Athol-Royalston Elementary News

Teaching Excellence & Bringing Our Schools Together in 2016

Summer Newsletter Edition 2015

Welcome to our new Athol- Royalston Elementary Schools Newsletter

Dear Families,

We are excited to bring you our new monthly newsletter that celebrates learning activities within our elementary schools as well as enrichment opportunities within our greater community. While individual schools, Riverbend/Sanders, Pleasant Street, and the Royalston Community School, have their own unique character and charm we offer the same quality instructional programming at each school and for each student. Teachers, staff, and administrators have worked diligently to align our curricular programs and assessments to state standards in order to provide instructional rigor, challenge, and equity throughout our district schools.

In terms of curriculum, we are entering our third year of implementation of Readers Workshop, a balanced literacy approach, and our second year of using the Eureka guided math program. These programs are in place in each of our schools and provide for more strategy based instruction and individualized learning. Over the course of the next year we will continue our professional development in the areas of literacy and math building the requisite skills for children to engage in higher order thinking, analytical reasoning, and problem solving.

As we look to the near future and the opening of a new Athol Elementary School in 2016, we will also be working to bring our individual school communities together. It is a time of great excitement within the district and within our community. Family engagement and involvement is a key part of a every child's school success and we sincerely look forward to partnering with all families as we strive to provide the best possible educational experience for your children.


Jan Williams, Principal, Riverbend/ Sanders

Dianne Ellis, Principal, Pleasant Street School

Molly Superchi, Principal, Royalston Community School

Wednesday July 29th marks week #4 of the Great Book Swap

Make it a plan to stop by one of the area locations listed to have your child swap out his or her book swap bag for some new titles that are at the just right reading level! In addition to enjoying some new book titles to read your family can also take advantage of the summer meals program where children eat for free.

Wednesday Book Swap locations and times:

  • 8:45- 9:45- Athol Salvation Army-free breakfast available
  • 10:15-11:15- Athol High School- summer playground site, free lunch available
  • 11:45-12:45- Athol Public Library

Listed below are summer reading lists compiled by the Athol Public Library. For activities and events at the library this summer please visit their website at:

Preschool and kindergarten:

Grades 1 & 2:

Grades 3 & 4:

Grade 5:

For a great resource on leveled books by title please click on this link from the Montgomery Public Schools:

Snapshots from week #3

This week we had about 70 children visit our district elementary schools book swap locations. Children were delighted to swap out their books for some new reads! We are thrilled to see children excited about choosing titles and reading just right books. Principal Ellis ran into two students at the store this week, Bernie and Evie, and the first thing Bernie said was how proud he was for having read 28 books already this summer!

Tell a Friend, ARRSD is Offering Family Fun Readiness Kits

Our district preschool teachers secured a grant through the Athol Royalston Education Fund to purchase readiness kits. These kits are available to loan for district families and include a number of fun learning activities and games to play with your preschool to kindergarten aged youngster. For more information about the kits and how to obtain one please click on the informational handout linked below.

Having Fun with Summer Learning

We have truly enjoyed seeing so many children this summer at Sanders Street and at Pleasant Street Schools where we have provided title one funded tutoring and our extended year summer programs. It may seem hard to believe, but children really like being a part of these programs! Being in the schools during the summer has a more relaxed vibe while still providing focused learning and social opportunities.

Summer Calendar Math!

Please note: this posting will remain in our newsletter all summer to keep the information readily available for families.

Dear Families,

We want to promote continued problem solving and mathematical thinking over the summer. Students have been participating in lessons on "summer slide" in relation to reading and their retention of skills. Well, summer slide also happens in math! We have attached some summer calendar math activity packets below to keep your children fresh with their skills over the summer. These calendar packets developed by the Cambridge Public Schools were sent home with all students at the end of the school year. They are rich with activities, resources, websites and fun ideas to bring math to life. If you need to have a copy provided to you please contact the central office at (978) 249-2400.

K Students entering grade 1

Grade 1 entering grade 2

Grade 2 entering grade 3

Grade 3 entering grade 4

Grade 4 entering grade 5

If you have middle school students and want to have them practice please feel free to use the calendars below for students entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

Want to try some dice games at home?

Dice plus one graph

Dice plus ten chart

Subtraction graph

Do you have math games that you like to play? If so, please email us at so we can share it with other families in the newsletter. Thank you!

School supply list and more...!

As a courtesy we want to share with families some back to school details sooner rather than later. Don't worry, we are not trying to rush away this summer!
  • School supplies- suggested elementary school supply list is linked below
  • Bus routes- We are expecting these to be published in the Athol Daily News on August 15, 2015. They will also be posted at respective schools and included in our August newsletter.
  • Class lists- We are expecting these to be posted at each school the week of August 17th. As a district we work very carefully to balance our schools and classes by the total number of students, boys, girls, and students requiring supportive services. Additionally, we take into account peer relationships, temperment, and teaching style to the extent possible. Additionally, class lists are subject to change during the summer as enrollment shifts occur necessitating additional balancing of classes.

Summer fun in the greater Athol area

Linked below are some ideas for free and low cost activities within our community to keep your children busy this summer.

Athol area:

Free Fun on Fridays-70 MUSEUMS & CULTURAL VENUES

10 WEEKS OF FUN THIS SUMMER, 7 SITES OPEN FOR FREE EACH FRIDAY-Free Fun Fridays offers visitors no cost admission to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts.

School Calendar for the 2015-2016 academic year

Please note our school calendar for next year has been voted by school committee and approved. For planning purposes it is linked below if you would like to print it. The first student day is August 26, 2015.

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 :)

Stories in the Park- starting June 5 at 9:30 am at the Millers Park at the Athol Public Library- Enjoy strolling through the park with your child as you read the pages of a different book each week posted along signs through the park. This free, fun family activity will be continuing through out the summer! Please Click on the link below for more information.

Welcome Baby Baskets- Did you or do you know someone who just had a new baby? Valuing Our Children would love to pay them a visit with a basket full of goodies. For more information please call (978) 249-8487.

Petersham Playgroup -July 22 and August 12- 10:00-11:30 am

The Nurturing Program will be offering a new class for parents starting in September 2015. Space is limited so please click on the link below to find out more about how you can be involved in this opportunity.

Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Program is enrolling children for the 2015-2016 school year program. They serve children in the Athol/Orange area with transportation provided from Riverbend and Butterfield Schools. Please click on the link below for more information about this program and how you can be involved.

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

These are not school sponsored events but are posted here as a public service for families in the greater North Quabbin community.

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates!

  • July 29-Wednesday Book Swap
  • August 5-Wednesday Book Swap
  • August 12- Wednesday Book Swap
  • August 26, 2015- new school year begins

Check back soon for more news!

News from the Athol-Royalston Elementary Schools

Teaching Excellence &

Bringing Our Schools Together in 2016

The Athol Elementary Schools: Pleasant, Riverbend, and Sanders Street will come together in our new, state of the art, Athol Elementary School opening Fall 2016.