April Newsletter

posted Apr 1, 2013, 5:42 AM by mfoxall@sau88.net

April Newsletter 2013

 Dear Parents: 

 Wild About Reading Week:   This year’s theme met with an enthusiastic response from both teachers and students.  Kicking the week off was the memorable Morning Sing appearance of the Mt. Lebanon teachers doing their inimitable interpretation of “The Lion Reads Tonight”.   Thank you all for the generous donation of books for the book give-away.  The PTO volunteers collected close to a thousand books enabling each student in school to select and keep two, with plenty left over for the next event.  The students showed great school spirit as they donned their tee shirts, wacky hair-dos and pajamas.  We had many guest readers including parents, grandparents, Dartmouth students, police officers, our superintendent and visiting colleagues.

 Reading is arguably the most important skill students will learn in school.  Each year the teachers look at the results of our state mandated reading assessments, and each year we see similar patterns.  Those test items which seem to present the greatest challenge to our students fall into two basic categories: making inferences from text, which is understanding the main idea from details, and responding in writing to open-ended questions about the text?  All thoughts, internal and spoken, are expressed in complete sentences.  For text to make meaning sentences must sound like spoken thought in the mind of the reader.  If a student is spending time trying to decode a word, fluency is lost.  If they don’t recognize the word, meaning is lost.  So, all the reading components, phonics, vocabulary and fluency, must work together in the mind of the student to reach COMPREHENSION, the end result of reading.  (Writing is even more complex, so you can see that for students for whom any of the above is problematic, writing about reading will be doubly complex!)  

When you read with your child at home, read fluently, pause to ask questions, share your impressions, and above all be patient, encouraging and enthusiastic. 


Photos:  The retakes of photos a few weeks back, was to provide the district with updated student ID cards.  These cards will be updated annually and have the school year on them.  We have just recently begun to use the bar codes on these cards to process lunch payments and this has saved valuable time in our cafeteria at lunch time every day. 


Kindergarten Registration: If you have neighbors or friends with children who will be five on or before Sep. 30, 2011, you may remind them that we have open scheduling for new kindergarten students.  We urge all to sign up who have not yet done so as this year we are scheduling kindergarten aptitude screening tests that will help us in planning our classes. 


Report Cards:  Research clearly indicates that your active participation in your child’s education improves performance.  First and third quarters teachers do not typically write detailed comments on the students’ report cards because they will conference with you.  Please come with specific questions about study skills, what your child looks like as learner in the class, and what you can do in the home to have your child finish the last quarter on a very positive and productive note. 


Grade 4 NECAP: This is the fourth year that we will be administering the grade four science New England Common Assessment.  For the past three years our fourth grade students on average scored better than the state average, especially in the area of life science.  A case may be made correlating our trained parent volunteers in the Four Winds program who visit classes monthly and use our surrounding environs for motivating and interesting lessons.  These science tests will be administered in May. 


Pennies for Bears:  We are most thankful for your donations towards our fourth grade’s Pennies for Bears drive.  Students raised over $300.00 to donate to Mr. Ben Kilham to help defray the costs of caring for 29 orphaned cubs that did not hibernate this winter.  Well done!


Class placement and grade level configuration:  You have recently received letters explaining our process for the creation of balanced class list for next year.  If your child is in a class where looping (moving on with the same teacher) is taking place you will receive a second letter.  We encourage you to take this opportunity to provide feedback that we will take into our consideration on the back of the letter and return it to the office by April 25.) 

 The tentative grade level configuration for SY 2011-2012 is as follows:

 Kindergarten: Three Classes

Grade 1: Three or Four Classes (TBD)

Grade 2: Three Classes

Grade 3: Three Classes

Grade 4: Three Classes


Parent Conferences are this week, Early Dismissal for students Wednesday, Thursday at 1:00PM, April 3 and 4.


Safe Routes to Schools Walk to School Day:  Friday, April 26, we will sponsor Walk to School.  Permission slips will be sent out for bus students who wish to be let out to join teachers and parent volunteers enjoy the spring weather by walking up to school.  More details to follow. 


Lost and Found:  Now that winter has begun to abate, we have many remnants left behind in our lost and found.  Unmarked and unclaimed winter garments will be donated to the Listen Center over April break.  Please do take a moment to put an initial and last name with a Sharpie on the label of your child’s sweater, sweatshirt or jacket, for a safe return on your investment.


Winter Weather Wear: Snow pants are no longer required to playground recess.  Our structures will remain closed until the ground is fully thawed.  We recommend that you still send in boots for muddy conditions.


Public Announcement:  the Lebanon Public Library will be closed for renovations from April 19 thru 30 for renovations. The Kilton library in West Lebanon will be open with expanded hours during this time. 

Michael Foxall,



“April 1.  This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.”     Mark Twain