The Bobcat Bulletin

A Newsletter from Founders Memorial School

October 11, 2019

Big picture

The Principal's Office

Kindness and Empathy at Founders!

Sam Drazin, former Vermont educator and motivational speaker, visited Founders for the day on Friday, October 11th. Sam is a former elementary educator and the Founder/Executive Director of Changing Perspectives, a national non profit organization which provides disability awareness programs in schools. Sam consults with schools around inclusion and positive climate and culture. He speaks to audiences throughout Vermont and beyond about the importance of changing how we perceive students with disabilities and the value everyone has in our world.

Sam spoke to students and staff about his life, growing up with Treacher Collins Syndrome, and the difficulties he experienced in school. You may be familiar with the best selling book, Wonder by RJ Polacio, whose main character, Auggie, is growing up with Treacher Collins Syndrome. If you have not yet read the book, it is an amazing family book read, with a powerful message and lesson.

Sam is helping us to continue to bring a message of kindness and empathy to our students at Founders. We have a student group who will be working on developing ideas for sharing the work we did with Sam today. I encourage you to engage your children in a conversation about their learning today and discuss with them the importance of being kind, showing empathy, and including others. Have a wonderful weekend!

Educationally Yours,

Wendy Cobb

FMS Principal

Important Dates to Remember

October 11 - Sam Drazin full day visit

October 16 - Strut your Stuff Spirit Day

October 17 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

October 18 - No School - enjoy a day off!

October 22 - Picture Retake Day - 8:30 to 10:30 am

FMS News

Class Photos Retake

All classroom photos will be retaken due to the number of staff who were absent during picture day. Once the pictures are sent to the school, they will be distributed to the classes. If you ordered a class photo, it will be sent home with your child.

Class Visit to Mount Philo State Park ~ September 25th

Students in Erik Acanfora and Nicole Walsh's fifth grade classes recently hiked up Mount Philo in Charlotte. After the hike, they enjoyed a barbecue lunch at the summit, thanks to the help of parent chaperones. In small groups, students completed a team building challenge, designing the tallest shoe tower possible. It was an incredible day!

Essex's Finest come to visit Mrs. Bacon and Mrs. Kitchen's 3rd grade classes

Rain washed out the annual walk to the Essex Fire Station, so the Firemen decided to visit us instead!
Big picture
Essex Town Fire Department Open House 2019

Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Join us at the Essex Fire Department Station at 190 Sandhill Rd, Essex, VT.

Strut Your Stuff Day!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, we are having a special spirit day at Founders. We are inviting all students and staff to wear something that shows what they like to do outside of school. We are calling this day “Strut Your Stuff Day.” Students are invited to wear clothing items that show their outside interests. Students were shown some faculty “samples” at our school-wide morning meeting on October 4.

Here are some guidelines for items that may be in question:

  • Students may wear/bring: hats, helmets, leotards, sports padding, books, signs, goggles, art supplies.

  • Please leave items at home such as: skates, cleats, electronics, fishing poles, hunting equipment, gaming devices, baseball bats and hockey sticks, etc.

Please think reasonably about what your child will wear on October 16 – we are looking forward to seeing everyone strut their stuff!

News from our Staff

Amazing Response for the FMS Dental Clinic

Thanks to all of the parents who filled out forms for the Dental Clinic sponsored by FMS through the Vermont Technical College Dental Hygiene Program. Due to the overwhelming number of responses we have a waiting list! For those who will be seen at our clinic, appointment cards were mailed this week. If you did not receive an appointment card, your child is on our waiting list. The clinics begin October 23rd and run through April 1st.

News from the FMS Library

Between choosing books for book clubs, learning about Sora, exploring new sections of the library and more, the library has been buzzing with activity! Third graders have learned about the E for Everyone section as well as the Folk and Fairy Tale section. They have explored each section and listened to read-alouds of What is Inside THIS Box? by Drew Daywalt and How Chipmunk Got His Stripes by Joseph Bruchac. Fourth and fifth graders have learned about the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, a Vermont kids' choice book award for students in grades 4-8. Students have been encouraged to read, listen and keep track of their books this year. All resources can be located in the visual search option of our Destiny library catalog.

On Monday, September 30th, Mrs. Cole (reading interventionist) and Mrs. Jablonski (librarian) announced the winners of the Summer Reading BINGO raffle. Students were thrilled to collect their prizes, and their chance of winning was earned by completing a variety of reading experiences throughout the summer. Stay tuned for information shared next spring for the Summer 2020 program!

We are excited to announce the first Schoolwide Read-In of the year will be taking place on Friday, October 25th, from 8:30-9:00 am. We will have 7 schoolwide read-ins this year. The entire school community gathers in the hallways and shares 30 minutes of silent reading time. It is a magical time in our school. Don't forget to bring a great book to read on the 25th!

Tech and Your Kids

Is your child asking to join TikTok or does your child already have an account on TikTok?

Social Media sites, like TikTok, are created for children over the age of 13 due to the COPPA law, that states no website is allowed to collect information from children under the age of 13.

Knowing how popular TikTok is with younger children, the developer created a separate section of the app, for kids under the age of 13. This only allows children to access clean videos/music and it does not allow them to comment, search, or post their own videos. For more information about TikTok and how to make it safe for your child, check out this article on the button below!

Parents' Ultimate Guide to TikTok

Is TikTok safe? How does it work? And can I do a duet with my kid? Everything you need to know about this popular musical singing and sharing app.

Nuts and Bolts

FMS Early Release Tuesdays

FMS releases students at 2:00 PM EVERY TUESDAY! Make sure your student knows the plan for the end of the day!

Reminder... Absences and Tardies

  • ABSENCES/Tardies:

    • The front office NEEDS to know if your student will be absent or tardy for attendance! If you do not let us know your student is out, please expect a call from the front office to ask you about your child. In order to avoid a call, please do one of the following:

      • Call: The office number is 802-879-6326 -please leave a message

      • Email: and

      • Online Report an Absence form: Go to, go to Schools, select Founders, you will see a Clipboard on the right hand side. Click on it and it will take you to an easy online form to report an absence that goes straight to the front office.

Afternoon Dismissal - Please make sure you are contacting us prior to 2PM or 1PM on Tuesdays!

  • Afternoon Dismissal:

    • If your student has an EARLY DISMISSAL and you need to pick him/her up early (before 3pm or 2pm on Tuesday) we need a note, a phone call, or an email PRIOR TO 2:00 PM and please plan on arriving before 2:40 pm (1:40 pm on Tuesdays). You must go to the office and we will call to have your child dismissed to meet you in the lobby. Please, plan in advance.

    • If your student has an End of Day Dismissal - Parents arriving after 2:40 PM (1:40 PM on Tuesdays) should sign their children out in the cafeteria and wait for general dismissal at 3:00 PM (2:00 PM on Tuesdays)


Here's the low down on how to Volunteer your time and Help at FMS. Please follow the steps outlined on this page!

From the Nurse's office...

Please see our nurse page for important information regarding the health of your child!

Essex Town Odyssey of the Mind: Registration Form

Odyssey of the Mind is an international STEAM based program that focuses on creative problem solving. Teams of 5-7 students work together to creatively solve a long term problem and to practice spontaneous problem solving.

Transportation Updates

Big picture

Community Resources

Founders Memorial School

Here are the many ways you can stay in touch!