Polaris Charter School

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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Week Ending 1/29/16

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  Visitors

On Tuesday, seven administrators and teachers from Greenland School District visited Polaris in hopes of obtaining ideas for implementing project based learning in their schools. They toured and observed each classroom and asked teachers as well as students questions. The children were eager to share what they were working on. This is the feedback we received afterward from Assistant Superintendent Kelli Killen:

I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful visit to Polaris that the SAU 50 team had today.  It was so nice to see personalized and project based learning in action. The team was impressed with the communication from students about their learning and their work.  All the staff were very welcoming and gracious in giving time for our questions.  We came away with many ideas and information to assist us as we start this journey.

Warm regards to all,

Kelli

Core Value – Acceptance/Diversity

On Tuesday, we learned what an anthem is and we read and then listened to the lyrics of If I Had a Hammer by Peter, Paul and Mary.

If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land

I’d hammer out danger
I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

This song became the anthem for the Civil Rights movement with its message of  justice and freedom.

We also did an exercise on perspective. We viewed the image below and students shared what they saw. Some saw some really interesting things. The point is that we having different points of view about matters a time but we can listen and accept other’s ideas (do you see the bald figure or the one with hair standing on end?).

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Finally, we read a book about a boy whose sister had muscular dystrophy and needed a wheelchair. Often, her needs made him late for hockey which really made him angry. That is until he fell and broke his arm and couldn’t do somethings for himself anymore. It helped him understand what things were like for her and he gained even greater respect for her.

Star Students

This week’s Star Students that were recognized for showing acceptance were: Andrew R., Gus, Julia, Max, Molly, Ryan and Sebastian. Congratulations!

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Hydra Class Share

Miss Haynes’ class shared a few different things this week. One thing they shared were their “ideas to make the world a better place” which they came up with after reading a picture book on Martin Luther King Jr as well as the book What Do You Do With An Idea. Other students shared their writing prompts that they worked on this week in which they had to create a story and write it in two different characters’ perspectives. Lastly, some students shared the science work they did on the Bohr’s Model of atoms. They picked an element from the periodic table and drew it on a piece of paper using the Bohr’s Model. They learned how the atomic number is the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons that the atom has, the protons and neutrons are located in the nucleus, and the electrons are split up among different electron shells.

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PJ Donation

As a result of Allie and Ayla’s bake sale at the Learning Celebration, they were able to purchase and donate 34 pair of pajammas and 4 pair of underwear to the Pediatric unit at Concord Hospital.  

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Reminders

  • The next Information Sessions is:

    o   Saturday, February 6th at 1pm

    If you know of anyone who might be interested in Polaris, please pass the word!

  •  Don’t forget to send in pizza money before noon on Thursdays.
  • Check our lost and found – we have many coats, gloves, sweatshirts, etc. Please do your best to label your children’s outerwear and lunch boxes.


PEF News

Library

We are looking for a volunteer (or volunteers) to continue the electronic cataloguing of our library.  The wonderful parent that has been keeping track is leaving next year, and we are hoping to train someone to take it over, preferably long-term.   Contact Daniela at danielareyes@comcast.net

PEF Committees

We are actively looking for a Co-Chair for the Events committee and a Chair for the Enrichment committee. All parents/guardians are automatically members of the PEF and are free to join any of the committees of the PEF: Events, Volunteering, Fundraising, and Enrichment.  You do not have to be a committee chair to help out, but just providing support would be a great help.  If you are interested, please contact me at danielareyes@comcast.net or any of the committee chairs to find out more information. 

Pizza

Please only send in orders/payments for pizza weekly or monthly. Our great pizza program is run by several parents who volunteer here at Polaris. It takes a lot of time and effort to organize those pizza orders, and the volunteer who organizes the orders is only set up to receive orders monthly or weekly. 

Also, we will no longer be offering water for pizza orders, effective after this week.

PEF Meetings

The PEF meeting schedule for the rest of the school year are ;Feb 19,  Mar 17, Apr 22 andMay 19. They are always at 7pm at school (alternating Thursday and Friday).

Week Ending 1/22/16

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  Professional Development

This year during our Wednesday profession development time we have embarked on forming a Critical Friends Group™ (CFG™). We train monthly with Peggy Silva who is a certified CFG coach.

“A CFG is a professional learning community consisting of 8-12 members who are committed to improving their practice through collaborative learning and structured interactions (or protocols). CFG members meet at least once a month for about two hours.

CFGs result in greater student learning and success by helping teachers and administrators intentionally develop and implement “best practices.” Educators help each other turn theories into practice and standards into actual student learning. Meeting monthly supports ongoing opportunities to review student work, assignments and assessments, so every child can be successful in school.”

Source: http://www.nsrfharmony.org/sites/all/themes/NSRFtheme/assets/pdfs/Self-Guided%20Tour%201.0.pdf

We have learned about things such as Consultancy Protocols and Critical Incidents Protocols. These provide a framework for bringing forth dilemmas or a piece of work and help each other.

Core Value – Acceptance/Diversity

We began this week watching a video by Kid President called The Story of Martin Luther King Jr which you can view here. It begins with “once upon a time, there was a man named Martin Luther King, Jr. He taught us that things won’t always be awesome, but your response can be. Remember, things don’t always have to be they are. We can change them! Kids can change them.” We then viewed an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.’s August 16, 1967 “Where Do We Go From Here” speech.

“And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.”

The following day we had some extremely insightful and meaningful reflection and discussion. Students were able to realize that a school like ours would not have existed prior to the Civil Rights movement and the emotion on the children’s faces is difficult to describe. It was one of the most moving conversations that I have had.

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Gus shared his thoughts that Martin Luther King Jr. was a martyr and that his death gave strength to the Civil Rights movement because it made more people rally behind it. He also sent  me the quote below:

“There will always be injustice but there will also be heroes and idealists and they will lead the people against the injustice.”

Star Students

This week’s Star Students that were recognized for showing acceptance were: Charlotte, Josie, Kayla, Maru, Nikosia, Spencer and Talia. Great job!

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Pegasus Class Share

Today my class presented some work related to our study of conflict and cooperation. The primary classrooms have been learning about ancient civilizations and how some of their inventions have impacted our lives to this day. My students learned about Ancient Greece last week. We talked about how Ancient Greek architecture has influenced buildings in America. My students learned about the three types of Greek columns: doric, ionic, and corinthian and got to see pictures of modern structures in America that use these column styles, like The White House and The Casa building right next door to Polaris! Today the students shared some artwork of a dream house they designed using oil pastels that incorporated these three column styles. 

The students also shared their flags that each table group designed in the classroom and a spokesperson for each table groups shared any conflicts that their group had to overcome in order for every person to have a role in creating the table group flag. For example one group had a student who was adamant about wanting to draw a random squiggle design on the flag, so one student in that group had an idea where the student could make a border on the edge of the flag that incorporated the squiggle design instead of their just being a random squiggle on one area of the flag. Another group had two students who wanted to draw, so they decided to do rock, paper, scissors and the loser had to color the object that the winner drew.

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Cole’s Science Experiment

Okay my science experiment was called The Diet Coke Explosion

What you need to make it all happen is you need a 2 liter bottle of Diet coke, Mint or fruity Mentos, Masking tape, Goggles and a wide space to make the explosion happen. 

Now what you need to do is you need to cut a 2-4 inch piece of masking tape 3 times then remove 7 Mentos then lay the Mentos on 1 piece of the tape then make a tape bubble and put that on the front of the Mentos then take the Diet coke bottle cap and stick it on the tape bubble then stick the tape bubble to the thing holding the Mentos then put on the goggles and go outside and see what happens that was my science experiment!

By Cole

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Reminders

  • This year’s Information Sessions will be:

    o   Sunday, January 24th at 10am

    o   Saturday, February 6th at 1pm

    If you know of anyone who might be interested in Polaris, please pass the word!

  •  Don’t forget to send in pizza money before noon on Thursdays.
  • Check our lost and found – we have many coats, gloves, sweatshirts, etc. Please do your best to label your children’s outerwear and lunch boxes.


PEF News

Boxtops

Although Boxtops are only sent in twice per year our Boxtops parent accepts them year round so that she can trim and bundle them. Send them in any time!

Volunteers

We’re still in need of an Enrichment Chair. If you’re interested but unsure what that entails please get in touch with Althea Dubravsky (dubravskya@gmail.com) with questions.

We also have lots of great events coming up like the Auction and the North Star Dance. These events take a lot of volunteer power, and they’re a great opportunity to fulfill your 10 hours of volunteer time. Reach out to Daniela (danielareyes@comcast.net) if you’d like to volunteer!

Pizza

Please make sure to only pay for one month or one week of pizza. It takes a lot of time and effort to coordinate weekly and monthly pizza and our wonderful volunteer cannot coordinate a third yearly option at this time.

Effective the beginning of February we will no longer be offering water to purchase due to the feedback we’ve gotten from our great “Pizza Moms” (this is a student nickname for our volunteers who hand out pizza). It has become difficult for the students to carry pizza and a bottle of water to their classrooms, and very few students actually purchase the water.

PEF Meetings

The PEF meeting schedule for the rest of the school year are ;Feb 19,  Mar 17, Apr 22 andMay 19. They are always at 7pm at school (alternating Thursday and Friday).

Week Ending 1/15/16

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 Re-Enrollment

The deadline for re-enrolling your current Polaris student is January 22nd, 2016.

https://app.sycamoreschool.com/enroll.php?schoolid=2024

This is also when you can add a sibling. If you are enrolling a new child, you MUST download and complete the paper application that you will find at the end of the online process. The deadline for the paper application for a sibling is February 12th, 2016. Please be aware that if we have more sibling applicants that we have openings for a sibling lottery will be held. You are not required to attend another Information Session or Family Appointment although you may still want to meet with us if your child has specific needs we should be aware of.

If you have any questions please contact Liz or Jen.  Thank you!

Core Value – Acceptance/Diversity

This week we watched a brief public service announcement called “Stand Up and Speak Out.”  In it, the children share that we all should be accepted regardless of our looks or religion. It is a good reminder that our differences make us special. We also listened to the song “Get Together” by the Youngbloods.

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at you command

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Star Students

Our star students this week were: Alanna, Akshay, Daniel, Ethan, Joon, Lolo and Rigel. They were recognized for showing our Core Value of Acceptance.

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Vela Class Share

Mrs. Fesh’s class has been learning about Ancient Rome as part of their study of Conflict and Cooperation.  Students are learning about how they are affected when people and countries can cooperate and learn from each other.  The Ancient Romans made a lot of mosaic tiles, which is something we still have in our homes today.  Each student got to make his or her own mosaic out of construction paper, and created something that was unique and had special meaning to them, for example like their name or a favorite flower.

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Reminders

 

  • We will be closed Monday, January 18th in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
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  • This year’s Information Session will be:

    o   Sunday, January 24th at 10am

    o   Saturday, February 6th at 1pm

    If you know of anyone who might be interested in Polaris, please pass the word!

  •  Don’t forget to send in pizza money before noon on Thursdays.
  • Check our lost and found – we have many coats, gloves, sweatshirts, etc. Please do your best to label your children’s outerwear and lunch boxes.
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  • We still have many items in our lost and found

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PEF News

Auction Donations

We have received some great auction items from new donors this year. How? By asking people we know directly. So who do you know that you can ask? A business owner? Someone who owns a vacation rental? An artist? A photographer? Someone who can provide a service, like landscaping, plowing, etc? We need your help to make this year’s auction the best yet.  If you need a copy of our donation request letter, just let Ali Ferriero (Ali.ferriero@gmail.com) know!

Auction Volunteers

We will be needing a bevy of volunteers for our auction. Volunteers will be needed to assemble Raffle Baskets, for set up, to help check people in, and to help people check out. This year’s auction is to raise money for teacher professional development, to help our awesome teachers be even better. Don’t forget that we keep track of volunteer hours, which helps us to apply for grants to help us even more! If you’d like to volunteer please reach out to Ali Ferriero @ Ali.ferriero@gmail.com.

 

PEF Meeting

Come and meet the PEF Board and learn all about how you can get involved and fulfill your 10 volunteer hours! At 6:30 we will serve snacks and tell you a little about ourselves, at 7 our regular meeting will begin. We hope to see you there!

Week Ending 1/8/16

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 Re-Enrollment

It is time to re-enroll your child(ren) at Polaris for the next academic year.  You should have just received an email from Sycamore (our student information system) with your family’s username/password to login and re-enroll on Tuesday January 5th. The link is:

https://app.sycamoreschool.com/enroll.php?schoolid=2024

The deadline for re-enrolling your current Polaris student is January 22rd, 2016. This is also when you can add a sibling. If you are enrolling a new child, you MUST download and complete the paper application that you will find at the end of the online process. The deadline for the paper application for a sibling is February 12th, 2016. Please be aware that if we have more sibling applicants that we have openings for a sibling lottery will be held. You are not required to attend another Information Session or Family Appointment although you may still want to meet with us if your child has specific needs we should be aware of.

If you have any questions please contact Liz or Jen.  Thank you!

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Core Value – Acceptance/Diversity

January’s Core Value focus’s on Acceptance and Diversity. On Tuesday, we watched a flash mob performance by students from an elementary and secondary school in Vancouver. The students took over the main lobby of a shopping center wearing shirts with the word “Acceptance” and did a dance to the Bruno Mars song “Just the Way You Are” that you can view here.

When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are

On Wednesday we diverted to discuss how students need to be respectful of our school building. Recently, we have noticed some writing on the walls in our common area and hallways. We need to respect our building and work together to keep it looking nice. It was wonderful how many students and parents immediately volunteered to help clean things up and by the end of the day, everything was fixed.

On Thursday, we read a story about a girl with some differences that she was teased for. It emphasized that explaining our differences to others can help each other understand them.

Star Students

On the Monday before our break, we recognized students who showed great kindness. Congratulations to: Alice, Bree, Joey, Mohammed, Riley, Spencer and Sydney.

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In addition, Ms. Perham recognized her whole class for making her first Trimester at Polaris so wonderful!

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Snacks

We have about exhausted our supply of snacks. We could use donations of the following:

Pretzels
Raisins
Goldfish (or something similar)
Dried Apple Chips
Pirate’s Booty
Smartfood
Granola bars
Peanut Butter Crackers
Peanuts or other nuts
All natural fruit snacks

 

Pavo Class Share

Prior to vacation, the Pavo class shared the square dance they had learned during our first trimester. It it they demonstrated the three ‘C’s: cooperation, concentration and being courteous (kind).

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Dorado Class Share

This week, Mrs. Dudley’s class worked on writing. They first did an art project where they made a snowman. Then they worked on descriptive writing and wrote a paragraph about their snowman. At Morning Gathering, on Friday, her student’s pictures were hung up for all to view. Some students read the paragraph that they wrote and then we had to guess which snowman was theirs.

Reminders

  • This year’s Information Session will be:

    o   Tuesday, January12th at 6:30pm

    o   Sunday, January 24th at 10am

    o   Saturday, February 6th at 1pm

    If you know of anyone who might be interested in Polaris, please pass the word!

  •  Don’t forget to send in pizza money before noon on Thursdays.
  • Check our lost and found – we have many coats, gloves, sweatshirts, etc. Please do your best to label your children’s outerwear and lunch boxes.
  • We will be closed January 18th in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

PEF News

Box Tops

Don’t forget to send in your box tops! We collect them all year long so that our Box Tops coordinator Karyn has plenty of time to trim and bundle them appropriately. We recently received a check for $316.20 from the last submission!

Enrichment Co-Chair

The Enrichment committee, responsible for organizing afternoon enrichments, is looking for a new Co-Chair. Please contact Althea at dubravskya@gmail.com if you’re interested.

PEF Meet and Greet

Do you wonder exactly who the PEF is or what role they play in the school? Do you have questions about what you can do to get involved? The great news is that you, as a Polaris parent or teacher, are already a member, with full voting privileges. Please join us at the next PEF meeting on January 21st at 6:30 to meet the board members of the PEF, find out about openings on the board, and learn about all the great ways you can get involved at Polaris! We’re looking forward to seeing you there.