Dear Sprague Community, Wow…we have a lot of candy to send to the troops! Thank you to all who donated candy. I do know that it was a bigger sacrifice for your children. We also received many heartfelt cards and letters to include in the shipment. It can be easy to forget the true reason for Veteran’s Day and think of it as a ‘day off.’ If any of you have close relatives who served or are serving in the armed forces or reserves, THANK YOU!  We are fortunate to live with many freedoms and privileges and recognize the sacrifices that soldiers and their families make in the name of our country.  We will be delivering the candy and letters to the dentist’s office on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Sprague gym was transformed into the W.E.F. Spelling Bee venue. As a newcomer to Wellesley, this event was impressive indeed. There was food, decorations, and spectators galore. Channel 5 sportscaster Mike Dowling was the Master of Ceremonies. The Sprague spelling team of Mr. Hagar-McKee, Kim Khoury, and Julia DePeyster made us proud with their spelling and ‘brain-y’ hats! On Friday, we had a visit from Dr. T, a ‘trashologist,’ who entertained students with an important message about recycling. Helpers from the Wellesley DPW accompanied Dr. T. on his visit to Sprague.  Ask your child what he or she should remember about recycling! I received notice from the DPW Department that the grass fields at Sprague Field will be closed Friday, 11/14/14 for Maintenance. They said they would be working with a contractor who will have several tractors on the field doing deep tine aeration and top dressing the grass area. Enrichment Opportunity for Elementary (K-6) Art Students DRAWING IN THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY GALLERIES Drawing in the Galleries is a program that provides an opportunity for the art teacher education students to gain pre-practicum experiences teaching art and for young artist to gain experience drawing in a unique location. Children will enjoy a day in the city gallery and receive support and instruction from skilled fine art graduate students. This is the twelfth consecutive year that students in the Elementary Methods of Art Education class will have the opportunity to lead and teach elementary students from metropolitan area schools in gallery activities. These activities take place, this year, in the Commonwealth Gallery, the BU Stone Gallery, the 808 Gallery, and the George Sherman Gallery. Studio strategies, designed by teacher interns, are related to current exhibitions in these galleries on the Boston University campus. The purpose of this letter is to extend a cordial invitation to each of you to invite your students to participate in this enrichment activity. To reserve a place for your child, please email Jennifer Stabnick by 3 p.m. Thursday, November13th. The following specifics are provided in hopes of answering anticipated questions: WHEN: The gallery enrichment program will take place from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 15, 2014. Parents may sign-in participating students beginning at 9:30 AM in the elevator lobby of the 855 Commonwealth Avenue (Boston, MA • 02215) building. Adults are invited to return to meet students in the various galleries or studio classrooms where students are working fifteen minutes prior to the conclusion of the activities: 12:45 PM. WHERE: A brief orientation for students and guests will be held in the elevator lobby of the 855 building – Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. Light refreshments will be provided. Following the orientation, students will be escorted to their assigned exhibition galleries for dialogue and studio activities. Students may stay in the galleries to complete their work or they may go to studio classrooms for the production portion of the lessons. Parents can inquire at sign in where they can reunite with their children between 12:45 and 1:00pm. PARKING: Parents or teachers who escort their students that morning may park in the lot adjoining the right front of the 855 Commonwealth Avenue building. Metered street parking is also available. Thank you to all who donated to “Cradles to Crayons” last week. Our energetic fifth grade volunteers collected many items at curbside and we delivered these items on Friday. Wellesley High School also participates in a “Cradles to Crayons” drive, Gear Up for Winter. This drive highlights the need for winter clothing and matches new or almost new jackets, boots, snow pants, and new hats and gloves/mittens with disadvantaged children in Massachusetts. There is a new donation bin for Gear Up for Winter donations in our lobby. This box will be there to collect items from now until December 12th. LOST AND FOUND We have a VERY large number of items in our Lost and Found! We placed a table in the lobby with the items last week and many sweatshirts and jackets were able to find their owners! There are still more items. We will put them back in the cafeteria in bags marked ‘sweatshirts,’ ‘jackets,’ ‘hats and gloves,’ etc. This will be the “Old Lost and Found.” The “New Lost and Found” will be located in the usual location. At the end of the month, any items in the “Old Lost and Found” will be donated to a local organization. Some of these items have been at Sprague since last school year. Please stop by or have your child take a look. It’s a shame to see so many things not make it back home! During the month of November, we are focusing on the “A” in H.E.A.R.T.—acceptance and appreciation. When we understand one another and accept and appreciate differences, it is easier to work together. Predictions about skills workers will need in the 21st century workforce seem to always include the ability to collaborate and work in teams. We actively teach students these skills and how we would like for them to work together and interact in school. We feel it is important to reinforce that acceptance and appreciation of differences is also a VALUE at Sprague. We don’t just accept one another; we strive to celebrate individual differences! Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we were all the same? There is still space in the 5th grade section of the Lego Robotics Club that will begin meeting today and continue for the following 3 weeks. The 2nd grade section is full. Lastly, thanks to the parents of students in grades K, 1, and 2 for sending in the fabulous luncheon for our teachers today! They truly appreciate it! From the Nurse:          I have started conducting the mandated annual hearing and vision screening at Sprague. These screenings help identify barriers that would impede a child’s ability to learn because much learning is accomplished through vision and/or hearing.    Early identification of hearing and vision difficulties can prevent problems that relate to speech and language development, social and emotional development, academic achievement, and/or permanent vision loss. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has established guidelines regarding screening procedures and referral criteria for school-age children. Vision screening checks for

  • problems in acuity (sharpness)
  • amblyopia (reduced vision in an otherwise healthy eye)
  • binocular function (one image using both eyes)
  • hyperopia (farsightedness – problems seeing close images)
  • myopia (nearsightedness – problems seeing at a distance)
  • strabismus (eyes not properly aligned) 
  • stereopsis (three-dimensional vision) grades K-3

This screening helps identify students who may have an unrecognized vision problem that could lead to the development of permanent vision loss if not detected early.          Hearing screening checks for response to tones in the frequencies most used for spoken communication. A hearing impairment interferes with normal speech development; school age children with even minimal hearing loss are at risk for academic and communication difficulties. Early detection and proper medical treatment ensures a better chance of successfully correcting any hearing problems.          School screening tests are not diagnostic in nature. They are designed to identify students who need further evaluation, with the goal of early detection, diagnosis and treatment of any hearing and vision problems before they can interfere with a child’s academic success.  Each year here at Sprague the students undergo the mandated screenings. I then contact parents of those children who do not pass the screenings to refer for further evaluation by their physician.          Please call me at 781-263-1965 x 2502 if you have any questions or concerns.  Sharon Mark your calendar: November 18: Picture re-take day November 21: Give Back Day Nov. 27, 28: Thanksgiving Break December 1: No school—Professional Development Day for teachers

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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–November 12, 2014
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