The Patriot Parent Newsletter

December 2021, Brooklyn Park Elementary School

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A Message from Mr. Walker

Dear Brooklyn Park Community,

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday. Although the holidays can be stressful, I am thankful for our community and good health. . As we move into 2022, I have additional updates and reminders to share with our community:


As a “gentle reminder”, we cannot accept food or gifts for birthday celebrations. Although you may not agree, I must ensure our total community is safe and we have students with food allergies. I would suggest making a donation to our PTA.


We have 25-40 students who are absent daily. As you know, we are a Title I School and many of our students need additional support. We utilize our Title I Budget to support our students with additional staffing and programs. These initiatives are effective when students are in school. The past two years have been tough, but we can’t close the gap if our students are not in school. We are missing 1.5 students per day and we need to ensure our kids are present daily. Please send your child every day and schedule vacations and appointments accordingly. Yes, we know that Covid19 has impacted our attendance and maybe your confidence in sending your child to school, but we need our students in school. Additionally, please send your child on early dismissal and late arrival days. Our kids need every minute of instruction.

The building will be closed from December 24th through January 3rd. Enjoy the Winter Break!!!

Mr. Walker

Norma Gartside, Secretary

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I want to let you know that I am retiring on January 1st. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of watching your children, grandchildren, and even, some of you grow. :)

I have always appreciated your kindness when you come into our office, and most importantly, all the morning hugs I received throughout the years from your children.

They have a special place in my heart. I will truly miss seeing you and your children.

I am looking forward to having fun with my family and friends during this holiday season and having more time to spend with them when I retire.

Enjoy your holidays, and best wishes for a wonderful school year.


Norma Gartside

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Lost and Found

There are several jackets and coat in the lost and found. If your child is missing anything, please have them check the lost and found located in the cafeteria. If possible, please label your child's belongings. Thank you!

Picture Make Up Day is on Thursday, December 16th!

Attendance Matters

During first marking period, First grade had the highest attendance percentage with 93.96%. It is important for your children to be in school every day! Missing just one day, can add to anxiety and feelings of frustration and confusion.

Classroom News!


Happy December! We had a fantastic November with many amazing experiences and opportunities for our youngest learners. We explored pumpkins inside and out to help us learn through our five senses and about measuring.

This month we will finish up learning about our community and begin the next unit, "Health and Nutrition". Our students will learn about ways to stay healthy through cleanliness, food, and exercise. We will learn the letters Oo, Cc, Ee, and Yy. In math, we will focus on counting objects up to ten, matching a numeral with a set of objects, and writing numbers 0-5.

As the weather is getting cooler, please remember that we go outside daily (as long as the temperature is above 32 degrees). Please be sure your child has appropriate clothing to play outside. We are working on zipping and putting coats on independently. If you could work on this at home, we would really appreciate it! Additionally, please make sure your child has a clean change of clothes at school that is appropriate for the weather.


Hi families! November was an awesome month in kindergarten! We have really enjoyed watching your kids blossom in our classrooms! During writing, we are starting to incorporate sentences to go along with our illustrations! During our literacy time, we are focusing on identifying letters and letter sounds. Please continue to work with your child at home on identify letter names and producing letter sounds. For social studies and science, we just started a brand-new theme, which is called “The Power of Us”. This theme focuses on our community and the world around us. In math, we have been working on identifying numbers 0-10 and our counting! To help your child at home, please encourage them to count everyday household items and identify numbers while counting. You can also encourage your child to spend some time on iReady math on their Chromebook! We are looking forward to another great month! As always, please feel free to reach out to the K team if you need anything at all! We are here to support your family!

First Grade

Happy December! First graders have been working hard! They have been working on problem solving, being creative and being resourceful. This month, students will learn about animal traits and plant traits as well as how to categorize based on traits. They will explore culture and different cultural influences. In math, students will learn about teen numbers and place value. Students will use that understanding to solve problems. In reading we will continue to focus on letter sounds, tapping out words, and using our tapping strategies to spell and write words. Students will continue to meet in small groups for guided reading. In writing, we will write informational pieces about a topic. Please continue to have your child complete their homework each week. We hope you have a great winter break and holiday season. Please reach out to your child’s teacher with any questions.

Second Grade

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our 2nd graders are continuing to show perseverance and determination. We have been having so much fun in the new marking period. In Math, we are working on adding two-digit numbers. Students are learning place value strategies and how to model addition with place value blocks. In Writing, we are having fun doing science experiments and learning about the different components of a lab report. We are and will continue to work on capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. In Science and Social Studies, we are learning about being digital citizens, how technology has changed the world, and how things are connected. In Reading, we will continue to tap out sounds and work on comprehension strategies. We will be looking at different points of view of characters, text features in non-fiction texts, and determining the message of a text. Please continue to encourage your child to practice their reading and math skills daily! We appreciate your support from home! Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have questions.

Third Grade


The holidays are upon us! Your child visits the media center each week and has the opportunity to select books of their choice to read for enjoyment and practice the reading skills they are learning during their Guided Reading lessons. Encourage your child to select at least one holiday book each week and share the books they select with you. This is a great way to compare and contrast different cultures and holiday traditions.


In quarter two, we will focus on informational writing. We will be writing about something we are really good at and providing information about how to do that activity. As third graders writers write sentences, they should write complete thoughts that include a subject and predicate, consistently capitalize the first letter of each sentence, end each sentence with punctuation, and capitalize the pronoun "I" and proper nouns.

We are ready for our Mathematicians to jump into exploring strategies to add and subtract multi-digit numbers. This month students will learn three strategies to add and subtract numbers 1) using place value blocks 2) decomposing the numbers and 3) using a number line. We will build on what they know about place value to connect to adding and subtracting multi-digit numbers. We will continue focusing on fact fluency. Students should be fluent with the 0s, 1s, 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s facts. They can use First in Math to help them practice multiplication fact fluency. Thank you for your support.


In Science, we are exploring Molecules and Organisms, and working to create models that help explain the unique and diverse life cycles of plants, insects, and other organisms. We continue to make predictions and test hypotheses. Soon we will explore ecosystems and learn about how different traits help animals to survive. Encourage your scientist to find ways to explore forces and interactions at home to reinforce the skills they're learning at school.

Social Studies

In Social Studies we are learning about communication and collaboration as we explore all the ways people interact with one another. We'll soon discuss how to honor people and groups within our communities, how to show respect for different cultures and how actions, words and thoughts can both cause and resolve conflicts. Encourage your student to apply what they've learned in their day-to-day lives.

Fourth Grade

December is here!! As we transition back from the Thanksgiving holiday and prepare for all the wonderful holidays in December, please remember we are still in school and working hard. We will be working hard the next few weeks to come to a good stopping place in the curriculum before we go on winter break, please encourage your child to come to school every day excited and ready to learn. The ones that are coming every day are making amazing progress and it is so exciting as educators to see their growth.

In Math we are still working on multiplication and division. Please continue to practice every night (even over break!) Santa might even throw a deck of flashcards in their stocking Christmas morning!! (The dollar store has some great ones!). In Language Arts it is all non-fiction! We are reading non-fiction; we are writing non-fiction and we are studying skills used in reading non-fiction. Take a trip to the library and let them browse the non-fiction section, find a book that interests you both and learn something new together! This is a great way to incorporate reading time and hanging out time together!! And keep an eye out for their exciting animal report that they will be working on this month!

Remember as the weather gets colder, we still will be going outside for recess, even if it is just for a little bit - the fresh air helps! Please send your child to school with a coat, gloves and hat - even if they don't wear it in the morning on the brief ride to school, they'll need it at recess. If you need these items, PLEASE reach out to your classroom teacher and we will put you in contact with someone or work behind the scenes to make these appear in your kiddos locker. No questions asked! We just want the kiddos warm and healthy!! 🙂 We are excited to enter the second half of the school year with you and your child and cannot wait to see what fun surprises 2022 brings us!! Have a great December, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Ms. Nauman, Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Dacus

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade is working with decimals from by comparing and rounding. Reading will focus on theme, inferences, and point of view. In writing, students will begin a new unit of informational writing. This will consist of students researching and digging deeper into a topic of their choosing. During social studies, students will continue to investigate the American Revolution. Students will learn during Earth Space Science, the four spheres of Earth.

Tracy Burke, P.E.

Students participated in a tumbling unit in the month of November. They practiced animal walks, balance poses, and stunts. Older students created and performed their own tumbling sequence, while the younger students participated in fun stations to practice their balancing and weight transfer skills. At the end of the month, students began a rhythm and dance unit. Students practiced and performed social dances including the Hokey Pokey, Chicken Dance, Cha-Cha Slide, and the Boogie Walk. Their lessons also include technology as student enjoyed dancing along to some Just Dance or Beat Saber songs. 4th graders had the opportunity to participate in a Dancing Through the Decades program and learned popular dances from the last several decades.

In December, students will continue practicing their rhythm skills with a Cardio Drumming unit. Students will use rhythm sticks or pool noodles to drum different patterns on yoga balls and buckets. They will create their own patterns and sequences as well as drum along to some choreographed routines.

***Please remind your students to wear sneakers on the days that they have PE class so they can safely participate in all of the activities and assessments.

Winter Concert!

It's almost time for the Winter Concert! 4th and 5th Grade Band/Strings/Chorus students will be performing at the Chesapeake Arts Center on December 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Students should arrive no later than 5:30 p.m. wearing their music superpower t-shirt and blue jeans with all of their musical belongings (instruments, music). Students should be practicing their music at home for the concert! Please reach out to Mrs. Israel or Ms. Hess with questions.

December and January are exciting times for the music department. Coming up December 20th at 6pm, at the Chesapeake Art Center is our Winter Concert. The concert will be featuring our 4th and 5th grade music students. You will hear the Orchestra, Band, and Chorus students perform. If your student is in one of these groups please make sure to send in $10 for their music shirt, that will be worn for all of the performances. If you want to sport your BPES Music Department pride you can purchase a shirt for yourself also. Shirts are $10 for sizes youth small to adult XL, there is an extra charge for 2XL ($13) and 3XL ($14). If you have questions about music shirts please email Ms. Hess at

On January 19th is our 3rd grade Music Showcase. All 3rd grade students are invited to participate in the performance. All 3rd grade string students are required to attend. Students who are planning on attending and performing will need a music shirt. Shirts are $10. Order forms and concert letters already went home with all 3rd grade students. If you have any questions please contact Ms. Hess at

Kelly Nolan, Library Media Specialist

Hi families! The library is seeing some major changes! I am working on doing a complete makeover with the help of students to make it more accessible to them. Each month, I will be spotlighting a well-love read aloud book. This month was Each Kindness and students worked hard to spread kindness throughout the school.

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Carolina Montenegro, Bilingual Facilitator

Laura E. Wells, LCSW-C School Social Worker

If you would like additional information to assist your family, please reach out to Laura Wells LCSW-C for assistance. All conversations are held in confidence. We can assist you with locating outside resource supports and Behavioral Management in the home. Please contact the school at

(410) 222-6590.

Title I News

Thank you to all who attended our first Title I Parent Committee Meeting in November! It was great to collaborate and hear new ideas. I am looking forward to continuing our school and family partnership.

Here is our Schoolwide Title I letter that was sent home with students earlier in the school year.

Here is our School Wide Title I Plan for you to view. The plan is also located on our school website.

After you have viewed the Title I Plan, you are able to leave feedback.
The feedback will be used to help us improve our Title I Plan in the future.

Thank you!