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Mitchell Vocab

Mitchell Vocabulary

Have you ever noticed when new people, new projects and new locations combine, you often feel lost before you begin?  Have you ever felt that there is a secret code or language that the new people speak and you don't?   Beware!  It will happen to you at Mitchell for sure.  GMSPA has put together the Mitchell Vocabulary List for you to keep handy so you can be "in the know" because work days for you and school days for your children are challenging enough.  We want to help not hinder.  To support you, here is your first Mitchell Vocabulary List.

RTK:  Acronym that stands for Road To Kindergarten.  This terrific program depends on parents volunteering their time and "paying it forward" for the next group of Kindergarten students and their families. 

Book Fair:  GMSPA organizes 2 book fairs each year -- the first which coincides with the Fall parent conferences (November) and second which is held in the Spring (April).  Students can purchase books, pencils, and even posters at the Book Fair and all proceeds benefit the fundraising efforts of GMSPA. Prices of books range from approximately $5 to $20 per book.  Once during the week, your student’s teacher will take their whole class to the Book Fair.  You can send money to school with your child to buy books with their class, or you may purchase books with your child before or after your conference.  BookFair  hours of operation will be sent home in advance so your family may plan your visit at a time convenient for you.  For more details, visit

Box Tops:  GMSPA sponsors the Box Tops fundraiser.  It might sound silly, but GMSPA typically raises thousands of dollars by collecting these tiny fragments of paper from grocery store products.  Please begin now and ask your family members to help us out!  Remember, all of the money GMSPA raises goes back to the students.   For more details on Box Tops, please check out their page on our website by clicking HERE

Bus Line:  If your student is going to ride the bus home in the afternoons, all of the bus riders are lined up  by class and by bus.  So if you hear your student telling you they saw someone in the bus line, you will know they mean while waiting for the bus at the end of the day.
Bus Tag:  Students who ride the bus will be given a Bus Tag on the first day of school.  The tag is super important and should be attached to their backpack for the duration of the school year.  The tag denotes their name as well as the color and/or number of their bus.  The students know where to go and who is on their bus, but it’s better to be safe than sorry so please leave the bus tag on.  Bus Tags are especially helpful if there is a classroom helper or substitute teacher doing the bus lines for the day.  Thank you in advance for your support of this safety initiative.

Classroom Captain:  A Classroom Captain is a parent or guardian of a Mitchell student assigned to a classroom to help build community and keep families informed of the work of GMSPA.  For more information, click HERE

Classroom Identification Tag:  Kindergarten students will receive a Classroom Identification Tag from their teacher on or before the first day of school.  The tags are colorful and come in different shapes so that teachers and helpers can easily move children the first few weeks of school.  For example, one class may have blue fish, while another class may have yellow butterflies and yet another class has red fire hats. Teachers and helpers depend on these tags to easily and quickly help students get to the correct classroom and bus in September as everyone begins to get acclimated.  Please be sure to pin this on your child daily in September.

C.O.R.I.:  This stands for Criminal Offender Record Information.  It is a record of your Massachusetts criminal history, including any time you were arraigned in court on a criminal charge, no matter the final outcome of the charge.  The School District requires that any volunteer working with our students complete a CORI form EVERY school year.  If you wish to volunteer in the classroom, on a field trip, or with GMSPA, you must complete a CORI form each year.  For more information, click HERE.
Field Trip:  Each year, each grade schedules a field trip to a predetermined destination.  Historically, the following locations have been visited:
  • Kindergarten: Roger Williams Zoo (in the Spring) 
  • First Grade: Biomes (in the Spring)  
  • Second Grade: New Bedford Whaling Museum (in the Spring) 
  • Third Grade: Plimouth Plantation (in the Fall)
GMSPA:  Acronym for George H. Mitchell Elementary School Parents' Association.  Please do not hesitate to get involved.  To be in touch with and follow all GMSPA events and activities, please JOIN OUR GROUP on Facebook or sign-up to receive our Monday Email Blasts and other information.

Instant Alert:  Instant Alert is a phone call that public school families receive from either the School District or from Mr. Bray at the Mitchell School.  It is a pre-recorded message that details pertinent information such as a school closing due to weather or an upcoming meeting.  The goal of the Instant Alert System is to get time-sensitive information to families in a swift manner and to be sure you are over-informed rather than under-informed.  In order for this system to work best for your family, please be sure your phone number is listed and updated with the school office.

Open House:  Each year in mid-September, just after your student gets acclimated to their new surroundings, students and families are invited to school for an evening Open House.  Your student will show you around their classroom.  You can meet other families in your child's class and tour the building to see common places like the Cafetorium, gym and library.  GMSPA is always present at this event beginning its year long recruitment of spirited volunteers as well as selling Mitchell apparel, blankets, and water bottles.  Be sure and get yours because school spirit abounds at Mitchell!

Parent Teacher Conferences:  This is a 10 minute meeting between parents/guardians and teachers that typically takes place in November.  It might not seem like 10 minutes is a lot of time, but it really is.  In this meeting, there is plenty of time to learn the teacher’s impressions of your student’s progress as well as to ask questions.  Typically, you may sign-up for a preferred time at the Open House in September.  If you are not able to attend the Open House and sign-up, you will have another opportunity just prior to the conference date.  Information will be sent home from the teacher.  Conferences may run a few minutes behind, but for the most part, teachers keep to their schedules so please be prompt.

Voting Day:  Just what it sounds like -- when the town is voting, school is closed for safety.  September 4th is the next voting day, so Mitchell students will not be in session.

Volunteer Training: This training takes place every September.  If you wish to volunteer for anything at all while your student attends Mitchell, it is required that you attend a Volunteer Training session ONLY ONCE during your Mitchell career as parent/guardian.  In order for a parent/guardian to assist In the classroom, on a field trip, or even with GMSPA, you MUST attend this one-time training session.  Volunteering is so important to our community that if you have a personal conflict with the time and date of the Volunteer Training, Mitchell will make special arrangements to meet with you separately in order to satisfy this requirement.

Workroom:  The Workroom allows parents/guardians to support our teachers by assisting them with the busy work that is necessary for their lessons. The Workroom is staffed each year by volunteers who photocopy, collate, cut, three-hole punch and laminate for the teachers.  If you have an hour or 2 each week to volunteer in the Workroom, we would love to have you!  It’s also a great way to meet other family volunteers.