South Elementary Family Newsletter

Volume #4 December, 2020

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Monthly Message from the Principal

Dear South Families,

I can hardly believe that winter and their holidays are fast approaching. With this month comes the season of giving, as well as cooler, sometimes stormy weather. Connecting those two thoughts....please send your children with coats, hats, and gloves and let me know if you are a family in need of cold weather gear for your child. Times are hard for many right now, but we are lucky to have many generous people in our community.

As I walk through the classrooms, playground, and hallways during December, I see students growing both academically and socially. Typically, academics get harder this time of year as concepts and skills build on one another. Students are learning to apply knowledge they have been taught earlier in the year and can get frustrated when challenges present themselves. Sometimes, it can be difficult as parents to watch this and we step in quickly to give answers or remove the frustration. However, these difficulties can lend themselves to opportunities , like developing perseverance and problem solving abilities. These are important traits that should be encouraged and supported. Suggestions for working through struggles may include taking a break and relating a story where you personally had to work things out that were hard for you. Please also see the section below in Parent Resources for some other tools, like multiplication charts and alphabet linking charts (linking sounds and letters). Adults and children alike work through being uncomfortable when things get hard and the more this is treated as a normal circumstance, the easier it will be for the children to learn. As a classroom teacher of almost 30 years before going into administration, I can tell you that this is one of the best areas to focus on during the winter months when school can get more difficult.

With the Thanksgiving holiday and family gatherings last week, we are getting an increase in calls inquiring about symptoms, close contacts, and quarantines. Please see this link for information on Updated Covid Protocols. We continue to keep our school community safe by focusing on social distancing (6 ft), mask wearing, and hand washing. You are a huge reason we have been as successful as we have in the health and safety category. Thank you for your communication and caution as we navigate through all of this together. Please feel free to contact our school nurse, Ms. Bertrand, or me, with any concerns or

The Somerset Recreation Department has some fun holiday activities going on this month. More information is located in the Parent Resource section below. I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season filled with peace, love, and joy!

Aloha, Steph Brown


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Important Dates

Tuesday, December 8th-Make Up Day for School Pictures for Cohort A

Wednesday, December 9th-NO SCHOOL for Students-Professional Development Day

Friday, December 11th-Make Up Day for School Pictures for Cohort B

Tuesday, December 15th-Spirit Week-PJ DAY-Cohort A

Tuesday, December 15th-PTO Meeting @ 6PM. Click HERE for the Zoom link.

Friday, December 18thSpirit Week-PJ DAY-Cohort B

Wednesday, December 23rd-Early Release Day for Students

Thursday, December 24th-Sunday, January 3rd-NO SCHOOL, Holiday Recess


Please click on this link if you would like to be updated through text with information from me.

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Technology and Virtual Learning

June Mitchell and Chris Green continue to have Tech Tuesday for parents to provide tech support. The Signup for this is on both the North and South websites. Sign up for tech assistance for your child’s Chromebook.

June is available by email ( and by phone at 508-324-3180.

Chris is available by email ( and by phone at 508-324-3160.

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From Ms. Bertrand, our school nurse

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This is a friendly reminder that flu vaccines are needed by December 31st, unless you have a written medical or religious exemption on file. Please send in documentation as soon as possible. Please see updated Covid Protocols link below for helpful information.

Thank you. Stay well!

Ms. Bertrand


Updated Covid Protocols

If your child is ill, please keep them home and email our school nurse,

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South PTO

PTO Update for December:

Decorate your own Holiday Cookies, Orders Due by December 11th.

Spirit Week! Week of 12/14- PJ Days!

Cohort A- Tuesday, December 15th

Cohort B- Friday, December 18th

Full Remote- Send photos to us at throughout the week

December PTO Virtual Meeting: Tuesday, December 15 at 6pm. Meeting Invite:

South Elementary PTO is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Monthly South PTO Meeting

Time: December 15, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Every month on the Third Tue, until May 18, 2021, 7 occurrence(s)

Dec 15, 2020 06:00 PM

Jan 19, 2021 06:00 PM

Feb 16, 2021 06:00 PM

Mar 16, 2021 06:00 PM

Apr 20, 2021 06:00 PM

May 18, 2021 06:00 PM

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 0733 0145

Passcode: crickets

One tap mobile

+13017158592,,82907330145#,,,,,,0#,,48052631# US (Germantown)

+13126266799,,82907330145#,,,,,,0#,,48052631# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 829 0733 0145

Passcode: 48052631

Find your local number:

Please follow us on Facebook at South Elementary PTO and reach out to us at

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Parent Resources

Click HERE for an Alphabet Linking Chart to help your child match sounds and letters when writing/reading.

Click HERE for Multiplication Charts to practice math facts or use for a reference.

Click HERE for a great list of different holiday books to read to your child/children

December Lunch Menu: please click HERE or try this link:

Or, try to copy and paste this link into a different tab:

School meals (breakfast and lunch) are free for all students (in-school and virtual) up to age 21 for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Meals can be picked up between 10 am and 11 am and 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm at North Elementary. Please call 508.324.3172 for details.

If you are picking up meals you can pick up several days' meals at one time. If you aren't able to come yourself you can have someone come in your place to pick up the meals. Click HERE for more information.

Somerset Recreation Department Gingerbread Workshop-Click HERE

Somerset Recreation Letters to Santa-Click HERE

MA/COVID Travel Information: If you are planning on a family vacation or a visit out of the state, please review the Massachusetts Travel Order.

Somerset Public Schools Handbook: SPS Health and Safety Handbook includes important information on face masks/covering (no neck gators or masks with vents, unless a doctor's note is sent in), travel restrictions (links in Parent Resources for Massachusetts Travel information), and keeping students home if students or their close contacts have COVID symptoms.

Somerset Public Schools, Revised Calendar: please click HERE

MA/COVID Travel Information: If you are planning on a family vacation or a visit out of the state, please review the Massachusetts Travel Order.

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Kindergarten has been doing so many fun things this month! We did our first family project of disguising Tom the Turkey. There were so many interesting ones that came in. The students worked on their speaking and listening skills when presenting their project to the class. We have begun reading sight word books, with the focus on the words that we already know. In science, we focused on dangerous weather this month and the students were able to create floods and tornadoes! In math we worked on ways to make sets of five. We are now focused on comparing numbers and using the vocabulary words; more, less and equal. During the month of December, we will be discussing holiday traditions.

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Our first graders have been busy, busy, busy during November!!! We finished up our investigation of addition concepts and moved on to subtraction. The first graders have now reviewed all the short vowel sounds and are now adding digraphs to their reading and writing repertoire. They’ve also been building their writing portfolios with “small moment” stories. We are learning to add sequence words and details to make our stories more interesting. We spent the month learning about how children long ago were like us and how they were different. And almost all of us agreed that we wouldn’t want to go back to the “olden days” Finally, our first graders really focused on gratitude this month...we wrote about our own gratitude and showed our gratitude to our community by making cards for the council on aging. We are looking forward to all of the fun and learning December will bring us!!!
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Friends Around the World has been the theme for November. In ELA, we read a collection of letters written to e-pals titled Friends Around the World. We learned about and compared 2nd graders from New York City, Ho Chi Minh City, Northern Canada, and the Australian Outback. Throughout the story, we have discussed the author's purpose, and closely examined some features of a nonfiction text. This story has worked together well with our social studies focus looking at the continents and oceans of the world. We have continued our narrative writing, and have focused on telling a story in a "small moment". We will be wrapping up narrative writing by shifting from personal narratives to fictional narratives. In Word work, we have continued our vowel study while focusing on blends and digraphs. In math, we have begun to look at larger numbers through 1,000, and have begun to use Think Central as a pivotal tool in our learning and instruction. In Science, we have been studying various Earth Materials, including water, rocks, sand, and soil. We will be wrapping up this unit before the holiday vacation by building a model to showcase all that we have learned. We are looking forward to talking with everyone via Zoom Conferences this Wednesday!
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If 2020 hasn’t been crazy enough the recent weather has kept us on our toes! Grade 3 has been hard at work as semester 1 starts to wind down. In math we have just completed our unit on data analysis and we have begun working with the concept of multiplication. We will continue to focus on the mathematical practices as we transition into this unit. In reading we will continue to work on the essential questions of “How do readers use evidence from texts to understand what they read?” and “How do photographs, illustrations and details help readers understand text?”. Students have completed two personal narratives and we will begin working on fantasy writing. We are so impressed with the creativity and use of dialogue in student writing. Third graders have enjoyed learning about extreme weather and natural disasters. With the recent earthquake and crazy weather patterns students have been able to apply their new knowledge to real world experiences. In social studies we will continue to learn about the early Americans and how they shaped the world we live in today.

Mrs. Lopes and Mrs. Kela were so impressed with the “Balloons Over Broadway” creations. Please be on the lookout for our green screen movie that will be shared on our Google Classrooms as well as our South PTO Facebook page.

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Grade 4 is movin’ and groovin’ with Earth’s Materials! We have been busy experimenting with our schoolyard soils and will investigate erosion and deposition models in the classroom! In Math, Chapter 3 is on the horizon. Mastering multiplication facts is a “must-do!” Please be sure to keep up with Reflex. We are full speed ahead with narrative reading and writing. Unit 4 brings an interesting short story that is a blend of narrative and nonfiction before we end the unit with a humorous chapter book! Soon we will set sail to learn more about Social Studies with our European Explorers! Thank you for your support with at home learning! It is a challenge for all but all students are growing and smiling-that’s all we need!

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December is here, and the kids have been doing fantastic!

In Science, we are learning all about the Earth's atmosphere, and will be moving right along into the Water cycle.As a grade level, we finished the book George's Secret Key to the Universe and are talking about Comparing and Contrasting and Cause and Effect.

We are moving into the Puritan life in Social Studies, and finally in Math, we have finished chapter 2, and are moving right into chapter 3 , which is Adding and Subtracting Decimals.

Lot's of fun work happening in 5th Grade!