Primary Letters

WPS OCTOBER NEWSLETTER, 2021

Principal's Message - Mrs. Judd

Let the adventure begin! At Washington Primary School, students and staff are off to a great start. In each class, students are practicing routines and setting weekly goals to create a learning environment that is safe, respectful, productive, and caring. Instruction in all academic areas is underway and students are working in partnerships to solve problems, share ideas and practice skills. Mindfulness practices with breathing exercises, and growth mindset lessons are also integrated throughout the daily schedule supporting self-regulation and learner behaviors of perseverance, optimism and learning from mistakes.


This year, Makerspace is returning on a limited basis. Students will be using the green screen and iMovie to create short informational videos. Students will also be engaged in engineering challenges like creating a model sail boat to go the fastest while using a small fan and making real time adjustments to the design. To support our science efforts, students will also have monthly lessons in coding and computing programs such as Scratch and ScratchJr. They will apply their new learning with robots Dash and Dot, Bee-Bot and more. These are just some ways to help students engage in creative problem solving and learn through productive experimentation.


We look forward to our work ahead and know that with your support and commitment to our school community, each student will find personal success. We are grateful for your partnership. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at judde@region-12.org or at 860-868-7331.

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WPS Explorers

Happy TAILS Make Happy Trails! This is the WPS school-wide theme. TAILS is the key word that stands for important ideas that will help us all be better learners, friends, and help our school be the best it can be. Each letter in TAILS will be discussed and developed throughout the year with the help of our animal friends.


TAILS: Happy TAILS Make Happy Trails!


T- Trustworthy (Toucan)

A- Attitude of Gratitude (Ape)

I - Includer (Iguana)

L - Leader and Learner (lion)

S - Self-regulation (Sea turtle)


During the month of September, students learned through our Sea Turtle friend that self-regulation is how you manage your emotions and your behavior. It is how you deal with stressors or tricky things that happen each day, and how you get yourself to a calm and balanced self. Students generated lists of stressors and explored the “Don’t Flip Your Lid” chart to learn to name feelings, know their zone, and take action to regain balance and control. Next will be the wisdom of our Trusty Toucan! Students will learn the many facets of being trustworthy.


REACH - Mrs. Horan

Mrs. Horan’s preschool class has been busy learning our schedule, routines and classroom’s rules. We enjoy doing our daily jobs and have fun during choice discovery time. We make creative art projects with Mrs. Manley, have Music with Mrs. Doiron and Physical Education with Mr. Morgan too. We ride bikes and play on our playground. In addition, we participate in centers where we practice skills in small groups with Mrs. Gallagher, Mrs. Gerowe or Mrs. Rudolph. Our class loves to read books, practice mindful breathing, sing songs and dance every day! 💜

REACH - Mrs. Wescott

Welcome to our classroom! Are you ready to play? We play all day. When we are playing with building materials, we are learning about shapes, size, balance and counting. Playing pretend helps us understand the perspective of other people, imagination and language. Playing with putty and play dough is always fun! These elements develop fine motor control while incorporating many senses. While outside, we learn how to take care of the earth and everyone uses large muscle control to explore the playground and appreciate the River Walk. Books and music fill our days with stories, movement and relaxing moments. Our days are full of wonder about so many topics. With each day we follow our classroom rules of : Be Kind, be safe and Have fun!

REACH - Mr. Weymouth

“Play is a child’s work” is a phrase we have all heard many times. Here at the REACH Preschool we believe this to be true and is demonstrated every day. Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children, at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adults. Let the play begin!

Kindergarten - Mrs. Schramm

WPS is such a beautiful place for our Kindergarteners to start their school journey. Do they know how lucky they are to have a gorgeous view outside of their classroom window? Probably not, but their wonder for all things silly and new sure is contagious. Our days have fallen into a harmonious rhythm full of playful learning and we have had a blast getting to know each other better. We can’t wait to see what this school year has in store for us!

First Grade - Mrs. Feola

First graders in Mrs. Feola's class have been working hard to learn the routines and build a joyful classroom community. In the month of September, our little learners have learned to travel safely in the building in line order, keep their learning spaces organized and use lockers for the very first time. I am particularly impressed with how quickly they have developed independent reading strategies. This week they read independently for 20 minutes. That is amazing! First graders are also practicing kindness by helping their classmates and encouraging them to do their best. They are working very hard to earn dots in their buckets and kindness flowers for our school. In this practice, they are filling our classroom with joy, laughter and friendship. We are looking forward to a wonderful year!

First Grade - Mrs. Moser

To start our school year together, students thought about what they hoped to be able to do or learn in our classroom this year. Next, first graders brainstormed rules for our class that would help make our hopes and dreams come true. One rule that first graders chose was to be kind to ourselves and others. To help explore how first graders could be kind and support our classmates, we read the book "Be Kind" by Pat Zietlow Miller and have been discussing what it means to be kind to our classmates. Our kindness iguana, that holds our kindness coin, will be passed to a new student each day who is "caught" demonstrating kindness. Another way we recognize and celebrate acts of kindness is through a note on a kindness flower. The flowers are read over the morning announcements. When the school collects around 200 kindness flowers, a whole school celebration occurs. Some acts of kindness that we have recognized include taking down all the chairs off the desks in the morning, helping other students, especially our newer students, get to where they need to go around the building, pushing in the chairs at the end of the day when others forgot, delivering materials to other teachers, holding the door for others, saying thank you, and helping other classmates pick up materials they have dropped. We are excited to celebrate all the wonderful things our first graders do everyday!

Second Grade - Mrs. Rotunda

Second graders are off to a great start! We have been learning and practicing our classroom routines and expectations. We agreed as a class that we would work hard and do our best, be kind to ourselves and others, keep our classroom clean, be first time listeners, and raise our hands. In reading we are setting goals and stopping to jot our thoughts. In math we started off learning how to take ten to make our addition and subtraction more friendly. We are now focusing on our measurement skills and having fun measuring classroom items in centimeters. We are excited about the upcoming year and we can't wait for what is next!

Third Grade - Mrs. Hollowell

In third grade, students met with their reading partners to explore books with one another and learn how to comprehend higher-level texts together. In Makerspace, students are making movies about a topic they're interested in. They will be performing in front of a green screen and adding their own special effects. In science, students are exploring their Vex Kits and getting ready to build simple machines in our Stability and Motion: Forces and Interactions unit. Way to go, third graders!

Fourth Grade - Mrs. White

Fourth graders are so excited to have Makerspace back this year. Students enjoyed STEM activities then others created their own iMovies. They displayed such amazing creativity with tools and technology! They are looking forward to their next time!

Fifth Grade - Mrs. Della Ratta

We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands…

5th grade is busy learning map skills in preparation for our study of the various indigenous people of North America and the effects early European settlement had on them. Today, students created a “globe” utilizing recent lessons in geography. They followed a checklist which specified the requirements for their globe. They also reflected on the use of globes versus maps. Finally, the students evaluated their designs by noting challenges and successes. See if you can spot elements such as the equator, prime meridian, compass rose, and hemispheres.

Music - Mrs. Doiron

Hey, do you make music?? We want to know!! Please take a moment to fill out the survey below to answer a few questions about how you, as an adult, continue to make music. Thanks!!

Family Musician Survey


What a whirlwind! Thank you to everyone for your patience and flexibility as we continue to figure out how to make music safely within changing parameters. We hum and chant together in class and sing when we can spread further apart outside or in the gym. We move our bodies while sitting in our seats or standing behind our chairs. We use the materials at our desks to create sounds like percussion instruments. Last but not least we audiate like crazy!!

(Click here for the definition of audiation.)

Here is what we are doing in music during our first trimester!


K students sing unfamiliar and familiar songs like Going to the Zoo and Down by the Station. They move to the beat and with flow in lots of different ways. They play with music by audiating and creating rhythms.


First graders sing Old Joe Clark and Hop Old Squirrel while differentiating macrobeat and microbeat and singing the resting tone. They will figure out how to add instruments to the story “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” using only what they have in their desks!


Second graders work on reviewing patterns. Music is made of patterns!! We work on songs in major tonality (Sarasponda) and minor tonality (Dinosaur Diet) that are made of tonic patterns, dominant patterns, and an as yet unnamed third type of pattern! We also work on rhythms in duple and triple meter.


Third graders review these patterns as well. They are the building blocks of almost every song! They learn about dynamics and incorporate them into a poem. Plus we learn a few new songs that will easily transfer onto the recorders like Major Duple and Peirrot/Au Clair de la Lune.


Fourth graders learn some American folk songs like Erie Canal and Sweet Betsy from Pike while also learning drumming warm ups. We start by using our hands and pencils to tap on the desks but we are prepping for bucket drumming in trimester 2.


In fifth grade we really dig into music terminology to describe the music we listen to, and we listen to a lot! We hear music from different composers and different time periods. My favorite part is learning what music our students love best. From Bob Dylan to Green Day, we have an eclectic group of musical tastes!

Creating a Reading Space at Home - Mrs. Ubaldi

Reading is one of the most important things that your child will learn to do, and we want to encourage our children to enjoy this skill year round. It’s simple to create an area in your home that will help your child and you enjoy reading. First, make it cozy. You often hear the expression “Curl up with a good book.” This makes me think of soft plush space that invites me to relax and unwind. Your children know what they like, ask for their input about where they like to sit when they read and use these ideas when creating the space. When you go into a children’s library, you will notice that they have created many little nooks and spaces for children to enjoy a book. The space doesn’t need to be elaborate. Maybe it’s the corner of the couch with some blankets and pillows. One important thing to keep in mind is that if you want to read with your child, make the space large enough to accommodate an adult. Find a quiet place free from distractions, and it is best to choose an area away from televisions, entrances, and exits, or other things that may draw their attention away from their books. Try to have a variety of books within the area for the child to choose. It is quite common for people to be reading more than one book at a time. Have fun creating the perfect reading nook that will make your child look forward to reading.

Games for Fact Fluency - Mrs. Bottari

Fact fluency in the early grades consists of knowing your facts to ten and your doubles facts in a ‘snap’ for both addition and subtraction. In third grade, multiplication becomes the focus. This includes knowing your division facts as well as your multiplication facts (i.e 12 3 with 3 x 4). When children automatically know their facts, it reserves their cognitive energy for higher-level thinking and real-life problem solving.


Fact fluency takes practice…lots and lots of practice. It requires having efficient strategies to solve problems repeatedly until a fact is known from memory. How can you help with the practice? Games! With just a deck of cards, remove the face cards, and you are ready to play. Turning over 2 cards at a time, one can play “War” using addition, subtraction or multiplication. Play “Go fish” for pairs that make ten, or make ten memory. With Salute, the game where two people put their cards on their foreheads, children can work on addition with subtraction or multiplication with division. It is a great game once your child is becoming more confident with their facts. Children can also play Multiplication by Heart on Mathigon.


Other store-bought games that help to build fact fluency are games like Clumsy Thief, Count down and Flip 4. Please consider playing some math games a few times a week. Help your child become the best mathematician they can be!

Notes from the Nurse - Mrs. Truczinskas

Welcome back to all of our students and families. It is so refreshing to have everyone back. We are proud of our students and how well they are following the safety guidelines, wearing masks, washing hands, and keeping a safe distance. They are all so resilient.

Here are a few pointers to assist in discussions and plans with mask wearing and care:

  • The mask should fit snugly over their nose and mouth so they don’t have to adjust throughout the day.

  • Please provide a spare mask for your child in their backpack.

  • Your child must keep their mask on during their bus ride to and from school.

  • If using cloth masks, remember to wash them daily.

PLEASE call your school nurse office if your child is showing any signs of illness.

Terri Truczinskas RN Washington Primary: 860-868-6879.


The symptoms of COVID19 can vary greatly. If your child has any of the following symptoms, discuss with your school nurse or pediatrician:

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle aches

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

The most common COVID symptom in children is cough and fever.

If your child has COVID 19 symptoms, they will need a negative PCR test and doctor note or alternate diagnosis written by a medical provider to return to school.


Region 12 is following the below guidelines for domestic and international travel.


TRAVEL: With the help and guidance from our Departments of Health and Medical Advisor, unvaccinated school members returning from overnight domestic travel will no longer need to quarantine if they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. We continue to use the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation for domestic and international travel as our guide https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. If you are traveling internationally, please make sure to plan for the testing and quarantine requirements. There are free local COVID testing sites through the New Milford Health Department and the Town of Kent for those seeking testing options. Please note that vaccinated travelers do not need to test upon return from domestic travel.


Free COVID Testing Returns to Kent

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Tips for Parent/Teacher Conferences


Teacher/Parent Conferences will be held on October 20, 21, 22. Students will be dismissed at 12:45 on conference days.


Conferences will be offered virtually. In-person conferences will be by request only. Please arrange in-person conferences with your child's teacher. Scheduling conferences will open up for parents on Friday, October 8th. Please see the following link for instructions.

Parents Instructions to Schedule Parent/Teacher Conference.


To schedule your conference go to WPS Parent Teacher Conferences 2021.


Conferences provide a special time to focus on your child and school success. Here are some things to keep in mind:


Before the Conference:

  • Tell your child that you and the teacher are meeting to review progress and if there is something that he/she would like you to talk to the teacher about.

  • Prepare a list of topics and questions that you would like to discuss with the teacher. (Examples: Does my child participate, hand in homework, seem happy at school, etc.?)

During the Conference:

  • Ask the most important questions first.

  • Ask your child’s teacher for ways to support your child at home.

After the Conference:

  • Discuss the conference with your child, highlighting positive points and areas for improvements.

  • Ask your child for input in generating plans for success.


Keep in touch with your child’s teacher throughout the year. Frequent communications show your child that school and learning are important to your family values. Use PickATime to schedule your conference.

WPS Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

The WPS Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is a group of volunteers dedicated to supporting the educational, social, and enrichment needs of the students through volunteerism, responsible financial support, and ongoing collaboration with parents, students, staff, and the greater community. The WPS Parent Teacher Organization meets monthly. The next virtual meeting will be on October 12th at 6:30.


2021-22 Officers:

Sarah Belanger, President

Jess Barr, Vice President

Dylan Schiesel, Treasurer

Jennifer Tuozzoli, Secretary

Spirit Day

This year, Spirit Day is October 29th. We encourage students and staff to show their school spirit by wearing their spirit wear or our school color blue.

Lyman Pie Fundraiser

Order forms for Lyman Pies and Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough were sent home with your child. This fundraiser supports the WPS yearbook. Orders will be delivered to WPS on November 5th. You will receive further information with pick up instructions.

Start Date: October 12th

Orders Due: October 25rd

Delivery and Pick up: November 5th (Information to follow)

Upcoming Events

10/8 - No School - Professional Development

10/11 - No School - Columbus Day

10/12 - Lyman Pie Fundraiser Begins (more information to follow)

10/12 - PTO Meeting - 6:30

10/20-22 - Parent/Teacher Conferences

10/25 - Lyman Pie Fundraiser Ends

10/29 - Lyman Pie Orders Due

Spirit Day

11/2 - No School - Professional Development