KES Newsletter October 18, 2019
Hello KES Families,
I hope you are well today! Between a Monday holiday, picture day, a two-hour delay, and a fire drill, there has been no shortage of excitement here at KES this week! First and foremost, I want to let everyone know that our Friday Morning Meeting on November 8th is our annual Veterans Celebration Assembly. If your child has a family member who is currently serving in the military or is a US Veteran, we would love to have them here with us (either in uniform or not!) so we can honor them on November 8th. Please email their name, rank and contact information to Linda Mattuchio and have them plan to be here with us at 8:30am sharp that day!
This morning we were honored to have Captain Howe, who is also a KES dad, along with members of Kennebunk Fire Department and EMS, here with us during Friday Morning Meeting for our annual Fire Safety presentation. They provided us with a developmentally targeted presentation for our students, which included an exciting race between three fire-fighters to see who could don their gear the fastest. The assembly was followed by our eighth and final required Evacuation Drill for the year, for which the fire department remained with us to observe. We still have two Lockdown Drills to hold, but those can happen even in inclement weather, so we have focused on getting our Evacuation Drills finished while the weather was still nice. The children and the staff did a great job! While I am on the topic of public safety, I just wanted to remind everyone of the”Pet Walk” on Gooch’s Beach this Saturday at 9:00am to support the families impacted by the recent Farmington Maine propane explosion. Please participate by walking your pet, just walking, or cheering on our local heroes!
Our assembly this morning also included an exciting announcement about the Inclusive Playground proposed for KES by our dedicated PTA, KEPTA. Members of the Webhannet Charitable Foundation joined us to announce and present our largest donation to date….they gave us a check for $16,000 to help fund the playground, and they also provided an additional $16,000 to support the Village Fund, which covers the cost of lunch and snacks for struggling families and children in need. There was plenty of cheering for these announcements… particularly by the adults who have been working so hard to make the Inclusive Playground a reality! This donation came in time for us to qualify for the matching grant portion of the Kennebunk Savings Bank community matching offer…. The match by Kennebunk Savings will be in addition to the $15,000 that they have already donated to the project.
I also want to remind everyone of an opportunity to support the playground by having their home-heating system serviced by EW Cady. If you book your cleaning to occur between now and December 1st and mention the code “KEPTA” then half ($75.00) of the cost ($150.00) will benefit the playground. Schedule your cleaning by contacting EW Cady directly at ewcady.com or 251-1144. Thank you for your support!
I wanted to let you know about one more event this season to benefit the playground: The Village Center is sponsoring a free WICKED Fun day from 11:00am to 3:00pm on October 26th in the Tommy McNamara Park. With LIVE Cafe hosting the annual WICKED 5/10K race at 3:00pm, all proceeds will benefit the Inclusive Playground initiative. Obstacle course, arts and crafts, games, and competitions will all be part of the event, followed by the WICKED Costume Run and “After Party”. The Village Center will be providing child care for those who would like to run the race without their children. But of course, children are also encouraged to participate! We hope to see you there!
And one final reminder that student flu clinic forms are due back no later than Monday October 21st. Please reach out if you have any questions! Have a great weekend!
KES Newsletter October 4, 2019
Hello KES Families,
I hope you are well today. We had our sixth Evacuation Drill of the year today and it was our best so far. The children did an excellent job evacuating the building and lining up quietly. Please congratulate them and reinforce how important it is for everyone to exit the building quietly and listen for directions during drills.
I want to thank all of the parents who drop off their children in the morning for getting out of the vehicle and helping their children out. I know this is a different expectation than we have had in years past, but we have had a couple close calls where drivers have started to drive away not knowing that a coat sleeve or backpack strap has been shut in the car door. We know that having you get out slows the line down, but we don’t want anyone to get hurt, so thank you for your help with this!
I also want to thank everyone who attended KEPTA’s most recent general membership meeting. We are excited that so many of you choose to be involved in your child’s educational experience through our dedicated PTA. KEPTA is very excited to announce that THIS WEEKEND, Katie Ryan, who is a KES mom and talented photographer, is offering mini photography sessions on Sunday to support the Inclusive Playground Project. With a suggested donation of $99.00, all proceeds will benefit the playground. This is a great opportunity to have family photos taken (...yes, it’s time to start thinking about those seasonal greeting cards!) Please see the attached flyer and click the Sign Up Genius to reserve your spot. Reservations will be cut off at 12 noon tomorrow, Saturday, so book your time now, if you’re interested in helping the Playground Subcommittee make our playground a reality.
The next Playground meeting is Tuesday 10/15 at 6PM in the KES Library, and KEPTA’s next General Membership meeting is Thursday 10/10 at 6PM in the KES Learning Lab. Children are welcome! KEPTA loved seeing so many new and familiar faces last month, and they hope you’ll join them again!
Next weekend on Saturday, October 19th the Kennebunk Fire Department, the Kennebunk Police Department, and the Animal Welfare Society will host a community “Pet Walk” on Gooches Beach starting at 9:00am. Participants are invited to come walk your pet, just walk, or simply come support our local heroes. Benefits from this event will support Farmington, Maine firefighters and families effected by the Farmington, Maine propane blast. If you, your family, or an organization you are associated with would like to participate, please email Kennebunk Police Officer and Animal Control Officer Rebecca Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations will also be accepted during the event.
Also, don’t forget the Fire Prevention Open House this Sunday at the West Kennebunk Fire Station on Thompson Rd. from 9:00am to noon.
And one final reminder that we have a district-wide Professional Development Day planned for next Friday, so there is no school for students one week from today, on Friday, October 11th. Have a great weekend!
Yours in Education,
KES Newsletter September 27, 2019
Hello KES Families,
Happy Friday! It was great seeing so many of you here last night for KEPTA’s Ice Cream Social. In the nine years I have been here at KES, this is the first time the rain has forced us indoors. We are grateful that so many of you came out and joined us anyway! KEPTA is also starting the fall Box Tops Drive, so please clip and send in those Box Tops! The classroom that collects the most Box Tops will be recognized at a future Friday Morning Meeting. The next Inclusive Playground Project meeting will be held Tuesday, October 15th at 7pm in the KES Library, so join us in planning for this incredible project!
This morning we had KHS students here with us from the Peer Helpers Club and from the Save Promise Club greeting our students as they entered the building. The students were greeted again as they entered the gym for Friday Morning Meeting. It is important for our students to start their day with "Hello". Several of the students spoke at the assembly on the importance of making people feel welcomed and being kind. At our last assembly we recognized all of our new Pre-K students at KES, and this morning we recognized all students from our Kindergarten through 2nd grade population who are new to our school community. It was a really nice way to start the day!
I want to take a moment and remind everyone of one of the easiest ways you can offer financial support to KES at no cost to your family. Our local Hannaford supermarket has been supporting KES for more than a decade through their Hannaford’s Helps Schools program that we have participated in. More than 1,500 different products for sale in the store result in “School Dollars” being awarded at the register. Shoppers can then drop those “School Dollars” in the “KES slot” collection tower at the front of the store. Those “School Dollars” come back to us and help fund the KES School Activities Account which we use for Artist in Residence experiences, special events, KES Kids Chorus, and student hardship needs, among other things. Its a simple way to help us offer opportunities for students that we might not be able to justify covering out of the regular school budget.
Next Month our only Assembly will be held on October 18th. It will be a Safety themed assembly where we will cover Bus Safety, Backpack Safety, Halloween Safety and Fire Safety. As you know, October is Fire Safety Month, and our local firefighters from Kennebunk Fire and Rescue will be hosting the annual Fire Prevention Open House on October 6th at the West Kennebunk Fire Station on Thompson Rd from 9:00am to noon. Please see the attached flyer for more information.
Looking further down the road we will be having a KES Student Flu Clinic on Friday November 1st, 2019. You should have received a packet that includes information about the clinic, vaccine information sheets, and a influenza vaccine permission form in your student's home folder. If you would like your child to have the flu vaccine here at school please make sure to return the Influenza Vaccine Health Screen & Permission Form to school no later than October 21st, 2019. Please note that FluMist (nasal spray) may be available. FluMist is a live attenuated vaccine and is not indicated for individuals with asthma or who have a weakened immune system. If you have a preference whether your child gets Flu Shot or Flu Mist please document this on the permission form. If this is not clearly documented and there is no contraindication to either type of vaccine, the nurse at the flu clinic will determine which vaccine to give. If you have any concerns or questions regarding this please reach out to our Nurse Brown at 985-4402 or email@example.com.
And finally, I want to remind everyone again about Mason’s Mission! If you want ot run or walk in 5K tomorrow to support a KES family, please see the attachment below!
Have a great weekend! ‘
KES Newsletter September 20, 2019
Hello KES Families!
I hope you are all well today. I dont usually get outside during the day, but today we had an evacuation drill in the morning, and I joined the duty staff for 2nd grade recess in the afternoon, so I had a couple of opportunities to see what a beautiful day it was. The children were certainly enjoying the return to summer weather. Our evacuation drill went perfectly and I was very proud of our students for heading quickly and quietly out of the building. On October 18th we will have the Kennebunk Fire Department with us for our “Safety” themed Friday Morning Meeting, and they will remain with us following the assembly for another evacuation. If parents want to experience a drill here at KES and see what it is like, please feel free to join us for the assembly and for the drill afterwards.
Next Friday (9/27/19) we will have the Peer Helpers and the SAVE Promise clubs from KHS with us to “Start with Hello.’ One member of the Peer Helpers club at KHS is Cal Montembeau, who is interning with me this year as part of his senior year requirements, so he will be helping host the assembly. When I have confidential meetings that he cannot attend he reads to classrooms, mentors students and helps with small group instruction. If you follow the Kennebunk Rams Football team you may already know Cal, or you may know him from his summer job with Kennebunk Parks and Recreation. He is fast becoming one of the most popular people at KES, so don’t be surprised if your children talk about him, and say hello to him when you see him outside in the morning for greeter duty at KES!
We also want you to know about a special opportunity to support one of our KES families and have fun at the same time. Masons Mission 5K is an opportunity to walk or run with friends for a great cause. The 5 K event will begin at Consolidated School at 9:00am on Saturday, September 28th, one week from tomorrow. Proceeds will help offset some of the financial burden that Mason’s family endures as he continues to grow and require specialized equipment. We know it will be a heartwarming day, and a great family event, so we hope you can participate. Please check out the website for Masons Mission at www.masonsmiossion5k.com.
If you discover green “Clynk” bags in your children’s backpack, those have been provided by KEPTA as an easy way for you to support the planned Inclusive Playground at KES. Just place your returnables in the bag and drop it off at Hannaford Brothers, and you will be automatically supporting this incredible project. Our friends at KEPTA also asked me to remind everyone one more time about the Ice Cream Social on September 26th at 4:00pm behind KES. It's a KES tradition that you don’t want to miss!
If your child is in 1st or 2nd grade and would like to participate in the KES Kids Chorus, you can sign up through the link below. The KES Kids Chorus practices on selected Wednesday afternoons directly following the school day, and they perform at our KES Friday Morning Meetings every other week. It is a great opportunity for student and family engagement and participation at KES, and a great opportunity for students to sing with friends.
KES Kids Chorus Registration
And finally one more reminder regarding 1st and 2nd grade Open House. It will take place on September 30th with 2nd grade beginning at 5:30pm and 1st grade beginning at 6:00pm. In addition to classroom teachers, most specialists and service providers will also be on hand, wo we hope to see you here! Have a great weekend!
Yours in Education,
KES Newsletter September 13, 2019
Hello KES Families!
I hope you are well on this sunny beautiful day! We have had a great week here at KES. With the exception of an Early Release on Wednesday, this has been the closest thing to a full week that we have had so far this year, and most of the children have held up incredibly well. If you are finding that your child is more “weepy” or “clingy” than usual, especially at bedtime, that is common. For the parents of children who have had some tears this week, I can promise you that it won’t last long...their stamina will increase quickly. In the meantime please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to our school counselor, Kelly Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support and we will be happy to help you. Next week will be the real test as we will have five full days in a row for the first time. I also ask new families not to be offended if office or school staff ask for your ID when you come to KES. We will get to know everyone very soon, and that process will not need to continue, but until we know everyone, at least by sight, everyone is safer because staff take those protocols seriously.
It was great seeing so many of you here at KES for our first Friday Morning Meeting of the year this morning! We celebrated all of our new Pre-K students by having each classroom stand and be recognized. They looked so proud and they showed us great “audience behaviors,” so please congratulate them for that! We also had members of the KHS Women’s Field Hockey Team here with us to help us introduce”Responsibility,” the KES Character Trait for the month of September. Please join us in reinforcing responsible actions and look for ways to recognize your child for being responsible. If you see your child engage in some exceptionally responsible behavior without being prompted, please let me know and we will recognize them for it! For those of you who are new to KES, we are a “No Homework” school, so helping teach positive Character Traits each month is generally the only assignment we ask you to help us with. We hope you enjoy quality family time with your children after school each day and encourage them to enjoy books every day. Read with your children….read to your children… have your children read to you if they can, and please let us know if you need help selecting or providing books for your child. In two weeks, on September 27th, we will recognize all students who are new to our community in grades K, 1 and 2, at KES Friday Morning Meeting, so if you are new to our community, please join us for KES Friday Morning Meeting at 8:30am sharp! We will have members of the Peer Helpers and SAVE Promise clubs from KHS with us to help us ‘Start with Hello,” so I hope you can join us!
Important information from our dedicated PTA, KEPTA, includes the Ice Cream Social on September 26th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. For those of you who are new to KES, this event is a KES tradition. Hot Dawgs Vending will be with us to provide picnic dinners, and Arundel Ice Cream will be providing the ice cream and also providing a dairy-free option. We will also have Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen. The Ice Cream Social is held behind KES near the playground, so come eat, play, and socialize with friends and help us celebrate the start of a new year!
We have great News from the KEPTA Playground committee! Kennebunk Savings Bank has signed on as our second Playground Partner awarding us $15,000 as part of a Community Challenge grant. They want to challenge the community to raise and donate funds that will further this exciting initiative. One way you can help is by taking advantage of the EW Cady Heating Maintenance Fundraiser now through December 1st. See the flyer below for more information on how you can get your furnace serviced and support the Inclusive Playground initiative.
We wanted to remind you that if you have any health paperwork that you have not yet submitted, such as your child's Immunization Record, Health Examination Form, Immunization Exemption Form, Medication Permission, Asthma Action Plan or Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan, please do so as soon as possible. Additionally, if your child requires medication at school, whether it be medication they take daily or an “as needed” medication such as an inhaler, epi-pen, or emergency seizure medication, please make sure to drop these off directly to the school nurse with the required paperwork. If you are not certain which paperwork is required, please stop by or reach out to our nurse with any questions. You can reach Nurse Brown at email@example.com.
Thank you for sending in a filled water bottle and a healthy snack for your child each day. We are happy to support families who need help providing lunch or snacks for their child, including weekend snacks, so please reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help you in any way. All support provided is kept confidential.
Please be on the lookout for a letter coming tomorrow from our SRO, Officer Audra, regarding our new pick-up procedure, which will start on Monday. Thank you all for a great start to the year! Have a great weekend!
Yours in Education,
KES Newsletter September 6, 2019
Hello KES Families,
I hope you are well today!
We are off to a great start here at KES. Our 1st and 2nd graders came confidently through the doors on Tuesday and our Pre-K and K students joined us on Thursday with only a couple tears….mostly parents! I have visited each classroom during academic time and seen only happy, engaged students, so I believe that everyone is acclimating to the new year nicely. Currently we are focusing on encouraging students to say “thank you” and “no thank you” by modeling using those words ourselves. We have always used the phrase “Thank you” in a generous way, but we are now using “no thank you” more readily including when students are acting in ways that we want to discourage. Rather than using terms like “stop it” or “don't do that” a simple “no thank you” will do! Please feel free to join us in using this common, more respectful language.
I want to thank KEPTA members for hosting the annual Boo Hoo Brunch here at KES after Pre-K and Kindergarten drop-off on Thursday. They have a Playground Subcommittee meeting scheduled for this coming Monday night (9/9/19) at 6:30pm in the KES Library, so please join us to hear more about where we are with our exciting new playground initiative. Their first general membership meeting will also be next week on Thursday (9/12/19) at 6:00pm in the KES Learning Lab. They are looking for new members with new ideas, so please attend if you can. A membership with KEPTA is still one of the best ways to be involved in your child’s experience here at KES, so please consider joining.
Our whole school assemblies will generally (but not always!) take place every other Friday again this year starting this coming Friday. The focus of KES Friday morning meetings is to promote and encourage both student and family engagement. They provide authentic, real-world opportunities for students to perform, to be recognized, and to co-host events. They also provide us with a forum to offer important presentations including our monthly KES Character Traits, and various community service projects. Annual presentations on Bus safety, Backpack safety, Bike safety, and many other topics are often part of the mix. We also love to recognize students for accomplishments they achieve outside of school, so please email us if your child or a group/team your child is on has reached any mile-stones in music, athletics, performance….anything at all! Dates for KES Friday Morning Meeting this year include the following: 9/13, 9/27, 10/18, 11/1, 11/8, 12/6, 12/13, 1/10, 1/24, 2/7, 2/28, 3/13, 3/27, 4/10, 5/8, 5/22, 6/12, 6/19, so mark your calendars and please join us at 8:30am for Friday Morning Meetings when you can.
On Monday we will have our first Evacuation Drill for the year. This first one is always announced in advance so children can be prepared. We do not actually pull the alarm, rather we make an announcement to remind them, and then another announcement a few minutes later to begin the drill. Surprise drills with the alarm ringing will come later!
And speaking of ringing, we have a new phone system here at KES. The number 985-4402 will still allow you to reach us, however the number 985-2383 is no longer an active line.
As always, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or your child in any way as the year begins. Please see the attached flyer from KPD Chief Mackenzie, and thanks for a great start to the year!
Yours in Education,
KES Newsletter July 3, 2019
Hello KES Families,
I hope you are having a wonderful summer! Just a couple of things I want to let you know about!
This coming week the folks from Congdon’s Doughnuts on Rt. 1 in Wells, Maine are supporting KEPTA’s proposal to build the most inclusive playground in our region.
Every night throughout the summer the parking lot at Congdon’s is transformed into a food truck festival known as “Congdon’s After Dark.” Because Congdon’s has a mission of supporting groups and organizations that help those in need and make the world a better place, each Tuesday at Congdon’s After Dark is known as “Tithing Tuesday,” where proceeds from the event support different philanthropic initiatives.
On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the “Tithing Tuesday” event from 4:00pm to 9:00pm at Congdon’s will support the Kennebunk Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (KEPTA) in building a new totally adaptive and inclusive playground for our region, to be located on Alewive Rd. at Kennebunk Elementary School.
At this “perfect for summertime” food truck festival, dinner for your family will support equitable play for children with special needs and physical challenges. 10% of the cost for all entrees will support the playground proposal, and the following local restaurants will be participating:
Musette, Nom Bai, Burrito Bettys, Blue Mermaid, Motha Trucka, MacDaddys, Knew Potato, Caboose, Big Grandpa’s Grill and of course, Congdon’s Doughnuts.
In the event of inclement weather, the rain date will be the next evening, Wednesday, July 10th. See the Congdons After Dark website for cancellations, and visit www.kbkplayground.org for more information on KEPTA’s playground proposal and to donate. We look forward to seeing you at Congdon’s After Dark!
Also, on a different but related note, we will have another Bottle Drive on July 13th to support the playground. It will run from 11:00am to 3:00pm location TBA ...so please save those 4th of July bottles!
And finally, you have two weeks left to look for missing items of clothing in the KES Lost and Found ...As always we will be donating the clothing to the Kennebunk Cares Closet.