From the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees for Polaris Charter School has recently undergone a few changes in membership and we are eager to broaden our perspectives even further. This letter is written to introduce ourselves to you, and to initiate you to participate in an ongoing dialogue between the Board of Trustees and the community we serve.
Our amended Charter enables the Board of Trustees to have a maximum of nine members, on which parents must be less than a majority and hold a minimum of two Board seats. The Board currently includes seven members. The three parent representatives are Sharon Klardie, Elizabeth Levy, and Ali Nakip (Vice Chair.) The four non-parent members are Jim Aguiar (Treasurer,) Jill Cane (Chair,) Susan Hartford (Secretary,) and Camila Miranda. The two Co-Directors at Polaris, Elizabeth Putnam and Jennifer Murdock-Smith, serve as Ex-Officio members of the Board, offering information and guidance from their unique roles as the Business, Admissions, and Operations Director and Student Services Director, but neither School Administrator may vote on issues before the Board of Trustees. For more information on the background of each Board Member, please refer to the Board link on the Polaris Charter School website.
The Polaris Board of Trustees is inviting our adult community of parents, staff, and friends to a series of Open Forums, beginning on November 10th, from 7-8:30 PM. Our initial Open Forum will focus on the first section of the Board’s Strategic Plan, which was created following a broad survey of parents, staff, and Board members last year, and designed to set goals for the entire community to work on over the following 12 to 18 months. At the first Open Forum on November 10th, we will start by sharing and asking for your input on the goals we are considering for the school Facility. The goals drafted for the facility are:
1. Develop a plan that is consistent with the mission of the school to investigate options for a location that better meets our needs.
2. Improve the safety of the current playground by installing a higher fence or netting and solving the barrier issues.
The Board of Trustees is very interested in hearing your ideas and suggestions related to the Strategic Plan, which includes many important issues facing Polaris Charter School. To make the best decisions for Polaris current and future students, the Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of gathering ideas, suggestions, and feedback from the public. By law, the Board of Trustees is held accountable for the legal and fiduciary responsibilities related to the school. By choice, we want our decisions to be the most effective means to advance the mission of the school. As parents, teachers and other adult friends of Polaris, you have some unique knowledge, different perspectives, and a wide range of skills we encourage you to share with the Board of Trustees. At each Open Forum, participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the issues and tasks the Board is considering and to have input, which will affect the Board’s decision-making.
Please join us for our first Open Forum on November 10th, from 7-8:30 PM, in the Gathering Room of Polaris Charter School, located on 100 Coolidge Avenue in Manchester. We look forward to seeing you there and hearing your voices!
The Polaris Board of Trustees is pleased and excited to announce our participation in the #Giving Tuesday movement. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely celebrated shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable giving season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It is not an organization and does not accept or distribute donations. However, last year #GivingTuesday brought together over 45,000 partners in 71 countries and helped raise nearly $117 Million online in the US alone.
As 2016 marks the fifth year of the #GivingTuesday movement, and the fifth year of Polaris Charter School, we are choosing to launch our 5-Point Stars for Polaris Capital Fundraising Campaign on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. We will be joining the #GivingTuesday social media effort to provide greater awareness of the five main points of Polaris, (a joyful learning experience, which promotes creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication) and to provide people everywhere with an opportunity to support the continuing success of Polaris Charter School.
#GivingTuesday unifies charities, corporations, small businesses, and individuals from across the globe to show that the world gives as good as it gets. #GivingTuesday is about ordinary people coming together doing extraordinary things. Here is a link to share with family and friends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DekeiZiTV7U&sns=em
Polaris Charter School is proud to be a part of the #GivingTuesday movement.
Core Value – Citizenship
Each month we focus on a different Core Value and during November we will be talking about Citizenship. We read the definitions of citizenship: 1. the state of being vested with the rights, privileges and duties of a citizen 2. the character of an individual viewed as a member by society. We then brainstormed our ideas of what good citizens do.
On Wednesday we used a chocolate chip cookie to discuss the importance of following a recipe. What would the cookie be like without sugar, eggs, milk or chocolate chips? We agreed that it would not taste very good. A recipe is like our classroom and school rules. If we follow them, we will be safe, feel good and will be good citizens.
Thursday we discussed how our country used to be ruled by England and when we signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and then Continental Congress declared the name of our new nation the “United States” we in effect became U.S. citizens. Our first national flag was sewn by Betsy Ross and was approved on June, 14 1777. Every morning we recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag so we talked about the flag’s history. We looked at a picture of the original flag with the 13 stars and stripes that represented the 13 original colonies. As new states joined our country the flag design changed until 1960 when Hawaii became a state. Our current flag has 13 stripes that represent the 13 original colonies and 50 stars to represent our 50 states. The colors of the flag have meaning as well. Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, white symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice. So when we recite the pledge it is not just words we say; there is much meaning behind them.
Ms. Haynes and Ms. Gilbert’s class got together for buddy time this week. They worked with their partner to make acrostic poems using each other’s names to describe qualities about each other.
This week’s respectful students were: Emmy, Izzy, Lilly, Lucas, Max, Tania, Tori and Tristan.
Vela’s Class Share
Corresponding to our trimester theme of “Long Ago,” Mrs. Fesh’s taught us how before we had calendars and time pieces, constellations were used to help people navigate and even to know when to plant crops. Each of our classrooms at Polaris is named after a constellation. Vela happens to be the shape of a ship and it is located in the southern hemisphere. The north star (Polaris) is also our guide and Vela students shared ways that they shine as citizens.
We need donations of Cheerios. Fruity, Honey-Nut and Multi-Grain are the fan favorites.
New Ed Assistant
Loren Robidas is ecstatic to join the Polaris community. Mrs. “R” has 14 Early Childhood Credits and is currently enrolled at Granite State College to continue her education. She has been working with children for two years. She is familiar with Montessori Teachings and Reggio Emilila. She is most inspired by the Reggio Emilila Approach. Mrs. R is influenced by Mindfulness and the well being of children. She has been an LNA on the cardiac unit at the Elliot Hospital and an Office manager of a Real Estate office. When she is not at work you can find her with her husband and two daughters. In her spare time she loves to paint with an array of multimedia effects. She is pretty great at guessing band names and songs! She loves being at home and watching her favorite TV shows like the Goldberg’s and SuperStore.
- We DO have school, Tuesday November 8th
- Please label your child’s outer wear
- Open Forum November 10th
- There is no school Friday November 11th
- Board Meeting November 15th
- No School November 23rd, 24th and 25th
- If there is a delayed opening for the Manchester School District on a Wednesday, Polaris Charter School will be closed.
- 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.
PEF Autumn Potluck- Bring a dish and join us for a special autumn pot luck! This is a great way to connect with the Polaris community and for kids to try new foods. Please sign up and let us know what you are bringing and let us know if you can volunteer to help. Sign up at: https://wejoinin.com/sheets/owqsp
As always, anyone who you consider as part of the family during weekend dinners are welcome to join us!
PEF Meeting Change!! PEF Meeting will now be on Thursday, November 10th from 6:30 – 7:00pm to accommodate the Polaris Board of Trustee’s Community Forum (7-8:30pm) regarding The Strategic Plan and the goals for the Polaris Facility (the building). Both the PEF and the Board of Trustees need to hear your voice and it is for this reason the PEF moved/shortened the PEF meeting. We strongly encourage all parents to attend the meetings on this evening.
School Spirit Wear– School Spirit Wear is now available online. Choose sizes from toddler to 5X. This year’s selection includes great customization options as well as new options such as coffee mugs and winter hats. There is no deadline to order. The school store is here year round. Special custom options including shirts that say Polaris Mom, Grandma, Uncle or Dad will make a great gift for the holidays! Order any time:
Pennies For Polaris:
Once again we are asking families to dig under their seats and collect change for Polaris. As we face delays in realizing the dream playground, the PEF has recognized that for many students the classroom is their playground. We are collecting funds to fit the following new In School Enrichment mission. Funding will be given to both individual teachers and to school wide enrichments. The Penny drive will continue until November 7th.
The PEF In School Enrichment Mission: To enhance the classroom experience with real world, hands on interactions by providing special resources to the classroom or to the school population at large. Enrichments are intended to broaden the scope of learning, engage children in ways that reach beyond the daily classroom routines. In school enrichment might include visitors, field trips, enhancement of short term projects with extraordinary materials and resources(purchased or leased) to support a teacher led project. Projects, visitors and facilitators associated with the in school enrichment mission can support the current curriculum or offer an educational or team building diversion from the daily school routine. While there is no set time restrictions on how long an In-School enrichment program will last, Polaris in school enrichments are not intended to be long term capital expenditures or school supply drives.
After School Enrichments
There is still space available in some of our enrichments.
The Sustainable Artist: Making Art from Trash ($68) (Starts 11/21): This class needs more participants in order to run. Registration will not be closed at this time in order to allow more students to sign up.
Please use the following link to sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScIoIfhS2YHb3v8ALupDtCZCK_0hVmqTjIqCj_mOMB6zUEe3A/viewform?usp=send_form
Destination Imagination ($170) : Registration has re-opened for students in grades 3 – 5 as we will be running two teams. The 17 week session begins on November 10th. In addition to the overall challenge the team selects to work on for the end competition, full will be had weekly with instant challenges. For example, the team might build a structure that is as tall as possible that will support a baseball – with only these materials. 12 toothpicks, 5 Mailing Labels, 6 Coffee Stirrers, 3 Pieces of Paper, 2 Pencils, 3 Paper Clips, 1 Glove, 1 Plastic Bag.
Registration is open on for students in 3rd to 5th grade. Only a few 3 student slots remain. Please use the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe2_PIflfu0xCB6oSYfL3aX0quSxQgFSasZqUVz61Npuihq2Q/viewform?usp=send_form
As a reminder, all enrichments over $100 can be paid for in 2 installments. Additionally, Enrichment Scholarship is available upon request. Please contact The Enrichment Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to enroll!
Below, you can find some important dates for your School Calendar:
- PEF Meeting– November 10th 6:30pm at Polaris
- Board of Trustees Community Forum: Strategic Plan and the Polaris Facility: November 10th 7- 8:30pm at Polaris
- Autumn Potluck– November 5th @ 3pm at Polaris. A wonderful shared meal Polaris Families
- Polaris Auction!!! – March 11th