Smith Night at SweetFrog Tonight

Smith Night at SweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt Tonight!

Wednesday, February 25th   5-9pm

Don’t let the cold weather keep you from enjoying your frozen yogurt!

Proceeds of sales tonight go to Smith’s PTO.  No flyer Needed.  Just Mention Smith STEM School.

SweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt  13 South Main Street West Hartford, CT








Mixed Bags Catalogs Coming Home

Please check your child’s backpack for the Mixed Bags Catalog that will being coming home in your youngest child’s folder.

This fundraiser is in effort to raise funds and sustain Smith’s 5th Grade Tradition of attending CAMP JEWELL this spring.

Mixed Bags offers eco-friendly totes, accessories, kitchenware and tons of fantastic products.  There’s something for everyone in these catalogs.

Please take a look at the catalog and share with friends and family.  If we meet our sales goal we will be receive 50% of profit from this fundraiser.  This will help all interested 5th Graders the opportunity to participate in this amazing tradition of attending CAMP JEWELL.

Mixed Bags-Camp Jewell Fundraiser will run for 2 weeks,  please get your orders in with payment by Friday March 6th.

Thank you for your continued support!

Questions?  Contact Debbie Towey  (860)830-4660







Community Meeting Minutes – January, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Community Meeting Agenda

- Welcome 

Thanks for coming out in the freezing cold!

- Rebecca O’Neil

* Shoe fundraiser: Running 12/1/14-2/    Collecting gently used shoes and turning them in to be re-soled.  Goal is to donate 300 bags of 25 shoes.  We receive $10 per bag.  Total goal = $3000.  It would be nice to involve the community – possibly ask neighbors to leave bags at the curb and have volunteers pick the shoes up and bag them.  Cub Scouts may assist.  At this point, we have broken even, so from here anything collected will be profit.  Funds2orgs is the company through whom we are doing this event.

- Susan Kamin

* Salad bar: Growing Great Schools – salad bar has been a struggle.  In November, Nutrition Services stated that salad bar would be available twice monthly instead of four times.  In December, PTO member from each school met and advocated to keep salad bar available.  Numbers increased after that.  Smith is pretty stable as far as participation, but if we are able to have more kids choose salad bar, it will help boost the numbers for other schools.  Susan and Michelle met with the Marias this week and tweaked items for the salad bar and would like input from families.  Over next 3 weeks, will offer samples of red peppers, cucumbers, edamame to help kids get used to foods they may not have regularly.  Vegetable soup yesterday made with chicken stock – specific requests for reasonable changes (i.e. vegetarian) should be made to Nutrition Services.

* Garden Club – Meeting Tuesday, January 20th.  If you can’t attend and want to be involved, please contact a member of the PTO board.

- Third & Fourth Grade Conversation (Ms. Harty, Ms. Grasso, Ms. Lane, Mr. Hall present)

Mr. Hall: Fourth grade just started salmon unit.  Tanks have arrived.  Eggs are 50% developed – tracked every day.  When they reach 95%, there will be a field trip to release them into a local river (to be identified).  This includes math skills, technology, social studies (map) skills and language arts.  It has been nicely integrated nicely into the curriculum.  Designing water filters in STEM unit, geometry in math.

Third grade team: Wrapping up multiplication and division – proud of how far students have come.  Working on 2-step word problems.  Will be starting geometry (basic; vocabulary).  In literacy, preparing for research projects, starting with Native American study, then biographies, then animal.  Engineering – beginning submersibles.  Inquiry unit is being delivered in a new way this year.  Ms. Behrens has returned.  Regarding support at home, it is helpful to work on spelling words and memorizing multiplication fact (one at a time).  Multiplication facts are not learned in order, so don’t be concerned if you see your child not following numerical order.  Classwork is usually sent home to provide an example for homework.  Thank you for Adventure to Fitness funding.  There will be a family math night at the end of the month.

* SBAC: Will begin in March.  No more piloting, so the tests this year are the “real thing.”  This should not be a source of angst for students or parents.  Results help schools align instruction and curriculum.

* Parents would like resources to use at home to reinforce lessons with their students.  There is no specific text book for parents.  Administrators and teachers need to identify, organize and share resources that can help parents.  Having your student teach you how they learned something will reinforce what he/she has learned and build his/her confidence.

* Teachers have been developing Habits of Mind and integrating them in the classrooms.  Some examples are responsibility, communication, perseverance.  It’s becoming common language for the students and used across subjects.

- Upcoming:

*1/22/15: Board of Ed meeting with Mark Overmyer-Velasquez & Tammy Exum, led by Katie Mace.  Meeting will be held at Smith at 6:30pm.  Main subject will be budget, but also good opportunity to learn about our Board of Education.

- Open Forum 

School Development Committee: Interested in learning more about families and creating experiences for kids.

Tuesday, January 20th: “Preventing Risky Behavior – Early Communication Matters” at Bugbee 7:00pm.  All are welcome.

Wednesday, January 14 7:00-8:00pm: “Internet and Video Game Addiction: LOL or OMG?” at Braeburn.

Family resource center: Wednesdays from 9:30-10:30am: early learning playgroup.  Also, see website for guest speakers at the family resource center. – room parent information, monthly restaurant nights, PTO meeting minutes, etc. can be found there.

- PTO Board business

* 2nd grade request for funds: Field trip to University of Hartford Theater Works to see Aesop’s Fables.  They are requesting $549.  $400 is allocated to each grade already.  Rachael proposed donating full amount to second grade for this event.  Proposal was seconded and accepted by the board.

* PTO Board meeting – Thursday evening or Sunday afternoon?  Email will be sent to board members, but Thursday, 1/15/15 looks like better option.

* Received check for $650 for Box Tops for Education.

* Camp Jewell update: Have reached $2050 of $5500 goal.  Basketball game will be held 3/20/15, and Mixed Bag fundraiser will be coming in the spring.

- Close

Smith School Dance with Chili Cook Off!

School Dance with Chili Cook Off!
Save the date! February 27th @ 6pm

Chili Champion

We need your favorite chili recipe. Is it the best? Is it the spiciest? The meatiest? Chock full of veggies?
Please let us know if you plan to bring a pot of chili to share by February 20th.


Email/Phone #:________________________________________

Child’s Class:_________________________________________

Funds2Org: Shoe Drive Is Entering The Home Stretch

Alright Smith STEM School Families this is it!  We are nearing the end of our shoe collection fundraiser.  Clean out those closets, notify your extended families, get the word out in your neighborhoods.  This is a great cause and a simple way to give back to our school and to those in need.
This fundraiser has been running from 12/1/14 and will be coming to an end 3/1/15.  Our goal is to collect 300 bags of shoes (25 pair in each bag).  Can we do it?  YES, we can!
Quick reminder:   This clever fundraiser is run by a company called Funds2Org.  The shoes are collected and refurbished.  They are then sent to countries in need to support their economic development (shoes are distributed or sold there). Smith STEM School PTO will make a profit from each bag of 25 pairs of shoes collected.  Let’s get this done!
A bin located in the front lobby of Smith STEM School has been set up to collect the old/outgrown/unwanted shoes.  Bring those shoes in this week.  Let’s reach our goal and help those in need.
Questions?  Rebecca O’Neill

Take Apart Donations Needed

Donations of old electronics needed for Take Apart Night for 4th and 5th graders.
Do you have any old or broken computer towers or printers taking up space in your home?

How about alarm clocks or hair dryers or electronic toys? We are looking for donations of unwanted electronic items for our students to take apart and see how our technology is put together.

Please drop off donations to the office by Monday, January  26th.   After our event, we will recycle all qualifying parts.
Thank you for supporting our students curiosity and learning

Sharon Zajack

STEM Specialist

Community Meeting – Thursday, January 9th 6:30pm

Come out Thursday, January 9th for Smith STEM School’s Monthly Community Meeting!

This month’s special guests are the 3rd & 4th Grade Teams! 

This is an opportunity to meet our 3rd & 4th grade teachers, get a low down on life in these  grades and ask our special guests questions.

Community Meeting is 6:30-7:30pm in Smith’s Library

Light Refreshments & Childcare are available.

See you there!


Join The Smith School Garden Committee


No green thumbs needed!  Just an interest in bringing fresh produce and outdoor learning experiences to our STEM students. We plan to have a few raised beds built by early spring so the students can start using them as soon as the weather allows.                                                        The first planning meeting will be as follows:

DATE:  Tuesday, January 20, 2015
TIME:   6:30 to 7:30 pm
PLACE: Smith Library

If you can’t make the meeting but would still like to get involved please feel free to contact Susan Kamin at or 860 818 7091.