Thompson School News : June 25, 2018

Save The Date

* New *

  • June 25, Monday – Last Day of School, 11:30 AM Dismissal
  • Sept 4, Tuesday – First Day of School
  • Sept 4, Tuesday – Open House Kindergarten
  • Sept 5, Wednesday – 1/2 of Kindergarten Class all Day
  • Sept 6, Thursday – 1/2 of Kindergarten Class all Day
  • Sept 7, Friday – All School, including Kindergarten, Full Day of School
  • Sept 7, Friday – Welcome Back Breakfast | Coffee
  • Sept 12, Wednesday – PTO Meeting
  • Sept 15, Saturday – Town Day

School Calendar

Click http://tinyurl.com/ndp8spb for Thompson’s Google Calendar to get school holidays, early release days, and PTO events on your own calendar. Click here for a printable version of this month’s calendar.

The Arlington Public School Calendar is @ http://www.arlington.k12.ma.us/calendar/pdfs/18-19calendar.pdf.

Principal’s Update

Dear Thompson Families,

Believe it or not, here we are – the end of the 2017-2018 School Year! Congratulations to all of us – We Made It!

People often ask me what am I looking forward to this summer and if I get vacation time, etc. My answer always includes how happy I am that I don’t have to do the “crazy mom thing” in the morning – get everybody up & out, without losing it on my kids as I drop off at Dallin and Ottoson, and screech in to Thompson!

The other answer is, that for the most part, I will be working during the summer – the best days to stop by if you need anything are Tuesday-Thursday, and Vicki and/or I will be there between 9:00-2:00.

I would also like to say a huge THANK YOU to our staff, students, parents, PTO, after school programs, and the many, many people involved that make Thompson School such an amazing place! While we say farewell to our 80+ fifth graders, we welcome over 100 new students in K-5 for the 2018-2019 school year. Now that our addition is complete, and the modulars will be removed, I look forward to the Fall when we will be “just us” and settle in to our new normal.

As we head out for the summer I wanted to share a few staffing updates with you:

Ms. Daley will be moving from 5th Grade to 4th Grade
TBD in Grade 5

We bid a fond farewell and say thank you to:

Ms. Makrianis, who has resigned her position as Library TA.
Ms. Becker, who has resigned her position as Music Teacher and Chorus Instructor

We also say a big thank you and goodbye to the following Teaching Assistants:
Mr. Ryan, Ms. Jie Jie, Ms. Quarrell, Ms. Richa, Ms. Blais, and Ms. T.

Students will be coming home with their Progress Reports and supply lists for their next year’s grade. Please note that Teacher Assignments will be mailed home in early August, with a welcome letter from the teacher, and more specific list if necessary.

I continue to reflect on how grateful I am to be a part of the Thompson School Community. We have SO much to be proud of, and have really had an impact not only at our school, but in the way the District is approaching and addressing topics of great importance. I am thankful to have such a dedicated, supportive staff and parent community.

I hope each and every family spends some quality time doing things that bring you joy this summer! Take the time to enjoy the sunshine, the sounds of the season, and each other.

See you around town,

Karen

PTO Update

Here we are at the end of another successful school year with the last newsletter for 2017-2018. The final three months of the school year feel like a marathon at sprinting speed. For the PTO, April through June are among the busiest times of the year with 18 enrichment programs, 2 all-school programs, and 8 community events!

Expenditure 2017 - 2018For the 2017-2018, the PTO’s approximately $60,000 budget helped fund 28 grade-level field trips, 2 author visits, 4 all-school enrichment programs, and 20 community events. With a larger budget, we were able to bring in several new enrichment programs including a trip to the Farrington Nature Linc for 2nd Grade, a Wampanoag Cultural workshop and presentation to 3rd Grade, and field trips for 4th Grade to the Museum of Fine Arts and Habitat. All school programs highlights included a cultural presentation called Arabiqa, author workshops by Jessica Garrett and Nora Dooley, an anti-bullying program by Improv Boston, a Hip Hop presentation by Illstyle and Peace, and the “One Day’ Community Sing at the School Picnic.

Community event highlights included the Welcome Back Breakfast in fall, followed by the Book Fair, Literacy Night, Holiday Drive, and Winter Parent’s Party in winter, Game Night and the Science EXPLO in early spring, and the beloved year-end Family picnic.

As the cliché goes, many hands make light work, and that certainly holds true for all the PTO was able to do this year. None of the events would have been possible without the leadership, enthusiasm, and help of the multitude of parents who volunteered their time and skills. Thank you to the PTO board, the fundraising team, the enrichment committee, communications team, room parents, event co-chairs and volunteers who helped with tasks big and small. We want to give a special shout out to Maf Terry, enrichment lead extraordinaire and director of many Thompson Drama plays, who after 9 years as a PTO member, will be “graduating” from Thompson. Maf, we will miss your energy, creativity, and can-and-will-do attitude!

Thank you also to the teachers, Mrs. Donato, Vicki, and the staff for their continued support of the PTO.

As we look ahead to the next school year, the PTO has a few open board positions. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and help us plan for 2018-2019.  https://goo.gl/forms/3vzVVhXWfMIE8lcE2

The fall is the time for the PTO’s two primary fundraisers. The 2018-2019 Arlington Community Card will be launched on Town Day on Saturday, September 15th, and the Direct Donation Drive will start in October. Both these drives accounted for approximately 73% of the PTO annual budget this year. Keep an eye out for additional details on how you can support these initiatives.

Last but not least, congratulations to all the 5th graders and their families as they set forth into middle school. We also look forward to welcoming the new kindergarten class, which is shaping up to be the largest incoming kindergarten class to date at Thompson!

Have a wonderful summer!
Diana and Nandana
(PTO Co-Presidents)

Thompson News & Events

A Message from the Library

As the school year draws to a close, I am aiming to get as many books returned as possible. Notices with specific titles for overdue books will go home in a couple of weeks, but until then, please check your homes for any extra library books! Getting everything back means the library will be organized and full for the next school year. Any questions or concerns can be directed to me, Miss Mak, at amakrianis@arlington.k12.ma.us. Best, and happy almost summer!

Thompson Trees Need You!

TreeWe need to fill the tree bags with water twice a week throughout the summer.  This is a team effort, and we need your help!  If you would like to learn more or get involved, please contact Phil Tedesco at  philip.tedesco@gmail.com

 

Incoming Kindergarteners

If you have an incoming Kindergartener at Thompson, join the Facebook group “Thompson Kindergarten 2018- 2019” to connect with other parents.

Summer Meet-ups

  • Sunday, July 15, 9:30am @ Waldo Park
  • Saturday, July 28, 4:00pm @ Waldo Park
  • Saturday, August 11, 9:30am @ Thompson Playground
  • Sunday, August 26, 4:00pm @ Spy Pond

Green Team News

Congratulations to our graduating awesome change makers!

Enjoy your summer in nature and with family!

I hope some of you will accept Ms. Dichter’s 2 graders’ challenge of having a Strawless Summer.  Don’t forget to visit our Green Team display in the Fox Library up through July 6th.

Please contact Elizabeth at egrocco@gmail.com if you want to attend a summer Green Team meeting or submit a Green Team Bikeway Haiku!
Please contact Fiona at fionaehring@gmail.com if your family wants to be involved with the garden this summer.

Message from Rachel Oliveri, Sustainability Coordinator

Thank you all for your good and hard work teaching, learning from, and inspiring our students to care for the planet!

If you have or know of any rising 5th and 6th graders who might be interested in the environmental camp Charlotte Milan and I are running from July 9-13th, please forward them this information:

Youth Environmental Leadership Program starts July 9

From July 9-13 EarthCore members will traverse Town, explore our waterways and natural areas. We’ll undertake experiments and service learning projects.
Under the supervision of the Recycling Coordinator and School Sustainability Coordinator, re-see your Town from the perspective of an environmentalist, a scientist, a designer, and a leader.

Find out more @ https://www.arlingtonma.gov/home/showdocument?id=43333

Register @ https://goo.gl/forms/gJerDTqZ6PvOeLPy1

Enjoy the summer and I look forward to working with your teams in the fall!

Best,
Rachel

SSummer Opportunities

Mark your calendars with these grant opportunities, workshops, conferences, and more!

  • June 27 – Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) Webinar: Indoor Air Quality and Green Cleaning. This workshop explores indoor air quality hazards for school building occupants such as cleaning chemicals, varnishes, maintenance issues, and improper storage of art/science/voc tech chemicals and discusses how green cleaning practices can significantly improve school health.
  • June 28 – Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom presents “Family-Owned Dairy Farms – the History, the Satisfaction, and the Challenges.” Learn about what it is like to grow up on a dairy farm, what careers are available, and whether you can incorporate dairy lessons into your curriculum.
  • July 8-21 – Sustainable Development & Social Entrepreneurship Session at the Yale Young Global Scholars Program. This program is focused on exploring innovative solutions to the greatest challenges facing the international community today, and aims to prepare students to tackle problems related to particular areas of interest, including global health, international development, environmental sustainability, and gender equality.
  • July 9-13 – Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) Summer Professional Development Institute for the Cape Cod Region (middle and high school educators), MetroWest Region (for grades 3-8 educators), Berkshire Region (for grades 3-8 educators), and Central Region (for grades 3-8 educators).
  • July 15 – Captain Planet Foundation: ecoSolution Grants
    The Captain Planet Foundation supports educational programs that enable youth to understand and appreciate our world by getting involved in hands-on projects to improve the environment. The Foundation provides ecoSolution Grants to innovative programs that inspire youth to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities. Public schools and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for grants of $500 to $2,500. Priority is given to projects with matching funds or in-kind support. The final application deadline for 2018 is July 15. Online application guidelines are available on the Foundation’s website.
  • July 16-20 – Museum Institute for Teaching Science Summer Professional Development Institute for the North Shore Region (for grades 3-8 educators) and Southeast Region (for grades 3-8 educators).
  • July 17 – Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom presents “Growing for Others and Improving Your Garden.” Learn about field trip opportunities for your class, hands-on gardening activities, and food issues and hunger in Massachusetts.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Thompson PTO has many volunteer needs both small and big. If you’re looking for a way to give back to Thompson, here’s a list of ways you can help.

Town Day Community Card Sales – Saturday Sept 15th

Town Day is where we launch, and sell the majority of, our Community Cards each year. Current town day record = 1000 cards! We will need ~75 volunteers throughout the day in 1 hour shifts between 8:00 AM and 4:00PM. No ‘sales’ experience necessary! If you can work a cash box or carry a sign, you are good to go. This is a great way to get to know other parents, and kids are welcome to join you during your shift if they are capable – nobody can resist those cute faces.

The signup is ready, get your preferred time slot today! https://tinyurl/townday2018

For more about the card, visit www.arlingtoncommunitycard.org.

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities: http://tinyurl.com/ThompsonPTOVolunteers

Community

Attention 5th Grade Parents!

GO-PTO, the parent-school partnership for the Gibbs and Ottoson Middle Schools, seeks new board members to serve in the 2018/19 school year. Parents of rising 6th graders are especially needed; no previous PTO experience is necessary. The board generally meets once a month, and related duties can take up a few hours a month; there are also other volunteer opportunities for non-board members.

This is a great way to get to know the principals and teachers and stay involved in your child’s education. Anyone who is interested should contact GO-PTO via e-mail at dearGO.PTO@gmail.com.

Summer Public Speaking Program

Smart Kid Looking for a Challenge? This summer, the Lumos Young Speakers Program is running a public speaking and debate program for students grade 4-6. This program will take place in July and will run 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday (1-week) in Lexington, MA.

Your child will love Lumos’s friendly instructors and fun activities as they learn about:

  • Speaking Confidence
  • Impromptu Speaking
  • Debate Basics
  • Argumentation and Reasoning

Right now you can use the code COMMUNITY to get $125 off. Email zephchang@lumosdebate.com or call 617-901-4564 with any questions. To register, go to lumosdebate.com/1-week-public-speaking-program

Connect with Us

Thompson PTO Board

Nandana Mewada, Co-President
Diana Trudell, Co-President
Yael Beals, Vice-President
Danielle Gottesman, Communications Chair

If you have news to share with the community, please email ThompsonPTOevents@gmail.com by Thursday at 12 noon to be included in the next newsletter.

Please note that we will only include news from the Thompson School and Town of Arlington. Announcements of interest to the Thompson community from other non-profit organizations may be included at our discretion.

PTO Meeting Minutes – Oct. 12, 2017

Principal: Karen Donato
Teacher’s Rep: Alison O’Mahony

PTO Board

Co-presidents: Diana Trudell & Nandana Mewada
Vice-President: Yael Beals
Co-treasurers: Sara Wilkinson & Carolyn Schneyer
Co-secretaries: Emily Gauthier & Fiona Ehring
Fundraising: Juliet Moir
Arlington Community Card: Ashley Lorenz & Gaggi DeStefanis
Enrichment: Maf Terry & Tonja Bishop
Communications: Danielle Gottesman
Spirit & Appreciation: Judy Hu & Melissa Crowley
Room Parents: Sarah Gupta
Volunteers: Kate Murphy

Thompson Community

Diana Trudell, Carolyn Schneyer, Sara Wilkinson, Fiona Ehring, Tim Macinta, Christy Murphy-Macinta, Tonja Bishop, Ashley Lorenz, Melissa Crowley, Kate Murphy, Judy Hu, Yael Beals, Maf Terry, Nicole Flory, Juliet Moir, Gaggi DeStefanis, Nelson Valada?sp

Notes

Introductions

Minutes approved

Mrs. Donato’s update

  • Construction update
  • still no final date of completion, due to status of fire rated glass installment in multi-purpose room.
  • closed back stairwell for safety reasons, checking into using both. Ellen Digby hired to oversee use.
  • Grades are sharing lunch periods, may shift back to single grade lunch.
    5th Grade classes currently in the modulars will move to the 3rd floor in the new addition. Modulars will be used until the end of the year for extra curriculars and storage.
  • Looking into hiring more specialist providers, reading, math

Budget overview and approval 2017-2018 – Sara Wilkinson , Carolyn Schneyer

  • Budget was unanimously approved
  • PTO budget for 2017-2018 is $68,230 fundraising this school year pays for 2018-2019 events
  • 5th grade enrollment is up by 31 students, from 50 to 81. A discussion of graduation expenses is on the list for next month’s meeting.
  • Several new line items were introduced.
    • Classroom teacher gift supplement fund
    • Grade 4 MFA field trip
    • Grade 2 Puppet Showplace field trip
    • Grade 1 Puppet Showplace field trip

PTO Updates

  • Community Card – Ashley Lorenz
    • $10 card that gives you discounts on local businesses, runs September to September every year
    • 1137 cards sold so far
    • New twitter account: @arlcommcard, help out with promotion by taking and posting photos at your favorite Community Card business
    • Current sales markets:
      • Book Rack
      • Menotomy Wine & Spirits (new)
      • Farmer’s Market
      • Parent Sales
      • Movie Night
    • Morning PTO meetings will continue. A convenient way to update those who are not able to make the evening meetings.
    • Room parent roster is almost full. One more room parent needed in first grade
    • Annual Parent Survey
    • Custodial Workers Day was last week, Mr. Brahim was very happy to be appreciated.
    • Walk/ ride to school day was very popular. We need more bike racks!

Direct Donation Drive – Juliet Moir

  • Direct donation campaign is up to almost 80 families and the goal this year is 250. Facebook link to paypal.

Enrichment Update – Maf Terry, Tonja Bishop

Upcoming Events

  1. 1. Picture Day 10/12
  2. Movie Night 10/13
  3. Book Fair 12/11-12/15
  4. Literacy Night 12/12
  5. Winter Parents Party Date TBD

Immediate Needs

  1. Chair Winter Parent’s Party – January/February. Date TBD We are currently searching for a venue. Please let Gaggi DeStephanis or Ashley Lorenz know if you have any ideas or leads.
  2. Chair Literacy Night – December, book fair week of December 11 –The Book Rack will run it and added online ordering.