Dragon Blast

Mary C. Howse Elementary School

From the Principal

Dear MCH Parents:

We almost have week one of hybrid under our belts - the excitement you see and feel with your children is EXACTLY what our staff feels - it cannot be overstated. I cannot fully express my appreciation for everyone's patience (especially with PM car line), flexibility and care. I realize that all of these changes over the last few months (and going back to March 13th) have been exhausting, anxiety ridden, overwhelming, uncertain, to name a few feelings. To be perfectly vulnerable, I have felt it too. We are all human and we just have to continue to stick together and be the role models to our children that we know we can be. Will we make mistakes? Absolutely! I played baseball a good portion of my life and they say if you get a hot 3 out of 10 times, you're a good hitter. That also, means you did NOT get a hit the other 7. The only thing I have ever felt where I did not succeed as much as I would have liked is - PARENTING. :-)

In school the "buzz" of learning and socialization is back!!! You can hear it! Feel it! and, see it! Next week, we start having our at-home, remote learners joining on zooms each day with their in-person classmates. This is another shift, but give us a few weeks and that dust will settle as well.

Lastly, our buses are nearly empty - so, if you are comfortable placing your child on the bus, please consider doing so - it will reduce our car line and could be just another time for your child to see their friends and socialize - yes, they are very good a talking with their masks on!

Feel free to watch the video below with your child - it is short and can help them to understand perseverance. It can also help us, as parents, who often want to help our children (sometimes too soon or too much).

Enjoy what looks to be a beautiful Saturday!

Dr. Cat

Introducing Perseverance to Children - Starter Activity (PSHE)

Schedule for Upcoming Weeks


The student day continues to be the same - from 9:10AM - 3:10PM. Parent/Car drop off will be from 8:30am-8:55 am. Parent/Car Pick Up will be from 3:05 PM-3:15/20PM.

Please look for Zoom schedules from your child's teacher.

Tech Support for Parents and FAQs

What is Working at Home?

> Trying to limit screen time outside of school stuff

> Take the time to research your Internet Providers parental controls!!! It is worth it!!!!

A Video from Ms. Noone - our guidance counselor

Current Classroom Teachers

Kindergarten - Mrs. Baer, Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Giampalmi

1st grade - Mrs. Kane, Mrs. Conner and Mrs. Skalski

2nd grade - Ms. Forbes, Ms. Dougherty, Mrs. Seese and Mr. Jacobus

3rd grade - Ms. Cotellese, Ms. Leary, and Dr. Alba

4th grade - Mrs. DeCicco, Ms. Verrichia, and Ms. Flynn

5th grade - Mrs. Powers, Mrs. Keefe and Mr. Raws

Cyber Kindergarten - Mrs. Hower, Mrs. Greaves

Cyber 1st grade - Mrs. McAllister

Cyber 2nd grade - Mrs. Sochacki, Mrs. Hoban (Ms. Rothemich)

Cyber 3rd grade - Mrs. Cheney

Cyber 5th grade - Mr. Fabian

Cyber Reading Specialist - Mrs. Donoghue


Positive Praise

Dr. Cat,

Indeed, my son in 2nd grade with Mrs. Seese, was so happy to be back and be in a school environment. He was so excited and prepared the whole weekend to look forward to his 1st day on Monday.

Thank you and teachers for working through challenging times.

My son had a BLAST today studying for Science and yes, the upcoming test was on his mind because that competitive nature wants to get an A..... so cute but he was sure to give credit to Ms. Cotellese for apparently making up the game? And he told me all about it as if I couldn’t hear him yelling and enjoying his time.

This is so hard for everyone so THANK YOU for keeping it fun and engaging.

Just want to tell you I think your doing a great job with all this craziness.

I also want to give the girls’ teachers a shout out... Mrs Watson, Mrs D, Miss Cotellese, and Mrs Baer! They have been so engaging and patient. Our daughters are very excited to get back to school next week!

Teacher Appreciation Post:

I was just in the Dollar Store and found a young woman in the bin/organizer aisle, counting out plastic storage bins. I knew right away what she was- a teacher, out long after her work day was supposed to be over, at 6 pm the evening before our elementary school students return to school. I asked if she was and when she replied she was, I said "you are buying bins for when the kids come tomorrow so their things are separated to keep them safe and to follow the guidelines, aren't you?". Yes, that was exactly what she was doing.

As I perused the aisles of wonder that is the Dollar Store, I started to think about what all the WCASD elementary and secondary school teachers have been doing, and and are doing, and will continue to do to keep our children safe, happy and learning despite the challenges of teaching in a Covid world.

I ended up behind her at the checkout. Her total was $38. It was nothing for herself. Just stacks of bins for kids to use tomorrow. And because I am nosy... I said "Please tell me they are reimbursing you for those." "I don't know", she said. "I guess I can ask."

So thank you teachers.

Thank you for spending your evenings at the end of a long teacher in service out shopping (if you have never sat through a teacher in service you have never known how long a workday can be 😂).

Thank you for spending your own money to buy items for your classrooms to help follow guidelines and keep our children healthy.

Thank you for always doing what is best for kids. Whether they have asked you to teach online, or in person, or both simultaneously in a hybrid, or in a box with a fox or in a boat with a goat- you have and will.

There are sure to be bumps in the road this week and next. Let's give these teachers grace this week as they navigate an entirely new situation.

Thank you WCASD teachers!!!!!!


Dear Parents,

For those of you who have children returning to the brick and mortar setting…WELCOME back to school! Know that the health, well-being and safety of all students, their families, and our entire school community is our priority. Please take a look at the updates below as we strive to meet this goal.


1. Perform your child's health screening before coming to school each day. If your child is sick keep him/her home.

2. Ensure that your child has a properly fitting mask and reinforce the importance of wearing it over the mouth and nose.

3. Send a water bottle to school each day with your child.

4. Review good handwashing practices with your child.

School Nurses Office:

1. Social distancing and strict infection prevention practices will be observed in the school nurses office. We will be using "colored dots" on chairs/beds to help students to comply with distancing guidelines.

2. To decrease risk to healthy students, your nurses will provide scheduled medications and treatments in the student classroom area as is possible.

3. When a student requires isolation, the nurses office will be closed for a time.

4. Students who need urgent care always will be prioritized and have their health needs addressed.

Individual Health Needs at School:

1. If your child needs to have a medication kept as school, please have your doctor complete the appropriate district form (attached) and send it in to school with the medication. Remember parent signed permission also is needed.

2. Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria. Since students will be social distancing during meals and tables will be disinfected between uses, the Nutfree Table has been eliminated for the time being. Good handwashing practices will be stressed throughout the day. (When sending food from home, please use "easy open" containers whenever possible and practice opening food packages with your child.)

3. Aramark will be offering breakfast and lunch to all students; these meals continue to be nutfree. If your child has food allergies, please give him/her instructions about eating these food offerings. All students may bring their own food to school.

Required Health Information:

PA State mandated immunizations and physical and dental examination requirements have not changed; the state deadline for immunizations if November 9, 2020. If you have been contacted by the nurses office and informed that all of your child's required reports have not been provided, please forward these documents to the school nurses office as soon as possible. If due to the pandemic, you will be delaying any of the mandated examinations/vaccinations, please contact the nurses office to discuss how to move forward.

Please feel free to contact the school nurses office with any questions. I am also including a Zoom Link so that you may ask any additional questions to me in that venue. Thank you.

Join Zoom Meeting – October 13th at 1PM

Meeting ID: 875 9456 9032
Passcode: Nurse

Jeanne Latimer, MSN, MEd, RN, CSN

MCH and WTE School Nurse

MCH Health Office 484-266-1306 Fax 484-266-1399

WTE Health Office 484-266-1806 Fax 484-266-1899

Learn more about Health Services in Our School. Visit the Nurse Office Website.

MCH Nurses Office Website: https://sites.google.com/wcasd.net/nursing-office-news/home

WTE Nurses Office Website: https://sites.google.com/wcasd.net/health-office-news/home

Parent Portal

Use the link below to access the parent portal page:


On the page, there is written documentation (English and Spanish,) as well as videos (English only) that walk parents through how to set up your parent portal account, how to access grades and set alerts, how to view the online report card, how to check attendance, etc. There is even an app for your phone if you prefer.

Please call the office for your child’s user name and password if you do not have the information that was provided to you at the beginning of the school year.

Keeping in Touch

· Please bookmark our school website. This is where we post many updates, school newsletter, supply list, pictures and our parent/student handbook. It can be found at: https://www.wcasd.net/Domain/661


· Mary C. Howse Webpage - https://www.wcasd.net/Domain/661

o See MCH School Tour link in upper right hand corner

· Twitter – Follow - @MCH_Elem - you’ll receive updates once you are a follower.

· Youtube – Mary C. Howse – found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCveR39XTwn8AgmiOVqA6GZA

· MCH PTO Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mchpto/ - be sure to become a follower to receive updates when changes occur.

Parent Resources

How to Help Kids Deal with School Closings and Cancelled Plans


Community Bulletin Board:

For activities offered around West Chester, see:


Big picture

Our Mary C. Howse School Pledge

I pledge

To be the best that I can be

Respect myself and others

Make safe choices

And take responsibility

For my learning and behavior