Mill Falls News
December 18, 2020
Important Dates
at a 

Food Drive Closes on 12/21!
Mill Falls Families are asked to share what they can for people who are experiencing food insecurity during these uncertain times. We have placed a box outside our main doors for contributions. Donations will be delivered to the NH Food Bank by Mill Falls Staff. Thank you!

Material Pick Up
for Remote Learning

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

December Break

School Resumes

Lottery 2021 Enrollment Period Begins

1st Lottery Information Session
To Register: RSVP to Admissions@millfalls.org


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












 Love & Care

It's so crazy to think that this week included both a first-ever 'Google Delayed Opening' AND one of the biggest snow storms we've seen in ages! Didn't slow us down though! With all the focus, tenacity and strength we've gained in this challenging year, we went with the flow, and didn't let it slow us down. 

There is nothing quite like the unexpected Snow Day - a beloved New England tradition and part of the childhood experience in our region. Our thanks to the many families who shared images from this VERY snowy, Snow Day. Please enjoy some of what was shared in this newsletter.

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Please Don't Forget
Material Pick Up This Week!
Parents of enrolled students are asked to be sure to pick up materials being left out for our students for their final (short) week of school before December Break. The crates are filled with special materials for activities our teachers have planned for the children next week. As usual, the bins are outside today through Monday morning. Thank you!

A reminder that we have an Early Release next Wednesday, December 23rd as we begin our December Break. The school day will end at 11:15am, and the Office and School Building will be closed through January 4th.

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**FINAL DAYS of our Holiday Food Drive**
Our Holiday Food Drive will close on Monday, the 21st of December. Donations have been slow to come in, but we hope to collect some additional goodies from our school community this weekend! The food collected will be brought to the NH Food Bank, as our Mill Falls Food Pantry is currently suspended while we are in remote learning. There is a box out front by our main doors for you to drop your donations. Thank you!

 Coming Soon: Lottery 2021 Enrollment Period

Open Enrollment Period & Information Sessions

Our 10th(!) Annual Enrollment Lottery Period will begin on January 4th when our online lottery form goes live on our website (www.millfalls.org). We have also scheduled 4 Information Sessions between January and March.

If you have a child who is a sibling of a currently enrolled student and you will would like to enroll him/her in our 2021 Lottery, you will still MUST fill out a lottery application and return it to us before the Enrollment Period closes on March 8th.

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Please help us spread the word about Enrollment Lottery 2021 by sharing the link below with folks who are interested in knowing more about us, and our Lottery. 

Remember, our youngest students must be 5 years old by Sept 1 of 2021 in order to be enrolled in the 2021 Lottery.

* * *

Lottery Information Sessions: 
The BEST way for interested families to learn more about us! 
As you talk about the Lottery with others, please keep in mind that we STRONGLY recommend those interested in enrolling in the 2021 Lottery to attend a Lottery Information Sessions. Those sessions are scheduled as follows, and due to COVID will be held via Zoom:
  • Thursday, January 7, 6pm
  • Tuesday, January 26, 10am
  • Wednesday, February 10, 10am
  • Wednesday, March 3, 6pm
For more information on Lottery 2021 including the Info Sessions, please click here: 


 Holiday Food Drive

Holiday Food Drive
Nov. 30 - Dec. 21

In these uncertain times, many across our nation are facing food insecurity at alarming rates. As part of our long-standing partnership with the NH Food Bank, we are hosting a December Food Drive. 

We ask those in our community who are able to share non-perishable, healthy items, do bring them to school. We will collect them and bring them to the Food Bank before the December Break. Some food ideas include: 
      • Peanut butter
      • Canned soup
      • Canned fruit
      • Canned vegetables
      • Tuna fish
      • Canned beans
      • Pasta 
      • Rice
      • Healthy Snacks
To view the flyer for our Holiday Food Drive, please click here.

 Year-End Giving

As is the custom, each year at this time the Mill Falls Charter School Foundation sends out its Annual Appeal. This mailing is sent out to many friends of Mill Falls, requesting a year-end contribution in support of our public Montessori Program. We are so deeply appreciative to all those who partner with us in support of our program.

It is our hope that those of you who are in a position to do so, will prioritize Mill Falls in their year end giving. When you contribute to Mill Falls, you are supporting respect, inclusiveness, equity, integrity, diversity, responsibility and student independence. 

"We see the figure of the child who stands before us
 with his arms held open, beckoning humanity to follow."
~ Dr. Maria Montessori

As you consider your donation, please keep in mind that many employers have matching fund programs, which helps increase - and in some cases double! - your contributions. 

 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

December 4, 2020: Fostering Independence When Learning Remotely 
(only 8 minutes due to ZOOM malfunction)

Have a subject you'd like Laura to discuss during an upcoming Tea with Laura? Please send your ideas to her at laura.wrubleski@millfalls.org.

 ** 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
Meeting ID: 440 672 8787   PW: 356575
**NEW: Ms. Jody 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).

 Health & Wellness Reminders in the Age of COVID

Health & Wellness Reminders:

**NEW**Please click here to review information from the NH Department of Health and Human Services:

(due to exposure to COVID)

(due to a positive test for COVID)

* * *

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 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.

If you or anyone is your household is found to be a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, you or your household member will need to quarantine at home for a minimum of 10 days, ideally 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

Emergency Assistance: Catholic Charities New Hampshire is providing emergency assistance services to New Hampshire residents experiencing hardship. Their Crisis Fund supports urgent needs such as emergency financial relief for individuals and families struggling to make ends meet, assistance for food-insecure homebound and disabled seniors, and access to teletherapy for low-income individuals seeking mental health counseling, among other areas. For more information, please call 603-669-3030 or visit: https://www.cc-nh.org/lp/our-response-to-covid-19/

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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Seasonal/Holiday Art Project Ideas
Every Tuesday, Blick Art will be offering fun and festive project demonstrations. Click here for details.

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

 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!

 Montessori Moments From Near & Far...

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

Below left: Ms. Kristin has been organizing impromptu play-dates with her students! Below right: Movement Break for these Big Work Buddies.

* * *
Snow Day | Fun Day
In a year when so little feels familiar, we heard from so many families, staff and kiddos how much they appreciated the opportunity to play in the snow and enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland!
Below: Snow, sledding, hot chocolate and more!

* * *

Below: There is ALWAYS time for Birthday celebrations. Below is a moment from what was reported as a very loud and crazy birthday song over Zoom earlier this week for Olympic's birthday twins, Miss Laura and Owen. 

* * *

ART With Ms. Melissa: 
Inspired by yesterday's storm, the theme for today's art class was Winter Wonderland-The Art of Paper Cutting. Ms. Melissa began each class with a brief history about the art of paper cutting, symmetry and positive and negative space. For those of us who may not recall those details: The art of paper cutting began 2,000 years ago in China; came to Europe in the 1500's; the Middle East and South America and the the United States in 1800's. She shared some style examples like silhouettes. Students were instructed to fold their paper in half, sketch their trees and cut them out to achieve symmetry, balance, positive and negative space in their compositions. 

Earlier today, MFCS Mom, Anne S sent this picture with this captions: 
"When you can't find grandma and you discover her joining art class!"

* * *

Big Work Wednesday this week included a lot of cookie baking by our younger students who completed their study of seasonal holidays with a focus on Christmas this week. There were a few Chanukah. Our older students completed their Family Heritage Projects. Enjoy some examples here:

Below: As part of her Heritage Project, Kaylee's created her totem pole by asking her parents and grandparents their favorite color and animal. She made a box to represent each family member in their favorite color, and since they all said their favorite animals are dogs, she drew eyes on each of the boxes to make them look like dogs. 

Below: Lillian said this about her Totem Pole: "This is my version of a Polish totem pole. My Mom and Dad are both Polish, so I am too! My Grampy cut the wood from a tree in our yard.

Below: The Brothers Jerrell spent their Big Works Wednesday in Kindness and Cookies mode. They went shopping for the Mill Falls Food Drive and wrote notes for teachers and neighbors.

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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.