Thursday, September 30, 2010

Test Prep Fun is at Macdonough! is a website dedicated to providing opportunities for students in grades three, four, and five to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. Each student has a special password enabling them access to this resource.

The site has thousands of questions to help children sharpen their skills. In a few weeks, the site will open "The Official CMT League" to challenge students across the state to compete for the title of MVP (Most Vigorous Player).  Prizes are available to students for simply completing grade level games. 

Many of our students practice at home, others come early to school each morning at 8:00 a.m. to work on their skills!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nurse Parmelee Conducts Vision / Hearing Screenings

Most people know that Nurse Parmelee takes care of children when they are not feeling well. She is wonderful at that part of her job!

What some don't know is how much more she does for the children of Macdonough School. One example is the vision and hearing screenings. Nurse Parmelee does both vision and hearing screenings for every child at Macdonough School!

The hearing and vision screenings will start next week.


Macdonough School was the host site for a panel discussion among this year's gubernatorial candidates held on Tuesday, September 28th.

The forum was moderated by Robert Frahm of the Connecticut Mirror and Tom Monahan of NBC 30 and hosted by ConnCAN (Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now).  ConnCAN chose Macdonough as the venue for the debate because the school has made “exceptional progress” in closing the achievement gap in Middletown.

“We celebrate Macdonough School as one of the success stories in closing the achievement gap in Connecticut,” Johnston said. 

He went on to describe Macdonough as “an example of what is possible in public education in Connecticut today.”

Sunday, September 26, 2010

WES Math is Back!

Second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students excelling in math at Macdonough School have the opportunity to work with Wesleyan University students one hour each week during the fall semester.

The WES Math program gives budding mathematicians the chance to develop their problem solving skills in a small group setting.

This semester, more than two dozen WES Math groups are meeting each week with our Wesleyan volunteers. That's a whole lot of math!

Here is a sample of the type of work our students are tackling...

Pizza House sells two types of pizza that each come in three sizes. The chart below shows the price of each type of pizza and how many people each serves.

Pizza Sizes and Servings Size/Type

Small (1 serving) Thin crusted - $2.50 // Thick crusted - $2.95
Medium (3 servings) Thin crusted - $4.95 // Thick crusted $5.45
Large (8 servings) Thin crusted - $8.50 // Thick crusted $9.75

Place an order that meets the following conditions:

--The order serves exactly 30 people;
--Half the servings must be thin crusted and half thick crusted;

a. Show how many of what size and what type you would order to meet these conditions.
b. What is the total cost of your order?

The first student to bring a correct solution for this problem to the office will win a pizza lunch with the principal.  Need help? Just ask one of our WES Math students!

Cooking for Literacy with Chaelyn Lombardo

Fourteen 1st Grade students at Macdonough School have been invited to join Cooking for Literacy, a Recess-Plus Club.

Once a week children will join Miss Chaelyn in the Family Resource Center to participate in fun enrichment activities based upon Monica Wellington’s Pizza at Sally’s. The club, which runs during recess, will last for six sessions and includes science, art, music, cooking and healthy choice activities.

The final sessions of the club will be “cooking days.” We will be making English muffin pizzas and “dessert” pizzas for a special treat.

Friday, September 24, 2010

GeoKids: An Earth Science Club w/ Chaelyn Lombardo

Sixteen 2nd graders at Macdonough School became Junior Geologists this week by attending a new Recess Plus club called “GeoKids, An Earth Science Club.”

One day a week, students will join Miss Chaelyn in the Family Resource Center during recess and lunch to learn about the earth’s layers, types of rocks, volcanoes, tornados, earthquakes and more.

Students will learn about the world scientifically through awesome enrichment activities, including chemistry, cooking, and art.

Literature for Lunch w/ Chaelyn Lombardo

Twenty-four Macdonough 4th Graders attended their first session of Literature for Lunch this week.

Literature for Lunch is a Recess-Plus Book Club that is held once a week during recess and lunch in the Family Resource Center. Twelve students will be reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Twelve will be reading Katherine Paterson’s The Bridge to Terabithia.

Chaelyn, from Kids’ Korner, will facilitate various enrichment activities based on themes in each of the books, (including science, art, music, cooking, gym games and more). The club will last for 10 sessions and will include a viewing of the films based on the books to conclude the club.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Computer Club at Macdonough School

Although school doesn't officially begin until 9:05 a.m., the Computer Lab at Macdonough School is filled to capacity at 8:00 a.m. each morning.  The Macdonough School Computer Club meets before school to provide children with the opportunity to work on skills utilizing technology. 

Miss Gillespie and Miss Brown are the Computer Club coordinators.  Students in grades three, four, and five are eligible for this before school program.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

People Empowering People

People Empowering People (PEP) is an exciting program for parents and caregivers.  PEP is based on the empowerment of individuals. Check out the flier below for details.

For more information: Call Donna Marino at 860-638-1462 or email her at  This program is offered in partnership with Middletown Public Schools.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

School Beautification Committee Meeting

A group of parents and staff members are meeting on Wednesday, September 29th at 9:15 a.m. in the school cafeteria to begin planning for School Beautification projects. Please consider joining us!

We'll generate ideas at our first meeting for areas to beautify. Areas under consideration are the school cafeteria, the gymnasium, and our library.

Recent projects including our World Map area, Knowledge is Power mural, United States Map, and a new reading area.

Working together, we can continue to transform Macdonough School into a vibrant environment for learning.

We hope that you can join us!

WES Arts is Back!

WES Arts, a program initiated by the Macdonough School-Family-Community Partnership Team, provides opportunities for the school's staff and families to experience concerts and shows at Wesleyan's Center for the Fine Arts.

The first WES Arts program this year will send two Macdonough families to a concert by Le Vent du Nord at Wesleyan's Crowell Concert Hall on Friday, September 24th. 

"Since its inception in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord have been enjoying rocketing success. They have received several prestigious awards, including a Juno. The band is now one of the most-loved Quebec folk outfits throughout the world. The group’s current line-up consists of singers / multi-instrumentalists Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers, and Réjean Brunet. Some of their songs come from traditional folk repertoire, while others are original compositions. On stage, these four friends achieve peaks of happiness they eagerly share with any and all audiences. Le Vend du Nord know how to deliver music that will move any crowd – to their feet and in their hearts! This is undoubtedly music of the here and now."

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Music Program at Macdonough!

We are very pleased to announce that Macdonough School has been selected for a special music program!

Mrs. Barbara Johnson, a teacher at The Hartt School, University of Hartford, will offer group piano lessons to our students in an after school music program.

The year long program will be held on Wednesdays after school and be made available to students in second through fifth grade.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gubernatorial Candidates to Visit Macdonough School!

Macdonough School has been selected as a site for a forum of gubernatorial candidates!

ConnCAN Press Release:

On September 28, Connecticut gubernatorial candidates Dan Malloy (D) and Tom Marsh (I) will participate in a forum hosted by ConnCAN and focused exclusively on public education in Connecticut. Candidate Tom Foley (R) was also invited to participate, but declined.

The forum – which will be moderated by Robert Frahm of the Connecticut Mirror and Tom Monahan of NBC 30 – will take place at Macdonough Elementary School, a 2009 ConnCAN Success Story school that has made exceptional progress in closing the achievement gap in Middletown.

The forum is designed to elevate the issue of education reform in the gubernatorial race and provide the candidates with a unique opportunity to speak to voters in depth about their plans to fix Connecticut’s public education system.

September 17th - Early Release Day

About once each month, school is dismissed on Friday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. While the students get an early start on their weekend fun, teachers are at school participating in a variety of professional growth activities.

Macdonough teachers were busy on September 17th (the first of the early release days) reviewing student work and planning instructional units. Grade level teams took advantage of the opportunity to collaborate!

Friday, September 17, 2010

World Record at Macdonough School

Children in first grade at Macdonough School are going to help break a world record by participating in the Jumpstart Read for the Record program!

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, is an international campaign to bring children together with valued grownups in their lives to read the same book, on the same day, in communities all over the world. On October 7, 2010, youngsters from near and far will be attempting to break the world record as nearly 1,000,000 readers will share Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day.

On this historic day, one amazing book will be read aloud in classrooms, libraries and homes from Japan, Germany, and Brazil, to cities and rural communities across America and at Macdonough School!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ING Run for Something Better Day

Students from Macdonough School have been invited to participate in the 2010 ING Run for Something Better Day program at Bushnell Park in Hartford.  The program is designed to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle in the fight against childhood obesity for elementary and middle school students.

This program encourages students to train to complete a half marathon, covering 13.1 miles in 6 weeks. On Friday October 8, 2010, students who complete 12 miles through the school program will run their last 1.1 "Final Mile", cross over the official ING Hartford Marathon Finish Line, receive a Finisher's Medal and then enter the "World of Fitness” area.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fire Prevention and Safety for Macdonough 3rd Graders

Third grade students at Macdonough School welcome a member of the Middletown Fire Department into their classrooms each year.

For the past few years it has been Firefighter Al (also known as Deputy Fire Marshall, Al Santostefano). He visits the third graders once a month for about an hour to discuss fire safety and prevention.

In the spring, the third graders will be walking to the fire station on Main Street to get a tour of the firehouse and trucks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WES Reads is Back for 2010!

The return of the Wesleyan University students marks the return of the WES Reads program at Macdonough School!

Selected students in grades two,three, four, and five will be spending time this fall reading novels with university tutors. This enrichment opportunity is geared toward students above grade level.

This semester's novels are: The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary; Frindle by Andrew Clements; and Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville.

Last year, more than forty Macdonough School students participated in the fall semester WES Reads program.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Student-Teachers at Macdonough School

We are delighted to welcome two student-teachers to Macdonough School this semester.

Miss Michelle Lavoie is working with kindergarten students under the direction of Mrs. Kelly Lenihan. Miss Ms. Joanne Jukins and her second grade class have been joined by Miss Jasmine Rudd.

Miss Lavoie and Miss Rudd are both seniors at Central Connecticut State University.

Mobile Dental Clinic arrives at Macdonough

Our Health Center was transformed into a dental clinic this week as Macdonough School was visited by the Mobile Dental Clinic. Many of our students had the opportunity to see the dental hygienist for check-ups and cleanings!

The Mobile Dental Clinic visits Macdonough School twice each year - once in the fall and again in the spring.

If you would like your child to have access to this program, please call the school and ask for information on the Community Health Center at Macdonough School.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is Back!

Macdonough School was awarded a 2010-11 grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education in conjunction with United States Department of Agriculture to continue the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) provides the Macdonough School learning community with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school year. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options.

The goal of the Macdonough School FFVP is to:
• Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices.
• Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience.
• Increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.
• Make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is coordinated by Mrs. Mary Raney, a reading teacher at Macdonough School.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Bike Rack at Macdonough

Students at Macdonough can ride their bikes to school thanks to a new bike rack. 

The rack was installed days before school started and is located on the Pease Avenue side of the building.  Several children are using the rack each day! 

Special thanks to the City of Middletown for selecting Macdonough for this wonderful addition to our school.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Macdonough at the Market

A group of Macdonough students took a walking field trip to the North End Farmers Market today. 

Each child received ten dollars (in tokens) to fill their bags with fresh fruit and vegetables.  In addition to learning about an assortment of fresh produce, students learned about budgeting and how to get the most for their money.

The "Macdonough at the Market" field trips will continue each Friday in September and October. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recess Rocks at Macdonough!

Macdonough School was selected as the site for the national kick-off for the Recess Rocks program.  Recess Rocks is a program to bring fun and movement to recess periods.  The program was created by our friends at the Community Health Center in Middletown and first piloted at Macdonough School back in 2005.  More information about the Recess Rocks Program can be located by visiting their website at!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Book For Macdonough

This year we are starting “A Book For Macdonough,” a program that will allow individuals or families to purchase books from a librarian- and teacher-generated list for donation to the Macdonough Elementary library. Macdonough already has inspiring teachers and hard-working students. We want to bring the library up to their level! This year we will especially focus on bringing fresh and fascinating non-fiction titles to the shelves, as this is where the need is greatest. But there are all kinds of book at many prices currently on the list. This is a wonderful way to thank a teacher, remember a birthday, or commemorate an impressive achievement by your child.

Donated books will be personalized with a beautiful label that will contain the donor’s name and the name of the person being honored or remembered. The book will be presented to your child during our monthly S.U.R.F.’s UP assembly. They will then be featured on a special shelf in the library where they will be visible and available to students.

Four times a year we will send home a list of needed books and an order form. Simply follow the instructions and return the form to school. Or you can browse the “Wish List” set up at and order the books directly from the site. If you have any questions contact Sally Bachner (parent coordinator) [] or Mary Beth Brick (elementary instructional support teacher)]. You are also welcome to donate any appropriate book of your choosing or to suggest titles for the wish list (click on the yellow link below).

The PTA thanks you for your support!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Walking Wednesdays at Macdonough School

Join us each Wednesday morning as the Macdonough teachers walk to school with students and families. 

The walk begins at the corner of High Street and Washington Avenue at 8:35 a.m. and proceeds down High Street picking up families at the intersections of Liberty Street, Lincoln Street, Grand Street, and Erin Street before turning onto Spring Street and arriving at Macdonough School. 

Families are invited to join us for a part of the walk or the whole walk!

Wesleyan Students are Back!

Among the first things that visitors to Macdonough notice are the dozens and dozens of Wesleyan students who volunteer at our school.  Before school, after school, in our classrooms, and on the playground, the students of Wesleyan are an important part of our learning community.

The first college students back at Macdonough this semester are from Psi Upsilon.  The fraternity brothers volunteer each Friday during our recess periods as part of our Recess Plus program.  They engage Macdonough students in games and activities to develop sportsmanship and promote fitness!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Macdonough at the Market!

Macdonough School students will have the opportunity to visit the North End Farmers Market on Fridays in September and October.

Students and staff will make the 1/4 mile walk to the market from Macdonough School.  Upon arrival, each child will receive tokens to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at the market.

Macdonough School's participation in the North End Farmers Market was made possible through coordination with Izzi Greenberg, Executve Director of the North End Action Team and Mary Raney, a reading teacher at Macdonough School.

Friday, September 3, 2010

First Day Celebration

Students, families, and staff participated in our First Day Celebration to kick off the 2010-2011 school year!

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