December 2007 - PDF

Document Sample
December 2007 - PDF Powered By Docstoc
					Cold Spring Elementary School PTA

December 2007
President’s Notes By Laurie Gira
Dear Cold Spring Friends and Families: I hope everyone had a restful Thanksgiving break, and I know we are all excited about the holidays fast approaching. We have many exciting activities to look forward to and prepare for in the upcoming months. First, in December, participants in the 2007 Reflections Program will be honored at a before-school breakfast on Tuesday, December 4. We congratulate all Cold Spring students who took the challenge and created their interpretation of the theme “I can make a difference.” In addition, you have an opportunity to help out with the Helping Hands Holiday Children project in each classroom. Looking to the needs of others is such an important part of the holiday season. Shortly after we return in January, get ready for our popular Cold Spring Readathon on January 11. Everyone enjoys celebrating their love of reading during the school day, and extending the fun to after school with more reading with friends and snacks as well! Look for more information as the date approaches. Believe it or not, it is already time to start thinking about Science Expo! The Cold Spring Elementary Science Expo will be held earlier this year, February 21. So it’s not too early for your children to start thinking about those burning questions they would like to investigate. Our Science Expo is unique in that every child can choose to partici(Continued on page 2)

President’s Notes...............................p. 1 Calendar ............................................p. 3 Helping Hands Holiday Children......p. 4 Health News: Hand Cleaning...........p. 5 Dance Club/Variety Show.................p. 5 Thank-You’s .....................................p. 6 “Top Ten” from Nat’l PTA ...............p. 7 Chess Club ........................................p. 7 Mythbusters: Mrs. Sellitti ................p. 8 Readathon........................................p. 10 Recycling ........................................p. 10 PTA Meeting Minutes.....................p. 11 Pedestrian Safety.............................p. 14 Fifth Grade EOY.............................p. 15 Science Expo...........................pp. 17, 19 Variety Show...................................p. 21

Please Make a Note!
Next PTA Meetings: Monday, December 3 7:15 pm, APR Tuesday, February 5 7:15 pm, APR NOTE: There will be NO January meeting. As always, all are welcome, and childcare is provided for ages 4 and up.

(Continued from page 1)

pate and not feel pressured by competition. It truly celebrates curiosity, inquiry and investigation. It is always so much fun to walk around to all the different grade levels and see the wide range of subjects being explored and witness the students’ excitement in sharing their work and discoveries. We encourage every child to participate. More information about the Science Expo can be found in this newsletter. As with any school event, parent volunteers are crucial to its success and we are fortunate to have so many parents excited to help. Please sign up now! The PTA would like to wholeheartedly extend its support to Mrs. Wanda Coates, as she assumes the full responsibilities of Cold Spring Elementary School Principal for a few months as an important part of her intern training. While we - students, staff, and parents – will all miss our dear Mr. Barnett for the time he will be on “special assignment,” we look forward to a very successful and exciting time with Mrs. Coates. We have enjoyed working with and getting to know her this fall, and have truly benefited from her input and experience already. Cold Spring Elementary is very fortunate to have the benefit of these two outstanding administrators this school year. As always, the PTA invites everyone to our December meeting on Monday, December 3 at 7:15 pm. Childcare for ages 4 and up is provided. We are your PTA, so please come and get involved. Wishing everyone a blessed holiday, Laurie Gira 301-545-0518

Cold Spring Elementary School 9201 Falls Chapel Way Potomac, MD 20854 Phone (301) 279-8480 Martin Barnett, Principal Wanda Coates, Principal Intern (school site) (PTA site) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President: Laurie Gira President-Elect: Julie Oldach Vice President: Evelyn Ralowicz Treasurer: Andrea Portes Recording Secretary: Carla Meister Corresponding Secretary: Denise Schleckser MCCPTA Delegates: Nancy Neves: Jeff Alexander: The Cougar Courier is published monthly during the school year. Email submissions to Denise Schleckser at Contact Denise at (301) 765-0249 with any questions. Committee Chairs: If you are not yet receiving monthly submission reminders, please send an email to Denise at the above address. You will receive an email notification prior to each newsletter deadline.

December 2007
“Reflections” Breakfast PTA Meeting 7:15 pm, APR First Night of Hannukah






Gifts due into Classrooms for “Holiday Helping Hands”









Winter Break Dec. 24– Jan. 1 Happy Holidays! Christmas Day





Kwanzaa Begins


Jan. 1 New Year’s Day School Resumes






For many years the Cold Spring School community has participated in a program in conjunction with the Salvation Army to help children in need who are living in homeless shelters in Montgomery County. Each class is assigned a child in need with a wish list. As these children live in homeless shelters, these will probably be the only gifts they receive during the holiday season. An individual list has gone home with each Cold Spring student. If at all possible, include your child in this gift giving experience and send in a new, unwrapped item from the list to your child’s class. (Due to recent recalls Salvation Army is not accepting Mattel toys.) There will be a large bag in each class for collection. The Helping Hands committee will collect the bags on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 to be delivered to the Salvation Army for distribution. If you have any questions please contact Kasia Coulter at 301-6106390 - or Terri de Raet at 301-762-4762 -

Holiday Child Classroom List
Hanley: girl age 5, size 6 coat, size 5 clothes, shoe size 11.5. Wish: Bike Luther: boy age 5, size 12 coat, size 10 clothes, shoe size 1.5. Wish: i-pod or Spiderman with shooting web. Spitz: boy age 6, size 6 coat, size 6 clothes, shoe size 12. Wish: Bike Spring: girl age 6, size 8 coat, size 8 clothes, shoe size 1.5. Wish: Learning Toy Abramson: girl age 7, size 6-7 coat, size 6-7 clothes, shoe size 11. Wish: Bike Foster: girl age 7, size 9-10 coat, size 8-9 clothes, shoe size 2.5. Wish: Bike Van Grack: girl age 8, size 8 coat, size 8 clothes, shoe size 2. Wish: Bratz Dolls Stiefel: boy age 8, size 14 coat, size 8 clothes, shoe size 3. Wish: Bike Testa: boy age 8, size 14 coat, size 12 clothes, shoe size 4.5. Wish: Bike Willis: girl age 9, size 9-10 coat, size 9-10 clothes, shoe size 4. Wish: Bratz Sydnor: girl age 9, size 14 coat, size 12 clothes, shoe size 3. Wish: Bike O’Neil: boy age 9, size 16 coat, size 14 clothes, shoe size 8. Wish: Race Cars or Lego Set Cohen: girl age 9, size 12 coat, size 12 clothes, shoe size 7 Womens. Wish: Bike or Purse Cashman: boy age 9, size 10 coat, size 10 clothes, shoe size 2.5. Wish: Bike Le Flore: girl age 10, size 14-16 (XL) coat, size 14-16 clothes, shoe size 6. Wish: Gameboy McPhaul: boy age 10, size 12-14 coat, size 10-14 clothes, shoe size 3. Wish:Puzzle Games Sindall: boy age 10, size Large coat, size 14-16 clothes, shoe size 7. Wish: Gameboy Sellitti: girl age 10, size 14-16 coat, size 14-16 clothes, shoe size 8.5 Womens: Wish: Bike Darling: boy age 10, size Large coat, size 8 pants, 10-12 shirts, shoe size 3.5. Wish: Nintendo DS Front Office: girl age 4, size 4 coat, size 4T clothes, shoe size 11. Wish: Bike Front Office: boy age 12, size XL coat, size 20 clothes, shoe size 8. Wish: Bike

How Clean Are Your Hands?
By: Cheryl Jordan, C.N.A., C.M.T. Health Room Aide
I have almost completed the Personal Hygiene instruction with all classrooms. Several parents, having heard about details in class, informed me they will never touch a wrapped mint/candy provided by a restaurant again! Time limitations prevented discussion on all aspects of personal hygiene, but we did cover the most important ones to prevent the spread of germs and contracting illnesses from poor hygiene habits. Key points we covered were when and how to wash hands, how to cover a cough/sneeze properly, not to touch other’s body fluids like mucus, saliva, blood, etc. and being careful about contact with public surfaces. The most important rule they learned was to keep their hands away from their face! To prove how poorly most people wash their hands we performed an experiment with germ glow liquid and UV light. If a student’s hands were dirty the UV light made the dirt glow. Many students washed their hands very well, but many typically forgot to wash between their fingers and wrists. Now that we are heading into cold and flu season, parents may want to further discuss personal hygiene and periodically remind their children what they learned in Personal Hygiene class with Mrs. Jordan and her scientists from Mrs. Darling’s class.

Mark your calendars and save the date for the 2008 Variety Show, A Night at the Movies, March 6th and 7th at 7pm.

The theme for our biannual Variety Show planned for March 6th and 7th, 2008 will be A Night at the Movies. Auditions for Emcees (4th and 5th graders) will be held on Wednesday, January 2nd from 3:15 to 4:00pm in the APR. Applications for individual/group performances will go home in backpacks and be available in the office kiosk by early December and will be due by Friday, January 11th (no exceptions). Current Cold Spring students in grades 2nd through 5th are eligible to participate in the Variety Show. No auditions will be held this year, but music and acts do require approval by the Variety Show committee. Contact Rebecca Cornelius with audition questions,

CSES Directory Change Please make the following correction to your Cold Spring family directory: Jackie Olney: Children Nicholas Olney, Grade 3, Mrs. VanGrack, and Briana Olney, Grade 2, Mrs. Foster: Their new address is 8 Paddock Court, Potomac, MD, 20854. Phone number remains the same at 301-424-5040.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the many parents and staff who support the PTA in so many ways. You are making a difference in our community.

Andy Mitchell who generously provides invaluable assistance to our Treasurer with tax filings and our yearly audit. Sheila Menconi for keeping the bulletin board by the APR door updated with fun and current photographs of our students. Vicki Klein and Meghan Westwood for planning a wonderful luncheon for the staff on the early release day, and to all the PTA parents who contributed delicious lunch and desserts. Sue Fox for bringing “Bash the Trash” to our school for the assembly in November. It was a unique and thoroughly enjoyable experience. Nora Lee and Anameka Krishna-Rogers for organizing two well-attended Book-a-Breakfasts! The students love and look forward to these events. Nikki Rees, for planning a very successful Community Night at California Tortilla and Baskin Robbins, and thank you to all the Cold Spring families that participated. It was fun! Egle Locatis, Ricky Moskowitz, Marcia Mason, Robin Hershey, Ralph Matheus, and Kristen Pond for volunteering their time at lunch and recess. A big thank you to the Rispler family for helping restore the “secret garden” located by the first and second grade classrooms. With their assistance, we were able to uncover signed rocks and a plaque from past brownie troops who had helped to create this beautiful oasis of green! A special thank you to Pam Adams, Shelia Menconi and Girl Scout troop 690. They planted 75 daffodil bulbs on the grounds of Cold Spring. We are looking forward to seeing the results of their labors in the spring! Our thanks go out to ALL PARENT VOLUNTEERS who give countless hours to help make our school the wonderful place it is. Even if we don’t mention you by name, please know that your efforts are very much appreciated!


Top Ten Things Teachers Wish Parents Would Do
...from the National PTA Be involved. Parent involvement helps students learn, improves schools, and helps teachers work with you to help your children succeed. Provide resources at home for learning. Utilize your local library, and have books and magazines available in your home. Read with your children each day. Set a good example. Show your children by your own actions that you believe reading is both enjoyable and useful. Monitor television viewing and the use of videos and game systems. Encourage students to do their best in school. Show your children that you believe education is important and that you want them to do their best. Value education and seek a balance between schoolwork and outside activities. Emphasize your children's progress in developing the knowledge and skills they need to be successful both in school and in life. Recognize factors that take a toll on students' classroom performance: 1. Consider the possible negative effects of long hours at after-school jobs or in extracurricular activities. Work with your children to help them maintain a balance between school responsibilities and outside commitments. 2. View drinking and excessive partying as serious matters. While most parents are concerned about drug abuse, many fail to recognize that alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, and common substances used as inhalants are more frequently abused than illegal drugs. Support school rules and goals. Take care not to undermine school rules, discipline, or goals. Use pressure positively. Encourage children to do their best, but don't pressure them by setting goals too high or by scheduling too many activities. Call teachers early if you think there's a problem while there is still time to solve it. Don't wait for teachers to call you. Accept your responsibility as parents. Don't expect the school and teachers to take over your obligations as parents. Teach children self-discipline and respect for others at home -- don't rely on teachers and schools to teach these basic behaviors and attitudes.

Chess Club Has a Few Slots Open
The Cold Spring Chess Club has a few openings for the spring semester for students of any ability. The goals of the Chess Club are to have fun together, learn to play better chess, and win some tournaments! Dues for the spring are $100. The club meets on Mondays after school in the APR from 3-5 pm. There are six different skill levels, covering abilities from beginner to the advanced player. Please contact Jim Schleckser at 301-299-2917 or if you would like more information.

ing Spr d Col

Could it all be true about Cheryl Sellitti?
By Ralph Nelson
Warning: Don’t try any of these things you are about to read at home. Ever. Remember, Cold Spring Mythbusters has years of experience doing these interviews – and that’s what keeps us safe. At the end of last month’s article, we mentioned that Mythbusters had obtained a rare copy of Cheryl Sellitti’s Unathorized Biography. Mrs. Sellitti has been a 5th grade teacher at Cold Spring for 16 years. November’s myth: Does Mrs. Sellitti really have a spotted past – or at least a checkered one? To find out the real deal on this mysterious book, we set Mythbusters loose on the Mrs. Sellitti one day after school. Note: Mrs. Sellitti was in constant motion during the entire interview, answering questions while she was preparing for her class the next day. It was hard keeping her on topic during the entire interview because, well, her mind seemed to work on a higher frequency than her interviewer’s . . . Mythbusters: Thank you for joining us. Let’s get right into the middle of it. Is it true you grew up in Staten Island and you were terribly shy child? Mrs. Sellitti: Both are true. My younger sister and I grew up on Staten Island and I was painfully shy. That’s why I turned to reading. I was a voracious (Note: Mrs. Sellitti uses a lot of “SAT” words) reader. Mythbusters: Being a voracious reader confirms what we read in Chapter 3: The late bloomer. It also says you were also the class clown, a comedian. Really? Mrs. Sellitti: Well, that’s sort of true too. You see, I found my way out from shyness through humor. Believe it or not, I am still the quietest one in my family. 8

Mythbusters: No, we don’t believe that, but that can be another interview. It looks like you got into trouble according to Chapter 4: A joke too far. It says you were suspended from school in 9th grade for a half day for writing a satirical poem. Could this be true? Our own Mrs. Sellitti – a certified trouble maker? Mrs. Sellitti: Partial truths. I’m not sure where this biography is getting its info. I was not a certified “trouble maker.” I was just misunderstood, once. As for getting suspended, that is true. I wrote a poem about one of my teachers that was not supposed to be made public. I shared it with a friend of mine. Unknown to me, she shared it with a friend and it eventually got back to the teacher. Let’s just say he wasn’t happy. He made me go home for the rest of the day and called my father. My father heard the poem and thought it was funny – to my teacher’s chagrin. The moral: you should not write down or e-mail anything you don’t want to see published on the front page of the newspaper. Mythbusters: Good tip, thanks. We also noticed in Chapter 4, it mentions you loved being in school. Mrs. Sellitti: I must have been misquoted. I wasn’t a big fan of school early on. As a matter of fact, I never thought I would ever be a teacher. It must be fate. Mythbusters: But it is mentioned many times in your biography you were an amazing student. Something must have changed. What happened? Mrs. Sellitti: Well, it all started with French in 7th grade. I was good in foreign languages and especially in French – so good that I began to tutor in it. Then, when my best friend was failing math, I spent Sundays with her tutoring math. Then, before I knew it, I was tutoring for pay for the Board of Ed. Now that I think about it, I was always tutoring in H.S. and before. Mythbusters: But it says in Chapter 8: Hasta la Pasta that you never applied your language skills.
(Continued on page 9)

(Continued from page 8)

Mrs. Sellitti: (Smiling) That’s a bunch of bunk. Mythbusters: (Surprised) Really?

happened was, My husband, who is a Molecular Biologist, and I moved to Montgomery County with our two young girls after he finished his PhD for his career. I didn’t start teaching for another five years. Mythbusters: (Confused) Huh?

Mrs. Sellitti: My foreign language teachers pushed me. They knew I was gifted with language. My high school teacher, Mrs. Milner had me compete in New York City’s French competition. I made to the finals. My Latin teacher, Mr. Driscoll asked me to take end of the 2nd year Latin test after my 1st year. I did better than his students who had already finished their second year. I thought Mr. Driscoll was one of the best teacher I ever had. Mythbusters: (Thinking) Interesting . . . How did Mr. Driscol gain that much respect? Mrs. Sellitti: Simple. He was the first teacher who differentiated curriculum for his students to allow them grow at their own rate. He even let me write poems and stories in Latin during class. He was great. Mythbusters: Now in Chapter 10: Speed Degree, It said you finished your B.A. in German from Wagner College in Staten Island in 3 years. That’s kinda fast. Mrs. Sellitti: But it is true. I initially started my degree in Comparative Linguistics, but settled on German. Mythbusters: But in Chapter 11: It’s the economy, not, your degree wasn’t very timely, was it? It is true you had a slew of different jobs before finally turning to teaching? The Center of Alcohol Studies? Mrs. Sellitti: Chapter 11 must be an interesting read if it is accurate. The economy went south – especially in New York City – after I graduated. I worked for an advertising company in the city till it went under, then the Donut Deli, and at a school for the mentally retarded. During that time, I took night school to get my high school teaching certificate. And yes, finally, I did everything at the Center of Alcohol Studies from data input, to book keeper, to grants account management. I worked on the side translating legal documents form various languages into English. Mythbusters: Amazing. So finally in Chapter 15: Tutoring her way to the top, you finally began to teach right after moving to Maryland. Mrs. Sellitti: Again, your book is incomplete. I’m going to have to get a copy and read it . . . What really

Mrs. Sellitti: You have to understand, I fell into teaching. I didn’t know it was my passion. I was staying home with the girls until my oldest went to Kindergarten. After I volunteered to help with recess for an hour a day, the teachers liked me and recommended I take a joint MCPS – Univ. of MD pilot program to develop teachers. Of the 100 who applied, I was one of 9 to finish it. I interned at Flower Hill, received a degree in curriculum instruction, and was offered a job at Lakewood Elem. Two years later I came to Cold Spring when the GT program was transferred here. Mythbusters: Finally, we get to Chapter 18: Cold Spring and the Barnett. Is it true Mr. Barnett’s height initially intimidated you when you first arrived? Mrs. Sellitti: Not at all. I forgave him immediately for being height challenged. Mythbusters: Was it an easy move to Cold Spring? Mrs. Sellitti: I thought the atmosphere was very inviting. I adore the staff and Mr. Barnett. If you really want to know, I like the family feeling here. Whenever I walk in the front door, I feel like I was meant to be here – and of course, the thing I like best after 16 years is the kids. They are never dull. Mythbusters: Tremendous. What can we do to help you and help our kids? Mrs. Sellitti: Simply, take the long view – say 10 to 15 years from now. Allow your kids to make mistakes. No, not just mistakes, let’em really drop the ball on a test or quiz at Cold Spring. It is truly a safe place to make mistakes. Encourage them to continue challenging themselves. It’ll pay big dividends for them being able to succeed down the road. Later on mistakes have real consequences. Mythbusters: Awesome. Thank you for joining us. This one is plausible. Mrs. Sellitti could be one of the most eclectic teachers in the school – and her diverse past has contributed to it. We can only imagine how different she would have been if her past was not a little spotted or checkered . . . and our kids wouldn’t have her any other way. 9

Let us recycle your old Cell Phones, Empty Inkjet or Toner Cartridges. It helps the environment AND your kids!
Support Cold Spring Elementary by letting us recycle your used ink jet and toner cartridges and cell phones. We earn cash for each item we turn in which helps us fund great programs for our kids AND ensures a clean environment. You can help make a difference today! Did you know over 80 million cell phones are retired in the United States each year, with less than 10% being recycled? Did you know over 400 million printer cartridges are sold in the United States each year, with less than 20% being recycled?

Drop-off location: There are two plastic bins in the hallway outside of the teachers’ lounge. Just drop your items in there!
Questions? Contact Jane Burns at 301-251-2806 or

Annual Readathon Set to Begin!
On Friday, January 11th, the PTA will host Cold Spring’s Readathon. This annual event, whereby students spend an afternoon curled up with a good book, will be held from 1-3pm. The extended Readathon then continues for grades 2-5 following dismissal and a light snack. The event ends at 5:30 pm at which point pizza and drinks will be served! Permission slips are required for all participants who stay after dismissal. Permission slips will be attached to an upcoming Principal’s Newsletter. So bring your pillow and your favorite book, and get ready for a great READING experience with your friends!

Minutes of the Cold Spring Elementary School PTA Meeting Date: November 7, 2007
Call to Order Laurie Gira called the meeting to order at 7:20 pm. Attendance Presided over by Laurie Gira, PTA President. Those officers in attendance were Laurie Gira, President, Julie Oldach, President-Elect, Evelyn Ralowicz, Vice President, Andrea Portes, Treasurer, Nancy Neves, MCCPTA Delegate, and Carla Meister, Recording Secretary. Also in attendance were: Ms Wanda Coates (Principal Intern), Mrs. Cheryl Sellitti (5th grade teacher), Denise Schleckser, Amy Ullman, Kenneth Cho, Monica Cho, Murat Berk, Naushaba Bokhari, Jane Coburn, Sandy Vogelman, Gerard Adore, and Arthur Wilson. WELCOME and INTRODUCTION of all who were present. AGENDA: Previous Minutes and Budget: The minutes from the PTA meeting on October 2, 2007, were reviewed, corrections were made to various misspellings of names, and a motion was made to accept the minutes as revised. The motion was seconded. All were in favor and the motion carried. Principal’s Report: Mr. Barnett was unable to attend the PTA meeting so Ms Coates welcomed everyone. She reported that the teachers were busy preparing for conferences. Also, the staff wanted to extend their thanks to the PTA for providing lunch to the staff during the teacher in service day on November 1. The “Peace Plan” where students will learn respectful behavior in the halls and at recess and lunch is going well. The plan is continuing to be reviewed and revised. Classes are now being recognized for good behavior by table rather than by teacher. The plan will be revisited again in a couple of weeks. There is a storm drain in Copenhaver Park that is open. The school is trying to contact the homeowner’s association to bring it to their attention so no children get hurt. Julie Oldach is also in contact with the Parks commission to determine who is in charge of the pond. Budget: Treasurer Andrea Portes reported that a few more donations from the membership drive have been received. The Book Fair was a huge success and made more money than last year as did the Teacher Raffle. However, expenses were more for the picnic this year because we are now required to pay for rental of the APR in the event of rain. Overall, we are in good shape and should not have to add a new fundraiser. Cold Spring parent, Andy Mitchell, is assisting our treasurer with the filing of necessary tax forms this month, as well as a required review of our books. A motion was made to approve the budget as presented. The motion was seconded. The budget was unanimously accepted. MCCPTA: Nancy Neves and Jeff Alexander take turns attending the MCCPTA meetings. Jeff attended the last meeting. Nancy will attend the upcoming meeting. Nancy informed the PTA of what occurred at the last meeting on October 23 as Jeff was unable to attend the PTA meeting. The proposed amendment to MCCPTA Operating Budget Priorities was further amended to include not only the
(Continued on page 12)


(Continued from page 11)

main priorities of: 1. Staff Development and Teacher Improvement; 2. Local school based Parent Community Outreach Coordinators; 2. School Guidance Counselors; 4. Transportation; 5. Gang Prevention and Intervention; and 6. Remediation and Support for all students who need it; and 7. More support for improved local school websites, but also to include safe, secure, clean and healthy schools and the improvement of middle school programs. The final exam work group resolved not to support MCPS's recommendation that students participating in AP or IB programs should be exempted from taking a final exam but should instead do some type of project. No other action was taken. The president of MCCPTA urged all PTA members to attend the PTA conference in Towson, MD on November 16 and 17. There were three new resolutions. The draft operating budget compact that can be found on-line at It addresses MCPS strategic plan. There will probably be changes but seems fine to Jeff as is. There is a resolution on background checks. All new hires submit to background checks. However, will present employees be rechecked? MCCPTA is of the opinion that regular employees should be checked every three years after hire. Jeff supported this resolution. There was also a resolution regarding education facilities officers (EFOs such as Officer Guilday) and crossing guards. The EFOs stationed at MCPSs are paid by Montgomery County and not MCPS. There are 178 crossing guards and 30 EFOs at MCPS. None are stationed at high schools, some at middle schools and most at elementary schools. There is at least one elementary school in the county that does not have a crossing guard. MCPS advocates increasing the number of EFOs and crossing guards. Nancy will support this resolution to make the recommendation to Montgomery County Police at the next MCCPTA meeting. Programs: Bash the Trash is coming on November 13. Book-a-Breakfast for grades 3-5 is scheduled for November 15. Community night at California Tortilla and Baskin Robbins will be held on November 20. Community night at Potomac Pizza garnered $411.00.

NAACP Representatives: Cold Spring has two new representatives to work with the PTA on minority concerns and issues. We welcome Arthur Wilson and Gerard Adore as our NAACP representatives at MCCPTA and other meetings. Cluster Report: Monica Cho attended the cluster meeting on October 30 along with Laurie Gira. She reported that there twelve (12) construction projects slated or in process in the Wootton Cluster. Two will directly affect Cold Spring: the new gym at Cold Spring slated to be completed in 2010. The Cabin John Middle School renovation/ rebuild is scheduled to start in 2009 and be completed by 2011. The Cabin John construction will affect all current 3-6 graders at Cold Spring. Note that due to budget constrictions many projects have been held up or postponed. The take away from this meeting is that local PTA input really does matter in policy decisions. There is now before and after school healthcare because of our cluster’s input. There will be a safety summit in January regarding school zones, pedestrian traffic and speed cameras. Fallsmead ES has installed a computer printer system for identifying visitors. When entering the school you sign in on the computer, it logs your time in and prints out a badge. However, you must remember to sign out. The system can also identify where a person is in the building. Dr. Coates stated that her old school used IDent-a-Kid to track the location of the children and to keep an eye on who was in the school for safety reasons. It also facilitates keeping track of volunteer hours. Junior Great Books: Evelyn Rawlowicz provided an update on Junior Great Books. In the past, the PTA has provided the program which is supplemented with parent volunteers trained in shared inquiry. The teachers have sepa(Continued on page 13)


(Continued from page 12)

rate training classes from the parents. The PTA funds the parent training. Most of the parents already trained will be leaving after next year. Thus, we need additional parents willing to be trained. At this time there are no local training sessions. There is one in Arlington, VA on December 7. If anyone is interested please sign up in the office or contact Evelyn for additional information. Science Expo: Kenneth Cho presented an update on the Science Expo which will be held Thursday, February 21, 2008. He would like to hold some outside of school workshops for the children (and parents) as to brainstorming, help with experiments, testable question, etc. in the next few months. There would be 2 or 3 workshops held on a week night. He will coordinate with teachers with respect to timelines. He is also going to try to bring in someone to talk up the Expo especially in the lower grades. The Expo still needs reviewers and helpers. A snow date will also be determined. Dance Club: Dance Club will start on November 14. Rebecca is increasing the class size so that all who signed up will be able to attend. Fifth Grade End of Year Activities: Diana Perroots is heading up the 5th grade end of year activities. She is in need of volunteers for the pool party, shirts, shirt design, logistics, etc. Please contact her if you are interested in helping. Landscaping Committee: Julie Oldach reported that she and the Rispler family cleaned up the “secret garden” outside of Ms Spitz’s classroom on November 1. This garden was in memory of a kindergartener who passed away. The brownie troop she was a member of planted the garden. The 4th grade Girl Scout troop 690 planted bulbs in the cleaned up garden on November 7. Mr. Funkhouser is looking into placing a door on the outside wall so the garden can be accessed any time of day without disturbing class. Artist in Residence: This year’s Artist in residence program, “This Is Opera” broke from our tradition that 3rd graders work on an art project that is donated to the school. However, because there was some money left over from “This is Opera,” Mary Meyer has spoken with Ms Crandall about being our own “Artist In Residence”. The 3rd graders will work on a pottery based project of which each student will contribute a piece to a mosaic to be installed over the front door of the school. Each student will also be able to take a piece home. Watershed Project: The County has proposed a watershed project on the lower field of Cold Spring for use as a filtration pond. Representatives of the county Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will meet with Mr. Barnett, Laurie Gira, Evelyn Rawlowicz, Julie Oldach, Pete Thompson, and Peter Neves on November 15 to discuss the proposed project and any alternatives such as a rainscape or green roof on the new gymnasium. Copenhaver Towpath Pedestrain Safety: Mrs. Sellitti reported on a task force including Montgomery County Police (Office Guilday), the PTA, Mr. Barnett and herself regarding the towpath at Copenhaver Drive and ongoing safety issues. This task force was launched the day after the last PTA meeting that addressed this issue. As a result of this task force, the following will occur: cross walk signs will be moved so as to be easily visible, a stop sign will be placed at the pedestrian crosswalk to remind children to be cautious when crossing, signs saying “No Stopping” will be added to hopefully limit the number of cars in the cross walk, the cross walk will be repainted to be more visible to cars and children, and there will be a safety patrol at the edge of the black top to view children in the cross walk. The task force is also urging parents to educate their children about pedestrian safety and to also reinforce that education in school. The AAA has a child-friendly program featuring a robot named OTTO that will be used by Officer Guilday to educate grades K-2. She will give talks to grades 3-5. Parents who do not live in Copenhaver should drop their children at the front of Cold Spring and NOT at the tow path. Students need to remind their parents of this.
(Continued on page 14)


(Continued from page 13)

While observing drop off in general it was noted that there were many safety infractions including those riding bikes and scooters without helmets. Not many people are stopping at the corner of Copenhaver Drive and Falls Chapel Way—which is what they are supposed to do! The signs are working for the most part! Mrs. Sellitti will institute a program that will present students who are really cautious with safety awards that will be awarded during the patrol meeting. An article will be placed in the Principal’s newsletter about all of the above. New Business: The PTA by-laws are required to be reviewed and submitted to the National PTA every 3 years. This will occur this spring. If anyone is interested in helping to review this document, please contact Laurie Gira. On the PTA website, the link to the newsletter has not been utilized due to safety issues brought up last year. Since no pictures of our children are placed in the newsletter it was decided to repost newsletters on the website. Adjournment The meeting ended at 8:30 PM. Respectfully submitted by Carla Meister


Due to concerns about increased pedestrian traffic at the towpath on Copenhaver Drive behind the school, a task force was assembled to look at these concerns with representatives from the county police force as well as traffic regulators. Several changes will be initiated over the coming months. They are: ● ● ● ● ● The crosswalk will be repainted to more clearly identify it as such to drivers New signs designating the crosswalk will be placed closer to the crosswalk, and a “NO STOPPING” sign will be put up along the road A small STOP SIGN will be placed on the path where the towpath meets Copenhaver Drive to reinforce and remind students to enter the crosswalk with caution Student safety assemblies will be scheduled. Officer Joe Beddick of AAA and Officer Terese Guilday of the Montgomery County Police Department will emphasize ways students can remain safe when crossing the street A “Safety Star” program will be initiated by the Cold Spring Safety Patrols. Students who exercise ongoing caution while using the towpath and crosswalk will be rewarded with a small monthly incentive. They will be recognized during Patrol meeting.

In order for all students to be truly safe when using the towpath, it is imperative that those families who do not live in the immediate vicinity of the towpath continue to drop off/pickup students at the front of the school. Too many cars behind the school decrease visibility and increase student risk. The Copenhaver crosswalk simply wasn’t designed for the traffic it is getting. We also strongly remind parents to not be distracted by using your cellphone during drop off/pickup. We need your eyes and attention on the situation around you. 14

Please see hard copy of newsletter for Fifth Grade EOY Volunteer Form.


For second side of Fifth Grade Volunteer Form.


Science Expo Student Workshops Coming to Cold Spring! Students Encouraged to Jump Start Their Projects Expo Set for February 21, 2008
Hello, Cold Spring Parents, As many of you already know, the 2008 Cold Spring Science Expo will be held on February 21, 2008. This is approaching much faster than I expected! In order for this to be a successful event, a number of things must happen. First of all, we must understand the objectives of the Science Expo, which are to encourage the students of Cold Spring ES to become more interested in the physical sciences, to stimulate scientific thought, and to teach them how to formulate and prove or disprove a testable question. In order to accomplish these objectives, it is imperative that the students be excited and motivated to complete their projects. To that end, I am willing to hold a few Science Expo Workshops, one in December, one in January, and one in February. These workshops will be for students who need some assistance in formulating their testable question, designing their project/experiment, or making their display. If you are interested in your child attending, please email me at and I will send additional information. Secondly, the students must start working on their projects in a timely fashion, in order to avoid the pitfall of the late project resulting in the dreaded "last minute rush", which usually ends up with the student enjoying it less, and parent participating more. In order to help avoid this pitfall, I will be going to each of the classes for just a few minutes, to try to encourage them to think of a project and start preliminary work before the holiday break. Also, we will try to send home regular reminders so that milestones can be reached earlier and more evenly. The final necessary component is parent participation during the Expo itself. The most pressing need is for reviewers to speak to each student about his/her project, to ask questions, and to present certificates/medals of participation. In the past, we have had a critical shortage of reviewers, and I hope to avert such a situation this year by securing your commitment to help as soon as possible. Your support in all of these areas is greatly appreciated, but most importantly, is necessary for the advancement of the sciences here at Cold Spring. Please fill out the attached flier, and let me know how you can help. Thank you. Sincerely, Kenneth H. Cho, M.D.

Parent Reviewers Needed for Expo– Volunteer Today!


It’s Time to Start Thinking About the

12th Annual Cold Spring Elementary

The Science Expo will be held on Thursday night, February 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Although only some classes will be required to develop a project, all students are highly encouraged to participate. The Science Expo is an exciting and valuable experience for our children, but requires many hands to make it happen. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Ken Cho at (301) 610-9392,, or fill out the form below and place it in the Science Expo box in the Main Office. Our area of greatest need is for parents to act as “Reviewers,” meaning they will be assigned a certain number of projects to visit that evening and simply talk with the students about their projects. YES! I would like to help out with the Science Expo. My Name is _____________________________________________________ Phone Number is ________________________________________________ My email address is _____________________________________________ I am interested in helping with: ______ Acting as a Reviewer ______ Copying ______ Reviewer Coordinator ______ Collecting Registrations ______ Preparing a program (listing of projects and students) ______ Children’s Hands On Activities Coordinator ______ Ordering medals/certificates ______ Ordering science fair display boards or help sell them before/after school ______ Arranging for Potomac Pizza to come ______ Other: ____________________ I think that it would be a great idea to include: __________________________ ________________________________________________________________________



A Night at the Movies
Cold Spring’s 3rd Biannual Variety Show March 6 and 7, 2008, 7pm Registration form for performers, (DUE JAN. 11, no exceptions).
*Auditions for Emcees will be held on Wed. Jan. 2nd from 3:15‐4pm in the APR for 4th and 5th graders only. No preparation is needed. We will provide a script. *Students wishing to perform must submit this completed application by January 11, 2008. Priority will be given to the first application received if there is any duplication of music. All acts will be reviewed by the Variety Show committee. *Performances can be no longer than 2 minutes. All music must fit the theme and be from a movie past or present. *Students may be in no more than 2 acts, and only one may be a solo. Group acts are encour‐ aged to allow more students to participate.

Name_____________________________________________________________ Teacher________________________________Grade______________________ Parent’s email (write clearly!)__________________________________________ Title of Act _________________________________________________________ Music (if using a recording) ____________________________________________ Names of others in act _______________________________________________ The student and parent must sign and agree to be at the Dress Rehearsal and both shows, (March 5th , 6thand 7th , 2008). Because this is a huge group effort, parents will also be re‐ quired to volunteer on one of the Variety Show committees, (more information to follow). Signature of Parent________________________________________________ Signature of Student _______________________________________________

Shared By: