May 24, 2017

Fifth grade students displayed their artistic and musical talents last night at the annual 5th Grade Arts Night. Parents, students, and family members launched the event by viewing the Art Retrospective, a large display of all 5th graders’ artwork. This wonderful display of student work showcases the unique talents of each 5th grader since each student designed an individual 3’X4’ panel by selecting and mounting favorite pieces of artwork created over the course of their elementary school experience. Family members spent time viewing and enjoying the beautiful work featured on all of the panels. The Art Retrospective will remain displayed for about a week, so that all Willard students and staff members can enjoy it. Congratulations to Willard Art Teacher, Kristin Saunders, for inspiring students to express themselves as artists so creatively over the years.

The 5th Grade Concert began at 7:00 PM following the Art Retrospective. The Concert featured performances by the Willard Chorus, Orchestra, and Band. Each group performed a few selections, which received positive and enthusiastic applause from the large audience of parents, family members, and staff in attendance. Thank you to Willard Music Teacher and Chorus Director, Charlyn Bethell; Willard Strings Teacher, Anna Anderson; and Willard Band Directors, Paul Halpainy and Chris Noce for helping our 5th graders gain an appreciation for their musical potential.

This week was a busy week for 5th graders. The week began with a 5th grade field trip to the Boston Tea Party Museum. This field experience is intended to enrich the 5th grade social studies curriculum. Judging from the reaction of 5th grade teachers and students, the trip was quite a success.

The end of the school year is typically a busy time of year for field trips. First graders enjoyed deepening their understanding of life cycles with their recent trip to the Butterfly Place. Second graders culminated their study of Henry David Thoreau by exploring the area around Walden Pond led by Henry David Thoreau, himself (aka – Mr. Bob Fardy, Social Studies Consultant). Fourth graders immersed themselves in the immigrant experience with an Immigration Day experience on Tuesday.   This re-enactment provided all 4th grade students with a simulated immigrant experience beginning with the departure from their homeland, boarding the ship and enduring the rigors of ocean travel in steerage, and ultimately, culminating with their arrival at Ellis Island. Thank you to the 4th grade teachers, various staff members, and the many volunteers who helped to create this wonderful simulation experience for students.

The PTG is hosting a new version of 5th Grade Fun Day this year. Fifth grade students, their teachers, and a few chaperones will travel to the Thoreau Club for supervised swimming and outdoor games on June 5th from 12:00 – 3:00 PM. Permission slips were sent home recently and should be returned to school promptly. The rain date for this event is Monday, June 12th.

The 5th Grade Celebration is scheduled for Thursday, June 15th at 10:30 AM in the Willard Auditorium. This event marks the end of the elementary school experience for our students. Grade 5 parents are invited to attend. Please mark your calendars.

In preparation for the 2017-2018 school year, the district is expanding the use of technology for communication and information sharing. All parents have received or will receive a letter from the District Technology Team introducing the process for creating and accessing a Parent Portal account on Aspen, the district’s Student Information System. During the upcoming school year, the Parent Portal will be the means for parents to update their child’s demographic information (phone numbers, etc.) and health information updates. Parents are encouraged to set your security questions to enable auto-recovery of your user name and password. Information for the 2017-2018 school year is expected to be available on the portal after August 25th.

I hope to see all Willard families at the Willard Carnival on Sunday, June 4th, from 12:00 – 4:00 PM. Always a favorite of students, the Willard Carnival offers fun, games, and activities for children of all ages!

As always, thank you for all you do for Willard School.