Mill Falls News
November 132020
Important Dates
at a 

Progress Reports Sent via Email

Material Pick Up
for Remote Learning

Parent/Teacher Conferences: No School for Students

11/25 -11/27 
Thanksgiving Break No School

Tea With Laura
Virtual Event
Zoom info to follow

Early Release 
@11:15 for the start of December Break

December Break

School Resumes 


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












 Hello from the Other Side...

This week marked the start of our emergent pivot to an All-School Remote Teaching & Learning Model. We have been fortunate not to have any positive cases at school, but the rapid and consistent rise in cases in and around Manchester pushed this proactive move. On Monday, staff worked collaboratively here at school to finalize the plans and schedules for the shift. On Tuesday morning, we welcomed our students back to learning. 

MFCS Students may notice during Zoom meetings and instruction, that our teachers are working some days at school, and some days at home. This is all in an effort to minimize the number of people in the building on any given day. We are continuing to watch the COVID cases numbers tick upward - with yesterday reported as the most cases ever in NH, and across the country. We will monitor those numbers and community spread information, all of which may impact the time and frequency with which staff members are here in the building.

We have all learned a lot from last spring's experience of remote teaching and learning. That has informed our practices this year. We have improved our lesson scheduling, mapped out clear expectations for student participation and attendance; and acquired technology for each of our students to use when learning remotely. We are providing tech support for all families and staff and we are regularly creating materials and follow-up work for our students which are designed to be done without use of the computer. We have also begun a series of Tea with Laura for parents/guardians to speak with her about various issues impacting their children's education and will continue to share resources that may be helpful to families during this challenging time. As a staff, we also have a regular standing session with a therapist who specializes in school staff issues. Our aim is to act intentionally, as we care for each member of our community.

We know there is plenty more for us to learn as we journey through this next phase, but we want to take a moment to recognize our nurturing and committed staff, our Board of Trustees, as well as our amazing students and their families. COVID has forced everyone to be flexible, creative and tenacious; patient, kind and empathetic. Our Mill Falls Community has responded with love and a willingness to lean in at every stage. We feel incredibly grateful and fortunate to be on this path with such an amazing group of people. 

We are closing out Trimester 1 today. MFCS Families can look forward to receiving their children's Fall Progress Reports, which will be sent out at day's end via our student information program, ALMA. Additionally, Parents/Guardians are reminded to please be sure to sign up for your Virtual Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences next Thursday, November 19th. An invitation to schedule your conference was sent out earlier this week by your child's teacher. 

Please stay safe, and close to home, wear your masks and take care of yourselves. These are complex times that demand the most of us, as we join together to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors well!

 Remote Learning Attendance Reminders

Regular & consistent attendance is the bedrock of solid learning.

No matter the learning model, it is expected that all Mill Falls students will be present and ready for learning each school day, just as in pre-COVID times. 

Each day, our Students Learning at Home are expected to attend:
1. 8:45am Morning Meeting followed by their Planning Session
2: All Scheduled Live Lessons (specific schedule shared by teachers)
3: At least ONE Daily Check in (specific schedule shared by teachers)
4: Additionally, ALL work must be turned in by 3:15pm

To be marked PRESENT for the day: a Remote Student must attend items 1-3 above and turn in all work by 3:15pm.

A student will be marked unexcused TARDY for the day, if he/she misses  1 or 2 of the items above, and still turns in all work by 3:15pm.

A student will be marked unexcused ABSENT if he/she misses 3 or more of the items in the list above, even if they turn in work by 3:15pm. 

Please note, repeated unexcused absences and tardies will trigger our Attendance Protocol as noted in our Family Handbook.

If your child is going to be absent or tardy or must end the day early, parents/guardians are required to alert the front office by phone or email. 

 Share Your Images & Stories from Learning at Home!

To keep us connected while we are teaching and learning at a distance, we hope you will share your images and stories of the children learning remotely so that we can feature them in future newsletters. 

Please share your children's daily work as well as Big Work Wednesday Projects, which we can share in our newsletter. 

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!

Above: At the beginning of the year, Ismael's mom, Lamis, made a change in their living area so that all three of her children get some sunlight during the school day. 
 Progress Reports & Conferences

All Fall Progress Reports were sent out today via our student information system, ALMA. Please be sure to review the report about your child in advance of your Conference next Thursday. 

* * *

On Thursday, November 19th, we will hold our Annual Fall Conferences, but this year they will be held remotely, via Zoom. Your child's teacher has sent a sign up link to each student's family. Mill Falls Parents/Guardians are reminded to sign up for a Conference slot ASAP if you have not already done so. 

Any questions? Please reach out to your child's teacher by email. Thank you! 

 ** IMPORTANT UPDATE** Family Tech Support

This year, Ms. Jody is serving as our Family Tech Support person. 

She is now available by email, Zoom and now BY PHONE, too, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (note, she is not available on Wednesdays). 

Jody 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
**NEW Meeting ID: 440 672 8787   PW: 356575
**NEW: She can NOW be reached by phone at: (857) 228-8286

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).

 Support Mill Falls While You Shop & Gift!

Whether you buy gift cards as presents
or use them to shop for yourself,
your order through ShopWithScrip.com
helps raise critical funds for our school!

MFCS Parent, Jenna Bridgett, is once again coordinating the ShopWithSCRIP.com give-and-get fundraising tool, an easy and effective way to raise funds for Mill Falls, while you shop for yourself or for others. 

There are over 750 top brands offering gift cards that give back! 

Shop, gift & support Mill Falls by clicking here: 
Mill Falls Enrollment Code: 228A3E9L34664

 Set Up to Print from School Chromebooks

If you would like to set up your child's Chromebook to print to your home printer, pleaser follow the instructions below which have been created by the intrepid, Jen Z. 


Here is a video showing you how to set up your home printer: 
For written instructions, and to check if your printer is compatible with Chromebooks, please visit: 
Important Note: If your printer auto connects when you log into your child's Chromebook, you MUST save your printer so that it will to continue to work next week.  

If the steps aren't working for you, please screenshot and send the screenshot to techsupport@millfalls.org and we can troubleshoot from there (screenshot instructions: https://www.google.com/chromebook/howto/take-full-screenshots/)
ADDITIONAL TIPS related to Printing and Network Management
  • If you are following the video instructions included here, and nothing happens when you click the 'settings icon', please log out of the Chromebook and log back in. (This resets the policy information)
  • Remember, you must save your printer on your Chromebook! Regardless of if it auto connects, continue to follow the steps to save the printer.
  • If you have more than one Chromebook, the printer must be set up on each machine.
Academic questions? These should be sent to your child's classroom teacher(s).

 Health & Wellness Reminders in the Age of COVID

Health & Wellness Reminders:

Holiday Season Advice from the NH State Epidemiologist & the NH Health and Human Services (HHS) Department:

At this week's state-wide school partner meeting with HHS, the following guidelines were shared in relation to the upcoming holiday season:
    • Don't travel if you don't have to;
    • Avoid public transportation;
    • Avoid gathering in groups with people not already part of your immediate close household contracts;
    • Travel restrictions around the region and country are changing. So you may either have restrictions applied to you in another state, or be subject to quarantine when you return to NH or both!
* * *

People exhibiting symptoms or thought to have been exposed to COVID, should seek testing to assist in our overall ability to limit and track COVID spread. 

Which Test Should You Get?
  • PCR testing (the test that generally takes a day or a few days to get back) is the recommended test to get if you feel you have been exposed to COVID, but do not have any symptoms. Is is the most sensitive of tests - the current gold standard - and can also be given to those with symptoms. 
  • Antigen testing, what is being also being referenced as the rapid test, should ONLY be accessed if a person is experiencing symptoms related to COVID. The rapid test is far less sensitive, and so it may not catch cases if used on people who are asymptomatic. 
Dealing with Test Results

If the COVID test is positive, the patient 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 you or 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 you or your child should still remain at home until there is an improvement of symptoms and no fever or vomiting for 24 hours, as per usual health and wellness protocol.

 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.  

* * *

Seasonal/Holiday Art Project Ideas

Every Tuesday, Blick Art will be offering fun and festive project demonstrations. Click here for details.

* * *

The NH Audubon at Massabesic Lake has some very engaging programming and fun activities linked to the natural world. Visit their website for details!

 Next Tea with Laura: Friday, December 4th @10am

** Recording of first Tea now available**

Tea with Laura
Friday, December 4th @10am

If you weren't able to join us at the first Tea with Laura which focused on the prepared environment, please take some time to access the recording by clicking here

* * *
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 details about the next Tea.

Have an idea for the next Tea topic? 
Please send us your thoughts to office@millfalls.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

* * *

Tea with Laura
October 30,2020: The Importance of the Prepared Environment
Click here for the link to the video

* * *

Other Resources:

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':

 Montessori Moments From Near & Far...

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

* * *
Below: This week our Kinders were asked by their Teachers, Ms. Kristin and Ms. Kayla, what they were thankful for, as part of a larger season-related project. The list the children generated is simple, inspiring and full of love. We share it here with you to brighten your day:
* * *

Below: The days here at school this week have been full of work, supporting our kiddos, families and one-another. 

* * *

This week in Art Class the assignment from Ms. Melissa was to Create a Superhero. Students had to include their superhero name, secret identity, superpower and weakness. Left
4th Year Student, Lillian, created Trash Lady, the Superhero who is keeping the world clean!
Below: Portrait of Steve Jobs by 5th Year Student, Cooper W.

Below: Superhero by 4th Year Student, Myles, was inspired by LEGO Ninjago character, Jay. Jay is making lightning with his fingers, and his super power element is lightning. 

Above Left: Blue Man by 5th Year Student, Travis D.
Above Right: Strong Star by 4th Year Student, Eptehal.
Below: COVID Man by 6th Year Student, 
Ibrahim M.
* * *

Below: Today in Yosemite, Ms. Kristin taught her Kinder Students about decomposition. Using the very pumpkins the children worked with during their October Pumpkin Study, Ms. Kristin set up a composting tank, which will remain in the classroom for the next several weeks. Ms. Kristin and the children will observe what happens to the pumpkins, whose compost tank includes worms! Below are some images from today's cultural lesson, which introduced the final stage of the classroom's Pumpkin Study.

* * *

This week, MFCS Parent, Lamis, sent us some recent Big Work Wednesday Projects her sons have done. Thank you to Lamis and the boys for sharing these!

Above: Ibrahim working on the draft of his book about soccer, "Be a Sensational Soccer Player Today!" He plans to put it on Amazon once he completes it.

Above left: Musa is creating 3D shapes using magnetic pieces. Above rightIsmael working with LEGO pieces to create what he called, "The North Hemisphere Inside Out."

Ibrahim building the Steampunk Music Box, a project with many tiny pieces that used a lot of fine motor skills. It also required that he look on the internet to learn about the Steampunk style. 

* * *
Thank you in advance for continuing to send in Remote Learning photographs and stories! This will help keep us connected as we teach and learn from afar.