The Cutting EdgeWalden Elementary School NewsletterNovember 2019Principal's Message- Mr. Greg Heidemann
Most of the leaves have fallen and our mornings are getting frosty. Winter must be coming soon! Two
months of the school year have passed and the students are working hard to be successful. Please continue to
encourage your children to practice their math facts and read every night. Your support at home is crucial
to the success of our students. Please try using ‘Closed Captioning’ on your TVs. This has been proven very
effective to help student connect words and sounds while watching TV, and it is free!
Attendance is also critical in the success of our children in school. Please remember to call the school on the
day of your child’s absence and then send in a note the day they return to school. Also, if there is going to be a
change in your child’s dismissal procedures, it is important that the office receives a note as soon in the day as
possible. Please refrain from picking up children from the main office between 2:45 and 3:20 to help us to
have an organized dismissal. Thanks again for all of your support at home and we look forward to seeing you
at Parent/Teacher Conferences this month on November 25th (evening) and November 26th (daytime).
October was a fun month. I would like to extend a WES thanks to our Walden Fire Department for their fun
and informative Fire Prevention Assembly. As always, a big thanks also to our WES PTO for a fun Monster
Mash Family Fun Night! The children had a great time. Our PTO has organized the Scholastic Book Fair
which is planned for November 6th (Also open in the evening from 6:00-7:30 for Walden families) and 7th.
The PTO has also planned a Vendor Blender on November 1st and a Morning at the Movies on November
23rd. We are fortunate to have so many parent volunteers to help our school.
November plans on being an exciting month. Please review the calendar of events and we hope to see you at
Walden Elementary School to participate in these fun opportunities. Very soon we will begin several
collections for the holiday season to help those who are less fortunate. Operation Dalmatian will begin on
November 18th to collect toys.
I would like to thank all of our parents who drop-off and pick-up students at WES for being respectful and
patient. I understand these are busy times of the day, but your cooperation is greatly appreciated. Not only
does this benefit our parents, but more importantly, this helps us to keep our children safe. I hope you have a
great month and we look forward to seeing all of you at one of the many planned events for our school. Keep
reading and practicing math facts each day for student success!
Being on Time to School Makes a Difference
Starting off any day on the right foot means being prepared for what lies ahead and being on time. At Valley
Central, elementary school officially begins at 9:15AM. This means that students should arrive at 9:00AM in
order to get to their classroom and be prepared for the day. Being on time to school is just as important as
regular attendance in school. For example, if a student came in 15 minutes late to school twice a week for an
entire school year, this would amount to missing 3 days of school. Certainly this is just an example, but it lends
itself to the understanding that being late takes away from a child’s school experience. Schools understand
that life events happen, such as the electricity going off or a car breaking down unexpectedly. School staff are
more than willing to assist you and your child/children when such events occur. However, it is when this
happens each week, or every other week, that our level of concern for students is raised.
In the early morning, at most schools, there are school announcements, the Pledge of Allegiance, and
classroom discussion about the day, about the calendar, and about other important things for the children in
the classroom to think about. This together time is really important for setting the climate of the classroom
and for the day. If your child arrives late, he/she misses out on all of these things. This can often lead to
feelings of insecurity about the events of the day. Being late is upsetting for all students, whatever their age,
and can often cause feelings of embarrassment as well. Additionally, students who are late miss out on critical
instruction and directions that all other classmates who are on-time receive. The extent that it will affect their
learning, each day, will vary from student to student. However, when students are late, it takes them longer to
settle down and get to work.
Here are some helpful tips from www.keepkidshealthy.com to share with your family in order to make the
morning routine a little less stressful and assist everyone with getting to school and work on time each day.
Thank you, Walden Firefighters!
On October 15th, Walden firefighters, Larry Lawless, Sam Phelps, Brian Stabner, and Leanne Keter, visited Walden
Elmentary School. Firefighters Larry Lawless and Sam Phelps presented fire prevention lessons and an apparatus
showcase, which included a "blue" firetruck. Firefighters Brian Stabner and Leanne Keater talked with the students
about fire safety and awareness.
Students also received a bag of fire prevention activities and firefighter helmets. We look forward to seeing our
Walden Fire Department next year!! Students are completing culminating activities, which may include writing about
the firefighters’ visit, a thank you note from the class, as well as drawings or posters showing what they saw or learned.
The theme for this year is: “Not every hero wears a cape: Plan and practice your escape.”
Smoke alarms should be tested twice per year and should be replaced 10 years from the
manufacture date on the back of the alarm. All year, and especially during this holiday season,
please emphasize safety. Check your smoke alarms and insert new batteries. Review your exit plan
and meeting spot with your family. Stay safe!!
For more info regarding fire prevention, visit: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week
VETERANS DAY FACTS
November 11, 1919 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States, to remember the
sacrifices that men and women made during World War I in order to ensure a lasting peace. On
Armistice Day, soldiers who survived the war marched in a parade through their home towns.
Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace they had
won. Americans still give thanks for peace on Veterans Day. On Veterans Day we remember those who
fought for peace. Veterans of military service have organized support groups such as the American
Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Veterans Day, these groups raise funds for their charitable
activities by selling paper poppies made by disabled veterans. This bright red wildflower became a
symbol of World War I after a battle in a field of poppies called Flanders Field in Belgium.
THE THANKSGIVING FEAST
The English colonists we call Pilgrims celebrated days of thanksgiving as part of their religion. But
these were days of prayer, not days of feasting. Our national holiday really stems from the feast held in
the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony’s first successful
harvest. In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William
Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American
allies, including the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit. Now remembered as America’s “first Thanksgiving”-
although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time- the festival lasted for three
days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward
Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in
preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have
suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and
cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by
the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of
Up Coming Events
November 5th - Election Day- No School for Students
November 6th - PTO Scholastic Book Fair - all day and evening (6-7:30pm)
November 7th - PTO Scholastic Book Fair - morning hours
November 7th – PTO Meeting @ 7pm
November 11th – Veterans Day /No School
November 15th - PTO Art Show
November 25th – Parent/Teacher Evening Conferences (6:00 – 8:30pm)
November 26th– Parent/Teacher Day Conferences - No School for
November 27th – 29th - Thanksgiving Recess
Monday,November 25th - 6:00 to 8:30pm
Tuesday,November 26th – All Day
Parent-Teacher Conferences have become an essential part of a child’s education.
Parent-Teacher Conferences are set aside so that you and the teacher can discuss your child’s
progress in the classroom on a one to one basis. Conferences give parents a chance to ask
questions about subjects being taught and to understand expectations. They also give you the
opportunity to exchange information about your child that might assist the teacher in the
classroom. Finally, the conference is the place to express any concerns you might have
regarding your child’s progress.
During the conferences, the teacher will provide information about your child’s strengths,
weaknesses, social, physical and emotional needs at school.
The information gained by attending conferences can be utilized to help your child succeed in
school. Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for the benefit of the child. Use these
conferences as a way to get to know your child’s teacher and become informed about your
child’s progress in school.
Parent-Teacher Conferences are on Monday, November 25th, from 6-8:30 PM
and Tuesday, November 26th all day.
TIPS FOR YOUR EVENING WRAP-UP:
Pack all the items you and your child need for work, school, or daycare and load the car or
place coats, bags, and lunchboxes by the door.
Designate a shelf, basket, or area for each family member to place whatever needs to go
out the door in the morning.
Check the calendar in case your child needs sneakers for gym or a snack for a field trip.
Check the weather report to plan clothing and outerwear for the next day.
Have your child pick out the clothes they want to wear the night before, or lay out two
outfits which they can choose from.
Choose your own outfit for the morning, and take five minutes to lay out your clothes the
night before to make dressing hassle-free.
Decide what to serve for breakfast to avoid early morning debates.
o Keep meals simple and always have on-the-go items available.
o Some hot items, like pancakes, French toast, and bacon can be made ahead of time
Shower or bathe your child at night.
A few reminders from the Nurse’s Office:
Proper nutrition, adequate sleep, good hand washing and proper cough/sneezing
etiquette are essential to maintaining a strong healthy body.
As the weather gets cooler, please send your children to school dressed
appropriately for the weather with jackets, hats, scarves and gloves. The threshold
for outdoor recess is 20 degrees with the wind chill factor.
Physical examinations are required for all students in grades K, 1, 3, & 5.
Please hand physicals in to the health office.
Hearing and vision screenings will be performed throughout the school year.
Scoliosis screening for the fifth grade girls will be conducted during the
months of March, April, May and June.
Ensure your child is getting the necessary nutrients by providing a balanced diet
including lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to limit sweetened
beverages which tend to add unnecessary calories, but no nutrition....water is the
best beverage during the school day.
Please keep your child home if he/she is sick, i.e. fever of 100 degrees or higher,
cough, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea.
Encourage frequent hand washing and teach your child to avoid touching their
mouth, nose and eyes.
Health office phone numbers 457-2400 ext 15700 & 15701
As classroom teachers continue to plan activities and events, and as holidays
approach, we would like to remind you that Walden Elementary School
encourages healthful, non-allergenic snacks and alternative handouts such as
stickers, pencils, erasers and bookmarks. We do not distribute candy and
discourage cupcakes, cookies and other treats that contain mostly sugar.
In addition, due to numerous peanut, tree nut and dairy allergies in the
building, we cannot allow food containing these ingredients in certain
classrooms or on any bus.
Also, since many of our families are opposed to large quantities of candy
being consumed by their child(ren), we encourage healthful snacks and
alternatives such as stickers, pencils, erasers, and bookmarks. We have
included a healthful snack list on the back of this document.
Thank you for keeping our students' health and safety in mind when sending
in snacks or treats. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your
The Spirit of the Season
The spirit of the holiday season reflects love, miracles, magic, family, friends, food, wonder, giving,
greetings, thankfulness, character, fun, and memories. Throw in a holiday to rest up, relax, and enjoy the
things that mean the most to us, and we get the opportunity to reflect on the past year and plan for the
Thank you for your continued support of your child’s education here at WES. The memories and the
time that you share with your child are treasured forever. You have the most influence on your child’s
future and are their primary teacher. Below are some ideas that link spending time to creating great
memories with learning.
Take a trip to the library and check out the books about your child’s favorite hobby or interests.
Bugs, flowers, trucks, gardening, math, skateboarding, soccer, dolls, construction, science,
BMX, crafts, history, planets, dinosaurs, jokes, jewelry, geography, collections, etc. The librarian
will be glad to help!
Listening to fluent readers helps students become fluent readers. Consider audio books as a
motivation for reading. There is a whole section at your local library. When you check one out,
be sure to check out the book along with the CD, so your child can read along. Audio books are
also pass the time during long car rides.
If your child loves art, ask your librarian for the list of books that are Caldecott award winners.
These books have received the highest honors for their illustrations and artistic value.
If your child loves music, find the lyrics to his/her favorite songs and sing and read along with
the song as it plays. There are also the bouncing ball videos with the words to the songs at the
bottom of the screen.
Download a recipe, directions for making paper airplanes, or information about a favorite team
or player. Use the internet as a tool for reading.
Using a ruler, tape measure, and/or meter stick, have your child measure the height, width, and
length of objects in the house. Have your child weigh the dog or cat by first weighing themselves
and then holding their pet. Don’t tell them how to determine the weight of their pet. See if they
can figure it out on their own.
Give the gift of books. Have your child read to you while you prepare dinner or wash the dishes.
Plan a project together. Whether it’s building something, painting a room, creating art, or learning
a new skill, the whole family will create memories and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Visit a nursing home or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Then have your child write about the
Count and roll the loose change in the house. Go to the bank and make a deposit.
Organize the cans of vegetables in the pantry in alphabetical order.
Go hiking, snow-shoeing or cross country skiing. Write a letter to a friend or relative about your
During this holiday season remember that the memories you share will stay with your child forever.
Have fun, enjoy, and savor the moments, keeping the spirit of the season in mind.
The WES staff wishes you and your family joy and peace during this magical time of year.
OUR MISSION is to prepare our students to be responsible, independent, thoughtful, respectful and creative individuals who reach their full potential, academically, socially, emotionally and physically. Through the teamwork of all stakeholders, students will participate in a comprehensive curriculum and activities that focus on cognitive engagement, constructivist learning, and 21st century skills.