March 28th, 2019

Dear Woodside Friends, 

March is here and April is coming! So that means that Spring is technically here; and while I’m sure the warm will be sere soon, please remind kids to dress for uncertainty at recess! There is still plenty of snow and ice out there. I’m sure we can all appreciate the increasing hours of sunlight, and look forward to decreasing utility bills in future weeks and months!

Please read on to learn more about some recent events and a peek at coming weeks at your school, Woodside Elementary!

    (Photos in this newsletter courtesy of Teri Schultz, Donna Tardif, Rick Dedek and the Portland Press Herald)

Woodside Scientists make hypotheses, create models, conduct experiments together, measure and record data, and make scientific claims while providing evidence and reason as part of their daily work in class science class grades 3-5.  Wonder what’s happeing in your child’s class? Start with a question:  “What is something you learned in school today?”  The more you ask the question, the better the answers get!

In This Issue


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Woodside Pride for Ryan “Gus” Schultz who placed tied for 9th at last weekend’s Maine State Spelling Bee.  Ray is the 6th Woodside student since 2011 to win the Sagadahoc County Bee make it to the State Bee Level.  Other past spelling masters include:  Julie Nelson, Alexa Eaton (twice) Lily Collier and Gage Taylor. Congratulations to all our super spellers who participated in classroom, school and county participation.  If your are a student in grades third through fifth next year, you can participate in Woodside’s spelling Bee.  Here is link to the Scripp’s National Spelling Bee website for study resources and more information.
We had a great turn out for our most recent Woodside Kindergarten Cub Club event.  Cub Club is a chance for incoming parents and students to come to Woodside and experience what school is like before the first day of Kindergarten.  With over 57 students pre-registered this year, we are looking forward to welcoming our largest Kindergarten class in over 10 years.  (Way to go Topsham...keep ‘em coming!). Through at this rate, we may need a larger Kindergarten Team!
Our next Cub Club is Wednesday, April 24th at 2:00 p.m.  If you know a family who needs to register their their child who will be 5 years old by Oct 15th....please ask them to contact Woodside at 725-1243.  Thank you!

(Below are pictures of some of our new ones with their new ears (courtesy of Mrs. Napples,  Mrs. Cowing Young and Mr. Olsen-Pietrowski.)
Staffing Updates:

1. Update on the MSAD 75 Superintendent Search
  • As you may know, on Monday February 25th, our district wished former Assistant Superintendent and Interim Superintendent Mr. Dan Chuhta well as he embarked on his to August to serve as Deputy Commissioner of Education for the State of Maine.  
  • Taking his place was Mr. Bob Lucy, who was most recently superintendent at RSU 68 (a Pre-K-8th grade district serving Dover-Foxcroft).  Mr. Lucy has been doing an excellent job helping guide our district through the important work of contract negotiations, budget development, and stewarding the high school project among many others this Spring time, and will be present through the end of the school’s financial year. (June 30th.)
  • Finally, I’m happy to report that a New Permanenet Superintendent will be recommended at 3/28’s 6:30 p.m. School Board Meeting.  (Update to follow in next bulletin, but assuming all goes well, our new Superintendent will be named and will likely start July 1st. Stay Tuned!


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) 

Quick Peek At The Next Few Weeks:

March / April
  • The Woodside Classroom Basket Raffle:  The last day for collecting is March 22.  We will be selling the raffle tickets before, during and after school from April 1 - April 10, 2019 in the school lobby.  The winners will be drawn on April 10 will be notified by someone in the office. Tickets will be .25 each or 5 for $1.00. All proceeds will be divided between our grade levels to help support activities, field trips, etc.  Thank you for your donations.

  • April 1, 2019 - 6 pm:  PTO Meeting, Last Day for PTO Read-A-Thon

  • April 3, 2019 - 7 pm:  Spring Chorus Concert at Woodside Elementary School

  • April 12, 2019:  No School - Professional Development Day

  • April 15 - April 19, 2019:  No School - Spring Vacation

  • April 26 :  Save the Date: Staff vs. 5th grade student basketball game! 6:00 p.m. Woodside Gym
  • April 29 :  Save the Date: In-Coming Kindergarten Parent Information Night 6:00-7:30p.m. Woodside Cafeteria
  • April 30 :  Woodside Parent Coffee and Conversation:  Vaping, E-Gigs, Tobaaco, etc...what parents need to know about today’s addiction risks.  Hosted by Mr. Dedek with Special Guest Presenter Jenna Godo 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • May 3rd : Woodside’s Spring Dance 5:30-7:30 Woodside Gym (1980’s theme, and dance instruction! 1980’s style dress highly encouraged for parents and kids.)

On Going (unless communicated differently from coordinator)

WOW Practices:  Mondays and Thursdays - 3:20 pm
Maine Refrain Rehearsals:  Thursdays - 8:00 am
LEGO Club:  Begins on March 15, 8:15 am, for grades 3-5 only
Good News Club:  Mondays - 3:20 to 4:30 pm
5th Grade Band Rehearsals - 8:00 am
Mad Science - Wednesdays - 3:20 - 4:30  (Session II 1/23/19 - 4/3/19: Take A Bite Out Of Science.  Session III 4/10/19 - 6/5/19: Radical Robotics

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 February Camp Starts 2/19 (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.

* Inclusion in this bulletin is at the discretion of the Woodside principal and does not represent endorsement by Woodside Elmentary Shcool or MSAD 75.
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

(Above is an example of a Woodside Pack Point.)
An addition to our Multi-Tiered System of School-Wide Supports in the past 6 weeks are “pack points/“. As you may know we reinforce positive student participation in our Code of Cooperation:  Safe, Respectful, Responsible.  Pack Points are our way of beginning to move to the next level of positive culture development.  Pack Points reinforce students for practicing our school values, and we keep track of them as additions to their pack totals. (See image below.)
While each pack will be reinforced with a fun Whole PAck Activity, the top “scoring” pack will have their first choice in activity, etc.  We are really looking forward to this new addition, and really love recognizing students for going above and beyond in helping promote a positive home, school and whole community culture.

Looking forward to seeing how our first pack events go this Spring....stay tuned for more information.
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. 

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. 
        Congratulations to this “Woodsider” and her Girl Scout Troop.  They sold out their allotment of girlscout cookies and learned some great skills along the way.  I have it on good authority that their troop found a $5 bill on the sidewalk at the Topsham Fair Mall over the weekend.  They took the money to the police department, and were congratulated on their excellent behavior and awarded the money as a donation for their honesty form the Topsham PD.  This wonderful level of citizenship is exactly the type of value based education that we hope to promote with our “pack points” at Woodside.  So... I am happy to announce that these girls earned 25 points for their respective wolf packs for their great citizenship!  Peace Out, Girl Scout!

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

Figure Ground. Being able to identify objects in a busy background or picture uses a skill known as figure ground.  Students use this skill to find pencils in their desk drawer, letters or objects on a worksheet, flyers on a bulletin board and screen out visual stimuli while they are trying to work.  Students that struggle with figure ground may have trouble locating a word or picture on a worksheet or classroom walls, sorting objects and personal belongings, copying information from the chalkboard, fail to recognize misformed letters or poor spacing of letters on lines, have poor visual search strategies, unable to find friends on the playground, appear disorganized, and have trouble with focus and attention.  There are some fun ways to work on figure ground, such as Bingo, Where’s Waldo books, playing “I Spy”, finding pictures in a magazine, word searches, finding objects in the room or on a worksheet, and doing worksheets on “what doesn’t belong” in a certain scene. Some compensatory strategies include making sure the chalkboard is fully erased before writing more information, keeping a student’s desk clean and organized, sit the student in the front of the room, minimize decorations on the wall, hide any distracting objects in cabinets, place a colored mat under the worksheet a student is working on, having important information written on a sheet of paper the student can have at their desk rather than having to look around the room, only doing one activity per worksheet, using a red marker to outline anything important on a worksheet, using a bookmark to read one line at a time, and working on puzzles one piece at a time with the other pieces covered.  More info here:

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

Reminder: Next Woodside PTO Meetings


PTO Highlights:
Next Meeting: Monday, April 1st, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m. Room 202a (No April fools!)
Last Meeting: March meeting cancelled due to weather. 
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:
  • April 1st is the last Day for Read-A-Thon.  Thanks for participating and promoting reading!
  • Please note☕️Parent Coffee and Conversation Night on postponed till Tuesday April 30th 30th 5:30-6:30 p.m. with Mr. Dedek.  Topic. “Modern tobacco awareness and prevention - tips for parents”.  With guest, Jenna Godo. Location: Room 202A. (Click for copy of parent reference sheet.)
  • Woodside Staff vs. 5th grade students basketball game - 4/26
  • Woodside Spring Dance:  1980’s theme May 3rd 5:30-6:15 (sensory friendly) 6:15-6:30 Dance instruction (1980’s style!). 6:30-7:30 Lights go low, music turned up, dancing shoes shined!
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

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

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