The Belle Ringer

Belle River Elementary School Newsletter, May 2017

Important Dates

Tuesday, May 2
  • Fourth Grade M-STEP: ELA CAT

Wednesday, May 3

  • Popcorn Day
  • Fourth Grade M-STEP: Math CAT

Thursday, May 4

  • Fourth Grade M-STEP: Science
  • Teacher Appreciation Day

Friday, May 5

  • Second Grade to Michigan Science Center

Tuesday, May 9

  • Fourth Grade M-STEP: Math Performance Task

Wednesday, May 10

  • Popcorn Day
  • Third Grade M-STEP: ELA CAT
  • Fifth Grade Orientation at MCMS, 11:00-2:00

Thursday, May 11

  • Third Grade M-STEP: Math CAT

Friday, May 12

  • ACES Day: 9:15 a.m.
  • School Store

Monday, May 15

  • Fourth Grade Hygiene Talks

Tuesday, May 16

  • Third Grade M-STEP: Math Performance Task

Wednesday, May 17

  • Popcorn Day
  • Fifth Grade to Camp Tamarack

Friday, May 19

  • Third Grade Field Trip to Port Huron Museum

May 22-26: Last week for checking out books from Media Center

Monday, May 22

  • Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 23

  • Volunteer Breakfast

Wednesday, May 24

  • Popcorn Day

Thursday, May 25

  • Kindergarten to Upland Hills Farm
  • Science Alive

Friday, May 26

  • Science Alive (a.m.)
  • Field Day

Monday, May 29

  • Memorial Day (No School)

Wednesday, May 31

  • Popcorn Day

Thursday, June 1

  • Second Grade to Heritage Museum and East China Park
  • Last Conga Line, 3:10

Friday, June 2

  • Fourth Grade to Greenfield Village
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A Tribute to Our Teachers

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, let's take a moment to reflect on the incredible work of our teachers at Belle River! In my opinion, our teachers are heroes who work silently, changing and impacting the lives of our students without any need for acknowledgment. They were never in this job for money or prestige. Their work as educators has always been about the students because the teaching profession is a calling, a purpose.

As the school year is winding down and students, families, and teachers are feeling exhausted, let us take time to recognize the great work and sacrifices that our teachers have made throughout the year for our students in taking up the task of educating them and often guiding them through life obstacles and playing a part in the shaping of who they are and who they are yet to be. A teacher is more than an educator. A teacher can play many roles: a friend, an advocate, a counselor, a mentor. A teacher can be the guiding force in students’ lives even after they pass through the portals of Belle River and step into the world that lies ahead to be conquered.

I feel lucky to have the unique perspective in which I see on a daily basis these special small moments in which a teacher goes out of his or her way to impact individual students. In my role, I see our teachers working tirelessly to create and deliver interesting and quality lessons as well as providing essential social-emotional support so students are ready to learn. Our teachers spend long hours planning, preparing, communicating, and evaluating before and after school, at home, and on weekends. Our teachers know their students inside and out, almost as well as parents, providing strategies and instruction tailored to each child. They divide their time among dozens of students, pouring their hearts into developing each child to his or her greatest potential as a learner and a person. Our teachers care for and love their students.

Belle River families, I encourage you to take a moment to acknowledge the efforts of our teachers. Because we are all so busy, we often only reach out to teachers when there is a problem or concern. Let us take a moment in May to celebrate the work and dedication of our incredible teachers. Brighten a teacher’s day with one or more of these compliments:

  • Thank you. It is simple, but meaningful. People in education do not hear this often enough.
  • We appreciate you. Teachers do not just teach students. They prepare them for life. Saying you appreciate them reminds teachers that their impact goes beyond the classroom.
  • You deserve a break. Remind our teachers to recharge their batteries and take care of themselves.
  • Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed. Our teachers give up their personal and family time to attend meetings, prepare lessons, and grade student work. Tell them their extra work means a lot to you. That compliment will mean a lot to them.

From now until the end of the school year, let us support our teachers by working together and cheering them on. Their work is so important because it impacts our students and the future.

Your Proud Principal,

Rachel Card

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ACES (All Children Exercising Simultaneously) Day

Belle River will join many other Michigan schools to participate in ACES (All Children Exercising Simultaneously) Day on Friday, May 12th. This annual event was started in 1989 by physical education teacher, Len Saunders as a method of motivating children to exercise. It is a signature program of the Youth Fitness Coalition and part of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. ACES is often called “the world’s largest exercise class” as it brings millions of children, parents and teachers together from all over the world to exercise simultaneously to promote health and fitness.

Dress Code Reminder

From the East China Elementary Student Handbook:

Neatness and cleanliness are important to health as well as appearance. Clothing should be clean and neat in appearance and hair should be neatly groomed. Any fashion (dress, accessory, or hairstyle) that disrupts the educational process or presents a safety risk will not be permitted. The building administration shall make the final decision on the appropriateness of dress.

Students may be asked to modify their attire (e.g., put on sweatshirt, unroll pant legs) if student dress is determined to be inappropriate. Parents/guardians may be contacted if dress modifications cannot be made at school. The student may be detained in the school office or removed from class for the day if a change of attire is not possible.

The following expectations will help parents/guardians and students in making clothing decisions:

  • Shoes are to be worn at all times. Heelies and other footwear that may cause injury are not permitted at school. Athletic (tennis shoes) are required for participation in P.E. classes.
  • Inappropriate language/signs/symbols worn on clothing is prohibited. This shall include, but not be limited to, any message that expresses profane or obscene language, attitude, makes derogatory comments about any race, creed, religion or national origins, and/or encourages illegal substance use/abuse.
  • Bare midriffs, halter tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, and open-armed shirts should not be worn. All shirts and blouses must modestly cover upper portion and mid-section of the torso; no undergarments should be visible.
  • Spandex and low cut pants (such as hip huggers) and skirts that reveal bare skin in the midriff or lower back should not be worn. Leggings which are tight fitting, revealing body contours, must be covered by long shirts/tunics/dresses, etc.
  • Students should dress adequately for the weather conditions and outdoor recess play.
  • Sunglasses, sweatbands, hats, and fashion head scarves (e.g., triangle bandanas) should not be worn in the school building.
  • Shorts and dress/skirt lengths are acceptable only if it is mid-thigh length or longer.
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My Best Older Friend Writing Contest

Evelyn Becker won the "My Best Older Friend" Essay Contest for second grade in St. Clair County! This annual contest is sponsored by Marwood Manor. You can read her essay, which is a beautiful tribute to her great grandfather, below. Evelyn will be honored at a ceremony at Marwood Manor on May 18th.

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Field Day Picnic Lunch

Orders for PARENT/ADULT and SIBLING LUNCHES on Field Day, May 26th, will be sent home shortly. Join us for a Field Day Picnic! All students must remain at school for lunch. You are welcome to bring lunch from home or join us for a “hot diggity‐dog” picnic. All picnic lunches for guests must be ordered in advance. The menu includes: Hot dog, baked beans, baby carrots, potato chips, watermelon, lemonade, and milk. Watch for an order form coming home soon.
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April Students of the Month

All of our students strive to be be motivated learners as well as model citizens, and each month we will honor two students from each class who exemplify the following qualities:


  • Student prepares for classroom activities.
  • Student goes above and beyond his/her role as a student.
  • Student has made significant progress in the classroom.
  • Student has been working to his/her potential.
  • Student completes all assignments and homework.
  • Student has a good work ethic and is diligent.

Leadership/ Citizenship/ Character

  • Student demonstrates respect of self and others.
  • Student assists others in need.
  • Student shows acts of kindness.
  • Student demonstrates a positive attitude.
  • Student displays good conduct.
  • Student is a positive role model by example.
  • Student participates and puts forth full effort in all areas.
  • Student follows school rules.


Mrs. Jones Class: Jayden Day, Blake Mackisoc

Mrs. Rymar’s Class: Brayden Vernier, Frank Foster

Mrs. Trout’s Class: Nikolai Bain, Lydia Ames

First Grade

Mrs. Talaski’s Class: Sierra Manoogian, Christian Grace

Mrs. White’s Class: Peter Golicz, Austin Voigt

First/Second Grade

Mrs. Gunderson’s/Cobean’s Class: Gracelin Cusumano, Myles Hewitt

Second Grade

Mrs. Greib’s Class: Jade Owens, Miley Negro

Mrs. Moses’ Class: Isabella Ferretti, Novella Kekhoua

Third Grade

Mrs. Charron’s Class: Christopher Desmyther, William Higbee

Mrs. Drumb’s Class: Mackenzie Guzowski, Donnie Zacharias

Mrs. Weatherly’s Class: Tenaya Jendza, Mae Fackler

Fourth Grade

Mrs. Penzien’s Class: Charlotte Smith-Hall, Charlie Jarvis

Mrs. Robbins’ Class: Ryan Jackins, Easton LaBuhn

Mrs. Westerhof’s Class: Owen Trafford, Averi Havercamp

Fifth Grade

Mrs. Dunn’s Class: Tori Simons, Zack Sharrow

Mrs. Carnahan’s Class: Breanna Bishop, Alton Fox

Mrs. Tyler’s Class: Abby Pettinger, Billy Westrick

Mr. Westerhof’s P.E. Class: Abigail Horneffer, Nathan Beaker

Warning About Five Night's at Freddy's

After dealing with some anxiety issues in students who have played the Five Night's at Freddy's video game, we have made the decision to ban any apparel, toys, or objects that bear images related to the game. Following is information about the game to inform and warn parents.

Five Nights at Freddy's is a video game that has both computer and app versions (for Kindles, iPads, etc.). The plot is this: You work at a place similar to Chuck E. Cheese where animatronic animals come alive at night. You are the security guard. Your job is to stay alive over all five nights. The animatronics are graphic and violent, and the game relies on a lot of jump scares to keep you tense. If you research and read about the game online, it becomes apparent that the game designer was strategic in planting clues and details in background of the game that reveal a disturbing backstory. Besides the game, there are a number of YouTube videos of people playing it with commentary about this backstory. Some students have reported watching this on their iPads without parents knowledge.

So what can concerned parents do?

Set limits: Learn about parental controls. Click on this link to learn how to turn on YouTube Safety Mode. You may want to create rules like permitting screen time in community rooms of the house or that certain apps may not be installed on a child’s tablet. Monitor the games your child is playing and videos s/he is watching.

Explain the why: If your child has a strong interest in the game, talk about why it is not healthy to play a game that is extremely violent and scary.

It seems like Five Night's at Freddy's is at peak popularity right now, so hopefully the game will be old news by summer and students will be focusing their attention on all the wonders of the great outdoors!

Student Code of Conduct

Be Responsible

Be Respectful

Be Safe &

Be a Friend

Our Mission: Working Collaboratively to Ensure All Students Learn

Our Vision: Empower students to be productive citizens by fostering critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.
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