Box Tops Contest Has Begun!

It’s time to bring in your Box Tops for Education! The contest will start today and end on December 19th. For every Box Top turned in Smith STEM school earns 10 cents. The class that turns in the most Box Tops will win a prize! Keep on clipping!!

Community Meeting Minutes – November, 2014

We understand it’s not always top-of-the-list to attend our Community Meetings on a busy Thursday evening. This is why we have a Recording Secretary to take notes for you! Thanks to Jeanette Connole for her diligence in getting our Meeting Minutes out to the community. Please browse the highlights from our meeting last week and get in touch with any one of our board members if you have questions or concerns. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Community Meeting Agenda

- PTO Welcome 

- First & Second Grade Conversation

First grade (Mrs. Callahan and Mrs. Deegan) and second grade (Ms. Courneen, Mrs. Bolt and Mrs. Haggerty):

* STEM and inquiry style have changed the dynamic of learning and teaching here.  1st grade just finished unit on plants.  2nd grade just finished unit on gourds.  The students begin with observations and develop questions, then do the research.  There is so much hands on learning happening, which allows the students to guide their learning. Teachers see that students are more engaged and inquisitive now than when they taught more traditionally.  The students are learning to problem solve more effectively as well.  More students have begun to shine who may not have had that experience prior to inquiry-based learning.

Khan Academy = website families can access to help reinforce common core.  It provides a deeper understanding of math and other subjects.  Teachers are giving students the tools and strategies to learn in different ways that are most appropriate and efficient for each child.

- Hour of Code Presentation

Mr. Melian presented the “Hour of Code.”  Smith is one of only a few schools in West Hartford participating in this international program.  This is “an opportunity for children to explore the basic elements of computer programming.”  Each student will be able to do some level of computer programming.  Learn more at or

December 8-14: each student will have an hour of coding experience during their Media Center Classes.

- Camp Jewell

December 14: Barnes & Noble gift wrapping from 3-8pm.

- Fundraising round-up 

* Meadow Farms complete

* Shoe fundraiser – Starting December 1, please donate any and all old shoes that are no longer worn.  The shoes will be cleaned and donated to people in need.  Smith will receive proceeds based on weight of shoes donated.



- Upcoming events:

*Movie night: Tomorrow night (11/21/14) – Despicable Me 2.  Movie will begin at 7:00pm.

*Winter Concert: 12/11/14.  There may be a bake and/or beverage sale.

*Cocoa & Caroling: 12/15/14 – winter songs will be sung around the Smith neighborhood.  Please note that this date is different from the date in last week’s Connection. Monday, 12/15 is the correct date.

*Community meeting with Board of Ed Members: 12/18/14 at 6:30pm

- Katie Mace: BOE update

Board of Education elections were held recently.  Smith’s own Mark Overmeyer-Vasquez was elected chairperson!

Whiting Lane won Best Float award in the Park Road Parade.  We would like to have a float next year.

- Open Forum 

Smith will be represented 12/27/14 on WTNH, talking about the Great Balloon Chase, the salmon program, and all of the great things we do at Smith.

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.

- Close

Amy Yarbrough: thank you for all of the coat and book donations.  Many families benefitted.

Mr. Melian: Smith was the 2nd most energy efficient school in the district this week.

WHPS Notifications

School Closings and Delays

snow-day-cartoonThe West Hartford School District now has the technology to notify each student’s household when there is a cancellation or delay due to inclement weather. Our recent survey to determine community interest in this program is complete. With 3,500 surveys completed, 90% of parents are in favor of this program beginning immediately.  The phone notification will be in addition to existing online, television, and radio notifications, and the phone call would be issued no later than 6:30am.  Thank you for your time and assistance in helping us improve our schools and community.

Community Meeting – Thursday November 20th

Smith’s Monthly Community Meeting is Thursday November 20th  6:30-7:30pm in Smith’s Library. 

This meeting will feature the First and Second Grade Team.  Come out to hear about all the upcoming events at Smith and get a chance to talk with our First and Second Grade Teachers.

Childcare and refreshments are available.  See you soon

The Princess and the Pea

This year’s school production of The Princess and the Pea will be this Friday November 14th!!

Our 3rd, 4th & 5th graders have been rehearsing all week for Friday’s 12:15pm & 7pm performances.

Please plan to come out Friday Night November 14th for the friends and family showing at 7pm.  The student and staff show will be Friday at 12:15pm.

BRRRR! It’s Getting Cold Outside! – Winter Coat Drive!

Winter Clothing / Book Share

Coordinated by

PTO & The Family Center

During conference week (11/11/14 – 11/14/14) families are welcome to take winter clothing items and books for their children.

In preparation of the event we are asking families to bring in old gloves, snow pants, coats, and snow/rain boots. NO HATS PLEASE!!!

Students may drop off items to their classroom teacher or parents can bring them into the office.

Collection dates: 10/27/14 – 11/7/14