Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30, 2017

"Have You Seen the Owl Today?"

Some news and information that will be helpful to know as the summer approaches!


UES SPIRIT WEEK! Week of June 12 to 16 (Fun details coming soon!)
4TH Grade Celebration: Tuesday, June 20. 6:00 pm, UES Auditorium
Step Up Day/Last Day of School: Thursday, June 22. Early dismissal at 11:30.

WELCOME THE NEW UES ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL: MRS. BEAUPRE! I am happy to officially report that our very own Linda Beaupre will be the new Assistant Principal of Union Elementary School beginning on July 1! Linda has been a valued teacher and leader in the Montpelier schools for many, many years, and we are so happy to have her bring her talents to this new leadership position at UES! Please congratulate and welcome Linda the next time you see her.

The new and dynamic duo
FIDGET SPINNERS AT UES I'm sure you have noticed these ubiquitous little spinny gadgets either at home or in the hands of your children's friends.  It has become clear after talking to faculty and staff over the last few weeks that these "fidget spinners" are becoming a distraction for too many of our students, and they have certainly disrupted many classes.  As a matter of procedure, toys are not allowed in school here at UES, and there is no doubt that these spinners should be considered a toy.

Beginning tomorrow, students will need to leave their fidget spinners at home or, at the very least, in backpacks out of sight and out of mind.  Ideally, they will be left at home.  Teachers are beginning to get this message out to their students today, and we really appreciate your support as we begin this new spinner-free school world tomorrow!

Attached below is an informative article from Money magazine on the struggles schools are facing with these gadgets.  Whether the fidget spinner craze is new to you or not, it makes for fascinating reading.  Of course, we're aware that there are probably articles out there suggesting these toys are great for kids in school, but my quick research indicates far more articles are out there saying otherwise.  If you have any questions or concerns about this, please let me know.  We were trying to ride this fad out, but it has become clear and apparent that we can no longer do so.  Thank you for your cooperation and support!

CHICKENS! For those of you who don't know, the UES community now has some new feathery friends on our lower playground. Thank you to Mrs. Pierce and her family for sharing some of their chickens with all of us! We have a beautiful new chicken coop placed next to the lower playground swing set -- stop by to check it out! The chickens appear to be very happy with all of the attention! From Mrs. Pierce:

"The chicken coop has been a rousing success with opportunities for peer education, care, learning, and love all throughout the day. The kids are enjoying collecting eggs every day, the Magiera family took home the first 1/2 dozen for all of their extra work with the coop.  Today we candled our guinea fowl and mallard duck eggs in the incubator - all seven are fertile and developing!" 

Fun times for all!  Here is an action shot:

Mallory and Georgia showing off their new eggs!
REMINDER: UES PARENTS GROUP MEETING TOMORROW! Below you will see the agenda for tomorrow evening's UES Parents Group meeting in the Montpelier High School cafeteria. In addition, the MPS School Board will be meeting following this, and an update on the Union Playground Project is on the agenda among other items. All are welcome to attend! The agenda from USPG Co-chairs Heidi Groff and Jill Remnick:

UES Parents:

Please join us for the last USPG meeting of this school year. You won't want to miss this one!  

We will be meeting from 5:15-6:55 PM in the Montpelier High School Cafeteria.  We need the extra long meeting time to cover everything. Kristina Kane has graciously agreed to come and do art with our kids, so you don't need to leave them at home.  Bring the kids!  

Following our meeting the MPS Board meets in the library.  We are holding our meeting at the MHS to encourage UES parent's to stay and voice their opinions on playground safety, UPP (playground project), food service and merger with Roxbury.  

Our packed agenda includes:

1.  Merger w Roxbury vote 
     (School Board members Jim Murphy & Steve Hingtgen)
2.  Annual Homeless Report
3.  Future of food service in MPS
4.  Health and safety cleanup 
5.  Playground project 
6.  USPG Board Elections
7.   iPads in K classrooms
8.  Teacher appreciation 
9.   Lip synch battle review 
10. Teacher retirements
11.  Kids Cup
12.  Lost and found and ECO
13.  Pre-K

Thank you!

4TH GRADE AT THE VERMONT HISTORY MUSEUM I had the pleasure of joining Mrs. Pierce and Mrs. Hickey's 4th graders on a trip to the Vermont History Museum last week. If you haven't had the privilege of visiting this museum downtown, you really owe it to yourself to check it out! We had such a great time, and we would be hard pressed to find a better way to bring the Vermont History curriculum alive for our children. Aren't we so fortunate to be able to walk to so many interesting and exciting places only minutes away from school? Yet another reason why living in Montpelier is such a great thing!

Mrs. Pierce's 4th graders getting the tour
UES YEARBOOK COVER Congratulations to 4th Grader Veda Gahagan and 3rd Grader Ava Richardson for being selected as this year's winners for the UES Yearbook Cover contest! Veda and Ava's cover designs were selected by our Yearbook Committee from nearly 30 other excellent submissions. And a big thank you to Linda Beaupre for taking on the coordination of the yearbook this year! Here are Veda, Mrs. Beaupre, and Ava celebrating at last week's school assembly:

Mrs. Beaupre with the proud winners!
THE KINDNESS CHALLENGE! The 2017 UES Kindness Challenge was such a success this year that we decided we needed to celebrate! We had a rare beautiful day in early May, and a spontaneous Dance Party to celebrate our community's commitment to kindness was the result! Over 500 students and adults enjoyed a warm, sunny afternoon dancing on Park Avenue with our new UES Mascot, Swoop! Here are some action shots of the fun:

At our most recent School Assembly, all the Kindness Challenge winners were honored:

Finally, for many years here at UES, students earned "Hoots" for demonstrating all the components of CARES (Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control).  You may remember seeing all of these little, green mini-certificates in your child's backpacks!  Well, this year we have switched to something different, and students and classes have been earning "Gems" for demonstrating CARES to our space and to each other.  The Gems have proven to be a big hit!  The next time you're in the main office, take a look at our constantly growing collection of gems in the fish tank.  We're already getting close to the next school celebration!

4th Grader Austin showing his enthusiasm for the gem filled tank!

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