September 23, 2016 

September 23, 2016

Monday, September 26
            Grade 5 field trip to Morse Hill
Wednesday, September 28          
Authors Matthew Holm and Jonathan Follett visit with grades 4-6

Monday, October 3
            Picture Day
Wednesday, October 5
            Open House  5:30pm
Saturday, October 15
            Harvest Festival

~~~~~~~~~~

IN THE SCHOOLHOUSE

If at first you don’t succeed…

Well, I have to admit that this is my second try at a Friday Post article. I spent a long time sitting at my desk after school writing a rather lengthy column about our post-PARCC dilemma.  And then, just a short while ago (this being 9:30 p.m.), I received an update from the Commissioner of Education saying all of the assessment results are embargoed until 5 p.m. Monday.

Now, there are several children who visit me periodically for help in getting started on their writing. They have heard me talk about what it’s like for me when the Friday Post deadline is looming, and I haven’t quite decided what to write. And tonight, I’m almost guilty of their refrain, “But, I’ve already done it!”.  But teachers learn early in their careers to always have a back-up plan handy if a lesson goes awry or something else gets in the way, and that has stuck with me. There is always plenty to say! I’m going to take this time to reach out about some dilemmas for which we would appreciate help from parents and caregivers.

Over the past week, there have been some typical school situations that pose particular challenges and I am asking parents to help us in our efforts to minimize these occurrences.

Riding the bus: School bus rides are both greatly enjoyed and incredibly loathed. It is a confined space, the high bus seats make it hard for drivers to see what children are doing, and kids just want to have fun.

Unfortunately, the play occasionally becomes unsafe or unfriendly, and that is when I most often hear about it. I have talked to all of the children about the importance of staying seated, and I have also given the bus drivers a list of the expectations that have been reviewed with the kids. The bottom line is that we want safe and happy bus rides every day.

Respecting people and property: Children occasionally need reminders that bathrooms are not hangouts and writing belongs in the right place, not on walls, hurtful messages or furniture. Over the past week, I have visited a few classrooms to have these conversations. In the upper grades, there have been conversations with students about disrespect of recess and lunch monitors and other adults. I have been trying to be patient and to give kids a chance to turn this around, but parents will be contacted if these behaviors continue. When children hear the school’s expectations echoed by their parents, it can make a big difference in their behavior.

Finally, if your child is experiencing difficulties, particularly on the bus or in the less closely monitored parts (i.e., recess, lunch) of the school day, encourage them to let an adult know right away. It is much easier to solve a problem when it is handled “in the moment,” rather than festering for hours or days.

Let’s work together to make sure that LES is a truly safe and respectful community for everyone. Thank you for your help.

                                                - Margot Lacey

 

BUDDY BENCH?

An important part of Kindergarten is learning social skills and how to work together as a group. We are all unique individuals, and together we can make wonderful things happen! This year we will be focusing as a class (and as a school) on ways we can help support our community and give back. It is with this spirit that the Kindergarten class would like to lead a “Buddy Bench” project here at LES! K would like to help source, decorate, and promote what a buddy bench is all about! Our hope is to place one on the PreK/K playground, as well as the “big” playground. So what is a buddy bench?? These colorful benches provide a safe and welcoming place for students looking to play with others, but may not be sure or confident entering play, to sit. It also allows others to notice if a classmate is looking to play and invite them to join the fun. K students would help decorate the benches, create a skit explaining the benches to the school community, promote their use,  and place them on our playgrounds. Before we move forward with purchasing a bench, we though we would turn to our community first. If you think you may have a bench available to donate to to the K project, we would be very grateful! Thank you!

 

 

SPOTLIGHT ON…  PEACE

 Many thanks to all the community members who participated in Monday’s Peace Celebration.  It was a lovely day, and the beginning of a wonderful tradition. We were grateful to be joined by old friends, poet Verandah Porche and storyteller Jon Porcino.  Verandah Porche inspired poems by third graders about feelings:

 

Sad

by Clay

 

As dark as the night

with wolves howling 

at the darkest of nights

crying big blue tears

running to the woods

with your parents

calling for you

 

 

Calm

by Alina

 

Calm

is a raindrop

petting the top

of your umbrella

softly on a

cool afternoon

 

 

Rude

by Owen

 

Rude

is the color of the gray food

that you chew

with your mouth

open

  

PTO NEWS

Welcome back family and friends of the LES community.  The PTO Board met on September 15thand discussed lots of “goings on” for school year 2016-17. We elected new officials, set PTO dates for the school year, and discussed many fundraising opportunities.  Below is a short summary of our meeting. Please review full and detailed minutes via our PTO page on our schools website.

The PTO will be meeting at 6:00 on the second Thursday of each month in the Parent Room.

The Elected Officials are as follows: President – Miryam Vesset, Treasurer – Kaitlin Scutari, Secretary – Board Members at large with a rotating schedule. Our mission statement and bi-laws are currently being updated and we plan to vote on our yearly budget at our next meeting. Come bring your ideas and desires on where PTO should spend your money! We discussed our income versus expenses for school year 15-16 and did you know that we had a profit of $2,537.80!  That is fantastic! Lots of discussion around community events and fundraising for this school year.  Principal Margot Lacey brought lots of information, ideas, and desires to the table as well. Several ideas to help build our community as well as educate our families regarding what is going on at LES.  Harvest Festival is on the table, requests from the librarian were brought to the board and teacher presentations to be a prelude to our PTO meetings were also discussed.   

Mark your calendars and plan your holiday shopping!  We have two opportunities for easy money coming soon. 

October 12-19 is the Tea Collection Fall 2016 School Days Fundraiser.  You get 15% off and free shipping and LES gets 15% of every purchase.

Wednesday, November 2 is a special evening at the Toy Box in Amherst.  They are staying open late and will donate 15% of all purchases made between 6:00 and 8:00pm to our school.  Stock up on birthday presents!

 

LES School Bus Expectations

These are the basic guidelines on our buses. They were developed to address some of the problems that most often crop up, and have a bearing on a child’s emotional and physical safety.

•  All students will be seated by grade, unless otherwise directed by the bus driver.

•  There will not be more than two children in any seat, unless there are no other seats available.

•  No child will change seats at any time, unless there is a safety concern.

•  At no time will any child be kneeling on the seat or standing.

•  Opening and closing of windows will not occur at any time during the bus ride.

•  Failure to follow bus rules, beyond an initial warning, will be reported to the LES principal.

 

 COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD

(Items listed here are not school sponsored)

 FRANKLIN COUNTY DIAPER BANK

LOW ON FUNDS – and DIAPERS!

Diapers are a Basic Need; Not a Luxury

 

The Diaper Bank run by the Franklin County Resource Network Diaper Task Force serves all of Franklin County and the North Quabbin area and provides free diapers to families in times of financial struggles.  We are running low on funds to purchase diapers to replenish our supply.  The number of families using the our distribution sites is on the increase.  We distribute over 3,600 diapers per month through Family Centers and Food Pantries.   

We encourage people to donate funds in any amount since this allows us to buy diapers in the sizes most needed.  However, packs of diapers are greatly appreciated in sizes 4 – 6.  

 

We need your help!!  Here is what you can do……

  • Go to our Community Action website for handouts, information, flyers, ideas, facts about diapers, donor information form, etc. 
  • WWW.COMMUNITYACTION.US  and link to “Ways to Give”
  • Online donations are easy!!  or you can write a check:

                    “Community Action Diaper Task Force”

                    Mail to  393 Main Street, Greenfield  01301

  • Drop off some diapers; sites are on the website or drop them in Leverett on Judith Weinthaler’s front porch!  (address below)  Opened packs accepted. 
  • Contact your co-workers, friends, neighbors, organizations you belong to, local businesses, neighborhood stores, etc. and encourage them to donate. 
  • Tell them about the Diaper Bank and the importance of diapers and how they too can help with their donations.  Ask them to go to the website.
  • Consider putting out a diaper collection box or a donation jar where you work or in your church/place of worship, or other locations. 

 

We want to make the entire Franklin Community aware of the need for diapers and their importance for child health and development, reducing family stress and improving mental health.  “Changing Diapers Changes Lives” .  Please help in one of these ways to raise funds and collect diapers.  Every diaper and dollar helps. Our young children and their families send their thanks! 

 

For more information about diapes contact: 

Judith Weinthaler, Coordinator of Task Force

[email protected];  413-548-5469

24 Old Long Plain Road, Leverett    Drop off diapers on our front porch!!!

WWW.COMMUNITYACTION.US  link to “Ways to Give”

 

FOR SALE:  Djembe drum -- 24x13--carved base--

                     $150--call 978-544-3511

 

 

 

Please consider helping us meet our deadline for Pan Mass Challenge fundraiser!  It is a 200 mile ride that supports Dana Farber Cancer Institute, for treatment & research. October 1 is the goal.  Andrew & Kerry Young have raised about $6500, but still need to make it to $9000!  

To give go to pmc.org. The donation button is big and red on the right.  Just enter our names & you will see us pop up with Leverett MA, so you know it's us.  You can divide the donation between us if you like.  If you really want to give big time, $1000 gets you a free massage at Sound Health Bodyworks!!!  You can also call 413-658-5782 to connect with me about checks or cash.  Thank you SO much!  

 

 

 

KIDS YOGA

 

With Jai Fuller at The Yoga Center Amherst

 

Kids yoga is a playground that bridges the gulf between inner self and outer self. These classes draw on practices from Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga and Awareness thought the body to support kids in developing self awareness, (mind and body), self regulation, perseverance, and compassion. And they are super fun! Kids will learn that yoga is play, and play is yoga.

 

8 Fridays, Sept. 23rd - Nov. 18thst

(no class Nov. 11th)

4:15 - 5:15 pm

 

 

yogacenteramherst.com for more info.

 

 

 

The Enchanted Forest: A Non-scary Halloween Event

“Creatures That Build

Friday & Saturday, October 14 & 15, 5pm-8pm each night

Come to the Hitchcock Center’s new home at 845 West Street, Amherst for a magical treat! You will be led along our pumpkin lit forest trails where creatures will emerge to share their stories. This year we will learn about animals that build, like us! Fun for all ages!

      Adult: Members $10/ Non-members $12

       Children: Members $5/ Non-members $6

       Under 3 years free

       Registration required, please go to our website: hitchcockcenter.org to register

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by kate.rice On 23 September, 2016 at 11:21 AM  20 Comments

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