Suffield Public Schools

A. Ward Spaulding School

March 2016

945 Mountain Road | West Suffield, CT 06093 | 860-668-3826 |

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, March 2

Spirit Day –
PJ & Stuffed Animal Day

Saturday, March 5

SHS Safe Party Bottle Drive
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
SMS Cafeteria Parking Lot

Preschool Tradition
(a.m. classes)
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Enfield My Gym

Preschool Tradition
(p.m. classes)
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Enfield My Gym

Monday, March 7

Suffield BOE Meeting
6:30 p.m.
SMS Library Media Center

Tuesday, March 8

Early Release
Professional Development
1:00 p.m.

PTO Parent Meeting - Kids Space
5:30 p.m.
AWS Gym and Auditorium

PTO Board Meeting
7:30 p.m.
MIS Library Media Center

Wednesday, March 9

9:20 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
SHS Room 610

Wednesday, March 16

Early Release - Conferences
1:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 17

Early Release - Conferences
1:00 p.m.

Friday, March 18

Early Release - Conferences
1:00 p.m.

Monday, March 21

Suffield BOE Meeting
6:30 p.m.
SMS Library Media Center

Wednesday, March 23

Suffield Idol Rehearsal
5:00 p.m.
SMS Auditorium

Thursday, March 24

Suffield Idol Variety Show
5:00 p.m.
SMS Auditorium

Friday, March 25

No School & All Offices Closed - Good Friday

Tuesday, March 29

Benefit Concert ~ Jordyn Engler
Blue Jupiter and SHS Choir
5:30 p.m.
SHS Auditorium

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all." - Jacqueline Kennedy

Virtual Backpack:

2015 - 2016 District Calendar

Spaulding School Menus

Parent Student Handbook



A Message From The Principal

Here we are in March with only a few months remaining in this school year! At this juncture, we begin to think about the transition for next school year. This week you will receive a letter inviting you to submit valuable information relative to your children and their learning needs. Such information will help to inform our purposeful planning on classroom placement for next year. Please consider submitting the information sheet that includes guiding questions which will aid our team in classroom placement. You may mail the completed sheet to Spaulding School or deliver it in person to the main office. Please do not deliver it through your children. All completed information sheets will be accepted until Thursday, March 31st. This deadline is crucial, as our teams will begin the placement process at that time.

We are fortunate in Suffield to have dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring teachers. To that end, please refrain from identifying the name of a specific teacher as a request. We must remain consistent and fair to all students and their families in our placement process. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation and for the partnership that we continue to share.

The faculty at Spaulding School looks forward to talking about student progress for our upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences to be held on March 16-18, 2016. Similar to the past, we will utilize the on-line scheduling venue. We look forward to seeing you at conferences!


Scott P Dunn

March is World Language Month

Check out our language board near the main foyer that displays the many languages that Spaulding families speak, including French, Swedish, Polish, Mandarin, and Arabic!

The Spaulding Giving Tree

During our parent conferences on March 16-18, teachers will have a “giving tree” poster on their classroom doors. Each tree contains “leaves” that include necessary items for classrooms, such as tissue boxes, hand wipes, and paper towels. All of these supplies are utilized within the classrooms. If you wish to assist teachers by purchasing an item for classroom use, please feel free to take a “leaf” and have your child bring the chosen item to the teacher when convenient. Thank you for your shining kindness!

Let’s Eat Concert a Shining Success!

The students at A. Ward Spaulding School presented a wonderful concert in February led by the music teacher, Wyn Jespersen. The concert theme this year was Let’s Eat! and it included a combination of original and traditional songs. The deliciously-fun program also highlighted students playing maracas and boomwhackers. Kindergarten students created the cupcake artwork that decorated the auditorium.

The concert began with the kindergarten students, who sang Snack Time. Other selections by the kindergarten singers included Some of My Favorite Kinds of Food Words by Wyn Jespersen, Apple Tree, and Apples and Bananas. As an encore, the children sang Kindness Matters to highlight the Spaulding Star program of respect, responsibility, and kindness.

Mrs. Jespersen directed the first grade students as they performed Happiness Cake, Dirt Made My Lunch, and the traditional folk song Shortnin’ Bread.  Suzanne Wosko’s first grade students shared research about the composer of Shortnin’ Bread, James Whitcome Riley, and the history of the song.  They concluded with the song Super Kids by Courtney Catron as an encore.

The second grade students began with a reader’s theater by Leslie Pickman’s class followed by Let’s Eat! by John Jacobson, The Papaya Song and a wonderfully funny song by Bruce Springsteen called Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips. To conclude the concert, the audience enjoyed a beautiful arrangement of Count On Me by Bruno Mars.  This song has a great message about friendship and responsibility, which highlighted the second grade performance at the Spaulding Star assembly in January as well.

Mrs. Jespersen commented This year our theme was so fun!  I’m always honored to be part of the development of a love for music in our Suffield children. I hope the skills involved with presenting a concert, such as dedication, practice, and team work will stay with them for a lifetime.


Loving Reading All Day Long in Preschool!


Developing pre-literacy skills is an important focus of the preschool program. The children are practicing critical early literacy skills as they play and participate in learning centers throughout the day. Expanding vocabulary is an objective of each thematic unit and activities such as bingo, scavenger hunts, and hidden treasures in the sensory table provide fun ways to practice and learn new vocabulary.   

Alphabet knowledge develops as the children begin to recognize their names and the names of friends in print, complete alphabet puzzles, practice writing letters, and find hidden letters in the sensory table. Rhyming, singing songs, and matching sounds are activities that increase our young students’ awareness of sounds in language.  Early writing and drawing is incorporated into dramatic play as we make lists for the grocery store, write letters to Mom and Dad to mail in the post office, and take an order at the restaurant.

Sharing books with friends and listening to stories read by the teacher provides practice using vocabulary to show their understanding of a story and make connections to their own experiences.  What better way to develop a love for story books than sharing a book with Mr. Dunn and enjoying a hunt to find the story book character in our beautiful library?


Celebrating the 100th Day at Spaulding School!


On Tuesday, February 9th, Spaulding School celebrated the 100th day of school. Throughout the morning, students participated in a variety of activities that focused on the number 100. Our kindergarten students celebrated with the annual 100 balloon-drop tradition joined by their teachers. The school community was abuzz with excitement on this special day!


Friendly Reminders


Lost and Found: Please stop by our lost and found table during Parent/Teacher Conferences. Any items left after Friday, March 18th, will be donated. Thank you.

Recess Attire Reminder: During the winter season, we ask that our Spaulding friends arrive to school prepared with the appropriate winter coat, hat, gloves or mittens, and snow boots. Please ensure that these items are labeled. Thank you for our partnership in providing your children with a safe and healthy recess.


News from the Before and After School Program:


Please notify the Before and After School Program of any early morning drop-offs, dismissal changes, or absences. Our primary goal is the safety and security of all of our students enrolled in this program.


Shining News from the Library Media Center


The future of our world is digital. We can see digital changes happening around us whether it is with phones, cars, or computers.  These changes are happening at a rapid pace and it is imperative that we prepare our students to be active participants in the world around them. This new digital literacy is such an important subject that every child is now learning the basics for success.

Coding, also called programming, is telling a computer, app, phone, or website what you want it to do. It is a series of explicit steps combined to make an algorithm that completes a task. Coding provides students with a foundation for integral thinking and problem solving skills. Students who learn to program early in life gain a deeper and more complete understanding of the logic and advanced thinking behind programming. (CodeRev Kids, n.d.) So many jobs such as software developers, web designers, engineers, and information sciences rely heavily on coding. However, coding provides more than just career prep.  We use computing in almost all aspects of our lives these days. From education to communication to banking, shopping, security, thermostats and lighting, all of these run on computation done through coding.  Knowing the basics of how computers run and communicate gives students a basis to begin to understand how the world around them works.

At Spaulding School, all students have begun to learn how to code.  We help our students to learn coding skills by making the process fun and interactive. Students lose themselves in the challenge of creating and solving problems in unique ways that can carry over into other areas.  All students have been using to begin their coding experience.  The website offers a vast array of free opportunities for coding, including Minecraft, a highly- popular game that gets at the heart of coding.  If your child is interested in using his/her school account to continue their coding journey, please visit where your child can access his or her class page and individual account.


Nurse’s Corner


Spring is right around the corner, but we are not yet free of winter illness. Hand washing is always the most effective way to stop the spread of sickness. Hand washing, in conjunction with a good diet, exercise, and adequate sleep, will help all of our Spaulding stars be ready for the nice weather that will be here soon. Spring does bring the challenges of allergy season. Just a quick reminder that we cannot administer any medications at school without an order from a doctor, which includes over-the-counter medications like Advil and Tylenol and allergy medications. Any other questions or concerns, please contact Cheryl Burkett, school nurse, at 860-668-3225 or via email at


A Hit for Spaulding Numeracy Night!


A. Ward Spaulding School was abuzz with the sounds of math during Numeracy Night held on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. Students and families from preschool through second grade explored the different math activities and learning experiences happening at Spaulding. Students took the lead explaining to parents and guardians how to play the games using the many different math tools learned in the classroom. These experiences ranged from measuring, using dice, working with shapes, and bringing learning to life. Parents, grandparents, and siblings were observed all around the school working together and talking about math! Students demonstrated their ability to problem solve, use different strategies, and explain his or her reasoning using mathematical vocabulary. The evening was a great success due to the hard work and planning by teachers and staff throughout the school.


Teaching Expected Behaviors to our Spaulding Stars


“If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.
If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.
If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.
If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.
If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we………. teach? ………punish?
Why can’t we finish the last sentence as automatically as we do the others?” 
Tom Herner, 1998

This quotation reflects the essence of the PBIS framework.  At Spaulding School, we have developed lesson plans that explicitly teach expected behaviors in each school setting. Through direct instruction, modeling, and repeated practice of these behaviors, we work to develop appropriate social skills. Similar to the way we would re-teach a math skill that a student did not grasp, we break down the behavior into smaller steps, teach what the expected behavior looks like, model the appropriate behavior, and offer opportunities for the student to practice this. We use this strategy to teach routine behaviors, such as walking in the hallway, and social skills, such as taking a deep breath when you are frustrated. Reminding students to engage in the expected behavior and reinforcing them when they exhibit these behaviors helps to prevent the unexpected behaviors from occurring. As with all skills and subjects, students learn at their own pace and with varying supports.  Our teachers at Spaulding School strive to teach all students to be successful. If you would like to continue this meaningful work at home, please consider collaborating as a family to teach, model, and role play a specific skill that your child could improve upon. For example, your family might decide to use the phrase I need a break to express frustration and take time to calm down.  Please share your ideas with us!


Spaulding Stars Shine at Responsibility Assembly!


At Spaulding School, students, staff, and parents participated in an assembly focused on the character trait of responsibility.  The assembly opened with a graph showing that Spaulding students have earned over 500 stars so far this school year!  We also saw the new Spaulding Principal Stars given by Mr. Dunn awarding to students who show respect, responsibly, and kindness. The images on the Principal Stars were designed by Spaulding students. There will be another contest at the end of this year to design the image for the Principal stars for next year.

Then our entire school community watched a video of our Spaulding Stars showing responsibility. Students demonstrated responsibility in the cafeteria, classroom, and bus.  Second grade students sang a song titled Count on Me.  Listen for that song again at the upcoming concert!  Mrs. Wosko, a first grade teacher and member of the assembly committee, also taught everyone the sign language sign for responsibility.

During the assembly, eight students were honored, two from each grade, with responsibility awards for exemplifying this trait.  Then Mrs. Jespersen, our music teacher, concluded the assembly by leading us all in a song appropriately titled Responsible.  Stay tuned for our next assembly on respect!    


Shining Tradition Events continue at Spaulding


Spaulding School continues its annual tradition of grade-level school events for students and their families. Our kindergarten students enjoyed bowling at Bradley Bowl, first grade students loved PJ and Movie Night, and second grade students participated in Pizza Bingo Night. Our preschool friends are enjoying a new tradition of playing together at MyGym in Enfield. Our dedicated Parent Teacher Organization organized and facilitated these successful events that brought our Spaulding families together!


Benefit Concert ~ Jordyn Engler ~ Tue. March. 29


Benefit concert in loving memory of Jordyn Engler featuring Blue Jupiter and Suffield High School Choir.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
6:00 p.m. - Doors open at 5:30 PM at Suffield High School
Tickets: $20 each (Checks made payable to SMS PTAC)
Limited Seating Available!

Flyer - PDF


Internet Safety Workshop for Parents


INTERNET SAFETY ~ Workshop for parents by Scott Driscoll of Internet Safety Concepts

  • Apps and programs children are using
  • Cyberbullying, Sexting and Social Networking
  • Creating a "digital footprint" (positives and negatives)
  • Current on-line trends and potential dangers
  • Tips on how to use technology in the safest way
  • Strategies on keeping families safe

Where : Suffield Middle School 350 Mountain Road Suffield, CT
When : April 5, 2016 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

This presentation is for parents only.

Flyer - PDF


Suffield Public Schools
350 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078
Phone: 860-668-3800 (Central Office)



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