South Elementary Family Newsletter

Volume #6 February, 2021

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Monthly Message from the Principal

Dear South Families,

Time is sure flying by and does not seem to be slowed down by the cold, Covid, or quarantines! We are half way there (I am showing my age when I say that I picture Bon Jovi singing that at one of the concerts of my younger days. Click here to sing along.) The half way mark brings Middle of the Year (MOY) assessments for all students. This will give us some great data to compare with Beginning of the Year (BOY) results and also the ability to analyze student growth, strengths, and weaknesses. One good thing about the Hybrid model is the smaller class sizes and the individualized instruction (in both 1-1 and small groups) that is able to take place both in person and virtually.

With that being said, I know it is hard for parents when students are learning at home. I've had a number of great, in-depth conversations with parents who are frustrated with their child's behavior because they are refusing to do work or participate online. This is not normally how their child behaves and they don't know why and are feeling embarrassed. Their child has the ability to do what is being asked, but they are saying they won't or acting out. Who knows why this is happening? Maybe it's for attention, fake control, avoidance of work, boredom, etc. but don't be embarrassed!

I'm a parent, too, and don't judge. I have two older children who I love and adore. My daughter is 23 and lives in Nashville and my son is 18 and lives at home with us. I've been through the terrible twos, crazy teens, and it still can be difficult. As a working military wife whose husband was often deployed, I can tell you that I struggled and so did my kids. Life can get messy and we sometimes lose control and that's ok. But, we can't do it alone! In my opinion, parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and that is without Covid.

There is no right way or magic set of directions. Children have so many influences these days, and when you add in all things Covid related that impact the normal routine, you may get new behaviors. Reach out to your child's teacher or our school adjustment counselor or myself. We can help. I've included a recommended book list for Parenting in the Parent Resources section below; my favorite is the one from Brene Brown. I also want to share a link from one of my favorite websites called Empowering Parents. The link for the website is HERE. There are multiple articles and resources on this that you can access for free. One article that I think you may find helpful while raising any child and especially while everyone is often home together is called "14 Proven Responses to the Most Frustrating BackTalk", including eye rolls and "whatever". That is available HERE. Hopefully, these resources will provide some support to you and your family, like they did for me and mine.

On a last fun note, if there is snow on the ground, please send your child to school with snow pants and snow boots and other appropriate cold weather gear so that they can play in the snow during recess. Wishing you all happy hearts, lots of chocolate, and good health during this frosty month of February!

Steph Brown


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Important Dates

Friday, February 12th-Virtual Paint Night (see PTO section for more info)

Monday, February 14th-19th-NO SCHOOL-Winter Vacation

Tuesday, February 23rd-PTO Meeting @ 6PM. Click HERE for the Zoom link.

Spirit Week! Week of 2/22/21-Sports Theme!

Cohort A- Tuesday, February, 2/23

Cohort B- Friday, February, 2/26


Please click on this link if you would like to be updated through text with information from me.

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A Little Peace of South.....Monthly Comfort

Hello South Families.......Ms H checking in,

I will be sharing some monthly updates on how our School Community is doing and sharing thoughts, Resources and Ideas. I hope you find this helpful. The link below is our School Counselor Collaborative Website with amazing resources. You can click Caring Corner and get resources, tips, and support. The top right corner of the website has a link to a form to request help from the counselor for each Student, as well as, a link to a form to request contact from the counselor for the Parents. We are here to help you all and will get back to you within a couple of days. If it is an emergency please contact the front office at 508-324-3180.

You can also reach me at South anytime via email at

As we continue with weekly transitions and changes in school this year, remember we are ALL in this together and do not hesitate to reach out. We are better together. These are incredibly stressful times for all of us and we are here for you as well as your children.

Be Well………..

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Technology and Virtual Learning

Please click on the following link to see Ms. Mitchell's Technology Newsletter.

June is available by email ( and by phone at 508-324-3180.

Chris is available by email ( and by phone at 508-324-3160.

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From Ms. Bertrand, Our School Nurse


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is removing the requirement for flu vaccination for attendance in childcare/preschool, primary, secondary and postsecondary education. Preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19. Given the intensive Commonwealth-wide efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccination, DPH wants to alleviate the burden to obtain flu vaccination and focus on continuing our COVID -19 vaccination efforts.


ParentsGuardians should be screening their children for the following symptoms prior to coming to school. If your child has any of the following symptoms, PLEASE do not send your child to school. If you feel that your child needs medication in the morning, this is an indication that your child needs to remain home from school and please communicate this with us. Thank you for your cooperation in this very important matter.

  • Fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or

  • shaking chills

  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Headache, when in combination with other symptoms

  • Muscle Aches or body aches

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

  • Fatigue, when in combination of other symptoms

  • Nasal Congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms


Updated Covid Protocols

If your child is ill, please keep them home and email our school nurse,

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South PTO

- Spread the Love Community Event - The three Somerset Elementary Schools want us all to come together to share a little more love. Look for the Heart Hunters flyer coming soon and stay tuned for more district wide PTO events because WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER! Click HERE for the flyer.

- Virtual Paint Night - Friday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. In lieu of our Sweetheart Dance we are hosting a virtual paint night open to all Somerset Elementary students and their families. Zoom Link and list of supplies will be sent prior to the event. We are asking for an optional donation of $10 per family. Click HERE for the flyer.

- School Store - We are opening up the school store in February. Link will be shared very soon. Get all your cricket gear!

- Spirit Day - Week of February 21 is "Sports Theme" Spirit Week.

- Box Tops - Make sure to sign up at and download the app so we can earn money for our school. ***Due to current guidelines we are no longer collecting the physical box tops.***

- Energy Saving Fundraiser - National Grid is offering a way for us to save energy and help our school! Check out this link for more info. Then visit During checkout enter "South Elementary School" and your students name. Free shipping directly to your home.

- PTO Meeting - Tuesday, February 23 at 6pm. We have a lot of things happening and would love to see our South families and staff join us.

South Elementary PTO is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Monthly South PTO Meeting
Time: Feb 23, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Feb 23, 2021 06:00 PM
Mar 16, 2021 06:00 PM
Apr 20, 2021 06:00 PM
May 18, 2021 06:00 PM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 0733 0145
Passcode: crickets
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,82907330145#,,,,*48052631# US (Washington DC)
+13126266799,,82907330145#,,,,*48052631# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 829 0733 0145
Passcode: 48052631
Find your local number:

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Parent Resources

Click HERE for a list of the 5 Best Parenting Books

Click HERE for Great Books to Read with Your Kids in February

Click HERE for a 100's 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.

February Lunch Menu: please click or try this link:

Or, try to copy and paste this link into a different tab:

School meals (breakfast and lunch) are free for all students (in-school and virtual) up to age 21 for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. ***Effective January 4th 2021, all remote meals will be distributed at Somerset Middle School (1141 Brayton Ave Somerset MA 02726) Meals will be served on the right side of building on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 10 am-12 pm. If you are picking up meals you can pick up several days' meals at one time. If you aren't able to come yourself you can have someone come in your place to pick up the meals.

**Meals will NOT be available on School breaks, Professional Development Days, Holidays, and snow days.

Please reach out to Jason Morency at or 1-508-352-3172 with any questions regarding school lunches.

MA/COVID Travel Information: If you are planning on a family vacation or a visit out of the state, please review the Massachusetts Travel Order.

Somerset Public Schools Handbook: SPS Health and Safety Handbook includes important information on face masks/covering (no neck gators or masks with vents, unless a doctor's note is sent in), travel restrictions (links in Parent Resources for Massachusetts Travel information), and keeping students home if students or their close contacts have COVID symptoms.

Somerset Public Schools, Revised Calendar: please click HERE

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Kindergarten rang in the new year by creating goals and resolutions on things we want to improve. As a school, we have been engaging in a variety of assessments to monitor the academic progression of our students and identify their strengths and needs. We are using this information to plan more individualized instruction and add in more small groups support on Wednesdays to target specific skills. This month, we continued to learn letter sounds and have been creating and reading CVC words. Students have been reading both human (real) words and alien (nonsense/fake) words to help develop their decoding skills. In math, we have strengthened our knowledge of the numbers 6-10 and learned how to break down the numbers into partners. We also are working on counting by 10’s and counting by 1’s to reach our end of the year goal of counting to 100! In science, we have begun a kit that introduced force and motion called "push, pull, and go". Students will engage in hands-on building activities to investigate and explore these concepts.

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The first graders are once again proving that they can “do hard things“. We started the month off remotely and quickly came back to hybrid and then started our two hours of in person/virtual learning. They rocked all of it! This month we have focused mainly on nonfiction reading and writing. The first graders are learning how to write their own informational text. We will be continuing to work on that through February and March. We have been exploring strategies for addition including using doubles facts and making a ten. In science, the first graders are learning all about light and sound energy and in social studies we are learning about important people who changed our country using love and compassion. We are so proud of our first graders!!
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It is hard to believe that we have made it through half of the school year! The end of the semester was 1/26 and report cards will be available today!

January has already brought a lot of new and exciting learning in 2nd grade! In ELA, we used the book Disaster Alert! to begin our informational unit. We looked into the various text features found within a nonfiction text including table of contents, index, glossary, caption and heading to name just a few! We have begun choosing topics to write our own informational texts over the next few weeks. In math, we are working with numbers, exploring various strategies for adding and subtracting numbers including making a ten and using doubles facts. We have begun our physical science unit exploring the states of matter.

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Third Grade finished a unit on narrative writing and is now working on informational writing. We are beginning with an expert piece and will be moving on to research writing soon! In reading, we are noticing nonfiction text features and how they help us understand the text. We are multiplication pros in math! Our reflex percentages are moving up, and we are getting closer and closer to being fluent with our multiplication facts. Everyone is excited to learn about the Revolutionary War in Social Studies. Currently, we are building our background knowledge about how the colonies grew and the events leading up to the war. In Science, we finished our Weather and Climate Unit and are now learning about force and motion. We are experimenting with magnets and observing magnetic force, balances and unbalanced forces, push and pull motion, and a lot more! Mrs. Lopes and Mrs. Kela continue to be impressed with Grade 3's excitement and drive to learn this year!
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Greetings from the 4th Grade:

We have been working diligently this month in 4th grade! In ELA we are working on biographies, and analyzing cause and effect in expository texts. In math,we have completed dividing with 1-digit numbers, and are starting a new chapter on factors, multiples and patterns. Lastly, we are studying the Northeast region, and will be studying all of the regions of the United States next month.

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As the New Year, 2021, has begun, we are working hard in Fifth Grade. We are having a great time being one big class with online teaching. The students are so happy to see each other. The students have begun the ELA unit on Informational text .The students love this section because it is all about the facts. We get to read and learn about a range of subjects. They will also be learning how to write using only facts and no opinion, which is very hard because we all like to give our opinion. In Math, we just finished multiplication of decimals and now we will learn to divide them. In Social Studies, we are just finishing up the Thirteen Colonies and will move onto the causes of the American Revolution. Mixtures and Solutions is the topic of the unit we are working on in Science. The students are learning that most things are mixtures but not all are solutions.