Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 23

September 24, 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 to know as the leaves start to change...

Open House 2014!  The Union Elementary Open House will be on the evening of Thursday, October 2 from 6:15 to 7:15.  Our Open House will be an opportunity for K-5 families to join their children in classrooms and share their work with each other.  Families will also have an opportunity to join their children in their Integrated Arts classes and meet Counselors and Special Educators throughout the evening.  The evening will officially begin at 6:15, but families are welcome to come and go at any time within the 6:15 to 7:15 hour. Please contact me or your child's teacher if you have any questions -- we look forward to seeing you all and showing off the great things happening at UES!

5th Grade Move to MSMS!  I'm happy to announce that the Montpelier School Board made it official at their meeting last week; the 5th grade will be leaving Union Elementary and moving to Main Street Middle School for the beginning of the 2015-16 school year!  Main Street principal Pam Arnold and I will be having our first informational meeting related to the move for parents and community members on the evening of Tuesday, October 7 from 6:00 to 7:00 at the middle school.  We will have an agenda and more details for all of you next week.

UES Parents Group Meeting Next Week!  From the UES Parents Group:

UES Parents Group
Tuesday, September 30
6:30 to 8:00 pm
UES Cafeteria
Refreshments and Childcare Available

Please join the UES Parents Group Board for an informational meeting about existing programs, volunteer opportunities and the vital ways Parents Group supports UES through fundraising efforts.  You will have an opportunity to hear from Chris Hennessey, principal and current Board members.  We would also love to hear your thoughts and ideas about new programs.  Sign up sheets and a suggestion box will be available.  Please RSVP to Jennifer Matthews, USPG President at, 223.1213 (h) or 505.0009 (c)

Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up Procedures  Three years ago, the UES Parents Group helped to create a new drop off and pick up procedure for families driving their children to school.  This highly successful set up improved safety and congestion in a big way!  For everyone's review:

The UES Drop Off and Pick Up is the designated area on School Street, inside the barriers, for parents unloading or loading their children by private vehicle. The area is separate from the bus unloading /loading location, so there is no conflict with the two operations. 

For everything to function safely and smoothly, several procedures must be followed:
 Enter the barricaded area on Loomis Street from School Street. No U-Turns, please.
 Cars should line up single file, along School Street waiting to enter the “unloading/loading 
zone” (the barricaded area).
 While lined up on School Street, please do not block the exit to Cedar Street.
 Students should only be dropped off and picked up in the barricaded area (not on the corner or on School Street).
 Pull up as close to the crosswalk as you can. Avoid dropping off in front of the stairs.
 After dropping off, please exit forward onto Loomis Street. 
 Do not park in or block neighbor driveways unless you have permission from homeowners.
 Drivers should remain in their car. 
 Parents wanting to enter the school must park in available street parking spaces.
 Have all your materials for school ready before drop-off. 
 Keep goodbyes brief; other drivers will be waiting behind you to discharge children.

Time Saving Tips:
 Arrive early for the morning drop-off. The busiest time is five minutes before the start of classes. Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the final bell, when the traffic is lighter.
 Arrive later for the afternoon drop-off. The busiest time for the afternoon pick-up is before the bell rings and right after. Arrive 5 minutes after the dismissal bell and the wait time is less.
 Adjust for rain. The number of cars will increase when it rains. Be patient, and plan on spending a small amount of additional time.

IMPORTANT:  If you have changes to your pick-up plans, please phone Pam and Zephyr by 12 noon, so your child(ren) are in the appropriate pick-up location.  The UES Office phone number is 225-8204.

Picture Retake Day If your child missed out on getting his or her picture taken last week, or you'd like a redo, Retake Day has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 28.

Mr. Hennessey's "Hoots"!  A Hennessey Hoot goes to:

Mrs. Goldblatt and all musicians in the 4th and 5th grade for getting the UES Band and Orchestra started last week!  Check out these proud 4th graders showing off their new instruments:

All Kindergarten and First Grade Teachers and Students for their unbelievable patience as we all had to wait for the Lower Playground Play Structure to get repaired!  The structure finally opened for business last Friday, and there were lots of happy children using it to its full capacity on a beautiful day!

Mrs. Cody's 1st Graders enjoying the new bridge!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 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 September kicks into gear...

PICTURE DAY! This year's Picture Day will be next week, Tuesday, September 16. Ordering forms and other info will be coming home in your child's folders this week.

OPEN HOUSE 2014 This fall's UES Open House has been rescheduled for the evening of Thursday, October 2 from 6:15 to 7:15.

OPENING WEEK HIGHLIGHTS! What a great start to the year! Barely two weeks in, Union Elementary is running smoothly and our 490 (!) children are clearly happy to be back with their friends and teachers in the learning environment they love. Here are a few pictures from the opening week:

Mr. Keller, Ms. Bailey and Mrs. Hart greet Kindergarteners as they get off the bus for the first time.

Ms. Pine's 2nd Grade "Pineers" gather on the first day of school

A Kindergartener enjoying a book in the library on his first day of school
UPDATES ON THE PLAYGROUND Anyone who has been on the lower playground lately has noticed that our play structure has been closed. Our goal was to have the structure repaired and cleared for play last week, but the parts needed are unfortunately back ordered. I have been assured by the manufacturer that the parts will be shipped to us no later than next Monday. Once we have the parts, the work for repairing the structure will go very quickly. We're hoping to have the children playing on the structure next week!

UES PARENTS GROUP Members of the UES Parents Group met with me last week, and it was a terrific meeting! Among other things, we talked about how the Parents Group can assist with our Winter Carnival, the UES 75th Birthday Celebration, and playground renovation planning. We also talked about bringing back a fall Talent Show and the fall Fundraiser. Be on the lookout soon for how you can get involved!

MR. HENNESSEY'S HOOTS! For those of you who don't know, a "hoot" is given to our students when they do something positive for the community. I'll be using this space to give out Hennessey Hoots to deserving members of the UES community, both young and old!

A Hennessey Hoot goes to:

* ...UES Administrative Assistant Pam Foster for her tireless efforts to help us take our daily attendance electronically after 75 years of paper and pencil!
* ...the whole 2014-15 UES Kindergarten class (and Montpelier High School Class of 2027!) for their terrific start to the year! Veteran teachers have been highly impressed with this group of young children, and so have I!
* ...UES Kindergarten teacher Emily Wrigley for being selected as the Montpelier nominee for the prestigious University of Vermont Teacher of the Year Award! If your children have or have had Emily as a teacher, you know how deserving she is of this honor. Here is Emily accepting the nomination at our opening in-service at the high school: