The Bobcat Bulletin

A Newsletter from Founders Memorial School

October 28, 2019

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The Principal's Office

WIN (What I Need) at Founders

The Essex Westford School District, and Founders Memorial School right along with it, has fully embraced the concept of working together as a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Explaining all the inner workings of a PLC could, and has, filled volumes of books, articles and websites. In a nutshell, a Professional Learning Community seeks to answer four essential questions:

  1. What do we expect students to learn? (Curriculum - Essential Learning for All Students)

  2. How do we know if they learned it? (Assessment)

  3. How will we respond if they don’t learn? (Intervention)

  4. How will we respond if they already know it? (Extension)

As a school, we have spent considerable time working on the first two questions, and we now find ourselves ready to tackle the last two questions.

To help us with this work, teaching teams each have 30 minutes of dedicated time within their day to provide additional support for students who are not demonstrating mastery of essential skills, as well as students who are exceeding mastery of these skills. These half hour (WIN) blocks will take place four times per week. During this time, students will work with other students on their team who are working on similar/identical skills. During these blocks students may be working with their classroom teacher, another classroom teacher on the team, or another professional supporting the team.

All FMS educators spent some time last week, as a grade level team, diving deeply into student work and creating plans for their first round of WIN block. You can expect to hear from your child’s classroom teacher in the coming days and beyond, regarding the team’s plan for this targeted instructional time.

We are looking forward to bringing our PLC work to another level with this addition to our daily schedule, one that will allow us to also bring the learning to a higher level for all students. Rest assured, students will not be missing any core instruction during WIN blocks. They have been intentionally scheduled around core teaching times. I look forward to sharing our successes as well as our struggles with this work in future newsletters!

Educationally Yours,

Wendy Cobb

FMS Principal

Important Dates to Remember

October 29 - Early Release (2 PM)

October 31 - Crazy Hair Day! Wear your hair in the craziest style!!

November 5 - Early Release (2 PM)

November 8 - School wide morning meeting

November 22 - Read-in!

November 25 - 29 - Thanksgiving Break

FMS News

Heavenly Food Pantry Coat Drive - Got Coats?

A Winter Coat Drive is currently underway to include winter coats, snow suits, snow pants, hats, mittens, scarves and boots for children and adults. We ask that the winter wear is clean and in good repair. The winter gear will be distributed at the Heavenly Pantry Food Shelf at their November 21st distribution.

Please drop donations in the box at the main entrance. The Deadline to donate items is on Friday, November 17th. We would like to receive all donations by November 17th. Thank you for your support of this program and for helping our neighbors in need.

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New to Founders Road - Crossing Guards!

Mrs. Misty Blow, Mr. Leon Lestage, and Ms. Kelly Roy are our Crossing Guards for the 2019-2020 school year! Our Crossing Guards are here to help our FMS and EMS students who walk or bike to and from school safely cross Founders Road.

  • Recognizing that the amount of traffic on Sandhill and Founders Road is heavy, our Crossing Guards may stop traffic temporarily with hand signals and a STOP paddle and assist our students across the street. Please make sure you watch for the students and the guards as you drive to school!
  • As a reminder to our students, PLEASE cross Founders Road where the crossing guards are located and NOT down by the bus garage. Crossing Guards are here for your safety!

Please help support our new Crossing Guards and their efforts to create a safe walk or bike down Founders Road for all of our students! Thank you!!

Mystery Science in Mrs. Legris and Mrs. Savio's classrooms

4th graders are learning about geology! They have been doing Mystery Science experiments to answer questions such as: Could a Volcano pop up where you live? Why do some volcanoes explode? Will a Mountain last forever? Next week, they will be answering the question How could you survive a landslide?

Powell/White Field Trip to Lessors Quarry

Mr. Powell and Mr. White took their classes to Lessors Quarry in North Hero on October 16th. The classes were able to see the geological wonders of fossils and rock formations.

News from our Staff

New Music Blog

Parents are encouraged to check out Mrs. Ferris' weekly classroom music and chorus blog! Mrs. Ferris plans to keep the parents and community of Essex informed of the music room happenings whenever possible. Thank you!
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News from the FMS Library

Today we had our first school wide read-in! It was a great success. It’s hard to imagine hundreds of students and staff reading together silently - but it truly is precious time spent. Many were sad to hear time was up. We look forward to next month’s read-in on November 22nd.

In the library, this week and next, all students are learning about the concept of empathy in a two-lesson series planned and taught by Mrs. Jablonski (librarian) and Ms. Rosenblum (ELL teacher). Through read-alouds and activities, students are learning what empathy is, what makes us all ordinary and extraordinary, how we can show empathy when talking with others. The definition all students have learned is: Empathy is when you are able to understand and care about how someone else is feeling. Stories that were shared this week were We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio (3rd grade) and I am Human by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter Reynolds (4th and 5th grade). We will follow up with more learning about differences, race and diversity two more times this year with all students.

Sara Jablonski
Founders Memorial School

Tech and Your Kids

Is your child on SnapChat? Ever wonder if Snapchat safe for kids or how does it work? Check out this article that explains how SnapChat works, how old your child should be, and tips on how to keep your child safe, Parents Ultimate Guide to SnapChat

Parents' Ultimate Guide to Snapchat

Is Snapchat safe for kids? How does it work? And what's with Snapstreaks? Everything curious parents need to know about this ultra-popular app.

Nuts and Bolts

NO Costumes on 10/31

As a reminder, children should not wear costumes to school on Halloween. Save them for trick or treating later!

FMS Early Release Tuesdays

FMS releases students at 2:00 PM EVERY TUESDAY! Make sure your student knows the plan for the end of the day!

Reminder... Absences and Tardies

  • ABSENCES/Tardies:

    • The front office NEEDS to know if your student will be absent or tardy for attendance! If you do not let us know your student is out, please expect a call from the front office to ask you about your child. In order to avoid a call, please do one of the following:

      • Call: The office number is 802-879-6326 -please leave a message

      • Email: and

      • Online Report an Absence form: Go to, go to Schools, select Founders, you will see a Clipboard on the right hand side. Click on it and it will take you to an easy online form to report an absence that goes straight to the front office.

Afternoon Dismissal - Please make sure you are contacting us prior to 2PM or 1PM on Tuesdays!

  • Afternoon Dismissal:

    • If your student has an EARLY DISMISSAL and you need to pick him/her up early (before 3pm or 2pm on Tuesday) we need a note, a phone call, or an email PRIOR TO 2:00 PM and please plan on arriving before 2:40 pm (1:40 pm on Tuesdays). You must go to the office and we will call to have your child dismissed to meet you in the lobby. Please, plan in advance.

    • If your student has an End of Day Dismissal - Parents arriving after 2:40 PM (1:40 PM on Tuesdays) should sign their children out in the cafeteria and wait for general dismissal at 3:00 PM (2:00 PM on Tuesdays)

Essex Parks and Recreation

Link to the Essex Extended School Programs offered 11-11-19 to 12-19-19


Here's the low down on how to Volunteer your time and Help at FMS. Please follow the steps outlined on this page!

From the Nurse's office...

Please see our nurse page for important information regarding the health of your child!

Essex Town Odyssey of the Mind: Registration Form

Odyssey of the Mind is an international STEAM based program that focuses on creative problem solving. Teams of 5-7 students work together to creatively solve a long term problem and to practice spontaneous problem solving.

Community Resources

Founders Memorial School

Here are the many ways you can stay in touch!