Sunday, January 14, 2018

January 14, 2018 

Dear Quashnet School Community, 

Monday, January 15th, there is no school in observance and remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s lasting impact.  Every student I spoke to this week could cite facts and the importance of this American hero.  I hope you all have the opportunity to reflect on how the words and actions of this one individual has impacted you. The potential in all of us to influence those around us is significant; using that influence in a positive way can be life changing.  As Dr. King said, "The time is always right to do the right thing." 

Coming this Thursday is another concert night at Quashnet. The instrumental concert highlights all the band and strings students in grades 4-6. It is a great night to see and hear learning in action.  Last week was the choral concert and it was fabulous! Even if your child does not participate in the music program, your family is more than welcome to attend the concert.  It can spark an interest! 

Grade 3 Students of the Week
Every week, I post the pictures of the Students of the Week where teachers recognize students for specific achievements. I thought you might be interested to hear some of the reasons why students are nominated. Listed are a sample of the comments that were submitted to recognize students across the grade levels this week.   
1. G. enters the learning spaces full of positive energy and a big smile.  She lifts up those around her and always tries her best. 
2. J. put a lot of effort into his researching about the blue whale and it shows in his report.
3. M. has been working hard during class lately. He is very motivated to improve his math skills.  Keep up the great work! 
4. S. has been working so hard.  She always gives her best effort and shows a desire to improve.  She has shown big improvements in all areas and proved that hard work and consistent effort pays off. 
5. J. is  quiet leader in the classroom. He is attentive and eager to learn and works equally well independently and in a group. 
6. M. has shown the Falcon 5 of responsibility, especially for making appropriate choices.  

If your child comes home with a Student of the Week certificate, a bumper sticker or bracelet, be sure to ask them why they were recognized and celebrate their achievements! They are doing something in a "great way!" 

Reminder:  Session 2 Clubs 
Clubs begin the last week of January. Please click the link to sign up As you will see, some clubs have a maximum number of students. If there is a great interest above that number we will break the club into two 8-week sections. Clubs are filled on a first-come first-serve basis. Club participation confirmations will be sent out as soon as possible. Sign-ups will close on Monday, January 15th.  Please be aware that some clubs meet twice a week. Any questions or problems with the link please call Mrs. Pagano at 508-539-1550. 

Enjoy the week ahead and Go PATS

Mrs. O'Brien

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 7, 2018 

Greetings Quashnet School Community, 

I think I might have jinxed us talking about snow days last week in the blog.  No more of that! Spring will be here before we know it - I'm sure of it!  I do hope everyone is staying warm in this frigid weather.  Please know that on these days we would not go outside for recess. The common practice in schools is to use 20 F as a cut off point on indoor or outdoor recess. This is not the only factor we look at.  Wind chill conditions are considered, we look at the local radar for any incoming weather conditions, are the playgrounds icy or wet, or too muddy on the fields. Recess and physical activity is important and we do try to get out whenever it is deemed safe to do that. Dressing in layers,  wearing a hat, scarf, and mittens is highly recommended. If your child needs a hat or mittens, please email or call our guidance counselor, Mrs. McCue, at We have a collection of beautifully hand knit sets donated by two of our grandparents. Students are outside for a maximum of 25 minutes during recess and are very active.  Following these guidelines students have been safe and healthy.  During indoor recess, two classes go to the gym for each grade level.  Mrs. Avtges keeps track of the classes so they all have an equal opportunity to enjoy the space.  With the help of the PTO, we were able to purchase a game cart with a variety of games that is brought to different classrooms, also on a rotating basis.  Other activities students participate in during indoor recess are card games, board games, legos, and art activities to name a few.  As with all decisions made at our school, please know student safety is at the forefront of each of those decisions - it is my primary concern. 

I do know that many students do dress in layers.  This is obvious with our lost and found.  Mrs. Avtges, Grace, and Emmy are holding up three beautiful and expensive tops that are hanging in the cafe waiting to be claimed.  All three items are in perfect condition and they are also holding three practically new warm hats.  Everyday at lunch students are asked to claim these items.  We do have some takers, but not many.  If your child is missing something, you are welcome to visit the lost and found anytime.  Please stop in the main office, get a pass, and check it out! The rack is full again and this is just from December and a few January days.   

You might have noticed on the school calendar that this is Benchmark Week.  Benchmarks are when all students take the STAR Reading and Math assessment within the same period of time.  Teacher groups and as a whole school we look at the results to see student growth and  determine if we have met our mid-year goals. This data allows us to make adjustment in instruction and groups to best meet the needs of each student. How can your child prepare for these assessments? There is no studying to prepare. Encouragement to apply their best effort, focus on the task, and answer each question is important. STAR assessments are done electronically, the assessments take about 30 minutes each, and most importantly it is adaptive technology. The questions will vary in difficulty based on the child's success rate.  This is one way that allows us to determine the level at which a student is performing independently.  Classroom performance and teacher analysis is also critical - STAR is a tool to assist in planning.   

Session 2 Clubs begin the last week of January.  Please click the link to sign-up As you will see, some clubs have a maximum number of students.  If there is a great interest above that number we will break the club into two 8-week sections.  Clubs are filled on a first-come first-serve basis.  Club participation confirmations will be sent out as soon as possible.  Sign-ups will close on Monday, January 15th.  Please be aware that some clubs meet twice a week. Any questions or problems with the link please call Mrs. Pagano at 508-539-1550.  

The Quashnet School National Elementary Honor Society Induction Ceremony has been rescheduled to this Wednesday, January 10th at 5:30 PM in the QS cafe. Beginning in Grade 5, students can qualify for participation in the NEHS. To qualify, students must meet a minimum combine scored on MCAS and STAR assessments, have excellent academic performance in school, be a role model/leader to peers, and receive an endorsement from their teachers. There will be a meeting for current members and inductees this Tuesday, January 9, from 2:45-3:30 PM.  

The "Quashnet Cafe" has reopened for business! In an effort to celebrate and recognize excellent behavior in the lunchroom, students can earn a "reservation" in the "cafe."  The tables are set up in the back area of the cafe and if they have a reservation, students can invite several friends to join them.  This dining pleasure is a fun way to change it up and reinforce the great behavior of our students.  It is also nice to sit in chairs and have a quieter conversation. 

Does your child have a cell phone?  Do you know to whom they spoke to last, or who they received a video from?  Students start to create a digital footprint very early and do not always make the best choices or understand the impact of their choices. To prevent some of those mistakes from occurring consider the phone sheriff at: or go through the phone on a regular basis.  SnapChat and FamBam videos can disappear quickly unless they are saved. Please check it out. This is one way to protect your child. 

Have a great week ahead everyone.  I am looking forward to a fabulous chorus concert Tuesday night.  Hope to see you there!  

Mrs. O'Brien 

PS    Basketball practice for parents and staff started today - come join the fun! 
 Practices scheduled for  1/21,1/28, and 2/4 from 11-12 PM at the QS gym.