Dear Sprague Community, The days really are getting a little longer and the sun seems stronger already! Even so, we are left with melting and re-freezing and the large piles of snow for a while longer. We are looking forward to the Open House on Friday and hope to see you there! Students will take the lead and show parents their work in the classroom. This portion of the Open House will take place between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. At 9:00 a.m., students, teachers, and parents will come to the gym for a vocal performance led by Mr. Hagar-McKee. Students will sit with their classes. The program should be over by 9:30 a.m. We anticipate that parking could be at a premium on Friday and have asked to have additional snow cleared from our lot to free up spaces that are covered. We have also asked permission for parents to park in the Italian American Club lot right across the street on Oak Street. They have graciously agreed. In the process of speaking with them, they did express that many parents are already using their lot at dismissal time. They asked me to remind you all that it is private property and they hope we will be good neighbors and park only in marked spaces there. They do receive deliveries from large trucks and have employees who need to be at work between 2 and 4 p.m. They do not see an issue with morning parking at drop off time, but ask that parents be extra careful to supervise their children while walking in the lot at all times. A-Cat-emy Awards Many thanks to our assembly committee: Jen Stabnick, Margaret Flitsch, Brian Hagar-McKee, and Ellen Mandel for planning this super-fun reading award event. This event took place on Friday and coincided with Dr. Seuss’ birthday and “Read Across America” day. Students had a blast celebrating books and dressing up. Some teachers really stole the “red carpet” show. Special thanks to author, Ruthie Knapp, who wrote “Who Stole Mona Lisa.” She shared information about being an author with our students and received the “Hats Off” to a local author award. We thank her for giving her time and sharing with us! Drama Club There will be another offering of the Drama Club for grades 3-5 on Thursdays beginning next week—March 12 and running for 6 weeks. The club will meet in the Music Room. Kara Sullivan, Middle School Drama Teacher will teach the club again. We are hoping to offer a Drama Club for younger students on Mondays. I will send a separate email with that information in the next day or two. For now, interested students in grades 3-5 can sign up for the Drama Club by emailing Ms. Snyder with the child’s name, teacher’s name, phone number, and parent name. There is a maximum of 20 students and enrollment will be on a first come, first served basis. Please only send enrollment requests for grades 3-5 at this time. MCAS Testing Due to the large number of snow days across the state, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offered an alternate set of dates to school districts for the 4th grade long composition writing test. The Wellesley Public Schools has chosen the alternate date of April 2. This will impact our schedule at Sprague. Although the testing window remains the same, we have moved some grade level days around. Here is the revised schedule: Updated ELA MCAS Schedule for Sprague School March 23, 24: Grade 4 ELA March 26, 27: Grade 5 ELA March 30, 31: Grade 3 ELA April 2: Grade 4 Long Composition Make up day for Grade 4 Long Composition: TBA For those who are less familiar with MCAS, it is the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System. We test students each year in grades 3-10. Students in grades 3-5 are tested in ELA (reading comprehension) and mathematics. Students in grade 4, 7, and 10 are also tested in writing. At Sprague, teachers believe that our curriculum prepares students for the rigors of testing. At this point in the year, they also try to prepare students and work on certain skills that benefit students in a testing situation. We feel our students are well prepared and do not want them to be stressed. We recommend a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast as always, on testing days. It is important to make every effort to have your child attend school on testing days, as it is preferable for them to take the test with their classmates. Instruction continues after testing, and students who are absent are required to make up the test when they return to school. This means they could miss new instruction on a make up day. Other Dates to remember: 3/6 Parent Open House 8-9:30a.m. (Please park in our lot or the Italian American Club lot on Oak St.) 3/20 Hero Art assembly 3/25 Walk to School Day (rescheduled) 3/25 Parent/Teacher Conferences 3/31 Parent/Teacher Conferences (please note, this is an early release TUESDAY) 4/1 Parent/Teacher Conferences 4/3 No School- Good Friday 4/8 Parent/Teacher Conferences 4/9 Grade 5 vs. Faculty Basketball Game 5/25 No School- Memorial Day 6/19 Last day of school (with NO MORE snow days) From the Nurse: March is National Nutrition Month Nutrition seems confusing because it’s an evolving science. The flood of ever-changing nutrition advice makes it a challenge to figure out how to eat a healthy diet. Should we avoid eggs? Red meat? Bran or whole grains? Increase or limit our intake of fish? Recommendations are frequently revised and often conflicting. National Nutrition Month is a good time to remind ourselves that eating well and being physically active are key to one’s well-being and that we must take an active role in helping our children develop healthy eating and physical activity habits. A balanced diet and being physically active help children:
- Build strong bones and muscles.
- Have energy.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid obesity-related diseases.
- Get plenty of nutrients.
- Feel good about themselves
How to help our children make healthy choices:
- Offer five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
- Choose healthy sources of protein, such as lean meat, nuts and eggs
- Serve whole-grain breads and cereals because they are high in fiber
- Limit fast food and junk food
- Give several snacks in addition to three daily meals. Serve snacks like fruit, low-fat yogurt, and air-popped popcorn.
- Offer a wide variety of foods
- Let the child decide whether and how much to eat. Keep serving new foods even if your children do not eat them at first. It can take up to 10 times for many children to try to eat something new!
- Cook with less fat—bake, roast, broil, grill or poach foods rather than frying.
- Limit the amount of added sugar in the diet. Choose cereals with low or no added sugar. (Or dilute the sugary one with another one that has less sugar.) Serve water or low-fat milk more often than sugar-sweetened sodas and fruit-flavored drinks.
- Keep the salt shaker off the table. Have fruits and vegetables on hand for snacks instead of salty snacks.
- Involve the children in planning and preparing meals; they may be more willing to eat the dishes they help fix.
- Eat meals together as a family whenever possible and serve everyone the same thing.
- Don’t be too strict. In small amounts, sweets or fast-food can still have a place in a healthy diet.
- Make sure your children eat breakfast. Breakfast provides the energy they need to listen and learn in school.
How to give our bodies the balanced nutrition we need
- Make careful choices from every food group. Choose nutritionally rich foods from each food group – those packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. Our bodies need energy from carbohydrates and fat, and protein for growth and cell repair.
- Aim to get the most nutrition out of your calories.
- No single food provides all nutrients. A balanced, healthy pattern of eating includes a variety of foods in moderate amounts each day.
Applying nutrition facts to your family’s everyday menus helps your children develop sensible eating habits that will last a lifetime. In addition, good nutrition has been directly linked to better academic performance, higher test scores and fewer behavioral problems. A good strategy for teaching children about balance and moderation with food is to explain that a healthy diet is like a puzzle; each piece is an important part of the whole picture. Just as there are puzzle pieces with different colors, shapes and sizes, there are foods with differing amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, sugar, fat, salt and calories. Making food choices that fit together as a healthy diet is an ongoing challenge and a life-long goal. The food and physical activity choices we make affect our health and how we feel today and in the future. I hope these suggestions are helpful as we all strive to provide healthy lifestyles for our families. Sharon
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