South Elementary Family Newsletter

Volume #3 November, 2022

Message from the Principals

Dear South Families,

November brings us many optimistic thoughts filled with gratitude and caring. There are special days to observe and to remind us of all of these constructive traits-World Kindness Day, Veterans’ Day, and Thanksgiving, just to name a few. We would like to acknowledge and give thanks to all the veterans and their families for the sacrifices of time, duty, and more, for our country.

Looking at our Cricket PRIDE (Perseverance, Respect, Independence, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Empathy) traits this month, we will specifically work on Perseverance, Independence and Empathy. During November, our weekly character lessons are about helping others; persevering through difficult tasks; and having good transitions. We will put into practice “helping others” with our Cricket Council Food Drive which is from November 7-18th. Donations will go directly into the South Elementary School Food Pantry which gives back to our own community, as well as others. *Please contact Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Hurley, or Mrs. Huard if you need any support for your family. We also have our Boosterthon Fun Run starting Friday, November 4th and ending with the actual run on Thursday, November 17th. Boosterthon workers will be in the schools and reviewing positive character traits and teaching us about National Parks during that time, giving students and staff lots of reminders during November to be helpful, responsible, and believing that we can do hard things.

In keeping with those traits, now is a good time to review the Somerset Public Schools Handbook, which has important information about different policies and expectations around attendance, behavior, electronics, and medical information, etc. In particular, cell phones are not allowed at the elementary level. If your child brings those to school, they need to remain in backpacks during the school day. Please talk to your children about appropriate usage for school and home (hours of usage, group chats, etc). The internet can be a dangerous place for elementary-age children, who need adult supervision and guidance to help them navigate. Working together, home and school can reinforce the same messages and help our children grow in the most positive way possible. The link for the Elementary Handbook is HERE. It is also always listed in the Parent Resources section below for your reference.

To help with all of these topics, and knowing how stressful life can be, The Balanced Learning Center and Project Wrapzone will be presenting our first Parent Workshop on November 3rd @ 6PM, "Managing Expectations". Please register HERE and you will get the link sent to you for a Zoom. This information was also shared in an email this week.

Without a doubt, we are very thankful to have your children and families as part of our big, happy, South Elementary School Community!

Aloha, Steph Brown and Rebecca Hurley
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Important Dates

Friday, November 4, Fun Run Kick Off

Sunday, November 6, Daylight Savings-Turn your clocks BACK one hour!

Monday, November 7-Friday, November 18, Cricket Council Food Drive

Tuesday, November 8, No School for Students/Election Day

Wednesday, November 11, No School, Veterans Day-Thank you to all who serve/d!

Tuesday, November 15, PTO Meeting at 6PM in the cafegymatorium

Thursday, November 17, Fun Run!!

  • Parents can stay on the perimeter of the field and cheer on their children.

  • Times for the run are:

    • Grades K and 1 run at 9:15

    • Grades 2 and 5 run at 10:30

    • Grades 3 and 4 run at 11:30

Wednesday, November 23 , Early Release at 11:30PM ** No Lunches Served

Thursday, November 24, No School, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 25, No School, Thanksgiving Break

Tuesday, November 29, Early Release at 12:30PM

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From Ms. Bertrand, Our School Nurse

Halloween Candy Hints

For health-conscious parents, Halloween can be tricky. Do you set limits? Do you let your child decide how much to eat? There isn't just one right answer. Instead, use your best judgment given what you know about your child's personality and eating habits.

If your child can stop eating candy before the point of feeling sick, you may want to let him or her decide how much to eat. If your child tends to overdo it, then it's probably a good idea to set limits.

Here are some more tips for handling the Halloween treats:

  • Know how much candy your child has collected and store it somewhere other than the child's room. Having it so handy can be an irresistible temptation for some children.

  • Consider being somewhat lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason, and talk with your child about how the rest of the candy will be handled. Candy and snacks shouldn't get in the way of your child eating healthy meals.

  • If a child is overweight - or you'd just like to reduce th.e Halloween stash - consider buying back some or all of the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges the candy belongs to the child and provides a treat in the form of a little money to spend.

  • Be a role model by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself.

  • Encourage your child to be mindful of the amount of candy and snacks eaten - and to stop before feeling full or sick.

  • Remember that Halloween, like other holidays, is a single day on the calendar. If your family eats sensibly during the rest of the year, it will have a more lasting impact than a few days of overindulgence.

Information obtained from

Friendly Reminder: Annual Physical Exams

Please submit a copy of your child’s annual physical exam as soon as it is completed. Please make sure all screenings (vision, hearing, postural) are completed and documented on the form.
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South PTO

HERE is a link to the November PTO Newsletter below that includes QR codes.

PTO’s November Newsletter

Upcoming Events: Mark your Calendars!

November 4th-17th: South Crickets RUN for FUN!

  • Kickoff begins on November 4th.

  • Be sure to register your child. Check Mrs. Brown’s email for a link.

  • This year’s theme is Grand Land Adventure-Tour of National Parks.

  • Our goal this year is to raise $12,000 for our school.

  • The run will be on November 17th. (volunteers are not required for this event)

  • Parents can stay on the perimeter of the field and cheer on their children.

  • Times for the run are listed:

    • Grades K and 1 run at 9:15

    • Grades 2 and 5 run at 10:30

    • Grades 3 and 4 run at 11:30

  • Rain Date has not been determined yet..

November 15th PTO Meeting

  • South School Cafeteria at 6:00PM

  • Topics include upcoming events such as Fun Run, Winterfest, the Scholastic Book Fair, and so much more!

  • PTO wants your input for the 2022-2023 school year!

  • All are welcome! Please join us!

PTO Contributions for October

Trunk or Treat

  • We had a great turn out at this year’s Trunk or Treat!

  • A big thank you to the families who decorated their cars and distributed candy at our Trunk or Treat this year!

  • Thank you to the volunteers who donated their time to set up for the event, assisted at the raffle/activities tables, and helped clean up.

Spirit Wear

Contact PTO

Ways to Support South School

Year Round Fundraisers:

Box Tops for Education:

Here’s How it Works:

  • Buy participating products and use the Box Tops mobile app to scan your store receipt.

  • The app identifies eligible products and automatically adds Box Tops to your schools earnings online.

  • Even if you're shopping online or doing grocery pickup, you can still submit your e-receipts and earn Box Tops.

  • Twice a year, our school gets a check! Your earnings may seem small, but they really do add up.

  • The more people that participate, the bigger the impact we can make.

  • Little by little, we can help make a big difference.

Box Tops for Education App

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Parent Resources

November Lunch Menu: please click HERE. Also, please click HERE to complete the 22-23 Free & Reduced School Meals Household Application.

Click HERE for November Read Aloud Books for Elementary Students

Our Elementary Student Handbook is HERE for your reference.

Click HERE for a 100s Chart to help count to 100, add, subtract, and notice number patterns.

Click HERE for an Alphabet Linking Chart to help your child match sounds and letters when writing/reading.

Click HERE for Multiplication Charts to practice math facts or use for a reference.

Somerset Public Schools, SY' 22-23 Calendar: please click HERE

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This month, we have truly become readers and writers! We are working on our high-frequency word knowledge by practicing reading these words daily and identifying them in beginning reading books. We will be sending home the next round of high frequency word flashcards next week. Please practice all these cards daily, as these words need to be memorized and cannot be phonetically sounded out. In writing, we are learning how words have no spaces in between letters, and in a sentence, we use spaces to separate words and end our idea with a period. In math, we are working with the numbers 0-10. Students will be asked to write these numbers correctly, match numbers with their quantities, and compare quantities using the words greater than, less than, and equal for the first trimester report card. Our goal is for them to at least be able to orally count to 30 by this time as well. The students have enjoyed learning about severe types of weather and how to be safe during storms in science. We also learned how to be a weather watcher and describe different kinds of weather. Our next family project will be to disguise a turkey so he won’t be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner! Be on the lookout for our next project!
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The first graders have been busy, busy, busy this month. WE have officially hit 40 days of's really flying! We are getting really comfortable with the routines and have been able to really dive into our learning. In Math, we have already learned about 10s and 1s, we have explored nonstandard measurement, and even graphing. Our math focus has been to add within 10. We are learning to use math tools to find partners of all the numbers between 1 and 10. We are loving the Number Corner that we do during Morning Meeting as well!

We are practicing and reviewing high frequency words during our literacy block. In Phonics, we are learning about the short i sound.

We are becoming quite the 1st grade community and have lots to look forward to in the next few months.

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It seems like October just began, and here we are already in November! Our interactive read alouds have had us reading memory stories, books by Tomie dePaola, and books about bugs. In reading, we have been talking and thinking about books, especially understanding plot. We have examined how an author has characteristics that we can find to connect to other books about the same author. Our last mini-unit has been about characters’ feelings, motivations, and intentions. We are not only discussing this as a group, but we are also exploring this during our individual reading time and in our guided reading groups. In phonics, we talked about initial 3-letter blends, final blends, phonograms, contractions, prefixes un- and re-, and now we are discussing the long vowel silent e. In writing, we determined the important story elements in a story: main character, setting, problem/adventure, solution/conclusion, and theme. We became text detectives and turned questions into responses. In math, we're working on place value through 1,000. We will be talking about all the different ways we can show a number. These include the standard form, word names, expanded form, drawing quick pictures, and even showing our number on a number line. Our science mysteries this month included topics like where flash floods happen, and we really looked at the land features in Texas to understand why it is called Flash Flood Alley. We have now started to look at canyons, and what is strong enough to make a canyon.

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Happy November,

It is hard to believe that we have already completed 10 weeks of school. Grade 3 students have grown tremendously in all academic areas. In science, we are continuing our investigation of weather. We have become cloud spotters and can identify several different types of clouds. Narrative writing is taking great shape! We are working on modeled pieces and shared events. Soon, we will begin to bridge the gap to independent writing. In Reading, students are continuing to read and discuss fictional texts. We have focused on character traits and how characters can have outside and inside traits. When thinking about inside traits, we must think about the character's thoughts, actions, and words. We also have been summarizing the texts that we read as well as thinking about the message the author wants us to learn. In phonics, we have worked on vowel-consonant e-word patterns as well as vowel team patterns. In math, students are learning various strategies to multiply and ways to find equal groups. The new vocabulary we are practicing are factors, products, and commutative property. Homework in math is fact fluency, which can be found on Freckle on Monday and Tuesday nights.

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Happy November,

Wow, the first ten weeks of school have flown by! Fourth-grade students have been hard at work mastering new skills and concepts. In science, we are continuing our Connect Science service learning projects and are now masters of solar cells as well as solar panels. We will jump into step 3 of our project right before our Thanksgiving break. Narrative writing is in full swing! I love to see what the students have carried from last year. We are building elaborative detail into exciting beginnings and extended endings. Students are showcasing their writing skills! In Reading, we have focused on realistic fiction and the elements of this genre. We have focused on first and third person point of view. We have also talked a lot about the author’s message of the text. In math, our 4th graders are using various strategies to multiply including the standard algorithm, partial product, and estimating. We are also working on best practices/steps to answer word problems. Freckle is assigned for math each Monday and can be completed on Monday or Tuesday night. In Social Studies, we are on a journey studying the life of early explorers, and the impacts on the lands they discovered.

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Grade 5

We can’t believe we have already been in school for 2 months!! There has been so much learning happening in 5th grade! In Math, we have moved right into adding and subtracting decimals, then will be multiplying and dividing decimals. Students even used this skill in helping to balance a checkbook. We have begun our trip to the past in Social Studies which has brought us from learning about the first colony of Roanoke right into Jamestown and Plimouth, including the difficulties the colonists encountered. The kids have been working on creating elaborative details in Writing to make it more interesting and to help draw the reader into the writing. They are also learning how to break apart multi syllabic words in Reading and Phonics. As a reminder, now that the weathers getting cooler, it is important that the students have a jacket for recess.