January 28, 2018

Dear Ray Families, 

        Shh... the bears are sleeping!  As part of their study of the seasons and animal habitats, students in Tia James’ Kindergarten class tucked in their (toy) bears for the winter.  Children created caves out of paper bags, snuggled their stuffies inside, and wrote their bears little letters in (utterly age-appropriate) invented spelling:  “If you lic your cave ansor me ples.”  

        In all grade levels, and especially in Kindergarten and Grade 1, we believe children learn best through hands-on inquiry, exploration, experimentation and play.  While we don't operate according to a strict "play-based" code, teachers encourage students to play with ideas, numbers and scientific concepts, as well as with friends, building on children's innate curiosity and sense of wonder.  

        Another K-1 guiding principle is relatability.  Our core units of study flow with the seasons and things close to hand that children can relate to. Teachers ask children to pay attention, observe and make sense of the natural world around them.  What's happening outside in the fall?  What do you notice about the caterpillars, the sunflowers, the apples and the pumpkins?  Let's sketch what you see and observe.  What happens to plants and animals, maple trees and bears, as it gets darker and colder and snow buries our half of the world?  What are you noticing?  How about we spend a day in the dark and see what it's like!  And let's paint snowmen, starting with the sky.  What do you notice about the winter sky?  Come spring there will be chicks and sap and syrup, and children will discuss whether it's time for bears to wake up, and why.  Always the why!


Montshire Museum Partnership

The Ray School has entered into formal collaboration with The Montshire Museum as a “Partnership School,” one of 14 schools throughout the Upper Valley.  This partnership reaps us multiple benefits.  Each grade-level team receives coaching to design and implement new Science units aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers attend professional development workshops at the museum with educators from other partnership schools. Families will be invited to a Ray-only Science Nights at the museum, with our first night upcoming in March (stay tuned for details).  And students go on museum trips specifically designed to enhance our classroom Science inquiries.

Grade 5:  The Odyssey Recitations

5th grade teachers invited colleagues, administrators and retired Ray teachers to recite selections from Homer’s Odyssey to 5th graders.  Mr. Clifford (see photo) set the stage in the “Multi,” complete with a candelabra.  When the candles were lit, recitations began.  Over the course of two weeks, Odysseus, Circe, Sirens, Scylla, Charybdis, Penelope, Cyclops, the Trojan Horse and Hades all made dramatic appearances.  The recitations launched students into a deeper study of the epic poem which culminates in the play “Odyssey Rocks” in the spring.

K/1 Progress Reports

We have a new schedule for our K/1 Progress Reports.  Reports now go home in January and June, instead of at the end of each trimester.  Teachers hold conferences in November and March, giving parents four “points of contact” and opportunities to get updated on student progress.

Ray Spirit Days

Our next Spirit Day is Monday, February 5th. Staff and students are encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey (any sport, any team) to celebrate Super Bowl weekend.

Monday, 1/29: Summer Camp Fair at Richmond Middle School

Groundhog's Day approaches: Summer can't be far off! Get in the summer groove next Monday night, 1/29, from 5-6:30PM in the RMS gymnasium. Families of K-12 students are invited to check out summer camp opportunities at this free community event. Participants include the Montshire Museum, STEM Robotix, Camp Birch Hill, Horizons Camp, Kroka Expeditions, Bob Whalen Baseball School, Upper Valley Music Center, Peak Field Hocky, and more. See flyer for details. Please spread the word to all your friends in the Upper Valley. Questions? Contact Liz Powers via email: elizabethpowers@hanovernorwichschools.org

Save the Date: Camp Coyote 2018, Summer Social Skills Program 
Camp Coyote will be up and running at the Ray School this summer, four days per week, Monday through Thursday, from July 9 to August 2.  The camp operates from 9 a.m. to 1 pm and is open to students entering grades K-6 in the upcoming 2018-19 school year.  Camp Coyote focuses on building positive social interactions, improving executive functioning, and practicing mindfulness strategies for social/emotional/behavioral regulation through play-based activities.  Students with past experience at Camp Coyote can sign up in one-week increments.  Students new to Camp Coyote are required to attend for at least two weeks to ensure they become familiar and comfortable with routines, activities and staff and have a rich, positive experience.  Campers are grouped by age and the ratio of students to staff is approximately 5:1.  If you would like more information or to register, please contact Russell Ward or Della Domingue: russell.ward@rayschool.org; della.domingue@rayschool.org.

Free Performances at Northern Stage: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe will be performed in the Schleicher Education & Rehearsal Studio of the Barrette Center for the Arts (74 Gates St, White River Junction, VT) on the following dates:

  • Friday, February 2, 5:00 PM

  • Saturday, February 3, 11:00 AM

  • Saturday, February 3, 2:00 PM

  • Sunday, February 4, 2:00 PM

All performances are general admission and free. Space is limited! To reserve seats, contact the Northern Stage Box Office at 802.296.7000 or boxoffice@northernstage.org.

Ray School Calendar

Ray School Calendar