The Penguin Post

Benjamin Phelps School - June 2022 Newsletter

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To the Students of Phelps

Another school year has come to a close,

You’ve come so far - the data shows!

Beyond your skills in reading and writing and math,

As little people - you are on the right path.

You have shown kindness and friendship all throughout Phelps

And when someone was in need, you stepped up to help.

To our fourth grade class - we wish you the best….

There’s no shade of doubt, Doering will be impressed!

Take all of the lessons that you have learned here

And go tackle middle school without any fears.

Stay true to yourself and do what is right

Make good choices, and your future is bright!

For the rest of our students - you’ll be back for more

With great new teachers and lessons to explore.

Enjoy your summer and have lots of fun

We’ll see you in the fall ‘cause our work is not done.

All the best,


Crystal Apple Award Winner for May

Congratulations to our Crystal Apple Award Winner for May....Mrs. D'Agostino!

Mrs. D’Agostino is an amazing person and teacher! We are so impressed with the way she connects to her students and creates a positive working environment within the classroom and school. She inspires her students every day with her passion for writing, history, and lifelong learning. Her students grow into accomplished authors, glean wisdom from important individuals and events in history, and become successful learners who LOVE learning. Mrs. D. brought great ideas and enthusiasm to our morning radio show by highlighting monthly themes. Within the theme of the month, Mrs. D found an artist to share information about as well as play a clip of their music. Finally, Mrs. D. helps her students and colleagues to see their worth and empowers them to be confident in their beautiful minds and how to work together as a team and classroom family.

Congratulations 4th Grade!

Congratulations to all of our 4th grade students, many of whom just finished their 5th year at Phelps! We are so proud of all you have accomplished and can't wait to hear of all the amazing things you do at Doering, the Junior High, and High School in the coming years!

Here is the video that the 4th Grade Committee put together for you to remember your journey up to this point.

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End of Year Fun in Kindergarten

Agawam High School Senior Parade at Phelps

Congratulations to the Agawam High School class of 2022!!!

We wish you all the best for continued success as you prepare to take the next step in your education, careers, and armed services.

We know that you will proudly represent Agawam!

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Staffing Changes for 2022-2023

3rd Grade:

Room 19 - Mrs. Greguoli

Room 22 - Mrs. D'Agostino

Room 23 - Mrs. Galaska

4th Grade:

Room 18 - Mrs. Gendron

Room 20 - Mrs. Wilson

Room 24 - Mrs. Sample

Mrs. Smith who was a 3rd grade teacher this year has accepted a position as our new math coach! Mrs. Smith will be splitting her time between James Clark Elementary and Phelps to support all teachers in grades K-4. Congratulations Mrs. Smith!

Mr. Viens be assuming the role of our Grade 3/4 Connections Teacher in the fall. He has been a paraprofessional in the Connections Program for the last five years. His role in the Connections Program has given him the knowledge and experience needed to hit the ground running in the fall. I am very excited for our students as I know that they will thrive in Mr. Vien's classroom!

Keep Your Child Engaged This Summer!

Our lead teacher, Mrs. Ludkiewicz has created a great resource for you to keep your child engaged through the summer. You will find resources for academics, mindfulness, outdoor activities, local summer programs and day trip ideas. Here is the link to the 2022 Summer Resources Parent Workshop.

Field Day - Phelps Carnivale 2022!

Thank you to all of the volunteers who came to help during field day and to the PTO for donating the bounce house, dunk tank, snacks, and equipment. The weather was great and all the staff and students had a great time!

The reigning Tug-of-War Champions for the 2021-2022 school year are....

Kindergarten - Ms. Epaul

1st Grade - Mrs. Domina

2nd Grade - Ms. Bushey

3rd Grade - Mrs. Smith

4th Grade - Mrs. Greguoli

School Council Vacancies

There is still one vacancy for a parent representative and one vacancy for a community representative to our School Improvement Council (S.I.C.). The community representative can be anyone from a local business owner (who is an Agawam resident) to a retired resident looking to get involved in the schools.

The S.I.C. assists the principal in writing the School Improvement Plan, identifies ways to spend the school's gift account and gives valuable feedback and a parent/community member's voice towards decisions being made in the school. The S.I.C. meets once every month after school. If you are anyone you know might be interested, please email


Hi Phelps Families!

We are excited to announce that we have chosen to sell prepackaged school supplies for the 2022-2023 school year through School Tool Box - it doesn't get any easier than this!

Our grade level supplies list are all included in each box. Orders are placed online, contain trusted brand name supplies, and will be delivered directly to Phelps!

Please note that the deadline to order is July 17.

Visit to place your order.

Ordering is available from May 24-July 17th.

Benjamin Phelps School Tool Box Flyer


We will have our 2nd annual Back to School Playground Party at the end of August! Look for the invitation in late July!

We had a lot of fun last summer and we are planning to build on the excitement with a few new surprises!

From the Nurse

  1. Keep an eye out for papers going home for next year’s allergy/asthma/medication packets as well as information for next month’s medication pickup

  2. Any Physical exam done so far this year, please send in a copy if you have not already. You can also send via email to

Music Matters!

A note from Mr. Sawyer:

This year's Music Matters was the best we have ever put on. Over 2,000 were in attendance for our students' outstanding performances. This event truly is a moment that our community comes together to celebrate our children and community. I am incredibly grateful for the tremendous support I have received from everyone!

This year's concert could not have happened without our art teacher Mrs. Stephanie Robinson and our science teacher Ms. Rachel Conklin. They helped to put on all the extra activities at the concert and installed the huge chalk art around the park spending hours of time planning and preparing so those events could be a part of this concert. I would also like to thank Chet and Krista Comme for helping to build the Pot-a-saurus and for getting all the heavy equipment out on the field for the children to see.

One of the most important parts to this concert is our teachers who step up to help manage students on and off stage along with dealing with keeping our little ones calm. This year because we were short handed teachers also stepped up to take on other rolls, a special shout out to Ms. Trisha Bushey for doing 2 hours of face painting, Mrs. Anna Glaska for helping to run the art activities and to Mrs. Christin Willson for helping to run the kitchen and kids on stage. I am also very grateful to have Mr. Andy Villamino as a principal who has supported this concert and was gracious enough to play trumpet on my piece “Great Nation Anthem.”

The force that makes the gears of Music Matters truly run every year is the army of NHS students that come to help do all the jobs that this event requires to execute successfully. They are always awesome. Lastly, because we were short handed I would also like to give a huge thanks to all the community members and former students who stepped up to fill the open jobs. Without their help we would have been in trouble.

Finally I am excited and inspired for next year, because of the help I received this year from so many people in the community. I have already decided on next year's theme which will be, Community because without community Music would not Matter!!

Significant Growth In Reading!

This was a year like no other. Because of the great resources available to us, 115 students received a literacy intervention this year and 61 students were able to receive a math intervention.

In a previous newsletter, we shared school-wide reading data. At this point of the year, all students have completed their end-of-year benchmark assessments. The data shows significant growth in student reading scores! As a school, we went from 50% of students reading below grade level to 27%. Of that 27%, 11% are approaching grade level expectations.

The amount of students school-wide that are exceeding grade level expectations has increased from 24% to 53%! This means that 73% of students at Phelps are now reading at or above grade level.

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Cool Coupon Contest

Congratulations to our Cool Coupon Contest winners! All students had an opportunity to design the Cool Coupons that we use next year. Staff give students Cool Coupons when they model our core values of Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe.

Winners: Alex, Tucci, Londyn, Giuliana, Fatma, Gianna, Brynn, Devyn, Oscar, Sena

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From Our Counselors...

Mrs. LaPine and Mrs. Jitov put together a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) BINGO Board for students to complete! Here is a link to a PDF of the SEL BINGO Board!

Students can turn in the completed board this year for some COOL COUPONS!

From the PTO

Thank you to all our Phelps families who have supported our fundraising efforts. An extra shout out to all our AMAZING parent volunteers. Phelps PTO rocks thanks to you!

Have a safe and relaxing summer!

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Board Members


Krista Comee

Vice President

Katelyn Linder


Renee Murphy


Nicole Wahlberg

2022-2023 4th Grade Committee

For our incoming 4th grade families, we are looking for parents interested in forming the 2022-2023 4th Grade Committee. This group is highly involved in planning all of the end-of-year activities for the 4th grade class. Please email if interested.

Here we are at the end of another school year! We are so proud of all Phelps students for their hard work and the significant growth that they made in all areas. Though Covid still had an impact throughout the year, it was great to finally see students experience things that we haven't been able to do in two years! Many students went on their first field trip and attended their first in school assembly! Lunches were back in the cafeteria and students were able to work in groups with their peers.

The faculty and staff of Benjamin Phelps wish all of our families a happy, healthy, and safe summer vacation. We look forward to seeing your smiling faces in the fall!

Thanks for Reading!

Mr. Villamaino and Mrs. Ludkiewicz

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