Tuesday, April 28, 2009

May-June 2009 Newsletter


This is our final newsletter for the 2008-2009 school year. The response to this endeavor has been very positive. Comments range from how nice to see a notice at all (this from a 6th grade parent) to congratulations for sending only one to my family. Everyone likes the information presented. In general I have received a thumbs up.


May and June are incredibly busy months. Teachers are accessing students to make sure that maximum learning and meeting grade level curriculum demands have been met. Students are completing their last projects, papers, and lab reports. As the days get warmer and the evenings get longer, I remind everyone that schoolwork still needs to remain a priority. All students need to leave in June feeling successful and accomplished. While these feelings can go on a short break over the summer months these positive feelings will surface in late August when thoughts once again turn to school.


On May 14, all seventh graders will travel to the Salmon River. The students will complete a river study that includes flow rate, pH, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. At this time Mr. Rossi's students will release salmon that they have been raising since January of this year.


Jennifer Gagne, a graduate of Ashford School, has returned to Ashford School to complete her student teaching in Mrs. Lusa’s preschool class. Jen is graduating this spring with her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Quinebaug Valley Community College. Miss Gagne worked two mornings a week in the classroom during the fall term and has been working 5 mornings a week for the spring semester. She has been invaluable to classroom activities and she will really be missed when she leaves. Jen plans to continue to take courses to work towards her Bachelor’s degree.
Good Luck Jen!


Blackhawk Helicopter Landing at Ashford School

Bob Mullady from the CT National Guard is bringing a VH60 Blackhawk helicopter to Ashford School on Monday, May 18. Our students and staff will be given the rare opportunity of witnessing a fly over and landing. After shutting down students will participate in an up close walk-around.


Our appreciation goes to Esther Jagodzinski and John Pease for arranging for Ashford School to receive a UTC matching request grant providing additional funding for our Enrichment Program.


Our spring concert will take place Thursday, May 21st at 7:00 p.m., We are very proud that so many Ashford students are involved in our performing groups and that so many families come out to support the music program In order to make our concerts a pleasurable experience and out of respect for our student performers and for the safety of the audience, we have developed a set of guidelines that we ask everyone in attendance to adhere to.

Concert Guidelines
• Children must be seated with their parents at all times.
• Aisle ways and door ways must be kept clear at all times.
• The lobby must be kept clear during the performance.
• If you must enter or exit the gym, wait until the conclusion of a song.


Ashford Hydrogen Fuel Cell Team Wins Second Place in Regional Competition

The Ashford Science Bowl Team competed in the annual regional competition this past Saturday and walked away with TWO awards! This competition is held each year at the University of CT when schools from across the Northeast play a science quiz style game and build/race cars powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. This year there were 11 schools competing, traveling from as far away as Boston.

During the day, Ashford's three-part team split up to compete in different areas. Two teams competed in the quiz game to test their knowledge of various science topics, while one went to the racing area where a "build and race" contest took place. Students were given a set of materials, two hours and a test track and instructed to build a car that would win the race.

At the end of the day, the fuel cell team walked away with the second place award, only beaten when the Two Rivers Magnet School inched ahead of them at the end of the race. The quiz teams made it to the sixth round of competition, winning recognition for good sportsmanship.



May 1: Class trip to Rhode Island
May 4: Visit to E.O. Smith
May 22: Field trip to UConn
May 27: Six Flags for qualifying students

June 3: SWINGS with grades 1 & 2
June 4: Tri Town Dance Activity, EOS
June 12: Graduation Dance
June 15: Class picnic at Holiday Hill
June 18: Class Night
June 19: Exit Assembly


2009 Ashford Baseball and Softball Schedule

Apr 29 Columbia Boys (Away) Girls (Away)
May 4 Stafford Boys (Away) Girls (Away)
May 7 Columbia Boys (Home) Girls (Home)
May 8 Willington Boys (Away) Girls (Away
May 11 Willington Boys (Home) Girls (Home)
May 14 Stafford Boys (Home) Girls (Home)
May 15 Mansfield Boys (Home) Girls (Home)
May 18 Mansfield Boys (Away) Girls (Away)

Baseball Coaches: Mr. Busse , Mr. Blume
Softball Coaches: Mrs. Borysevicz, Mrs. Hayward


Online Math Resources to Explore with Your Child:
By Marji Roy
Have you visited the numerous Everyday Math links located on the Ashford School Website? There are a slew of excellent online math games and exploration sites that align with the Ashford School Everyday Math series all organized for easy access. You can direct your Kindergarten through grade 5 student to these links and help them practice their math skills with targeted activities. Just click on the "For Students" link in the left navigation menu from the Ashford School Home Page at www.ashfordct.org, then click on the Everyday Math Links. The Links are arranged by grade level and then by Unit. If your child needs additional support with a math concept you may find working together with him/her on these activities can help reinforce school lessons. (Note: Follow the same route "ForStudents" to "Everyday Math Links" when the new website launches soon!)


How Do You Build a Library Collection?
By Vincent Bologna, Ashford School’s Library Consultant

This is the time of year we usually embark on an important project that often gets overlooked. This is the time when we begin getting ready to order books for the beginning of next school year. The first stage in that process is assessing the current state of the collection to see what books should be “weeded’ from the collection. How do we decide which books should be weeded? One criterion is books that are beyond repair. Another criteria is the age of the book and whether or not the information it contains might be outdated and therefore incorrect.
Once we have looked through the books in the collection we decide which subject areas need updated material. We also look at the circulation statistics from the year to see which areas of the collection receive the most use and therefore could use some additional titles so books are available when students need them for reports and projects.
The money that is budgeted for library books is spent on non-fiction titles. Money for pictures books, fiction and young adult fiction comes the funds the PTO annually donates to the Media Center.

Since May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), we wanted to remind you about the dangers of noise abuse and how to protect your hearing-and the hearing of your children. Loud volumes associated with portable listening systems such as bipods and CD players, rock concerts, indoor sports events, and video arcades are prevalent throughout our society. Over 10 million Americans have hearing loss because of excess noise exposure. A Zogby International poll indicated that Americans listen to personal audio technology too loudly for too long, and the CDC reported that over 5 million youths exhibit some degree of hearing loss due to exposure to noise at hazardous levels. With the increasing popularity of personal audio technology, millions of adults and children across the United States are at greater risk of noise-induced hearing loss than ever before. It is important to teach your children to know when loud is too loud. Remind your children that it is too loud if:
• you must raise your voice to be heard.
• You have difficulty understanding someone who is an arm's length away;
• You have pain, ringing, or buzzing in your ears after exposure to loud sounds; or
• Speech sounds muffled or dull after noise exposure.
Below are some quick and easy guidelines you can follow to help protect your family's hearing:
• Be very cautious in allowing your preschooler to use any personal listening device with headsets or any form of earbuds. Before buying any sound-making toy for an infant or toddler, hold it up to your ear. If the sound causes your ear to feel uncomfortable (ringing, buzzing, or muffled speech), either immediately or after a short exposure, then the sound is too loud and the toy should not be purchased.
Follow the same rule for toys already in the home and either remove the batteries or discard the toy.
• If you and your children attend rock concerts, do lawn work for extra spending money or to help around the house, or attend indoor professional sports events, please get into the habit of using ear plugs (cotton balls will not protect you). Inexpensive ear plugs that you buy at the pharmacy can reduce the sound by approximately 15-30 decibels and can bring the noise level within a safe hearing range without affecting the ability to enjoy an event.
• When planning a large party where there may be a DJ or live band, tell the performers to limit their sound output to 85 decibels.
• Have the children turn down the volume on their Wii, Nintendo DS, and Guitar Hero games.
• If your children are learning to play the drums, electric guitar, or practice target shooting, have custom earplugs made for them to use when they are practicing or performing.
• If you have school-aged children who like to listen to music using a iPod, Discman, or a CD player, use the parental controls, if available, to set the volume at a low level.


School is coming to a close and summer is upon us! Please remember to pick up your child’s medication on the last day of school. Mrs. Flynn, School Nurse will be available the following few days during normal school hours if you cannot come on the last day of school. It is State law to dispose of any medications that are left on the premises. By law a student cannot transport medication. So, to save you money, please come in to pick up your child’s medication.
Enclosed in this Newsletter is the Medication Authorization form to be completed by both the parent and the physician and to be brought in by an adult at the start of the next school year, if medication will be needed. Doctor’s offices also carry this form.

Any questions please give me a call. Thank you, and have a happy, healthy summer. Mrs. Flynn.

A child is eligible to enter kindergarten if he/she turns five on or before December 31, and is a resident of Ashford. Call Michelle Bibeault at 429-6419 to have registration information mailed to you. All registration information must be completed before your child may attend kindergarten classes this fall.


Margie Chatey is looking for a couple of people to work with her on the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for finding people to fill open PTO Officer positions. Please call Margie at 487-0492 if you're interested.

The Father-Daughter Dance
Spring arrived at Ashford School the evening of March 28th as young Ashford girls and their fathers attended the 3rd Annual PTO sponsored Father-Daughter Dance. As girls donned colorful spring dresses and carnations, and cameras flashed, everyone enjoyed refreshments and danced to the music of DJ Wow. Thanks to April Basch, Tracey Campbell and Vickie Weidig for planning this wonderfully popular event.

Summer Programs _First Camp
Ashford Youth Services will hold First Camp for students entering and exiting first grade from June 29 the through July 2 nd. The camp will meet at Ashford School in the cafeteria from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM; the cost for the camp is $30.
Third Camp
Ashford Youth Services will hold Third Camp for students entering and exiting third grade from July 6 th through July 10 th. The camp will meet at Ashford School in the cafeteria from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM; the cost for the camp is $35.
First and Third camp include games, crafts, outside activities, snack and more! Look for registration forms to go home with your children or call school for more information.
Camp CONNRI _Ashford Youth Services is the contact for those wishing to send their child to Camp CONNRI this summer. Camp CONNRI is the Salvation Army camp located on Route 74 in Ashford. Children age seven to fifteen can attend this weeklong sleep over camp for only $35.00. There are three camp sessions this year, the first meets July 18 Th to July 23 rd and is for children ages seven to twelve. The second session meets August 3 rd to August 8 Th and is also for seven to twelve year olds. The third session of camp meets August 10 Th to August 15 Th and is for twelve to fifteen year olds. If you have questions about Camp CONNRI or would like to request an application please call Ashford Youth Services at 429-6419. Camp application must be returned to school before the end of the school year so don't delay in requesting an application!