Polaris Charter School

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Monthly Archives: June 2017

Week Ending 6/17/17

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For health reasons, Liz Putnam has requested a reduced on-site workload next year.  She feels very lucky to be able to do a lot of work from home, but will really miss being at the school every day.  Because of this, the Polaris Board and Staff are working on restructuring the administrative/office team.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Results

If your child took the Smarter Balanced Assessment this spring, the results went home with them in their back packs today, June 16th.

Also,   RSA 193-C:6 was recently amended to include the following statement:

The statewide assessment results of a student or the student’s school district shall not be included as part of the student’s transcript unless the student, if 18 years of age or older, or the student’s parent or legal guardian if the student is under 18 years of age, consents.

Please email Jennifer Murdock-Smith if you give your permission for these test results to be added to your child’s school record. 

Update From the Board of Trustees

The next regular Board of Trustees meeting will be held at 5pm on June 19th.  The agenda will include a discussion of the new Grievance/ Complaint Policy and recommendation for approval, a final tabulation from our NH Gives fundraising, the written report from the onsite visit by the Renewal Team, an annual wrap-up report from our Co-Directors including this year’s Survey findings and 2017 Smarter Balanced results, and plans for a Board retreat/ training session.
The Board of Trustees will also be voting on whether to formally support the  Kreiva Academy Public Charter School charter application, which would allow them to use the Polaris logo in various outreach efforts as one of their supporters. Members of the public are always welcome to attend the Board of Trustees open meetings.  Public comment is reserved for the beginning of the meeting to enable Board members to make efficient progress through the agenda.

Celebration of Advancement

We recognized our elementary school “graduates” on Friday, June 16th by presenting them with a certificate and a token to remind them of their time at Polaris.  Those students that will be starting middle school next year are: (top) Leo, Allie, Bindhi, Sofia, Crosby, Nathan, Ephrim (middle) Ayla, Mohammed, Raden, Lucas, Tyler, Madison (bottom) Lexi, Taya, Giuli, Maliha. Congratulations! Thank you Maliha for the beautiful poem that you wrote and shared as well.


Future Middle Schoolers


Twelve of the students that are attending middle school next year have attended Polaris all five years that we have been open. These students are: Allie, Bindhi, Raden, Crosby, Nathan, Ephrim, Lexi, Lucas, Madison, Ayla, Maliha and Giuli.


A few students are moving on to  finish their elementary school career in their home district, private school or in a new town they are moving to. Good luck to: Alice, Rosie, Sarah, Evan, Torrey, Cole, Ryenn and Julianna.


We are going to miss you all very much but look forward to hearing about your adventures and successes in the future!

Auction Donation

The PEF presented Polaris Charter School with a check for $5436.35 which was half of the proceeds that the Auction Gala raised. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the evening a success (and fun!).

Field Day 

With the help of donations and fundraisers, the PEF is funded our field day at Camp Carpenter this year!  There was a DJ and dancing and Sub Zero ice cream gave a presentation and made some delicious ice cream for all to try. It was a FABULOUS day! Special thanks to Ms. Butterfield and Mrs. Sherwood for all of their hard work in making the day such a success.

Vela Class Share

Students in Mrs. Fesh’s class shared two plays that they have been working on for Reader’s Theater: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Wembley Worried. Great job!

Star Students

Our last Star Students for this school year are: Haya, Lucas, Maya, Ryenn and Ryan K.  Special awards were given to Ms. Perham’s and Ms. Gilberts class. Congratulations!


Important Dates

  • Conferences are on Monday, June 19th.
  • The Back to School Celebration will be Saturday, August 26th at 3pm.  It is during this time that brief Parent/Teacher/Student conferences will occur. Sign ups will be sent out mid August.
  • Our first day of school is Tuesday September 5th
  • Our 2017-2018 school calendar is here

PEF News


Dates to Remember

Wednesday, June 20th Moe Joe’s, Candia Road Manchester-Event Fundraising Meeting. Food and Beverage on own. We plan to get most of the first event and fundraiser planned while enjoying some adult company.  

Thursday July 20th THE PEF MEETING GOES INFORMAL 7:00 PM ; location TBD. July the PEF will meet (a location is being scouted and will be announced on Facebook and e-mail) at a restaurant. We will hold a 15 minute meeting to review the last meeting notes and vote on any urgent items but for the most part we want the team that will work hard all year to really get to know new members and have a little bit of fun. This is a great place to present ideas and just meet other adults.    

Thursday, August 3- PEF Board Meeting at Polaris Charter School 7:00 PM

Thursday August 3, Student Advocates Meeting at Polaris Charter School 6:00 PM   We encourage member of the Board available early to come join us. Sometimes we get so busy planning great stuff for our kids that we forget to ask them what they want. Many students are already politically active and want to be community involved. This year, once per trimester we invite student advocates to meet with the PEF board to discuss everything about events and anything the PEF is involved in. All Polaris students are welcome to come in with questions, ideas or even a formal presentation about what they want to see. If they don’t know how they want to contribute but love doing bake sales, coordinating activities, creating flyers and decorating we encourage them to participate. We are going to take this process slowly, but hope someday to have a formal student board with at least one event and one fundraiser per year completely kid driven. Students with parents staying for the PEF meeting are asked to bring a book or quiet game and not be disruptive to the PEF meeting. They may quietly observe the meeting if they choose.

August 26th 3-6  PM – The Bigger Better Back to School Event—SAVE THE DATE! We are working on some really cool stuff to make this year’s back to school event better than ever and more engaging for students and more enjoyable for parents. We are looking for student ambassadors and extended family members willing to give us a little time to help us. We will be hosting a book swap as part of this event for all age reading including adults.  

Back to School Parent Coffee- If you can take a little time the first day of school the first AM of the school year we will have a parent coffee (location to be determined) to share the stress and excitement of the new school year.  

Thanks and Goodbye!

Sadly, when we say goodbye to our graduating students this year moving on to new schools we are also saying goodbye to a most wonderful group of PEF parents any school group could possibly dream of. Many of these parents leaving this year were here from day one and really shaped what the PEF is today and what we are doing now would not be possible without their contributions. This is not just a school your kids have moved on from, this is truly part of your legacy.

Unfortunately, even those of you who are PEF founders must say goodbye to the PEF Facebook page. If you are not a parent or legal guardian of an enrolled Polaris student we must say goodbye. This is a policy you yourselves created.  We must ask you to move yourself out of the parent group and into the Friends of Polaris Group. Please say your goodbyes and excuse yourself from the group by June 25th.  Self-removal makes the process a lot easier for our admins.

Parent Survey Results and Response

We had about 50% of our family members respond to our survey and poll. We will keep the survey open for another week and we will continue to pay special attention to your comments.  We will send out a one page e-mail summary about what you want and what we are doing. We will have an Executive Summary with more detail available by the Back to School Event for those who want more detail. Our quarterly financials will be presented in the August meeting.


Bulletin Board Wizard Wanted   In search of folks (Late July  to late August)  to come in this summer and work on one bulletin board for the incoming school year or all of them!  We would be delighted if whoever takes on this roll do it a few times during this year, but we are happy to just get through the first set!

All you have to do is show up 50% of the time!  In search of a Member at Large to attend the PEF Meetings and be a voting board member (needed for quorum). Meetings this year will be at 7 PM on the first Thursday of the month. We don’t expect you to be there every time but as many meetings as you can attend. Several important votes were delayed this year. We understand if you cannot make it to every meeting but if you think you can commit to at least 50% of them please consider joining the board.

The Event Coordinator Position-The most fun position on the board is still vacant. Three former planners have moved up on the board to new positions and are more than happy to help you. In addition to an active committee of help, we also hope to have some students working on some take on a few tasks. The existing events have been very popular so there is no need to reinvent the wheel. We welcome co-chairs.  

The After School Enrichment Conundrum- Without getting caught up in payroll issues, huge insurance increases and other problems, the PEF has two options   1) parent volunteers 2) outside vendors that carry the required insurance and are willing to be fingerprinted. We have exhausted all the other options that we can think of.  At this point our only option is to offer after school enrichments at the cost our vendors dictate. If you can volunteer to run a club or have other resources to offer us and explore we are happy to do so. Each club will require at least two parents who are fingerprinted. Anyone outside the school running the event without a parent chaperone must carry insurance.. For liability reasons, parents who run a club cannot bring other children not enrolled in the school with them. We are only as strong as the community we have to support us and at the moment this program could use a Fairy Godmother. We will continue to provide opportunities and ask vendors for better pricing.

Week Ending 6/9/17

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Annual Parent Survey

A link to this year’s parent satisfaction survey was emailed on, June 2nd. You can also access it here. Your feedback is very important to us so please take a few minutes to complete it. If you have more than one child at Polaris, please complete a survey for each of them. We need to receive your completed survey by Tuesday, June 13th so there is time to compile the results and share it with staff.  Thank you!

Update From the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees extends warm, heartfelt thanks to all the parents and friends of Polaris who contributed to our 24-hour fundraising effort through NH Gives.  With your help, and the speed of social media, the passionate community of Polaris raised $1,750. in 24 hours!!  This additional funding is much appreciated and will be used to purchase educational materials for our classrooms.

In the Fall of 2017, we will be starting our first ever capital campaign, to ensure that Polaris Charter School is sustained far into the future.  To do this, we will need new support from local businesses, as well as educational grants, and direct donations.  If you would like to assist with this effort, and/or have some development suggestions to share with us, please contact Sharon Klardie, who will be heading up the Fundraising Committee for the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees will be meeting at 5pm on June 12th, in a non-public session to discuss a personnel issue.
The next regular Board of Trustees meeting will be held at 5pm on June 19th.  The agenda will include a discussion of the new Grievance/ Complaint Policy and recommendation for approval,  a final tabulation from our NH Gives fundraising, the written report from the onsite visit by the Renewal Team, an annual wrap-up report from our Co-Directors including this year’s Survey findings and 2017 Smarter Balanced results, and plans for a Board retreat/ training session. Members of the public are always welcome to attend the Board of Trustees open meetings.  Public comment is reserved for the beginning of the meeting to enable Board members to make efficient progress through the agenda.

Learning Celebrations 

We showcased our third Trimester at our Learning Celebrations this week. Our theme was “Who Counts.” The primary classrooms took that in the more literal direction, focusing on how math plays a role in everyday life.

Intermediate classes too our Who Counts theme in a different direction, focusing on the fact that all people count and investigating culture as well as ways to pay it forward and look out for each other. They also researched landforms.


Field Day 

With the help of donations and fundraisers, the PEF is funding our field day at Camp Carpenter this year!  This amazing camp is in Manchester NH.  There will be a DJ and Sub Zero will demonstrate and make some delicious ice cream for all to try.  Don’t worry if your child is dairy free because they also offer dairy free options.

So please have your child bring water and wear bug spray and sunscreen. Please let them know to be prepared because they may even get a little wet from water activities.

Dorado Class Share

Students in Mrs. Dudley’s class shared their projects that were on display during the Learning Celebration. They each picked a special place or room and illustrated how shapes such as cubes, cones, prisms, etc are found in everyday life:

Star Students

We are reviewing all of Core Values during June. Those students recognized for their character last week are: Ayla, Cole, Drew, Jonas, Khoi, Lexi, Maddie and Teagan. Great job!



Important Dates

  • Field Day June 14th
  • 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

PEF End of the Year Survey & Opinion Poll-

The PEF Board is a group of hardworking parents just like yourselves. We want you to see the value in your donations and volunteer time.  With just a small sampling of parents contributing to the survey so far we are already getting some great reassurance about what we have done right and are steering a little bit in new directions based on feedback we have gotten so far! Please take a few minutes to share your opinions on how we did and where we should go from here. All answers can be left blank if they do not apply and you do not have to share your name.


Pizza Ordering– The last day for pizza was today, June 9th.  There will be NO Pizza the following Friday on June 16th.   Thank you to Camila Miranda, Jonae Jones and Tracy Gallagher for coming to school and serving pizza to all our children all year and to Van Pham for picking up the pizza orders each week, figuring them out for each class and placing the orders.  The PEF is EXTREMELY grateful for each of you and the role you have played.  Those children who order pizza on Fridays look forward to it each week and because of each of you, they were able to have it.  Thank you. 

PEF New Board–  Welcome to the new board for the PEF 2017-2018

2017-2018 Board Members Elected

Miles Martin and Jayme Putnam – Co President

Jenna Paquette -Vice President

Sue Swanson -Treasurer

Sharon Klardie and Daniella De Los Reyes – Co Secretary

Melanie Currier- Auction Chair

Melissa McCann –Volunteer Chair

Jessica Perkins –Fundraising Chair

Elizabeth Valez- Enrichment Chair

YOUR NAME HERE member at large

YOUR NAME HERE member at large


Back to School Celebration and Beyond- Thus far our PEF surveys indicate opportunity to make the Back to School Celebration even better. Please take the time to let us know what new exciting things we can add to this day. The budget has increased, but we still need lots of help. We highly encourage grandparents and students (past and present) to participate in shaping this event. There is a lot for parents to do at this event and extra family members and our awesome students really can make a difference. We absolutely welcome our students to create their own game stations and activities, spear head a bake sale, volunteer as Ambassadors to greet the incoming new students or just share ideas. pef@polarischarterschool.org  (or share a thought with the Facebook Community if you feel comfortable doing so)


Special Thanks Volunteer Appreciation Night

Thanks you Jennifer Murdoch Smith and Nancy Sherwood for hosting Volunteer Appreciation and everyone who contributed to Volunteer Appreciation Night. The food was very tasty and everyone appreciated having a bite while planning the 2017-2018 year

Special Thank you

 All positions in the PEF are critical, but the President role is indeed the most challenging. Melanie Currier has taken a great organization and truly made it better in so many ways. Melanie has worked hard to improve communications between the school and the PEF, initiated the In School Enrichment initiative and took careful thought and consideration to all matters great and small. Please take the time to give her a high five the next time you see her! It will take two people to replace her.

Colleen Vignale and Melanie Currier spent countless hours behind the scenes taking an accounting system that was already pretty impressive to a whole new level to help us be more accountable and be more proactive in budgeting for the future.

Week Ending 6/2/17

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Annual Parent Survey

A link to this year’s parent satisfaction survey was emailed today, June 2nd. You can also access it here. Your feedback is very important to us so please take a few minutes to complete it. If you have more than one child at Polaris, please complete a survey for each of them. Thank you!

Update From the Board of Trustees

The Board is encouraging all Polaris families and friends to join us in New Hampshire’s Day of Giving- scheduled for June 6th, starting at 6 PM and ending at 6 PM June 7th.  Please help us spread the word that this 24-hour online opportunity could help us raise some much-needed funds for our wonderful school, full of deserving students.  We will have photos and videos posted on the NH Gives website, (www.nhgives.org,) to show examples of the marvelous learning that is taking place on a daily basis at our small, but vibrant public charter school. On June 7th, at 1:45 pm, our Board Chair, (Jill Cane,) will be live on the NH Gives Facebook page, sharing some Polaris success stories.   Tune in, be proud, be generous, and encourage your own family and friends to support Polaris Charter School during the 24 hours of fundraising on NH Gives!!

The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees is Monday evening, 6pm on June 19th.  Please note that this meeting will provide the second opportunity for the public to respond to the proposed Board policy KEB, titled the “Parental Concern or Complaint Policy,” before the policy is either tabled for  further revision or approved.   A copy of the proposed policy is attached here.  Anyone wishing to respond to the contents of the policy is welcome to do so by either contacting the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Jill Cane, (j.cane@polarischarterschool.org) or to address the Board during the public comment section of the next regular Board of Trustees Meeting, to be held on June 19th at 6 PM.

Charter Renewal Visit

On Wednesday May 31st we were visited by Jerry Frew and Keith Burke from the Department of Education. They were given a school tour led by Lucas and Molly and then there were forums with parents, teachers and board members. A period of time was allotted for review of documentation and then they debriefed with Jen and Liz. The outcome was very good. They did not note anything significant that we need to be worried about. In fact, they shared that we have a really good story to be told and we need to get that information out to the public. Toward this end, we plan to revamp our website to show how bright we shine!


This week we read the story Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty.  It is the story of a shy girl who found items in the trash that she turned into inventions. She kept them to herself until one day she decided to share something she invented for her favorite uncle – but he laughed. After that, Rosie gave up her engineer dreams until her great, great, great Aunt Rose came to visit. Aunt Rose had worked a long time ago building airplanes however she had fulfilled her dream of flying. Rosie really wanted to help her aunt but she was afraid of failing. She had really had to find courage and take a risk again.

We also learned the definition of the word homage (show respect) and how this book also paid it to the millions of female workers represented by the image of Rosie the Riviter who entered the workforce when men went to fight in World War II. They filled the roles in factories, construction, steel mills, etc. that were traditionally viewed as “men’s work.” It was a symbol of dedication and courage for them to test limits and try new things.

Field Day 

This year’s Field Day will take place on Wednesday, June 14th and it will be held at Camp Carpenter. There will be lots of fun activities and this year we will even have a DJ courtesy of the PEF. In order for this celebration to be a success, we need parent volunteers. Please contact us if you are able to are able to assist.

Pavo Class Share

Several students from Polaris entered The NHPTV KIDS WRITERS CONTEST.  It is open to kids in grades K-5, and runs from January to March of each year. Students are asked to write and illustrate an original story. A first, second and third winner is selected from each grade level and Madison G. in Mrs. V’s class won second place for 5th grade! She read her story for us on Friday and you can view it here. Congratulations Madison!


Star Students

Special congratulations to this week’s Star Students: David, Ephrim, Joshy, Jules, Matthew, Sofia and Sydney.


Important Dates

  • Intermediate Learning Celebration is June 7th
  • Primary Learning Celebration is June 8th
  • Field Day June 14th
  • 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  All parents are invited to our next PEF Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Social on Monday, June 5th 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. 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’s Read-A-Thon is officially over.  All reading logs, paper pledge forms (and any checks/cash collected) need to be turned in to your child’s teacher by Tuesday May 30th. Any child who participated in the Read-a-thon, reading at least 420 minutes will be receiving a stainless steel Polaris water bottle. Additionally, any child who raised 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. The PEF is utilizing an online component https://99pledges.com/fund/PolarisReads2017 to aid friends/family to with providing their sponsorships to your child via credit cards. Any online donations need to be filled in to the system by May 30th as well.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at pef@polarischarterschool.org.

Pizza Ordering– Reminder: if you wish to place a weekly 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 three openings on our board for the positions of Member-at-Large (2) and Event Coordinator.  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 MeetingJune 5th -6:30/7pm at Polaris