Skiing was easier than figuring out how to give a thumbs-up with your mitten on for these preschoolers last week: Mabel, KendaLyn, and Henry.

Here is this week's Monday Memo. The middle school Play Week schedule impacts grades PreK-8 next week, please read carefully about what they'll be up to and how we need some volunteer help from parents.

Happy Monday,
2019-2020 CONTRACTS
Contracts for returning families are delayed this year as we await the state's announcement of average spending-per-pupil. The Board of Trustees would like to be aware of that data as they set Riverside's tuition. We anticipate sending them out by the first week of April, and will ask that they be returned with deposit by April 30. We do have interested families on waiting lists in multiple grades, and so need to be clear on your family's commitment.
Miss Heidi and Miss Dianah have led our preschool program into 5-Star status. This highest distinction from the Vermont Accreditation System is never awarded before a program has reached its third year, and so will not be official until July 10, 2019. Most programs take 5-10 years to reach this level. The rating is awarded depending on:
  • credentials and experience of the staff (including 35 hours of training annually)
  • community involvement
  • compliance with licensing regulations

As the Preschool Director, Miss Heidi extends her thanks to Dianah for her help and encouragement over the years, the Riverside staff for their support of this new adventure, and to former Head of School Laurie Boswell and Board Member Barry Hertz for their belief in her and this program when it was inspired in 2015.
We enjoyed many supportive and productive conversations about parenting at our Coffee House event last week. Thanks so much to our guests who came to bring their expertise and experience to those discussions. Based on the themes they heard parents wanting to discuss, we will invite them again in the fall to present more formally.

There were a lot of questions for Dr. Amanda Van Straten about helmets, and she promised to do some research and pass on some answers, which are here:
  • In general, helmets are made of a plastic shell on the outside and Styrofoam on the inside. Depending on the activity/sport, there are different standards of strength/safety required by the federal government. You can see the US Federal Standards per sport towards the bottom of this page.
  • To ensure optimal safety, it's important to make sure of several things:#1. That the helmet being used is approved for the activity. #2. The helmet has the appropriate federal certification. #3. And most importantly, that you have proper fit. It should be level on your head. The strap should be secure with less than an inch of wiggle room.
  • Recommendations are that helmets be replaced after every impact even if no damage is visible. This is because the Styrofoam is supposed to absorb the blow by contracting which may not be seen. Helmets also generally "expire" in 5-10 years. 
  • Even though helmets meet the federal standards, some are better than others. Virginia Tech has helpfully done the research for us and has determined which helmets are the best. Thus far, they have studied football, hockey, bicycle, and soccer helmets/headgear. Their research and rankings can be found here. Consumer Reports also did bicycle helmet impact testing and here you can find a compilation of Consumer Reports and Virginia Tech's findings here.
  • She recommends this website for more info.
Parents Chantel Randall and Madeleine Balcom have planned a Magic-the-Gathering club for Tuesdays, April 2-May 14. Interested families should sign up in advance by emailing Madeleine ; students of all ages are welcome. The Club will start at 3:15, welcome 6-8th graders at 3:30, and run until 4:45. We would appreciate it if participating families would volunteer to donate snacks once for 10 people.
Presenting in morning assembly this week are the following, we hope parents will join us if their schedules allow!
  • Hannah is presenting Tuesday about the challenges of increasing population size.
  • Ruby is presenting Wednesday about how exercise impacts feelings.
We will not be skiing this week because of the half-day. We look forward to venturing out again next Wednesday, March 27.
Do you know anyone who needs/wants to raise money for their school, club, team, or other youth program? Take part in Race Back to School in August on the Kingdom Trails! This event is a super-fun, well-organized way to raise needed funds for your own school or program while building community and celebrate health and our natural resources. Come learn about how it all works!

We will host an informational event in the Barn on March 19 at 5:00 pm for members of such groups to learn more about how they can participate in the Race Back to School and raise money themselves.  Please help us out by sharing this event with anyone you know who works with young people and would appreciate a fundraising opportunity.
This Wednesday, March 20, PreK-8th grade students will be dismissed at 12:30 . Preschool will hold its conferences later in May, but that class is still having the half-day as they keep a consistent schedule with the rest of the school. The After School Program will begin at that time.

Thank you to the Shackleton, Markey, Engle, and Adams families who volunteered to bring in some snacks to sustain the faculty through the long afternoon!
K-3rd graders will be swimming again this Friday. Students should bring their suits and towels to school. Please remember to pick up at the back of the SJA pool at 3:15. We will also swim on April 5, 26, and May 3, 10.

We need the help of another male parent to help Dave LaRocque supervise the boys' locker room . This would mean being with us at SJA from 1:45-3:15. If you can assist, please let Nelia know.
Thank you so much to the parent volunteers (Mel Finn, Lilias Ide, Alison Kennedy, and Courtney Daffinrud) who have brought this program to life at Riverside and given their time to facilitating practice in decision making, problem solving, and cooperation among our elementary students. Their big tournament is coming up this weekend and we look forward to celebrating them next week!

Parents should have gotten an email from Courtney about details for this Saturday's DI tournament at Burlington High School. A few of the details are:
  • Teams need to register by 8:45 and the Welcome Ceremony starts at 9:00.
  • Courtney and Alison's Team Challenge at 11:30 and Instant Challenge at 12:30
  • Mel and Lil's Team Challenge at 11:10 and Instant Challenge at 12:10.
  • Team Leaders will be making lunch plans, stay tuned for messages from them.
  • Team Leaders will also be adjusting the practice schedule this week to make the most of the time, please check in with them.
Middle School Play Week will be March 25-29, during which there will be no academic classes and a complete focus on the students' production and rehearsal effort. Performances are Friday, March 29 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, March 30 at 2:00 pm at Lyndon Institute Auditorium. Admission is by donation. This show is appropriate for all ages, please invite your friends!

  • sharing skills in painting or constructing with the sets elective during the day during play week
  • helping with all-school pancake breakfast, Friday, March 29, 7:30-9:30 am
  • helping with make-up Friday, March 29, 5:00-7:00 pm and/or Saturday,
  • March 30, 12:00-2:00 pm
  • helping with hair Friday, March 29 5:00-7:00 pm and/or Saturday, March 30, 12:00-2:00 pm
  • helping run the bake sale during intermission at each performance
  • trucks and drivers to help take sets and costumes to LI on Thursday, March 28 at 10:30 am.
  • trucks and drivers to help take sets and costumes back to Riverside on Saturday afternoon, March 30

MONDAY - WEDNESDAY : Run-Through Rehearsals, Tech Work, Electives, Scene Rehearsals
THURSDAY : Electives, Scene Rehearsals, 6-8 Carpools to LI, Tech Rehearsal *Note*
  • 6-8 Pick up at LI auditorium at 3:30
  • No After-School Program for 6-8th graders
FRIDAY : PreK-8 Pancake Breakfast, 6-8 Carpools to LI, Scene Work, PreK-5 Bus to LI, Full Dress Rehearsal
  • 6-8 lunch hosted by LI
  • PreK-5 will go to LI by bus at 1:00 pm to watch the dress rehearsal
  • PreK-5 Pick Up at LI at 3:00
  • 6-8 (and younger sibling) pick up at LI at 3:30,
  • no ASP for PreK-8th graders

FRIDAY : 6-8th grade students should be at LI at 5:00 pm to get in to costume and warm up. Performance is at 7:00 pm.
SATURDAY : 6-8th grade students should be at LI at 12:00 pm; performance is at 2:00 pm. Families should plan to stay and lend a hand with clean up and loading trucks with costumes, props, and sets.

Admission is by donation; this will be an engaging show for young people of all ages; please encourage your friends and neighbors to attend!

There will be a bake sale during intermission and after each show, if you can donate a plate of items to sell, please send them in to school or bring them to one of the shows.
Each actor should bring in his/her own mascara and eye liner in a labeled ziplock bag and turn it in to Nelia. Kinney Drugs carries the e.l.f. brand, which is affordable and good quality.

Most 6-8th grade students have offered to bring in some part of their costume from their closet at home. They will be receiving reminders tomorrow to put into their planners so that those items can be found and brought in before Monday. Please help them to remember and attend to this!

There will be more details next week related to our philosophy on this process, K-5 related information, hair, make up, and volunteers needed. Please plan to check this section carefully again next week!
Students in grades 3-8 will be engaged with computer-based standardized testing during the weeks of April 1-11. 3-4th graders will have time to practice working with the online testing interface and to discuss that experience before they formally begin.

Each student then will have about 5-6 hours of testing over two weeks, using as much time as they want/need to take it. If students are absent during that time, they may miss class time later on in order to make up missed testing sessions. If you have any questions about this, please contact Nelia.
"The fifth grade is excited to announce that the elementary musical has a title: The "Heroes" of Aldorvia . Since December, they have been working on plot, characters, conflict, music, writing, editing, and so much more, and this week the script finally goes to print. Stay tuned for information on ways you can help us get the show ready for its premiere performance on Elementary Play Day, Tuesday, May 7 at Lyndon Institute.
One of the Destination Imagination teams is working on a collaborative service project to support the Lyndon Dog Pound. Cindy Cady who runs the pound actually needs a lot of help getting rid of unwanted donations, and so the students would like to help her sell them for funds that she could better use to help care for the animals.
  • If you want a free dog/cat crate, or know someone who does, please contact Cindy at 626-PAWS. This would be very helpful to her because she has over 50 crates and is trying to clean them out!
  • If would like a dog bowl, for a donation of $5 to the Dog Pound, please email Mel Finn.
This club will meet today from 3:45-4:45. Thanks to the Randalls and the Daffinruds for lending their game boards!
Robotics Club will meet today, but not next week, March 25. Parents, please stay tuned for communications from Henry/Maryellen about how/when the club will schedule its final meetings.
Chess Club will meet for the last time tomorrow, Tuesday from 3:45-4:45.
There will be no Karate this Wednesday, March 20, Thursday, March 21, Wednesday, March 27, or Thursday, March 28.
Latin Club is cancelled this week due to extra conference meetings on Thursday afternoon. Note that there will be no Latin Club next week, March 28 because of Play Week efforts and the dismissal from LI.
Youth lacrosse registration is now open for area children in grades 1 -8 . The season starts the week of March 18 . Limited loaner equipment and tuition assistance is available. Learn more here.
Registration is Live for this year's 48 Hour Student Film Slam, April 26th - 28th, taking place in St. Johnsbury, VT. This event is FREE and open to Middle School, High School and College teams - with or without previous film making experience. Middle School and High School teams can opt to sign up for workshops designed to provide the skills necessary for a successful weekend, and are able to borrow a production kit and use an editing station during the event, as well!
30 Lily Pond Road, Lyndonville, VT 05851
phone: 802.626.8552
fax: 802.626.4156
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