Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sprinting Though Spring!

It seems as if spring has finally arrived even though it is only the beginning of April. Can it be true? Will we really have an entire school year with no snow days?
As I near the home stretch of my first year as the principal of OQS I can confidently say we are not slowing down! We are excited to host our first ever spelling bee on the evening of April 28th from 5:00-7:00pm. This event will be the culminating activity of a month full of reading activities that will be shared with the audience in a special slide show. Tremendous thanks goes to our ELA teacher leader, Madeline Carlock and parent, Becky Whitney for organizing “I love to read” month and to our wonderful staff for participating and making this such a fun filled, educational month! Such fun we all had dressing up as our favorite book characters, wearing our words, making bookmarks, choosing our favorite words, wearing something fancy to “fancy a good book”, participating in the book fair, and listening to mystery readers. Many parents, staff members, and even our assistant superintendent, Noel Bryant, came to read as a mystery reader during this month.

Ms. Wetzel’s class wowed everyone with a puppet show, retelling a story about an elephant who learned to be happy just being himself during a community meeting. Students made the puppets themselves and acted out the story as it was read by expert reader, Mrs. Spaulding. It is amazing to me to see our kindergarteners display such confidence!
Once again, our forest kindergarten program will be featured in an article to be written in the Quechee Times in an effort to raise awareness in our upcoming quest to find continued funding to help sustain this program and expand it. We also have a team of grant writers working on securing more funding for next year. Our amazing kindergarten teachers; Erika Wetzel and Hannah Thomas recently presented a workshop on our forest kindergarten at the Vermont Kindergarten Conference. Their workshop was attended by many eager educators looking to replicate this in their own schools across the state! We have become an exemplary model for this program and are proud of the efforts put forth by these two fine educators and the supportive founders of this program; Megan Teachout and Eliza Minnuchi.

The “Paws Squad” has been busy performing skits at our all school assemblies in an attempt to spread the word about positive behavior. Each skit teaches a specific lesson in a fun and interactive way. These students are also busy working with Sarah Kniffin on painting a mural for a wall in our school to help make it a more inviting, cheerful place. We are excited to see the finished product!
Mr. Clough will be working with “Girls on the run” to create a musical instrument space on the playground. We can’t wait to be able to use this and hear the joyous sounds resonating around our playground.
We are busy partnering with the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and our PTO to bring our first ever Science Celebration Day to OQS on Saturday, June 4th. Mark your calendars for this fun filled day of science as families are invited to explore animal habitats, interact with animals from VINS and win prizes! More details to follow in May.
We are in great need of more volunteers to help with our garden club. It is so popular that more and more students want to participate! While this is great, it does pose a problem in terms of supervision. If you know of someone who loves to garden or simply loves to be with kids please have them contact the school to volunteer one or two days a week for a couple of hours after school!

Snapshot of upcoming events:
4/27 Secretary Day: Let Cheryl know how much we appreciate her!
4/28 Planned evacuation drill to the Waldorf School
4/28 5:00-7:00 Grand Spelling Bee
5/4 1:30-2:30 Vermont Symphony Orchestra percussion performance
5/4 Walk to school day
5/19 6:00-7:00 Chorus/Band concert (doors open at 5:30)
5/20 Author visit

5/23-5/27 Dental program