Pleasant Street School News

building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Vacation Week Family Learning Challenge!

With schools closed this week for the winter recess...we do not want the learning to stop! Children need time each day to be creative, to read, to problem solve, and to make connections with the world around them. Learning is often at its best when it is an active and engaged process that is shared with others. We are issuing a Vacation Week Family Learning Challenge by asking families to take some time each day to enjoy family learning time. Learning takes many forms from reading recipes and cooking together, building snow forts or sledding, playing board games, sharing books and stories, and/or conducting science experiments! You could have your child keep a journal of his or her learning adventures this week and be the author and illustrator. There are certainly many ways to enjoy this vacation time together that builds upon the importance of family learning time. To participate in our family learning challenge please send in "evidence" of your family learning activities. This could be almost anything- a reading log, a math journal, or a writing journal, pictures of an experiment done together and more. All children who participate will be entered into a drawing to receive prizes and each participant will also be recognized at our next all school meeting. We have linked some websites below that you may find helpful. Enjoy!

Science Experiments

Math websites

Literacy information, Home & School Activities, and a printable reading log

News Tidbits... Just a few reminders to improve on safety and comfort of children at school

In order to keep things running smoothly and to protect children we wanted to remind families of the following.

  • Picking up walkers- We ask that families picking up children meet their students at the rock by the crosswalk. We need to see the adult who is responsible for picking up your child rather than having chidren run down the side of the road, with high snowbanks, to get into an idling car. We recognize that this is less convenient but please dress warm and take the extra few minutes to improve on safety.
  • Bus safety- Please review with your bus student the importance of following all school bus rules. Children need to remain in their assigned seat, keep hands, feet, and other objects to themselves, and to keep the bus aisle clear. Children need to be respectful to other riders and to use inside voices. We cannot have bus drivers distracted by misbehavior especially with wintery roads.
  • Electronics- Our student handbook states electronics are not permitted at school and are subject to being confiscated. If your child has an electronic device that he or she wants to bring to school for use during indoor recess or for use as part of an instructional period this must be communicated and arranged with the classroom teacher in advance. The school cannot be responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen devices.
  • Winter Clothing Needs- Children need warm clothes at school and winter gear for playing outside. The temperature in our building fluctuates so dressing in layers with a light jacket or sweatshirt works best if your child has short sleeves on. Winter gear includes warm snow boots, mittens, hat, snowpants, and a winter jacket. Children also need a change of shoes (we can't have kids in snow boots all day!) and extra clothes for winter play. We had many children pay a visit at the nurse's office looking for dry socks, underwear, and pants last week. Please make sure your child has some emergency clothes at school. Children need fresh air and outdoor time. We go out each day for 30 minutes of recess if the temperature, with wind chill, is above 20 degrees.
  • Snacks- Please send your child to school each day with a healthy, nutritious snack. We are seeing a few too many children who either do not have snacks or children who are coming in with sugar and fat filled foods. Sweet treats are best left at home as an occasional treat as they don't provide the nutrition needed at school for busy bodies and growing brains!
  • Lost and Found- Please make a point of checking lost and found when you are next in the building. Thank you!

Learning Snapshots from 4th Grade

Pictured below are literacy and math anchor charts from our friends in Mrs. Robertson and Mrs. Robinson's fourth grades. There has been so much learning going on it is just not possible to capture it all here beyond a few snapshots.

Top row left- students are using their schema to answer key questions about text.

Top row middle - learning to infer common conflicts in texts.

top row right-building the richness of our vocabulary.

Bottom row left- concepts in geometry and learning angles.

Bottom row middle- visual and procedural steps to divide.

Bottom row right- visual and procedural steps to multiply.

Meet Challenges and Achieve Success- MCAS- 4th grade writing preparation program!

Meet Challenges and Achieve Success- MCAS- writing preparation program!

At school, we have been developing skills all year that will help us for MCAS. We have also done specific MCAS practice assignments similar to this writing challenge packet. Our teachers take their jobs seriously as they have been preparing students to do their best! In order to become better writers students must do significant practice! Put simply, there are no shortcuts. Children will need your support and encouragement from home --we thank families in advance for working with your child and partnering with the school to promote your child's skill development and the completion of this packet. All students who complete the packet - three essays and three rewards challenge sheets- will participate in an ice cream party following the completion of our ELA testing schedule.

In addition, all 4th grade students who complete the MCAS training packet will be entered into a drawing for a chance to receive one of four $25 Wal-Mart gift cards.

In order to qualify- students must submit completed packets to their teacher by March 20th. For more information about MCAS testing or to see practice test questions we strongly encourage you to visit the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website at:

It is never too early to prepare your children to be successful!! Did you know that if your son or daughter earns advanced on one test and proficient or advanced on the second test in English language arts or mathematics in 10th grade, he or she may be eligible for up to 4 years free tuition to any state college in Massachusetts through the John and Abigail Adams scholarship program? For more information please visit their website at:

Writing Challenge Packet (This was sent home in hard copy with students on 2/13/15)

Writing Prompts (This was also sent home on 2/13/15).

If you have questions about this 4th grade home writing challenge you can contact the school or feel free to send an email to Principal Ellis at

All School Meeting and School Community Building

On Friday, Feb. 13th we held an all school meeting and recognized all of our students with January and February birthdays. We also thanked everyone for their hard work on our midwinter assessments and MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress) testing, and recognized our fourth graders who are about to undertake the MCAS home writing challenge. We reminded students of the importance of following our all school expectations of respect for self, respect for others, and respect for property. Lastly, we anounced the winning slogan that students voted on for our all school t-shirts. The slogan is, "Read, Lead, Succeed." After the winter break students will be working with our art teacher, Mrs. Magee, to create an accompanying design to go with this slogan. It was important in our planning considerations to keep the t-shirts affordable and to sell them at cost which is expected to around $5.00.

Table of the month! Congrats to Mrs. Robinson's 4th grade

Congratulations to Mrs. Robinson's fourth grade class for earning Table of the Month for January. Mrs. Casella who supervises our second lunch period (Grade 2 -Jones, Grades 3 and Grades 4) selects a table of the day each day. The class who has earned this the most over the course of the month earns the Table of the Month award.

February is Black History Month

Throughout this snowy month of February we will continue to encourage families to recognize and to celebrate with us the many contributions of African Americans, past and present, in our great nation. We have included some websites and resources linked below to explore and to share with your children. The Reading Rockets site, in particular, has recommended children's books, family activities, interviews, writing prompts, and more. This is a wonderful way to spend family time and to enhance your child or children's background knowledge of our larger community and world. Please let us know if you have other Black History Month resources or educational websites that you would like to share with our school community.

Community Events & Postings

Do you have news to share or want to inform members of our school community about family friendly events in our area? If, so please email or forward a flyer or link.

Thank you :)

Winter and Spring 2015- Happenings at Valuing our Children- click on the link below to see what is being offered at this wonderful family resource center.

For other local events, happenings, and resources in this area... you can also check the North Quabbin Community Coalition website below:

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates

  • Feb. 16-Feb. 20, winter recess- no school
  • Feb. 23, school resumes, welcome back!
  • March 2, PTO meeting, 6:00-7:00 pm, all are welcome
  • March 11- district half day- noon dismissal, lunch is served
  • March 24- MCAS-ELA long composition, grade 4- statewide day!
  • March 24- April 6- ELA Spring testing window- look for more specific information

News from Principal Ellis

Building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Check back soon for more news!