Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23, 2015

Dear Memorial Families,
On behalf of the entire Memorial School, I would like to wish you and your family the happiest of holidays.  Enjoy the break. We'll see you on January 4th.

PTO Holiday Luncheon
Thank you to all who contributed to the amazing staff luncheon on Tuesday, December 22nd.  Everything was delicious and very much appreciated.  We are beyond grateful!

On Friday, December 18th, the entire Memorial School met to learn about Whole Body Listening from our friends in Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. DeGeorge's preschool classes.  The boys and girls showed us pictures of what Whole Body Listening looks like, sang a song to help us remember and played a great video that they had worked hard to create.  Everyone did a great job listening!

Thank you to Mr. Olsen and the entire Jazz Band for visiting the Memorial School on Friday.  We loved hearing the music and learning all about the different instruments.

Box Top Raffle Winner
Congratulations to Noah Smith!  Noah was the winner the Box Tops raffle for December winning a Park Street Books gift certificate.  Thank you to the PTO for their ongoing support. Please keep sending in those box tops!

Fa la la la la! 
The holiday sing was so much fun!  350 + happy voices all singing together is one of the greatest sounds!  Thank you to Mr. Ruggerio and Mrs. Pollock for leading the sing-a-long and to Mrs. Ravinksi, Mrs. Salamone, and Mrs. Paget for accompanying me on vocals.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful break!
Missy Bilsborough

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17, 2015

Greetings Memorial Families and Happy Holidays!

It has been a busy week here at Memorial.  The anticipation is growing as we look forward to several upcoming events.

Teacher PreK-5 Professional Development Day

PreK-5 teachers participated in a mini digital learning day at Wheelock on Wednesday afternoon.  With five different offerings to choose from, teachers were able to differentiate their own learning based on their individual and student needs.  Check out some of the great workshops from which the Memorial staff was able to choose.

App Challenges - Debby Fromen

A hands-on opportunity to investigate K-5 creativity iPad apps.  Bring your iPad and chose your challenges:  Camera, PicCollage, Skitch, Popplet, Adobe Voice, Chatterpix, Sock Puppets, Book Creator, Explain Everything, iMovie, iMovie Trailers, Stick Around.  Then work collaboratively with colleagues to create integrated centers/lessons to take back to your classroom.  End products will be shared K-5.

Already an app expert on these apps?  Take it to the next level - app smash and create some new integrated lessons/centers.

Raz-Kids Webinar - Jamee Callahan

Gain knowledge and confidence to flexibly and seamlessly use Learning A-Z to supplement your core reading, writing, and science instruction, target key literacy skills, and move your students to new levels of reading proficiency!

Managing Student Work with Seesaw - Bethany Robertson

Collecting student work from various iPads, computers, numerous worksheets, etc. can be overwhelming.  Seesaw is a digital portfolio that lets students easily send you all kinds of learning artifacts to one place.  Additionally, rather than use multiple apps, you can take pictures, video, draw, type, and record voice all within Seesaw.  Although it can access your camera roll for all of you app smashers!  Seesaw is simple to use for both students and teachers while still offering lots of options.

Google Classroom and Google Apps - Jason Garverich

Excited to use this platform but just haven't had the time to get started?
Started already but feel like you're not getting the most out of it?
Come and get hands on with the technology with a Google employee who will help you take the next step in your journey (whatever that may be).
Will involve active use of the products, interacting with your peers in a real-world setting.

Chrome: The Browser with Superpowers - Neal Sonnenberg

Most of us use Chrome everyday and think of is as just a browser to get onto the Internet; however the Chrome Browser can do a whole lot more.  In this session you’ll learn many tricks to make your time on the Internet more efficient - from bookmarks, to extensions to managing multiple accounts, to making your holiday shopping easier, you will learn something new in this session.  

Thank you to our amazing presenters!

Safety Drill
Students and staff did a wonderful job today during our unannounced safety drill. Please see the email that was sent earlier on Thursday for additional details.

We are all looking forward to our school wide assembly tomorrow on Whole Body Listening as well as the Jazz Band concert in the afternoon. Next week, we will have our 2nd Box Top raffle drawing, the Holiday Sing, visiting carolers, and classroom parties. Check out next week's blog for a recap and pictures of the fun.

Have a great weekend and thank you for reading. Sincerely,
Missy Bilsborough
Memorial Principal

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10, 2015

Dear Memorial Families,

It is with mixed emotions that I share that Mrs. Policella,  Memorial School secretary for the past 22 years, has announced her retirement.  While we are very happy and excited for her as she embarks on the next phase of her life, we will all miss her terribly!  Her kindness and ever-present smile will be greatly missed. Lynn's final day at Memorial will be December 23rd.  

Early Release Day - Professional Development
On Wednesday, December 16th, students in Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade One will be dismissed at 11:40 a.m.  The elementary staff (PreK-5) will be involved in professional development centering around various technology apps and programs designed to enhance student learning.

Thank you to MCPE for approving over $3800 for a recent grant requesting Brain Break Boxes for all 18 preschool, kindergarten and grade one classrooms.  These funds will be used to purchase sensory tools such as finger fidgets, move and sit seat cushions, weighted lap bean bags and other tactile materials.  In addition, we will be incorporating a sensory break station into each of our three hallways to provide the opportunity for structured supervised breaks as needed. "Brain Breaks are a quick and effective way of changing or focusing the physical and mental sate of learners. They are also a useful tool for student to use to help activate, energize and stimulate their brains.  Research indicates that brain breaks also improve students' concentration and relieve stress." (Incorporating Brain Breaks":

We are so grateful for MCPE's ongoing support.  Thank you!

This week, Kindergarten and Grade One teachers each spent a half-day on Tuesday working with math consultant Shephali Fox. Together, they planned a lesson that Mrs. Fox modeled in one Kindergarten and one Grade One classroom. The teachers then returned to chat about the lesson; noting strategies and activities that they can then carry over into each of their classrooms.

From the P.E. Department
Mrs. Gelinas and Mr. Grace have developed a Memorial School Physical Education Blog to highlight all the great learning that is happening during Physical Education classes.  Please take a minute to check it out!

Did you know that twenty Memorial staff members are participating in a monthly book group?  
Each month, our group gathers to discuss the chapter that we have read in Mindset by Carol Dweck. We look at our current practices and brainstorm ways that we can foster growth mindsets in ourselves and our students.  For more information visit: or

As always, thank you for reading.
Enjoy your weekend.

Missy Bilsborough

Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4, 2015

Dear Memorial Families,
Please enjoy this week's blog.

Math Night
On Wednesday, December 2nd, a K-5 Math Night was held for parents at the Dale Street School. Shephali Fox, the district's math consultant, provided the audience with a general overview of the reasons behind the shift in math instruction.  Participants were then invited to visit five different stations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and enVision support materials) to hear about the learning trajectory from K-5, see the various strategies that our students are using to solve math problems and review the tools that are available to parents.  Within the next few days, all presentations and materials from the evening will be posted on the district/school website.  Please check them out.

Welcome to Lisa Maguire!
Lisa joined the Memorial staff on Monday as a long term substitute for learning specialist, Christine Dardia.  We are thrilled to welcome Lisa to the special education team.

November Box Top Winner
Congratulations to Joseph Callender.  Joseph won the PTO November Box Tops Collection raffle prize, a gift certificate for Brother's Marketplace Ice Cream and Soda Fountain Bar! We currently have collected 728 Box Tops. Thanks to all who contributed.  Please keep them coming! 

Mark Your Calendars
12/16: Early Release Day 11:40 Dismissal
12/22: Progress Reports Go Home
12/23: Holiday Classroom Parties
12/24 - 1/3: Winter Break
1/4: School Re-Opens

MCPE’s on line auction of “Treasured Experiences” is NOW LIVE. Featuring over 100 unique opportunities for students to spend time with their favorite teachers, this online auction will run until 5 PM Friday, December 4th. Be sure to start your holiday shopping

As always, thank you for reading.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Missy Bilsborough