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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Week Ending 9/25/15

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From the Directors

Summer is officially over and the with the start of fall, our reading and math groups are in full swing. Classes also began “buddy time.” This is when a primary and intermediate classroom join together and work in pairs on an activity. It is so wonderful to walk through the classroom when this is happening. The older students really love their leadership role and the younger kids look up to the “big kids.” For example, Mrs. Dudley’s class and Mrs. Vlasich’s class read the book “The Best Part of Me” by Wendy Ewald. They then worked on a writing task where they listed the parts they liked most about themselves.

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Remember, Polaris has entered the Kris Wine Art of Education Contest again. We have won several thousand dollars in previous years to support art at Polaris.  Please use the link below or go to their Facebook page.  You do not have to be on Facebook to participate. Enter the zip code 03102 to vote for us 

http://voteforthearts.com/ 

You can vote once per day and so can your family members.  Please spread the word!  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Core Value – Friendship

We diverted from the topic of friendship at Tuesday’s Morning Gathering to discuss Gathering Room expectations, particularly as it relates to noise level. I have noticed more and more students sitting with their hands over their ears or in tears in the morning. At dismissal it has been extremely difficult for staff and the children to hear names being called for pick up. We discussed this as a school community and we have been working to implement using “whisper voices.” We want kids to come together as a whole and enjoy their time together but 112 students all talking loudly in a room with bad acoustics does not work.

Wednesday we listened to the song “Youve Got a Friend In Me” by Randy Newman. You might remember it from the movie Toy Story. This is one verse:

You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me
You got troubles and I got ’em too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
We stick together, we can see it through
‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me

On Thursday we did an activity that illustrated using filters in social situations. I placed a coffee filter filled with a scoop of dirt in a cup and then poured water over it. The filter prevented the large chucks of dirt and rocks from getting into the water. What does this have to do with social skills? We cannot always control the thoughts our brains has but we can work to control (filter) what we say and how we say it. For example, “you’re annoying” can be expressed as “please stop that.”

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Community

Miss Haynes’ class has been working on developing a classroom community in which everyone is respectful of each other by being polite listeners and by keeping the volume low. Each day the class has the opportunity to earn points by doing this. Their points are added to their goal chart each day so that they can track how many points they have. The class met their goal of 94 points and earned a Comfy Reading Day. They spent the day Wednesday relaxing, building forts, and reading.

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Star Students

Congratulations to Hafsa, Jael, Julia, Julian, Lexi, Lucas and Raden for being such great friends during the last week!

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Pegasus Class Share

Ms. Gilbert’s class decided that they wanted to build ships in honor of friend”ship” (get it?). They then worked together on an acrostic poem:

F – Forgiving
R – Respect each other
I – Include and Inspire each other
E – Entertain
N – Never hurt each other and be Nice
D – Do nice things
S – Smile
H – Have fun
I – Its always in your heart
P- Polite

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Donations

We REALLY need Toner for our Brother MFC-7860DW printers!

You can order online using the links below and they will ship directly to the school.  In addition, Polaris will get money back from both sites. NE Paper & Supply will give us 10% credit for every item ordered.  Amazon.com gives us 0.5% towards Polaris on every order placed through Amazon Smile.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Nancy Sherwood in the Front Office at 603-634-0034.

http://www.shop.nepaper.com/Polaris-Charter-School_c61.htm

http://smile.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/1Y9FACXN60SS6

Upcoming Events

  • Pizza Friday will begin October 2nd. Orders must be received by Thursday at noon
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  • Picture day is October 6th
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  • There is no school on Monday, October 12th
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  • On Wednesday, October 28th we will be having a school “dress up as your favorite book character day.” Students are encouraged to use their creativity and create their costume

PEF News

Show everyone that you are part of the Polaris Community! Spirit wear goes on sale next week! Check your students’ backpacks Monday or Tuesday for order forms.

Save the date! The 4th Annual Polaris Charter School Silent Auction will be March 12, 2015. Mark your calendars and get ready for a night of dinner, live music, dancing, bidding and fun!

There are still envelopes left in the 100 Envelopes fundraiser for the emergency facilities and maintenance fund. If the amounts remaining are too high, consider teaming up with your friends and family to fill one. Every envelope counts! Contact Ali Ferriero at Ali.ferriero@gmail.com with questions or to pick your envelope.

Check out the Polaris Educational Foundation Facebook group,  it is a great place to get fast answers to important questions like “I’ve lost all of the paperwork, when is picture day again?” Its sister site Friends of Polaris is a great group to add your friends and family who might be interested in following school events, or in volunteering or donating to the PEF.

Upcoming Enrichments:

  • September 28th to December 11th from 3:05-4:00 – Show Choir
  • October 1st to November 19th from 3:05-4:00 – Dr. Tapp’s Arithmetic Playground
  • October 7th to October 28th from 3:05-4:00 – Wildlife Along the River Program with Amoskeag Fishways

Week Ending 9/18/15

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From the Directors

The new school year is off to a great start!  Teachers and students have been very busy.  Students have been assessed and math groups have been created. Primary students also had the opportunity to use our online literacy program called Lexia. We are also adding a program called Reflex math that they will use in addition to Dreambox. Intermediate students have begun using IXL for language arts as well as Reflex math.

During classroom meetings, there has much discussion of community and what it means a good friend. It’s wonderful getting to know each of your children.  We find it a joy being in our building each day and experiencing the happiness and excitement all around us. One great aspect of being part of a small community is that we can get to know each of our students’ parents too.  We welcome your calls and emails, and would love to see you volunteering in our building during the school day. 

We are excited to announce that Dr. Jill Cane and Susan Hartford have joined our Board of Trustees.  Susan is a co-founder and Dr. Cane has been involved with Polaris since before we were approved by the Department of Education Board of Ed.   Both were essential in writing the charter and in contributing to the successes that we have had as a charter school.

 

Core Value – Friendship

We spent this week discussing some things we should do to show that we are a good friend. On Tuesday we discussed personal space. There are four different kinds: seeing space, hearing space, property space and body space. Seeing space is keeping items at the expected distance for people to view them. Hearing space is using the appropriate volume, talking when expected and not saying the same thing over and over. Giving property space is not touching other people’s things unless they give you permission. Finally, body space is staying in your own bubble and not intruding on someone else. The hard part about this is that people’s bubble size changes with different situations, different people and at different ages. We want to be space protectors and not space invaders. Wednesday we watched a video of “Kid President” on 20 Things You Say More Often that you can view here. Hafsa and Gaby led Morning Gathering on Thursday, and talked about friendship and community. They worked together during recess making two posters for my office. They interviewed students and asked “what does community mean to you?” and “what does friendship mean two you?” that they showed.

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Community

To build on our trimester theme of “Community,” Mrs. Dudley’s class read the story “Two Bad Ants” by Chris Van Allsburg.  It is the story of two ants that did not follow their nature of working together for the benefit of the whole community and what resulted. They have also been studying ants for science. They then did an exercise where students worked in pairs to bring a piece of spaghetti across the room. The ones who were successful communicated well and worked cooperatively which is what we strive for in our school community.

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Star Students

We recognized this year’s first Star Students on Monday. Every week, a student is selected from each class who went above and beyond exhibiting that month’s Core Value. This week’s students who showed what a good friend they are were: Evan, Maliha, Mayla, Spencer, Sirus, Temperance and Torrey. Way to go!

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Vela Class Share

Each student shared three qualities that they bring to their classroom community. Examples include: kind, smart, funny, creative, friendly, happy and nice. They then read their good-bye poem to us.

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Donations

Thank you to the anonymous donor who sent us the 5 oz paper cups we needed! We are still looking for the following items:

8 oz paper cups

Plastic spoons

Toner for Brother MFC-7860DW

Hand soap refills – (on the NE Paper website)

Masking tape – 1 1/2 or 2 in wide rolls

You can order online using the links below and they will ship directly to the school.  In addition, Polaris will get money back from both sites. NE Paper & Supply will give us 10% credit for every item ordered.  Amazon.com gives us 0.5% towards Polaris on every order placed through Amazon Smile.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Nancy Sherwood in the Front Office at 603-634-0034.

http://www.shop.nepaper.com/Polaris-Charter-School_c61.htm

http://smile.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/1Y9FACXN60SS6

Upcoming Event

  • Picture day is October 6th
    T
  • There is no school on Monday, October 12th
    z
  • On Wednesday, October 28th we will be having a school “dress up as your favorite book character day.” Students are encouraged to use their creativity and create their costume

PEF News

Upcoming Enrichments:

  • September 28th to December 11th from 3:05-4:00 – Show Choir
  • October 1st to November 19th from 3:05-4:00 – Dr. Tapp’s Arithmetic Playground
  • October 7th to October 28th from 3:05-4:00 – Wildlife Along the River Program with Amoskeag Fishways

Week Ending 9/11/15

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Back to School

We kicked off the new school year with our annual “Back to School Celebration” hosted by our Parent Educational Foundation (PEF). It was during this time that we also had our first parent/teacher/student conferences. It was so wonderful to see our returning students and their families as well as to meet our new ones!

Our first week went extremely well. The children have made friends and have settled in to the school routines.  It was music to my heart when a new primary student was sad at pick up today because he wanted “to have a sleep over” at Polaris and several other students agreed (does it get better than that?).

We are going to have a great year!!

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From Our Board Chair

Dear Polaris Families,

My name is Dellie Champagne and I am the new chair of the Polaris Board of Trustees.  I want to welcome you all to the 2015-2016 school year.  I also want to let you know that the board meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at Polaris.  You are all invited to attend.  We welcome your comments at all of our meetings.  Please know that if you are unable to attend, we do post the minutes on the Polaris website. 

I am sorry I did not get a chance to see you on August 29th, but I do look forward to seeing you at other events throughout the coming school year. 

Sincerely yours,

Dellie Champagne

Important Information!

We are still experiencing some problems that impact everyone’s safety at drop off and pick up. We understand that many of you have other kids you are transporting, work responsibilities, etc. No one will be able to fulfill them if there is an accident or injury. It is DANGEROUS to pull around someone that is dropping off/picking up in front of you. We had an accident last year and we do not want to experience another one.

  • Make sure your hazard lights are on
  • Have the name placard in your windshield and keep it there until students enter/leave your vehicle
  • DO NOT go around the car in front of you at pick up/drop off unless the person on duty signals you
  • DO NOT park in the parking lot between 8:00 – 8:20 and after 2:30 to drop off or pick up your child(ren). If you need to escort them, please park on Cartier St. and use the door on that side
  • DO NOT leave your vehicle. Have your children use the passenger side door
  • Doing a U-TURN when exiting care line puts yourself and others at risk.  Please do not.
The number of families in car line has grown each year and we have worked VERY hard to minimize wait times while ensuring the safety of our students, family and staff. Also keep in mind that we have many students that still use car seats and need a few extra seconds to buckle. Let’s all work together!

Core Value – Friendship

Each month, we focus on a Core Value as part of our social-emotional curriculum during Morning Gathering. Throughout September we will be discussing friendship. On Tuesday we brainstormed what qualities make a good friend. Students felt that the most important qualities were being kind, helping on another and including others. On Wednesday we listened to a reading of the book “One” by Kathryn Otoshi. It is a story about a bully and how one person can stand up and make a difference and everyone counts.  You can listen to it here. On Thursday we discussed making and keeping friends and reviewed tips such as be a good listener, be honest and do your share.

Ms. Haynes and Ms. V’s class also gathered together this week and read the book “Confessions of a Former Bully” by Trudy Ludwig. After they made posters showing strategies for how to deal with bullying, how to be a good friend and how to be bystander hero.

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United Way Donation

We want to give special thanks to Vanessa and her team at the United Way (and thank you to parent Julie Harris for recommending us!).  One of the social responsibility causes that they supported this quarter was school supply drives and they organized one for Polaris. Vanessa delivered three large bags of items the week before school started and spent time touring and learning about our school.

In addition, United Way has annual giving campaign and Vanessa has designated Polaris as a recipient of her donation and is hoping get others involved as well.  Donations are deducted from their paychecks and distributed to non-profits like us. We have also discussed collaborating with Vanessa on a project to give to back to our community – what a wonderful partnership and opportunity!  

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Pavo Class Share

Every Friday, one of our classrooms shares something that they worked on during their week and this week was Mrs. Vlasich’s turn. Her students worked on setting individual goals for themselves that they shared with us. Many said that they strive to be a good role model for the younger students and they want to get faster with math facts. The Pavo class also set two larger goals 1) share their learning with others and 2) walk quietly in the hallway and not disrupt other classes.

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Donations

We are looking for the following items:

Paper cups

Plastic spoons

Toner for Brother MFC-7860DW

Hand soap refills – (on the NE Paper website)

Masking tape – 1 1/2 or 2 in wide rolls

You can order online using the links below and they will ship directly to the school.  In addition, Polaris will get money back from both sites. NE Paper & Supply will give us 10% credit for every item ordered.  Amazon.com gives us 0.5% towards Polaris on every order placed through Amazon Smile.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Nancy Sherwood in the Front Office at 603-634-0034.

http://www.shop.nepaper.com/Polaris-Charter-School_c61.htm

http://smile.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/1Y9FACXN60SS6

Upcoming Events

  • Although Manchester School District is closed on Tuesday September 15th, Polaris has school that day
    z
  • Picture day is October 6th
    T
  • There is no school on Monday, October 12th
    z
  • On Wednesday, October 28th we will be having a school “dress up as your favorite book character day.” Students are encouraged to use their creativity and create their costume

PEF News

The next PEF meeting is Thursday, September 17th at 7:00pm.