To the Point

Prairie Point Staff Newsletter

Vol 3, Issue 13: Fri., April 28, 2017

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Thank you for all that you do!

Thank you for the many things that each and every one of you do to make Prairie Point Elementary School the best school! I hope that you enjoyed the AMAZING Teacher Appreciation Week celebration prepared for you by our Home and School Association. Our students, parents and community have stepped up to thank you for the dedication and awesome work that you do with our kids.

I also wanted to offer you a sincere thank you. When I left my previous school, I knew that I was moving on from an awesome school family who supported each other and put kids first. It was a wonderful experience that was hard to step away from. I feel so lucky to have struck gold twice! I never imagined how quickly I would come to love the Prairie Point family and how amazing my own school community is! I have loved getting to know each of you and have come to know the many gifts and talents that you bring to our school.

I am grateful to work alongside such awesome teachers, faculty and staff members. Thank you for all that you do for our kids!

End of the Year

Well, the end of the year is definitely creeping up on us. I will sit down with Jen next week and really get my arms around "how things have worked in the past" at PT. As I have shared with you, many times, my goal was to live through things one time, allowing myself the opportunity to learn about our culture, traditions and how we do things. That remains my goal in the last few weeks. My plan is to keep our end of the year activities pretty much the same as they have been in the past and take time to experience them.

Here is a quick recap of the first few things that I have started to tackle.

Pinks and Blues

  • Kim has them copied and ready to go (if they haven't gone out already)
  • You will have time to work on them during our May 8th Faculty Meeting and can use PLC time to work on them as well
  • Please note that I did not make any changes to the form this year, however, I did want to draw your attention to the last section on the first page that reads: If you feel there is information that next year’s teacher needs to know in order to help this child be successful, please include that below. Please include strengths, concerns, and/or teaching strategies that you’ve found to be effective. Please note that comments included in this section should pertain to support and teaching strategies that you have found effective in supporting the student. Please be sensitive that this is not a place to include negative comments about a student. When I'm filling things out like this, I always think about if it would make me comfortable as a mom if someone wrote that about my child. This usually helps me frame my comments in a more positive way.

  • We are still waiting on 4th and 5th grade GE lists. Once we have those I will be able to give you more information and a deadline for pinks and blues.


  • Kim sent a detailed list of information for inventory this year. Please read through it before starting inventory. If you are unclear of the process, please stop by the office and ask Kim.
  • This is a bit of an unusual year (so I am told) with the amount of teacher movement throughout the district. If you are in a classroom that is moving or if you are on a team that is reducing sections, you may want to check in with Kim just to make sure that you know where the curriculum for that classroom needs to go. Thank you!


  • Thank you to the many of you who have provided Jen with scheduling feedback. We hope to have that meeting scheduled soon. As many of you know, Jake Winder will be returning to Southbury full time next year. We will be looking to hire a new PE teacher to fill his position. Once that person is hired and in place we will have a better idea of what days he or she is able to be here and we will be able to move forward with scheduling.
  • Thank you for your patience!

Class Lists

  • I plan to follow the same procedure as in previous years. The Teacher Placement Letter went out to parents yesterday.
  • As in previous years, there will be time set up for teachers to look at student placement for the next year.

Prairie Point Recognition Ceremony

  • Jen and I are meeting on this next week...more to come!

Finally, please remember that every day that students are at school is an opportunity for them to grow and develop as learners. We have a commitment to our students to teach up until that last day of school. Please do all that you can to keep students engaged and learning until May 26th!

Looking to Next Year's Theme

It is that time of year when we start to think about our theme for next year. As a relative new comer to our community, I am open to suggestions for a theme for next year. If you are one of those creative-types who comes up with fun theme ideas and there is one that you think would be perfect for next year, please send it my way.

I am not the world's most creative person, so I tend to rely on internet searches and Pinterest to come up with ideas...If there is something that you think would be a good fit for us, please let me know!

Important Information

Mastery Connect Parent Portal

Fourth quarter is here - can you believe it? Your Mastery Connect Portal needs to open to parents at this time. If you having trouble please check in with Lisa Paluch, Katy Sommerfeld or with me so that we can help you get on the right track!

The district has added some great parent videos to their website. These can be accessed with the following link:

Please pass this link along to your parents through your newsletter or email communication. I will be sharing it with parents in the Panther Press.

In Every Issue...

Wednesday Meetings


Our next Wednesday meeting will be a Faculty Meeting on May 3rd in the Community Room at 7:30am.

This time, will be learning a little more about technology, so you will need to bring a device that has wifi capability (phone, Ipad, Chromebook).

We will also have time to work on pinks and blues :)


At this time we are not bringing any new students up to MTSS. This is one area that Jen and I would like to be reflective on as we move to next year. Jen is working on a survey to solicit feedback and get ideas for how we can improve MTSS and better provides supports for our struggling students.

Wednesday Morning Meeting Schedule

The file below contains all of the Building, PLC, and SIP day meetings for the year. It will be updated regularly as the plans or schedule changes.

PLCs and Agenda Options

Please know that any specialist, Jen, or I can join your meetings to discuss important topics or answer questions. If you'd like one of us to come to your meetings, don't hesitate to ask. I love to see all the great work that your teams are doing. Go Prairie Point!!!

  • Please remember to share your agenda and notes with me and others who need the information.
  • Before the meeting ends, decide what you will discuss and address at your next collaborative meeting which will take place next week.
  • Enjoy this time with one another.

The link below contains files for 3 different templates for PLC agendas/notes. Please utilize them for your team meetings and share them with Jennifer/Jen and any specialists that you have working with your team.

The video below shows you how to save the agenda templates to your own Google Drive.

SD 308 PLC Agenda Video

News and Info

Shout out to Doris!

This month I wanted to include a shout out to Doris Stier, one of our interpreters within the DHH program. , As many of you know, Cindy hurt her foot earlier this week. She shared the following with me:

Doris, my interpreter, got halfway home on Tuesday and said she couldn't leave me hurting (that was the day I hurt my foot). She went to Walgreens and got me a wrap. She came back to school and WOULDN'T LEAVE until my after school sports club was done so she could help me to my car. She is so selfless and such a sweet soul. We are blessed to have her at PPT.

So many of you at Prairie Point go above and beyond the call of duty every single day to help our students and each other. If you know of someone who deserves an extra shout out, please let me know. I am always happy to include it in the newsletter.

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Check out Nola!

Darcy Tellone's daughter, Nola, will be on TV Sunday night! Nola will play Emma in an episode of Chicago Justice on Sunday night at 8pm on NBC!

Check her out in the trailer below. She plays Emma.

Chicago Justice 1x11 Promo "AQD" (HD)

Congrats Hailey!

Shelley Strnad's daughter, Hailey, is a sophomore at OHS and in AP Art. This week she had a "One Person Art Show" where she could display her concentration art that she has been working on this year. Shelley shared the following with me:

We are so very proud of her. We just found out that a piece of artwork that she did last year was submitted for the 14th Congressional High School Art Competition. If she wins, her artwork will be displayed at the US Capitol in Washington DC for the next year. Keep your fingers crossed! We will find out who won on May 8th.

Congrats and good luck!

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One of the great things about being in a school family like Prairie Point is getting to know each other's families. I loved seeing your families on Holiday cards in the office. It is so fun during Celebrations to hear about your own children's accomplishments, marriages, babies and other big news. It would be even more fun to see it! I'd love to include a picture or two in each newsletter of your loved ones being awesome.

When you or one of your kids does something awesome (gets married, chooses a college, wins a competition, has her first solo in a concert, etc.) snap a picture and send it to me. I'll include it in our newsletter and we can all celebrate a 2nd time :)