Suffield Public Schools

McAlister Intermediate School

May 2016

260 Mountain Road | Suffield, CT 06078 | 860-668-3830 |

Upcoming Events:

Monday, May 2

SBAC English Language Arts
9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Suffield BOE Meeting
6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3

SBAC English Language Arts
9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 4

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, May 5

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Friday, May 6

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Earth Day
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Whole school will read outside.

2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
SMS Cafeteria and Gym

Tuesday, May 10

NCCC Support Groups
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
SHS Room 221, Pampered Palace, and LMC

PTO Board Meeting
7:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 12

9:20 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
SHS Chorus/Vocal Room #210

Spring Book Fair and Class Basket Night
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
MIS Gymnasium

Friday, May 13

Children's Day
12:30 p.m. to 3:05 p.m.
Classrooms / Gymnasium

Saturday, May 14

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

Monday, May 16

Suffield BOE Meeting
6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17

MIS - Early Release - Professional Development
1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 24

Grade 4 Field Trip
CT Science Center

Wednesday, May 25

Grade 5 Step Up Day

Grade 4 Field Trip
CT Science Center

Thursday, May 26

Grade 5 Step Up Day

Orientation Program for Incoming 6th Grade Parents
6:00 p.m.
SMS Auditorium

Monday, May 30

No School & All Offices Closed - Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 31

McAlister Spring Concert
SMS Auditorium

Virtual Backpack:

2015 - 2016 District Calendar

2016 - 2017 District Calendar

McAlister Menus

McAlister Family Handbook



A Message From The Principal

Dear McAlister Families,

As the end of the year draws near, we are looking forward to the many memorable and meaningful activities that it brings!  We are excited that the first week of May (May 2-May 6) is Teacher Appreciation Week. This important week was created in 1984 by the National PTA and is designated as a special time to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children.  We are so proud and grateful for all that our teachers do for our students and for our school.  Their hard work, commitment, and energy is responsible for making our classrooms wonderful places of both learning and joy.   We celebrate them during Teacher Appreciation Week and every week of the year!

In addition to Teacher Appreciation Week, the month of May is brings us the following activities--please be sure to “save the date” for the following:

  • May 2--May 6 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. each day--Smarter Balanced Testing
  • Thursday, May 12 starting at 5:30 P.M.--Book Fair, Class Basket, and Numeracy Night
  • Friday, May 13 PTO brings us our Children’s Day Band Performance -- Sirius Coyote  -- Performances at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 17--Early Release at 1:00 P.M.
  • Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26 Fifth Grade Step Up Day at Suffield Middle School
  • Thursday, May 26 at 6:00 P.M.--Orientation Program for Parents of Incoming Sixth Graders at Suffield Middle School
  • Tuesday, May 31-- Spring Concert at Suffield Middle School-- 6:00 P.M. start time for Fourth Grade and 7:00 P.M. start time for Fifth Grade

As you can see from the above listing of activities, May is certainly a busy month! We look forward to all that May brings, and to our continued partnership with all our families. Enjoy the weeks ahead.

With Regards,

Karen E. Carpenter-Snow

Karen Carpenter-Snow

Grade 3 Curriculum Highlight by Mrs. Halzack

Curr HighlightsIn reading workshop, third graders will continue to focus on applying strategies they have learned for reading nonfiction text to the research process. Students have already worked in their book clubs to research one animal. They will now go on to gather information about another animal and then compare and contrast the information on both animals. Throughout this extensive unit, students will be reading independently in a variety of texts and then sharing the information they have discovered with other students in their book club. This unit will culminate in a final project in which students will share what they have learned with their classmates.

In math, students will be working to develop their understanding of fractions. Lessons will focus on such skills as naming fractional parts of a whole, dividing a group into equal parts and naming the parts with fractions, and understanding equivalent fractions. Upon completion of this unit of study, third graders will then turn their attention to strengthening their computational fluency in addition and subtraction. Lessons will focus on such skills as estimating answers to addition and subtraction problems with 3 digit numbers, solving addition and subtraction problems with 3-digit numbers, and solving addition and subtraction problems with more than one step.

In science, third graders will be engaged in a fascinating unit of study on rocks and minerals. In addition to learning about how igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks formed in the earth over time, students will also be engaged in some exciting hands-on activities with mineral specimens. The children will learn to use such properties as color, luster, and hardness to identify certain minerals. The month of May will certainly present many interesting and challenging learning opportunities across the curriculum for third graders!

Grade 4 Curriculum Highlight by Ms. Mitchell

With spring weather warming up, our fourth graders are excited to participate in fun activities that the teachers have planned.  In the beginning of this month, the students will participate in the Connecticut Step Program to help them learn to be safe during a natural disaster.  At the end of May, students will put on their lab coats and head to the Science Center!

In reading, students will continue delving into our unit on social issues.  So far we have had debates and discussions on these common issues in society.  Once this unit is completed, we will be focusing on nonfiction once again!

To correlate with our reading unit, students are learning how to write their own opinions on a topic of their choice.  After this unit is completed, students will be using research to write an informative piece.

In math, students are busy tackling fractions.  We have discovered how to compare, add, subtract, and multiply fractions.  Soon we will learn about decimals as the last investigation in our current unit.  Students will then discover how to multiply and divide large numbers in our next unit.

What is an insulator? That is one word that students will be discovering the meaning of in our next science unit on electricity and magnetism.  Students will be explorers learning through a hands-on approach!  This month is full of exciting, hands-on activities to end our year with!


Grade 5 Curriculum Highlights by Mrs. Meyer


Well hello spring! Fifth graders are looking forward to this beautiful change in the weather as well as the changes ahead for them as well! In May, the grade 5 students will be visiting Suffield Middle School in anticipation of their arrival there as 6th graders in the fall. They will spend part of their day touring the school, meeting future teachers and even eating lunch in the cafeteria! Further information will go home with students, so please be on the lookout!

Grade 5 Science classes are learning about changes in the seasons as well as the moon! Students are gaining an understanding of the phases our Moon changes through as well as the impact the Earth's tilt has on the seasons. Moving forward, students will enter their unit on the senses where they will learn about the parts of the eye and the ear.

In ELA, grade 5 learners continue to practice the close reading process. Exploring poetry, song lyrics and excerpts from Novels, 5th graders are really going deep! In their Argumentive Unit Students enjoyed selecting from a range of debatable topics, gathering evidence, building reasons, debating, and defending their findings. Flash debates really created strong opportunities for students to share their findings!

In math 5th graders have identified everyday uses of fractions and decimals and are gaining a better understanding of decimal fractions as they move towards comparing and adding decimals.

Social Studies classes are gaining an understanding about the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the size of the U.S. and led to Lewis and Clark’s Expedition where they set out to explore and map the newly acquired territory as well as find a practical route across the Western half of the continent. Westward Ho! Additionally, Grade 5 students are really looking forward to Civil War Day on June 2nd! A notice went home on April 25th to all grade 5 students with information on how parents can volunteer their time to make this a great day for our kids. We look forward to this amazing experience with you and your child!


World Language At McAlister Curriculum Highlights by Mrs. Nunes


¡Viva el Español! -- Learning a second language is an exciting opportunity that is very useful in today’s diverse world. My goals for your child include helping him or her develop vocabulary, knowledge of key phrases in the Spanish language and to help him or her to appreciate cultural differences between our culture and those of Spanish-speaking countries around the world.

  • Third grade students are learning vocabulary related to colors, shapes and body parts.
  • Fourth grade students are learning about months and weather.
  • Fifth grade students are learning about Puerto Rico, going to places and schedules. They are also learning the verb to go (ir a).

Students are expected to participate in listening and speaking roles as they work in individual, small group and whole group settings. In the classroom, students are invited to engage in role-play situations, communication games, songs and listening/recognition activities. On Friday May 13, 2016, we are having an assembly to celebrate Children’s Day. We will have a performing group named Sirius Coyote. They will take the stage to bring the audience on a musical journey to the realms of magical sounds of the Americas . . . from the oceans and tropical Rainforests to the forests, deserts and villages of the High Sierras. Songs and styles are drawn from their Latin American repertoire and include pre-Columbian pieces, Brazilian music, Caribbean themes,
Mexican folklore, identity songs, animal songs, food songs and dance tunes.  We hope your child is enjoying learning a new language.


Fifth Grade Civil War Day


This year our Civil War Day will be held on Thursday, June 2.  We are very grateful to have extensive support from our PTO and many parent volunteers to make this day come to fruition.  Our fifth grade team has also been working feverishly to enlist a number of re-enactors come and help us celebrate the day.   We are grateful for everyone’s commitment to this meaningful endeavor!

As we look towards the 2016-2017 school year, we will be aligning our social studies curriculum to the new Connecticut State Social Studies Standards. This will result in our changing the focus of this day away from the Civil War to a time period that is more aligned with the new curriculum.  We look forward to communicating the details of the updated end of year celebration of the fifth grade social studies curriculum and will work to make it a very special and engaging day for our students!


Congratulations to Mrs. Raymond and Mrs. Mitchell


We would like to extend our congratulations to both Mrs. Denise Raymond and Mrs. Kim Mitchell.  Mrs. Raymond is McAlister’s nominee for Teacher of the Year.  Mrs. Mitchell is McAlister’s nominee for Paraprofessional of the Year.  We wish them both luck as they go through the Teacher of the Year and Paraprofessional of the Year process!


Student Council by Mrs. Pakula


Organized by McAlister Student Council members, the Junk Art Show has been a huge success! If you get the opportunity, check out the windows in and near the main office to see the creative things our students have created. Student Council's belated celebration of Earth Day continues with the goal of spreading awareness about reusing and recycling. They will be selling reusable McAlister water bottles every morning from April 29th to May 6th from 8:10-8:30 a.m. in the Library/Media Center. The cost is $2.00 per water bottle. On Friday, May 6th the entire McAlister School Community will participate in an Earth Day Celebration. Students and staff will read outdoors while enjoying nature. We are encouraging students to bring a book, a blanket or towel, and a reusable water bottle. As always, thank you so much for your support!


McAlister Pep Rally for American Heart Association by Mrs. Raymond


On Tuesday, April 5th, students and staff came together to at a McAlister Pep Rally to celebrate the efforts of our students during the Jump Rope for Heart program. Not only did students learn about their heart and how exercise helps to keep it strong but they also helped raise money for the American Heart Association,  This money will help support heart healthy educational program and provide research and support for children born with unhealthy hearts.  The school’s top fundraiser was fifth grader Lucy Kochman-Sabbatino who raised a grand total of $2,210! Within the past three years Lucy has raised more than $4,000.  This year, our whole school total amount raised was $12,797.08!  Great work for a worthy cause!


Arbor Day at McAlister


When you look around Suffield at all of the beautiful trees that abound our land, chances are that some of these trees were gifts from the Suffield Garden Club! For the last 50 years, the Suffield Garden Club has given a tree to each fourth grade student in the town of Suffield in celebration of Arbor Day.  This year we celebrated Arbor Day a bit earlier than usual this year--as due to the unseasonably warm weather the trees “leafed out” earlier than they typically do.  Regardless, our fourth grade students enjoyed the day and had a great time in celebrating Arbor Day, learning about its history and importance, and thanking the Suffield Garden Club for all that they do to make this day possible.  We are so very grateful for all of the Garden Club’s hard work to make this day possible for our students and look forward to continuing this fine tradition!


Elementary Unified Sports Day


On Saturday, April 9, fifteen of our students participated in the Elementary Unified Sports Day at Glastonbury High School.  These students were led by Mrs. Raymond, Mrs. Wagar, and Mr. Desrosiers, and had been preparing for this day for several weeks. The day consisted of events such as basketball, volleyball, scooters, and track and field events.  Students had a great time, and many friendships and connections were formed as a result of this program.  Thank you to all our students, staff, and parents who made this day possible.


Parent Literacy and Numeracy Night 4/14


On Thursday, April 14, we held our first ever K-5 Parent LIteracy and Numeracy NIght.  This night was a great opportunity for parents to deepen their knowledge of their child’s literacy and numeracy instruction and to learn how support their child’s academic growth.  We are grateful Mrs. Pryce and Mrs. Baranauskas who organized and facilitated this event and for all our parents who attended.  We look forward to holding additional events in the future!  Thank you all for your support and interest in partnering with our schools. 


Family Game Show Night


On Thursday, April 8, our PTO held their annual Family Game Show Night.  This night is a mix of Jeopardy, College Bowl, and Let’s Make a Deal.  We had over 200 people join us for this night of family fun, games, and challenges.  We are so thankful for our PTO for bringing this lively and family-oriented event to our school once again.


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


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