Friday, June 14, 2019

Almost Summer!

This week was full of celebrations! From the concert to spirit week, field trips to Knex challenge and of course field day. This is the week of all school weeks! I feel like I was having too much fun and missed a ton of photo ops. Thanks though to a little help from my friends, I was able to put this short slide show together. 
Looking ahead to next week I wanted to give some details about upcoming events. 
Monday is the 5th-grade recognition starting at 1:30. Parents are of course invited to attend and refreshments will be served in the cafeteria afterward. If you will be taking your student home with you afterward, please make sure this is reflected in the School Dismissal Manager. Later that evening, I will be climbing up on the roof to follow through on my commitment. The PTO made over $15,000 on the Race For Education so I will be sleeping up there. I keep thinking of that 80's John Cryer movie "Hiding out"- am I the only one? On another note, looking at the weather, I'm not afraid of a little rain but I'm hoping for no thunder/lightning (that may be a game changer). I plan to use Facebook live to do a short bedtime read aloud that night. Hopefully around 7:00. 
Tuesday is a half day with dismissal at 11:45. The cafeteria won't be open that day for lunch or breakfast and there is no ASP. This is another "zigger zagger" day so please make sure you adjust your dismissal plans on the school dismissal manager. Students who earned extra recess from RFE will have their 30-minute recess prior to our Step up day. This is the day students will learn who their teachers will be next year as well as who is in their classroom. Report cards will be sent home with students at the end of the day. If your child is not attending on the last day of school for any reason, you can swing by the office during the summer for the report card and your child's placement. 

Our garden coordinators have asked me to share the following message with all of you: 
"We're looking for volunteers to water the garden bed over the summer. It shouldn't take more than 15 or 20 minutes each day and even less if it rains. If you can just fill in the week that you are willing to water and supply them with an email address and phone number. Once they have this information they will send out directions for the watering.

The link for the spreadsheet is here.  
Thanks,
Lorraine and Nancy"


The week ahead:
    • Monday (6/17)
      • 4th Grade Field Trip (Drumlin Farm)
      • 5th Grade Recognition
      • I sleep on the roof
    • Tuesday (6/18)
      • RFE Extra Recess
      • Step Up Day
      • Last Day of School 11:45 Dismissal

    Friday, June 7, 2019

    A week and a bit

    It boggles my mind to sit down and write this week, realizing that we only have 6.5 days left! Where did the year go? Apparently, we needed more snow days so that I have company in June. There were lots and lots of fun things going on this week but I tried to keep it down to just one and several reminders for next week.  

    A highlight from the week for me was our combined concert with Berlin Memorial School. In the past, we held this type of performance twice yearly but as we restructured the music program we realized it really made more sense as something to build towards. And let me tell you, these kids and teachers have been building. It was a masterful performance on the elementary level. The chorus sounded wonderful and you could see how much the children enjoyed it. Ms. Thompson (still no relation) had those kids singing joyfully. The band has come light years in a short time and really came together. It is a hard task to bring two separate bands together and make them sound like one. Mrs. Bruss made it look easy. 




    Mrs. Kuppens asked me to remind folks that all of the students will be carving in art class next week. To make this happen, every student will need at least one bar of Ivory brand soap for next week. Apparently Ivory is the best soap to carve. I learn something new every day! 
    A quick reminder that our Field Day is set for next Friday (rain or shine)! I'm told there are still a few spots open if anyone would like to volunteer and help these kids have a blast! We will feed you and if you stick around you'll get to see some kids slime me and our annual student/staff tricycle race! 
    As we move into the last full week of school, the student council has planned our final Spirit Week! 
    Mad Monday - dress in mismatched clothes
    Tacky Tuesday - dress like a tacky tourist
    Wacky Wednesday - dress for "Fun in the sun"
    Turn Back the Time Thursday - wear anything from the past
    Field Day Friday - wear your class colors
    Kindergarten is yellow 
    1st grade is green 
    2nd grade is light blue 
    3rd grade is red 
    4th grade is purple 
    5th grade is navy blue. 

    The week ahead:
    • Monday (6/10)
      • Kindergarten Screening
      • 5th Grade Field Trip (Boston)
    • Tuesday (6/11)
      • Kindergarten Screening
      • 4th Grade Parade of States
    • Wednesday (6/12)
      • Spring Concert (In School)
    • Thursday (6/13)  
      • 3rd Grade Field Trip (Old Sturbridge Village)
      • 5th Grade K'nex Challenge
    • Friday (6/14)
    And After That:
      • June 17th
        • 4th Grade Field Trip (Drumlin Farm)
        • 5th Grade Recognition
      • June 18th
        • Step Up Day
        • Last Day of School 11:45 Dismissal

      Friday, May 31, 2019

      So much to share!

      Principal for the day! By Colby Spencer
      "Being the Principal is the best. You get to visit most of the classrooms every day. The best part of today was going to my little sister's classroom and embarrassing her even though it was fun. I love being the principal. Another cool part of the day was handing out homework passes at lunch. Another part of the day that I’ve been looking forward to was watching the fourth graders who I inspire most presentation. I hope they do great and another reason why I am excited to watch is that I am going to film it."
      From, Colby

      This week was filled with too many events to truly write about and do them all justice so I have a collection of videos and pictures to share some of this week with all of you:

      We celebrated the completion of our Race for Education fundraiser with our annual Limo Lunch. Page-fillers from each grade were chosen at random to ride in style around the reservoir and enjoy a lunch at Chefees. Speaking of RFE, the count is in and thanks to all of you, the PTO raised $15,000! And yes, I will be sleeping on the roof. 




      Another highlight was our Tahanto Graduation march on Thursday. The class of 2019 came back for a quick visit and recognition of their accomplishment. It's hard to believe they roamed these halls not that long ago. 
      On Thursday we held our 3rd grade Karate Recorder concert. I'll never stop picturing this as small ninjas with recorder nunchucks running around the school. Mrs. Hatem thinks of more stealthily walking around the school. The kids did great and displayed all the work they have done with Ms. Thompson this year.  

      One of the most touching events every year is the 4th Grade "Person I Admire Most" presentation. Students write essays for and about someone in their lives that they admire and then read it in front of them. I can't share all of them so I captured just one.  
      And finally, our 1st-grade author's tea. Yes, we have authors in 1st grade and they did wonderfully!



      The week ahead:
      • Tuesday (6/4)
        • Mike the Bubble Man - Incoming K and K Assembly courtesy of the PTO
      • Wednesday (6/5)
        • 1st Grade Field Trip (Davis Farmlands)
        • 2nd Grade Field Trip (Penguins)
        • Spring Concert at Tahanto
        • Thursday (6/6)
          • 4th Grade Field Trip (EcoTarium)
          • 5th Grade Parent Camp
        And After That:
        • June 10th
          • Kindergarten Screening
          • 5th Grade Field Trip (Boston)
        • June 11th
          • Kindergarten Screening
          • 4th Grade Parade of States
        • June 12th
          • Spring Concert (In School)
        • June 13th  
          • 3rd Grade Field Trip (Old Sturbridge Village)
          • 5th Grade K'nex Challenge
        • June 14th
        • June 17th
          • 5th Grade Recognition
        • June 18th
          • Step Up Day
          • Last Day of School 11:45 Dismissal


        Friday, May 24, 2019

        Spring is finally here!

        It feels as though spring has finally sprung! And just in time for some of our favorite closing activities. Thinking ahead...Field Day is officially set for June 14th. It's a great day and a wonderful opportunity to, join us as a school, to celebrate the passing of another year. The kids have a blast (so do the staff) and did I mention lunch is on us? If you'd like to volunteer, Mrs. Bowen has already set up the signup genius. I hope to see you there, we couldn't do it without you! 

        The most fun this week was on Thursday as we "raced for education" and helped the PTO raise money for BES students. It was a beautiful day (I know I say that every year but it was perfect this year) and the kids had a blast. I'd like to acknowledge all of the people that make it possible, from the DPW adjusting their schedule to mow after all that rain, to Keith's Music House for providing the music, and of course to all our parent volunteers and the PTO. It was in a word EPIC. Every year we discuss "Is this something we need to continue?" "Is there too much fundraising?" etc.  I wonder myself. But yesterday I realized the Race is about more than that. It has become a school tradition! The kids look forward to it and LOVE it! And every year, there is that moment when a few young students slow down together, exhausted and joyful, and close to each other, grasp hands and walk together. That is always the highlight for me and it happens every year.
        All that being said, there is still a question of a night on the school roof. I agreed (and I'm not sure what I was thinking) that if the PTO raised $15,000 I would camp out on the roof overnight. They are close...really close...and I've been asked to remind everyone that donations will be accepted until 5/31. There is also an electronic donation form on PayPal if that is more your speed. 

        And what do you do every spring? A little spring cleaning is always in order and we're doing some ourselves! There is a process for public schools to address some of this. Because many of our materials are purchased with tax money, it is only fair that we offer obsolete and damaged materials out to the community before exploring other ways to dispose of them. To this end, I wanted you all to know that the old trailer behind the building is available as is the contents of it. This was apparently placed there nearly 20 years ago during a school renovation and filled with some cafeteria equipment and furniture. If we haven't used them in the 20 years since they seem to no longer be needed. Additionally, we have plans to dispose of outdated curriculum materials and a 3D printer that is no longer operational. If you are interested in any of these, please reach out to me in the next 10 days before I make alternate arrangements. 



        A look ahead: 
        This is the time of year that starts moving fast and furious. It's hard to keep up to a friendly reminder that you can find details on the school calendar here
        And for those who like to look WAY ahead, next years calendar is up on the website here

        The Week Ahead
        • Monday (5/27)
          • No School (Memorial Day)
        • Wednesday (5/29)
          • Bike Safety Assembly
        • Thursday (5/30)
          • Tahanto Graduation march through BES
          • RFE Limo Lunch
          • Karate Recorder Concert (Grade 3)
        • Friday (5/31)  
          • Grades close
          • 5th Grade Buddy Day at Tahanto
          • 4th Grade "Person I Admire Most"
          • 1st Grade Author’s Tea
        And After That:
        • June 5th
          • Spring Concert at Tahanto
          • 1st Grade Field Trip (Davis Farmlands)
          • 2nd Grade Field Trip (Penguins)
        • June 6th
          • 4th Grade Field Trip (EcoTarium)
          • 5th Grade Parent Camp
        • June 10th
          • Kindergarten Screening
          • 5th Grade Field Trip (Boston)
        • June 11th
          • Kindergarten Screening
          • 4th Grade Parade of States
        • June 12th
          • Spring Concert (In School)
        • June 13th  
          • 3rd Grade Field Trip (Old Sturbridge Village)
          • 5th Grade K'nex Challenge
        • June 14th
        • June 17th
          • 5th Grade Recognition
        • June 18th
          • Last Day of School 11:45 Dismissal

        Friday, May 17, 2019

        Be my guest

        We ended this week with a guest principal courtesy of the BEF silent auction. Ms. Tapper did a wonderful job and I figured since she had the best job in the world for a day (BES principal) she could take over the blog as well. 

        Here is her recap of being Principal:
        "Today I'm Principal Tapper and it is very fun I won this silent auction at bingo night. I get to make decisions and walk around the school. I made homework passes for the fourth grade and the students were super happy. I played around in the gym with the third graders and we played castle ball ( a game where you try to knock down the other team's castles which are hula hoops with dodgeballs) it was super fun. I have my own key to open the door and I have a walky-talky with my name on it! I can make my own Spotify list to listen to in the cafeteria! Isn't that awesome! This is my second time doing principal for the day that's how fun it is!"   - Principal Tapper
        Thank you for a great day, Principal Tapper!


        While we were guest blogging, a few other 4th graders also decided to share a fun activity they completed this week: 
        "This week in the fourth grade we did a science activity outside. It involved finding the things we have been learning about, for example, we found cracked rocks, sediment, and many more. We hope that you enjoy reading about what we learned.
        The whole fourth grade got together and broke into groups. Each group had an iPad and a scavenger hunt paper and we headed outside. We looked around and started to run. Outside we got a good look at what we are learning about and we found some amazing ideas. Every group shared an iPad and took pictures of what they found. We had a great time and will do more with what we did, next week. Now we will tell you what will do next week.
        Next week are going to explain what we found. Since we brought iPads outside, we took pictures of what we found and we will show the whole class with our groups.  Some of the things that we found were evidence of weathering, ice wedging, sloping hills, and piles of sediment.
        Now you know what the 4th grade is learning about during science this week. Root wedging, sediment, a sidewalk crack and many other great examples of slow changes right outside of our school doors!
        By: Paige G, Riley L, and Julia R students of the fourth grade"

        It's hard to believe but Race For Education - Race Day is here! This is a rain or shine event so no matter what we'll be running on the 23rd. Please remember that we cannot apply sunscreen here at school so do so that morning. Proper hydration is also very important so we're encouraging every child to bring a water bottle with their name on it (there is a concerted effort to reduce waste from the cups we've used in the past). We also recommend you pack students a change of clothes as they often get very wet when outside! If the weather doesn't cooperate and we're inside we will have plenty of other ways to make it fun and enjoyable. The last time we did do it inside I recall one little girl stating it was the best day of her life. I also ask that we try and follow our grade level colors. It's easier to differentiate kids in the field. A finally, it looks like we have a handful of classes "slime-ing" me (probably on field day) but will know if I end up having to sleep on the roof later as donations continue to come in.  If you're interested in volunteering for the race itself, the signup genius is here. 
        Kindergarten is yellow 
        1st grade is green 
        2nd grade is light blue 
        3rd grade is red 
        4th grade is purple 
        5th grade is navy blue. 

        A look ahead: 
        This is the time of year that starts moving fast and furious. It's hard to keep up to a friendly reminder that you can find details on the school calendar here
        And for those who like to look WAY ahead, next years calendar is up on the website here

        The Week Ahead

        • Tuesday, May 21st
          • School Committee Meeting
        • Wednesday, May 22nd  
          • 5th Grade Health Talk
          • Kindergarten Parent Camp
        • Thursday, May 23rd
          • Race For Education (Wear grade level colors)
        • May 24th  
          • Kindergarten Field Trip (EcoTarium)
          • Memorial Day Performance (Wear Red, White, and Blue) - Please note dismissal plans through school dismissal manager.

        And After That:

        • May 27th
          • No School (Memorial Day)
        • May 29th
          • Bike Safety Assembly
        • May 30th
          • RFE Limo Lunch
        • May 31st  
          • Grades close
          • 5th Grade Buddy Day at Tahanto
          • 4th Grade "Person I Admire Most"
          • 1st Grade Author’s Tea
        • June 5th
          • Spring Concert at Tahanto
          • 1st Grade Field Trip (Davis Farmlands)
          • 2nd Grade Field Trip (Penguins)
        • June 6th
          • 4th Grade Field Trip (EcoTarium)
          • 5th Grade Parent Camp
        • June 10th
          • Kindergarten Screening
          • 5th Grade Field Trip (Boston)
        • June 11th
          • Kindergarten Screening
          • 4th Grade Parade of States
        • June 12th
          • Spring Concert
        • June 13th  
          • 3rd Grade Field Trip (Old Sturbridge Village)
          • 5th Grade Kinex Challenge
        • June 14th
          • Field Day
        • June 17th
          • 5th Grade Recognition
        • June 18th
          • Last Day of School 11:45 Dismissal

        Friday, May 10, 2019

        Appreciation

        Growing up in a family of educators, Teacher Appreciation had to be "a thing" to me. However, it still amazes me when it is a thing for others. This past week reminded me how much this community supports our wonderful staff. We had contributions from the Boylston Softball teams, SEPAC, the PTO, and also students and parents. I want you all to know that we appreciate the appreciation and support you show us, not just this week but all year long. And if you'd indulge me for just a second, I'd like to brag about our staff. Every year, the Special Education Parent Advisory Council seeks our nominations for Excellent Educator awards. I love walking around with SEPAC presenting these to staff and making sure kids see their teachers and aides being recognized for going above and beyond. This year, SEPAC recognized 24 staff members with this award. 24! That is amazing and a testament to the hard work and commitment in the building to helping all kids succeed!


        The week was dominated by Teacher Appreciation and MCAS but the fun thing was the 3rd Grade Field Trip in town. Here are a few of our 3rd graders to tell you about it: 
        History of Boylston Field Trip

        Have you ever wondered about the history of our town?  The third grade had a wonderful time visiting some historical sites in Boylston today.  After a short bus ride to the center of town, we saw the First Church (which is actually the fourth church), the Old Town Hall, the Hastings Tavern and the town Library.  
        When we went in the First Church (which is actually the fourth church), we were able to ring the bell in the bell tower.  That bell actually survived a fire that burnt down one of the other churches. The bell did not melt because when the church was on fire, the bell and the clock slid right down a piece of wood from the roof and landed outside the church.
        We also rang the bell at the Historical Society building that used to be the Town Hall.  They have a vault in the basement that has many interesting things like a cane that disguises a sword inside it.  You can go visit the Historical Society museum most Sundays (but it is closed this weekend for Mother’s Day).
        The Hastings Tavern is one of the oldest buildings in Boylston.  We saw really cool things there, like an old piggy bank, a film projector, and a piano that played by itself!  Robert Goddard and his friend actually sat on the porch at the Hastings Tavern.
        Finally, at the Sawyer Memorial Library, we did a craft and a scavenger hunt.  Did you know that the library was built in 1904? You can borrow books, DVD’s and even games from the library.  We has a fun field trip and we also learned a lot about the history of Boylston.


        The week ahead:
        • Tuesday (5/14) 
          • Kindergarten Orientation (incoming K) 6:00
        • Wednesday (5/15) 
          • 5th grade Science MCAS
        • Thursday (5/16) 
          • 5th grade Science MCAS
        • Friday (5/17) 
          • Extreme Science Assembly (Thank you BES PTO)



        Friday, May 3, 2019

        A week of civics

        It was a wonderfully quiet week at BES as we took a short sabbatical from MCAS testing (resuming next week). As a building and a district, we were able to use this time to start the discussion around the state's new History and Social Science standards. Groups of teachers by grade level met with our Director of Curriculum (Carol Costello) and began the process of understanding (or as we call it, "unpacking") these new expectations and there were wonderful and rich conversations. This is not the first time we've taught this content area but the first time the state has given direction to schools as to how it should be done. The sense that I have after reviewing the standards and sitting in on some of these conversations is that the focus is on building open-minded citizens who can have differing opinions but respectful conversations. I do believe we have laid the groundwork for this in our Caring School Community meetings and in the types of discussions we try to have with students. I think this new found focus will be a positive one for all of us. More information to come later. 

        Some of the work we already do is highlighted by the 3rd grades' work with local government. On Thursday we were lucky enough to host Selectman Mr. Jamie Underwood. He met with all of our 3rd graders to share his role in the town and how a town government works. They talked about the checks and balances, term limits, and town meetings. The kids had fantastic questions! What a wonderful experience! Here is it in our own Grace's words: 
        "This week in school Mr. Underwood came and talked to us about being a selectman! He talked about how people should vote for what you believe in. He also said that even though you are being voted for against someone you can all still be friends. He taught us about how being a selectman means you have to care for your town. I had so much fun learning about being a selectman!" - Grace
        She said it better than I ever could. Thank you, Selectman Underwood! 


        A part of the civic-mindedness we will be working to develop is the celebration of our students' efforts to support our community. This even extends outside of school hours. This past month, a group of Boylston Girl Scouts has been working to support a program, Dress for Success. These young ladies organized a collection of toiletries, handbags, and professional clothing for women re-entering the workforce. These items are vital for making a positive impression during interviews. Thanks in large part to the donations made by community members here at BES, they have completed their work towards a Bronze Star but more importantly, supported many women as they take the next step in their professional lives. I am so proud of all of them! 

        Boylston is a wonderful community and a large part of that is due to our "togetherness." In that spirit, the BES PTO has arranged a Bravehearts night on May 31st. For $10 a ticket, you and your family can join other BES families at an evening game. 



        We're coming back into an MCAS week for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Students will be completing the Math section. Please remember not to stress this test. The best thing you can do is make sure your child is on time to school, relaxed and with a full belly, confident and self-assured. We'll handle the rest. 

        The week ahead: 
        Staff Appreciation Week!
        • Tuesday (5/7) 
          • 3rd and 4th grade Math MCAS
        • Wednesday (5/8) 
          • 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Math MCAS
        • Thursday (5/9) 
          • 5th grade Math MCAS
        • Friday (5/10) 
          • 3rd grade Field Trip