Essex Elementary School 12/22/2022

Principal's Desk

Message from Ms. Gray

Greetings EES Families!

I hope this finds you all well. The last few weeks have flown by with amazing learning as well as recovering from illnesses across the school. Our school community is so supportive and strong and I am grateful to be here with your children everyday!

On Tuesday our school enjoyed a winter celebration in the afternoon with movies, popcorn and hot chocolate!

I hope the upcoming break is restful and joyful for you and your families. Below are several important reminders and updates for our return to school:

  • Start Time:

Our school start time is 7:45AM. This time is posted in our handbook; however, we have been allowing a long drop off grace period since the start of the pandemic. Students have not been marked tardy until after 8AM. That said, we are finding that students need more time to get unpacked (especially in the winter) and get their breakfast. This has an impact on classrooms having a full morning meeting which is essential to the success of every day. We are going to begin making a more official shift to the 7:45 start time. I understand that this is a shift for some and we will be patient during the transition. Students can begin to be dropped off starting at 7:30. If you are currently dropping your child off after 7:45, please begin making the transition to dropping off by 7:45AM. Thank you for your continued partnership!

  • Drop off loop:

As a reminder, if you use the morning drop off loop, your child needs to be able to get out of the vehicle on their own. If you need to get out of the vehicle to assist your child or prefer to get out for a goodbye hug/routine, please plan to park in the parking lot and walk your child to the front of the building. Thank you!

  • Winter Break: Dec 23 - Jan 2nd. We look forward to welcoming students back in the New Year on Tuesday, January 3rd!

Health Office Updates:

Dear EES Community,

Hope everyone has a fun winter break! During this break, please be mindful to monitor for lice and treat it as needed.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Head Lice Facts

  • Anyone can get head lice no matter how clean they are.

  • Head lice do not carry disease. Secondary skin infections can occur from excessive scratching.

  • They cannot jump or fly and are spread by head to head contact.

  • Lice live for 1-2 days on pillows, furniture, stuffed animals, or clothes.

  • Head lice do not infest pets and pets do not spread head lice.

  • Ways To Prevent the Spread of Lice

  • Do not share combs, brushes, towels, hats, barrettes, sports uniforms, or pillows.

  • Avoid head to head contact with anyone suspected of having head lice.

  • Keep long hair up or pulled back.

  • What To Look For

  • Excessive scratching of the head, especially at the back of the head just above the neck.

  • Nits on the hair. These are usually pearly-grey in color and are attached to the hair shaft near the scalp. Nits are distinguished from dandruff because they stick to the hair shaft instead of flaking off when brushed.

  • Adult lice are about the size of a sesame seed. Lice are active at night so your child may have trouble sleeping.

  • What To Do If You Find Nits or Live Lice

  • Check all family members in the household.

  • Treat your child with a recommended lice shampoo following the package directions. Apply a second treatment when directed.

  • Use a nit comb after the treatment to remove lice and nits from the hair shaft.

  • Continue to check the scalp and hair everyday and remove the nits for the next 2 weeks.

  • Machine wash and dry clothing worn in the previous 2 days and all bed linens. Use hot water at 130 degrees for 20 minutes and use high heat setting on the dryer. Dry clean items, as needed.

  • Place all non-washable items such as stuffed toys and pillows in a sealed plastic bag for at least 2 days.

  • Soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130 degrees) for 5-10 minutes. Do not share combs, brushes, and hair accessories with the person who has head lice.

  • Vacuum furniture, rugs and floors. Discard vacuum bags.

  • Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs. They are not necessary and can be toxic.

  • Please notify your school nurse so the spread of lice can be tracked in school.


EES Health Office


The University of Vermont Athletics Department has invited the second grade students at Essex Elementary School and faculty to Patrick Gymnasium on Wednesday, January 11th for an exciting day of Vermont Women's Basketball. The Catamounts will take on UMass Lowell at 11:00 a.m. and our school will be there to cheer them on to victory. All participating students and faculty will receive free admission to the game and will also be allowed to bring a snack and or lunch to enjoy while they watch the game. Please look for your students permission slip and lunch order form in their Friday folder.

Pickup Patrol Helpful Hints

This time of year we have many absences, dismissal changes and students leaving for appointments throughout the day. With a building of almost 400 children, we appreciate your help with using pickup patrol! We are amazed at how much this system has helped us in making sure everyone gets to the right place at the end of the day! Below is a helpful hint if you need an early dismissal- this also helps us let the classroom teacher know about the earlier dismissal so your child can be ready when you arrive!

Helpful hint:

Selecting Pickup as an option in Pick Up Patrol indicates end of day pick up (2:50pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays or 1:50pm on Wednesdays). When the drop down for dismissal plan selection is clicked, families can scroll up or down to view all of the different dismissal options including Early Dismissal. Remember: Early Dismissal cutoff time is at 2:15pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 1:15pm on Wednesdays.

Winter Clothing Reminders

DId you know that we play outside everyday if the windchill is above zero? Fresh air and outside play is incredibly important to all of us at EES. We love seeing the joy as your children create snow creations, sled, and just jump in the snow. Our little Vermonters are snow lovers and the snow love out there is contagious!! Recess is an exciting time in the Winter.

Please help your child pack all of their warm winter clothing everyday. Items that are most helpful are a warm jacket, snow pants, a hat, mittens or gloves, and winter boots! (At a minimum your child needs long pants each day now.). Please reach out to our health office or school counselors should your child need these items. We are reminding the kids that they can be helping at home with packing these items each night. They do get wet at school, so help your child lay them out to dry at home each evening! Thank you for your continued support this winter!

What's New in Art?!?

We have had a whirlwind of a few weeks in the art room! Our artists have been doing so many different things including Kansinsky circles using oil pastels and detailed city drawings. We worked with stoneware ("earth") clay to make bowls(K), owls(1), and mittens(2). We used model magic to learn about color mixing and artists like Cezanne and Thibault. After Thanksgiving break, we changed the room over to a "Studio Choice Stations" format. This is a type of art learning called "Teaching for Artistic Behaviors." Students get to choose their materials and subject. During choice stations, students worked on glazing their clay pieces and eventually wrapping them up to safely come home.

Yay for Art! ~Ms. Blain


Missing water bottles, eye glasses, jackets, sweatshirts and shoes????

Our Lost and Found is filling up! We only have a limited area to store these lost items. We invite you to come in and look through if your child is missing something! Or to give us a call in the front office and we can see if it is there and tuck it into your child's backpack. We will have it all on the sidewalk (under the overhang) Wednesday,Thursday and Friday (the week we return in January) to make it easier for families to look through it. We plan to donate all remaining items at the end of January. Thank you for all of your help!

We would love a parent volunteer to help us with sorting and organizing the clothes in the lost and found. If you are interested please email Lindsey Wignall-