RBS Principal’s Notes
March 16, 2018
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! I’m hoping that the luck of the Irish will keep any potential snowstorms away!
IN THE NEWS:
Last Day of School now June 20
The Superintendent announced at Monday's Board Meeting that the last day of school for students is June 20 (as of now). He had a conversation with the NHDOE about the two days we missed school due to the Halloween windstorm this year. Given the circumstances of the storm and our school calendar, we will not have to have students make up those two days at the end of the year.
Attendance/Absenteeism – Please Read
In last week’s notes, I included a message from Superintendent McGee (under Reminders below) that explained our new ATTENDANCE POLICY. We changed our procedures regarding attendance this year so that we would be able to understand the reason for the absences more quickly and develop a plan to help families. These reasons range from physical health to family commitments to mental health to school phobia. Students who are frequently absent miss out on a lot of class activities. The goal of the new procedure is to improve our understanding of the challenges families face and put a plan in place earlier, if necessary.
At the elementary schools, we will be bringing students with 10+ absences to our Child Team, which is a group of staff members (classroom teacher, special educator, assistant principal, guidance counselor, reading specialist, behavior specialist, OT/PT, speech pathologist) who meet to discuss ways to support our students. In the case of students with 10 or more absences, these students may experience difficulty catching up after their absences, and the team will offer the teacher support, strategies, etc. regarding how to get them back on track. In other cases, the issue may be something more serious (medical, emotional, etc.), and we would like to offer support with whatever the child and family needs. I will be reaching out to parents to let them know that their child has triggered that 10-day mark. Please understand that this is not an admonishment, but rather a way to open up communication and offer support, when needed. Also, I greatly appreciate all of you who follow our sickness policy and keep your child home for the appropriate amount of time when they are ill, especially during this winter’s flu season. Thank you!
Artist in Residence
For the last week, the school has been enlivened by the steady beat of drums. Thanks to the support of the Bedford PTG, every class in grades 1-4 had a 40-minute hands-on session of African drumming with an expert in the field, Randy Armstrong. He is a composer, world drumming specialist and world fusion recording artist. Randy started his week at our school by presenting a concert, in which he masterfully played many instruments, including the acoustic guitar, Native American flute, and the djembe drum. On the mbira, also known as an African finger piano, he shared his composition, a song of “Peace in 39 Languages” with us.
In addition to their class lesson, 26 4th graders met as a drum ensemble in special sessions to work out complicated, authentic African drum rhythms. The highlight of their work was a concert, performed for parents and the school community. RBS Drumming Video One ensemble participant wrote in reflection, “It was very hard, but I liked it.” Another child wrote, “I had lots of fun but I also did gun go do go gun dun go do (the language of the drum method) really well.” And, perhaps summing up for most of our students, another said, “I would like to do more drumming.”
You can learn more about Randy Armstrong and his excellent music by visiting his website: www.randyarmstrong.com.
Good luck to all our teams who are presenting at the Destination Imagination tournaments in Swanzey and Goffstown on Saturday, March 17th.
Full STEAM Ahead Day
Our Full STEAM Ahead Day for 3rd and 4th graders this past Monday was a great success! Please take a look at THIS VIDEO to get a glimpse of the activities the students participated in.
RBS KidVote Results
RBS had students vote in our annual KidVote, which supported our Town/District voting on March 13th. Here are the results for our April Spirit Day vote:
Comfy Day - 40% - WINNER
Holiday Day - 33%
Teacher/Student Dress Up Day - 27%
Thank you to all our families who brought in Box Tops. The classroom winners are:
1st Place: Mrs. Blaine's class: 494
2nd Place: Mr. Carty's class: 389
3rd Place: Mrs. Bowen's class: 373
Mrs. Blaine’s room will enjoy a PJ Day as a reward!
Did you miss the deadline to order the 2017-2108 Riddle Brook School Yearbook? Not to worry, you can purchase the yearbook online until April 13. Visit www.schoolannual.com , select “Buy Student’s Yearbook,” and enter the school information.
PTG News and Information
COLOR BLAST REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!!! Come out for a colorful day of fun in support of the Bedford PTG and the Bedford School District! Our 2018 Color Blast is scheduled for Sunday June 3rd at 9:30AM. Click here to register and visit our Color Blast Fun Run website for event details including sponsorship and volunteering opportunities.
THE PTG AND BeBOLD ARE EXCITED TO CO-SPONSOR A PRESENTATION FOR ALL PARENTS & GUARDIANS on Wednesday, March 28th from 7-8:15pm at BHS Auditorium
“Understanding How to Parent So that Children Can Succeed: Addressing Childhood Anxiety and its Potential Pathway towards Substance Abuse”
Special guest speaker Jessica Lahey veteran teacher, journalist, and author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.
Jessica Lahey will provide insight on how to raise kids who are happy and healthy and less likely to turn to destructive coping strategies, including ways to prevent childhood addiction. Lahey will also share research on the most effective ways to parent and support the psychosocial and emotional needs of our children. Additionally, she will outline risk factors, explain which positive interventions can overcome those risk factors, and offer parents and teachers actionable, useful tools for raising happy, resilient children who will be less likely to turn to unhealthy behaviors when faced with the increasingly toxic stress and anxiety they face at home, in school and in our society. This event is open to all parents/guardians.
The 45-minute presentation will be followed by a 30-minute question and answer session.
YANKEE CANDLE - ONLINE EXTENSION UNTIL MAY 15TH - Thank you to all who participated in the Yankee Candle Fundraiser. If you missed it, no need to worry! We are extending the fundraiser online until May 15th. Candles make a great gift for Easter, Mother's Day or any fun spring gathering! Click here and enter 999965479 in the Group # Box to shop.*** 40% of sales go back to the schools! ***
AMAZON SMILE PROMOTION - Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for someone else, did you know that every time you buy on Amazon you can support the Bedford PTG? Simply visit AmazonSmile and select “Bedford NH PTG” as the organization that you’d like to support. Now, every time you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a percentage to the Bedford PTG. Beginning TODAY, Amazon is TRIPLING THE DONATION AMOUNT to 1.5% when customers make their FIRST eligible smile.amazon.com purchase from March 12TH - 31ST. For additional details about the promotion, visit the promotion detail page.
Improving our Attendance Practice – A Note from Superintendent McGee
The district has tightened up our attendance practices this year. This is because many absences can make it challenging for a student to be successful in school. There has been an unintended (but very real) consequence to this change. Some families have shared with us that our approach has felt insensitive. I want to make it clear that there are times when students need to be out of school -- it could be for medical reasons, a family loss, or (especially this year) the flu. At the same time, we still need to be proactive with families about the impact of absences. So, if a student is absent for 10 days in one year, the school will continue to contact the parent/guardian to make sure we understand the challenges the family is facing. If a student reaches 15 days absent, the school will arrange a meeting to develop a plan (if one is not already in place) to help the student and family manage those underlying challenges. While our new practice will remain in place, we will work hard to communicate more clearly AND sensitively. - Sincerely, Chip McGee
Family Fun Night Volunteers Needed
We are looking for volunteers for our annual Family Fun Night on Friday, April 13th. If you are interested, please use the Sign Up Genius links below to sign up.
Seating One Sign up
Seating Two Sign up
Ticket Processing Sign up
Special Olympics Young Athletes Program (YAP)
The Special Olympics Young Athletes program is an eight-week activity for kids ages 2-7 with and without disabilities designed to teach a wide variety of gross motor skills through games, songs, and play. Please click here for more information. The spring session begins on March 23rd at Memorial Elementary School.
4th Grade Play
Save the Date! On April 17th the entire fourth grade will present "Rats! The Story of the Pied Piper." Every boy and girl in fourth grade has a part to perform in the colorful re-telling of this classic folktale. Rehearsal (all during school hours) begins right after our February vacation, and will culminate in what promises to be a fabulous presentation to parents and friends at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, April 17th. You will not want to miss this!
RBS is working with the Bedford Food Pantry to help collect food items that are most needed by families. Every other month we will be collecting 1 food item. For the month of March, that item is CANNED FRUIT. If you are able, please bring in canned fruit until Friday, March 30th. We will have a box for donations in the office hallway outside of the library. Thank you so much for supporting this very worthy cause, which supports Bedford families.
March 30 – End of Quarter 3
March 30 – Good Friday
March 30-April 7 – Passover
April 1 – Easter
April 2-5 – Scholastic Book Fair
April 13 – RBS Family Fun Night
April 17 – 4th Grade Play (Rats!)
April 20 – Spain Brothers Concert
April 23-27 – Spring Vacation
May 4 – Mother/Son Event
May 8 – Kindergarten Orientation (12:30 PM)
May 9 – Grade 1 Orientation (12:30 PM)
May 15 – RBS Grandparents’ Day
May 16 – RBS Spring Concert (6:30 PM BHS Theater)
May 25 – District Workshop Day – No School for Students
May 28 – Memorial Day Observed – No School
May 30 – Field Day Grades 1 & 2 (Rain Date: June 1)
May 31 – Field Day Grades 3 & 4 (Rain Date: June 4)
June 3 – PTG Color Blast
June 6 & 7 – Grade 4 Field Trip to State House
June 20 – Tentative Last Day of School/Move Up Day