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Friday, January 18, 2019


Greetings from Gail

sme 02012013February 1, 2013

We have a great Principal's Parent Group that is planning some exciting activities for our school. This is a group of parents that meets with the principal a few times a year. Please consider coming to one of these meetings. Here are some of the exciting ideas that we are working on:

  • Our 1 st Annual Book Swap took place this week. Your child was able to select a "gently used" book thanks to the donations by many parents of books their children have outgrown. Thanks to Jill Larson and the other parents that organized this event. By having our own Book Swap, we can save the RIF distribution money from the CSO to support a performance or artist/author/musical residency for our students. Carole Bando and a group of teachers are looking into ideas.
  • Kirsten Glass is working on bringing conversational Spanish to our students (K-6) through sme02012013 1volunteers from the Rassias Foundation.
  • I met with Farm to School coordinators and we will be starting to gradually include some of the great Farm to School initiatives into SME. Stephanie Daniels is coordinating a 1 1/2 hour training with parents who are interesting in teaching a healthy food curriculum lesson to a class (K-4). We still need more parents for this. If you are interested, please email or call me. It is very easy and only 1 1/2 hour commitment per month.
  • I am organizing a Lego Robotics Team for our after school program. I have a Thayer School of Engineering student who has agreed to coach our students. (This is for grades 3-6)

The parents in this group have lots of other ideas too. Our next meeting is February 4th at 6:30. Please consider joining us—no pressure—just come, and hear what's going on or share some of your ideas.

Greetings from Gail

January 25, 2013

I would like to share some of the exciting things that take place at Samuel Morey.

sme 01252013 2

Hood Program: Samuel Morey's 4th graders are one group out of eleven Upper Valley schools that participate in the Images program at the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover. They visit the museum six times over the year, exploring the galleries containing art objects from around the world. They also spend time in the studio creating their own works of art related to what they experienced in the galleries. This year they have looked at ancient artwork, contemporary works by Aboriginal Australians, and a variety of different portraits. This wonderful program helps develop skills of reflection, imagination, creativity, and critical thinking. Here are a couple quotes from 4th graders Cora and Rachel: "It's fun to make art and I like looking at art from different places in the world!"

Wee Deliver: Samuel Morey has an in-school postal service called Wee Deliver. This program teaches practical skills such as responsibility and letter writing. Students can write letters to any student or staff member. Student postal employees collect, process and deliver the mail within the school. This is a third grade responsibility with some help from the fourth graders this year. Each class has its own street name such as Grand Central Station (office), Caring Court (guidance), Healthy Highway (gym), Lego Lane (kindergarten), Mealworm Mania Blvd. (4th grade).

Peace Poster Contest and Art Night: Each year the Lions Club proudly sponsors the Lions International Peace Poster Contest. The theme this year was "Our World, Our Future." Our sixth graders participated this year under the direction of Carole Bando. We will be having a special art night (date to be determined) for sixth grade students and their families to showcase their art work.

Greetings from Gail

sme 01112013Next week we will be practicing one of our safety drills—the lock down drill. This procedure will require
teachers to make surestudents are out of harm's way in the possibility that there is a threatening intruder on the school grounds. Teachers will talk to their students, explaining the drill in developmentally appropriate language being careful not to scare children. We think it is important for parents to also discuss with their students why the school is practicing such a drill.

Reminders/Important Information

Winter Clothing for Recess: Please make sure your child has a coat, gloves, hat, snow pants and boots for recess. All students go out for recess.

Tardiness: School begins at 8 am and we expect students to be on time. If your child is tardy, you MUST sign in at the front desk.

Visitors and Volunteers: If you are visiting the school after 8:00 a.m., please sign in at the front office and pick up a visitor or volunteer badge.


Greetings from Gail

December 21, 2012

This is a very difficult time for our country as we mourn the senseless deaths of the beautiful children of Sandy Hook Elementary School. We all have broken hearts for the educators, students, and families. We struggle to find words to express our emotions and explain how this could have happened.

Each family will have different views and ways to talk to their child/children or may decide to not talk to their children about the event. We respect all parents' views. There is no right answer.

At Samuel Morey we prepared for Monday by holding a meeting with staff with Robert Bryant, a counselor from Second Growth and Brenda Needham, Rivendell Superintendent. Robert Bryant explained to staff the need to "stay in the present" when talking to children at school and to reassure them that they are in a safe place. We were prepared to answer questions from children if asked and had people ready to talk to individual students if they needed to talk more about it or if it triggered sad memories for them. We emphasized the need for following school routines for our students, as this is the best way to help them.

All in all the school was very quiet and calm this week. We continue to monitor students and to reassure them that they are safe when they need that reassurance. As a school system we will be meeting to review our crisis and safety procedures. If you would like to stop in and talk to me, I would welcome the conversation.

Holiday Message

During the holiday season, I have been reflecting on Samuel Morey. I remain in awe of the supportive community, the kindness of our students, the support from our parents and family members, and the dedication of our staff. Truly, serving as the principal of this fine school is one of the best gifts I have ever received. I wish each of you a joyous holiday season with your loved ones!

Greetings from Gail

December 14, 2012

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful"...and so unpredictable this time of year. One thing is sure though, cold weather is here. There is even snow in the forecast for next week. Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the cold weather. We still have students coming to the office at recess time looking for a coat to wear outside. With the arrival of snow, students will need snow pants, boots, hat, gloves and coat to enjoy playing in it.

Important Information About WinterThursdays

Starting January 3rd, our ski/skate/winter program Thursdays begin. They run for six weeks with a make-up day on February 14th if needed. If there is a make-up day there will not be a skate program that day.

  • Skiers are dismissed between 12:00-12:15.
  • Skaters are dismissed at 12:15.
  • Winter Program students will be dismissed at 12:30—Winter program is for any student that doesn't ski or skate. We have fun activities planned for the students.


  • Skiers return at 4:30 and need to be picked up by parents.
  • Skaters return at 3:00 and need to be picked up by parents or register for Visions after school. Please note there is no 3:00 bus this year. Visions runs until 5:30 and parents will need to pick up their child by then.
  • Winter Program students are dismissed at 1:45. The regular bus routes will be run or you must pick up your child at 1:45 if they don't ride the bus.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me, CSO or Angel. Let's hope for some snow this year!!

Greetings from Gail

December 7, 2012

Report cards for the first trimester will be sent home December 10th with your student. Please sign the envelope and return it with your child to school. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher. Below is an explanation of our standards-based report cards.

Samuel Morey and Westshire have Standards-Based Report Cards. We are constantly working to make them more parent and guardian friendly and to reflect the important skills and knowledge we want our students to learn based on the Vermont Standards. There will be new Common Core Stand-ards soon and they will again undergo some revision. The sixth grade report card is a combination of standards and letter grades.

On our website is an explanation of a standards-based report card. Here is the explanation:

What is a Standard-Based Report Card?
A standards-based report card lists the most important skills students should learn in each subject at a particular grade level. On many traditional report cards, students receive one grade for reading, one for math, one for science and so on. On a standards-based report card, each of these subject areas is divided into a list of skills and knowledge that students are responsible for learning. Instead of letter grades, students receive marks that show how well they have mastered each standard.

The marks on a standards-based report card show only how well the child has mastered the grade-level standards, and do not include effort, attitude or work habits, which are usually marked separately. Parents can see exactly which skills and knowledge their children have learned.

One of the biggest adjustments for students and parents is that many standards-based report cards focus on end-of-the-year goals. This means that in the first or second grading period, instead of getting A's for trying hard and doing well on tests, a high-achieving student might have several marks indicating that she is not yet proficient in some skills. Although this is normal since most students will not meet all of the year's goals in the first quarter, it can be hard for parents and students used to seeing all A's and B's.

Another difference between traditional report cards and standards-based report cards is that Exceeding the Standard is not necessarily the same as an A on a tradition-al report card. For example, if a fifth grader received A's on every math test during the trimester, she would probably receive an A on a traditional report card. If those math tests measured only the concepts fifth graders are expected to master, those A's would be the equivalent of "proficient" on a standards-based report card; the student is doing what he should be doing, but not necessarily more.

Standards-based report cards help the teachers and parents focused on student learning goals from the very beginning of the year.

Standards-Based Reporting
Marks (1-4) on the report card indicate the progress a student is making towards end of the year learning.

  • A "1" indicates a student is not making sufficient progress towards reaching the standard by the end of the school year.
  • A "2" indicates a student is making adequate progress towards reaching the standard by the end of the year.
  • A "3" indicates a student has reached or mastered the grade-level expectations for that standard.
  • A "4" indicates a student has exceeded the grade-level expectations for that standard.

Greetings from Gail

November 30, 2012

I would like to thank the parents who came to the Principal's Parents' Group last week. We had a great meeting. I am thankful to have the opportunity to hear from parents and work together on some exciting enrichment ideas for our students.

Please know that this is not a PTO but a Principal's Parent Group. The CSO is our Community School Organization and fundraising continues to be part of the CSO as does the Recreation Council and Volunteer Council.'

Our next principal's group will be January 7th at 6:30 at SME in the library. Please come and be part of the great energy of this group.

We had a wonderful Harvest Luncheon last Friday. Thanks to Carol Perkins, our cook, almost 250 people were served a delicious turkey lunch with all the trimmings. Students made beautiful decorations and placemats for the tables and the sixth graders handled all the table set-ups and breaking down at the end. We welcomed fifty senior citizens from the Bradford Senior Center. They had nothing but compliments for our school and our students.

Greetings from Gail

November 16, 2012sme11162012 4

Samuel Morey students were surprised today by the delivery of their new play structure. Students watched with anticipation as the crew starting assembling and putting up the structure. It won't be long now until our students can climb and swing during recess. We are hoping to have it ready for children next week. We appreciate their patience as we replaced our old structure.

There will not be a newsletter next week. I would like to wish all our families a very Happy Thanksgiving! I am extremely thankful for the wonderful children, families and staff that make Samuel Morey such a wonderful place. Students awaiting our new play structure


Greetings from Gail

November 9, 2012sme11092012-2
We were spared any snow from this latest Nor'easter but the cold weather is definitely here! When the weather turns cold it always brings up questions about dressing for outdoor recess.

 Recess is an important part of our school day and our students need healthy playtime outdoors. To enjoy it they must be properly dressed for the weather. Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for this cold weather.

sme11092012If we are experiencing unusually cold weather where the temperature is in the single digits or it is raining, we will usually not go out for morning or afternoon recess. However, students do go out for recess when the temperature is above 10 degrees.

So far we haven't had any snow, but we know it is coming! Please make sure your child has a coat, gloves and hat for recess and snow pants and boots when the snow arrives. Dressing for outdoor weather allows them to enjoy this fun part of their day. If they don't have boots and there is snow on the ground, they will still go outside and have to stand in an area with no snow by the building. It is much more fun to run and play in the snow.

Delayed Openings

Last Tuesday we had an unexpected school delay as Hurricane Sandy blew through New Hampshire and Vermont. Thankfully
we made it through the storm with only minor damage. If the weather is bad and school has not been cancelled, we may have up to 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 a 10:00 start. When we have a delay, please note that breakfast will NOT be served.

 On inclement weather days, listen to the radio, check our website, or wait for the Alert Now call for more information. Thank you for your patience as we review and revise our storm procedures.


Greetings from Gail

November 2, 2012

This week was a very short week. Teachers and students were busy getting ready for three-way conferences on Thursday. It was great to see so many families Thursday. I hope you were all "wowed" by your child's learning. On Wednesday, teachers participated in professional development activities. Kindergarten through fourth grade teachers explored the new common core standards for writing opinion pieces, 5th-8th grade teachers met in content area groups to create a curriculum map and share best practices. All teachers met in their critical friends groups to work on ways to deepen their collaborative work together.