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PES Year of the Book: I Never Thought I’d Know So Much About Trucks

By Susanne Loring

Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF)

For about a year now, my knowledge base regarding trucks has grown exponentially. In fact, just the other day I found myself in a deep discussion with my oldest, Tucker, about the workings of the piston on a dump truck. He was explaining it to me in terms that I could understand. He is three.

Since becoming a mom, I have been reminded that you can learn so much about a subject that you previously had very little knowledge on all by reading a book. I often tend to find myself being pulled toward the same types of books and interests out of habit. To be honest, trucks are probably not a topic that I would have chosen to delve into if given the choice, but with Tucker around, this subject is pretty much unavoidable.

We read about trucks every day. When we go to the library, we get books on trucks. I step on trucks in my living room. When I am asked by my twoyear- old to read a truck book even though I just finished reading it, I say yes. I love to listen to him name them all. I love to listen to him make his siren sounds when we turn to his favorite truck page, rescue vehicles.

The fact that I have an opportunity to share time with my son reading and learning about something that he is interested in while he is learning about it at the same time is pretty cool.

And, apparently, my son’s enthusiasm is wearing off on me. The other day, I found myself driving down the street and I screamed, “Oooh, look! A dump truck!” only to realize that I was the only one in the car.



Year of the Book Advice: It’s Never Too Late to Read Aloud to Your Child.

by Suzanne Loring Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF)

Did you know that it is never too early or too late to start reading to your child? I know that reading aloud usually conjures up an image of a small child sitting on a caregiver’s lap cuddled up pointing at pictures and reading stories. But that’s only part of the picture. In fact, when sixth graders at Newbury Elementary School in Vermont were asked last spring how parents could become more involved with them in reading, there was an overwhelming response of, “Read aloud to us more at home!”

Reading aloud to or with your child has advantages to children at all ages. Regardless of whether you have an infant or a 10-yearold, reading aloud can be beneficial in building vocabulary and listening skills, expanding your child’s imagination, and encouraging a love of reading. Children who are read to at home have a better chance of scoring at the appropriate level on reading and writing tests in school.

Not only does reading aloud increase the likelihood of success in school, but it also creates quality time between reader and listener. It can be a wonderful conversation starter especially with older kids about topics that you might have otherwise avoided, or been too uncomfortable to discuss in the first place. It can bring you closer to your child by giving you the opportunity to learn their opinions and see their perspectives on different subjects.

Just take it slow: read a chapter a night, a picture book in the morning, laugh together over a comic strip, or listen to an audio book while you are driving in the car. Every little bit helps.

Note: This year PES is partnering with CLiF on year-long Year-ofthe- Book grant, which is bringing programming to our school and books to our students. Read the PES News and visit our website for upcoming YotB events.



Retirements & Staffing Changes at PES

There are several staff changes in school personnel that parents will be interested to learn about.  Mr. Peter Eklof, our district’s Speech and Language Pathologist for many years, is retiring this June.  Ms. Faith Whittier, a kindergarten teacher for 20 years, will retire in October.  We thank these colleagues for their excellent service and wish both long and happy retirements.

Second-grade case manager, Rachel Levine and second-grade teacher, Nanine Venetos are leaving PES to work in other NH schools, as is Library Coordinator Susan Kinney, who will work as a school librarian in Hollis-Brookline MS.

District Nurse Mary Fiset will move on to work as a pediatric nurse at Wentworth Douglas Hospital,

Fourth-grade teacher, Katie Bass will teach second grade next year, and PE teacher Laura Smith will move to a 4th grade classroom position. Deb Doscher will move up with her students to teach grade six.

Finally, third grade teacher Carin Kilar will become the District Technology Coordinator, a position sponsored by the Nellie Mae Foundation Grant.

We wish everyone well  in their new role in our out of our district.



New PES Dismissal Plan Will Continue Until Year’s End

We plan to continue our new dismissal routine until tear’s end. Twenty to thirty cars a day take advantage of pick up in the loop. Parents tell us they like it because they get home 10 – 20 minutes sooner with their child. Bus departures have not been affected.

In order to provide a smoother, faster, and more efficient dismissal at the end of the day, PES is piloting a new dismissal routine.  The new dismissal plan encourages walking and also makes car pick-up more convenient for parents by opening up the main loop to personal vehicles at 2:25.

Why are we changing the dismissal routine? 

Currently our dismissal routine takes too long.  On many occasions, students who walk or are picked up by parents are not dismissed until 2:45, fifteen minutes after the scheduled dismissal.  Buses are regularly delayed in arriving, holding up all students.  Prior to and during bus dismissal the hallway is usually crowded with parents waiting to pick up their children.  During this time the building is not secure; anyone can enter through the front doors. 

Under the new dismissal plan, dismissal will take less time, and the building will be more secure.  Dismissing children to cars will preclude the need for many parents to wait in the lobby, since car pick-up will be much more convenient.  Parents who wish to park and enter the lobby may still do so; they will need to park in the kindergarten loop and check in at the office.

What are options for the dismissal? (more…)



New Dismissal Plan Pilot for June 4

Last week Mr. Kilmister presented a new dismissal plan to the Pittsfield School Board, which approved a pilot of the plan for the week of June 4-8. The plan was developed with input from the Board, the PES Safety Committee, the PES PTO, and the H.A. Marston Bus Company.

Under the new dismissal plan, walkers and students being picked up by parents will be dismissed earlier. Parents driving private vehicles will be allowed into the main loop in front of the school at 2:25, and students will be delivered by staff to waiting cars. Drivers will not need to park and enter the school. When cars are loaded, vehicles will exit onto Winsunvale.

The dismissal routine for bus riders or for kindergarteners being picked up outside the kindergarten classrooms will not be affected by this change.

A description of the plan will be distributed later next week and posted on the web site. If all works well , we will adopt the plan next year.



The “Year of the Book”

Next school year will be “The Year of the Book” at PES. Our school is one of two elementary schools in New Hampshire to win a Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) “Year of the Book” grant award for the 2012-13 school year.  The grant will bring $20,000 of resources to PES, including 2,000 books for individual students and families, funds for the school library and the town library, special programming for students, and teacher mini-grant funds for reading work. 

The focus of our work at PES will be improving school-family literacy connections and bumping up the volume of children’s reading in and out of school. Library Coordinator Susan Kinney will be the grant coordinator. The Josiah Carpenter Library will also be working with our school in this exciting grant.  Any parents who would like to help organize are encouraged to call the school and ask for Ms. Kinney or Mr. Kilmister.



School Community Index Survey, 4/16

Parents, we need your help. On Monday, April 16, when you come to school for parent teacher conferences, we would like you to complete an on-line survey about your impressions of PES and your family’s habits and routines around school.

All survey takers who complete the survey by April 20 will be entered in a raffle for a $100 and $50 Visa debit card!  If you are not able to take the survey in school, please call the school and we’ll send you a copy. 

About the School Community Index Survey and Raffle at Pittsfield Elementary School

Research shows that children are more successful when parents are engaged in the academic development of the child. To assist us in improving student achievement through parental engagement we are asking every family to complete an online Family-School- Community survey. This survey designed to help the school learn more about itself and bring focus to planning for improvement in the area of family engagement. We are looking for 100% participation! (more…)



PES Parent Survey

Parents, we need your help.  Please listen for a call from me this weekend about an important survey, the School Community Index, which will be available on Monday during parent-teacher conferences between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.. The data from the anonymous survey—a version of which will also be given to teachers—will help us build stronger partnerships between school and home.

All survey takers who complete the survey by April 20 will be entered in a raffle for a $100 and $50 Visa debit card!  If you are not able to take the survey in school, please call the school and we’ll send you a copy. 

Doug Kilmister

PES Principal



PES Awarded Fuel Up to Play Wellness Grant

Pittsfield Elementary School has been awarded $2,700 by the New England Dairy & Food Council for the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative. Pittsfield Elementary School was selected from hundreds of schools across the country that applied for funding to help them jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements. (more…)