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A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

February 20, 2015

Our WES ROCKS program is well underway. Most classes have brought their jars to the office at least once which means soon we'll be planning our end of the year ROCKS celebration.

One important part of the ROCKS program is scholarly work. At this week's Community Meeting I spoke to the students about how we can be all be "Outstanding Scholars," and the importance of doing our best work. We also talked about what it means to produce our best quality work.

I'll be meeting with every class after vacation to discuss these ideas and together we'll develop a quality work plan. Students who demonstrate the characteristics of a scholar will present their work and discuss why it is their best effort. All students submitting quality work receive a certificate and have their work displayed on our Quality Work bulletin board across from the office.

Allowing our children to share their accomplishments and be proud of their work is an important part of their education. We have high expectations for our students and we want them to understand that with hard work, anything is possible.

The Kindergarten classes from both schools shared Quality Work when they performed two of Eric Carle's most popular books.

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Winter Carnival

Due to frigid temperatures we are postponing this week's Winter Carnival. We have rescheduled for
Friday, March 6th from 1:00-3:00 where we'll celebrate author, Dr. Seuss with exciting outdoor games and activities.

Important Dates

    • March 2nd thru 6th – I Love to Read Week
    • March 6th – Winter Carnival
    • March 12th – EXPO at the Academy
    • March 17th – Annual District Meeting
    • April 14th – Spring Concert
    • May 8th – 4th Grade to Hulbert
    • May 22nd — ROCKS Celebration
    • May 29th – Jobs on the Move
    • June 12th – Field Day at Treasure Island

February 20, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

February 13, 2015
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On Monday we kicked off our 100th Day of school celebration at Rep where students showed off wes 021315 1their colored 100th Day crowns and glasses. Together we sang a 100th song to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad," and "worked out" with 100 exercises led by the staff. Thanks to Mrs. Pauline, Miss Konya and Miss Hood, we also enjoyed 100 home-made blueberry muffins.

After lunch, students rotated through 3 activities that included making 100 piece puzzles, using dominoes and other items to count to100, and creating a 100 squared quilt using markers and paint. It was an amazing day!

A special thanks to our staff and parent volunteers who helped make our 100th Day so successful. A huge thank you to our amazing administrative assistant, Carrie too for making each student and staff member a $100 bill displaying his/her picture!

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Parent Activities Committee meetings:

Friday, February 20th at 8:15 a.m. to count and organize box tops Please join us if you can!

Important Dates

  • February 20th – Winter Carnival
  • March 12th – EXPO at the Academy
  • March 17th – Annual District Meeting
  • April 14th – Spring Concert
  • May 8th – 4th Grade to Hulbert
  • May 29th – Jobs on the Move
  • June 12th – Field Day

February 13, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

February 6, 2015 

Last Friday Carrie and I received great Box Top/Label news when we took a call from the Labels for Education Sweepstakes office. It turns out that our weekly sweepstakes entries actually paid off. Westshire won $1,000 in cash and we are so excited! Once the money arrives, we'll meet with students and teachers to talk about how to spend it. We are already thinking about playground equipment like chalk, jump ropes, balls and sleds.

So far this school year, we have earned more than $300 in cash and 500 label points just from collecting Box Tops/Labels from families. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported this fundraiser. The money and points we earn helps to fund our special student events like our Art from the Heart evening and our end of the year ROCKS! celebration. Our February class competition began on Monday, February 2nd and the class who collects the most box tops and labels this month, will receive a special activity of their choosing. Watch newsletters for weekly collection sheets.

Our WES Parent Activities Committee has been a huge part of the success of this drive. This group, made up of parent volunteers, has cut, counted, and organized most of the box tops. In addition to helping with fundraising, PAC meets monthly to plan and organize special events for our children and families. Ideas for upcoming events include a sledding party or a movie and popcorn night in March.

Without the support and commitment from our parent volunteers, activities like these would not be possible. We are always looking for more parent involvement, so if you are interested in donating items or your time, please contact our school.

Important Reminders

  • Any student who arrives at school after 8:00 a.m. must be signed in by a parent and given a late pass to class. Please let Carrie know if your child needs hot lunch and/or snack milk/juice.
  • It's been extremely cold lately and children must be dressed warmly with coats, hats, gloves, boots and snow pants. Please do not send your child to school without these items.
  • Please do not park on the right side of the driveway as you enter the school. We have posted "No Parking" signs and ask that you use the parking lot. There is also no parking in the bus lane either. If you are here in the evening, please use the lot too as the late bus comes around 5:50 and cannot get through if cars are parked in the loop.

Important Dates

  • February 9th – 100th Day of School
  • February 20th – Winter Carnival
  • March 12th – EXPO at the Academy
  • March 17th – Annual District Meeting
  • April 14th – Spring Concert
  • May 8th – 4th Grade to Hulbert
  • May 29th – Jobs on the Move
  • June 12th – Field Day

Passport to Winter Fun

The Passport to Winter Fun Program is in full swing! Kids should be filling in their boxes with all of their adventures in the snow. Be sure to use the incentive prizes as your kids reach 10, 20 and 30 days on their Passports- check out the Green Mountain Climbing Center in Quechee on a cold day or enjoy the great conditions at Whaleback. If you're looking for a great family activity this weekend, come to Eastman Trails Day on Sunday from 10-3. Guided cross-country ski and snowshoe tours, fat bike demos, ski tuning clinic, family fun scramble and more! See www.uvtrails.org for details.

February 6, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

January 26, 2015wes 12615 3

Thank you to all of you who sent well wishes while I was sick. I am feeling much better and am happy to be back at school with family and friends. I really missed everyone!

As you know, we have attendance and tardiness policies. There is a powerful link between successful learning and regular school attendance. “It’s only one day! Why is attendance all that important?” Learning builds day by day, and if your child is not in school, he/she can’t learn. When students return from being absent they have to work harder to catch up on the class discussions, and to make up the missing assignments.

Having good attendance matters. Disregarding school attendance policies in elementary school can lead to problems later on. One research study found that poor attendance in kindergarten and first grade erased many of the benefits of preschool, even among those who started kindergarten with strong skills.

Getting to school on time is important for the success of your children. Transitioning from home to school early in the morning is difficult for many children. Being tardy causes your child to miss important directions and morning meeting.

I have reviewed attendance records and will be sending letters or making phone calls for those students who have excessive absences and/or tardiness. If you are unsure about the attendance policy, please refer to the Elementary Student/Family Handbook.

**Important—Any students who arrives at school after 8:00 a.m. must be signed in by a parent and given a late pass to class. Please let Carrie know if your child needs hot lunch/or snack milk/juice.

Important Dateswes 12615 2

  • February 6th – 4th Grade NEAP Testing
  • February 20th – Winter Carnival
  • March 12th – EXPO at the Academy
  • March 17th – Annual District Meeting
  • April 14th – Spring Concert
  • May 8th – 4th Grade to Hulbert
  • May 29th – Jobs on the Move
  • June 12th – Field Day


BOX TOPS AND LABELS February Competition

February brings our second classroom competition. Starting Monday, February 2nd send your box tops and labels to school. The class that collects the most Box Tops and Labels will receive a special prize!

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 January 26, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

December 19, 2014

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Celebrating the holidays with song is one of my favorite activities of the year and we were fortunate to host more than 200 people at this year's holiday concert. The theme "Let's Play in the Snow" was perfect as we had to change the initial date due to bad weather.

wes122214 2The evening began with the second graders "ringing" in the show by entering the gymnasium with the traditional tolling of the bells. Kindergarten stole the hearts of the audience when they sang "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," and played their Kazoos, followed by the third and fourth graders who played their Orf instruments and sang "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." The night ended with a special song chosen by the chorus—"Happy" by Pharrell Williams. The evening was truly spectacular!

A special thanks to Mrs. Drew for preparing our students, Mrs. Bando for the beautiful decorations, and to all the staff for their many contributions.

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To all of our families, we send our warmest holiday wishes
and hope you have a wonderful vacation. See you in 2015!

Important Dates

December 20th through January 5th Holiday Break
January 5th — School resumes for 2015!
January 8th — Winter Program Begins

December 19, 2014 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

December 5, 2014wes120514

It's hard to believe that December is already here. Pretty soon Christmas will arrive and the new year will begin. The holiday season is a good time to reflect the good work we have done this year.

A few weeks ago we rolled out our ROCKS core concept program and we have seen the benefits already. Students can't wait to earn classroom rocks and we are happy to give them out when they demonstrate one or more of the concepts. We've already had one class deliver their "rocks" to the office and add them to the all school ROCKS jar.

Another program we have started are our Spirit Days. The 3rd/4th grade Student Leadership Team meets on Thursdays at lunch and they have planned some great activities, including the recent "dress in your favorite fall colors day." Upcoming spirit days will include sports day, pajama and stuffy day, and our traditional holiday spirit day.

We continue to host Dance Fridays on Friday afternoons. Dance Friday is not really about the dancing, it's about celebrating the hard work we do all week. It's about creating a community and making everyone feel good when they leave for the weekend. It's place where we celebrate our successes. I see the enthusiasm of the kids every Friday and I love it! Most importantly, Dance Friday is about showing the children, staff and parents of Westshire that this is the place to be—a place where learning can be fun.

Important Reminder

When you pick up or drop off your child, please park in the parking lot and not on the edge of the driveway. Also, no parking in the bus lane at any time. Thank you!

Important Dates

  • December 9th – Holiday Concert
  • December 20th through January 5th Holiday Break

December 5, 2014 Newsletter

A Monday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

November 24, 2014wes-112414-3

Last Tuesday, members of our Student Leadership Team excitedly waited at the door to greet guests for our annual Harvest Dinner. More than 200 people, including 60 grandparents, enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and all the fixings.

While eating, our guests enjoyed listening to our 3rd & 4th grade chorus sing "Fooba Wooba John" and "The Cat Came Back," as well as hearing recitations of two poems by the 1st/2nd grade classes.

The luncheon ended with great anticipation as the 1st/2nd graders drew the winners of our homemade pumpkin pies. This year the pies were especially delicious looking because all of the ingredients were grown and harvested in our own school gardens. Congratulations to the four pumpkin pie winners.

A HUGE thanks to all our staff and students for making this year's dinner so successful.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving—wishing all our families a healthy and happy holiday weekend!

Enjoy turkey and football!

November 24, Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

November 14, 2014

The days are getting colder and snow is on its way. On bad weather days, when school has not been cancelled, we may have a two hour delay. In this case, bus arrival times will be delayed two hours. If the bus usually arrives at 7:00 a.m., it will come at 9:00. All schools that normally start at 8:00 will begin two hours later at 10:00. Students should not be dropped off at school before 9:30 for a10:00 start. When we have a delay, please note that breakfast will NOT be served. On inclement weather days, listen to the radio or television, check our website, or wait for the phone call from our School Reach phone system. This automated message should call your home by 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 18th will be an important day for the staff and students of Westshire as we host our annual Harvest Dinner. Grandparents and mentors from Everybody Wins! have been invited to join us at lunchtime for a tasty meal of turkey, stuffing and all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings.

wes-111414The gym was alive with music Thursday when Westshire welcomed more than 250 staff and students from both elementary schools to hear the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. This year's VSO performance, titled "Ah! Capella," featured a vocal quartet that used nothing but their voices as instruments to entertain the audience.

November 14, 2014 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

November 7, 2014

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Mrs. Waterman's Kindergarten class did a wonderful job hosting Monday's Community Meeting.
During the presentation we introduced this year's core concepts and our ROCKS reward program. The acronym ROCKS was created by students and staff and the words represent the behaviors and actions that define our student. We believe that WES ROCKS because our students are:

    • Responsible
    • Outstanding Scholars
    • Cooperative
    • Kind
    • Safe

When a student demonstrates one or more of the core concepts, he/she will be rewarded with a colored rock to add to a class jar. Once the jar is full, the class will bring their rocks to the office and add them to our school jar. When the school jar is full, we will celebrate with an all school activity.

Teaching our children the importance of behaviors like responsibility and kindness is one of our goals because we know that these concepts can attribute to who our children become in the future. Please support ROCKS by asking your children to display acts of cooperation, kindness and responsibility at home. Together we can make a difference!

November 7, 2014 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

October 31, 2014
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Happy Halloween everyone! It looks like it will be a nice evening for trick-or-treating. 

November 6th is our first three-way conference. For those of you who are new to Westshire, I would like to give you an idea of what to expect at the conferences.

Three-way conferences provide an opportunity for the student, teacher and parent to come together as a team to support the student's learning. Kindergarten parents—you will be impressed at how even our youngest students are able to talk about their learning and their goals. In preparation for the three-way conferences, students and teachers have been writing personal learning plans or PLP's. The personal learning plan helps the student be responsible for his or her own learning. It is goal oriented and allows the student to think about what he or she is learning, and to set goals around that learning. These goals look different, depending on the grade.

Research shows that students learn better when they are involved in their own learning. It helps students develop the vocabulary to talk about their achievements and learning and encourages student to take ownership of schoolwork.

The parents are an important part of the conference. You bring to the conference knowledge of your child and his/her learning. Your child's teacher will ask you to contribute to the learning goals for your child.

Here are some suggestions for successful conferences:

  • Listen and allow your child to dominate the conversation. You will learn much about your child's learning if you let them talk.
  • Avoid being evaluative and accept and respect the student as a learner.
  • Ask questions that open up conversations rather than close down communication.Open-ended questions are those that ask for explanations, expansions, examples and discussion.
  • If you still have concerns after your child's conference that you would like to discuss privately with your child's teacher, please let the teacher know.