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A Monday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

April 21, 2014wes 04212014-1

Welcome Back!
I hope you all had a restful vacation. It looks like spring has finally arrived—let's hope it stays this time! As you know May and June get extremely busy. Please continue to check the "Important Dates" on the back of every newsletter so you can be informed of upcoming events and programs.

The week before vacation was pretty exciting with the drummers and dancers from Jeh Kulu here at WES. For the entire day on Thursday, the three man troupe worked with classes teaching them native dances from West Africa. Thursday evening was great fun too, as students from both elementary schools performed for their families. Je Kulu means "community," and that was the best part of the residency—seeing RISD families dancing together as one large community and enjoying the culture and music of West Africa.

A huge THANK YOU to the Westshire Parent Activities Committee, the CSO and to all of our families for supporting the Jeh Kulu Artist in Residence program! We also want to send special appreciations to the local businesses who gave us the amazing raffle prizes.

Join me this week in welcoming Carrie Garrison our new Administrative Assistant. Carrie lives in East Topsham and is a mom to three beautiful boys. Carrie is excited to be here, and we are thrilled to have her as part of our Westshire team!

wes 04212014-2

Kindergarten Registration and Orientation
Saturday, May 3, 2014
8:00-12:00
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 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 May 3rd!

April 21, 2014 Newsletter

A Monday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

March 31, 2014

Jeh Kulu
West African Dance & Drum Theater
Artist in Residence

Wednesday, April 9th at Samuel Morey
Thursday, April 10th at Westshire Elementary
Community performance with students and Jeh Kulu on Thursday, April 10th
in the Rivendell Academy High School Gym at 6:00 p.m.

Next week both elementary schools will welcome the Jeh Kulu West African Dance & Drum Theater. During the two-day residency, Master artists from Guinea will work with our students to teach them the songs and dances of West Africa. On Thursday evening the students, along with Jeh Kulu, will perform a community show at Rivendell Academy. It should be an exciting night!

We have the CSO to thank for supporting this residency and for paying for half the program. To raise the additional funds, we need your help. Next week during the residency, the parent groups at both schools will be selling tickets. The tickets will cost $5.00 each or a book of 5 tickets for$20.00. Tickets will be sold during the week and on the evening of April 10th. Please support this exciting residency
by purchasing a ticket.

A book of tickets with a list of the prizes will go home with each student on Friday. All tickets and money must be returned by next Thursday , April 10th so we can draw the winners that evening, at the end of the performance. Participants who purchase tickets do not need to be present to win the prizes.

March 31, 2014 Newsletter

A Monday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

March 24, 2014

Happy Spring! (I think...)

This Friday, March 28th is 3-way conferences and I hope you have already scheduled a time with your child's teacher. It's important for you to be involved in these meetings because this gives your child the
chance to set academic goals and discuss his/her trimester accomplishments with you.

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 otherthan 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. Staying in touch with your child's
teacher is another way to help your child become more successful.

March 24, 2014 Newsletter

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Despite the snow and cold temperatures, the weather forecasters have promised spring will be here Thursday. Let's keep our fingers crossed! This time of year gets extremely busy for families so we want to make you aware of important upcoming events and activities. We have made recent changes so please check the dates and save them on your calendars.

Upcoming Events:

  • March 18th – Annual Meeting at RA at 6:30
  • March 21st - Activities Comm. Meeting 8:15 a.m.
  • March 25th – School Board Meeting at WES
  • March 28th – No school/3-Way Conferences
  • April 9th and 10th -Jeh Kulu Residency
  • April 10th - Jeh Kulu Performance at SME 6:00
  • April 14th thru 18th – Spring Recess
  • April 22nd – K-4 Spring Concert
  • April 23rd – Everybody Wins Literacy Night
  • April 25th – Spring Pictures
  • May 9th – 4th Grade to Hulbert
  • May 17th – Raptor Run
  • May 22nd – Expo at RA
  • May 30th – Jobs on the Move
  • June 19th – Field Day
  • June 23rd – Last Day for Students
  • July 7th thru August 1st - SummerScapes


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

March 17, 2014 Newsletter

We Love to Read Week

March 10, 2014

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Last week WES celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday by rocking and reading during We Love to Read week. The celebration began Monday at community meeting where the staff, dressed in Dr. Seuss hats and holding Dr. Seuss books, broke into song with "Gotta Keep Reading," (to the tune "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas), and then the entire school danced and paraded around the gym waving books. In the afternoon, students walked around the grounds of the school on The Foot Book story walk. Tuesday brought "buddy reads," and in art class, each child decorated a reading book bag with fabric paints, sprays and markers. Mr. Acquilano got involved too by planning Dr. Seuss P.E. games to keep the students active.

On Thursday, teachers switched rooms during the read aloud shuffle and read their favorite Dr. Seuss wse 0310145books. Stories like Cat in the Hat, If I Ran the Zoo, and All the Places You'll Go could be heard throughout the building. Dressed in book character costumes, students enjoyed Friday's activities too. The second story walk, The Cat in The Hat was set up around the school for everyone to read. In the afternoon, even the loss of water could not stop our book give-away. Thanks to Irene Otis and Fabienne Stearns, parent volunteers, the books were transported to Samuel Morey where each student choose 2-3 and carried them home with their newly decorated book bags. After choosing their books, we had an all-school read in the SME gymnasium. A huge thank you to the community for donating an array of high quality books, to our staff and students for a great Friday, and to SME for letting us borrow their gymnasium!

March 10, 2014 Newsletter

 

 

Mrs. MacQueen's Monday Musings

March 3, 2014wse03032014 1

Welcome March! It's great to be back at school. I hope all of you had a wonderful and relaxing vacation. Now that it's March, the worst of winter should be behind us and we can look forward to warmer days and the emergence of spring.

The deep snow, bright sunshine, and warm temperatures made the Thursday before break
a glorious day to hold our second annual Winter Carnival. The events began with the fourth grade wse03032014 2entering the gymnasium carrying the Olympic torch. The other classes followed them and paraded around the gym waving their International flags while listening to the Olympic anthem playing in the background.

Once we got outside, teams of mixed age groups rotated through six active stations that included a sled relay race, target range, and a snow mountain scavenger hunt. We took a short break during the games and enjoyed cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa made by Chef Pauline.

The day ended well with an all-school pizza luncheon in the gymnasium and afternoon board games. Thank you to the students, staff and all of our volunteers for an amazing day!

I Love to Read Week
March 3-7th
A Celebration of Dr. Seuss

*Monday, March 3rd*
Kickoff celebration at Community Meeting with
"Gotta Keep Reading" song and dance
Dr. Seuss Story Walk #1

*Tuesday, March 4th*
Buddy Reads
Design Reading Bags (Art)

*Wednesday, March 5th*
Get Active—Dr. Seuss PE
Drop Everything and Read

*Thursday, March 6th*
Read Aloud Shuffle

*Friday, March 7th*
Character Dress Up
Book Give-Away
Story Walk #2
All School Read (2:40-3:00 in gym)
Seuss Party Friday—where we'll dance to music from Seussical

 March 3, 2014 Newsletter

Mrs. MacQueen's Monday Musings

February 17, 2014

February has flown by and it's hard to believe that when we return from vacation, a new month will be here. The beginning of March will bring exciting learning experiences to WES. We'll kick-off a celebration of Dr. Seuss ' birthday with I Love to Read Week. We've planned many fun activities, including a Dr. Seuss Story Walk, Read Aloud Shuffle, and Dress as your Favorite Book Character Day.

Also during the week, the Parent Activities Committee will sponsor a "Bags and Books" drive. On March 7th, students can "shop" for gentle used books to take home. To carry their books, each student will receive a colorful book bag that will be decorated in art class with Mrs. Bando.

We won't have to worry about the lack of snow for Thursday's Olympic Winter Carnival. Beginning with the "passing of the torch," groups of students will compete outside in winter activities like Fox and Geese , snow sculpture, and a sled relay race. At noon, we'll enjoy an all-school lunch in the gymnasium and return to classrooms for the afternoon. Skiers will be dismissed from school at 11:40 and all other students at 1:45.

Spirit Day is Friday and students may wear appropriate pajamas and bring a favorite stuffed animal from home. Slippers are also allowed.

I hope you take time next week to enjoy the winter weather and spend quality time with your families. Have a great vacation!

NECAP Scores are here!

Our fall New England Common Assessment state test (NECAP) scores are here and Westshire did very well. The fall test was given in October to all students in grades 3-4.

Reading
3rd Grade: 94% met or exceeded the standard
4th Grade: 77% met or exceeded the standard

Math
3rd Grade: 92% met or exceeded the standard
4th Grade: 69% met or exceeded the standard

It is important to know that we have very small N's or numbers/students in our classes and that one or two students can greatly affect the overall percentage. Teachers and administrators will soon be examining the results, analyzing released tasks and identifying where we need more focus in our curriculum. Individual test scores have not arrived yet but will be given to parents of students in grades 3-4 at the March 28th three-way conferences.

Mrs. MacQueen's Monday Musings

February 10, 2014

 

Happy 100th Day of School!

wse 02101411

 

wse 02101413It was an exciting morning as we kicked off our 100th Day events. At 9:40, the hundredth minute of school, students and staff were called to the gymnasium for the start of our celebration. Led by the staff of Westshire, we sang a 100th Day tune, completed 100 exercises, and participated in 100 seconds of silence. Then, dressed in our owl headbands, crowns and glasses, we posed for an all school picture with the 100 home-made cookies baked by Mrs. Pauline.

In addition, each teacher planned academic activities that involved the number 100. Students wrote 100 reasons why they love Westshire, they made animals using only the number 100, played the game Race to 100, and each student made at least one heart card for the Valentine for Veterans program. It was a fabulous morning! A special thanks to our amazing administrative assistant, Amy, for making each
student a $100 bill displaying his/her picture!

February 10, 2014 Newsletter

A Monday Hello from Mrs. MacQueen

February 4, 2014

Thank you to our families for supporting our Box Tops and Labels for Education drive. So far this year, we have earned more than $300 in cash and 2,000 label points. The money and points will be used 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 begins today and the class who collects the most box tops and labels. will receive a special activity of their choosing! Watch 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 counted, cut 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. In December, they hosted our 3rd annual Art from the Heart Christmas Craft Event and they are currently planning next week's Valentine's Fun Day. Ideas for upcoming events include a sledding party and a movie and popcorn night.

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

Please consider being a part of this wonderful group of volunteers. Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 7th at 8:15 a.m. where we'll be making final preparations for our Valentine's Fun Day.

Mrs. MacQueen's Monday Musings

January 27, 2014wse012714

At Rivendell we take pride that our staff continues to use the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning. This program is based on the premise that children learn best when they pair both academic and social-emotional skills in every day learning.

The Responsive Classroom approach consists of a set of practices that build both learning and behavior skills. One important aspect of Responsive Classroom is how we create a sense of community.
Each morning teachers and students begin the day with "Morning Meeting." This is time for students to greet each other and to share news. It also gives them an opportunity to review the day's schedule and prepare for what's ahead. Everyone is included in morning meeting and this is important to building good peer relationships and creating a safe classroom environment. Often times I walk around our school and join the classes. Attending these collaborative meetings has become one of my favorite parts of the day!

On alternate Mondays, the entire school comes together in Community Meeting where we model specific aspects of the Responsive Classroom like celebrating student achievements, appreciating those who help others, as well as recognizing the hard work of students and staff. This opportunity to spend time together helps us continue to create and foster a cohesive bond and grow as one, strong WES learning community.

January 27, 2014 Newsletter