Pleasant Street School News

building a community of learners that strive for excellence

School Spirit Day at Pleasant Street in honor of Superbowl Weekend!

Sometimes it is nice to have an excuse to have fun! Children were invited to participate in a school spirit day on Friday, January 30th where they were encouraged to wear red, white, blue, Patriots, Seattle, or their favorite sport team. Principal Ellis couldn't resist snapping some pictures and making a short video for our students, families, and school community to enjoy!

Click here to watch this short video:

Plan to Attend a Luau-Themed Cake Dance!

When: Friday Feb. 6th

Where: Athol Town Hall (so we can accommodate a big, dancing crowd!)

Time of Event: 6:00-7:30 pm

What do I need to know: for admission –you will need to bring a wrapped or purchased baked good with all ingredients listed (We need to be allergy safe!) Please and thank you!

Cost: 25 cents per cake dance- all participants leave with a baked good!

Sponsored by the Pleasant Street School Parent/Teacher Organization

Proceeds from this event will benefit the music program at Pleasant Street School.

Kindergarten Accreditation-ARRSD reaches a high standard that few have achieved!

Please note- this article is excerpted from a press release and Celebrate Schools Athol/Orange Facebook posting by Mitchell Grosky, school committee member.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the ARRSD elementary schools went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. The program received NAEYC Accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards. The Standards are as follows: Relationships, Curriculum, Teaching, Assessment of Child Progress, Health, Teachers, Families, Community Relationships, Physical Environment, and Leadership and Management. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.

In the 25 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. Nearly 7,000 early-childhood programs (nation-wide) are currently accredited by NAEYC, yet this number represents only about 8% of all early childhood programs. Consequently, the Athol-Royalston kindergarten programs are in some very distinguished company, as there are many programs across the Commonwealth that have not yet earned this accreditation.

“It’s a lengthy and rigorous process to achieve NAEYC Accreditation . . . “said Rhian Evans Allvin, executive director of NAEYC. “Caring for children is not ‘rocket science’ – it’s brain science. Studies prove that the brain connections made in the first few years of life set a child’s path for success in school and in life. That’s why quality educators are so crucial." Ms. Allvin went on to remark that, "For parents and caregivers of young children who are searching for a high-quality early learning experience," . . . " NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that (a kindergarten program) offers a high-quality education in a nurturing and stimulating environment.”

Back Row (Left to Right): Maria Vitello (Paraprofessional as Pleasant Street School), Darlene Goldthwaite (Kindergarten Teacher at Pleasant St. School), Brenda Hopkins (Paraprofessional at Royalston Community School), Jessica Willhite (Kindergarten Teacher at Royalston Community School)

Front Row (Left to Right): Janeth Williams (Principal of Sanders St. School and Riverbend), Dr. Elizabeth Ervin (ARRSD Director of Educational Services), Dianne Ellis (Principal of Pleasant St. School), and Molly Superchi (Principal of Royalston Community School)

Also honored but not present and not in this photo: Kurt Anderson (Sanders St. School Kindergarten Teacher), Vicki Maillet (Sanders St. School Kindergarten Teacher), Cheryl Parker (Sanders Street School Paraprofessional), Sheila Webb (Pleasant Street School Kindergarten Teacher), and Tracy Johnson (Former Sanders Street School Kindergarten Teacher, now Teacher at ARMS)

For more information on the National Association of Education for Young Children or the accreditation process, please visit

Note: Information for this article was obtained from the NAEYC website, and also from a posted Brockton, MA article about the NAEYC accreditation process.

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The Importance of Family Reading....Just 20 Minutes a Day Changes Lives

Thanks again to all of the families who participated in our recent Family Reading Night. We cannot underscore the importance of daily reading with your child or children. No matter how busy- we can each find 20 minutes in a day! For younger children (toddler and early preschool) it promotes their language development and academic readiness skills as they begin to recognize symbols, letters, numbers, shapes, and more. It also builds relationship and places value on quality family time away from television, computer or phone screens, and other distractions. For early elementary children, kindergarten to grade 3, it significantly promotes their development as a reader and increases the likelihood your child will become a proficient reader.

For more information on family reading and children's literacy including fun literacy based activities you can do with your child please click on the links below.

February is Black History Month

As January comes to an end we wanted to take a moment to encourage families to recognize and to celebrate with us the many contributions of African Americans, past and present, in our great nation. We have included some websites and resources linked below to explore and to share with your children. The Reading Rockets site, in particular, has recommended children's books, family activities, interviews, writing prompts, and more. This is a wonderful way to spend family time and to enhance your child or children's background knowledge of our larger community and world.

School Improvement Council

Our School Improvement Council met on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

Our agenda for this meeting included:

1) Introductions and a review of the role of the School Improvement Council

2) Turnaround Plan priorities for Pleasant Street and district elementary schools

3) A review of the proposed school budget

4) Challenges

5) Celebrations

While faculty representation was great, we need parent/guardians and community representatives to be involved on our school improvement council. For more information on the very important role of school improvement councils please click on the link below from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Our next school improvement council meeting will be scheduled in February- Please look for a posting.

Community Events & Postings

Do you have news to share or want to inform members of our school community about family friendly events in our area? If, so please email or forward a flyer or link.

Thank you :)

Winter and Spring 2015- Happenings at Valuing our Children- click on the link below to see what is being offered at this wonderful family resource center.

For other local events, happenings, and resources in this area... you can also check the North Quabbin Community Coalition website below:

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates

  • Feb. 2, Parent/Teacher Organization meeting, 6:00-7:00 pm, all are welcome
  • Feb. 4, District half day, noon dismissal, lunch will be served
  • Feb. 6, PTO cake dance, 6:00-7:30 pm, you do not want to miss this!
  • Feb. 12th- projected 100th day of school- look for 100 day classroom recognitions!
  • Feb. 16-Feb. 20, winter recess- no school
  • Feb. 23, school resumes, welcome back!

News from Principal Ellis

Building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Check back soon for more news!