Morello Park Elementary

Winter Newsletter

December News

It is hard to believe that the holidays are here. We have been busy already this month retesting all of our children in grades 1-5 using Running Records to determine their reading growth. Report Cards will go out near the end of January and will indicate two Running Record scores to help you determine your child's reading level. Our fabulous teachers differentiate their instruction in the classroom and work hard on providing interventions as needed. Please watch for the Report Cards to come home.

Morello has a lot of exciting learning happening in the classrooms. All teachers are participating in rich staff development around reading and writing implementation. Collaboration between our site and John Swett Elementary has been fun and meaningful. Your children may have told you about a group of teachers coming into their classroom and teaching small group lessons. If so, please know that our trainings are occuring onsite and teachers have had opportunities to practice small group lessons with their colleagues present.

Please check our website for the most current events at our site. Dates do change sometimes so referring to our website calendar will be the best way to stay current. We also send out Remind messages since we know that families are extra busy. If you have not signed up for Remind, you can do so from your phone by texting to this number 81010 and in the message enter @morellopa. We send reminders for early days, spirit days, events and other reminders that busy parents might find helpful.

Lastly, our staff wanted to thank our PTA for their continued support at our site. From raising funds to provide extra programs, supplies and opportunities to all of the special events, we are grateful beyond measure. Together, we are making memories to last our children a lifetime.

Character Building

In November, we had a concert with Gary Lapow sponsored by our PTA. He sang about peace, respect, kindness, anti-bullying, being an upstander, conflict resolution and ability awareness. Children participated in the songs and the assembly was enjoyed by all.

If you are looking for positive songs to play, Gary has them on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and also on his website at

Holidays Can Be Tough On Some Children and Families

For bereaved children and families, this time of year can be extremely difficult. The holiday season may trigger certain feelings including sadness or anger related to a family member’s death.Here are some suggestions to help your children through these tough times.

Ideas that might help your child process their emotions include:

· Discuss how this person made the holiday time special

· Make the person's favorite food

· Look at photo's of the person or make a scrapbook

· Create a memory box, poster or collage

Counselor’s Corner

Children and parents often equally struggle with balancing school activities, home responsibilities and the fun stuff (fun is important). The problem is, everything feels equally important - so how do we fit it all in? There is no such thing as the the perfect balance - some weeks are going to be more focused on school, some on sports or other activities and others on home responsibilities. However, the key is to help our children practice prioritizing and planning.

As we delve deeper into the school year, homework or home-based projects will begin to increase. Tons of tips and tricks to help support your child can be found with a simple google search, this is my favorite TOP 10 TIPS TO HANDLE HOMEWORK. But, what I know for sure is that one-on-one time to discuss, prioritize and plan for the week/day will set you and your child up for success. Set up a time to review their planners, looks at you home schedule and create a plan that works for your family, there is no one right way! With homework or other activities, when things become overwhelming, help your child identify the first step and use that as a starting point. Most importantly, be patient, keep going and show yourself and your child compassion - these are hard skills to master!

Down Syndrome Connection

We had a character assembly sponsored by the Down Syndrome Connection for our children in grades 1-3. Children learned about the truths and myths Down Syndrome. The interactive assembly focused on understanding differences between each other and ways we can build meaningful relationships with each other. It also talked about other challenges that people might face and how we can all learn from one another. Everyone is special and everyone deserves to be loved, respected and included.

Character Trait of the Month: Responsibility

We are honoring students each Friday for being shining examples of responsibility. What does it mean to be responsible?

* Do what you are supposed to do, even when no one is looking.

*Persevere and keep on trying

*Always do your best

*Use self-control and be self-disciplined

*Be accountable for your choices and actions

*Think before you speak or act. Consider the consequences.

Green Team

Our Green Team is doing a great job at lunch. We have fourth and fifth graders giving up their lunch playtime once a week to help other children put their leftover lunch items in the following containers: compost, recycling and landfill. Thank you Green Team for your dedication and being responsible

Morning Greeters and AM Drop-Off

Thank you Morning Greeters for helping before school in the mornings. Your smile, kind words and actions contribute to our Morello families having a terrific day. Thank you parents for being kind and respectful to our students who are trying to make a difference at morning drop-off. Also, thank you parents for following the rules and setting a great example for our children who are watching. Together, we are building great citizenship for our future generation.

MINIMUM DAY December 21 and Second Grade Musical

Remember that Friday, December 21st is a MINIMUM DAY. Our office closes right after school so our staff can enjoy their Holiday Season with their families. Please make arrangements in advance so your children are picked up on time. This day is also our 2nd grade musical. Please plan on arriving early as parking will be very limited.

Candy Cane Grams to Support Christmas for Everyone

Our second grade students collected toys and also raised $2,160 by selling candy cane grams for 50 cents. Not only were children excited to receive grams from friends and family, it raised money for a great cause. What is Christmas for Everyone? "Christmas for Everyone has provided Christmas Day to many of the county's working underprivileged, seniors and homebound people for over 30 years." Thank you to Mrs. Spinner, Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Machado and Mrs. Allen for organizing this event. Additionally, we want to thank all of the parent volunteers who worked each day to sell the grams at lunch. We are thrilled to deliver the funds and toys! Thank you for helping us sprinkle joy and hope in our community.

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of the Morello staff, we want to wish you a wonderful Holiday Season 2018! It has been a true pleasure teaching your children and watching them grow. Thank you for entrusting us with your most precious gems…your children. We will miss them during the break.

Since you may have some extra time with your children over the break, here are a few ideas that you may want to consider that are cost free or low cost:

1. *Read with your children, maybe even consider a book that was your favorite as a child.

2. *Share stories from the past and bring your family history alive to your children.

3. *Talk about Holiday Traditions.

4. *Make cookies or do a small, easy craft together. (Dollar Tree has inexpensive ones)

5. *Play games together as a family (e.g. Checkers, Hide and Seek, Card Games)

6. * Practice Math Facts with a deck of cards. You put down a card and your child puts down a card and whoever adds or multiplies the sum first, get those cards. (Make sure they win sometimes)

7. *Encourage being healthy by taking a walk around your neighborhood to look at holiday lights.

8. *Write letters to loved ones who live far away. (or Santa if you celebrate Santa)

9. *Set goals as a family and talk about New Year’s Resolutions and Goals.

10. *Character Traits: Talk about the 6 character traits we teach at Morello and your child can demonstrate those at home: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

11. *Sing and go caroling.

Remember, the most important gift we can give our children is the gift of quality time. Even if time is limited, if we give our children individual attention, it will be something remembered for a long time.

School resumes on January 8th. Until then, we wish you a safe, joyful, and blessed Holiday Season. Have a wonderful New Year’s!


Stacy Joslin, Principal

"Putting Children First"