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Thank you,  Helena Bates

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Latest Weekly Newsletter


September 1, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I want to welcome all new families to Peterborough Elementary School, and welcome back families who have been part of the PES community.  I hope everyone had a fun filled summer.  As usual, the summer went by much too quickly.

PES was busy throughout the summer with staff working on various committees and curriculum work. The Title One summer program was held at PES and we were able to see many friendly faces.  The custodial staff did a fabulous job getting the building cleaned and moving classrooms around, all while working around staff.  

Since our Kindergarten enrollment was higher than anticipated, we have added a Kindergarten classroom.  This will make four Kindergarten classrooms while we continue to have three classrooms in grades 1-4.

We are very excited to have many new staff at PES. I would like to welcome:

Erin Chase-Kindergarten Teacher

Laura Carr-Kindergarten Teacher

Michelle Douglas -Grade one Teacher

Sarah McLaughlin-Grade two Teacher

Janine Hastings-Grade three Teacher

Erika Cutter-Intensive Learning Center Teacher

Karen Plourde-Paraprofessional

The PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), is very active in the PES community.  The PTO meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30.  Feel free to drop in and join the meeting.  For more information contact Sarah Hamlin (seraireland@yahoo.com), PTO president.

No School:  Labor Day, Monday, September 4th

Events to Remember

Open House is September 20th 6:00-7:00

School Pictures are October 4th

 


April 14, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It looks as if spring may finally be here.  Let us hope this is true.  Don’t forget NHDI is tonight at 6:00.  Come and see Kindergarten, First and Second grade students perform their dance routines.  They have all worked very hard.

As we get into the warmer weather there are clothing students are not allowed to wear. Taken from our student handbook, ‘Students may not wear halter tops, short shorts, half shirts, clothing that reveals underwear, etc., pants that are so long they come down underneath a student’s shoes, shorts or pants that are so ‘baggy’ that they keep slipping down, flip-flops, platform shoes/sneakers, shoes with heels that are higher than 1 inch, slip-on sandals, slippers, sneakers/footwear with built-in roller blade type blade type mechanisms, etc.’

I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend.

Report Cards

Report Cards will be going home Friday, April 21st

School Vacation

Spring Recess:  April 24-28

We have some reminders:

  • Please make sure your child comes to school with a snack.  Many of the students have begun to visit Mrs. Murphy, our school nurse, to get a snack from her.  We do not keep a supply of snacks for students.
  • It would be helpful if students bring an extra pairs of socks, in case their feet get wet, while being outside.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitors’ pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.

Helena Bates

Principal


April 7, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The PES soup dinner last night turned out to be fabulous!  It was great to see so many families attend.  I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and had enough to eat.  The fourth graders made wonderful bowls, with some students choosing to eat their soup from their bowls.  We raised $700 for ‘End 68 Hours of Hunger.’ Also, the third and fourth graders made amazing comics that were on display last night.  If you have not had a chance to see them, come by.  They can be viewed in the halls on the bulletin boards across from the art room.

There is also some other exciting news to share.  Peterborough Elementary School has been awarded the Year of the Book grant for the 2017-18 school year by the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLIF).  The mission of CLIF is to promote literacy in rural areas of Vermont and New Hampshire.  Through this grant we will be able to bring in storytellers, plan writing workshops, have author/illustrators in, provide workshops for parents, add to our school library and give every student in the school books to take home.  We will soon begin our planning of activities, which will occur in the fall.

PTO

PTO meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 13th at 6:30 p.m.

NHDI

Kindergarten, first and second graders will be dancing with NHDI, beginning the week of April 10th.  There will be an All School Assembly on Friday, April 14th at 2:00.  There will be an evening performance at 6:15.

Yearbooks

Deadline to order a yearbook is April 21st

You can go to : YBPay.lifetouch.com and put in the code 13019017 for PES.

Report Cards

Grades close April 12th

Report Cards go home April 21st

We have some new reminders:

  • Please make sure your child comes to school with a snack.  Many of the students have begun to visit Mrs. Murphy, our school nurse, to get a snack from her.  We do not keep a supply of snacks for students.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It is also getting to the time when the temperature is warming up during the day resulting in the field becoming wet, with puddles and mud.  It would be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks, in case their feet get wet while being outside.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitors’ pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.

Helena Bates

Principal


March 31, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This past Wednesday PES hosted the Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility (TIGER), from Plymouth State University at PES.  Temple Elementary and Dublin Consolidated School joined us.  The presentation was very engaging and interactive.  The focus of the presentation was about being kind to one another, treating others with respect, how to be a good friend, using words respectfully, and respecting everyone’s differences.  Ask your child about it and what they learned from the program.

The letters in the word TIGER stand for:

T- Take action

           I-I can say no

          G -Get help

          E-Empathy

          R-Respect

This Sunday, April 2, 2017, our PES inventors will be participating in the statewide convention, being held at Southern NH University in Manchester. Our young inventors who will be participating are; Clara Christensen, Abby Rodenhiser, and Elena Ellia.  If you are interested in seeing their invention and the inventions from other schools, please go and see for yourself.

Smarter Balance Assessment:

This assessment is given to third and fourth graders

It will begin April 3rd for third graders and April 10th with fourth graders

Soup Dinner

April 6th from 5-6:30 Soup Dinner at PES.  This is a school fundraiser for ‘End 68 Hours of Hunger’

PTO

The next PTO meetings is scheduled for April 13th at 6:30

NHDI

NHDI performance for K-2 will be held April 14th at 6:15 in the PES gym.

We have some new reminders:

  • Please make sure your child comes to school with a snack.  Many of the students have begun to visit Mrs. Murphy, our school nurse, to get a snack from her.  We do not keep a supply of snacks for students.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It is also getting to the time when the temperature is warming up during the day resulting in the field becoming wet, with puddles and mud.  It would be helpful if students bring an extra pairs of socks, in case their feet get wet while being outside.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitors’ pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.

Helena Bates

Principal


March 24, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Last night’s Family Reading Night was fabulous.  There were a variety of readers and activities that kept the students’ interest.  A huge thank you to our Assistant Superintendent Ann Forrest who read Rosie Revere Engineer.  Also, thank you to Dr. Greg Kriebel who read Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, Rebecca Eder-Linell who read Panda Monium, and the ConVal German Club for reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar in German and English.  The ConVal Band Members read a story, talked about their instruments and played some music. What a positive experience for everyone.

Plymouth State University’s Theatre Integrating Guidance Education and Responsibility (TIGER) production  group will be at PES, Wednesday, March 29th . The production involves movement and music to engage their audience and addresses the issues of bullying at the elementary level.  Parents will also have an opportunity to learn more about bullying at the parent workshop on March 30th at ConVal High School, beginning at 6:30.

We are excited to welcome well known illustrator Marek Bennett to PES next week.  Mr. Bennett will be working with our third and fourth graders on developing a comic project (illustrations) related to the subjects they have been addressing in their classes.  Their final projects will be displayed during our Fill the Bowl soup dinner taking place April 6th from 5-6:30.  See flyer below.

NHDI will be at PES the week of April 10th to work with our Kindergarten, first, and second graders.  This is something the younger students have really enjoyed in the past.  There will be an evening performance on April 14th.  The exact time of the performance has not been firmed up yet. We will keep you posted.

Parent Workshop

March 30, 2017 at 6:30-7:45 at ConVal High School, in the Lucy Hurlin Theater

Topic:  Bullying Prevention

Picture Day

Spring picture day will be April 4th

Flyers were sent home earlier this week.  Extra fliers are available in the office if you need another copy.

 Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

Helena Bates

Principal


March 17, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

What a week it has been with the weather.  I know better weather has to be around the corner soon.

We continue to stress being kind to ourselves and classmates.  We have moved onto what it means to be kind to others within the school.  How does one show kindness to the cafeteria staff, to other teachers in the school, or even parent volunteers that are in the school?  It would be as simple as saying, “Thank you,” when the students receive their lunch or holding the door for someone else.  At home, you can talk about how to show kindness to one another.  Is it showing kindness helping with the dinner dishes or not arguing when it is time to go to bed?

Parent Workshop

March 30, 2017 at 6:30-7:45 at ConVal High School in the Lucy Hurlin Theater

Topic:  Bullying Prevention

(link to flyer)

Lion’s Club

March 23rd: Lion’s Club will be at PES doing vision screenings

Thank you to the Lion’s Club for their support

Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

Helena Bates

Principal


March 10, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The week before vacation PES kicked off their Kindness initiative, beginning with being kind to ourselves.  Staff and students talked about ways to show kindness to ourselves.  They talked about eating good healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep at night and being active.

This week we moved to what it means to be kind to our classmates.  Some of the behaviors of kindness could be helping a friend, saying thank you, reading a book to a friend or being ready to start your day on time.

Next week we will be talking about what it looks like to show kindness within the school setting.

The Young Invention Convention was held this past Wednesday at PES.  First place winners were Abby Rodenhiser and Clara Christensen, second place was Elena Ellia, and tied for third place was Owen Beaulieu and Ava Van Horn.  We are very excited that  Abby, Clara and Elena will represent PES at the state convention on April 2nd.

Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

Helena Bates

Principal


February 24, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We just completed week one of our Kindness initiative in “Being Kind to Ourselves.”  This week we focused on eating well, exercise, reading, relaxing and getting enough sleep.  Classroom teachers and other staff members at PES talked about the importance of taking care of our bodies mentally and physically.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful vacation.  Try to get outside and go for walks with your family and friends or other outside activities.  If you would rather stay in there are some good read-aloud books to try.  One story is called ‘Dragons Love Tacos’ by Adam Rubin.  The story is about what a little boy decides to do when he finds out that dragons like to eat tacos.  It is a silly story about a dragon party that turns into a disaster.  Another story is ‘Just a Second’ by Steve Jenkins.  This book is nonfiction and helps children think about time in fascinating ways, such as a bumblebee flapping its wing 100 times, equivalent to one second.  A third story is called, ‘Bedtime is Canceled’ by Cece Meng.  It is a story about what happens when bedtime is canceled for all children and resulting n the children discovering the importance of sleep.  I hope you will enjoy some of these readings and enjoy your time with your children.

Winter Recess

February 27th to March 3rd

Invention Convention

Invention Convention-March 8th at 5:30 pm

Helena Bates

Principal


February 17, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Due to the snow day last Monday, we were not able to hold our All School Meeting.  This has been rescheduled for Monday, February 20th at 10:45 where we will be rolling out our initiative on kindness.  Keep your fingers crossed that the weather will be calm.

When we begin talking about Kindness, we start with what it means to be kind to ourselves.  One way we can be kind to ourselves is eating healthy and being active.  Another way is to compliment yourself when you do a good job.

Mrs. deSteuben would like to remind parents and guardians about students who have not signed up for the Invention Convention.  If you are working on an invention for the PES Invention Convention please send in the ‘intent form’, which allows the student to participate.  Students will not be allowed to participate if the form has not been sent in.  The Invention Convention will be on March  8th  at PES.  If you have any questions please call Mrs. deSteuben at 924-3828, ext. 1616.

All School Meeting

Monday, February 20th at 10:45

Winter Recess

February 27th to March 3rd

 Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

Helena Bates

Principal


February 10, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Are you beginning to wonder if we will ever have a full week of school again?  I know I am.  It has been challenging to maintain consistency when the students do not have the regular routine of school.  Never the less, we will do our best and move forward.

For the next several weeks the students and staff at PES will be focusing on Kindness.  We will be beginning with what it means to be kind to ourselves, and then we will move onto what it looks like to be kind in class and throughout the school.  There are many different ways to show kindness to ourselves and others.  Eating a banana or carrots at snack can show kindness to yourself by trying to stay healthy.  Writing a nice note or complimenting someone can show kindness to others.  We will be rolling out our Kindness initiative on Monday, February 13th at 10:45 during our All School Meeting.  If you have time, please stop in

Report Cards

Report Cards go home today Friday, February 10th

All School Meeting

Monday, February 13th at 10:45

Vacation

February 27th to March 3rd

Helena Bates

Principal


February 3, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Well, from the news reports, the Groundhog saw it’s shadow.  This means we will have six more weeks of winter.  I am not sure if I am happy about this or not, but regardless, mother nature will do whatever she wants to do.

Please remember, before you come and visit your child’s classroom, check with the classroom teacher to make sure the time of the visit works for the teacher and the class.  Unexpected classroom visitors can be disruptive.

If your child has lost items such as mittens, hats, etc. at school, please come and check the lost and found.  It is located right outside the gym.

District Meeting Part 1

Deliberative Session, Wednesday, February 8th at 6:00 at ConVal Gymnasium

Report Cards

Report Cards go home Friday, February 10th

Winter Recess

February 27th to March 3rd

 Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

Helena Bates

Principal


January 27, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, PES’ students and staff are focusing on respectful behavior in the hallway.  I have to say I am very impressed with many of our students who are seen regularly walking in the hall respectfully without having to be reminded.  When you get a chance ask your child what respectful behavior in the halls look like.

Last night there was a parent information meeting on the PES’ Invention Convention which is part of the NH Young Inventors Program.  If you were not able to attend the meeting, but you and your child are interested in learning more about it please contact Mrs. deSteuben, our multi-media learning commons specialist at the school (924-3828, ext. 1636).

 PTO

Next PTO meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Februrary 2nd  at 6:30

Pick-Up Patrol

Just a reminder if your child is staying after school for a club, please make this change in Pick-Up Patrol.

Report Cards

Report Cards go home Friday, February 10th

Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

Helena Bates

Principal


January 20, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are mid way through winter.  Can you believe it? Is your child getting tired of going outside in the cold?  How about sitting together with some hot chocolate and reading to your child.  It does not matter how old your child is whether he or she is in Kindergarten or fourth grade, they still like to be read to.  Picking a book above your child’s reading ability is OK to do.  This way you can expand your child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills.  Below are some books you and your child may enjoy.

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel, by Kathryn Gibbs Davis: This is a true story of how an American engineer invented the Ferris wheel.

Only One You, by Linda Kranz: A boy named Adri listens to his mother and father as they lovingly urge him not to follow the crowd, to look for beauty everywhere, and to make new friends.

The Geography Book: Activities for Exploring, Mapping, and Enjoying Your World, by Caroline Arnold: This collection of hands-on geography projects lets readers discover maps, landforms, water, and weather.

 White Fang, by Jack London: Your child will see the world through the eyes of White Fang, a wild wolf-dog.

 Young Inventors Meeting

Thursday, January 26th at 5:30 Parent Information Meeting on Young Inventors Program at PES

Report Cards

Report Cards go home Friday, February 10th

Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside

Helena Bates

Principal


January 13, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This month our school will be focusing on showing respectful behavior in the halls.  Whenever possible parents and guardians can reinforce or talk about what respectful behavior in the school hall or even at home looks like with your child.

How do we know students and adults are being respectful in the hall?  Well, one way we can show this is by not talking or using a quiet voice.  When there is noise in the hall, students in the other classes become distracted from their own work.  Another way of showing respectful behavior is opening and closing our lockers quietly.  There are many people who are sensitive to noise and the slamming of the locker may startle them.  If there are students working in the other classrooms the slamming of the lockers become very distracting.  Another way to show respect in the hall is to keep our hands off the walls, especially if there is student work being shown on the bulletin boards.  Sliding our hands along the walls can result in much of the work on the bulletin boards being torn or becoming loose.

Thank you for your support in reinforcing respectful behavior in the halls

No School

Monday, January 16th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.  Students should not be dropped off before 8:00 am.
  • I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

Helena Bates

Principal


January 6, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful vacation.

I would like to remind everyone that the school day begins at 8:40 and ends at 3:25.  The front door of the school automatically locks at 8:45.  Please make every effort to be at school on time.  Core academic instruction goes until 3:10/3:15 every day.   Students then pack up and get ready to go home.  Whenever possible please try not to pick up your child early.  Early dismissals disrupt your child’s instruction and the instruction of others.  If you are picking up your child early, please use Pick-Up Patrol or let Mrs. Kolk know ahead of time and she will call the classroom teacher.

During the next couple of weeks students will be taking the NWEA (grades 1-4) and AIMSweb (grades k-4) assessments. Results of the assessments will be sent home in February for you to review

Over the next couple of weeks we will be conducting a couple of Lockdown Drills.  They usually take about 20 minutes to complete.  If you come to school and you are not buzzed into the school, this means we are probably in the middle of our drill

Reminders

  • Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.  Students attending exercise club, should not be dropped off before 8:00 am.
  • When there is snow on the field students need to wear snowpants, boots, gloves/mittens and hats to be able to go out onto the field.  It may be helpful if students bring an extra pair of socks in case their feet get wet while being outside.

No School

January 16th, Martin Luther King Jr. D

Helena Bates

Principal


December 16, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Winter seems to have settled in, even though it is not officially the winter season.  Brrrr!  Next week will be busy and fun-filled at PES, and there will be no Principal’s newsletter, therefore I’d like to take this opportunity today, to wish everyone a wonderful and safe holiday season and vacation.  Enjoy!

I would like to remind visitors to sign in at the office and take a visitor’s pass.   Before leaving the school, you will also need to sign out and leave through the front doors.

Reminder

Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.

Vacation

Holiday Recess: December 23- January 2nd

Helena Bates

Principal


December 9, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is difficult to believe the holiday and vacation is almost here.  Where does the time go?  I want to take a minute to thank all of you for your support and work in helping our students be successful and ready each and every day for school.  Students tend to become more excited, nervous and sometimes off task thinking about the upcoming break.  At PES we try to keep the schedule as consistent as possible.

Today we welcomed many families and friends to our All School Meeting to watch our third graders perform Fifty Nifty.  They did an outstanding job.  The students were also congratulated on their hard work in lowering the number of incidents of disrespect by 50%.  Everyone has worked very hard on this. It has been great seeing the school community come together in being more respectful towards one another. I am so proud of everyone in the school.  The All School Meeting ended with the PES Chorus and entire school singing holiday songs.  It was very uplifting.

With the cold weather upon us, please remember to send your child to school with a coat, hat and mitten/gloves, so they will be able to enjoy being outside.

Did you know you are able to keep track of your balance for the purchase of school lunch and milk purchased for your child?  You can sign up at myschoolaccount.com, where you will be able to view the detail of purchases, make payments and sign up for e-mail notifications when your account goes below $10.

Caroling

Caroling December 9th at 4:30 at Depot Square

Saturday, December 10th at 10:00 am, meeting at Peterborough Community Center on Elm St.

Reminder

Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.

Vacation

Holiday Recess: December 23- January 2nd

Helena Bates

Principal


December 2, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday.  It was great seeing all the students back on Monday.  Some looked very tired, but that was OK.  Everyone seemed to get back into their routine in no time at all.

Did you know that building Phonological Awareness skills is an important predictor of reading success?   Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear sounds that make up words in spoken language.  This includes recognizing words that rhyme, identifying words that begin or end the same, understanding how sounds can be changed in spoken words and separating words into syllables or individual sounds.

Here are a couple of activities that you can do at home to reinforce phonological skills.  One activity is scrambling syllables.  You take turns picking a word with two syllables (i.e. scarecrow).  Say the word with the syllable in the wrong order (crowscare).  Try and guess the word.  It does not need to be a word your child can spell.

Another fun activity is rhyming riddles.  Ask your child to name a category and make up a riddle for him or her to guess.  An example of this would be, “I am green and spicy, and I taste good with chips.  I rhyme with wuacawhole (answer: guacamole).

It is also important to read and read and read.  When children see their parents read, they are also more likely to pick up a book to read.  Here are some activities you can try at home to encourage reading.  To help your child read, find a song and its lyrics.  Have your child read the words, put on the music and sing along together.  This is one of my favorite activities I did with my children.

Along with reading, it is also important to understand what you have read.  A good way to do this is to read mysteries.  Before the mystery is solved, ask your child to make a prediction and then tell you what clues helped him or her make the prediction.

Caroling

Practice December 8th from 3:30-4:15 in Music Room

Caroling December 9th at 4:30 at Depot Square

Saturday, December 10th at 10:00 am, meeting at Peterborough Community Center on Elm St.

Reminder

Exercise Club meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school.  They do not meet on Monday and Friday.

Popcorn Friday

December 9th-50 cents a bag

All School Meeting

Friday, December 9th at 10:15

Third grade will performing ‘Fifty Nifty’ and the school will be singing Holiday songs.

Vacation

Holiday Recess: December 23- January 2nd

Helena Bates

Principal


November 18, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is difficult to believe the first marking period has ended.  Please take some time to look over your child’s report card and bring any questions you may have to your parent/teacher conferences on Monday, November 21st.

It was wonderful seeing so many people attending the Harvest Feast.  There were about 175 students served and over 115 guests.  In the afternoon the third and fourth graders participated in a turkey trot and donated food for the End 68 Hours of Hunger program.

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the upcoming break with your family and friends.

No School

November 21st Teacher conferences

November 22nd Teacher workshops

No school for students November 21st to November 25th for Thanksgiving

PTO

Next PTO Meeting, Thursday, December 1st at 6:30

All School Meeting

Friday, December 9th at 10:15

Third grade will performing ‘Fifty Nifty’ and the school will be singing Holiday songs.

Helena Bates

Principal


November 10, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Harvest Feast-Thursday, November 17th

Times that grades will have lunch:

First Grade: 11:00

Kindergarten: 11:30

Fourth Grade: 12:10

Second Grade: 12:30

Third Grade: 1:00

No School

November 21st Teacher conferences

November 22nd Teacher workshops

No school for students November 21st to November 25th for Thanksgiving

Helena Bates

Principal


November 4, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We had many classes visiting the Nursing Homes in the area, with the students dressed in their Halloween costumes.  Grade one visited Rivermead and grade two visited Pheasantwood Nursing Home.  The residents were very happy to see our children.  This was a great community experience for our students.

The students are hard at work with the Drumming Residency which includes drumming, learning rhythms, and movement.  There will be an evening performance for families on Thursday, November 10th at 6:30.

The ConVal school district is involved in the End 68 Days of Hunger program.  In the entrance of our school we will have a box to specifically collect food donations.  At the end of each week the food will be picked up by volunteers to get ready to distribute to families in need.

No School

November 11th, school closed for Veteran’s Day

November 21st Teacher conferences

November 22nd Teacher workshops

No school for students November 22nd to November 25th for Thanksgiving

Harvest Feast

November 17th, Harvest Feast

Report Cards

Reports for the first quarter will be going home Friday, November 18th.

Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences will be held Monday, November 21st.  You should be hearing from your teacher about scheduling a time to come in and talk about your child’s progress.

Helena Bates

Principal


October 28, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of students arriving to school on time.  It is also important for students to come to school every day.  My own children would ask to stay home from time to time from school.  I would take out the calendar and count how many days there were until the next day off from school.  This strategy seemed to have helped with them not asking to stay home from time to time.

Research has shown students are more likely to succeed in school by attending school regularly.  We get colds and get ‘bugs’ from time to time that prevents us from working or going to school.  Then, there are times when we may feel we just want a day at home.  When a student is out, it is difficult for the teacher and the class to continue to build their skills and make progress in school.  So, please make every effort to have your child come to school daily.

We are very fortunate to be bringing a Drumming Residency to PES.  Beginning November 3rd to November 10th, with a night performance for parents on November 10th, students will learn to drum through movement and music.  Research has shown that movement-based learning and music can help students to concentrate, learn and remember learning experiences and information.

Morning Snack

This is a reminder to send your child to school with a morning healthy snack. Free fresh fruits or vegetables are offered to all students on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Halloween

Halloween Parade downtown-October 31st, leaving PES at 1:30

Reminder: students can not bring weapons of any kind or put blood on as part of their costume.  Teachers will not be applying any type of face make-up on any students.

PTO

Next PTO meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd at 6:30

Drumming

November 10th, Evening Performance details TBA

No School

November 11th, school closed for Veteran’s Day

Helena Bates

Principal


October 21, 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Teachers will be screening students with a universal screener, the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA). This screening tool provides information related to social-emotional competence.
We are asking parents to please send in plastic bags with your child to place their library books in. We have had many books ruined due to water damage in their their backpacks.(water bottles, wet clothes, etc)  Your help is greatly appreciated.
Halloween
Halloween Parade downtown – October 31 st at 1:30

PTO

The next PTO meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3rd at 6:30 pm

No School

November 11 th, school closed for Veteran’s Day

Helena Bates
Principal

October 14, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Earlier this year I mentioned that at PES we would be helping students develop positive behaviors.  We encourage students to be respectful, safe and kind.  For some children this becomes automatic.  For other children they need more encouragement and teaching of these skills.  One of the important areas the school has identified as a need to reteach and practice is showing respect.

This involves respect at recess, in the cafeteria, in Health class, etc.  Our focus, at PES, will be showing respect on the playground.  What does this look like?  Showing respect on the playground involve staying within the boundaries on the playground, lining up when the bell rings, using quiet voices when the teacher is speaking, keeping hands and body to self in line, and taking turns on the playground equipment.  This will also be carried through into the school building in helping student recognize that respect in the school is also walking in line and using a quiet voice.

We will be having an All School Meeting October 19th to rollout the expectations of respectful behavior.  At home you can reinforce this expectation by talking about what it looks like to be respectful outside on the playground and even inside the home.  Your support would be greatly appreciated.

We are one step closer to making PES a more secured building.  We have new doorbell located on the wall to the right of the main doors.  From 8:45 am -3 pm the doors will be locked and you will need to ring the bell.  The office staff can now open the door for you from their desk.  Please understand, you may be asked for identification if you are not readily recognized.  From 8:15-8:45 am and 3:00-3:30 pm, there will be one door unlocked for your convenience when dropping off and picking up students.  This door will be on the left side and will be marked with a sign.  Thank you for your patience as we all learn this new security system.

All School Meeting

October 19th at 9:15

Helena Bates,

Principal


October 7, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

If you have not heard the district is installing new security in the schools.  We are very excited in the prospect of PES being more secure.  The installation of the new security system is “almost” complete.  In anticipation of this, the front door will be locked while school is in session.  It will be unlocked in the morning until 8:40 and unlocked in the afternoon around 3:00.  The time in between, you will need to press the buzzer on the far right of the outside door.  Someone from the office will come and let you in.  Parents, if you see someone at the door please do not open the door for anyone.  A staff member will come to open the door.  Once the new system is completed, we will be able to buzz you in from the office.

I know we are always in a rush to get from one place to the next.  When a family member picks up a student from school at the end of the day it is really important everyone show some patience.  The staff at PES want to ensure every student leaves with the person stated in Pick-Up Patrol.  Therefore, I ask everyone not to push their way in or out of the gym.  Please follow the routine and steps that have been developed here at PES.  This will greatly be appreciated.

Reminders:

No School

There is no school Monday, October 10th, due to it being Columbus Day.

Pictures:

Picture Day is Tuesday, October 11th.

Helena Bates,

Principal


September 30, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We had our first All School Assembly yesterday.  It was wonderful to see the energy, excitement, and participation from our students.  Some of the classes shared the work they have been doing and the entire school sang the PES song, Rise and Shine.

Parents often ask if it really matters if their child is late getting to school in the morning.  At one time or another we all run late.  However, when lateness becomes a regular routine of at least once a week, then the answer is, “Yes,” tardiness to school does matter.

Students’ arriving on time to school gives them a chance to greet and talk to friends and get ready for the school day.  When students arrive late to school they miss the review of the class schedule for the day, important announcements, important information on class or school rules, and other information.  Student’s who arrive to class in the middle of a lesson, may miss more of the lesson as they try to settle in and focus.  This can also impact other classmates learning, as their attention is diverted from the teacher and the lesson and directed to the late student arriving.

Recent research is indicating arriving to school late regularly can have long-term academic effects such as lower grades in school.  Tardiness can cause students to feel “disconnected” with school, which can lead to behavior problems.

So, the message here is for everyone to put in a good effort to have their child in their classroom everyday by 8:40.

PTO

The next PTO meeting will be Thursday, October 6th at 6:30.  All parents and guardians are welcome! The PTO is always looking for new members.

No School

There is no school Monday, October 10th, due to it being Columbus Day.

Pictures:

Picture Day is Tuesday, October 11th.

Helena Bates,

Principal


September 23, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I want to thank everyone who attended our Open House this past Wednesday night.  It was wonderful to see so many students with their families.  I hope you had a chance to meet your child’s teacher and see what your child has been working on so far this year.

On another note, I am happy to announce that PES has a new school guidance counselor, Jennifer Ahlquist.  Ms. Ahlquist is a graduate from Keene State College with a Masters degree in School Counseling.  We are very excited Ms. Ahlquist will be part of our PES community.

We encourage student independence in walking to their classroom on their own.  If you feel you need to walk your child to class, please keep in mind the classroom teacher likes to greet their students and begin their day on time at 8:40 am.  If you would like to speak with the classroom teacher, let the teacher know and he or she will schedule a conference with you.

Wellness Walk:

Mark your calendar for the Wellness Walk which is scheduled for tomorrow, September 24th at 8:00 at the Peterborough Community Center. Registration will be at 7:30.  It will be a 5k Route beginning on Elm Street.

PTO:

The next PTO meeting will be Thursday, October 6th at 6:30. All parents and guardians are welcome! The PTO is always looking for new members.

Fundraising:

Monday, September 26th, the Geneviene Fundraising packets will be sent home with every student.

Helena Bates

Principal


September 16, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is hard to believe we have just completed our third week of school.  Everyone seems to be adjusting well to the new school year.  Daily routines seem to be established and students are actively involved in their learning.  As you walk through the halls you will see the bulletin boards filling up with the various topics of study going on throughout the school.

Here is some insight on what is going on throughout the different grades in the school.

An important part of the Kindergarten school year is working on building a sense of community in the classroom and learning how to cooperate with one another.  Academics are focusing on identifying letters and their sounds, reading sight words, developing comprehension skills, and counting, writing and recognizing numbers 0-5.

Grade one has been observing the Monarch caterpillars through their life cycle and the role of an entomologist (scientist who studies insects).  Ask your child about the life cycle of the Monarch and check out the hallway where you will find on the bulletin boards the butterfly life cycle which all the students worked on.

Second grade will be working with Cornucopia for the next seven weeks.  The students will be harvesting the vegetables they planted as first graders last spring.  This is great carryover between the grades which allows the students to experience the entire planning process.

Grade three is working on a unit about birds, specifically hawks, with the Harris Center.  Part of learning about Hawks is learning information about the wind and wind direction which impacts when Hawks migrate.  Lessons also included birds of prey and teaching the students what makes these birds good hunters.  All the third grade classes have hiked up Pack Monadnock to observe hawk migration.

In fourth grade one of the units of study is learning about New Hampshire.  Students will spend time mapping New Hampshire’s physical landscape which includes the mountains and rivers, as well as mapping out where they can find natural resources. The fourth grade classes will also be working with Janet Altobello, from the Harris Center, who will come into each fourth grade to work on tracking and mapping.  Each class will go on walks and hikes around Peterborough to see how land forms and how the water flows.  This will later be tied into the fourth grade mammal unit.

Pick-Up Patrol:

Please log into Pick-up Patrol (app.pickuppatrol.net) and set up your child’s default plans.  Also, as a reminder to put all changes on how your child will be getting home at the end of the school day into Pick-Up Patrol by 2:15.

End of Day Dismissal:

If you are picking up your child at the end of the school day, please be at the school by 3:25, when dismissal begins.

Tardy:

Any student arriving to school after 8:40 is considered tardy.  If your child is tardy they need to check-in at the office and let Mrs. Kolk know they have arrived.  They then have to stop by the cafeteria to choose their lunch options.

Birthdays:

Just a reminder of the school rules in regards to invitations for birthday parties.  If you are bringing invitations to school, invitations have to include all students in that classroom.  If all students in the classroom are not invited, then invitations need to be delivered outside of school.

Book Fair

Book Fair will be September 19-23rd.  There will be time during the school day when your child will be able to view what books are available to buy.

Open House:

Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21st from 6:30-7:30.  PTO will be selling pizza beginning at 5:45.

During open house come and learn about the Cornucopia Project our first and second graders are involved in and even go on a tour of our gardens.

The Peterborough Library will be at PES to sign students up for a library card.

The Harris Center will also have a table by the library showing examples of the tracking and mapping the students will be doing.

There will also be a Pick-up Patrol table in the cafeteria.  Mrs. Kolk will be available to assist parents in setting up their default plans for their children and answer any questions about this system.

Wellness Walk:

Mark your calendar for the Wellness Walk which is scheduled for September 24th at 8:00 at the Peterborough Community Center. Registration will be at 7:30.  It will be a 5k Route beginning on Elm Street.

PTO

The next PTO meeting will be Thursday, October 6th at 6:30.

Helena Bates

Principal


September 9, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

If you have walked through the halls first thing in the morning you may have noticed music playing.  All the songs are related to being ‘Respectful, Safe and Kind.’  It was been wonderful to hear the students humming down the hall in the morning to the various songs playing.

Research has shown that children who are involved in music, including singing regularly do better in reading, are likely to do better in math and science because music helps build reasoning skills and cognitive development, and get along better with their peers.  Listening to much can also be just plain fun, which I hope it is for our students.

During the next couple of weeks teachers will be giving the AIMSweb assessments.  The AIMSweb measures take only one to ten minutes to complete.  During the week of September 19th and 26th students in grades 1-4 will take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment in reading and math.  Results of both assessments will be sent home for parents to review.

Results from AIMSweb and MAP assessments are used diagnostically by teachers to decide what skills and knowledge to prioritize when working with your child.  Grade level teachers will be meeting to review the results from these assessments and any other informal assessment data collected to identify key areas of strength and needs.  Information gathered from this analysis informs the instruction that teachers offer your child.

Snack:

Please send your child to school every day with a snack.

Book Fair

Book Fair will be September 19-23rd.  There will be time during the school day when your child will be able to view what books are available to buy.  The Book Fair will be open 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after school.

Open House:

Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21st from 6:30-7:30.  PTO will be selling pizza beginning at 5:45.

We will also have our Book Fair out in the main lobby by the office.  It is a perfect time to purchase books your child is interested in and maybe even begin to get ideas for holiday gifts for your child.

If you have not registered for Pick-up Patrol, Mrs. Kolk will be here at Open House to assist you.

During open house come and learn about the Cornucopia Project our first and second graders are involved in and even go on a tour of our gardens.

The Peterborough Library will be at PES to sign students up for a library card.

We will also have our book fair out in the main lobby by the office.  It is a perfect time to purchase books your child is interested in and maybe even begin to get ideas for holiday gifts for your child.

Wellness Walk:

Mark your calendar for the Wellness Walk which is scheduled for September 24th at 8:00 at the Peterborough Community Center. Registration will be at 7:30.  It will be a 5k Route beginning on Elm Street.

PTO

The next PTO meeting will be Thursday, October 6th at 6:30.

Helena Bates

Principal


September 2, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome new and returning families to PES.  I hope everyone had a fun filled summer.  It has been very exciting to see students returning to school with smiles on their faces.

We have many new staff joining our PES community. Bethany Towne is teaching Kindergarten, Ginny Topping grade one, Mary Triolo grade two, and Jill Hickox is teaching special education.  Lesley Hodges and Amanda DiNino are our pre-school paraprofessionals.   Emily Luongo is a paraprofessional in grade one.  As you may have heard Mrs. Dunn, who has been our school counselor has begun working in the Keene School District.  A new guidance counselor has not been hired as of yet.  I will keep you posted with any new developments, with the hopes that this position will be filled very shortly.

One of our school-wide goals this year at PES will be helping students develop positive behaviors through PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports)/Responsive Classroom strategies.  Many of our teachers at PES have PBIS training and many have Responsive Classroom training.  PES will be combining both approaches since they are very similar.  We will continue with the motto of Being ‘Respectful, Safe and Kind’ in school.  The premise of both PBIS and Responsive Classroom approach is that continual teaching, modeling, and reinforcing of positive behavior will support children’s positive behaviors, and reduce discipline problems in the school.

For the first six weeks of school, PES will be focusing on appropriate behavior in all settings of the school (classroom, hall, recess, cafeteria, etc.).  Teachers will be teaching, modeling and practicing what each behavior looks like in the various school settings.  When students know the behavior expectation and when it is reinforced throughout the school day,  students are more available to the learning that takes place throughout their day.

Some things to remember:

Pick-up Patrol:  If there is a change in the Default Plans on how your child will be going home, (i.e stays after school for a club, going to a friends’ house, etc.), please put the change in Pick-up Patrol by 2:15.  If you are unable to get into Pick-up Patrol, please call the office by 2:15.  If the school receives no notice of any change, your child will follow their regular afterschool routine.

Open House:

Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21st from 6:30-7:30.  PTO will be selling pizza beginning at 5:45.

During open house come and learn about the Cornucopia Project our first and second graders are involved in and even go on a tour of our gardens.

The Peterborough Town Library will be at PES to sign students up for a library card.  Please make sure you stop by to sign up for a library card.

PTO meeting:

The first PTO meeting for the school year is Thursday, September 7th at 6:30 in the school library.  All PES parents are welcome to attend.

Wellness Walk:

Mark your calendar for the Wellness Walk which is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at 8:00 am, at the Peterborough Community Center.  More information will be available soon.

Helena Bates

Principal




Archived Newsletters 15-16  


March 11, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,
On Monday, the teachers were involved in a variety of trainings. Most of the staff focused on Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching as a continuation of this year’s professional development series. The staff has been working on developing a deeper understanding of research-based teaching responsibilities, which improve student learning. We are very fortunate to have staff who are invested in their professional growth and teaching practice. Most importantly, they are dedicated to the students and their growth.
I’d like to thank you for coming out to vote on Tuesday. All of the warrant articles passed with the exception of Article 12. The District’s budget and CVEA collective bargaining agreement passed. Two new Peterborough school board
members, Kristen Reilly and Thomas Kelly, were elected to fill two seats, while Dick Dunning was re-elected to fill a third seat.
Also, while we were reviewing attendance data this week, thirty-one students had perfect attendance. They were rewarded with vouchers to receive a free ticket to see the Boston Celtics. I hope they can maintain their perfect attendance, so we can celebrate their accomplishments at the end of the school year.
Next Friday is the school’s Book Swap. Please see the attached flyer for additional details on how your child can swap old books for new(ish) books.
Please remember that the Smarter Balanced Assessment for 3rd and 4th graders will take place between March 21st and April 8th.
Have a great weekend and remember to “spring forward” or set your clocks ahead by one hour on Sunday.
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

March 4, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,
It’s hard to believe that we’re getting closer to spring with weather like today’s. Fortunately, it looks like we’ve got some warm weather ahead next week.
It was a Nature’s Workshop day today at PES. The teachers planned a variety of integrated curricular activities to teach the students about the beginning of spring. We had the help of many volunteers today who brought the students from station to station, while the teachers facilitated the stations. The Second Grade teachers worked with staff members from Ben’s Sugar Shack, which is based in Temple, NH, to teach the students about the process of boiling maple sap. We tapped several maple trees, but the sap was not running today due to cold temperatures from our taps. The students worked on comparing and contrasting maple sap and maple syrup after sampling both. First Grade teachers and staff from the Harris Center led our students in searching for signs of spring on the Richard Mellor Trail. It was really amazing to hear the students talk about using a stethoscope to listen to maple trees. Lynn Compton taught the students to line dance with a “Wake-up Spring” dance. The Kindergarten teachers worked with ConVal Arts Integration to create  Maple Sugaring Murals based on Grandma Moses’ art. The Third Grade teachers led groups in an investigation of tulips and what they need to grow. They charted their predictions of when the tulips would emerge and when they would bloom on the bulletin boards outside of the Library. It was a really terrific day of learning for all!
This week was National Read Across America week. ConVal High School National Honor Society students came to read Dr. Seuss books in the classrooms to kick off the celebration of reading. As a school, we’re planning multiple activities throughout the month along with a weeklong celebration in two weeks. The next event will be a school-wide book swap on March 18th. Students can bring in books to swap out for different ones. More information about the book swap is on the attached flyer below. I will also send home more information about other reading events in next week’s newsletter.
Also this week, Wendy Hill from the River Center hosted a free workshop for parents on “Building Resilient Children” at PES. The three-part workshop continues again on Tuesday, March 8th from 6-7:30pm. If you were unable to attend last week’s workshop, you can still attend the remaining workshops at no cost. There will be free childcare during this event as well.
On another note, the Smarter Balanced Assessment for 3rd and 4th graders will take place between March 21st and April 8th. The Smarter Balanced Assessment for English/Language Arts and Math is administered online and will adapt to each student’s ability, which gives teachers and parents better information to help students succeed.
There is a Teacher Workshop Day on Monday, March 7th, so there is No School for Students. Also, the District Voting Day is on Tuesday, March 8th from 8am-7pm at the Peterborough Town House. Please exercise your right to vote.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the bonus day with your kids!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

February 19, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,
There were many happenings at PES this week including the 3rd Grade Civil Rights presentations, Invention Convention, Superhero Day, and Food Drive Assembly.
I had the opportunity to attend the Invention Convention as a part of the Young Inventors Program. Ms. de Steuben organized the program and event this year. We had 14 students participate in creating imaginative and innovative inventions. The students provided models of their inventions along with the processes for developing their ideas. I was thoroughly impressed with how articulate the students were when they provided their oral presentations. We were fortunate to have several community members participate in judging the inventions. All of the students were acknowledged for their hard work at the end. Three students were selected as the winners of the Invention Convention. The top two students have the opportunity to present their inventions at the State’s Invention Convention. Congratulations to all of the participants and thank you Ms. De Steuben! It was a huge success!
Invention Convention Participants:
Wyatt Beland
Jackson Forrence
Ava Van Horn – 2nd Place
Brayden Boice
Clara Christensen – 3rd Place
Isabelle Jobin
Jen Hopkins
Delaney Ingalls
Amia Knowles
Aidan McClusky
Ella Morris
Colin Pellettieri
Laura Phillips – 1st Place
Lucy White
We ended our week on a high note as we collected all of the food donations for the food drive. The Kids Take Action group led the food drive and made the donation to the Peterborough Food Pantry at an assembly at the end of the day. There was a big surge of donations this week, so I thank all of you for your generosity. It’s going to make a huge difference for those in need.
I hope you have a terrific February Break! Take the time to relax and recharge!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

February 12, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
It was definitely an exciting week as we celebrated the 100th day of school, which was rescheduled due to a snow day last Friday. I honestly can’t believe that there is less than 80 days left of school.
The students have been busy working on developing their reading skills, essay writing, and math computation skills. Certain grades are either beginning or continuing units of study on Civil Rights, Mammals, and Changing States of Matter. The teachers have been working hard on creating highly engaging lessons and activities for these units.
As we head into next week, 23 students have signed up to participate in the Young Inventors Program. They’ll be presenting their inventions on Wednesday night at the Invention Convention at PES. I’m really excited to see what the students have created and how they’ve been able to use their imagination and innovation.
Also, third graders will be performing a choral reading along with sharing their work on the Civil Rights unit next week during their evening performances. They’ve spent several weeks learning about important historical events, influential activists, and the importance of equality. Every year, I am moved when I hear the students perform.
On another note, our Food Drive ends next week, so be sure to send in any unused canned good, boxed foods, or toiletries. The Kids Take Action Group will be presenting the collection to the Peterborough Food Pantry on Friday at a school Assembly.
Lastly, we have dedicated next Friday as Super-Hero Day at PES. Students may dress up as a superhero or any hero for school. Weapons, face paint, and masks are not allowed. The students will be involved in making masks, writing activities, and designing their very own superheroes along with other activities. We’ll also watch the movie, “Bolt”, as a whole school. It should be a fun day and a great way to start February Break.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and stay warm this weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

February 5, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
It’s hard to believe that this is our first snow day and what’s even more amazing is that today was supposed to be the 100th day of school! I guess we’ll have to save the 100th day for Monday.
This week was National School Counseling Week. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. School counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students’ social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves.
We are very lucky to have Mrs. Dunn as our School Counselor. She contributes to the success of PES students and staff in many ways including social skills instruction, individual and small group support for students, improving school climate, supporting parents, being a positive role model, and much much more. She is an integral part of our school and community. Thank you, Mrs. Dunn, for all that you do!
Tomorrow is ConVal’s Deliberative Session (District Meeting Part I). This event will start at 10:00am in the gymnasium at ConVal High School. The proposed budget will be presented along with other warrant articles. Petition articles will be presented as well.
Don’t forget about the Food Drive this month. The Kids Take Action group is collecting canned goods and basic toiletries. They’ll be donating the collected items to the local food pantry. Donations can be dropped off in classes or in the main lobby.
Enjoy the snow and the rest of your weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

January 29, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
We participated in the Great Kindness Challenge in which we dedicated the whole week to performing as many acts of kindness as possible. The Great Kindness Challenge happened in schools all across the world this week. We celebrated the week in many different ways. On Monday, students were encouraged to draw a nice picture, or write a kind note, and give it to someone. On Tuesday, we focused on smiling at people in the hallway, complimenting someone, and holding the door for someone. On Wednesday, we thanked special people for their hard work including Bus Drivers and/or Crossing Guards, lunch ladies, teachers, the principal, Babysitters, childcare staff. On Thursday, we made our school look nicer by picking up trash, cleaning up the lost and found area, sweeping the floor in the cafeteria, washing off tables for your teacher, and thanking the custodian for all his hard work.  Today, the students contributed to a school wide Kindness Art Project during Art Day. It was truly an uplifting week. You could feel the positivity and warmth in the school everyday. I want to thank the School Spirit Committee for planning the events this week because it made a huge impact with the staff and students.
Pick Your Own (PYO) Enrichment ended this week. The students enjoyed all of the activities they signed up for. I’d like to show my appreciation for the teachers, parent volunteers, and student volunteers from South Meadow and ConVal High School for helping with the experiences. The next PYO period will start again on March 21st.
We ended this awesome week with Art Day. There were amazing and creative art activities throughout the day. I love watching the older students lead the younger students. I also enjoy seeing the multitude of creative art activities and the high level of student engagement. Art Day would not be possible without the planning and coordination of ConVal Arts Enrichment and the staff at PES, especially Lynn Compton, our amazing Art/Music Teacher.
I hope you enjoy your weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

January 26, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
Last week, we celebrated many of the good things that happen at PES. The students did a phenomenal job with the NHDI performances. They worked really hard on learning the routines. I am very proud of their effort and willingness to try something new. Thanks again to Lisa Cook for teaching the students. Also, thank you to the PTO and ConVal Arts Enrichment for funding the residency. Finally, thanks to Mr. Szep and the teaching staff for supporting the students throughout the dance residency.
Pick Your Own (PYO) Enrichment started last week with a variety of opportunities. The teacher, volunteers, and students were eager to start their activities. When I first started planning for PYO, I didn’t realize how much the students and staff would love it. I’m glad that its going so well.
Last Friday, the Kindergarteners took a field trip to the Community Gardens and picked carrots. They washed, peeled, and cut the carrots. Then they added the carrots to a vegetable soup and enjoyed a reading of Stone Soup as the soup was being cooked. Thank you to the Peterborough Agricultural Commission for partnering with us and to the Cornucopia project for organizing and leading the event. The students returned to school to enjoy the yummy soup at lunch.
At the end of the day on Friday, the students attended an assembly to celebrate positive behavior in the hallways. The entire school earned a special theme day in February. We are in the process of planning the day and we are going to call it Super Hero Day. More details to come in the next week.
Also at the assembly, the students kicked off the beginning of the Great Kindness Challenge. They previewed all of the special events planned for this week. It was an uplifting event and a wonderful way to promote kindness throughout the school. Thank you to the School Spirit Committee for organizing the amazing week.
On a final note, the second quarter ended on Friday and Report Cards will go home with students on February 5th.
Have a great rest of the week.
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

January 18, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. It definitely felt like winter today.
As we head into this short week, we’ve planned many fun events for the kids. First, the NHDI residency is coming to end this week. Lisa Cook and the kids have been working really hard over the past two weeks. They’re anxiously awaiting the performance night. There will be two performances on Wednesday night:
  • 5:45pm – Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade.
  • 6:30pm – Intermission
  • 7:00pm – Third Grade and Fourth Grade
We also have a daytime performance planned for Thursday at 9:15am for students and family members who were unable to attend the evening performances.
Also, we are beginning our second session of Pick Your Own (PYO) Enrichment. The kids have signed up for a variety engaging activities such as cheer, digital photography, animation, art, drama, snowshoeing, science, recorders, cooking, dance, and French. They’ll be participating in these activities this week and next week.
We’ll end the week with an assembly to celebrate our work with hallway behavior and also to kick off the beginning of the Great Kindness Challenge. The Great Kindness Challenge is one school week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible. We have several plans and ideas to promote kindness in our school throughout next week.
On a final note, please send your child to school with appropriate winter apparel for waiting at the bus stop and recess. It’s going to be a cold week!
Have a great week!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

January 8, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
Happy New Year!!! I hope you enjoyed the holidays with your family. It’s hard to believe it’s 2016. I guess time flies when you’re having fun!
January is going to be a very busy month for PES. We have many events happening throughout the month. Earlier this week, we had a school assembly to teach the students about appropriate hallway expectations. We watched a video of students’ suggestions for appropriate hallway behavior and Ms. Judkins’ class performed a skit to demonstrate how to be respectful, safe, and kind in the hallway. We’ve been celebrating our work on hallway expectations with Bobby stickers and class certificates. We’ve noticed a positive difference in how students are traveling in the halls.
The New Hampshire Dance Institute (NHDI) returned to PES this week for a two week dance residency led by Lisa Cook. The students will be practicing new dance moves and routines during this time. I am thoroughly impressed with how quickly they have learned their steps. All students will have performances at the end of the residency. This residency couldn’t have happened without the financial support of the PTO and ConVal Arts Enrichment.
Next week, Marcia de Steuben, our Library Media Specialist, will be hosting a parent information night on the Young Inventors Program and Invention Convention. This is an optional program for students who’d like to participate in using their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) skills to develop an invention, which will be presented at an Invention Convention event at PES. Students are required to complete their inventions at home. Please feel free to attend the information session on January 13 from 6:00 to 7:00pm. Also, for more information, please see the attached flyer below.
Starting on January 19th, we’ll be running our second round of Pick Your Own (PYO) Enrichment. First through fourth grade students will be able to choose enrichment activities to participate in for a 7 day period. We’ll be rolling out our choices next week for the students to choose. The kids are really excited to get started.
On January 22nd, Kindergarten will be traveling to the Peterborough Community Center for a farm to table event. As a part of our ongoing Farm to School experience, the Peterborough Agricultural Commission and PES have hired the Cornucopia Project to organize and host a farm to table event. We’re going to call it “See it. Make it. Eat it.” The students will be involved in harvesting and preparing carrots to be added to a vegetable soup. They’ll also get to enjoy a story and activity with a community lunch at PES during their lunch period.
Finally, we are going to end the month with a week long celebration of kindness from January 25th to January 29th. The school will be participating in a variety of kindness activities throughout the week to promote kindness to others and to ourselves. This will be the theme heading into Art Day, which is on January 29th.
Phew! That was a lot of information! Please see the attached flyers for additional information on Young Inventors and much much more.
Have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

December 18, 2015
Dear Parents/Guardians,
We’ve been very busy gearing up for the holidays and the upcoming break. The students have been busy listening to and reading holiday themed stories. Second graders are learning about different holidays around the world. In art class, students are learning about different textures and they’ve been making textured socks for “Bobby the Bobcat.” Fourth graders hosted an Abenaki afternoon to celebrate the end of their unit on Native American studies. Other grades have been engaged in hands on activities and crafts.
We hosted our Winter Feast yesterday, which was a success! It was really great to see parents, grandparents, relatives, and friends enjoying a special meal. Thanks to the office staff and the food service staff for organizing the event and preparing the food. Also, thanks to the volunteers for helping with serving.
Also, we had Maggie Sauvain, a farmer and owner of Stonegate Farm and Flowers, visit us today. She discussed her role at the farm and the types of items she raises and sells at her Greenfield location. She primarily discussed the different types of conifers she raises. She also brought a few varieties to share with the students. We learned a few distinct differences between spruces and firs. Thanks to Maggie for sharing her work with us! If you are interested in visiting her farm, she’s located at 84 Driscoll Rd. in Greenfield, NH. You can also visit her website at  www.stonegatefarmandflowers.com . She also sells her products at the Peterborough Farmer’s Market.
Next week we have an early release day on Wednesday. Dismissal begins at 12:30pm, so please be sure to use Pick Up Patrol to enter your dismissal changes by 11:30.
I hope you have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

December 11, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Can you believe the Tooth Fairy paid us a visit this week?Actually, it was Pamela Delahanty from Monadnock Healthy Teeth to Toes (MHTTT). MHTTT is a public health program at Monadnock Community Hospital. The program provides a comprehensive approach to wellness for children in the Monadnock region. Pamela Delahanty is a registered Dental Hygienist and she visits 14 local elementary schools and provides children in grades K-3 with a variety of proactive dental hygiene services in the nurse’s office and in the classroom. The students loved the visit from the Tooth Fairy and learned how to keep their teeth clean and healthy along with healthy eating habits.
Also this week, the school district held public forums on the new Strategic Plan. The presentation at the forums included information gathered from surveys and focus groups and how the Strategic Planning Committee used the data to develop the plan. The Strategic Plan provides a 5 year outlook with specific goals and objectives to help us achieve the District’s mission and vision. For more information, please visit
Tonight the Caroling Club will be singing holiday songs at 5:00pm in the local shops and restaurants downtown. They’ll also be singing again at the Holiday Tree Festival the following morning at 10:30am at the Peterborough Community Center. They’ve been practicing holiday songs over the past few weeks, so they’re excited to share what they’ve learned with the community.
Next Thursday, we’ll be hosting the Winter Feast. The only lunch option on the menu is the turkey and various side dishes. RSVP by Monday at the latest. Adult price is $5.00 and the price for students and children is $2.25. On Monday, we’ll be asking the students for a show of hands to take a count of how many of them will be getting turkey at the feast, so please let your child know if they will be getting turkey. I look forward to seeing you there!
Lastly, the winner of the Popcorn Friday Golden Ticket is Ms. LaRoche’s third grade class. We’ll celebrate with a pizza party next Friday hosted by me. The students are really excited! Thanks to Jenn and James Ward for organizing Popcorn Fridays and starting the Golden Ticket.
Have a great weekend! Let’s go, Patriots!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

December 4, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It’s hard to believe it’s December already! It feels as if we just started school not too long ago. We’ve officially completed one third of the school year.
This week was a relatively quiet one at PES with the students settling back in to their routines and academics. I’ve seen the students working on a variety of topics including phonics, reading skills, double digit subtraction, Native American studies, compare and contrast, and basketball skills among other things. The third and fourth graders enjoyed a field trip to the Colonial Theater in Keene for a performance of the Math Maniac. It was a fun way for the kids to discover new ways to apply mathematics.
Lauren Mann, a PES First Grade Teacher, shared that the Cornucopia Project is looking for volunteers to assist the students during their 6 weeks of garden instruction in the spring. Also, they are looking for volunteers to help tend the gardens in the summer. If you’re interested, please contact Lauren Mann at lmann@conval.edu.
On another note, there will be no Parent Advisory Meeting this month. I will schedule a date for early next month. We’ll discuss the upcoming budget along with other timely topics.
Next Friday, the PTO will be adding a unique twist to Popcorn Fridays. There will be a “Golden Ticket” hidden in one of the classroom bags. Whichever class receives the Golden Ticket will win a special pizza party hosted by me for that month. The winning class will have a private candle lit lunch in the conference room and a sweet treat at the end. The Golden Ticket will occur on the first Popcorn Friday of the month. It should be lots of fun!
Also, the Caroling Club will be singing holiday songs next Friday night at 5:00pm in the local shops and restaurants downtown. They’ll also be singing again at the Holiday Tree Festival the following morning at 10:30am at the Peterborough Community Center. I hope you can come and enjoy the holiday songs!
I hope you enjoy this first weekend in December. I’m looking forward to checking holiday preparations off of my list!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

November 20, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We had a special day today filled with different activities. It was a nice way to end the week prior to Thanksgiving break.
Our day started with a farmer visit. Hazel Gershfield, a gleaner from the Hillsborough County Gleaners, taught us about her experience as a gleaner. Gleaning is a process of gathering grain or produce after the main crop has been harvested. The Hillsborough County Gleaners are funded by an anonymous grant to the University of New Hampshire and the Hillsborough County Conservation District directs the gleaners. Hazel explained how she became involved in gleaning and the connections she’s made with local farms. Hazel also involves her children in gleaning as well. After Hazel has gleaned, she takes the local produce to food pantries, community suppers, soup kitchens, and other outlets in Hillsborough County. The gleaned produce is donated by local farmers and gardeners. Hazel shared that she has gleaned almost 25,000 pounds of food this year. That’s a tremendous feat! We’re appreciative of her visit and her dedication to serving our community. If you’re interested in volunteering to help Hazel glean, there’s a form going home today with more information.
A group of third graders performed two plays that they’ve learned at PYO. Other third graders were invited to watch their peers put on a show. I thoroughly enjoyed the plays and it was nice to see the students feel proud of their work.
We ended the day with an All School Meeting. The kindergarteners sang “Thanks A Lot”, which is a beautiful song for Thanksgiving. Third graders performed the “Fifty Nifty” to celebrate their learning of the 50 states. The Student Leadership Team led the assembly and they led us in thinking about being thankful.
I hope you enjoy next week. There’s a lot to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

November 13, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Thank you to all of our Veterans as we celebrated Veterans Day this week. Their dedication to our country and freedom is appreciated by all.
On Tuesday, I had the chance to be a guest speaker at the Cornucopia Project’s Food for Thought movie series. I was asked to speak on behalf of our school and our Cornucopia Project school garden experience. I also had the opportunity to discuss our new farm to school relationship and experience. I felt extremely proud of our school and the positive learning experiences that we’ve provided for students over the years.
We also rolled out Pick Your Own (PYO) Enrichment Time this week. I enjoyed visiting all of the different enrichment activities throughout the week. The students were engaged and active in the activities. It was certainly a learning experience for all of us and a refreshing change of pace as well.
As we gear up for Parent-Teacher Conferences, I’ve listed a few pointers from the Harvard Family Research Project to help you make the most of your conference time.
What Should You Expect?
 
A two-way conversation. Like all good conversations, parent-teacher conferences are best when both people talk and listen. The conference is a time for you to learn about your child’s progress in school: Ask to see data about your child’s attendance, grades, and test scores. Find out whether your child is meeting school expectations and academic standards. This is also a time for the teacher to learn about what your child is like at home. When you tell the teacher about your child’s skills, interests, needs, and dreams, the teacher can help your child more.
Emphasis on learning. Good parent-teacher conferences focus on how well the child is doing in school. They also talk about how the child can do even better. To get ready for the conversation, look at your child’s homework, tests, and notices before the conference. Be sure to bring a list of questions that you would like to ask the teacher.
Opportunities and challenges. Just like you, teachers
want your child to succeed. You will probably hear
positive feedback about your child’s progress and areas for improvement. Be prepared by thinking about your child’s strengths and challenges beforehand. Be ready to ask questions about ways you and the teacher can help your child with some of his or her challenges.
Talk to your teacher about your child’s progress, assignments, assessments, your observations, ways to support your child at home, and the teacher’s plan for helping your child grow academically and socially.
Have a terrific weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

November 6, 2015
Dear Parents/Guardians,
We were spoiled with the beautiful weather this entire week. It’s hard to believe it’s November! Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
All across the school, kids were busy working on a variety of learning activities and projects. Fourth graders are learning strategies for solving double digit multiplication and they’ve begun their land and water science unit. In first grade, the students wrapped up their moon unit and will begin a unit on Colonial times. Second graders have been working on writing opinion essays and the life cycle of a pumpkin. In Kindergarten, the students continued learning about counting and writing numbers along with learning letter names and sounds. Third graders are preparing for a schoolwide presentation of the “Fifty Nifty” later this month as part of an annual tradition at PES. Needless to say, there’s a lot of learning happening at PES.
Next week, we’re rolling out a new twist to our existing What I Need (WIN) Time. We’re calling it Pick Your Own (PYO) Enrichment. The teachers and I have been working on developing a variety of unique educational experiences for students in Grades 1-4. The students were offered several choices at each grade level such as STEM based activities, dance, Picturing Writing, French, games, recorder, Native American games, cooking and recipe research, wheeled sports, chess, theater, hockey, origami, wilderness skills, computer programming, and football. We are fortunate to have the help of students and staff from ConVal High School as they will be running some of the activities. The goal of this approach is to engage and inspire our students so they will develop interests that they may take with them for the rest of their lives. We also want the students to develop positive connections with adults in our school and community.
Lastly, today was Mr. Bisson’s last day with us as he moves on to complete the rest of his internship at Fall Mountain Regional High School. I think I can speak for everyone here at school and say that we were lucky to have such a tremendous young man take on such an important role in our school. He did a phenomenal job with all of the responsibilities and I know he will have a successful future no matter where he goes. Fortunately, Mrs. Dunn, our exceptional school counselor, will be returning on November 16th.
Have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi
P.S. Please join me on November 10th from 7-8:30pm for a free viewing of the movie, “Lunch Love Community”, which is being hosted by the Cornucopia Project at the Peterborough Community Theater. After the movie, there will be a discussion about school garden and farm programs led by Marilyn Wyzga, the Cornucopia Project’s School Program Coordinator, Andrea Cadwell, Chairperson of the Peterborough Agricultural Commission, and me.

October 30, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,
Today was the last day of the first quarter and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than a costume parade and halloween parties! Our school mascot, Bobby the Bobcat, dressed up as Superman and marched downtown with all of the princesses, superheroes, zombies, vampires, minions, and other characters. Thanks to the volunteers for helping with the festivities and keeping the kids safe on the parade route. Hopefully the kids aren’t too worn out for tomorrow, but I’m sure they’ll rally for Halloween.
At second grade, Trevor Hunt shared his pumpkin carving ability. Trevor is the world record holder for most pumpkins carved in an hour. It was amazing to see him swiftly shape the pumpkins into masterpieces. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like that. The kids were in awe! Thanks to Mr. Rothhaus and Ms. Dunning for coordinating the visit.
Teachers worked with their classes to decorate their doors with a fall theme. The students toured the building today to look at the decorative creations the classes and teacher put together. This idea stemmed from an idea the student leadership team developed. It was a great way to involve the entire school in doing something collaborative and fun.
We’ll be wrapping up NWEA MAP testing next week and you’ll be receiving your child’s test results at conference time along with their report cards. The teachers will be working hard on report cards over the next few weeks along with completing social/emotional screenings for their classes. We plan to develop proactive strategies to help your child feel positive and successful at school.
I presented the first draft of the school’s budget this week to the School District’s central office administration. There were a few adjustments made to the budget in regard to supplies and technology, while the school will be undergoing some facilities maintenance and upgrades. Over the next several months, there will be public meetings regarding the school district’s budget. I encourage you to attend these meetings to gain an understanding of the proposed budget.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

October 23, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,
Our students began NWEA testing for Reading and Math this week. Some grades completed their assessment this week, while others will complete the assessment next week. The assessments provide us with great information about students’ growth and their instructional needs. We’ll be reviewing the data over the next several weeks to look at adjusting our instructional plans. Please make sure the students get plenty of sleep, have a healthy breakfast, and get to school on time.
Yesterday, I was invited to present the work that our District has done with regard to the elementary schools’ standards-based report cards at the New Hampshire School Administrators Association’s Best Practices Conference. It’s been a multi-year process and it’s made a tremendous difference in curriculum alignment, assessments, and instructional practices across the District. It has brought the elementary teachers closer together in their lesson planning and teaching. It was a privilege to share our outstanding work on behalf of the District with two of my fellow colleagues, Robin Gregg and Tim Iwanowicz.
We had our first Nature’s Workshop today! The kids were involved in a variety of science-based lessons and activities planned by the teaching staff. The lessons were connected to Next Generation Science Standards with a focus on Life Sciences. The activities included Tree Cookies, Leaf Prints/Rubbings, Seed Transportation, Bulb Dissection and Planting, and a Forest Walk to learn about the parts and function of trees and plants. It was a great day for everyone with lots of hands-on learning. Thanks to the teachers for their work and the parent volunteers for assisting the students throughout the day. Also, a special thanks to Lauren Mann and Marcia de Steuben for their coordinating efforts.
Next Friday will be the Halloween Parade and Festivities. Please remember that pretend weapons and fake blood are not allowed. We’ll be leaving the school at 1:45pm to march downtown. We’ll return to school for classroom parties. Also, please refer to the healthy snack list (see attached) when providing food for the parties. We’ve made tremendous strides with healthy snacks at parties over the past several years, so keep up the good work.
Enjoy the weekend and I’ll see you at Pumpkinfest tonight!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

October 16, 2015
Dear Parents/Guardians,
It was an action packed week at PES! We a variety fun and exciting presenters who visited the school.
I attended the NHPIE Blue Ribbon Awards with members from the PTO to accept our award for volunteerism at PES. We’ve received the award each year for 21 years. All of the volunteer hours are counted at the end of each school year and sent to NHPIE. It’s a great way to celebrate volunteerism in schools across the state. Thank you to the volunteers who help our staff and students!
It was fire safety week at PES. Peterborough Fire and Rescue came to discuss fire safety in collaboration with Mrs. Rousseau, our Health Teacher. Firefighter Scott and Cody spent time talking about the various pieces of clothing and equipment and how it protects them. They also explained to the students that they shouldn’t be afraid when they see the firefighters in their equipment. Firefighter Cody put on all of his gear to demonstrate what a firefighter might look like. The students also had a chance to go outside and see the ladder truck. The firefighters showed the students their emergency tools and they raised the ladder to show how high it goes. I’d like to thank Firefighter Scott and Cody for working with us to teach the students about fire safety.
Professional Storyteller, Len Cabral, visited PES yesterday to share his craft. The students were engaged with his captivating and dynamic performances. As he performed, Len was able to tap into the students’ imaginations. It felt as if he was leading us on an adventure through his stories. Len shared that he takes a considerable amount of time reading, writing, and practicing his storytelling, which was important for the students to hear because it takes time and perseverance to master a skill. I enjoyed the performances and I was lucky to share some time with Len afterwards. We talked about the importance of working with today’s youth on developing reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills because they are needed to be successful as students and adults. I’d like to thank the PTO for co-funding this spectacular event.
Farmers Tom and Char James from Bennington Gardens visited PES as a part of our Farm to School experience. Bennington Gardens is a micro-farm that produces chicken and duck eggs, vegetables, berries, and herbs. They are located at 23 Hancock Rd. in Bennington, NH, which is a short ride from here. The presentation was very informative and the students learned about the different roles that the plants, bees, ducks, geese, and farmers play each day like an ecosystem. Tom and Char explained that every plant and animal helps one another especially with pest control, pollination, and producing food. They also brought two guests with them as well. “Queen” the goose and an unnamed duck made a special appearance. It took a little while for them to warm up, but they eventually came out of their crates to say hello to the students. I’d like to thank Farmer Tom and Farmer Char for dedicating their time to help us make connections to our curriculum. They also made bookmarks for all the students, which was a nice way to commemorate the experience. It was a great way to celebrate Farms to School month.
Finally, I’d like to end this newsletter on a light and fun note. I randomly spoke with students in each grade and I asked them to tell me about their favorite memory from this week. Here’s what they had to say:
  • A Kindergartener said, “I liked meeting the farmers and learning about the animals and the farm!”
  • A First Grader said, “I liked reading buddies because I like reading books with my 4th grade buddy!”
  • A Second Grader said, “I liked the storyteller, the fire fighters, and the farmer visit!”
  • A Third Grader said, “I liked playing Builders and Bulldozers in PE class! It was really fun!”
  • A Fourth Grader said, ” enjoyed the storyteller because it was really interesting!”
  • A Teacher said, “I enjoyed Len Cabral and the farmer visit, but I loved making hexaflexagons with my students!”
Have an awesome weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

October 9, 2015
Dear Parents/Guardians,
I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend so far. We have some beautiful fall weather ahead, which will be great for leaf peeping and pumpkin picking. My family and I will be searching for the perfect pumpkin tomorrow, which may take a very, very long time. My kids are fascinated with picking the largest pumpkin at the furthest point of the pumpkin patch. I always get the honor of lugging it back to the farm stand. I try to explain to the kids that you pay by the pound, but I guess they haven’t figured that concept out yet or maybe they just like to torture me!
Although it was a short week, we accomplished many tasks. I observed a lot of great teaching  at all grade levels. Whether it was learning about the letter T and its sound, addition, problem solving, essay writing, or even soccer skills, the kids were engaged in a variety of learning activities. I can’t believe that we’ve been in school for almost a whole quarter now.
I had a very busy week, which included observing teachers, working with students, and attending many important meetings. I had the opportunity to establish my professional goals for the year. Although each goal has the same level of importance, I want you to know that community building at our school is a focal point. As you may already know, the school is currently working on building an action plan to enhance our school culture and to establish a positive climate for all. In addition to the work on school climate, I have been working on developing existing and new community relationships to enhance our educational program along with  connecting our students to the local community and the community with our students. For example, the Farm to School experience has started and will continue throughout the year. I also spent time at the Mariposa Museum this week discussing new ideas for connecting our students with the museum at school and at the museum.
I also had another special opportunity to reach out to another community organization. Pam Murphy, the school nurse, and I have had some in depth discussions about how we can support our PES families with a variety of important topics such as parenting information and employment resources. We brainstormed many ideas and we decided to reach out to the River Center to continue our discussion with Margaret Nelson, the executive director. Although we are at the beginning stages of planning, we hope to be able to connect families with the wonderful programming and assistance in which the River Center has consistently provided for many successful years in our community. I will certainly keep you informed on this important project and I’m sure there will be more information to come in the next few weeks. Until then, please click on this link to access the River Center’s Fact Book: http://www.factbook.rivercenter.us/ . You will find a number of helpful links on the page.
Finally, I attended a fascinating workshop at Keene State College with all ConVal staff today. We learned about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in our schools. I had the privilege of having Dr. Yvonne Spicer, as a presenter throughout the day. Dr. Spicer is a renowned advocate to STEM education in schools. Currently, she is also the Vice President of Advocacy & Educational Partnerships at the National Center for Technological Literacy at the Museum of Science in Boston. We discussed and learned strategies for developing a focus on STEM in schools to help prepare students for high school, college, and the workforce. I invited her to our school to come see the work that we’ll be doing with Nature’s Workshop and our new science curriculum, so I hope she takes me up on the offer. I’m excited that I’ll get a chance to see her again at next week’s Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony.
It was an awesome way to end the week. I hope you enjoy the long weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

October 2, 2015
Dear Parents/Guardians,
I can’t believe it’s Friday! Our week began with the first and second graders visiting Rosaly’s Farm as a follow up to Farmer Matt Gifford’s visit to PES. The students visited various parts of the farm to learn about tomatoes and greenhouses, harvesting potatoes, apple trees and cider presses, farm machinery, pumpkins and squash, and onions. The visit provided many connections to our math, science, and social studies curriculum. I even had the opportunity to teach a mini lesson on estimation with Mrs. Rousseau. I would like to show my appreciation to Tanya Rousseau, Margaret Blackburn, and Lauren Mann for helping to plan and organize the activities. Also, thanks again to Matt Gifford and the staff at Rosaly’s Farm for allowing us to visit and for being such great hosts!
In third grade, Mrs. Gordon and Ms. LaRoche’s classes took a walking field trip to tour downtown Peterborough. Ms. Judkins’ class will take their field trip next week. Kindergarten also visited the Fire Department, Nonie’s, and the Post Office today as part of their social studies curriculum. This month is full of exciting events, so we’ll be very busy having fun while learning.
What I Need (WIN) time started this week as well. WIN time is a 30 minute period of time during the school day when students receive additional academic support or enrichment. Each grade level uses this time to develop more personalized learning opportunities for your child. During this time, teachers focus their instruction on reading, writing, or math depending on what the students’ needs are and it may vary at each grade level. This WIN cycle will occur over a 6 week window.
We also celebrated National Custodial Workers Day today. The entire school made a big book full of thank you’s to show our appreciation for our custodial workers. The staff also made some delicious treats for the custodians as well. They work really hard at keeping our school in tip top shape, so they deserve to be treated to something nice.
I hope you all get some well needed rest this weekend.
Dear Parents/Guardians,
I can’t believe it’s Friday! Our week began with the first and second graders visiting Rosaly’s Farm as a follow up to Farmer Matt Gifford’s visit to PES. The students visited various parts of the farm to learn about tomatoes and greenhouses, harvesting potatoes, apple trees and cider presses, farm machinery, pumpkins and squash, and onions. The visit provided many connections to our math, science, and social studies curriculum. I even had the opportunity to teach a mini lesson on estimation with Mrs. Rousseau. I would like to show my appreciation to Tanya Rousseau, Margaret Blackburn, and Lauren Mann for helping to plan and organize the activities. Also, thanks again to Matt Gifford and the staff at Rosaly’s Farm for allowing us to visit and for being such great hosts!
In third grade, Mrs. Gordon and Ms. LaRoche’s classes took a walking field trip to tour downtown Peterborough. Ms. Judkins’ class will take their field trip next week. Kindergarten also visited the Fire Department, Nonie’s, and the Post Office today as part of their social studies curriculum. This month is full of exciting events, so we’ll be very busy having fun while learning.
What I Need (WIN) time started this week as well. WIN time is a 30 minute period of time during the school day when students receive additional academic support or enrichment. Each grade level uses this time to develop more personalized learning opportunities for your child. During this time, teachers focus their instruction on reading, writing, or math depending on what the students’ needs are and it may vary at each grade level. This WIN cycle will occur over a 6 week window.
We also celebrated National Custodial Workers Day today. The entire school made a big book full of thank you’s to show our appreciation for our custodial workers. The staff also made some delicious treats for the custodians as well. They work really hard at keeping our school in tip top shape, so they deserve to be treated to something nice.
I hope you all get some well needed rest this weekend.
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

September 25, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
It is officially Autumn. As I passed Dublin Lake yesterday, I thought I saw some leaves turning colors. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in school for almost a month. The kids have been busy in class learning new things. The teachers are teaching engaging lessons. Activities and field trips are happening as well.
I want to thank you for coming to the Open House last night. The kids were excited to show off their classwork, teachers, and friends. The PTO’s Book Fair was a success as well. Thanks to Chris McCullough for organizing the even and to the volunteers for helping to run it before and after school. I do have to apologize for the sound system. I heard it was tough to hear and that I might have sounded a little like a Muppet! We have resolved the issue, so it will be better.
However, I want to note that the presentation’s focus was on “Why are We Here at School.” We both share the same reasons. First, we care about children. Secondly, we think its important for children to learn new and exciting things. Lastly, we care about their successes in school and in life. In order to accomplish our mission, which is to engage, support, and inspire students, we must communicate and collaborate as a community. This is no easy feat, but we can do it together.
I am truly honored to be the Principal at PES and I love coming to work everyday and being a part of our wonderful community.
Have a great weekend and a spectacular rest of the school year!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi
P.S. Please remember to enter your default dismissal plans in Pick Up Patrol. We need this information by the end of next week.

September 18, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
This week was a really busy week at PES for students and staff. We had a lot of exciting things happening for everyone.
We learned this week that we’ve been selected to receive the Blue Ribbon award for volunteer hours at PES. The PTO coordinates many of the volunteer opportunities throughout the year. They collect the hours and submit it to New Hampshire Partners in Education. Each year NHPIE awards schools across the state for their volunteer hours and efforts. PES has been a recipient for over 20 years! Thanks to all of the volunteers for their efforts and commitment to our school. Also, thanks to the PTO for their coordination as well. If you’d like to volunteer at PES, please email the PTO at pespto@gmail.com to let them know if you are interested in their volunteer opportunities.
The preschool playground was installed this week for the First Friends students. The kids were fascinated by the excavation and installation. The crew worked very quickly and now we’re just waiting for wood chips to be delivered. The preschoolers will have their very own playground by Tuesday of next week. Thank you to Tim Grossi, Facilities Director, and Dr. Rick Matte, Director of Student Services, for their work on this project!
I hosted a Parent Advisory meeting last night. We developed norms for meeting and we were engaged in learning about the new things happening at PES. It was a great opportunity to receive feedback and to ask questions. The group also discussed lunch time, assessments, and volunteer opportunities. I appreciated hearing the feedback and the chance to share exciting things that we’re doing at PES. I’m looking forward to the next meeting in October. I’ll send you the date and time in the next week or two.
Finally, we started a new experience at PES today. Matt Gifford, the head farmer at Rosaly’s Farm, visited our school to talk about his profession and the types of things that he does at his farm. He shared pictures of the farm and cherry tomatoes, purple carrots, and husk tomatoes with the students. Matt answered many questions from the students in regards to the types of things he grows, insects, and his schedule for planting. We were able to make connections to students’ learning experiences through the Cornucopia Project and science and social studies curriculum. We learned about farmers’ roles in the community and how they support it.
This was the first of many farmer visits at PES. Each month, a local farmer will visit PES for brief presentations about their work. As a follow-up experience, students from each grade level will have an extended experience at select farms. We’re hoping to connect the students to our community with this experience. All first and second graders will be visiting Rosaly’s farm on September 28th for their extended experience. Thank you to Andrea Cadwell (Peterborough Agricultural Commission Representative), Beate Becker (The Cornucopia Project Executive Director), Matt Gifford, and the visiting farmers for collaborating with us on this truly valuable learning opportunity.
Enjoy the warm weather this weekend! Fall is right around the corner.
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

 September 11, 2016 
Dear Parents/Guardians,
I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, but I’m glad it rained! I guess summer wants to make one final comeback before we move on to fall.
This week definitely flew by. The students were  assessed on their reading fluency this week with the AIMSweb reading assessments. We’ll wrap up the assessments by next week and the teachers will use the results to develop reading groups in their classes. You will receive the results of the assessment on a date to be determined, so stay tuned.
It was great to see the Cornucopia Project back at PES with the second graders as they began their science-based lessons in the gardens. For more information on what the students learned, scroll down to the next section. The Harris Center for Conservation has been working with the third graders on hawk migration, which ties in nicely with their studies on weather and climate change. These science lessons and activities require a great deal of planning and collaboration on behalf of the teachers, the Cornucopia Project, and the Harris Center. We’re very lucky to have these partnerships and opportunities at PES!
I spent time in classrooms this week observing the great teaching and learning happening at PES. Here’s what I saw:
  • Kindergarteners worked on Amazing Words, syllables, patterns, position words, and cooperation.
  • First graders worked on patterns, counting, addition, sight words, the American flag, and the anatomy and life cycle of a butterfly.
  • Second graders worked on addition and subtraction, details in a story, responding to literature, analyzing characters, comparing and contrasting rural and urban communities.
  • Third graders worked on increasing math fact fluency, weather, cardinal directions, story elements, community, and vocabulary.
  • Fourth graders working on vocabulary, estimation and rounding,  multi-digit addition, math fact fluency, mental math, problem-solving strategies, mapping, and essay writing.
We accomplished a lot this week! We are approaching our Open House night, so your child will have much to share with you!
Have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

September 4, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians,
The first full week of school is officially completed! I think we can certainly enjoy this holiday weekend. Over the past several days, the staff and students have been working hard on their academic routines and teamwork and cooperation. I had the chance to see read-a-louds, writing, center time, math games, morning meetings, singing, artwork, and physical activity. Also, it’s been great to see the teachers jump right into Science and Social Studies. Weather, air, hawks, and community are just a few of the units occurring in our classes.
Over the next two weeks, we will begin our AIMS Web assessments. We will be screening all students Kindergarten through Fourth Grade on their reading fluency. This assessment is brief and only takes 1-5 minutes per student. The teachers use the assessment to build instructional plans for your child and monitor progress over time.
On another note, the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables program will be starting soon. The program provides free fruits or vegetables to our students three days a week. I’ll let you know when the program begins, which will be in the next few weeks.
Thanks for your support with using Pick Up Patrol (PUP)! It’s been a learning process for all of us as we get used to the system and new procedures. We’ve heard many positive comments about PUP and how it’s improved the dismissal process especially with change in plans. You should have received an email this morning explaining a new feature in PUP. Parents can enter their child’s default/typical dismissal plans through their account. We need all parents to enter their child’s default dismissal plan into the system, so we can have a record and know exactly where he/she needs to go on a daily basis.
On September 17th, I’ll be hosting a Parent Advisory Group meeting from 6:00pm – 7:00pm in the PES Library. The purpose of the Parent Advisory Group is to inform and discuss important school topics which may include increasing school attendance, homework support, assessments, school programs, etc. At times, special presenters will introduce special topics. The first topic of the year will be “What’s New at PES.” All parents are invited to attend. I’m excited about this opportunity to collaborate with parents!
I hope you enjoy this holiday weekend!
Sincerely,
Ben Loi

August 28, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The first two days of school were amazing! It was great to see all of the smiles at school. You could almost feel the energy. We started the day with Bobby the Bobcat greeting students and posing for pictures. It was good to see Bobby after a long catnap this summer!

Parents stopped by the cafeteria to enjoy a light breakfast, which was hosted by our lovely Parent Teacher Organization. I had the chance to chat with a few parents while enjoying a cup of coffee. Thanks to the PTO for supporting our students, parents, and staff over these past few days!

Students have spent time getting to know their new classmates and teachers and becoming familiar with the routines and their classrooms. They played “getting to know you” games and started fun projects as well. It’s been fun watching the Kindergarteners tour the building in awe.

As I walked around the school these past two days watching the teachers teach and the students learn, I thought to myself “This is why I love my job. This is why I’m here.” At our First Day of School assembly, I introduced our new staff and students. We sang songs led by Mrs. Compton, our Art & Music Teacher. My favorite part of the assembly was calling on students to tell everyone what they wanted to learn. We heard a variety of ideas that were sincere and inspiring. I was extremely proud of our students. We will support each other throughout the year as we learn together.

I hope you enjoyed these past two days as much as I did. This is going to be a special school year! Enjoy the weekend.

Sincerely,

Ben Loi