January 20th, 2019

Dear Woodside Friends, 

    With snow on the ground and cold in the forecast, the coming wintry weeks are a good chance to catch up with your child about some school news and to connect with them about both their social and academic life at Woodside.  I don’t know about you, but if I start out with, “How was school today?” I might get a pretty short answer.  So, I want to pass on a great way to talk with kids that I’ve learned from a great educators.  
    Our interim Superintendent, Dan Chuhta (who was recently appointed Deputy Commissioner of Education for the State of Maine) taught me this one......try: “Tell me something you learned in school today.”  Its a subtle difference, but one that can shift a students perspective about talking with you at home about their learning life at school. If you let them know that you will be asking it regularly, it can really make a difference in the way kids focus their attention and practice memory and talk skills preparing for your conversation at home.
    Don’t expect it to go perfect the first time, but keep trying. Even if your first conversation ends with you letting them know that you care about their learning, its a win. End with “tomorrow I want you to be prepared to say more about what you are doing to learn more or practice important skills.” I’ve found it to be a great way to get a good conversation about going about school.  Give it a try and show your kids your really care about their life-long learning.

Have a great Week!
-Mr. Dedek

(Photos in this newsletter courtesy of Teri Schultz, Nicole Napples, Rick Dedek)

Help the Woodside PTO to raise funds for the 5th grade field trip to Cow Island!

Wow, what a game this weekend! Remember, in two short weeks there is an even bigger game coming for up the Pats!  Why not make it an even more special night by making a pizza with your family, and supporting the 5th grade field trip to Cow Island at the same time?  Click here to go to Woodside’s PIzzakit fundraiser and enter the info above to make your order, and thank you for supporting events and activities to enrich the lives of our students.

In This Issue


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Reminder: Next Woodside PTO Meetings


PTO Highlights:

Next Meeting
: Monday, February 4th, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m. Room 202a
Last Meeting: January 7th’s Agenda can be found here.   

Our new PTO By-Laws were unanimously voted for last Spring (50 in favor, 0 opposed).  A link to those By-Laws available here.
PTO is sponsoring some upcoming events:
  • Please note☕️Parent Coffee and Conversation Night on postponed till Tuesday January 29th 5:30-6:30 p.m. with Mr. Dedek.  Topic. “School Safety”. Location: Room 202A. (Click for copy of parent reference sheet.)
  • Woodside Family Fun Activity:  🎬 Friday 1/25 from 6-8 Night, featuring     the LEGO (Click here for details) 
PTO executive board: 2018-2019
President:'18-‘19 Erika McKenney 
Vice President: ‘18-‘19 Rebecca Drewette-Card 
Treasurer: '18-‘19  Laurie Wertz
Secretary: 18-‘19 Julie Creek
Teacehr Rep: ‘18-19 Erin Dimbleby
Woodside PTO’s
 Great American Opportunity School Store!
While the paper order drive has “wrapped up”,
this store can be accessed all year long by following the links below.  
or using the QR code:

Thank you fro making this such a big success, we’ve already raised over $1,700 to help pay for Woodside School Field Trips, Transportation, and Special Guest Presenters for our students. 
Staffing Updates:   One new Update to Share:

1. Mr. Dan Chuhta, Interim Superintendent, appointed to Important State Education Post. 
Former Assistent Superintendent and current interim Superintendent Mr. Dan Chuhta has been appointed to the post of Deputy Commissioner of Education by Commissioner Pender Makin (Formerly Assistant Superintendent in Brunswick). As principal, I’ve been fortunate to work with Mr. Chuhta for the past six years, and I can report that the state of Maine is fortunate to be getting such a qualified, intelligent, fair, and capable man to help further the cause of public education for our youth. We wish Mr. Chuhta all the best moving forward, and feel confident that these two fine educators from the MidCoast are going to help create a great future for all Maine Students. Mr. Chuhta’s final day in MSAD 75 will be Feb. 15th, 2019. We wish him well.

(Our District will continue to be served by interim Assistant Superintendent, Peg Armstrong, and we expect to appoint a new Interim Superintendent soon, while an exhaustive national search to fill the superintendent position is underway.)

Quick peek at the coming weeks

Peek at the Upcoming Weeks

On Going: (unless communicated different from coordinator)
  • LEGO-Robotics Club:  Each Friday 8:15-8:45 a.m.
  • Maine Refrain Rehearsals: Thursdays 8:00-8:50
  • WOW Practices: Monday and Thursday at 3:30
  • Intramural Sports:  M-T-F  7:55 a.m.
  • Take a Bite out of Science - After School Program Wed 3:35-4:35p.m. 1/23/19 through 3/20/19 (no class 2/20) 
  • 22nd - Final day for Pizza Kit Orders
  • 23rd - In-School National Geographic Geo-Bee (Top 10 from classroom bees to participate)
  • 25th - Family Movie Night:  “The LEGO Movie” 6-8 p.m. 
  • 29th - (Rescheduled) Parent Coffee and COnversation Topic:  School Safety 5:30 PM
  • 31th- Woodside Hosts the Sagadahoc County Spelling Bee (Public is invited) 4p.m. Woodside Learning Commons

  • 6th Maine Integrated Youth Heath Survey for WES 5th graders.
  • 7th Dr. Overly and Dr. Sullivan to make a dental health visit with our first graders.
  • 13th School Musical (Giants in the Sky) - Woodside Gym  7 pm
  • 14th  School Musical (Giants in the Sky) - Woodside Gym 7 pm
  • 15th (Snow Day Back Up Date for Musical - TBD)
  • 18th -22nd No School - February Break
  • 19th -22nd - February WOW Camp -  Open to grades 2nd and up. See Mr. Pulsifer for details.
Looking for things to do after school?  
  • How about and afterschool science program? (K-5th grade, See flyer)
  • Woodside One Wheelers February Camp Starts 2/19 (2nd-5th graders contact Mr. Pulsifer)
  • Or Maybe Trying Special Chorus? (4-5th graders contact Mr. Olsen Pietrowski)

* Inclusion in this bulletin is at the discretion of the Woodside principal and does not represent endorsement by Woodside Elmentary Shcool or MSAD 75.
Woodside One Wheeler Camps are held on site at the Woodside Elementary School in Topsham, Maine.
Transportation and Parking Notes:  
Dear Woodside Neighborhood,
With Winter weather in full gear and snow on the roads, here is a reminder for all Woodside neighbors:  slow down, look twice, and drive carefully with respect for your fellow drivers.  Please also remember, as difficult as it is for a regular vehicle, it is even more of a challenge for our bus drivers.  Please use caution and patience on the road.
Thank You, The Woodside Neighborhood
Something new To our Multi-Tiered Ssytem of Supports (MTSS) this year is the introduction of Woodside Wolf Packs!

Each student has been assigned to one of three packs this Fall.  They are the Western, the Arctic, and Timber wolf packs.  As you can see in the picture above, each pack represent three of our school values.  Each pack also has a pack “color” which we encourage students to wear at our Monthly Campfire Meetings.  It is a great way to show school spirit, and helps unify our K-5 students in a unique multi-grade social format. 

We are working on a way can order your child their own special “Woodside Wolf Pack t-shirt” and expect to have an order from ready for February. We are partnering with PTO to help produce a low-cost T-shirt whose proceeds will ensure that families who cannot afford a full price shirt will have a sliding scale option to choose from.
Congratulations to 5th graders, Ryan (Gus) Schultz our school spelling Bee Champion, pictured here with runner-up, Finn Dedek.  Both boys will represent Woodside at the County Bee (hosted at Woodside this year) on Jan 31st, 2019 at the Woodside Learning Commons.

End on a Healthy Note...By Woodside O.T., Mrs. Piccirillo

Visual motor skills include the ability for the brain understand and communicate from the eyes to the hands in order to draw, copy, and trace what you see. They may not have difficulty with fine motor skills, visual acuity or visual perception but their brain is not coordinating the messages between these areas. You can see how this is a very important skill not only for pre-writing lines, but handwriting in general. Visual motor skills include visual perceptual skills, functional visual skills (such as eye tracking), and eye-hand coordination. Visual motor skills require the eyes to visually guide the movement of the hands, legs, feet. Children with difficulty in this area will have difficulty with paper and pencil tasks such as copying shapes, letter and number formation, containing letters within lines, numbers within boxes and more.

Find more info and ideas:

End on a Healhty Note:  Contributed by Barbara Piccirillo, Woodside Occupational Therapist.

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Woodside is a non-profit, public school organization · 42 Barrows Dr. · Topsham, Me 04086 · USA

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