The Penguin Post

Benjamin Phelps School - March 2022 Newsletter

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Wildlife on Wheels!

On March 10, students in Kindergarten and 1st grade we treated to a special assembly: Wildlife on Wheels.

Wildlife on Wheels is an educational outreach program from the Forest Park Zoo that brings animal ambassadors to schools, daycares, hospitals, retirement centers, camps and other locations. Students learned information about the animals, including their special adaptations, habitats, behaviors, diets and status in the wild.

Thank you to our wonderful PTO for sponsoring this event!

Staff Crystal Apple Award for February

The staff Crystal Apple Award winner for February was our custodian Mr. Vic!

Mr. Vic was nominated because his value in this school goes well beyond the care that he takes in keeping this building immaculate and running smoothly. Mr. Vic goes above and beyond in being an integral member of our Phelps Community by making an effort to build relationships with the students here, and paying special attention to students who truly need it most. We are so lucky to have him be a part of our "family."

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District-Wide Title I Night

On Wednesday, March 9 students and families were invited to our district-wide Title I night. Our Title I staff including interventionists and Reading Recovery teachers created math and literacy games for students to enjoy with their families. It was great to see so many people and we look forward to next year's event!

Student Report Cards

It is hard to believe, but the second trimester of school is complete! There are only 60 days of school left in the 2021-2022 school year!

2nd trimester report cards will be going home in backpacks next Friday, March 25.

One School, One Book

Starting this week, Phelps embarked on a special project, an all school book club called One School, One Book. On Monday, every student received a copy of the same book -Mysteries According to Humphrey, by Betty G. Birney. A reading schedule went home with students. Audio recordings of each chapter are uploaded daily. You can find the recordings to read at home with your child at

A Note from our P.E. Teacher

Phelps School is the best! I'm so grateful for your support of Kids Heart Challenge (KHC) and the American Heart Association’s life-saving mission.

In my 11 years of participation, the Phelps community has raised $4,016.88

You’ve supported me, my team, our school, and our communities. THANK YOU!

Your gift will help support the American Heart Association’s work to:

  • Advocate for more physical education for kids
  • Push for healthier school meals
  • Train people to perform life-saving CPR
  • Fund critically-needed research
  • Ensure high-quality healthcare is available to everyone

KHC is an amazing program, and I’m honored to be part of it. Thank you for being part of it too.

With Heart,

Mr. Kimball

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National School Breakfast Week

On March 7-11, Phelps celebrated National School Breakfast Week with celebrity appearances from various Phelps staff who served students each morning.

National School Breakfast Week celebrates the importance of a nutritious school breakfast in fueling students for success. This year’s theme, “Take Off with School Breakfast,” reminds parents and stakeholders that a healthy school breakfast helps ensure students’ academic success in school so they can “take off” and reach their goals.

Studies show that children who eat school breakfast are more likely to:

  • Reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math
  • Score higher on standardized tests
  • Have better concentration and memory
  • Be more alert and maintain a healthy weight

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MCAS testing is right around the corner. Students in grades three and four are required to take this state test in the areas of English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. All students will be taking a computer based test. For additional information, please see the link to the Parent’s Guide to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment (MCAS).

Testing Schedule:

ELA Session 1: April 5, 2022

ELA Session 2: April 6, 2022

Math Session 1: May 17, 2022

Math Session 2: May 18, 2022

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2022-2023 Kindergarten Updates

On March 8 and 9 we welcomed incoming Kindergarten students for their screenings. As a reminder - children who attend the ECC will have their screenings completed with their current teacher.

If you did not have all of the necessary paperwork to enroll your child in Agawam schools, please make sure to bring any missing documents to Phelps by Thursday, April 14. After that time, all documents will need to go to the office of central enrollment at Agawam High School. If you have any enrollment questions, please reach out to Mrs. DiLullo at If you have questions questions for our school nurse, she can be reached at

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Spring Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent conferences will be scheduled on Wednesday, April 13. This will be a half day of school for students. Classroom teachers will be sending out information soon on how to sign up.

Parent Input Form

If you would like to give input regarding your child’s classroom placement for next year, a form is going in backpacks today for you to complete and return to the school office by April 14, 2022. The information that you provide will assist teachers and the principal in determining classroom placement for the 2022-2023 school year. Please realize that we are not soliciting requests for specific teachers.

Upcoming PBIS Day

April Foolish Friday

On Friday, April 1 we will celebrate April Foolish Friday! Students are encouraged to dress as whacky as possible...mismatched, crazy hair, backwards, inside out, twinning - so many possibilities! We can't wait to see the creativity!

From the PTO

BINGO For Books!

Come join us for BINGO for Books on Friday, March 25th at 5:30pm in the Phelps Cafeteria!

Get a BINGO and win a book! All Phelps families and sibling are invited. Please bring your coins to use as BINGO markers. PTO will be providing popcorn, water and juice for all!

Flyers went home, so please return the RSVP form to school to give the PTO time to prepare.

The PTO is collecting new and gently used books between March 21 and March 24. There is a bin outside the main office for donations - or you can bring them with you to the event.

  1. Thank you to all of our AMAZING VOLUNTEERS who helped make the Scholastic Book Fair run smoothly. Phelps couldn’t have done it without you!

  2. Be on the lookout for our Agawam Apparel Fundraiser!

  3. Teacher’s Appreciation Week and Field Day are coming up soon. If you would like to be a volunteer, please get your CORI checks done now!

  4. Next PTO Meeting is April 12th @ 6:00 in the Phelps Cafeteria.

If you have any questions or want to get involved, please reach out to Krista Comee at

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Thank you for reading!

Mr. Villamaino & Mrs. Ludkiewicz