The Russell Review
A Message From Mr. Blake
2 Hours Earlier Than Normal
MSAD 15 District Calendar
Help Us Celebrate Kindness At Russell School!
Dress For Success
Please be reminded that temperatures in our building are known to fluctuate substantially throughout the day. We highly recommend that students dress in layers now and through the cold months ahead.
Dressing in layers allows students the greatest opportunity to be at the just right temperature of their choosing. Please be sure that each layer is labeled with your child’s name so lost items can be easily returned.
Please be reminded that as the winter weather arrives (we know it will any day now) we will continue to play outside. Students should bring appropriate outdoor clothing for recess each day. Students who do not have the appropriate gear will be asked to stay on the pavement during recess. We kindly ask that you please plan accordingly.
Outdoor Temp Set To Drop This Week
Just a reminder to please pack the winter gear for your child(ren) this week.
As you probably have heard, it is going to be very chilly later this week. We will have outdoor recess on days when the "feels like" temp is 10 degrees or higher at 11:00, so please send boots, snow pants, warm coats, hats, and gloves/mittens.
If we can be of assistance in procuring snow gear for your kiddo, please let me know.
If your child borrows any items from the nurse (hats, mittens, pants, shirts, etc.), please be sure they make their way back into the health office. These items are washed and redistributed as necessary.
Thank you for your attention to this!
Last Call: Kindergarten Pre-Registration
Do you have or do you know a child living in Gray or New Gloucester who will be five years old on or before October 15, 2023? Or do you know a child who will be four years old on October 15, 2023 who might be interested in attending our Pre K program? We would appreciate it very much if our MSAD 15 staff and community could help spread the word that our Pre-K and Kindergarten pre-registration is open!
Kindergarten Pre-Registration (5 years old on or before 10/15/2023)
Russell and Memorial schools are currently accepting pre-registration for all students who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. Children living in Gray should register with Russell School. Children living in New Gloucester should register with Memorial School. Please use the links below or call the school office to pre-register or for more information.
Russell School Pre-Registration Link or call them at (207) 657-4929
Reminder From The Health Office
We would like to take this opportunity to remind families that students who have had a fever in the past 24 hours cannot come to school. A fever is defined as a temperature of 100.0 or higher.
Additionally, students should not be given fever reducing medication or symptom reducing medications before school. If your child requires a fever reducing medication then they need to stay home. Students must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medications before returning to school.
At Russell School, we work hard to teach students the importance of good attendance.
Did you know:
Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school and be at a greater risk for dropping out of high school
Missing 10 percent of the year can make it exponentially harder for students to learn to read
Students can still fall behind if they miss just one or two days every few weeks
Being late to school, or even leaving a little early, can impact the entirety of a student’s day
Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help other children fill in the gaps they missed due to a staying home by choice
Poor attendance leads to poor social relationships for students
But most importantly... we miss your students when they are not here!
Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and feel better about themselves. Help us start building this habit of regular school attendance early so children learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will not only help children do well in school, college and work, but also impact their life in general. If ever you have questions or concerns about your child’s attendance habits, please feel free to reach out to your child's teacher, our school counselor, or Mr. Blake.
Did You Know?
We Field Many Questions
Regarding Illness Symptoms
We Find This To Be Helpful Advice
Due To Inclement Weather
With winter weather arriving in the near future, I want to remind families to have a plan and be ready for one of the several inclement weather plans. Please see below for more information.
Inclement Weather Options Include:
Remote learning day (when feasible)
Superintendent King works to get official information to families as soon as possible
Superintendent King communicates about storm days using School Messenger (phone message and text), television news, and the district website
Remote Learning Days
We will be watching the weather throughout the winter. When weather is worrisome we will be sending home our school iPads before any anticipated poor travel conditions. When devices are sent we will communicate this to you through an email. The iPads should stay in backpacks at home unless we actually have a snow day. If there is no snow day, the iPad and sleeve will still be in the backpack ready to come right back to school that day.
Should we implement a remote day we would use the following schedule:
K-2 Remote Day Plan
- 9:00-9:45 Live Zoom - Morning Meeting & Literacy (whole group)
- 9:45-10:00 Break
- 10:00-10:30 Live Zoom - Math (whole group)
- 10:30-12:00 Asynchronous work on Seesaw (including Specials) and/or small group/individual sessions with the classroom teacher, Response-To-Intervention staff, or Special Ed services
- 12:00 - 12:30 Lunch
- 12:30-2:00 As needed, small group/individual sessions with the RTI or Special Education
You can also expect a specific communication from myself and your child's classroom teacher should we need to implement remote learning for any reason.
School Counselor's Corner
Hello! 2023 is in full winter mode now and, as we gear up for our next big celebration (yes, Valentine’s Day is considered a BIG celebration, at least at the elementary level!), I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about our upcoming Kindness Week. The social/emotional focus for the month of February is going to be on kindness. Specifically, Russell School will be holding a Kindness Week Feb. 13th-Feb. 17th as part of its participation in the 2023 Great Kindness Challenge (https://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com/). In addition to reading books on kindness and discussing ways, both big and small, that people can show kindness everyday, each classroom will receive a poster to record their acts of kindness as they reflect on all the ways they can make a difference in their communities, their families, and within themselves. I’m hoping to have classes create kindness posters for our school, thank you letters to bus drivers, and letters to themselves in which they identify at least 2 self-care strategies they can do to show themselves a little kindness sometimes.
Russell School will kick off Kindness Week on Monday, Feb. 13th with “Imagination Station: Crazy Colors and Patterns.” Let students express themselves by wearing mismatched socks, plaid shirts with flowered leggings, or polka dots with stripes; whatever makes them happy and excited! With Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, February 14th, children are encouraged to wear white, red, and pink in honor of Peace, Love, and Kindness. Wednesday, Feb. 15th will be “Hats off to Kindness”. Thursday, Feb. 16th is “We Believe in GNG,” so encourage students to wear red, white, and blue and spirit wear, our Patriot colors, and show off any GNG Patriot swag they may have at home. And finally, Kindness Week will end on Friday, February 17th with “I Dream of Kindness,” a PJ/stuffy day to celebrate the week and yes, ease in the upcoming break. Although we have already talked about the importance of kindness in some of our past SEL classes, I’m excited to have this opportunity to dig a little deeper and show students that they can literally create a more peaceful world through their own kind acts.
As a little recap for January, I wanted to mention that we started off this year by talking about the importance of having a growth mindset. I worked on flexible thinking, patience, and handling disappointment with the kindergarten classes. With the 1st grade classes, I started the year off by talking about trying new things, taking risks, and being confident, as seen in the book Jubari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. The focus of 1st grade SEL lessons changed in mid-January, however, to that of understanding the difference between tattling and reporting, which appeared to be a common theme presenting itself among all the 1st grade classes. And finally, 2nd grade classes read My Fantastic, Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak, learned about different parts of the brain and how those parts are responsible for different mental and bodily functions, and the importance of having a growth mindset (i.e. “I can’t do that YET…but with practice and time, I’ll get better).
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about Russell School’s SEL programming, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me: email@example.com or 207-657-9622. And please remember, if you and your family are in need of any assistance, Russell School is here to help…with community resources, the backpack food program, etc. Please let us know if there is any way we can help!
Respectfully, your school counselor,
Breakfast & Lunch Costs
We are pleased to announce that breakfast and lunch will be free to all students for the 2022 - 2023 school year! This only applies if a student takes a "complete meal".
Students who choose to only get milk with their breakfast or lunch will be charged $0.65 for each milk they take.
Lunch menus are published monthly on the MSAD 15 website. In addition, monthly menus will be sent to families through our email service, School Messenger.
My School Bucks
Students who will be purchasing milk only are strongly encouraged to use the My School Bucks program. Information pertaining to the program can be found below.
SAVE THE DATE
The next Patriot Parents meeting for Russell School will be February 7th.
We will meet at 6:00 in the Russell School Library. We hope to see you there!
A Note From Our Russell School Reps
Hello Russell School Parents and Community,
As the Russell School PTO Co-Chairs, we thought it would be a good time to introduce ourselves and fill you in on what we have been working on.
My name is Wendi Dill. My husband and I moved to Gray in 2015. We have a daughter (Emma) in first grade and a son (Bryce) in Pre-K. We love to spend time at the beach, travel and hang out with friends and family. I am a SAHM and my husband works for the U.S Postal Service in Portland.
Lauren moved from Texas to Maine in 2014 but had most recently moved to Gray with her husband, Adam and her 2 boys (Mason, 5yo, Kindergarten & Myles , 3, Preschool). She has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House of Maine as a fundraising representative for over 6 years, in helping keep families with sick children close to each other in giving them the care and resources they need. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys event planning, hospitality, volunteering and spending time with her family and friends. Professionally, Lauren is a Principal Talent Acquisition Business Partner at Stryker, a global Medical Device company, working to hire Quality Engineering professionals across the nation.
Together as co-chairs of the PTO we want to focus on bringing the community closer to Russell School by planning fun family events, all while raising funds to do special things for our staff and students. We are always looking for new ideas and welcome volunteers. Please see below for upcoming events and meetings.
We look forward to meeting you,
Lauren & Wendi
Want To Get Involved?
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer for an upcoming event; you can reach Lauren and Wendi at the following email.
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 @ 6:00pm - PTO Meeting (Russell School Library)
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 - Staff Appreciation Luncheon Supplied by PTO
Friday, February 17th, 2023 - National Kindness Event (more info to come)
Friday, March 3rd, 2023 - Russell “Shamrock Shuffle Family Dance” 5-7pm (Russell School Gym)
GNG Project Graduation
The Class of 2023 is selling stainless steel water bottles with GNG's logo.
From GNG Athletics
GNG Patriots FH 2023 Clinics
Hello Patriots Field Hockey! We will be hosting our youth development clinics on the following Saturday dates: 2/25/23, 3/18/23, 4/15/23 & 5/20/23. These will be held froom 8am-11am in the gymnasium at Gray New Gloucester High School & will again be open for all preK-8th grade!
For the 8th consecutive year, the Maine Department of Education will collaborate with community organizations and schools to promote the Read to ME Challenge, a month-long public awareness campaign held during February across Maine.
The Read to ME Challenge is intended to bolster enjoyment in reading and to support children’s literacy growth by challenging adults to read to and/or with children for at least 15 minutes during the month of February. Challenge readers are invited to capture the moment via a photo or a video to post on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #ReadtoME. They are also encouraged to continue the impact by challenging social media friends to read to children and spread the impact across the state. Maine DOE hopes that social media posts include Twitter tag at @mdoenews and/or a Facebook tag @MaineDepartmentofEducation1!
The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2023. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website.