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Monday, October 21, 2019


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Message from the Principal, Steven Lindemann - October 16, 2019

Dear Samuel Morey Parents and Guardians,

Can you believe the beautiful weather we are experiencing this autumn?! I thought that the weather we had for the All School Hike last week would be the end of the string of perfect fall days, but I was wrong. Being out at every recess sure has been a treat for me.

Many thanks to all the parents who participated in my first All School Hike. I enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with some of you as I trekked up and down Sunday Mountain. Also, I wanted to thank the parents and community members who attended the Community Forum at SME last Tuesday and the Friends of Rivendell meeting at Westshire Elementary last Thursday. I learned a great deal about the hopes, dreams and concerns the people in attendance have about the schools in the Rivendell Interstate School District. I have an “open door” policy at SME, and I am usually out in the bus loop every morning if you would like to chat. I can also be reached by phone or email. As I stated in my introductory letter to the community in August, I wanted to work in a smaller school where all students feel known by all the adults who work in the school. I believe Samuel Morey is a school where all students can feel that high level of care and support. I also believe that the Samuel Morey community believes in educating the “whole child”. As I continue to learn about the what makes Samuel Morey unique, I am also working on making tangible changes to improve the learning experience for the students as well as improvements to the learning environment and building.

One way to include the students’ input in improving SME is by forming a School Culture Committee (SCC). This SCC for the Fall trimester is a randomly selected group of two students each from grades 2 through 6. These eight students have met with Music Teacher Elizabeth Duvall and me for the last three weeks to brainstorm ways to improve the culture and/or building. This group has voted to have a Gaga Ball Pit on the playground (see the picture below of the Gaga Ball Pit at Sharon Elementary School). I will be ordering the materials for the Gaga Ball Pit in the coming week, and I will notify you if we need help constructing the Gaga Ball Pit or a source of woodchips to put into the Gaga Ball Pit.

gaga pit web

The SCC also will be having a Sports Team Jersey Day this Friday where all students and staff are encouraged to wear their favorite jersey to show the SME community the high school, college, or professional sports team they support the most. I already have my favorite Liverpool jersey picked out for Friday! The SCC has made other great suggestions (including getting the pot hole in front of the school filled) and getting tetherballs for the playground. There will be two more randomly selected SCCs, one for the Winter trimester and one for Spring trimester.

I will be attending an all day workshop this Saturday in Burlington on how to teach coding to students. Coding is the process of using a programming language to get a computer to behave how you want it to. Every line of code tells the computer to do something, and a document full of lines of code is called a script. Coding helps children with communication, creativity, math, writing, and confidence. I will also be attending an all day workshop on Monday sponsored by the Vermont Principals Association titled “Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety and Defiant Behavior in the Classroom”. Superintendent Barrett Williams will be the SME Principal while I am gone that day.

In closing, I again wanted to express my gratitude for all the support I have received from the SME faculty, staff and parents in the first months as the leader of Samuel Morey Elementary School. Have a restful weekend!

Steven Lindemann, SME Principal


It’s Time for the All School Hike!

On Tuesday, October 8th, Samuel Morey will be hiking the Sunday Mountain section of the Cross Rivendell Trail in Orford. This is an annual tradition that helps us build community and spend time outside connecting with nature as a school. Students will need:

  • Layered clothes for our typical cool fall mornings and warm afternoons
  • Closed toed shoes with socks suitable for a hike in the woods (we want to avoid blisters)
  • Full water bottle, a snack and lunch (students may get a bag lunch from school)

We will load the bus at 8:30 a.m. to go to the Sunday Mountain trailhead, and we will return about 2 p.m. There will be a chaperone meeting at 8:00 a.m. in the gym. We love when parents join us for the ASH, so please come along if you like! Parking at the trailhead is very limited, so we strongly recommend chaperones ride the bus with us if they can! On the back of this form is a map of where we will be with the trail outlined.

 Click here to download the permission slip and return it to school with your student. 

Message from the Principal, Steven Lindemann - Sept, 23, 2019

Dear Samuel Morey Parents and Guardians,

Happy Fall! I wanted to start off by expressing my thanks to all the parents, students and staff who helped at the “Garden Party” this past Saturday morning. We moved the mound of dirt in the bus circle, pruned trees, weeded gardens, and chopped down a crab apple tree. The pile of wood from this tree is free for anybody that wants it, just come and pick it up. I believe that taking pride in our school building and grounds helps translate into a positive learning environment.

Last week we determined the six members of the Samuel Morey Spelling Team who will participate in the Vermont Principals Association State Grades 5 & 6 Spelling Bee Team Competition in October. We have four sixth grade students and two fifth grade students on this year’s team. I previously coached the Grade 5 & 6 Spelling Team at my previous school, and I look forward to working with these six students as we represent Samuel Morey Elementary and the Rivendell Interstate School District.

Another new change I am implementing is having a Samuel Morey Elementary School Culture Team (SMESCT), and its purpose is to identify projects/ideas to improve our school/community. The SMESCT is composed of two second grade, two third grade, two fourth grade, two fifth grade and two sixth grade students who were randomly selected to join Music Teacher Elizabeth Duvall and me for a three-month tenure (there will be three different teams during each year-a fall team, a winter team, and a spring team). We will meet three times this fall. The first meeting will be to brainstorm the idea we want to pursue; the second meeting to flesh out the idea; and the third to plan the full execution of the project. More details to come!

Finally, I hope to see you at our Curriculum Night/Open House on October 3rd from 6-7 PM. Have a wonderful week!

Steven Lindemann, SME Principal


Message from the Principal, Steven Lindemann - Sept, 13, 2019

Dear Samuel Morey Parents,

Please consider participating in our Samuel Morey School “Garden Party” on Saturday, September 21st 8:30-11:30 AM. We will be pruning trees, weeding, and getting the raised beds ready for next spring. Below is the list of tasks that the Samuel Morey Grounds Committee determined we should tackle on September 21st. We also listed the desired tools we will need. Please contact me if you have questions. I hope to see you next Saturday!

Steven Lindemann, Principal of SME

“To Do” List
Weed Whack Team

  • Need at least two gas-powered appliances
  • Weed whack school driveways and curbs
  • Weed whack building perimeter, and around the side flower gardens, tree wells and playground areas

Tree Trimming Team

  • Need small chain saw, tree saws, clippers, (wood chipper?)
  • Prune lower branches of 3 white pines near outdoor classroom
  • Prune lower branches of 3 maples around bus driveway
  • Prune lower branches of white pine behind backstop
  • Cut back verbena next to library/school building
  • Prune crab apples along school drive

Earth Moving Team

  • Need earth mover, rototiller, shovels, rakes
  • Move perennials in the center of Bus Loop to flag pole area
  • Level out dirt mounds in Bus Loop and plant grass seed
  • Level out the compost area behind the school dumpsters

Weeding and Mulching Team

  • Need weeding tools, baskets/bags to collect and move weeds, and bales of hay
  • Weed the grey rock area next to the front of the building
  • Weed all the gardens and areas identified below:

Reading Garden

  • Take down lattice work (need carpentry tools)
  • Remove broken barrels and clean up brush
  • Prune crab apple tree
  • Cut back perennials and weed entire area

Special Ed Garden

  • Weed garden and turn the soil
  • Cover with mulch for the winter

Crescent, Three Sisters, and Gordon’s Gardens

  • Cut back, mow, and mulch these areas for winter

Grades 5-6 Raised Beds

  • Weed, turn soil, and mulch with hay

Pre-school Garden

  • Weed

Picnic Table Shed

  • Rake out mulch
  • Trim and weed around poles and drums
  • Clean up hill slide area and weed

Back Side of Gym

  • Trim white pine behind backstop
  • Move black compost bin next to the one on side of cafeteria
  • Weed whack compost area
  • Set up hay pile to add to wet compost materials


Message from the Principal, Steven Lindemann - Sept, 5, 2019


The second week of school went smoothly, and I greatly enjoy popping into classrooms to see what the students are learning. I hope to see you next Thursday at SME at 6 pm for the first Friends of Rivendell meeting for the year. At this meeting I will answer questions, share my ideas about SME and how Friends of Rivendell can support our school. Also, I will share the goals of the newly formed SME Grounds Committee. This group is planning a “Garden Party” to spruce up the SME grounds (weeding, pruning, etc.) on Saturday morning, September 21st. We hope to see you there on Sept. 21 because “many hands make light work”. Have a restful weekend!

RISD Elementary Parent Newsletters 2019-20


RISD Elementary Parent Newsletters 2018-19

Greetings From Gail

June 5, 2015

When schools close for summer, what do students face? For many children, summer is a time of enrichment with activities that enhance and expand on things they learn in school. For other children, the summer break puts a pause on learning and causes what’s known as the “summer slide”— the loss of academic skills while school is out of session.

All children experience summer learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months. However, for children who are already struggling academically, summer learning loss widens existing learning gaps that can challenge academic success in the new school year.

On average, students lose up to two months of reading achievement over the summer. Studies showmthat summer loss is correlated to learning later in life, affecting whether or not a child earns a high school diploma and continues on to college. All children are vulnerable to summer reading loss, but children who are already academically at-risk often develop learning gaps which can significantly limit their academic success. There are ways to limit the damaging effects of summer slide for all children. Studies show that children who read four or more books during the summer tend to fare better than their peers who did not read, regardless of a student’s ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or previous achievements. (NEA)


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Student Food Bills

Any student lunch/breakfast balances must be up to date starting in May. If a student has a negative balance on their account they will not be able to charge items. If you would like information regarding your account please contact Carol Perkins.

Library News

Reminder— all library books should be returned by Friday, June 12th.

More information about summer reading activities at our public libraries will be coming home soon, including a contract for students in grades 3 - 5 to borrow books from the school library to read over the summer.

June 5, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

June 1, 2015 

Is it June 1st already? Where did the year go? I probably say this every year, but it really feels that way every year. The year has flown by and now we are in the final weeks of the school year. I would like to highlight some end of the year activities and events.

  • Teachers in the primary grades are giving the end of the year assessments, POA, primary observation assessment to all students.
  • Sixth graders are involved in transition activities at Rivendell Academy.
  • Sixth graders are getting ready for graduation which is June 16th. They are working on a video for that event.
  • Fifth graders will be visiting the State House for a mock congressional hearing as a culminating performance for their work with We the People curriculum.
  • Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students are being introduced to their summer reading assignments.

Student Food Bills

Any student lunch/breakfast balances must be up to date starting in May. If a student has a negative balance on their account they will not be able to charge items. If you would like information regarding your account please contact Carol Perkins.

Important Dates

  • June 4th — LAST DAY OF VISIONS
  • June 12th—Field Day
  • June 16th—6th Grade Graduation, 6:00 p.m.
  • June 17th—Last Day for Students

Garden Building Extravaganza

Saturday we had a garden building extravaganza! We have started construction on the kindergarten and first grade gardens, but are in need of more kindergarten and first grade parent help to finish those gardens. The preschool garden was constructed and additions to the Natural Playscape area were made. Thank you everyone who helped. It is greatly appreciated.

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June 1, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

May 22, 2015

On Thursday evening Rivendell Academy showed the film, The Hornet’s Nest. This is a film by Mike and Carlos Boettcher, father and son journalists, who embedded themselves in the 101st Airborne division that was fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Michael Gali and students from his War on Terror class interviewed the author and coordinated the event. The interview can be seen on Rivendell Academy’s Facebook Page. (you do not have to have Facebook to access the page) Rivendell Academy students read excerpts from letters sent by the governors of New Hampshire and Vermont in support of veterans and the event.

Veterans in the Upper Valley were invited to the showing of the film and a question and answer session was held after the movie. The evening started with the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of The Star spangled Banner. It was a wonderful tribute to our veterans right before Memorial Day.

I would like to say thank you to all veterans in our Samuel Morey family and community and thank you for your service.

Student Food Bills

Any student lunch/breakfast balances must be up to date starting in May. If a student has a negative balance on their account they will not be able to charge items. If you would like information regarding your account please contact Carol Perkins.

Important Dates

  • May 28th—6th Grade to RA for summer reading presentations
  • May 29th—Jobs on the Move
  • May 30th—Kindergarten Orientation
  • June 12th—Field Day
  • June 16th—6th Grade Graduation 6:00 p.m.
  • June 17th—Last Day for Students

May 22, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

May 15, 2015sme news 05152015 1

Samuel Morey received a grant from Vermont Rural Partnership this year to build classroom gardens. Now that our long, hard winter is over, we are ready to start our gardens. We will start with preschool, kindergarten, first and second this year and hope to build grades 3-6 in the fall.

A group of fifth and sixth graders attended the Learning in Place Conference which is the Vermont Rural Partnership conference. Last Friday. They presented the different themes for the classroom gardens. Students and adults from other schools in Vermont visited their display. They had three questions that they had to answer,

  • Why are classroom gardens important to Samuel Morey?
  • What will the students learn by having classroom gardens?
  • How do the classroom gardens connect to the curriculum?

A special thanks to Andrew Stimson and Mary Bryant for attending with the students and supporting our classroom gardens with their passion and expertise in gardening.

On Saturday, May 30th we will have a community garden building day. What we need is people willing to work—no expertise needed. A flyer will be sent home soon about this day.

Kindergarten Orientation

May 30th is our kindergarten orientation. If your child is five on or before August 31st, please call Angel to schedule a time on the 30th. If you know of another child that qualifies for kindergarten next year, please have them call the school at 802-333-9755.

Important Dates

  • May 16th—Raptor Run
  • May 20th—6th grade Step-Up Day @ RA
  • May 21st—Prek-3 Literacy Night (Presented by Friends of Rivendell)
  • May 28th—6th Grade to RA for summer reading presentations
  • May 29th—Jobs on the Move
  • May 30th—Kindergarten Orientation
  • June 12th—Field Day
  • June 16th—6th Grade Graduation, 6:00 p.m.
  • June 17th—Last Day for Students


May 15, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

May 8, 2015sme news 05082015

This week was national Teacher Appreciation Week. I showered the teachers with little gifts and goodies all week. Teachers all agree that teaching is its own reward, but this is a great time to let teachers know how they have touched kids’ lives. It would be wonderful if parents/guardians could stop by and say hello to their children’s teachers, present or past and thank them for their dedication. Our teachers are very special and work diligently all year long going that extra mile for students.

Important Dates

  • May 12 — 4th Grade trip to Hulbert **date change
  • May 13-15 — 6th Grade Hulbert overnight Trip
  • May 16 — Raptor Run
  • May 20 — 6th grade Step-Up Day @ RA
  • May 21 — Prek-3rd grade Literacy Night (Presented by Friends of Rivendell)
  • May 28 — 6th Grade to RA for summer reading presentations
  • May 29 — Jobs on the Move
  • May 30 — Kindergarten Orientation
  • June 12 — Field Day
  • June 16 — 6th Grade Graduation, 6:00 p.m.
  • June 17 — Last Day for Students

 May 8, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

April 17, 2015

Finally we have some spring weather. Usually our playground is a muddy mess during mud season, but it is pretty good this year; nice and dry! It is probably not a bad idea to keep sending boots with your child for another few weeks until we are officially out of mud season.

When we return from spring break we will be continuing with SBAC testing in grades three through six. Students will be taking the math portion of the test.

At community meeting Friday we honored our sixth grade honor and high honor students. Sixth grade is the first grade that students receive letter grades. What an outstanding group of scholars!!

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Have a great spring break. When we return we will be entering in the last leg of the school year. Please keep those routines in place for homework.

April 17, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

April 10, 2015

Wednesday was our number one volunteer’s birthday—Russ Smith. We celebrated Russ with a whole school assembly where each class made birthday cards for him. The whole school then danced the “Cha Cha Slide” and ended with a sing along to “Happy Birthday.” Carol Perkins also made applesauce muffins for all of us!

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On Thursday, Samuel Morey third grader, Lila Jones was invited to Montpelier for the Reading Is an Investment award celebration. The goal of the program is to teach elementary-aged children personal finance concepts. She was one of twenty winners of a $250 college savings account selected from over 5,000 entries submitted from schools throughout Vermont. The students were honored by Vermont's State Treasurer, Beth Pearce, Governor Shumlin and other supporters of this event. After the ceremony Lila, her sister Sophie, her mother Sarah Jones and librarian, Joyce Russell were invited on a tour of the state capital!

Important Dates

  • April 29 — K-4 Spring Concert
  • May 12 — 4th Grade trip to Hulbert **date change
  • May 13—15— 6th Grade Hulbert overnight Trip

April 10, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

April 3, 2015

When you walk through the halls of our school; beautiful art adorns the walls, student work decorates the bulletin boards. Now beautiful language which creates pictures in your mind is written on our Nonfiction Graffiti Boards.

I want students to see the beauty in language, just like they see the beauty in art. I want them to get,excited about words that touch us and words that paint pictures in our minds.
Students have been adding beautiful language to our

Nonfiction Graffiti Boards—one in each hallway. Here are some examples of beautiful writing our students have found.

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Kindergarten students sing “What a Wonderful World.”

SBAC Testing: The SBAC testing started this week in grades 4-6. It has gone very smoothly. Third grade will start next week. Gabi Martino and Kathy McGowan have been working with the teachers and students to support this new assessment.

April 3, 2015 Newsletter

Greetings From Gail

March 26, 2015

Three-way conferences are taking place this week. Friday is three-way conference day, but teachers accommodate families the best they can if you need another day and time for the conference. For those of you new to three-way conferences, I would like to share with you why we support this type of conference at our schools.

  • A three-way conference involves parents, students and teachers in reflecting on student achievement, discussing work samples and setting future goals.
  • A three-way conference acknowledges the most important participants in the learning process (student, teacher and parent)
  • The child is involved in the discussion about their performance.
  • The student provides information to clarify what they have learned and what challenges they face.
  • It places the student at the heart of the assessment and reporting process.
  • It allows the student to see their parents and teacher as a team.
  • The students will begin by discussing their personal learning plan.
  • The student will present work samples to highlight strengths and areas for future development..
  • Throughout the conference parents and the teacher are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback and encouragement to the student.
  • Parents are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas on what is being presented and on what goals or targets they think are appropriate.

3-Way conferences

Friday, March 27th
Please contact your child’s teacher if you do not have a scheduled time for conference

Hearing and vision Screenings

The School Nurse, will be starting the annual spring screening series for hearing and vision. The grades that will participate are: Kindergarten,1st 3rd and 5th grades. Marnie will alert you to any findings that need a doctor's referral.

March 26, 2015 Newsletter