K-5 Board Report October

TO: RSU #74 Board of Directors

 FROM: Jean Butler

 DATE: September 26, 2018



After starting the school year with very hot and humid weather, we welcome the advent of cooler temperatures and a hint of color in the leaves. Fall has arrived, and the schools are busy places this season.

 Civil Rights Teams are forming in the Garret Schenck and Solon Schools this fall. The teams will attend the Civil Rights Team Fall Conference on November 13that the University of Maine at Farmington. Our Civil Rights Teams play an important role in helping to educate our students about the harmful aspects of bullying, harassment, and bias behavior.

 The three first grade classes visited North Star Orchards on September 19th. This is an annual trip for students to learn about the apple industry in Maine, and students always come back with bags of apples to take home.

 During the afternoon of the workshop day on October 5th , the Literacy Committee will provide training for the K-6 teachers in the Wonders literacy program. Teachers implemented the new program last year, and we want to give them a chance to share ideas and resources with others as well as to learn how to use some of the online resources that are available with the program. 

During Fire Prevention Week October 8-12, local firefighters will visit the elementary schools to conduct fire safety presentations for the students in PreK-5. They will talk to the students about how to get out of a burning building and how to develop a family plan for emergencies and will show students the different parts of their firefighting uniform and gear. We appreciate the support of the Anson Fire Department and the Solon Fire Department in providing these important lessons for our young students to help keep them and their families safe. 

On the Early Release Day on October 18th , the K-5 staff will travel to Madison Elementary School, where the two staffs will participate together in a workshop to learn about the STEAM projects being done in our schools. They will also learn some projects and activities they can do with their students at various grade levels. These projects are funded by the grant that our district wrote along with Madison and Bingham. STEAM lead teachers Kathy Bertini, Jasmyn Wagg, and Richard Reichenbach will lead this workshop.

 Bus Safety Week is the week of October 22-26. Our bus drivers will do safety training with our youngest students that week. Students give gifts and cards to our bus drivers to show their appreciation for the drivers getting them to and from school safely each day. 

The towns of Anson and Solon are once again sponsoring After-School Programs at the elementary schools. Parents and staff are very supportive of these programs, which provide fun and educational activities, field trips, healthy snacks, and homework support for our students throughout the school year. 

When you're an elementary student, Halloween is one of your favorite days of the year! Students will bring their costumes and change into them for parades around town in the afternoon. Many parents, younger siblings, grandparents, and community members usually join us for the parade or stand along the parade route to wave to the students. After the parade, the students enjoy some Halloween treats, and we encourage parents to contribute healthy snacks for these parties. 

Garret Schenck

 Garret Schenck held an Open House and Spaghetti Supper featuring produce from the community garden on September 25th . Each class was responsible for preparing something for the meal. Preschool and kindergarten students made table decorations, first graders made table tents to tell about the different types of produce people would see and taste at the dinner, second graders made the salad, third and fourth graders made the spaghetti sauce, and fifth graders made the dessert.

 Garret Schenck has formed a 100-Mile Club this year. Students walk or run around the playground several times on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, receiving mileage markers for each mile they walk or run. Students can also run at home and log their miles. The goal is for students to reach milestones along the way to 100 miles. This program promotes fitness and good health among our students. We thank first grade teacher Tanya Carey for organizing this event for our school.

 Barbara Branch from the Positive Action Company in Idaho will visit Garret Schenck on October 4th to observe classrooms in which teachers are teaching Positive Action lessons in our second year of implementation of this program through our School Improvement Grant. Barbara will also interview staff and provide training to them at an after-school meeting that day.

 Part of the Positive Action program is a series of family classes to introduce parents to the concepts their children are learning in the program at school and to provide them with resources to use at home. There will be a family class to go along with each of the six units of the Positive Action program. The first family class will be September 27th from 5:30-7:00 starting with dinner for the families. Mrs. Lisa Savage is running a Cooking Club after school that day, and the students will make the dinner for the Family Class. Following dinner, students and parents will engage in activities around the theme of the unit of study. The first unit is on the topic of self-concept, in which students learn that self-concept is the way they feel about themselves and that factors such as families and friends influence whether they have a positive or negative self-concept.


 Solon Elementary School held its Fall Open House on September 26th along with a PTO Book Fair. Students and parents stopped by to see the classrooms, meet the staff, and shop at the book fair. They enjoyed homemade Rice Krispy balls on a stick for refreshments.

 Students in grades 3-5 will visit the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor on October 12th . They will participate in the museum's “Junior Curator” program as well as getting a tour of the museum. They will have a picnic lunch on the grounds before returning to school. 

On October 31st , the students in Grades K-2 will visit the Somerset Residential and Rehabilitation Center in Bingham dressed in their Halloween costumes to bring some treats for the residents. It is a longstanding tradition for at least one class to visit the nursing home every month, and the residents really seem to enjoy these visits. 

If you have any questions about anything at Garret Schenck or Solon, please contact me.