Dear Sprague Community, The Pennsylvania groundhog, Punxatawney Phil, did not see his shadow! That means an early Spring. However, Mrs. G, the official Massachusetts groundhog at Drumlin Farm DID see her shadow and predicted a longer winter. I just don’t know who to believe, although I know who I want to believe! Kindergarten Roundup Kindergarten Roundup will take place on Feb. 10 and March 5 in the Sprague library. The Feb. 10 session will run from 2:30-6 PM and the March 5 session will run from 9AM-12PM. Parents of children who are eligible should plan to attend or contact the district registrar at WPS by calling 781-446-6210. Multicultural Night Sprague will host a Multicultural Night on March 15th. Look in the Sprague Pulse to see how to sign up. Whether your family has current and direct ties to another country or culture or whether your family is a few generations removed from another country or culture, we encourage you to consider sharing your family heritage at Multicultural Night. Families who sign up will be given a large trifold board on which they can share information about the country/culture. Families can bring food, artifacts, or clothing to show. We will also have some live entertainment. It should be a fun and informative evening! MCAS Updates There are some changes to this year’s MCAS. The state Department of Education has voted to NOT adopt PARCC going forward, but rather to revamp MCAS and create what they call an “MCAS 2.0.” This year, they plan to “test drive” some items that may be included in the new MCAS 2.0 depending on validity. These items will not be included in your child’s reportable score, but parents will be informed of the score on both the MCAS and the new ‘test’ items. Only the regular MCAS score will be used for a proficiency rating. Please know that we feel that our students are and will be well prepared for both types of items. The last thing we want is for students or parents to worry about new items on MCAS. Teachers will let students know of some of the changes as the testing dates approach. The most substantive changes are that students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will all have a narrative writing task related to text passages. There will NOT be a grade 4 long composition this year. Because of the writing task, we need to adjust our testing schedule and add an additional test session for ELA. Please see the new schedule below. MCAS testing schedule Spring 2016 Updated 2-2-16 ELA Grade 3: March 28, 29, 30 Grade 4: April 7, 8, 11 Grade 5: March 31, April 1, 4 Make ups: April 5, 6, 12   Math and Science Grade 3 Math: May 12, 13 Grade 4 Math: May 19, 20 Grade 5 Math: May 9, 10 Grade 5 Science: May 16, 17 Make ups: May 11, 18, 23 From the nurse: Seasonal flu Influenza, commonly known as “the flu,” is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. The flu is often confused with the common cold, but flu symptoms tend to develop quickly and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and congestion of a cold. The main symptoms of the flu are a cough, fever, sore throat and runny nose.          Last week in Massachusetts the rate of influenza and flu-like illness was 1.23%, slightly lower than the previous several years. Influenza is unpredictable, however, and may likely increase in rate and intensity during the next several months. We need to be watchful for signs of this illness. My child is experiencing symptoms, when do I call my doctor? If your child is experiencing influenza symptoms, it’s not always necessary to see or call the doctor. Below are some guidelines to help with deciding when to call your physician. Call your child’s doctor now (night or day) if:       Your child looks or acts very sick       Breathing becomes difficult or fast       Dehydration occurs (no urine in 12 hours, dry mouth, no tears)       Your child has bluish skin color       Your child is not waking up or not interacting       Your child is so irritable that he/she does not want to be held       Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough       Fever with a rash occurs Call your child’s doctor during the day if:       Your think your child needs to be seen       Your child is considered high risk and has flu symptoms       Earache or sinus pain occurs       Fever lasts more than 3 days       Cough lasts more than 3 weeks       Your child becomes worse   Avoid the spread of the flu

Onset of illness   Sudden   Gradual Immediately after exposure, or may be chronic
Contagious Yes Yes   No  
Fever High Rare No
Fatigue Severe Mild Sometimes
Cough Severe, Dry Common, Mucus-producing Sometimes  
Sore throat     Yes   Sometimes   Sometimes – not immediate, due to post-nasal drip
Swollen glands Yes Yes   Rare  
Headache Yes Sometimes Sometimes
Sneezing Sometimes Yes   Yes – several in a row
Stuffy Nose – nasal discharge Sometimes Common – white, yellow, or green Common – clear, watery
Appetite Decreased May be decreased May be decreased
Muscles Ache Fine, slight aches No
Chills Yes No No
Chest Discomfort Often severe Mild Mild
Family History No No Yes

Influenza spreads easily. If you suspect your child has the flu, keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after the fever has ceased without the use of fever-reducing medications. A fever is defined as 100ºF.  It is important to teach children how to reduce their risk of getting influenza and protect others from infections by teaching them to frequently wash their hands and to cover their coughs and sneezes. Please be assured that we encourage these practices here at Sprague.     Much of this information is from The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado and may be accessed at Sharon Dates to remember: February 8: School Council at 3:15 PM February 9: Walk to School Day February 9 and 11: Crazy Chemistry—registration required for grades 1 and 2—See the Sprague Pulse for more information February 10: Kindergarten Roundup in Sprague library from 2:30-6 February 15-19: Winter Vacation—no school March 15: Multicultural Night from 6-7:30 PM April 7: Grade 5 Basketball Game at WMS    


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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–February 2, 2016
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