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  • October 13, 2017 Newsletter October 13, 2017Dear Families,P.I.K (People Interested in Kids) is hosting the annual Fall Festival. Students have been working with P.I.K. members to create pinatas ...
    Posted Oct 15, 2017, 7:03 PM by Crystal DaGraca
  • October 6, 2017 Newsletter October 6, 2017Dear Families, Thank you to the many families that are participating in our Walk or Bike to School Month! With the amazing weather that we have had ...
    Posted Oct 7, 2017, 8:19 AM by Crystal DaGraca
  • September 29, 2017 Newsletter September 29, 2017Dear Families,It is hard to believe it is the end of September already! With a month under our belt, classrooms are buzzing with exciting learning opportunities ...
    Posted Oct 7, 2017, 8:13 AM by Crystal DaGraca
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October 13, 2017 Newsletter

posted Oct 15, 2017, 7:03 PM by Crystal DaGraca

October 13, 2017

Dear Families,


P.I.K (People Interested in Kids) is hosting the annual Fall Festival. Students have been working with P.I.K. members to create pinatas. In addition, students are each designing their own poster for the poster contest. Each grade span will be judged separately and one winner will be awarded from each class. It has been wonderful to have children who are homeschooled join us, in creating the pinatas and designing posters! Please join the P.I.K. on Friday, October 27th from 6-8pm at the Swan’s Island Odd Fellows Hall.


Parent Teacher Conferences will be held during the week of October 16th. Please call or email Raylene at  rbanks@mdirss.org, if the time you were given does not work for you. If you are interested in speaking with specialists, please email them directly to schedule a time to speak with them by phone, in person, or on their designated days at the school. Here are a few tips from the NEA’s recent article titled: Tips for Parents on Parent-Teacher Conferences: How Should Parents Navigate This All-Important Meeting? Educators Show the Way!


“Get Ready. Do your homework prior to parent-teacher conferences. Prepare by writing notes to yourself concerning:

Any questions about the school’s programs or policies.

Things you can share with the teacher about your child and his/her life at home.

Questions about your child’s progress.

Ask Important Questions

Don’t be afraid to engage in a frank conversation with your child’s teacher. Your goal is to develop an action plan for your child’s success at school. Good questions to ask the teacher include:

  • What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?

  • How does my child get along with classmates?

  • Is my child working up to their ability? Where could they use improvement?

  • What can we do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom?

Important Dates:

Tuesday, October 17th - Early Release @ 12:30

Monday, October 16th - Friday, October 20th - Parent Teacher Conferences

Tuesday, October 24th - School Board Meeting

Thursday, October 26th - Picture Day

Friday, October 27th - P.I.K. Fall Festival 6-8pm


Happily,



Mrs. DaGraca

October 6, 2017 Newsletter

posted Oct 7, 2017, 8:19 AM by Crystal DaGraca

October 6, 2017

Dear Families,


Thank you to the many families that are participating in our Walk or Bike to School Month! With the amazing weather that we have had, getting our exercise each morning is a real treat. Please remember that this program lasts for 21 days, so challenge yourself and your child to participate in as many days as you can.


Parent Teacher Conferences are right around the corner! During the week of October 16th, teachers will be offering 20-minute conferences for each family. We have worked hard to create times that allow families, with multiple children, to have back to back conferences with multiple teachers. Attached, you will find your conference slot(s). Please review this date and time to see if it works with your schedule. If this time does not work for your family, please contact Raylene at 526-4300 or rbanks@mdirss.org to find an alternate time. If you are interested in speaking with specialists, please email them directly to schedule a time to speak with them by phone, in person, or on their designated daysat the school.


Box Tops will be submitted on October 20th for the first collection period. Please send in any Box Tops you have, to help our school earn money, towards our Free Breakfast Program and other offerings for our students.


Important Dates:

Monday, October 9 - No School (Columbus Day)

Tuesday, October 17th - Early Release

Monday, October 16th - Friday, October 20th - Parent Teacher Conferences

Tuesday, October 24th - School Board Meeting

Thursday, October 26 - Picture Day (Packets will come home soon)


Happily,



Mrs. DaGraca



September 29, 2017 Newsletter

posted Oct 7, 2017, 8:13 AM by Crystal DaGraca

September 29, 2017

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe it is the end of September already! With a month under our belt, classrooms are buzzing with exciting learning opportunities. The 6-8 class spent Thursday at Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary participating in a Floating Classroom. Students from Swan’s Island and Pemetic spent the day in canoes and kayaks collecting water samples in connection to their Life Science Unit. The 3-5 class are preparing for our first round of interviews for our Swan’s Island History Unit. We have quite the lineup of Swan’s Island Natives coming in to speak with the students. If you have not already been asked, please know that we will be offering many sessions of interviews throughout the year. Please contact me by phone or email if you are interested in speaking with the students about Swan’s Island and your childhood here. K-2 students have been learning new vocabulary and skills in their new math programs. Stepping Stones is the program Janice is using for instructing small groups. Dreambox is a program, on the ipads, that individualizes a math program for each student to utilize during independent math time. Not only are they developing new skills, they are also enjoying the arcade/game feature on Dreambox that makes learning math skills enjoyable!


Attached you will find a revised Swan’s Island School Calendar. You will notice that there have been some dates changed for Early Releases. These changes were made to align with our new reporting periods. To improve communication with parents, teachers are now asked to provide feedback more often through weekly newsletters and Unified Classroom. Parent Teacher Conferences, which are offered twice a year, will also be used to inform parents about academic progress and challenges. A major change, that you will see this year, is that there will only be two official report cards sent home to parents. One report card will go home in January and the other in June. Though you will not get a third report card, our hope is that you will receive more frequent communication about your child’s progress. Please feel free to contact classroom teachers or specialists, at any point throughout the year, to check in on your child’s progress. I look forward to collecting feedback, at the end of this year, from families about their view of our new reporting periods and communication. Please don’t wait until the end of the year to contact me if you have suggestions, questions, or concerns.


For the month of October, we are unable to offer bus runs in the mornings and afternoons. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We are asking families to consider car pooling, when possible, or contacting the school if you need assistance in transporting your child(ren). We also encourage families to participate in our Walk to School event. Please review the blue flyers that were sent home on Tuesday for more  information. If you need help with transportation for your child(ren), before or after school, please contact Crystal at 812-8939 or Raylene at 526-4300 so we can assist you. We do have options available for  transportation, if needed.

We are seeking substitute bus drivers and substitute teachers. Please spread the word! If you are interested or would like to learn more, please call Crystal at 526-4300 or 812-8939.


Photos are samples of 3-5 work in art and Spanish.


Box Tops will be submitted on October 20th for the first collection period. Please send in any Box Tops you have to help our school earn money towards our Free Breakfast Program and other offerings for our students.


Important Dates:

Monday, October 9 - No School (Columbus Day)

Tuesday, October 17th - Early Release

Monday, October 16th - Friday, October 20th - Parent Teacher Conferences

Thursday, October 26 - Picture Day (Packets will come home in October)


Happily,

Mrs. DaGraca

September 22, 2017 Newsletter

posted Oct 7, 2017, 8:12 AM by Crystal DaGraca

September 22, 2017

Dear Families,


Over the past few weeks, students in Grades K-8 have been assessed in both reading and math. Beginning of the year assessments give teachers a snapshot at how the children perform after summer vacation. In K-2, students were given a DRA and an EMT. The DRA is a reading assessment, that measures fluency, accuracy, and comprehension. The EMT is a math assessment, that uses manipulatives to provide areas of strength and weakness. In 3-8, students have completed the NWEA assessment. This assessment is completed on the computer and measures performance in both reading and mathematics. These scores also indicate areas of strength and weakness based on grade level norms. The NWEA is an adaptive program, which means thequestions students receive vary depending on individual ability and not grade level standards. By using the NWEA in the fall, winter, and spring, we are able to identify areas of growth. These scores are very helpful in identifying trends in performance, school wide. During Parent Teacher Conferences, scheduled the week of October 16th, you will get a chance to review your child(ren)’s scores and learn more about your child’s academic performance.


Parents of Grade K-5 students - you will notice that each week, Janice and myself, will be sending home a weekly newsletter. This is a district wide approach to strengthen communication between school and home. The purpose is to provide more information about academic standards, programs, assessments, as well as, to inform you about the day to day happenings in the classroom. This will be another place to find important dates and information about upcoming events. Please taketime, each week, to review these newsletters. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact Janice or myself.


Parents of Grade 6-8 students - Unified Classroom is up and running. Unified Classroom is a program that allows you to monitor your child’s performance and receive updates from MIchelle, about upcoming events and assignments. If you have not already spoken with Sam and logged into your parent portal, please email Sam at sdy@mdirss.org or call the school on Wednesdays (526-4300) to set up a time to receive login information and training. This is a new program for students, parents, and teachers, so Michelle is also still learning the ins and outs. As she learns more about the program and its features, she will be able to provide more information on student performance, upcoming events, and assignments.


Important Dates:


Tuesday, September 26 - School Board Meeting

Monday, October 9 - No School (Columbus Day)

Thursday, October 26 - Picture Day (Packets will come home in October)


The pictures, on this newsletter, are drawings done by some of our 6-8 students. Enjoy!

Happily,

Mrs. DaGraca

September 15, 2017 Newsletter

posted Oct 7, 2017, 8:11 AM by Crystal DaGraca

September 15, 2017

Dear Families,


What an amazing turnout we had for Open House! Thank you to all of the students, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and more that stopped by on Tuesday night. We are fortunate to have such a supportive community! Seeing the students light up as they share their personal items and their work from the beginning of the year, always makes me smile. A big thank you to Sue for making us yummy zucchini chocolate chip cookies!


I want to remind parents that we will be keeping students who have signed up for after school sports, at school, unless a note or phone call is received, telling us your child will not be attending on that day. This is to ensure the safety of our students and to avoid confusion. The end of the day is a challenging time when multiple children need to call home, to determine a plan. It also holds up the bus from bringing other students home. If your child is signed up for an after school activity, we ask that they stay after school, unless a note or phone call is received. If your child is not feeling well or we believe it is in your child’s best interest to not participate, then we will call you prior to sending you child home on the bus. Thank you in advance for your support.


We are once again collecting Box Tops! For every Box Top brought into school, we earn 10 cents. Attached you will find a collection sheet, where you can attach your box tops. If you do not have time to attach them, you can also send them back to school in an envelope or ziplock bag. Thank you in advance for clipping those Box Tops and sending them into school. This provides extra funds for special opportunities for our students.


Do you shop at the Hannaford in Ellsworth? If you do, please look for the Swan’s Island donation box as you exit. For every 4 qualifying Hannaford Helps Schools items that a customer buys at any Hannaford, they will receive a printout for 3 school dollars at the register. Go to hannaford.com/helpsschools to see a complete list of all of the participating items.



Please go to the following website (http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/contests/helpschools) to vote for our school. The school with the most votes, by November 28th, will receive an outdoor garden with a value of $5000. You can vote once a day from now until November 28th. This would help us to expand our already thriving outdoor garden!


2007 Macbooks are now available for Swan's Island families! Due to the number available, we are able to offer one laptop per household. If not all laptops are spoken for, by October 1st, I will let families know and then additional laptops can be requested. We will provide chargers and batteries with laptops. If we run out of chargers, you will be informed and can decided to purchase a new charger (approx. $50) or pass on the laptop. We ask that you make a donation to the school if you would like a laptop (suggested $5). This donation will go towards new technology for our students. Please contact me by email, phone, or send me a note, if you are interested. All laptops will be available for pick up by the end of September.

Happily,


Mrs. DaGraca

September 8, 2017 Newsletter

posted Sep 8, 2017, 5:20 PM by Crystal DaGraca

Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!school photo 2017-2018.JPG


The beginning of school is an exciting time for teachers, students, and families! I enjoy seeing the smiling faces and new friendships developing. Each classroom is spending time developing routines and establishing a culture where students feel safe and supported. We are off to a great start and I look forward to sharing updates throughout the year with you!  


This year we welcome Basil Steele to our staff. Basil will be joining us every other Tuesday. He will be teaching guidance classes in each classroom, working with small groups, and providing one on one support, as needed. If you would like to connect with Basil about concerns you may have for your child, please email him at basil.steele@mdirss.org.


On Tuesday, September 12th we invite you to join us for Open House from 6-7pm. From 6-6:30pm you can explore your child’s classroom and areas where they participate in specials. This is a special time to allow your child to be the leader. Ask them what they would like to show you and let them lead the tour. During Open House teachers will be in their classrooms to greet you all, but will not be available for individual conferences. Those conferences are scheduled in October and will provide you the opportunity to check in on your child’s progress. If you have any questions or concerns prior to conferences, please email or call the classroom teacher. From 6:30-6:45pm we will all meet in the gym to welcome you all to the 2017-2018 school year and to go through a few housekeeping reminders. At 6:45pm 6-8 students and parents will be meeting with Sam to go over the rules of the laptops. This is a mandatory meeting for both students and parents. Once you have attended this meeting, your child will be able to take home their laptops. Finally, at 7:15pm parents of 6-8th grade students will have the opportunity to meet with Sam to create a login and password to Unified Classroom. Unified Classroom is the new reporting system that Michelle will be using to communicate your child’s progress. You will have access to grades, upcoming announcements, and be able to even see upcoming assignments. If you can not stay to set  up a Unified Classroom login and password on Tuesday, please speak with Sam to arrange a time to do so. We look forward to welcoming you all into the school on Tuesday, September 12th!


A Few Reminders:


  • Student drop off is between 8:10-8:25am.

  • Student pick up is at 3:00pm, unless your child is participating in after school

activities.

  • If your child is absent, please send a note to school or call the school to excuse your

child. We must track attendance and appreciate your support in contacting the school, if

your child will be out or has been out.

  • PE days are Mondays and Fridays -- please send in sneakers

  • Lunch balances are sent home frequently. Please be sure to pay those promptly, so that we can accurately account for all student lunches.


Upcoming dates:


September 12th - 8th Grade Parent Planning Meeting 5:30-6pm

September 12th - Open House 6-6:45pm

September 12th - Mandatory Middle School Technology Meeting 6:45-7:15pm

September 26th - School Board Meeting 6pm


Happily,



Mrs. DaGraca


No Afternoon Bus Wednesday, May 31st

posted May 30, 2017, 11:13 AM by Sam Dy   [ updated May 30, 2017, 11:14 AM ]

There will be no afternoon bus service Wednesday, May 31st. Students will need a ride from school.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

No Bus Thursday, May 18th

posted May 17, 2017, 11:59 AM by Sam Dy   [ updated May 17, 2017, 11:59 AM ]

There will be no bus service Thursday, May 18th. Students will need a ride to and from school.  Sorry for the inconvenience. 

2 Hour Delay Wednesday, April 5th

posted Apr 5, 2017, 3:29 AM by Sam Dy   [ updated Apr 5, 2017, 3:30 AM ]

Due to weather related conditons, Swan's Island Elementary School will utilize a 2 hour delay Wednesday, April 5th.

Early Release Tuesday, March 14th

posted Mar 14, 2017, 3:02 AM by Sam Dy   [ updated Mar 14, 2017, 3:04 AM ]

Due to weather related conditions, Swan's Island School will have an early release on Tuesday, March 14th. Students will be dismissed 11:30 a.m.

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