Thursday, June 13, 2019

Transitioning to Summer!

SCS Awarded Coveted Sponsorship!  On the heels of our "Fabulous" gift of over $7,000 last month from The Fabulous Find thriftshop in Kittery, came another super sponsorship from a local philanthropic organization - the Portsmouth Rotary!  Part of the proceeds from the "Turkey Trot" Roadrace put on by the Rotary in November will go to our school in 2019-20 and often that gift will be in the thousands of dollars.  This will be the first time SCS will be sponsored by the race, but we have been beneficiaries of other Rotary largess in the past.  Below, Sarah Fleck and I join other organization representatives - happy faces all around! 

 Imagination Library Spread Beyond SCS:  Everyone knows how great it is that SCS sponsors the Imagination Library for all our Infant-5 year olds and their siblings - but did you know that we are now growing the program to include non-SCS students?  Thanks to a wonderful grant from the Portsmouth Elks we can not only afford to keep our kids getting great books every month, but now up to 40 children from Families First Healthcare will be on the program too!  What a super way to spread reading to children in need, and an awesome way to live our mission of exceptional education for ALL children of the Seacoast!

 Meadows Ribbon Cutting Ceremony a Huge Success:  How cool is it when your US Senator shows up to help open your new preschool??  Very cool indeed!  Well, that's what happened at our official Ribbon Cutting ceremony on May 18th as Senator Jean Shaheen joined us for the event.  The kids and teachers at Meadows had worked hard to create a wonderful arts display, and representatives from both of our partners in the venture (The Portsmouth School Department and The Portsmouth Housing Authority) were on hand to celebrate too.  With 13 families now being served, the "Dragonflies" are really taking off!

 Our Hard Working Board: Having a Governance system that includes a group of people with mostly no background in education leading an educational institution may sound like a curious way to run a school - but it's actually great!  Our wonderful Board of 12 talented people each bring their own expertise to the table; a lawyer, a CPA, a mom of two, a real estate expert, an Early Childhood professor, and a technology whiz are just some of the professionals we have helping us as volunteers.  Planning for the future is their byword so watch for the Board's publication of our new Strategic Plan in the next few weeks!

 Annual Celebration of Faculty 2019:  Each year the faculty gathers in the Spring to celebrate one another and the year we have put in together.  This year's event took place in June and was a pleasant cook-out with almost all the faculty and staff in attendance.  Special awards were given out to Sue Deshon for an amazing 35 years of service at SCS, and to Lisa Rustici for being the recipient of our C.A.R.E.S. Award for living our annual theme of "Acceptance".

Graduations Abound:  If you thought graduating from college was a big deal, try graduating from Preschool!  Yes, it is the time of year for matriculations in most educational institutions and SCS is no exception as we will have over 30 children moving on to Kindergarten next fall.  All four of the Preschool classrooms will be celebrating the year's end and the movement of many of their classmates on to the "next big thing" in their lives.  Songs, performances, slideshows and art exhibits will all be part of these events so if you are invited be sure to be there!







Friday, May 10, 2019

Busy Spring!

"The Fabulous Find" Turns Out to be Fabulous!  Wow, April was a great month for finding bargains at this well known "resale boutique" in Kittery.  As one of the chosen non-profit beneficiaries for the month, SCS was awarded an amazing check for $7,407.89 by the shop managers.  Thanks to everyone who brought in donations of clothing, and especially those who patronized the shop this past month. 
 

 Professional Development is the Key:  One of the best ways to keep good faculty and improve quality of teaching is for a school to support professional development.  Above and beyond the hours required by the state, we have really ratcheted up our spending to make SCS the best it can be.  Next year we will budget more dollars for helping teachers attend conferences, take courses at local universities, and study through online courses than ever before.  The great news is that upon return from national conferences such as NAEYC in Nashville, and National Afterschool Educators in Washington, the attendees have time at faculty meetings to share what they have learned for all teachers to enjoy.  It's a real win-win-win.

Open House at The Meadows Preschool Saturday 5/18:  Looking for fun on a Saturday morning?  Looking for a preschool for a child age 3-5?  Looking for a chance to see our new Meadows Preschool from the inside?  Join us for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House on Saturday May 18th from 9-11am.  Fun for the kids and informative for you!

 SCS Art Show Night Draws Massive Crowds:  More people than a Presidential Inauguration??  Well, maybe.  Arts, Artists, and Art Admirers flooded the hallways this week as the annual Art Show featuring works by our own students from ages 0-10 took place at Community Campus.  Thanks to everyone who showed up in support of the kids!

 SCS Teacher Appreciation Week May 13-17:  Thanking our faculty for their excellent work is something that cannot happen enough around here but next week will indeed be special.  Each day the Parents Group will provide various treats for our most important assets - people!  The Administration will perform the traditional washing of faculty cars weather permitting too!  If you are interested in helping out with events during the week just sign up using the link below:

LINK: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E45ACAE2DA0FC1-scsstaff

 Miranda Silvia in Alice in Wonderland:  Our own Miranda will be starring in the Epping Community Theater musical production of this Lewis Carroll classic this weekend and next!  The Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and all the rest of these wild characters will fill the stage with music and merriment.  For tickets go to www.eppingtheater.org.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spring Updates from SCS

Sunset Gala 2019 a Whopping Success!  Last Saturday night over 100 people gathered at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth to celebrate our school and support three wonderful programs during our largest fundraiser of the year.  A good time was had by all as we offered free "Sunset Cocktails", had fun with the silent auction, rocked the Live Giving Event, and even set a record in the crowdsourcing fundraiser.  The final tally for the night is not in yet, but we can safely say that the spirit of giving was in full force, and the willingness to help fantastic!  THANK YOU to everyone who came including volunteers, donors, friends, and family! 

All SCS Programs Closed on April 19th:  Please remember all SCS programs including all PEAK sites, Starfish preschool, and the Meadows Preschool will be closed on Friday, April 19th for our Professional Development Day.

 National Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week April 22-26:  Of course this celebration would happen during vacation week when our PEAK staff are working with your kids for full days!  Please take a moment to thank the teachers who work tirelessly with the children at each of the sites during this week.  They are dedicated to making your child's afterschool experience educational, fun, interactive, and meaningful.

 Practice Evacuation of the Campus and ECE Classes - May 2nd:  The SCS Emergency Management Plans include procedures for all kinds of potential crises - including the full evacuation of the Campus Building and grounds if need be.  Fire drills are a monthly occurrence here, and yet we have not practiced a full evacuation in a while - but now we will.  Fortunately, with an arrangement made with nearby St Patrick Academy, we will be able to evacuate to a safe and secure building a short walk away, and return within the hour.  The drill will occur on May 2nd, 9:30-10:30am, and we will remind you as we get closer.

 SCS Spring Art Show is Wednesday May 8th:  You may have heard directly from the classes that the yearly SCS Art Show is just around the corner - and we are all excited!  Kids of all ages (from infants to older PEAKers) will be producing wonderful works of art and displaying them at Community Campus from 5:30-7:00pm that evening for everyone to enjoy.  All families from all programs (ECE and PEAK) are invited to the event.  Light refreshments will be served, and some of the art will be auctioned off to support classes.

 Enrichment Committee Looking for Vols:  Are you a connected person in the Portsmouth area?  Are you interested in helping SCS bring in new and exciting presenters for ECE and PEAK?  Could you give one hour per month of your time to help our school be more diverse, more exciting, and more enriched?  Then please contact Enrichment Committee Chair Meaghan Cullinane at 603-969-6427 to volunteer!  We need your help now!

 Don't Forget to Shop "The Fabulous Find" this Month!  Seacoast Community School is the chosen beneficiary for April so BOTH donations and purchases at the Kittery shop will help us earn upwards of $10,000!  Let's have a great month helping two great causes.



Monday, April 1, 2019

A Blogfull of Big Events!

The Fabulous Find Adopts SCS for April! The The Fabulous Find thrift shop at 139 State Rd. in Kittery is renown throughout the seacoast as having the best selection of gently used clothing, jewelry, home accessories, furniture, music and books available, but did you know that they choose non-profits to benefit from their sales each month?  They have been doing this for years and have helped dozens for organizations with the proceeds from monthly sales going directly to these beneficiaries.  Seacoast Community School is the chosen beneficiary for this April so BOTH donations and purchases at the shop will help us earn upwards of $10,000 this month!!  The kick-off gathering for April is THIS SATURDAY April 6th at 8:30am and we would love to have you join us there.  Let's have a great month helping two great causes!

Sunset Gala Event 2019!  Our annual fundraising event for friends, parents, grandparents, and faculty is shaping up to be super special and we hope you will be there!  Get your tickets now because SATURDAY APRIL 13TH IS THE DATE!  Join us for fun, laughter, and prizes of all sorts as we get our entire school community together to celebrate all that we do here at SCS!  Just ask anyone who has attended in the past, it's the premier social event of the season!  Don't miss it

TICKETS LINK: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sunset-over-portsmouth-2019-tickets-57020419610


"Acceptance" Theme Day April 9th:  The C.A.R.E.S.Values that we live by at SCS provide our school with a theme focus each year and for 2018-19 it's "Acceptance".  On April 9th we will be celebrating this theme in all our classrooms and programs during Acceptance Theme Day.  There will be a special assembly featuring Lindsay and her Puppets, special lunch offerings, and lots of focus on how we all can be more accepting of other people, cultures, beliefs, etc.  Join us by having conversations with your children about the importance of Acceptance in their lives.

 Enrichment Committee Looking for Vols:  Are you a connected person in the Portsmouth area?  Are you interested in helping SCS bring in new and exciting presenters for ECE and PEAK?  Could you give one hour per month of your time to help our school be more diverse, more exciting, and more enriched?  Then please contact Enrichment Committee Chair Meaghan Cullinane at 603-969-6427 to volunteer!  We need your help now!

Possible Elimination of Funding for Afterschool Programs: Some of you may have heard the news of our current administration's plan to eliminate government afterschool and summer program funding. The biggest proposed cut is to the 21st Century Grant Funds.  Currently about 1.7 million families rely on this funding for both after school and summer care.  I ask and encourage you to click on the link below and follow the easy steps that will send an e-mail to our state representatives urging them to fight against this proposed cut. ECE and School Age care is immensely important (as you all are aware). Together our voice can make a difference! Please help us underscore the importance of this continued after school funding.   http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/



Monday, March 4, 2019

March SCS Blog


Sunset Gala Event 2019!  Our annual fundraising event is shaping up to be super special and we hope you will be there!  Mark your calendars now because SATURDAY APRIL 13TH IS THE DATE!  Join us for fun, laughter, and prizes of all sorts as we get our entire SCS community together to celebrate all that we do here at SCS!  Just ask anyone who has attended in the past, it's the premier social event of the season!  Don't miss it!  Hey, want to sponsor the event and get your company noticed by hundreds good people?  Contact Sarah Fleck at 603-422-8223 x112


Imagination Library Includes Siblings! Have your infant-five year olds been experiencing the thrill of getting free books in the mail courtesy of Seacoast Community School?  We hope so, and we also hope that sitting down to read great books such as "Lily's Cat Mask" or "Chimpanzees For Tea" or "The Last Stop on Market Street" are becoming a nightly routine.  The great news is that every new SCS child in this age group AND SIBLINGS OF AGE can become Imagination Library subscribers as soon as they join Seacoast Community School.  Above is a picture of our book display showing some of the books our kids have received in our Library at Community Campus.  Not getting your free books?  PLEASE sign up your child and all siblings of age by following the easy directions at this LINK: https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/#selectedCountry=US

Strategic Plan Getting Ready to Roll Out: Working on our new Strategic Plan over the course of the year has been really exciting, and the final product is getting closer and closer to being published.  Four "Pillars" of the plan have emerged from the hours of work by committees, surveys, and directed Board efforts: Facilities, Access, Talent, and Programs.  Each broad area will have goals and objectives, and be assigned to working committees.  Plans like this become the roadmap for the future of the organization and often express the "will" of the community to keep the school moving forward.  With this plan, we certainly have a great future ahead!

 Important:  Summer PEAK Sign-ups:  Signing up for Summer PEAK has never been easier, and as we roll out the online registration earlier this year, you can still choose the days you want for our summer session.  Current families signup opens on March 4th (TODAY), waitlist families on March 11th, and the general public on March 18th.  The recent email sent by Admissions Director Jess Couture to all families explains exactly how to sign up.  A $150 deposit will be due upon registration, and the full summer bill will be due April 5th.  Can't pay in April?  Payment schedules are available by contacting Sarah Castle in the Business Office x114.  See you this Summer!

  The Meadows Preschool Considering Full Day Programs:  The new SCS at the Meadows school opened for business on January 22nd and we are now thinking of extending this wonderful preschool  to FULL DAY programming.  If you know someone who may be interested in signing up, please contact Admissions Director Jess Couture to let us know.  Jess can be reached at: 603-422-8223 x113

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New Year Starts Right at SCS!

SCS Preschool at the Meadows Opens! The new SCS at the Meadows school opened for business on January 22nd and there are now 5 happy families enrolled in the new "extended half day" program known as the "Dragonflies"!  Our partnership with The Portsmouth Housing Authority has been wonderful, and they certainly bent over backwards to have the facilities ready to open on time.  The classroom is beautifully decked out with new furniture purchased through grants from Bangor Savings Foundation, and the Lindsay Trust.  Btw, the new teachers (Lori and Courtney) are as happy as the kids!   If you know someone who may be interested in signing up, please contact Admissions Director Jess Couture immediately to get a spot!  Jess can be reached at: 603-422-8223 x113. 


Ike Greenberg is a Whole New Boy! We all adored Ike in our toddler classrooms over the past few years just because he is such a lovable and happy young lad, but after some groundbreaking new surgery to straighten his legs he's even happier!  Whereas Ike used a walker to toddle around SCS in previous days, he will now be learning how to stand tall.  Over twenty physicians observed the remarkable surgery session in Florida and Ike came through with flying colors!  After a few months of rehab Ike will be rejoining us at SCS in August and we will welcome our little hero back with open arms!

 Save the Date for Sunset 2019!  Our annual gala event is shaping up to be super special and we hope you will be there!  Mark your calendars now because SATURDAY APRIL 13TH IS THE DATE!  So join us for fun, laughter, and prizes of all sorts as we get our entire parent community together to celebrate all that we do here at SCS!  Just ask anyone who has attended in the past, it's the premier social event of the season!  Don't miss it!

 Important:  Summer PEAK Sign-ups:  Signing up for Summer PEAK has never been easier, and as we roll out the online registration earlier this year, you can still choose the days you want for our summer session.  Current families signup opens on March 4th, waitlist families on March 11th, and the public on March 18th.  A deposit will be due upon registration, and the full summer bill will be due April 5th.  Can't pay in April?  Payment schedules are available by contacting Sarah Castle in the Business Office x114.

  Celebrating Acceptance as our CARES Theme:  Our values acronym (CARES: Cooperation, Acceptance, Respect, Empathy, and Self Confidence) is celebrated every year by choosing one of the values as a yearly theme.  This year teacher Destiny Martyn took the initiative to ask the community what Acceptance means to them.  Below is a link to a brief slide production of what she found out.  It says a lot about how our community views acceptance and the role it plays in how we teach our children here.

Click this LINK:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ePs9fHKy_tdfpStCoeg4rP9CDZIebVZVXE8jSsq91pA/present?token=AC4w5Vh93R0-oSSl9_k90hzLtNu-SZkdZw%3A1548871767112&includes_info_params=1#slide=id.p1


Meadows Preschool Pix

Friday, December 14, 2018

Holidaze Are Here!

Holiday Parade a Wild Time! The "Hot Cocoa Float" was a huge success in the Portsmouth Parade as we waved to cheering thousands of delirious alumni, parents, and fans throughout the route.  Kicking off the holiday season was never so much fun!  Faculty and kids dressed as human "marshmallows" handed out over 1000 packets of hot cocoa with our school logo on them.  Oh, what a night for Portsmouth and for SCS too!


The Meadows Preschool Opening Soon! The new SCS at the Meadows school is under construction and on schedule to open for 3-5 yr olds soon.  It will offer the same GREAT service as all our full-day programs in a special "extended half-day" format.  Open to all current and potential SCS families, the Meadows will be a super experience for families who join us there.  If you know someone who may be interested in signing up, please contact Admissions Director Jess Couture immediately to get a spot!  Jess can be reached at: 603-422-8223 x113.

Portsmouth Elks Supports Imagination Library: Wow, our new program to help all children at SCS ages 0-5 read more with adults is really taking off!  The Imagination Library program is now open for sponsorship and the Portsmouth Elks have stepped up in a big way!  Their generous gift will help make it possible for all 115 eligible kids in our school to receive new books in the mail every month.  Thank you Elks!!

 Annual Fund Needs Your Help!!  As we close in on the end of the calendar year our Annual Fund is cooking right along but we NEED YOUR EOY DONATIONS!  With 100% of our Trustees pledged or donated we have had a strong start, and your gift or pledge before the end of this year on December 31st will keep it going.  PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY by selecting the link below:  Giving online is no cost to you so donate NOW! http://www.seacoastcommunityschool.org/support-us

  SCS Holiday Traditions Abound:  Obviously this is a special time of year for everyone at our school as we celebrate the many traditions of the season.  Starting with the Hanukkah sing-along, we moved to the Gingerbread House Making event this week, and now on to Holiday Spirit Week.  Here's the line-up for each day next week:  Classes with the highest percent participation will win prizes!

Monday: Holiday Hat Day
Tuesday: Whoville Hair Day
Wednesday: Holiday Colors Day
Thursday: Class Choice Day 
(Look for information from teachers!)
Friday: Polar Express Pajama Day