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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Week Ending 2/17/17

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From the Board 

Due to some scheduling conflicts, our Board Meetings have been moved to the 3rd Monday of the month. The next meeting will be on Monday, February 20th at 6:00pm.

Also, we the Open Forum that was planned for this past Wednesday was postponed due to weather concerns. It will be rescheduled for a later date to be determined.

Welcome Ryan!

Ryan is a Litchfield high school student who is working on his senior project and decided that he was really interested in volunteering at Polaris. His parents suspected something was a little different about him when he taught himself multiplication in first grade and asked questions about condensation and photosynthesis in second. In third grade his standardized testing results placed him at the 11.8 grade level. Since then, he has been identified as exceptionally gifted. Yet he would be the first to tell you that school has not gone smoothly for him. He attended a regular public school and they were not able to accommodate his needs at that time. He moved on to a math/science based charter school that was more rigorous but homework completion was a significant part of his grade.  He learned things rapidly, aced tests but failed classes because he did not do the homework as he had already mastered the concepts.

These are just a few of the challenges that gifted children face. We are very grateful to Ryan for being so open about his experience and sharing it with our school community. He will be a valuable resource for our gifted students. He will come to one of our Wednesday professional development meetings where he will share more of his experiences give our staff the opportunity to gain more insight on gifted learners.

Reminder

This was the scene in Wednesday’s car pick up line. Please make every effort to wait until there is open space in front of parked cars before moving up in line. When cars are double parked, through traffic must cross into the path of oncoming traffic. This almost resulted in an accident.

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Core Value – Fairness

We FINALLY had an opportunity to discuss February’s Core Value of Fairness. We began by talking about ways we show it.

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Next we did an activity that demonstrated that fair is not always equal. Student volunteers were given a post it with an “injury” on it that they read such as broken leg, headache, etc. I gave each student a band-aid on their hand. They all got the same thing and were treated equally but was that what they really needed? Everyone’s needs are different and fairness ensures that those needs are met.

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The following day we reviewed this concept and we also talked about the following quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

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Star Students

The following students were recently honored for demonstrating one of our Core Values. Congratulations to: Andrew, Ellie, Emmy, Julian, Katie, Toby and Oliver.

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Dorado Class Share

Student’s in Mrs. Dudley’s class shared a fun science experiment. They used four different sized plastic bottles and filled each with the same amount of vinegar and then added an equal amount of baking soda. The reaction formed a gas which expanded into the balloon. We made prediction about what would happen and then watched as each balloon filled. We were able to conclude that the smallest water bottle created the largest balloon. Ask your child if they can explain why!

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Welcome Mrs. Bresnahan

Lori Bresnahan has joined the Polaris team as an educational assistant at the intermediate level.  She has a lot of teaching experience, as a classroom teacher, certified for Kindergarten to grade 8, and as a certified reading and writing specialist.  She has even taught art and music, and worked with Navajo children in New Mexico!   She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Plymouth State College, her M.Ed. in Foundations of Learning from Antioch Graduate School, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Literacy from University of New England.  She has also taught courses at the college level on how to teach literacy, and literacy assessment.  She is very happy to be back working with elementary aged students!

She lives in Webster with her husband, two cats, and a few aquarium fish.  When not at school, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, gardening, watching birds, listening to music, and, of course, reading.

Physical Science

Our trimester theme of Physical Science is well underway and many exciting things are being examined. Some classes have begun constructing Rube Goldberg machines. Students have also explored the scientific method and have conducted experiments such as making butter and examining the optimal type of water for growing crystals.

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PEF News

All parents are invited to our next PEF Meeting on Thursday, March 9th at 7pm at the school.  Every parent, guardian, teacher, administrator and Polaris Board of Trustee are members of the Polaris Educational Foundation. We encourage all Polaris community members to attend these meetings.

5th Annual Polaris Charter School Auction Gala: Reach for the Stars

The Auction Committee would like to thank those who have sent in contributions for the Auction baskets and for the Auction itself.  It is not too late if you have not had the opportunity to send in your family’s contribution to donate $10 to aid the Auction Committee in purchasing the remaining items.  Funds can be sent in to your child’s teacher and/or Ms. Sherwood in the front office.  You can also make a donation online by visiting https://polariseducationalfoundation.org/ and clicking on the “Donate Now” button. (Please “add a note” feature to indicate it is for the Auction. Thank you.)

More information about the Silent Auction or to order your tickets for the Gala, please visit our Reach For The Stars Silent Auction Gala Website

What: An evening of dinner, music, dancing and a silent auction.

When: March 11, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Where: The Executive Court Banquet Hall. 1199 Mammoth Rd, Manchester, NH

Why: All proceeds will be used for Polaris teachers to transform ordinary classroom experiences into extraordinary.

Who: The Polaris Community, friends and family

How: We need EVERYONE’S help to make this event happen. We need volunteers, item donations, cash donations and the support of the entire community.

The Annual Auction Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year. As this event has grown, we have been able to greatly reduce the number of fundraisers we hold each year. Help us continue to make this event as successful as possible.

Questions? Email PEFauction@polarischarterschool.org

Pizza Ordering– Please use the order forms.   If for some reason you are not able to use the form, it is very important that you include your child’s NAME, CLASS, and # of pizza slices and if the pizza is Gluten Free (GF) with the money that you turn in.  Otherwise, your order may not be placed correctly and your child is likely to be disappointed. Thank you!

 

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

  • Next PEF Meeting– March 9th -7pm at Polaris
  • Polaris Auction!!! – March 11th

 

 

 

Week Ending 2/3/17

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Open Forum

The Board of Trustees is planning the next Open Forum on Education and Curriculum at Polaris Charter School, February 15th  at 7:00 PM. Staff will present some of the initiatives that have been undertaken in response to YOUR feedback. Parents will also have a chance to ask questions about the Polaris curriculum and give input regarding communication and support for learning outside of school. We hope to see you there!

Core Value – Acceptance/Diversity

This week we watched a two part musical video of Dr. Seuss’s book The Sneetches. The Sneetches is a story about two groups that differ in the fact that some have stars on their bellies and some do not. The Star-Belly Sneetches viewed themselves as better than those without and would not allow them to share their things nor participate in the their activities. This resulted in the Plain-Belly Sneetches feeling sad and left out. Then along came Sylvester McMonkey McBean with a special machine that allowed the Plain-Belly Sneetches to add stars to their bellies. Now everyone looked the same. This angered the Star-Belly Sneetches, so they in turn had their stars removed. This continued on and on until they realized that no one could remember who was who. At the end, some had three stars, some had six, some had them on their front and some had them on their back. They realized it did not matter and that they could all be together and be friends.

I assigned students the “homework” of thinking about why I might have shown them this movie and what it might mean.

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On Thursday at Morning Gathering, we had a very meaningful discussion about what students learned from the story. Johnny mentioned how this reminded him of our discussion about Martin Luther King Jr. when white people were treated better. We observed that we all have differences. Some people have short hair, some have long. Some people wear glasses while others do not.  Some speak other languages, are different religions and different colors. Polaris is a wonderfully diverse community that comes together and celebrates that every day!

Star Students

The following students were recognized for their acts of acceptance: Elli, Gwen, Guili, Jared, Madison, Sydney and Tula. Great job!

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Sculptor Class Share

Mrs. Rainey’s class has been learning about Rube Goldberg Machines, forces and simple machines. You may be wondering what a Rube Goldberg Machine is? It is a machine that is meant to complete a simple task in a complicated way. Students have been working on creating blue prints for their machines and many have started building. We are looking forward to testing and modifying our machines!

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Exercise and Fun in PE 

One of the PE activities in Ms. Butterfield’s class that our students really enjoy is the cardiovascular exercises they do along with Coach Pirillo’s videos. Intermediate students have also learned to check their heart rate.

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PEF News

All parents are invited to our next PEF Meeting on Monday, Feb 6th at 7pm at the school.  Every parent, guardian, teacher, administrator and Polaris Board of Trustee are members of the Polaris Educational Foundation. We encourage all Polaris community members to attend these meetings.

Pizza Ordering– Please use the order forms.   If for some reason you are not able to use the form, it is very important that you include your child’s NAME, CLASS, and # of pizza slices and if the pizza is Gluten Free (GF) with the money that you turn in.  Otherwise, your order may not be placed correctly and your child is likely to be disappointed. Thank you!

Enrichment –  We thank you for your patience as the PEF has worked to plan the 2017 enrichment options. While changing insurance requirements and chaperone availability delayed these offerings, we are now ready to go and looking forward to a great year! Please click to view the Enrichment Brochure here.

5th Annual Polaris Charter School Auction Gala: Reach for the Stars

The Auction Committee needs your help! We are asking all parents to help contribute cash or items for the auction raffle baskets. We have created lists to make it easy. http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044faba72ca1f49-raffle

Please sign-up as soon as possible. We need all sign-ups complete by February 10th. Items can be brought to the school anytime, now through February 17th. Please send your donation(s) in with your student.  If you are not able to buy an item for the baskets, you can also send in $10 and the Auction Committee can purchase remaining items. They can drop the donation off with Mrs. Sherwood in her office or give their donation to their teacher. If possible, please label your item with your name and Attn: PEF Auction

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at ali.ferriero@gmail.com.

More information about the Silent Auction Gala.

What: An evening of dinner, music, dancing and a silent auction.

When: March 11, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Where: The Executive Court Banquet Hall. 1199 Mammoth Rd, Manchester, NH

Why: All proceeds will be used for Polaris teachers to transform ordinary classroom experiences into extraordinary.

Who: The Polaris Community, friends and family

How: We need EVERYONE’S help to make this event happen. We need volunteers, item donations, cash donations and the support of the entire community.

The Annual Auction Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year. As this event has grown, we have been able to greatly reduce the number of fundraisers we hold each year. Help us continue to make this event as successful as possible.

Questions? Email PEFauction@polarischarterschool.org

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

  • Next PEF Meeting– Feb 6th -7pm at Polaris
  • Polaris Auction!!! – March 11th

Sign-Ups for Spring Enrichments begin on Feb 6th