On Tuesday, January 13 the Pittsfield School District is hosting a work session to craft a visual story of Pittsfield’s work towards creating a student centered learning environment. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 PM and the work session will follow from 6:00-7:00 PM. We hope you can join us!
In an effort to improve and streamline communication within the school district, we are very excited to share our first district newsletter with you. The newsletter will be circulated on the first and third Friday of each month. PES families, please note this newsletter will take place of the weekly pink sheet. Our goal is for this newsletter to provide regular and succinct communication of district events and initiatives.
We want to let you know some important program news: The Box Tops Marketplace™ program will be closing on July 31, 2014. Although the Marketplace program is closing, we are excited to focus on new opportunities for schools to earn cash through Box Tops. Any purchases made through the Marketplace before July 31, 2014 will still earn eBoxTops™, so don’t stop shopping yet – there’s still time to earn! Any confirmed eBoxTops earned between now and July 31 will be included in your school’s December check. Thanks again for all your support over the years. Keep on clipping!
The Box Tops for Education Team
A homeowner probably wouldn’t choose the third and fourth weeks of December for installing new windows, but for commercial contractors, winter is no obstacle.
Starting next Monday, a crew from Granite State Glass will replace 21 upper dormer windows, the windows that face PMHS and allow light to flood our main hallway. Windows will be installed one at a time with special precautions to ensure student and staff safety. In addition, new temporary siding will be installed, all in an effort to seal an area of the school where leaks have become an ongoing problem.
The windows were specially manufactured this fall and just completed. A panel truck will be parked in front of the school. Workers will pause work at dismissal. The work is expected to take two weeks, weather permitting.
Pittsfield Project HOME, a habitat improvement initiative that aims to develop our schoolyard so it is attractive to wildlife and people as well as creating an outdoor classroom for our students, has completed it’s first project at the Elementary School. With the help of energetic Kindergarteners, hard working six graders and enthusiastic volunteers, a beautiful butterfly and hummingbird garden will now serve as a study area for the Kindergarten classes. The Project HOME team would like to give special thanks to Darcy and Aaron Kendall who championed the effort and generous donations received from Millican Nurseries and Leach Perennial Field.
On Thursday, June 2, Pittsfield Project HOME broke ground outside of the Kindergarten area at the elementary school with the help of Mr. George Szelest and some hard working six graders. Our first project is to create a butterfly and hummingbird garden that will serve as a study area for the Kindergarten classes. The Kindergarteners will be helping with the planting before the end of the school year. Pittsfield Project HOME is a schoolyard habitat improvement initiative that aims to develop our schoolyard so it is attractive to wildlife and people as well as creating an outdoor classroom for our students. A group of teachers, parents, and community members along with Marilyn Wyzga, of the NH Department of Fish and Game, has been meeting monthly since December to develop a master plan for the schoolyard. In order to make the projects more relevant to the educational process, the teachers share their students’ ideas and their plans for lessons with the team.
The drawing below was made by Alen Husic, an NHTI student who worked this winter with the PES Project Home Team. The drawing shows potential projects we might take on in coming years.
The next Project Home meeting is May 26.
Pittsfield Project HOME is a schoolyard habitat improvement initiative that aims to develop our schoolyard so it is attractive to wildlife and people, creating an outdoor classroom for our students. A group of teachers, parents, and community members has been meeting monthly with Marilyn Wyzga, of the NH Department of Fish and Game, to develop a master plan for the schoolyard. Teachers share their students’ ideas and their plans for lessons. Our parent group includes members of the PTO, the School Board, two landscapers, and an arborist.
At the last Project HOME meeting in March the group developed three long-term goals:
• Pittsfield Elementary School will create and enhance the schoolyard to encourage students to get outside and to learn about and appreciate their environment in ways that supports the curriculum throughout the year.
• Pittsfield Elementary School will use its schoolyard to teach the curriculum – from art to math to reading to science.
• Our school will invite the Pittsfield community to use and enjoy our schoolyard as a place to relax and recreate.
On Wednesday afternoon in the PES Library, a group of 3 teachers, custodians, school board members, PTO members, met with Marilyn Wyzga of the NH Fish and Game Department for an initial presentation on Project Home PES.
During the two-hour meeting Ms. Wyzga gave an overview of the program and process of developing and implementing a habitat enhancement plan. She then led the group in a visioning exercise that helped us imagine the possibilities for improving the PES schoolyard as a richer place for wildlife, children, and adults. The group also looked at examples of what other New England Schools have done as part of Project Home.
PES is fortunate to be sited in a beautiful place. The school is surrounded by a maturing second-growth pine forest. We have a nature trail behind the school that borders a wetland. We are close to the Suncook River and Whites Pond. And our campus is just a quarter mile from the historic town center.
Group members had several ideas: an outdoor classroom with benches and plantings in the front circle; letting part of the field behind the school revert to a meadow; an improved nature trail in the rear of the school; and even a little pond for amphibians.
The group, Project Home PES, will meet again in January. At the next meeting we will look at maps of the property, discuss priorities, and start to gather the human and economic resources for a PES habitat enhancement.
Any community member that is interested in joining the effort should contact PES Principal Doug Kilmister.
Schoolyard Habitat Program
Project Home is an initiative program that helps school communities look at their school grounds and develop a plan for habitat enhancement. On Wednesday, December 1, from 3:00-5:00 p.m., there will be an introductory session for staff and interested community members. Marylyn Wysga of the New Hampshire Dept. of Fish and Game and founder of the program, will present. Our PES group will have three teachers, a couple of other staff members, perhaps half a dozen community members. There will be two to three subsequent meetings in the spring to develop and implement the plan.