Wilbert Snow Elementary School
Welcome to our School!
Principal’s Message for September 2014
I hope that everyone had an enjoyable summer and is ready to come back to school. The school can get very quiet over the summer, so I always look forward to hearing children’s voices and to see their wide smiles! For our new families to Snow School, I think you will quickly see what a wonderful community we are here at Snow. Families and the community are supportive of one another and work well with the teachers and me to create outstanding educational experiences for all children. I am looking forward to another great school year!
Frequent Communication is essential. There are many ways of getting reports on how your child is performing or on finding out what the PTO and staff are planning for children. Here are a few ideas:
- Attending Parent Conferences in December and March
- Contacting the classroom teachers through e-mail or voicemail with any questions. All e-mail accounts use the teacher’s last name and first initial. Ex: Jim Gaudreau is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visit the Middletown Public Schools webpage for detailed descriptions of the curriculum and Snow School’s data results
- Read any communication between the teacher and home
- Tuesday folders - children in kindergarten – grade 5 receive folders every week. Inside are important notices and a monthly calendar from the school about upcoming events, the PTO, and family fun activities. If you have an important message to give to the school, you can put the note/message in the Tuesday folder. Folders are returned to school on Wednesdays.
- Volunteering in your child’s class or attending PTO events – be visible at school
- Attending PTO Meetings, School Climate and Safety Meetings, and Dad’s Club Meetings
The best way to create a positive school experience is for all families and teachers to work together. Our staff wants to support your children’s progress by working with you to help them be successful!
Celebrate Career Day on Sept. 26
It is very important for young children to develop short-term and long-term goals. Goals keep children motivated and focused, and fully accomplishing goals oftentimes takes hard work. To help children with creating long-term goals, Snow School is organizing a Career Day on Friday, Sept. 26, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Children will be able to learn about different jobs that people in our community and school have.
We are looking for parents and relatives who can volunteer on Sept. 26, to visit Snow School and talk to small groups of children about their jobs. Our gym will be set up with tables so that each volunteer can set up a display, demonstration, and/or hand outs to interest the children in the job. Volunteers can wear their typical “uniform” and bring supplies or materials needed to complete the job. The goal is to excite children about your job.
PLEASE JOIN US! If you have any questions or want to volunteer, please contact me at 860-347-2579 or email@example.com. THANK YOU!
Volunteering at School
I want to strongly encourage all families to become actively involved in the school. We definitely need your support and involvement if we hope to offer children a variety of fun and educational experiences. Please look for ways that you can make a positive impact at Snow School. Even helping out at school once or twice a year sends a great message to your children that school and their education is important to you!
Our PTO has distributed a PLEDGE where they ask all families to try to commit to helping out for at least two hours a year. If you are able to do so, please help us with our pledges.
I am consistently impressed with how many families help support their children’s education by attending conferences, helping children with daily homework, and encouraging children to read on a nightly basis. Families want the best for their children, and even helping out at school once or twice a year sends a great message to your children that school and their education is important to you!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT!!!!!!
Elementary School Handbook
I am pleased to notify you that the Parent and Student Handbook 2014-15 is available on the Middletown Public Schools website www.middlechools.org. Please locate your student’s school by going to “Our Schools” and you will find the link. Described in the handbook are district policies regarding discipline (suspensions and expulsions), dress codes, attendance, and bullying. Please take some time to review this document with your child.
The Middletown Board of Education meets regularly to review and adopt board policies. Please plan to visit this handbook periodically to view the most recent policies and procedures. In addition, if you are unable to access this handbook online, please contact our school office. If you would like to request a paper copy of the handbook, please call Mrs. Dontfraid, the school secretary, at 860-347-2579.
Arrival Times & Dropping off Children in the Morning
Important reminder: children in K-5 can be dropped off starting at 8:40 a.m. Teachers begin their bus duty at 8:40 a.m. and unload buses at that time. The official start of school is 8:45 a.m., so we would like all children in their classrooms at that time.
Please drop children off at school by 8:45 a.m.
CALLING IN ABSENCES AND TARDIES
Please do not forget to call the school when you are keeping your child home or you know your child will be late to school for an appointment. You can leave a voicemail for the secretary at any time of day.
The best number to call is 860-347-2579.
Our school data (report card grades and test scores) shows that oftentimes children who are absent a lot or are late to school have lower grades than children who attend school regularly and are rarely late. Being at school and on time every day is one of our school goals!
SEPTEMBER PTO MEETING
Our first PTO meeting will be Tuesday, September 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the library. All families are welcome to attend, as we have free baby-sitting and light snacks.
You can learn about all of the activities that are being organized in the fall and share any of your creative ideas. We love to hear new ideas and truly value your feedback, so please come by! First grade teachers will be in attendance tonight, so please come by to hear about what the children are learning in grade 1.
Our first meeting of the Dad’s Club is Thursday, September 18, starting at 7:00 p.m. Any male relative or parent-figure can attend as we discuss ways that we as male role models can positively impact our children’s education. Every year we plan events and assemblies that will impact all children, so new ideas are always welcomed and encouraged.
At the first meeting, we typically brainstorm topics or themes for our events. This can be community service based, academic, or character based. WE WOULD LOVE SOME NEW IDEAS, so we hope you can join us on the 18th!
School Safety and Climate Committee
Our first meeting will be on Tuesday, September 30, starting at 6:00 p.m. at Snow School. The goal of these meetings is to discuss school policies related to safety (drills, policies, transportation, facilities, bullying) and climate (suspension and behavioral referral data, attendance, etc.). Police Officer Brandy Liseo and Teacher Colleen Fitzpatrick will chair these meetings as we brainstorm goals and ideas for improving in areas of weakness. We hope you can come and learn about our policies and make suggestions for improvement.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The Middletown Board of Education is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, civil union, military or veteran status, national origin, sex, ancestry, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or past or present physical or mental disability in any of its education programs, activities, or employment policies. All educational programs and offerings, including vocational education and extracurricular activities, subscribe to this policy. Elizabeth K. Nocera, Director of Grant Services, has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the district non-discrimination policies and may be reached at 311 Hunting Hill Avenue, Middletown, CT 06457; (860) 638-1414.
Preschool Program at High School
At Middletown High School a Family & Consumer Science class is offered that allows high school students to work with preschoolers. For the class, students plan lessons that are appropriate for children 3-5 years old. From the end of October to June, students will be running the preschool program. If you need any other information please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kristen Hamilton
FAMILY READING ACTIVITY – MAKING CONNECTIONS
Please encourage your child to read for at least 20-30 minutes every day to truly develop reading as a habit. If your child is in kindergarten or first grade, a story could be read to them. Many children love being read to just before snuggling into bed.
Activity: it is a very important reading skill for children to make connections to their own lives or to other things or people they know. When your child is reading a new book, your child might think of a friend or another character from a story who is similar to the character they are reading about. An event in the new story may have happened to your child or someone they know.
There are 3 types of connections that all of the children learn about in school.
Text to Text – your child sees similarities between two different books
Text to Self – your child sees similarities to the story/character and themselves/their lives
Text to World – your child sees similarities between the new story and people, places, or things that they know in the world.
After your child reads or you read to them, ask them to describe a connection they made to the story.
How are you like the character? How are you different?
Does the character remind you of someone you know?
Can you remember a different story we read that has a character like this one?
Helpful Tip: It is always a good idea as the adult to first share your own connection to the story. By you as the adult modeling how you made a connection, this will help your child understand what you are asking him/her to do.
Good Questions to ask Children After Daily Reading
Who is the main character? How would you describe him or her?
What is the story about? What problem does the character have?
Where does the story take place? What is the setting?
What are you wondering? What would you like to know more about?
What do you think will happen next in the story? (Make predictions)
Evaluate the story:
What would you change to the story to make it better?
What was your favorite part of the story?
Would you recommend this story to a friend? Why or why not?
If the author could improve one thing about the story, what would it be and why?
If you were to change the title of the story, what would your new title be and why?
Asking 3-5 questions each day will help improve your children’s reading & thinking skills.
Jim Gaudreau, Principal
At Middletown High School a Family & Consumer Science class is offered that allows high school students to work with preschoolers. For the class, my students are planning lessons that are appropriate for children 3-5 years old. From the end of October to June, my students will be running the preschool program. If you need any other information please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
If any families know of any great activities, academic websites, or apps that you think would be fun for other children, please write them down and share with your child’s teacher or Mr. Gaudreau. We will compile a list based on what we receive. We will also distribute a list of books that children recommend for summer reading.
Read the detailed monthly school reports found on the website under Teaching & Learning, data teams. You can scroll down to view Snow School’s monthly data team reports.
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