Dear Sprague Community,

I am hoping that yesterday’s snow day is our last of the season, but it sure is cold out. As a reminder, we do go out for recess daily when the weather permits (20 degrees or warmer OR wind chill of at least 20 degrees).

Baby News

Our math coach, Heather Heon, had her baby last weekend. Both mom and baby boy Wesley are doing great! In other baby news, I am pleased to announce that Amanda Hockensmith, will take over as the Friday Art teacher when Sarah Kess has her baby. Amanda has been filling for another maternity leave in the art department this year. Ms. Kess’ baby is due in April. Her last day at Sprague will be April 7th.

Open House

Our annual Open House will take place this Friday, March 17th between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. Parents may visit their child’s classroom at any time during this time window. Since children will lead the way for their parents, it won’t matter what time you come or if you visit one classroom before another. We look forward to having your child show you his/her work and class environment. Students are expected to be in their own classrooms unless they are with an adult who is supervising them. If you would like for your child to visit a sibling’s class, he or she should stay with you. Unsupervised students in hallways will be directed to their classrooms. In keeping with tradition, we will show a brief teacher video in the gym at 9:15. We hope to see you on Friday!


This year, MCAS testing will take place for students in grades 3, 4, and 5 between April 7 and May 26, 2017. Students in grades 3 and 4 will take the English Language Arts and Math tests, while students in grade 5 take ELA, Math, and Science MCAS tests. The schedule has been shared and can also be found at the end of this note again. It is important that students arrive well rested and on time on testing days. If a student is sick, we will schedule a make up. 4th graders will take the MCAS test online for the first time this year. The computer based test is required for all 4th graders in the state. Make ups for computer based testing may be a bit more complicated so we are hoping for really good attendance on those days. Beginning next year, all 4th and 5th graders will take the test in online format. The state is phasing out paper-based testing by 2019. This new version of MCAS will be somewhat different and require written responses to text at all grades. Previously, essay responses were only required in grade 4. We feel our curriculum provides a strong foundation for the skills tested on MCAS, so students should feel comfortable that they are prepared. With any new test, there may be items or formats that seem less familiar, but our teachers will do their best to provide high quality instruction and tips about the test format.

Multi-cultural Night at Sprague

Please consider joining us for the second annual Multi-cultural Night at Sprague on Thursday, March 30 from 6:00-7:30 PM. Families who would like to share information about their cultural heritage and/or country of origin are invited to sign up and make a display. The PTO has purchased display boards. They are available in the office. We will have entertainment provided by the Brazilian drum group, “Grooversity,” a short sing-along with Spanish teacher Vixen Peare, a “Language Learning Share,” and time to visit the exhibits created by Sprague families. If you are planning to make a display board, we also ask that you consider having your child share two or three words or phrases in your heritage language during the “Language Learning Share” time. It will be a simple, yet fun addition to the program. Even if you aren’t planning to share your heritage with a display board, please feel free to attend the event to learn about the diverse cultures and backgrounds of our school community. At Sprague, we have many cultures, but are ONE school! Let’s celebrate our diversity and cultural heritage at Multi-cultural Night! We hope to see you there. Please contact event chair Elaine Marten to sign up or to answer any questions.

Artist in Residence—Contributions needed

Laura Petrovich-Cheney

Artist in Residence Sprague School

April 3rd – 7th

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast coastline of New Jersey and the surrounding area, Laura began collecting the remains left behind in its wake—floorboards, window frames, cabinets, furniture, exterior siding—anything that she could find that evoked life before the storm. Her art continues to be inspired

by traditional American patchwork quilt designs—designs that are familiar and comforting. She creates new relationships between color, proportion, texture, and surfaces and never interfere with the original colors. The faded colors and tattered surfaces of the wood are a nostalgic glimpse into the past. The visual history of the salvaged wood – the chipped layers of paint, the nail holes, the grain- tells a story. Using a grid system, mathematical proportions, and symmetry, she transforms this salvaged wood into something new, fresh, and familiar. The work is rooted in repetition and pattern to mimic life, growth, regeneration, and tells a new story: What

once was, is born anew. A collection of her quilts are currently on display through November 12, 2018 at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Ma.

We are delighted to welcome Laura Petrovich Cheney to Sprague School in early April. Jennifer Stabnick and Laura Petrovich Cheney are long time friends and have been busy collaborating to design a wonderful experience for our young artists. Laura Petrovich Cheney will be working with our students all week long in their scheduled art classes to create our very own wood quilt. In order to create a meaningful work of art that connects with our community and the work of Cheney, we will be utilizing the pencils that seem to wash up on the shores of our halls. We will be collecting pencils from home and school through the end of March. The final piece will find a home in the halls of Sprague School.

Here is how you can help!

We are looking for wood pencils of all reasonable shapes and sizes. We expect a great deal of pencils that have been sharpened down to their last few inches. We also encourage you to look through your drawers and bags at home. A great deal of personality and charm will come from the pencils you may have picked up at a mini golf, bowling alley or any place of business….. Maybe you have a few “this pencil belongs to ______” pencils lying around or perhaps you have a few novelty pencils with flowers or soccer balls…. This will all add to the color and interest of the final piece. Please place your donations in the pencil boxes located in either the art room or office.

We are also looking for parent volunteers who may be handy with a saw and have the time to help saw the tips off our pencils. If you are able to lend a hand during the last week of March please contact Jennifer Stabnick through email: stabnickj

Many thanks in advance!

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair Workshop

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood & Family Relationships in the Digital Age

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 7:00p ~ WHS Auditorium

Please join us for an engaging evening with Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair! Through presentation and skits, Dr. Steiner-Adair will help parents understand the ways in which technology and media are putting children at risk at each stage of development, from infancy through young adulthood, and challenging what it means to be a family.

Drawing on real life stories from her clinical work with children and families and her consulting work with educators and experts across the country, Dr. Steiner-Adair offers insights and advice that can help parents achieve greater understanding, authority and confidence as they come up against the tech revolution that is unfolding in their living room.

The evening will also feature WHS students performing role-play scenarios all too familiar with parents:

Snapchat Meltdown

The Disconnected Parent

But I need my phone and iPad because… “I’m doing my homework!”

Attendees will learn skills to distinguish between educational, healthy and unhealthy use, and practical strategies for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy and meaningful relationships. There will be a book signing of “The Big Disconnect” by Dr. Steiner-Adair after the event.


for more details and to register for the event.

Dates to remember:

March 17: Open House 8:00-9:30

March 20: School Council Meeting at 3:15

March 21: Parent Talk on Technology and Kids at 7 PM at WHS

March 30: Sprague School Multi-cultural Night 6:00-7:30 PM

April 6: Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information Night 6:30 PM

April 12: Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

May 5: Kindergarten screening during school hours

Please see updated MCAS schedule:


Grade 3 ELA: April 27, May 1, 2,

Grade 4 ELA: April 24, 25, 28

Grade 5 ELA: April 7, 10, 13

Make up for Gr. 4 CBT and Gr. 3, 5: TBD

Grade 3 Math: May 11, 12

Grade 4 Math: May 22, 23

Grade 5 Math: May 8, 9

Grade 5 Science: May 15, 16

Make ups for Math/Science: May 18, 19

Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–March 15, 2017
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