Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TEACHER WISH LIST - Last updated on 1-4-10

This is an active ongoing wish list from our educators at Small School. These are all items that will help enhance learning in the classroom. If you choose an item on any list that you would like to donate, please email Lucy ( to have the item removed from the wish list. Unless otherwise indicated, send the donated item right to the classroom. This is still in progress, and will be updated frequently. Please check back!

Technology Education
Mr. Thurlow:
Budget cuts did not allow the purchase of a new scanner for teachers to use to scan documents for use with their SmartBoards. If you can help with this, please contact John Thurlow directly at or 885-5000.

Mrs. Mason:
The following books are on the wish list to be added to Small School library (nameplate within the book will recognize the donor). Click on the book title for a link describing the story:
     The Enemy: a book about Peace, by Davide Cali
     The Earth Shook: a Persian Tale, by Donna Jo Napoli
     The Lion and the Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney
     Dinotrux, by Chris Gall
     Robot Zot! by Jon Scieszka
     Strega Nona's Harvest, by Tomie Depaola

Grade K
Mrs. Flaxman:
Magna Doodles (set of 5 is ideal)
Small Legos (not the "Duplo" size)
Dress-up clothes (scarves and capes, etc. spark the kids' imaginations!)
A child sized coat rack (for dress-up clothes)
Alphabet stamps with ink pads
Dr. Seuss books (gently used books are welcome! The classroom already has the following books: Fox in Socks, There's No Place Like Space, Green Eggs and Ham, the Cat in the Hat, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish)
Plastic baskets to hold books in the class library, ~7" x 10"
hand sanitizer
pump hand soap (can be a large refill size)

Grade 1
Mrs. Grant:
Soft Kleenex
Snacks for children without (i.e. pretzels, goldfish, fruit snacks)
Date stamp

Grade 1
Mrs. Storms:
Games for the class to play during indoor recess: Trouble, Connect Four, Yahtzee, Perfection, Monopoly
Jr., or Operation.  Used games in good condition are welcome as long as all pieces are intact!

Grade 2
Mrs. Olson:
Very soft tissues for cold/allergy season!
Small pretzels, Cheerios, and animal crackers for snacks
Clear packaging tape

Grade 2
Ms. Stevens:
Regular straight straws for a science kit
Plastic spoons for snack time
Antibacterial hand sanitizer
Small pencil sharpeners with receptacles for the shavings (size to fit into pencil boxes)

Grade 3
Mrs. Grady: 
10 clipboards
5 student calculators
24 long handle paintbrushes, large bottles of paint
A variety of colors of tissue paper
25 sheets of fine grade sand paper
Ziploc bags of all sizes
The following Beanie Babies (used for comprehension strategies): spider, owl, iguana, dog, and parrot

Grade 4
Mrs. Dadmun:
Multiple clipboards

Grade 5
Mrs. Poore:
Items for snack time

Monday, October 19, 2009

PTA Funds 4th Grade Field Trip to the Telling Room

Recently, the fourth grade visited the Telling Room, a writing workshop in Portland.   The children were sent out on a Word Walk around the Old Port and asked to attach adjectives to various objects that represented that word.  For example, one group attached the word magical to a pirate statue, or leafy to ivy growing up the side of a building.  The children were given cameras so that they could snap pictures of their word representations.  After about an hour, they returned to the Telling Room and wrote about the pictures that were taken. Mrs. Cloutiers class created a slideshow of the photographs and the children were given the opportunity to narrate the slide show with one line from their writing. The students were very motivated and excited about this visit and wanted to continue writing their Telling Room pieces when they returned to school.  They came back to school with a very positive attitude about writing and saw themselves as authors!
Many thanks to the many parents volunteers who joined us on this trip and who participated in all the Telling Room activities. Also a big thank you to the PTA for funding this wonderful experience for us.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

High School Renovation Meeting Oct 26th

The South Portland City Council and School Board will hold a workshop on Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the Community Center, to discuss the $40 million proposal to renovate the high school, to be voted on in June 2010.

See the for the full article.


A clarification about the school department budget and field trip funding at Small School: Due to a budget shortfall in Augusta, the South Portland School Department has implemented a  "soft budget freeze."  At some schools in South Portland,  this impacts things like field trips.

At Small School,  the PTA fully funds field trips (both admission and transportation costs) and will do our best to continue to do so.   We spend about $20-25 per student for the year just for field trips.   In order to continue funding these field trips,  we need everyone's help with our various fundraiser like Jaxco,  Hannaford Helps School,  Clynk, and the rest of them.   Some parents,  instead of taking part in fundraising by buying stuff,   prefer to simply write a check,  and that's perfectly ok,  too!   We'll gladly take checks and give you a receipt so you can get a tax deduction.   We are also working on a school/teacher wish list to identify specific items needed in the classrooms and will post this information on our blog site when ready.

Monday, October 12, 2009


PTA Member Meeting, October 20th, 6:30pm

Please join us in the Art Room for our second meeting of the year.  We had a great turnout at the first meeting and have a lot of fun and creative ideas that we'd like to do this year.  Come have some coffee and help us make these ideas a reality!

Octoberfest, Friday, October 30th, 6-8pm
Come join us in the gym for mask making,  face painting, cool origami,  cookie decorating, snacks and drinks,  and of course the hugely popular cake walk!  We need volunteers to help staff the craft stations,  so please email Jim at if you can help.  If you have any other fun ideas,  let us know and we'll make room for it!
Here's how you can help:
Bake a Cake!
The Cake Walk is sort of like a game of musical chairs, but with cakes as prizes. The kids go crazy for it. We need a ton of cakes! Bring a cake, take a cake. Any kind of cake - big, small, sugary, carrot, from scratch, store bought, wedding, birthday, gluten-free, plain frosted, decorated, whatever - any and all kinds are needed. The variety has always been amazing. (No cakes with nuts or peanut butter, please.)

Wear a Costume for the Costume Parade!
It's the night before Halloween, so please come show off your costumes! At the end of the night we'll have a short parade down the hall and around the gym so everyone can check them out. (Keep in mind there will be very young kids around, so nothing too gruesome please. One year Death came in a bleeding skull mask that was a little too much, even for the adults.)

Paint Faces!
Make the kids' night by decorating their cheeks. They're not too picky about the quality, so no big deal if you've never done it. (Although if I have to do it, it's just going to be a smiley face every time.)

Be a Fortune Teller!
The past few years we had a mom who pretended to be a fortune teller (at least I think she was pretending) and the kids really loved it. Unfortunately the mom who did it last year is unavailable and we'd loved to have a replacement. Wear a few scraves, read some palms, be a hero!

Bring Snacks and Drinks!
Maybe stuff that's not too sugary, since they'll be gorging the next night.

Sidewalk construction starting

Finally, construction has started on sidewalks on Summit and Spring Streets! Soon no more walking in the road! When they are finished in a few weeks, they will make walking SO much safer for our kids coming up from Broadway. While the construction is underway, please use extra
caution while walking, biking and driving along that route. These sidewalks were triggered by a PTA request to the city a few years ago to improve the transportation situation in our neighborhood. We're glad it's finally underway.

Also, for you drivers, a few reminders:
- Kittredge Rd is a not a proper drop off spot. It is a dead end street and backing up and turning around is very dangerous for other drivers and especially our kids, and really ticks off our neighbors who live there.
- When dropping off and picking up, do not idle. It pumps out pollution right into our kids faces and wastes gas and money.
- The bus loop is called a bus loop because it's for buses. If it was a car loop, it would be called a car loop.
- Please heed all "No Parking" and "No Stopping" signs, particularly on Thompson Street near the parking lot exits. If cars park too close and on both sides of the street, traffic jams occur frequently.
- Remember that walking and biking to and from the school is almost always easier and quicker than trying to drive. A little stroll will help make you and your kids happier, healthier and less frustrated if you don't have to fight the traffic.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fun at the Ice Cream Social

Thanks to all the families who came to enjoy our ice cream social, the first PTA social event of the year. We served ~400 people, and a great time was had by all. Let the PTA exec committee members know if you have any feedback or suggestions for next time. A big thank you to Friendly’s for donating the delicious ice cream for our event!

Students Take Great Field Trips!

3rd grade field trip to the Cumberland Fair.

The PTA helps to funds school field trips throughout the year, and your support is so important! Here are some special events that have recently taken place with the students:

Grade K: Went to Snell’s Apple Orchard on September 25th. The Snell Family Farm in Buxton does Pick Your Own Apples in September and October, and grows a variety of other fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. This was a great trip!

Grade 3: Visited the Cumberland County Fair on September 29th. They saw draft horses, cattle, sheep and goats, bunnies, chickens, geese, and much more. The kids visited the farm museum, blacksmith, maple syrup house, and saw farm machines.

Grade 5: The fifth graders took a walking field trip to SMCC on September 30th to be inspired by the scenery as word artists. The students used the sights, sounds, and smells of the setting to develop descriptive and creative language for their fictional stories set in Casco Bay.