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PCS NEWS 5/24/24

Dear PCS community,

Thank you for another wonderful week!  Things are really amping up here towards the end of the year with our days full of field trips, class activities, cooling off in the brook, and enjoying our final few weeks together.  Thank you as always for sharing your students with us!  Here is some information heading into the weekend:

 

Upcoming Dates

Monday, May 27 - No School

Tuesday, May 28 - WSESD Board Meeting at PCS (with school tour with Jon at 5:30

Thursday, May 30 - Putney Palooza! (see below)

Friday, May 31 - Coffee Talk with Jon

Wednesday, June 5 - 8th Grade Trip

Thursday, June 6th - Ice Cream Social Concert (6:00)

Monday, June 10th - Graduation Night at 6:00

Tuesday, June 11th - Field Day

Thursday, June 13th - Last student day (11:45 dismissal)

 

Putney Palooza!
I hope you can all join on Thursday evening.  We will have a schoolwide art show and gallery walk starting at 5:00, and a musical performance starting at 6:00 featuring our 3rd - 5th grade modern bands.  All students will have multiple pieces of work on display throughout the building.  Please join and bring friends!

 

Pool for PE

The town is preparing to clean and fill the pool this weekend.  Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we will still plan to hold PE classes there for the final two weeks of school, beginning June 3rd.  We will confirm by next Friday, but stay tuned for info from your child's teacher around days to bring suits and towels when possible.

 

Aftercare for 2024-25 School Year

Our two year grant that allowed us to offer aftercare at no expense to families here at PCS has expired, with no funding available to continue that child care portion of after school programming.  In that light, we are considering options of how to best provide that care to families.  While we looked into a variety of options, including running our own aftercare program, we believe that partnering with the Pumpkin Patch in Putney, and providing bus transportation there, is our best option for a few reasons:

 

1. The Pumpkin Patch is fully staffed and has the capacity to meet the needs of our families in need of aftercare.

 

2. The Pumpkin Patch is set up and licensed to accept state subsidies to help cover the cost of aftercare, which we are not.

 

More information will come about how to enroll, etc., but I wanted to get this information to you sooner rather than later.

 

Of important note, we will still offer enrichment programming (clubs, the musical, etc.) here at PCS throughout the year.

 

Staffing Updates

While I have shared directly with classes around staffing updates, I want to share more broadly some shifts for next year.  We are incredibly grateful that the vast majority of our team of wonderful educators are staying intact here for next year.  That said, please share love and care for the following staff members who will not be returning with us next year:

  • Joslin Hodge, Intensive Services paraeducator

  • Ellen Strong, Classroom Paraeducator

  • Bethany Connelly, Behavior Interventionist

Thank you, and have a nice long weekend!

Jon

Wild Flowers

Upcoming Activities, Community Events and More!

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Main Street Arts Summer Camps

Main Street Arts in Saxtons River will offer two theater-based summer camps in 2024:

Wildbrook Forest Theater Camp (ages 8–12), led by Trish Roberts. The camp will take place in the Vermont Academy forest, June 24–28, 9 AM–3 PM. $270 per student. Learn more or register

The Un-Lost Island of Atlantis (ages 9–12), led by Putnam Smith. August 5–17, Monday–Friday 9 AM–noon, plus performances on Friday, August 16, 7 PM and Saturday, August 17, 4 PM & 7 PM. $300 per student for two weeks + performances. Learn more or register

Partial scholarships may be available. Email ashley@mainstreetarts.org by April 1, 2024 to apply. 

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Staff Highlight

Valerie Kosednar- PreK Teacher

Valerie grew up in Wisconsin with 4 brothers and 4 sisters. She learned at an early age to feel at home in loud groups of people who talk at the same time, constantly interrupt each other and change subjects with no warning. As a kid she loved reading, playing sports and especially singing (and still does). After earning Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from UW-Madison, Valerie worked as a music teacher in Chicago, New York City and now New England.  While in NYC, she also worked behind the scenes in children's television and as a vocal coach for kid jingle singers - but teaching was WAY more fun..  One day she spent some time with PRESCHOOLERS and knew instantly that she had found her people! Valerie earned an Endorsement in Early Childhood Education (UVM) and continues to love her second career. She is thrilled to teach Pre K at PCS and to work alongside PCS's amazing team of educators!

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Literacy Corner

What does teaching literacy look like in our first grade classrooms?

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First grade is super exciting because it is when many children begin to put together the literacy pieces and begin to read themselves.

 

Our literacy time is spent on so many activities. Every day we

  • do word play (phonemic awareness) where we play with sounds in words–pulling them apart and putting them back together orally–for example, Say clap.  Now say clap without the /c/.

  • practice old spelling and reading rules and letter patterns and learn new ones.  For example, did you know a digraph is two letters that come together to make one sound–like /ch/ or /th/?  Did you know the ck spelling pattern always comes directly after a short vowel?  Our first graders do!

  • practice reading decodable texts–pieces of reading with words we can sound out using skills we’ve been taught.

  • practice and learn sight words–words you cannot sound out like the or was.

  • listen to, talk about, and write about good books–this helps us gain vocabulary, verbal reasoning skills, and language knowledge.

 

We use the UFLI curriculum for learning to read and spell and the EL curriculum for reading comprehension and writing.

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Notes From Nurse Nicole

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Counselor's Corner

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April 2024

Counselor’s Corner 

It’s been a busy month! I wanted to take a moment to highlight Kindness Week, which resonates deeply with our school community.

PCS celebrated our annual Kindness Week during the week of March 25th. This week-long event is designed to spotlight the power of kindness and its profound impact on our school community.

During Kindness Week, our students engaged in various activities and discussions centered around empathy, compassion, and understanding. PCS believes cultivating a kindness culture is integral to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where every student feels valued and respected.  We had our first ever Face Painting Extravaganza where students had the opportunity to paint their faces with the help of our talented middle school leadership students. 

Calling all superheroes-in-training! Every student had a chance to create their very own Superhero Cape. A heartwarming moment from our Kindness Week was our students coming together on the soccer field wearing their vibrant superhero capes. In a beautiful display of unity, our students arranged themselves to form a giant peace sign. It was a powerful visual representation of our collective commitment to kindness.

What’s new is Social Emotional Learning? 

In our primary classrooms, we have starting using The Superflex Curriculum, created by Michelle Garcia Winner, designed to help children understand and regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in social situations. The Superflex Curriculum provides a framework for teaching these skills in a fun and engaging way, using the concept of Superflex and his team of Unthinkables to represent different social challenges.

I’m thrilled to reconnect with all of our sixth grade students in the classroom and dive back into the enriching experience of teaching Social-Emotional Learning. I’m using the Second Step curriculum, a research-based program designed to promote social-emotional competence and reduce problem behaviors. Second Step lessons help students develop empathy, communication skills, conflict resolution strategies, and bullying prevention. 

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me at mlazarus@wsesdvt.org if I can help you in any way. Wishing you all my best!

Counselor Marisa

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