Food for Thought
Information, Issues, and Dialogue
Thank you for checking out this newsletter. I hope to write as a way to keep families informed about what we're up to at the Gilmanton School as well as learn from you. I would love to hear from you about what you would like to say, know about, or generally discuss. I will update and add as much as possible, trying to strike a balance between information and being a pest. What I like about this tool is the subscription feature. You do not have to be bombarded, you can come to this newsletter if you find it interesting or useful, but I won't force it on you at all.
Enjoy and contribute in any way you like.
Paula Mercier - Gilmanton School Principal
~Gilmanton School Champions of the Suncook Valley League~
A big congratulations to the Gilmanton School Champs!
The Boys team had a strong third-place finish as well.
Congratulations to both teams
Annual Student Staff Basketball Game
Thursday, Feb. 20th, 6-6pm
1386 New Hampshire 140
~ Come cheer on both teams ~
Young Invention Convention
Congratulations to all of our Young Inventors who celebrated at a successful Invention Convention Tuesday night.
Lots of creative minds in grades 2, 3, and 4 have been hard at work, and all inventors should be proud of themselves.
In second grade, third place went to Owen Phillips with his invention “Hands-Free Toothbrush.” Second place went to Skyler Davis with her invention “Davis Allergy Bracelets” AND the top scorer in grade 2 was Isaac Gilbert with his invention “Fang-IX-C.”
In third grade, third place went to Ben Lucier with his invention “The Litter Bug.” Second place went to Deanna Rondolet with her invention “The Cat Player” and the top scorer for grade 3 was Cooper Plourde with his invention “The Bag Changer.”
In fourth grade, second place went to Lucy Akerstrom with her invention “Stuff-Ray” and there was a tie for the top score in grade 4, between Grace Howe with her invention “The Pear Checker” and Andrew Taylor with his invention “Bobber Ball.”
A special thank you to all of our Amazing Guest Judges including; Mrs. Mercier, Mrs. Lichtenberg, Mrs. Bergeron, and Mrs. Makmann.
The top scorer from each grade level will have a chance to go to the Regional Invention Convention at Southern NH University in March.
Congratulations to all Young Inventors and best of luck to the top scorers at the next stage!
A big Thank You to Mrs. Hollingsworth for her great organization skills and guidance for our Young Inventors!
Internet Safety with Scott Driscoll
Thursday, March 5th, 6-7:30pm
1386 New Hampshire 140
- Overview of popular apps, programs, and online trends
- Cyberbullying, sexting, and other dangers
- Social networking and your digital footprint
- Using technology while keeping your family safe
* This event is open to Gilford families as well
* This event is free, and there is free childcare available - contact Kristen Menard at BASEGilmanton@gmail.com to make arrangements
* This event for parents/adults only
RSVPs are enabled for this event.
Blizzard Bag Success!
We Did It!
We needed 80 % as you know
and we got
Weekly Update 2.9.2020
The news for this week is all about our Blizzard Bag Day on Thursday. We need 80% of students or 336 to have the day count as a school day. Thank you for your support from home. I will let you know as soon as possible if we made the number. If we are short on participation we will have to make up Thursday in June. The work will be collected on Monday 2/10 if it hasn't been collected already in person or online.
~ Acts of Kindness Week this week, 2/10 - 2/14
~ School Board Meeting on Tuesday at 6 pm at school
~ Early Release on Wednesday
~ Student/Faculty Basketball Game on 2/20
~ Winter Break 2/24 - 2/28 no school
~ March 5th we will provide an Internet Safety information night for parents.
Blizzard Bag Day
I hope your student(s) were successful today. Even better maybe they did their work ahead of time.
I will let you know as soon as possible about the results, we need 80% of all students to complete their work for the day to count as a school day. If we don't reach the 80% we will need to make this day up as a regular snow day.
The work is due when they return to school next, tomorrow or Monday if we get more weather tomorrow as forecast.
Weekly Update 2/1/2020
January is in the rearview mirror, holy smokes. We had a lot less snow than is typical for January according to WMUR. Statistics from Gilmanton School's past say that February is the month with the most snow days. I would like to remind you that your child can complete their Blizzard Bag work at any time. Now that we have completed both of our after school help sessions we are ready to make one of our snow days into a blizzard bag day. We have many students who have already completed their work, more than fifty, which is great. The beauty of distance learning is students can complete it any time they like. If we decide to make a snow day a Blizzard Bag day I will say that in the phone call message and we will make sure it is on the Website in the Calendar it will say Snow Day - Blizzard Bag Day. Student work is due the following school day if it hasn't been handed in already.
There was an information session this week. The AREA Agreement Information Session, I did not count carefully but I would guess there were fifty people attending the information session on Wednesday night. The board presented the thinking that went into their decision to go with Gilford, and how details were decided upon as much as they could. The questions asked during the session focused on GHS spending, how calculations are made, board representation, and length of the agreement. The meeting lasted roughly an hour.
The deliberative session is Wednesday, February 5th at Gilmanton School beginning at 5 pm, the school is going first, and BASE will be providing complimentary child care again. We hope to see you there.
The SEADs program was a big success and all sessions are complete now. George the Magician entertained the kids beautifully, and outdoor activities were sunny and comfortable.
We have two administrative retirements this school year. Superintendent John Fauci has served the school district as both principal and superintendent. Deb Bergeron, our assistant principal, is also retiring after a long career at Gilmanton School as a paraprofessional, teacher, and administrator. Both will be missed and we thank them for their service.
Snowy Craft Project by Hannah
Seamus Bradford - Quilt Presentation
Seamus, a Gilmanton Alum and staff member, is leaving us for the US Marines. Mary Fougere made him this quilt to take with him. More about this on the website soon...
George the Magician
George and his new kindergarten assistant!
News to Share...
March 5th we will have an assembly for 6-8 graders about internet safety, and that same evening a parent presentation on the same topic. Please come to learn about internet safety as a parent, this is not just for middle school parents all parents/guardians are welcome. More details soon.
Next week is our final week for SEADs, and so far the weather looks fine. We cannot have Bryson Lang the juggler, so next week we will have Magic by George. This week we will be entertained by Animal Encounters.
Wednesday, January 29th is the AREA Agreement Information Session here at Gilmanton School at 6:30 pm. Childcare will be available from the BASE program.
The Spartan Squad had lunch together on Wednesday and covered a lot of ground. We will be surveying all students about what they feel it means to be a Spartan based on the characteristics the group identified as possibilities. Once that is done, the first week of February during guidance class by the class officers, we will have the logo contest. We hope to have the contest from 2/10/2020 - 3/6/2020. Details about the contest will be fleshed out soon. We are all excited about the idea of having a student-designed logo for Gilmanton School and the worthwhile endeavor of a unifying concept of what it means to be a Spartan.
We have completed the two Blizzard Bag work sessions Wednesday and Thursday this week. We had 22 children on Wednesday and about 40 children on Thursday. It was pretty cool. Thank you to the adults who helped, and a huge shout out to the ring leader Liz L.! Many students completed their work and the rest are down to one thing left. Please encourage your children to do their Blizzard Bag work any time now, if they haven't done it already.
Happy New Year!
Winter has certainly returned this week.
It has been a while since I have updated this newsletter,
thank you for your patience.
- The temperatures today were dangerous to be outdoors, which is why we rescheduled SEADs for this week and had indoor recess. As I welcomed the middle schoolers to school this morning I noticed about half of them had on very light coats or heavy sweatshirts. Please try to get them to wear their coats, or at least bring a coat with them in the event the bus breaks down, or the heat stops working, etc. I imagine you have tried, I'll keep trying on my end as well.
- You may have noticed that our marquee by the road has just one side with letters. You may have also noticed that one of the pillars is leaning slightly. Well, the letter tracks are also tilted, and the letters keep sliding off. Thankfully the school board has approved moving forward with a new sign. Stay tuned on that.
- The parent portal is being used by many of you, I hope it helps you stay on top of things here at school with your child's progress. Most if not all students in grades 6-8 are using their portal, you may be looking on with them. If not and you would like to set up your own account, please do. The school code is SAU79. Let us know if you have any troubles and we'll help you out.
- Spartan Squad is a group of adults and students working together to help flesh out what it means to be a Spartan. The class officers and hopefully the leadership students will be asking their fellow schoolmates what they think it means to be a Spartan. We will have an art contest to have students create our school logo. The tentative plan is students coming to classes to capture the thoughts of students in all grades (as well as possible). Details will be discussed in our Spartan Squad meeting next week. More to follow.
- Jen Drinen with pronouncer Paul Cammarota hosted a fine Spelling Bee on Monday. Nick Austin continues as our reigning champ. Evan Wilson and Kaytlin Lavalley gave him a run for his money for sure. Evan came in second and Kaytlin third. Well done to all the kids and staff involved.
The SAU office will move soon as well, which is clearly a bit more complicated.
Everything looks wonderful, CCI and our 'job boss' Jake have been wonderful to work with. Jake is a Gilmanton resident and will be sending his youngsters to Gilmanton School soon enough.
The parking pattern will be changing soon as well. Thank you to everyone for your patience, more information on that soon as well.
Finally and most importantly, we are grateful to have this new layer of safety to the school for your children and the staff who work with them every day.
Community Forum September 25th
Picture Day October 1st
Thank You Jake Maxfield Connection!
The Jake Maxfield Connection is a non-profit foundation founded in 2009 shortly after Jake Maxfield died tragically at the age of 21. The mission of the foundation is to provide scholarships, literacy support for young learners, and to promote community service.
How the books specifically are donated is what they call Legs for Literacy where the JMC team runs Reach the Beach and delivers bundles of books at schools along the Reach the Beach route.
Progress On the Addition
Final day to submit high school survey = Friday, August 30th
First Day of School = Tuesday, September 3rd
Community Information Forum = September 25th 6 pm at Gilmanton School
High School Options Survey
The Gilmanton School Board worked with UNH to develop a survey for all the residents of Gilmanton. The School Board is seeking feedback about what is valued in selecting a high school. The envelope says UNH on it, so please keep it, open it, and take the survey. Thank you for your feedback.
Regarding the school being open, it looks like we will be allowed to return on Tuesday, August 13th.
Reminder, we have a board meeting on the 13th as well. It will be at 6pm as usual.
Back to Trimesters Next Year
The staff here at school thought about the advantages and disadvantages to quarters and trimesters. As many of you know we have been trimesters all but last year, at least in the recent past. Watch for an email with more details. As always your feedback is welcome.
Girls on the Run - Saturday June 8th, 2019
Gilmanton School not only had three teams of girls, we had the distinct honor of singing the National Anthem to kick things off.
Above is Kevin Skarupa's video selfie of the crowd.
It was a perfect day for all runners/walkers and spectators!
Raised Beds Being Built
Pathways Being Dug
Time For a Quick Selfie
(that's the beginning of the gazebo in the background)
Great East Music Festival!
"They got exceptional feedback from great judges and made Gilmanton proud with their music and behavior. Gold medals for BOTH band and chorus!! " ~ Mrs. Babcock
Finally - New News
We have certainly been very busy here at Gilmanton School
I have so many pictures to share:
We've started the Gazebo portion of the Outdoor Classroom
Mother's Day Tea
the list goes on
Principal’s Report April
Principal's Report April 2019
School Website - we have gotten the initial product, a committee reviewed and sent some needed updates to the contact at School Messenger. We are waiting for the revised version now. We hope to share more widely soon.
Outdoor Classroom - Joe and I are meeting tomorrow with Henry Vigeant for a site visit, and an introduction for Joe and Henry. Henry will then pull the permit and determine a start date. We have received part of the schoolyard grant, and we are still waiting to hear from the Tanger Outlet Grant.
Destination Imagination - We had two teams go to the regional competition in Nashua. They did wonderfully. One of the teams, 16 Blue Kids , came in third, very close to second. The opportunity to go to Globals became available but in the end they decided not to go, and enjoy the season with all the local success. Congratulations to all the students, their team leaders, and of course the coordinators Donna Rondolet and Judy Wilson.
SEL Progress - The group of thoughtful teachers, counselors, special educators, and administrators have met often to do the initial research in to a Gilmanton School needs and approach to Social Emotional Learning. Right now there are three approaches we are exploring now as a whole staff. I have also had a conversation with Cassie Yackley and the possibility of having her come for a day of professional development with the staff at Gilmanton School about Trauma Informed Care for our school.
Early Release - Our early release this month will be focused on report cards, and curriculum alignment. We are still having conversation about the new report cards and how teachers communicate with students and families about progress and learning at school.
Artist in Residence - Brynn Koulovatos has thankfully secured an artist, Alice Ogden, to work with our students. This artist is a basket weaver who will work with students during art classes on May 28 & 29th and June 3, 6, 7 . They will create woven panels for the outdoor classroom.
Now that the ground is thawing we are excited to begin a major component of the outdoor classroom, the gazebo. The gazebo will serve as a gathering space for classes big and small for outdoor instruction. Thank you to the PTA for the generous funding and Henry Vigeant for the work. We can’t wait to see the gazebo.
The next focus will be the bird observation area of the outdoor classroom.
Thoughts for Alton
All of us here at Gilmanton School
wish to extend our deepest sympathy
to the Alton Community
As we all try to process this tragic event, it may be difficult to know exactly how to talk with children about it. Our school psychologist recommends this article to help know what to say and watch for.https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers I hope you find it helpful.
We are so grateful at Gilmanton School for your support of the school budget, and of course the addition. The security aspect of the addition is going to be such an improvement for our school. I will happily keep you updated on the work through this newsletter. Keeping Gilmanton children safe while they are in our care is a job we all take seriously. There is so much to say, but to begin - Thank you!
Saturday 3/9/2019 at 10am
Warrant Article III
The TRUTH Behind Vaping
Thursday, March 7th 2019 at 6-7:30pm
88 Alvah Wilson Road
Deliberative Session on Wednesday!
Introducing Joe Irving
Spelling Bee Champ 2019
Congratulations to all the spellers, and especially the winner for this year Nick! Well done Ms. Drinen and Ms. Burns for organizing and being the pronouncer.
Also we have enriching assemblies the next three Fridays, Animal Encounters, Bryson Lang (Comedy and Juggling), and TIGER from Plymouth State University. We think the students will love each one. Stay tuned.
- Spelling Bee January 30th
- NWEA Testing for 8th graders
- High School Staff Visit, also for the 8th graders
- 8th Grade Parent Night at GHS
- NAEP testing January 29th
- Quarter Two Ends January 31st, Report Cards come out February 8th
- Super Saturday January 12th
- Deliberative Session February 6th for the School Budget
Please stay tuned for a lot more information about our hopes for a building addition that addresses safety needs of Gilmanton School.
Things I Love About Gilmanton -
Happy New Year Everyone!