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A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

June 5, 2015

It’s hard to believe that it’s already June and soon school will be out and the summer will begin. It feels like this year has flown by so quickly! We have been extremely busy these last few weeks and I’d like to highlight some end of the year activities and upcoming events:

  • Teachers in the primary grades are giving the end of the year assessments, POA, primary observation assessment to all students.
  • Students are working on their class gardens by preparing the soil and planting seeds.
  • Last week we participated in an awesome Jobs on the Move event. Thanks to Mrs. O’Hearn for organizing the afternoon and to all of our “medical” volunteers for sharing their knowledge with us.
  • Next week, Kindergarten students will be making their annual trek around the community to visit the Vershire library, the post office and the town center.
  • Field Day is next Friday, June12th at Treasure Island. Permission slips are attached.
  • Fourth graders have been involved in transition activities at Samuel Morey and are once again invited to an evening with the 5th grade team on June 9th at 5:30. They are also preparing for their celebration at our last Community Meeting on Monday, June 15th from 11:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Teachers are practicing for the end of the year teachers vs. the fourth grade kick ball game which will be held on Monday, the15th at 2:00 p.m.

Please stay tuned for my last newsletter of the year next Friday. Have a great weekend and enjoy the nice weather!


Visions Reminders

The Visions program has ended so there is no after school for students in grades K-4. Please let Carrie know where your child will be going after school next week by calling or sending in a note to the office.

SummerScapes flyers have gone home and we hope your children will join us for a great summer program. Please send your registration forms to the WES office ASAP

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Important Dates

  • June 11th — Last Day for ECP am/pm programs
  • June 12th — Field Day at Treasure Island
  • June 15th — Assembly for 4th graders — 11:00-11:30
  • June 17th — Last day of school for students

June 5, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

May 29, 2015wes 052915 02

Our students are amazing!
This year our students showed their Westshire pride by earning more “Rocks” than ever before. Our eighty-three students filled the all-school jar and continued to add more rocks to a second jar. These colored “rocks” were earned by our students for achieving academic success and demonstrating ositive behaviors.

Our Parent Activities Committee (PAC) starting planning this year’s reward in the fall. The afternoon of the celebration started when PAC delivered Westshire ROCKS! tee shirts and sombreros to every student in our school. Thanks to Margarita’s Restaurant in Lebanon for donating 85 hats for our students. After getting all “dressed up,” the students entered the gym where we had an all-school luncheon that included tacos, salsa and fresh fruit kabobs.

Many volunteers helped at the event by running games and activities that included a Mexican Bean Race, Pin the Tail on the Burro, and Limbo. At the craft station each student made his/her own maracas using plastic Easter eggs, spoons and corn kernels.

We ended the day with a picture of our entire school and ice cream donated by Ben & Jerrys. A gigantic thanks to all our parent volunteers and donators. This day was awesome for our students and it was because of you!

wes 052915 01

 May 29, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

May 15, 2015

Last week we had a wonderful Non-Fiction Night. When students and parents entered the gym they found 10 “centers” that included Farm to School, Arctic Activities, an Explorer Wax Museum, a Planet presentation and a Kindergarten animal research station. Each child received a paper book and they were asked to collect stamps at each station. When the book was filled, the students entered them into a drawing for brand new non-fiction books and journals.

My favorite spot was the reading nook, where families sat and shared non-fiction books. Thanks to our awesome “popcorn” volunteers, the 1st/2nd graders raised $90 for their “Adopt a Polar Bear” project. Thanks to the many donations by our families, they raised enough money to adopt three polar bears! A huge thank you to everyone who attended our inaugural
Non-Fiction Night!

wes 051515 1On Friday Mrs. O’Hearn and I took the Student Leadership Team to Twinfield Union School to attend the Vermont Rural Partnership Conference. At the event, our students presented our composting initiative.

During the day, we attended various workshops presented by other rural Vermont schools, like the Renaissance Program, Project Canoe, Disc Golf and more. It was a great day! When our Student Leadership Team returned from the trip, they shared what they learned with the entire school at Monday’s Community Meeting. Good job SLT!

Summer Update

As you may have heard we were not awarded another 21st Century grant to support our summer and after school Visions programs. For ten years, we were fortunate enough to receive money from the Federal Government to fund these essential programs.

We are diligently working to figure out plans for this summer. Currently we are trying to find the money to run a full day program at Rivendell Academy. The morning academic programs will be free and as in years past, there will be a cost for anyone attending the afternoons. Transportation will be at a minimum this year as travel is a huge expense.

We ask for your patience while we figure this out. As soon as we make final plans, we will let our families know immediately.

Important Dates

  • May 19th thru 21st — 4th Grade Science NECAP
  • May 22nd — ROCKS Celebration
  • May 29th — Jobs on the Move
  • June 12th — Field Day at Treasure Island
  • June 17th — Last day of school for students

May 15, 2015 Newsletter

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2015

Pretty soon the weather will be warm and we’ll be preparing for the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. It’s hard to believe that we only have 7.5 weeks remaining of school. During this time we have many exciting events and activities happening.

Join us on Wednesday, May 6th for our first celebration of Non Fiction. The students have worked all year reading and writing about informational text and this evening is their opportunity to show you what they have learned. Be prepared for an exciting night of Explorers, Artic Animals, Planets and more!

Next Friday I’ll be traveling to Twinfield Union School in Marshfield, VT with Mrs. O’Hearn and 7 members of our Student Leadership Team. We’ll be attending the Vermont Rural Partnership Conference and sharing our composting work. It should be an exciting day for our students—they will be meeting new friends from all around Vermont, attending workshops, and learning about the projects started by other small, rural schools.

Soon we’ll be saying good-bye to our 4th graders who will attend Samuel Morey next year. On the 12th of May they will spend the day at the Hulbert Outdoor Center bonding and having fun with their future SME classmates.

Our Students are Amazing!

Congratulations to our 3rd and 4th grade students for finishing the SBAC testing! They all did a great job and we appreciate how seriously they took the testing. We are proud of them!

On Monday, Mrs. Russell rewarded 8 students for their participation in the Reading is an Investment program. As part of their library curriculum all students are introduced to basic financial concepts and if they complete the reading challenge they are eligible to win a $250 college savings account.

Important Dates

  • May 6th — Spring Into Non-Fiction Night
  • May 8th — 4th Grade SLT to VRP Conference
  • May 9th — WES Kindergarten Orientation
  • May 12th — 4th Grade to Hulbert (date change)
  • May 22nd — ROCKS Celebration
  • May 29th — Jobs on the Move
  • June 12th — Field Day at Treasure Island
  • June 17th — Last day of school

Kindergarten Registration and Orientation

Saturday, May 9, 2015 8:30-11:30
The school year isn’t over yet, but we are already looking ahead to next year and our new group of kindergarten students. If you have a child that will be 5 years old on or before August 31st please call WES and ask the WES Administrative Assistant, Carrie to make an appointment. The orientation will take approximately one hour with extra time after to meet and greet with the school nurse.

On the day of orientation, we will see children in groups of 5 or 6. Our primary educators watch andmwork with the children to get to know them better. Our principal, Tammy MacQueen will meet with parents for a school tour, to review the kindergarten handbook, and acquaint parents with some of the procedures and traditions at our school. She’ll also be able to answer any questions parents may have.

We look forward to meeting our new students and parents next Saturday!

 

May 1, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

April 17, 2015wes 041715 1

The beautiful voices of our students could be heard ringing throughout the building at our 2nd annual spring concert. The evening began with the Kindergarten class, with toothbrushes in hand, sang “Brush your Teeth,” followed by a Contra Dance to the tune of “Kindergarten Reel.”

The first and second grade classes sang a song titled “I am a Mother Too,” written by our own Mrs. Drew! They also danced to the Kentucky tune of “I Wonder Where Maria’s Gone.” It was a joy to see them promenade and sashay with one another.

Third graders sang and played their recorders to the American Folk Tune, “Grizzly Bear.” Congratulations to Finnegan O’Donnell and Eli Mansur who performed as a duet, “Ode to Joy.” Finn played the piano and Eli played his fiddle. They were awesome!

Playing their Orf instruments, the fourth grade sang “Round and Round,” and then they joined the third grade chorus to end the evening with four songs including “America” and a combination of “Swing Low” and “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain.”

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s concert so successful. Kudos to Ms. Drew for bringing such beautiful music to our school and to our students for giving us such a special gift this spring.

 

Important Dates

  • May 6th — Spring Into Non-Fiction Night
  • May 8th — 4th Grade SLT to VRP Conference
  • May 9th — WES Kindergarten Orientation
  • May 12th — 4th Grade to Hulbert (date change)
  • May 22nd — ROCKS Celebration
  • May 29th — Jobs on the Move
  • June 12th — Field Day at Treasure Island
  • June 17th — Last day of school
  • July 6th thru July 31st — Summerscapes 2015

 

Kindergarten Registration and Orientation

Saturday, May 9, 2015
8:30-11:30

The school year isn’t over yet, but we are already looking ahead to next year and our new group of kindergarten students. If you have a child that will be 5 years old on or before August 31st please call WES and ask the WES Administrative Assistant, Carrie to make an appointment. The orientation will take approximately one hour with extra time after to meet and greet with the school nurse.

On the day of orientation, we will see children in groups of 5 or 6. Our primary educators watch and work with the children to get to know them better. Our principal, Tammy MacQueen will meet with parents for a school tour, to review the kindergarten handbook, and acquaint parents with some of the procedures and traditions at our school. She’ll also be able to answer any questions parents may have. 

We hope to see new students and parents on Saturday, May 9th!

April 17, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

April 10, 2015

Farm to School We are so fortunate to have an amazing Farm to School program. During the March lesson, our students made their own pink bean and beet dip and tasted pickled beets. With a mortar and pestle, they mashed ingredients and then enjoyed the dip with carrot sticks. They also learned about how people can and use root cellars to extend harvests.

In the fall we were awarded a $2,000 grant from the Vermont Rural Partnership to start a school-wide composting program. We want this project to be student driven and have enlisted our 4th grade Student Leadership Team to help. A few weeks ago, we took the SLT to meet Karl Hammer, owner and operator of Vermont Compost. The kids learned a lot of good information and they are preparing a special presentation for the school.

At Monday’s Community Meeting we unveiled our new equipment—compost buckets, a briefcase scale, and a large garden cart.

Mrs. Shatney spoke to our students about physical and chemical reactions and how they relate to composting.

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Yesterday, Janet from Crossroads Farm spent an hour talking to our students about the process of planting seeds. Our students were very eager to learn and ask questions about the process. The best part of the assembly came when students got their hands dirty and planted the seeds that will eventually grow in our garden beds. Thanks to a $250 grant from Vital Communities, all of our planting seeds and tools are paid for. Thank you to everyone involved in making this amazing program so successful!

April 10, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

April 3, 2015

This time of year gets extremely busy for families so we want to make you aware of important upcoming events and activities. Save the dates! Upcoming Events:

  • April 9th -Crossroads Farm Assembly for students 12:30-1:30
  • April 14th - K-4 Spring Concert April
  • 17th – Spring Pictures April 20th thru 24th – Spring Recess
  • April 29nd – Non Fiction Night May 8th – 4th Grade to Hulbert
  • May 22nd – Rocks Celebration
  • May 29th – Jobs on the Move
  • June 12th – Treasure Island Field Day
  • June 17th – Last Day for Students
  • July 6th thru July 31st - SummerScapes

More detailed information will come home as we get closer to the activities.

Health Screenings

Ms. Marnie, our School Nurse, will be starting the annual spring screening series for hearing and vision. The grades that will participate are: Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd. Marnie will alert you to any findings that need a doctor's referral.

April 3, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

March 20, 2015

Happy Spring! I think...wes 032015 1

Next Friday, March 27th is our 2nd 3-way conference day of the year and I hope you have scheduled a time with your child’s teacher. It’s important for you to be involved in this process because these meetings give your child the chance to set academic goals and discuss his/her trimester accomplishments with you.

At WES we expect students to be responsible for completing assignments, but often to do their best, they need your support. Asking questions about your child’s homework and checking assignment books for your older children can really make a difference. Try the following questions to help start a conversation about homework:

  • Did you finish your reading? May I see what you’ve done? Can you tell me about what you read
  • Did you solve your math problems carefully?
  • Which problem did you find to be the most challenging?
  • Do you have any homework due tomorrow other than math and reading?

Don’t hesitate to talk to your children about re-doing an assignment that doesn’t show their best efforts. They know what Quality Work looks like and what we expect from them Staying in touch with your child’s teacher is another way to help your child become more successful.

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

March 13, 2015wes 031315 1

Recently there has been much talk about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) that is replacing the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP). Last week Mrs. Keiling, Principal of Samuel Morey and Head of Elementary, wrote a letter to families. I’d like to share her thoughts with you:

There is much controversy surrounding this new assessment, especially what will be done with the results. While we share some concerns about the use of the test, we share Secretary Holcombe’s position on the assessments. In a letter to superintendents and principals, dated February 17th, Secretary Holcombe stated, “However, I ask you to not let the inappropriate uses to which tests are put under NCLB (No Child Left Behind) undermine what value there is in tests, when used appropriately. Unlike previous tests, this is a computer adaptive test which adjusts the difficulty of questions in response to the answers students provide. This allows for more accurate information about what each child can and cannot yet do; this information will help teachers to better respond to theirmstudents’ needs.” The inappropriate uses that she refers to is the “proficiency threshold on the new tests is set so high that two-thirds of our high schools students will likely not score as ‘proficient,’ it is likely a virtual certainty that once again, all our public schools will be labeled ‘low performing,’ despite the fact that a study by the US Department of Education ranked us seventh in the world in math and science.”

Students in grades three through six have been working with their teachers and Gabi Martino, our technology integration coordinator, to familiarize our students with the new computer format and the format of the questions. It would not be fair to students to not give them some preparation with this new format.

More information will be coming from both Mrs. Keiling and myself. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Rivendell Annual District Meeting

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Rivendell Academy Gym, Orford, NH. Polls open at 6:00 p.m.
Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. 2015-2016 budget is voted on during the meeting
Childcare will be provided in the RA Library

March 13, 2015 Newsletter

A Friday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

March 6, 2015wes 030615 1

This week we celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading, reading and reading even more during We Love to Read week! The festivities began Monday at REP where the staff, dressed in Dr. Seuss hats, with the help of the 4th grade students, broke into song with “Gotta Keep Reading,” (to the tune “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas), danced and paraded around the gym waving our books. In the afternoon, classes walked around the school on The Foot Book story walk.

We curled up and read books in our pajamas with our favorite stuffed animals on Tuesday. Late in the morning, we had buddy reads where our older children read to their younger schoolmates. Drop Everything and Read was our Wednesday activity. We were so excited to take time for both students and staff to pick up a book and read. Even Ms. Otis joined in by creating fun PE games like Yertle the Turtle scooter races. On Thursday, teachers switched rooms during the read aloud shuffle and read their favorite books. Stories like Bartholomew and the OobleckGertrude McFuzz and All the Places You’ll Go could be heard echoing throughout the classrooms and halls.

Friday was the best day of the week! We celebrated the end of an awesome week by paying homage to Dr. Seuss with Seuss Winter Carnival activities. First, staff and students enjoyed an all—school luncheon of pizza in the gymnasium. We had a Cat in the Hat scavenger hunt, went snow bowling with the Lorax, and built a Grinch mountain of snow. The day ended with an all—school read where everyone enjoyed looking at books and drinking hot chocolate. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this week so amazing!

Important Dates

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

Message from the Kitchen

March 23-26th is Free Fruit Week! March is National Nutrition Month and we’ll be celebrating by offering free fruit to all staff and students. For the week fruit baskets will be out by the kitchen.

March 6, 2015 Newsletter