Conant School PTO Newsflash - Week of January 20, 2019

New Year's Resolutions for Mrs. Mosher's 4th grade class.

Coming Up! 
  • No School Martin Luther King,Jr. Day: January 21
  • Games Night: January 25, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm in Conant Cafeteria
  • Winter Recess:  February 18 - February 22
Games Night is this Friday, January 25, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the Conant Cafetorium
This is not a drop off event.

Volunteers:Click on this link to sign up for volunteer spots
  • Volunteers are needed to monitor the demo game table and work the retail games sales
  • High School students can volunteer. 
  • 5th and 6th grade students can sign up as game gurus to teach others how to play Gamewright games. Game Gurus can take home the game in advance to learn how to play.
A little background about Games Night:

Games Night at Conant was started a few years ago with the aim of bringing the Conant community together for an evening of fun playing table top games. Families meet in the Conant cafeteria to play Gamewright games on loan from the Newton based game company. Families may also choose to bring their favorite board games from home. The event has been a fun success with children and parents filling the cafeteria to play.
Gamewright games have won over 100 awards including Best Toy, Best Family Fun, Laugh Out Loud, Mensa Select, and National Parenting Publications Award. We will have some of their games available for you to purchase with check or cash. 50% of the night's profits go back to Conant's PTO, and a portion of the profits are used to purchase games for classroom teachers.
We hope you can join us on Friday, January 25, from 6:30-8:30, to play some games. Turn off those electronic gadgets for an evening, grab a friend or two and come on down to the Conant Games Night for some family fun.
Sara Wilcox
Team Leader, Conant Games Night

Notifying the office

The office has a new email address, please use "", if you would like to contact them.

January Notes from the Reading Teacher

New Year's Reading and Other Resolutions

Happy New Year Conant Families! Many of your students returned to school after the winter break to spend some time reflecting and setting academic goals. This is a perfect time to reassess just how much reading time your child is engaged in at home. With limited assigned homework, it is hoped that the students will choose to read texts that interest them on a daily basis. You can help by modeling reading habits at home, making time for library visits, reading aloud to your child, and so on. This is also an opportunity for you to encourage your student to try out a new author, a new genre, or a new series. If you are aware of a text that your child has particularly enjoyed, visit where you'll be able to create a customized web of suggested texts based upon that title. Here are the recommendations for students who enjoyed R. J. Palacio's, Wonder. Another helpful resource for our international families is Visit this free website for a plethora of texts that may be narrated in multiple languages. Remember to visit the Conant Families Website for other resources.

Growth Mindset: "Feedback is a Gift-- Accept It"

This month in our year-long focus on growth mindset, we are particularly focused upon feedback. Carol Dweck's research has driven shifts in how educators provide feedback to students, attending to the process, rather than the person. Process praise recognizes a student's effort, strategy use, and behaviors that lead to successful experiences. Likewise, process critique addresses the effort, lack of effort, or ineffective strategy use; a failure is never regarded as a quality of the student. To learn more about how you, as parents, can promote a growth mindset at home, click here. Scroll down to find a quiz for practicing process praise at home. With an emphasis upon collaboration and cooperative learning, an understanding of process praise and critique is essential for students who are asked to engage in peer conferencing opportunities. In addition, the research shows that students who experience this type of praise and critique possess more positive attitudes when faced with new challenges.

January Super Readers Theme: Kindness

The third graders have replenished Conant's Kindness Rocks Garden. Classrooms are sharing literature where kindness is a predominant theme. It is hoped that the students will feel empowered and inspired by characters in stories, and subjects from history and present-day, who have impacted others through generosity and kindness. Click here to read a blog from Pam Allyn, co-author of Every Child a Super Reader, and click here for the Super Reader Family Guide for Kindness. For a list a strength-specific texts organized by grade levels, click here.

January Lunch Bunch Book Clubs

This month, we have students from grades three through six engaged in Lunch Bunch Book Clubs, where we are thrilled to have been able to offer eight different titles.

Coming Soon...
  • February 1, 2019: World Read Aloud Day; click here to learn more and to view a video of Pam Allyn offering suggestions for parents regarding how to read to your children.
  • February 6, 2019: Global School Play Day
  • Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss/Read Across America: March 2, 2019

In Dr. Seuss' words... "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."

Hoping you are able to find a great book and the time to enjoy it with each other.
~Mrs. Pastor

Ice Cream Social Contribution

The Ice Cream Social will be held at school on Friday, April 5th. This event is a much loved one by the children and also kicks off the PTO's spring fundraising effort.

This year, we will be creating 2 specially made pieces of pottery as classroom gifts. One piece will be raffled at the event and another will be entered into the silent auction. In order to minimize costs, we need your help to fund the pottery pieces that your child's classroom will be customizing. We are hoping that each family will contribute a donation in the amount of $5.00 to $6.00, but any amount is appreciated.

If you would like to contribute, please send cash or check made payable to "Conant PTO" in an envelope marked "ICS Class Gift Money". Be sure to include your child's name and room number. Please send in your contributions by Friday, February 8th.

Nursing and Health Notes
There have been a lot of colds, coughs, some strep, vomiting, and some flu occurring in our school. Please consider keeping your child home if they are unable to cover their cough effectively or have excess mucous from their noses that they can not manage. If your child is not feeling well when they wake up, you can let your child sleep some more then see how they are feeling. Being late is better than being miserable in school.


How You Get Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria (called "group A strep").  Group A strep bacteria can live in a person's nose and throat. The bacteria are spread through contact with droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze.  If you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as the sick person, you could also become ill. It is also possible to get strep from contact with sores from group A strep skin infections.

Common Symptoms of Strep Throat
  • Sore throat, usually starting quickly
  • Severe pain when swallowing
  • A fever (101 degrees F or above)
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
  • Tiny red spots (petechiae) on the soft or hard palate - the area at the back of the roof of the mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Body aches
  • Rash

Is it Strep?  A Simple Test Gives Fast Results
A strep test (a quick swab of the throat) can quickly show if group A strep bacteria are causing a sore throat.  A test is needed to tell if you have strep throat; just looking at your throat is not enough to make a diagnosis.  If the test is positive, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics.

Antibiotics Get You Well Fast
Antibiotics reduce the length of time you're sick and reduce your symptoms.  Antibiotic treatment may also prevent the spread of infection to friends and family members.  They can also prevent complications such as tonsil and sinus infections, and, although rare in the U.S., rheumatic fever.  People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they have taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours.  Be sure to finish the entire prescription, even when you start feeling better.  Call your doctor if you don't feel better after taking antibiotics for 48 hours.

Preventing Infection:  Wash Those Hands
The best way to keep from getting strep throat is to wash your hands often and avoid sharing eating utensils, like forks or cups.  It is especially important for anyone with a sore throat to wash their hands often and cover coughs and sneezes. There is no vaccine to prevent step throat.

(Information obtained from the CDC:

Resilience is a key skill for children to learn.
Heather Makris,  BSN RN NCSN
Luther Conant Elementary School Nurse
(978)264-3329 fax 

PTO S.O.S. for Volunteers

The PTO needs your help to ensure we continue with all of the great activities and student enrichment we support throughout the year. We are sending out an S.O.S. for volunteers - even full-time working parents can help!

Please fill out this form and send it back to us via your child's folder. 

Want to know more? Click here to read a description of each of the open positions on the PTO and see what may be a good fit for you. 

Contact with any questions or to let us know of your interest. We'd love to have you help us with even just one event!

Annual Appeal

Every PTO has to fundraise and Conant PTO is no different. This year we need to raise $32,370, so far we are short by $12,103.  
  • Our PTO pays for additional classroom assistants who work in the classrooms with ALL students to improve their learning experience.
  • Our PTO pays to bring outside culture and art to Conant School.
  • Our PTO pays for items to boost Conant School programs.
  • Our PTO pays for fun family events which strengthen our school community.
So far only 15% of our community has contributed to our appeal, last year 40% of our families contributed. We still have some way to go to meet that target.

Thank you to all who have already donated, we really do depend on ALL our families to donate and help us to keep running our great events.

Annual Giving Campaign Update

Thank you to the 62 families who have already contributed to our Annual Giving Campaign. So far we have raised $7,570 through the Annual Giving Campaign, $1,682 through matching employer contributions, and $12,847 through various PTO events . Thank you, once again!

We still have a long way to go to reach our goal. You can use this  donation form or use PayPal to donate.

Please provide email addresses with your donations for donation receipt delivery. All the donation receipts have been emailed to the parents who have made donations by 12/20/2018.

PTO Calendar 2018-2019

Click here for the full calendar

Stay Connected!

If you are not already a member of the Conant PTO Facebook page, please join our closed group for regular school updates, photos etc. Also both Conant & the District have updated their websites, see links below;

Support Conant

Here's a great way to help support Conant PTO by shopping online! Simply log on to & enter Conant Elementary PTO.

Support our PTO with every Amazon purchase you make!  Click here to login to your usual Amazon account.  Amazon will pay 0.5% of each purchase to the Conant PTO.  

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Brinda Vokkarane, Vicki Tardif Holland for 
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Phone:  978.266.2550
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