Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Latest from SCS 2-17-18

 SCS Receives $60,000 New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Grant: Our school has been chosen to receive one of the most coveted grants in the region from one of the most prestigious organizations in the state.  Supporting early childhood education has become a major tenet of NHCF recently and as one of the largest and finest ECE Centers in the area, our school has become a very thankful beneficiary.  The money will be used mostly to support programming and Professional Development for teachers.  Thank you NHCF!

 Important: New date for Sunset Gala: APRIL 6th One of the most important Annual Appeal fund raisers of our school year is the fun and entertaining Sunset Over Portsmouth Event.  Recently we sent out a Save the Date reminder of this year’s gathering but  SINCE THAT TIME WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THE EVENT AT THE LARGER 3S ARTSPACE SO THE DATE WILL NOW BE APRIL 6TH.  The event time will still be 6-8:30pm and more information will be on the way.  Please mark (or change) your calendars for this date and plan to attend - it will be a lot of fun for a great cause! 

 Jamie Schaaf Steps up With the leaving of Kelly Lee, the search to replace her as PEAK Program Director has led us to a pretty obvious choice.  Jamie Schaaf has been working at SCS for 16 years and in that time has been a mainstay of our before and after school programs.  As "field manager" to Kelly's programs, Jamie has worked with hundreds of children and dozens of faculty over the years. He played the important role of liaison to each of the public schools in which he was assigned, and often worked well beyond the call of duty to represent our needs.  Further, as leader of our Summer PEAK program for many years, Jamie showed his ability to be flexible, creative, and caring - all of which are traits he will need in this role.  Please join me in welcoming Jamie to this new position!

 Coats and Car Seats Many of you know that there is a new theory out there that coats and car seats don't mix.  I'll let you decide for yourselves about this, but there are companies now fashioning winter child wear so that the straps fit underneath a child's coat and tightly around them.  One of our parents shared this link that may be helpful:  https://saferide4kids.com/blog/winter-coats-and-car-seats/

 SchoolCareWorks rolls out With the new software affecting every aspect of life at SCS, parents will be experiencing differences in the systems we use here.  For example, starting today, all ECE parents will sign in and out only on the iPads.  The meal tracking is moving along well, and the batch email and emergency texting systems are ready too.  Since we always put your children first, keeping them, and your data safe is paramount.  Fortunately, Cirrus Software uses a redundant backup system that includes multiple layers of data protection on its servers.  SCS administrators can access the system from anywhere so in the case of an emergency everything will be protected and accessible.  You too can access information and keep it up to date from anywhere through the new Parent Portal named "Connect."  If you are an ECE family and have not received information about opening your Parent Portal account please contact the main desk immediately.  PEAK families should look forward to information about the portal coming their way soon!

 Dance Party a Rollicking Success:  Last Friday evening the SCS Parents Committee put on a fun dance party for everyone age 5 and below - and reports are that it was a ton of fun.  Special thanks go out to the moms who organized the affair and to the PEAK students who supplied fun dance ribbon sticks.  Apparently the dance floor was alive with moves bustin' out all over!

Friday, January 12, 2018

January 12, 2018

 SCS Family Night Dance Party Happening on Friday February 2nd from 5-7pm!  Join us for a super-cool Dance Party at Community Campus.  Mark your calendars for food, fun, and funky dancing.  Also, we are looking for a parent volunteer DJ so if you are interested please come forward!  Please contact Michelle Wheeler for more details at mkwheeler@sau17.net.

  SchoolCareWorks System launching now! If you are seeing teachers with lots of new iPads at SCS recently it's because we have launched our new administrative software system SchoolCareWorks!  Thanks to everyone who has helped with signing kids in and out so far.  With the basic elements of the system running smoothly, we will be adding exciting new features over the next few months, so be on the look out for important emails.  PEAK classes will be rolling out soon as well!

  Kindergarten Information Night - February 8th - Save the Date!  Ready or not it's time for some parents to start thinking about your child's transition to Kindergarten.  Whether your preschooler will be entering Kindergarten this fall or next, now is the time to learn about this important transition.  Our agenda includes a presentation on what we do at SCS to ready children, a parent panel of those who have made the move before, and an open time for learning about public and independent school options.  More information will be on the way.

Sunset Over Portsmouth 2018 is Happening April 14th!  Mark your calendars now for the social event of the year at SCS.  Last year we had a raucous evening with parents wining, dining, and enjoying a great night out all for a great cause: SCS Programs such as scholarships, professional development, and enrichment.  And yes, we will be returning with the Amazing Pyramids of Giving that we enjoyed last year!

  Early Childhood Lecture at Portsmouth Public Library: The key to high-quality early childhood education that facilitates learning and development depends on what happens inside a classroom, namely the interactions between the teacher and child. Yet, as families, we often find it difficult to know if our children are engaging in enriching and age-appropriate experiences. To help families be more informed advocates for their children’s learning, Dr. Kimberly Nesbitt will discuss best practices in early childhood education that are verified by evidence to support children’s academic, physical, and social-emotional development. The event is happening on January 16th at 6:30pm.  It is free and open to the public with walk-ins welcome.  This event is sponsored by Berwick Academy and the University of New Hampshire.

 Join the SCS Parent Committee! Are you looking to volunteer in a targeted and limited way but have some real influence at SCS?  The Parent Committee would love to have you!  Build Community, voice your ideas, make a difference!  Please contact Michelle Wheeler for more details at mkwheeler@sau17.net!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

SCS Birthday Bus Hits the Portsmouth Holiday Parade!:  Mr. Troy and Company made the yearly appearance in the Holiday Parade memorable as the SCS Bus replete with birthday balloons, streamers, and smiling faculty made it's way through town.  After handing out over 200 birthday hats, party noisemakers and stickers, hundreds of kids and parents cheered as we were introduced at the reviewing stand as celebrating our 50th! 

  Spirit Week starts on Monday Being in the spirit of the season means dressing up for fun every day during Spirit Week at SCS and it starts next Monday 12/18 and runs right through Pajama Day on Friday!  Prizes will be awarded for highest percentage of participants per class.  PEAK Sites will be participating too!  Help your little ones show their spirit by following the schedule below: 

Monday: Holiday Colors Day

Tuesday: Classroom Choice Day

Wednesday: Crazy Socks Day

Thursday: Holiday Hats Day

Friday: Pajama Day

 $50,000 Annual Fund Well on the Way: Crazy but true - we have raised over $14,000 for the SCS Annual Fund so far and we are well on the way to our tremendous Anniversary Goal of $50K!  With 100% Board participation we kicked off the campaign in fine style.  Did you know that you may not be able to itemize your charitable contributions after January 1st in the new tax bill?  PLEASE GIVE NOW in 2017 to itemize your gift and to help a good school be even better!!  Click here: http://seacoastcommunityschool.org/support-us

 New SchoolCareWorks Computer System to launch January 8th.  SCS will move into the Digital Age next semester as we launch the first phase of the new administration software system.  In seven of the preschool and toddler classes parents will need to enter a PIN to pick up and drop off their kids, and we will be taking a huge step toward making life easier for everyone.  Other classes and PEAK sites will follow shortly after.  Look for the parent emails that will explain it all in the coming weeks.

Are you looking for a night out with friends?  Is your inner DIY itching for a fun new project without having to buy all your own supplies and make a mess at your house?  Then BOOK A CLASS at Board & Brush Creative Studio in Portsmouth.  On January 14th, 2018 at 3pm, Board and Brush is donating 20% of proceeds to Seacoast Community School!  Grab a friend and spend a great afternoon creating something new!  Sarah Fleck will be there with treats and prizes.  Sign up today so you don't miss out!
Pounding the Door Openers - Not Very Neighborly: Yes, it is so much fun to operate the main doors to the Community Campus Building by pressing the auto-openers but please do not let kids pound on them!  Just like behaving in the hallways by not running, please respect our handicapped neighbors.  The switches have been replaced twice in the last year so let's try to keep that from happening again.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Celebrated at SCS:  Of course a day dedicated to family would provide a central theme at our school, and the recent Campus Thanksgiving Assembly did just that.  Singing, dancing, and a virtual Thanksgiving Feast provided by each of the ECE classes was added to a group reading of "Bear Says Thanks".  Kids and parents enjoyed the gathering and left with everyone wishing each other a happy holiday ahead.  Happy Holiday Everyone!

  50th Birthday Bash lives up to the billing After a year of researching, planning, creating, and publicizing the great SCS/CCCC Birthday Event happened on schedule and was a great success!  We simply could not have chosen a better day as a chilly November morning turned into a sun-warmed day of celebration.  Hundreds of kids, parents, grandparents friends, faculty, and former faculty enjoyed the myriad events all day long.  (I can just say from working the popcorn machine, we were really busy!)  Kids enjoyed everything from outdoor games, to petting animals, to facepainting and everyone found something to be happy about!  Perhaps the most impressive presentations came from the cool puppet shows, and live wild animal exhibits - but there was something for everyone all day.  Special thanks goes out to the Birthday Committee who worked all year, at multiple events, to make it all happen!  On to our next 50!!

 $50,000 Annual Fund Launches with Fanfare: The other great thing that happened at the Birthday Party was the launching of our 2017-18 Annual Fund and this year we set a super goal for ourselves: $50,000 for our 50th Year!  After raising a record $25,000 last year the Development Committee got very inspired by the challenge of doubling that number for our 50th Anniversary - WE CAN DO IT!  Look for opportunities to "double your gift" as we reach out for this great goal together.  The Annual Fund supports every aspect of school life from classroom budgets, to scholarships, to computer programs so please help! 

  "Giving Tuesday" is Just Around the Corner: On a day that has become synonymous with helping non-profits like ours, next Tuesday will be a big push for us to fulfill our dream of meeting our Annual Fund Goal - so please answer the call!  Look forward to our upcoming emails reminding you to give at our website, send a check, or just drop off a gift that morning.  Please remember that there are NO charges for online giving to the donor and as a non-profit we pay very little for the service ourselves. Here's the link: http://seacoastcommunityschool.org/support-us

  New Infant Room Opens Amid Smiles: Our newest class in the Early Childhood Program at the SCS Campus site is our addition of 8 new infants in the "Seahorse" Room.  Reaching max capacity almost immediately, we staggered the entries just to ease everyone into the new classroom.  With lots of help from our Shrimps faculty as well as Minnows, Rainbows, and Guppies who shifted rooms, the new Seahorses have settled in nicely, and a warm, loving atmosphere has developed already.

Holiday Events on the Horizon: Be a part of our school celebrations for the holidays as all classes and PEAK sites will be having fun events this season!  On December 2nd join us for the Birthday Bus as we participate once again in the Portsmouth Holiday Parade!  We need volunteers to walk with the SCS Bus in the parade and hand out party hats and noisemakers.  Contact Kelly Lee at KLee@Seacoastcommunityschool.org to participate. 
  • Portsmouth Holiday Parade - December 2nd (Volunteer to walk!)
  • Adopt a Family Week - December 11-15
  • "Holiday Spirit Week" - December 18-22
  • All School Holiday Assembly - December 22nd
  • SCS Winter Break Week - December 25-29

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 24, 2017

  Road Race Runs Great:  Thanks to everyone who attended the Memorial Bridge Road Race on October 8th.  Almost 400 runners weathered the rain in support of SCS and Prescott Park Arts Festival.  It was another great year as the race earned just under $9000 for the school - all of which we will be dedicating to scholarships, enrichment, and professional development.  Thanks to everyone who came out to volunteer and/or run the 5K miles!  Registration for next year starts in January so look for the email linking to the website - see you there!
  Campus Grandparents/Special Friends Day a Hit Wow!  Over 120 Grandparents and Special Friends showed up at the Community Campus to spend some real quality time with the children last Friday - it was super! The day started with our legendary slide show of kids and then saw the visitors come to classes to have lots of fun.  Classes had special events set up where kids and their visitors could play together.  A nice lunch was enjoyed by all, and then the grandparents and special friends went on their way as kids hit the mats for well earned naps.  Overall, it was a super success!

PEAK Grandparents/Special Friends Day Happens This Week:  The date is October 27th and the time at all PEAK sites will be 4:00-5:30pm.  Be sure to RSVP here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/scs-grandparentsspecial-friends-days-tickets-38157918361 

50th Birthday Bash Just Around the Corner!  November 4th 10-2pm will be one of the great celebrations in the history of our organization!  Be sure to bring the ENTIRE family to this wonderful event - don't miss out.  Here are just some of the great events happening on campus that day:
  • Wildlife Adventures: Wild animal shows
  • Lindsey and her Puppets: Puppet Shows
  • Balloons by Beth: Balloon Artist
  • Fun Photo Booth
  • School-age games and adventures for kids 5-10
  • Touch-a-Truck
  • Traveling Barnyard: Petting Zoo
  • Face Painting
  • Free lunch, birthday cake, party favors
  • Pin the Bowtie on Peter Game!
  • Bubble artistry
  • Launch of our Annual Appeal Campaign
  • Free 50th Anniversary merchandise!
  • Memory Board meeting of Alumni and Former Faculty

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Letter from Peter Gilmore and Seacoast Community School

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Friends,

The recent events involving devastation wrought by multiple hurricanes in the Caribbean and Florida have been all over the news, and left many of us speechless in the process.  As we watch from the comfort of our own Northern homes, it is too easy to feel these events are far away, but just as easy to think about the Northeasters, snowstorms, and ice storms that we have encountered over the years.  Many of us have connections in Houston, Miami, or even the various smaller islands affected by the recent storms and have heard first hand accounts of the struggles now confronting these people.

Thinking about the "Empathy" part of our Seacoast Community C.A.R.E.S. commitment, the administrators here at school came up with two great options for donations; one, a larger organization that is specifically targeted toward helping child care operations in the US, and a second smaller organization in The US Virgin Islands using a YouCaring crowdfunding source.  Everyone knows how important it is to parents, guardians, and grandparents to have effective operating child care available - and it is more so in this situation.  It frees parents up to do the tremendous work of cleaning and rebuilding, which in turn helps children stay free from various hazards and diseases.

We hope you will find a way to support those in need during this widespread crisis.  Below are the website links you can click on.  Helping these organizations will only be a small step, but certainly an important one in caring for those in need.



Virgin Islands Montessori:


All the best,

Peter Gilmore
Executive Director

SCS Events on the horizon:
  • Memorial Bridge RoadRace: October 8th - We need volunteers!
  • Grandparents/Special Friends Day: October 20th - RSVP now!
  • PEAK Grandparents/Special Friends Day: October 27th - RSVP now!
  • 50th Birthday Bash at Campus Drive: November 4th - Mark your calendars!

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25, 2017

New School Year Starts Off Right:  Thanks to everyone who attended the Pot Luck last week - it was a huge success as families brought their own favorite eats and shared them with everyone else!  I always look forward to the home cooking on these nights and I was not disappointed.  It was nice to see so many people, enjoy returning siblings, and welcome new families too.  The United Way Day of Caring also took place last week and as you can see from the picture below these volunteers put together 10 baby cribs for the new Infant Room.  Spirit Week was a great success as well: the Guppies Class earned the honors of "Most Spirited" but there were winners all around ... and the Pep Rally was a sight to see of course!  Overall a super way to start the school year.

SCS Commercial Filming Happening at Campus and PEAK Marketing and Development Coordinator Sarah Fleck has arranged for the video filming of our new marketing piece at both Community Campus and at PEAK sites starting on Tuesday 9/26.  We are certainly cognizant of your child's privacy, so please know that we will only use images of children who have been approved on the permission forms used at enrollment.  If you would like to change your directives, (or you don't recall them and want to be reminded) please just contact Amie Cole at the front desk 603-422-8223.  

Volunteers Needed for the Annual Memorial Bridge 5K Road Race: October 8th Help SCS in your own way by assisting us as a volunteer at the race - call 603-422-8223 to sign up.  Give us an hour or two and we will pay you back with a great day for a great cause.  Volunteers are needed in all areas but mostly as safety volunteers directing runners down the race route - it is easy and fun to do.  We can use help from teens too, so get them up on Sunday morning to help SCS!  Our sponsors this year include: Kennebunk Savings, Peoples United Bank, Tidal Media Group, Beswick Engineering, Salem Five, Heinemann Publishing, and Open Heart Racing.  Click here to run in the race: http://www.memorialbridgeroadrace.com

PEAK Grandparents/Special Friends Day Important Updates:  Two important updates to the Grandparents/Special Friends Day at PEAK Sites:  The date will be October 27th (not November 3rd as published earlier) and the time at all sites will be 4:00-5:30pm.  Be sure to RSVP here for either or both days:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/scs-grandparentsspecial-friends-days-tickets-38157918361

50th Birthday Block Party Bash November 4th!  Don't forget we are having a wonderful 50th Birthday Celebration on Saturday, November 4th!  Mark your calendars now as the whole family is invited to a fun field day full of great events, food, and celebrations for the entire family!  Events will happen from 10:00-2:00pm and everything (including birthday cake) is FREE!

Foul Weather InformationThough we are enjoying this beautiful fall season, we are also beginning to prepare for our next season, winter.  Winter brings with it the occasional need for us to cancel school, start late, or end the school day early.  This could happen during times of inclement weather and/or times when there may be issues such as power outages etc.  It is our intention to remain open whenever possible.  When faced with concerns of heavy snow, ice or other emergency scenarios, we take many factors into consideration before deciding to alter our regular schedule.  We post our late openings and closings on WMUR Channel 9 Portsmouth, WCSH Channel 6 in Maine, and WOKQ 97.5 online.  If your child is in one of the elementary schools at PEAK, you'll want to be aware of not only what the schools are doing, but what PEAK is doing as well.  Also, many families have found it helpful to sign up through WMUR 97.5 online to get SCS school alerts sent to their phones.  The service is free.  Complete steps regarding foul weather closings etc. will be distributed to families by class memo later in the fall.