Message from the School Administration


Happy Valentine's Day!

Dear Aitken Parents,

It is hard to believe that we are over the half way mark in the school year! We have Reading Week coming up during the week of February 10-14. School Spirit Week will also be on the same week. We will share details with you in the Weekly Parent Newsletter. Just a reminder that winter break is from Monday, February 17th through Friday, February 21st.

Our ESL students just completed the annual ACCESS testing. They all worked very hard and we are proud of their efforts. MCAS will begin in grades 3-5 late March, early April.

We anticipate the Aitken Building Addition Project will be commencing this spring. There will be some challenges with parking in the main lot near the basketball court for a short period of time so that the construction crew can access the drains beneath the parking lot. We will be sure to share information and plans to make drop offs as smooth as possible as soon as we confirm the dates with the project manager.


Aitken Website

Our school’s website is always updated and provides information for parents including our calendar of events. Many teachers also added pages on the website: aes.seekonk.sharpschool.com Please check us out and put us on your list of favorites.

Aitken PTO

The Aitken Parent Teacher Organization is an integral part of the success of Aitken School. There are monthly meetings and numerous opportunities throughout the year to become involved in your child’s school. The PTO is not a club and there are no fees. The Aitken PTO is a truly collaborative and wonderful organization to get involved in where you will learn more about our school’s programs and help support your child’s school experiences as well.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday, February 5th and will begin promptly at 6:30 PM an end at 7:30 PM. We hope to see you there!

Aitken School Council

The Aitken School Council assists the principal in:

  1. Adopting educational goals for the schools
  2. Reviewing the annual school building budget
  3. Formulating the School Improvement Plan and
  4. Completing tasks which the school committee may determine.

Council members are elected to 2-year terms and the meetings are open to the public. The Aitken School Council will meet at 3:15 PM on the following date: February 11, 2020

Student Arrival & Dismissal Information

Students should arrive at school between 8:45-9:00 a.m. *Please note that there is no supervision before 8:45 when students are allowed to enter the school.

  • Please be mindful of other drivers and children during student drop-off and pick-up. You need to either pull into a parking space or pull against the curb in the parking lot by the basketball court.
  • Students in grades pre-K-3 should enter through the left rear door of the school by the basketball courts.
  • Students in grades 4-5 should enter through the right rear door entrance by Rye street.
  • Dismissal is at 3:05 p.m. Students are dismissed out of the same doors at the end of the day. As in the morning, there is no supervision of the playground after 3:05 p.m. and therefore, walkers must go home at the close of school.

School Breakfast, Lunch & Milk

The price of school breakfast & lunch will remain the same this year. The cost for breakfast, which is served daily from 8:45-9:00 a.m., is $1.25 (reduced cost for qualified families is $.30).

The lunch cost is $2.75 (reduced cost for qualified families is $.40) which includes milk.

Milk purchased separately is $.50 (there is no reduced cost for milk).

Please come and see us!

Our doors are always open to you. Please don’t hesitate to speak with your child’s teacher or us if you have any questions or concerns (508-336-5230).

Yours truly,

Mr. John Haidemenos, Jr. Principal
Mr. David Graf Assistant Principal

“Aitken Rockets Reach for the Stars!"

PTO News


Giving Tree

The Aitken PTO has begun ‘The Antonieta Vargas Surette Giving Tree Program’ which is an annual gift card collection which will allow the school administration to provide families with support when needed. The collection will be yearlong for families to donate whatever they wish, whenever they wish. This program is a wonderful way to pay it forward for families in our community. The Aitken PTO extends a heartfelt thank you to those families that have already begun donating. Your support and generosity are very much appreciated. Gift card ideas: Stop and Shop, Walmart, Target, gas Cards, etc. Every little bit helps in a big way!

AmazonSmile

Remember when you are shopping on Amazon to click on Amazon Smile. A percentage of what you spend goes back to the charity of your choosing. This is no cost to you and another way to help the PTO continue funding all the great events at the school. If you guys could please select the Mildred H. Aitken PTO as your designated organization we would really appreciate it! As you know every cent counts and every cent goes towards our children's education, what could be better than that? just click below and favoritize it to use throughout the year! https://smile.amazon.com/ch/51-0608954

Box Tops for Education

Do you have the all-new Box Tops app? If not, you're gonna want to get it now—Box Tops clips are being phased out of production and the program is going digital! Just scan your store receipt with the app and it will instantly identify participating products and automatically add those Box Tops to our schools earnings totals. Get more details and see how it works here:


Past, Present and Upcoming Events

Present

Calendar Raffle

Dear Aitken families,

On behalf of the PTO, we would like to thank all of you for participating in this year’s calendar raffle fundraiser. The proceeds from this raffle is a big help economically as the funds help pay for the many field trips, and other programs that help enrich our students learning environment.

In the past, we have been able to use the proceeds to provide books twice a year for all the students, bring outside educational programs such as the magician show, Big Nazo, field day and other activities. Our goal is to make sure that our students leave our school with many memories that will have a positive impact on their education and childhood. We thank you for all your support and hope that you continue to support this fundraiser for the years to come.


Sincerely,
Aitken PTO
 

Upcoming Events

Boys Choice - Coming next month the students will get to have a blast attending a school dance during the Sweetheart and Boys Choice events.

RIF - The PTO will be holding a RIF event on March 20th for each student to choose a FREE new book!

Family Bingo - March 20th ! More details to follow!!

Walk-A-Thon - We will be hosting the Aitken School Walk-a-thon during the school day on March 27th. More information coming soon, stay tuned!!


If you have any questions, we can be contacted by email at aitkenpto@gmail.com.

Remember to like and share us on Facebook at Aitken School PTO.
 

UPCOMING MEETINGS:

February 5th at 6:30 pm in the school library
- babysitting provided in the gym by the Key Club.

Events


February

1th - 29th Calendar Raffle!
4th Early Release
5th PTO Meeting @6:30 pm
10th - 14th Reading Week
17th - 21st Winter Vacation No School!

School Spirit Week - February 9th-14th

Monday Crazy Hat Day
Tuesday Backwards Day (Wear your clothes inside out and/or backwards
Wednesday School Spirit Week (wear your blue and white!)
Thursday Pre K, K and 1: Dress as your favorite character
Thursday 2nd to 5th grade Wear a "Word" Day
Friday Wear RED for Valentines Day

March

4th PTO Meeting @6:30
13th Boys Choice
20th RIF
20th Family Bingo
27th Walk a thon

From the Nurse’s Office


FEBRUARY is CHILDREN’S ORAL HEALTH and NATIONAL HEART MONTH

Oral Health at Aitken

  • February 10th - The Tooth Fairy will be visiting Aitken’s second grade students!
  • February 26th and February 27th - Christina Sorensen, DMD will be visiting students in grades 3-5 to speak about oral health, foods and nutrition.


Heart Healthy Tips:

  • Limit screen time (television, movies, videos and computer games) to less than 2 hours a day. Substitute the rest of leisure time with physical activity.
  • Enjoy more outdoor activities including sports, hiking, walking, swimming, and other activities.
  • Get kids involved in sports activities and organized events that provide routine exercise and fitness.
(Courtesy of American Heart Association)

To learn more about how you can improve your heart health, visit https://www.heart.org/

To make a donation to help promote women’s heart health awareness, please visit https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/aitken-elementary-school?

Reminders regarding student illnesses:

Students need to be fever free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication) before returning to school. If your child had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours, please keep him/her home for at least one more day.

As always, please feel free to call or email me with any questions or concerns. devanej@seekonkschools.org 508-336-5230

Have a healthy February!

Jessica Devane, RN, BSN
Aitken School Nurse

Reading Week February 10 - 14, 2020

from Reading Recovery teachers Suzanne Ward‑Smith and Joanna Rioux


Monday - Teachers’ childhood photos and favorite books go on display!

Through the week, students can view and form theories about who’s who!

  • 2:45 - 3:00 School-wide DEAR time

Tuesday - Guest Reader Day

Throughout the day, guests from the community will visit a classroom to read a book.

  • 2:45 - 3:00 School-wide DEAR time

Wednesday - Storycrafters Presentations

Thank you to the Seekonk Cultural Council for their grant, AND the Aitken School PTO for funding these wonderful performers!

  • 9:15 – 10:00 – Grades PreK-2
  • 10:15 – 11:00 – Grades 3-5
  • 2:45 - 3:00 School-wide DEAR time

Thursday - Wear a Word Day for Grades 2-5 (additional information below)

Official reveal of staff childhood photos and favorite books will be posted!

  • 2:45 - 3:00 School-wide DEAR time

Friday - Red Day – Wear RED 

To support Reading Every Day!

  • 2:45 - 3:00 School-wide DEAR time

All Week

  • Grades PreK-2 Reading Musical Chairs
  • Grades 3-5 Book Tastings

DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) - Hallway reading encouraged!

 

For the LOVE OF WORDS!

Dear families of students in Grades 2-5,

On Thursday, February 13, Mildred H. Aitken Elementary School will be celebrating... WEAR–A–WORD DAY! The purpose is to enrich the vocabulary of every single Aitken student by having some fun with words.

How do we do this?

Your child has been asked to “become” a word for the day. They will choose an interesting word to “dress up as” for the day. In addition to dressing as the word, your child will wear a small sign that clearly states the word, with either a definition or sentence. So, here’s the task

  1. Choose a word – Adjectives (describing words) and nouns (naming words) work best.
  2. Create an “outfit” that shows the word – This is where the creativity comes in. The challenge is to become the word from head to toe.
  3. Wear your outfit to school on Thursday, 2/13.

For example - If the word is “patriotic”, a person might dress in all red, white, and blue, carry the American flag, use hair decoration or a hat, and maybe jewelry. Do it up big!

Our goal is to learn as many new words as possible. We appreciate your support and encouragement!

Help Your Child Set Better Goals: WOOP

by Renee Jain on January 16, 2017, Go Zen, www.gozen.com

Shared with you by Tara Haggerty, School Adjustment Counselor.


Has your child ever set a goal, only to lose sight of it a few minutes, hours, or weeks later? Sometimes, life has a way of getting away from our children – with school, friends, and all their hobbies, it can be hard to stay on top of what often becomes a delicate balancing act.

How can you encourage your child to stay on track, without feeling like you’re constantly nagging? And more importantly, how can you find out what is holding your child back from fulfilling their goals? We’ve got four letters for you: WOOP.

The WOOP method created by Gabriele Oettingen, is based in the evidence-based phenomenon that just dreaming about a positive future does not lead to fulfilling those dreams, and in fact, it distracts from taking the necessary steps to achieving them.

It’s not just about having the best of intentions for your future, but planning exactly how to get there. WOOP is a practical 4-step approach to fulfilling goals, that simply requires your child to envision their wish, acknowledge the obstacles they may face, and plan how they will overcome them. The next time you’re feeling skeptical about your child’s promise to get back on track with their homework, their vowing to keep their room clean, or even their pinky promise to keep the peace with their siblings, give this a try.

W – Wish: Have your child imagine their goal. What’s something they want to accomplish in the next day, week, or month? Help them come up with something that’s both challenging and feasible. For example: “I want to have a cleaner room! I always try to keep it clean, but it’s always messy by the end of the week.”

O – Outcome: Ask your child to think about the #1 benefit from achieving this goal. For example: “Having a cleaner room will help me get ready for school on time.”

O – Obstacle: What might get in the way of achieving this wish? Prompt your child to consider an obstacle within them, rather than something outside of their control. What within them is going to stand in the way of achieving their wish? For example: “When I’m tired after a long day, I throw my clothes on the floor. This adds up after a while.”

P – Plan: Help your child come up with some problem-solving techniques, should their obstacle arise. What can they plan to do when they run into a roadblock? Think in these terms: if x, then situation y. For example: “If I know I’m going to be too tired to put my clothes away, I will go to bed earlier so I still have energy the next day to keep things clean.” If you’re feeling inspired, you can even do your own WOOP to help you get to where you want to be. This may be a more realistic way to get those new goals for the year to stick, once and for all!


About Renee Jain

Renee Jain is an award-winning tech entrepreneur turned speaker and certified life coach. She also holds a masters in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Renee specializes in cultivating skills of resilience in both adults and children. Her passion is taking research-based concepts and transforming them into fun and digestible learning modules. For children, she has created one-of-a-kind anxiety relief programs at GoZen! delivered via engaging animated shorts.

Calendar year 2019 statistics:

Below is a chart indicating the number of books checked out of Aitken library in 2019. There were a grand total of 31,748 books! We have some great readers!

Type of book Number of Statistical Transactions
BIO 459
CHAPTERBK 13
EASY 1112
EASY-FIC 506
EASYBIO 2
EASYNONFIC 1390
FICTION 10871
GRAPHIC 3086
NEWBOOKS 361
NEWFICTION 6
NONFICTION 7111
PAPERBACK 276
PBKFICTION 799
PICTUREBK 5753
REFERENCE 3
Total 31748

And the winners are….

The American Library Association announced their annual book awards last week and history was made when a graphic novel won the distinguished Newbery Award medal for best children’s book for the first time!


2020 Newbery Award winner

(outstanding contribution to children’s literature)

2020 Caldecott Winner

(most distinguished picture book for children)

From the Art Room


Hello Aitken Families and Artists! Its been a busy month in the art room PreK artists are making snowmen out of model magic clay and we are soon going to adorn them with scarves, hats and snow. Kindergarten has enjoyed the magic of color mixing this month and are starting to make rainforest birds in conjunction with their ELA standards. First grade is currently in their color mixing project and learning how landscapes change as our seasons change. Each grade was assigned a different season. I can't wait to compare and contrast the artworks with our young artists.

  • Second grade is finishing up their superhero project where they learned how to draw the human body using shapes. No more stick people!
  • Third grade in working on their Wayne Thiebaud drawings and learning about the use of shadows and highlights on forms. I am so excited to fill the halls with delicious desserts.
  • Fourth grade has been studying color theory and applying it to beautiful colored pencil drawings.
  • Fifth grade is currently finishing their painting unit where they were invited to experiment with spray paint, water color, mixing tints , tones and shades in tempera, and intuitive painting.

In the next few weeks, all classes will be working in clay. This is often the most exciting time of year! Our students love creating three dimensional work. If your child gets clay on their clothing, it is easily washed out. I will be providing aprons just in case. When your child works in clay, try to remember to give them lotion for their hands when they come home, as clay can dry out the skin. No gloves allowed! Getting our fingers dirty is half the fun in art class. I can’t wait to turn on our warm kiln in these cold winter months.

Any families that would like to donate baby wipes to help our younger artists clean their hands quicker and more efficiently, please do so! Also, I am going to ask all families to save their cereal boxes and send to school. This type of cardboard is perfect for sculpture making! Please collapse the boxes when you send them to school. If you have any very large cardboard boxes you would like to donate to the drama club, please reach out to me via email. Please do not send children to school on the bus with large boxes. I am happy to pick them up. Thank you!!

The Aitken Players Drama Club


We are looking for LARGE cardboard boxes for our set. If you have any please contact Mrs. Glum via email and she will arrange a pick up or drop off. Please email at glumj@seekonkschools.com

Soon we will start fundraising and asking any parents or relatives who live in Seekonk if they would like to advertise in our play program. Last year, we had a huge community turn out to watch the play. Your business will be seen by hundreds of audience members. It’s a great way to support the arts while helping our drama club pay for things such as costumes, props and sets. More information to follow.

A reminder to backstage crew that starting in February, we will be meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. Thank You!!

 

SAVE THE DATE: MAY 8th, 2020 Giants in the Sky

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