Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

"Have You Seen the Owl Today?"

Happy Holiday Season everyone!

Some news and information that will be helpful to know as colder weather comes around the corner (November was a busy month!):


December 6: December All School Assembly, 8:30 in the gym
December 22: UES Festive Winter Concert! 6:00 in the auditorium
December 24 - January 1: Holiday Break! School reopens on Monday, January 2.

UPP UPDATE! There is a lot going on with the Union Playground Project! Here is the latest from the UPP team:

WALKING SCHOOL BUS The UES Walking School Bus Wednesdays are continuing through the winter! Yes, even on the coldest of days! Come join us at Shaw's, the State House, or the college green at 8:00 sharp each Wednesday. We hope to see you! A Hennessey Hoot to MJ, Sarah Mele, Samantha Funk, Emmanuel Williams, and Sylvia Fagin for joining me in keeping the "bus rolling." It's a terrific way to start the day.

COLD WEATHER PRACTICES/PROCEDURES It hasn't really happened yet, but the cold weather will get here eventually! The faculty and staff of UES strongly believe that our children need as much time as possible running and playing outside, even during the cold of our Vermont winters. For our students to enjoy this time on the playground, it's essential that they come to school with adequate snow gear to keep them warm and dry. There are certain mornings and days, however, where it really isn't safe to be outside no matter what they're wearing due to extreme conditions. The procedures we follow are straightforward and in general practice around the state: if the temperature (with wind chill) is at 0 degrees or above, we'll be going outside. On cold days, we monitor the local conditions very closely at this weather site:

Local AccuWeather Forecast

This is an excellent site, and it will take you directly to the conditions and forecast for Loomis St. here in Montpelier! You can't get much more local than that! Again, please make sure your child comes to school prepared for the conditions, and please let me know if you have any questions. If you need assistance getting appropriate gear for your child, let us know in the front office right away; we have quite a supply of gear on hand here at UES!

UES DELAYED OPENING PROCEDURES: Speaking of cold weather, winter will soon be in full gear, and with the unpredictable weather comes the possibility of cancellations or delayed openings for school. We certainly got our first look at the crazy Vermont weather on Tuesday!

Here is what you need to know in case Mother Nature throws a snow or iceball at us one of these mornings. You will receive a robocall from Dr. Ricca as soon as the decision is made to either delay or cancel school. For delays:


Buses will run exactly two hours later than normal.

9:30     Teachers arrive 

10:00   UES doors open; IAs arrive; buses begin to arrive; we're open for business!  Students should arrive no earlier than 10:00 to ensure we have enough supervision.

10:00-  Students will begin arriving to class; transition time; Morning Meeting.

10:25   UES schedule officially begins.  Students will proceed as normal where the schedule would be normally at 10:25.  Lunches will not be affected.  The Snack Program will not be running on delayed opening days.

VETERANS DAY PARADE! In a month of many highlights, we have to mention the honor of participating in this year's Montpelier Veterans Day Parade. Another Hennessey Hoot to music teacher Samantha Funk for her organizational efforts and enthusiasm in planning this event. It's safe to say that our veterans greatly appreciated our presence! I'd also like to thanks MHS principal Mike McRaith and MSMS principal Pam Arnold for encouraging their students to join the audience on a cold, rainy day. It was such a joy to march through town with all our students cheering us on! Here are some pictures from this special day:

1st GRADE BUG PARADE! The UES community was treated to a wonderful Bug Parade last month by the 1st grade team! It has been so much fun to learn about our insect friends again after so many years! Here are some of the little bugs in action:

HENNESSEY'S HOOTS! A big Hennessey Hoot to...

* ...UES Mom Jessica Robbles-Worch for taking the lead on our Lost and Found this year!
*  ...the UES Parents Group for the tremendous amount of work they put in to the Scholastic Book Fair!  As usual, it was a great success!  Here is the crew hard at work:

*  ...2nd grader Kianan Griffin for taking the lead on the composting program during 2nd grade lunch.  I've been able to watch this young man in action, and he is highly organized and industrious!  The man at work:

Kianan at your service!
* anonymous young man who was at the breaking point with having to keep tying his shoes!  He took the matter into his own hands, as you can see below.  I have become highly proficient at helping little ones tie (and untie) their shoes down low to the ground, but I had never seen an effort like this!  Wow!

How would you handle this one in a busy hallway??
AND FINALLY... A THANK YOU TO THE MPS COMMUNITY Losing a parent is never an easy experience for anyone, whether the loss is a sudden occurence or after a lengthy illness. No matter what the circumstances, it's tough! The very sudden passing of my father at the beginning of the school year was indeed a very difficult event for me and my family, but I still think about the overwhelming kindness and support we all received from so many of you in this wonderful community. The many cards, calls, and conversations warmed my heart and made a sad and trying life event so much easier. Thank you all!

Dick Hennessey with his oldest boy, 1968.  The plaid shorts, striped shirt,
and epic attempt at a mustache were inspirational and the stuff of legend.


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