Pleasant Street School News

building a community of learners that strive for excellence

November 1, 2015

MCAS Achievement!!

Congratulations to members of our fourth grade class who achieved proficient, highly proficient, and advanced on one or both of their Spring 2015 grade 3 MCAS math and ELA assessments. Missing from the photo are Gabe Gois and Tori Hagelburg.
Big image

Tree Project in Mrs. Heuer's Third Grade

The trees are changing! You can look outside and see some pretty majestic color transformations among the leaves of our surrounding trees. However, if you looked inside Mrs. Heuer's third grade classroom, you would have seen some equally impressive trees as well! The class recently completed a "tree project" for the month of October. The task was to create an original tree, depicting likes, interests, and character traits of students and their families. The assignment was open ended, as far as how the trees were to be constructed, and with which materials to use. The end result, was original, creative, and impressive, to say the least! We saw a tree with beaded bracelets hanging from the branches, a tree with leaves of favorite book titles/series, and a tree bearing sporting equipment instead of fruit, just to name a few! The students and their families did a "tree-mendous" job with this!

To see some additional projects please click on the link below.

Evaluating Literacy Retention Rates from May through September 2015

The Athol Royalston Regional School District has put significant focus in our elementary schools developing and promoting a love of reading in our Readers Workshop program throughout the school year. We actively teach children to use strategy, improve fluency and comprehension, and make deeper connections while reading. We also explicitedly taught into the importance of summer reading as a means of preventing summer slide. We sent students home with book bags, provided a weekly summer book swap program, promoted student celebrity readers, and partnered with both the Athol and Royalston libraries to offer summer reading lists and summer reading incentive programs.

Research studies vary but all children on average stand to lose between 1 to 3 reading levels over the summer. Clearly with regular reading this does not have to be the case. Those who are most at-risk of losing ground include students with economic disadvantage and students who are already identified below benchmark reading, including students in title one intervention programs, and some students with disabilities. At Pleasant Street we specifically wanted to take a look at the performance of our at-risk readers from May to September 2015. All students identified as at-risk were invited to participate in summer tutoring sessions or for some students extended year services.

While there are multiple factors involved, we feel strongly that our intervention efforts, promotion of summer reading, engagement with families, and offering of summer tutoring considerably reduced summer slide for our at-risk readers at Pleasant Street. Of 52 children identified in May 2015, 26 of those children gained reading levels from May through September, with 11 of them reaching grade level benchmark by the end of September! Seventeen of our at-risk readers maintained their reading level rather than losing ground over the summer and only 9 children from our whole school declined one or more levels during this time period. As an educator and principal this is powerful and validating information as we continue to partner with families to prevent summer slide and help children become proficient readers.

Big image

Read, Lead, and Succeed

We are offering a last chance to buy a Pleasant Street School, Read, Lead, and Succeed, T-shirt. These appealing shirts are offered only in read and white with our school slogan and a student created design. Order forms are available at the school with order form and payment received by Nov. 9th.

November is Family Literacy Month

This year marks the Commonwealth's 19th annual Family Literacy Month in recognition of the pivotal role that parents and family members play in the educational success of their children. In celebration of Family Literacy Month, communities across the state will host activities throughout November in support of literacy, lifelong learning, and family-well-being.

At Pleasant Street we have been promoting literacy in the classroom and beyond through the following activities:

  • Community Reads Day, Nov. 3rd- beginning at 9:00 am- Volunteers, Parents, and National Honor Society members will join us for a special reading and activity in all of our classes.
  • The Big Read- Community Literacy Event- Saturday, Nov. 14th, 10 am to noon at the ELKs Lodge, 93 New Athol Rd, Orange with a free performance of the Nutcracker.

  • Reading Challenges- Beyond regular reading expectations by classroom teachers our school promotes reading challenges at various points during the year beginning with our November Family Literacy Challenge. Please look for information to come home this week.

This year we are looking to participate in the Six Flags Read to Succeed Program. Read to Succeed is an exciting program that encourages students in grades K through 6 to read for fun. Each student who completes six hours of recreational reading can earn a free ticket to Six Flags! The program is available to teachers and schools at no cost to participate, and it's a great way to motivate kids to read. We are looking for a parent volunteer to serve as our Read to Succeed Program Coordinator. The role of the coordinator will be to assist teachers in registering students on-line and to aid in tracking hours of books read.

Everyday Hero Award

Definition of hero: a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities.

At Pleasant Street we have created a new award entitled the "Everyday Hero Award." This has come from our interest as a school community in recognizing children who work hard each day and do the right thing. An everyday hero is not someone who necessarily looks to draw attention to him or herself for making good choices but simply goes through each day doing so. For our first award, Aiden Kirwan, was recognized at our all school meeting as an Everyday Hero for being a hard worker, earnest, and kind person who is a contributing member to our school community. Thank you Aiden for being who you are and for making our school a better place!

Hat Day = Big Success!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Student Council sponsored hat day. With the day before Halloween in all this was a wonderful way for children to have a little extra fun at school. With the optional donation of $1.00 to wear a hat, our student council was happy to report they raised $75 from this event to go toward student council projects.

Pictured: Principal "Officer" Ellis with second grade friends, Hanisha, Lyla-Rae, Dillon, Mason, and Camdyn.

To see more pictures from hat day click on the link below.

Catch of the Day!

Our School Support Noon Duty staff continue to be recognizing students in their, "Catch of the Day," program. This honor is given to students who staff observe demonstrating our school expectations of respect for self, respect for others, and respect for property during recess. Each day they choose one student from recess as the Catch of the Day. The student receives a certificate, a stuffed fish for a day, and is entered into a weekly drawing in the "fish bowl" to receive a prize. 35 children have been selected for this honor so far!

Pictured to the right is our prize winning "Catch of the Day" Dakota.

Mad Science -Week #4

Another fun filled time was had this past week at our Mad Science Afterschool Program which focused on testing buoyancy.

To see more pictures please click on the short video link.

Monday Science Program

On Monday, October 26th, our Monday afterschool science program began with Mrs. Webb, Mrs. Robinson, and Ms. Leesha. Students in third and fourth grade had a great time with a seasonally themed experiment of making "ghost snow."

More Science Fun with "Bodies in Space"

Students in Mrs. Robinson's fourth grade have begun working on a unit in science learning about the the solar system. They have begun working on a scale model of the planets and have had to measure the distance between planets. Pictured to the right is Amber preparing her planets and pictured below is Sammy busy determining distance.
Big image

Now is the time to schedule your parent/teacher conference

We are looking forward to seeing ALL of our families at our upcoming conferences which are scheduled for Monday, November 9th from 3:30 to 5:00 pm and Tuesday, November 10th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Conferences are held by appointment and are designed to be very informative and focused conversations about your child's progress. We encourage parents to come prepared in advance with questions so that our teachers can not only share work samples, assessment information, and report on your child's progress but also answer any of your questions.

Where in the World is Miss Maddie?

Miss Maddie, Madison Truehart, our former noon duty support staff member, a well known YMCA youth sports assistant, and 2014 graduate of Athol High School, was accepted to proudly serve in Americorps. Maddie recently traveled to California for training. AmeriCorps is a community service oriented organization that is supported by the government, foundations, corporations, and donors designed to engage young adults in meeting identified needs within communities typically in the fields of education, public safety, healthcare, and environmental protection. The program is often compared to being a domestic equivalent to the Peace Corps. To learn more about the Americorp program please visit their website.

We thought it would be an awesome idea for Maddie to share her adventures with students back home at Pleasant Street. If you want to write letters back to Maddie, ask her questions, or send pictures/drawings please bring them to the office and we will be sure she gets them.

Letter #1- October 23, 2015

Dear Students,

I’ve been living in a place called McClellan, CA for the past week and I absolutely love it here. Although my first day was very tiring I’ve gotten used to the time difference. While back home you are starting school at 8:30 am, it’s 5:30 am where I am and I’m getting ready for physical training. What’s really cool about where I live is that it used to be an Air-force base so we have some of our training in the old hangar which is awesome because there are still some planes around. I’m having a lot of fun getting to know new people. I have friends that are from Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Maryland, and Georgia. I hope everyone is having a great school year so far! I can’t wait to write to you all again! -- Maddie

Letter #2 -October 25, 2015

Dear Students,

My team has gotten our assignment for our first project which is very exciting! We will be going to a town called North Bend in Washington State! We will be planting trees and working on trails and helping with the community. I am wicked excited to go to Washington. On Saturday we did this thing called, A Day of Service, and that means that we go out into the community and we help whoever needs it. My team went to a community garden called, The Winding Way Farm. It was really cool to see someone's backyard being turned into a garden for everyone in the neighborhood to go in and grow their own food. It was really interesting to meet the different kinds of people that were there. We also did another project that included doing a lot of hard work, we had to clear out an area of land. So we had to rake and clean up all the dead grass and we had to dig up the roots of some of the trees that were there. We all got so dirty by the end of the day! I also did another project that night, a small group of us went to a local cemetery where they do lantern tours and they asked us to help with the tours and to help clean up when they were over. On Wednesdayand Thursday we will be going on whats called a “mini spike” and we will be camping out at a place called Camp Lodestar. While we are there we will be doing team building activities and we will prepare for our trip to Washington. Warm Wishes, Miss Maddie

Big image

Free Breakfast & Lunch

As part of the 2010 Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act, Athol-Royalston Regional School District, along with other districts, now offers free meals to all students this school year.


  • Breakfast menu for November
  • Lunch menu for November

The Salvation Army Is Accepting Registrations for Holiday Giving

Please click on the link provided for more information about holiday programs offered through the Salvation Army.

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 :)

Mother Goose on the Loose Playgroup-Thursdays 10am—11:30am Valuing Our Children 217 Walnut St. Athol. For more information contact: Jen: 978-249-8467 x 22

Petersham Playgroup- Beginning on Thursday, Sept. 17th from 10-11:30 at the Petersham Center School. For more information please call Jennifer at Valuing Our Children 978-249-8467 x22

The Common Thread for October-newsletter of the North Quabbin Community Coalition.

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

These are not school sponsored events but are posted here as a public service for families in the greater North Quabbin community.

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates!

  • November 2, PTO meeting, 5:30-6:30 pm, note the earlier time
  • November 3, Community Reading Day
  • November 9, Parent /teacher conferences, 3:30-5:00 pm
  • November 10, Parent/teacher conferences, 6:00-7:30 pm
  • November 11, Veteran's day holiday-no school
  • November 13, Family Movie Night, 6:00-8:00 pm, school cafe, sponsored by PTO
  • November 14- Save the Date- 10:00-12:00- The Big Read
For your convenience our district calendar is linked below.

News from Principal Ellis

Building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Check back soon for more news!