Elm Street School

February 2016

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Principal's Message

As educators committed to the growth and development of our students, we rarely have time to step away from our daily practice to indulge in deepening our own learning. I am grateful that we have had such opportunities this year through ongoing work with expert Math Specialist, Christine Moynihan, and a day dedicated to learning from our WPS colleagues through learning opportunities designed and delivered by our outstanding staff, outside experts, and former students. Demonstrating that we are life-long learners is such a critical need and example for our students. I believe that it is essential that we model as adults that we learn from our students, from one another, and from our own failures and successes.

As parents and educators, we want our children to be successful. We encourage, motivate, discipline, teach, and model. It is also important that children learn to advocate for themselves, work hard, and persevere. They must gain an understanding about what works for them. They must learn to set their own goals and make plans to see them through. Action and ownership is required to attain their goals. Grit and perseverance have to be exercised again and again throughout their lives in order for it to become a strong, natural, inner drive. It is their determination, desire, and perseverance that enables them to accomplish their goals and dreams.

Without the encouragement and expectation to endure difficulties, self-advocate, and persevere, children will give up, quit trying, not meet their goals, and lose their confidence. They must learn to fail forward: that every failure makes them stronger and ready for bigger challenges. Failing does not make us a failure, it provides us with opportunities to learn and to grow.

If you are interested in learning more about how grit determines success, check out Angela Duckworth's TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit?language=en

Rebecca Brogadir


Parent Teacher Conferences

We believe that ongoing two way communication between school and home is paramount to children's success. Some parents may be curious or have input regarding classroom placement; this is something we take seriously and approach comprehensively starting in March. I will be seeking input from parents in March. Your input regarding your child's learning style is valued- I ask that all such input come directly to me through the form which I will provide. The upcoming conference is an opportunity for parents to have a mid-year check in with teachers about student progress and goals for the winter and spring. As you plan for this time with teachers, here are some things you may want to think about or ask:

  • What are my child's strengths?
  • What is my child's best learning style?
  • Other than academic goals, what do you see as the most important goals for the remainder of the school year?
  • What would you like to know about my child that will be helpful to you as the teacher?
  • What can I do to support my child's learning and your teaching?
If you have not already signed up for a conference, please sign up now Parent Teacher Confernece Sign up

School Policy: Bus Conduct and Safety Rules

1. While at the bus stop, remain well back from the road.

2. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the bus driver signals to get on the bus. 3. Enter and exit the bus carefully - walking - no pushing, shoving or rushing.

4. Keep hands and feet to yourself.

5. Keep the aisle clear of feet and other objects.

6. Speak quietly and kindly while on the bus.

7. Stay in your seat at all times.

8. Keep hands inside the windows.

9. No eating or drinking is allowed.

10. Remember to take all of your belongings off the bus.

11. Follow the bus driver's directions the first time given.

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Save the Dates:

  • Monday, 2/8- Friday, February 12- Box Tops Snowball Fight
  • Tuesday, 2/ 9: Kindergarten Report Cards go home in backpacks
  • Wednesday, 2/10: Parent Teacher Conferences, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Thursday, 2/11: Walpole Public Schools Strategic Planning Meeting
  • Thursday, 2/11: 100th Day of School
  • Friday, 2/12: Early Release at 12:20pm- Parent/ Teacher Conferences
  • Sunday, 2/14: Happy Valentine's Day
  • Monday, 2/15- Friday, 2/19- February Vacation
  • Tuesday, 2/23- PAC Meeting, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, 3/2- Read Across America Day
Family Math Night
  • Tuesday, 3/8- Barnes & Noble Art Display of WPS student work
  • Wednesday, 3/9- School Governance Council. 3:45pm
  • Sunday, 3/13- Daylight Savings Time
  • Tuesday, 3/15- PAC Meeting, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, 3/16- 3rd Grade Bay Colony in house field trip
  • Thursday, 3/17- 5th Grade to JMS Dress Rehearsal of Hooray for Hollywood
  • Friday, 3/25-
    • Early Release at 12:20pm- Professional Development
    • Student Principal for the Day
  • Thursday, 3/31- Title I Math Night at OPR
  • Saturday, 4/2- Elm PAC Silent Auction, 7:00pm


All Grades 3, 4 and 5 students are required to take the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)/MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System).

Please take note of the anticipated PARCC/ MCAS Schedule below. Consistent and on-time school attendance is always important, including on PARCC/MCAS days. Part of the school's assessment includes attendance and participation. Please schedule travel and appointments around the dates listed below. If you have questions about PARCC or MCAS they should be directed to Mrs. Brogadir: rbrogadir@walpole.k12.ma.us
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Nurse's Notes

Our fabulous 5th graders will be completing their Growth and Development unit next week. They have done a great job and behaved maturely during these lessons.

Scoliosis screenings for 5th grade students will take place in March. Information regarding these screenings will be sent home in a couple of weeks.

Please be sure that your child dresses for the cold weather… hats, coats, mittens, and boots when needed. We go outside everyday! Students should also be wearing their coats to and from the car or bus. Many report that it is in their backpack.

Also, please remember the rules about attendance. Please keep your child at home if he or she has a persistently runny nose, a harsh cough, unusual rash or a fever. (The child should be fever-free without medication for 24 hours.) Also, if your child has strep throat, conjunctivitis, or impetigo, they must be on antibiotics for 24 hours before they return.

~Mrs. Newman

Reminder: Cold Weather Gear and Outdoor Play

  • Wear winter weather clothing/gear to school: jacket, hat, gloves, scarves and boots. Students may bring snowpants/boots in a separate bag.
  • Label all clothing with student initials or names, including lunch boxes. While we maintain a lost and found, unclaimed items are eventually donated.
  • Weather permitting, students may only go in the snow at recess time with snowpants, boots and appropriate winter gear. Otherwise, recess play will be on the hardtop.
  • Per district policy, if the weather is 20 degrees or below, including windchill and/or the grounds are determined unsafe for outdoor play (such as due to ice), recess will be held indoors. Our goal is to have students play outside as much as possible.

Lost and Found

Check out our new Lost and Found rack. Items will be hung and rotated on the rack. Items that have not been claimed within two weeks will be donated.
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Geography Bee

Congratulations to all the Geography Bee Finalists:

Sahithi A., Isabella B., Kevin C., Matthew C., CJ D., Graham K., Shriya N., Kaden W.

Learning at Elm Street School

Mathematical Practices

The eight Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Common Core and the 2011 Massachusetts State Framework for Mathematics represent what mathematically proficient students are doing as they learn mathematics.

These fifth graders constructed their own understanding of volume of rectangular prisms by creating their own figures, using mathematical language to instruct a partner, and noticing and articulating their findings. This is just one example of the math practice standard: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Mathematically proficient students notice if calculations are repeated, and look both for general methods and for shortcuts. Upper elementary students might notice when dividing 25 by 11 that they are repeating the same calculations over and over again, and conclude they have a repeating decimal. By paying attention to the calculation of slope as they repeatedly check whether points are on the line through (1, 2) with slope 3, middle school students might abstract the equation (y - 2)/(x - 1) = 3. Noticing the regularity in the way terms cancel when expanding (x - 1)(x + 1), (x - 1)(x2 + x + 1), and (x - 1)(x3 + x2 + x + 1) might lead them to the general formula for the sum of a geometric series. As they work to solve a problem, mathematically proficient students maintain oversight of the process, while attending to the details. They continually evaluate the reasonableness of their intermediate results. (From www.corestandards.org/Math/Practice/)

Making Motion Meaningful: 2nd Graders create a track to demystify force and motion

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Excellence at Elm Street School

Art News

Grade two students just completed an interdisciplinary project connecting art with language arts. Students used their imaginations to create an imaginary story and animal. Students had a worksheet prompting their thought process which inspired them to create a drawing of this imaginary animal. Students worked with their grade two classroom teachers to perfect their short stories and to type them in the computer lab. In the art room, with Mrs. Robbins, students used colored pencils and crayons to complete their pictures depicting their stories. They also decorated around their typed up stories using colored pencils. They were matted on black paper and they will be displayed outside the second grade classrooms. Students really enjoyed creating these pictures and stories.

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Grade 4 Linear Landscape paintings

Grade Four students created these wonderful Linear Landscape paintings. Students were inspired by a presentation of linear landscape ideas, googled on line, and they were projected on a white board for all to see. Students were excited by the possibilities of what they could draw. They were instructed to show areas of land showing foreground, middle ground and background. They loved using watercolor to paint their ideas. Lastly they had to incorporate different line patterns in each area of space throughout their creations. The colors are magnificent and a joy to view. Several of these art renderings were uploaded to the "Artsonia" website for all to see. Mrs. Robbins is very proud of her students for all their enthusiasm and effort.

Dynamic Earth: Siemens visits our fifth graders

2016 Elm Street Box Tops Snow Ball Battle

The Snowballs are about to start flying inside Elm Street School! Monday, Feb. 8 through Friday, Feb. 12, the PAC will be sponsoring our annual Elm Street Box Tops Snow Ball Battle! For every 10 Box Tops students turn in on a collection sheet, their classroom will be given a snow ball that they can “throw” at another classroom. The thrown snowballs will be posted on a bulletin board outside of the cafeteria. Click here to learn more about how Box Tops for Education supports our school!

Thank you to our volunteers!

We are so lucky to have such a generous community. Many thanks to the volunteers who help keep our media center up and running, support our classrooms, and get our students active through running and yoga. We are so grateful for your ongoing support.
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Elm Street School Parent Advisory Council (PAC)

The Elm Street School PAC supports the school in innumerable ways. In addition to many fun family events like the Ice Cream Social and the Hoedown, the PAC provides financial support for student activities, improves our playground activities and equipment, and brings in phenomenal enrichment programs. The PAC is hard at work and is always seeking more involvement. If you are interested in becoming more involved and/or want to receive the PAC's email announcements, go to: http://www.elmstreetpac.org/contact/subscribe/


Join us at the next PAC meeting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, February 23 in the Media Center.



It is time to match wits with your friends and neighbors....

Please join us for Elm Street School’s Trivia Night!! Enjoy a really fun night out with friends while raising money for Elm Street’s 5th grade celebration! Please save the date and plan on joining us!!

Prizes will be awarded to the winning team.

WHEN: Saturday, February 27, 2016

TIME: 7:00 PM (Trivia begins at 8:00 sharp!)

WHERE: Finnegan’s Wake (cash bar & limited menu)

1034 East Street, Walpole

COST: $20/person (tables of 10)

Sign up on the PAC website at:


For additional information please contact Gail Ofgant at gofgant@gmail.com or Andrea Grogan at agrogan@blessedsacrament.org.


Save the Date: Elm Street School Silent Auction

Join us for the 2nd Annual Elm Street Silent Auction Night!
Saturday, April 2, 7:00PM at The Walpole Country Club.

More information on tickets and auction previews to come!

All donations and donation related questions may be directed to Rebecca Joyce at rebeccajoyce@hotmail.com