November 9th, 2018

Dear Woodside Friend, 

Parent-teacher conferences start next week, and our school board is seeking your input! Read on to see what its all about, what’s been going, on and what’s to come in the weeks ahead!

Please note, Monday Nov. 12th is a no school day to honor our veterans for Veteran’s Day.
We have early dismissal on Nov. 20th at 11:55.

And, If you happen to be in the cafeteria at dismissal time on the 20th, you’ll be able to hear one our Woodside School traditions as our Special Chorus, “Maine Refrain”, will wish our students a great long weekend with some song and cheer at dismissal. 

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

Your Voice Matters - Please respond to our school board’s survey!
At your parent teacher conferences in the coming days, you will be given a very brief (only two questions) survey about your feeelings in regards to the teaching and learning, and the grading and reporting practices at your school.  Please take just a moment after your conference to drop your half-sheet into the box in our lobby as depicted in the picture below. (Thank you Mike Langley for designing the box.)
Your Voice Matters - And our school board wants to know what you think with two important surveys!

At your parent teacher conferences in the coming days, you will be given a very brief (only two questions) survey about your feeelings in regards to the teaching and learning, and the grading and reporting practices at your school.  Please take just a moment after your conference to drop your half-sheet into the box in our lobby as depicted in the picture below. (Thank you Mike Langley for designing the box.)

Diploma Survey

Mr. Brunette, Principal of the High School, has also developed a informational tool to help educate our community about the difference between a proficiency based and credit based diploma which was sent home in backpacks last week. We are providing a link to the Mt. Ararat’s Diploma Preference Survey here:


In This Issue


Useful links


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Reminder: Next Woodside PTO Meetings


PTO Highlights:

Next Meeting
: Monday, December 3rd, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m. Room 202B
Last Meeting: November 5th’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:
  • Parent Coffee and Conversation Night on November 27th 5-6 p.m. with Mr. Dedek.  This month’s topic. “School Safety”. Location: Room 202 B
  • Woodside Community Winter Concert: (4th and 5th Grade Chorus 12/12/18 @7:00 p.m.)
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:  Two new Update to Share:

1. Welcome Back Mr. Brian McPherson, Art Teacher, who was on a leave for about 6 weeks, but is now back in the swing of things and loving being back with his students. Thank you to Mr. Jeff Lewis who stepped in to take over Art Classes in his absence.  On a side note, I am pleased to announce that Mr. McPherosn has brought honor to our school and district being named as a “National Board Certified Teacher.”

Congratulations and welcome back!

2. Our student Occupational Therapist, Mrs. Barbara Piccirillo will be out Through December to recover form Planned surgery.  I communicated with her yesterday and pleased to let you know she will be home and recovering this weekend. Heal well, and see you soon!  HYou may know Mrs. Piccirillo for her contributions to our newsletter...not to worry, she has provided me plenty to keep us informed until her return.


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 through Nove 2nd 7:55 a.m.
  • Marvels of Science - After School Program Wed 3:35-4:35 Room 202 A 10/10-12/5 (no class 11/21)
  • Take a Bite out of Science - After School Program Wed 3:35-4:35 1/23/19-3/20/19 (no class 2/20)
  • 12th: No School - Veterans Day
  • LEGO Robotics Club Cancelled for Friday 11/16.
  • 20th: 1st Trimester Ranks Close 
  • 20th: Whole School Campfire Meeting (Indoor, student only) Arctic Wolves, please wear blue, Timber Wolves please wear green, Western Wolves, please wear purple.
  • 21st-23rd No School - Thanksgiving Break
  • November Teacher Conferences: starting Nov. 13th
  • November Book Fair:  Morning Hours on Nov. 14th (8:30-10:00 a.m.) Evening Hours Nov. 15th (3:15-7:00pm)
  • 27th Parent Coffee and Conversation 5:00-6:00 p.m. Topic:  School Safety. 

  • 3rd PTO 6:00-7:30p.m. Room 202A
  • 12th - Winter Concert 7:00 p.m. Gym
  • 17th - 18th Musical Rehearsal
  • 19th - Staff Appreciation Breakfast 7:45-9:00 a.m.
  • 24th-Jan 1st - No School, December Break
Some Upcoming Events:
Woodside Wreath Sales are on-going.  These are the best deal you can find on a big,  24 inch wreath.  All sales support Woodside PTO, and are possible through a generous Partnership with Cosmic Stone, a local family owned business right here in Topsham, Maine.  Click this link to order on-Line:
The Woodside Playground has seen some nice updates this Fall, and with a new basketball hoop going up is a good time to think about helping out our playground committee.  We will be seeking more individuals to help plan over the Winter and work in the Spring.  You can also support the Playground by picking up a few stocking stuffers: like the great locally roasted and sustainably sourced Wicked Joe seen below. Owners Carmen and Bob Garver’s kids are Woodside alums, and have been helping our playground fund for the last 5 years!  Simply print the order form below and return to school. Thank you!!!
Check out the Woodside School Events Calendar - there is a direct tab right on our website, or you can link to it at the top of this e-mail in the “useful links” section.  Each entry can be clicked for more information like location and time.  Thanks for trying it out!
Looking for things to do after school?  
  • How about and afterschool science program? (K-5th grade, See flyer)
  • Woodside One Wheelers? (3-4-5th 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,
It has come to our attention that vehicles on Wilson and Barrows Drives have been going too fast for a school zone.  Also, there have been some dangerous passes on the roadway and in the driveway.  Please remember, the rule for not passing school busses is to protect young or inexperienced children who may be walking across the street. MSAD 75 busses are equipped with cameras that focus on passing vehicles license plates.  Please proceed with caution on the roadways, thank you for your care and concern.
Woodside Wellness Letter by: Nurse Kelsey Fogg

Good Afternoon Woodside, 

With cold and flu season approaching (yuck!), I just wanted everyone to encourage our students to be washing their hands. It would also be beneficial for our students to give one another a friendly wave versus a high five or a hug (thank you Mrs. Tardif for the tip!). I am already sending kiddos home with fevers and rashes in higher than average amounts. It’s going to be a busy season, I’m afraid. 

I also want to keep you all healthy too! Hand washing is the easiest way to get rid of unwanted germs. I also recommend getting your flu shot and wiping down surfaces (like classroom desks, door knobs and faucet handles here at school!) While our custodial staff will be helping us here at school, its a good practice at home as well.  

And as always, do not hesitate to send students down to see me if you have any questions about their health needs.  I’m happy to help make a referral if needed.

I know you are all doing these things and are so diligent in doing so. I cannot thank you enough for all you do. Here’s to a mostly healthy (fingers crossed!) cold and flu season!


Something new at our school 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.  Our next meeting is on Tuesday, Nov. 20th (Early Release Day).  It is a great way to show school spirit before our Thanksgiving Break, and helps unify our K-5 students in a unique multi-grade social format. 

Stay tuned for information on how you can order your child their own special “Woodside Wolf Pack t-shirt”.  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.
Nov. 2nd Was Woodside Title One Team’s NFL Night
Woodside’s Title One Program (A support team dedicated to helping students who qualify for extra support in reading and math skills grades k-2) held their annual NFL (Night for Family Literacy) and Chili-Fest.  Teachers and Staff Andrea Frenz, Nicole Napples, Rob Horne, and Nicole Flynn shared great strategies for helping families support great at home reading practices, while also getting a treat:  Reader’s Theater performed by our students!  Great Job Kids!  Just Keep Reading those Just Right Books!

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

Bilateral Coordination/Bilateral Integration.
When students can use both sides of their body in a coordinated way, it is called bilateral coordination or bilateral integration.  If a student has challenges with bilateral coordination, they may opt to use one hand for tasks that require two, or attempt to use both hands in an awkward manner.  You may notice a student with bilateral coordination challenges struggle with catching a ball, tying shoelaces, using a knife and fork, using buttons, cutting with scissors, putting beads on a string as well as gross motor movements such as jumping, skipping and riding a bike.  Students often learn to coordinate both arms together (catching a ball) before coordination both legs (jumping), and ultimately learn to coordinate arms and legs all at once (jumping jacks). Symmetrical movements (clapping to a beat) can be easier to learn than asymmetrical movements (cutting with scissors).  The student may also have trouble with vestibular processing and need movement such as bouncing on a trampoline, log rolling or going down a slide to stimulate their vestibular system to help with bilateral coordination (you can talk with the OT about this for an individual student). Some ways you can help a student practice bilateral coordination is to roll balls of play-dough using both hands, shake maracas to create music, shift a Slinkey between both hands, jump over a rope on the ground, and play catch with a large ball that requires both hands to catch and toss.  More info here:

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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