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Mill Falls News
October 232020
IN THIS ISSUE
Important Dates
at a 
Glance

10/23-25   
Material Pick Up
for Remote MFCS Families 

10/24
Picture Day! 
11:30am - 2:30pm
Sign up required.
 
10/30
Mobile Food Pantry
1-3pm @ the Comcast parking lot, 676 Island Pond Rd.

11/1
Daylight Savings Time
Turn the clocks back one hour.



 
CORPORATE SPONSORS

We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing contributions from the following corporate partners: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pumpkins & Apples Take the Cake...

This week featured, among other things, a full fall focus with pumpkin studies (great job on Big Works Wednesday!), a shared apple cake treat (thank you Ms. Tana), a special baking project led by Ms. Mindy with our English Language Learner Families, and the ever present raining down of the beautiful fall-colored leaves! It's a short week, and with that this will be a relatively brief newsletter. 

We hope our families enjoy a little extra time together this weekend - with today's Professional Development Day for staff, the children have an extra day to rest and relax. Here at school, today was jam-packed with workshops and collaboration time. We began our day with Eric Mann from the Southeastern Regional Education Service better known as SERESC. Eric led us in a discussion of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with an emphasis on supporting and modeling self-awareness and self-regulation in order to support the regulation in children, especially during this very challenging time. We discussed the value of establishing and embedding SEL-connected common language and practices across all levels of our organization. 

Our afternoon workshop was led by the folks at Connor's Climb Foundation. Linked to the new NH law around suicide prevention among young people, this workshop is required of all staff to attend. Connor's Climb provides suicide prevention education to NH youth and the community by raising awareness, reducing the stigma around mental health, and equipping youth, educators, and communities with tools and resources focused on the vulnerable age group of 10-24 year olds.They collaborate with teachers and schools, the public, and the mental health system to ensure that the young people of NH have the life-saving resources needed to prevent suicide. Some of you may remember Kara LaMarche who was our beloved Art Teacher a few years back. She is at Connors Climb and is a great partner in this work.

Looking forward, we want to thank Ms. Grace and Mr. Eli for leading the way at tomorrow's annual Picture Day!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! 

 Tea with Laura W. our Educational Program Director

Tea with Laura:
A new series

Please plan to join us on 
Friday, October 30th at 10am 
for the first virtual gathering in the series

Please RSVP TODAY by sending an email to
We will then share the Zoom link. 


Laura Wrubleski has been at Mill Falls since we opened our doors in 2012 as our Educational Program Director (much like a traditional principal). In this role, she oversees our educational programming. She is Montessori Trained Educator as well as a State certified teacher in NH and MA in both Elementary Education and Special Education. Laura also holds a Masters of Education in Literacy Studies.

This series is designed as an informal opportunity for Laura to speak with the adult members of our Mill Falls Families about educational structures and expectations as they relate to our public Montessori program as well as offer guidance to our parents/guardians in support of our students. Please stay tuned for more details about how to sign up for this event!

 Family Tech Support


This year, Ms. Jody is serving as our Family Tech Support person. 
She is available by email and Zoom on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (note, she is not available on Wednesdays). 

She can be reached by email at techsupport@millfalls.org

She can be reached on Zoom (for live chats via the waiting room one at a time) from: 
10am-12pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Meeting ID: 797 9462 3236    PW: 6nEvDQ
If Jody cannot answer your question, she will reach out to our team to get an answer for you. 

Academic questions? These should be sent to your child's classroom teacher(s).

 Health & Wellness Reminders in the Age of COVID

Health & Wellness Reminders:

Students exhibiting symptoms must present a negative Antigen Test AND improvement of symptoms before returning to school. 

If the COVID test is positive, your child will need to isolate at home for at least 10 days, including the final day without fever (and fever reducing medication). We strongly advise family members to also seek testing, as they will be considered 'close contacts' by the Health Department. Remember, while no one can test out of the 14-day close contact quarantine, the testing is to help trace and limit community spread!

If you or anyone is your household is found to be a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, your or your household member will need to quarantine at home for 14 days after that close contact. Again you and your household members are strongly advised to seek testing. Remember, while no one can test out of close contact quarantine, the testing is to help trace and limit community spread!

If testing is not accessedthen your child will need to stay home for 10 days including the final day without fever (without fever reducing medication). 

If the COVID test is negative
, please keep in mind that your child must still remain at home until there is an improvement of symptoms and no fever or vomiting for 24 hours, as per our usual health and wellness protocol.


Testing note: The NH Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Manchester City Health Department expects those with concerns but NO symptoms to seek a PCR Antigen test that must be sent to a lab for processing. ONLY those with symptoms are instructed to seek a rapid test. At this time, the rapid antigen tests are only considered effective by our state's public health teams when there is a presence of symptoms. 

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To assist in everyone's understanding of the protocol we've designed, we ask that you review the COVID Handbook Insert (esp. pages 6-8) as well as the chart below. Thank you so very much for your ongoing partnership in keeping our school community well!



A reminder that the NH State Epidemiologist strongly urges the following: Persons experiencing symptoms related to COVID, or concerned that they may have been exposed to the virus, are strongly urged to seek Antigen Testing. This assists in our overall ability to keep our school community safe and informed about COVID and viral spread. Thank you!
 COVID & Community Resources


Family Support Hot Line:
Waypoint Family support can help with anything from where to get covid testing or child care. 
Call: 800-640-6486 
M-F 8:30-4:30


* * *

Free COVID Tests
Families who live in the Greater Manchester area may call the Manchester COVID-19 Hotline to arrange for a free testing appointment. East and West Side locations available. This is NOT an antibody test. The hotline is available Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Call: 603-668-1547. Testing appointments are required.  

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Mobile Food Pantries
The NH Food Bank will be holding 12 Mobile Food Pantries around the state in the month of October. Please see the dates and locations of some of the sites below. 

The Mobile Food Pantries take place from 1-3pm.
  • Manchester: Friday, Oct 30th @ Comcast, 676 Island Pond Road.
If you or someone you know would like to volunteer at any of these Mobile Food Pantries, please contact Ashley at volunteercoordinator@nhfoodbank.org.
 Laura's Corner



Student & Family Support
Below is some information from Ms. Laura W. about supporting students who are learning from home. 

The Importance of the Prepared Environment:

Fostering Student Independence During Remote Learning

A Deeper Dive into the Importance of Independence

The Power of Accomplishment

* * *

And here are some books that staff have suggested for families with young children in these COVID times. 

A reminder, we do try to talk about the need for keeping space between people these days using the term Physical Distancing, rather than 'social distancing':



 Share Your Images & Stories from Home!
We would once again like to ask our Mill Falls Families to share images and stories from their Remote Learning experience - daily work as well as Big Work Wednesday Projects, which we can share in our newsletter. 


Please send your photographs, brief stories (remember sharing humorous moments will help keep us all healthy!), and quotes to Ms. Meryl at: stories.pictures@millfalls.org.
 
Please be sure to send the photos at small to medium resolution, and send along a description / story about what is going on in the photos. Thank you!
 
 Montessori Moments From Near & Far...

Please enjoy some photographs from this week here at school and some sent in from families working remotely:

 







* * *
Below: Last Friday, Ms. Melissa hung up some of the Pop Art project called "Meet Andy Warhol & His 25 Cats Named Sam". 



* * *

 
This week, Ms. Mindy brought the fun of baking to her work with her English Language Learners and their families. They baked together, virtually of course, to create a delicious Apple Crisp!


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Below: Apple Tree Study in process & Yoga in our Kinder Room
 


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Big Work Wednesday
Big Work is a Montessori practice where children work on projects that are driven by student interest - something that sparks excitement and motivation to learn more about a certain subject. In the process this helps to develop a number of skills related to academics, problem solving, independence and so much more! Here are some examples from this week:
 
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Below: A recipe and some baking - both in response to this prompt by Ms. Anya... Prepare a Recipe for an Astronaut!
 
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This past Wednesday, Quinn once again worked on a stop-action video for his Big Work.

This time, he recorded as he built the pet dragon of Kai, a LEGO Ninjago character.  

Quinn loves the LEGO Ninjago characters and stories - a TV series about these Ninjas that are LEGO characters. They characters work as team to battle evil. 

Take a moment to view the stop motion animation video Quinn made this week, by clicking here: https://youtu.be/tTWH7OrhlXc

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Below:  This week, Simon, Tilda and Lillian worked on Triple Big Work called the 
Haunted Cafe. Simon and Tilda developed and wrote up a menu; Simon wrote the script for the commercial for the cafe. Lillian joined them to cook their recipes and film.  
 

Here's the link to the video: https://youtu.be/8yZUyzrCbfE

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Below: Pumpkin Study fun...


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Below: As we all know, these COVID times are filled with unexpected complexities, and stresses - big and small - for all. We are doing lots of things as a staff to manage that stress, and this week we added a new tool to our tool kit! We've created what we are calling our Chill Space for staff to access as needed -  for lunch, to listen to a song, mediate briefly, or just be... Special thanks to Ms. Colleen L. for the idea, and to Ms. Laura and Ms. Grace for their shopping and decoration skills!