Friday, March 14, 2014

Wise Owl: March 14

March 14, 2014

"Have You Seen the Owl Today?"
Welcome to the Union Elementary Wise Owl!  We hope that you enjoy this new way of learning what's going on at UES! If you'd like to have the Wise Owl sent to you, please send your email address to I'll be updating the Owl every few weeks with both news and celebrations, and I'd love to be able to send it directly to you if that's what you'd like.

Here is what's new at UES:

UNION ELEMENTARY: OUR STORY We are currently working on the next "edition" of Our Story, and I'd love to get some parents, grandparents, and community members involved. If you're interested in participating and providing a brief (no longer than 60 second) interview, I'd love to hear from you. We envision this project going deep into next year, so there is plenty of time to get your thoughts together! In case you missed the first installment, here it is:

SCRIPPS SPELLING BEE AT MAIN STREET  I invited a group of 4th and 5th Graders to join me last month at the Scripps Spelling Bee tryouts at Main Street Middle School.   We were treated to a very exciting, high stakes competition where the winner would be invited to the state tournament at St. Michael's College this month.  (Congratulations to Mrs. Grey's son Eric, who was the MSMS winner!)  Our students had so much fun that they hope to have a UES spelling bee next year!  Since 5th graders are welcome to participate, stay tuned to see who the UES Scripps representative will be next year!  This year's UES spelling crew:

NEW UES PRINCIPAL??  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so see if you can tell who the principal is in the picture below.  Ian wanted to show me how a principal is supposed to look, and I think the glasses put him over the top!

POLICE TRAINING AT UES OVER VACATION February 26 was quite a day at Union Elementary.  Montpelier police and fire officers joined local emergency medical personnel and over 25 volunteers to conduct an "Active Shooter" training in our building.  It was an intense experience for all of us, but it was comforting to know that so much thought and care is being taken to keep our children and staff safe if a worst case scenario were ever to occur.  Fox 44 News covered the event, and if you'd like to learn more, check out the link below to see interviews with me, Chief of Police Tony Facos, Fire Chief Bob Gowan, and School Resource Officer Matt Knisley.  A big thanks to Todd Keller for organizing the event with local agencies, and also to Theresa Giffin, Chris Luce, Pam Foster, Zephyr Cerulli, and Linda Beaupre for volunteering their time over vacation!  The interview link:

Channel 44 Interviews

PUPPET RESIDENCY!  UES 3rd graders started a "Puppet Residency" this week with the No Strings Marionette company.  Their hard work over the next few weeks will culminate in a wonderful, student run puppet show on Thursday, March 27.  We will have two shows during the school day, and one evening show at 6:00.  My daughters count the puppet residency among their favorite experiences while students at UES, and you won't want to miss this show if you can make it.  Here is a nice description of the residency from the No Strings folks themselves:

"The No Strings puppet workshop is an exciting, fast-paced artist in residence program. Where students plunge into their imaginations, create a fully operational puppet of their own design, give voice to its character and bring it to life in performance. Our true goal is to ignite each student's natural desire to learn, give them tools to educate themselves and begin to realize the power of knowledge. How do we do this? Puppets, that's how."  

To learn more about the No Strings Marionette Company and their work with students, check out this link:

PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES  Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled to occur next Friday, March 21.  If you haven't been in touch with your child's teacher yet, now is the time to make an appointment.  Most teachers are offering time slots after school next week if Friday is difficult for you.  My plan is to be available to meet with parents that day, so please feel free to stop by my office to check in.

NECAPS  Results from this fall's NECAP testing for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are in.  Teachers will be ready to share these scores with you next week when you meet with them.  We will also mail home hard copies of the scores at the end of the week.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION  Kindergarten registration (for the MHS Class of 2027!) will take place next week on March 19, 20, and 21 from 9:00 to 2:00.  Please contact Zephyr or Pam in the main office at 225-8204 if you or anyone you know has any questions.

HARRY BLISS  Local and famed New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss payed UES a visit last month and entertained children with stories and original art work.  Harry had students come on stage to start a drawing, and the kids were able to take the originals home with them!  Here is Matthew getting things started for Harry, and Nate showing off his drawing (suitable for framing!).  A big thank you to Mrs. Bates for inviting Harry to join us and organizing the day!

FIRST GRADE SUPER STUDENTS  A few of Mrs. Wrigley's First Graders made my day right before vacation when they came to my office to tell me how proud they were to be "Super Students."  Take a look at this picture, and you can see how proud they are!

I was so impressed with their hard work that I asked to visit their other classmates to tell them how impressed I was with all of them.  They took my hand and brought me down to their classroom. Mrs. Wrigley was kind enough to take these pictures: