Morse Street School
Dates to Remember
Professional Learnding Day - No School for Students March 21
Incoming Kindergarten Information Night March 27 - 6:30 pm
Kindergarten Fine Arts Night April 3 - 6pm
A NOTE FROM MR. AMBROSE
Having coffee and conversation with parents was really fun last week. We were happy to host RSU 5 math strategist Lisa Demick for an informational visit. Parents asked many excellent questions and we all learned some great ideas to support students and families. Here are a few tips for improving math skills that were shared at the meeting:
1. Everyday Math iPad/iPhone applications. They are fun and kids love them!
2. Use the Everyday Math website. Please feel free to ask your child's teacher if you don't know how to access all of the great resources on the website.
3. Create a "math box" for your kitchen. You can include a ruler, a small erasable white board, dice, cards or whatever you think would support your child in doing math for 20 minutes a day.
4. Board games such as Monopoly are a fun way to practice math at home.
5. Volunteer in your child's math class. This is the best way to get to know the math program at MSS. If you can, volunteer just once or twice a year. It will make a big difference in your understanding of the Everyday Math Program.
These are just a few of the ways we can support children as they learn to use math to solve problems creatively. I hope you can join us for our next coffee visit.
There are a few upcoming events this month. Please review this newsletter carefully so you don't miss any of the activities or events going on at MSS!
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at any time.
FROM THE NURSE - SEASONAL ILLNESS
Families are routinely asked to be responsible to call the school if your child is absent. However, remember that if your child is out sick, PLEASE report the symptoms and/or the physician's diagnosis. The School Nurse is responsible for tracking and reporting certain communicable diseases and absentee rates to the Maine CDC.
The following actions will help us manage student and staff illness during the school year:
1. KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME until he/she is:
∗ Fever free (without fever reducing medication) for 24 hours. Anything above 100 degrees is considered a fever.
∗ Free of acute symptoms for 24 hours. This means if your child vomits, has diarrhea, or has a fever the day or night before, they should stay home the next day.
∗ He/She is able to participate in an entire school workday. Please do not send them off to school by telling them if they don't feel well, they can call you and you will come pick them up. Our teachers know your children and can tell if they aren't feeling well. Unless they have acute symptoms of illness, we do try to get them through the day.
2. CALL THE SCHOOL when your child is absent and REPORT your child's symptoms, such as:
Cough, sore throat, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, blotchy or itchy skin, headache, fever
AND/OR the physician's diagnosis (do not say your child has the flu or strep throat unless it has been diagnosed by a physician.
3. COVER A COUGH AND SNEEZES by holding up your arm and coughing into your sleeve instead of your hands. Practice and teach your child.
HANDWASHING....HANDWASHING.....HANDWASHING! Using soap and water
for 15-20 seconds and dry with a paper towel to throw away.
Please help us minimize the transmission of illness at MorseStreet. Your cooperation is appreciated.
A note from the Art Studio...
Each March the National Arts Educators Association celebrates Youth Art Month. It is a time when art institutions around the nation acknowledge and emphasize the value of arts education for all children. With that as its background, Portland Museum of Art will be hosting the 20th Youth Arts Month exhibition of work by student artists grades K-12 during the month of March. Each year I choose one child's work of art to represent the work of all the wonderful young artists at Morse Street School. This year, second grader Zoe Clough's, black glue resist painting, " Bird with a Bow", was chosen to represent the school. There will be an opening reception for all the young artists and their families Saturday, March 8th. After that, the show will be open to the public through the month. A visit to the Portland Museum on Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is always free and a wonderful way to spend a night in town and look at art work. Portland Museum is right next door to the Children's Museum of Maine so making both destinations in one trip may also make for a full outing.
Other news from the art studio. All the classes, in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, have been learning about his style of drawing, and creating artwork inspired by his use of imagination and a limited palette of black and red. Kindergarteners have made wonderful cats with hats, first graders have created mixed up animals, "Scranimals", with the tail of one animal, the body of another and the head of a third; and 2nd graders have used their imaginations to envision what animals with very unusual names might look like, plus they have transformed styrofoam cups into imaginary critters. All these are on view for the month of March throughout the first floor so do have a look while waiting for a conference.
Mrs. Higgison, Art Teacher Morse Street School and Pownal Elementary
TRAFFIC CONCERNS AT MAST LANDING SCHOOL - A NOTE FROM BETH WILLHOITE
(For Morse Street Parents who drop off and/or pick up kids at Mast Landing)
The cold weather and large snow banks have exacerbated an already challenging traffic situation during drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon.
I want to review the procedures we have put into place. A reminder that the speed limit on school grounds is 5mph. And please, if you have a relative or friend dropping off or picking up that you review these procedures with them.
Morning drop off:
- Drop off should be between8:40 and 8:50
- Please drive to the far end of the circle. This allows as many cars as possible to drop off at the same time.
- If you drive through the circle, your child should be ready to quickly exit the car. If you are still working out the logistics of after school plans, lunch tickets, winter clothes, band instruments etc. please park, get organized and walk your child in.
- Do not park in the circle.
Afternoon pick up:
- School ends at3:20although the children are not dismissed until the buses arrive from Morse St. This can be after3:20, especially if the roads and/or weather is bad.
- Please park in back of the school and walk in to meet your child.
- It has been brought to my attention that many parents have formed a traffic line that winds its way back behind the school anticipating when their child will come out and then driving through the circle. This has created a traffic bottleneck for those parents who are following the procedures and walking and meeting their children. When the parkers return to their cars with their children, they are not able to back out of their parking place due to the traffic line.
- I understand there are times parents can't park first. Most often this is because there is a younger child asleep in the car. I strongly recommend that parents who cannot park, pick up closer to3:30when the traffic has cleared out.
I have asked the Freeport Police Department to study the situation to see if they have any additional solutions to the traffic congestion. In the mean time, they have assured me they will increase enforcement during these times of the school day.
By working together, we can make the drop off and pick up time safe, efficient and stress free. Thank you in joining me in a renewed effort to reduce the traffic congestion and keep our children safe.
MATTRESS FUNDRAISER SALE
RSU 5 PERFORMING ARTS
The Performing Arts Boosters from RSU5 are holding their 3rd annual Mattress Sale. Saturday March 22,
10:00am-4:00pm at FHS. Proceeds from the boosters activities help to fund performing arts programs
and support teachers in the RSU, as well as support annual scholarships for students in grades 6 - 12.
Please see attachment for further details.
Freeport International Interact - Bidding for the Batays Silent Auction
A Silent Auction will be held on March 29th from 6-9 pm at the Freeport Community center.
Items Include artwork, gift cards, a Brahms mount throw, jewelry, and much more.
Refreshments will be provided.
Freeport International Interact is a high school branch of Rotary that focuses on International aid. The Freeport Rotary has a grant which allows them to buy water filters, which they then send to the Dominican Republic. International Interact then goes down and installs the water filters in the Batays, villages in the sugar cane fields. Our group has gone down for the past two years, installing a total of 140 filters thus far. The filters, which require manual installation, are important to these communities as the people in the Batays are spending almost three quarters of their salary on bleached water, which continues to cause illness among the people. The auction we are holding on March 29th, will work to raise money for the trip itself, as well as for donations to the people of the Batays, the good Samaritin Hospital in La Ramona, and the La Ramona Orphanage.
BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION
Thanks for sending in all your box tops. Attached is a fun St. Patrick's Day collection sheet for March. Keep those box tops coming!