Greystone Elementary News
Keeping our school community informed about GES!
I plan to keep it updated with information for our school community. I'll email our families on a weekly basis and then include those emails here, along with other information. Things will be arranged chronologically, in case you need to look for communications based on when they were originally sent.
March 1, 2024
Good morning GES families and Happy March! I have three items for you today: (1) a follow up to my email the other day about online safety, (2) "March is Reading" info, and (3) Parent Conference sign-up.
Follow up to my email the other day about online safety: Several parents reached out asking for any tips I might have to help keep kids safe online. I’m happy to share some things I’ve picked up over the years as a high school principal, elementary principal and dad. These are just my opinions; feel free to take them or leave them. When I refer to smart devices, I typically mean devices with Internet connectivity/social media, e.g., watches, phones, and video game consoles.
Consider the type of device. I commonly hear from parents that they want their child to have a device for safety reasons and that makes sense. That’s also probably not your child’s first priority! They are kids after all and those devices open up a whole new world (that they may or may not be ready for). When considering the best device for your child, do some research. Some are better than others, and access to the Internet is not necessary when it comes to stay connected with family.
Your interest in their safety supersedes their interest in privacy. Kids want their privacy, especially as they approach middle school years, and that’s understandable. We were there too once! But this is tricky when it comes to using smart devices. As far as I’m concerned, that’s your device, mom and dad (not theirs)! If you need to check it or take it for a period of time, so be it!
Keep devices in the open. Proximity is a powerful tool. Staying in the vicinity of your child when he/she is using smart devices is a great way to ensure they are staying safe and better allows you to intervene if needed. Often, the poor decisions are made when there is limited or no oversight (sort of like the house parties we may have had when our parents were out of town. Not me, of course … but other people I know ).
Implement a bed time for devices: Many parents will keep the devices with them at night time, and for several reasons, I love this move. Consider having your child plug the device in to charge it in your room overnight, beginning perhaps before their own bed time so that they can relax their minds and not be tempted to get on their device when they should be sleeping.
Stay vigilant. I used to say to students and parents that we are living in two worlds: the tactile and the virtual. That’s not accurate anymore. Increasingly, there is no division between the two. Words and actions in the virtual world can have VERY REAL impact in the tactile world, but for the most part, kids don’t get this concept at first, and for good reason. The frontal cortex of our brains, which controls our decision-making abilities, is not fully developed till our early 20s give or take. This makes our job as parents so much more difficult, but we can’t give in. Just as we helped them to learn not to touch a hot stove when they began getting around, we have to teach them how not to get burned using social media (see what I did there!)
Set limits: Many parents have told me that their kids need to earn their screen time and then they set limits. That’s great. It may or may not work for you, but it’s worth considering. On the school end, we can often tell which students may have had too much screen time over the weekend. Mondays can be rough for those students. The key is balance, and with the nicer weather on its way, it’ll be easier to get them outside for play time.
Be clear: Whatever you decide as your expectations for using devices, be clear with your children. If they aren’t clear what limitations are in place, they may just assume that they have the same access you do, can use their devices when and how you use them and that may or may not be what you want.
Am I the only one who sometimes wishes we didn’t have these darn things …?
March is Reading! We are celebrating Read Across America this coming week and we have a theme for each day! Check out this link for what we'll do each day.
Parent Conference Sign-ups: Parent conferences are coming up March 27-29 and we are looking forward to seeing you then. Here is the link for you to schedule time with your child's teacher.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
February 28, 2024
Hello GES Families,
It’s almost time to "peace out" February, thank goodness! We are getting a sneak peek at that spring weather, and I’m loving it! I have a few items for you today.
Carnival: The Annual Spring Carnival is on March 16th from 2-5pm. Wristbands are on sale now for $20 (will be $25 at the door). You can purchase tickets or sign up to volunteer here -www.greystonepto.com. If anyone has a business and would like to donate to our silent auction, please email Sara Vacca.
Pick-up traffic at the end of the day: We are asking parents picking up at the end of the day to be extra vigilant when coming in off of Aram. There is lots of traffic moving through a relatively small area between 3:10 and 3:45. I really appreciate parents waiting at the bottom of the drive and not proceeding up till 3:20. We will keep things moving as best we can. Please be patient with us and with other drivers. No one should drive up the wrong lane of the driveway – that could lead to a serious accident. If you are waiting in line, I promise it won’t be long at all.
Internet safety lesson for Third Grade: During the month of January, our 3rd-5th graders participated in a variety of online safety lessons in the library. Part of these lessons included an anonymous survey. The results are very interesting and prove that our students are quite active online. Our goal is that students keep their personal information private and are kind online. Please take a moment and read the results, and keep the conversations going in your home!
Lastly, tomorrow is Mr. Joe Niedziejko's last day. Joe has dedicated 33 years of service to WCASD as at art teacher at three schools. His dedication to our students is immense and he will be missed. We want to wish Joe well in his new endeavors, especially that of serving as Pop-pop to his daughter's new addition. Thank you, Mr. N for everything!
Reminder: No school for students on March 11.
February 22, 2024
Good afternoon GES families,
Hope you are doing great. Not sure about you, but I’m loving these slightly longer days and I’m ready for spring! I have several items for you today.
Lost and Lost items: On Friday morning, we are going to display the lost-and-found items on the café tables and have our 2-5 students go through to claim what’s theirs. If you’ve noticed a jacket or sweatshirt missing at home, you may want to mention to look for that Friday.
Math Night: We are hosting a math night here at GES and will be joined by students from WCU. If you are interested in learning more, check out the attached flier: WCU Math Night 23_24.pdf
Beginner Strings Concert next week: Our budding musicians are anticipating their concert next week. Their rehearsal yesterday morning sounded great! The Beginner Strings concert is Tuesday, February 27 at 6:30.
Hershey Park: Help support the Greystone Class of 2024 and save on thrills at Hershey Park all year long! Tickets must be purchased by April 15, 2024, so hurry and place your order today! Please reach out to Petra Rose with questions. Hersheypark tickets fundraiser flyer (2).pdf
Summer basketball camp: Same as years prior, in case you are looking for basketball camp for the kids. Camp Flyer.pdf
Parent conference info: Parent conferences are March 25-27. Soon, we will share information about conference sign-ups.
Greystone 2023-2024 Events Calendar: I am updating this calendar frequently.
Lunch and recess volunteer sign up. This form will take us through the end of the school year. We are happy to host parent volunteers and at Greystone we have as many opportunities as any other elementary in WCASD and more than most. It’s very important that when volunteers come to school, they stick to the purpose for which they were approved. Lunch and recess parents, for instance, should not “pop in” and see the kids in their classrooms. I’ve promised my staff that won’t happen, and I appreciate everyone’s help ensuring it.
Reminder: No school for students on Monday, March 11.
February 15, 2024
Good afternoon GES families,
Well, the groundhog got it wrong again! Raise your hand if you’re ready for spring! It’ll get here, for sure, but first we have to get through the longest, shortest month of the year. As we all know, this can be a challenging time for students. The cold, dark days can take a toll on our moods, especially when we are young, and that can lead to moodiness and irritability, poor decisions. This is the time that schools determine to “hold tight” and keep the train on the tracks toward spring. We’ll get there …
Student illness: As we all know, there is a lot going around. We are sending multiple kids home every day, but if they come into school sick, they’ve spread their germs to others. Parents, please help by keeping the kids home when they are sick and contagious. Student and staff absences due to illness have been very high recently and we must work together. If your child has had a fever or thrown up/diarrhea in the prior 24 hours, they should not come to school, even with medicine. Families have 10 parent note absences to use and unlimited doctors' notes. You can simply email Jackie Mangasarian.
School Apparel: The school store is open again. Here’s the link in case you’d like to check it out.
GES Building Tour: If you know of any families planning to attend Greystone for the first time in the fall and you think they’d like to visit the building, feel free to share this link.
February Evacuation Drill: We will hold our required monthly drill tomorrow. I will address the students and staff via the pa system as usual.
For our Fifth Grade Families: There will be a Middle School 101 Zoom this coming Wednesday evening. Once I have more information, I will share it.
March parent conferences: In the coming weeks, we’ll share conference sign-up information with you.
I’m sharing here our calendar of events. I keep this updated throughout the school year.
Reminder that tomorrow is a half day with dismissal beginning at 12:05 and there is no school Monday.
January 26, 2024
Good morning GES Families,
I am reaching out today with some club and camp information. In most cases, spots fill up quickly, so if you are interested, I’d recommend not stalling.
- Upcoming Science Explores Club: Greystone Elementary Blinded By The Light.png
- President’s Day Basketball Clinic: Presidents Day Basketball 24.pdf
- March Basketball Clinics: Nation Flyer.pdf
- Non-contact June Football Camp at Henderson: 2024 Youth Camp Advertisement .pdf
January 9, 2024
Good morning GES Families,
Looks like we are in for some serious rain and wind today. As I write this, the rain has begun and we are holding recess inside. Our Transportation Department is watching the weather closely, as it could impact the afternoon commute.
MLK Day is coming up Monday and in the spirit of Dr. King, we are holding a clothing drive, aimed at benefiting local families. I’m including a flier here with details. GES Clothing Drive.pdf
Our First Bingo Night is coming up next week, and I hope to see our families there. You’ll need to register. I’m looking forward to serving as emcee for the first session! GES 2024 Bingo Flyer.pdf
We’ll hold an Eagles spirit Day this Friday (They could certainly use all the help they can get). Students and staff may wear their Eagles gear, green and white (or not – totally optional of course).
Reminder that this Friday is a full day (not a half day, as indicated on the district calendar) and there is no school Monday, January 15.
Stay safe in this pending storm,
January 5, 2024
Good afternoon GES families,
I have two information items specific to 4th and 5th grade families.
Math club: Greystone’s math club is beginning on January 26th. Math club is for any 4th and 5th grade student who loves math; it will run on Friday mornings from 8:00 – 8:40, January 26th through mid-May. If your child is interested, please fill out this form by January 17th. Space is limited to 30 students. For more information, please reach out to Mrs. Bushnell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Intramural Sports: If your fourth or fifth grader is interested in this round of intramural sports, here's the sign-up form.
Have a good weekend,
January 3, 2024
Good afternoon GES Families,
I have some informational items for you today.
I’m including here a flier about the district’s upcoming Kindergarten 101 event. This is a great way for families to learn about our kindergarten program for the 2024-2025 school year. Attendees need to register. To do so and to learn more about Kindergarten 101, access this site. Feel free to share this with neighbors and friends who might be interested. JPG 2024 K101 (1).jpg and JPG K101 2024 Spanish Translation (1).jpg
Please welcome our new nurse, Ms. Sarah Mattern, who most recently served at Fugett Middle School. Prior to her experience at FMS, Ms. Mattern was a nurse with the Downingtown School District, and prior to that, a registered nurse at Pennsylvania Hospital. Ms. Mattern earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing at PSU and completed her clinical hours at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and PSU. She has been with us now for a couple of weeks and has jumped right in. Ms. Mattern is thrilled to be here at GES! If you need to get in touch with her, her district email is email@example.com.
After 33 years of service to the school district, Mr. Niedziejko is retiring at the end of February. We thank Joe for his dedication to our students and wish him nothing but the best in his new endeavors, especially in his role as a new Pop Pop! I’m happy to share that coming on board as our Art teacher is Ms. Gillian Sam. Ms. Sam is a homegrown product, having lived in West Chester and attended our schools. She comes from a family of educators. Most recently, Ms. Sam has served as a building substitute in the district. She earned her undergraduate degree from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture and is a practicing artist in her free time. Ms. Sam will officially join us in early March and take over for Mr. N. She is extremely excited to be at GES!
Lastly, if you have friends or neighbors who will be first-time Greystone parents next year and might like to take a tour of the building this winter, feel free to share this Google Form with them.
January 2, 2024
Happy New Year!
I sent this information previously but thought I'd send a reminder that there was a correction to the district-printed calendar, which had indicated that January 12 is half day for students. January 12 is now a full day of school for elementary school students.
The other correction is March 27, which was indicated as a half day for elementary students. March 27 is now a full day teacher in-service, no school for elementary students.
Reminder: All schools are closed on Monday, January 15.
December 22, 2023
Good afternoon GES families,
This past week was many things. We focused on learning, community building, and having fun (and food)! There was lots of energy in the building and we are ALL ready for a break! On behalf of the staff at Greystone Elementary, I'd like to wish you a very Happy Holiday season. Next time we see our students it'll be 2024 -- hard to believe how fast the years go by.
Our teachers will be stepping away from email for the duration of the break. If you are looking to give them a gift, not emailing them over the break would be a wonderful gesture! Our teachers and staff work very hard for their students and have earned some time to themselves and their loved ones.
Thanks for your support of Greystone!
December 13, 2023
Good morning GES families,
Hard to believe, but it's almost time for winter break, and we are all looking forward to it! There's lots of energy in the building right now, as students anticipate the holidays. I have a few items for you today:
1. Our winter concert is tonight at 6:30 and it promises to be great again! Mrs. Grello and Mr. Sullivan have been working very hard to put on a great show for you. Our student body will get a preview this afternoon.
2. Classroom winter parties will take place on Thursday, December 21. Our teachers are organizing these, along with homeroom parents.
3. Next Friday, December 22 is a half day for students and we'll begin dismissal at 12:05.
4. Report cards should be viewable in the Parent Portal this Friday.
5. Two district calendar changes you'll want to know: January 12 is a full day for all students, not a half day as indicated on the printed district calendar. March 27 is no school for elementary students, and not a half day as previously indicated on the district calendar.
That's it for now!