Conant School PTO Newsflash - Week of February 17, 2019

Mrs. Crumlish's kingergarten class
Save the Date! 

Conant's 41st annual Ice Cream Social will be Friday, April 5, 2019. Come enjoy games, ice cream, and join the raffle to win a one of a kind pottery piece created by your child's class!
Call for support
We would like to thank those families who have contributed to our Annual Appeal. Our school relies on your donations for so many school activities and programs.

Did you know your donations last year contributed towards:
  • Classroom Assistants - $15,000
  • Enrichment Assemblies - $4,000,  Tanglewood Marionettes presented to our K-3rd grades in October and are coming back in March for the 4th-6th grades.
  • Book Fair - $2016.50, goes straight to our levelled reading program in the school, to buy classroom books, music books etc
  • Author Visits - $2,000, Michael Tougas visited our 4th-6th graders in October and we have Nora Dooley visiting our K-3rd graders in March.
  • Classroom Pottery pieces- $1570 is the cost to purchase and design the classroom pieces.
  • Scholarship Fund - $1000, for those families who need financial assistance, to cover the cost of the 6th graders Sargent Camp and other field trips.
  • Breakfast with Families- $1000 to cover the cost of the food
  • Polar Pride Class T shirts - $500, for all Kindergarteners and new students.
  • Movie NIghts - $450 for the movie license
  • Recess Equipment - $250 for soccer balls, basketballs etc

Your donations have also allowed us to purchase for the school items that are not covered by District budgets for example new chromebooks and a cart, a shed for the primary grades recess equipment, new lights and screen for the stage for movie nights and all school meetings. We made a large donation last year for a 6th grade Young Adult section in the library, including more books for boys.  We give each teacher including our Reading Specialist, English Language Educators, Speech Therapist, Physiotherapist, Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Counsellor and School Physiologist, $120pa for extra budgetary items.

Without your donations none of this would be possible!!

We have just over 350 families in Conant and we hope you will all agree that we have a great community. However, times have changed within our PTO, a lot of our very heavily committed parents have graduated with their children and we are in great need of new volunteers to step up and team lead our events or just volunteer regularly.

Last week we copied just over 350 volunteer positions flyers for your kids backpacks, so far we have got 2 replies. Conant PTO belongs to everyone in our school, there is no joining fee, no sign up, if you have a child in Conant you are in! It is all our responsibility to make sure the PTO is well run, meetings are well attended and we fully support the PTO both financially and with volunteer hours.

We are reaching out to you all, as we are behind in our Annual Appeal compared to previous years and we are running on a skeleton staff of volunteers. This simply cannot continue, at the minute it is looking like next year we will have to cancel events that we all love because we do not have parents willing to step up and volunteer.

The PTO needs your help to ensure we continue with all of the great activities and student enrichment we support throughout the year. We are sending out an S.O.S. for volunteers - even full-time working parents can help!

Please look at this google doc, for an explanation of each open position and sign up if you are interested.

Contact with any questions or to let us know of your interest. We'd love to have you help us with even just one event!
February Notes from the Reading Teacher

The Importance of Establishing a Family Ritual of Nightly Reading

With the February recess upon us, many families may experience a bit more flexibility during the week. This is the perfect opportunity to engage in shared reading moments with your children. Pam Allyn, co-author of Every Child a Super Reader: 7 Strengths to Open a World of Possible, contributed to the AB Family Learning Series;  click here to view her 2015 presentation. Here are just some of the benefits of family reading she addressed.
Reading with children
  • Develops shared values
  • Helps children fall in love with language
  • Builds comprehension
  • Helps them to learn the power of story
Your contribution to your child's literacy development is beyond compare. Remember to visit the  Conant Families' Website for literacy and family engagement activities and other resources.

Growth Mindset: "A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish"

The work of this month's focus is to help students to recognize that mastery is achieved through perseverance and passion toward long-term goals- Angela Duckworth's definition of grit. In his best-selling book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell refers to the "10,000 Hour Rule," the agreed upon number of hours to achieve true expertise. According to Gladwell, "Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good." Students are invited to examine the lives and habits of those who have achieved greatness. They come to realize that rather than "natural talent or intelligence," it was practice and effort that led to success.

Carol Dweck, growth mindset researcher, notes that there are two varieties of goals: performance and learning goals. Although both types of goals are motivating for students, learning goals lead to mastery. Performance goals may address an isolated skill or task, while learning goals, cultivated in a growth mindset classroom, foster the dedication and grit necessary for learning sustained over time.

February Super Readers Theme: Friendship

"I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light."~Helen Keller

February, the month punctuated by Valentines Day, is the perfect time to celebrate friendships. As a Super Reader theme, exploring friendships in literature invites students to examine the traits of true friends, whether it be Mr. Putter and Tabby, Charlotte and Wilbur, Ivan and Ruby, true friends are able to demonstrate empathy and perspective-taking abilities. Exploring literature together can serve as a vehicle for rich conversations around the qualities of friendship where students may make personal connections to the meaning of friends in their own lives. Click here for a list of grade-level texts that depict friendship as a prominent theme, and click here for the Family Guide with actions to help develop your child's sense of friendship.

February Lunch Bunch Book Clubs

This month, we again have students from grades three through six engaged in Lunch Bunch Book Clubs, where we are thrilled to have been able to offer several titles.

Coming Soon...
  • Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss/Read Across America: March 2, 2019; Conant will celebrate from March 4-8th.
Remember, "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."~Dr. Seuss

Hoping you are able to find some great books to enjoy with each other over this winter break.
~Mrs. Pastor
Health and Wellness information from the Health Office

Human Growth and Development
Every child is unique. Each child has his or her own growth and developmental path. Between the ages of 8-15 children start to show signs of puberty. Even if your child is not showing signs of puberty, other children in their grade may be. Girls usually start to go through puberty earlier than boys. Currently, the Human Growth and Development lessons are not taught until spring of 5th grade then more in the spring of 6th grade. I recommend that you not wait until then to start talking with your child about some of the early information on this time of life. I have listed a few books that can be used to help your child learn about the changes that will be occurring. You can use the books to help learn what to expect as well. The books can help guide you in talking with your child about puberty and his/her growing body. They may begin to have body odor, foot odor, and/or pimples. Brushing their teeth and showering regularly, wearing clean clothes and even washing their faces are things that they need to learn how to be independent doing as their bodies change. Having conversations ahead of time is often quite helpful. We have some of the books listed below in the health office for parents to look at or to borrow. You can also find these and other books at the town library too.

I use this time to talk to children about differences and similarities. Just because someone grows at a different rate or looks different (i.e. pimples, weight) they have similar qualities to each too. Also, embrace the differences we each have! website has quite a bit of information that you may find helpful on puberty and many other topics.
The Feelings Book by American Girl Publishing
The Care and Keeping of You - the body book for girls by American Girl Press
What's Happening to Me? book for girls By Susan Meredith Usborne Press
What's Happening to Me? book for boys By Firth, Meredith, and Larkum
The Care and Keeping of You 2- the body book Older Girls by American Girl Press
The "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras
On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow!  Book for Younger Boys by Lynda Madaras

Resilience is a key skill for children to learn.
Heather Makris,  BSN RN NCSN
Luther Conant Elementary School Nurse
(978)264-3329 fax
Coming Up! 
  • Winter Recess:  February 18 - February 22
  • Movie Night: March 1, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm in Conant Cafeteria
  • Movie Night: March 15, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm in Conant Cafeteria
Annual Giving Campaign Update

Thank you to the 82 families who have already contributed to our Annual Giving Campaign. So far we have raised $10,000 through the Annual Giving Campaign, $1,682 through matching employer contributions, and $14,853 through various PTO events . Thank you, once again!

We still have a long way to go to reach our goal. You can use this  donation form or use PayPal to donate.

Please provide email addresses with your donations for donation receipt delivery. All the donation receipts have been emailed to the parents who have made donations by 12/20/2018.

Stay Connected!

If you are not already a member of the Conant PTO Facebook page, please join our closed group for regular school updates, photos etc. Also both Conant & the District have updated their websites, see links below;

Support Conant

Here's a great way to help support Conant PTO by shopping online! Simply log on to & enter Conant Elementary PTO.

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Brinda Vokkarane, Vicki Tardif Holland for 
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Phone:  978.266.2550
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To report absence and tardiness, please call 978 266 2555, extn 8 
Conant School PTO, 80 Taylor Road, Acton, MA 01720
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