HMS Monthly Update

The Helen Morgan School January Newsletter

From the Principal...

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Every morning at HMS we start the day off with our morning announcements, flag raising, pledge, and patriotic song. While this helps us foster a sense of patriotism and citizenship within our students it also allows students to shine and have their voices (or instruments) heard by the entire school.

This is also why one of my favorite times of the school year is the concert season. Over the past month we have had three very special winter concerts that allowed our students to showcase their broad and flourishing abilities. I commend all of the students for the hard work they put into preparing for the concerts and for having the courage to get on stage, under the bright lights, and share their talents with us. Congratulations to those students and to their teachers for putting on such wonderful concerts.

Welcome back to school, and I wish everyone a joyful 2015! Please review our January newsletter for important information, updates and exciting events.

Doug Layman


"Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education."

Martin Luther King, Jr.


1.28- End of Marking Period 2

1.28- Get Bully Smart Program for 4th Grade

2.4- Report Cards available

2.6- Early Dismissal Day

2.6- Dr. Harte presentation for 4th Grade

2.6-2.8- No Homework Weekend

2.13- 4th Grade Spaghetti Dinner (details forthcoming)

2.24 and 2.26- TREP$ Marketplace Nights @ SMS

Helen Morgan School's 2015 Teacher of the Year: Mrs. McMahon (Grade 5)

Mr. Tobin, Superintendent of Schools, visited Mrs. McMahon's classroom to congratulate her on being named this year's recipient.
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The district is hosting a PARCC information night on February 18th at 6:30 PM in the SHS auditorium.

See below for the HMS testing schedule. In addition, we have linked a popular YouTube video that does a nice job explaining what the test looks like to students.

5th Grade: March 5,6,9,10 and 11

4th Grade: March 12,13,16,17 and 18

Make-ups: March 19-25

PARCC Math Practice Trailer

4th Grade Students to get "Bully Smart"

Thanks to the financial support of the Sparta Municipal Alliance and the HMS PTO, all of our 4th grade students will be participating in a new anti-bullying program. Get Bully Smart, is a fun and interactive series of four weekly workshops developed and presented by the Center for Prevention and Counseling ( Sparta’s schools work closely with the Center in providing our students with the information and skills to make healthy decisions and we are excited to be working with the Center once again on this program.

The first workshop will be on Wednesday, January 28th.

5th Grade Trip to Quiet Valley

Our new dates for the 5th grade Quiet Valley trip are Monday, May 18th and Tuesday, May 19th. Additional information to be provided in the Spring. Thank you to Mrs. Feldmann for her efforts in organizing, again, this trip.

SHS and HMS Students Team Up

Mrs. Rennie's 5th grade class visited several SHS classroom to learn about programming, computer design, and coding. Thanks to Mrs. Incantalupo and Mr. Meola and their awesome students for hosting us.
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No Homework Weekend: February 6-8

Periodically we want to give our HMS students a break from homework and allow them additional time during the busy weekends to spend with family. So play a game, get outside, or just spend some downtime with friends and family.

Windows of Math Night

On January 14th, over fifty parents joined us for our first Windows of Math Night. The activities provided parents with a glimpse into a typical HMS math lesson. We are currently reviewing the feedback and will update you on a possible Part II. Thank you to Mrs. Rennie, Mrs. Bleakley and Mrs. Zoeller for organizing and facilitating this event.
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Update from the Center for Prevention and Counseling

Click here for the Center's January Newsletter.

Harlem Wizards this Sunday!

Don't have a ticket? Don't worry, tickets will be sold at the door.

Sunday, January 25

1:00PM SHS

Rumor has it that Mr. Ciaburri is playing.

Sparta Education Foundation's Inaugural Dragon Boat Race

Looking for the ultimate team building event for your neighborhood, business, team or organization? Join us on Sunday, May 17th for this can't miss event.

Click here for more information.

Sign-up To Receive Text Message Reminders from HMS

Join our Remind 101 messaging service to receive non-emergency updates and reminders (ex: "Tomorrow is Picture Day!"). Signing up is very easy, click here for instructions. You will be asked to send one text message to join, and then another that will ask for your name.

Remind 101 is a one-way messaging service- you are not able to reply. For more information about the service click here.


The Buddy Bench

How little people can make a big difference | Charlie Cooper | TEDxJCUCairns

The Growth Mindset

This summer, a group of HMS staff members read Carol Dweck's Mindset. See a related article, "The Secret to Raising Smart Kids".

Toy Drive Update

HMS students and families contributed hundreds of toy and bracelets (made by our Character Club!) for this year's Christmas in the City program. Thank you to all who contributed. Click here for an article about entire program.

HMS Photo Album

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On stage with the cast of Percy Jackson
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Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center
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Backstage at the Strings concert
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Front row at the Band concert
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The HMS band after the concert
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Mr. Layman with a group of our talented musicians