North Tiger Beat

February, 2021

February is Black History Month

It is hard to believe we are already in the second month of 2021, and according to Punxsutawney Phil, we have six more weeks of winter!! This week is definitely fulfilling his prediction.

February is Black History Month. A time to reflect on the rich culture and contributions from African Americans in history. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas celebrate birthdays this month, two important individuals who took a stand and led the way to abolish slavery. Please take some time to learn about some of the contributions and the many stories of inspiration. We have our North Culture Week coming up the first week of March. Last year we were able to celebrate beautiful cultures right here at North at our North Culture Night where many of our families were able to bring in artifacts and food from their own cultures. We hope to have a modified version this year. Please read below about the details.

If you are looking for a movie to watch this month, check out the movie Harriet. It is based on the story of Harriet Tubman and her journey as she escaped from slavery and was determined to spend the rest of her life freeing other slaves. Through her dangerous missions, she liberated over 750 slaves through the Underground Railroads, and worked for the military during the Civil War. Her story reminds us of how important perseverance, grit, and determination are in any journey we take.

Celebrating Each Other

To help expand on our cultural learning opportunities, here are some books you can pick up or borrow from the library that immerse children into the lives and cultural experiences of other children. Below a few links to short Youtube videos of read-alouds for our students. Play them at home and listen to short children books. We continue to try to embed empathy, kindness, and compassion in our students as these values are key to a safe, happy, and healthy future. It is important to talk about race and social justice with our children to ensure a kind and tolerant world for all of our children. Let's acknowledge and celebrate differences as we learn more about how we all work toward the same goals of peace and acceptance.

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Happy Valentine's Day- The North Way

Signs have been placed around the school asking students to make Valentines for the residents of Clifton Nursing Center. A couple of fifth-grade students called over and they ARE accepting valentines -- if you're interested in having your class participate, there is a "mailbox" in the front hallway for completed cards.

We decided to keep our tree up for the remainder of the year. Each month a class/grade will be picking a theme to spread kindness and joy to others.

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North ❤ Culture is back!!

Last year North Elementary and the PTO hosted a celebration of culture night, which was a terrific success.

This year we will change it slightly to a WHOLE ENTIRE WEEK of the celebration of culture and diversity. We will only have students attend as part of being safe in these times. However, we want families to be involved.

Families needed

  • We need many short videos that celebrate culture and diversity. It could be showing a cultural tradition or an artifact and explaining it. Maybe show a delicious food item, display a map/flag and tell us about it, play a song, dance, sing, other ideas welcome. Requirements: no longer than 8 seconds include mention of the country your video is representing

  • We also need pictures with a caption that celebrate culture and diversity Requirements: include mention of the country your photo is representing The video will be shown in individual classrooms as well as posted on the internet. The photos will be posted on the school bulletin board and made available to the Memory Book Committee.

Important Dates

February 10th

  • Somerset Middle School Building Committee update 6:30

February 12th

  • 6:30 Virtual Paint Night (all 3 PTOs)

    Hosted by Mermaid Masterpieces

  • A Zoom Link will be sent out prior to the event via email.

February 15th-19th

  • Vacation (Please follow travel guidelines with regard to testing and quarantining.

February 23rd

  • PTO Meeting 6:00 (Zoom link will be shared via email)

March 1st-5th

  • Monday (1st)/Thursday(4th): Wear traditional clothing from around the world or bring a paper flag of a country of your choice.

  • Tuesday(2nd)/Friday (5th): Wear superhero clothing or crazy socks

  • Wednesday (3rd): Random Acts of Kindness Day

March 24th

  • NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS. Parent-Teacher Conferences by appointment
  • Link will be shared later this week

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Thank You for your help!

Here is a photo of Student Council packing up some food.

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Kindergarten 2021-2022 School Year

Kindergarten Letter Shared With Community- Please share with anyone you know you needs to register for Kindergarten 2021.

Welcome to the beginning of an exciting time for you and your child.

In order to start school in the fall, please register your student online. This information will help us prepare for your child and provide accurate numbers for our kindergarten enrollment. Once we receive your registration your child will be put on a list for a screening. You will receive additional information about when and how these screenings will take place this year. The screening is required by Massachusetts State Law for any child entering Kindergarten and is used to help identify specific needs that may affect a child’s educational progress. Information about registration and residency can be found on the Somerset Public Schools website under the “Families” heading and select “Registration”. You can then access the link shown below.

The link is:

Once you’ve completed the registration process online you can set up an appointment with the office to review and finalize your registration. Your registration must be approved before your child can be considered registered. Office hours for registration approval are Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The registration Deadline is Friday, April 16th, 2021. Screening appointments will only be scheduled once the registration has been completed and approved by the school. If, for any reason, your child WILL NOT be attending Somerset Public Schools, please notify the school office at (508) 324-3170.

The registration process is as follows:

  1. Complete online registration (including uploading of required documents shown below)

  • Birth Certificate

  • All residency documents (See residency documents online)

  • Current Physical and Immunizations

  • Set up an appointment with the office for registration approval and screening appointment

Incoming Students who live in the Buffer Zone will be screened in their Buffer Zone school. However, due to registration numbers, your child may not know what school they are attending until July 1st.

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PreK Registration

We are excited to announce that the Somerset Integrated Early Childhood Program at North Elementary is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

The Early Childhood Program is an inclusive, multi-sensory, play-based program designed primarily for students identified with special needs. However, in order to employ best practices, the Somerset Public Schools is seeking students who are typically developing (not receiving any special education services), to model appropriate language, play, and social skills.

There will be an option of a half-day program (AM session & PM session) that will be offered based on enrollment needs and availability. The programs will begin in September of 2021 and continue through June 2022.

Students interested in the half-day program will also need to complete a screening. Each classroom will have one (1) Early Childhood Teacher and at least one (1) paraprofessional. These programs will also be multi-aged integrated programs for three (3) and four (4) year olds. Priority will be given to students who are currently in the program and meet the peer partner criteria.

Peer Partner Criteria

  • Child must be three years old prior to September 1st or four years old prior to September 1st

  • Child must reside in the Town of Somerset

  • Child enjoys playing with other children: interacts well with others, manipulates toys and engages in activities without assistance

  • Child follows simple directions, makes his/her basic needs known and answers simple questions

  • Child speaks in complete sentences and can be understood at least 80% of the time

  • Child separates easily from parent/guardian

  • Child is cooperative, respectful and demonstrates safe behavior

  • Child must be toilet-trained

  • Child successfully completes the preschool screening

  • Priority will be given to four-year-old students currently in the program

  • Child must demonstrate developmentally appropriate abilities in all areas

The following is additional information:

  • Be able to provide own transportation to and from school.

  • Tuition is $250 per month. Tuition is due the first day of school and on the first day of every month through the end of the school year.

    • Tuition is prorated for children that enter the program after the start of the school year.

    • Half Day: If there are two children from the same family attending the program, the second child’s tuition is $175 per month. A third child is $122.50. This is a 30% reduction in tuition.

    • If a family decides to apply and if deemed eligible, based on family income and family size, families can be provided tuition on a sliding fee scale. When completing the Early Childhood application, please also provide your latest tax information, i.e. W2, 1099 and a current pay stub.

If a lottery is necessary (the number of applicants exceeds the number of open spots), parents will be notified of the date when it is scheduled.

If interested please complete the online registration on the Somerset Public Schools website under the “Families” heading and then select the “Registrations” tab. Registrations must be received by Friday, April 16, 2021 in order for your child to be entered into the Early Childhood Lottery for the 2021-2022 School Year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Paula Faria (508-324-3160) or Dr. Manchester (508-324-3171).

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Yearbook 2020-2021

This year has been a unique one. Parents and families can send photos of your child learning at home to for this year's yearbook. Please include your child’s name, teacher, and activity in the subject.
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Elementary K-5 Books

·Maya’s Blanket/La Mandta de Maya by Monica Brown

·Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle

·Emmannuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu by Laurie Ann Thompson

·With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School

·Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

·Ira’s Shakespeare Dream by Glenda Armand

·Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams

·Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

·My Name is Sangoel by Karen Williams

·Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes

.Little Leaders Bold Women in Black History Vashti Harrison

·Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Grade Level Happenings


In January, preschool students have been exploring various themes. Some classes have been learning about cold weather animals and pets while others are exploring building with various materials within our Building Study. We learned about cold weather clothing, enjoyed playing with pretend snow, pretended shaving cream is snow, and even experimented with how watercolor paint can change how real snow looks. We also built houses for the three little pigs with sticks, twigs, and bricks as well as framed our own homes using popsicle sticks. We continue to learn responsibility by cleaning up our toys with first-time listening and we also welcomed new students who have transitioned from different classrooms. We are excited to explore our new February songs and learn new skills in the upcoming month!


Hello kindergarten families! It’s hard to believe that it is already February. We hope everyone is enjoying the snow and embracing winter activities. In kindergarten, we have been working very hard at reading short a and o words. We have also been learning about cause and effect and identifying the main events that occur in the stories we read. In math, the students learned all about the numbers 6 to 9. They practiced counting sets of objects up to 9 and writing the numbers 6-9. They also showed different ways of making these numbers with counters on a ten frame and cubes. In social studies, we learned about what it means to be a leader. We talked about how we can all be leaders in the classroom, at home, and in our community. We also learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and how he was an important leader who encouraged people to treat everyone equally and with kindness and respect. In science, we have begun learning about pushes and pulls.

In February we will continue to explore and learn about forces and motion. In math, we will learn all about comparing numbers up to ten. In literacy, we will learn about the short u sound. The students will practice reading short vowel u words together and will also continue to practice reading and writing their kindergarten sight words. We will begin reading informational text. We will learn about the different parts of informational text and will discuss the facts that we learn when reading together. We will also begin creating our own informational writing pieces as we draw and write about what we’ve learned.

Here are some students who are exploring their science buckets before our Push, Pull, Go unit investigation.

First Grade

The cold air has brought in love to the first grade for the month of February! The children will be exchanging Valentine cards. We will be having them sit for a few days before they are passed out. This month finds us finishing up Chapter 3 in math with a review and an assessment. Chapter 4 brings us subtraction strategies. The children will be using countback, think addition to subtract, use a 10 to subtract, and break apart to subtract. The children need to keep their addition facts and strategies fine-tuned. This will help them to be successful with subtraction and help them to understand and to see subtraction as an unknown addend problem. For reading, we are focusing on informational text using illustrations to describe key details and text features to find information. Our genre focus for writing will also be informational, connecting it to the familiar topic of space. February brings along Black History Month to us. We have been talking about many famous black Americans especially, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Harriet Tubman, and George Washington Carver. We will also be completing activities that revolve around President’s Day. As you can see, we have a lot to do in a short month. We will be busy beavers!

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Second Grade

Even though this month is going to seem short with February vacation, it will be packed with learning! Our readers will be taking a closer look at how text features will help them gain a better understanding of the non-fiction texts they are reading. We will also be working on the main idea and details of non-fiction texts, with a focus on Biographies. After vacation, students will be working on two-digit addition problems, with regrouping, using a variety of different strategies. Please continue to remind your children of the importance of proper mask-wearing and social distancing. They have been doing a great job so far! Thank you, families, for all the support you have given at home through this ever-changing school year.

Third Grade

It may be a short month, but third graders will be busy learning many new ideas. It’s also a time to check with your children to see if any of their school supplies (pencils, glue sticks, dry erase markers) need to be replenished. Mathematicians are multiplying by multiples of 10, and will begin to learn the concept of division. Scientists will continue to investigate motion. Our readers and writers continue to read informational text and will write pieces all about a topic. Lastly, in social studies we will begin to explain how the people and events in Massachusetts helped create our nation. Enjoy the winter break!

Fourth Grade

The fourth graders are demonstrating a great deal of stamina during this difficult time. Each and every day they come to class smiling and ready to work. We all know that this is especially challenging with the cold weather. During February our readers and writers are learning about the elements of informational text. They will be incorporating elements such as headings, captions, and visuals into their writing as they produce a variety of informational essays.

As you all have seen most of the fourth grade has been studying division. You may have also noticed that it is not taught the same way that you learned it. The new instructional methods for teaching division have moved toward teaching this difficult concept through the use of multiplication. By doing this, math connections are more easily made if the student is fluent with their multiplication facts. One way to support your child’s learning is to encourage their use of reflex on a regular basis.

In Science we have started our study of Energy. During this unit the children will learn how energy travels through systems. They will build series and parallel circuits, test insulators and conductors. Additionally, this knowledge will transfer to areas outside of the classroom by exploring the home and their community for evidence of energy transfer.

In Social Studies students have been learning about the US regions. Through reading maps, watching videos and completing research our students will understand what makes each region special. Topics of investigation will include geography of the region, history, native peoples, economy and landmarks. In addition our students will be expanding their knowledge of Black history through literature and other media.

Fifth Grade

Wow! It is already February. Grade 5 has been busy with academics and being leaders in our school. In addition to being role models for the younger students, fifth-grade students lead morning announcements and they have coordinated and participated in both the food and toy drives.

Math classes have just wrapped up chapter 4 which focuses on multiplying decimals. We will then begin to learn about division of decimal numbers. Please encourage your student to learn their multiplication facts if they have not yet mastered them. All students have a Reflex math account which can be accessed at home and is a great tool to help them learn their facts. Science classes have recently begun studying mixtures and solutions. For this, we are using our FOSS kits which provide materials for hands-on investigations. This curriculum also provides virtual investigations which is a vital learning tool for students when on a home-learning day.

In ELA, we are continuing to learn about both the reading and writing of informational text. Students have recently begun to learn about text features in informative texts. They have also been practicing deconstructing informational texts. This skill aids in students’ understanding of how to craft their very own piece. As always, we continue to encourage all students to read at least 20 minutes nightly. In Social Studies, students are learning about the various acts that England imposed on the colonists. During this time, students also practice analyzing various informational text structures such as to cause and effect.


All of our North artists have been busy creating and learning while at home and in school! We have been focusing on the season of winter and are beginning our artistic celebration of The Chinese Lunar New year.

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After learning about primary colors, secondary colors and practicing color mixing students created their amazing snow people collages. We have also begun looking at the celebrations that take place for the Chinese Lunar New Year while creating our good luck plum blossoms.

First Grade

First graders enjoyed creating their unique, expressive penguins while learning about line and shape patterns. We will be looking at the Chinese zodiac and the ox, which is the zodiac animal for the 2021 Lunar New Year.

Second Grade

After creating their 3-dimensional cylinder forms as hot chocolate mug paintings, second graders have begun working with model magic to create their 3-dimensional penguin sculptures. We are looking forward to painting our sculptures!

Third Grade

Third graders focused on warm & cool color schemes and used different painting techniques to create their mixed media winter trees.

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders have been exploring tints and created a value scale for the backgrounds of their expressive snow people collages.

Fifth Grade

Fifth graders are completing their weavings and will be learning the process of taking their weavings off of the loom. We have begun discussing our character trait tile project which will be beginning in the next few weeks.

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From Nurse Stephanie

Happy February Families!

We rely heavily on the open relationship we have with our families to keep our school safe. Sending a heartfelt Thank You to the parents who are notifying us when their children are ill and keeping them home!

Please continue to screen your children each day before their in-person learning. Children with any of the following symptoms are asked to remain at home:

  • Fever (100F or higher), chills or shaking chills

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Headache (when in combination with another symptom)

  • Muscle aches/body aches

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

  • Fatigue (when in combination with another symptom)

  • Nasal congestion/runny nose (when in combination with another symptom)

All students who are close contacts of a Covid positive individual will not be able to attend in person learning. If your child has been exposed to someone with Covid, please notify the School Nurse so we can determine when your child can return to school safely.

We are still following the MA travel guidelines. If you travel out of state, all students are asked to quarantine upon arrival to MA. Please notify the School Nurse as to your travel dates, as there is a testing option to reduce quarantine time, however, it is extremely time sensitive.

Students are strongly encouraged to wear a clean mask to school each day. Given our age demographic, our masks are often pretty yucky at the end of the day. We do have clean and new masks available to the students, however, some of them prefer to use their own.

We enjoy allowing the students to play outside in the snow given the weather conditions are appropriate. Please consider packing an extra pair of pants and/or socks as our kiddos will often get wet in the process.

Documentation of the flu vaccine is no longer required. If your child has had a recent physical, please feel free to forward it along so their medical records will be up to date. Each physical exam provides the student 12 months of coverage to be able to participate in recess and/or school activities.

As a reminder, all students with Covid-like symptoms will be asked to remain at home for a 10 day period. We must treat all presenting illness with Covid-like symptoms as though they were Covid. If you wish to return your child to school before the 10 days is up, you may do so with a negative Covid test. If your child is sick on a remote learning day, please notify the School Nurse so your child will be cleared to return safely on their next in-person learning day.

All of our students who are at home for quarantining as close contacts or sick with Covid or Covid-like symptoms will still have access to remote learning. Provided they are well enough to participate in their classroom requirements, they will not incur any absences during their time away from in-person learning.

If you are a close contact or have Covid, you will be asked not to come to the school to pick up work/materials/supplies for your child. Please make alternative arrangements with your child’s teacher. You can choose someone else to pick up supplies or we can arrange a drop off at your home if that is more convenient for you.

Be Well & Stay Healthy!

Senior Capstone Project

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Suggested Donation Items

● Chapsticks ● Mini Hand Sanitizer ● Pre-packaged healthy snacks ● Cloth Masks ● Headbands ● Homemade Cards

Donation bins will be set up here at school and any donations are appreciated no matter how small! Students are also welcome to make cards for the nurses to show how much you appreciate all their hard work! Donations will be collected from now until March 1st!
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PTO Updates

Spread The Love

The PTO's from all three Somerset elementary schools have come together to present Spread the Love - A community event! Place hearts in your windows or outside your homes during the month of February. Let's see how many we can find throughout the month. Be sure to share your findings on your school's Facebook page.

Virtual Paint Night

This Friday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Hosted by Mermaid Masterpieces

A Zoom Link will be sent out prior to the event via email.

Families are asked to get their own supplies to participate.

Suggested Supplies

  • 8x10 canvas (or paper)

  • Red, white, yellow, blue, black acrylic paint

  • A cup of water

  • A thick brush and a skinny brush

*** Michaels, Job Lot, Dollar Store, and Amazon sell these.***

February 23rd

  • PTO Meeting 6:00 (Zoom link will be shared via email)

Somerset Middle School Building Project Update -Wednesday, Feb 10th at 6:30

The next community forum for the Somerset Middle School building project will be held virtually, through Zoom, on February 10 at 6:00 PM. At this community forum participants will be able to take a virtual tour through the building, view interior renderings, learn about some of the school's healthy building and sustainable features, and learn about the project cost estimates and potential tax impact.

The URL to join the community forum is: The link to this meeting will also be available on the district website.