Dear Sprague Community,

Our older students (grades 3-5) are taking MCAS tests for reading and writing during the next two weeks. We always recommend that students get a good night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast, and bring a positive attitude. While we get results and reports from MCAS testing, we don’t place too much emphasis on the tests because we are confident that our students are receiving high quality instruction each day that prepares them not only for the test, but arms them with the skills they will need to be successful in each subsequent grade academically AND socially. If your child expresses any stress related to MCAS testing, please assure him or her that we just want students to do their best and not worry. The results help us plan for instruction. Although only students in grades 3, 4, and 5 take the MCAS tests, our schedules in other grades can be impacted as we move art, music, PE, and library times to the afternoon for grades that are testing each day.

After School Enrichment Clubs

Please see the list of offerings at the end of this note. Registration will be open at the Recreation Dept. site beginning on Monday, April 4th. Please register directly on this site or call Matt Chin at the Recreation Dept.

Jessica Minahan Author Talk

Jessica Minahan gave a talk for parents at Sprague last week, which included information that many parents found helpful. See the link below for those who may be interested, but were unable to attend. Thanks to Jill Fischmann for organizing the event.

Jessica presented easy to implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring will be discussed. To learn more go to:

Peer Mentoring

The Peer Mentoring program pairs selected Wellesley High School students with interested Sprague students in grades 3-5. Once a week, high school mentors come to Sprague to help students with homework. This is a great opportunity for your child to receive additional help with homework after school on a regular basis!

For Whom: Sprague students in grades 3-5

Where and When: At Sprague every Monday from 3:05pm to 4:00pm. This program will run from April 25 – May 23. These are the scheduled dates for the program: April 25;May 2, 9, 16, 23.

Note: The program will take place in Ms. Blumenthal’s room (Room 113). She will be supervising the students each Monday.Your child may bring a snack if they would like.

If you are interested in having your child participate, please email Ms. Blumenthal (blumenthall). Once she knows the exact number of high school students that will be volunteering, she will begin accepting Sprague students. It will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Pick up will occur at 4:00 p.m. sharp in car line.

Multicultural Night—April 13

It’s not too late to sign up to share a little about your family’s heritage. (Check the notice in the Sprague Pulse.) You can be a few generations removed from your heritage country or recently relocated from it. It doesn’t matter. We want to learn about each other’s heritage and culture. You can attend the event as a family who is sharing with a trifold board or you can attend as a family to learn about other countries and enjoy the drumming presentation from Grooversity. In either case, we hope to see many families that night any time between 6:00 and 7:30.

From the Nurse:

March is National Nutrition Month: Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy Food

Faced with a picky eater? Try these tactics for introducing new foods:

  • Get your children involved in planning and preparing meals.
  • Go to the source by visiting a farmers’ market and dairy farm.
  • Make healthy snacks easily available at home or on the go.
  • Give kids freedom of choice with a base meal and optional toppings.
  • Offer them nutritious smoothies to ensure proper consumption of vitamins and minerals.
  • Be a role model – let your kids see you enjoying fresh, healthy foods on a regular basis.
  • Don’t give up! It can take 8 to 10 exposures before a child is willing to try a new taste.
  • Start at a young age using snacks and mealtimes as opportunities to teach healthy eating.

We’re all confused about what’s healthy and what’s not because there’s so much conflicting information out there. Although dietary fads come and go, here’re some basic principles of good nutrition and healthy growth.

Essential Vitamins: Learn Your ABCDs

Plan family meals to make sure you all get enough of the ABCDs:

  • Vitamin A, essential for growth, development, vision and a healthy immune system, found from animal products (eggs, milk, fish) and in colorful fruits and veggies.
  • B vitamins, needed for energy, brain function and stress management, are found in whole grain enriched fortified products, milk, meat, poultry, fish, potatoes, tomatoes, fruit.
  • Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant for a healthy inflammation response and is needed for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of our bodies, and for immune and brain function. Fruits and vegetables are the best dietary sources of Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D, essential for healthy bones, cell growth, and neuromuscular and immune function, is found in few natural foods (fatty fish, eggs, cheese), but is added to fortified milk, cereals, margarine, yogurt, and some orange juice. Sun exposure also causes our bodies to make Vitamin D.

Discover Omega-3s Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3s, are crucial for development and health of the brain, heart, nervous system, tissues, skin and immune system. The omega-3 DHA is especially important for school-age children. Cold-water fish (salmon, tuna), dark leafy greens and walnuts are good dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Eat a Rainbow A bright colorful plate of the natural hues of fruits and vegetables (such as mangos, carrots, apricots, citrus fruits, plums, blueberries, eggplant, grapes, watermelon, raspberries, beets, salad greens, green beans, winter squash, pumpkin and dark leafy greens) will nourish young bodies with the positive effects of phytonutrients such as flavonoids, carotenoids and chlorophyll. These substances protect our cells and promote healthy cell growth.
Toss Out the Trans Fats Avoid snacks and desserts with hydrogenated fats, which are added to many processed foods. The hydrogenation process transforms vegetable oils from their natural liquid state into solid fats. The result is a fat that is rich in trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while at the same time decreasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which has been shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Make a Sweet Deal A high intake of refined sugar has been implicated in many health problems, from obesity to diabetes to dental decay. Eating lots of nutrient-poor, sugar-rich foods can take away one’s appetite for more nutritious foods. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the fun stuff; trade refined sweets for delicious, more wholesome options that are high in nutrients but lower in sugar. Opt for plenty of fresh, seasonal fruits or dried fruits. Use unsweetened applesauce, apple butter and granola as toppings. For a fruity soft drink alternative, mix 100% fruit juices with carbonated mineral water. Try alternative sweeteners such as maple syrup, molasses, honey and agave nectar for baking.

Go Low with the Glycemic Index The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate is digested, enters the bloodstream and raises blood sugar levels. High glycemic index foods, such as refined flours and high-sugar beverages, are quickly digested, causing a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. Such effects have been linked to diabetes, overeating and obesity. Low glycemic index foods, on the other hand, contribute to a steadier blood sugar level and have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of diabetes. Replacing high glycemic index foods with low glycemic index foods is an important step for balanced blood sugar levels and healthy eating habits. In general, foods high in fiber and protein have a lower glycemic index and help you feel full longer. Dairy products, fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains are foods low on the glycemic index.

Preschool to Preteen: Model Positive Habits; for this age group, maintaining positive habits at home is especially important.

  • Make every bite your child eats as nutrient dense as possible.
  • Choose whole grains and whole grain products (breads, pastas, brown rice, bulgur, oatmeal) instead of refined grain products.
  • Limit access to “junk” foods, but provide some alternative sweet options. Making all sweets forbidden only intensifies a child’s attraction to them.
  • Model good nutrition choices. Show your children how to eat a healthy diet.
  • Fill nutrition gaps with a range of healthy snacks. What your child eats between meals is just as important as what is eaten during meals.
  • Discourage the habit of watching television and eating (mindlessly) simultaneously. Consider limiting television, which has been linked with childhood and adolescent obesity.
  • For older children and adolescents concerned about their weight, teach that physical activity and making healthy food choices, rather than dieting, is the best route for weight loss.

Happy and healthy eating!


For 5th Grade Parents:

Save The Date: April 14, 2016, 6:30-8:00

1:1 Parent Information Meeting – WMS Cafeteria

Dear Grade 5 parents-

Please save the date for the incoming Grade 6 1:1 Information Night on April 14 from 6:30-8:00 at the Wellesley Middle School Cafeteria. During this event you will receive detailed information on the program including participation options, pricing and registration instructions. Registration for the program will open on April 14.


Kathleen Dooley

Technology Director

Wellesley Public Schools

Dates to remember:

March 30: Parent Conferences

March 31, April 1, April 4: ELA MCAS Grade 5

April 5: Walk to School Day

April 5: Parent Conferences (12:00 dismissal-Tuesday)

April 6: Parent Conferences

April 7: Grade 5 Basketball Game

April 7, 8, and 11: ELA MCAS Grade 4

April 13: Multicultural Night from 6-7:30 PM

Sprague After School Programs Spring 2016
Program Grade Day(s) Times Dates Skip days Instructor Description Student Cost $ Max # students Room #
Lego Robotics
Activity # 222500-02
K M,W, TH, F 3:05 – 4 pm 4/25, 4/27, 4/28, 4/29 There is no session on Tuesday 4/26 and students will need to return to Sprague at 3:00 on Wednesdays. Sara Bartelloni In the Kindergarten LEGO session, students will begin to learn what it means to be an engineer. We will work on identifying problems and solving these problems with the structures that we build. We will use teamwork and compromising to achieve a common goal. We will learn how to create a design, test the design, and make necessary improvements. 0 14 KSB
Activity # 222500-04
Grades 1 – 5 Tuesday 3:05 – 4 pm April 26 – May 31 Julie Pernokas Kids yoga is a great way to learn how to build a strong sense of self and body. Students will gain strength and flexibility in a nurturing class and in a mindful way by learning some basic anatomy, breathing techniques, and yoga poses. An age appropriate meditation technique will be taught to help students relax and quiet the mind on and off the mat. Please bring your own yoga mat. $75 Min: 10 /Max:20 Music Room
Activity # 222500-05
Grades 1 – 5 Friday 3:05 – 4 pm April 29 – June 3 Jim Della Selva Chess is a mindful game that is both fun and challenging. This class will give participants the opportunity to both play and learn strategy.Instruction will be given so that the advanced player as well as the beginner will benefit. Don’t miss this exhilarating class. $75/pp 14 4TD
Drama : Let’s Put on A Show!
Activity # 222500-06
Grade 3- 5 Monday 3:05 – 4:05 pm April 25 – June 6 30-May Cindy Wright Children will be given equitable roles in a
short play that will be performed on the
last day of the session. They will be introduced to some basics of theater and acting and will have costumes and props to help bring their characters and story to life.
$50 min12
max 15
Lego Master Builders
Activity # 222500-07
K-2 Tuesday 3:05 – 4:05 pm April 26 – May 31 This weekly program will be centered around everything LEGO!! Build anything you create/imagine in your mind and make it happen with the LEGOs provided to you!! Each week there will be a theme with different LEGOs to work with! Themes include: Star Wars, Super Heroes, LEGO City, Harry Potter and MORE!!…the possibilities are endless!!! The LEGOs stay with us, but the experience is yours forever! 15 213
Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–March 29, 2016
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