Friday, September 25, 2015

End of the Week Communication from Wawaloam School

Dear Wawaloam School Community,

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making our Kindergarten Open House such a great success. We are so fortunate to have such an involved and committed group of parents and guardians! As I shared, research shows that when families and schools work together, students have greater success. We welcome you at Wawaloam School as parters in the education of your child.

I said this last night and I will say it again, we have AMAZING teachers at Wawaloam School! I visit the classrooms daily, sometimes if I am lucky I get to visit more than once! I always think to myself how fortunate our students are to have exposure to the level of energy and excitement that Wawaloam teachers bring with them each day.

Yesterday, I had the chance to spend some time in the art room with Mrs. Millard's class. Mrs. Ray was beginning a lesson with the students reviewing how to draw a portrait. She had all of the students draw an oval and then helped them to recognize that eyes are really not the shape of a circle, but more the shape of an almond or a football. She went on to the nose and the mouth and then they talked about and observed the different colors that skin can be. She is working toward a project that will celebrate differences around the world and I was in the right place at the right time for the following pictures. I loved listening to this conversation which was truly a celebration of differences as students compared their tones together. Thank you Mrs. Ray for making art class so inspiring!

We are working so hard on following all of the school rules. An area of attention right now with our new Kindergarten friends is keeping our hands to ourselves. When I learn about issues that are happening, I try to think about how I can address these with the groups during the grade level meetings. I found a site that provides great, quick videos that focus on specific lessons and I thought I would put the link in my blog today so that we can also work together to reinforce this important school rule.

Thank you again for all of your support and keep the communication coming. Be sure to let us know about concerns BIG or SMALL so that we can work together to make every day the best day possible for all students! 

Hope to see you at the PTA meeting NEXT THURSDAY, October 1st! 6:30 Wawaloam Library

Have a great weekend, 
Melissa Marino

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week Ending September 18

Thank you Mrs. Hurst for sharing your beautiful flowers with us! We appreciate this display of nature's beauty. 

Dear Wawaloam Community,

Monday brought us a taste of fall like weather only to be followed by reminders of summer temperatures for the remainder of this week! We are so proud of our students and teachers who still put maximum effort into these "dog days" of summer. (so called because the Dog Star (Sirius) rises and sets with the sun during this time). 

This week we started to teach and review our school wide expectations of Respectful, Responsible and Safe choices. We are covering how to be Respectful in all areas of the school and defining what this means and what it looks like. We are distributing Bee Bucks to students who are showing these expected behaviors and telling them specifically why they are receiving these reinforcements of expected behavior. 

I had the pleasure of hosting all of the Grade Level Weekly Meetings for the first time this week and I have to tell you what a great job students did with sharing, listening and celebrating our successes. We had our very first weekly raffle and as usual, students demonstrated joy for those who were randomly selected! I am always touched by the genuine display of happiness for others and the applause for friends! 

A reminder that we have popcorn available for students to select for snack every Friday for 50 cents. 
This is an optional snack and students can opt to have the snack they choose to bring if they prefer. The students eat popcorn during snack time in the classroom and it is simply something to look forward to on each Friday! We are so thankful for our "popcorn parents" who come and volunteer to make this happen each week! 

Lastly, I would like to thank families for your partnership in the education of your child. We need your support and reinforcement! We can tell students how important it is to read at home but you are the ones who can make this a reality! Set aside that time each night for reading and watch the difference this will make. 

We are looking forward to seeing Kindergarten Families at Open House on Thursday night at 6:00 PM. This special night is set aside to answer the question, "What is my child doing at school?" Later on in October at Parent Conferences we will help you learn "How is your child doing at school?" 

Have a great weekend, make every moment count! 

Melissa Marino

Friday, September 11, 2015

End of Week Updates

Popsicles for everyone! 

Dear Wawaloam Community,

We were pleased to have such a well attended Open House last night and would like to extend our thanks to you as our partners in education. When schools and families work in tandem to ensure a successful learning experience, the greatest gains are accomplished! We hope you will celebrate the successes together and encourage your child through mistakes, we all learn from our reflections and continuous meaningful feedback will play a very important role in this educational journey.
Mrs. Lerner is enjoying her Kindergarten students.

We hope you will reach out when you have questions and let us know when there is a possibility of a difficult day on the horizon. Quick calls or emails alerting us about a late night, a morning struggle or other issues that may impact the focus of your child in the classroom can make a tremendous difference. This information gives us a chance to observe meaningfully and decide if a few minutes of 1:1 time is needed before settling into the classroom. We function in an "all hands on deck" manner when it comes to our students. We want your children to have the most successful day possible EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and while issues will arise that may not make that a reality for ALL children EVERY DAY, I assure you we will give 110% effort toward this goal.

I need to tell you how much I appreciate this faculty and staff......the days have been HAZY, HOT and HUMID! We are all sweating and it has been difficult to find relief! Through all of the 85+ degree days, teachers continue to smile, teach and find creative ways to get past the temperatures. Wawaloam teachers have found creative ways to try to stay as cool as possible and your children have not even complained (out loud to any of us) about the heat. Pretty incredible................ we are hoping for relief but will do everything we can to make every day the best it can "bee"!

Thank you Jenn Spira for this awesome hallway message! 

My focus for the Principal's Message this week will be all about the upcoming Walk-A-Thon scheduled for October 8th. Individual classes will have a 25 minute scheduled time to come out and participate and we are super excited about this for many reasons.

One reason is simply because physical fitness and physical activity are so important. We are "all in" when it comes to breaks that allow for movement and expending energy.

The second reason is because this is the major fundraiser for the year through PTA. It would be fantastic if we could reach an amount that eliminates the need for selling other items. I can not come up with words to tell you how much we appreciate the efforts of the PTA Board and members!

What a special group! Are you wondering what kind of impact they have on our schools? I can tell you that you can not put a $ on the amount of time that is devoted to our students! They are a revolving door when it comes to reaching out and "making it happen". Whether it is organizing our popcorn parents, planning special events, responding to questions and concerns, approving teacher classroom requests, a new laminating machine at Metcalf! funding field trips to make these free or very inexpensive for families, organizing a Holiday Bazaar, dances, bowling events etc. etc. etc.........they (YOU) are amazing!

This Walk-a-thon is going to make all of this possible and so much more! Please consider sending in a donation for this fitness-focused, fun event that your children will remember for many years to come. The support is appreciated, of course, but goes right back into the educational experience of your children. One word to describe this: AWESOME! 

You received some information this week regarding our READ program this week which is a fantastic way to motivate our little friends to READ as often as possible! This week we were so fortunate to receive a very generous donation from the Rafanelli Family which will help us come up with new incentives and rewards to encourage reading as much as we can!! We are very appreciative of this unexpected surprise gesture to support our students! Thank you SO much!!!

*Please see the announcement from the Superintendent located on the front page of the district web site ( related to student participation in the state assessment program.
To end this update today I want to tell you about our special guest today- Johnny the K!! He has been coming to Wawaloam School since long before I was here and this is my 9th year! We love his message which reinforces our school-wide expectations of Respectful, Responsible and Safe choices! Did any of your children come home and tell you about his HAT collection! We bring him back because although his assembly is so much fun, he kicks off our PBIS program by celebrating messages of acceptance and kindness.....when we see him it is like a reunion because our 2nd graders remember and are excited that he is back and our Kindergarten friends are fascinated with his songs, guitar and hats!  (The teachers love him too!)

How about those Patriots last night!!

Have a fantastic weekend! We are looking forward to our first FULL week of school next week!

Melissa Marino