Wednesday Memo 3/8/17



Will Andrews showed Purple- Team pride with 8th grade leader Holden Larsen during Winter Carnival.

Will Andrews showed Purple- Team pride with 8th grade leader Holden Larsen during Winter Carnival.


POLICY REMINDER: From the Family Handbook, regarding “Planned Absences:” Extended Planned Absences

Our annual schedule has been intentionally designed to cluster vacation days together and to be aligned with the schedules of our local high schools. If you plan an extended absence during days when school is in session, you must give sufficient notice to Krystal Ingalls before the absence begins so she can alert your child’s teachers. Teachers then have adequate time to arrange school assignments for your child. Assignments must be handed in no later than one week after the student returns to school. If exams take place during the absence, the student must take them upon return, according to a schedule arranged by the teachers. Recognizing that valuable learning may occur as a result of the travel experience, alternative assignments may be suggested in conversation between families and the teacher(s).

Brief or Regular Planned Absences
If your child will be absent for a brief period, such as a dentist appointment, or regularly, such as therapy appointments or sports training, you must give sufficient notice to Krystal Ingalls before the absence so that she can alert your child’s teachers. Teachers will then have time to arrange school assignments as necessary. The expectation is that assignments will be handed in upon the student’s return to school. If the student struggles to maintain the expected level of participation in class work while balancing commitments outside of school, the Head of School and the teacher will discuss the issue with the parents.

SPRING FIELD TRIP DATE CHANGE: Due to availability at the fantastic hostel in the old city where we wish to stay, we are changing the dates of the 4-8th grade Spring Field Trip to Monday, May 8 - Wednesday, May 10. Remember that students will only need birth certificates to travel with us (although passports are appreciated and will be carried by a chaperone); but chaperones planning to join us will need passports or enhanced licenses - if you don’t yet have one and plan to go with us, please begin the process this week.

SPELLING BEE: Kudos to our winners of the spelling bee before vacation: 1st Place Wally Hunt; 2nd Place Liam Markey; 3rd Place tie Phoebe Barrett and Aurora Gilbert. Wally will go on to compete at the Vermont State Bee later this month.

PARENT FUNDRAISING: We have overheard ideas about a Sip and Paint Party; a spring Fun Run; and we know that many parents signed up on the volunteer sheets at the Fall BBQ to share and implement fundraising ideas. Anyone who has ideas or wants to be involved in planning something should plan to attend (or call in) to a meeting on Monday, March 13 at 8:15.

The Parent community has done a wonderful job of fundraising so far (Fall Yardsale, Close Buy sale, Auction); you have nearly met your goal of $25,000 for the year. Going beyond that goal might allow us to invest significantly in technology thanks to a donor- match offer.

SEED FUNDRAISER: Are you thinking spring? Parent Casey Doerner and Joy’s 5th grade class are organizing a seeds sale! If you are planning your own garden and seed ordering, please note that you will be able to get your Yaya carrot (organic), Lettuce mix (organic), Provider bush beans, and Sugarsnap snap peas (organic) while supporting Riverside at the same time. They will be selling non-GMO seeds from the FedCo Seed Company in Maine. These are hardy strains, which have good tolerance for Vermont's short growing season. More details to follow.

SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: The grandparents of preschooler Rory Ray, Michele and Iggy Pike-Wildflower, lost their home and all of their possessions in a chimney fire this past weekend. Rory’s mom Cherisse reports that they are most in need of adult gloves, hats, mittens, scarves. Additionally, they would welcome clothing donations: female tops size medium; female pants sizes 3-6; male tops size large; male pants 30x32. Donations can be taken to the preschool classroom.

They also appreciate small donations to their relief fund here:

8th GRADE PRESENTATION: Waverly Griffin is presenting in Assembly on Thursday morning on the topic of Immigration. We welcome visitors to support her research and hear her stance.

LATIN CLUB: Latin Club will meet at 3:45 on Thursday.

DISTRICT MUSIC FESTIVAL: On Friday, those students going to the District Music
Festival will leave Riverside in carpools around 8:45 am for North County Union High School. We would appreciate the help of another volunteer carpool driver to drop us off in Newport that morning. The groups will perform there at 6:30 pm; concert tickets are $5. We encourage parents to attend; students should be picked up by their parents after the concert.

A few things to remember

  • All students opted to pack both meals, so remember to pack enough food for lunch,

    dinner and maybe even a snack. Jacob will bring a small cooler for anything that

    needs to stay cold until lunch and dinner.

  • Students should have comfortable clothes to rehearse in, but will need concert dress

    clothes for the night of the concert.

  • Students in the band must bring their music, instruments, oil, and reeds with them.

    Jacob has the music for the students in the choir.

  • Students who have not given Jacob the medical form yet must have it with them

    Friday morning.

    DOWNHILL AND X-COUNTRY SKIING: We will be adventuring for the last time this Friday, March 10 if the weather cooperates. Downhill snacks will be provided thanks to the Hall-Henderson and Adams families.

    SCIENCE CLUB: We will not meet next Monday, March 13.

PI DAY: We look forward to celebrating the relationship between the diameter and circumference of a circle on March 14 with assembly discussions, class-specific math activities, and pie for snack! If any families are willing to donate a homemade pie to the event, we would welcome it. Please let Nelia know in advance.

PROGRESS REPORTS: Students in grades 6-8 will get progress reports on Tuesday, March 14 so that families can prepare thoughts and questions for conferences the following day. Please ask your student(s) about them and review them together.

PARENT-TEACHER-STUDENT CONFERENCES: We will dismiss at 12:30 next Wednesday, March 15 for conferences. Please call Krystal as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with your children’s teachers. If you are unable to meet that afternoon but have a desire to communicate in person about student progress, please feel free to contact the relevant teacher(s) to set up a different meeting time. Middle School families: note that it may not be necessary for you to meet with all of the teachers, it is up to you to choose where your priorities lie.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: 7-8th graders will be attending a professional performance at SJA’s Fuller Hall of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on Thursday, March 16 at 9:30 am.

TRUSTEE FORUM: Trustees are looking forward to hosting a discussion with parents about the next couple years of growth at Riverside. They welcome parents in sharing both their concerns and their celebrations of these plans, and also look forward to having parent help in proposing solutions to maintaining the Riverside culture and mission for which we all care. This event will be on March 16, at 5:30 pm in the barn.

SWIMMING: Our K-3rd graders will be going to the SJA pool on Friday afternoons in a few weeks for brief swimming lessons and free swim. Note that pickup on these dates will be at 3:15 at the back of the St. Johnsbury Academy pool: March 17, 31, April 7, 28, May 5, 12. Thank you to Nate Killam for offering to help in the boys’ locker room. But he is not available March 17 and would likely appreciate an extra hand on other days. If you can lend a hand, please let Nelia know.

MOVIE NIGHT: Please join us for a showing of Singin’ in the Rain next Friday night (March 17) at 7:00 pm. Doors will open at 6:45. Suggested donation of $5 and there will be refreshments for sale. All proceeds go to support the Latin Club.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN: Middle school play electives and rehearsals are progressing on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Actors with speaking roles should have lines memorized by now so that they can attend to their movement and acting. March 20-24 will be middle school play week, a demanding and dynamic experience for everyone involved. Some things to note:

Show Times: Performances will be Friday the 24th and Saturday the 25th at 7:00 pm. Students should arrive at 5:00 those nights.

Costumes: Rachel Gilbert sent a note home with students before vacation that explained a bit of what’s necessary. Mostly, the need is help collecting the following kinds of vintage items from the era of 1929:
• For the girls, that would be: Cloche-style hats; High heeled shoes; Long costume-type necklaces (think faux pearls or large wooden beads)
• For the boys, we could use supplements in the area of: V-neck sweaters, whether cardigan, vest, or pullover; Dress-type shoes (loafers, etc., not sneakers)
• Also, let Rachel know if your son has a suit and/or button-down shirt that fits which they’d like to use for himself. If you have any questions or if you just have a piece of clothing that seems “so perfect” for this show, please contact Rachel (, 802-626-4565) and let her know.

Make-Up: We will ask that each student bring mascara and eyeliner in a small baggie with his name on it by Thursday, March 19.

Volunteer Help: The following are some ways that you can help us out during play week, please be in touch with Nelia if you can participate:

  • Extra adult participation and supervision of elective activities during play week

    (costuming, set painting, choreography)

  • Assisting with hair or make-up before each performance (sign up for one or both)

  • Assisting with costume changes during each performance (sign up for one or both)

  • Preparing bake sale items

  • Managing the bake sale table during intermission and after each performance (sign up for one or both)
    T-Shirts: We have a tradition of celebrating our Play Week efforts with commemorative t-shirts for 6th-8th graders. Riverside covers a portion of the cost and we ask parents to accept a $5 charge on your school store account to cover the balance. If this is a problem for you, please be in touch with Nelia.

    SBAC TESTING: Students in grades 3-8 will be engaged with computer-based standardized testing March 27-April 6. Students will have time to practice working with the online testing interface and to discuss that experience as a class. Each student then will have about 5-6 hours of testing over those two weeks. If you have any questions about this, please contact Nelia.

    PRINTER INK: We have two packages of HP 933 ink that are new but the package is open, for a printer we no longer use. If anyone would like them, just ask Nelia.

    AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MURDER ON THE NILE: Friday, March 17th at Fuller Hall, at 7:00 pm. The professional Aquila Theatre will stage Murder on the Nile, by one of the greatest mystery writers in world literature, Agatha Christie. This brilliant new production, set on a paddle steamer cruising the Nile in 1940s Egypt, features a masterful whodunit performed in Aquila's clever signature style. Class, money and reputation are all at stake. And before the steamer's passengers know it deceit, theft and murder quickly make waves on the river. Student tickets are free thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; adult tickets: $42, $34, $24, $15; buy online or by calling the Box Office 748-2600.


    March 10 - Downhill and X-Country Skiing, pick up at Village Sports Trailside at 3:00 or the Base Lodge at 3:30
    March 13 - Parent Fundraising Ideas meeting, 8:15 am
    March 14 - Middle School Progress Reports
    March 15 - Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences, early dismissal at 12:30Board of Trustees meeting, 5:00 pm
    March 16 - 7-8th grade to see Much Ado About Nothing at Fuller Hall, 10:00 am Trustee Forum, 5:30 pm
    March 17 - K-3rd grade swimming, pick up at SJA pool at 3:15 Movie Night, 7:00 pm
    March 18 - Destination Imagination Competition
    March 20-24 - Middle School Play Week March 24, 25 - Singin’ in the Rain, 7:00 pm


Because of the short week, skiing adventures Friday, and the review necessary after vacation, many teachers did not submit complete plans for this week.

K-1st Grade/Carriage House Kids
Kindergarten Math: We will be finishing the unit on the numbers 11-19 and will take the end of the unit test.
Music: We will learn the song Shenandoah this week for our upcoming musical.

2nd-3rd Grade/Allee’s Angels
Language Arts: We will explore verbs and tenses, as well as, object and subject pronouns. We will talk about how to present orally; to speak clearly and slowly, to make eye contact, and to stay focused on topic. We will also talk about how to be a good audience member; to listen, to ask questions, and to learn the most possible from our classmates’ presentations. Rainforest Unit: Students will look over their reports one more time to create index cards that will assist in their oral presentations next week. Presentation dates have been assigned to prevent duplication of animals on any given day. They will create an abbreviated bibliography for sources used in their research. They will also have the opportunity to make a squirrel monkey to add to our jungle. We will apply plumage to our harpy eagle.
2nd Grade Math: Students are learning to use place value during subtraction. Strategies include breaking apart, number lines and base ten blocks.
3rd Grade Math: Students are learning about fractions as numbers, numerators and denominators, unit fractions, and how to relate fractions to number lines.
Music: We are going to start learning the blocking and motions to our first song. The Ballad of Lewis and Clark.
Of Special Note: * Students need to remember to return to school with alternate footwear. Our carpet is shampooed and mud season is rapidly approaching. We love to be outside, but hopefully we can leave most of the mud and dirt outside of our classroom. ** Please expect to spend some time over the weekend helping to prepare your child for their oral presentation. Apply “two stars and a wish” to your critique of their efforts.

4th Grade/Erin’s Electric Eagles
Writing: A handful of us are putting the final touches on our argumentative writing. When we are all finished, we will celebrate by reading each other’s writing and pointing out the strengths of our classmates arguments. We will also debrief the process of having written a 5-paragraph essay and identify things to work on for future major writing projects. Reading: We will be pushing to finish our Great 8 books by the end of the month, and as students finish they will begin a project to help them think about the setting, characters, and plot of their book as well as sharing their opinions of it.
Math: We will review mixed numbers and improper fractions before diving into adding and subtracting mixed numbers. Our sense of fractions is expanding and deepening!
Social Studies: Groups of colonists will be spending this week fleshing out their understanding of a certain option the colonies might take in regards to the relationship with Britain - either declaring independence, staying loyal, or trying to negotiate diplomatically. We are preparing to have a town deliberation with all citizens of Kipperville next week! Genius Hour: After having a class discussion before break, we are tentatively planning to have our Genius Hour presentations on Wednesday April 12! Time has not yet been decided, but I am currently thinking about the last 30 minutes of the day (2:30ish).
Outdoor Learning: Before break we had a wonderful time working as a group to live out a survival scenario by building a shelter, a fire, and cooking up some snacks! We look forward to spending time in the sunshine this week - even though our quinzee has melted away.
Music: We are going to start learning the blocking and motions to our first song. The Ballad of Lewis and Clark.
Special Note: We will have our last skiing adventure on Friday! After this week, we will be devoting some of our Friday afternoon time to learning about how to use technology tools and to improving our typing.

5th Grade
Music: We are going to start learning the blocking and motions to our first song. The Ballad of Lewis and Clark.

Grade 6
Physical Science: They will work on their bridges in class this week. PE: They will continue their study of gymnastics.

Grade 7
Life Science: They will begin their study of growth, development, and reproduction this week.
PE: They will continue their study of gymnastics.

Grade 8
Earth Science: They will begin their study of meteorology this week. That starts off Wednesday with a isotherm mapping lab.
Music: We continue our project of creating a podcast.
PE: They will continue their study of gymnastics.