Happy News Nov-Dec 2018


Hearing. Visualizing. Listening. Experiencing. On Dec 17-18 HighTouch-HighTech visited our First Graders with workshops on Sound. The guest scientists explained how sound works, how animals and people use and experience sounds, and demonstrated the waves and vibes through different activities: seeing how they affect salt, representing sound with slinky waves, experimenting with water tones, listening to metal hanger-chimes, and creating their own “goose” honkers with paper cups, paperclips and floss. The kids were engaged and delighted throughout this presentation, and the instructor was impressed at how well-prepared they were for these great scientific lessons. Ask a first-grader how to make a hanger chime or a goose honker yourself! And give yourself a big PTO pat on the back for helping to support another great educational program in our schools. Thank you!



Observing. Asking. Listening. Touching. Envisioning. On Dec 10, Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farms brought in an Eastern ScreechOwl and a Corn Snake to spend time with our Kindergarten Classes. The kids were adorably attentive as they learned and asked about the animals’ habitats, lives, eating habits, special qualities and abilities. In one class the corn snake got a little adventurous and wiggled its way into its caretaker’s shirt! Ask a Kindergartener what he or she enjoyed about this special visit.



Kindness. Empathy. Upstander. Self-Confidence. Power in Numbers. Healthy Risk. Teamwork. Mindfulness. In two artist-residencies — from Nov 27-Dec 4 at Spofford Pond, and then from Dec 7-14 at Cole School — all our Boxford students celebrated the power of kindness with artist-educators Skip Brunette and Jeff Erwin of Trashcan Lid Productions. Each residency began with an all-school assembly, was filled with six days of student workshops, then culminated with two performances by the oldest students in the school. This “multimedia extravaganza” titled “Sticks and Stones: Words DO Matter” thoroughly entertained the audience of students during the day, and then parents in the evening show.

Throughout the total of twelve days, Skip and Jeff worked with our students on how to live with mindfulness and empathy, the importance of including others, reaching out and being an upstander, and the value of healthy risks and supportive self-confidence. And they did it all with impactful songs, re-purposed instruments, multi-media performance, a wonderful rapport with the kids, and a very-cool vibe. Throughout their process, the performing students (sixth-graders at Spofford Pond, and second-graders at Cole) found themselves relying on each other in new and powerful ways in order to create their production— together.

During both residencies the fun-with-kindness and extra-good feelings were palpable throughout the schools. Everyone was so proud of the students who put on amazingly entertaining and truly touching shows. If you haven’t already, please speak to your child about his or her experience. And if you support the Boxford PTO, please accept our heartfelt thanks for making this possible!

To top it all off, Boxford Cable TV recorded both evening shows and they will be airing over the next couple weeks. Many, many thanks to Brad Sweet and his staff for their kind and generous support! Please visit www.boxfordcabletv.com for the schedule or to watch recordings on demand.

Cole School Kindness Residency Photos:


Spofford Pond Kindness Residency Photos:



On Saturday, Dec 8 BEST (Boxford Education School Trust) and the Boxford PTO united forces to host a Pancake Breakfast at Spofford Pond School. Many, many thanks to all the volunteers who showed up to flip, scramble, sizzle and serve! Many thanks also to those who managed the check-in, raffle, and activity tables, as well as all those who helped clean up. We feel stacks of sticky-sweet appreciation for you! The event featured yummy food and drinks, numerous great raffle items, foam gingerbread crafts, an elf quest, igloo-ball and snowball games, and even Santa came by! It was a fun and festive morning, and we were so happy to see everyone who attended. Thank you for your support!



Fear. Confidence. Feeling. Thinking. Breathing. On Nov 20 during the fifth grade Team Time, Behavior Interventionist Melissa Harrison spoke to the kids about Overcoming Anxiety. The session had a simple yet deep approach. Together they discussed what it means to overcome, and what anxiety is. They talked about the history this energy, and thinking of it as a signal that something is important. Then they talked about shifting our thinking – away from something we are (anxious), and toward making anxiety a tool we can use toward a goal. Together they thanked anxiety. They practiced breathing into the spot where we feel anxiety, using our breath to let it pass through our bodies, using poses that help make anxiety a tool, and the mind-altering power of simply smiling.

Mrs. Harrison’s program was helpful and insightful, and the kids were brilliantly in touch with these feelings, descriptions and strategies. Ask a 5th grader what he or she understands about anxiety, and how they handle it. They could probably give us all some good advice! School guidance counselor Julie Benson brought Melissa Harrison in with funding from the Boxford PTO.



Many, many thanks to our dedicated volunteers who managed the annual Used Sports Sale on Nov 17, a collaborative event with the Topsfield PTO. Your organization and management of all the equipment donations and sales were truly award-worthy. We relied heavily on you — and your communication, planning and dedication to this event showed excellent sportsmanship and team spirit. Please know that we have giant, shiny trophies for you in our hearts!

Many thanks also to everyone who participated! Your donations and your purchases help our environment, our community, and the funding of educational programs. Go sports!


Understanding. Building. Testing. Connecting. Enjoying Science. On Friday, November 9 our 4th graders experienced Mr. Wahle’s Techsploration program on Electricity. His engaging assembly presented the principles of electricity and electromagnetism with several students participating, and even a brave, talented teacher singing the blues. Classroom workshops had student teams designing and building various circuits to learn hands-on about resistors, switches, fuses, motors, circuit flow and electromagnetism (and, of course, safety first!) Ask a 4th graders what they learned and what kind of circuits they built!



Creativity. Collaboration. Imagination. Problem-Solving. Fun with Writing. On Monday, October 29 author Steven Krasner nudged the imaginations of our Fourth Graders as they wrote an original “collaborative narrative cliffhanger story.” The five classes took turns adding to the tale full of unique characters, crazy adventures, unfortunate problems (“Dun-dun-duhhhhh”), and imaginative solutions (“YESSS!”). Ask a fourth grader what he or she loved about this interactive process and why! (and if they need to lubricate their tonsils). To learn more about Mr. Krasner, visit: www.nudgingtheimagination.com.