Tag Archives: Schlegel Road Elementary School

Webster community mailbag

7 Nov

Do you still have some candy left over from Halloween? Consider trading it in at Webster Pediatric Dentistry’s Candy Buyback, happening through this Thursday Nov. 10.

Turn your candy in for a prize, and they’ll make a donation to the Webster Community Chest. You can also enter to win an Amazon gift card.

Webster Pediatric Dentistry is located at 39 West Main St. in the Village of Webster.


Two — count them, TWO — craft fairs are coming your way.

The first is this coming Saturday Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

More than 30 vendors will be there, and proceeds will benefit the Webster Association of Senior Program Supporters. Check out the flier below for more information.

The second craft fair is being held at Schlegel Elementary School on Saturday Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will benefit the Schlegel PTSA. More information on the flier below.


The Village of Webster will hold a Veteran’s Day ceremony this Friday Nov. 11 in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., after which the Village Board will host a free takeout lunch for all veterans, current military personnel and their families, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the parking lot behind 29 South Ave.


Absentee ballots are now available for the Webster Central School District Capital Project Vote on Dec. 13.

Qualified voters of the district who will be unable to attend the polls on the day of the vote, for reasons outlined on the absentee ballot application, may wish to use an absentee ballot. Voters must apply for the ballot in advance. Absentee ballot applications are available from District Clerk Cynthia Cushman, 119 South Ave., Webster.

All absentee ballot applications must be RECEIVED by the district clerk at least seven business days prior to the vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the vote if the ballot is to be picked up personally by or for the voter.

The Webster CSD Capital Project Vote takes place Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gymnasium, 875 Ridge Rd., Webster.


Here’s a look at what the Webster Public Library has going on this month:


Do you know about Naloxone? This is an emergency medication, a nasal spray, that can save the life of a suspected opioid/heroin overdose patient.

An upcoming FREE online Naloxone training session, hosted by the Webster Health & Education Network (WHEN), will teach local residents how to administer Naloxone. The class will be held via Zoom on Monday Nov. 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. You can get more information and register online here.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 11/7/2022)

Fifth graders reflect on race in library display

21 Oct

Talking about race issues and racism is uncomfortable for all of us. But recently, more than 30 Schlegel Elementary School students tackled that difficult subject, as part of an important project coordinated by the Webster Central School District and the Webster Public Library (WPL), in conjunction with the Gandhi Institute.

In June of 2021, students were shown a video in which Alex Hubbell from the Gandhi Institute introduced the topics of antiracism and inclusion, which also provided questions for educators to discuss with the classes. The students were then encouraged to think about those questions and write down their answers.

The resulting, thought-provoking exhibit, called “Kids Talk About Race,” is now on display through Saturday Oct. 29 at the Webster Public Library.

The project was a long time in the making. The idea first came to WPL Outreach Coordinator Jason Poole in February of 2021. He and Adult Services Librarian Jennifer Paxson worked together on a grant for the Harold Hacker Foundation to create a new curriculum for antiracism education in Webster’s elementary schools.

Because of Covid and schedule-related delays, progress on the grant was put on hold for several months. Then, last March, Schlegel Rd. Elementary School librarian Jamie Palmer hopped on board and enlisted the school’s three fifth-grade teachers, finally bringing the project to fruition by the end of the school year.

Jamie explained that she got involved because,

I felt it was important to have conversations with the fifth grade students, as it shouldn’t be a topic to shy away from. Kids have thoughts and questions and are trying to make sense of our world daily. If we ignore them and don’t just get them out on the table, they think it’s something bad and wrong to talk about instead of talking and working through their thoughts with each other.

And that really was the main impetus behind the project. The idea, Jason said, was to

facilitate these kinds of discussions (about race) happening during the school day. My belief is that kids should be learning about these things in an educational setting. They need to have a safe space where they can talk about it and figure out what they think. Not all the answers are neat and cut and dried. Some are puzzling.

After watching the video from the Gandhi Institute, the students were asked to reflect and write down their answers to these questions:

  • What did you know about race and racism before?
  • What do you know now?
  • Why is it hard to talk about race and racism?
  • Why is it important to do it anyway?
  • What do you plan on doing to make a difference in your community?

After the presentations, professional photographer Denise Batiste took portraits of the students (with parental permission) for the display.

The exhibit will be on display at the library through Oct. 29, after which it will be transported to the Central Library in downtown Rochester for display there (dates TBD).    

Presenting the exhibit to both the Webster and City of Rochester communities was an important part of the initial grant application. It’s being displayed here in Webster — a primarily white suburb — first, where people can see and talk about it. Then it goes downtown for people who aren’t in the suburbs. It hopefully demonstrates that “there’s at least some kind of effort being made to have these discussions,” Jason said.

If you’re able to check out the exhibit, take a close look at some of the things the kids have written. Clearly they were moved by what they learned. The fifth graders (now sixth graders) wrote some pretty insightful comments, and were inspired to make change. Take these answers, for example, to the question, “What do you plan on doing to make a difference in your community?”

  • I plan to tell others about how racism is wrong and how we are all equal and deserve to be treated the same as others. I plan to step in if someone is being discriminative.
  • I plan on telling my friends who didn’t do this activity why whatever you say can hurt anyone’s feelings. And I will tell them that your actions matter just as much as your words. I will also tell my family all of what I learned and how it inspired me.
  • What I plan on doing in my community is in my school. Anyone that has a different color I will include them. And if they are bullied I will make sure I will stand up for them. I will make them all feel equal and included.

There’s hope for this world yet.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

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(posted 10/21/2022)

First week of school, retirement style

7 Sep

Anybody who knows me — even just a little bit — knows that I’m having a hard time retiring.

After leaving the school district in June 2021, I decided I would sub for one, maybe two days a week. That turned into three or four some weeks, pretty much all year long. It’s gotten so people don’t ask me how I’m keeping busy, but, “So how much are you going to work THIS year?”

So it should be no surprise that just two days into the new school year, I had to stop by to visit the two schools where I spent the last five years of my teaching assistant career, Plank North and Schlegel Rd. elementary schools. I told myself that I wanted to meet the new librarian at Plank North and the new library teaching assistant at Schlegel Rd.

But we all know the REAL reason I made those visits.

I really wanted to see all those smiling, happy little faces again, walking through the halls with that first-week-of-school bounce in their steps.

It was especialy touching to see many of those happy little faces wave excitedly and call out my name as they walked past. It really reminded me how much I loved being there.

But not putting my feet on the floor until 7:30 every morning? I gotta say … I love that more.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 9/7/2022)

Going back to school — sort of

3 Sep

This has been a very weird start to the new school year for me.

The first day of school for students isn’t until Wednesday, but teachers and support staff were already back all last week, setting up their classrooms, reconnecting with their colleagues, and basically preparing mentally and physically for another unusual school year.

But I’m not there.

Having retired from my job as a library teaching assistant from the district in June, I’m watching from the sidelines for the first time in 20 years. It’s definitely a little weird, and a little sad. But thanks to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I’ve been able to vicariously enjoy those back-to school meetings and strategy sessions.

I saw photos from State Road Elementary School, for example, where staff members held their opening circle outside in the parking lot and playground. Facebook photos from Plank North showed all of my former colleagues clumped up in very familiar discussion groups. Some schools are posting their staff photos, where everyone is packed on risers and clearly grinning broadly behind their masks with opening-day excitement. Others, like Webster Schroeder, had their teachers hold personalized signs indicating how long they’d been in the district.

I even got a special invitation several days ago from Schlegel Elementary School principal Francine Leggett to join my former colleagues when they took a field trip on Wednesday to Jack’s Place playground in Webster Park to explore and reflect upon this year’s theme of “We are crew.”

In short, the idea of “being crew” is that everyone (students and staff) is working together towards the same goal, helping each other achieve and be successful. On their field trip this week, teachers and support staff actually took an important first step toward connecting with their student community by taking a bus ride through every one of the neighborhoods the school serves, before arriving at the playground.

I don’t miss all the meetings, but it was nice to see many of my old colleagues in photos and on the playground. Here are a few photos from that day at the park.

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A few personal WCSD staff notes

24 Jun

I’d like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to my friend and Plank North colleague Heather Balsamo, the school’s outstanding assistant principal. A Plank North family member for 15 years, on July 1 Heather will begin a new position as UPK Administrator for the district.

Heather has been an integral part of the growth and development of the UPK program, and is the perfect person to fill this new position, as the district’s UPK program expands to all seven elementary schools.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Heather for the last five years. Her door was always open, she always made time to help out when you needed something, and she always respected her colleagues as unique individuals rather than just another staff member.

Heather will be sorely missed.


And now, a very personal note.

Yesterday marked my last day as a teaching assistant in the Webster Central School District. After 20 years — 15 at Webster Thomas and the last five split between Schlegel Rd. and Plank North — I am retiring.

I started my WCSD career almost by accident. My eldest daughter was in 8th grade at Thomas Middle School, and I came in one day as a volunteer to help out with a project. I was assigned to the library, where I helped students navigate some computer challenges.

The Thomas Middle School librarian, Trish Warren, liked how I worked with the kids and invited me to come back and volunteer at any time. Which I did. A lot. By the end of the school year, Trish and I had become good friends. She suggested I get myself established in the district and then apply for the library teaching assistant position at the new Thomas High School when it opened in 2001.

I was fortunate to land a position as a part-time Phys. Ed. teaching assistant at Plank North, where I worked for one year. The following year, as planned, I interviewed for and got the Thomas Library T.A. job, working again with Trish.

Trish and I worked together for 15 years. I enjoyed my time at Thomas very much and loved coming in to work every day. I grew very close to my collagues and fondly remember each and every one of them. Deep down, there is still — and forever will be — a part of me that will always be a Titan.

As I set my sights on retirement several years ago, however, I decided I wanted to finish my career in the elementary schools. So when a spot opened up for an elementary school library teaching assistant, I jumped at the chance. I was hired, splitting my week between Plank North and Schlegel elementary schools, a position I’ve held for the last five years.

Working in the elementary schools has been as much fun as I expected it to be. I’ve read picture books to preschoolers, dressed up as Gerald the Elephant (and a yam, a Butter Bear, a grandmother and a half dozen other characters) for read-alouds. I have played soccer and kickball, danced, painted, made crafts, played board games, and created some entertaining “races” for my colleagues. I’ve worked with three terrific librarians and have made so many good friends.

But mostly, I was able to play an important part in the lives of children at a time when they still love reading.

The time has passed much too quickly. I will miss the kids and my colleagues a lot. But rest assured, I will be returning to Plank North and Schlegel as a substitute, and probably a volunteer. Because I know I’m not going to be able to stay away from two of my favorite places in the world.

(And who knows when Gerald might need to make an appearance for a command performance of Elephant and Piggie.)

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A shout-out for some great teachers (part 2)

21 Jun

I’m pleased this morning to present Part 2 of my teacher shout-out series, highlighting some great teachers and the amazing job they did this year. (Scroll down the page a bit or click here to see Part 1.) I’ll post Part 3 — the final installment — tomorrow, so you still have time to get your submissions to me! Email me at missyblog@gmail.com.

(These passages have been edited only slightly for punctuation and grammar. The sentiments are otherwise unfiltered, and straight from the heart.)

I’m going to start with the only submission I got from a high school…


Providing the right tools for success

I would like to highlight Kristen Hubright, Earth Science teacher at Webster Thomas.

Mrs. Hubright spent an immense amount of time preparing take-home interactive lesson plans and recording video lessons that really helped my son, who is in her Integrated Co-Teach class, become more independent in his learning process. In fact, her science units were designed so well that he was able to work on them without any intervention on my part.

As a science educator myself, having varied resources to offer is an important key to turning out well prepared students. Being able to pause when needed to catch up with note taking, and being able to go back to help understanding are fantastic tools to offer to students across all levels, but especially to provide an equitable space for special ed learners.

— Jenny Hryhorenko

(photo courtesy LinkedIn)

Teaching is her passion

My name is Melissa Orr and my daughters (Arya & Teagan) go to State Rd Elementary. I want to Nominate Mrs. Smith (kindergarten teacher).

This is my second year with Mrs. Smith. My oldest daughter also had her and that was the year that I really got to know her and her love and passion for ALL of her students.

When my oldest started kindergarten, she was very shy and just wanted to be in her own bubble. Mrs. Smith quickly got down to her level and showed her how much fun it was to make friends and explore a whole new world. Now this year my youngest daughter has her and I was over the moon excited when she called me to tell me that she had her in her class! This year brought so many obstacles and challenges and I just wanted one thing familiar for her.

I don’t even know where to begin with her. Mrs. Smith has such an outgoing, fun, loving personality and she clicks and bonds with every single student that walks through her door. The way that the students look at her and she looks right back at them is enough to melt your heart. She connects with each student in her own way and makes her students feel like they are the most special in her class.

To this day my daughters come home from school to show me what they made Mrs. Smith! They talk about her all the time. Sometimes I think they think she is their playmate and not their teacher!!! Her way of teaching these little minds and getting down to their levels is absolutely magical. She takes pride in everything she does. She never gives up, never gets frustrated and most of all is always looking for the fun in everything she does and teaches. To hear my kids come home from school to say to us, look what Mrs. Smith taught me, or showed me, made me and my husband the proudest parents we could ever be.

Without Mrs. Smith none of this could be possible. Watching our daughters grow has been one of the best blessings we could ever ask for. This is why in the Orr household, we love and cherish Mrs. Smith!

— Melissa Orr

Jamie Palmer and friend

A great education is a team effort

We have a whole team to nominate and they are all a very important piece to our puzzle!

My daughter remained remote through out this school year and her whole team was absolutely amazing at working to keep the kids engaged and learning! Her team has worked so well with her that she has grown so much academically this year!

We wouldn’t be where we are without her teachers Erika Bellenger, Deena Fairchild, Marissa Echevarria, Jennifer Scalzo, Rachel Dolan, Lisa Freida, Megan Vos, Ms. Palmer and Mrs. Rosenberry. My child really grew to love reading this year and she absolutely beamed when it was time for Ms. Palmer’s March Madness and then the read-alongs. She was even excited when Mrs. Rosenberry would make an appearance on the screen as well!

We are so blessed to have such amazing teachers, therapists and librarians in our district!

— Kelly Clancy

Prepping young minds for kindergarten

I want to give a shout out to Joanna Sero, the UPK teacher at Klem North. She has worked so hard to make this year as normal as possible, and her efforts have definitely been appreciated. She provided regular communication about what’s happening in class, and posted pictures on Seesaw daily, showing us all the awesome things our son was doing with his new friends. She is so loving and supportive, and we really saw growth in our son this year. He is definitely ready for kindergarten, and she has spoiled us for all upcoming teachers.  

— Sandi Brindisi Johnville

Like an extension of the family

Amanda Plato

I wanted to give a huge thank you to Ms. Brayley and Miss Plato at Plank North for making this year so exceptional for our girls.

Miss Plato was the third teacher to step into this second grade classroom. She is and has been so extremely patient, loving, and kind. As a parent who truly values a child’s emotional well being (especially with the year we’ve had), she has brought so much joy into our daughter’s life. Thank you, Miss Plato!

Ms. Brayley provided a classroom environment that felt like a family. Ms. Brayley provided structure, routine, and a sense of normalcy. We are so thankful Ms. Brayley is available to listen (often times during recess) and have conversations with our daughter about life and activities outside of school. Thank you, Ms. Brayley!

We feel so fortunate to have had to amazing teachers for our daughters this year!

-Anonymous

Substitutes are great teachers, too

Julia had Jaime McKnight as her long-term sub for the first part of the year (at Klem North) while her current teacher, Kelly Wojciechowski was out on maternity leave. Both teachers have been absolutely wonderful both in the classroom and communicating with parents on the outside.

— Linda Meyers

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At the final bell, a shout-out for some great teachers

20 Jun

I think you’ll agree with me that our teachers are superheroes.

I mean, recall that a year ago March, on a week’s notice, they were asked to finish up the year by going completely online. Then came this school year, and they’ve had to juggle Covid restrictions, remote lessons, and half days or half weeks, all while doing their best to deliver as much learning and critical socialization as possible. And despite all those challenges, they’ve persevered and done an amazing job.

There’s been so much noise and bluster on social media recently about how our teachers have been sliding by. But most of us know the truth. Webster teachers are the best. So I wanted to counter all that noise with some of our own making. That’s why I asked parents to send me stories about some great teachers who have touched their childrens’ lives.

I’m pleased to present the first installment of that list today, and will post a second tomorrow. Feel free to continue to send me your stories (with a photo of the teacher if possible) and I’ll add them to the list!

(By the way, these passages have been edited only slightly for punctuation and grammar. The sentiments are otherwise unfiltered, and straight from the heart.)


Remote teaching excellence

Due to remote learning, I was able to see firsthand how awesome the Klem North music and band teachers are. 

Tiffany Polino has more passion and more energy than any teacher I’ve ever known. Her music classes are engaging, encouraging, and full of student participation. She states her CARE expectations in positive ways, always with a smile on her face. During one fifth grade session she asked the kids to name some topics they were interested in exploring. My son mentioned he was interested in learning how to play the guitar. So, Tiffany dedicated one session a week to the small “guitar cohort.” I was amazed she was willing to put aside her original plans to tailor lessons to student interest. 

Diana Mee eats, breathes, and sleeps her love of band instruments. She makes amazing assignments that go above and beyond the normal “practice your instrument for 20 minutes a day.” She also assigned songs based on student interest. My son learned how to play Disney songs for his little sister and Taps to commemorate Memorial Day.

Diana encourages students to email her with questions and responds to the emails right away. She always speaks positively and sought ways to engage her band students even though they could not play together in person during remote learning. 

Both of these teachers are doing an amazing job at promoting a love of the arts in Webster. 

— Courtney King

A heartfelt mid-year welcome

Barbara Sykut is my twins’ third grade teacher at Plank South! We bought a house here in November and they joined her class in the midst of the year. She was so happy to have them and has been absolutely amazing! She is retiring after this year and we feel so lucky to have had her before she leaves.

Thanks for everything Ms. Sykut!

— Skylar Bethany

Making kids the priority

I have a son who attends fifth grade at State Rd. During the pandemic he was remote. When Webster announced schools would be opening we got word he may have to attend a different school. My son Richy was scared and wanted to stay remote if that was to happen. The principal (Christine Noeth-Abele) said she was trying to get all the kids back and would do her best. She’s awesome.

Then I found out that a teacher was coming back from retirement just to help out. Mrs. Feeley. She is amazing. She came back just for the kids and to make sure they were able to attend their home school. I am so grateful and so is Richy. She has been awesome making sure they get what they need and making sure the extra things they were missing being remote were taken care of. She makes snacks for the kids and is always kind and Richy tells me he wished he had her since day one.

That’s a great teacher to come back from retirement to just help out the kids.

— Nikki Johnson

One classroom, two great teachers

My son Tanner is in kindergarten at Schlegel in Miss Eckert’s class.

Miss Eckert

Miss Eckert and Miss Goodness, the TA, have been absolutely amazing.Tanner has had a hard time adjusting to school and has had a really hard time managing his emotions and understanding what is appropriate at school. Both of these incredible women have gone above and beyond to help Tanner and make his kindergarten experience positive.

All school year, Miss Eckert and Miss Goodness supported Tanner in his journey and tried many different things to help with his behaviors. It takes a very strong, companionate, determined, and patient person to work with these small children and help them learn new routines and manage emotions and just show them how to feel good about themselves and the people around them. We were so lucky to have two of those people this year. They never gave up on Tanner and I am so grateful for them.

— Caira Kinnear

Providing stability during a difficult year

I would like to recognize Brianne Cipura at Klem North who chose to teach a grade level she never taught before in order to loop to first grade with her kindergarteners. By volunteering to stay with these kids, she gave parents peace of mind entering this bizarre school year. Regardless of what choices administration made, we knew her class would be a welcoming and safe place for our kids.

My family is very grateful for her.

— Kelly Prato

Over and above during shutdown

My daughter Gabriella wants to send a shout out to her fourth grade teacher from last year (at Klem South).

Elizabeth Karlof Coene was able to build and sustain relationships with her students that transcended the COVID-19 school closure, and certainly went above and beyond to ensure that my daughter felt that connection before, during, and after the shutdown. She is a treasure!

(The photo is Mrs. Coene with Gabriella at the beginning of fourth grade.)

— JoAnna Joy

Finally, this submission from a student

Mrs. Dupont is the best teacher. She lives near me and she plays with us at school. I like seeing her at soccer. I like that she teaches me everything.

-Raelyn (plank north kindergartener)


Part 2 of my teacher shout-out series will be posted tomorrow. Please continue to send me your submissions (with pictures if possible), and I will keep posting them as long as I get them!

Email me at missyblog@gmail.com

mail me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Thanks for the love, PTSA!

4 May

When I arrived at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School yesterday morning, I found a scene that just made my whole being smile.

Colorful pinwheels and hand-lettered thank-you signs lined the walkways into school, and half a dozen thank-you messages were scrawled on the walls. The messages were almost certainly the work of the Schlegel Elementary School PTSA, no doubt assisted by students, and they marked the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week.

I’m certain this scene was duplicated at every elementary school in the district yesterday morning, and that we at Schlegel were not the only ones treated to danish, donut holes and coffee in the faculty lounge.

This has been an especially difficult year, and there are a lot of people out there who actually think it’s been a cake walk for teachers because kids were only attending half days. When you’re on the front lines like I am, it’s easy to see how off-base that perception is.

Our teachers and staff members are doing an amazing job, especially given the hoops they’ve all had to jump through. They know that. But it’s always nice when others recognize that, too. Because our schools are chock full of superheroes.

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Schlegel and Plank North staff members are running around the Great Lakes!

28 Mar

Well, not really. They’re talking virtually running, and it’s actually only around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. But still, it’s a pretty big challenge.

The event is being called the “Tour Around the Lakes,” a virtual race designed to promote teamwork and community, while encouraging everyone to get out and exercise and have a little fun.

The idea is based on the many virtual distance races that have been organized during the pandemic. In those, racers would track their daily miles over a period of several weeks in an effort to travel a pre-determined route — like, for example, from Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park or around the Ring of Kerry. For the Tour Around the Lakes, over the next 11 weeks, racers — working in teams of seven or eight — will try to log enough miles by running, walking or cycling to virtually circumnavigate Lakes Ontario and Erie, a distance of 1100 miles. Progress will be updated every week on the Tour Around the Lakes bulletin boards posted at each school.

The race began last Monday and will continue through June 11. Schlegel Rd. Elementary is fielding six teams, and Plank Rd. North has four. The competition was fierce from the start. It started heating up even before the race started when word got out that bonus points were being handed out for the first teams to come up with team names and photos. The schools will not be competing against each other, but only within their buildings … or at least that’s the plan right now. (An inter-school rivalry might be an extra incentive, however.) I expect much trash-talking will ensue.

The team names already show how much fun everyone is having. The Schlegel teams are Sole Sisters, Fueled by Caffeine, Chicks With Kicks, Ready for Anything, Not Fast Just Furious, and Are We There Yet? At Plank North the teams are Green and Bold, Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow, Heart and Sole, and Get Me an Uber.

The Tour Around the Lakes is similar to an event both schools participated in last spring, a virtual relay. For that challenge, everyone who wanted to take part first signed up for a half-hour relay “leg.” Then on one day April, you would run, walk or bike during your appointed time, and “hand off” the virtual baton to the next relay participant via a text or phone call.

It was a great way to keep staff members connected after the schools shut down in March. Everyone had a terrific time and appreciated having an excuse to get outside and get a little exercise. This year’s Tour Around the Lakes should be no different.

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Snow day at Schlegel!

6 Feb
School administrative assistants Sharon Nairy and Debbie Jackson with their Covid snowman

What’s a bunch of Covid-weary school staff and teachers to do on a beautiful, sunny, 40-degree February day? Go out and play in the snow!

That’s what happened a few days ago at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School, on that glorious Thursday we had (remember all that sunshine?). The idea was the brainchild of Schlegel principal Francine Leggett and Assistant Principal Kate Hesla. They’d heard about another school giving their teachers a chance to strap on some snowshoes and get outside for a little exercise. So they put out a school-wide snowshoeing invitation for Thursday during the time between the morning and afternoon class sessions.

As word got around, they learned that the P.E. department only had child-sized snowshoes. Undaunted, Leggett borrowed more than a dozen sets of shoes from Willink Middle School, and the play date was back on. (“Mr. Lamonica saved the day,” Leggett said.)

Perhaps 15 or 16 teachers and staff members took advantage of the snow day, and one teacher brought out her whole class for a stroll. Several people strapped on some snowshoes and lumbered around the front lawn. Others built snowmen or just took a long walk through the parking lots. It’s possible a snowball was even tossed through the open main office window.

The time to head back inside came too soon. But in the meantime, much fun was had, laughter happened, and there were a lot of smiles under the masks. It was a well-earned and well-deserved break.

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