Thursday, January 19, 2017

Welcome 2017 and Approaching 100 Days!

As hard as it to believe we pass the mid-point of our school year in late January with Mrs. Pruett’s second and third graders announcing that our 100th Day Celebration is scheduled for February 3, weather permitting, of course.  
December was an active month for us with our annual Holiday Concert featuring performances by every grade level, Chorus, Band, and some new features like instrumental solos and ensembles.  Congratulations to Ms. Dozet for her premier performance and the students for a very entertaining evening.  Thanks so much to our incredible staff for their cooperation in helping to prepare and attendance to help supervise students between performances.  In addition the evening included a very successful PTA Book Fair and their always-appreciated refreshments and sweet treats.  The evening was capped off with the GR8 DC Trip Raffle drawing won by our good friend Eric Vichill, one of SHPD’s finest!  We also had Holiday Celebrations in classrooms with Hanukkah Latkes’ in K-1 and 2-3, thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Moran and Mrs. Pruett, and numerous parent volunteers.  We also had games and celebrations in the Gym for Grades 4-5. Student Council also sponsored movies for all grades including Pajama Day! The crowning event to launch our vacation was the Friday, December 23 whole school assembly in the Gym for Student of the Week and Month, caroling, and our first annual Faculty Ugly Sweater Competition won by Mrs. Leary and runner-up Ms. Dozet!
I have information to report on progress towards expenditures in our grant accounts.  In the spring of last year we were awarded $4,000 from Intermec Corporation for the purchase of a 3D printer and other “Makerspace” materials.  During the summer of 2016 we purchased an “Accucut” machine and materials designed to make creative gadgets used in “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) projects and they were used during the “Keepers Camp.”  We are in the process of looking for ways to use Accucut materials in classrooms or before and after school clubs. Since then we have been shopping for 3D printers in this rapidly growing and changing marketplace.  We have settled on a “RepRapGuru” printer kit and plan to have it in shortly and the staff and I will be looking for training and ways to include in classrooms and elsewhere. (My Grade 8 Project Based Learning students are particularly interested!)   Additionally we have been awarded $14,710 in Federal “REAP” (Rural Education and Achievement Program) funds and the staff and I have been investigating uses for these funds, which in the past have been used to supplement technology and Science Lab projects.  So far we are in the process of purchasing and installing a short-throw interactive projector for our combination Music, Art, and World Language classroom similar to the units in the rest of the classrooms and the Computer Lab.  In addition the staff is looking to add $2,000 for books in the K-1 classroom to support the “Readers and Writer’s Workshop” and a set of 10 iPads to replace some classroom units that have become obsolete.  We are still in discussion looking for additional ways to use these valuable resources to support student learning.

Facilities
  • Winter preparations have been completed and our snow thrower, freshly serviced and unused in 2015-2016, has already had a few passes around the school.  There are pellets to treat walkways at every door and our Custodial Staff is working with Joe Brunet, South Hampton’s Road Agent, to see that entrances and exits are cleared and the lot and schoolyard are ready for parking and play.
  • Water testing continues ahead of schedule. The link to results, all of which are well within the acceptable range, is available on my Principal’s Page.  
  • Gayle Porter, our lead custodian is in the process of checking all of our fluorescents and ballasts, making replacements as needed.

The PTA Ski and Snowboard Program got a late start due to Mother Nature but plans to kickoff Tuesday, January 10 and I’m looking to getting out again with the kids.  Adding to time speeding by, 2nd Trimester Progress Reports go home Wednesday, January 25, followed by Parent Conferences Wednesday February 1! Please continue to visit our school and staff web pages and links to my blog, and the school’s Twitter and Facebook pages. We look forward to out Inservice on Friday, Jan 13 followed by the MLK Holiday on the 16th. As we enter 2017 we have much to be thankful for here at Barnard School, and please continue to support our Ski and Snowboard Program by THINKING SNOW!!


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