Jefferson Elementary School Newsletter

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Principals’ Message

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the month of February at Jefferson Elementary School. February will be a quick month as mid-winter vacation is right around the corner. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our PTO for helping us to plan four very successful turn off the TV nights during the month of January. We would also like to thank the many parent volunteers who led and assisted with our events. These nights would not be possible without your collaboration.

As we move into the month of February please note on your calendar that our next PTO meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11 at 6:30 PM within the library. For those of you who have children in second grade, our winter concert is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

Our Caught Being Good Character initiative will continue this month in an effort to reinforce and promote good behavior in our school. During the month of January, our theme was responsibility. Students from all grade levels attended an assembly where they learned more about what it means to be responsible and examples of how they could demonstrate this at home and in school. This month’s theme will center upon empathy. Please look for more information to follow on this theme.

You should have recently received a memo that documented our reading challenge aimed at assisting the Ronald McDonald House. This year we gave our students an opportunity to have a voice in our next challenge. Mrs. Gordon and I continue to laugh at the many ideas that came in. Our students are certainly creative and have a great sense of humor. We look forward to our next challenge as our students become stronger readers and participate within a worthy cause.

As we enter into the flu season, we continue to promote practices in our school to help our students stay as healthy as possible. Please ensure that they wear their winter jackets, hats, and gloves each day. If you have questions regarding your child’s health, please call our nursing department(Mrs. Cordy and Mrs. Sindoni) and they will assist you with any health-related matters.

We wish each of you a safe and healthy month. Also, Sunday was Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, signifying an early spring. We can only hope!


Mr. Gifford and Mrs. Gordon

Notes from the Health Office

Brrr! Winter has arrived! Please be sure your child dresses appropriately for outdoor recess.  Students will be going outside each day unless the temperature falls below 20 degrees. They need fresh air and exercise!

Snow pants and boots can keep your child warm even on days without snow.  And don’t forget the hats and gloves or mittens!  Also, labeling their items aids in returning anything left behind. Please be sure to do so.

 Let’s work together to keep our students warm, dry, and healthy!

Reminder from the Physical Education Department

As a reminder for the winter months, if your child wears boots to school, remember to put sneakers in their backpack on PE days!   THANK YOU!


Jefferson Elementary School is having an Orientation Presentation for the parents of our Kindergarten Class of 2020-2021

It will be held on Monday, March 16, 2020, at 6:30 PM, at Jefferson School.   In order to ensure you receive the paperwork necessary to pre-register your child, parents of eligible children are asked to contact the school at 355-1342 ext 5080. 

Downloadable registration packets can be found on our school website via the following link:

Art Room News

Classes will continue to be creative in art class this January. Kindergarten classes will be starting self-portraits. They will explore facial features, and learn simple tricks for drawing a self-portrait. First-grade classes will be making space landscapes inspired by Joan Miro. They will explore geometric and organic shapes, and analyze the many lines and shapes that make up Joan Miro’s artwork. Second-grade classes will be creating their very own Starry Night inspired by Vincent van Gogh. Third-grade classes will be finishing up their oil pastel animals inspired by Laurel Burch and will be moving on to an oil pastel piece inspired by stained glass windows. Students will learn about key art principles; including symmetry, balance, and movement. Fourth-grade classes will be working on a still life inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Vase with Twelve Sunflowers. Students will analyze the difference between shape and form. Students will determine key factors that make up a 3D form and will learn techniques to create them. 

School Closing Announcements

School closings, delayed openings, and early dismissals resulting from weather conditions or other emergencies will be announced, usually by 6:30 AM, by the following:

  • Radio: WGY (810 AM), WFLY (92.3 FM), WYJB (95.5 FM), WRVE (99.5FM)
  • TV: Channels 6, 9, 10, 13, 23
  • Online: 
  • Other: Times Union and Daily Gazette, District Facebook and Twitter pages

When the start of school is delayed (1 or 2 hours), students who walk or are transported by parents must also arrive at school later.  This includes students in the Y Before School Program. Staff also arrives later and supervision is NOT available. Please DO NOT drop off your child early when school is delayed.

When school is closed for emergency reasons, all night activities are also canceled.  This includes the Y After School Program.

Remember, phone calls will NOT be used for WEATHER related closings but only for emergencies or unexpected closings.

Schalmont Birthday Snack Program

Celebrating our children’s birthdays at school can be fun for them and stress-free for you. Leave the delivery up to us! Your choice of the following ice cream treats can be delivered to your child’s classroom.  (*cotton candy*ice cream sandwich*birthday cake cone*fudge bars*scribblers*cookies & cream cone*sherbert cup (orange, lemon, raspberry)*strawberry eclair*chocolate eclair* creamsicle)

The price is $15.00. All boxes of 24 count and includes napkin and spoon. PLEASE GIVE 48 HOURS NOTICE.  Payment can be made with cash or check or through your child’s MySchoolBucks lunch account. How do I order? Contact Food Service Director Renee Heller at or 518.355.9200 x4020

Ski Club

Anyone interested in Ski Club this year will have to contact Maple Ski Ridge directly. Their number is 518-381-4700.

Library News

It was a busy December with technology in the Library.  All students grades K-4 used ozobots to reunite Rudolph with his nose.  Kindergarten and first-grade classes used the Google Expedition goggles and traveled around world festivals.  Fourth-grade students made gobble wobblers. Both third and fourth-grade classes were re-acquainted with how to access the online catalog so that they can listen to audiobooks and read e-books over vacation.   Fourth-grade classes continue to rotate through the SCHOOLOGY stem class that runs every day.

Questions?  Contact Mary Shands at

Music Department News

The beginning of the school year has gone by so quickly here in the Jefferson Elementary music suite!  During the month of December, we had lots of fun learning forms by using the parachute to songs from the nutcracker.  We had a lot of laughs singing solos into the “Elf” microphone and had a great sing-along on the day before vacation.    

Third-grade classes had a wonderful concert in spite of Mrs. Ploss losing her voice for a week!  The third-grade concert was very unique because the students accompanied themselves on the instruments!  This was a very challenging and rewarding process! We really worked together to come up with arrangements that fit with our songs.  An example of this is how we used “We Will Rock You” in the middle of “Shalom Chaverim.” When I showed the children the beat we were going to use, they spontaneously started singing we will, we will, rock you!  So, we decided to use it and create a mash-up. We also want to thank the fourth-grade older siblings and cousins who played “Jingle Bells” with us. They spent many recess periods with Mrs. Ploss practicing and they should be commended for their effort.  They sounded amazing!

Now that the concert is over, the third-grade classes will begin playing recorders after vacation.  They are very excited about learning to play. Please try to encourage them at home, even if the sounds you are hearing are less than perfect!  Just imagine what we are hearing here in the classroom with up to 27 students! 

The second-grade students will begin preparing for their February 12th concert very soon!  Please note that the start time listed on the school calendar is wrong, this concert and all elementary concerts will now start at 6:30 PM!

Annual Craft Fair & Lunch with Santa

A big “Thank you!” to all who participated in this program in any way!

Giving Tree and Food Drive

Thank you to all who took a tag from our tree to help those in our Jefferson community this holiday season.  And an additional thank you to everyone who participated in our annual food drive. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Literacy Partnership: Just 20 minutes a day

In a world that has become so screen dependent and busy, how important is it to pick up a book and simply read? How important is reading in our children’ s lives?

Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that early parental involvement in a child’ s reading has proven to be one of the most important determinants of language and literacy. Specifically, if adults at home get involved in their child’ s literacy early on, the better and longer-lasting the effects are at school and the more proficient they become. More than ever, we need to continue reading with and reading to our children at home.

Time spent reading with your child at home is absolutely critical time.

How to support your child’s reading development outside of school

  • Be present; make time in your day for books.
  • Talk with your child about your favorite books as a child.
  • Read what your child is reading; share in conversations around those books.
  • Go to the local library with your child – it’ s FREE!!
  • Have books of every level available for your child—vacation books, “just -right” books, and challenging books.
  • Connect with your child s teacher about what books ore best for your child to read at home.
  • Encourage your child to check out books from the school library Read with and to your child even after they read independently.
  • Tell each other stories about the best or worst parts of your day—practice sequencing ideas.
  • Play games—mad libs, word search, hangman, boggle, etc.
  • Be confident in your own reading—you don’t have to be a reading teacher to support and impact your child.