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Narragansett School
A Center of Inquiry
284 Main Street
Gorham, Maine 04038
Polly Brann, M.S. Ed, CAS Principal

Telephone (207) 222-1250
Fax (207) 839-5018

January 21, 2014
Dear Narragansett Families,

I hope you’ve enjoyed a great weekend.  I had some grandchildren time, time for work, time for shoveling, and time for a couple of movies.  We saw “The Nut Job” starring Surly, the independent squirrel, and “August:  Osage County” with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts—not my favorite.  Oh well, check it off the Oscar list!  Here is an update and some information for you…

12214_102436_8.pngNarragansett School motto…
A small enrichment group working with Ms. Smith, our K-5 GT Ed Tech, learned what a motto was and found a few examples.  McDonald’s was one they liked--“I’m lovin’ it.”  They looked at our mission statement, looked up the definitions of each of the ‘big’ words, generated a list of synonyms, and then phrases.  In the Leadership Team meeting, we looked at the kids’ work, added a few more words to the list and then began to craft some ideas for mottos. We narrowed it down to two.  Since we wanted everyone at Narragansett to have an opportunity to vote, Ms. Smith and the kids designed the ballots, organized the directions, and distributed the envelopes to teachers’ mailboxes.  Classrooms and staff voted.  Ms. Smith and kids counted the ballots and rolled out the winning motto at the Holiday Assembly.  The winner?

growing hearts · growing minds

The next step will be to design a logo to go with it. Ms. Smith will work with art teachers and a group of students to design collaborative choices.  The Leadership Team will narrow the choice to two, and the staff and students will vote.  We hope to have T-shirts with our new logo and motto for sale in the School Store in March.  

12214_102436_8.pngFocus School Update
In December, the Leadership Team convened for the first Focus School meeting with our state consultant, Jeanette Condon in attendance.  We have begun the process of completing a self- assessment on eight indicators.  For each of the indicators, we have to read the accompanying research information, called Wise Ways, and then self-assess.   The first two indicators were about our Leadership Team meeting times and communication to staff.

In responding to any of the indicators, our response choices are:  
Is this indicator fully implemented?  Yes or No.  If yes, we have to answer some questions about who, what, how, and when, and supply documenting evidence.
If there is limited development or no development, we decide if it’s a priority or not.  If it’s a priority, we will identify action steps to become fully implemented.  Once we
have finished our self-assessment on the eight indicators, we will have a “school plan.”  This is a three-year process in which to make changes to better student achievement.  Our responses and evidence will be uploaded to Indistar, the state’s monitoring system.  Jeannette will be able to see our work and make comments using the Coaching Comments link.  On Wednesday, we will assess Indicator number three.  Stacy Sallinen will be publishing an article in the Gorham Times about our designation as a Focus School.  

12214_102436_8.pngGEF Grant…
Kudos to Mrs. McKeen who wrote and received a grant from Gorham Education Foundation!  She saw a need for construction toys for Kids’ Klubs and requested $250 worth.  We now have Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and Legos to add to the donations sent in by parents.  Thank you to Mrs. McKeen, to those who sent in used building sets, and those who support the Gorham Ed Foundation.  The kids will have a blast!

February 14th is fast approaching!  I just want to remind you that in keeping with our new wellness procedures,
Only pre-approved curriculum-based foods will be allowed in the classroom and will be offered in cooperation with individual student allergy and health-care plans.  
Parents may not send in any food for celebrations, such as birthdays and holidays to be shared in classrooms.  We are asking for your support and help by keeping food items at home unless we request them for curriculum-based activities.  Please do not send in candy.  If candy comes in with Valentines, we will send them home with the students.  Thanks for your support.  Let’s let Valentine’s Day celebrate love, compassion and the art of writing!

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.               -Helen Keller

12214_102436_8.pngMark your calendars…
January 30th  6:00-7:30 Winter Picnic and Bingo
January 31st (same time)        Storm date for Winter Picnic and Bingo
February 4th            Grade Three Traveling Planetarium, @ Robie School
February 5th            Early Release:  Geo Day (in the morning)
                                PM K comes in the morning!  (No AM K)
February 6th            K-5 Literacy and Math Support Family Night @ Narragansett
February 11th           Grade Five Snow Tubing
February 12th           Storm Date for Snow Tubing
February 14th           Valentine’s Day
February 17th-21st      Winter Break

As always, please let me know if you have questions.  

Mrs. Brann

Last Modified: Jan 22, 2014