Dear Sprague Community,

Many of you are aware of ongoing planning in the Wellesley Public Schools to meet student needs and provide a world class education to our students. The district has a 5-year Strategic Plan that is currently in its 5th year. We have engaged in work to identify priorities that will be used to guide the development of the next Strategic Plan. All staff have worked with consultant Ken Kay to identify qualities we think are important in our graduates. This work is aptly named Profile of a Graduate (or POG) work. Sprague parent John Covey is representing our school on a district committee to crystalize this vision.  Please see the message below from John:

“I am a Sprague parent working on the Wellesley 21st century “Profile of a Graduate” task force that will suggest to the school board what skills our K-12 Wellesley children will need for the future.  If you’d like to have your voice heard by the task force, please visit this online survey before May 17th @ 3:00PM:  If nothing else, the survey will show you the direction the task force is moving in.  Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.  Thanks!”


Please note there are 2 upcoming concerts at Sprague. The Grade 5 Chorus will perform along with the Band and Orchestra on Thursday, May 24 at 9:00 AM. It is unusual for us to have a Thursday concert, so I wanted to point out the date.

Our second graders will sing in a concert on Friday, June 1 at 9:00 AM. Parents are welcome at both concerts.


Dates to remember:

May 16, 18: Grade 5 Science MCAS

May 24: Grade 5 Chorus/Band/Orchestra Concert at Sprague at 9 AM

May 28: No school—Memorial Day

May 30: Alumni Barbecue for Graduating WHS seniors

June 1: Grade 2 Concert at 9 AM

June 12: Field Day

June 19: Grade 5 Celebration at 9 AM

June 20: Last day of school—Grade 5 Clap Out at 11:50 AM


From the Nurse:                May is Better Sleep Month

The National Center on Sleep recommends that children ages 5 to 11 get 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night for their health, growth and safety and to perform their best in school and other activities. 

At the same time, at this age there is an increasing demand on kids’ time from homework, sports and other extracurricular and social activities. In addition, school-aged children become more interested in TV, computers, the media and Internet as well as caffeine products – all of which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and disruptions to their sleep. In particular, watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours.

In his book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Marc Weissbluth, MD, provides these insights on the functions of sleep:


“Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span and allows you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then you are at your personal best.”


Healthy Sleep Habits

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to make sure their children develop good sleep habits right from the start.  Sleep Tips for School-aged Children:

Make sufficient sleep a family priority. Teach school-aged children about healthy sleep habits. You are the best role model for your child; set a good example. Making sleep a priority for yourself shows your children that it’s part of living a healthy lifestyle—like eating right and exercising regularly.

Keep to a regular daily routine. The #1 tip for good sleeping habits in children is to follow a nightly routine. A bedtime ritual at approximately the same time each night reinforces the child’s internal biological clock, making it easier to relax, fall asleep quickly, sleep through the night and wake feeling rested and alert. A relaxing pre-bedtime routine (like a warm bath or reading a story) helps the child get a restful night’s sleep. Pre-sleep rituals signal the child that it’s time to wind down.  Conversely, too much activity or strenuous exercise close to bedtime stimulates children and keeps them awake. Make sure the sleep routines you use can be used anywhere, so you can help your child get to sleep wherever you may be. Make bedtime a positive and relaxing experience without TV or videos. Save your child’s favorite relaxing, non-stimulating activities until last and have them occur in the child’s bedroom.       

Be active during the day. Provide interesting and varied activities during the day for your kids, including physical activity and fresh air. 

Create a sleep-supportive and safe bedroom and home environment. Make your child’s bedroom conducive to sleep – dark, cool and quiet. (Use a small nightlight if necessary.) Dim the lights prior to bedtime and control the temperature in the home. Keep your child’s bed a place to sleep, rather than a place to play. 

Monitor screen time. The AAP recommends keeping all screens—TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, and phones out of children’s bedrooms, especially at night. According to one recent study, TV viewing prior to bed can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep. To prevent sleep disruption, turn off all screens at least 1 hour before bedtime.  

Avoid overscheduling. In addition to homework, many children today have scheduled evening activities (sports games, lessons, appointments, etc.) that pose challenges to getting a good night’s sleep. Try to take time to wind down and give your children the downtime that they need.           

Studies show that kids who do not regularly have an adequate amount of nighttime sleep are more likely to develop behavioral, emotional and/or social problems.  The over-tired child often displays irritability and increased motor activity, rather than adult-like sleepiness. Insufficient sleep also causes children to experience memory lapses and inability to concentrate, difficulty with creative thinking and complex tasks, slowed reaction time (leading to an increase in injuries), and changes in mood with difficulty with self-control of behavior and impulses, all impacting the ability to learn in school.

Sleep is a vital need, a key part of a healthy lifestyle, essential to a child’s health and growth. While we sleep, our brains are working, consolidating the day’s learning into memory and reenergizing our bodies. Sleeping well is essential to being one’s best during the day because sleep promotes alertness, memory and performance. Sleep is especially important for children, because it directly impacts mental and physical growth and development and a healthy immune system.

Children who get enough sleep are more likely to function better and are less prone to behavioral, emotional, or social problems. That is why it’s so important for parents to start early to help them develop good sleep habits and to continue to emphasize the need for regular and consistent sleep schedules. Furthermore, the establishment of good sleep habits in childhood promotes a healthful lifestyle into adulthood.

Happy sleeping!



Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–May 16, 2018
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