Pleasant Street School News

building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Math Curriculum News- What is a Rekenrek?

Dear Families,

We are implementing a new rigorous standards-based math curriculum and let's just say it probably looks very different from how you learned math in school (and that's a good thing!!). Unfortunately, many of us were taught to rely on rote recall, and learned math by memorizing facts and performing basic computational skills. That probably worked for a while, but by than, many of us hadn't developed efficient strategies to perform mental math and found the calculator to be way easier. How quickly did we find ourselves calculator dependent?! Once we hit algebra and letters became mixed with numbers to solve for "x" we started to completely lose confidence. Many wonderful, bright, educated adults have significant math anxiety and difficulty as they never truly developed a strong conceptual foundation in mathematics. People think of themselves as not mathematically inclined or simply "not getting it." Now is the time to put all of your math history or fear aside and learn with your children as we provide them (and you too!!) with the tools to build a strong foundation in math. You will not regret this especially as your children advance and work their way through middle and high school and courses in algebra, geometry, statistics, and calculus.

We are teaching higher order problem solving skills that will allow children to manipulate and conceptualize numbers and patterns with much greater facility. This includes knowing the language, "math talk," and vocabulary as well as the relationships between problem solving processes such as multiplication and division. The terms may sound unfamiliar to you as we learn about number bonds, equations, and how to compose and decompose numbers. Please don't say, "this is too hard" or it doesn't "make any sense" but rather "this is interesting," and "show me what you know," or "let's figure this out together."

You will see terrific gains in your children's math skills this year! Working in partnership with your children's teachers we will develop a new generation of confident, mathematical problem solvers! So build some rekenreks and talk about number bonds with your children and you might just find yourself having fun!

Please visit for helpful informational brochures that include vocabulary, illustrations, examples, and detail skills by grade and module that we are covering in our math curriculum this year.

Hopes and Dreams..."This year I will..."

Hopes and dreams from Mrs. Arpide's second grade and Mrs. St. Jean's third grade classes.

"This year I will get better at math and reading. I will do this by doing my work."

"My hope and dream is math, because math is important."

"My hope is I can know multiplication."

"This year I will get better at math and reading. I will do this by doing my work."

"My hope this year is to get better at gym. I will do this by having Mr. Hause help me."

"My hope this year is to remember my math. I will do this by doing a lot more math at home."

"My hope and dream is to learn more about time so then I can tell time."

"My hope this year is to do lots of math, because I love math."

Open House Sept. 23rd- 6:00-7:00 PM

Our Scholastic Book Fair begins this week and will be set up during the Open House in the cafeteria. The book fair is a great place to purchase affordable books, pencils, and novelties. You can never have too many books especially when we want to promote a strong community of readers! Our doors will open at 5:30 for the book fair and 6:00 pm for Open House. We hope to have a big turn out for open house which is a time to see the school and to meet classroom teachers. It is not set up for individual student conferences which will be held in November.

All school PTO fundraiser to benefit school enrichment programs

Look who has earned some popped eye pets by selling items in our all school fundraiser! The PTO uses money raised through this primary fundraiser to support school enrichment projects that include scholastic classroom subscriptions, field trips, playground improvements, and our school trip to see children's theater at The Mount.

The fundraiser is running Sept. 11th through Sept. 26th. Some families have asked if they can send a check rather than buy items. If that is better for your family please make the check out to Pleasant Street School PTO. Thank you for your support!

Health Office Updates

"Please wash your hands" has been a frequent reminder at school as we have seen a number of illnesses affect children. We also have seen pediculosis (head lice) in more than one classroom and have taken added steps to reduce potential spread at school, in addition, to alerting families. We have also been monitoring advisories on the enterovirus and taken additional steps to sanitize common areas and promote hand washing to limit any potential exposure. We do not have any confirmed cases of enterovirus and we want to keep it that way! For more information on the enterovirus please click on the links below.

Next week we will begin annual health screenings. If you have any questions please feel free to call or email Nurse Jean Liddy at

Math Workshop in Action!

In the math workshop model, after a directed teacher lesson, students spend time working through activity stations to process their thinking and learn from one another. Stations include hands on activities and allow for teachers to differentiate instruction and build on specific targeted skills. Pictured are charts and a math word wall from Mrs. Arpide's second grade class.

More New Staff to Pleasant Street

ARRSD Strategic Planning in Action!

Members of the ARRSD Strategic Planning Committee met last Friday, Sept. 19 from 12:00-4:30 pm to begin the work of developing a new strategic plan for our school district that will be in effect from 2015 to 2020. Stakeholders in this group include school committee members, school administrators, teachers, students, business and community members. Thank you to Anne Stevens, Aimee Hanson, Laura Robinson, Patricia Winters, who along with Principal Dianne Ellis, are serving on this committee with ties to Pleasant Street School.

Volunteer Opportunities: Celebrating the Home/School Partnership!

  • Student Improvement Council-We are looking for additional parents and one or more community members to serve on our student improvement council. This group works together each month to examine teaching and learning priorities, student achievement efforts, enrichment opportunities, and budgetary priorities for our school. If you are interested in serving on our council please call the school or send an email to Mrs. Ellis at
  • Parent Advisory Council for Special Education-The Athol Royalston Regional School District has a parent advisory council for parents and care providers of children with disabilities. The PAC meets regularly and serves and advisory role to Jeff Ferranti, the Director of Special Education and Student Support Services, along with building principals on issues of concern for students with disabilities and their families. For more information about the positive roles of PACS please visit the state website at:
  • Parent/ Teacher Organization (PTO)-We had our first PTO meeting in September. Our next PTO meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 6th in our cafeteria. All are welcome and childcare is provided.
  • Classroom and Library Volunteers- We have been very pleased with the number of parents who have expressed interest in volunteering in classrooms! We are always eager to include more families and there are so many ways to be involved. If you are interested in volunteering at the school and/or want to contribute in another way from home please let your child’s teacher know.

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates

  • Sept. 22- 26- Scholastic Book Fair
  • Sept. 23- Open House, 6:00-7:00 pm. Doors open at 5:30 for the book fair.
  • Sept. 24- District half day, noon dismissal, lunch is served.
  • Oct. 6- PTO meeting, 6:00-7:00 pm, all are welcome, childcare is provided
  • Oct. 7- Picture Day

Check back soon for more news!

News from Principal Ellis

Building a community of learners that strive for excellence