Smith Intermediate School

Newsletter, December 2022

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Upcoming Events:

  • Friday, Dec. 9 - Elementary Report Cards
  • Wednesday, Dec. 21 - Smith Winter Concert at CHS
  • Monday, Dec. 26-Monday, Jan. 2 - December Recess
  • Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 3


Principal's Message

Dear Families:

As you ponder your holiday gift list this season, consider the gift of time. Time spent with your children will create memories and learning opportunities that will last long after the novelty of this year's must-have toy or gadget fades. Playing outside, taking a walk, baking, creating art, preparing dinner, reading together or playing a board game are simple low-cost examples of how we can spend time with our children without spending money. Our children need to know the valuable gift of time well-spent with those we love.

Likewise, time spent participating in learning is time well spent. Please reinforce with your child the importance of good attendance and active participation in learning. This will serve them well into their future. Best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season.

Angela Wanish


News from the Nurse


All 3rd graders and any 4th graders new to this school district are required to have a well-child/health exam on file. If your child has had one this year, fax a copy to the school. If your child needs one, make an appointment with your provider or request a school physical. School physicals are available Wednesday mornings.


  • If your child is sick, please keep your child home!

  • Pack a pair of pants for accidents, spills, mud/snow.

  • Return pants or leggings borrowed from the nurse.

  • 3rd grade Hearing & Vision screenings have been completed & referrals have been sent home.

  • Dress for the winter weather and outdoor recess!


School Emergency Closing Info

The winter season is upon us and it is time to think about possible closures and delays due to weather conditions. Our district’s automated calling system will notify families if school is closed or delayed. Please be certain that your phone number is current in our database.

Local news stations will continue to provide weather updates. Stations that carry information about Cortland Schools include: WSYR-9, WTVH-5, WSTM-3, News 10 Now, WBNG, WXHC/101.5, WIII/I-100, AND WNTQ/93Q. We also maintain the latest information on our District website:

In the event of a 2-hour delay, please be advised of the following information:

  • Our school building opens to students at 10:00 a.m. Students should not arrive prior to that time as supervision is not available.

  • Morning bus routes run on a two-hour delay. If the bus typically arrives at your stop at 7:45 a.m., it will arrive at 9:45 a.m.

  • The YWCA Morning Childcare Program also runs on a two-hour delay. Students who regularly participate in this program may be dropped off at 8:30 a.m.

How would a 2-hour delay or a closing affect your family? Please be sure that you have a plan in place. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


News From the Art Studio

3rd graders are learning about the different elements of art, with a focus on LINE. We brainstormed as a class noticing that LINES ARE EVERYWHERE, and then they worked on “skillbuilding” independently creating at least 20 various lines in their sketchbooks. Next they are creating a design or picture of their choice incorporating those lines, also showing negative space and use of space, under and over, patterns, using the edges of their paper, dark and light; taking their time to create incredible quality artwork with depth, great skill and craftsmanship! We’re tracing over the pencil marks with black Sharpie and/or Micron pens - they’re learning about using different tools for certain needs (thin vs. thick), some are adding color. We are in the process, as there are lots of opportunities to take it to the next level! Please see below some examples of their work in progress. (It was so difficult to choose, as they’re so many thoughtful pieces!) Their work is so impressive, they never thought they could produce work like this! WOW!

4th graders are “skillbuilding” with paint sticks in their sketchbooks, learning many different techniques artists use in their work: mixing colors, shades, tints, layering, scumbling, stippling, and overlap with lines, and then were asked to experiment and make discoveries of their own. Now they are creating an artwork of their choice using some of the techniques learned relating it to textures around us. They can use various drawing tools in their work like: black Sharpies, Micron pens, colored pencils, thick and thin markers, pencils, crayons…whatever they feel suits the need in their work. We’ve learned that paint sticks aren’t the best for detail. The students are creating incredible personal artworks with depth, texture and dimension, please see some of the examples below.


Physical Education

PE classes worked hard on improving their cardiovascular endurance with some different running activities including tag games and the PACER test. We’re starting our basketball unit to work on their hand/eye coordination. Students will practice dribbling, passing, and shooting in various activities throughout the month.


Music News

Fourth graders have been learning about reading music and the many symbols that they see in their music in band, orchestra, chorus and music class. Third graders have been learning about the major scale, how to sing it, and how it is used in music. All of our students have also been playing xylophones during their music classes. We talked a lot in the beginning about how to take care of them and the good habits we can use to get the best sound from them. Fourth graders are working on some xylophone parts that you will hear in their concert, and third graders learned their first song, called “Up the Creaky Stairs.”

All of our performing ensembles are working on music and preparing for our Winter Concert, which is on Wednesday, December 21st in the Cortland High School Auditorium. If your child has been practicing regularly with the Third Grade Chorus, Fourth Grade Chorus, Music Maniacs, Band, or Orchestra, they will be involved in the concert. More detailed information will be coming your way shortly after Thanksgiving Break.


Updates from Mrs. Hegedus!

In 3rd grade we have been discussing our goals that we have in school and out of school. The 3rd graders worked on making an academic goal for themselves that they wanted to work on this school year. They also looked at what steps they can take to achieve their goals and who they can go to for help. The kids made wonderful goals and came up with some great strategies to help them achieve them.

In 4th grade as a class we reflected on their classroom goal. We looked at what worked well, what did not work as well, and what we can do next time. The kids did a great job reflecting!!!


Student Council News

Smith School Student Council was busy in the month of November! We had a spirit week the week before Thanksgiving. Monday was stuffed animal day, Tuesday was teacher-student swap day, and Wednesday was sports day. We also had a canned food drive to support local food pantries. We collected 112 food items!

Our next event is to collect new books for the Family Reading Partnership of Cortland County. Please consider donating a book by December 8th.

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Library News

4th grade students explore the library as they learn about navigating through the shelves and using call numbers to find books in the fiction and nonfiction sections. We also took the time to visit Sora, an Ebook library that students can use on their computers.

3rd grade is learning about the library itself, going to all the different sections of the library and noting where they are on our library map!

Our TEAM times are filled with students that are eager to learn, our 4th graders take their multiplication and division skills and use them to code a game which can test their skills.

3rd grade is learning more about our nonfiction books, including how to find information from them and share what they learn with their classmates using complete sentences!


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