Principal's Page

Florence Budge
 860-927-3537  x123   
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Dear Parents,

The colder weather has settled in, 2018 is on the horizon and November was another wonderful month at KCS!

At our Board of Education meeting on November 1, academic achievement was recognized for those students receiving Honors and or High Honors for 10 Marking Periods. Scholars Awards were Leah Darby, Lindsay Smith, Eric Zhang, Maggie Raftery, Max Foote, Stephen Peschel, Lily Scofield, Ben Raskind, Brennan Wilkins, Reegan Blore, Michael Chavka, Jacob Finch, Kammi Zheng, Will Starr, Max von Seufert, Sofia Menniti, Jade Kennedy and Junwei Zhang. A small reception was held after the ceremony. Congratulations to all of those hardworking students!

Kent Center School 3rd and 4th Graders gave a performance of "The Artful Dodgers" by Mary Donnelly and George L.O. Strid.  Although it made a number of references to Dickens' Oliver Twist, the plot revolved around baseball, art and teamwork.  All the 3rd and 4th graders were involved as singers, dancers, actors and stage crew.  The show was directed by David Poirier and Lee Sohl, with the choreography by Valerie Vega and dance instruction by Marci Saunders.  The featured soloists included Lucy Ober, Genevieve Malinowski, Chase Harrington and Jenna Janiak-Anderson.  In addition, 4th graders completed a busy month by starting up band and string instruments!  They received their rentals, had their first lessons and are already practicing their first songs on their new instruments!

November 9th was our annual Veterans Day Celebration.  We were honored to have our local veterans visit us for the morning.  Two of our veterans, along with assistance from two of our students, gave a lesson on folding our nation’s flag.  The bagpiper’s tunes were very moving. After the assembly, the veterans spent some time in the classrooms where they welcomed questions from our students. We wish to thank all veterans for their service to our country and a special thanks to Marty Lindenmayer for arranging the visit with the veterans.

 Nurse Betsey Levesque reports that 57 children participated in the Brooker Memorial Dental Clinic this year at Kent Center School.  We had 25% of the students participate in this program.  Eleven of these students were participating in the program for the first time.  Thank you to Mrs. Levesque and Brooker Memorial!

Also during the month of November, students were involved in interactive projects. The 7th grade students finished a project on the Middle East and were given the opportunity to present material in a Stop Motion video, Google Slides or a video with a musical backdrop.   The 8th grade students were studying government completing a play called "A Bundle of Compromises" which is about the development of the Constitution. Students are currently working on posters depicting the goals of the Preamble. Students had lots of fun and learned a great deal!


Grades K-6 computer science classes have been working hard to learn coding skills. Working primarily on, students have been learning and applying problem-solving skills to navigate mazes, draw shapes and objects, help sprites collect objects and guiding zombies away from carnivorous plants. In order to do these tasks,  they used a wide variety of coding skills including; loops, nested loops, writing algorithms, events and actions, functions, conditionals, debugging code, and paired-programming. Students have been further applying these skills by programming robots to meet defined challenges. No matter when you visit the tech room, students are highly engaged in their learning!

Seventh and eighth grade computer science students have chosen their course of study from several options. These options include design and construction techniques in several technology areas including, website development, animation and game development, app creation and computer development. In addition to learning the cognitive and creative processes of the field of their choice, they are also learning the requisite computer language or languages (HTML, CSS, javascript, ASCII, etc.) of each field.


Pre-K has been very busy this month.  Students performed for parents in a play about the first Thanksgiving. In it, Pilgrims sailed from England on the Mayflower, landed on Plymouth Rock, built cabins, and met Native Americans who taught them how to hunt, fish and farm.  Lastly, students and guests had a Feast! 100% of parents and grandparents came to celebrate singing songs with students and enjoying cookies and juice. Pre-K is also practicing yoga as they sharpen their gross motor skills. The Pre-K scientists have completed many science experiments as they discover ways to solve problems and learn through exploring. Students from other classes come in to help Pre-K in their classroom too.  We are building a community together at KCS!


On November 13, third graders enjoyed a special presentation led by Tiffany Carlson, a representative from Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority. They learned about local efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The children were challenged to think like scientists and work to help our environment. They received recycled gifts from Mrs. Carlson and a fun educational guide. For an assignment, the children were asked to "Be the Teacher" and share today's learning experience with parents. I hope the third grade parents enjoyed the lesson!

America Recycles Day on November 15 was a huge success! Many of the students wore green, and Mrs. Mott's class won a Popsicle party funded by the Kent Conservation Society! Connie Manes came in and spoke with the 4th grade class about recycling. Many thanks to Mrs. Manes for sharing her expertise with the class and to the Kent Conservation Society for the yummy Popsicles!

As an Enrichment initiative, Second Grade students were treated to a recent visit by Thomas Daly, Curator of Education from the Norman Rockwell Museum, on November 16. Students learned about the life of Norman Rockwell, as well as the stories within his paintings. Students were exposed to several pieces of Mr. Rockwell's art and participated in a discussion about each piece. They were excited to learn about Mr. Rockwell's humor and the history that he incorporated into his work. This particular program is an extension of "The Long Ago & Today unit of the Second Grade curriculum.

The 8th graders hosted a very successful dance at KCS on November 17.   About 105 students from the region attended.  All were well-behaved and polite.   The students will use the proceeds to put toward their class trips at the end of the year.   

The Thanksgiving Share on November 22 was fantastic! Audrey Richards did a wonderful job singing the national anthem, and the Thanksgiving jokes had the students giggling in their seats. The Student Council made a special Thanksgiving video, and their hard work showed! Using the new green screen that Mr. Eldridge has, the students were able to interview students and pretend they were actually aboard the Mayflower. And of course, no Thanksgiving Share would be complete without the Thanksgiving song! Lily Scofield did an excellent job leading the students in her turkey costume. 


 This fall, KCS instituted a new program called FLEX. After taking a school-wide survey of student interests last spring and researching ways that various schools provide enrichment and personalized learning opportunities, the KCS faculty took a leap of faith this fall and developed a number of hands-on mini courses. Each grade level offers extra support during FLEX time one to three times a week. During the last period on Tuesday afternoons, however, all teachers and students are engaged in a variety of Flexible Learning Experiences.


In this first term of FLEX, teachers led or facilitated eighteen groups based loosely on the themes of balance and perseverance. Most groups included students from multiple grade levels and abilities.


On Tuesday, November 27, the whole school gathered to celebrate the culmination of their efforts. Students settled into their groups while listening to the Musical Balance group play a piece by Jean Sibelius. Two students from Photojournalism: Documenting FLEX, introduced a slideshow featuring roughly 300 of the 4300 photographs taken by the twenty-five student photojournalists from grades four to eight. Representatives from each of the other sixteen groups stepped to the microphone to explain what they had done or learned throughout the term as the slideshow provided visual testimony to their progress. The pride of accomplishment and achievement was evident on students’ faces throughout the program: from feats of physical balance and evidence of perseverance from kindergarten students, to independent projects such as creative writing, architectural design and game development among older students.


Here are some comments students made about FLEX on a survey taken in October:


“I really like FLEX in Young Naturalists. I like what I have because I love going outside and doing activities. My favorite part is when we went outside and caught some insects. I also like researching the animals. I’m doing a fox. I can’t wait for FLEX in the future.”


“My FLEX experience is awesome. I am in Photojournalism. We take photos of other FLEX groups. We are supposed to tell the story of FLEX. I love every single bit of it. I want to stay in photojournalism.”


“It gives us a chance to E-X-P-A-N-D our learning into what we want to do.”


“I enjoy FLEX time. I like that it’s so hands on and you can choose what you want to learn about. I like that you don’t really get worksheets to learn and you’re able to learn with your strengths and work on your weaknesses. I really enjoy it and I wish to do it next term. I learned quite a bit about perseverance.”


Please be sure to see the attachments for scenes from our FLEX celebration on our web site.


Upcoming December news:

  • December 11-15- KCS PTO Book Fair
  • December 13- Winter Concert 1:15 & 7:00
  • December 22- 1:00 Dismissal, Trimester 1 Report Cards go home
  • December 25-January 2- Winter Break

Thank you for all you do to support our school!!!

Florence Budge