Dear Sprague Community, The next two Fridays will be busy for us at Sprague. This Friday, our assembly committee has planned the ‘A-Cat-emy Awards’ in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2) and in recognition of Sprague School’s love of reading! Students have voted for favorite books and the winners will be announced at the assembly, which will have an “Oscar-like” theme. Some categories include: Favorite Funny Book, Favorite Classic Book, Favorite Series, and Favorite past MCBA winner. Mr. Hagar-McKee will present the ‘Hats Off” award to local author Ruthie Knapp. (Get it…hats off…Cat in the Hat?) Ruthie wrote the book, “Who Stole Mona Lisa.” Jen Stabnick teaches about Mona Lisa in art class regularly and will be reading the book to all classes this week. Students are invited to wear ‘just a little’ bling for this red carpet event. The main rule is: don’t buy anything new. Students could bring a feather boa, wear sunglasses, a bow tie, or a tiara to be ‘red carpet ready’ if they wish. Wearing such accessories is entirely optional. Don’t worry, there won’t be any Fashion Police there! On Friday, March 6th, we will have our Spring Open House. It is a bit before the official start of Spring, but I think we are all ready to call just about anything that isn’t snowy, Spring. (For those who are counting, there are 24 days until the first day of Spring.) At our Open House, parents are invited to join their children in their classrooms from 8:00-9:00 a.m. to look over work samples and celebrate progress. Students will take the lead and show their families around their classroom. Siblings are welcome too. This event will follow the same format as in other years except for the morning time. At 9:00 a.m., students will come to the gym and sit with their classes. They will perform songs they have learned with Mr. Hagar-McKee. We will arrange seating for parents and family members in the gym as well. We plan to video the performance for any parents who are unable to attend. We will let you know how this will be available. We may have it playing during parent conference Wednesdays. It is our sincere hope that families be able to attend the Open House and performance. A group of college students from Olin College and Wellesley College are working with the school district to study traffic patterns and make recommendations at our public schools. They will be observing at Sprague, Hardy, and Bates, as well as the Middle School and High School. You may see them in our parking lot observing or talking with parents. They will report findings to Dr. Lussier. Here is a note from the group: “Hello, We are a group of college students from Olin and Wellesley College. For our Sustainability Synthesis class, we have partnered with the Wellesley Public Schools to study transportation within the district. As part of our study, we would like to understand how the school transportation system works as well as the motivations of the schools, parents, and students. To further our understanding, we would like to observe the pick-up and drop-off procedures, as well as talk to a sampling of those involved in this process. We plan to observe the half hour before school starts and the half hour after school ends sometime in the last week of February and first two weeks of March. This information would be used within our team to help us generate possible improvements to the system, and could possibly show up in a report to the district. All information will be anonymized before use. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. David Elkan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Rita Mary Hennigan (email@example.com) Elizabeth Mahon (firstname.lastname@example.org) David Pudlo (email@example.com) Chloe Williamson (firstname.lastname@example.org) David Zhu (email@example.com)” School resource officer, Evan Rosenberg, will visit each 5th grade classroom on the following dates: 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/31 and 4/7 These Pride lessons are 45 minutes each. The classes cover the following topics; the role of police, friendship, peer pressure, decision making and internet safety. We thank Officer Rosenberg for his dedication to our students and for providing this important instruction prior to our 5th graders moving on. From the Nurse: February is American Heart Month The leading cause of death and disability in the US is cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke). Lifestyle plays a significant role in prevention of heart disease; increased physical activity is directly associated with decreased risk of heart disease, increased life expectancy and overall physical, psychological and social benefits. When most adults think about exercise, we imagine working out in the gym on the elliptical or lifting weights. But for children, exercise means playing and being physically active. Kids exercise when they participate in PE, soccer practice, or dance class. They’re also exercising when they’re at outdoor recess, riding bikes, or playing tag. Everyone benefits from regular exercise. A child who is active is less likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, some cancers, and obesity; and is more likely to have strong muscles and bones, a lean body since exercise helps control body fat, higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol, a better outlook on life with improved psychological well-being, including more self-confidence and higher self-esteem; and will develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. In addition to the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are more able to handle the physical and emotional challenges that a typical day presents. And research has shown that physically active children are more likely to become physically active adults. Recent research has shown another benefit of exercise for children. In several studies, children who were more fit had measurably larger structures in their brains. These structures are those involved in the most complex type of thinking, namely the hippocampus and the basal ganglia. This finding demonstrates anew how important it is for us to promote physical fitness in our children. Combining regular physical activity with a nutritious diet is key to a healthy lifestyle. As parents, by promoting the importance of being physically active, we can instill lifelong healthy habits. Tips for teaching our children healthy habits:
- Increase physical activity by reducing sedentary time (ex: watching television and playing computer or video games).
- Parents can be positive role models for healthy lifestyles for their children.
- Help your child participate in activities that are age appropriate.
- Some kids just don’t like competing in sports. That’s OK; there are lots of other ways to be active, such as swimming, horseback riding, dancing, cycling, skateboarding, yoga, walking.
- Incorporate activity into daily routines, such as walking to school, taking stairs instead of an elevator, and parking in the far end of parking lots.
- Don’t reward children with food. A reward of candy and/or snacks encourages poor eating habits. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.
- Read food labels with your children to instill awareness of nutrition. That’s a good habit that will last a lifetime.
- Take control of portion sizes. Because there’s too much of everything on our plates, we are getting more calories than we need.
These are some ways parents can help children to eat well, live actively, feel good about themselves, and chose healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Sharon Dates to remember: March 3: PTO meeting March 3: Walk to School Day March 3: Town election day—voting takes place in our gym March 6: Open House from 8:00-9:30 a.m. March 7: Kindergarten Roundup #2 in Sprague library from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. March 20: Hero Art assembly March 23, 25: Grade 3 ELA MCAS testing March 24: Grade 4 ELA composition March 26, 27: Grade 5 ELA MCAS testing March 30, 31: Grade 4 ELA MCAS testing April 9: Grade 5 vs. Faculty basketball game
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