Principal's March 2016 Newsletter
March 4, 2016
Dear Main Street School Families,
Welcome back everyone from your February break. If you are a snow hound and love skiing, tubing, or simply walking in the snow, I hope you were able to find a chance to enjoy your passion outdoors.
Jump Rope for Heart- The Jump Rope for Heart program was a huge success on multiple levels. In addition to the students having fun participating in this program, we raised $5,107 for the American Heart Association. Thank you for your support of this program.
Full Day Kindergarten
What is being proposed?
- The proposal is to build an eight-room addition to MSS to provide Full Day Kindergarten for all Exeter Students. The addition would be two stories built along the existing gym.
- Some additional renovations would also be done to update classrooms to meet current standards for kindergarten classrooms, which include having bathrooms in all Kindergarten classrooms.
- Other current space needs would also be addressed by this proposal including updating the elevator entrance on the second floor so that it doesn’t go directly into a classroom and by providing some additional learning spaces for students with significant needs who sometimes benefit from having time outside of the classroom.
- We are striving to maintain the quality of our community through top-notch education.
- The school board has set as one of its goals for several years the study of Full Day Kindergarten and has charged a committee to collect research and information about the value of Full Day Kindergarten.
- Two parent surveys were completed on Full Day Kindergarten. In the spring of 2013 79% of parents wanted Full Day Kindergarten
- Full Day Kindergarten would provide more time for student learning in a variety of ways including:
o More time for creative learning;
o More time to learn foundational skills;
o More time to learn and explore other subjects such as health, science, social studies and the related arts;
o More opportunity for peer interaction and support for social skill development;
o More time to spend with students in small group and individually to support developmentally appropriate learning strategies.
- Exeter has maintained steady student enrollment for many years and does not expect to see the decline in enrollment experienced by other surrounding towns. This is the result of Exeter maintaining an affordable housing market that makes it an attractive place to live for young families.
- The addition and renovations are estimated to cost approximately $5.4 Million
- The estimated impact on the tax rate will vary between $.41-$.31 per $1000 house value over the ten year term of the bond.
Principal's February 2016 Newsletter
February 15, 2016
Dear Main Street School Families,
The month of February has brought several enjoyable celebrations at MSS including the recognition of the 100th day of school and Valentine’s Day. We have also enjoyed participating in the Jump Rope for Heart program. I wish you all a wonderful February break next week.
Kindergarten Orientation and Registration for the 2016-2017 School Year- This Thursday, February 18th, we will be having an information and registration night for the parents of children who will be turning five by September 30th and entering Kindergarten in 2016-2017. Starting at 6:00 pm parents will have a chance to visit kindergarten classrooms and then there will be a presentation in the gym that starts at 6:30 pm. In the event of inclement weather we will have this orientation and registration evening on March 3rd. Registration packets may be picked up now at Main Street School or picked up on the evening of February 18th. We look forward to greeting the parents of next year’s Kindergarten class.
Snow Gear: The arrival of snow has increased our recess options. When the conditions permit we use both the blacktop area and the lower playing field for recess. Students who bring proper snow gear that includes snow pants, boots, a jacket, a hat, and gloves are allowed to play on the snowy field and build snow structures or snow people. Students who don’t have snow gear or prefer not to play in the snow have a variety of activities they can select to play on the black top area. Some of the options children enjoy include tag, jump roping, wall ball, using the foot print path, or playing in the sandbox with the trucks. Please know that we expect that students will come to school dressed warmly and be prepared to play on the playground during recess on days that are eighteen degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.
Lost and Found- The plastic bin in the gym that serves as our lost and found will have its contents displayed this week during lunch. We hope to be able to return the many collected items to their original owners.
November Open Circle Luncheon
Main Street School students and staff celebrated “Hat Day” on Friday, November 20th in return for a small monetary donation to the Exeter Chamber Children’s Fund campaign called, “Kids Helping Kids.” The donations will be used to purchase warm clothing and blankets for students in the greater Exeter region. The students pictured here were honored during an Open Circle Luncheon on this day for their problem solving skills.
MSS Buddy Benches
Three buddy benches have been added to the MSS playground to support prosocial behavior in our students by emphasizing inclusion, empathy, sharing, and compassion. We have taught the children that the buddy benches at MSS serve several purposes. They are a place where someone new to the school can meet someone and make a new friend. If someone's friend is not in school, they are a place to make new friends. Sometimes children want to play something different and want to join a new group. The buddy benches can also be a place where friends can sit and resolve problems. The three benches we have installed have been placed in honor of the service Kindergarten teacher Susan Drinker gave to MSS, and for the many hours of volunteer work Lisa Chichester provided to the students at MSS.
Principal's September 2015 Newsletter
August 28, 2015
Hello Main Street School Families,
We are ready and excited to both greet and welcome your children to school. The first day of school brings with it both excitement and some nervous anticipation. Dr. Seuss said, “You are off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” Next week your child will be saying goodbye to you and summer and walking with us inside. It can be bittersweet to see your child is growing up. Often that separation is harder for the adult than it is for the child. Thank you for sharing them with us. We look forward to helping them become important members of their classroom and the MSS community.
New Playground and Parking Lot- A very visible and exciting change to MSS is the new parking lot and playground. I tell children that I have two important jobs. One is to help them learn and the other is to keep them safe. The thing that pleases me most about this new playground design is how it has significantly increased the safety of the children. They will no longer have to be asked each day to double check for cars as they cross the parking lot to get to the playground. There will be a separate place for buses to drop off and pick up children. Also, additional parking spaces will make it easier to visit our school. This fall we will be adding a black chain link fence around the perimeter of the playground, new swings will be installed, and we will be installing some special benches called “buddy benches.” I thank the Exeter School Board, Associate Superintendent Mr. Flynn, and Facility Manager Dick Wendell for the long time support they have provided to make this important change happen.
New Staff- We are pleased to be welcoming several new members to the Main Street School staff. Renee Beauregard-Bennett has been hired to be the Special Education Administrator for both MSS and LSS. She recently received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from New England College (NEC). Renee previously served as the Student Services Administrator for the Windham School District. She has taught courses at NEC on a variety of topics including special education law.
Elizabeth McCombs is our new librarian. She brings to MSS her experience as both a music teacher and librarian. For the past fifteen years she has worked for the Manchester Public Schools. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she received her masters in School Library and Information Technologies.
Nicole Bell has joined our second grade teaching staff. Nicole has a long history of being connected to MSS. She has volunteered and worked at the school for close to ten years. This past year Nicole completed a dual certification in both general education and special education. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Classics and her Masters in Education at UNH.
Suzanne Bessemer will be working as a Special Education Para professional. Sue is a UNH graduate and worked for many years at Stratham Memorial School. She was the recipient of the SAU 16 Champion for Children’s award.
We are pleased to welcome back Pam Pufahl as a Special Education Para professional. Pam worked at MSS for three years and then entered the business world.
Full Day Kindergarten- You can anticipate hearing a great deal this coming school year about the work that is being done to bring Full Day Kindergarten to Main Street School. It is our belief that the implementation of a Full Day Kindergarten is a necessary part of a high-quality education program for all students and should be implemented in the Exeter School District as soon as possible. In order for full day Kindergarten to be implemented in Exeter we will need to add an addition to MSS. I look forward to sharing with you the building plans for the proposed addition and talking more about why this is an important change for MSS at our first Open House on September 17th.
First Day: Please note that we will be greeting Kindergarten students on the black top area next to the school during the first week of school and we will be greeting first and second grade students on the lower blacktop area and woodchip area. Teachers will have signs with their names the first day to help children locate them.
Please find listed below some important upcoming dates. I am thrilled to be beginning the school year with you and your child.
No School- Friday, September 4
Volunteer Training/PTO Meeting- Tuesday, September 15 (8:45am)
Curriculum Open House: Thursday, September 17 (6:00 - 7:30 pm)
Early Release Day- Wednesday, September 23 (Dismissal is at 12:45 pm)
Math Fact Volunteer Training- Monday, September 28 (2:00-3:00 pm)
Picture Day- Friday, October 2