Polaris Charter School

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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Week Ending 1/30/14

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Enrollment for Next Year

photoIf you have friends interested in enrolling at Polaris,the deadline for new families to enroll is February 17th, 2014.  Attending an information session is mandatory and the last one is Sunday, February 2nd at 1:00pm.  The enrollment form can be found at www.sycamoreeducation.com/enroll.php?schoolID=2024 (click). Instructions can be viewed here.  If you are enrolling a sibling of a current student we MUST HAVE a completed paper application.  It is available here.

Tolerance/Diversity

Everyday People

Everyday People

We had many more great discussions at morning gathering this week. On Monday, we recalled the lessons that we had learned so far. Students’ recollection of them and their understanding of the meanings were awesome. On Tuesday we read an adaptation of the Aesop Fable The Lion and the Mouse by Rose Owens.  We learned that a fable is a story that teaches a moral.  The moral of this one was that ‘little friends may prove to be great friends.’ On Wednesday we switched gears a bit and listened to the song “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone. The children loved it!  After listening to it, I read the lyrics which emphasized accepting people’s differences.  Finally, on Thursday we incorporated some science into our social/emotional lesson. I demonstrated Bernoulli’s Principal using wind bags (an 8 foot long tubular bag with a knot in the end).  A student volunteer was able to inflate the bag in 15 breaths.  We repeated the process with new volunteers but this time Ms. M had a bag and challenged them to a race.  The students were amazed when I was able to hold the bag away about 10 inches away from my mouth and inflate it with one breath. The science explanation is that the faster a stream of air moves, the lower the its pressure. The stream of air from my lungs created an area of low pressure causing the higher pressure air in the surrounding atmosphere to force its way into the area of low pressure. The air in the atmosphere was pulled into the windbag at the same time I was blowing into the bag. Like the molecules of air working together, Polaris students all have different skills and ideas to share. We can accomplish so much more when we support each other and work together!

Polaris Star Students

Star Students

Star Students

This week’s students that were honored for showing tolerance/diversity were: Allie, Darby, Josie, Maliha, Manny and Sarah. Nice job!

 Ms. Sargent Rocks!

Ms. Sargent was recognized this week by Moin Orthodontics’ “My Teacher Rocks” program. A winner is chosen every three months during the school year and the teacher is awarded a plaque along with a gift to benefit their classroom. Emma nominated Ms. Sargent twice. Ms. Sargent received a much needed four drawer file cabinet for her classroom.  Thank you Emma and Moin Orthodontics and congratulations Ms. Sargent!

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Rockets

On Wednesday, Miss Haynes class performed a science experiment to see how fins effect the flight of rockets.  Each student made a paper rocket and had to design fins to attach on to it.  They drew out their design, built their fins and then tested their rocket.  Students learned about applied force, air resistant force and how the weight, shape and placement of fins effects flight.

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PEF News

Spirit Wear Round II

Spirit Wear orders were due today, but if you missed the deadline you can send email orders to Sarah and send in payment on Monday.

Karaoke Dance
Our Karaoke Dance is next Friday February 7th. Join us for a fun night of food, singing, and dancing. To sign up to help out, please go to www.SignUpGenius.com/go/904084FAFAE229-karaoke/4314044.Dine Out at Texas Roadhouse
Our next dine-out night is Tuesday February 25th, at the Texas Roadhouse on South Willow St. in Manchester. Our Red Sox ticket raffle will kick off that night.  If you are available to help sell raffle tickets at the restaurant, please contact Kathy Burtram.

Shoe Fundraiser
Our shoe fundraiser will end next weekend.  Please bring in shoes for donation this week.  They don’t have to be shoes from your family, any still wearable shoes (except winter boots) will be great.  The shoes stay out of landfills and we get a donation for every pound of shoes we send in.  We’ll be sorting the shoes during the Karaoke dance, if you’re at the dance please consider lending a hand.Enrichment

Sign up for the two latest enrichment offerings, Sculpture for kids, or Programming with Tynker.

The Sculpture sign-up is at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qns6i-f_Ob2-sELB2-JwC_z69AFlBT8nWZHwOC7CZIM/viewform

The Tynker sign-up is at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10Me2z8KPqLz6pf0vCZn5c_Rg6nCIGYSib-ZuRj8N9ng/viewform

Auction  

Start getting excited for our spring auction!  The online auction will start at the beginning of May, culminating in a silent auction at our Pancake Breakfast in mid-May.  Check out the items we’ve had donated already at: http://polariseducationalfoundation.org/get-involved/fundraising/auction/

Library Volunteer Needed

Sarah Shor and Melissa Coffey made great progress on arranging the Polaris library early this year. Now we need a volunteer or two to pick up where they have stopped.  The shelves are up and books are waiting in boxes to be catalogued and organized on the shelves.  Once the books are shelved, the library just needs a general clean-up and some signs explaining library policies and procedures.  If you are able to help get the library finished, or even get it closer to completion, please contact Sarah Shor.

Playground News

We continue to hear from parents and students that they feel strongly about improving the Polaris playground space.  We were able to have wood chips installed to cover the dirt this year, but would like to do more!  The students have recently shown their commitment to this project in a number of ways including Mrs. Post’s class researching the installation of a Buddy Bench, and two groups in Ms. Haynes’ class working on ground cover and play structures.

Georgia and Amana started their work by surveying students in all the classes about what types of equipment they would like to have on the playground.  Their survey found that students want slides, swings, monkey bars, a rope “spider web”, and a soccer goal.  They then created a scale model of the play area to use in planning playground design.  They have been using the internet to research potential equipment options, looking for equipment based on which is least expensive, highest quality, and suitable for public areas.

Ava and Natalie have been researching ground cover options.  They surveyed students throughout the school to determine whether they preferred wood chips or rubber mulch.  They found that a great majority would prefer rubber mulch, with the top reasons being that it hurts to fall on the wood chips, it hurts when it is stuck in your shoes, and it gets dragged into the building.  Ava and Natalie are recommending rubber mulch because it has been shown to be safer to fall on, and does not break down so it will not need to be replaced as often.

The students plan to keep us all informed as they make progress in their research.  In the meantime, the whole Polaris community would appreciate any support you can give, especially financial or material donations.  To find out more about contributing to the playground effort, contact Sarah Shor.

Cultural Flags

This week we did an activity as a school to learn more about each other’s culture.  Culture is the study of the materials, social groups, beliefs, and arts of groups of people. Using pictures, magazine cuttings and drawings, each student made a flag that represented their traditions, interests, and backgrounds. On Wednesday we hung them up in the gathering room and and did a gallery walk where all students were able to admire each other’s flags. The students loved sharing more about each other and it was a wonderful experience.

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Week Ending 1/24/14

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Important Announcements

  • IMG_20140122_112102_680The deadline for re-enrolling/enrolling your child(ren) is Monday January 27th, 2014.  You must do so by logging in to our student information system (SIS) and clicking on re-enroll. Family’s usernames and passwords for accessing the SIS were emailed separately.  The re-enrollment form can be found at app.sycamoreeducation.com/enroll.php?schoolID=2024 and instructions are available here.  If you need any assistance, contact Liz or Jen.
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  • PLPs were sent out this week.  Please remember to return a signed copy to your child’s teacher.
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  • Please remember to send in pictures/magazine cuttings that illustrate your child’s culture/heritage/interests. Every student will be making a flag and they will be displayed in the gathering room on Wednesday January 29th.
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  • Originally, Polaris was having school on Monday February 17th (President’s Day).  The Manchester School District is not open that day and school busses will not be running.  Because of this as well as some extra hours built into our calendar, we will be closed on President’s Day.

Information Session

Our next information sessions are on Saturday, January 25th at 10:00am and 1:00pm.  If you know of any families that are interested in Polaris, please have them email Liz Putnam at e.putnam@polarischarterschool.org or call the office at 634-0034 to RSVP.  Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory for new families.

Leave No Trace

On Tuesday, Leave No Trace trainers visited each classroom to provide a hands-on workshop designed to teach children how to reduce environmental impact in the outdoors.

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Tolerance/Diversity

photo 2This week at morning gathering we talked about diversity. On Tuesday, students watched the section of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and we talked about the inequalities that existed that he was trying change.  On Wednesday we discussed the characteristics of a good leader as demonstrated by MLK Jr.  On Thursday we talked about other types of diversity in addition to race, with particular focus on the ones that cannot be seen.  For instance some people have challenges with attention, some have autism or anxiety and depression. We need to be kind and understanding of others.

Polaris Star Students

photo 1This week’s students that were honored for showing tolerance/diversity were: Ayla, Ephrim, Finn,Lucas, Marx and Peter.

PEF News

Spirit Wear Round II
The order forms for the second round of Spirit Wear orders are going out. Check your in-box over the weekend, and your child’s backpack on Monday. We have a short turn-around time, and orders will be due next Friday, January 31st.

The items available this time will be fleece.  We have vests, pullovers, full zip jackets, and hats.  Everything is available in navy blue, or pink.

A Big thank you to Polaris parent Saverna Ahmad, whose company will be doing the embroidery, and providing the items to us at cost. Thank you Saverna!

Enrichment
Sign up for the two latest enrichment offerings, Sculpture for kids, or Programming with Tynker.

The Sculpture sign-up is at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qns6i-f_Ob2-sELB2-JwC_z69AFlBT8nWZHwOC7CZIM/viewform

The Tynker sign-up is at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10Me2z8KPqLz6pf0vCZn5c_Rg6nCIGYSib-ZuRj8N9ng/viewform

Dine Out at Texas Roadhouse
Our next dine-out night is Tuesday February 25th, at the Texas Roadhouse on South Willow St. in Manchester. Our Red Sox ticket raffle will kick off that night.  If you are available to help sell raffle tickets at the restaurant, please contact Kathy Burtram.

Fundraising Committee Meeting
The fundraising committee will be meeting this coming Monday, the 27th, at 7:00 at the school.
Karaoke Dance
Our Karaoke Dance is coming coming up on Friday February 7th.  Keep an eye on your in-box for the sign-up to help out.
Auction
Start getting excited for our spring auction!  The online auction will start at the beginning of May, culminating in a silent auction at our Pancake Breakfast in mid-May.  Check out the items we’ve had donated already at: http://polariseducationalfoundation.org/get-involved/fundraising/auction/

Buddy Time

Students in Ms. Petzold’s and Ms. Haynes class got together for Buddy Time on Friday.  Students worked in pairs and made a Venn diagram that compared their similarities and their differences.
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Speaking of buddies, Mrs. Post’s class wrote a persuasive letter to the PEF requesting to purchase a “buddy bench” for the playground.  Its purpose would be to give students a place to go on the playground if they were feeling down or alone.  The hope would be that other students would join them and help them feel better.  The request was approved by the PEF and the playground committee and should be installed soon!
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Week Ending 1/17/14

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Re-Enrollment for Next Year

Discussing "I" Messages

Discussing “I” Messages

The deadline for re-enrolling/enrolling your child(ren) is January 27th, 2014.  You must do so by logging in to our student information system (SIS) and clicking on re-enroll. You will also be able to add a sibling during this process.  A Polaris Application must be downloaded at the end of the online process and completed for new students. Family’s usernames and passwords for accessing the SIS were emailed separately last Friday.  The re-enrollment form can be found at www.sycamoreeducation.com/enroll.php?schoolID=2024 (click). Instructions can be viewed here.  Some of you have reported that clicking on the link brings you to a page that says enrollment has been closed.  If this applies to you, it is likely due to your browser configuration.  Click here for instructions for fixing this. If you need any assistance, contact Liz or Jen.

Flag

Please remember to send in pictures/magazine cuttings that illustrate your child’s culture/heritage/interests. Every student will be making a flag to display in the gathering room.

Information Session

Our next information sessions are on Saturday, January 25th at 10:00am and 1:00pm.  If you know of any families that are interested in Polaris, please have them email Liz Putnam at e.putnam@polarischarterschool.org or call the office at 634-0034 to RSVP.  Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory for new families.

Tolerance/Diversity

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Mrs. Dudley’s Class Brainstorms

photoThis week at morning gathering we have discussed how every one is different but that differences should be accepted. On Monday, two students assisted me with a demonstration. One student cracked a brown egg into a bowl while another cracked a white egg into a different bowl.  What the children were able to visualize was that even though the two eggs looked different on the outside, inside they were pretty much the same.  On Tuesday we did an activity on differences of opinion.  Wednesday we discussed stereotypes and on Thursday we read about how fellow students and teachers were not very tolerant of Albert Einstein and brainstormed how we would treat someone if they were not interested in the same things as we are. Many students contributed wonderful things to our discussions!

Polaris Star Students

This week’s students that were honored for showing tolerance/diversity were: Alex, Chandler, Jonas, Lexi, and Sarah. In addition, Ms. Sargent recognized her entire class for working together for a positive way that celebrates each other’s differences.

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PEF News

Spirit Wear Round II
We’ll be sending out order forms for the second round of Spirit Wear soon.  This time we’ll be offering embroidered fleece items.  And by popular demand, items will be available in pink.  Look out for order forms early next week.

Karaoke Dance
Our Karaoke Dance is coming up on Friday February 7th.  This was a really exciting event last year.  We’ll need volunteers to bring baked goods and vegetables, and we’ll need set up and clean up help.  A sign-up genius will go out soon.

Dine Out at Texas Roadhouse
Our next dine-out night is Tuesday February 25th, at the Texas Roadhouse on South Willow St. in Manchester. Our Red Sox ticket raffle will kick off that night.  If you are available to help sell raffle tickets at the restaurant, please contact Kathy Burtram.

Recycle your shoes!
Please keep sending in your gently used shoes for our shoe recycling fundraiser.  We’ll be sending in the boxes at the end of January. Please Click Here to see the flyer for information about what shoes they do and do not accept.

Week Ending 1/10/14

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Re-Enrollment for Next Year

Building with Gears

Building with Gears

In order to reserve a spot for your child(ren) next year, all current students who will be continuing at Polaris Charter School must login to our student information system (SIS) and re-enroll for the 2014-2015 academic year.  You will also be able to enroll a new sibling at Polaris during this process by adding that student. The deadline for re-enrolling/enrolling your child(ren) is January 27th, 2014.  A Polaris Application must be downloaded at the end of the online process and completed for new students. Family’s usernames and passwords for accessing the SIS were emailed separately on Friday.  The re-enrollment form can be found at www.sycamoreeducation.com/enroll.php?schoolID=2024 (click). Instructions can be viewed here.  If you need any assistance, contact Liz or Jen.

Funding Vote

A bill to increase charter school funding passed in the House on Wednesday and will now go before the House Finance Committee.  Currently, Polaris receives $5495 per pupil which is 40% of the $13,159 average statewide cost per pupil for public schools. If this bill passes in the Finance Committee, the percent would be increased to 50% of the statewide average.  Please contact your representatives and members of the finance committee to show your support for this bill.

Information Session

Our next information sessions are on Saturday, January 25th at 10:00am and 1:00pm.  If you know of any families that are interested in Polaris, please have them email Liz Putnam at e.putnam@polarischarterschool.org or call the office at 634-0034 to RSVP.  Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory for new families.

Tolerance/Diversity

This month’s Core Value is tolerance and diversity.  At morning gathering we have discussed what it means to be tolerant of others. We read a poem by Shel Siverstein titled Long-Leg Lou and Short-Leg Sue. Ask your child if they can remember what happened when Long-Leg Lou was not tolerant of how fast Short-Leg Sue could walk. On Thursday, students helped me draw a picture on the large white board.  The volunteers drew the sun, a rainbow, people, grass and even a duck! The only problem was the only color marker available was green. Wouldn’t life be boring if everyone was the same? Our differences make the world a more beautiful place.

To correspond with our learning about diversity and tolerance, we are going to be doing a school-wide project in each classroom.  Every student will make a cultural flag to illustrate our unique backgrounds.  We are asking parents to sit down with their child(ren) and find magazine cuttings and pictures that represent their culture.  The children will make the flags in their classrooms and we will be displaying them in the gathering room and sharing them with each other.

Polaris Star Students

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Weekly Star Students

This week’s students that were honored for their acts of tolerance/diversity were: Ethan, Amana, Chloe, Mohammed, Dory and Annika. Nice job!

 

PEF News

PEF Meeting
PEF meetings have moved back to the third Thursday of the month.  The next meeting is next Thursday the 16th.

Movie Day This Sunday!!
Come join us for a double feature this Sunday!  We’re showing Disney’s Planes at 1:00 and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone at 4:00.  Pizza will be available to purchase before the first movie from 12:15-1:00, and Subs will be available before the second movie from 3:15 – 4:00. Popcorn and drinks will be available throughout the event.  There will also be a Bake Sale hosted by a group from Mrs. Post’s class raising money for their class project focused on improving education for children in Chad, Africa. Any money they raise will be sent to a school in Chad.

Recycle your shoes!
We’ve teamed up with ShoeBox Recycling to recycle shoes.  Bring in gently used, still wearable shoes for collection.  The shoes get sent to micro businesses in developing countries for sale in second hand markets and the PEF gets a donation for every box of shoes we sent in.  The shoes stay out of landfills, small merchants get helped, and we get a donation: everybody wins!  You don’t have to just bring your own shoes, feel free to collect shoes from friends and family as well.  The collection box will be at the base of the rear stairs.  We’ll be sending in the shoes in late January. Please Click Here to see the flyer for information about what shoes they do and do not accept.

Engineering Project

Student’s in Ms. Sargent’s class completed a project that focused on science, engineering and team building. The students worked in 5 groups of 3 and their task was to build a structure at least a foot high and long if they chose and it had to hold a book. They could only use up to 30 pieces of paper and one roll of masking  tape. First, they discussed the scientific method and each student made a hypothesis as to what type of structure would work best. Then they had to use graph paper to draw out their design. Then each student shared their design and the group chose one to build. It was wonderful to see everyone working together and the creativity they exhibited was incredible. It was amazing to see many students go above and beyond the required book. Many used the required book, but added on dictionaries and other heavier items. Everyone should be incredibly proud of their work!

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