PCS Community Newsletter 1-4-19

created by Joanne Menard, Principal

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STARS Residency at Petersham Center School

As many of you are already aware, students in grades 3-6 have been fortunate to be involved in a partnership with our "Artist in Residence", Mr. John Porcino. This 10 day residency program had several goals. The first was to help our students build and create personal narratives stories. The second was to help the students develop their own unique "voice" through the spoken and written word by sharing their stories with their community. This wonderful opportunity was made possible by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Petersham Center School is using the "Writers Workshop" curriculum developed at Columbia College. This beautiful developmental curriculum helps students learn to write with pride and in their own unique style. A key component of this model is "writing partnerships" in which student have the opportunity to tell their stories orally before they capture them on paper. During the residency, John engaged students with some of his best strategies for using spoken word to energize their writing. Strategies learned and developed from 35 years of experience as a performing and teaching artist.

As we are now at the conclusion of the residency, the students had the opportunity today to share their creations with classmates, families, and friends at a young authors' celebration held here at the Center School.

Written by: Mrs. Ruggles and Mrs. Smith

On behalf of the school, I would like to thank Mrs. Ruggles, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Porcino, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for providing this amazing experience for our students!!!!!

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If your child is absent/tardy or being dismissed

Please remember to call the school no later than 8:30 a.m. if your child will be absent or tardy; as all children must be accounted for.

If your child is being dismissed, for any reason, please inform the school no later 8:30 a.m. so the teacher can have your child ready for pick-up.

If your child will be a pick-up, please send in a note in the morning or call no later than 1:45 p.m. This will alleviate any angst or confusion for your child.

PCS Peace Posters

Our students once again participated in the annual Petersham Lions Club Peace Poster Contest. Mrs. Regan, PCS Speech Pathologist and Lions Club member, had the pleasure of recognizing our students who placed during the last PCS Student Assembly. What talented artists we have! Congratulations to all!

Counselor News

Along with academic learning in our school there is a growing need for more social emotional learning to occur. In the world that we live it is important to be ready for the curve balls life will throw at us and to have a better understanding of ourselves and others. It is important that students develop self-awareness, so they know how they feel and will handle daily events as well as how others around them may handle things as well.

Currently at PCS students are getting bi-weekly lessons that help focus on their emotional learning. By using the Second Step curriculum along with other various teaching tools and activities students are starting to hear more about things like; feeling identification, empathy, the Golden Rule, respect, compassion and accepting differences. As the year progresses, we will be exploring emotion management and how to deal with strong emotions and how to work through problems together in a respectful way. All lessons are geared to each individual age group and create opportunities for discussions and practice.

Ask your child about various topics and see where your discussions take you. Help to reinforce these topics at home as you deal with family matters, perhaps with siblings or on the sports field and extra-curricular activities. As I tell the students if we can master the Golden Rule and be more empathic beings, life is a much better thing.

If anyone should have any questions about this curriculum or the topics being taught, please feel free to reach out to me at 978-724-3363 ext. 106.


Nicole Costello, PCS School Counselor

PCS Winter Program

On Thursday, December 20, Mrs. Hanna directed our incredible PCS Winter Program. It was quite a beautiful celebration! All grades performed in front of a very large audience. Thanks to everyone that came.

We would like to thank Mrs. Hanna for all the work she put into this special experience for our students. Also, Mrs. Haynes was kind enough to accompany students as they sang some songs.

Perfect Attendance for December

Container Request from Mrs. Thompson

Hi families! It's Mrs. Thompson looking for containers to re-purpose in the classroom. This year I am looking for donations of empty French's crispy onions containers. They are oval in shape and made of plastic now. Since green bean casserole is popular this time of year, it's a good time to ask folks to save them. They are the perfect size for our math game cards and super durable. I need about 20 of them, however if I get more, that's ok. I'll save them for when the original sets break. Everyone came through last year with frosting containers. Thank you very much! Just send any donations in with students and I'll collect them in our Kindergarten classroom. Thank you again!! ~Mrs. Thompson


Just a reminder that PCS will not hold school on Monday, January 21st. Martin Luther King, Jr. day will be observed.

Holiday Bazaar

Many thanks to our PTG for arranging, and working at, the PCS Holiday Bazaar. Students were able to find just the right gifts for family and friends.

PCS School Committee meeting

The next PCS School Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 8th at 6:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Flurry Folder School Committee approval

On September 11th, the first PCS School Committee was held. The Committee voted to approve up to seven Flurry Folders for 2018-2019. (Note that this is the same amount as Orange and Mahar.) These days are at the discretion of the Superintendent.

Winter Whole School Read

On December 21st, we carried on our tradition of coming together as a school to listen to a book that I read. Students and staff enjoyed the touching book while they were comfy in the pajamas!
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Playground Fundraisers - Family Fun Nights at PCS

Come and have some fun and support the playground at the same time!

At tonight's event, they raised over $140! Check out the fun they had!!!

Thanks to both Tina Leslie and Jennifer Storke for running these fun events!

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"Pie in the Face" Playground Fundraiser

Not only do we continue to raise money for the playgrounds, but we have fun doing it!!!!

I would like to thank both Jennifer Storke and Tina Leslie, both PCS parents, for coming up with this unique idea. Students were able to "vote" with money for the person that they wanted a pie thrown in their face - I became the lucky one!!!

Mrs. Regan had the pleasure of throwing a pie in my face in front of the whole school and the students had a ball watching this at our last PCS Student Assembly.

Anything for the students I say!!!

PCS Geo Bee

The final round of the PCS Geo Bee will be held on Friday, January 18th at 1:30 p.m. in the gym. All are invited to attend.

Breakfast & Snack Options

Mrs. Wallace makes sure that our students have a healthy and full breakfast (see example of offerings below).

She also provided snacks which range in price $0.25 - $0.50. All are FDA approved.

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Post Office trip

Our third graders are seen here on their way to the Petersham Post Office to mail letters that they each wrote. They were so proud of all their hard work!

Recess equipment needed for 5th & 6th grade

We are looking for the following donations to make our 5th & 6th graders recess more enjoyable. If you should have any of the following items, and you would like to donate them for our students, please bring them to the office.

Any item will be much appreciated by all! Thanking you in advance!


-sidewalk chalk


-board games (like new)

Jenga style games needed

If you have any Jenga style games that you would like to donate to Mrs. Koetsch, it would be much appreciated! You are more than welcome to drop them off in the office.
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Petersham Center School Calendar

-Monday, January 7th: 8:15 a.m. - PCS Chorus

-Tuesday, January 8th: 8:00 a.m. - PCS Band

-Tuesday, January 8th: 6:00 p.m. - PCS School Committee meeting

-Wednesday, January 9th: Fidelity Banking for students and staff

-Monday, January 14th: 8:15 a.m. - PCS Chorus

-Tuesday, January 15th: 8:00 a.m. - PCS Band

-Wednesday, January 16th: Fidelity Banking for students and staff

-Friday, January 18th: PCS Community Newsletter published'

-Friday, January 18th: 1:30 p.m. - PCS Geo Bee in gym


Petersham Center School

31 Spring Street

Petersham, Massachusetts 01366