Murphy Mustangs

News and events for the month of May


This newsletter is online at:

The Spring weather has arrived! A reminder too, that even though it's warming up the temperature still fluctuates quite a bit. We will go outside as much as possible for the month of May. We may even go out on days where there is a light rain (sprinkling). Have kids dress accordingly, we won't be requiring snow pants and boots anymore (insert cheering from kids here).

As with each month's newsletter, May's installment has a handful of items including ta bunch of May events.

A couple short items:
  • Classroom placement letters for the 2013-2014 school year will go home in August. This will be the same at all 318 Elementary Schools.
  • Yearbooks are still available to order. They are $11.00 each. Make your check payable to "Murphy PTC".
  • Contact myself or your child's teacher if you would like any information about summer programming (ex. Summer Learning Academy).
  • Check out for summer Community Ed courses (there's a pink catalog on their site, right hand side).

Please take some time in looking through the remainder of our newsletter, some items will be new and some will be familiar. There's also an attachment about a "Murphy School Book Order". This book order is not a fundraiser, it's a selection of books recommended by staff that you can purchase at a discount.


Sean Martinson

Dad to Three Amazing Kids (soon to be four)
Principal - Murphy Elementary School ~

School: 218.327.5880 ~ Cell: 218.209.2573

The Toughest Job

I wanted to take a moment during this month's newsletter to share some thoughts on being a parent and some reflections I've had over the past few months with my own children.

Sometimes the toughest part of being a parent is "not" fixing a problem for your child. For example, the other week my daughter was in tears and dead set that she needed to be picked up from school. Even with that, she said "nothing" was wrong. Granted it didn't take too much to figure out something else was going on. Short version of the story is that she was having a problem on the bus ride home. Now the easiest thing I could have done was just pick her up and problem solved, for the short term. However, I'm her parent and not her friend. Now hear me out here.... part of being a parent is having to tell your children "no", or as in this case, help them learn how to solve their own problems even when you're not there. Although for her she was having a "problem" she was safe and just needed help in trying to solve the problem.

I think that's what makes being a parent, the toughest "job" I have. I could see the pain in her face and hear it in her voice. What I had to do though was sit back and think about what I wanted my daughter to learn from this. Because after all, that's a big part of life, living and learning. What I really want for her is to grow up and know that her mother and I are here to help her, and at the same time, that she also knows she's a strong young lady who can ask her parents for advice and we'll always be there for her.

I think sometimes in our rush to protect our children we sometimes forget that part of being a child is living and learning. Sometimes life lessons aren't easy, and sometimes they aren't fair. Being a kid is tough, and as adults many of us remember that.

As a father of three, soon to be four, and an Elementary School Principal this much I know: we aren't doing our kids any favors by bailing them out and trying to fix every issue they may face. They do need us, they need us more than they will ever know. However, what they really need us for, is to be there when they need help. Be there when they need ideas. Be there when they need to be told "no" or "you made a mistake, I still love you, and I will help you fix it".

As your child's Principal, please don't ever hesitate to contact me. Even if you just want to keep me in the loop on something you and your child are working on. Sometimes you may need my help to fix something and sometimes you may just need some suggestions.

Wrapping up Spring Testing

During the month of May students in 3rd and 4th grade will wrap up their MCA tests and students in grades 2-4 will work on MAP testing.

The April Newsletter has more information about these tests.

Summer Reading

It can sometimes be a challenge to find books for kids to read over the summer. At Murphy we have a handful of "events" coming up that will help get more books into your children's hands.

  • A "book order" is attached to the print version of this newsletter with books recommended by staff. Orders due by Tuesday, May 14th. Books will be sent home with the Tuesday folders towards the end of the month.
  • The "Earth Day" book exchange will happen on Monday, May 20th. You can still send in your books for the exchange.
  • There's a "Buy One Get One Free" Scholastic Book Fair at the school during the students' Media Center time on Friday, May 24th and Tuesday, May 28th. The Bookfair will also be open after school on Tuesday, May 28th. A flier will go home closer to the event.

Summer homework: Read, Read, Read!

Don't forget about:

The Village Bookstore ~ Central Square Mall ~ 218-326-9458

The Grand Rapids Area Library

Spring Fundraiser Pick Up Dates


Salt City Candles

  • Thursday May 9: 2:30pm – 5:30pm ~ Salt City Candle Pick Up in the Cafeteria.
  • Candle orders are in, you can pick them up early if you choose to.
  • We raised a little over $2,000 for next year's 4th graders!!!!

"Simply Spring" Fundraiser

  • Wednesday, May 15 2:00-5:00pm ~ "Simply Spring" Fundraiser pickup in Cafeteria.

Start and End of Day Times

A reminder about start of day and end of day times. Although staff may be here earlier getting ready for the work day, the front doors do not open until 7:40am each day.

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays the end of day bell rings at 2:50 and we start heading to the bus and parent pickup lines.

On Wednesdays the end of day bell rings at 2:10 and we start heading to the bus and parent pickup lines.

One thing I've noticed over my years in education is: Minnesota Spring Fever. Even though the days become more and more beautiful and it's tempting to get the kids out "just a few minutes early" we ask that everyone respect the start and end times of the school day.

From the Principal's Bookshelf

Here are a few books that you may find of interest. The first is more for the adults and the following two "big kids" or your kids with supervision.

My cousin recommend: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I haven't ready it yet, however it's on it's way.

You can order copies from:

The Village Bookstore ~ Central Square Mall ~ 218-326-9458

You can even double check the Grand Rapids Area Library, I saw they have copies and an audio version too. If they don't have copies often you can order it from another partner library:

Accelerated Reader

As of today our school has independently read and passed quizzes on 13,844,345 AR books. That equates to 58,844,345 AR words. Murphy still ranks first in books and words read in District 318!

AR Book Finder
AR Home Connect:
  • AR Home Connect is a tool related to Accelerated Reader. You can use the same login your child uses to take an AR Quiz.


3/50 Project

A while ago information was shared with me about a "project" called The 3/50 Project.

A line from the site that I found interesting: For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

Murphy Sites

AR Home Connect
Murphy Elementary School
  • The front page of our school website also has links to sites that the children are familiar with and use in school.

Murphy's FaceBook Page:

Murphy's Sound Cloud (audio recordings)

Murphy's Twitter Feed

Principal's Pad


Upcoming Events

Spring Testing

General Items:

  • Various Field Trips (make sure you are checking your child's Tuesday Folder as classroom teachers will be communicating classroom specific events).
  • Tuesday, May 7th: Minnesota Power Electricity Tour (4th grade)
  • Thursday, May 16th: 1pm - 2pm 1st/2nd gr. Music Program "How Does Your Garden Groove?" Where: Reif Center
  • Monday, May 20th: All day "Earth Day" Book Exchange
  • Tuesday, May 21st: 1pm - 2:30pm Battle of the Books (Murphy Battle)
  • Thursday, May 23rd: 1pm - 2pm Kindergarten Music Program, Where: Reif Center.
  • Friday May 24th: Summer Bookfair (Buy One Get One) during Media Center Time. ~ 1pm - 2:30pm Regional Battle of the Books Where: Murphy Media Center
  • Tuesday, May 28th: Summer Bookfair (Buy One Get One) during Media Center Time. ~ 3pm - 4:30pm Summer Bookfair (Buy One Get One) for Parents After School in Cafeteria.
  • Wednesday, May 29th: 2013 All day FUN DAY!


  • Monday, May 27th.
  • Friday, May 31st on (last day kids do come to school is Thursday, May 30th).

Murphy Coffee and Conversations (Mr. Martinson's Office)
  • Wednesday, May 22 8:30am – 9:15am Murphy Media Center

Murphy Fathers' Forum (Mr. Martinson's Office)

  • Thursday, May 23 8:30am – 9:15am Murphy Media Center

Fundraiser Pickups

  • Salt City Candles ~Thursday May 9: 2:30pm – 5:30pm ~ Salt City Candle Pick Up in the Cafeteria.
  • "Simply Spring" Fundraiser ~ Wednesday, May 15 2:00-5:00pm ~ "Simply Spring" Fundraiser pickup in Cafeteria.

About Us

The Mission of Murphy Elementary is to ensure that all students acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to realize their potential and become productive and responsible citizens of a changing world.