Cliffwood School Parent Newsletter

October 2016

Principal's News

Dear Cliffwood School families,

It's hard to believe but the first month of school is already finished; time flies when you're having fun and we're off to a great start here! During these past few weeks, learning routines has been a main focus for our students. Hopefully, all of our learners feel comfortable and know where, when, and how they're supposed to do certain tasks in their classes. When children know and understand these routines, they feel more confident and do better work. This is true in school but also at home too. As the year progresses, you and your child may find it beneficial to set some routines to make homework easier, quicker, and less stressful. Here are a few good tips:

  • Create a homework area. Kids should have a well-lit place with supplies like paper, pencils, glue, scissors, etc. Try to use this same place each day.
  • Schedule a regular time. Some kids work best in the afternoon right after school; others do better following a snack and play period. Some wait until after dinner. Kids tend to do best when this time is consistent, so find a time that works and try to stick to it.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Try to limit TV, loud music, etc. Some children do work better though with soft, calm music in the background (I work best this way!).
  • Be a motivator and monitor. Be sure to ask about assignments and school work. Give encouragement, be available for questions, and try to check completed work.
  • Celebrate their work and efforts. Post great work or projects on the refrigerator or other special place. Make a big deal out of even small accomplishments!
  • Stay in contact with the teacher. If a child is continually struggling with a homework assignment, contact the teacher for help. The teacher can talk with your child about why they are struggling and help the student in class.

By working together, we can make sure that all Cliffwood children have a great school experience. Enjoy the long weekend and stay CLIFFWOOD PROUD!


Mark Van Horn, Interim Principal

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Week of Respect is 10/5 to 10/7

R-E-S-P-E-C-T...Find out what it means to us! Next week is Week of Respect here at Cliffwood School. Students in all grades will be participating in activities that celebrate our students being respectful, responsible, safe, and kind. Please see the list of planned activities below:

Poster contest - All students are invited to design a poster that embodies the Power of the Paws rules (we will be respectful, responsible, safe, and kind). Posters should be hand made, original, creative, with names on the back. Winners will be announced on 10/7.

Classroom door decorating contest - All classes can design a door decoration that showcases the Respect theme. Winners will be announced on 10/7.

Wednesday, 10/5 is T.E.A.M day (Together Everyone Achieves More). Students and staff should wear their favorite team apparel.

All students will attend an anti-bullying puppet show on Wednesday, 10/5.

Thursday, 10/6 is H.E.R.O. day (Help Everyone Respect Others). Students and staff should wear their favorite super hero apparel.

Friday, 10/7 is Cliffwood Pride day. Wear any Cliffwood apparel to show that we're all Cliffwood Proud!

Cliffwood's Annual Halloween Costume Parade

Calling all witches, superheroes, zombies, and more! Cliffwood's annual Halloween costume parade will be held on Monday, 10/31 @ 2:30 sharp. If weather permits, the parade will be held outdoors. Please see the notes and guidelines below to help make the event run smoothly!

  • The parade will be in the bus loop along Cliffwood Avenue. Visitors may stand on both sides of the driveway.
  • Our parking lot fills up fast. Please do not park along the yellow curbs. We suggest using auxiliary parking on Maxwell Street or carpooling.
  • After the parade, kids will go back into their classrooms for a treat. Teachers will work with 2 families per class to provide the treats and help in the classroom. Contact your child's teacher with any questions.
  • Students will change into costumes in their classrooms before the parade.
  • We want everyone to be safe and enjoy this event. Please make sure your child can walk easily in his/her costume. Also, please no dangerous props such as pitchforks, swords, bats, etc. Save those items for trick-or-treating later that evening!
  • Teachers will take attendance again in their classrooms following the parade. Please do not visit the office to sign out students early following the parade. We will dismiss at 3:35 as normal. If you are changing your child's regular dismissal route (e.g., bus rider to parent pick up), please send a note with your child in the morning.
  • Be sure to bring your camera and let's have a great time!

Learning About the "Power of the Paws" Through Music

1st graders were using music to learn about being respectful, responsible, safe, and kind in Mr. Malone's music class (while having fun at the same time!). Click below for a quick listen.

Mark Van Horn

Nau HR in Malone class by Mark Van Horn

Peer Buddies to Start in October

The Peer Buddies program offers a great chance for students with and without special needs to work together in inclusive settings at various types of fun learning activities. The program here at Cliffwood will promote social interactions and building friendships while fostering a school culture where everyone helps each other. There will be several opportunities throughout the year for students in all grades to participate. Please contact Ms. Simmonds and Mr. Fallon with any questions about the program.

Great Chances to Learn About Recycling and Have Fun in our Garden!

On Wednesday, 10/19, all 3rd graders are invited to make a craft in our beautiful Friendship Garden. Children will work with their parent(s) to create a tombstone for our recycling cemetery. This activity is open to all Cliffwood 3rd graders and all supplies will be provided. Come help recycle and get into the Halloween spirit! The event starts at 6:00 p.m. Also, The Cliffwood Garden Club will be creating life-sized scarecrows for the garden on Thursday, 10/20 at 4:00 p.m. Participants are asked to bring old clothes, hats, gloves, boots, and lots of plastic bags for stuffing. This event is for Garden Club members only. Please contact Mrs. Catalano to register.

Picture Day is Coming!

Everybody smile and say "cheese"! School picture day is on Friday, 10/28. Any make-ups will be on 12/2.

Kindergarten Field Trips for October

Our youngest learners will be participating in some exciting activities during this month. First, all K classes will learn about fire safety during a walking field trip to Cliffwood fire station on Wednesday, 10/5. Times vary by each K class. Next, our students will continue their learning about nature and the Fall season (and pick some apples too!) during a field trip to Eastmont Orchards on Friday, 10/14. Please contact your child's teacher for more details or questions.

Star Testing Reports for Reading & Math

Students brought home their Star test results for Reading and Math on 9/30. Please note that, although the Star parent report has a space for parent signature, there is no need to sign and return the report. Please keep this report for your own records. More info about Star testing can be found on the district's Web site.

Title 1 Family Night Workshops

MARSD is proud to partner with Elevate Education for a series of study skills workshops to assist our students and their families. The first session will be an informational meeting on Thursday, 10/6 @ 6:30 p.m. in the MAMS media center. Please click the link below for additional session dates/times. If you plan to attend on 10/6, please contact our main office to RSVP.

Other October Dates to Remember

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming school events:

  • School closed on 10/3, 10/4, 10/10, and 10/12.
  • Week of Respect - 10/5 to 10/7.
  • Kindergarten field trip to Cliffwood fire station - Wednesday, 10/5. Times vary by teacher.
  • Kindergarten field trip to Eastmont Orchards - Friday, 10/14.
  • PTO book fair - Tuesday, 10/18 to Thursday, 10/20.
  • PTO school store - Wednesday, 10/19 and Thursday, 10/20 during lunches.
  • Mad Science after school program - Starts on Tuesday 10/18. Program runs each Tuesday after school until last date on December 6.
  • School picture day - Friday, 10/28.
  • PTO Halloween dance - Friday, 10/28 @ 6:30-8:00.
  • Grade 2 pumpkin measuring day - Monday, 10/31. Check with your child's teacher for details.
  • Halloween costume parade - Monday, 10/31 @ 2:30-3:00.
  • PTO meeting and Star Student recognition - Wednesday, 10/19 @ 7:00.
  • Title 1 kickoff parent meeting - Thursday, 10/6 @ 6:30 in MAMS media center.