The Newton News
May 24, 2019
The Newton School's mission is t o develop each child’s potential for academic success, engagement and overall well-being. Through this process, we will enrich each child’s education with community involvement, collaboration and outreach.
School Notes and Athletics
Mr. Bagnato
The 2019 edition of Operation Days Work was fantastic. On Wednesday, the student organizers presented what is ODW, and information on the organization that would receive the funds raised. Not only were the presentations well organized, but all of the school's students were engaged and interested in learning more. On Thursday, students spent the whole day working hard in our community. This is a wonderful tradition at Newton School. Thanks to all of the teacher facilitators, hard working students, and generous employers for making this happen.

This past Tuesday, Dawn Ellis came to Newton to present her report on climate and culture at Newton School. The event was well attended and many questions were asked. A few of my many takeaways were:
  • That all participants in the survey feel that respect and friendships are the most important aspects when considering if they stay at Newton or go to another school.
  • That 55% of all parents are undecided about if they will have their children attend 7th and 8th grade. These people are the folks that create a substantial opportunity for the school.
  • That clearly communicating the vision and values of the Newton School and articulating them through programs and systems such as discipline is vital.

The Task Force will be using this report, which can be found on the front page of the website to guide some of their work. There will also be a video link on the website to let you see last Tuesday's meeting for yourself. As always, I welcome any parent or community member to meet with me and share their ideas and hopes as we continue to move forward.

School Events and Activities
  • Monday 5/27:
  • No school
  • Tuesday 5/28:
  • Memorial Day Program 9:00 am (presented by 7th and 8th grade students)
  • Wednesday 5/29:
  • Important Principal Presentation for all families, but especially for families who have children in grades 6 and 7. More information on this will be sent home as soon as possible.
  • Friday 5/31:
  • Kindergarten Screening and Registration 12:45-3:00
K News
Ms. Kicza
Kindergarten heard the book Ten Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle, a book about a box of rubber ducks that gets tossed off a boat in a storm. The ducks float off in all different directions, with one duck joining up with a family of real ducks at the end.

After reading the story, students were given one rubber duck and a problem to solve. Using recycled materials, they had to make a boat that would float AND hold the duck up for one minute, including in stormy waters. They followed their engineering steps: ask the question; imagine solutions, try it out; and then try again. They were great about planning their boats, even testing materials before building, and persevering to make it better each time.
1-2 News
Ms. Kelsey and Mrs. Robinson
The first and second graders continued with the Little House in the Big Woods unit this week. On Thursday, the children divided up into five groups and acted out some of the stories that were told in the book, including "The Story of Grandpa and the Panther" and "The Story of Grandpa’s Sled and the Pig". They had fun guessing which story the other groups were acting out!
Read more about K-2's week in the K-2 newsletter!
3-4 News
Ms. Coté & Mrs. Marzot
This week wrapped up the rest of our SBAC testing. We are so proud of how hard our students worked! We know that these tests are not easy and we know that everyone tried their hardest!  

This week in Science students learned about severe weather, and will be researching one type of severe weather next week. We will complete a research project in the next few Science classes. In Social Studies, students continue to learn about flooding, and will begin their opinion piece on which was worse for Vermont: The Flood of 1927 or Tropical Storm Irene. Ask your student what they think.

Next week on Wednesday afternoon we will be exploring the stream by the Pocket Park. Please send your child in with a spare set of clothes and an extra pair shoes that can get wet. It would be best if your child wears pants that can be easily rolled up that day. Old sneakers are great for exploring! It is also helpful for your child to bring in sunscreen or a hat. Please contact Mrs. Marzot if you have any questions. We will also need these things for Monday’s outdoor education time on June 3rd.  
5-6 News
Ms. Tremblay & Mr. Walker
Some of the 5/6 students presented their habitat project at this year's Science Symposium at VINS. They shared the research that they've conducted (what kind of wildlife lives near our school, and the types of animals that we want to live on our hill). 

These students also shared a VINS promotional video that they were a part of. VINS used our students to promote the amazing work that their organization does.
STEM students are working as thermal engineers as they use their knowledge of math and science to build a penguin structure that slows the rate of heat transfer. They must consider conduction, radiation, and convection. They are in the build phase of the engineering design process. Next, they will test it out with ice penguins and, finally, redesign.
7-8 News
Mr. Bagnato, Ms. Richardson, & Mrs. White
Another Successful Operation Day’s Work!

This past Thursday 7th and 8th grade students participated in ODW, or Operation Days Work, a non-profit program that collects and donates money to one cause every year. The charity that is supported must be for children, and includes an educational component. The program originated in Norway and came to the United States in 1999. Only about nine schools in the United States participate in ODW, and the Newton School is proud to be one of them. 

This year, the money that we raised will be sent to the Kenyan Schoolhouse Project. Based in Kenya, this project builds schoolhouses for children that have been taken away from their families as child laborers. The Kenyan Schoolhouse Project removes them from this dangerous, excruciating work, and brings them to a place where they can receive an education, have a home, and learn life skills that they will use to get a job. It provides an education for children from age 5 through secondary school. 
ODW-USA is hoping to raise $10,000 to donate to a new school that is being built. On Thursday, the 7th and 8th grade students made around $1,000 to donate. They went in groups of two or three to different peoples’ houses around Strafford and did a mixture of yard work, gardening, raking, stacking wood, painting, and general cleaning. The Newton School 7th and 8th graders appreciate the continued community support in hiring the students every year so that we may continue our good work for Operation Day’s Work.
History and Writing:
This week we have been taking a close look at the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. The poem is based on Owen’s experiences during the trench warfare of World War I. Please ask your child to give you some details about the poem. We will continue to work with the poem next week, and we will also take a look at how songs influenced different groups of people during war time. Byron Breese shared his wealth of knowledge of World War I as he answered many great questions from the students. He shared two authentic helmets from the war, with one being a German army helmet and the other being a British helmet that was used by the American army. The students had the opportunity to look at some other artifacts from his collection.

The 7th grade explored circles this week. See attached photos from our “Bubble Math”. Students used their bubble blowing skills to create bubbles of various sizes. They then caught the bubbles on construction paper in order to compare the diameter with the circumference using string and rulers. Ask a 7th grader what they learned!
Physical Education News
Casey Grimes
The Newton 5K elective will be holding a 5K event on June 12th from 2:10-2:50. We invite you to come join us for the run, come and cheer, or volunteer help out along the race path and man the water station. We can have more runners join the race! We just need to know prior to the race so that we can have your name and other information taken down prior.  

The race course starts at the base of the school parking lot and goes out Turnpike Rd, turns around, and comes back to the base of the school lot. We would need helpers stationed down at Coburn’s; at the turn around; at the bottom of Downer Forest; and also someone at the start/finish doing the timing. Can you please email Mr. G if you will be able to help at any location?

Thanks in advance, and we will see y'all there!
Library & Technology News
Simone Pyle
Charlie the Therapy Dog has been visiting with his owner, Michelle Gottlieb, for a few months now, and he's been a big hit! K-4 students have all had an opportunity to read aloud to Charlie during their Reading classes, and it's been wonderful seeing their confidence grow as they practice this important skill for such a cuddly audience. This week, since the 3/4 cluster was testing, Charlie made a special visit to the 5th class math class. Turns out, he loves numbers as much as he loves stories!

Next week will be the last week for checking out books from the library! The last two weeks of school, students who have books at home should really focus on returning them; it can be especially challenging for students with two homes to corral their library books and bring them to school, so these last two weeks are an opportunity for them to work on doing that. Thank you for your assistance in this important task!
Lunch Room News
Gret Hewes
I really love trying new recipes. Usually I will go to a recipe website or app and look for interesting recipes that pop out. The below recipe did just that this morning.  

Rhubarb is in season and our plant that we have growing at home is huge. I found this recipe to try and want to share it with you. Let me know if you make it and what you think.
Rhubarb Salsa

2 cups rhubarb, diced small
1 cup chopped apple
3 green onions (or scallions)
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium heat, and stir in the rhubarb; simmer for 2 minutes to blanch. Drain in a colander (or strainer) set in the sink and let cool.

2. Stir together the cooled rhubarb, apple, green onions, lime juice, honey and jalapeno pepper until thoroughly combined.

Serve with chicken, fish, on a taco, or just scooped up in a tortilla chip.  

Farm to School News
Alyssa Marzot
The Newton School gardens are waking up! A special thanks to Eric Walker, Paul Sadowski, and BJ Miller for getting our beds ready for planting. Many of the beds have new boards, and we are about to receive a batch of compost. This year we received a grant from the Wellborn Ecology Fund which allowed us to purchase a new grow-light setup from Gardener’s Supply. It has been so much fun watching how quickly changes occur!
We need your help!

We are about to have an abundance of cucumber plants. We would like to try using a trellis to help us optimize the space in our garden beds. If you have a trellis, or would like to help us build one, please contact Mrs. Marzot at Additionally, if you would like to help us out with weeding and watering over the summer, please reach out.
Nurse's News
Kerri Juergens
Important information on ticks and Lyme disease .
PTA News
Shannon Varley
Plant Sale Thanks!
Thank you to all that helped to make the 2019 Plant Sale a HUGE success! A very special THANK YOU to Kate Reimanis for leading the plant sale charge once again and for the last time after many years of running it--we are grateful for your organization, planning, and service, Kate! And thank you to ALL of our volunteers and community members who helped, donated, and made the day a success! 

Field Day
Tuesday, June 18th
The last day of school is a fun one! If you would like to volunteer for this very fun day with the kids and to be a part of the last day of school, please SIGN UP HERE or contact Christine Bailey-Kellogg for more information at

4th of July Raffle Basket
Saturday, July 6th
We are currently looking for donations to the raffle basket that include items such as a quilt, picnic basket with cutlery, plates, and cups, an outdoor lawn game or equivalent, portable lawn chairs, sunscreen, gift certificates to the bookstore, any local grocery or farm stand, or anything that fits with a summer basket theme. Please email Amy Donohue with any possible donations at

2019/2020 PTA Officers
We elected a new slate of PTA officers for the 2019/20 School Year. Congratulations and big thanks to the following parents:
President, Christine Bailey-Kellogg 
Vice-President, Kira Campbell
Treasurer, Nicole Ekegren

Next Meeting - Last Meeting of the School Year
Tuesday, June 4
Newton School Library
Upcoming Events
May 27 - No School, Memorial Day

June 7- Newton School Art Show

June 12 - 7/8 Elective 5K Run - all are welcome to join!

June 17 - Class Day and 8th Grade Graduation

June 18 - Field Day & Last Day of School for Students

Summer Camp Info