Perkins School News - November 2019

Monthly News for Parents

Letter From the Principal

Hello Perkins Families,

I enjoyed seeing so many of you for our Fall Festival activities last week. In spite of the weather, our children and staff had a great time with our costume parade, hay rides, face-painting, cookie-decorating, story-telling, games, and class pictures. Our Fall Festival committee has been planning this fall favorite event for months and I am grateful for their efforts to make this Perkins School tradition continue.

This month marks the end of our first trimester for students. Report cards will be sent home Wednesday, November 20th and our parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for Monday, November 25th in the afternoon and Tuesday November 26th all day. Our teachers look forward to meeting with you to share your child's progress. We understand that when a strong connection between home and school is in place, our students will show the greatest improvements.

You may have noticed an increase emphasis on attendance this year. We are learning more and more about healthy attendance patterns for our youngest learners. Our goal of promoting daily school attendance by partnering with families is to help ensure success for our Perkins students now and for years to come. Research shows that students who miss too many days of preschool have weaker literacy and numeracy skills entering kindergarten (, 2014). This trend continues to increase as children get older causing more gaps in their learning. We are really working towards having every child in school, on time, all day, every day so we can help every child to become the best version of themselves! We look forward to continuing to partner with parents to make this happen.

At Perkins, we know that parents are our primary educators. When we work together with families, our students make the most gains! If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please reach out. I would love the opportunity to work together to continue to make Perkins the best place for every student, every day!

Rhonda Underhill ~ Perkins School Principal

Upcoming Events

  • 11/4 Bible Club Starts
  • 11/5 2nd Graders going to Nazareth College to see Maddi's Fridge from 11am-2pm
  • 11/6 Board of Education Meeting
  • 11/11 Veterans Day No School
  • 11/12 PTA meeting at 6:15 pm
  • 11/20 Board of Education Meeting
  • 11/21 Ice Cream with the Principal
  • 11/22 Monthly Assembly at 9:20 am
  • 11/25 Early Dismissal for Parent Conferences, parent pick up at 11:15, bus dismissal begins at 11:20
  • 11/26 No School for Parent Conferences
  • 11/27-11/29 Thanksgiving Recess
  • 12/5 Picture Retake day
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Teacher Spotlight

Mrs. Barker was born in Texas and moved to New York when she was 8 years old. She began 4th grade at Kelley School, here in Newark and continued through high school, graduating from Newark. She has known she wanted to be a teacher since she was 5 years old. That is because she loves kids and her mom was a teacher.

After high school, Mrs. Barker went on to college to become a teacher and graduated from SUNY Geneseo. She began working at Newark High School for 3 years before getting her Master’s Degree in Administration. In the fall of 2007, Mrs. Barker moved to teach at Perkins School where she has spent most of the last 12 years. Currently, she is an interventionist for math and an Instructional Coach. This position has allowed her to work at both Lincoln School and Perkins School, with the last 2 years being full time at Perkins. Mrs. Barker loves to teach and to be a coach as she loves to support everyone from students, to colleagues, to families.

Mrs. Barker now lives in her childhood home with her husband Greg and two children- Emma and Drew. Emma is soon to be 10 and is in fifth grade at Kelley School. Drew is 6 and in first grade at Perkins School. As a family they love to go camping and Mrs. Barker loves to bake, cook, and do anything crafty.

Her Favorites:

Food: BBQ and Pasta

Drink: Raspberry or Lemon Iced Tea

Color: Green

Dessert: Ice Cream… but really anything!

Season: Summer and Fall

Teaching Assistant Spotlight

Teaching Assistant- Linda Stopfel

I am in my 5th year as a TA at Perkins School. After nearly 43 years in banking, I retired from Community Bank in May of 2015. My retirement was short lived. Since I really wasn't ready to leave the workforce entirely, I joined Perkins School four months later. I have always had a love for little children. I am so happy to be working with the children here at Perkins.

I was born and raised in Newark. I went through 5th grade at Lincoln School. My mom and also our daughter, went to Lincoln School as well. Then I went to Junior High through 8th grade, at what is now Kelley School. I graduated from Newark High School in 1969. I had no desire to go to college back then. I went right to work for New York Telephone Company as a telephone operator.

I married my high school sweetheart, Billy Stopfel, on July 24, 1971. At the time, he was in the Navy. Right after we were married, we headed West to Whidbey Island, Washington where we lived until he was discharged in 1972. Our daughter, Torrey Lynn, was born on October 26, 1980. She graduated from Newark High School in 1998 and went on to graduate from Nazareth College in 2002.

My first car was a 1966 Ford Mustang, a rip-roaring 3 speed. I loved that car and wish I still had it! I also sported a Honda 50 step-through motorcycle. I took my drivers test and my motorcycle driver's test on the same day... passed them both. Billy was really into motorcycles so I had to have one too.

I am a 24 year breast cancer survivor. It was nearly 8 months of chemo and radiation, but I am very blessed to still be here to annoy my family.

Our lives together have always included vacations as a family. We ventured back and forth to Washington four times. We would go a different route each time, following the Oregon Trail, visiting Yellowstone, Glacier Park, The Bad Lands, Mount Rushmore, Mount Ranier, Mount Baker, crossing the Cascade Mountains in northernmost Washington, The Olympic Peninsula and the list goes on. We did a lot of tent camping in the Adirondacks with Torrey until she outgrew it. My sister and I went to Italy to visit our brother when he was in the Air Force. He took us everywhere: Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Capri, and my favorite, Pompeii. In 2005 we flew to Alaska with our four friends from our Navy days. We rented a motor home and drove all over the state for 10 days. That was quite a beautiful adventure for us. Bill and I still love to camp. We have a nice couple camper and love to go to the Adirondacks. We love to hike and just sit by the campfire.

In 2011 we hosted a French Foreign Exchange student through the Newark Rotary. Our son, Thibault, gave us so much joy when he was living with us. He came back to visit his Newark families last summer and we had a wonderful time together. So, when people ask me what is on my bucket list, I tell them that I want to go to France to visit our son and his mom.

I hope to continue here at Perkins School as long as my body holds up. The children keep me feeling young. I love the hugs, I love helping them focus on learning, and I love the little conversations as well. Maybe one day I will change to the grandparent program so that I can still enjoy their little lives.

Notes from the Nurse - Mrs. Bouwens

Don't be too quick to brush off your child's illness as just another cold. The important thing to remember is that flu symptoms can vary from child to child (and they can change as the illness progresses), so if you suspect the flu, call the doctor. Even doctors often need a test to tell them for sure if a person has the flu since the symptoms can be so similar!

Some bacterial diseases, like strep throat or pneumonia, also can look like the flu or a cold. It's important to get medical attention immediately if your child seems to be getting worse, is having any trouble breathing, has a high fever, has a bad headache, has a sore throat, or seems confused.

When do I keep my child home from school due to illness?

If you have the following symptoms, please stay home from school:

· Fever >100.5 (Remain home until 24 hours of being fever-free without the use of fever reducing medications.)

· Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea (remain home until no vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours)

· Yellow or green drainage from either eye

· White area of eye is pink – call doctor to make sure not pink eye

· Contagious disease; flu, strep throat, pink eye (remain home until doctor gives you a note to return to school, or on antibiotic treatment at least 48 hours), ringworm needs to have treatment and covered if possible.

· Shortness of breath or wheezing

· Severe sore throat, headache, cough, or earache

· Large amounts of nasal drainage which is not clear

· Constant cough that makes child uncomfortable or disrupts class

· yellow-crusted sores around nose or mouth; rash on other body parts, especially if other illness symptoms, like fever. Please have doctor's note regarding rashes or sores. Do not send to school if rashes or boils have drainage that is contagious. (ringworm, poison ivy for example if not in drying stages)

When in doubt call your child’s pediatrician for advice.

If you keep your child home, please remember to call the Perkins school nurse’s office at 332-3312 or email

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PARENTS: The Information You Need!

Tips for Working with the Beginning Reader

Reading each day with your child will help to develop important early reading skills. Here are some tips for working with children as beginning readers:

· Encourage your child to use his/her finger to point to each work.

· Read a sentence and have your child repeat it.

· Don’t be afraid to read the same book again. Repeated reading helps build reading fluency which is reading accurately and with expression.

· Take turns reading sentences or pages.

· Talk about the story as you read it. What do you think will happen next? What does this story remind you of? How do you think this character feels?

· 15 to 20 minutes of reading time is plenty for a beginning reader.

Have fun reading together!


This is a reminder to make sure your children have a spare set of clothing in their locker. If a child has a spill at lunch or a mess on the playground, we like for him/her to have a change of clothing to be comfortable for the remainder of the day. Thank you.

Letters to RED parent introduction

Letters to “RED”

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Our friend RED, sometimes has trouble at school. When problems come up, he does not always know how to handle them. So, RED decided to ask the students for advice. Each month, RED will tell the students his problem in video or print form. Then, any student is welcome to write RED a letter, explaining how he could solve his problem. When they are finished, the students turn their letters in to Mr. Malchoff. Anyone who offers a positive suggestion for RED will be entered in a drawing to win a prize. This will help our students identify and practice pro-social skills in a fun and engaging way. Each month the problem will be passed along to parents in the monthly newsletter. You are welcome to help your child by discussing possible solutions and assisting as needed, with their handwriting. Have fun!


Perkins staff and RED

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Perkins Elementary School

For additional information and photos of events and happenings check out the Perkins School web page at and Perkins School on Twitter by going to @Newark_PS