It feels like October this year was colder and cloudier than past Octobers. Fortunately, it did not affect the positive energy that flowed throughout our school.
This month we had three significant opportunities to better meet our school’s vision and mission. First, parents continued to have the opportunity to attend their child’s student-led goal-setting conference. This process allows students to take more ownership of and responsibility for their own learning. The benefits range from building confidence to instilling self-efficacy, skills that will aid our students throughout their lives. It is imperative for students to take hold of and be able to self-assess their own learning.
Secondly, we were able to hold additional family gatherings. Since our families come from such a wide geographical area (35 different NH districts!), we are working on building a closer SCS community by scheduling parent nights in the homes of our families. This provides a great opportunity for parents to meet informally with me, our development director Sheila Shea, board members, teachers, and other families. We very much appreciate the Foster and Roberge families for hosting our two nights this year. In addition, there was a very successful Sunday bowling event that allowed families to meet and enjoy a fun time together.
Thirdly, we welcomed a fall Harvest Fest, a new event for all our students. Teacher Mary Maravic provided the vision and energy to make October 19 a very special day for our students. Our seventh and eighth graders contributed their leadership and talents to create enrichment opportunities for everyone, and theater, singing, string performances, and dancing were all part of the day. In addition, Gary Sredzienski, a world-renowned accordion player, shared his talents with us. After the event, Gary sent the following thoughts to Mary:
“Driving home I was thinking about all the things I love the most about your school. The list could go on, but I couldn’t pinpoint the major reason why I am drawn to it, until it dawned on me. The students! The end result, what I see in the students. I have visited so many schools, but never have I encountered a larger group of students who are passionate, respectful, look you in the eye...not lethargic! I met so many with passion. There is something so much more that is being done at your school. The end results are amazing. I’m blown away by those kids. They have passion, love of life, ambition, respect... It’s a place where they want to be, grow, and learn. It blows me away.”
Thank you for all you do and don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend.
Jess and Karen’s kindergarten classes have been studying community helpers. This month they had visits from local police officers, a mail carrier, and Dover Fire and Rescue!
Scenes from our very busy first and second grade classes — lots of reading, writing, art, math, and outside time, plus a field trip to see The Rainbow Fish at Portsmouth Music Hall!
Our third and fourth graders have been studying the water cycle in science and how humans use rivers in social studies. This month they had a wonderful hands-on learning experience right in our backyard at the Cocheco River. Parent volunteers Gretchen Carlson of the Gundalow Company and Rebecca Lilja from the US Forest Service(thank you so much!) led students though a series of experiments to gather data on the health of the river, including a watershed simulation illustrating how important it is to keep pollution off the landscape. Students also visited the control room of the Watson Road hydroelectric dam to see how the river-powered turbine generates electricity — some of which we use at SCS! Students also imagined they were naturalist explorers and collected colors of the riverbank using a painter’s palette originally published in 1821, just like the one used by Charles Darwin on his voyages.
Our fifth and sixth graders have been hard at work on their mythical map projects, which reflect the style of maps during the 1400s. Early explorers tried to keep the exact location of the Spice Islands secret by distorting maps, and they often included illustrations of fantastical sea monsters.
Our seventh and eighth graders spent time creating and staining wet mount slides of onion cells. They are getting very good at using microscopes to identify organelles!
Happy Harvest Fest!
THANK YOU to music teacher Mary Maravic, our seventh and eighth graders, and local musician Gary Sredzienskifor a wonderful day of music, games, theater, and fun. Best of all, we collected more than 1,000 canned goods from our families for our local food pantry (and “pied” a few teachers in the process)! See additional photos on Facebook!
Focus on Art!
Cezanne’s Fruit and Jug on a Table clay pieces by Judy’s first and second grade art students. See the whole collection on Artsonia!
Got Shopping to Do?
Don’t forget that AmazonSmile is donating 5% (ten times the usual amount) to SCS through Friday, November 2, when you shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/20-0645885!
Family Bowling Event
THANK YOU to all the families who came out to our annual family bowling event this month! (And thank you to our parent volunteers for organizing and Dover Bowl for hosting!) We had a great time and raised more than $400 for the school!
Mark Your Calendars!
There’s a lot going on this year at SCS! Keep an eye out for details on school happenings in your email and on our online events page, and make sure to follow us on Facebook!
Fall Family Work Day November 17
Join others in the SCS community as we work on a wide variety of projects inside and out to keep our school beautiful.