February Newsletter

From Mr. Vera's Desk

Dear families,

This month I want to bring up the topic of the sense of belonging. Research shows that when students feel connected to their families and school they learn best. At school, we continuously work on creating routines and a sense of community through various activities as well as simply showing students genuine care and valuing them as learners as well as human beings. At home, you can also support these efforts by simply dedicating quality time to your children; five to ten minutes of individual quality time doing a preferred activity does so much for your child! Also, simply keeping routines in place, for example, bath times, meals, homework, and perhaps bedtime stories, all contribute to the sense of safety and belonging! I am honored to have each one of you partnering with us, as a school, to provide your children with the best educational experience! Thank you.

Please click on the link below for our Home School Connection Publication which contains numerous tips for parents!


Tambien, haga click en el enlace de abajo para accesar nuestra publicacion de la coneccion de la escuela y el hogar, la cual contiene numeros consejos y sugerencia para los padres y representantes!


Mrs. Hess

Hess Express!

Welcome 2020! I have enjoyed the numerous stories the children have shared with me about their vacations. Lots of visits and adventures with families and friends! It didn’t take long for all of them to settle in and adjust back into their school routines.

PARENT DROP-OFF: If you are dropping your child off in the morning, please be mindful of the time that they arrive at Frances Drake. School starts promptly at 9:00 which means your child needs to be in his/her classroom by that time. It takes about 5 minutes for your child to get from their car to their classroom, so please plan accordingly. Arriving at 8:57 and later will make your child tardy for the day.

Thank you!

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From the School Council

Missing a few days of school a month may not seem like much but these days can quickly add up. And while some absences cannot be avoided, it is important to understand that chronic absenteeism can lead to lower achievement, disengagement, and students feeling left out.

Watch the video for more information on chronic absenteeism.


Ms. Morin's 1st Grade

One of our students wrote a description of how her family celebrates Chinese New Year and shared it with her class one morning. She told everyone a recipe for Rice Balls and shared some pictures that her mom had sent with the class. The student wore her red robe and also brought in Chinese New Year search and finds for the whole class!

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More from Ms. Morin's Class...

Students working on nonfiction book writing/illustrating in first grade
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Ms. Johanson's 3rd Grade

Students in Mrs. Johanson´s class have been doing a great job on their persuasive writing. In this lesson, they had to decide if winter was the best season or not and come up with reasons why. They were very creative with all the ideas we generated together as a class to prove their point and convince others that they were right.
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Ms. Ippolito's Class

Mrs. Ippolito's class did a lesson from Mystery Science where they learned how clothing can protect us from the sun. They talked about how clothes don't just keep us warm, but can keep us cool too. They had to construct a hat that would cover their face made out of paper plates, tin foil and a paper bag. The students had a lot of fun making their hats!
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Ms. Collette's 5th Grade

Recently, fifth grade worked with one another across the grade level to make models of the sun, moon, and Earth. Students were encouraged to bring in items found at their homes to make their models. Groups were also given supplies in class. Working together, students needed to design a rough draft of their models and the supplies they would need to construct their models. Once the design was approved, students worked together to construct their models. The models needed to show Earth’s relationship to the sun and moon. Students need to use their models to explain patterns in the length and direction of shadows over a day as well as changes in the position of the Earth, moon, and sun over a month and a year.
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Guidance-Mr. Londo

Allow me to introduce myself, I am Matthew Londo, the new guidance counselor at Frances Drake Elementary School. I am very honored and excited to work for the community of Leominster, a city where I was born and raised. My background ranges from serving 8 years in the United States Marine Corps, Coaching Basketball and Football, and volunteering my time with the ARC of Opportunity. I have over 10 years of experience working with maximizing youth potential, and I am so happy to bring this experience back to the community which has done so much for me when I was growing up in Leominster. One of the things that I enjoy most is having lunch with students. This gives me the opportunity to know and understand students outside of the classroom.

One of my tasks at Frances Drake is providing students with a comprehensive developmental guidance program. This guidance program is aimed at strengthening their character, social awareness, and communication skills. The past month I have been introducing students to Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great tool to help relax, focus, or just simply slow things down. Anyone can practice mindfulness and it is quite simple to do and has lasting benefits. Just like any other activity the more you practice it the better you become at it. So don't be afraid if the first time does not go as planned.

I recommend these few links for some simple guided meditation for you or your child to try. The first link is a simple 2 minute breathing exercise. The second link is a 4 minute breathing and stretching exercise. The second video is a good way for children to release tension and calm down when feeling stressed, anxious, or sad.

17/21 Days of Mindfulness Bootcamp - 2 Minute Mindful Breathing for Parents and Classrooms
Calming Exercises for Kids: Breathing and Stretching

More from Guidance-Ms. Feinberg

This months SEL Spot is featuring the importance of Positive Self Talk.
The Pathway 2 Success website states...

"Positive self-talk can have a big impact on how we think and feel. Over time, engaging in more positive
self-talk can help reduce stress, improve self-esteem, increase
motivation, inspire productivity, and improve overall mental and
physical health.
Educators, counselors, and parents can have a huge
role in helping kids and young adults develop a greater voice for
positive self-talk. "

Below are some resources to use with your children.

Positive Self Talk video geared toward younger kids:

The Reflection in me YouTube video:


Self talk activity link. This lesson introduces students to their
ïnner voice"and presents scenarios where they can practice how to use
positive self talk.

Negative Ned / Positive Pat Game:

Article on how parents can improve their self talk:


TED Talk... Positive Thinking (for you and older students)

Short Parent Coach video on how to foster Positive Self Talk in our Children:


30 Best Self-Esteem Books for Children

  • Amazing Grace. Mary Hoffman. ...
  • Ballerino Nate. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. ...
  • Calvin Can't Fly. Jennifer Berne. ...
  • Chrysanthemum. Kevin Henkes. ...
  • The Crown on Your Head. Nancy Tillman. ...
  • Exclamation Mark. Amy Krouse Rosenthal. ...
  • Flight School. Lita Judge. ...
  • Giraffes Can't Dance. Giles Andreae.



Nutrition Update

Have you ever heard the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away?” Crisp and crunchy apples - often called a "miracle food" - are packed full of good nutrients, like fiber and vitamin C. They will keep you feeling full, energized and ready to learn. Not only do apples make a delicious snack, but they are a great addition to salad, salsa and oatmeal!

Colorful red and orange vegetables, like tomatoes, contain lycopene: an antioxidant powerhouse! Other foods like grapefruit, red cabbage and watermelon also contain lycopene and act as “superfoods” which keep us feeling our best - preventing the onset of illness and disease.

Whole grains, such as quinoa, farro and wild/brown rice, are examples of intact whole grains and complex carbohydrates. These foods give you long lasting energy to carry you through the day while also enhancing our sleep cycles!

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PTO News...

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We would like to thank the following companies for their generous donations! Their generosity ensured a Glow Run shirt for every student at Frances Drake!!

Fitchburg Welding Company

The Smith/Harris Family

Gervais Ford

Northeast Glassworks


Colonial Chevrolet


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