Best of Bennet

June 11, 2021

From the Principal

Hi Bennet Academy Families!

Wow, what a school year! Can you believe we made it! Not only did we make it, but we did it together in strong partnership with you all and we are so appreciative! We know this past year has been difficult. Please know that the Bennet staff is so grateful to have navigated this school year with you. Most importantly, we are so proud of our students for having the grit to push through this year. This was a year none of us will ever forget.

The Bennet staff wishes you all a healthy, enjoyable and restful summer!

With appreciation for your partnership!

Joe Chella, Principal

When's the last day of school?

The last day of school this year is Wednesday, June 16th. Even though we have been coming in late on Wednesdays, on the last day students will start school at their "regular" time of 8:15, BUT we will dismiss at 11:45! Just want to keep you on your toes until the end!

Can my child go to school today?

Has your child or a family member been in close contact with a known positive Covid person?

Does your child or a family member have a persistent cough, or other respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, lung congestion?

Has your child or a family member lost the ability to smell or taste?

Does your child or a family member have a fever over 100 F?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions for you or your child, your child should stay home and you should call the school absentee line.

If you answered YES to any of these questions for a member of your family, please contact the school nurse for advice prior to sending your child to school.

PTSA Hanging Flower Basket Fundraiser

Did you want to order from the PTSA Hanging basket fundraiser but forgot to send in the order form and money with your child? You have one last opportunity - tomorrow, Saturday June 12th, from 9:30-11:00 the order form and payment can be brought to the drop-off area behind the school.

Coupons must be redeemed by June 30th!

When are we getting our yearbooks?

Yearbooks will be distributed to in-person Grade 6 students (and any 5th graders that pre-ordered/paid) on June 15th.

Remote students will have "pick up" dates of June 15th and 16th from 2:00-3:00 pm, June 17th from 12:00-3:00 pm and June 18th from 9:00 am-12:00 pm.

All grade 6 students will receive a yearbook. Only those 5th grade students that pre-ordered and prepaid will receive a yearbook.

Please note - Grade 5 students who ordered a yearbook directly online should receive their yearbook in the mail directly from the company.

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Team Rowling

The last few weeks have been spent finishing up argument reading and writing assessments and it has been impressive to see how passionate our students have become about the positives and negatives of social media, animal rights and video games. The students have done a great job with their reading and writing.

In addition to the great work in reading and writing, students have been learning about where the matter and energy things need to grow comes from. They have also been learning how to compute fractions with like and unlike denominators.

The teachers on Team Rowling would like to give a shout out to all of the students for their flexibility, hard work, amazing effort and positive attitude during this incredibly challenging school year! It hasn’t always been easy, but we all worked together and did the best that we could to make it a great year. Have a fantastic summer!

Team Roosevelt

Roosevelt is ready for summer after this wild and crazy year! September through December was a period of adjustment for everyone! Eventually, students and teachers on team Roosevelt got used to our hybrid and remote schedules and were off and learning! As we moved through the winter months and winter break, students learned to navigate various virtual learning tools and programs and found much success in this new and different learning time! April 19th was the big day we were all anticipating! Both cohorts could return to in person learning. We were thrilled to be able to see one another daily! By this time, we were all experts in virtual learning but so glad to be back in person and finally off the computer! Kudos to our remote learners who stayed true to their learning by participating online everyday!

We have been using our Advisory period to not only celebrate differences but to keep working to learn the importance of kindness and honoring individual and collective diversities. We recognize that this is vital in order for us to co-exist with understanding and appreciation for all the learners and identities that make up our learning community. This period takes place every Wednesday afternoon and is a time where students can engage in meaningful conversations to help develop their social-emotional capacities. Empathy, understanding and becoming an upstander instead of a bystander are just a few of the important lessons students and staff members had the opportunity to actively engage in. Discussions were and continue to be rich and have proven to be valuable tools to rely on in unexpected situations. Our most recent advisory period focused on some amazing young activists working to make global change. Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Marley Diaz and Anwar Boutahar are just a few of the notable young activists we were introduced to. Check them out!

As stated earlier, Roosevelt students who chose to learn on the hybrid model this year were more than excited to get back to full in-person learning which happened April 19th. As with any schedule change, this took a period of adjustment for both in person and remote learners as the schedule that they were all used to totally changed to allow for more instruction time. Instead of ending our day at 12:30 we would now be learning following a similar yet different schedule with regard to time. In time, we navigated the new schedule with more confidence.

Our students thoroughly enjoyed reading and immersing themselves in the text, Refugee by Alan Gratz. This school wide learning experience was so meaningful and at times emotional. We were sad to say goodbye to our beloved characters, Josef, Isabel and Mahmoud as this book came to a close but we are better readers and writers as a result of the experience. This is no doubt one of those school experiences that students will remember for a long time to come, one of those “I remember in 6th grade” moments.

Thank you to all of our students and parents who worked so hard to navigate this unprecedented time. You are amazing, your kids are amazing (and resilient) and we are so blessed to have had them learn with us during this unforgettable year. We (students and teachers) will never forget this year and what it has meant for schooling. Wearing masks to school, having to be accountable for both in person and online instruction, learning tough concepts through a computer screen and lunch in the classroom are just a few of the new learning we had to adjust to but, we did it! You did it! Our kids did it! Here’s hoping for a happier, healthier, fully in-person learning experience next year! Enjoy the sweetest, most well deserved summer ever!


It is very hard to believe that June is here and the kids are wrapping up the school year, preparing for their next school adventure! Education has looked very different in the past 15 months, and educating young people has been a true partnership between school and home. We are grateful for the support from our Bennet Families and we hope that the experience this year was memorable and enjoyable.

Summer learning loss is real. Research shows that kids lose as much as two to three months of math and reading skills over the summer. Summer learning is especially important for middle-schoolers. The best summer learning experiences should be about “reviewing information they’ve already learned and making sure they can apply it to the world around them. If they learn to make those connections, then no learning is lost.”

There are teachable moments in most of our daily activities. Making dinner? Let your child measure the ingredients. Clipping coupons? Show your child how much money will be saved in your grocery budget. Rewatching an old baseball game? Show your child how to calculate a batting average or a pitcher’s ERA. Going on a pretend road trip? Have your child calculate the miles, the amount of gas, the cost of gas, the total cost of the trip, etc. If your child asks, “What time will we get there?” Make them figure it out… “If it is 3:00 pm now and we have 97 more minutes to go what time will it be when we arrive?”

We hope that children’s experiences with math will continue over the summer. We have resources to help keep kids engaged and learning to better prepare them for school in the fall.

Dreambox has helped students in math to increase their general understanding. The program allows students to learn concepts through practice at their own pace. Students will continue to have access to this program throughout the summer. Dreambox

Curiosity Camp: The district is planning two sessions this summer where students will be engaged in field trips, hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Kids will have the opportunity to build leadership and strengthen personal academic skills. Curiosity Camp

State of Connecticut Commissioner’s Summer Math Challenge: The 2021 Commissioner's Summer Math Challenge stresses the importance of maintaining math skills during the summer. Schools compete based on student population and grade level. The program identifies the schools with the highest percentage of participating enrollment and the highest number of badges earned by participating students. Registration instructions, district reporting forms and all other materials are available online. All courses are free and students are working for about 20-30 minutes a day for 6 weeks. There is also a Math Passport that allows students to share how they use math in real life. This is such a valuable practice! The more students see how math is actually used in real life, the more engaged they will be in class.

Greg Tang Math: This site provides games that will help to improve math skills. Students can log in and play games like NumTanga, Satisfraction and Expresso to keep their math skills fresh. Greg Tang Math Greg Tang Summer Math Challenge


Collection of School Instruments:

All school-owned instruments should have been returned by now.

If you still have your child's school-owned instrument, please bring it to the Franklin main office as soon as possible.

Could you use a helping hand?

If you have fallen on hard times - you're not alone. Unfortunately, during this pandemic many people have also felt the economic consequences. These services have been put in place to assist people in need: CT/Government assistance: - this is the website to apply for cash assistance, food stamps(SNAP) and medical. The first box will ask you questions and take about 15 minutes - to find out if you are eligible. The second one beneath it will take about 30-60 minutes to fill out for benefits. Click on it and it will take you to a page of information: You'll want to click the circle to the left on the page for start a new application - it looks like this:

Start a new application for any of the following:

after you click it it will ask you to make an account - remember your id and password because that's what you'll use to access and track your eligibility as well as benefits. The rest are questions you need to complete. TIP - DO NOT go backwards or forwards or it will start the whole process all over again. This will get you into the state of CT DSS system to access benefits.

Manchester Food Pantries:

Mobile Foodshare is an outdoor pantry-on-wheels for people who need food assistance. The program visits community sites throughout the Greater Hartford area. Food choices vary from week to week, but usually include several types of fresh produce. To receive the Mobile Foodshare schedule on your cell phone text FOODSHARE to 85511.

Thanks to Miss Cavanna, Bennet Academy Social Worker (860-647-3571 x70543), for sharing these resources.

Do you want to lend a hand?

If your family is wanting to help those less fortunate, one way is to help stock the pantry at local food banks. Click here to see when and where you can drop off items and what might be most needed.

If you know other ways community members can help, please share your ideas with us for possible publication in a future newsletter. Email

Summer Reading Challenge!

Check out the Governor's Summer Reading Challenge here!

More summer reading info here!


We tried to highlight the positives this school year...and the following people have had a positive impact on us at Bennet!!

Ms. Pagdiwala shouts out to Ms. Godbout and her awesome and hardworking virtual class for a super cool and amazing year.

Shout out from the nurses (Miss Penny and Miss Elisha) to all behavior techs and security guards!! Every time they bring students to the nurse's office, they are patient with us and thorough in the handing off report. You follow up, escort students, provide structure, and set great examples for the students. You are very appreciated!!

Shout out to all the parents that made it through the craziest school year ever!!!

Shout out to all the students who learned the true meaning of being flexible!!

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Shout out from Mrs. Christensen's to her Bennet Bear Babies (pictured above!)

Thank you for making this year one of the best years ever... in spite of COVID! I have truly been blessed to work with such a kind, caring, considerate, intrinsically motivated class! Here's to a well deserved summer vacation!! It has been a pleasure doing business with you! You ROCK! PEACE!!!

Above and below check out Ms. Pietkevich's grade 5 kiddos in their team building activity

The Bennet Bear Den

Mrs. McDonnell, Mrs. Olesnevich and Mrs. Jodoin help students publish a newspaper and you can see current and past issues here. We have some budding journalists at Bennet!
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REMINDER for 6th Grade Families - Don't let your student miss the first days of 7th grade!

As the school year comes to a close please remember, in order for your child to start 7th grade they need to have a physical exam by your doctor, a walk-in clinic, or an urgent care center, as well as both the Tdap and Meningococcal vaccines. Physicals for 7th grade may be dated anytime anytime after January 1, 2020, so if your child had one last winter or over the summer and you have not provided the nurse with a copy, please do so now. You can fax the paperwork to the nurses at 860-647-6348 or send the hard copy to the Nurse’s office via your child. Be prepared, doctor's offices often schedule physicals months in advance, especially during summer - You don’t want your child to miss the first days of 7th grade!

Bennet School Nurses

Penny & Elisha

860-647-3582 (p)

860-647-6348 (f)

Attendance Line

Please remember to call the Attendance Line @ 860.647.3583 if your child will be absent, even if they are remote learners. Attendance still counts. Please leave your child's name, ID #, and a detailed reason for the absence (ie fever, cough, etc.). If your child's absence is COVID related please call the nurse @ 860.647.3582.

REMINDERS - Masks, Water Bottles, and Home Access Center!

*Please continue to send your student with a water bottle as all water fountains remain closed this year. We do have filling stations throughout the school to refill their bottles.

*Please be sure your student has a mask when they leave the house. It is also helpful if they carry an extra mask in their backpack just in case.

*Just a reminder that grades, progress notes and report cards are posted in the Home Access Center. Your login and password remain the same for HAC throughout your child's time in Manchester Public School through graduation. Please keep this information in a safe place as you can always log in to look at your child's grades, but it is also where Progress Notes and Report Cards are found. If you need help logging into the HAC please contact the Registrar, Heidi Turner at Report cards will be posted in HAC the last day of school and will also be mailed home (which takes a week or so after school ends).

Take a look at our Virtual Backpack!

Each week flyers are added here so be sure to check it out!

News from the Bennet Office:

  • Picking your student up early? Please call ahead and we will have your student ready. Let us know when you arrive and we will meet you at the door with your student to check your ID. Thanks for being patient with this early dismissal procedure as we limit visitors.

  • For all technology assistance (including Chromebooks, laptops and iPads), go to the IT Helpdesk or call / text 860-682-0607, Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

  • Did you move? Please see the list of required documents. Contact Registrar Heidi Turner to update your information: or 860.647.8275.
  • New number? Please remember to update the registrar with any changes to your phone number or email so we can reach you!
  • New email? If you are reading this on our app and not in your email it may mean we have old information. Please contact Ms. Turner with your new email address so you don't miss out!

A note from the security team.

Please be aware that due to the construction on Spruce Street, after you enter parent pickup on School Street you will exit with a right hand turn onto Wells Street towards Main Street. Bennet Security will be stationed along the drop off and pick up route.

Please be sure to discuss pick up and drop off plans with your student to eliminate any confusion. Thank you.

Is there something you would like to see in this newsletter next year?

Please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Berman ( if you have something you think the Bennet Community would like to know about or if you have pictures to share of any of our Bennet Cubs or staff doing something fun or newsworthy in our town. We can't promise it will make it into the newsletter, but we will make every effort to incorporate newsworthy items!
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Wait, when's the first day of school next year?

Hard to believe this is our last newsletter for the 2020-2021 school year! You can find next year's school calendar here! The first day back for students in grades PK-5, grade 7 and grade 9 is Wednesday, September 8th. Students in grades 6, 8 and 10-12 start back Thursday, September 9th! Head Start goes back September 13th.

While half of you are moving on to Illing, we can't wait to see the rest of you back in September!!