Murphy Mustangs

News and events for the month of December.


Hello everyone and welcome to December! This is quite frankly one of the most odd Decembers that I can remember.... I can't remember the last time we found the temperatures above 40, without snow, and snow pant free during recess. That sentence leads to another reminder, although we are, as I write this, snow free.... please continue to send your child with all their winter gear. Snow pants included. There may be no snow at the moment but it will come and temperatures are still cold enough that for a half hour outside kids should be wearing their gear. If your child needs any items please let your child's teacher or the office know and we will do our best to locate items. Along with the stores some places worth checking for winter clothing:
  • Goodwill
  • Zion Lutheran Church (326.8553)
  • United Methodist Church (327.2216)

December is always an exciting month, a lot going on and more time spent with family and friends. As you'll see on the last page of this newsletter the winter break (no school) will be from 12/21/12 through 1/1/13. We will be back in session on Wednesday, January 2nd.

Take a few minutes to look through our newsletter, we hope that you have a GREAT December!


Sean Martinson

Dad to Three Amazing Kids
Principal - Murphy Elementary School

School: 218.327.5880

Cell: 218.209.2573

Accelerated Reader

As of today our school has read 14,581,845 AR words and 3,497 AR books (1st through 4th grade).

Some more AR facts, Murphy students:
  • have read the most books by an elementary school in the 318 district.
  • are in 2nd place for total words read.

Our top readers for word count and points are:

  • Joseph L. with 1,747,913 words read and 257 points.
  • Ryan L. with 880,781 words read and 136.5 points.

AR Book Finder

AR Home Connect:
  • AR Home Connect is a tool related to Accelerated Reader. You can use the same login your child uses to take an AR Quiz.

Mileage Club

The mileage club has been an amazing success at Murphy! As of our last check-in (11/30/12) our students in 3rd and 4th grade have walked or run over 550 miles during recess!!!

Our top mileage club runners are:
Dane and Ben from Mrs. Peart's, and Erik K. and Jaide from Mrs. Tulla's

Volunteering at Murphy

Murphy Elementary School recognizes that educational excellence can only be achieved by using all of the resources in our community. We support the use of volunteers in the schools as a method by which teachers and students may receive additional assistance. In order to volunteer please complete and return a volunteer application and forms to our school office. If you would like to volunteer for a one-time only event— you do not need to fill out this application. We encourage parents/guardians and other members of the community to share their time, knowledge and abilities with our students. Caring members of our community bring new energies and resources into our schools.

More Information including Volunteer Handbook:

Pirates! The Musical

Murphy Elementary 3rd and 4th Grade Presents:

Pirates! The Musical

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1:00 pm at the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center

The music classes have been working hard and cannot wait to share their program with you!

Volunteers Needed

Over the next couple weeks we could use a hand as we continue to catalog our school library. All of the books have been entered into our database and we are now applying new scanable labels to each title (6,000 books!!).

We could use help at the following times:

M T Th F: 8:00-9:20, 11:00-12:15 and 2:30-3:30
Wednesdays: 8:00-9:20,10:45-11:45 and 1:30-3:30

If you are interested please contact Mr. Martinson in the main office or at 327.5880 or through email at

It’s time for Murphy’s Annual Holiday Sale

Students will have the opportunity to purchase gifts for their family and friends on either Friday, 12/14, or Monday, 12/17. Each classroom will go shopping during the students media time. Each student will be able to purchase approximately three items. Students should bring $2.00 to $5.00 in zip loc sandwich bag with their name and teachers name on it. Items will cost $0.25 to $2.00.

We are also asking each student to donate 15 similar craft or store bought items with a $.50 to $2.00 value. This allows a similar assortment for each classroom. Items for dads, grandpas or brothers are always needed. We are looking forward to offering a variety of gifts. Bring your items to Murphy School no later than Thursday, December 13.

Volunteers are needed to help with setting up, guiding little shoppers or helping them wrap their gifts. If you are interested, please see the times listed on the form below. Please return the volunteer form to Murphy School by Friday, December 7, or you may call Kristi Sackett at 259-2201 to sign up for a time or ask any questions. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are welcome to volunteer. This is a fun way to help out Murphy School. Hope you will join us.

This year we are trying Murphy Medallions. Students that have earned them may redeem them at the Holiday Sale. The Murphy Medallions will be worth $1.00. Students will not get cash back if the $1.00 value isn’t spent.

If you are able to sponsor another child who isn’t able to bring in money, a donation would be appreciated. Please place your donation in an envelope labeled PTC Holiday Sale donation. If anyone would like bring additional items, please feel free to do so. We will do our best to make sure every student gets to bring home gifts.

More Information including the original flyer:

Veterans' Day 2012

Veterans' Day 2012

Attendance Info

Attendance Facts Sheet

Please call the school each day if your child is going to be absent: 327.5880

If you reach the school’s voice mail, please leave a message indicating the reason for your child’s absence and symptoms if the absence is due to illness. If your child has a diagnosed contagious illness such as strep, whooping cough or fifths disease please leave in the message as well.

Call the office before 9am to ensure your child’s absence is marked appropriately in the school system. This also lets the office know that this is an expected absence and not some other issue.

If your child is tardy, please walk them into the school and sign them in to the office.

To see ISD #318’s illness guidelines (to determine when to keep your child home from school) please visit the website: or call the District Nurse, Angela Elhard at 218-327-5760 ext. 41423.

When going on vacation, please speak with the school Principal and your child’s teacher to see if it may conflict with any important testing or other school activities.

Excused Absences: Death in the family, religious holiday, serious illness, etc.

Unexcused Absences: Babysitting, missing the bus, didn’t feel like coming to school, etc.

***The final decision about whether an absence is excused or not is up to the School Principal and HRO***

Tardy Info

Another quick note to clarify attendance policies for Murphy Elementary:

Please note: the start time for Murphy Elementary is 8:30am.

In order to not be counted as “tardy unexcused,” your student will need to be in their classroom and seated at their desk by 8:30 and ready to learn.

If your child is tardy, please make sure to walk them into the school and sign them in. This, however, does not mean their tardy will be marked as “excused.” It simply means that the school is able to better track your child and their attendance. We are required to track attendance.

Excused tardies include: medical appointments
Unexcused tardies: car problems, missing the bus, sleeping in, running behind, tired, etc.

Thank you!

A Big Mustang THANK YOU!


At the risk of forgetting someone.... we would like to say thank you to the following for their help with different projects at Murphy Elementary School!

Book Fair
  • Sheri Schmoll, Lisa Tabbert, Rachel Selmser


  • Debbie Hill, Lisa Tabbert, Donna Hill, Eric Trast, Krista Skyles, Kathy Bunes, Joann Olson, Nancy Schlader, Sonja Hanson, Jessica Karnes, Trisha Zimmerman

Veteran's Day

  • Dick Sackett, Conley Janssen

PTC & Families

Thank you to our Murphy families for past fundraising and the Murphy PTC for helping purchase the following in the past month:

  • AR Reading Book and Trophy Tokens, Raz Kids, Tumblebooks.


Murphy Sites

AR Home Connect
Murphy Elementary School

Murphy's Sound Cloud (audio recordings)

Murphy's Twitter Feed

Principal's Pad


Upcoming Events

Music Program "Pirates! the Musical" (3rd and 4th)

Tuesday, Dec. 11th 2012 at 1-2pm

720 Northwest Conifer Drive

Grand Rapids, MN

The music classes have been working hard and cannot wait to share their program with you!

Safe Routes to School Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 13th 2012 at 3:30-4:30pm

822 Northeast 5th Avenue

Grand Rapids, MN

Learn about the results of the Parent Survey and Key Safety Concerns and Barriers. Brainstorm ideas and strategies for the Middle School and Murphy’s SRTS Program! Want to know more? Contact: Your School’s Principal or Ellen Pillsbury, ARDC 218-529-7554 or

Winter Break (NO SCHOOL)

Friday, Dec. 21st 2012 at 8:30am

822 Northeast 5th Avenue

Grand Rapids, MN

No school starting Friday, December 21st through Tuesday, January 1st.

School IS BACK IN Session

Wednesday, Jan. 2nd, 8:30am-2:15pm

822 Northeast 5th Avenue

Grand Rapids, MN

About Us

The Mission of Murphy Elementary is to ensure that all students acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to realize their potential and become productive and responsible citizens of a changing world.


Last month's newsletter was viewed online over 300 times and as you can imagine, printing 400 copies quickly becomes expensive. We will continue to email a link home, post this online at FaceBook, Twitter, our School Website, and the Principal's Pad, however we will no longer send home a print form unless you make a request.

If you would like a print copy of the monthly newsletter, complete the form below to make a request. Return this to the Office or your child's teacher.

I would like to continue to receive a print copy of the Murphy School Newsletter.


Your Name ~ Child's Name ~ Teacher