Polaris Charter School

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Monthly Archives: September 2017

PCS News 9/22/17

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Board Reminder

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is Monday, September 25th at 6PM.  Please note that this is a week later than our usual third Monday of the month schedule.  Members of the public are always welcome to attend our Open Meetings.  Opportunity to comment is placed at the beginning of each agenda for the convenience of the public.

The Agenda for the September 25th meeting includes updates on school enrollment and the Annual Fund, as well as a review of the school’s Emergency Operations Plan, (a document all NH public schools are required to submit to the Department of Education.) The Board of Trustees will be electing new officers and making committee assignments for the 2017-2018 school year at this meeting.

Star Students 

We recognized our first Polaris Star students on Monday. Every week, each classroom teacher selects someone who went above and beyond to demonstrate the values that we as a school community promote. Our stars were: Damien, Kenneth (not pictured), Lucas J., Lucas W., Mason, Toby and Vivianna. Congratulations!

Perseus Class Share

This was Perseus Class’s week to share to the whole school during Morning Gathering. Students created the first piece of their “Who Am I?” Project. Each student created a star that told some of the reasons that they are a star. We had some great responses and the students did very well sharing in front of the larger group.

PEF News

Adult Fundraising Paint Night Thursday, October 19th.
All proceeds go to the PEF. Chez Vachon on 136 Kelly Street will open its doors for a private event. Enjoy a fun night of creativity with beer and wine for purchase while making a great artistic creation. Invite a friend and enjoy a great evening of adult fun. Seating is limited so register soon at:

https://www.paypal.me/mywildflowerstudio/40

PEF Meeting October 12, 2017 7 PM in Polaris Gathering Room, An informal meeting will start at 6:30 for those who have questions, and discuss specific agenda items in more detail.
October 21- Fantasy Pot Luck. Dress up like anything in your imagination bring fantasy finger food. Student Ambassadors will run a bake sale. We will have great lights and decor to add to the fantasy theme. Kids will vote on the best adult costume for a $25 Amazon gift card.
Enrichment-Last chance to sign up for fall. Find all the links on the PEF website.
Pizza Day will resume October 6th. Prices and order forms will be on the PEF website and the link will be on Facebook this week.

Week Ending 9/15/17

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A Message From the Board of Trustees

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is Monday, September 25th at 6PM.  Please note that this is a week later than our usual third Monday of the month schedule.  Members of the public are always welcome to attend our Open Meetings.  Opportunity to comment is placed at the beginning of each agenda for the convenience of the public.

The Agenda for the September 25th meeting includes updates on school enrollment and the Annual Fund, as well as a review of the school’s Emergency Operations Plan, (a document all NH public schools are required to submit to the Department of Education.) The Board of Trustees will be electing new officers and making committee assignments for the 2017-2018 school year at this meeting.

Our Week at a Glance


At Morning Gathering this week, we began by watching a video by everyone’s favorite leader – Kid President! You can watch it here. It’s a beginning of year pep talk about being more awesome. On Tuesday, we brainstormed ways that we could be awesome this year.

We then read the book Shine by Patrick McDonnell that continued along this theme. It was about a sea star that wished she could be in the sky and shine like the other stars. She eventually comes to appreciate the beauty of her surrounding and realize that your shine comes from within.

This week we also had our first fire drill. Most classes had practiced lining up and leaving the building so everything went very smoothly.

Additional Staffing News

We are very happy to announce that we have welcomed some additional staff to the Polaris family and that all positions are filled. Christin Crowell and Mary Dahlberg have returned as Ed Assistants to continue the incredible support that they give our staff and students. Ms. Butterfield has also expanded her role beyond PE, to help in our classrooms This year, they are joined by:

Bruce Benard
Bruce Benard is a life long resident of NH. He attended the University of New Hampshire earning his bachelor’s degree in History. Bruce finds learning is a life long experience. He has substitute taught as well as been a Paraprofessional in Southern New Hampshire. His hardest goal achieved other than earning his degree is reaching the summit of Mt Washington, not by car mind you. Bruce strives to preserve artwork one day hopes to open his own gallery. Aside from working at Polaris, his mission is to keep on writing poetry after achieving a dream of reading one of his poems to Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots. Many times the underdog no matter the challenge, Bruce never gives up.

Bridget Gilroy
Bridget Gilroy is looking forward to the upcoming year as an Educational Assistant. Miss Gilroy is a graduate of Merrimack College and has years of experience working with students. She has worked at an aftercare program in an elementary school and has coached elementary aged students in basketball. With a background in Communication, Miss Gilroy is a strong interpersonal communicator who strives to lead by example through positive discussions and empathetic listening.

In her free time, Miss Gilroy enjoys traveling, spending time with family and watching hockey. Miss Gilroy hopes her warm personality and optimism will have a positive impact at Polaris.

Jacqueline Pann
Jacqueline Pann is excited to embark on a new adventure as an educational assistant at Polaris. She previously worked in education for over 10 years at a small catholic school in Manchester as a preschool assistant and after school program director. Mrs. Pann’s passion is working with children and she is looking forward to meeting the children and their families at Polaris. She has attended many classes and workshops on early childhood education. She also has an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Hesser College.

In her spare time, Mrs. Pann coaches youth basketball in Manchester and enjoy watching her boys Cody and Camren play sports especially football and basketball. When she is not coaching or watching sports she enjoys reading, scrapbooking, spending time with my family and long walks on the beach.

We are also happy to announce that we have a student intern:

Rodney Lafond
Rodney Lafond is a high school graduate considering following in his mother’s (Lea Fesh) footsteps in the education field. His interests in the past have been team-related endeavors such as the Boy Scouts, chess club, and robotics. Rodney greatly enjoys world history, paleontology, and the natural sciences. He is looking forward to working with students and helping them succeed.

You can view the staff directory here: https://polarischarterschool.org/about-polari/staff/

Pavo Class Share

Each of our classrooms is named for a constellation and every week one will share something they learned or accomplished with the school at Morning Gathering. The Pavo class, which represents a peacock, began first. They thought about words that portray their strengths which fit in nicely with our first trimester theme of “Who Am I.”  Following that, they researched synonyms of the more common words that described themselves to learn new vocabulary. Each student chose three descriptive words that depict their character to share with their classmates. The students then wrote their words on their individually decorated peacock feather. When all the feathers are placed together, an extraordinary Pavo Class Peacock tail is created showing the talented classroom community we are.



Science Fun

Mr. Bailey’s class made Oobleck this week. Oobleck is a mixture of cornstarch and water that can act like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure is applied. This is known as a non-newtonian fluid. If you squeeze some in your hand you can form a solid ball.  However when you release the pressure, it will flow between your fingers. Students made predictions about what would happen if they performed different tasks with it.



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PEF News

The next Student Ambassador and VP board meeting will be September 21st at 6 PM. We ask students to be ready to discuss their HEART homework,   Students who have not joined yet do not have to be definite about joining and they can become a VP of a special opportunity in the school without being an Ambassador. Leadership is a learning experience! We now have Mary Lynn Roedel joining our mentorship team and will be able to soon offer in school leadership opportunities.

Enrichment sign up and the catalog is up on the PEF page! Sign up is live for most programs. If you have any questions please e-mail us at pef@polarischarterschool.org

Sign up: http://wp.me/P3P1qx-h7

Parent Partners We are still in need for one parent from each classroom to be a parent partner this year. A few of you have already taken on this mission,We need to know who you are.  if you have can you please notify pef@polarischarterschool.org . Melissa McCann will be coordinating your efforts and needs a list. Parent partners help coordinate volunteering inside the classroom, supply requests, and keep the PEF engaged with the direct classroom with a single point of contact. If you are interested please send an e-mail to offer your services to the teacher and then please notify us when you have been officially “sworn in” so we can start utilizing your help.

 

PCS News 9/09/17

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Welcome!

Our school year has gotten off to a great start!  We spent the first few days of school helping students get to know one another and become comfortable with various classroom routines. We also reviewed the five school rules that students created last year that will help Polaris students be STARS:

Show responsibility
Treat others the way you want to be treated
Always try your best
Respect ourself, others and the environment around you
Stay Safe, in control and have fun

If you have not already done so, please return your beginning of year paperwork. If you would like to see your children’s picture featured in this newsletter, be sure to sign the permission to photograph form.

It is going to be a great year!

Update From the Board

The next meeting of Polaris Board of Trustees will be on Monday, September 25th, at 6PM.  Please note that this is a temporary change from the third Monday of the month to the fourth Monday of September to accommodate Board member travel schedules.  Members of the public, (especially parents!) are always welcome to attend the Open Meetings of the Board of Trustees to learn about the governance and oversight of Polaris Charter School.  Time for public comment is always placed at the beginning of the Agenda.
During the month of August, the Board of Trustees met for a training workshop and for their regular monthly meeting. At the August 21st Board of Trustee Meeting, the Board adopted the following Goals for 2017-18:
1. Increase the size of the Board of Trustees to 9 dedicated members
2. Develop strategic partnerships between Polaris and the business community
3. Increase fundraising effort within the school community and beyond
4. Grow the wait list of prospective students
The Board of Trustees welcomes your input and suggestions as we pursue these important goals for the current school year.  You can contact Board of Trustee members using their first name initial, dot, last name @ polarischarterschool.org.  A list of current Board members is on the Polaris website: www.polarischarterschool.org.

Annual Fund

Parent support has helped us create a school with an amazing mission: creating a joyful and exciting learning community for your children.

Our state funding is approximately half that of the average per pupil cost in your local public school and we receive no district funds at all.  Our development efforts must bridge the gap between state funding and the actual cost of operating Polaris Charter School.  In addition, our operational costs, including rent, utilities, and insurance go up every year.  The largest portion of our budget, like most businesses, is devoted to salaries and yet, our dedicated employees are underpaid when compared to similar positions in other public schools.  To make ends meet, we must increasingly eliminate or decrease our spending in every budget area except operational costs and salaries.  Your donations are used to supplement our budget for classroom supplies, books, furniture, technology, and the necessities such as maintenance, substitutes, and professional development.

We are asking each family to support the Annual Fund with at least $250.00

This equates to $25.00 per month, beginning in September and running through the end of the school year.  We would also like to appeal directly to families who feel that they have room in their budgets to donate more than this amount: please support all of our students by donating as much as your family is comfortable with.  As we all know, not every family will be able to meet this goal, and as a community, we still need to do all we can to support our school.   You can find the pledge form by clicking here.

You can also make your donation by visiting our website https://polarischarterschool.org/support-us/  and clicking on the ‘Donate’ button. This will direct you to our secure Paypal site.

Polaris Charter School is a 501c3 non-profit so your donation is tax deductible.  Receipts for donations are sent out electronically at the end of the calendar year.  Please contact us if you require other arrangements.

Drop Off/Pick Up

While things have been going fairly smoothly, here some things to that would make it easier:

  • When there are cars parked along the curb on Coolidge Ave. please do not line up beside them. It is causing some safety concerns. Wait behind them on Cartier St. or Coolidge Ave. and go around as car line moves.
  • Be sure to use your hazard lights until you are pulling away from the curb
  • Please leave your name placard in view until your child is in your vehicle

Upcoming Events

  • The next PEF meeting is Thursday, September, 14th at 7PM
  • Although Manchester School District is closed on Tuesday September 19th, Polaris has school that day
  • Picture day is Monday, October 2nd

PEF News

Welcome 2017 Polaris Education Foundation (PEF) Members!

We want to introduce ourselves. Presidents Jayme Putnam and Miles Martin and VP Jenna Bridgett lead a large crew of parents in coordinating after school events and enrichment, providing extra materials and enrichment in school, working with the school on making the playground safer and more fun, funding field trips, running fundraisers and more. With a very small school that is always in need it is sometimes hard to know what the PEF does and what matters should be handled by the school directly We have tried to highlight where PEF money goes and what the difference is. We truly hope you take the time to read through the PEF website and learn a little more about us!

Our next PEF meeting will be Thursday, September, 14th at 7PM in the gathering room  (we are going to test out the new tables we bought this year). We try to keep the meetings to one hour but sometimes they go a bit over. You leave when you have to leave. We know you are parents first. We have a lot of real business to attend to and this meeting will be a little more formal than we had hoped but it will give you a great idea of how expansive our organization really is.

Given the large anticipated turnout of new student government and the level of formality of the next PEF meeting, we are going to move the next Student Ambassador and VP board meeting to Thursday, September 21st at 6PM. Students do not have to be definite about joining and they can become a VP of a special opportunity in the school without being an Ambassador. Leadership is a learning experience!

Enrichment sign up and the catalog is up on the PEF page! Sign up is live for most programs. If you have any questions please e-mail us at pef@polarischarterschool.org

Sign up: http://wp.me/P3P1qx-h7

Ice Cream Social: Wednesday, September, 13th at 6PM– Have some ice cream and meet other families. This is a great time for kids to connect to other families and chat with other families. This is an informal event and will either be in the playground if it is nice or in the downstairs gathering area if Ima has her way.  We will have some fun goody bags from the PTO. We will provide a lactose free or dairy free option. The PEF tries to be very sensitive to providing for all kids, but we don’t always know every need to anticipate. Please reach out if you have deeper allergy concerns about how we can make your child feel included.

We’ll be honest. We spent more on the Back to School Celebration but made a considerable amount less. We are behind already on this year’s fundraising goals! We are extending our pizza raffle until the end of next week. If you did not get a chance to buy your tickets yet, you can read about all the important things we are funding. We have extended the deadline to the end of next Friday, September, 16th to buy tickets. If you would rather just send in a donation, no worries we will take that too!

Would you like to win pizza for 1 child for the school year? Would you like to give your child’s class a PI day celebration?  We started The Slice of the Pie raffle at the back to school celebration and we would like to offer everyone the opportunity to enter. We will be accepting entries until September 7th. You can designate your donation to the option of your choice and no matter what you choose you will be entered to win! It is $2 per entry and all donations are important to us as we run solely funded by them. We want your experience at Polaris to be amazing and together we can make that happen.

Which Slice of the Pie is important to your family? (see the slices you can donate to on the web page) Send in donations to school or go to our pay pal page through the website to donate. Make sure you tell us how to contact you and which slices you would like funded! https://polariseducationalfoundation.org and press the donate now icon

Parent Partners We are asking for one parent from each classroom to be a parent partner this year. A few of you have already taken on this mission, if you have can you please notify pef@polarischarterschool.org . Melissa McCann will be coordinating your efforts and needs a list. Parent partners help coordinate volunteering inside the classroom, supply requests, and keep the PEF engaged with the direct classroom with a single point of contact. If you are interested please send an e-mail to offer your services to the teacher and then please notify us when you have been officially “sworn in” so we can start utilizing your help.

Communications If you have opted to not join the parent Facebook page or give the PEF your e-mail information, we truly respect your privacy but we anticipate a very minimal amount of printed materials (due to cost )to be sent home this year. We do not share or sell your information. It will be up to you to read the weekly newsletters and read the PEF web page that we are working hard to keep up to date to stay informed.