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PCS News 9/22/17

star boy

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.

Week Ending 6/17/17

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Announcement

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.

https://goo.gl/forms/cOq6ikAUpUn7wlF53

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.

https://goo.gl/forms/cOq6ikAUpUn7wlF53

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

YOU WISH THIS WAS YOU Events Chair

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!

Courage

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

Week Ending 5/26/17

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Update From the Board of Trustees

The Board has agreed to be a part of New Hampshire’s Day of Giving- an opportunity to raise funds online for Polaris and to connect our school to a much larger community of givers in New Hampshire and beyond.  We need lots of help planning and implementing a cohesive marketing strategy to get the most out of our participation in the 24 hours of NH Gives, which is scheduled for June 6th, starting at 6 PM and ending at 6 PM June 7th.

Our success depends on our volunteer effort.  Please help!!  For more information on NH Gives, please refer to the toolkit for nonprofits on www.nhgives.org

Yearbook

Due to the Holiday weekend, the deadline to order yearbooks has been extended by one day.  Yearbook orders are now DUE no later than Tuesday, May 30th.  All orders must be turned in with payment to your child’s teacher or paid online (https://polariseducationalfoundation.org/) and the form sent to pef@polarischarterschool.org  .

You can download the form here.

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.

Sculptor Class Share

For part of their preparation for the third Trimester Learning Celebration, students in Mrs. Rainey’s class have been learning the sign language for the song “Its a Small World.” This corresponds to the trimester theme of “Who Counts.”


 

Star Students

Congratulations to our students who showed courage: Ella, Evan, Izzy, Kayla, Lilly, Nathan and Tula (not pictured).

 

Important Dates

  • Charter Renewal visit is on Wednesday May 31st
  • 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.

Yearbook–  Don’t miss your one and only opportunity to get OUR FIRST EVER YEARBOOK!! For the low price of only $18 you can own this piece of Polaris history. Please make sure you send exact cash or check made payable to the Polaris Educational Foundation (PEF).  You can also go online to https://polariseducationalfoundation.org/ and click on “Donate Now” and in the notes section indicate your child’s name and type “Yearbook order”.  If you are paying online, you must still turn in your paper form for our record keeping but indicate that you paid online.  Due to the Holiday weekend, the deadline to order yearbooks has been extended by one day.  Yearbook orders are now DUE no later than Tuesday, May 30th. No orders can be accepted after this date.

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.

Polaris End-of-Year-Picnic  June 3rd 10:00am- 12:30pm Clough State Park: Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a splashing and playing with other Polaris families. A Polaris “hub” meeting zone will be established so that new families and those looking for playmates can meet. Bring all the towels, sunscreen, food and beach chairs you need to make this a great morning! This is a great event for new families to come join the fun and meet next year’s classmates. PEF members are always happy to help introduce you and their children to those who attend.

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

  • Next PEF MeetingJune 5th -6:30/7pm at Polaris
  • June 3rd– 10:00am-12:30pm- Polaris End-of-Year Picnic (Clough State Park)

 

 

Week Ending 5/12/17

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Update From the Board of Trustees

The Board has agreed to be a part of New Hampshire’s Day of Giving- an opportunity to raise funds online for Polaris and to connect our school to a much larger community of givers in New Hampshire and beyond.  We need lots of help planning and implementing a cohesive marketing strategy to get the most out of our participation in the 24 hours of NH Gives, which is scheduled for June 6th, starting at 6 PM and ending at 6 PM June 7th.

We are hosting a kick-off meeting, for planning our participation, on Wednesday, May 24th, from 1-2:30 PM, at Polaris.  (There is a full day of school on this Wednesday.) We need to decide a theme to entice potential donors to contribute to Polaris, a dollar amount goal for this campaign, help with networking on social media, and fundraising champions, who will drive people to our NH Gives Profile on June 6th and 7th.  Our success depends on our volunteer effort.  Please help!!  For more information on NH Gives, please refer to the toolkit for nonprofits on www.nhgives.org

The Board is considering a new policy designed to assist parents with a school-related problem which they would like to have resolved.   Before adopting a new or revised policy, the Board is required to post the item on the agenda at each of two regular meetings.  We must also offer concerned groups and individuals an opportunity to react to new or revised policies.  To raise awareness of the new Parental Concern or Complaint Policy, (KEB,) we have attached the draft of the proposed policy 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.

Lost and Found 

Recognize anything? Our lost and found bins are overflowing with clothing, snow pants, gloves and other miscellaneous items. If we are unable to find the owners, items will be donated at the end of the year.


Buddy Time 

Mrs. Fesh and Mrs. Rainey’s class worked on helping their buddies with their dodecahedron book reports!



Mrs. Rainey’s class has been learning all about volume in Math. Students worked in teams to measure the volume of various boxes. The scribe was responsible for recording information. The measurement masters measured the boxes and the mathematicians calculated the volume.


 

Stem and Music

This Trimester in STEM primary kids are focusing on Space Science. We are covering the planets in our solar system as well as other things that can be found in the solar system. They will be making pictures of the solar system to use as a reference to see the distance of the planets, the size and the color. We will then go on to talk about their distance from the sun, space travel and what the planets are made up of to help them better understand not only the planet they live on but also the others.

The Intermediate kids are focusing on post Zombie problems. Now that they have the basic layout of Manchester and the area around the school they are starting to brainstorm projects that would build a sustainable society. They will all decide what aspects are the most important to focus on. (Food, Water Purification, Engineering, etc.) They will then be able to choose a focused project to present to the rest of the class that will benefit the group as a whole, (be it in the form or a 3D model, a poster etc.)

In Music, primary kids are reviewing the different categories of instruments, (Reed, Woodwind, String, etc) and sketching instruments, out of their imagination that they would like to craft as well establishing which category they fit in. We will then be creating basic instruments with simple craft supplies. (Maracas, Guitars (with rubber bands and tissue boxes) etc.) This is all to make sure that the kids have a hands on activity to show their understanding about what puts an instrument in which category. For example, percussion instruments are instruments that are hit, or something hits them, while wood winds are instruments you blow into. Each table will be working together to sketch out and then make instruments in each category.

The Intermediate kids are reviewing the parts of a ukulele and learning how to read tab style chords. This is expanding on the music reading skills that they have started to develop in the last two trimesters. The goal in this trimester is for them to learn multiple chords on the ukulele as well as a hand full of songs. If possible, they will have the opportunity to write their own songs (simple of course) to bring together all they have learned about music theory, music symbols and reading different kinds of music.

Perseus Class Share

Ms. Perham’s class learned the song “If You Want to Sing Out” by Cat Stevens and they sang it and shared the lyrics with us. It corresponded with our Core Value of Courage.



Star Students

Our Courageous students that we recognized this week were: Binta, Deepthi, Ellie, Lexi, Khoi, Mara, Raden and Spencer. Super work!


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  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 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.

NH GIVES– The Polaris Staff and Board of Trustees are preparing for an upcoming charitable drive, NH GIVES.  They specifically have asked for assistance from Parents.  Any parents who can help would need to be available to meet on Wednesday afternoon at Polaris on May 24th from 1- 2:30pm.  Parents would be an active member of the Polaris NH Gives planning team- helping to coordinate and promote the Polaris NH Gives website/link (and potentially donate $$$ if they were able though this is not a requirement).  Additionally, if the parent had any photos they are able to bring to the table of their child(ren) that day (electronically) to contribute to the final montage. If you are interested and able to help the school, please either comment here or email us at pef@polarischarterschool.org

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 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.

Yearbook–  There will be a yearbook this year for purchase.  The price will be $18.  Please be on the lookout for the order form as you must pre-order a yearbook in order to get one.

Polaris End-of-Year-Picnic  June 3rd 10:00am- 12:30pm Clough State Park: Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a splashing and playing with other Polaris families. A Polaris “hub” meeting zone will be established so that new families and those looking for playmates can meet. Bring all the towels, sunscreen, food and beach chairs you need to make this a great morning! This is a great event for new families to come join the fun and meet next year’s classmates. PEF members are always happy to help introduce you and their children to those who attend.

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

  • Next PEF MeetingJune 5th -6:30/7pm at Polaris

June 3rd– 10:00am-12:30pm- Polaris End-of-Year Picnic (Clough State Park)

 

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)

 

Week Ending 5/5/17

star boy

Science NECAP

Science NECAP testing for students in fourth grade will occur May 9th, 10th and 11th from approximately 9:00-11:00. Please make every effort to have your child here and on time.

Teacher Appreciation

Thank you so much for our wonderful lunch and the amazing transformation of our staff room! Most of all, we appreciate our parents who really go above and beyond to support us.




Core Value – Courage

This month we will talking about ways to show Courage. We began by discussing what it means to be courageous.

On Wednesday we talked about bullying and how it takes a lot of courage to be an Upstander. When we see someone not being treated kindly and we do not do anything we are a bystander which adds to the problem. An Upstander speaks up and stops the problem, even when it might be to a friend. We also talked this week about occasions when we have shown Courage outside of school and at school.

Star Students

Students who really exemplified our Core Value of Trustworthiness were recognized on Monday. Great job Belle, Bindhi, Ella, Madelyn, Tania and Torrey.


Pegasus Class Share

Ms. Gilbert’s class shared ways that they could make our planet better focusing on reduce, reuse and recycle. They really showed how they “give a hoot.”





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: Thursday, May 11th at 7pm at Polaris

All parents are invited to our next PEF Meeting on Thursday, May 11th 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. We have very full agenda and we want to hear your voice. 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 happens each year during the first week of May.  This year, the PEF, as the Parent Teacher Organization, decided we wanted to do something extra nice for our teachers and take their break room and give it a little makeover.  With some serious scrubbing, cleaning, a few gallons of paint, about 3 hours of online shopping, taking out old furniture, assembling new furniture, bringing in all the new furniture, appliances and accessories and then putting everything together we finally have had a finished product.

We then treated the teachers to a luncheon on Wednesday afternoon from Portland Pie Co. and several parents brought in homemade desserts and decorations.  We hope that all of the teachers and staff know how much the Polaris parents appreciate them and think the world of them!!!!  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!!!  Thank you to all of those parents who made this possible.



After School Enrichment Classes:

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.

Family Movie Night: Friday, May 12th at 6pm-  Join us for pizza, popcorn and Big Hero 6 in the gathering room! We suggest you wear comfy clothes and bring a pillow or blanket or both. Chairs will be set up as well. We have worked to improve the movie quality this time around. The PEF has all the cost of refreshments, the movie license covered so this event is completely free to all Polaris families. Families who have officially enrolled for next year are welcome to join us. All family members are welcome but an adult must accompany children, this is not a drop and go event. Parents who would not mind pitching in a bit or helping with clean up and set up are greatly appreciated! Please e-mail pef@polarischarterschool.org  if you can assist us.

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