barbeque, awards, prices and more.

The Raptor Run was dedicated to Allen Avery, the founding father of Rivendell. The official name is The Allen Avery Memorial Run or AAMR in his honor. Allen was very generous to our community and this event is a way to celebrate the Rivendell community.

A very special thanks to Tracy Martel, Phil Metayer, Jody Mace, Kathy McGowan and the many volunteers that help organize and run the event.

This event raises money for the Special Olympics, Community School Organization and the sixth grade Hulbert trip.

See you at the Run!

Did You Know?

EXPO is coming on Thursday, May 22nd. This is a Prek-12 evening. All classes exhibit their learning. The elementary band will be performing too. See what learning looks like in the upper grades.

It is a fun evening!!

May 16, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

May 9, 2014

Samuel Morey has been recognized by the Vermont Department of Health as a school district winner. To be a school district winner the school needs to promote at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day outside of physical education classes. Here is an article that will be in a local newspaper about our school.

sme 05092014Fairlee – A 2nd grader at Samuel Morey Elementary School in Fairlee has completed 24 laps (seven miles) around a quarter-mile track in the past week during recess. 

The school is one of 24 statewide that will receive $1,000 from the Vermont Department of Health as a School Wellness District Winner. The Health Department recognizes schools that promote at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day outside of physical education classes. Schools have found innovative ways to promote exercise and better nutrition.

The award program, given annually in partnership with the Agency of Education, New England Dairy and Food Council, and the Vermont Health Education Initiative was started in 2003 to transform schools and communities into places where healthy lifestyle choices are easy.

A student at Samuel Morey who either walks or runs a total of eight laps each week is awarded a toe-shaped token that is attached to their shoelace as an award. The participation among the youngest students has been close to 100 percent, according to Principal Gail Keiling.

Matt Acquilano, physical education teacher said, "Little toe tokens on your shoelaces have become a badge of honor." 

The school has also reached out to the neighboring community to promote lifelong sports, including the Lake Morey Resort. Students are bused to the exclusive golf course each year and receive instruction from the club professional.

 "It is amazing how fast they learn," said Justin Bonnett, Lake Morey golf professional. "We see kids who have not had achance to see the golf course and it really is quite special . We have a partnership with the school to promote golf and exercise. It is heartwarming to see how excited they get, and we are hopeful they will take up the game."
By Robert Stirewalt