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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Week Ending 4/21/17

star boy

April Vacation

We hope that everyone has an awesome week!

Academic Forum Update

Following our last forum, staff immediately got to work identifying common themes in the feedback received and discussing ways to make improvements. More information will follow and we work to implement some changes.


Important Dates

  • No school April 24th – April 28th
  • Science NECAP testing for 4th grade will be May 9th – May 11th
  • We will have a FULL day of school on Wednesday, May 24th.
  • No school May 29th
  • Charter Renewal visit is on Wednesday May 31st
  • Intermediate Learning Celebration is June 7th
  • Primary Learning Celebration is June 8th
  • Our last day is now Friday, June 16th.
  • Conferences are on Wednesday June 14th beginning at 1:30 and on Monday, June 19th.

Core Value – Trustworthiness

This week we listened the “The Truth Song” again but this time the lyrics were projected so that we could all sing along. It was meaningful but also a lot of fun!

 

Star Students

Evan, Jael, Maryam, Molly, Taya, Teagan, Vivi and Yousif were honored for their Trustworthiness this week. Congratulations!

In addition, a special Star Student certificate was given to Drew by Ayla and Lexi for how responsibly he used the library.

Vela Class Share

To recognize Earth Day, Mrs. Fesh’s class sang and taught us the song “We’ve Got the Whole World in our Hands.” They also completed a water color project that listed one way that they could help save our planet.




PEF News

Next PEF Meeting: Thursday, May 11th at 7pm at Polaris

Read-a-thon- The Polaris Educational Foundation will be holding our fifth annual Read-A-Thon.  It will run from May 5th through May 18th.   This fundraiser is designed to encourage the students to read and build literacy skills, while raising money to support the operation of the Polaris Educational Foundation and events such as school dances, movie nights, End-of-Year Picnic and more!  Any child who raises at least $30 will receive a % of their total raised in the form of Barnes & Noble gift cards to buy books of their choice. Classrooms with the most minutes read will also receive a $50 gift card!  This year, in addition to the paper tracking form, we are offering an online component to allow friends and family who are not local to sponsor your child.  Pledges can be made online by visiting https://99pledges.com/fund/PolarisReads2017 and typing your students name in the search bar.  Please look in your student’s folder for your Read-a-thon packet as there is an additional personalized url for your child https://99pledges.com/fund/PolarisReads2017/first name-last name 

(Please use the specific url that was assigned to your child.) Please feel free to use the links on this site to share your requests for donations on social media and through email!  If you have any questions regarding the website please feel free to contact us at pef@polarischarterschool.org

Teacher Appreciation Week: (Teachers- DON’T READ!!!) This year we are looking to make Teacher Appreciation Week extra special.  We will be making over the Teacher Kitchen to be prettier and more functional (some work will extend to the teacher bathroom). We will be adding some new furniture, shelves, a new microwave and asking you to contribute either a financial contribution, your time or an item from our wish list to make this happen.  We have set up a sign up sheet for both volunteering and items on the wish list. We have some great plans to makeover this space to better serve the teachers and also be a ‘tiny’ retreat for those few minutes they might get to themselves for a bite of lunch. The PEF will also be catering a lunch for the teachers on May 3rd.  Right now we have a GREAT need for someone to attach/install shelves into the cinder block walls on either May 1st or May 2nd.  Please contact pef@polarischarterschool.org if you can help with the shelf installation. Please Sign up for volunteering and to contribute cash/items by clicking HERE .

After School Enrichment Classes:

Yoga with Leah! Time:   Wednesdays, 1-2PM ßBegins THIS Wednesday, May 3rd

Dates: 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/31 (full day 5/24 so no class on this day) $40 for 4 sessions

Earlier this month, talented yoga teacher Leah Pacione offered a free, trial yoga class for Polaris students. I had the opportunity to watch her lead our children in an engaging, mindful yoga sequence and she was fantastic both in keeping the children’s attention and in adapting traditional yoga to make it accessible for students. She incorporates Spanish, scarves, stickers, and breath-work into her program, all while using very child-friendly language.

Leah has kindly offered to run a 4-week yoga program starting on Wednesday, May 3. Please sign up for this yoga program by clicking HERE . 

Art Class: I Love Paper: Fold it Dates: 5/16, 5/23, 5/30, 6/6; $68

This four week session will focus on paper to create dimension. Students will improve spatial reasoning in 3D-from the single dimension that paper represents to the multiple dimensions we can create with folds! First, we will make Pop-Up cards made of, you guessed it, paper! The next two weeks will focus on complex origami folds and how to make paper pop off the “page” in more ways than cards. At the end of the fourth week, students will walk away with a paper lantern, made with the folds they learned in class. We all need a little light in the winter! Sign up for I Love Paper: Fold it by clicking THIS LINK

Stem Fundamentals with Legos 2nd Sesson 2 May 18th – June 8th:  3:00pm – 4:30pm for Grades 1 – 4; $71 for 4 Sessions; Power on your engineering skills with Play-Well TEKnologies and tens of thousands of LEGO® parts! Apply real-world concepts in physics, engineering, and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as Snowmobiles, Towers, Catapults, and Battletracks! Design and build as never before, and explore your craziest ideas in a supportive environment. An experienced instructor will challenge new and returning students to engineer at the next level. Science and engineering terms will be explored such as belt movement, overlapping, levers, and rack gears. Abstract concepts will come alive as we build and learn together.  Sign up online for Stem Fundamentals 2nd Session by clicking THIS LINK. 

Pizza Ordering– Reminder: if you wish to place a monthly order, we ask that you please use the order forms.   If for some reason you are not able to use the forms, 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!

Box Tops– We will be having a Box Top for Education campaign for Polaris throughout the end of the school year.  Please be saving your Box Tops.  You can send them in to school in a plastic bag and turn them in to the front office.  Thank you.

PEF Elections– The PEF is an amazing organization that could not function if not for the time dedication of parents. For this, we are blessed.  We have the most terrific parents who go above and beyond.  Our officers in the PEF need to shift positions within the PEF and not all can stay in their current role.  Therefore, we an opening on our board for the position of Member-at-Larger.  If you are interested in joining the PEF in a more active role, please contact pef@polarischarterschool.org and a board member will be in contact.  We can use all levels of help/leadership.

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

  • Next PEF MeetingMay 11th -7pm at Polaris
  • May 12th– Movie Night @ Polaris
  • June 3rd– Polaris End-of-Year Picnic (location TBD)

 

Week Ending 4/14/17

star boy

Smarter Balanced Assessment

Students have been working extremely hard on completing their Smarter Balanced Assessment. I am so proud of them! Due to the time and care that students are taking, we are having another test session Monday morning since so many still need to finish one or more sections.

Donations

We need some donations for our students that forget lunch/snack. Could you please add these to your grocery list:

  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Regular Cheerios
  • Pretzels (Individually bagged)

Important Dates

  • No school April 24th – April 28th
  • Science NECAP testing for 4th grade will be May 9th – May 11th
  • We will have a FULL day of school on Wednesday, May 24th.
  • No school May 29th
  • Charter Renewal visit is on Wednesday May 31st
  • Intermediate Learning Celebration is June 7th
  • Primary Learning Celebration is June 8th
  • Our last day is now Friday, June 16th.
  • Conferences are on Wednesday June 14th beginning at 1:30 and on Monday, June 19th.

Core Value – Trustworthiness

We began our week  with Ayla and Lexi reviewing how students need to be trustworthy when visit the library. They have been working on cleaning it up and they have observed that some labels have been moved and that sometimes a book gets put on top of the other books, not back where it belongs. They reminded us that there are placeholder cards that can be inserted where the book was withdrawn from so it can go back in the right order. Thank you girls for your help with our library!

This week we also read the Aesop Fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” which has the moral that “liars are not to be believed even when they speak the truth.”

We also had a special request from Ephrim to play “The Truth Song.”

Star Students

This week’s Trustworthy students were: Andrea, Colton, Eva, Evelyn, Jared, Joshy and Mohammed. Congratulations!

Dorado Class Share

In their Friday share, Mrs. Dudley’s class introduced that the Primary team will be focusing on math for our third trimester theme of Who Counts. They took notice of the fact that many of world’s flags can relate to the study of fractions. They observed that there are several countries whose flags are split into halves, thirds and fourths. Students then created and drew their own personal flag that illustrated a fraction.



PEF News

Thank you to all who were able to attend our North Star Dance and to those who helped plan and execute it.  It was a truly a memorable evening and we couldn’t create wonderful memories with our children if not for the participation of so many parents.  Next year, we will most certainly be needing to move dance to another facility as we have outgrown our lovely little building.  It is wonderful to know our dance has grown in popularity and our Polaris community all take part in it.  We look forward to see what next year’s dance has to offer!

-Melanie Currier, PEF President

Next PEF Meeting: Thursday, May 11th at 7pm at Polaris

Teacher Appreciation Week: (Teachers- DON’T READ!!!) This year we are looking to make Teacher Appreciation Week extra special.  We will be making over the Teacher Kitchen to be prettier and more functional (some work will extend to the teacher bathroom). We will be adding some new furniture, shelves and hopefully a new smaller microwave and asking you to contribute either a financial contribution, your time or an item from our wish list to make this happen.  We have set up a sign up sheet for both volunteering and items on the wish list. We have some great plans to makeover this space to better serve the teachers and also be a ‘tiny’ retreat for those few minutes they might get to themselves for a bite of lunch. The PEF will also be catering a lunch for the teachers 3rd.  Please Sign up for volunteering and to contribute cash/items by clicking HERE

Art Class: I Love Paper: Fold it Dates: 5/16, 5/23, 5/30, 6/6; $68

This four week session will focus on paper to create dimension. Students will improve spatial reasoning in 3D-from the single dimension that paper represents to the multiple dimensions we can create with folds! First, we will make Pop-Up cards made of, you guessed it, paper! The next two weeks will focus on complex origami folds and how to make paper pop off the “page” in more ways than cards. At the end of the fourth week, students will walk away with a paper lantern, made with the folds they learned in class. We all need a little light in the winter! Sign up for I Love Paper: Fold it by clicking THIS LINK

Stem Fundamentals with Legos 2nd Sesson 2 May 18th – June 8th:  3:00pm – 4:30pm for Grades 1 – 4; $71 for 4 Sessions; Power on your engineering skills with Play-Well TEKnologies and tens of thousands of LEGO® parts! Apply real-world concepts in physics, engineering, and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as Snowmobiles, Towers, Catapults, and Battletracks! Design and build as never before, and explore your craziest ideas in a supportive environment. An experienced instructor will challenge new and returning students to engineer at the next level. Science and engineering terms will be explored such as belt movement, overlapping, levers, and rack gears. Abstract concepts will come alive as we build and learn together.  Sign up online for Stem Fundamentals 2nd Session by clicking THIS LINK.

Pizza Ordering– Reminder: if you wish to place a monthly order, we ask that you please use the order forms.   If for some reason you are not able to use the forms, 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!

Box Tops– We will be having a Box Top for Education campaign for Polaris throughout the end of the school year.  Please be saving your Box Tops.  You can send them in to school in a plastic bag and turn them in to the front office.  Thank you.

PEF Elections– The PEF is an amazing organization that could not function if not for the time dedication of parents. For this, we are blessed.  We have the most terrific parents who go above and beyond.  Our officers in the PEF need to shift positions within the PEF and not all can stay in their current role.  Therefore, we have openings on our board.  If you are interested in joining the PEF in a more active role, please contact pef@polarischarterschool.org and a board member will be in contact.  We can use all levels of help/leadership.

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

  • Next PEF MeetingMay 11th -7pm at Polaris
  • May 12th– Movie Night @ Polaris
  • June 3rd– Polaris End-of-Year Picnic (location TBD)

 

Week Ending 4/07/17

star boy

Smarter Balanced Assessment

The Smarter Balanced Assessment will be administered Monday April 10th – Friday April 14th. After Morning Gathering, the children will have a snack and then test until approximately 10:30. Please make every effort to have your child(ren) here and on time. If you have any questions contact Jen.

From the Board

The Board of Trustees would like to express our appreciation to the Polaris teachers and administrators for hosting a marvelous Open Forum on Education and Curriculum on April 5th.  The format, modeled on the protocols from the School Reform Initiative, enabled important questions and comments to be raised in a safe, comfortable community setting.  The teachers and administrators have received training in these protocols, (courtesy of the PEF,) and were able to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of their professional learning at this Open Forum. After some time for reflection and coordination, the faculty will be sharing their responses with the Board of Trustees at their May public meeting.

The next Board of Trustee Meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 17th at 6 PM.The main topic for discussion will be the FY 2017 Budget, which is part of a recently developed 5-year budget plan.  The public is welcome to attend the entire discussion, although the time for public comment is reserved for the first fifteen minutes of every Board of Trustee Meeting.

Academic Forum

Thank you to those that came to our Education Forum!  Liz, Jen and the teachers will be working with all of this information to create a plan for more improvements and changes. We really do appreciate your feedback and hope that you won’t limit it to when we hold forums.  One great way to give input is to complete our End of Year Questionnaire that Jen Murdock-Smith emails every spring.   We also encourage you to go directly to your teacher with any questions or concerns, but another way to be heard is to email:  feedback@polarischarterschool.org.

Important Dates

  • No school April 24th – April 28th
  • Science NECAP testing for 4th grade will be May 9th – May 11th
  • We will have a FULL day of school on Wednesday, May 24th.
  • No school May 29th
  • Charter Renewal visit is on Wednesday May 31st
  • Intermediate Learning Celebration is June 7th
  • Primary Learning Celebration is June 8th
  • Our last day is now Friday, June 16th.
  • Conferences are on Wednesday June 14th beginning at 1:30 and on Monday, June 19th.

Core Value – Trustworthiness

Our Core Value for the month of April will be Trustworthiness. We began by talking about what it means.

We also did an exercise where everyone closed their eyes for a minute and visualized what trustworthiness looks, feels and sounds like.

Star Students

Our Responsible students that were honored this week included: Cooper, Crosby, Emmy, Irelyn, Maddie, Maliha, Raden and Serena.

Pavo Class Share

Students in Mrs. V’s class shared a little of what they presented during the recent Learning Celebration. Each first described a way that they could show kindness. They then performed a Science “rap” about the scientific method. You can view it on the PEF Facebook page. You do not want to miss it!

PEF News

On behalf of the parents of PEF, I would like to take a moment to give special thanks to the Teachers, Directors and Board of Trustees for taking the time and energy to create the Parent Forum last Wednesday, April 5th on Education and Curriculum. It was very well organized and it was apparent a lot of thought was put into the forum.  Thank you.  It was the beginning of a very good dialogue on this topic for parents, teachers and administration.

Melanie Currier, PEF President

Next PEF Meeting: Thursday, May 11th at 7pm at Polaris

ART of Drama Enrichment Class.  This class is full.  Thank you for signing up.

Stem Fundamentals with Legos:  3:00pm – 4:30pm for Grades 1 – 4; $71 for 4 Sessions; Power on your engineering skills with Play-Well TEKnologies and tens of thousands of LEGO® parts! Apply real-world concepts in physics, engineering, and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as Snowmobiles, Towers, Catapults, and Battletracks! Design and build as never before, and explore your craziest ideas in a supportive environment. An experienced instructor will challenge new and returning students to engineer at the next level. Science and engineering terms will be explored such as belt movement, overlapping, levers, and rack gears. Abstract concepts will come alive as we build and learn together.  Sign up online for Stem Fundamentals by clicking  THIS LINK.

North Star Dance – The North Star Dance is coming up!  Hope to see your child and their ‘North Star(s)’ on Saturday, April 8th at 5pm at Polaris!  This is a super fun evening for the children and the families.  One of the events that truly helps create Polaris Charter School the close-knit community we share.

Pizza Ordering– If you wish to place a monthly order, we ask that you please use the order forms.   If for some reason you are not able to use the forms, 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!

Box Tops– We will be having a Box Top for Education campaign for Polaris throughout the end of the school year.  Please be saving your Box Tops.  You can send them in to school in a plastic bag and turn them in to the front office.  Thank you.

PEF Elections– The PEF is an amazing organization that could not function if not for the time dedication of parents. For this, we are blessed.  We have the most terrific parents who go above and beyond.  Our officers in the PEF need to shift positions within the PEF and not all can stay in their current role.  Therefore, we have openings on our board.  If you are interested in joining the PEF in a more active role, please contact pef@polarischarterschool.org and a board member will be in contact.  We can use all levels of help/leadership.

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

  • Next PEF MeetingMay 11th -7pm at Polaris
  • North Star Dance: April 8th 5pm
  • May 12th– Movie Night @ Polaris

June 3rd– Polaris End-of-Year Picnic (location TBD)

 

Week Ending 3/29/17

star boy

From the Board

The Board has scheduled a Special Meeting for Monday, April 3rd at 5pm. As the meeting will focus on the particulars of our lease renewal terms, most of the session will be held in non-public. Members of the public are still welcome to attend, but will not be able to participate in the closed portion of the meeting.

The Board of Trustees is planning the next Open Forum on Education and Curriculum at Polaris Charter School, April 5th 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!

The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees will be Monday, April 17th, at 6pm. At that time, we’ll be starting our discussions of the budget for the 2017-2018 school year and reviewing the End-of-Year Teacher-Parent-Board Survey to see if any questions or statements should be revised before the survey is disseminated this year.  Public comment is reserved for the start of each Board of Trustee Meeting although members of the public are always welcome to attend the open sessions of the Board of Trustee meetings in their entirety.

Smarter Balanced Assessment

The Smarter Balanced Assessment will be administered Monday April 10th – Friday April 14th. After Morning Gathering, the children will have a snack and then test until approximately 10:30. Please make every effort to have your child(ren) here and on time. If you have any questions contact Jen.

Police Drill Practice

Mrs. Putnam has been working with Officer Linstad from the Manchester Police Department on updating Polaris’s safety procedures. One of those is a Lockdown . On Thursday, Officer Linstad walked us through a lockdown drill. He first visited each classroom and explained that just like we have fire drills, we have police drills to keep students and staff safe. In every classroom, there is a picture (or two) of our school mascot (star child). In the event that a lockdown is called, students know to immediately, SILENTLY walk to where they see the picture. There they should sit silently and wait for a police officer to enter the classroom. After we conducted the drill, Officer Linstad and staff debriefed with students. Things went very smoothly and Officer Linstad said we did a great job. We identified a couple of areas where improvement is needed and Officer Linstad will visit again in the future to conduct another drill.

Important Dates

  • No school April 24th – April 28th
  • Science NECAP testing for 4th grade will be May 9th – May 11th
  • We will have a FULL day of school on Wednesday, May 24th.
  • No school May 29th
  • Charter Renewal visit is on Wednesday May 31st
  • Intermediate Learning Celebration is June 7th
  • Primary Learning Celebration is June 8th
  • Our last day is now Friday, June 16th.
  • Conferences are on Wednesday June 14th beginning at 1:30 and on Monday, June 19th.

Responsibility

We wrapped our discussion of our Core Value of Responsibility this week. We listened to an audio read of Dr. Seuss’ book Horton Hatches the Egg. Despite the many obstacles Horton faced he followed through with his promise and never gave up. You can view it here.

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”
~Dr. Seuss “Horton Hatches the Egg.

Book Buddies




Star Students

Our responsible students this week were: Colton, Daisy, Ryan, Temperance and Vivianna. Great job!

Sculptor Class Share

During our second Trimester study of Physical Science, Mrs. Rainey’s class learned about Rube Goldberg machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a made up of several apparatus that use a chain reaction to accomplish a simple task in a very complex way. They then designed and built their own machines. They not only learned about physics. Along the way they addressed important social-emotional skills such as compromise, respect and how to handle disagreement. Students presented their work and we watched videos of their machines at work.





PEF News

Reminder: the next Polaris Educational Foundation meeting is this coming Monday, April 3rd at 7:00 PM. We have a lot of important information to cover including upcoming school events, update on auction fundraising, teacher appreciation and fundraising. In addition, we will be taking a vote for several expenditures.  We have updates regarding our after school enrichment program and are looking for your voice on what is important to you in regards to after school enrichment.  We also want your voice on where we should appropriate funding for future fundraisers.   The PEF is the Parent Teacher Organization for the school.   We want your voices heard!

Also, once a family is actively enrolled for the next calendar year to Polaris Charter School they are considered a member of the PEF. If you know any new families who have enrolled in Polaris and are eager to get involved please feel free to extend an invitation.

ART of Drama Enrichment Class.

A new four-week art session begins on Tuesday, April 11th!  Does your student have a flair for the dramatic? Do they imagine being another creature, frolicking to places only in their minds? Help them bring their imagination to life with this four-week study.  We will begin with a character sketch the same way fashion and character designers do.  During week two we will build the body of the costume.  The third week we will focus on the head and in the final week we will use make-up!  Supplies are provided, but limited.  If you have fabric and yarn scraps we could use, please bring them to the first class.  It will give the students more variety.  $68/student (Min 10 Students)  To sign up, please use this link: The Art of Drama Sign up

North Star Dance – The North Star Dance is coming up!  Hope to see your child and their ‘North Star(s)’ on Saturday, April 8th at 5pm at Polaris!  This is a super fun evening for the children and the families.  One of the events that truly helps create Polaris Charter School the close-knit community we share.

Pizza Ordering– Next month will be a new month (April.) If you wish to place a monthly order, please make sure to use the order forms.   If for some reason you are not able to use the forms, 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!

Box Tops– We will be having a Box Top for Education campaign for Polaris throughout the end of the school year.  Please be saving your Box Tops.  Stay tuned for more information on sending them in.  Thank you.

PEF Secretary– we are seeking a Secretary for the remaining PEF meetings of this school year. –New Officers will be elected for the 2017-2018 school year in May or June of 2017.   If you can help us take meeting notes until the end of the year please let us know.

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

  • Next PEF MeetingApril 3rd -7pm at Polaris
  • North Star Dance: April 8th 5pm
  • May 12th– Movie Night @ Polaris
  • June 3rd– Polaris End-of-Year Picnic (location TBD)