Lower Elementary Welcome Letter  2018-19

Dear Lower Elementary Families,

Summer Greetings!  It is hard to believe the school year is approaching so quickly.  The lower elementary teachers look forward to getting to know new students and families and to reuniting with our returning community members. In the Maple classroom, we welcome Courtney DeMeulenaere as a new teacher.  Alice Pennell is moving into the role of Maple Lead and Matt Metzler is changing his role from Aftercare Lead to Maple Classroom Teacher.  This letter will touch on some additional things you should know to be prepared for the first day of school.  We also welcome former Maple teacher Evan Coppelly as our Spanish teacher. Spanish lessons will continue to be given in small groups of five or six students during the work period.  We no longer will have grade level pull-out music lessons and are bringing music into the classrooms as an integral part of our curriculum. Not only will we continue with lots of group singing, but we will be teaching music theory and small group instrument lessons including ukulele, recorder, xylophone, and percussion.

A teacher will be at the door to greet your child between 8:15 and 8:30 each morning.We will begin Morning Meeting at 8:35.  It is very important that your child is present and settled in at this time, as we begin by going over the plan for the day and presenting large group lessons.  The door teacher is available for daily communication needs at arrival (8:15-8:30) and dismissal (3:15-3:30). We welcome the opportunity to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your child-specific questions and concerns.  Please set up a time in advance with the lead teacher for this type of meeting so that we can give you the time and attention you deserve.

The daily schedule:

8:15 -8:30       Arrival Time

8:35 – 9:00      Morning Meeting

9:00 -12:00     Work Period (individual student choice time and individual and small group lessons)

12:00- 12:30   Lunch

12:30 – 1:10    Recess

1:15 – 1:35      Story

1:35 – 2:45      PM Work Period including nature hikes, etc

2:45 – 3:00      Jobs Time

3:00 – 3:10      Closing Meeting (Acknowledgements, Announcements, Problems, Solutions,

Mindfulness Moment)

3:10 – 3:30      Silent reading

The Lower Elementary Staff:

Maple Lead Teacher: Alice Pennell

Maple Co-Teachers: Courtney DeMeulenaere and Matt Metzler

Walnut Lead Teacher: Eve Cusack

Walnut Co-Teachers: Jacob Bailey and McKenzie Holmgren

Spanish Teacher: Evan Coppelly

Aftercare Lead: Lyndsey Taylor

Your child will need to bring a pair of “indoor shoes” to leave here at school.  This helps keep our carpets clean as children come in and out from recess and other outdoor activities.  Indoor shoes should have backs to keep them firmly on children’s feet, as well as a hard sole. With backless shoes, such as slides, children shuffle their feet and they tend to come off unintentionally.  If “Croc” -style shoes are work, the backstrap should be around the heel. We also encourage children to have a spill-proof water bottle. We will provide all school supplies. If children have items they need to bring to and from school, we suggest they use a backpack or bag which may be kept in their cubby.  This is especially handy on Friday as they will bring home their notebooks then. Please leave distracting items at home, including watches that have functions beyond telling time. Step counters are acceptable if they do not have additional features.

Please make sure your child is either signed up for school lunches through the BMS website or packs a nutritious, balanced lunch from home.  Please remember that we are a nut-free campus due to life-threatening allergies in the community.  We will provide a healthy snack each day. Please let a teacher know directly if your child has allergies, in addition to filling out the registration forms.

On most Fridays, students’ portfolio notebooks will come home for the weekend.  It is very important that these return to school the following Monday, or the next day your child attends school. This is an opportunity for your child to show you what they have been working on.  Please notice the work record to see what your child worked on and how many of these projects were completed. All loose papers in the pocket of the notebook should be kept at home each weekend, leaving the pocket empty.

Please read the customs letter below for additional information.  We feel so fortunate to have your family as a part of our community and we are looking forward to working with you throughout the year.  

Your teachers,


Alice, Eve, Courtney, Jacob, Matt and McKenzie

Lower Elementary (6-9)