Polaris Charter School

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Week Ending 5/12/17

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Board News

The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees will be Monday, May 15th, at 6 pm. The main topics for this meeting include the budget for the 2017-2018 school year, the End-of-Year Teacher-Parent-Board and the Strategic Planning Survey, and the re-authorization process of our Charter.  A professional team of educators will be visiting Polaris on May 31st to review our documentation and to talk with teachers, parents, and Board members. The Co-Directors will have more detailed information about the visitation for any interested parents.  The results of the re-authorization process will be shared with the public.

For those planning to attend the Board Meeting on May 15th, please understand that public comment is allowed at  the start of each meeting.  Members of the public are always welcome to attend the entire open session of the Board of Trustee meeting.

Webinar For Parents

Polaris Charter School would like to invite parents to participate in a SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) webinar titled: Academic Accelertion:  A Practical Guide to Decisions and Implementation presented by Sharon Duncan.  This webinar will be viewed in the gathering room at Polaris on Wednesday, May 17th from 7:30 – 9:00pm.
For those who have never attended a webinar… it is a seminar or presentation that is given by a presenter in another location.  We will watch the presentation on a projection screen in the gathering room.  Most webinars have the ability for participants to ask questions and/or comment during the presentation as well.

A description of the May 17 webinar follows:

Education acceleration can take many forms: single subject, multiple subject, single grade, multiple grade and early entrance into kindergarten or college. Though much research exists confirming that acceleration is one of the most effective accommodations for many gifted students, well-meaning schools and parents often hesitate to utilize this option because of the myths surrounding it and the fear of harming the student. While never a decision to be taken lightly, acceleration is not only beneficial, in some cases it may be lifesaving.
This SENGinar is for parents, or educators considering acceleration.  Topics covered will include common fears and myths surrounding acceleration, different ways to identify candidate students, profiles of what an acceleration candidate may look like (they might not be the perfect straight A student), and practical techniques for creating and implementing an effective transition plan which includes how to:
            • Scaffold the student during the transition
            • Provide support to the school team (educators, counselors, school psychologists, etc.)
            • Create a partnership with the affected family
            • Work with parents and student on how to handle social stigma
            • Address common community questions (pushback, favoritism, fears of social/emotional damage).
We hope to see you there!

Visiting Author

On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of hosting author and illustrator Michelle Nelson-Schmidt at our school. She shared her beautiful artwork, read a couple of her books and shared her personal journey of overcoming many obstacles to get to this point. Most of all, she shared her belief that we can do anything that we set our minds on doing! The first book she read was “Jonathan James and the WhatifMonster.” Jonathan James was a child who worried about all the “what ifs” that could happen. What if he looked silly, what if he wasn’t good at something, what if he loses? That WhatifMonster followed him everywhere until one day he asked “what if you’re wrong.” This story coincided well with our monthly Core Value of Courage. Some of our students even created their own WhatifMonster which is displayed in the Gathering Room. You can learn more about Michelle by visiting her website: https://whatifmonsters.com/about-me/

All of her books center around themes that directly correspond to our Core Values and I highly recommend them!

Core Value – Courage

On Tuesday, we watched a video called “Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage.” He was afraid of everything and soon did not even want to leave his room.  One day, he saw a baby bird outside of his window preparing to take her first flight. She did not know if she could fly but she jumped anyway. He was amazed at her bravery. She explained that if you’re not afraid you can’t be brave – true courage is being scared and doing it anyway. He realized that it is okay to be afraid but began confronting his fears and learned that he did have courage. You can view the story here. We listed to the song that accompany’s the video the next day which you can listen to here.

We extended this week’s lessons on Courage by answering the essential questions ‘How can I overcome a fear?’ Some of the suggestions were take a deep breath, tense and then relax your muscles, ask a friend to help you and just dive in.

Star Students

Our Courageous students that we recognized this week were: Bria, Colton G., Ella M., Julia, Logan, Mikail, Rosie and Wendy. Nice job!


Important Dates

  • 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.

PEF News

Next PEF Meeting: Monday, June 5 at 7pm at Polaris with special Volunteer Appreciation social prepared by Polaris staff to begin at 6:30pm.  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. We have very full agenda and we want to hear your voice. The Volunteer Appreciation Social will begin at 6:30pm and the meeting will begin at 7pm. We will be voting on next year’s officers and finalizing our budget for the upcoming year. Please attend if you are able.

Read-a-thon- The Polaris Educational Foundation will be holding our fifth annual Read-A-Thon. It will run from Friday, May 5th through Thursday, 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 percentage 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.  If you need another copy of the forms, please click (HERE)

Please feel free to use the links on the 99Pledges website to share your donation requests on social media or email!  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at pef@polarischarterschool.org

Teacher Appreciation Week The PEF would like to take a moment to make a special ‘Thank You’ to all the parents (and children) who took time out of their vacation, evenings and weekends to make Teacher Appreciation Week and the make-over of the Teacher Break room happen. This list is by no means an exhaustive list as we know there were more folks who contributed financially or with direct donations. Many Many THANKS to: Bobbi Jean, Mathias Whitney, Jane Bigelow, Sharon Klardie , Kara Hewitt , The entire Swanson Family, Mr & Mrs Putnam, Melanie Currier, Daniela De Los Reyes , The Paquette family, Miles Martin , Jessica Perkins and The Olibrice family.   And a HUGE ‘Thank You’ to all of the parents who made Teacher Appreciation Week Possible.

After School Enrichment Classes:

Art Class: I Love Paper: Fold it Has been canceled.  Any children who had previously signed up will be refunded.

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 two openings on our board for the positions of Member-at-Large.  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.

Yearbook–  There will be a yearbook this year for purchase.  In a couple of weeks (or less) a form will be sent around the classrooms for pre-order for yearbooks to be delivered before school get’s out.  More information coming soon.

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

  • Next PEF MeetingJune 5th -7pm at Polaris
  • May 5th-May18th Read-a-thon
  • May 12th– Movie Night 6pm @ Polaris
  • June 3rd– Polaris End-of-Year Picnic (location TBD)


Giving Tuesday

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