Archives of Notes from the Principal

September 2012

        Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year! 

We are off and running. You can feel the excitement in the air at WES as students step up a grade, meet new friends, reconnect with others, and build a community with their teachers and classmates. 

Thank you for your participation in our Open House on Thursday, September 13thI am sure you noticed that our custodial staff has done a tremendous job throughout the entire summer, cleaning and shining every inch of our school. I hope you enjoyed the slide show in the cafeteria, showing the happy anticipation on students’ faces as they arrived on the first days of school.  Kudos and thank you to our PTSA for serving complimentary pizza and water to families in the cafeteria throughout the open house hours. 

We have some new staff members to introduce to you, as well as several staff members who have changed positions.

New members include:

3rd grade teacher, Amy Boyce, came to us from Alfred Elementary School where she was a 5th grade teacher.

 

3rd grade teacher, Marty Cryer, came to us from Hollis Elementary School where she was a 5th grade teacher.

 

Literacy Specialist, Bonnie Esty, came to us from the Bonny Eagle School district where she served as a Literacy Specialist. 


 

EL (English Learner) Teacher, Julia Pitt, just arrived from the Pittsburgh Public Schools where she served as the EL teacher and Early Childhood Education Teacher.


Special Education Ed Tech, Sheila Phelan, came to us from Wells High School where she also served as a Special Education Ed Tech.



Familiar WES faces in new positions include:

Michelle Boucher, a former Title I Math Ed Tech III,  is now a 3rd grade teacher. 


Nancy Colley, a former 1st grade teacher, is now a Literacy Specialist.

 

Emily Crippen, a former Special Education Ed Tech II, is now a Special Education teacher.

 

Kim Richard, a former 3rd grade teacher, is now a Title I Math teacher.

 

Melissa Stapleton, our former Explorations teacher, is now a Multiage 3-4 teacher.


Henry Ingwersen, a former Multiage 3-4 teacher, is now a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teacher.


 

Reminder of our on-going health initiative at WES… 

School lunches are now healthier than ever!  After selecting a main entrée, students in grades 1-4 now encounter their own “kid size” salad bar before checking out at the register.  They are thoroughly enjoying the wide variety of fruits and vegetables offered each day.

 

Beginning last year, classroom parties were celebrated with an abundance of healthy snacks.  Students loved the creative displays of fresh fruits, cheese & crackers, and veggie trays. Although they were offered one treat (a cupcake, brownie, etc.), many focused on the healthier choices.

 

New this year, our Student Wellness Team has generated a list of fun, alternative, healthier ways to note birthdays, instead of the traditional cupcakes. Each classroom community is selecting their favorites from the list.  As always, every child’s birthday is also recognized with a special pencil from Mr. Spinney or me!  Although it is certainly not a requirement to note your child’s special day with his/her classmates at school, it is a wonderful tradition at WES that most children cherish, especially our younger learners!

 

The Common Core Standards for Literacy and Math 

The Common Core Standards provide teachers with the specific knowledge and skills that every child should attain at each grade level, with the ultimate goal of preparing students for success in college and work. The Common Core Standards for Math and English Language Arts were released in June of 2010. Each state determined whether they would adopt them for their schools. Maine has adopted The Common Core Standards, along with 44 other states.  Standards are currently being written for Science and Social Studies, and our legislature will consider adopting them once they are completed. For further details about The Common Core Standards, please go to the following link:

http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/commoncore/documents/common_core_summary_2010-12-03.pdf

 

In order for students to reach the grade level benchmarks in The Common Core Standards, instruction will look different than in the past.   Students will be doing more problem solving in math and studying concepts in more depth. In English Language Arts, parents will notice that students will be doing less story (fictional) writing pieces, and more pieces that persuade, using evidence from what they read in non-fiction texts.  

 

We have revised our WES report card to reflect the changes required by The Common Core Standards. The revised report card will be presented at the September 18th PTSA meeting at 6:00 in the WES cafeteria. It will also be discussed at our Parent Advisory Council meeting on October 1st

Parents will receive information about their child(ren)’s growth toward The Common Core Standards  four times a year:

1) at Parent Conferences on November 8th and 9th

2) on a written report card that will sent be home with your child at the end of January

3) at Parent Conferences on April 4th and 5th

4) on a final written report card that will be sent home with your child on the last day of school in June

Please note the change in report card distribution. In the past, students have received a report card three times per year.  With the new Common Core Standards, they will be receiving a report card two times per year.

Parent Roadmaps to The Common Core Standards

The Council of the Great City Schools' parent roadmaps in English language arts/literacy and in mathematics provide guidance to parents about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning in grades K-8. These parent roadmaps for each grade level also provide three-year snapshots showing how selected standards progress from year to year so that students will be college and career ready upon their graduation from high school.

http://www.cgcs.org/domain/36


As always, don't hesitate to call, write, or visit if you have questions or concerns. Our partnership in your child's education makes a difference!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June-August 2012


The 2011-2012 school year definitely flew by with students and staff actively growing and learning together.  Our traditional end-of-the year events, including Starz for Broadway, Colors Day, and Step-Up Day, were enjoyable and successful for the entire WES community.  Other highlights of our year included:

WES Day of Respect when all students contributed to various service learning projects; achieving the USDA Healthy Schools Silver Award; classroom parties that were fun with an abundance of healthy foods; Core Values (respect, honesty, compassion, trustworthiness, and responsibility) celebrated and reinforced at assemblies; new connections established with local senior citizens that included WES students making Valentines for seniors and some classes participating in activities at Atria, and our amazing concerts and performances that thrilled audiences throughout the year.  

                               Peeking into 2012-2013… some important  information: 

                                                            WES Health Initiative Takes Next Steps

As the USDA Healthy Schools Silver Award recognized, WES students are on the move and making healthy food choices, both in the cafeteria and in their classrooms.

This year we focused on holiday parties which featured predominantly fruits, vegetables, and cheese/crackers with one “treat” (such as a brownie or cupcake) per child. We also strongly encouraged low fat, low sugar daily snacks sent from home.

 In a continued effort to increase healthy eating habits, beginning with the opening of the 2012-2013 school year, we are eliminating cupcakes or other sugary, high fat foods for birthday celebrations.  

Our Student Wellness Team brainstormed several lists of alternative ways to celebrate birthdays in school.  These include activities, healthy foods, and small items. The lists were shared with students in June, and will be available in each classroom in the Fall, for teachers and students to determine which ideas will work for their particular learning community, and for them to add more ideas, as a class.

Important dates to save on your calendar for the fall

                                Opening day of school for grades 1-4 is Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

                                Opening day of school for Kindergarten is Friday, September 7, 2012.

  • Kindergarten parents and other parents who are new to WES are invited to join us at a “New Beginnings” breakfast in the cafeteria right after the Kindergarten children enter the school.

                                WES Open House – Thursday, September 13th, from 5:30 – 7:00PM

Other dates to note can be found on the WOCSD 2012-2013 district calendar. It is included on the Friday Folder Website that is linked to the WES website.

                                                                                        Lunch Program

                Breakfast: $1.50; free for all students who qualify for free or reduced lunch

                Lunch: $2.50: Reduced price: $.40

                Milk: $.50 for white, $.60 for chocolate

Applications for free/reduced lunches can be found on the nutrition section of the WOCSD website.

Decrease in student population: Since our largest class in recent history will be moving on to Wells Jr. High School (126 students in our 2011-2012 4th grade), and we are welcoming in 88 Kindergarten students, the overall decrease in our population is approximately 38 students.  Therefore, we have decreased the number of classroom sections from 28 to 26.                 

        Our student numbers and staffing for 2012-2013 are as follows:

Grade Level

# of Students (may change slightly over the summer)

# of Classrooms

Average Class Size

Classroom Teachers and Room   #

K

88

5

18

Ms. Bastille(131)    Mrs. Grant (132)    Mrs. Millian  (133)  Mrs. Robinson (134) 

Mrs. DeFelice (135)     

1

77

5

15

Mrs. Valliere(136) Mrs. McPherson (137)

Ms. Talbot   (Looping 1 to 2) (138)       

Mrs. Abbott  (139)        

Dr. Kohn / Mrs.Clason Multi 1-2 (127/128)

2

91

5

18

Mrs. Langelier  (Looping 1 to 2) (126)    

Mrs. Sweeney (220)    Mrs. Brown (217)

Mrs. Wilson (221)          

Dr. Kohn/Mrs. Clason Multi 1-2 (127/128)

3

105

6

18

Mrs. Cryer (211)        Ms. Boyce (212)   

Mr. Kafkas   (Looping 3 to 4) (214)

Mrs. Pisano (215)       TBA (216)      

Mrs. Bush/Mrs. Stapleton  Multi 3-4 (209/206)

4

80

5

16

Mrs. Higgins (202)     Mrs. Longley (205)

Mrs. Guerrette (207)  Mrs. Lear (210)          

Mrs. Bush/ Mrs. Stapleton Multi 3-4 (209/206)

Your child can expect to receive a letter from his/her teacher sometime during the first week in August.  It will include suggestions for school supplies and other pertinent information about the classroom.  We have heard that students anticipate receiving this fun, personal mail.

 

                                           Departing WES Staff Members

Each of these valued staff members brought unique talents and contributed much to support our students and school community.  They will be missed. We wish them well in their next adventures.

    • Mrs. Shelly Lazzara (4th grade) is retiring after 23 years of teaching.
    • Mr. Linda Logan (Special Educator) is retiring after 38 years of teaching.
    • Mrs. Karen Lucy (Literacy Teacher) is retiring after 16 years of teaching.
    • Mrs. Georgianna Pilkington (Literacy Teacher) is retiring after 13 years of teaching.
    • Mrs. Nancy Whitman (Educational Technician) is retiring after 41 years of supporting students and teachers in all grades, K-4.
    • Mrs. Justine Martin (2nd Grade) is seeking employment closer to her home.
    • Mrs. Jessica Hunt (3rd Grade) is moving to Bridgton with her family.
    • Mrs. Callie Clapp (Social Worker) has accepted a full time position in Portland
    • Ms. Gale Bernard and Mrs. Judy Giminez (Educational Technicians for Special Education) will be moving to Wells Jr. High School.

      WES Staff Members Changing Roles

  • Mrs. Nancy Colley has accepted the position of Literacy Specialist.  She will be supporting students in our Title I Literacy program.
  • Mrs. Kim Richard has accepted the position of Math Support Teacher.  She will be supporting students in our Title I Math program.
  • Mr. Henry Ingwersen has accepted the position of Explorations/S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), a new focus for our Explorations classes.
  • Mrs. Melissa Stapleton has accepted the position of 3-4 Muliage Teacher.
  • Ms. Emily Crippen has accepted the position of Special Education Resource Room Teacher.

                                    New Members to the WES Team in 2012-2013

  • Mrs. Bonnie Esty will be serving as a Literacy Specialist, supporting students in the Title I Literacy program.
  • We will have three new 3rd grade teachers.  Recommendations for three outstanding finalists have been submitted to Mrs. Elaine Tomaszewski, Superintendent of Schools, for final consideration.  Two of the new teachers met with Mrs. Tomaszewski on Monday, July 2nd, and have been fully approved for employment in our district.  They are Mrs. Marty Cryer, who comes to us after three years of elementary teaching in the Bonny Eagle School District, and Ms. Amy Boyce, who completed her student internship at WES and then went on to teach 5th grade in Alfred, for a year. The third new teacher will be meeting with our Superintendent in mid-July. 
  • Mrs. Sheila Phalen will be serving students in one of our two Resource Rooms.  She is coming to us from Wells High School.

Educational Technician Supports

We are very fortunate to have the supports of highly skilled Ed Techs at WES, not only in special education, but throughout the building.

Grade Level

Ed Tech(s)

Supporting Students in the following Teachers’ Classes

         Notes

K

Pam Beane (PM)

Deb Erskine

Kelly Brown

Maureen DeFelice

Marcia Millian, Sandy Robinson

Sue Bastille, Raylene Grant

 

Kindergarten Core

Carol Gilblair

Carolyn Vail, Kathy Mallat, Music (TBA), Karen Westerberg,

plus Friday Core teachers (vary)

 

1st Grade/

 

Portion in K

Selena Nickerson

 

 

Karen Valliere, Jen Abbott, Lynn McPherson, Nancy Talbot,

Maureen DeFelice

 

2nd Grade

Pam Beane

Charlotte Wilson, Susan Brown

Clarissa Sweeney

Also, 2nd grade Core

3rd Grade

Mary Bouchard

Lucille Pisano, Mark Kafkas, Marty Cryer ,Amy Boyce, tba

Also, 3rd Grade Core

4th Grade

 

Explorations

Mirna Davila

 

          

Michelle Guerrette, Pam Lear,

Donna Longley, Joanna Higgins,

Henry Ingwersen

Also, 4th Grade Core

 

Multiage

Deb Howard

 

 

Mary Beth Clason, Charlene Kohn, Michele Langelier (2nd  grade)

Beth Bush, Melissa Stapleton

Also Multi-age Core

 

Library

Betsy Littlefield

Karen Westerberg

 

Also K library classes

That’s it for now…more to come at the start of school.  Don’t hesitate to call our office if you have any questions or concerns (207-646-5953).  Our office will be open from 8:00-2:00, Monday-Friday during the summer.  Sarah Blevins, our Administrative Secretary, will be available in the front office.  I will be taking some time off after the 6th of July and returning by mid-August.   Our Assistant Principal, Mr. Ken Spinney, will also be taking vacation time in July and early August.  If you would like to speak with one of us, please call the office to check on our availability. We are happy to return your calls upon returning to the office.

I wish each of you a warm, sunny summer with lots memorable times with family and friends!

February/March 2012

Current and Projected Student Enrollments at WES

 

2011-2012

2012-2013

Projected

Kindergarten

  76

  82

Grade 1

  89

  76

Grade 2

106

  89

Grade 3

  81

106

Grade 4

124

  81

Total School Enrollment

476

434

 

Students Show Compassion

December 14th was the first ever WES “Day of Compassion” when all students demonstrated their kindness for others, including animals.  Enjoy the pictures below of the many ways that students showed compassion.

Day of Compassion


 WES students are creating beautiful Valentines to honor the local senior citizens.  Their heartfelt sentiments will be presented to representatives of the various senior communities at an assembly on February 13th. 

 

Wellness/Nutrition Initiative

We are well on our way to providing students with many opportunities to exercise and make good choices about their nutrition.

Valentine’s Day is a pretty important day At WES!  We will be celebrating with classroom parties that include healthy snacks with one treat only. Ask your child about how his/her class noted this special day.     

 

The Student Wellness Team continues to demonstrate strong leadership among their peers.  Currently they are learning more about our indoor motor course, an exercise course available to students who need a motor break to help them refocus on academics.  Members of the Student Wellness Team will educate their peers about the course and encourage them to use it, with teacher guidance.

Picture of the motor course

Next Steps in Wellness

Beginning in the fall of 2012, we will honor students with all of our usual enthusiasm on their birthday, but we will not be allowing cupcakes as part of the celebration.  Our Student Wellness Team will be helping us identify a variety of fun ways that students can note their birthday with classmates.  Stay tuned for a creative list of options.

Instruction and Assessment

NECAP –Students in 3rd and 4th grade participated in the statewide, mandated assessment, the New England Common Assessment Program.  Results from this assessment have just arrived.  Parent reports will be mailed home in February.

The Common Core Standards

These are new achievement targets for all Maine students that most states in the nation have adopted. Standardized tests will be aligned to these standards beginning in March of 2015. 

The mission statement for the Common Core Standards is:     

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

To learn more about The Common Core, the link is provided below:

http://www.corestandards.org/

 

Building and Grounds Improvements

The Playground Sunshade Structure is here!
Thanks to their fundraising efforts over the last five years, the WES PTSA has purchased a permanent sunshade structure for the WES playground.  PTSA president, Maureen Mahoney, and WES Head Custodian, David Boyd, thoroughly researched the many options, shared recommendations with stakeholders, and secured all required permits. Two picnic tables will be arranged under the structure making for a delightful outdoor classroom, a place for students to rest during recess, and picnic area for young families to enjoy on the weekends and during summer vacation.

           

Upcoming Events for February and March

Kindergarten Concert – February 8th

Our youngest learners will be showing off their talents to family and friends on Wednesday, February 8th at 2:00PM.   Their performance promises to brighten even the gloomiest of winter days.

 

Jump Rope for Heart – February 15th and 16th

This event for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders serves a dual purpose.  While providing students with another opportunity to show compassion by raising money for the American Heart Association, it also demonstrates the fun and wonderful healthy feeling that comes with exercise.

 

Celebration of Reading Day – March 2nd

With a focus on the joys of reading, WES students will be treated to special guests, who will visit their classrooms and read a favorite to them.  These “Celebrity Readers” include district administrators, community business owners, and occasionally, a senator!  This all happens in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

 

Kindergarten Information Night – March 22nd

Wells and Ogunquit families who have a child turning 5 years old on or before October 15, 2012 are invited to join us at 6:00PM for a tour of the WES facility followed by an informational meeting with the Kindergarten teachers from 6:30-8:00.   Parents will receive and abundance of useful information at this event.

Odyssey of the Mind State Championship – Saturday, March 24th

All three of the Wells-Ogunquit schools will be hosting this event.   We wish all of the teams good luck as they pour creative thinking into solving challenging problems and performing for teams of judges that day.

 

November/December 2011

Current Student Enrollments at WES

Kindergarten:    75

Grade 1:           89        

Grade 2:         105

Grade 3:           80

Grade 4:         125

Total:              474

Newest Members of the WES Staff

Melissa Stapleton joined the WES staff in September, taking on the position of Explorations teacher              for all of our students, K-4.

Jennifer Lord and Michelle Boucher joined us in November. They are both certified teachers who are serving in our Title One Math support program.  Jennifer is supporting students in grades K-2, while Michelle is working with students in grades 3 and 4.

Student Interns- We consider our interns as members of our staff, if only for a brief period of time.  This fall, we are fortunate to have:

·      Jana Campbell, University of New England student,  working with Occupational Therapist,   

·      University of Phoenix student, Denise Yegge, working with Kindergarten teacher, Sue Bastille

·       University of Maine, Farmington students:

o       Dana Perkins, working with Multiage 3-4 teacher, Beth Bush

o       Thomas Ross, working with 3rd grade teacher, Kim Richard

Student Contributions

Student Wellness Committee – Knowing that young children would have a lot of great ideas regarding health and wellness for themselves, their peers, and the adults in our community, the Staff Wellness Committee recommended that we initiate a Student Wellness Committee. Now in its second year, students in grades 3 and 4 meet once a week during their recess time, to brainstorm ideas and make plans for implementing their top priorities.  They assisted in planning a Wellness Day for all students and staff and served as guides for the new outdoor exercise course that day.  In addition, they focused on improving student nutrition by modeling healthy eating habits and partnered with our Food Service Director, Tyler Goodwin, to share ideas.   


Green Team - The Student Green Team was initiated in the spring of 2011 to coincide with the WES goals of becoming a greener school.  At that time, the team involved representatives from 3rd grade only. They took a field trip to the Sea Road School in Kennebunk, to learn about their school’s composting of food waste with the Tibbetts’ Family Farm.  As a result, The WES Green Team created an organized system including directional posters for students in our school, to properly separate trash from food that would be sent for composting.  By the beginning of November this year, all food waste at WES is picked up by Mr. Tibbetts and composted at his farm.  In the spring of 2012, we will receive some of the compost back for our gardens in the back of the school.

December 14th – WES Day of Compassion – Students will be giving of themselves to make a difference for others. Representatives from each grade level will share their experiences of showing compassion at our assembly on December 22nd.

o       Students in Kindergarten will be gathering food, toys, blankets, and other useful items for local animal shelters.

o       Students in Grade 1 will be working on gathering non-perishable foods to donate to a local food pantry. They will be taking a field trip to the food pantry at St. Mary's church and will have the opportunity to stock the shelves with their donations.

o       Grade 2 students will be traveling on the Downeaster to Portland, where they will each present a new toy to the U.S. Marine Corps for Toys for Tots.

o       Students in grades 3 and 4 will create “Health Journals”  or "Information Journals" for senior citizens.  The journals will be donated to Maine Medical Center and to local senior centers.

Young Gardeners -Early this fall, students harvested fresh vegetables from the gardens they built and planted in last spring.  A small feast was held for parents, students, and teachers for each of the classrooms involved in this project.

Peer Support - Students in grade 3 and 4 assisted WES Assistant Principal, Ken Spinney, in preparing and performing skits for students in Kindergarten, first, and second grade for their assembly on October 28th.  The skits reinforced the Kelso strategies of “Share & Take Turns” and “Talk It Out”.  

Wellness/Nutrition Initiative

Our first holiday classroom parties took place in honor of Halloween.  Teachers and students planned well, to ensure that healthy foods were the focus of their events.  Our initiative has moved us to include one “treat” at classroom parties, with all other food being low-sugar and low-fat, healthy selections, such as fruits and vegetables.  The variety of creative, delicious, healthy snacks served at the Halloween parties was tremendous! Thank you, parents, for assisting us in making this change.

We are making steps toward making birthday celebrations nutritious, fun events, also, with a goal of healthy snacks, only, for birthdays beginning next year. Children love the fruit kabobs, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, and other healthy options, that parents have been sending in to note their special day!

Fall Assessments

In addition to common grade level assessments that our teachers have selected and/or designed for determining appropriate starting points for their students, WES students also take standardized assessments that compare their performance to same-age peers across the nation.

CPAA - In September and October, students in grades K, 1, and 2 participated in the Children’s Progress Academic Achievement (CPAA) for the first time.  We are piloting this computer adaptive assessment this year, and in the spring, we will determine if it has been effective in providing teachers with useful information for guiding instructional plans and providing parents with a clear indication of their child’s progress. A computer adaptive assessment is a multiple choice test that is taken on a computer.  The level of difficulty adjusts to the student’s response after each question providing an accurate picture of what a child knows, and is able to do, in reading and math.  CPAA is user-friendly for young children with colorful pictures and voice prompts, and results are available immediately. 

NWEA – During the month of September, students in grades 3 and 4 participated in the North West Educational Achievement test for Reading and Math.  This is also a computer adaptive assessment with results available immediately.  It is not new to our school or our district; it has been used for many years in grades 2-10 and provides useful information about students’ academic growth through the years.

NECAP Students in 3rd and 4th grade also participated in the statewide, mandated assessment, the New England Common Assessment Program.  Results from this assessment will not be available until January, 2012. 

Enrichment
     Children's author and illustrator, Matt Tavares, of Ogunquit, spent the day at WES on Oct. 14th sharing his          books and demonstrating how he develops his artwork. Mr. Tavares is also a WES parent. 

    
Cynthia Lord of Brunswick, another well known, award-winning author of children's books, visited WES 
     on Dec. 7th.  She shared her work with a 4th grade book club. 

Building and Grounds Improvements

            Sunshade on the Playground – Thanks to their fundraising efforts over the last five years, the WES                PTSA has purchased and planned for the installation of a permanent sunshade structure on the                         playground.  PTSA president, Maureen Mahoney, and WES Head Custodian, David Boyd,  have                     thoroughly researched the many options, shared recommendations with stakeholders, secured all                     required permits, and are making it happen for the spring of 2012!

            Parking Lot Lighting – You will likely not miss the much-improved lighting throughout our parking                 lot.  All fixtures have been updated, and bulbs have been changed to LED, providing more energy                 efficiency and brighter/safer walkways.

Upcoming Event

*    WES Winter Concert – December 20th at Wells High School.  Join us for what promises to be                 delightful way to note the holiday season.

o       Grades 1 and 2 will perform at 10:15 AM

o       Grades 3 and 4 will perform at 1:15 PM

 

 


                                                                                                                                                                        August 19, 2011

Dear WES Families,

 I hope you are enjoying some fun in the sun with your family this summer.   We have certainly had beautiful weather to support our vacation plans.

 Earlier this month, your children should have received a letter from their teacher welcoming them to the 2011-2012 school year.  Unfortunately, I provided teachers with incorrect information regarding the dates of our opening days of school (oops, my apologies). 

The opening day of school for grades 1-4 is Tuesday, August 30th. 

You are welcome to join us at 8:30AM in the courtyard when students in grades 1,2,3, and 4 meet their new teachers and reconnect with classmates.  It’s an exciting time and a very enjoyable site.

The opening day of school for Kindergarten is Tuesday, Sept. 6th.

Please join us at 8:30 in the courtyard as we welcome our youngest learners to their first day of school!  Students in grades 1-4 will go into the building first. Then we will assist each Kindergarten child off the bus and escort him/her to the appropriate teacher.  It is a great photo opportunity of a very important moment in your child’s life.  Once the children have entered the building with their teachers, parents of kindergarten students and parents new to WES are invited to a “New Beginnings” breakfast in the cafeteria hosted by our PTSA.

         Kindergarten “Sneak Peek” in each classroom is scheduled for

         Monday, August 29th at 1:00PM and will include a short bus ride

                                 for children and their parents

Our official welcome to all families comes during our Open House on Thursday, September 15th from 5:00-6:30PM.  This time has changed just a bit from our initial plans, in order to coordinate with the Jr. High Open House later that same evening (for families who have children at both schools).  I hope you can all come and visit your child’s homeroom, Core classrooms, and chat with teachers and other families.  It’s always a great time!


Planning for the start of school

Our custodial staff has done an extraordinary job cleaning every nook and cranny of the building in preparation for opening day.  We have a beautiful facility and it is even more impressive when everything looks shiny and new!

 We have some new staff members who are looking forward to working with your children, others who are changing roles, and some still in the hiring process:

  • Mrs. Joanna Higgins is joining our 4th grade team and will be teaching in room 202
  • Mrs. Charlotte Wilson, who taught Kindergarten last year, will be teaching 2nd grade in room 221
  • Mrs. Barbara Stirk has accepted a part-time, Title I Reading position, and will be working with small groups of students in room 141.  Her 2nd grade position will be filled soon.
  • Mrs. Genie Gledhill is moving out of state and has accepted an elementary position in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Mrs. Susan Bastille, a well known and respected Special Educator at WES, will be teaching that Kindergarten class instead of Ms Gledhill.
  • Mrs. Nicole McAllister has accepted a 4th Grade teaching position in Sanford.  Her Ed Tech III Math support position will be filled soon.

 

School Supplies – We have been offered a few donations of school supplies from two different sources.  Currently we have three backpacks (for Kindergarten or Grade 1) that are equipped with supplies.  If you have a financial need for back to school supplies, please contact me for confidential support.

 

Reminder of our new health initiative…

  • Holiday parties will feature predominantly fruits, vegetables, and cheese/crackers with one “treat” (such as a brownie or cupcake) per child. 
  •  Strong encouragement for low fat, low sugar daily snacks sent from home
  • Moving in the direction of not having cupcakes for birthday celebrations. Instead, consider fruit cups, fruit kabobs, or other healthy snacks to note your child’s special day with his/her classmates.

 

It is that time of year again when we give you a lot of information and ask you to fill out multiple forms in an effort to ensure accurate communication for your child’s well being. 

The following information details our protocols for dismissal at 3:00 each day.

Students Taking a Bus Home: Your child’s bus information is given to us by Ledgemere Transportation.  All students taking a bus will be dismissed to the buses designated unless we hear from you regarding a change in plans.

Students NOT Taking a Bus Home:

  •  Students who are not taking a bus home are escorted to the gym by teacher aides (Educational Technicians) at 3:00 to meet the adult who is dismissing them.  
  • If you wish to pick your child up at the end of the day on a regular basis, please let the office know which day(s) your child will not be taking the bus.  Our secretaries will provide you with a PERMANENT DISMISSAL PASS for those days.  Parents with permanent passes need only show the pass to the secretary at the dismissal station in the entry foyer before proceeding to the gym to wait for their child(ren). 
  • Parents who do not have a permanent pass must sign children out at the dismissal station in the hall (which is set up each day at 2:45) before proceeding to the gym.  At that time the secretary will give you a temporary dismissal pass for that day only.
  • Tables will be set up in the cafeteria by grade level where you can wait for your student.  Your child will be brought to the appropriate table for you to connect with him/her. 
  • There will be a staff member standing at two of the exit doors in the cafeteria (one on the Route 109 side of the cafeteria and one by the door closest to the gym).  They will ask to see your permanent pass or will collect the temporary pass as you leave the cafeteria.
If you choose to leave via the door closest to the gym, we ask that you continue down the hall past the Music room to exit the building.  The front door, at that time, will be very busy with teachers escorting all other students to their buses.

 Changes in a Student’s Regular Dismissal Plans: Any day that your child’s regular dismissal plans change, it is very important that you send in a note with your child with the specifics of the change.  Your note, given to the classroom teacher by your child first thing in the morning, is a tremendous help to us for many reasons.  It:

·         clearly indicates to us where your child should go after school

·         provides documentation for the teacher, as well as our front office

·         allows your child to feel secure throughout his/her day, knowing his/her after school plans

·         helps facilitate a calm, smooth dismissal at the end of the day

·         allows the secretaries to fax Ledgemere Transportation a copy of students’ notes by noon


Notes indicating changes in dismissal plans should include your child’s first and last name, classroom teacher’s name, specifics of the change of plans (bus numbers, full name of individual picking the child up, and your signature)  The form, included as a separate attachment on the WES Friday Folder Website , has everything we need to process your request.

We do have a back-up system recognizing the fact that occasionally, plans change with little warning, or your child might leave your note at home by mistake.  A phone call, up until 2:15 that day, is acceptable on those rare occasions.  Our secretaries create a list each day of changes that are phoned in, and it is delivered to the classrooms by 2:30 for teachers to communicate to their students.

 This back-up system usually works; however there are a few unavoidable glitches, such as:

1)      Ledgemere Transportation cannot be informed of the phoned-in changes later in the day, because buses are already picking up Junior High and High School students.

2)      In the busyness of the end of the day, occasionally children have not been informed of the change.

3)      The level of security is diminished.  When changes are received in a signed note, there is no question; we have your signature.

 

To help minimize confusion, I am in the cafeteria with a walkie-talkie, and our Assistant Principal, Mr. Ken Spinney, is outside, also with a walkie-talkie supervising the bus area. If you have any concerns at dismissal time, please see one of us and we will assist you.

 

I hope this description of our dismissal process is helpful.  Thank you for your assistance in keeping all of our students safe.  Thank you, also, for the tremendous support you continue to provide our school. As always, if you have questions or concerns about anything, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail (mhorne@wocsd.org). 

 

I am looking forward to partnering with you on behalf of your children during the 2011-2012 school year.

 

Sincerely,

Marianne Horne

WES Principal

 

 June/July/August 2011

 
 

We culminated the 2010-2011 school year with a whirlwind of exciting activities at WES including field trips, performances, and special events.  On June 15th and 16th, our 4th graders “wowed” full house audiences in "Starz for Broadway".  On June 21st, we started our day with the WES “Parade of Colors” launching us into our twenty-fourth annual Colors Day! This was followed, on June 22nd, by Step-Up Day, when students visited their 2011-2012 teachers and met their new classmates.  We also enjoyed a full school assembly that day, where students received awards for their Colors Day achievements, and we were treated to music and a slide show highlighting our year. It all ended at noon on Thursday, June 23rd, when our entire staff escorted the students to their buses to wave good-bye for the summer.

 

Looking ahead to the 2011-2012 school year, we have some information to share with you: 

Requests from the WES Student and Adult Wellness Teams: In the fall of 2010, WES began to focus, more than ever before, on student and adult wellness.  We put together an adult Wellness Team that met regularly throughout the year.  They brought us The Giving Heart Award (see link on the WES website for description and 2010-2011 recipients), after-school Zumba classes for staff, and a powerful list of ways to start encouraging staff and students to eat healthy foods.  This committee also recognized that student voice is important, and thus initiated the WES Student Wellness Team.  Third and fourth grade students served on this team and they also met regularly. They brought us a Wellness Day in the spring and a huge list of ways to increase healthy eating at WES.  To honor the work of both teams, we will continue to move forward with more motor breaks and yoga poses for stretching and focusing, and the following requests for healthier foods. All WES staff members have agreed to support these changes beginning in the fall of 2011:

  • Holiday parties will feature predominantly fruits, vegetables, and cheese/crackers with one “treat” (such as a brownie or cupcake) per child. 
  •  Strong encouragement for low fat, low sugar daily snacks sent from home
  • Moving in the direction of not having cupcakes for birthday celebrations. Instead, consider fruit cups, fruit kabobs, or other healthy snacks to note your child’s special day with his/her classmates.

Increase of class sections in Grade 2 and 4: The number of class sections at grades 2 and 4 has been increased to reduce the teacher-student ratio.  I am appreciative to the school committee and the taxpayers for supporting a budget that allows our elementary students to have these appropriate ratios. 

        Our student numbers and staffing for 2011-2012 are as follows:

Grade Level

# of Students (may change slightly over the summer)

# of Classroom Teachers

Average Class Size

Classroom Teachers and Room #

K

75

5

15

Mrs. Grant (132)        

Mrs. Millian  (133)

Ms. Gledhill (130)        

Mrs. DeFelice (135)     

Mrs. Robinson (134) 

1

92

6

15

Mrs. Valliere (136)      

Mrs. Colley  (139)      

Mrs. Langelier (126)   

Mrs. Abbott  (140)   

Mrs. McPherson (137)

Dr. Kohn / Mrs.Clason Multi 1-2 (127/128)

2

102

6

17

Mrs. Stirk (220)            

Mrs. Brown (217)

Ms. Talbot (138)            

Mrs. Sweeney (216)

Mrs. Wilson (221)

Dr. Kohn/Mrs. Clason Multi 1-2 (127/128)

3

80

4

20

Mrs. Hunt (214)           

Mrs. Richard (210)      Mrs. Pisano (215)

Mrs. Bush/Mr. Ingwersen  Multi 3-4 (209/208)

4

127

7

18

Mrs. Lazzara (206)    

Mrs. Longley (205)

Mrs. Lear (211)          

Mrs. Guerrette (207)

Mr. Kafkas (212)       

TBA  (204)

Mrs. Bush/ Mr. Ingwersen Multi 3-4 (209/208)

 Departing Staff Members:

    • Mrs Capobianco (Kindergarten) after taking a one-year leave of absence has resigned
    • Mrs Sandi Knight is retiring after 38 years of teaching at Wells Elementary School
    • Mrs Dianne Hussey, Mrs Kim McDonough, and Mrs Gail Moulton (Educational Technicians for Special Education) will be moving to Wells Jr. High School.
    • Mrs. Susan Griffis (Educational Technician for Math)  has accepted a Special Education Teaching position in Scarborough

Each of these valued staff members brought unique talents and contributed much to support our students and school community.  They will be missed. We wish them the very best in their next adventure.

 

New To WES in 2011-2012:

·       Mrs. Lauren Rivera (Educational Technician for Special Education) is coming to us from Wells Jr. High School

·   TBA – a new teacher for fourth grade. Interviews for this position will take place in July.

Educational Technician Supports:

We are very fortunate to have the supports of highly skilled Ed Techs at WES, not only in special education, but throughout the building.

Grade Level

Ed Tech(s)

Supporting Students in the following Teachers’ Classes

Notes

K

Pam Beane

Deb Erskine

Kelly Brown

Genie Gledhill

Marcia Millian

Raylene Grant

Maureen DeFelice

Sandy Robinson

 

Kindergarten Core

Carol Gilblair

Carolyn Vail

Kathy Mallat

Christine Soule

Karen Westerberg

 

1st Grade/

Selena Nickerson

Nancy Colley

Karen Valliere

Jen Abbott

Lynn McPherson

Also, 1st grade Core support

2nd Grade

Selena Nickerson

Pam Beane

Deb Erskine

Mary Bouchard

Nancy Talbot

Charlotte Wilson

Barb Stirk

Susan Brown

Clarissa Sweeney

 

3rd Grade

Mary Bouchard

Jessica Hunt

Lucille Pisano, Kim Richard,

Also, 3rd Grade Core support

4th Grade

Mirna Davila

Michelle Guerrette, Pam Lear, Shelly Lazzara, Mr. Kafkas, Donna Longley,

TBA

Also, 4th Grade Core

support

Multiage

Deb Howard

 

Kelly Brown

Mary Beth Clason, Charlene Kohn, Michele Langelier (1st grade)

Beth Bush, Henry Ingwersen,

 

Also Multi-age Core

support

Library

Betsy Littlefield

Karen Westerberg

 

Also Kindergarten library classes

Important dates to save on your calendar for the fall:

Opening day of school for grades 1-4 is Tuesday, August 30th.

Opening day of school for Kindergarten is Tuesday, September 6th.

WES Open House – Thursday, September 15th, from 5:30 – 7:00

Other dates to note can be found on the WOCSD 2011-2012 district calendar, which was recently approved by the School Committee.  It is included on the Friday Folder Website linked to the WES website.

Your child can expect to receive a letter from his/her teacher sometime during the first week in August.  It will include suggestions for school supplies and other pertinent information about the classroom.  We have heard that students anticipate receiving this fun, personal mail.

Our office will be open from 8:00-2:00, Monday-Friday during the summer.  Sarah Blevins, our Administrative Secretary, will be available in the front office.  I will be taking some time off after the 8th of July and returning by mid-August.   Our Assistant Principal, Mr. Ken Spinney, will also be taking vacation time in July and early August.  If you would like to speak with one of us, please call the office to check on our availability. We are happy to return your calls upon returning to the office.

I wish each of you a summer filled with laughter, cookouts, family, friends, and time to play!


April/May 2011

Student Enrollment

Kindergarten – 91; Grade 1 – 102; Grade 2 – 80; Grade 3 – 126; Grade 4 – 106

Total Enrollment: 505   

 

Student Recognition

  • A  WES 4th grader was honored during Youth Art Month at the Portland Museum of Art, for his creative piece of still life. He received public recognition at a ceremony on March 5th, and his work remained on display for the month of March.
  • Maine Youth Excellence in Art Program, in collaboration with the Maine Arts Commission, has displayed student art work in Augusta throughout the school year.  
    • Three 4th graders, one 3rd grader and one 1st grader were selected for displays at the State House.
    • One 3rd grader was selected for a display at the Blaine House.

All of the students and their parents have been invited to a reception with the governor and his wife at the Blaine House this spring.

  • One WES 2nd grader was chosen for the Maine Principals’ Association's Youth Art display in their building in Augusta.
  • The Division 1 Odyssey of the Mind Full Circle Team with students from both WES and WJHS placed first in the State tournament on Saturday, March 26th in Sanford. According to their coach, “They represented the WOCSD community proudly and very respectfully and did a wonderful job.” 
  • Since the beginning of this school year, nearly 100 students have been recognized at assemblies for independently solving small social problems, using “Kelso Strategies”.

WES Gives Back

  • In December, 2nd grade students took the Amtrak Train to Portland.  Each child brought a toy to present to the US Marines for their annual Toys for Tots drive. 
  • Events that support the district’s core values, specifically focused on compassion, included:
    • Winter Warmth – a mountain of soups donated by students and staff were distributed to local families, food pantries, and shelters in December.
    • Annual Jump Rope for Heart raised over $10,000 for the American Heart Association.

Health and Wellness

  • Nutrition Week, March 21st-25th delighted our students with specialty food items and unique events highlighting healthy nutrition.  These included: the vegetables/fruits of the day that coincided with the color/dress of the day, individualized wraps created and served by “celebrity guests”, and a visit from Power Panther, celebrating the impact of a nutritious diet.  
  • A Wellness Team, composed of teachers, administrators, and support staff, was formed at WES in the fall of 2010, in response to concerns raised by increasing obesity rates in the last two decades throughout the United States. In addition, research shows that good nutrition has a large impact on learning.  It nourishes the brain, enables students to focus and engage in their learning, and impacts their achievement. 
    • The Wellness Team has worked with all members of the WES staff, as well as the Parent Advisory Council, to slowly move all unhealthy (high fat, sugary) foods away from our daily culture. By the opening of school in September, 2011, we are asking all students, teachers, and parents to work together to eliminate unhealthy choices from classroom holiday parties
  • A new Student Wellness Team began in February, resulting from ideas articulated by the adult team.  The Student Wellness Team consists of two representatives from each of the homerooms in grades 3 and 4.  They meet weekly during recess and are coached by WES teachers, Clarissa Sweeney and Kim Richard, and Guidance Counselor, Pam Ingram.  Similar to the adult team, they are generating ideas for student health and well-being and are working on school-wide projects

WES STUDENT WELLNESS TEAM

      The Giving Heart Award is one of several initiatives that the Wellness Team brought to life.  The award is given to one adult at WES each week. The purpose of this award is to recognize colleagues for dedicated work, a personal or professional achievement, or a kind/thoughtful gesture. Each Thursday, the current recipient gives the award (a beautiful beach stone in the shape of a heart), along with a short statement noting the specific attributes of the next recipient, to an administrator.  The principal or assistant principal has the privilege of announcing the new recipient to the whole school on Friday morning.  WES students and staff have enthusiastically anticipated the announcement each week and have offered an abundance of kudos to the recipients.

Results of the October, 2010 NECAP Test for WES 3rd and 4th Graders

3rd Grade

WES Reading

State Reading

WES Math

State Math

Proficient with Distinction

22%

11%

32%

16%

Proficient

62%

58%

50%

45%

 

4th Grade

WES Reading

State Reading

WES Math

State Math

Proficient with Distinction

27%

18%

35%

15%

Proficient

58%

50%

46%

45

 

Professional Development

  • Teachers continue to meet monthly in Professional Learning Circles, exploring topics such as technology integration in instruction, applying the strategies and methods of The Daily Five, and examining writing instruction and assessment.
  • Workshop Day on February 4th, focused on reviewing and analyzing student assessment data, specifically NECAP results.
  • Workshop Day scheduled for June 24th will be focused on Spelling.

Winter and Spring Events

  • NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) testing, for all 4th graders,  occurred in early March 
  • Spring parent-teacher conferences were held during the first week in April
  • Kelso Assemblies focusing on reinforcing social problem solving for grades K-2
  • 2nd grade Rodeo performance - 4/14 at 1:30
  • 1st Grade “Operettas” - one class each day from 4/5-4/11
  • 4th Band performance/3rd grade Recorders - 5/26 at 10:00
  • 4th Grade Starz for Broadway” - 6/15 and 6/16
  • All-school Colors Day celebration - 6/21

  WES appreciates…

  • The PTSA, for their on-going support of educational materials (teacher grants, ipods for all classroom teachers, stability balls, etc).  Recently, they voted unanimously to support our spring field trips with a donation of $2,000.
  • The Parent Advisory Council, for their strong, positive parent voice and support. Recently, they assisted us in taking a closer look at bully prevention.  As a result, we are piloting a new form to identify students who are repeatedly demonstrating bullying behaviors.
  • The Ogunquit Recycling Committee, for donating $500.00 to support recycling efforts at our school. 
  • Instructional Team Leaders, Henry Ingwersen, Charlene Kohn, Beth Bush, and Jessica Hunt, for initiating and developing plans to extend our vegetable and flower gardens around the perimeter of the building.
  • Lowes, for their generous donation of cabinets, and our custodians who installed them in the front office. 
  • Head Custodian, Dave Boyd, for designing and installing shelving to showcase student trophies.

 



February/March 2011






This winter has brought an abundance of opportunities for fun in the snow!  WES students (and some brave staff members) have enjoyed our sledding hill during recess time each day. 





Help us get the word out… 

  • Kindergarten Registration April 14th from 8-3.  Call the school for an appointment to register your child (646-5953).

WES Wellness Initiative

A Wellness Team, composed of teachers, administrators, and support staff, was formed at WES in the fall of 2010, in response to concerns raised by increasing obesity rates in the last two decades throughout the United States (see video below).  They meet monthly to generate ideas and to bring selected ideas to reality.


In addition to concerns raised about obesity rates, we know that research shows that good nutrition has a huge impact on learning.  It nourishes the brain, enables students to focus and engage in their learning, and impacts their achievement. We want our students and staff to have every opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, we all need to become well educated about good nutrition, ensure that healthy foods are the predominant options for snacks and lunches, provide a multitude of fun ways to exercise, and support the emotional well-being of our school community.  

  •    Good NutritionAnother focus of the Wellness Team is to ensure that healthy eating habits become a part of our culture. We are currently looking at all of the ways that food is consumed in our school, including daily snacks, lunch, instructional activities (such as graphing, estimation lessons, student-made projects), holiday parties, special events, birthdays, etc.  Our intent is to slowly move all unhealthy (high fat, sugary) foods away from our daily culture. By the opening of the next school year (Sept. 2011), we will have selected one or two of the ways food is consumed as noted above, and ask all students, teachers, and parents to work together to eliminate unhealthy choices.  There is already an increasing awareness and positive response throughout the school for this changing culture. Our recent Valentine’s parties included an abundance of fruit and vegetable platters and fewer cupcakes than ever before!  Much more to come on this as we continue to focus on these changes 

A new Student Wellness Team began in February, resulting from plans formed by the adult team.  The Student Wellness Team consists of two representatives from each of the homerooms in grades 3 and 4.  They meet weekly during one of their recess blocks and are coached by two WES teachers.  Similar to the adult team, they are generating ideas for student health and well-being and will be working on school-wide projects.


New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP)

NECAP is the assessment used by four New England states to meet the testing and accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Maine students participate in the NECAP Reading and Mathematics test in grades 3-8.  Students in grades 5-8 are also assessed in writing. NECAPS are administered in October each year and they assess the learning from the previous year.  Performance results are available in January.

    Results of the October, 2010 NECAP Test for WES 3rd and 4th Graders

as Compared to the Maine State Average

3rd Grade

WES Reading

State Reading

WES Math

State Math

Proficient with Distinction

22%

11%

32%

16%

Proficient

 

62%

58%

50%

45%

 

4th Grade

WES Reading

State Reading

WES Math

State Math

Proficient with Distinction

27%

18%

35%

15%

Proficient


 

58%

50%

46%

45%

We are very proud of our teachers and students for achieving such strong results on this test.  We will continue to provide additional supports to those students who are not meeting state and district standards.


Budget Preparations for 2011-2012

Budget preparations are well underway with the WOCSD School Committee currently examining the proposed budgets of each school.  Recognizing that fixed costs (fuel oil, health insurance, salaries, etc) are increasing, budgets for general and instructional supplies, books and periodicals, building maintenance, and field trips were either level funded as compared to this current year, reduced, or very slightly increased in response to student numbers and/or needs. The only significant request that WES is making in this budget is for one additional classroom teacher.  WES currently has 27 classroom teachers.   With 5 classes moving on to the Jr. High School and 6 classes expected to enter our Kindergarten, we have requested an increase of one teacher in order to effectively meet the needs of our young learners.  The charts below display our current and projected class numbers.

              2010-2011 Staffing Information (27 classroom teachers)

Grade Level

# of Students

# of Teachers

Average # of students per class

Kindergarten

     90

     6

     15

Grade 1

    101

     6

     17

Grade 2

     79

     4

     20

Grade 3

   122

     6

     20

Grade 4

   107

     5

     21

            2011 – 2012 Potential Staffing (28 classroom teachers requested)

Grade Level

# of Students

# of Teachers

Average # of students per class

Kindergarten

95

(Projected)

6

16

Grade 1

91

6

15

Grade 2

101

6

17

Grade 3

79

4

20

Grade 4

122

6

20

                                                

                                                 Spring is coming! Enjoy!




December 2010



Student Enrollment
Kindergarten – 91; Grade 1 – 101; Grade 2 – 78; Grade 3 – 122; Grade 4 – 106
Total Enrollment: 498

Staff Information
  • It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our beloved, talented, and dedicated educators, Nancy Tufts, on November 14th.  Nancy served as a 3rd and 4th
    grade teacher at Wells Elementary School for 32 years.  She was known
    for her creative ideas, wonderful sense of humor, and support for
    students and colleagues.  She fought a very brave battle against cancer
    that began 5 years ago.  She left WES in 2008 to focus on her own health
    and to support the drive for a cure for all. She is missed by our
    community.
  • In early November, WES welcomed two new staff members to our team:
    • Sue Griffis
      comes to us from North Kingstown, Rhode Island.  She is a Special
      Educator with 16 years of teaching experience beginning in Dexter and
      Hermon, Maine. She is returning to Maine, following three years of
      teaching students with special needs in Rhode Island.  Sue is trained in
      RTI strategies for supporting struggling learners and will serve as our
      Grade 1-2 Math Support Ed Tech III.
    • Suzanne
      LaPlante-Killoran comes to us from Enfield and East Windsor,
      Connecticut, where she has served as both an elementary and GT teacher
      for 28 years.  We are taking Suzanne out of a restful, well-earned
      retirement to teach our identified students in grades 3 and 4 in the
      STRETCH program, one day per week.  


Health and Wellness
  • Farm to School Week: Specialty food items and unique events highlighted healthy nutrition during the week of Sept. 20th-24th.
    Students enjoyed the vegetables/fruits of the day, that coincided with
    the color/dress of the day, as well as a visit from Power Panther, the
    mascot that encourages healthy choices.   
  • Wellness Committee:
    This fall, WES reestablished a Wellness Committee to bring new
    opportunities for healthy living to students and staff.  A new staff
    recognition program called,
    The Giving Heart, resulted from ideas generated at initial meetings.
  • Stability Balls: Three 3rd
    grade classrooms will be piloting the effectiveness of students using
    stability balls instead of chairs, while engaging in learning
    activities.  Recent research indicates that the stability balls increase
    core strength and improve students’ ability to focus.  All of these
    unique seats were purchased by the WES PTSA.
  • Zumba: Michele
    Langelier recently became a certified Zumba instructor for both adults
    and children.  She now offers one hour classes for staff three
    afternoons a week after school.  In addition, she uses Zumba exercise
    with her 1
    st grade students for structured motor breaks.


Update on new initiatives to WES in 2009-2010
  • UpCycling” with TerraCycle Thanks to the creative and persistent efforts of 3rd
    grade teachers, Jessica Hunt and Clarissa Sweeney who initiated this
    project in their classrooms last year, TerraCycle has gone school-wide
    at WES!  See video at
    http://www.weskids.com/1011/featured1011/?p=36
  • Spanish -Erin
    McIntosh, WHS Spanish teacher, has collaborated with WES Kindergarten
    teachers to bring a bit of Spanish to our youngest learners. Erin’s
    students prepare lessons around suggested topics and are visiting WES
    Kindergarten classes as “guest teachers” once a month.


Professional Development
  • Professional Learning Circles:
    Teachers continue to meet monthly in Professional Learning Circles,
    exploring topics such as common grade level writing prompts and rubrics
    for assessment, integrating technology with instruction, applying the
    strategies and methods of
    The Daily Five.
  • Technology: On Oct 8th
    staff participated in a full day of workshops focused on integrating
    technology with instruction.  Facilitators for all workshops were WES or
    district staff members. Workshops were designed to support teachers in
    developing skills to meet the school goal: Every teacher will “Find and
    use with students, on a regular basis, at least one technology tool that
    will enhance their higher level thinking skills (applying, analyzing,
    evaluating, and creating).” Workshops included: Developing a Website,
    Using Flip Videos, Establishing a Professional Online Network (Blogs and
    Twitter), Using Reading Street Online Resources, Making the Most of a
    MacIntosh Laptop, and Exploring the Promethean Board. The video we
    viewed that underscores the need for increased technology integration
    can be found at
    A Vision of K-12 Students Today.
  • Parent/Teacher Tech Group:
    initiated this fall from parental requests and the generosity of Bob
    Sprankle’s time and talents. The group meets once a month and has taken
    off with a lot positive energy and interest from parents and teachers
    seeking to become more confident and "savvy" with Web 2.0 tools and the
    technology skills necessary to support our 21st Century students.
  • Future Search:
    Staff members spent time examining the themes and goals articulated by
    the district Future Search Committee and provided specific suggestions
    for ways that students and staff at WES can advance the goals.  
  • York County Administrators Technology Training – WOCSD
    administrators participated in a day of training in August with a
    follow-up session in October. We have learned to connect with an online
    professional community and to assess the quality of technology use in
    our classrooms, using the LOTI scale (Level of Technology Integration).


Fall and Winter Events
  • Fire Safety Week Oct. 4th-8th
  • 3rd grade field trip to The Ogunquit Museum of Art
  • Parent Conferences on Nov. 4th and 5th – 96% parental participation
  • Kindergarten – Fall planting of tulip bulbs in the WES courtyard – Check it out in Spring, 2011!
  • WES Winter Concert for grades 1-4 – December 16th at Wells High School.
  • Planetarium visits WES for 3rd graders on Feb. 3rd
  • 4th Grade – “Oct. 29th, “More Than One Way to Tell a Story” – based on Night on Bald Mountain


Kudos to…
  • Donna
    Sweeney for her unwavering leadership, persistent problem solving, and
    patience in transitioning the entire district from Web2School to
    Infinite Campus.
  • All
    three WES secretaries, Sarah Blevins, Chris Yeomelakis, and Holly Wydra
    for their tremendous efforts in smoothly moving our school from
    Web2School to Infinite Campus.  Special thanks for their collaborative
    work in managing the office, giving Chris time to create the WES report
    card on Infinite Campus and to train staff on how to post grades. A
    monumental task that was very well done.
  • WES Coaches, Jane Keane and Celeste Beaulieu for preparing and implementing a quality tutoring program to prepare 3rd and 4th
    grade students for the NECAP test. This included selecting appropriate
    instructional materials, developing criteria for selecting student
    participants, arranging dates, times, and spaces, communicating with
    parents and teachers, and training Ed Techs to serve as tutors while
    modeling best instructional practices.  
  • WES
    PTSA for their on-going support of educational materials for students.
     In addition to purchasing the Stability Balls for our pilot classrooms,
    they also purchased ipods for every classroom teacher to create a
    listening station with specific books and music for instructional
    groups, as well as two Flip Video cameras for administrators and
    teachers to use in lessons.
  • WES
    nurse, Adrienne Zwetsloot, for collaborating with WHS nurse, Pat
    Endsley, to bring two flu shot clinics to our school this fall, and for
    her efforts in organizing dental health clinics twice a year, in
    addition to addressing the wide range of students’ health care needs on a
    daily basis.
  • WES
    Instructional Team Leaders, Henry Ingwersen, Charlene Kohn, Beth Bush,
    and Jessica Hunt, for their leadership and focused work in writing and
    presenting a detailed K-4 curriculum in Science and Social Studies to
    colleagues.
  • Al Ingraham of the Wells Elks for purchasing and distributing a dictionary for every 3rd grader and a thesaurus to every 4th grader





November 2010

Dear Wells Elementary School Families and Friends,

As you can see from the new design of our website, staff throughout the district is launching into using web pages as an effective tool for communicating with parents and community members.  In addition to the quality learning experiences that students encounter every day in their classes, there are many exciting and enriching activities that extend their learning.  It is wonderful to see and read about how our students are growing and thriving in all of our schools. 

Speaking of wonderful…we now have a very extensive program for recycling at Wells Elementary School!  Last year, 2nd grade teachers, Clarissa Sweeney and Jessica Hunt (now 3rd grade teachers), initiated the Terracycle program with a few classes.  It was so effective that we have taken it school-wide this year! To see how it works, please view the student-produced video at weskids.com.  You can get to this site and the video directly from the Wells Elementary School page. 

Mr. Spinney and I have the honor and pleasure of teaching our youngest learners about the nine strategies that we encourage all WES students to use for solving small, social problems.  The program is called Kelso’s Choices, and it includes a frog mascot named Kelso. Our Kindergarten lessons began with exploring the difference between a big problem (one that you need an adult to help you solve), and a small problem (one that you can work out with your friend).  Last week, students learned and demonstrated the first strategy, Share and Take Turns. So, when your child has a small problem with a sibling or neighbor friend, ask them, “What would Kelso do?”

On a safety note, we are constantly assessing both the safety and efficiencies of our arrival and dismissal procedures. We need your awareness and help with a safety problem we have noticed.  The car loop directly in front of the school is intended for parents to drop children off in the morning and then to keep moving out of the loop.  Recently, several parents have parked in that loop or left their car running to walk a child into the building or to chat with other parents.  This creates a safety concern for children who then need to walk in between vehicles when they are dropped off. Please help us get the word out to all parents to use the loop in the morning for drop off purposes only.  

Enough for my first webpage letter!  Parent conferences this week, Veteran’s Day next week, and before you know it, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  As always, don’t hesitate to call (646-5953) or write (mhorne@wocsd.org) if you have questions or concerns about anything.

Sincerely,

Marianne 


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