Pleasant Street School News

building a community of learners that strive for excellence

January 24, 2016

We are a Community of Readers!

During the month of January our teachers have been busy teaching non-fiction and informational text in Readers' Workshop. We are also completing our winter literacy assessments to measure student progress and mid-year reading levels. We are seeing students super excited to share new facts and to talk about what they are learning in their reading. Students also “own" more of their reading by knowing their current reading level and by being able to apply effective reader strategies. We encourage families to have your child tell you some of the reading strategies he or she uses.

Strategies for unfamiliar words could include:

  • Look at the first letter
  • Look through the word
  • Does it look right, sound right, and make sense?
  • Can the word be chunked?
  • Look at the picture- is there something specific in the picture that helps the reader?
  • Does it make sense?
  • Go back to the beginning of the sentence and re-read.

We ask that families make daily reading a priority at home. If families read between 15-20 minutes a day it would add up to 2 hours of reading per week and over 104 hours in a year! This commitment to family reading is a gift that will last a lifetime as research indicates children who are effective readers are more likely to complete high school and to have higher achievement.

Reading Resources for Families

Listed below are some informational tips and resources for families to develop their children's literacy skills. We encourage you to take a few moments for some grown up reading time (!) by looking through these resources on how to promote your child's learning. As parents are children's first and primary teachers, we as educators, want to do our best to partner with families to share ideas to support children's learning.

Parent tips on non-fiction and informational texts:

Understanding reading challenges and the importance of reading widely

Book lists from Reading Rockets

Looking for some reading applications for your mobile device?

Need to know more about math?

Do you want or need to know more about math terms your child is expected to learn within each grade? You might be surprised at how many there are! Like the Athol Royalston Regional School District, the Lafayette Public Schools in Lousiana also uses Eureka math as their primary math curriculum program. They have a fantastic website for parents and guardians that includes math terms/ vocabulary, activities and helpful tips, resources, and videos by grade, module, and topic area.

We encourage families to use this website with your child to help break down math lessons with step by step guidance.

Parent support tips from the Eureka math website

Informative article from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics on teaching math fluency through the use of games

Brain based research on teaching mathematics

The 100th day of school is coming soon!

Providing that we do not have any snow days our 100th day of school will be on February 3rd! In addition to recognizing this day within individual classrooms we also invite students to submit a 100 day project to be on display in our lobby. To see a short video of projects submitted last year please click on the link below.

Don't Miss Out on the Fun! Dinosaur projects will be coming soon in second grade

Students in Mrs. Arpide and Mrs. Jones' second grade classes have started their unit on dinosaurs. A culminating activity of this unit is the dinosaur diorama project. We can't wait to see the many fantastic projects we will have on display this year.

To see a short video of projects from last year please click on the link below.

Caring Paws Club inspires donations of pet food & supplies

The Caring Paws Club is a group that was formed over a year ago by some now third grade friends at Pleasant Street. The focus of this group is to support animals and to work toward putting an end to kill shelters.

From January 11 to February 11 Pleasant Street School will be collecting the following to donate to an area animal shelter.

  • Dog & cat food and feeding supplies
  • Grooming supplies- brushes, combs, trimmers
  • Leashes, collars, or harnesses
  • Bedding supplies- clean, used towels, blankets, or sheets
  • Cat Litter and trays that would be used for litter boxes
  • Cleaning supplies

All students who bring in animal supplies will be given a button, "I helped saved animals" made by the Caring Paws Club.

Caught Being Good!

While Melania was not our only student Caught Being Good this week, she is the one who was caught on camera by Principal Ellis with not just one, but two certificates!

So you know...our faculty and staff use Caught Being Goods as just another way of letting children know that we notice and appreciate simple acts of being helpful and kind throughout our school. When a student receives a Caught Being Good certificate he or she also receives a small prize from Principal Ellis.

Catch of the Day!

Our School Support Noon Duty staff continue to be recognizing students in their, "Catch of the Day," program. This honor is given to students who staff observe demonstrating our school expectations of respect for self, respect for others, and respect for property during recess. Each day they choose one student from recess as the Catch of the Day who then receives a certificate, a stuffed fish for a day, and is entered into a weekly drawing in the "fish bowl" to receive a prize. Pictured to the right is Sammy, our prize winning catch for this week.

Community Stars... Accomplishments of our Students in the Community!

Principal Ellis has decided to add a new section to our newsletter to highlight some of the wonderful achievements and activities of our students in the community. We have children involved in community arts and theatre, those who volunteer their time to help others, and students who participate in scouting, sports programs, and much more. We hope to recognize some of their accomplishments here and invite families to send in pictures and reports to share with our school community. Photo courtesy of Sarah Smith, submitted by request.


The FCHA Gilmore & Farrell Vipers defeated Ludlow, 5-2, in a Greater Springfield League Squirt North Division youth hockey game Sunday at the Olympia in West Springfield.The game was also a District 6 Playdown game. The Vipers will represent District 6 in the Massachusetts Tier III Squirt State Championships in late February. Congratulations to Hunter, a fourth grade student in Mrs. Robinson's class, standing in the back row, last on the right, and his team, for this quality win, and the opportunity to play for a state title!

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Free Breakfast & Lunch

As part of the 2010 Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act, Athol-Royalston Regional School District, along with other districts, now offers free meals to all students this school year.


  • Breakfast menu for January

  • Lunch menu for January

Community Events & Postings

Do you have news to share or want to inform members of our school community about family friendly events in our area? if so, please email or forward a flyer or link.

Thank you :)

Mother Goose on the Loose Playgroup-Thursdays 10am—11:30am Valuing Our Children 217 Walnut St. Athol. For more information contact: Jen: 978-249-8467 x 22

New Parenting Class- Tuesdays beginning Jan. 26, 10:15 - 11:45 am Childcare and help with transportation are provided. To sign up call Jennifer at Valuing Our Children: 978-249-8467. Focus of class is for those parenting children under the age of 6 and includes: how to understand your child’s behavior, how to listen and talk to your child, discipline that makes sense….and more!

Petersham Playgroup- Beginning on Thursday, Sept. 17th from 10-11:30 at the Petersham Center School. For more information please call Jennifer at Valuing Our Children 978-249-8467 x22

For other local events, happenings, and resources in this area... you can also check the North Quabbin Community Coalition website below:

These are not school sponsored events but are posted here as a public service for families in the greater North Quabbin community.

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates!
  • Jan. 11- Feb. 11- Caring Paws Club, pet donation drive
  • January 27, all school meeting for students
  • January 29, 2016- Mad Science Assembly Programs, sponsored by our PTO
  • Feb. 1-Feb. 5th, Winter MAPS assessment
  • Feb. 3, district half day, noon dismissal, lunch is served
  • Feb. 3- 100th day of school
  • Feb. 12, Sock hop dance, school cafe, 6-7:30 pm, sponsored by PTO
  • Feb. 12- Student council hosts, "Go for Gold", childhood cancer awareness and benefit event
  • Feb. 14, Valentines' Day
  • Feb. 15-19, Winter recess, no school
  • Feb. 22, school resumes

For your convenience our district calendar is linked below.

Check back soon for more news!

News from Principal Ellis

Building a community of learners that strive for excellence