Clark-Wilkins Elementary School

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Principal's Message - Anna Parrill

  • Positive School-wide Behavior Practices and Expectations

    What you do today can improve all your tomorrows ~ Ralph Marston

    We are so excited to have Hootie on board to help lead our positive OWL behaviors in the school.  You will be hearing and seeing more information on our OWL expectations.  Our goal is to create videos for the students to watch with their teachers so that they can see modeled expected behaviors in the different areas of the school:  bus, dismissal, cafeteria, hallway, recess, and classroom.  We are looking to have common language and practices for all these areas so that there are clear messages for students, volunteers and the staff.  Once we have completed reviewing and practicing the expected behaviors in all areas, we will send home a document that will have all the OWL behaviors so our students can review with their parents.  We appreciate you reinforcing the OWL behaviors and language with your child(ren).  I am sharing the bus expected behaviors with you now because we have gone onto all 14 buses and reviewed the information with the students. We left the visual for all bus drivers to hang in their buses and reinforce with the students. 

    We continue to collaborate with the bus company and drivers to be a team around these expectations, communications, and follow-through.

    I am happy to report that a graphic designer donated her services to create an awesome Hootie logo. We have sent this design out to get Hootie stickers. As part of our positive school recognition, we will be encouraging staff to give stickers to students when they are showing kind, respectful behaviors, perseverance, and a Growth Mindset, and/or any great OWL behaviors.  When we see a student with a sticker, we will engage them in conversation about why they earned the sticker in order to again reinforce the OWL behaviors.  We encourage you to do the same at home.

    Another piece that we are adding to our program is Owl Shout Outs.  These slips can be filled out by students or staff.  These shout outs will be about recognizing others for their kindness and owl behaviors.  We will read several every morning during our daily announcements.  We will make sure the shout out gets to the students/staff to keep.  It feels good getting positive feedback, so we felt this was a great addition to the program.

    The Culture Club continues to explore additional opportunities for monthly student recognitions.  We felt it was important to focus this month on these new programs and practices.  Stay tuned.

    An important part of a positive school culture is the increased opportunities for student leadership and club/enrichment opportunities.  I am pleased to say that the 4th Grade Principal’s Council is up and running.  I am including a picture of the team. After leading the naming of the school mascot, their next assignment is helping with the Veteran’s Day Assembly.  Working as teams, they are researching a branch of the armed forces.  They will share fun facts and the symbolism of the individual flags.  We have several staff members who are veterans and/or a member of their families were, so they have volunteered to team with the students for the assembly.  It is so exciting watching these students grow, have their voices heard, and help lead their school. 

    Yet another student leadership opportunity is the introduction of Hootie’s Community Council.  Miss Shorrock and Mrs. Hanson, staff leaders, have provided the following overview:

    Hootie’s Community Council

    “Throughout the school year our focus will be kindness, school mindfulness, connections to the community, collaboration, and school wide newsletters. We will be leaving the details of these topics open to ideas from the students so it can be student driven. If your child is in 3rd  or 4th  grade and interested in joining Hootie’s Community Council, we ask that every student fill out an application which can be found on the school website or picked up in the front office. Applications must be completed and returned to the office by November 6th . Fourth grade students will begin meeting in November. Meetings for Third grade students will begin in January.”

    I have a meeting with representatives from Gr. 3 and Gr. 4 in order to talk about our next student leadership opportunity - Recess Rangers.  My vision is to train interested 3rd and 4th grade students who would go outside during the younger grade recess to assist with play and games. It has been my experience that peers helping peers can be very effective.  The younger students look up to the older students.  I have implemented Recess Rangers in all of my past schools and have found it to be great for all students involved.  I have several staff who are interested in leading the effort.  The students would be trained after school.  The Rangers would learn specific games and rules to play with students.  In addition, they would learn skills for working with all students and helping to harness overly competitive energies for a recess setting.  The students are most excited when they get their own whistle and badge.  We are still working out logistics but hoping to start during November.  Stay tuned. 

    We have informally spoken with some of the volunteers that work in the cafeteria.  We have been gathering their input and suggestions for improving/streamlining lunchroom processes. Once we have our clear expectations, common language and processes for lunches, we will schedule a time to meet with everyone.

    In closing, I have numerous thoughts on ways we can improve and support recess and play, with the end goal of providing students fun, safe, play and movement opportunities at arrival and lunch recesses. Stay tuned for future opportunities/initiatives including a parent forum partnering with Recess Rangers and Ranger Leaders. We will send out an invite when we are prepared for our forum.

    Next Month is everything Kindergarten.


Amherst PTA News

  • The Amherst PTA would like to thank our community of parents, staff members, local business sponsors, and the town of Amherst for the support with the Clark-Wilkins Fun Run. While our fundraising goal was far less than the $45,000 profit that was raised, no one should be surprised at the success of this event. When parents and staff join forces for the betterment of the students, wonderful things happen. We are excited to fund the intended projects and will be working over the next months to determine our future steps. We are proud to report that 87% of students registered online, 100% of students received prizes, and 557 students completed a total of 19,193 laps!

    • “Give a hoot, take the Staff Appreciation Route!!! Thursday, November 7th is our Annual Soup Luncheon for staff at all 3 schools. Store bought or homemade soups are welcome. Paper products and daytime volunteers are also needed.

    • Join us on Tuesday, November 5th for Officer Knox's Annual Presentation on keeping our kids safe and PTA General Meeting. He urges parents of all students to attend. Cyberbullying, access to social media, vaping, and much more will be discussed. The meeting begins at 7pm in the Wilkins library and is expected to last until 8:30. Childcare is available by RSVP through Membership Toolkit. 

    • Just a few days left Would you like to continue receiving weekly email updates from the Amherst PTA, which now includes a section for community group news (Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, Ski Clubs, Library, etc.)? PTA Membership Drive ends this week! When you become a PTA member you will join the Amherst PTA emailing list. The school will not share your email or mailing information with outside groups, including the PTA.  If you would like to remain connected to the Amherst PTA join today. 

    Email is always the best way to contact us:

    Up to date calendar and information: 

    Volunteer sign ups: 

    Facebook: Amherst PTA

The Clark-Wilkins Villager

Principal's Reports