South Elementary Family Newsletter

Volume #4 December, 2022

Message from the Principals

Dear South Families,

Here we are at the first month of winter and last month of the year. December brings us many different holidays, such as St. Nicholas Day; Hanukkah; Christmas; Kwanzaa; and Boxing Day, to name just a few. These diverse celebrations allow us to learn about others and focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, part of our Cricket PRIDE traits [Perseverance, Respect, Independence, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Empathy].

During this season, there is also an emphasis on generosity and giving, just like we focus on throughout the year with our Feinstein Junior Scholars. Speaking of generosity, thank you for all of your support of the Fun Run. We made close to $11,000 to support and enrich the South School Community by registering, sharing, pledging, and running. It's important for children to understand that generosity and giving does not need to be done with gifts, that helping and showing kindness to others are special presents all by themselves. In addition, during December, our weekly character lessons are about having appropriate boundaries (Respect); giving and receiving compliments (Respect/Empathy); and self-management in the cafeteria (Independence/Respect).

We hope to see everyone at Parent/Teacher Conferences on Thursday, December 8th, either virtually or in-person, whatever works best for you. It's a time to meet and focus solely on your child's strengths and weaknesses, as well as what they know and are able to do. Sign up information is below under Save the Date. It does get to be a busy time of year and we hope you can keep your stress level low and your joy level high! HERE is a good resource for helping children and parents to enjoy the holidays.

Our wish for all of you is for much happiness, peace, love, and laughter during this special season.

Aloha, Steph Brown and Rebecca Hurley
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Important Dates and Information

**Please remember that school starts at 8:45PM.

Thursday, December 1, End of First Trimester

Tuesday, December 6, Report Cards Portal Open for Parents on Aspen

Wednesday, December 7 & Friday, December 9, Scholastic Book Fair

Thursday, December 8, NO SCHOOL for Students

Thursday, December 8, Parent Teacher Conferences, 12:30-7PM. **Sign up links are HERE. **Instructions for sign ups are HERE.

Thursday, December 8, Scholastic Book Fair will be open from 4-7:30PM

Saturday, December 10, Winterfest @ Slade's Ferry-PTO Table and Elementary Chorus Performance 12:30-1

**NO PTO Meeting this month

Monday, December 19-Friday, December 23-Holiday Spirit Week (more information coming)

Friday, December 23, Early Release at 12:30PM

Monday, December 26-Monday, January 2, Holiday Break

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From Mrs. H, Our School Adjustment Counselor

November is National ADHD Awareness Month

Click HERE for a flyer about ADHD.

Education on any topic is the best way to support yourself or a member of your family.

Equally important is having the knowledge to recognize specific issues in others in order to gain empathy towards them. Having an ADHD diagnosis can impact your functioning, as well as, those around you. Knowledge is power.

The more we know about something the less likely we are to judge or respond with a in a negative way due to fear.

If you have any questions or need recommendations please reach out.

In your corner,

Cecilia Huard, LMHC

School Adjustment Counselor

Please check out the resources below.


Driven to Distraction

Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention


Tips and videos


Copy of ADHD camp/respite resources

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From Ms. Bertrand, Our School Nurse


  • Please submit your child’s annual physical examination.

  • Please keep your child home if feeling ill.

Recently, a Student Nurse visited the 3rd Grade class to teach the students about Oral Health! Here is a pamphlet she made for parents/guardians for promoting good oral health in your child!

Please see the Oral Health Brochure HERE for this month's resource from the Nurse's Office.
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South PTO

HERE is a link to the December PTO Newsletter below that includes QR codes.

PTO’s December Newsletter

Upcoming Events: Mark your Calendars!

December 7th-9th Scholastic Book Fair

  • Classes will visit the Scholastic Book Fair in school on Wednesday 12/7 and Friday 12/9.

  • Parents have the opportunity to shop at the book fair on Thursday 12/8 from 4:00PM-7:30PM at South School during parent/teacher conferences. It’s a great opportunity for some holiday shopping!

  • PTO is still looking for volunteers to help with the Scholastic Book Fair. Volunteers for this event need an updated Cori Check on file.

Scholastic Book Fair Schedule

Wednesday December 7th Friday December 9th

9:30-10:00 Mrs. Kela 10:15-10:45 Ms. Quinlan

10:15-10:45 Mrs. Lopes 11:00-11:30 Mrs. Potvin

11:00-11:30 Mrs. Camara 12:30-1:00 Mrs. Brisson

11:45-12:15 Mrs. Oliveria 1:00-1:30 Mrs. Teasdale

12:30-1:00 Mrs. Faria 1:45-2:15 Mrs. Griffin

1:00-1:30 Mrs. Borges 1:45-2:15 Mrs. McDonald

December 12th: Town of Somerset Winterfest!

  • The PTO will have a table selling treats at this year’s Winterfest from 10AM-6PM!

  • Spirit Wear will also be sold at the event.

  • We are in need of volunteers to help sell treats.

  • We hope to see you there!

  • Any questions please email PTO at

PTO Contributions for November

Run for Fun

  • A HUGE Thank You to all the families, staff, and supporters for this year's Boosterthon Run for Fun!

  • The Boosterthon raised close to $11,000.00 to support school programs throughout the year!

Birthday Pencils

  • PTO purchased birthday pencils to be distributed during lunch.

PTO Meeting:

  • PTO will not be meeting in December.

  • Thank you to all the parents who attend the meetings. We appreciate your support, input, and volunteerism.

  • Please join us on January 17th at 6:00PM at South School Cafe.

Contact PTO

Ways to Support South School

Year Round Fundraisers:

Box Tops for Education:

Here’s How it Works:

  • Buy participating products and use the Box Tops mobile app to scan your store receipt.

  • The app identifies eligible products and automatically adds Box Tops to your schools earnings online.

  • Even if you're shopping online or doing grocery pickup, you can still submit your e-receipts and earn Box Tops.

  • Twice a year, our school gets a check! Your earnings may seem small, but they really do add up.

  • The more people that participate, the bigger the impact we can make.

  • Little by little, we can help make a big difference.

Box Tops for Education App

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Parent Resources

December Lunch Menu: please click HERE. Also, please click HERE to complete the 22-23 Free & Reduced School Meals Household Application.

Autism-Friendly Brunch with Santa at Dublin Rose in Seekonk on December 4 from 10AM-2PM. Reservations are required at These are autism friendly non-judgmental family brunches with Santa.

Click HERE for December, and HERE for Multicultural Holiday, Read Aloud Books for Elementary Students

Our Elementary Student Handbook is HERE for your reference.

Click HERE for a 100s Chart to help count to 100, add, subtract, and notice number patterns.

Click HERE for an Alphabet Linking Chart to help your child match sounds and letters when writing/reading.

Click HERE for Multiplication Charts to practice math facts or use for a reference.

Somerset Public Schools, SY' 22-23 Calendar: please click HERE

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We are beginning to wrap up our first trimester. All of the children have worked hard over the past 3 months and we have had some amazing learning experiences. This month, we will be discussing Holiday Traditions, wants vs needs and Gingerbread Stories. We have read many stories and met some interesting characters. We have been learning about characters, setting, problems and solutions during our reading time, as well as sequencing events in the story. During our writing time, we have been working together to develop our writing skills and practicing letter formation. During our math time, we continue to work together as a large group, small group and with partners. We share our math thinking, practice skills, play math games and have conversations about our learning. Our math lessons continue to focus on number recognition, formation, 5 and 10 groups and greater/less than. Our December Family Project will help us to learn a little more about our classmates' families and how we all celebrate the Holiday season.

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First graders have been hard at work this month! They have been working on their writing by retelling and responding to stories. In phonics, they are working their way through the short vowels and continually adding to their sight word knowledge. All this work is helping them become stronger independent book-readers! In math, they worked on fractions- whole, half and quarter- and on telling time to the hour. They are also becoming more fluent with addition and are developing a better understanding of tens and ones. Finally, they spent some time learning about Thanksgiving, and being thankful.

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Can you believe that it is already December… Where has this first trimester gone? We hope everyone had a restful Thanksgiving break! Over the past month in reading, we have looked closely at narrative nonfiction stories. Our interactive read alouds have had us exploring nonfiction books by Seymour Simon, narrative nonfiction stories and finding beauty in the world around you. In phonics, we have been talking about long vowel silent-e and now we are working on inflected endings -s, -es, -ed, and -ing. In writing, we have been working on adding entertaining beginnings and elaborate details to our narrative stories. We created a menu for beginnings which includes: a sound word, a question, an action, and dialogue. In math, we concluded our chapter on Numbers to 1,000. We began Chapter 4, where we have been working on 2-digit addition. Our science mysteries this month focused on what's strong enough to make a canyon and various ways to stop landslides from happening. In social studies, we have started to look at the seven continents and the 5 oceans. We look forward to meeting with all of you on December 8, for our Parent Teacher Conferences.

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Happy December,

We hope you have had a wonderful time this Thanksgiving with your families! November was filled with many fun activities including our South School Fun Run. It was wonderful to see our students having fun and cheering each other on! We are looking forward to meeting our families at parent teacher conferences on December 8th. In science, grade 3 is wrapping up our unit on Earth Science. We have learned about the water cycle, types of clouds, weather patterns and extreme weather. We will be transitioning to Physical Science in the next few weeks. Third grade writers continue to develop their narratives with sequence and elaborative detail. We are beginning to reveal character through dialogue and punctuate carefully. We are also working to perfect response to text writing. In math our third graders are learning various strategies practicing our multiplication facts. Students are encouraged to use flash cards and Freckle as we gain multiplication fluency through the month of December. In reading, students have been working on reading nonfiction text. We took a close look at the Wampanoags and noticed many nonfiction text features in the books we read. We finished our Wampanoag unit creating a wigwam that looked just like the Wampanoags. We are looking forward to continuing our nonfiction unit in December. In Social Studies, students are learning all about the native americans who lived in Massachusetts and what life was like when the early settlers came to Massachusetts.

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Happy December,

We hope you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families! November was filled with many fun activities including our South School Fun Run. It was wonderful to see our students having fun and cheering each other on! We are looking forward to meeting our families at the parent teacher conference on December 8th. In science, grade four continues diligently working with our Connect Science program. We have started Step 3, which teaches students to look closely at the world around them and investigate problems. Students will be given the opportunity to focus on one area and create a solution that will benefit our community. Fourth grade writers continue to develop their narratives with good sequence and elaborative detail. We are working to avoid irrelevant detail. Response to text writing is strong, the importance of appropriate text evidence is becoming the focus. In math, fourth graders are using the CUBE strategy to solve multi-step word problems, and we are mastering multi-digit multiplication using the standard algorithm and partial product method. In Social Studies, we are continuing to study European Explorers. Students have been given an in-school research project, and will be working with a partner to create a google slideshow over the next few weeks. In reading, we have done several lessons on multiple perspectives, how to work as a team, how to handle strong emotions and how to settle arguments respectfully. We are completing these lessons to help students work together when they begin their service learning science project. We have also begun our unit on nonfiction text and have noticed many text features in the books we read and how they help our understanding. We look forward to continuing this unit in December.

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Grade 5

We are just at the one-third mark of the school year. The students have been working

very hard in all subjects. In math, we are beginning division of whole numbers. It is a math

concept that requires the students to divide, multiply and subtract. In ELA, we are working on the

different parts of a writing piece and as always sharing the importance of reading and

introducing the students to different authors and genres. In social studies, we have been

focusing on the English Colonies.

The students had a great time doing the Fun Run. They put their hearts into completing

the laps. Thank you to all that helped by donating. Parent-teacher conferences are being held

on December 8, 2022. Please remember to take the time to sign up.