Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 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! I'll be updating the Owl every few weeks with both news and celebrations, and our goal will be to send it to as many members of the UES community as we can. If we have your updated email address, you'll get it!


Some news and information that will be helpful as we start the year...

UNION ELEMENTARY: OUR STORY Beginning last winter, I interviewed both students and staff and asked them why they found working and learning at Union Elementary such a special experience. The results were extraordinary, and I decided to call the finished product "UES: Our Story" and release it in a series of 5 to 10 minute "episodes." We are currently working on the next episode 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 the year, so there is plenty of time to get your thoughts together! In case you missed the first two installments last year, here they are:

UES: Our Story Part 1

UES: Our Story Part 2

UES WEBSITE Our goal is to have the UES website be a regular destination for you as you surf the web. Information will be updated regularly, and you'll notice that the UES calendar is prominently displayed as you open the page. This calendar will be updated on a daily basis with events that we'd like you to know about, so please visit the site whenever you can at:

MEET MR. HENNESSEY 2013 To the right you'll see five short videos that we produced with some 5th graders at the beginning of last year as a way to introduce the new UES Principal, me, to the community. For those of you who haven't seen them yet, I'll leave these totally student produced videos up for the first few weeks of the school year. I just watched these again the other day -- what a difference a year makes!

BUS ROUTE INFO When you go to the website, you'll see "Resources" to the right of the top menu bar. Click "Resources" and, among other categories, you'll see "Bus Schedules" at the top. If your child will be riding the bus to and from school, this is where you can get the correct times and bus stops for your neighborhood for both morning pick up and afternoon drop off. Our plan is to have the exact times for 2014-15 updated and accurate by the end of this week.

UES ROOF UPDATE I am happy to report that our 75 year old school has a brand new roof! The days of leaking halls, classrooms, and stairwells are over at last! Thanks to Rodd Roofing for getting the job done before school started as promised. I hiked to Marvin Street the other day to take this shot:

WINTER CARNIVAL 2015! Yes, that's right.  There is a movement afoot to have a UES Winter Carnival on the last week of February (prior to vacation).  There are so many reasons to have such an event, and we believe that it could be a terrific opportunity to celebrate our 75th birthday and bring the community together to see what we're doing.  Many more details to follow as we go through the fall!  I'd be very interested in hearing any ideas you may have to get the community involved in this project, so please stop by to talk about them if you'd like.

FALL OPEN HOUSE In my Welcome Back letter you received a few weeks ago, I gave Thursday, September 25 as the date for this fall's Open House. Well, it was pointed out to me that the 25th is Rosh Hashanah! My sincere apologies for this oversight; we'll have the new date selected in the next week or so and update you and the calendar accordingly.

DID YOU KNOW?... I'd like to make you all aware of the simply amazing work the folks from the Capital Community Church of Petal, Mississippi did cleaning, painting, and generally fixing our school the first and last weeks of July.  Austin Smith, a new dad who moved his family to Montpelier this spring (and whose daughter Lily-Ann was in Mrs. Mears' class), put this together after meeting with me and Todd Keller in early June.  Any of you who had a chance to meet these folks when you were in the neighborhood will agree that their kindness and devotion to service was as genuine as any I've ever seen.  Combine that with the overall excellence of their work, and we had a winning combination!  The Times-Argus did a beautiful front page story on them earlier in the month; I have a hard copy in my office or you can go online and look at the August 1 issue.  It's worth your time.