Jefferson Elementary School Newsletter

The April newsletter is available as a pdf here.

Principals’ Message

Dear Jefferson Families,

Once again, the time has come to plan for your child’s placement for next year. The placement process is something that is taken very seriously and can impact the overall atmosphere of our school in many ways. Some of the factors that we consider are:

  • The academic abilities/needs of the student.
  • The social needs of the student.
  • The balancing of each class by gender, performance, and special student needs.
  • Classroom dynamics including the impact of students on each other in the same classroom.

This process is one that is the result of a team effort in which administrators, the teachers of each grade level, and special area staff work collectively to develop classes for the following year. This placement process is based on the following assumptions:

  • Our belief that a balanced class of diverse learners is the most important factor in ensuring the success of all the students.
  • Our belief that any teacher in our school is capable of teaching any child.
  • Our belief that children benefit from a variety of educational experiences and that they will grow from their interaction with different teachers and a variety of teaching styles.

We do value your insight as well. While it is not expected for parents to write a letter, we will take your written thoughts into consideration when creating a balanced class. If you are submitting a letter, it should include information concerning your child’s needs as a learner and/or the type of learning environment in which you feel he/she can be most successful. Please understand that it is not possible to honor requests for a specific teacher.

In order to give full consideration to your thoughts, we are asking that all written communications be received by Friday, April 23, 2021. Letters received after this date may not be considered.

In a normal school year, we typically host an opportunity for students to meet next year’s teacher during the final week of school. For the 2021-22 school year, class placements will be mailed home to families in August. With many uncertainties, we are trying to avoid a situation (like we had this Fall), where we needed to change many student placements, due to the uneven numbers in classrooms, precipitated by remote learning opportunities. We are hopeful that this change will be for this year only, as we feel strongly about hosting “meet the teacher” day at Jefferson Elementary.

Thank you for your continued partnership and we look forward to the remainder of this school year.

Always Jefferson Proud,

Mr. Gifford and Mrs. Grabicki

Notes from the Health Office

If your child will not be attending school for any reason, it is very important for you to call and notify the school office of the reason for the absence. This helps us to keep track of illnesses among our students. It also helps us be assured that your child is safe at home.

If your child has even one symptom of illness, including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, new loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing, or an undiagnosed rash- please keep him/her home. A child exhibiting any symptom of illness should not return to school until cleared by a physician. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact the nurse’s office.

Music Department News

March was Music in our Schools month and we celebrated by building our musical skills! The younger kids had a fun time learning about a musical rest and singing to our puppet friend of the month Melody the Unicorn. Ask them about her silly faces! We also started a unit on legato and staccato sounds. The third grade classes spent the beginning of the month practicing 16th notes and have been working on learning how to read the pitches on the staff with letter names. We will be playing treble clef “baseball” in class to practice our skills. Fourth grade classes spent the month of March learning the instruments of the orchestra and had a test on twenty three instrument and instrument families. Overall, they did very well! Looking forward to the sounds of spring!

News from the P.E. Department

  • Gym classes will start to try to go outside after April break. Please dress appropriately.
  • The countdown is still on to get all students to be able to tie their shoes by the end of the school year. This is a great task to practice over April break.
  • Bowling alleys are offering Kids Bowl Free from May 1 – August 31. Go to and log in. Kids get two free games to bowl each day. The only cost for kids is shoe rentals. There is also a family package of 4 adults that is a reasonable price if the adults would like to play. My family has participated for a number of years and especially on those rainy summer days. Enjoy! Mrs. Stadel

Art Room News for April

April welcomes new and exciting projects in art class. Kindergarten classes will learn about the water cycle and read “Little Raindrop” written by Melanie Joyce. Then they will create 3D flowers in preparation to say goodbye to April showers and hello to May flowers! First grade classes will be learning about Keith Haring. Students will explore his simple figures and discuss line, shape, and color. Each student will then have the chance to create their own Keith Haring inspired image. Second grade classes will be continuing their work inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe. Students will be exploring overlapping imagery, learning tricks to draw a variety of flowers and skulls, and will discuss the juxtaposition of these two images as one. Third grade classes will continue their work on their rainforest collage; exploring and drawing a variety of animals and plants. Students will also discuss key art principles; including movement, balance, and contrast. Fourth grade classes will also have an opportunity to complete the rainforest project while they wait for their turn to create a paper mache animal. Many fourth grade students have already started their paper mache animals, and will continue on to the final steps before getting to take them home. Please make sure to follow along with our progress on the Jefferson art website;

News from the Library

Kindergarten – Students have been learning about what plants and animals need in both library class and kindergarten lab.

First grade – Students have learned about animal and people teeth as well as Spring and frogs.

Second grade – Students have used nearpod and learned about volcanoes. They have also taken some virtual reality tours.

Third graders – Students have been studying and comparing folktales from different parts of the world.

Fourth graders – Students have been learning how to use WEVIDEO and do a book talk using a green screen.

Check out the library lesson plans and fourth grade museums off of the library website at:

Lost and Found

Missing a coat? Missing a sweatshirt? Missing a hat/gloves?

We have many items in our lost and found. please have your child stop by and see if anything belongs to them. All unclaimed items will be donated at the end of April.

Ronald McDonald Read-A-Thon 2021 A Huge Success at JES!

Dear Jefferson Families,

We are in the final days of the Ronald McDonald Read A Thon at Jefferson Elementary School. This year’s program will conclude on Friday, April 2, 2021. For students who have participated in this year’s challenge, the sponsor form and pledges should be brought to school no later than Wednesday, April 14, 2021. If you prefer to bring your child’s pledges in person, please do so at the K-1 office.

We are so proud of our young readers. To date, JES readers have raised almost $4,300! This places us in 9th place among all participating schools within the Capital Region. As the students have met and even exceeded our expectations, Mrs. Grabicki and I will follow through with our challenge. At the end of the day on Friday, April 16, 2021, we will experience the “ice bucket challenge.” Due to COVID restrictions, this event will not be attended but rather videotaped for all to enjoy. In an effort to verify authenticity, our Superintendent, Dr. Reardon, has agreed to officiate the event. Please stay tuned for opportunities to view and enjoy this event.

As a school community, we are pleased that our young students continue to progress as readers, and yet give back to our community at large. A special thank you to each of you for your support. It takes a strong home/school partnership to make events like this successful and everlasting.


Mr. Gifford
Mrs. Grabicki