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Ms. Holloran's Writer's Corner

March 13, 2020

posted Mar 16, 2020, 2:21 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Do you like to cook or is it just another chore you feel you need to do each day? Personally, I find it difficult to cook for one. I am also a very picky eater. I enjoy cooking on the grill and baking. But don’t really care to make meals.

A parent shared with me an article from the December 16, 2019 Time Magazine. The short article is called, “Why You Should Teach Your Kids to Cook.” Author Molly Birnbaum writes, “Beyond the practical skills, cooking builds character. It encourages kids to work with others to produce the final result and boosts their confidence as they take the lead in packing their own lunches, baking holiday treats or helping to get dinner on the table. It also encourages them to be open to foods they otherwise might not have tired.”

Cooking builds academic and soft skills. Kids need to read the recipe, measure ingredients, using gross and fine motor skills, organize their materials, and clean up. If they are cooking with someone else, there will be a lot of communication skills too. Cooking can bring families together. It can make lasting life-time memories.

My Nana Langan taught me how to make fish chowder and apple pie. I have great memories of sitting at my parent’s kitchen table helping them make our ginger crisp holiday cookies. I would make the dough into balls, my dad would roll the balls in sugar, and my mom would bake them. My godson, Michael started to help his mom cook when he was only 6. Missy would even let Michael cut up onions, celery, and other vegetables with a very sharp knife. For the first year, she taught and then directly supervised his work. But by the age of 7, he confidently and safely chopped up many of the vegetables they ate throughout the year. I love how one of the weekly sessions in our After-School Program is cooking.

There are many simple recipes, and now you can even find videos on cooking. Maybe this weekend, have a little fun in the kitchen with your child. If you do, please let me know how it turned out.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Just a follow-up from last week’s newsletter—I guess Mary and I did alright in our presentation at Keene State College, because they have invited us back next year to be their keynote speakers! Yikes :)

March 6, 2020

posted Mar 9, 2020, 9:44 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope that everyone had a great vacation. I love the time between March and April break. It is a great opportunity to really dive back into learning and growing. As you know, we have kicked off our annual One Book-One School. I hope you are enjoying the start of the book.

I have noticed that some of our students are wearing more advanced watches. Besides the fact that these are often a major distraction for the child; it also goes against our school policy around cell phones/technology. Please reference page 27 of the Student-Parent Handbook. It states, “Objects not appropriate at school: Students cannot use radios, CD players, iPods, cell phones, or video games during the school day. These items must be stored away during the school day and headphones are not to be worn on the head or around the neck. The school is not responsible for the loss/damage of personal items.” If you want to see the exact school board policy, please reference JICJ. If you have any questions, please give me a call.

This journey of grief is so challenging. This weekend, my sister and I are presenting at the ICE Conference over at Keene State. I am missing being able to talk to my dad about what my presentation will be about. I miss reminiscing about our stories of the both of us going to Keene State, even though we have shared those stories several times over the years. In my faith, I believe that my dad will be watching our presentation from heaven and will be proud. But my heart is breaking because I will not be able to hug him and tell him how it all went. Today the tears are flowing easily. So, I am just going to take a deep breath and keep busy. After finishing this article, I am going to spend the rest of my day teaching school goal lessons, hanging in the lunch room, and attending some meetings this afternoon.

Have a great weekend. Remember to turn the clocks ahead Saturday night!
-Ann

February 21, 2020

posted Feb 23, 2020, 1:53 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

We made it—February vacation is here! I thought I would share with you different ideas that your family could do during vacation time. I did a little research on a few websites and thought I would share what I found. This is not a full list of places that provide these opportunities, but it is a start. Feel free to check out VisitNH.gov or WMUR-Escape Outside for more details and ideas. 

For the adventurous type: 
  • Zip lining—Attitash Mountain, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Bretton Woods, Cranmore 
  • Snow tubing—Bretton Woods, Cranmore, Gunstock, King Pine, Pats Peak 
  • Snowshoeing—Franconia Notch State Park, The Flume Gorge, Greenfield State Park 

Low Cost Winter Activities for Families: 
Before heading out to these places, check in with the Gordon-Nash Library as they might have family passes or discounted tickets. 
  • New England Ski Museum
  • Franconia Notch SEE Science Center
  • Manchester Sledding on Wagon Hill
  • Durham Hood Museum of Art
  • Hanover New Hampshire Children’s Museum
  • Dover Cheshire Children’s Museum Keene 
Free: 
  • Visiting our Gordon-Nash Library
  • NH State House—take a tour 
  • Build forts inside with blankets and pillows 
Whatever you decide to do over this next week, I hope it is filled with laughter, joy and amazement! Safe journey to all traveling out of town. I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s stories of what they did over February vacation.
-Ann

February 14, 2020

posted Feb 16, 2020, 12:58 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day. I thought I would take some time to recognize three special people at NHCS: Ms. Pam Pringle, Ms. Mary Cote and Mr. Auggie Lukacovic. They are caring individuals, and their work impacts our school community every day! 

Ms. Pringle is our “chef” and handles all aspects of our food service. Ms. Pringle arrives early in the morning so that both current and past students may receive a healthy and hearty breakfast. It is fun to listen and watch as Ms. Pringle welcomes sleepy, slow-moving children into the MPR for breakfast. Ms. Pringle works hard and is dedicated to our school. She cares about providing good food choices so that our students enjoy the meals at our school. She enjoys working at our school so much that she also works in our after school program as well. It is during this time we see her passion for art and cooking. 

Ms. Cote and Mr. Lukacovic work as our custodial team at NHCS. Ms. Cote works the morning shift while Mr. Lukacovic covers the afternoon/evening time. These individuals keep our school and grounds clean and safe. Ms. Cote is the first to arrive in the morning and Mr. Lukacovic is the last to leave at night. Both take pride in their work. Many weekends one or the other will drive by just to check on our facility. 

All of our staff at NHCS are incredible, but I wanted to celebrate these special people who seldom receive recognition. 

Over the weekend, I hope you find time to celebrate the special people in your life. Remember that it is important to show how much we love them through both our actions and our words! 

Happy Valentine’s weekend!
-Ann


January 31, 2020

posted Feb 2, 2020, 11:11 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,
It has been a long day of wearing many different “hats.” This morning, coming into work, I needed a little boost of motivation and energy. Besides looking at pictures of the people I love, I have two sayings in my office that help me through these long hours of work and challenges. I thought I
would share them with you.

The first saying helps me with the stress and internal feelings. It says, “Believe and Succeed: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” (Mary Anne Radmucher) 

The second saying is on a coffee mug in my office. Many of you have read or seen this statement around while shopping. It goes, “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

When you are having a long day or a challenging week, do you have a quote or something else that helps you through your day? For me the best things to do are to take a few minutes to walk around the classrooms or to go sit and talk with students during lunch in the cafeteria. But when the noise is gone for the day and I am in my office working, I will pause for a moment and look at those two sayings in my office and remember to breathe.

Have a great Super Bowl weekend. I hope to see a lot of you at the Deliberative Session tomorrow morning starting at 10:00 a.m. at the high school. Remember childcare will be provided.

Have a great weekend!
-Ann

January 24, 2020

posted Jan 26, 2020, 1:27 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is crazy to think that we are already at the end of January. This article is going to be a little of this and a little of that…. First of all, I wanted to let you know that due to personal reasons, Mrs. Schultz has resigned from her position as guidance counselor at NHCS effective immediately. We are working on finding a replacement for her.

Second, I came across this while reading Instagram this week. I know that some of our students struggle with multi-step directions, routines, and follow-through. I thought this was a great idea.


Finally, as I have mentioned in a past newsletter article, I have been going into classes to co-teach with classroom teachers lessons on social-emotional skills. We have introduced our students to this song, Force Field for Good https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyY02N5Lz1g. We have had great classroom discussions on how we can develop a force field in our classrooms and school. I saw this and will be incorporating this into some of our upcoming lessons.


Feel free to use any items for discussion or use within your homes.
Have a great weekend!

-Ann

January 10, 2020

posted Jan 11, 2020, 11:08 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I read something from Brene` Brown that I thought I would share...

When you go home to your spouse/kids/dog etc...

Before you open the door

Put a smile on your face!

It doesn’t matter how your day went. Or what you’re doing next. Or if you’re starving.

For 30 seconds, at least pretend that you’re elated to see them.

Make them feel like you were looking forward to getting back home.

After all, they’re your favorite people in the whole world. I hope.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: That seems like a cheesy, tiny thing, man. Hardly an earth-shattering revelation.”

But your attitude sets the tone for the rest of the evening within 15 seconds of walking in the door.

So, really, it’s not tiny at all. It’s a huge deal.

Because you come home every day. And the things you do every day grind on you.

Jordan Peterson says if you can fix 25 little things like, “coming home,” you will have an extraordinary life.

Taking your family to Disneyland is insignificant.

Your kid’s expensive birthday party will be forgotten within week.

Coming home?

That’s your whole life. Fix it.

Start today.

What do you think?

Have a wonderful weekend!
-Ann

January 3, 2020

posted Jan 6, 2020, 5:44 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy New Year! I hope you had a fun and restful holiday break. I think today, everyone is feeling the “Friday.” I believe some of this tiredness is from all the great fun our students had yesterday during our first winter activity day. These Thursday afternoons are one of the highlights of the year for me. I love that we are able to provide our students in grades 1-5 different opportunities such as ice skating, skiing/snowboarding, yoga, book study, building musical instruments, and technology fun.

Living in New Hampshire provides us with many opportunities to be active outside. Plus skating and skiing are life-long activities that take some risk and perseverance. I enjoy watching the students take their first ride on the ski chairlift or master skating around the rink without falling. 

I want to thank all of our parent volunteers that spend time with us at the rink, on the mountain or in the lodge. These programs would not happen without you! We are so fortunate to have the New Hampton School and Ragged Mountain partnering with us. Finally, we need a big shout out to our PTO and Ski & Skate Coordinator, Megan Magrauth! There are many hours of “behind-the-scenes” work that gets
done to make sure our program runs smoothly.

One of my presents was a journal from a friend. I have decided to write two or three things I am grateful for each day. Last night one of my entries included that I am grateful for all that it takes to provide our students these different learning opportunities.

I am already looking forward to next Thursday! Have a great winter weekend!
-Ann

December 20, 2019

posted Jan 1, 2020, 3:34 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to our holiday break! I can’t believe we are already at this point in the school year. We are also finishing up one decade and moving into 2020 when we return to school. Saying 2020 is easy, but it sure feels strange to think we are twenty years into this century. Over the weekend, my college roommate and volleyball teammate found one of our roommates from our senior year of college. Clare was an exchange student from England. We had a blast that year learning from her. During her first week with us, Clare helped by washing the dishes. The next morning, Sue and I got up early for our morning classes and grabbed coffee mugs. We each poured our coffee and started to drink it. All we could taste was dish soap. We didn’t have time, so we dumped our coffees and went to class. Later that night, we were having a beverage out of our glasses. Again, there was this taste of dish soap. Finally, we asked Clare how she was washing the dishes. She explained that she would put some soap on the sponge, clean the plate, dry it and then put it away. We asked her if she rinsed the plate with water after cleaning the plate. She replied, “No.” So we had to teach her that new step here in the United States. During our time together, we also learned the English language terms for things such as trainers for sneakers, loo for bathroom, holidays for vacations, chips for french fries, and flat for apartment. Clare was a great addition to senior year and now I look forward to connecting again with her after 30 years.

I want to thank everyone who brought in items for our annual Holiday Sing-Along. It was a great way to end our week before break! I loved seeing the New Hampton Dining Hall packed with family, students, faculty, and staff. The food line went much quicker this year and I can’t wait to see all the pictures from this year’s photo booth. This year, the time went by quickly and I didn’t get to socialize as much as in years past, but I appreciate everyone for taking the time to attend. I loved seeing parents and grandparents singing with their loved one. I definitely have to get so out of my comfort zone to sing using a microphone, but the smiles on our students’ faces makes it a little easier.
The holidays can be a time of joy for many but I know that for some it is also a time of sadness. This is so true for the Holloran/McNeil family. We will gather as a whole family on December 28th at my parent’s house. I know there will be a lot of laughter but there will also be some tears. I hope that as we share stories of my Dad/Pup-Pup, Nana and Pop McNeil, and Grammy Stone that the feeling of love, family, and togetherness help us through. We are so blessed and fortunate to have so many happy memories and we can continue to make more with my Mom.

Happy Holidays and may the New Year bring you all—happiness, laugher, love and joy! See you on January 2nd.

Be well—
Ann

December 9, 2019

posted Dec 9, 2019, 5:28 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Progress Report Cards are coming home in a white envelope in your child’s backpack tonight. Please take them out and review them. This is a new format this year! If you have attended our Open House and/or Parent-Teacher conference, you have received some information about the manner in which we are reporting out your child’s progress. We also emailed out a district created memo the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. Since I reviewed each child’s progress report this week, I thought I would also share a few things.
     This format can be overwhelming! It also includes a lot of “education” terms and jargon.
     We had some formatting issues—sorry that they couldn’t be done front and back to save paper. That will be something that we will try to fix for next term. We wanted our                 teachers to focus on teaching and learning.
     Remember all of these competencies/skills are END OF THE YEAR expectations!
     It is fine if your child has a lot of 1’s and 2’s on this report
        o This report only captures 57 days of learning. We still have 123 days of school and learning to take place!
        o In order to score a 3 your child needs to consistently and independently demonstrate the ability to apply and transfer essential content, knowledge, and skills.
     At this time of the year, most students still need practice and support.
     Reading texts become harder and more challenging as the year progresses, so that is why in our English/Language Arts the vast majority of our students will have scores of 1’s         and 2’s.
        o Some of the skills have two or three components and if a student hasn’t been taught or demonstrating the application of essential content and knowledge of all of those skills             in an assessment—they will have a score of 1.
     In the Habits of Learning section—each heading has at least 2 or more skills. For example, if your child actively participates in class, but is still working on listening, he/she will         not be receiving a 3 in that section because not all are showing proficiency.
     The Habits of Learning is scored by the classroom teacher that sees your child in both structured and unstructured times of the school day.
     Each student now has competencies for Specialists. These scores are what the student is demonstrating and assessed on during these once a week lessons. Students have been         to these classes only 10-11 times this school year. What should you do if you have any questions or concerns?

#1—Call or email myself or your child’s classroom teacher. We are more than willing to call and/or sit down with you to review your child’s progress report.
#2—Keep having your child read each and every night! Visit our NHCS ICT website for different resources.
#3—Talk and review the progress report with your child. Celebrate their progress and look for one or two areas, including the Habits of Learning section, in which your child can                work on improving over the next month.


I hope this article provided some information and relieved some stress and worry. Remember that scores are only one aspect of a child’s schooling experience. We want our students to feel safe coming to school, enjoy getting to know peers and grow friendships, feel supported and loved by our faculty and staff. In addition, we want parents to know that we are on this journey together and to reach out at any time.

Have a great weekend!
-Ann

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