Dear Elmore Families,

Week 20 began with an important lesson in civics as students at the Elmore School showed up to support their community in an effort to show support for the Elmore Post Office and Elmore Store.  When students learned two weeks ago that the Elmore Post Office was in danger of closing as soon as February 4th, they were as upset as their adult counterparts. Students wanted to do something to help, so when I learned there would be a press event with Congressman Peter Welch and representatives from Senator Leahy and Senator Sanders offices, I knew we needed to go.  On Tuesday morning the children worked in small groups to create signs in support of saving the historic Elmore Post Office.  Just before 11:00 we bundled up in our outdoor gear to face the snowy, and blustery cold morning.  The students didn’t have far to go as they crossed the street to join a generous crowd of community supporters.  As soon as we were across the street, Representative Welch, who was preparing to speak, approached us to speak directly to the students and expressed his appreciation to the students for showing up and the importance of being a supportive community member.  Shortly after, as he addressed the crowd, he publicly thanked Elmore School students for their support, and noted what an important thing they were doing.  The students proudly displayed their signs as the listened respectfully to the various speakers.  After the event some of us were interviewed for the news!  What an exciting and meaningful event that I imagine students will remember for the rest of their lives.

Back in the classroom, we concluded our mini-unit on poetry.  This week students learned that poets write poetry about meaning events and people in their lives.  They composed a poem about a meaning person with a focus purposeful line breaks and beautiful language.  Later, students were asked to look through all the poems they have written and pick one to edit and revise to be published in a class book of our original poems.  We spend the rest of the week working to edit, revise and rewrite these poems.  

This week in your child’s Friday Folder, please find an order form and envelope from Studentresures Pub.  All order forms need to be filled out and returned to the school by the end of next week.  If you wish to order a keepsake book, please fill out the form and include payment (you may pay online or send a check).  If you do not wish to order a book, kindly indicate this on the order form by checking the appropriate box AND return the order form and envelope to school.  When all order forms are returned the school will receive a FREE Deluxe copy of our book to have for the classroom!

During math this week level 2 and 3 students worked on elapsed (or change in) time using a linear model, while level 1 students learned how to regroup to make 10 when adding two numbers when the sum of the two numbers will be greater than ten. (6 + 7 can be regrouped by shifting 3 from the 6 and giving it to the 7 to make a more friendly math problem: 3 + 10).   This helps students become more flexible and fluent in their approach to solving math problems.  

First Graders also took the PNOA (Primary Numbers and Operations Assessment) this week.  This is an interview style assessment given three times during the year. Students demonstrate their ability to: count forward and backward (as well as skip count), symbolic notations (writing and reading numbers), place value (ones and tens), operations (adding and subtracting), Ordering numbers (consecutive and non-consecutive), magnitude and estimation, and comparisons.  

Additionally, the students had several lessons in Equity and Justice, as they learned about the injustice of black Americans in our country.  As we read books about Martin Luther King Jr. and students listened as I read the I have a Dream Speech.

Later in the week we read about Rosa Parks and the important part she played in the Civil Rights movement.  While many students expressed great concern and were appalled by the treatment of black Americans in the past, we talked about how the injustice continues for black and brown Americans today. This is not just a problem in America, but all over the world there are injustices in the treatment of various populations.  Ultimately, the lesson here is kindness and compassion for others… no matter what.

As Covid-19 continues to affect our community, we have shifted to new guidelines for keeping kids in school.  As you know, we had exposure to another positive case of Covid-19 this past week.  Test to Stay for unvaccinated individuals is now in the hands of parents.  Test kits were sent home and parents should test students for 5 consecutive days (including the weekend).  Parents who requested kits for fully vaccinated students, received two test which should be administered on days 3 and 5.  As long as test are negative and students continue to be symptom free they can continue to come to school.  All parents are asked to monitor students for any symptoms of Covid-19.  If your child has any symptoms of Covid-19 they should stay home.  As the district is allowing spectators in volunteers into schools, we will continue to have PE, Library, and Hot Lunch this next week.  

Diane Nicholls

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