Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 7, 2017

Dear Quashnet School Community,

Last week, we celebrated Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. The week began with an over the top PTO sponsored luncheon.  Thank you families for your generosity. The QS library was transformed, the food and desserts were delicious. The water bottles for the staff were so thoughtful. With sincere appreciation for your thoughtfulness - from the Quashnet School staff! 

Last Monday night was Town Meeting, and I am thrilled to report that the Quashnet School Repair Project passed.  This is only Part 1 of two important steps.  PLEASE, PLEASE, come out to VOTE on May 16th.  Without a positive result from the polls, we cannot go further on this project to secure the 37.95% reimbursement form the state.  If you have any questions, please send me an email, call, or stop in and I will share the scope of the project with you. FYI - if all goes well, construction is expected to begin in April, 2018. We will work with the construction team to schedule construction to have the least impact on the school day and learning as possible.  Any workers on school grounds will be required to have a CORI check. 

This week brings another round of MCAS testing.  On Wednesday and Thursday, May 10th and 11th, all students will begin their day testing.  MCAS tests are not tests to study for, rather they are an opportunity for students to demonstrate all they have learned.  Just like the ELA MCAS, Math is not timed. Students will have as much time as they need to complete their assessment during the school day. There are a couple of important things you can do to support your child during testing.

  • Get to bed early the night before testing 
  • Have a hearty and healthy breakfast with protein 
  • Be to school ON TIME!
  • Replace "good luck" with best effort, work hard, and persevere!

  • May  8  - Progress Reports will be available to view on PowerSchool 
  • May 10 - National School Nurse Day 
  • May 11 - Title 1 Author Night - C.C. Children's Museum 6:00 PM 
  • May 17 - First annual - GRADE 3 CONCERT 6:00 PM
  • May 19 - Family Paint Night, sign up genius coming soon! 
  • May 19 - Grade 3 Post MCAS celebration - planned by NEHS - Permission slip required
  • May 20 - PTO Sponsored Murder Mystery Prom Night for Parents -Quashnet Valley Country Club
  • May 23 - Grade 3 Step-up Night 6:00 PM (for incoming third graders)
  • May 26 - CAREER DAY 

Introducing the latest craze! Fidget spinners are invading Quashnet School. Perhaps you have seen them or have have purchased one for your child.  The premise behind the spinner is that they increase student focus in class.  Well, this isn't necessarily the case.   At Quashnet, the use of spinners is limited in classrooms, and teachers are setting clear expectations for students. Please note however, spinners have been banned on our buses as they are causing a distraction for drivers. There is an article in the Cape Cod Times today - worth the read!  Below is an excerpt from an article on Vox ( 

"What we know about gadgets and attention -

No one’s ever studied the impact of fidget spinners specifically on mental health or cognitive functioning. And the related research here isn’t all that promising either. For example, there is some evidence that encouraging children with ADHD to squirm and move their limbs can help direct their focus rather than making them sit still. But that study looked at kids’ physical activity, not a small spinning device that barely requires any movement. And kids without ADHD didn’t benefit from the extra squirming.
Mark Rapport, a University of Central Florida clinical psychologist who helped run that study, told Vox that in the absence of any research focused on fidget spinners, it's really hard to say whether the toys will help kids with ADHD. He did conjecture, however, that the devices may do more harm than good. 
“Using a spinner-like gadget is more likely to serve as a distraction than a benefit for individuals with ADHD,” he said, since it takes attention away from what kids should be focused on. He finds full body movement — like cycling or running — engages the brain regions involved in focus. That’s not the same as a flick of the thumb.There is a body of evidence from occupational therapy on other “sensory approaches” to improve mental health, which have also gained popularity over the past decade. The idea is that engaging the senses through smell, sound, or touch — using aromatherapies, music, fidget toys, or fabrics — can calm people, relieve distress, and help regulate emotionsBut when researchers looked at the science on the effectiveness of these approaches in this 2015 review, they found the studies were generally too low quality and potentially biased to draw firm conclusions. So there’s little proof fidgeting devices would be useful on the stress relief front, either."  

REMINDER - Whenever dismissal plans change for a student, a written note should be sent in to school signed by a parent/guardian.  Phone calls to change dismissal instructions must be received before 1:45 PM per the school handbook. Thank you for your cooperation - this will help in ensuring that everyone gets to where they need to be!

Wishing you a wonderful and productive week ahead!
Mrs. O'Brien

PS - Square 1 Art Fundraiser  - Last day to order is: 5/10/2017



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