Elm Street School

March 2016

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Principal's Message

As the spring weather fast approaches, we are all eager and ready to get outside to play! Play is a critical component of child development. It allows children to exercise their freedom, move around, use their imagination, foster friendships, and simply have fun. At Elm Street School, we value play and provide opportunities throughout the day, specifically at recess. We also acknowledge that this unstructured time can be extremely difficult for children to navigate as they are faced with a variety of choices and social dynamics that can be challenging.

Elm Street School cares about supporting play, and strives to not restrict it. We have a school and district-wide goal to teach, practice and reinforce pro-social skills. Therefore, Elm Street School does not “ban” activities. Rather, we allow students to work between and among one another to problem solve their own social dilemmas, and if help is sought or if we sense support is needed, we assist with listening and turn-taking to solve any issues that arise. Also if needed, we referee games to help them continue safely with adult supervision and monitoring. Student safety is very important to us, and to that end, having the proper adult active supervision is essential. In school, our teachers preview recess expectations and options with students. Mrs. Carty, our P.E. Teacher teaches students games that they can play indoors and outdoors. We have observed students play these games on their own outside of P.E. instruction.

I hope that the following guidelines and information about recess will be helpful to families and can be reviewed with children at home:

  • Students should come dressed for the weather. According to the district’s Wellness Policy, when the temperature is 20 degrees or below, including wind chill, then students are required to have indoor recess. This is for student safety. Our office monitors the temperature throughout the school day, and before every recess. It is not uncommon that when indoor recess is called initially, it sometimes changes to outdoor recess within the school day based on temperature fluctuation.

Elm Street School has few recess guidelines. They are based on safety and our observations:

• Jump ropes on hardtop only.

• No playground toys (such as balls, Frisbees) on the playground structure / equipment.

• No tag on playground equipment / structure.

• Take turns going down the slide (one at a time). When you go down the slide, slide on your bottom, feet first.

• Stand back from swings (count to 100 for your turn and allow the next person to have a turn)

• No football when on hardtop only (if field is too wet or inaccessible).

Elm Street School has some play options and areas for students:

• The playground structure

• The field

• The blacktop area

Additionally, there are several games and activities that the students play:

• Tag

• 4 Square

• Coloring

• Monkey in the middle

• Flag Football (Grade 3-5 only)

• Basketball

• Soccer

• Kickball

• Jump rope

• Toys, activities from home are permitted for showing and playing. Trading/exchanging or giving items away is not permitted (examples: Nerf balls, friendship bracelets / arts and crafts, small stuffed animals, small toy cars, cards, collectables)

We are grateful that the Elm Street School PAC regularly purchases new playground toys and activities for our school: • Tennis balls • Hula hoops • Small kick balls, Nerf balls • Sidewalk chalk

When there is snow, ice and mud, our usual play space is constrained. When the snow is light, we foster snow play. If the snow is frozen and icy, it makes the playground structure unusable due to safety, and indeed it is difficult or a possible safety issue for the children to play on hardened snow banks. As a result, we foster play in the open hard top area with the games and activities mentioned above. Students also often invent their own games and activities, and we support them accordingly.

If you are interested in learning more about the value of unstructured time and free-play, you may find these articles worthwhile:



Rebecca Brogadir


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Save the Dates:

  • Monday, 3/7 - 3/25 - Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fundraiser (school wide initiative spearheaded by our student council)
  • Tuesday, 3/8- Barnes & Noble Art Display of WPS student work
  • Wednesday, 3/9-
    • School Governance Council. 3:45pm
    • Drug Coalition Poster Video Contest Award Ceremony, 6:30pm at Walpole Library Community Room
  • Sunday, 3/13- Daylight Savings Time
  • Tuesday, 3/15- PAC Meeting, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, 3/16- 3rd Grade Bay Colony in house field trip
  • Thursday, 3/17- 5th Grade to JMS Dress Rehearsal of Hooray for Hollywood
  • Friday, 3/25-
    • Spirit Day- Wacky Friday (crazy hair, mismatched clothes, etc.)
    • Early Release at 12:20pm- Professional Development
    • Student Principal for the Day
  • Thursday, 3/31-
    • Title I Math Night at OPR
    • Report Cards go home in backpacks, grades 1-5
  • Saturday, 4/2- Elm PAC Silent Auction, 7:00pm
  • Thursday, 4/7-
    • Grade 1 Concert, 6:00pm-6:30pm
    • Grade 3 Concert, 7:00pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, 4/12- PAC Meeting; 7:30pm
  • Thursday, 4/14- 5th Grade Variety Show; 6:30pm
  • Friday, 4/15- Early Release at 12:20pm
  • Monday, 4/18-Friday 4/22- No School- Spring Vacation


All Grades 3, 4 and 5 students are required to take the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)/MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System).

Please take note of the PARCC/ MCAS Schedule below. Consistent and on-time school attendance is always important, including on PARCC/MCAS days. Part of the school's assessment includes attendance and participation. Please schedule travel and appointments around the dates listed below. If you have questions about PARCC or MCAS they should be directed to Mrs. Brogadir: rbrogadir@walpole.k12.ma.us
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Nurse's Notes

Postural screening or scoliosis screening will take place on March 11th for the 5th grade students. This will take place during their regular physical education class and be conducted by myself and Mrs. Carty. This is a state mandated screening for grades 5-9. If your child has already been diagnosed with scoliosis, or is under care, please send medical documentation to the Health Office. A detailed informational letter has been sent home to all 5th grade parents.

Please Note: Screening letters were sent home in December to the parents of students who failed either the vision or hearing screenings. Please update the Health Office to the status of your child’s follow-up appointment if you have not already done so.

~Mrs. Newman

Learning at Elm Street School


Grade 3 had a Wonderful Docent lesson this week. They learned about Monet and Renoir and the style of Impressionism. After their lesson, children used oil pastels to create a reflection scene, similar to the style of Monet and Renoir

100th Day of School

We love to celebrate at Elm Street School and the 100th day is always a special milestone. On February 11. classes shared collections of 100, counted by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and 20s to 100, and shared in learning activities centered around 100. Thanks to Mrs. Josie and Mr. Brennan for decorating the hallway with 100 smiley faces and a banner to celebrate this special day!

Read Across America Week

Excellence at Elm Street School

Art News

Congratulations to the following students who have art work on display at the Town Hall. Kavya D., Aidan M., David M., Sam W., Connor S., Sienna D., Austin F., Zander W., Aiden A., Jack C. The display features Radial Symmetry and the designs and colors are just magnificent! The work will be up through the end of March. Stop by during regular Town Hall hours to see the display.

Also, congratulations to Cole A who was selected as a finalist for Artsonia's "Artist of the Week". This is a wonderful honor for Cole, Mrs. Robbins and the Elm Street School.

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Barnes and Noble Youth Art Month Show

Elm Street students will have their art displayed at the Barnes and Noble Art Show. The theme of the display is "Art Reflections". Congratulations to the following students who will have their art on display; Shaurya P., Kyle V., Anthony H., Ben H., Ronan F., Brennan S., Cassie B., Adonai M., Ryan W., Rex B., Toby M., and Ellie H. More information

Missing Items???-- Lost and Found

If you notice anything missing or recognize articles from our lost and found rack, please come collect your belongings. Any unclaimed items will be donated.
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2016 Elm Street Box Tops Snow Ball Battle

The Snowball Battle was a huge success. Our school raised $1315.00. Students and staff collected box tops and received one snowball for every 10 box tops collected. Each snowball was thrown at another class or staff member. The results of the battle are as follows: Mrs. Holcomb's class threw the most and Mr. Sullivan's class was hit the most. Great job to everyone for making this fundraiser such a success!

Thank you to our volunteers!

We are so lucky to have such a generous community. Many thanks to the volunteers who help keep our media center up and running, support our classrooms, and get our students active through running and yoga. We are so grateful for your ongoing support.
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Elm Street School Parent Advisory Council (PAC)

The Elm Street School PAC supports the school in innumerable ways. In addition to many fun family events like the Ice Cream Social and the Hoedown, the PAC provides financial support for student activities, improves our playground activities and equipment, and brings in phenomenal enrichment programs. The PAC is hard at work and is always seeking more involvement. If you are interested in becoming more involved and/or want to receive the PAC's email announcements, go to: http://www.elmstreetpac.org/contact/subscribe/


Join us at the next PAC meeting at 7:30pm on March 15, in the Media Center.

Family Math Night

An array of fun was had by all at this Wednesday's Family Math Night thanks to Mrs. Feener and Elm Street PAC. Activities included a destination station, chess puzzles, geometry puzzles, estimating, and building to your imagination's delight (with marshmallow and toothpicks). The night was full of mathematical inquiry and fun for children and adults of all ages.

Save the Date: Elm Street School Silent Auction

Join us for the 2nd Annual Elm Street Silent Auction Night!
Saturday, April 2, 7:00PM at The Walpole Country Club.

Check out more information by clicking here!

All donations and donation related questions may be directed to Rebecca Joyce at rebeccajoyce@hotmail.com


Saturday, March 12th, 7:30pm

275 Common Street

Walpole, MA

The Walpole High School Drama Club will present its winter musical, "Once On This Island" on Saturday, March 12th, at 7:30 PM, and Sunday, March 13th, at 3:00 PM in the auditorium.

"Once On This Island" is a captivating legend of romance between a peasant girl and a rich city boy whom she saves from death. This calypso-flavored re-telling of The Little Mermaid opens on a Caribbean island where villagers comfort a little girl with the story of the orphan Ti Moune, destined to love too much for the human heart to bear.

"Once On This Island" delivers melody, love and joy in tropical abundance & includes students from Elm Street School!

For a sneak peek, check out the YouTube commercial link below:


Tickets are $12 and $10 (senior citizens and students).

Tickets are reserved seating and may be purchased at the door, or are available on-line through the link on the Walpole High School website, or by clicking this link:

Brown Paper Tickets: ONCE ON THIS ISLAND