May Newsletter

Gerald E Talbot Community School

May 3, 2021


Dear Talbot Parents and Guardians,


Did you know that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week? We love our teachers at Talbot School! This is the week we honor them for all they do for our students. Please join me in celebrating our wonderful staff. Let them know how much you appreciate the work they do for your child. Thank you to the PTO for the special treats planned for this week. The theme is Hollywood VIP Red Carpet Treatment because a teacher is a star who teaches others how to shine! One event that is planned is “Dress Up Thursday”. We are encouraging staff and students to dress up like the stars they are! Please contact Carrie Dyer at cjdyer@yahoo.com if you would like to know more about how to contribute to this week’s celebrations. Also, School Nurses Day is Thursday, May 12- remember to show appreciation to Nurse Lynn that day, too!


Morning Drop Off and Dismissal

We want to remind parents and caregivers that students should not arrive to school earlier than 7:25 am. There is no supervision before this time. Please remember that our drop off and pick up spot is the area near the community/playground entrance of the building. The front half circle is intended as a parking area for BRIDGE and PRK families. Only busses are permitted in the bus loop. I want to offer a sincere thank you for working with us at morning drop off and dismissal and following the posted signage, keeping traffic flowing slowly and smoothly, and most of all, creating safer conditions for our students. Please remember to look carefully for cars and people around you when pulling out of line. Your patience and efforts are deeply appreciated!


MEA Testing

All students in grades 3-5 will soon be taking a state required test called the Maine Educational Assessments (MEA). This year the state will be using a different type of test as the statewide standardized assessment. All schools will use the NWEA, an assessment that Talbot students are familiar with because we have used it for many years. Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade will be tested in math and literacy. Students in 5th grade will also be tested in science. The tests are designed to last 60 minutes in each subject area and will be spread out over several days. All assessments are administered online, therefore students are expected to bring their school laptops back to school to take the tests. The assessment schedule is as follows:

Grade 5 ELA and Math- May 10, 11, 13, Science May 24 25, 26

Grade 4 ELA and Math- May 17, 18, 20 and 21

Grade 3 ELA and Math, May 24, 27

Please try to make sure your student is present and ready to try their best on testing days. Makeup testing dates will be arranged for any students who are absent. The results of the test will be made available to teachers and parents later in the spring or early next fall.

As a parent, you may use the information from the assessments to help support your student at home and engage in a discussion with your student’s teacher to identify what, if any, additional supports may be necessary in school. Teachers use this information, in combination with other forms of local data, to guide their instruction and provide more personalized activities and learning opportunities for students. While no single assessment can give a complete picture of achievement, when combined with other measures, these data provide important information about student progress, especially when considering learning during a pandemic. Both the Maine Department of Education and our district are working to limit the amount of student assessment at the state and district level while ensuring that assessments provide meaningful, actionable information for teachers, students and families. We are confident that with the quality instruction delivered by our dedicated educators and your support, students are prepared for success. We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher with any questions you may have about the MEA or your student’s progress.


Community School Planning Event

Save the date! Please join us for a virtual webinar to hear the results of our recent Community School Needs Assessment. On Thursday, May 20 from 6:30-8:00, we will be hosting a sharing session of the data collected through the surveys collected from Talbot families, students, staff and community providers on what it means for Talbot to be a community school. This discussion will influence the design of our community school model to support the success of each and every student. Raffles prizes will be awarded for some lucky attendees. More information on how to sign up will be coming soon.


Community Tree Project

Since we first shut our doors for remote learning back on March 13, 2020, our community has been through an enormous amount of emotions and upheaval. Some of us returned to in-person learning in September of 2020, and some of us continued doing remote learning in Remote Academy. No matter where we have been doing our teaching and learning, everyone at Gerald E. Talbot Community School and their families who live in the Riverton Community area have overcome challenges like we have never seen before. We have shown strength, vulnerability, compassion, and resilience.

Under the guidance of school social workers, Chris Salamone and Sarah Beam, the Talbot Civil Rights Team would like to honor our community’s strength and resilience by planting a tree to remind us of what we have gone through and what we continue to go through as a community. We can go far together honoring each other as individuals and as a community.

Fifth graders who attend in person will have the opportunity to use what they learned in art lessons from earlier in the year about the symbolic meanings of colors as part of a class project connected to the community tree. They will be decorating rocks in Art class in a way that symbolizes the strong emotions they have felt this year. Some students may choose to focus on emotions related to being the first 5th grade class in the newly renamed Talbot school. Others may focus on emotions related to being in 5th grade as our community adjusted to new ways of learning through COVID protocols. Still others may focus on emotions related to personal losses in and outside of school. These rocks will be used to decorate the base of a Community Tree to represent how we, as the Gerald E. Talbot Community School at the Riverton Community Center, have been and continue to get through this pandemic together.

We invite others in the community to decorate rocks to add to the base and foundation of the Community Tree. We ask that everyone who passes the tree recognize the special symbolism this tree represents and uses the space to reflect on ways to get through challenges. The tree symbolizes getting through challenges by recognizing and honoring any emotions felt and relying on our community to support one another during difficult and changing times.


Kindergarten Registration

A friendly reminder to our current Pre-K Families that you do NOT need to register your child for Kindergarten for the upcoming school year 21/22. Your child's enrollment will automatically transfer up to Kindergarten!


21-22 School Year Calendar

Please CLICK HERE for the 21-22 School Calendar which was recently approved by the School Board.


Last Day

We have just over six weeks before this school year officially ends. To make up for the two snow days we had before we implemented remote days for inclement weather, the last day of school is now scheduled for June 15 for students (and June 16 for teachers). Let’s all work together to make sure that the majority of our students can be in school safely learning each school day during this time.


Returning iPADS and CHROMEBOOKS

ALL PPS iPads and Chromebooks will need to be returned to school by the end of May. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 must bring their Chromebooks back for NWEAs. Be sure to include any headphones, chargers and cords. Please have your child return their device by the dates below:

· Grade 5- May 7

· Grade 4- May 14

· Grade 3- May 21

· Grades PK-2 May 28


Upcoming Events:

Monday, May 3-May 7: Teacher Appreciation Week

Sunday, May 9: Happy Mother’s Day!

Wednesday, May 12: School Nurse Day

Thursday, May 20: Community School Planning Event 6:30-8:00

Wednesday, May 26: PK/K Screening

Wednesday, May 26: PTO Meeting, 5:00

Monday, May 31: Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL


Cordially,

Ann Hanna

Principal