Hawk Talk

The Monthly Newsletter from the Patricia A. Duran School

A Message from Mrs. Davis

Dear Duran School Community,

I hope you were able to enjoy a peaceful winter vacation. We are very glad to welcome your children back to school. Please read on for updates over the month of December and information regarding upcoming events.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2023!

Melissa Davis, Ed.D.

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Weather-Related Updates

Although we have been pretty sparse on snow lately, we can probably expect to have some snowy weather over the next few months. There are several ways to find out if we have a weather-related delay or closing:

1. Delays and closing are reported through the local television outlets (WABI, WLBZ and WVII Fox Bangor)

2. A number of different radio stations also report out on delays and closings as well. A few include: 107.3, 106.5, 94.5, etc.

3. The Patricia A. Duran Facebook page is also updated with a delay/closing. If you haven't liked the page, please go to https://www.facebook.com/HermonElementary/ and like us.

4. A text alert from the superintendent is also sent out to all families. This alert goes to the phone numbers that we have on record at the school. If your number has changed, please contact us so that we can ensure that you receive these updates.

No School January 16

Just a reminder that we do not have school on January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Spotlight on First Grade


First graders have been building on their reading strategies by decoding words and identifying blends. They continue to use their Letterland phonics skills to be fluent and successful readers. Students have been using their inference skills and schema to build personal and text connections with our Jan Brett author study.


In writing, we have been focusing on informational stories. Students have been the “teacher” and are teaching their peers all they know about a topic. We will become “researchers” by finding out more information about a topic and sharing it with our classmates while using text features.


First graders have been focusing on adding, subtracting, counting & comparing. We have also introduced telling time and fractions. Lastly, students are bringing their reading and writing skills to math by interacting with various types of story problems and also creating their own.

Winter/Spring Concert and Student Showcase Schedule

As you know, we have a new music teacher! Mrs. Collins returned from maternity leave after Thanksgiving break and has been preparing our students for their first concert since the start of the pandemic. With 484 students, we are staggering the concerts by grade level so there is ample parking and space for families to attend. In addition to the concert, students will also have an academic showcase in their classrooms prior to the concert. This is an opportunity, not only for families to see a great musical show, but a chance to see some of our students' academic work as well. We are excited to have this time with our families! Below is a list of the concert/academic showcase nights:

Grades 1 and 2: February 15 at 5:30

Kindergarten: April 12 at 5:30

Grades 3 and 4: May 10 at 5:30

A Note from Nurse Scripture:

Tis the season for cold and flu! Just a reminder that if your child has been sick, we ask that you keep them out of school until they have been fever, vomiting and diarrhea-free for 24 hours. Fever-free requires that the student is without a fever, and not using a fever-reducing medication, for 24 hours. Thank you for helping us reduce the spread of seasonal illnesses.

Please remind your student to use good hand washing skills, cough into an elbow, and use a tissue when sneezing. Having a water bottle at school to stay hydrated is important also.

Thank you for your help encouraging your child to keep up healthy practices!

Student Absences and Dismissal Plans

When your child is absent, please verify their absence by calling the main office at (207) 848-4000, option 3 for the Duran School. Please do not send information regarding absences to your child's teacher via SeeSaw. They are often not checking SeeSaw during the day. We are required by law to track student absences to ensure that students are attending school on a regular basis.

Excused absences include: illness, health related appointments, observance of recognized religious holidays when observance is required during school hours, family emergency situations, educational absences approved by the principal in advance, absences caused by school activities held during the school day. As a school, we are required to maintain and report truancy data to the state. Students who accumulate five consecutive unexcused absences or seven unexcused absences are considered by the state to be truant.

As you all know, dismissal and arrival times can be very chaotic. With close to 500 students to dismiss, it is critical that we have student plans. Please do not send dismissal information to your child's teacher through SeeSaw. Please call the main office or send your child with a note if their dismissal plans change. We begin preparing for dismissal at 2:00 and request that if plans need to change, they are done before 2:00.

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Winter Gear and Extra Clothes

Cold weather has arrived! Please make sure to pack appropriate clothing for outdoor play. We do try to get students outside to play every day. Packing a hat, mittens and a warm jacket is essential for winter recess. When snow arrives, students will be required to wear snow pants in order to play in the snow at recess. If you are unable to provide these items, please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Davis. We will make sure that your child has the items they need for cold weather play.

It's also a great idea to make sure that your child comes to school with an extra set of clothes that are seasonally appropriate. We sometimes have spills and the extra clothing ensures that students have what they need.

Breakfast and Lunch Menus for January

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