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Ms. Holloran's Writer's Corner

June 15, 2018

posted Jun 18, 2018, 6:53 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Teachers are starting to talk with our students about the importance of reading over the summer months. I too have a list of summer reading books. Some of these books are required reading while others are more for my own personal growth.

The first book I have started reading is Marching Off The Map-Inspire Students to Navigate A Brand New World by Tim Elmore. This is a required book for all district faculty over the summer. I am about 60 pages into this interesting and thought-provoking read. Here are my takeaways so far:
  • Researcher, Neil Postman explains another challenge we face. He argues that childhood, as we’ve known it historically, is disappearing. Kids today are exposed to media (television, movies, news, entertainment, music) without boundaries. Thanks to technology, information streams into their lives 24/7 and often has no filter on it, even for young children.
  • Too many of our young are over-exposed to information far earlier than they’re ready, yet they are under-exposed to real life experiences far later than they’re ready. This causes them to appear mature, as if they know a lot, but too often it is artificial, not authentic.
  • We must help kids grasp new skills for the future world they’ll be living in, but also hold fast to old skills that never go out of style, such as integrity, discipline, and empathy. They’ll need both trending hard skills and traditional soft skills to succeed in life.
Another book I am looking forward to reading is UnSelfie by Michele Borba, Ed. D. Then I have another required reading Robert Marzano’s The New Art & Science of Teaching.

Some other things:
Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, grandfathers, uncles, and anyone who covers the role of a dad for our students.

Monday is FIELD DAY! Students should come to school dressed for physical activity wearing sneakers and with sunscreen and bug spray already applied. It is also helpful for students to have water bottles. After field day we will have a picnic lunch.

Have a great weekend!
-Ann

June 8, 2018

posted Jun 11, 2018, 5:44 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Each year, I hold end-of-the-year meetings with each staff member. In our meeting we cover four things: 
 Take time to celebrate 
 Discuss the challenges 
 Share ideas moving forward 
 Allow the opportunity for them to share with me what I can do better as a principal 

Each meeting is different and unique. I enjoy having these meetings because I always learn something new and it provides me with more topics to reflect upon and allows me to start thinking about “next year”. 

In one of my meetings yesterday, we were talking about our Friday newsletter and website. Here were some of our questions: 
 Do parents read our Friday newsletter? 
 Is it too long? Should we shorten it by not having so many articles….one from me, a classroom teacher and a specialist?  Is it informative? 
 Is it helpful? 
 Should we even do a Friday newsletter? 
 Should we go back to a hard copy along with a digital email copy? 
 Do people go to our website? 
 What do you use our website for? 
 Should we continue to maintain a website now that we have a Facebook page and Twitter?

 I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please email me (aholloran@sau4.org) your answers to these questions or just your thoughts and opinions regarding our Friday newsletter and website. 

Have a great weekend and hope to see many of you tomorrow morning at the NHCS PTO’s Trail Challenge.
-Ann

June 1, 2018

posted Jun 4, 2018, 7:57 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

I was driving in my car one afternoon this week and heard on the radio this advertisement about 5-2-1-0. I got the basic understanding of the information in the 30-second ad and then went on-line to learn a little more. In my google search, I typed in 5-2-1-0 and was led to the website called “What Is Let’s Go.” 

Let’s Go! is a program of The Kids CO-OP at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, and is implemented in partnership with Maine Health. In addition, Let’s Go! and Maine CDC/DHHS have engaged in a partnership to improve the health of youth and families through the work of the Healthy Maine Partnerships. Let’s Go! began in 2006 as a program of the United Way of Greater Portland. The goal of Let’s Go! (5-2-1-0) is to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating for children from birth to 18. 

They are hoping that families focus on 5-2-1-0: 
  • 5 (or more) fruits and vegetables a day 2 hours (or less) of recreational screen time 
  • 1 hour (or more) of physical activity 0 sugary drinks (more low fat milk & water) 
  • Keep TV/computer out of bedrooms. 
  • No screen time for children under the age of 2 

As a former PE and Health teacher, I feel this message is important, especially since our country’s childhood obesity numbers continue to climb. I like how this organization kept it simple and stressed these four important steps. 

As we move into nicer weather and summertime, I hope that your family will incorporate these steps into your days. Turn off the TV, pack a picnic lunch and get outside. On those rainy days, bring out those board games (Candy Land, Sorry, Monopoly) or play some card games (Crazy 8’s, 31, Cribbage) with your children at your kitchen table. 

Proper Footwear, Bug Spray, Sunscreen Lotion, and Field Trips
It is that time of year to remind everyone about how to make the last few weeks of school less stressful. The black flies and mosquitos can be annoying—please put bug spray on your child in the morning prior to them coming to school. Students love to run and climb on the playground equipment at recess. Please, no flip-flops and have students wear proper school footwear. Many classes are going on field trips over the next few weeks. Please make sure your child has on the proper clothing for the specific day. Sunscreen should be applied at home before coming to school. Also, some of these trips are further away and pick-up time is after our normal dismissal time. Please make special notes of field trip details. 

Have a great June weekend!
-Ann

May 25, 2018

posted May 26, 2018, 2:41 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

It’s Memorial Day Weekend. We have made it this far into the school year. As you read this, I hope that I will have landed in Louisville, KY. I am flying to Kentucky to attend the wedding of my oldest niece, Amanda, who is getting is getting married on Saturday in Morehead, KY. 

I am both excited and a little sad about the wedding. I am excited to visit a state that I have not visited before. I will be spending some good quality time with my niece and her family and meeting my newest great-niece, Sophie, for the first time. The wedding is small and the pictures of the location look beautiful. There will be some good stories to tell! My first one is about my living accommodations for the weekend. I received an email earlier in the week informing me that bee and wasp season is in full bloom down in Morehead. They recommended that guests bring their epi-pens and wasp spray as the bees and wasps like to live in the cabins. Also that check-in is across the street at the local convenient store and deli. I have to check in by 9:00 p.m. as that is when they close and they don’t check their phones after that time until 9:00 the next morning. In addition, I have to pack my own towel. No matter my cabin experience, it will be fun to see Amanda all dressed up and to witness her marrying the man of her dreams! The sad part for me will be that due to my dad’s health, my parents will not be attending this event. I know in my heart it is the right choice, but I will miss my one dance around the dance floor with my dad doing the “Bob Holloran Shuffle.” 

Lastly, on this Memorial Day weekend, I would like to take a minute to pay my respects and honor the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military. Thank you for protecting and giving me the many freedoms I have today and every day.

-Ann

May 18, 2018

posted May 21, 2018, 5:35 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

I keep debating with myself about watching the evening news. Almost every night, there is a story about murder, dishonesty, or greed. I sometimes ponder what is our world going to be like in 10 years and I question, “Where did our morals go as a society?” 

When I go to those negative places, I try to bring myself back and look at the positive. What is it that makes me smile and warms my heart? To me, it is the smile of a newborn baby. It is the laughter of kids playing on the playground. It is watching a teenager take her grandmother grocery shopping. I enjoy receiving a random text from a friend. It is talking to my mom and hearing my dad had a “good day.” 

What is it that makes you smile? Could it be that your child does his homework without complaining? Or maybe it’s when, after a long day of work, your spouse looks at you lovingly over dinner. Is it that the work week is over? 

Each day I hope we try to find those unknown treasures. I love being a principal at the elementary level because each day I receive at least 3 unexpected hugs! I also see students holding the door for peers and adults. At morning bus duty, students greet me with a hello and some with a “how are you doing?” We can all be the giver of small tokens to warm people’s heart and make someone smile. Taking time to give a compliment, calling a friend just to say hi, stopping at the grocery store and picking up flowers, or turning off the electronics for the night and playing a board game with friends or family members can all make the difference in someone’s day. 

What would happen this weekend if we all decided to give a little something of ourselves to someone else? My wish is that each of us will give and receive a small token that will put a smile on our faces. Have a great weekend!

-Ann

May 11, 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 12:57 PM by Christine Roman

Have a Very Happy Mothers’ Day!
-Ann 

May 4, 2018

posted May 6, 2018, 12:41 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Yikes, this was my first time ever experiencing back pain, and it was excruciating. I did a few things over the weekend that might have tweaked the muscles in my back (moving my Jet Ski seat or cleaning my kitchen cabinets). On Monday and Tuesday, I could feel the tightening of my back muscles, but Wednesday morning I woke up in serious pain and couldn’t move, which was scary. I called my twin sister and she came over and took me to the doctors and was prescribed a muscle relaxant and pain medicine. Part of me is thinking that since I turned 50, it is downhill from here! I spent two days on the couch relaxing and figuring out how to best use the medication I was given. This morning, I came to work but I think by lunchtime I will be back on my couch resting. I hope that over the weekend things will start to be back to normal. 

A special thanks to the PTO for hosting our STEAM Challenge yesterday. Christine Hunewell sent me a few videos and pictures. I am so sorry to have missed it! The students had a blast with all of the different challenges. Three of our students’ bridges held 68 pounds and we didn’t have any more weights to safely place on them. We will continue that challenge next Friday. Students are already talking about how they are going to change their designs for next year’s event! 

Next week, we will celebrate Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week! Our PTO is busy at work organizing different opportunities and events to thank our incredible staff. If you want to get involved check out the NHCS PTO Facebook Page, contact your child’s room parent or email Megan Magrauth at blissfulworks@msn.com. Friday of next week will be having a “Walk the Red Carpet Dress-up Day.” We hope our students will participate.

Have a great spring weekend!
-Ann

April 20, 2018

posted Apr 21, 2018, 4:58 AM by Christine Roman

We celebrated our last day of school before vacation with a pie eating contest and pie throwing at our principal! Fun was had by all! Our Pie trivia winners for week seven were: Gabe Eckert, Cassidy Rand, Deagan Smith and Mia DiFlippe. Our grand prize winners were: 1st place: Ceili Irving, 2nd place, Skyler Lacasse, and 3rd place, Ceili Irving. The winners of our pie contest were: best crust, by Ben Gilbert, most creative, Ryan Hennessey, and best pie by Cassidy Rand.

April 13, 2018

posted Apr 15, 2018, 2:27 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Happy Friday! In your experience, do you ever feel that some days seem to go by slowly and others seem to just fly by? That is how I am feeling as I write this article. I had a long Wednesday and Thursday, and can’t believe it is already Friday! 

As a member of the Bristol Recreational Advisory Council (BRAC), we had our monthly meeting last night and our focus was on Strategic Planning. We had an outside facilitator run the meeting and guide our discussion. Although we meet monthly, this was our first attempt, in a long time, to talk about the TTCC and its strengths and ways in which we want to see improvement. The facilitator focused our discussion around 4 questions: 
 What is right about the TTCC? 
 What is wrong? 
 What is missing? 
 What is confusing? 

It was a great activity and allowed our group to visualize through different eyes. As we spoke, the facilitator was able to formulate our thoughts into different groupings. She provided guidance in ways in which we can “tell our story”, “improve our wins”, and “develop short and long term measurable goals.” This meeting had me thinking about NHCS. So I am going to ponder my thoughts for a while and seek opinions from colleagues. But don’t be surprised that in the future, I will be reaching out to the stakeholders at NHCS and ask you to answer those questions. Another thought I had last night was that if we want our children to have a growth mindset, we as a school community need to have one and continue to strive to “improve our wins”. 

Have a great weekend!
-Ann

April 6, 2018

posted Apr 7, 2018, 12:21 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

What is a Penny Hunt?

On Wednesday, April 11th, we will host a Penny Hunt, play Hide ‘N Seek and have the option to shop at the
Book Fair, all from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Our PTO has generously purchased $75 worth of pennies. Prior to students
arriving at 5:30 p.m., I will be scattering the pennies around our classrooms, hallways, and common areas. In
addition, I will be hiding two figurines worth $5 each. Each student will receive a solo cup and once we are
ready, they will go around our school picking up the pennies and looking for the figurines. The students will be
able to take home all of the pennies they collect. In addition, our top hunters will receive gift certificates to the
Book Fair. After all the pennies have been collected, our students will have a chance to play hide ‘n seek in the
building. In addition, families may shop at the Book Fair.

Do you know our Book Fair is buy one and get one free! This is a great opportunity to shop for upcoming
birthday parties and summer reading books. Students will have previewed the Book Fair prior to Wednesday and
will have a list of their top book choices.

I hope you will come out for a fun family night!
Have a great weekend
-Ann

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