Monday, March 7, 2016

Short February, Winter Break, and Snow Days, But Still Much Going On!!!

      February is usually quick month for us with it being shorter and broken up by Winter Break.  Although the Leap Year brought us an extra day, it was further interrupted by a four-day weather weekend but we still got a lot in.  Some of our teachers were anxious to contribute so we’ll start with that, and I’m so proud to share!

From Mrs. Cestrone:
“In grade 6 we are learning about space, history, planets etc.  We have a project due March 7th and will continue with space well into March.
In grade 7 we are learning about Newton's Laws and jumping right into physics and formulas.  I am incorporating weekly hands-on labs and we are focusing on engineering as well.
In grade 8 we are finishing up Support, Movement and Responses.  We have a planned cow's eye dissection and a sheep brain dissection as well as a test on the bones of the human body.  Once we have finished this chapter, we will have a mid-term exam on all of the body systems we have covered and end with an American Bull-frog dissection and will go thought each organ and body structure we have talked about.  For the last trimester we will concentrate on physics.”

From Ms. Macdonald
“The 4th and 5th graders are currently participating in a nation-wide Great Mail Race. The goal is to send a questionnaire with information about our school and state to one school in each state. Along with our questionnaire, we are sending out a questionnaire for each school to fill out. We are hoping to receive a response from all states to learn more about each state. This is a great connection to the beginning of the school year when students were learning about the regions, states, and capitals.”

From Mrs. Sullivan:
6th graders in music are exploring musicals from different decades.
7/8 music students are using their creative juices to make a commercial selling BBQ Sauce and composing their own "Jingle"
Band students are continuing to perfect the National Anthem for their upcoming performance on May 1st for the Manchester FisherCats game.
Grades 1-5 in music are continued to work on music reading and singing.
The Barnard Chorus has added 4 new singers. We would love to add even more students. The final deadline to join is March 3rd. If your child would like to join please see Mrs. Sullivan. We meet on Thursday mornings at 7:45-8:15.”

From Mrs. Dugan:
“Many thanks to the PTA who have contributed $100 toward the March 2 “Read to Me” pre-school event to be held at Lincoln Akerman on Dr. Seuss's birthday.  This event is for families with children ages 3-6 and focuses on early literacy.  SEA also contributed $50 thanks to Mrs. Pruett’s suggestion!”
Students in all grades participated in field trips in February.  We recently discovered a way to use buses during school hours at a considerably reduced rate so we have been investigating ways to take advantage.  Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport was an excellent fit and students in Grades K-5 enjoyed “Queen Nur- Sweet Potato Pie and Such” on February 2 while Grades 6-8 were able to see “The Right to Dream” on February 24.  Both performances were to to celebrate Black History Month and I was delighted to be able to attend both.  Thank you teachers and especially Mrs. Moran for your efforts to make these important cultural experiences happen! In addition to the field trips students in lower grades celebrated our 100th Day on February 10 moved up 2 days due to the snow!!!

After many attempts to join with other schools, PTA has decided to start their own program and are planning to host after school activities beginning in March.  The first offering will be Yoga and Relaxation and many other ideas are in the works including Lego’s and other activities to promote friendships, movement, and creativity.  I look forward to sharing news and success.  Thank you so much PTA for your initiative for something so much in demand!!!

Mission, Vision, and Goals:
We will continue to make it part of Staff Meetings.  There were interruptions to our normal meeting times this month but we are scheduled to meet on March 2 and it will be first on the agenda.

Facilities: 
  • A few florescent bulbs have been replaced in the Gym.  At some point they will all be replaced at once as recommended in most maintenance protocols but this year is not the time. In the process we discovered a problem with a fixture.  Michael Fredette made the repairs thanks to a recommendation from Mr. Verge and the scaffolding will be coming down shortly.
  • Breen and Sullivan were in to maintain and realign belts in our ventilation system.
  • Due to the weather there’s no snow on the Gym roof !!! (at lease as I write this, remember “in like a lion.”)
  • During the break Hampstead Water Systems inspected and repressurized our water tanks.  There are plans to test for arsenic and measure filter pressure.
Commendations: 
This month I wish to recognize 2 great educators for their efforts on behalf our kids.  Mrs. Tara Moran advocated for and coordinated our trips to the Firehouse Center for the Arts and we’re looking for many other opportunities to enjoy this wonderful and nearby venue and there many offerings in their educational programs.  I am also pleased to commend Mrs. Carol Dugan for her work to help develop and organize “Read to Me” for preschoolers at Lincoln Akerman School.
     That’s about it for this month, we look forward to the PTA’s after school program, a Middle School field trip to Logan Airport’s Aviation and Marine Stem Expo on April 6 (another short bus trip), and K-4’s slightly longer trip to Plimoth Plantation May 6.  Then we’re off to Washington DC Memorial Day week.

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