August 2011 Newsletter to Parents
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Welcome back! I sincerely hope that your summer has been relaxing and that you’ve been able to spend lots of quality time with your children. I would especially like to welcome our new kindergarten students, and families newly resituated in West Lebanon. Insofar as I have eaten my fill of wild blueberries, read books of my own choosing, sailed on blue waters, spent time with my family, and shot one respectable round of golf, I can say I am replenished and very much looking forward to our work and play this coming year.
New Staff: There are some new faces this year at Mt. Lebanon. We have hired Ms. Emily Wright to teach third grade. Emily is recently graduated from UVEI and very eager to begin. Also rejoining us, this time as kindergarten teacher, is MaryEllen Buffo. MaryEllen already knows our school well from serving as a special education and classroom paraeducator. Mrs. Sally Moodie joins us as a special education paraeducator, new to our school but not the district. And in the office, we are pleased to welcome Mrs. Judy Follensbee who will be here in the mornings. Also as is typical, we have a new kindergarten class boasting 45 happy and eager faces, and more than a dozen new students coming in from other schools.
UVEI Principal Intern: Cited above is UVEI, the Upper Valley Educators Institute. This Institute provides on-the-job training to aspiring teachers and principals, most of whom having had training for other careers. This year I am most fortunate to have the opportunity to be a principal mentor to Mr. Chuck Mills. Mr. Mills has been the Executive Director of a non-profit summer camp for boys for the last fifteen years. Before that he was a full-time secondary English teacher for over ten years. He will actively engaged in all aspects of school leadership and administration. Mr. Mills will also be sharing his observations and work in our monthly communication to you. Please look for him when you visit the school; he is eager to meet our families and learn from you!
School Approval: I’m pleased to report that Mt. Lebanon School has received “full School Approval Designation”, from the NH Bureau of School Approval and Facility Management. Our business office and facilities maintenance crews have worked very hard to make the necessary upgrades in infrastructure and operations including resurfacing our roof. We’ve pushed back the encroaching forest behind the playground for better visibility and eradicated many invasive shrubs and poison ivy.
Volunteers: Our school district policy must comply with NH educational law. One such stated regulation concerns the vetting of all school volunteers working with our students. We believe that an effective school has the active support and participation of parents. Mt. Lebanon has long benefited from community members such as yourselves and we invite you again this year to take an active role in the life of the school. We do expect in turn, that all volunteers will fill out an application form, and be fingerprinted. The overall intent is the students’ safety of course. Additionally, we have a very informative Volunteer Handbook in our office for our volunteers. If you have any questions at all about your role as a parent volunteer, you may inquire with your child’s teacher, Mrs. Moran, or myself.
Meal prices: This year Café Services has set the following rates for student breakfast and lunch. We urge you to fill out the application determining eligibility for free or reduced meals.
Student Breakfast: $1.50 Reduced: $ 0.30
Student Lunch: $2.25 Reduced: $ 0.40
Any student carrying a balance of over $30.00 will have only a sandwich as an option. You may pay in advance if you wish. Or, you may provide your child with bag lunch. Please do not send candy or sodas.
From Mr. Mill’s Desk: Happy New Year!
September for children returning to school is an exciting time of renewal and reconnection. It’s really more New Year for them than January 1. The school year ahead of them is filled with newness – teachers, classmates, learning and growth. It is the time of year when they most vividly feel the passage of their own time; they mark their progress toward young adulthood and maturity with their entrance into the next level of their education. They feel older than they have ever been, and bigger, and smarter.
Our challenge together, both at school and at home, is to tap their fresh energy immediately and help them to sustain it through the whole year. Children love to learn. They love to learn like they love to run and play. If we make the right moves in our support of them we can help them to hang on to their love of learning and equate their time in school with the pride that accompanies growing more competent and aware.
One very simple thing families can do at home is to ask
children to share their new learning every day. Can you build it into your
table talk at the evening meal? “What did you learn today in school?” And share
some of your stories about when you first learned something similar. “Wait till
you hear what I learned today at work!” And share something new with them, show
them that the learning never stops. “What do you think will happen tomorrow in
social studies [or English, or math]?” Help them to anticipate tomorrow by
asking what they think they might discover.
Remember that the prize is learning, and not necessarily achievement. An
achievement is for the moment, but their learning is forever.