Archive for January, 2015

Dads & Granddads Day

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Last Friday’s “Dads and Granddads Day” was perfectly beautiful in every way! Third Grader Tommy Rosso maturely took command as “Mrs. Cailler for the Day,” having enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal last evening at the residence of our Head of School. (This opportunity is an auction item available each year at our PHS Spring Gala.)
We had many dads and granddads join us for a delicious breakfast on Friday morning, followed by interesting learning activities in the individual classrooms for our students and their guests. Our Assembly, focusing on the PHS Character Quality of Caring, featured our beautiful and handsome First Graders singing and dancing to this year’s musical theme of “Do-Whop.” The girls’ pink poodle skirts and the boys’ slicked-back hair and bow ties only added to this irresistible performance!

Library & Leadership

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Our School Librarian, PJ Charnofsky, offers our Sixth Graders a “Library and Leadership” course each week. Mrs. Charnofsky shares with us the key concepts of this approach:
We say that “Good leaders are good communicators!” Our Sixth Graders had the assignment to watch the President deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, and the following day we all discussed it. We focused on the method of presentation, not the content, and the students noted eye contact, hand motions, word selection, voice intonation, and other important aspects of public speaking.
In February, the Sixth Graders will present a leadership panel discussion for family, faculty, and administrators. Each child will make an invitation and invite one person. The students will have been divided into three groups, and will have researched their component of leadership. The team leader for each group will present the introduction and conclusion.
“Library and Leadership” also allows the Sixth Graders the opportunity to research the unique characteristics of outstanding leadership in many fields of endeavor, both past and present. Often our PHS students cite our Head of School, Mrs. Cailler, as a very effective leader.
Our goal in “Library and Leadership” is to enable all of our PHS students to be leaders as they move forward in their education, in their careers, and in their community service.

PowerPoint in Second Grade? Yes!

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Our Computer Science teacher, Ms. Stella Demis, instructs our PHS students in all areas of computer technology including this current Second Grade project:
It is interesting that children as young as our Second Graders grasp and enjoy using the PowerPoint program to create a presentation. I begin our first PowerPoint lesson by showing a former Second Grader’s completed PowerPoint, as I want the children to be aware of what this program can do at their level. I take the instructional steps one by one in this directed lesson, so each student experiences success. For the content of this project, we use the grade’s current science lesson about Ocean Life.
Beginning with the title slide, we follow it with two content slides and an ending slide. Then we start having fun! We select pictures to add, then text, followed by animations, transitions, and background colors for each page. The children, of course, can’t wait to share their work with the entire class, resulting in the opportunity for each student to gather creative ideas for upcoming projects.
The Second Graders’ next PowerPoint will focus on dinosaurs, and the children will be doing the research for this PowerPoint in class. Students will be given a series of instructions on paper, and Ms. Demis will be available to assist them during this more self-guided project. Again, the children will proudly share their finished PowerPoints with their peers.
Having a working knowledge of this powerful presentation tool enables our PHS students to employ it again and again as they move through the grades and on to high school!

PHS’s Sixth Grade

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Last evening we welcomed parents to our “Inside Scoop” information meeting for the Sixth Grade. PHS faculty presented their Sixth Grade curriculum, starting with Mrs. Eileen Mahoney and Mrs. Danielle Standart. Cindy Byrne, mother of a current Sixth Grader, also shared her child’s experience in this class. She emphasized the unique nature of our PHS Sixth Grade, which combines challenging academics within a nurturing, caring environment for these pre-adolescent students. With our small class size, the teachers truly know each child, and educators have found that this is precisely what is needed for this age of student. See article “Do Middle Schools Make Sense?” by Mary Tamer in Harvard Ed. Magazine: (
Also speaking at this meeting was former PHS student Katie Shaw. She expressed her disappointment that, at the time she was here, PHS did not offer grades past the Sixth. Katie would have gladly stayed here through Eighth Grade. In response to a parent’s question about her feelings when transitioning to a larger school from PHS, Katie replied, “When you leave PHS, you KNOW who you are. So you have the confidence to choose good friends who share your same interests!”
The evening concluded with the serving of three flavors of delicious Handel’s Ice Cream. Similar meetings will be held for parents interested in PHS’s Seventh Grade (Friday, January 9, 2:00 pm, School Library) and Eighth Grade (Tuesday, January 13, 7:00 pm, School Library).

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