September 4, 2023
Dear SMS Community,
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for contributing to the smooth start of the school year. At SMS, we understand that morning drop-off can be a challenging time, especially with the traffic congestion and the left turns out of the parking lot. To ensure a hassle-free start to the day, we kindly request your cooperation with the following guidelines:
Timely Arrival: We encourage all parents and guardians to aim for an arrival time between 7:00 AM and 7:10 AM. If people arrive closer to 7:10 AM then the line will move more efficiently.
Efficient Drop-Off: When pulling up to the drop-off area, please make sure to pull all the way up before allowing your student to exit the vehicle. This not only expedites the process but also enhances safety. Please make sure your student is ready to exit the vehicle and your student has their belongings with them. You can find more information about Pick up and drop off procedures towards the end of the newsletter.
I'm delighted to share that our students have been exemplary during the first week of school. Their cooperation and caring attitude have been truly commendable. I would like to give a special shout-out to our fifth-grade students, who have shown remarkable friendliness and kindness.
Thank you for your ongoing support, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Together, we can make this the best year at SMS.
First Week Pictures
New Staff Spotlight! 🔦
The New Staff Spotlight includes both new faces joining SMS and current SMS staff members who have assumed new roles within our school. We will feature these staff members in the next two newsletters.
5th Grade English Language Arts (ELA)
Hi, My name is Sandy Baker, I have been at SMS since 2015. I was a paraprofessional in the Emotional Support Program for 2 years, the grade 8 special educator for 3 years, and then taught language arts and math in 7th and 8th grade. During COVID I taught all four grade levels and I am so excited to be working with 5th graders this year. Before coming to SMS I taught my four sons at home. We had a lot of fun going on field trips and holding events such as a Mock Thanksgiving and a reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord to name a few. Kayaking, biking, walking, and spending time with my family are some of my favorite past times. I love to laugh and had I not become a teacher my alternate career choice was to be a stand up comedian.
Teaching and having fun with the students is my goal for the year . I hope to instill in my students the desire to become a lifelong learner and to understand growth mindset. A favorite quote of mine is by the late educator Rita Pierson, “Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” May we all work together to be your child's champion!
5th Grade Math Acceleration
My name is Jacob Watrous, and over the last decade or so, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of academic roles. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration as well as a Master's Degree in Education. I am a lifelong learner and always strive to instill the value of education in our students. It has been my honor to work for South Middle School over the past four years. We have been very busy assembling the Math Acceleration program, and I will be working with the fifth-grade team.
My hobbies include nature photography, guitar, and exploring antique shops around scenic New England. Thank you for allowing me to continue to be part of the SMS family.
Jacob Watrous, M.Ed.
“Sam was born and raised in Hancock, NH and will be joining South Meadow School as a paraprofessional. He is returning to the district he graduated from in 2007. Sam comes to the school with 8 years experience as Functional Support Staff at two different community mental health centers. He is also a Certified Athletic Trainer with experience at both the high school and collegiate levels. When Sam isn’t cheering on local sports teams, you can find him out on a hiking trail, mountain biking, or snowboarding.”
Hi, my name is Sarah Cooper. I have many years working as a SpEd Paraprofessional, first in Colorado and most recently in Jaffrey. A little about me....I live in Peterborough with my wife Morgan and our 2 kids (Kalena & Noah), our dog and 7 chickens. I enjoy camping, going to the beach, travelling to see family, reading, all different styles of music, and being outside. I am really looking forward to being at SMS!
6th Math Acceleration
Hello, everyone! Although I have officially retired from teaching, I will be joining SMS’s Acceleration Team several days a week. (Just can’t leave the classroom!) I have spent 36+ years in education! I spent the last 33 years in Bedford, NH. In the first half of my tenure, I was a fifth/sixth grade classroom math and science teacher. During the second half, I was a high school humanities teacher; I taught everything from Personal Finance to Psychology to AP Art History. I love to learn, and I love all subjects! And I am looking forward to returning to my math roots!
Four words to describe the “me” outside the classroom: family, baking, cats, and river.
Looking forward to being a member of SMS!
Laura Dreyer, M.S.Ed.
5th Grade Math Teacher
Hello South Meadow School. My name is Margaret Greene, Peggy to family and friends. I am so excited to be joining the team here at SMS as the 5th grade math teacher! I love math and can't wait to share that with my students. I have been teaching for 30 years. The last five years I have been teaching 6th grade math in Newport, NH. Prior to that I worked in the Jaffrey/Rindge Middle school. I live near Granite Lake and love the outdoors. We have a set of eagles on the island in the center of the lake. They are spectacular! I am a cat person, and have a Russian Forest Cat. She is a little 10 lbs. peanut. I don’t let her outside to tempt the eagle!
Special Education Teacher
My name is Kayla Rathburn, I am a Special Education Teacher in the ESP program at SMS. Last year I started my career at SMS as a paraprofessional in the ESP program while I worked to renew my teaching license. I have worked in the education field for the last ten years mostly in early childhood before moving to middle school. I am a mom of two boys who keep me on my toes. When I’m not at school I like to take walks with my dog and cross stitch. We love to go camping and travel any time we can.
6th Grade Math Teacher
My name is Ginny Kemp and I am so excited to spend my second year at SMS as the sixth grade math teacher, continuing the great math work we started last year in fifth grade. I’m beginning my 27th year in education, the majority of which was spent teaching sixth grade, and I’m so privileged to be back in this grade level again.
My hobbies include hiking, tennis, Zentangle and hanging out with my two grandchildren. I can’t wait to get started!
News that you might already know!
2023-2024 SMS Daily Schedule
The Morning Routine
If your student is crossing Rt 202: They must wait for the crossing guard. The crossing guard will be on duty from 7:00 am - 7:20 am.
Walkers from Back parking lot trail from Pineridge Rd
Students will walk on the grass and should not cut through the parking lot.
- Parents should arrive in the morning between 7:00 and 7:10 am.
- Please know that if drop-offs arrive too early, it will cause a significant back-up on 202.
- Staff will begin signaling parents to let students out of their car at 7:10am.
- Please enter through the SAU entrance and turn right into the upper parking lot.
Please see the visual below for information about where students enter the building. I would recommend reviewing it with your student.
The Afternoon Routine
Parent pick up is very similar to drop-off.
- Please enter through the SAU entrance and turn right into the upper parking lot.
- Please arrive between 2:15 and 2:25. Students will be dismissed around 2:25 pm
- Please know that if drop-offs arrive too early it will cause a significant back-up on 202.
PickUp Patrol is a cloud-based web application that automates the attendance and dismissal process. Parents/guardians will receive a welcome email when school starts with instructions to set up an account. All absences and dismissal changes can be done via PickUp Patrol https://app.pickuppatrol.net until 1:00 pm. After that, all parents must call the school to report dismissal changes. Students who need to change their assigned bus, or ride a bus home with a friend must bring in a note signed by a parent and receive a pass from the office. The same will apply to students being picked up by someone other than a parent.
First Day Packets are Now Available Online
ConVal School District is pleased to announce that beginning with the upcoming 2023-2024 school year, student First Day Packet forms will be available online. This streamlined process will make it easier to collect important information about students and save families time.
The primary guardian of each student who is currently enrolled in our District will receive one email per student with a special link to PowerSchool’s First Day Packet forms. There you will be asked to create a family account. Many fields will be pre-populated and we ask that you take the time to review the information for accuracy and/or update as necessary.
The traditional paper forms can be made available if completing the forms online is not an option.
EHP Featured on Printlab Website. Check it out!
Students that are Late to School
Students are expected to be on time for school. This means that they are at school and in their first class by 7:20 am. Students that arrive to class after 7:20 am are considered late. When a student is late they will have to report directly to the main office to record the time of arrival and receive a late pass that they will take to class. After a student is late more than 5 times a letter will be sent home. The goal of this notification is to improve the students' time of arrival so that they miss the least amount of class time possible and limit the number of interruptions. If there are an additional three days late to school then the following interventions could be implemented:
Loss of a privilege.
Other interventions from the Student Code of Conduct.
Exceptions for being late to school can include the following:
Medical or dental appointment.
Death in the family.
Other things that align to the excused absence list (see below Policy JH).
DC Meeting is on the Calendar
Mark your calendars! The initial meeting for the 8th-grade Washington DC trip is set for September 6th at 6 pm. We will gather in the South Meadow School Gym for this important event. Make sure to attend as we will be discussing all the essential details about the trip. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Late Bus Information
Please note if your student is taking the late bus from after school activities. Please be aware this is not the regular afternoon schedule, students will be dropped off at centralized locations. If you have any questions about the late bus please call 603-924-7105
Expanding Horizons Sign-Ups
This year there are three applications.
1: EHP Application 2023 - Returning Students This is for those students who have done EHP in the past and the due date is September 5. Classes will start later that week.
2: EHP Application VEX and Mind Puzzles This is for those who may have been in EHP or wanting to do EHP for VEX (grades 7 &8) or Mind Puzzles. Due date for this one is September 29th, and starts on the 10 of October.
3: EHP Application for New Students This is for everyone new to EHP other than those in VEX or Mind Puzzles especially for 5th grade. Deadline is October 25th and we will start the second day of the second quarter.
Email Mrs. Brezovec if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
What Is Coming Next?
Free Chess Account
Please fill in the request form below if you would like for your child to have a free ChessKid account for the remainder of the year. Once I receive the request I will add in their account using their school username and password. I will send them an email to let them know when they are set up. Click Here for the Request Form
Check this Out!
- NHED has awarded nearly $800,000 for this summer’s ReKINDling Curiosity program – hoping to ensure that every child who wants to attend a fun and engaging summer camp has the opportunity. This flyer outlines scholarship and eligibility information. Applications will be accepted until Aug. 31, or when funds are exhausted.