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Greetings from Gail

May 2, 2014

elem 0514 6Finally we have some spring weather and students are enjoying the warmer weather at recess. Our fields and playground area is dry and students are now able to enjoy all parts of the playground. A load of mulch is due to arrive in a week or two so we can freshen up the area around the swings and play structure. Rob Reade and I continue to work on our natural playground area and are grateful to the parents who are helping us with this ongoing project.

Recess time for students is an independent time during their school day to socialize, be creative, and
play cooperatively with their peers in a variety of student created activities/games. Yesterday I was out at recess and during the kindergarten through second grade recess time I saw imaginations being used and groups of students made up some very creative games.

However, in such a non-structured setting and with about 40-70 students during the recess time, students may need assistance from adults with conflict resolution situations. Conflicts and behavior incidents can occur during this time. We continuously monitor recess time. Each area of the playground has an adult supervising and interacting with the students. Some adults lead kickball and other games.

Many teachers take a few minutes when the students come in from recess to debrief with students about recess time so they have a chance to talk about situations. This is an opportunity to teach about solving conflicts, cooperating and getting along with others.\

Did You Know?

Last Wednesday was Administrative Assistants Day. The students and staff gave Angel lots of cards, gifts and hugs! I would like to thank Angel for all her hard work in our front office. Her warm smile greets our students, staff and parents each day. She really is Samuel Morey's Angel!

Upcoming Events

May 9th--4th grade to Hulbert
May 15th-16th--6th grade Hulbert
May 22nd--EXPO @ Academy, grades Prek-12
May 30th--Jobs on the Move
June 11th--5th Grade to Montpelier
June 20th--6th Grade Graduation, 6:00 p.m.
June 20th--Field Day
June 23rd-- Student's last day\

May 2, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

April 24,  2014elem 0514 3

We had a wonderful spring concert Wednesday night. There is nothing more beautiful than the sounds of children's voices. This was the first K-4 music concert we have had and I hope it will become a Samuel Morey tradition.

Another thing happening this spring is each class will have a presentation by Amanda Garland who is the School Zero Waste Coordinator with Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District. In addition to the presentations on recycling, Amanda brought us more recycling buckets for the fourth graders who are leading our school recycling. In the fall she will also help us with composting.

Some of the lessons students will be learning are:

  • Importance of recycling
  • Importance of composting
  • Landfills—where their trash ends up
  • Natural resources that we get from the earth

Did You Know?

Our Wee Deliver postal system workers have issued a challenge to the rest of the school to find poems and send them to their friends using our school postal system. April is poetry month. This is a great way to have students read poems and use our postal system. They get practice on how to address envelopes and our postal workers love to deliver mail!! They can also write their own poems to send.

Upcoming Events

May 2nd--6th Grade to Barre
May 9th--4th grade to Hulbert
May 15th-16th--6th grade Hulbert
May 22nd--EXPO
May 30th--Jobs on the Move
June 11th--5th Grade to Montpelier
June 20th--6th Grade Graduation, 6:00 p.m.
June 20th--Field Day
June 23rd-- Student's last day

April 25, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

April 11, 2014

It is hard to believe we are in the final trimester for this school year! Our students have really been working hard. I would like to congratulate our sixth grade students who made the honor roll and high honor roll. We had a total of 23 students this year. Amazing!! They were all invited to attend an Honor's Banquet at Rivendell Academy with students in grades 7-12 who also made the honor roll.

I would also like to thank all of our parents who attended our recent three-way conferences. It is always exciting to see our parents and teachers working together to help our students grow and to celebrate our students' successes. Thank you parents to your commitment to your child's educational journey.

A special thanks to the CSO and the parents who organized selling tickets for prizes to support our most recent art residency, Jeh Kulu, the West African Residency. Thursday night the gym was rockin' with students, parents, staff dancing to the beat of the African drumming.

The spring months bring many opportunities for students to participate in special activities. I have provided a list of upcoming events. It certainly is a busy time of year!

 I have a special request to parents who drive their children to school or pick them up at the end of the day. At the end of the day parents are waiting in cars at the drop off and pick off side of the building. They are waiting for their children to exit the building. We have had cars drive past those cars too fast. There is always the danger of a child running out between the cars. We have adult supervision out there (two adults) but we need your cooperation to drive safely for the sake of our children. So PLEASE, PLEASE, take extra caution by driving slowly around those cars.

I hope you all have a great spring break. We will see you all April 21st.

April 11, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

April 4, 2014DSC 0027

I was so proud of our fifth and sixth grade students Wednesday night at our first Samuel Morey Musical Review/Talent Show. Students in fifth and sixth grade all take chorus. This is in addition to their regular music class. The first half of the year students are preparing for our holiday concert in December.

The second half of the year students usually prepare for the All District Spring Concert. Over the years students have expressed a desire to sing more contemporary music, more pop songs. Unfortunately sometimes pop songs aren't the best for learning pitch and tonality.

DSC 0049We did want students to know that we heard their request and Mrs. Drew arranged to have a Musical Review/Talent Show, just for the fifth and sixth graders instead of the spring concert. I like to call these the "tween" years and during those years students are still in between childhood and adolescence. We felt that the talent show would acknowledge their development toward those teen years and that their interest in pop songs and culture is growing.

The students showed so much courage and talent performing in front of a larger audience. We heard sad songs, happy songs, rap, patriotic songs and saw gymnastics, unicycling, a basketball show, dancing and a skit about duct tape!! The fifth and sixth grade bands also performed for us under the direction of Mrs. O'Meara.

DSC 0167  

Did You Know?

Kindergarten Orientation Coming Soon I know the school year isn't over yet, but we are already looking ahead to next year and our new group of kindergarten students. We will be having Kindergarten Orientation on Saturday, April 26th. If you have a child that will be 5 on or before August 31st please call the school and speak to Angel. Parents will be receiving a phone call from Angel to confirm a time on that day for your child to come. We see children in groups of 5 or 6. Our primary educators are there that day to get to know your child. I meet with parents to review the kindergarten handbook and acquaint them with some of the procedures and traditions at our school and to answer any questions parents may have.

Greetings from Gail

March 21, 2014sme03222014 2

What a wonderful experience for all that attended our Book Buddy discussion group of the book Wonder last night. The book Wonder is such a powerful story about a boy named Auggie who is born with a facial deformity and tells of his experiences at his new school. His new friends can't get past his extraordinary face. He just wants to be treated like an ordinary kid. The author R.J. Palcio calls the novel a "meditation on kindness." When bullying and exclusion are part of many children's childhood experience, this book offers us such hope in the goodness of small acts of kindness. I know I left changed.

Sam Drazin, a young man with the same condition as the character Auggie, came to our book group and helped our students understand that we all have differences even if they are not visible. I think we all left with a greater appreciation for the human spirit and the effects of simple actions on others.

The feedback from participants was very positive about Book Buddies/Parents and children reading together and joining in book discussions. We will have one more Book Buddy discussion group this year. Our plan is to continue Book Buddy discussion groups next year.

sme03222014 3     sme03222014 4

March 21, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

March 14, 2014 elem031714 1

What a strange winter this has been!! Another snow day! It is so hard for students to get into their routine when each week there is a break due to the weather. Hopefully we have seen the last of extreme weather and daffodils and tulips will start poking their heads through the snow.

At least the snow held off so we could have our Dr. Seuss literacy night. A special thanks to Angela Welch and all the parents that helped her organize and run this event. It was so much fun! From the Cat in the Hat (Amanda Babcock) reading the students a story, Dr. Seuss trivia, arts and crafts activities and the most outrageous Dr. Seuss inspired snacks I've ever seen, all had a fun time.

Our parent group meets about every other month and we would love more parents to come and share their ideas for our school.

elem031714 3 

March 14, 2014 Newsletter

 

Greetings from Gail

March 7, 2014

Our New England Common Assessment state test (NECAP) scores are in. Here is how we did at Samuel Morey. The test is given to students in grades 3-6.

Reading

  • 3rd Grade: 81% met or exceeded the standard
  • 4th Grade 65% met or exceeded the standard
  • 5th Grade 54% met or exceeded the standard
  • 6th Grade 86% met or exceeded the standard

Math

  • 3rd Grade: 75% met or exceeded the standard
  • 4th Grade 75% met or exceeded the standard
  • 5th Grade 73% met or exceeded the standard
  • 6th Grade 73% met or exceeded the standard

Writing

  • 5th Grade 36% met or exceeded the standard


It is important to know that we have very small N's or numbers/students in our classes. One or two students can greatly affect the overall percentage. Your child's individual test reports were sent home in the mail. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call your child's teacher.

These are teaching year scores. Therefore, Westshire fifth and sixth graders are reported with the Westshire scores. Writing is definitely an area of concern and we will examine that as a faculty. This is the final year the NECAP will be given for reading, writing and math as Vermont is transitioning to the Smarter Balance Assessment system.

The science NECAP will be given until 2016.

Did you know?

Rivendell offers free Developmental Preschool Screening On Friday, March 28, 2014, at the Westshire Elementary School, the Rivendell Early Childhood Program will be offering a free developmental preschool screening for children living in Vershire, West Fairlee, Fairlee, Vermont and Orford, New Hampshire, who are between the ages of 2.6 and 4.6 years old . Screenings for Samuel Morey preschoolers take place at Westshire Elementary School. This screening is not for children who are eligible for kindergarten next year. Screenings will be 45 minutes-1 hour. There will be two sessions at 8:30 and 10:00 AM. For a screening appointment please call Amy Longmoore at 802-333-4668. A family unable to attend on the screening day can ask about arranging for an appointment at a later date.

All parents are encouraged to make an appointment for their child to participate in the screening at least once during the preschool years. This screening is a play-based approach assessment for children in which the parents share and receive information about their child's development. Preschoolers who have delays in their development may be found to be eligible to receive educational services before they enter kindergarten. 

March 7, 2014 Newsletter

 

 

 

Greetings from Gail

March 3, 2014sme 03032014

Due to no school the last two Fridays, no newsletters have gone home. I am sending this short newsletter home today, Monday to connect with families and hopefully get our students and families back in routine.

The first piece of news I have is that I will not be in school this Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I had some minor back surgery over the break and need to take these days to recoup! I will be back on Thursday pain free and ready to roll!! I will be in touch with Angel and others throughout each day and can be reached by email if you need to reach me.

Please make every effort to have your child to school on time. If they eat breakfast at school they need to be there by 7:45 a.m. If your child arrives after 8:00 you must sign them in at the office. Also remember that if you are picking up your child at the end of the day please wait for them in the front hall until we call riders. Going to your child's class during dismissal distracts the teacher from making sure all children get to the right bus. At dismissal time, please do not park in the drop off lane. It creates unsafe conditions for our students walking to the parking lot. Please, please do not leave your car unattended in the drop off lane during dismissal.

Fairlee Town Meeting will be taking place in the gym this Tuesday. Our 3rd graders and 5th graders will be visiting as they both are studying government. Parking may be difficult in the close parking lot. 

A flyer is coming home today about our Prek- 3 literacy night on Dr. Seuss taking place March 11th. We need an RSVP if you are going to attend.

March 3, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

February 7, 2014sme02072014

Where did January go? Many school eventsmoccur during the second half of the year. Yesterday the teachers and I mapped out the events. I would like to share some of these events and a short explanation for those of you who are new to Samuel Morey.

  • February 21st— Winter Carnival—Activities outside for the whole school. This year we have an Olympic theme with each group representing a different country.
  • April 2nd—5th/6th grade Musical Review—The fifth and sixth graders will perform in a musical review showcasing individual and small group performances involving dance, music and other special talents. This is the first year for this special event.
  • April 9th—K-4 Spring Concert—The K-4 students will have a special concert this year. This is first year for this musical event!
  • May 22nd—EXPO—Expo is Rivendell tradition that showcases student work for all students, prek-12. This takes place at Rivendell Academy with lots to see. Many student groups perform and there are many interesting displays. You can get a good look at learning Prek-12 at this event.
  • May 30th—Jobs on the Move—Ann O'Hearn coordinates jobs around a theme such as Jobs on the Farm, Jobs in the Water, Jobs with wood, etc. The purpose of this event is to show students careers in different areas in our community.
  • June 13th—Field Day—Mr. Acquilano plans fun activities outside for the whole school. This event signifies the eventual end of the school year.
  • June 17th—6th Grade Graduation—This date is subject to change if we have more snow days.

Did You Know?

RIF or Reading is Fundamental is an organization that motivates children to read by allowing them to choose a free book. They believe that the power of choice is important in motivating students to read. The CSO funds this program for our two elementary schools. On February 11th, Sarah Molesworth will coordinate a RIF day for our students. Each student will choose a free book. Please ask your child about the free book they chose.
Happy Reading!!

February 7, 2014 Newsletter

Greetings from Gail

January 31, 2014

Due to the extremely cold weather we have had a long stretch of indoor recesses. Whenever we can we get the students outside for recess, but the conditions are not great. There is a lot of ice on the playground. At least there is some snow now, but there are still patches of ice under the snow. Even with the temperature rising above the single digits this week, the wind-chill was too much on some days for playing outside. I know this is winter in Vermont and would love some more snow for the students to play in, but the frigid temperatures have to go!! Students are all getting cabin fever.

This is the time of year that we see a slide in some students with their school work. We want to raise
the bar of academic expectations. This is the time of year I report on a disease that plagues elementary
schools called, "the good enough disease." It seems to attack students in February of every year. Disappearing are the days of "I need to try and do my best" and appearing are the days of "as long as I've put something down on paper its good enough." We often see:

  • A backslide in neatness of school work
  • An increasing desire to be the first one done regardless of the quality of work
  • An increased occurrence of "I can't find it" and "I forgot to do it".

You can help at home by continuing (or resuming if you've stopped) looking over your child's homework sheet or assignment notebook or checking their homework folder.
Look over completed homework.

Check over your child's homework when they're done with it. The purpose is not only to make sure they've actually done it, but also to make sure it's been done well. Some children rush through assignments and make careless mistakes, while others may misunderstand the directions and do the assignment completely wrong. These are things a quick homework check can help to catch.

Ask your child if their work is quality. Don't hesitate to ask your child to redo an assignment that you feel doesn't show they have applied their best effort. I have been talking about quality work with all of the classes. If you have any concerns about the quality of your child's work don't hesitate to contact your child's teacher.

Please continue to communicate with your child's teacher and ask the questions that you don't have the answers for. Together we are working to bring out the best in all of our Samuel Morey Students.

Did You Know?

The day for smoothies has been changed to Fridays.

January 31, 2014 Newsletter