The PRES Press

Principal's Monthly Newsletter, May 2020

A Message from Principal Amy Fishkin

Thank you, PRES community, for your patience, partnership, and perseverance during this period of distance learning. While we continue to weather this storm, and cope with these days of uncertainty, I hope you will stay strong with us, reinvent what learning means at home, have patience with yourself, your children, and your teachers. This isn't perfect, but we will continue to do our best to meet the needs of our students. We are so grateful for all your hard work and ongoing efforts to support your children at home. Stay strong and stay healthy. We will get through this together.

Virtual Parent-Principal Coffee

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27th at 11:30 AM, we will hold our next Parent-Principal Coffee, focusing on the theme of wellness. At this virtual event, school psychologists, Mrs. Jena Blechman, and Dr. Helayna Pace, will join us to share strategies for supporting wellness and emotional regulation for ourselves and our children. To join us, please click on this link on Wednesday at 11:30 AM:

Parent Coffee Google Meet ID:

Join by phone

‪+1 315-812-1573‬ PIN: ‪872 781 126‬#

Virtual PRES C.A.R.E.s Assembly

Distance learning and quarantine won’t keep us from gathering for our school-wide CAREs assembly and celebrate the theme of perseverance. Mark your calendars and join us for a virtual CAREs assembly on Thursday, May 28th at 1:00 pm. Dress in your PRES colors - green and white on Thursday!

CARES Assembly Google Meet ID:

Join by phone

‪+1 562-548-2225‬ PIN: ‪582 984 275‬#

Cooking for a Cause

We are so lucky to have PRES learning specialist, Mrs. Angela Goncalves, share her culinary expertise with us. Mrs. Goncalves has offered 3 virtual cooking classes for PRES families. We have cooked meatloaf cupcakes, chicken parmesan meatballs, and sheet pancakes. After these 3 cooking classes, we collectively raised $1500 with all proceeds going towards the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry! Here is a letter Mrs. Goncalves received from the President of the Food Pantry:

Dear Angela,
Thank you so much for continuing to run your special Cooking for Community classes, and donating the proceeds to The Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry...your gifts are really adding up! The more than $1500 you have contributed to the Pantry covers the cost of the eggs we will be handing out to 700 families this coming week, along with bags of groceries!

We are so grateful that you are generously using your talents to highlight and support the work that we is a true community effort!

With ongoing appreciation,
Kelley Housman
President, Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry Board of Directors

Bedtime Read Aloud with Mrs. Baldo

Thank you, Mrs. Baldo for reading Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang, to us this past Thursday! We will continue to hold weekly "Bedtime Stories" with Mrs. Baldo on Thursday nights at 7:00 pm. Please join us for our next school-wide bedtime story with Mrs. Baldo on Thursday, May 28th at 7:00 pm. Get cozy in your pajamas, snuggle up with your favorite stuffed animal, and join us for a bedtime read aloud. Every Thursday night, you can use the same link below:

Mrs. Baldo Bedtime Story Meeting ID:

Join by phone

‪+1 414-909-4826‬ PIN: ‪406 845 053‬#

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Things are Adding Up in Kindergarten

Mrs. Meyers and Ms. Sachs’ kindergarten classes have been enjoying Spirit Days and Mystery Readers each Friday. Some of our spirit days have included Hat Day, Backwards Day, Costume Day, Pet & Favorite Stuffy Day and PJ Day. The children love coming to our Google Meets on Spirit Days ready to share and connect with their teachers and friends. Mrs. Fishkin kicked off our Mystery Readers and surprised the children with a wonderful Elephant and Piggie book. Our next Mystery Reader was Ms. Mazzilli, who came dressed to the nines with a top hat! Dr. Pace joined our classes the following week and read a book on kindness. Up next was Mrs. Baldo, who provided an awesome video of her clues featuring her children at home. It has been very special to be able to continue our Mystery Reader tradition while doing distance learning. We look forward to continuing our Spirit and Mystery Reader Fridays!

The kindergarten children have been working on adding. They were directed to create an adding machine using household materials. This machine enabled the children to manipulate objects in order to fully understand the process of addition. They would first roll a die then put that number of objects into their machine. After rolling again, they would insert that number of objects into their machine. Finally, they were instructed to count all of their objects to find the sum. We taught the children how to write addition number sentences, which they were able to do while playing with their adding machines!

First Grade Visits with Wolves

First grade took a virtual “field trip” with a member from the Wolf Conservation Center last week. We were able to learn about the importance of wolves to our ecosystem, as well as the needs of these amazing animals living right near Pound Ridge. Through a classroom presentation by one of the wolves’ caregivers, we were introduced to the WCC’s wolf ambassadors: Zephyr (9 year old ALPHA boy), Alawa (like a Mom in the pack) and Nikai (the youngest playful brother). We learned that wolves have 2 “coats” and their paws work like snowshoes. Did you know that wolves are actually afraid of PEOPLE? We learned that wolves are keystone animals that are needed by all other animals in their ecosystem. Through the live question and answer portion, we even learned that the wolves’ favorite food is watermelon! We had a lot of questions! The first graders also had an opportunity to observe these wolves through WCC’s webcams. We watched them at feeding time, as well as during morning time, when they are most active. We will record and share our observations to help us understand the needs of animals and what goes into caring for them. If you would like to "Meet Our Wolves" from the Wolf Conservation Center, you can learn about them as well:

PRES 1st Grade Earth Day Projects

Grade 2 is Building Communities

Our second graders have been studying urban, suburban, and rural communities in Social Studies. Students are learning about the similarities and differences in these different types of communities. Students were given the opportunity to recreate these communities using materials they could find at home. In writing, students have been writing opinion letters to share their opinions about books and characters. They also enjoyed sharing their own, original non-fiction books. In math, students are learning about measurement. In reading, students continue to practice building their fluency and comprehension skills, focusing on understanding literary language and how authors play with words.

Grade 3 Integrates Creativity, Academics, and Engineering

Third graders have put forth spectacular effort and astounding imagination during the past two months. Spring has served as a central theme for our grade, and our students have designed and produced projects that exhibit such ingenuity and artistic expression, all while integrating math, science, technology, engineering, art and literacy.

From our earlier projects that centered on building spring array cities and sharing family traditions to current projects that center around the science of the season, we are in awe of what the students have accomplished.

The past few weeks, children have constructed ecosystems, built their own biomes, grown different plants and designed their own artistic installations while incorporating the life cycles of butterflies and plants. This is in addition to their very special personal choices from our creativity corner menus. We could not be prouder of these children, who have found a way to adapt and celebrate each other’s successes. Every Friday, we share our work with one another during our class sessions.

Grade 4 Explores Simple Machines

In fourth grade, we have been learning about simple machines in our world and then built our own compound machines. In social studies we finished our unit on the American Revolution and are currently learning about our government. In math, we learned about geometry, such as lines, angles, and area/perimeter. In writing we worked on our journaling unit with a focus on our thoughts and feelings about remote learning. We have been reading and thinking deeply about how characters, setting, and plot can help us to find the theme of a story.

Grade 5 Students Dive into Poetry and Fantasy

During the last few weeks, fifth graders have been amazing readers and writers. In the beginning of May, we completed our poetry unit. Students not only published poems of their own, but also performed them in a “POETRY SLAM” via flipgrid. Now our writers and readers have shifted their thinking to fantasy. Students are engaged in independent, partner, or group readings. They are learning the archetypes of fantasy through daily read aloud and weekly lessons. All students are engaged in the creative process of creating their own fantasy stories. We’ve been reading, writing, discussing and performing through our literacy work.

5P Poetry Slam:

Agriculture in the Classroom

by Cheryl Starace, ESOL teacher

Our second, fourth and fifth grade classes have been learning about the importance of agriculture in our world. PRES has been very fortunate to have a visiting educator, Cassie Messina, spend time with our classes virtually on a weekly basis. Cassie is the Ag. educator at the Dutchess County Agricultural Society and our PRES partner for our third grade yearly trip to Bit of Heaven farm. Through interdisciplinary studies of economics, business, farming, and animal care, students are learning the key role that agriculture plays in our daily lives.

Next week, second grade will be taking a virtual field trip to the farm to meet and learn about the horses before our trip next year. Once back in their Google Classroom, the students will take a virtual ride on Jaws, learn all about the ways horses move from Stella, and watch Benny play soccer!

Fourth grade began learning about simple machines and how they are used in all aspects of farming from simple plows to complex drones. They even did an experiment where they had to make a screw out of a triangular piece of paper. We have moved onto food chains and ecosystems and are exploring the importance of conservation in those areas.

Fifth grade students have been working hard learning about economics and are currently involved in creating their own Agribusinesses. Over the last few weeks, students were introduced to three industry areas, learned about marketing, logo design, and finances. Their final project will be a slideshow introducing their specific agricultural business!

A Note from Mrs. Mazzilli

I had a wonderful time at the BCSD car parade! It was so nice to see you and all the smiling faces! I have been making weekly classroom visits in grades 3-5. I make announcements and share activities with the students. For the month of May, we are having two challenges: push-up and Master Jedi.

I want to thank all who submitted a video for ACES day during PE Week. I would also like to thank the 5th grade team for helping me organize a 5th grade Olympic Day. The 5th grade participated in events on Friday, May 8th. They were divided into teams and the teams did the activities live, in six different Google Meets with 6 different teachers. Everyone had a blast! On Friday, May 15th, as part of Fun Friday, we did activities based on pizza since it was National Pizza Party Day. Continue to check out our PE activities on our BCSD Elementary PE website and the PRES Distance Learning webpage.

Art with Ms. Goodrow

Here's a little insight into the virtual art room! PRES artists have been able to connect, share, and engage in all sorts of art activities from home. We have experienced art outside, observational drawings, choice boards, sculptures with recycled materials, painting with string, flip-book animation and much, much more! It has been wonderful to see students exploring new materials and techniques of art that can be done in a home environment. Students have been collaborating with siblings and coming together as families to enjoy creative time! I could not be prouder of the artists at PRES! Don't forget to check out the online art galleries to see all this amazing artwork! Here are the links:



Music with Mrs. Donnavan

Probably one of the hardest subjects to teach during distance learning is vocal music. With delays in video and audio feed on Google Meets, singing in unison is close to impossible. We hope that students are taking advantage of the opportunities to listen, move, and sing along to the many music activities being offered through distance learning. Go to our PRES Distance Learning webpage to see each week's music activities. We encourage all students to listen and learn some of the songs we plan to sing during our upcoming CAREs assembly and end-of-year traditional moving up song. You can take peek here:

CAREs Assembly song: The Climb by Miley Cyrus

End of Year Tradition: Moving Up Song

Pound Ridge Birthday Brigades

We are so grateful for the support of our PRES PTA and the Pound Ridge Fire Department for celebrating our PRES student birthdays during this time of social distancing. If you hear the sirens of our Pound Ridge fire trucks, it might mean there's a child celebrating his or her birthday in your neighborhood! A special thank you to Annie Burnham, the chair of our Pound Ridge birthday brigade committee, for coordinating each and every brigade!

Distance Learning Tutoring is Available

Mrs. Kristy Emery, FLHS Dean of Student Activities and high school junior, Grace Dow, have created a program for families and students who may need academic and/or organizational help. A group of Fox Lane High School students are prepared to serve as virtual homework helpers or study buddies to help engage and motivate elementary students, depending on what assistance is needed.

If interested, click on the links above and contact Mrs. Emery at Once a parent contacts Mrs. Emery, she will connect you with a FLHS student, who can then set up a virtual meet and greet. Student information will not be shared and will only be used by Mrs. Emery to find a tutor; it will be up to the parent/guardian to expand on the child's needs. All high school students will have met with Mrs. Emery and reviewed our “Guidelines for a Successful Tutoring Session.”