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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Week Ending 9/30/16

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Star Students

On Monday we announced our first Star Students for the year. Each week, a teacher selects someone who showed they were a STAR (Show responsibility, Treat others the way you want to be treated, Always try your best, Respect ourself, others and the environment around you, Safe, in control and have fun. Congratulations to: Ayla, Belle, Fatoumatu, Foxx, Gwenan, Maya and Rosie.

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School Rules

We reviewed two more of our school wide rules this week, focusing on what that rule looks like, sounds like and feels like. First was Show Responsibility. Students thought of many great ways that they could be responsible.

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We next discussed Treat Each Other the Way That You Want to be Treated, otherwise known as the golden rule.

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I neglected to publish the pictures of our delegates who helped review the 41 rules from all seven classes and boil them down to five common ones. Thanks for the help: Charlotte, Max, Jamari, Solana, Maliha, Crosby, Wendy, Jared, David, Andrea, Emmy, Kayla, Jolie and Lilly!

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Important Upcoming Events

Monday, October 10th: No school

Wednesday, Oct 26th: Book Character Dress Up Day

Wednesday, Dec 7th:  6-7pm  Primary Learning Celebration

*Thursday, Dec 8th: 6-7pm Intermediate Learning Celebration. Note that this is a change we have made to our school calendar. 

Science NECAP Results

The results from last spring’s science NECAP assessment were sent home with 4th grade students on Monday. If you have any questions, contact Jen.

Hydra Class Share

Miss Haynes’ class has been learning about mindfulness, and for their Friday share, their taught the school a little bit of what they have been doing. Mindfulness is when you stay in the moment and focus on a specific thing like your breath, someone talking, your food, etc. To do mindfulness, we start by doing the shark fin, which is when you take the side of your hand and move it vertically down in front of your face so you can then do the 5 S’s – sit still, sit straight, sit silent, soft breathing, and shut your eyes. Miss Haynes’ class demonstrated this, gave examples of times when you could use mindfulness, and then did two skits to model situations. They finished their share with the whole school joining them in practicing the 5 S’s.

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Math Groups

Primary students began working in their math groups this week. Since each teacher focuses on a different math level, many students have a different one during this time.

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PEF News

Pizza Fridays are back!  Please use the attached forms to order Pizza for your child. You may order for a single day, a month, or for the entire school year. You will need to return your order form no later than Wednesday, October 5th for pizza lunch on Friday, October 7th.  All orders are due by WEDNESDAY. There will be No Exceptions.

Monthly Order Form

Weekly Order Form

Annual Order Form

The PEF would like to remind families that we are now allowing families the option of breaking up payments into half for those enrichments that are over $100.  Half of the cost of the enrichment would be due before the enrichment begins and the 2nd half would be due at the half way point of the enrichment.  For those interested in this option, please, let our Treasurer, Colleen Vignale know (her email is below).

We also have available a scholarship of up to $50 per family per year for financial need. If the cost of enrichment is a struggle and you need some assistance please contact Colleen Vignale at colleenlvig@gmail.com. There is one single point of contact for all enrichment scholarships for your privacy. Please keep in mind that scholarships are limited to a budgeted amount per semester and are provided on good faith of need.

There is still space available in some of our enrichments.  Several are beginning next week so:

Engineering FUNdamentals (Delayed Start- New Start date of 10/4): This course needs quite a few more participants in order to run. It is in danger of not being run and registration will be left open to allow more students to sign up.

Pokémon Club: (Starts 10/31)This course has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

The Sustainable Artist: Making Art from Trash (Starts 11/21): This class needs more participants in order to run. It is in danger of not being able to run. Registration will not be closed at this time in order to allow more students to sign up.

Please contact The Enrichment Team at pefenrichment@gmail.com for questions!

Below, you can find some important dates for your School Calendar:

  • PEF Meeting– October 3rd 7pm at Polaris
  • Movie Night – October 7th @ 6pm at Polaris.  Join us for a family-friendly movie and popcorn (Movie TBA)!
  • Autumn Potluck– November 5th @ 3pm at Polaris. A wonderful shared meal Polaris Families
  • Polaris Auction!!! – March 11th

 

Week Ending 9/16/16

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School Rules!

This is was an exciting week as we established our school wide rules. Two delegates from each class met with me on Monday. They presented the rules that they and their classmates had established. We read them aloud and wrote them on a white board. When looking at the 41 rules that were shared, we could see that some were the same or similar and we were able to group them accordingly. We ended up with five rules that will help Polaris students be S.T.A.R.S. They are:

Show responsibility
Treat others the way you want to be treated
Always try your best
Respect ourself, others and the environment around you
Stay Safe, in control and have fun

We then presented them to the rest of the school at Morning Gathering on Tuesday. It was a really exciting time and something that we will continue to celebrate.

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Next will focus on what each rule looks like and sounds like. We began with Stay Safe, in control and have fun.

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Pegasus Class Share

Last week, the Pegasus classroom read The Day the Crayons Quit. An important message we learned from reading this book was to “think outside the crayon box”- sometimes the most beautiful things in our world are unexpected and uniquely designed. Students were challenged to draw a picture of an object or an item in nature and color it using a different color than they normally would. We then wrote a sentence about our picture. We hope by doing this activity that we will apply this way of thinking as we complete projects in our classroom for the rest of the school year.  

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Math Groups

Intermediate students began working in their math groups this week. Students completed assessments that provided the team with information that helped determine where they are best suited for this unit of math. Each teacher focuses on one or two instructional levels, so your child might be in a different classroom for this time. Prior to every math unit, students will be pre-assessed so they are placed appropriately. Primary teachers worked on assessing their students this week and they will begin their math groups next week.

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PEF News

Pizza Fridays will be returning to Polaris soon.  Be on the look out next week for communication from the PEF for more details!

The PEF would like to remind families that we are now allowing families the option of breaking up payments into half for those enrichments that are over $100.  Half of the cost of the enrichment would be due before the enrichment begins and the 2nd half would be due at the half way point of the enrichment.  For those interested in this option, please, let our Treasurer, Colleen Vignale know (her email is below).

We also have available a scholarship of up to $50 per family per year for financial need. If the cost of enrichment is a struggle and you need some assistance please contact Colleen Vignale at colleenlvig@gmail.com. There is one single point of contact for all enrichment scholarships for your privacy. Please keep in mind that scholarships are limited to a budgeted amount per semester and are provided on good faith of need.

There is still space available in some of our enrichments.  Several are beginning next week so:

Primary Music and Intermediate Music have been combined to ONE class (starts 9/28):  Everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a space. Registration is still open

Engineering FUNdamentals (Delayed Start- New Start date of 10/4): This course needs quite a few more participants in order to run. It is in danger of not being run and registration will be left open to allow more students to sign up.

Intermediate Music: This class was combined with Primary Music.

Pokémon Club: This course has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

Lego Club (Starts 10/29): This course has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

Destination Imagination (Starts 10/29): All students who received a space in the program by random lottery have been notified. If you missed signing up, or have a student who changed their mind, please reply to this email with your child’s name, and class information. There has been some interest expressed in running a second team for this Enrichment, However, in order to have a 2nd team, we would need additional parent volunteers.

Hip Hop (Starts 9/30): This course has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

The Sustainable Artist: Making Art from Trash (Starts 11/21): This class needs more participants in order to run. It is in danger of not being able to run. Registration will not be closed at this time in order to allow more students to sign up.

Illustration: Literature & Art, Best Friends Forever (Starts 9/26: This course has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

Please don’t hesitate to contact The Enrichment Team at pefenrichment@gmail.com for questions or clarifications!

Below, you can find some important dates for your School Calendar:

  • Fall Enrichment’s Begin- Week of Sept 26th
  • PEF Meeting– October 3rd 7pm at Polaris
  • Movie Night – October 7th @ 6pm at Polaris.  Join us for a family-friendly movie and popcorn!
  • Autumn Potluck– November 5th @ 3pm at Polaris. A wonderful shared meal Polaris Families
  • Polaris Auction!!! – March 11th

 

Week Ending 9/16/16

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A Message From the Board of Trustees

Across the country, local school districts depend on school boards to make decisions and set policies for the betterment of the schools in their district. As an independent public charter school, Polaris acts as its own district with its own governing board, the Polaris Board of Trustees. The duties of the Board include setting policies, hiring and evaluating school leaders, working with our parent organization (the PEF), overseeing the budget, fundraising, community relations, and numerous other tasks to ensure the continued strength and success of the school. Monthly meetings of the Polaris Board of Trustees are open to the public. The next meeting is this coming Tuesday, September 20th, at 6:00 PM at Polaris. Here is a link to the agenda for this month’s meeting:    

https://polarischarter.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/bot-agenda-9-20-16.docx

Our Week at a Glance

This week, we continued our work with rolling out Responsive Classroom. All classes have created their classroom rules and this week ‘Take a Break’ was explained and modeled. Take a Break is a positive, respectful, and supportive teaching strategy used to help a child who is just beginning to lose self-control to regain it so they can do their best learning. An equally important goal of Responsive Classroom time-out is to allow the group’s work to continue when a student is misbehaving or upset. It gives a child some space where they can regroup while still seeing and hearing what the class is doing. This is NOT a punishment. It is to help students regain the focus and emotional control needed for learning. Students might decide for themselves that they need a break, in which case they can go to the break spot on their own. It is a tool children can be taught to use themselves to regulate their own emotions and behaviors.

This week we also had our first fire drill. Because classes had practiced lining up and leaving the building everything went very smoothly.

Vela Class Share

Every Friday, one classroom will share something they learned or accomplished with the school at Morning Gathering. This week, Mrs. Fesh’s class shared their ‘hopes and dreams’ for the school year. Some students hoped to learn about science, learn to write cursive and one would like to be a singer.

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Earth Science

Ms. Perham and Ms. V’s class collaborated on an Earth Science experiment this week. It demonstrated how water helps keep the earth cool. They used two balloons, one filled with water and one that was empty. They applied heat to both. The empty balloon popped when heat was applied but the water balloon did not because the water absorbed the heat.

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Upcoming Events

  • zPicture day is this Wednesday, September 21st
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PEF News

We had a wonderful Ice Cream Social this week (in spite of the weather).  Thank you to all of the families who attended.  We are still looking for a volunteer to help serve pizza on Fridays to the children.  If you can help out, please contact Jenna Pedone at jennapedone@gmail.com .

The PEF would like to let families know that we are now allowing families the option of breaking up payments into half for those enrichments that are over $100.  Half of the cost of the enrichment would be due before the enrichment begins and the 2nd half would be due at the half way point of the enrichment.  For those interested in this option, please, let our Treasurer, Colleen Vignale know (her email is below).

We also have available a scholarship of up to $50 per family per year for financial need. If the cost of enrichment is a struggle and you need some assistance please contact Colleen Vignale at colleenlvig@gmail.com. There is one single point of contact for all enrichment scholarships for your privacy. Please keep in mind that scholarships are limited to a budgeted amount per semester and are provided on good faith of need.

Below is an update on our Enrichment Sign ups:

Primary Music and Intermediate Music have been combined to ONE class:  Everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a space. Registration will remain open for a very short time to allow more students to sign up.

Engineering FUNdamentals: This course needs quite a few more participants in order to run. It is in danger of not being run and registration will be left open to allow more students to sign up.

Intermediate Music: This class was combined with Primary Music.

Engineering FUNdamentals: This course needs quite a few more participants in order to run. It is in danger of being able to run and registration will be left open to allow more students to sign up.

Pokémon Club: This course has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  However, we still looking for additional parent volunteers.

Lego Club: This course has enough participants to run, however we still need a parent volunteer to run it! As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

Destination Imagination: All students who received a space in the program by random lottery have been notified. If you missed signing up, or have a student who changed their mind, please reply to this email with your child’s name, and class information. There has been some interest expressed in running a second team for this Enrichment, However, in order to have a 2nd team, we would need additional parent volunteers.

Hip Hop: This course has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

The Sustainable Artist: Making Art from Trash: This class needs many more participants in order to run. It is in danger of not being able to run. Registration will not be closed at this time in order to allow more students to sign up.

Illustration: Literature & Art, Best Friends Forever: This course almost has enough participants to run and everyone who has already registered is guaranteed a spot if it runs.  As this program has not reached its maximum capacity, registration will not be closed at this time.

Please don’t hesitate to contact The Enrichment Team at pefenrichment@gmail.com for questions or clarifications!

Below, you can find some important dates for your School Calendar:

  • Picture Day– September 21st
  • Music Enrichment Begins- Sept 21st
  • Fall Enrichment’s Begin- Week of Sept 26th
  • PEF Meeting– October 3rd 7pm at Polaris
  • Movie Night – October 7th @ 6pm at Polaris.  Join us for a family-friendly movie and popcorn!
  • Autumn Potluck– November 5th @ 3pm at Polaris. A wonderful shared meal Polaris Families

 

 

Week Ending 9/09/16

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Welcome Back!

Our school year has gotten off to a great start!  We spent the first few days of school helping students get to know one another and become comfortable with various classroom routines. We have also outlined expectations for the appropriate way to line up for class, walk in the hallways, stand for the pledge, etc. and the staff has modeled these so students can see how it is done. Ask your child if they know how to S.H.I.N.E. (these are are rules for meeting times).

During the next week we will be working on establishing classroom rules and then moving on to school-wide rules that students will be involved in setting.

This year, we started a new procedure for our morning drop off period. Instead of students all going immediately down to the Gathering Room, where it could get VERY loud, they go to the classroom and their teacher brings them down around 8:20. Each classroom has a designated location to sit so that we are in a circle for our Morning Gathering. Everyone agrees that it has been a much better way to start our school day. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to have their children here by 8:20.

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New Staff

Christin Crowell

Christin Crowell

Christin Crowell is very excited to start her journey as a primary education assistant at Polaris! Miss Crowell recently graduated with a degree in Childhood Studies at Plymouth State University and is pleased to be working with multi-aged students, and see how creative and motivated they are when it comes to trying something new, and helping one another when needed. Miss Crowell has been working at Camp Carpenter a Cub scout camp for the past 4 years summers as the Handicraft Director and more this coming summer she will be the Program Director. 

Miss Crowell feels that summer programs bring out a different side of students,inspires students imaginations, creates the excitement of the outdoors and more. She also is one of the Site Director for are after school YMCA Program here at Polaris. 

Robert Daniel

Robert Daniel

Robert Daniel is the education assistant to Ms. Perham and Mrs. Rainey and fully credentialed in New Hampshire.  Mr. Daniel started working at Polaris in Fall, 2016.  He has had a variety of teaching experiences since starting a teaching career in 2002, including tutoring about two hundred special needs elementary students while in graduate school, teaching high school social studies in the classroom and even three years as a community college instructor. Mr. Daniel has a Master of Arts in History from the University of Toronto, M.A. in political science with an education policy focus from Boston University and Master of Education degree from Western Governors University.  He is a certified level 3 archery coach.  Mr. Daniel also became a certified Montessori guide in Summer 2016.  His vision for education is to help each child to find their personal strengths and develop self-esteem.  He believes that education must be tailored to the individual based on their observed mental and physical needs, with no artificial restrictions.  He is remembered by his past students for making math fun with great games and by many for helping them to believe in themselves.

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-3-36-24-pmPreston Moulton is new to the Polaris staff as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) instructor. Mr. Moulton has a large repertoire of experience to draw upon including: video editing, audio engineering, heavy equipment operator, firefighter, critical care EMT, and inventory specialist at a warehouse focusing on jewelry distribution for more than 30 online partners.

Mr. Moulton has been programming for more than 15 years. Over this time he has worked with C++, Java, Javascript, HTML5, PHP, Visual Basic, Python, Omnis Studio, Filemaker, BASIC Stamp, Spin, Assembly, Postgres SQL, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, and the Amazon Web Service platform. These tools have been used to develop software for inventory management, order fulfillment, FedEx Ship Manager Integration, and various other industrial applications.

For fun,Mr. Moulton likes to spend time with his wife and two sons playing games and enjoying the outdoors. When there is idle time, he enjoys tinkering with home automation using various sensors, motors, actuators, and other components controlled by either a device from the Arduino family or a Raspberry Pi.

Mr. Moulton is a strong supporter of project based learning because it allows kids to thrive in areas where they do well while providing support in the areas where they may need help. He has experience with working with kids in the volunteer setting as he has traveled the world with teams of teens and preteens on short-term mission trips many times. He desires to help all so they are able to reach their potential as Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison did.

Martha Pepek

Martha Pepek

Martha Pepek is excited to be joining the Polaris Community as an Educational Assistant. With a BA in English from UNH, she has worked in many fields including journalism, law and advertising. In 2005, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion for teaching and subsequently worked as a substitute teacher in the Manchester School District as well as a paraprofessional at Jewett Street Elementary and co-director of the school’s drama club all while studying to get certified to teach English, grades 6-12. As happens in life, she welcomed her only child in 2008 and she and her husband decided she would stay home while working part time. After volunteering at Polaris for two year and as her son finished second grade, she decided to dip her toes in the educational pool once again and it thrilled to be back. When not teaching or homemaking, Mrs. Pepek loves to sing a cappella, read vociferously, travel to exotic locales and follow her niece JoJo’s rocketing music career on social media.

 

Drop Off/Pick Up

When there are cars parked along the curb on Coolidge Ave., please do not line up beside them. It is causing some safety concerns. Wait behind them on Cartier St. or Coolidge Ave. and go around as car line moves.

Water Testing

Polaris Charter School joined in a proactive collaboration with our city partners to test the safety of the water in our building.  Manchester Water Works spent the summer voluntarily testing the city’s 22 schools, including Polaris, for lead contamination.  Polaris was notified that our drinking water is safe.  It fell well below the EPA action level of 0.015 mg/L (ppm).   Please contact Liz Putnam if you have any questions.

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Upcoming Events

  • Although Manchester School District is closed on Tuesday September 13th, Polaris has school that day
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  • Picture day is September 21st
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PEF News

Welcome New and Returning Families! We are excited to see each and every one of you!  Please see below for important dates.

  • Ice Cream Social: September 14th 5:30 – 7pm at Derryfield Park. (note: this is a new location) Staff, Parents and Students are invited out to enjoy some ice cream and take some time to get to know one another.
  • BPSA Scout Information Night: September 14th – 7:00pm at Polaris- Information night for those interested in learning more about traditional scouting (co-ed). (Information mainly for parents this night but children are welcome.)
  • Picture Day– September 21st
  • PEF Meeting– October 3rd 7pm at Polaris
  • Movie Night – October 7th @ 6pm at Polaris.  Join us for a family-friendly movie and popcorn!
  • Autumn Potluck– November 5th @ 3pm at Polaris. A wonderful shared meal Polaris Families
  • Enrichment Sign ups-Friday September 9th at 7pm to September 10th 7pm (24hours to sign up) (check your email for the enrichment brochure with the links to sign up)