The Seawell Star

Quarterly News from Seawell Elementary School!

Quarter 2: Important Dates

November 27th: No School, Teacher Workday

November 28th & 29th: No School, Thanksgiving Holiday

December 2nd: Coffee with the Principal, 7:55 am-8:55 am

December 3rd - 17th: Student Council/FORT Holiday Drive

December 4th: PTA Meeting @ 8:00am

December 5th: SIT Meeting @ 8:00am

December 9th: Seawell Family Night at Chipotle Eastgate (4:00pm-8:00pm)

Below is the link to our school calendar. If anything changes we will update the calendar information. This link will remain in the Peek at the Week to view important dates.

Seawell Elementary Calendar 2019-2020

Kindergarten News

Kindergarten had their first field trip of the year to the Pumpkin Patch! After spending a few weeks learning about the plant cycle of the pumpkin and learning about farm animals, students got to see them in person! We loved riding the hayride, going through mazes, playing in the corn pit, looking at farm animals, and of course, picking a pumpkin!

Additional Images from the Kindergarten Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

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First Grade News

This quarter first graders have been learning about rocks. We sorted rocks based on their properties and also learned how rocks are used in the world around us. As a culmination of our learning, we had an onsite field trip with Diamond Del’s gem mining. Students were able to “mine” for rocks and gems. They also sorted and identified the rocks in their collection.

Second Grade News

Second grade had their first field trip of the year to Jordan Lake State Educational Forest even though it was rainy and cool. We enjoyed learning about the history of paper while also being able to make our own paper, playing a game to learn more about predator and prey relationships, and learning about our local watersheds by searching for water creatures in a small pond. Back at Seawell, we completed activities covering weather/weather instruments, math strategies, reading strategies, and writing personal narratives.

Third Grade News

During the first quarter, third-graders learned the following:

  • Math: We have studied graphing by taking class surveys and interpreting the results of our data. We also talked about addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Our students are making connections between addition and multiplication and will soon begin division. We have also been stretching our mathematical thinking by solving word problems using two different operations.
  • Fundations: We have worked on closed syllables and vowel-consonant-silent e syllables. We have introduced the 1-1-1 Rule, vowel and consonant suffixes. We are working on homophones, i.e. mail, male.
  • Reading: We spent time on a fiction unit looking at what a text says explicitly, context clues, and text structures. We are continuing this work with nonfiction texts. Soon we will begin a character study with traditional literature.
  • Writing: We worked on writing a story about something that had happened in our lives. We focused on adding details and organizing events in chronological order. We are working on our next writing unit: biographies. Many of our students have selected someone to write about and are starting the research process.
  • Science: We started learning about the human body with a main focus on the bones, muscles, and skin.

Fourth Grade News

During the first quarter, fourth-graders participated in the following:
  • Reading: Students focused on how to use context clues while reading informational text. Students also learned about different nonfiction text structures; which are ways that nonfiction articles are organized for a reader to understand the information. Some examples are: time order, main idea and details, compare and contrast, problem and solution, and cause and effect.
  • Persuasive Writing: Students began their persuasive writing units. They learned and are continuing to learn how to organize persuasive writing: a thesis or opinion, reasons for the opinion, and examples to support their reasons and used such to write about a notable pirate.
  • Social Studies: Students learned how NC became a state and how our state government works.
  • Math: Students learned how to multiply large numbers. Students were taught a variety of strategies such as area model, partial products, and the standard algorithm. If you need another parent guide for helping your child with math please let us know.

Fifth Grade News

During the first quarter, fifth-graders participated in the following:


  • Students determined the meaning of words and phrases used in a text, including figurative language such as similes and metaphors.
  • Students enhanced their reading and comprehension skills by explaining how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.
  • Students learned how to quote accurately from a text and explain what the text says while making inferences.
  • Students compared and contrasted text structures.


  • Students wrote narratives about real or imagined experiences using descriptive details and clear sequences.


  • Students learned how to recognize and measure the volume of a rectangular shape.
  • Students utilized the formula for volume.
  • Students solved multi-step problems and used properties (commutative, associative, and distributive) to evaluate numerical expressions.


  • Students summarized the properties of original materials, the new materials formed, and analyzed if a change occurred.
  • Students learned about the three types of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.
  • Students compared the characteristics of ecosystems, classified organisms with an ecosystem, and inferred the effects that might result from the relationship of biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem.

Social Studies:

  • Students learned how human activity has and continues to shape the U.S.
  • Students studied how a market economy impacts life in the U.S.

English as a Second Language News

We have had a great start to the year. We have enjoyed getting to know the students. Information regarding students who are pulled for small group instruction was sent home during the week of conferences. We look forward to seeing how students progress as the year continues.

Mrs. Nolan's Library Book Report

Please click here to learn about the great things happening in our school library.
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Ms. Grant's Gifted Education News

Our school year has gotten off to a great start! To date, all students in grades K-3 have had three talent development lessons. Students have been working on using grade-specific divergent thinking skills and acting like detectives to solve complex problems. Dudley the detective, a trench coat wearing, game playing, and problem-solving dog is a great hit with the students.

Novel studies are going well with both 4th and 5th-grade Gifted Reading groups. Fourth-grade students are currently really enjoying reading the Sharon Draper novel, Out of My Mind. This is a very thought-provoking story about a girl with severe cerebral palsy. Fifth graders are reading the mystery Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage. These are both great novels that adults can enjoy as well as children. If you are looking for a good read, check them out.

In Math, 4th graders have been applying knowledge about area and perimeter while creating real-life tiny dream houses. We have tackled many real-life questions about building houses including exactly how big does a kitchen needs to be to fit all of the appliances and where should the washer and dryer go? In fifth grade Math, we have learned how to solve complex, multi-step real-world word problems with unit bars. This is a highly effective, non-algebraic approach to problem-solving. Also, we have spent time thinking about prime numbers and exploring the Goldbach Conjecture.

If you have any questions about Gifted services here at Seawell, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Holly Grant at or 919.967.4343 ext. 33202.

Guidance News with Ms. Galassi

I have met all the new students at Seawell and have found the children delightful. It is always exciting to meet our students who come from so many different places - many towns in NC, many states around the U.S., and so many countries from around the world. As the year goes on, I get to meet individually, in small groups, and/or in classrooms with the students. If a child has a concern, he or she can ask to see me. If children are looking for some friends, a group of children may visit me.


The first round of classroom guidance sessions for all grades has been completed. K-3 classes focused on character traits (responsibility, respect, and gratitude), making and keeping friends, and disability awareness. Grades 4 and 5 have focused on character traits, empathy, attentive listening, and the differences between assertive, aggressive, and passive behaviors. Fourth Grade LEAP has also learned about visual disabilities and the development of Braille.

Plans are beginning made for the Safe Touch Presentations which will occur in February. These presentations focus on keeping students safe. You will be receiving more information about this program.

If you have a concern about your child or a question, please call me at 919-967-4343 ext.33240 or email me at

Social Work News with Ms. Williford

We are heading into a very busy season for FORT, Student Council, and our Seawell community as a whole. FORT’s Winter Break Food Collection will begin December 3, and will continue for 2 weeks until December 17. Each classroom will be given baskets for their students to fill with lots of good canned food and holiday goodies, which will be given to Seawell families who can use the extra food help over the (two weeks) Winter Break. We anticipate needing about 75 baskets this year. Student Council will be helping with this service project. We will also be collecting donations for $20 Gift Cards from Food Lion to go with each basket. More information regarding the Food Drive and Gift Card collection will be sent home on fliers. Parent Volunteers are needed on December 17 to help assemble the food baskets and hand them out to parents anytime between 12:30-5:00. Please call Linda Williford at 919-358-1242 or email her at regarding volunteer opportunities or questions.

Also, Kate, the PetPals therapy dog returned to Seawell on Tuesday, November 19. She will continue to visit our school at 11:00 am for about 75 minutes on Tuesdays each week. Contact Linda Williford at the above phone number or email address if your child might benefit from visiting with the dog.

Happy Holidays!!

Nurse Eileen's Note: What is Going Around?

And the answer is “Everything is going around”. The changing leaves and cooler temperatures mean that colds and flu are now in our horizon. Help your student prevent the spread of germs by encouraging proper hand-washing, coughing or sneezing into their elbows/shoulders, not sharing food or drinks, and keeping him/her home if sick. Also, as the temperature continues to change, layering clothes is a great way to ensure that your child is warm during the cold mornings but can remove a layer if the classroom is warm or the temperature warms throughout the day.

Remember that the CHCCS district policy for illness states that students need to remain out of school for the following: 1) fever for temperatures 100 degrees F or greater, 2) vomiting, or 3) diarrhea. (S)he must be free of all symptoms for 24 hours from the last episode (without the aid of any medications) before returning to school. Please note, that we will call you to come pick up your child if your child returns too early. This not only prevents the spread of any illnesses to

fellow classmates or staff but ensures that your child is well enough to return to school and is ready to learn.

What is the difference between a cold and the flu? The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests must be done within the first few days of illness in order to determine if a person has the flu.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu and people with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

Please consider getting your child, as well as, yourself vaccinated against the flu (contact your child’s physician for more information). You may also go to for more information about the flu. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine! Remember it takes 2 weeks for it to become fully effective and that flu season usually runs from October to as late as April/May.

How should the flu be treated?

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Take medication to relieve the symptoms of flu (but never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms – and particularly fever – without first speaking to your doctor.)
  • In some cases, your doctors may choose to use certain antiviral drugs to treat the flu. Influenza is caused by a virus so antibiotics don’t work to cure it. When started within the first two days of illness, they can reduce the duration of the disease but cannot cure it outright.

Some ways to prevent getting sick in the first place include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick or keep your child at home when sick. This will help to prevent others from catching the illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Washing hands often will help protect you from germs as well as passing them onto others. This is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during, and after you prepare food
  • Before you eat
  • After you use the bathroom
  • After handling animals or animal waste
  • When your hands are dirty
  • More frequently when someone in your home is sick

What is the correct way to wash your hands?

  • First, wet your hands and apply liquid or clean bar soap. Place the bar soap on a rack and allow it to drain.
  • Next, rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces (don’t forget your wrists, in between fingers, and around thumbs).
  • Continue for 10-15 seconds or about the length of a short tune. It is the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs.
  • Rinse well and dry your hands.


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PTA News

Quick and Easy Ways to Support Seawell

Show your school spirit with our Seawell t-shirts, hoodies, and magnets! Order now and get your items delivered before Winter Break.

Purchase Spirit Wear items online with these easy steps:

  1. Visit
  2. Choose your items and sizes. Then add to your cart.
  3. Secure checkout. Pay with your credit card.
  4. Deliveries will be made to students at school.

The online store will remain open until Monday, December 2, 2019. Email Molly Diamond at with questions.