April 5th , 2020

Dear Woodside Friends, 

Welcome to the Woodside Bulletin...with some important information to come out later this week...there may be a short follow-up to the bulletin later in the week.  Until then, read on and take care!

In This Issue

  • PTO Corner
  • Recent Events at Woodside
  • Quick peek at the coming weeks
  • Nurse Notes
  • Guidance Letter 
  • End on a healthy note

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Woodside School Office

April 5th, 2020

Three weeks many to go?

(Well, no answer to that question above...but I can tell you it was a wet, wild, and wooly week for the lunch bus. Due to great people working together, hundreds were served daily, and despite the weather, there was sunshine and good community cheer  from my vantage point. Please look for official updates this coming week, but there may be a necessary reduction in the number of days that the food service department can continue the safe distribution of I suspect we might be looking at something like one day per week.  At the time I write this, no formal decision has been made, so I would plan to see you there from 11:00-1:00 on Monday at the MAMS back parking lot. (Click here for a map.)

A huge and continued Thank You!

Again, for the many positive volunteers from Woodside and beyond who help make the lunch bus a smooth and positive experience.  The school has seen volunteers from every rank: custodian, administrator, teacher, ed tech and secretaries not to mention an OT therapist. It makes me feel very proud that the volunteer spirit is alive and well in our school and community.

Lunch Bus / Crunch Tent:

Want to hear a funny story….(well if you don’t keep it to yourself and just skip the next few lines!) On Thursday, in the miserable cold rain I, for one, couldn’t believe how slow the last ten minutes of the schedule dragged on…(not that we don’t love doing it...but it was that cruel kind of April rain and raw wind that doesn't much hint of coming May flowers.) In any case as the final lunches were delivered, the cones were being packed up and the busses readied for the weekend… a huge gust of wind lifted one of our red canopy tents clear over the bus in a somersault and landed in the drainage pond behind the bus. I’m happy to say not a scratch was left on the bus, and it truly was a sight to behold. As I was stunned for a moment it took me some time to realize there were only three of us equipped to retrieve it from the water’s edge. So we trudged down the slope to the pond, dragged it up as carefully as we could only to discover the legs were so badly bent and our hands so cold...there was no way to pack it up into the bus which was the usual stow away plan. We poked and prodded and banged, and urged it….but it was simply broken beyond our capability.

So, not having any tools handy, we decided to carry it over to the buildings and ground HQ...there we figured someone must have a tool, or a clue at the very least about what to do.  No such luck. But after about five minutes of head scratching, an MSAD 75 B+G employee came with his own tent...that one too had been destroyed in the day’s weather and he said, all he could do was break it so it would fit in his trick and subsequently into the dumpster.  There he then deposited it.

So, Bob (the venerable MAHS custodian, myself and a bus driver whose name I don’t recall) started gentlemanly at first but eventually went caveman style on that  tent and bent and broke the remaining legs into smithereens, crunched the remaining parts into a small enough package, and heaved the beast into the dumpster. That was how lunch ended on Thursday!

Link to our district information on COVID-19

Have you seen your principal read a book?

I plan to keep reading and posting new story links here, (and will archive older ones below.)  Today marks the first day I’ve started reading from what I’m calling the book barn at the Dedek homestead. If your house is anything like my house, finding space to do your work lately at home is a premium - and well, the barn is just a good a place as any….at least when the temperature is above 50 degrees! 


Fresh Stories Today:

April 6th  (Duck in a truck)

April 6th  (If I built a car)

The Read Aloud Story Archive: Try it for the first time, or try it again!

Date Posted


March 19th 

I am Skippy Jon Jones

March 20th

The Circus Ship

March 21st   

Skippy Jon Jones - In the Dog House

March 22nd

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee

March 23rd

Froggy Learns to Swim

March 24th

Part One : Burt Dow Deep Water Man

March 25th

Part Two: Burt Dow Deep Water Man

March 26th 

Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

March 27th

Click Clack Moo - Cows that Type

March 28th

Wemberly Worried

April 1st 

The Day the Crayons Quit

April 6th  

Duck in a truck

April 6th  

If I built a car


           Updated Learning Links  (Click For MSAD 75’s Elementary Leanring Links Page)


New At Home Learning Links (version 2.0) 

  • These new learning opportunities will cover school days from April 1 -April 16th, right up to our planned school vacation. (Our previous packets were meant to last until Tuesday, March 31st.)

  • You might ask, why aren’t we printing them and mailing them this time?  Well, it has been advised that to reduce the chance of spreading the COVID-19 virus in the community, that the schools stop mass copying, stuffing, mailing or distribution of packets.  We know this may create a challenge for some families.  

  • If you do run into challenges you can’t solve on your own, please contact your homeroom or special education teacher, and we’ll work our best to try and safely help you out.

New At Home Learning Survey - Coming soon toan in-box near you!

As the Governor has recently requested schools remain closed until at least May 1st, we at MSAD 75 are coming to grips with the likelihood that making plans for longer term at home learning plans needs to be a part of our teachers current and future planning.  To that end, we feel it’s important to hear your voice, and we expect an at home learning survey to be ready to send out early this coming week. When you do see, please take time to read it and lend your voice to help us craft our future learning plans and expectations for elementary students.  Thank you!

Note from the Nurse

Woodside Elementary School 
42 Barrows Drive
Topsham, Maine 04086

April 3, 2020

Dear Woodside Families,

Well, March is over, and WOW do  I miss being in school. I miss all of your children, and I hope everyone has begun to find some sort of rhythm to create some normalcy to the days. I think about our community always, and I hope everyone knows that we in MSAD#75 are hoping to assist in any way possible. This includes reaching out to me as your school nurse, in times of wonder or worry. While I can not provide medical advice, diagnose or treat, I can assist you to find the most current resources and perhaps help with understanding the pandemic we are experiencing. My email address is If  you email me, I will call you if you’d like to talk during regular school hours. 

I would also like to send a message to your children. Please tell them that I am so happy they are safe at home, and I know  they are all keeping up with the good hand hygiene practices we started in the classrooms! I am so proud of them, and I hope they are finding silver linings to being home instead of at school. Any one of them can send  me a message, I would absolutely love to hear from them! I have been able to visit a few “classrooms” during digital class time, and it makes my day! 

And thank you for your role in helping keep our community safe. As always, I recommend boosting your households immune system by getting plenty of rest along with regular exercise, plenty of water  and eating healthy meals. I urge you to utilize the lunches provided by our district, that can be picked up for any children under 18 regardless of income. Those lunches contain the ingredients for a healthy breakfast and lunch!

Remember we are here for you, and stay well,

Lori Huot RN,BSN

Note from Mrs. McGlauflin

A Note from you Guidance Counselor   

Dear Woodside Parents:

A video message from Mrs, McG

I have been waiting to be in touch because I know this is a tumultuous time and you have been receiving many communications from teachers and administrators!   But I wanted you to know I have been thinking of you and your children every day, hoping you are well, staying well, or taking good care of yourselves if sick.

  I so respect all you have to adjust to right now as a parent--becoming suddenly a teacher, facing job loss or the challenges of working at home, meeting your family’s basic needs, managing stress.  It is so important to stay connected to yourself and your feelings, family, friends, the school and larger community to reduce stress and remain, stay or become well. I hope you are finding ways to do so.

  Keeping in touch with me:

  I am working on endorsed ways to keep in touch with you and your children in the weeks ahead, and am committed to continue supporting you in every available way I can.   Right now, the best way is to email me at  This way we can set up a plan to connect by phone or other means. 

Finding other assistance

  The best and quickest way to find out how and where to get assistance is by calling
  1.  A statewide general helpline:  211.   This person has at their fingertips the current information about community resources available to you to meet the needs of your family.

  2. An intentional warm line: 1-866-771-9276. This is a statewide line to connect you to a friendly person who can listen, support, and help you problem solve various concerns. 

  3. A support services helpline: 1-888-568-1112. This is a number to call for any kind of support or assistance with mental health issues. It is a good place to turn if you feel you a=or a loved one are in danger, or at the limits of your coping skills.  

Be well, stay well, become well, and keep in touch.  

Warmly, Mrs. McG

Peek at the upcoming weeks:

Well...below, is normally where you would find upcoming dates for all sorts of activities planned for the school….for now, we’ve had to put most of that on hold.  But read on, and as things are re-scheduled...I’ll make sure to add them in.


4/6/20 Lunch Bus at MAMS Parking lot, 50 Republic Dr. Topsham. (Click here for a map.)

4/6/20 MSAD 75 Virtual Finance Committee Meeting *Directions for how to attend this meeting will be posted to  

4/9/20 MSAD 75 Virtual Board Meeting * Directions for how to attend this meeting will be posted to  

4/7/20 V-PTO  Virtual PTO Meeting 6:00-7:30 p.m. Please e-mail: For an invitation and password to virtually attend the meeting. 

  4/17-24 - April Vacation

Important Links:

Link to our district information on COVID-19

  • Here you can find work packet links, letters from our superintendent, and other helpful resources to help us get through these unprecedented times.

Take care everyone, 

Stay healthy, be good to your neighbors and family, and be a little kinder than necessary in these trying times.  We are all of us good people in our hearts, but when the news of the world can be so concerning and worrisome, it's in our nature to be triggered and feel the stress response taking over. It's part of being human! Knowing  that it will happen is part of being prepared, recognizing when it happens is part of being aware, and responding when it happens by taking some deep breaths, positive self thought and talk, and remembering that you can always choose kind actions and words, well that’s part of what I hope is the Woodside way.



Looking for things to do after school gets out in June???  Consider a camp experience for your are some options in our local community.  (Now’s The time to consider making your plans.)
  • Woodside One Wheelers One Wheelers Camp (2nd-5th graders contact Mr. Pulsifer)
  • Bowdoin Day Camp:  The midcoast’s Largest’s day camp is a real asset for our local community, and a great way to mingle with other children from local towns.
  • CREA Camp at Topsham’s very own Cathance River Nature Preserve and Ecology Center:  A favorite for Woodside kids for years!
  • Through the Trees Summer Camps is an up and coming local camp, started by Woodside Neighbors, and deeply connected to the land.  April’s Spring Camps now registering with Summer Camps on the way.
  • Merrymeeting Summer Band Camp needs to be added to your list of camp options.  Contact Mrs. for more information.
    Day camp  at MAMS July 6-10, 9-3 concert on July 10 @ 12:00
  • We also have some limited availability for camp scholarships, please contact school counselor Helene McGaluflin at for more information or to inquire.  She can also be contacted at 725-1243.

* 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 Wolf Pack Meeting!
We are planning our first Virtual Whole School Pack meeting for April 15th....while there are likely some bugs to work out to make this trial event happen for the first time....what we can tell you is this:
  • We are partnering with our PTO who will sponsor this event featuring some Woodside Staff members.
  • The date is 4/15/20...with Time TBD (somewhere between 9-3 p.m. to work with teachers scheudles)
  • We are inviting parents to log in with their children to experience this as a family event.
  • We expect the pack meeting to last approximately 25 minutes.
  • We hope you will enjoy this glimpse into what we do as a school once a month.
As a reminder:
Each student is assigned to one of three packs, 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. 

-Mr. Dedek


End on a Healthy Note...
As we endure a few more weeks of social distancing, I thought I'd share these expert tips from
our School OT - Mrs. Piccirillo: Feel free to share this information with others.

Strong Shoulder and Neck Muscles.

Students need strong, stable shoulder and neck muscles.  These muscles play an important role in postural control and sitting balance.  Without them a student may have trouble sitting upright and/or fatigue quickly.  These muscles stabilize the shoulder girdle so that students can use their hands for fine motor tasks such as writing, drawing, coloring, cutting, eating and playing tabletop games.  You can help students develop shoulder and neck muscles with warm up exercises before fine motor tasks, as well as various games throughout the school day. Some warm up exercises include arm or shoulder circles both forward and backward, stretching to the ceiling and touching toes, twisting the trunk with hands on hips, shoulder shrugs, desk push ups, palm presses, and finger tug of war.  Some games you can play include the wheelbarrow walk, scooter board on the belly, crab walk, bear walk, writing on a vertical surface like a chalkboard, drawing on a large paper taped to the wall, magnetic puzzles to do on the chalkboard and lego strips that attach to the wall. Another fantastic way to help build strong shoulder and neck muscles is to school work or play games while lying prone (on one’s tummy).  Tip: using a clipboard under a piece of paper can help while lying prone to do schoolwork.  

Upper Body Strength and Stability(hands, arms and shoulders).

  1. Wheelbarrow walks

  2. Animal walks (crab, bear, etc)

  3. Crawling through tunnels, over cushions, under thin mattresses, etc (read more about the benefits of crawling here)

  4. Hanging and swinging from monkey bars (or trees limbs)

  5. Working on a vertical surface (eg. painting, drawing, washing windows, using easels/whiteboards) or even lying on the floor to work on the underside of a table (place some paper on the surface first).

  6. Hanging and swinging on trapeze rings or bars

  7. Overhead flying fox or zip line

  8. Climbing upwards on a slide

  9. Walking a ball "up a wall" with one's hands without dropping it

  10. Push-ups (can be modified on knees)

  11. Plank (can be modified on knees or over a small therapy ball)

  12. Scooter board activities lying prone over the board

  13. Therapy ball activities lying prone over the ball

  14. Throwing and catching a basketball (or similar)

  15. Pulling on a rope

  16. Chair push-ups (from a seated position, lifting whole body up from a chair with arms straight)

  17. Pulling a wagon of toys

  18. Lifting school chairs onto a table

  19. Woodwork activities such as hammering or sawing

  20. Carrying buckets of water or sand

More info here:

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

Reminder: Next Woodside PTO Meeting Tuesday 4/7/20:

PTO Highlights:
Next Meeting: Tuesday, April 7th, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m. (We are considering opening up to a virtual platform at this meeting, look for an invitation coming soon.)
PTO executive board: 2019-2020
President: Erika McKenney 
Vice President: Erin Scott 
Treasurer: Laurie Wertz
Secretary: Julie Creek
Teacher Rep: Erin Dimbleby
End of Newsletter

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

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