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Jefferson Newsletter

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June 2017

From the Principal

Dear Jefferson Families,

While the school year is coming to an end, the summer is just beginning. It is hard to believe that we are in the final month and I am already seeing the countdown written in various locations across the building.

June is a busy month as we participate in several culminating activities that signal the end of the school year. Please make sure you have marked June 15 on your calendar if you are a fourth grade parent. We will honor and celebrate the achievements of our fourth grade students on the morning of this day. Our ceremony will begin at 9:30 within our play area. We will miss our group of 120 fourth graders as they embark on the next phase of their educational journey.

While summer is a time for relaxation, vacation, and fun with family and friends reading and learning does not have to stop. As a school community, we encourage families to promote opportunities for students to read and stay engaged within the learning process. I recently read an article entitled, “Summer Brain Drain and How to Stop It” by Amanda Morin. Within the article, Morin discusses a study that was conducted at the University of Missouri-Columbia by Dr. Harris Cooper. Cooper concludes that a best case scenario is that a child will make no measurable gains over the summer (but won’t lose any skills either). The worst case scenario looks at a child losing 1-3 months of learning.

Below is a list of time honored ways for you to enjoy the summer months, yet promote learning:

1. Encourage your child to read. Take your child to the local library, many of which have summer reading programs, to pick out books to read over the summer. A summertime theme may keep he/she more interested in reading, so talk to the librarian about books that focus on “summery” activities and ideas.

2. Take educational family vacations. Even if you’re not going to historical sites, you can make your summer trips educational. Even a trip to the zoo has learning potential. You just have to plan ahead to figure out how to sneak some learning in with the snacks and attractions.

3. Take advantage of the many educational websites that are available to your children. Check in with your classroom teacher for specific sites if you need assistance. For your convenience, there have also been a few listed within this newsletter.

A special thank you to our very dedicated cast of PTO mothers who will be moving along as their children enter the Middle School. Mrs. Pedinotti, Mrs. Masi, Mrs. Opalka, and Mr./Mrs. Herndon are to be commended for their countless hours of volunteerism. Each of you have left your mark on Jefferson and we are grateful for your time with us.

Once again, thank you for another school year filled with many memories. Enjoy a wonderful summer and stop in to say hi if you are visiting the playground. We look forward to seeing everyone in September.

Always Jefferson Proud,

Mr. Gifford

Dates to Remember

June 2: - Talent Show, 6 p.m. at the high school

June 5: -Grades 4 & 8 NYS Science Written Exam through 6/9

-JES Swim Program through 6/9

-Board Of Ed. Meeting, 7 p.m.

June 6: KinderConcert, 6:30 p.m.

June 12: Grade K-3 Field Day rain date 6/13 (K-1) 9:30-10:30/ (2-3) 1:15-2:15 p.m.

June 15: -4th Grade Moving Up Ceremony 9:30 a.m.

-JES Kickball Tournament 12:00 p.m., rain date 6/16

--Friends of Music Meeting, 7 p.m.

June 19: -JES Incoming Kindergarten “Meet Your Teacher” Day

-Board of Ed. Meeting, 7 p.m.

June 21: -JES End-of-Year Report Card issued

-Grade K-4 will be dismissed at 11:30AM.

-Grades K-5 “Meet Your Teacher” Day

June 22: Grade K-4 will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.

June 23: Grade K-4 will be dismissed at 10:10 a.m. LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Notes from the Health Office

Dear parents,

As we begin to prepare for the close of the school year, I will need to return your child's daily, or as needed, medication to you.

As a reminder, students are not allowed to carry their medication home. Please call the Health Office at 355-1342 ext. 5036 and set up a pick up time over the next few weeks.

The Health Office hours are 8:30am - 3:10 p.m. Please remember that for each new school year, your child will need a new medication order, care plan (if required), parent permission, and the medication in its original labeled container.

Thank you,

Tara Bush, RN

News from the P.E. Dept.

The second grade swim program will take place the week of June 5 – 9, 2017.

Please help your child be prepared each day with a swimsuit and towel. Goggles are a good idea, as is a comb/brush/hair tie if your child has longer hair.

The schedule for each day is as follows: 9-10:50: Knapik/Fiske 11-1:00: O’Rourke 12:20-2:30: King/DiPiazza

News from the Library

A study conducted by professor Richard Allington found that TWELVE books read over the summer is the magic number in terms of improving reading. Other studies have shown that as few as FIVE books read during the summer are enough to maintain a child’s reading level over the summer. Having books at home for kids to read help meet these goals as well as participation in summer reading programs such as:

1. Jefferson’s summer reading program - the form is off of the Jefferson Elementary library webpage and one was also given to your child in his/her library class.

Students will receive tickets for prizes that will be raffled off at a fall assembly. For more information go to to

2. The Rotterdam Public Library’s summer reading program. More information available at: Or the Altamont Public Library at:

3. Check out Barnes and Noble’s Summer Reading Program: The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is here to help you on your way, encouraging you to read books of your own choosing and earn a FREE book, simply by following these three easy steps:

-Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal (English or Español). Tell us which part of the book is your favorite, and why.

-Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 16th and September 5th, 2017. Find a Store -Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

Educators: Download more information here (PDF)

4. Students also have the opportunity to borrow books over the summer from Jefferson Elementary library as well as participate in a book swap/give away in June. Also E-BOOKS are always available on-line through Jefferson’s library or the public library.

5. Scholastic also has a summer reading challenge at:  

Art Department News

As the school year comes to a close, students are finishing up their last projects in art class.

The fourth grade class will be finishing the last touches on their dream vacation family portraits. Fourth grade students will then be ending their year in art by creating a short book illustrating their adventures as fourth graders.

Third grade students will be completing their dragon landscapes and corresponding stories.

Second grade students will be finishing their self-portraits and creating a short book to illustrate their experiences over the past year.

First grade students will be completing their underwater collage drawings.

Kindergarten students will be finishing their sandcastle collages. Kindergarten students will then be creating and decorating their own sketchbook to use over the summer.

Music Department News

It is hard to believe the end of the year is here already! We have made so much music down here in the music suite this year!

The kindergarten students are currently putting the final touches on their June 6th concert, “Prime Time Nursery Rhymes!” A letter with information about the concert and a permission slip for our rehearsal at the high school was sent home.

The 1st graders have been having a blast activating the William Tell Overture by Rossini with the 24 foot parachute and also working on songs from our song list.

In 2nd grade we brought the drums back out and have been doing a listening/playing activity called “Let’s all play our drum” among other things. They recently filled their song sticker chart and received their prizes from the treasure box!

The 3rd graders have been working on their song list and also spent two music classes going through music centers or stations.

Station 1 was a 16th note rhythm white board game, station 2 was spelling words using the musical alphabet on the music staff on our fabulous carpet.

Station 3 was a listening station where students were tracking and tapping out the rhythm of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Grieg.

Station 4 was an instrument word search that we hope will get them thinking about what instrument they may want to play in 5th grade.

Station 5 was a xylophone song, “Rain, Rain, Go Away” and the final station number 6 was playing GAB on the recorder in different variations.

This was the first time we had ever done an activity like this and it was a great success!

The 4th grade had a fantastic concert in May and has been working on preparing songs for their moving up day, as well as learning about the instruments of the orchestra.

Academic Intervention Service (AIS) 

AIS teachers have been working with small groups of Kindergarten through fourth grade students throughout the year reinforcing both English Language Arts skills and Math skills. Summer is an important time to maintain skills and we are encouraging continued reinforcement. Please consider incorporating one of the following suggestions into your child’s summer routine.

We are strongly encouraging parents to continue reading to/with your child daily throughout the summer. There are many programs you can participate in including:

Jefferson Summer Reading/Incentive program organized by our school librarian:, your local public library Summer Program. Also, your child may borrow five books from our Jefferson library and from our 1,000 Book Club (for younger students).

In addition, the website provides free leveled reading materials and questions. Your child can easily keep up their math skills over the summer. There are a number of free math web sites that are both fun and educational.

Check out: for activities and games focusing on both fact practice and word problems for every grade level. is a website that is great for helping children practice multiplication facts.

Another excellent website is

In addition, one of the best ways for your child to appreciate and value math is by seeing math in their everyday lives. Involve your child as you use math while you cook, measure, count money, tell time, etc. Help your child see how important math is in the world.