Wednesday, May 9, 2018

May News

May 8, 2018

Dear Riverton Families,

Happy Spring! Thank you for your support during the current budget process, and for advocating on behalf of the students at Riverton School. The next City Council meeting is May 14 where there will be a public hearing on the school budget before the council vote.

Art Gala
Riverton Elementary School will be hosting its Second Annual Art Gala and Silent Auction on Thursday, May 17, to raise funds to create a natural playscape for children of all abilities to enjoy. The event will take place from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Riverton School and is open to students, families and community members. 
Available for viewing at the Art Gala will be more than 400 pieces of student artwork. Communal works of art created by each classroom will be auctioned off in the Silent Auction, as will items such as baskets of books, art from local artists, home goods and gift certificates to local businesses. Donations have been provided by Bayside Bowl,  The Escape Room, Portland Museum of Art, The Seadogs and local restaurants including Bruno’s, Amato’s, The Treehouse Restaurant, Black Cat Cafe and Rosemont Market, and many more local businesses. There will be live music, light snacks, and refreshments. 
 Riverton currently has one playground for about 450 students. It was built 13 years ago and is designed for children age 7-12. It has just one handicapped swing and children using wheelchairs find the playground difficult to navigate.
Plans call for building the new playscape on an open hill in the front of the school, near classrooms for the school’s youngest children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. The playscape would also be near classrooms for students in the school’s Bridge program, which serves students from around Portland with disabilities that impact their ability to access a typical playground. Since Riverton is a community center as well as a school the playscape can be used up to 15 hours a day, all year round by all of Portland’s families.
The new playscape will be more accessible for students with disabilities as well as developmentally appropriate.  Plans are in the works for breaking ground this summer for the first phase of the new playscape which will include an observation platform among the trees at the top of the hill,  and a sand river with a boat. There also will be new plantings, rock climbs and benches.   Our playground committee was just awarded a $5,000 grant from Lowe’s to use toward our new natural playscape. Thank you to Jen Seed for taking the lead on applying for these funds.
The school also has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with fundraising for the project, which has a $50,000 goal. The link to that page is:

As you may have already heard, Portland Education Foundation received a $50,000 grant from The Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation.  Riverton will be getting over $7, 000 of the grant money to buy books for our library and classrooms. The grant is intended to support books that honor and celebrate culture to help students learn about students from different backgrounds.

Upcoming Dates
Monday, May 8: 5th Grade Concert, cafeteria, 9:00
Wednesday, May 9: Early Release
Thursday, May 10: 2nd Grade Concert, cafeteria, 9:00
Thursday, May 10: District Volunteer Appreciation, EECS, 4:00
Friday, May 11: 2nd Grade to Scarborough Marsh
Tuesday, May 15: 4th Grade Concert, cafeteria 9:00
Wednesday, May 16: Early Release
Thursday, May 17: 3rd Grade Concert, cafeteria, 9:00
Thursday, May 17: 4th Grade to Old Fort Western
Thursday, May 17:Riverton Art Gala & Silent Auction, 6:00-7:30
Tuesday, May 22: 4th & 5th Grade PSO Youth Concert, 9:30
Wednesday, May 23: Early Release
Thursday, May 24: 5th Grade to Fort Williams
Thursday, May 24: PTO meeting, Media Center, 5:30
Monday, May 28: MEMORIAL DAY, No School!!
Wednesday, May 30: Early Release:
Thursday, May 31: Kindergarten Information Night, 5:45
Friday, June 1: C-Port Essay Presentations,9:00
Friday, June 1: 5th grade step up 10:45
Friday June 1: Garden Celebration, 3:00-5:00
Thursday, June 7: Portland Elementary Track Meet, Fitzpatrick Stadium

Ann Hanna


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April News

April 8, 2018

Greetings from Riverton School! Happy Spring! We want to remind you there is No School on Friday, April 13 and Recreation is also closed.  School returns on Monday, April 23 after spring vacation.

Did you know that April is National Poetry month? National Poetry Month was created by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture. At Riverton School, students in our second grade classrooms have been learning how to write poems during Writing Workshop.  Here a few delightful examples of our young poets’ poetry:

A Shell, My Shell
By Greyson Walker
My shell is like the skin of a leopard.
It is smooth and shiny like mermaid magic.
It looks like a skate tube for awesome fish.
It looks like a tube slide that makes fish happy.

By Rhyan Houser
One YouTuber leads to many.
Two YouTubers leads to more.
You love YouTube.
I love YouTube.
Everybody loves YouTube.
You too!

Unicorn Needle
By Kairi Burr
Unicorn Needle
So sharp
But so beautiful
Makes you think about

Math Meet Team results
Congratulations to Riverton School’s Math Team who recently came in fourth place out of thirteen teams, with two of our students placing first! Students practice weekly to prepare for the meets with our fabulous Math Coach, Ms. Nancy Sirois. Woohoo!! Go Riverton!!

Morning Drop Off Reminder
We want to remind parents and guardians that students should not come to school earlier than 8:05 am. There is no supervision before this time.  Students must not be dropped off at school in the morning before 8:05am, unless they are attending the Morning Rec Program. If you need before school care for your child please call 874-8455. Also, please remember that our drop off and pick up spot is the area near the community entrance of the building.  The front half circle is intended as a parking area for visitors coming in to volunteer or attend a meeting.  Only busses are permitted in the bus loop. Mr. Turner and I offer a sincere thank you for working with us at morning drop off and dismissal by following the posted signage, keeping traffic flowing smoothly, and, most of all, creating safer conditions for our students. Your patience and efforts are deeply appreciated!

Student Placement Process
Student placement is a thoughtful process that begins in May and involves input from classroom teachers, other school staff, and administrators.  Parents/guardians have opportunity to give input by providing written information on how your child learns best to the principal by May 1st.  The placement team, which includes the child’s current teacher(s), considers academic progress, interpersonal relationships, developmental needs, and attendance as key factors to create balanced classrooms at each grade level. Teacher assignments are finalized by building administrator, after all staff is in place. Families are notified by mail over the summer.   We are unable to honor any requests from parents/guardians regarding a specific teacher selection.  Please contact us, if there are any questions.

Last Day of School
For your planning purposes, the official last student day of school is Wednesday, June 20th. This will be full day of school for students.

Budget Update
The School Board Finance Committee recently voted to recommend an approximately  $112 million budget to the full school board. This budget maintains current elementary class sizes, as well as the elementary world languages program, among other items. On Thursday, April 12th at 7 pm at Casco Bay High School, the full School Board will be voting on recommending the FY19 School Budget to City Council.

Upcoming dates:
April 10: National Encourage a Young Writer Day!
April 10: St. Joe’s Science Lessons, Grade 4/5, 1:30-2:30
April 11: Early Release, 1:50
April 11: Panera Restaurant Night!
April 12: School Board Meeting, Casco Bay High, 7:00
April 13: No school for teachers and students
April 16-20 April Vacation
April 25: Kinderconzerts Grades PK, K, 1 9:40-10:20, Cafeteria
April 25: Early Release, 1:50
April 26: Grade 4 students to St. Josephs
April 26: PTO meeting, Media Center, 5:30
April 27: BRIDGE students to Special Olympics
May 7-11: Teacher Appreciation Week!

Ann Hanna – Principal                                                                                 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March News

March 8, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The state of Maine requires all schools in Maine to assess students in Mathematics, Reading, Writing, and Science, using an online test called the MEAs.  All Maine students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will be taking the MEAs this month between March 19 – April 12.  These assessments match the content and skills outlined in the standards that guide instruction in the classroom and provide valuable information about student learning. In addition, these assessments help to identify the areas in each subject where a student needs additional support and where he or she has mastered the content and can be challenged to go deeper into the subject matter¾information that is useful for parents, teachers, students, and school administrators.

As a parent, you can use the information from the test to help support your child at home and guide a discussion with your child’s teacher to identify what, if any, additional support is necessary in school. Students can work on the areas where they need improvement to ensure they are staying on track to be successful in the next grade level. In areas where students excel, teachers can provide appropriately challenging work to ensure they continue to be engaged and advance their knowledge. While no single test can give a complete picture of achievement, when combined with student grades and teacher reports, the MEAs can provide important information about student progress.

Both the Maine Department of Education and our district are working to limit the amount of testing at the state and district level to ensure that tests provide meaningful information for teachers, students and parents. We are committed to student achievement, and the MEAs raises the bar for our students to ensure they are on the path to success. We are confident that with the quality instruction delivered by our dedicated teachers, and with your support, our students at Riverton can meet and exceed these expectations.  The following strategies parents can do at home will help prepare students for a successful testing experience:

·      Have you child get a good night’s sleep each night before the test.
·      Make sure you child attends school each day of the test.
·      Encourage your child to relax and try his or her best while taking the test so they can show what they know.

The specific dates the MEAs will be given at Riverton are:
·      Grade 5: March 19-March 27
·      Grade 4: March 29-April 6
·      Grade 3: March 28-April 6

Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent/teacher conferences are coming up this month. Parent Teacher Conferences are a wonderful opportunity to talk with your child’s teacher(s) about how your child is progressing academically and socially in school. The dates for conferences are March 26, March 29 and March 30. Students will have lunch and be dismissed at 11:50 on March 29 and 30.  We hope to have 100% of our parents/guardians attend conferences. Please call Riverton at 874-8210 if you need to schedule or reschedule your child’s conference. 

Parent Survey
Each year, Portland Public Schools looks to parents for feedback on what is going well, and what could be improved.  This year, in an effort to make the survey easier for all parents, we are asking all families to participate in a phone survey.  Toward the end of March you will be receiving a phone call from me asking you to complete
to respond to just eight survey items. You will be able to respond to the survey over the phone or by email. It will take no longer than three minutes of your time. If your
children attend more than one school in our district, you will get a separate phone call and survey for each school. Your responses to the survey are confidential. Thank you in advance for your participation, Your honest feedback will help us to provide a quality educational experience for your child.

New Facebook Page
We are pleased to announce the launch of Riverton School’s new Facebook page! As you know, our fabulous PTO has its own Facebook page, which features the many exciting events and fundraisers they sponsor in support of Riverton. The Riverton School Facebook page will feature all the wonderful learning activities that happen during the school day. Both Facebook pages can be accessed through our website, or by clinking on the following link: 

Upcoming dates:
March 12: Grade 5 to Merrill, 9:30-12:30
March 14: Early Release, 1:50
March 14: PTO meeting, 5:30
March 16: Movie Night
March 19-April 12, MEAs
March 21: Early Release, 1:50
March 26: Translated Conference Day
March 28: Early Release, 1:50
March 29, March 30- Early Dismissal for Parent Teacher Conferences


Mrs. Ann Hanna


Friday, February 9, 2018

February News

February News
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The school year is flying by! It is hard to believe that Monday, February 12 will be the 100th day of school! In fact, it’s just about time to start enrolling your Kindergarten and/or Pre-K student for the 2018-2019 school year.  The Kindergarten registration period is from February 26-March 9, 2018 and for the first time parents can complete registration forms online.  Children must be five years of age on or before October 15, 2018 in order to attend Kindergarten. To enroll your child online, login to the PPS website at, click on families and then “School Enrollment.”  This will give you the link to the online enrollment portal. You may also come in to Riverton and use our online registration kiosk. Please call the school at 874-8210 for an appointment if you plan to come in to enroll. For families who need assistance completing the application in English, please call the Multilingual & Multicultural Center at 874-8135 for translation/interpretation services.

Once your online registration is complete, you will need to come into Riverton’s main office to show an original proof of birth (will be reviewed, not kept), the child’s immunization record, and proof of residency in the city of Portland (electricity, cable, internet bill or lease agreement).
Kindergarten Information Night will take place at Riverton on May 31. This event will give incoming kindergarteners and their parents the chance to tour the school, visit classrooms, meet the kindergarten teachers and other staff members, attend a brief information session and ask any questions you may have.

Portland Public School’s Pre-Kindergarten registration period is also from February 26-March 9. Children must be 4 years old by October 15, 2018 to be eligible for Portland’s Pre-K program. Registration for Portland’s Pre-K program is a four-step process. To begin the registration for Pre-K you must first fill out a Pre-Registration application which is available from our office, Central Office, Multilingual Center, or online at  Return completed Pre-registration forms to Riverton by March 9th.  Riverton’s two Pre-Ks can have up to 16 students each. If more than 32 students register, a lottery will be held. Students who receive a slot will be notified by mail after the lottery the week of March 12, 2018.  Transportation is not provided for the Pre-K program. Parents must provide transportation to and from school.

Classroom Updates
In our current Pre-K classrooms, students have started their fourth unit this year, called The World of Color.  Some of the concepts they explore in this unit are:

  • ·      Color is an identifying feature of many natural plants, animals, fruits, flowers and vegetables. Color names are also an integral part of the names of many animals and plants.

  • ·      Color can help many animals survive by blending into their environment as well as through camouflage.  This is a very exciting concept for the children!

  • ·      Color is one thing that makes our world beautiful, both in nature and through art. Different colors and designs appeal to different people.

One recurring theme of this unit is that fruits are used to color and flavor foods. The students will use strawberries and blueberries to make our own ice cream and we culminate the unit with an ice cream party.  Our party will be February 15, 2018, 5:30-6:30 with Christine and Jen!

In Kindergarten news, Mrs. Kalloch’s class is doing a Heart Exchange with 52 other schools across the USA and Canada. The students are so excited about this geography project and have learned many facts about the different states and what their schools are like. For instance, kindergarteners now know that the state mammal of Kansas is the Bison, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is made in Illinois and the state insect of Texas is the Monarch Butterfly. The students can't wait to see what else they will learn from our Heart Exchange.

In Second Grade, students have been participating in weekly cooking classes with Cultivating Community.  Ms. Southard’s class has been learning about where our food comes from, vitamins and minerals and how they keep us healthy, and how to prepare tasty meals!  We have made a variety of healthy recipes, from kale salad to blueberry smoothies, and tabouli.  These lessons add onto what we learned in our fall gardening classes and will set the foundation for what we will learn about the Riverton community garden in the spring.  What a wonderful addition Cultivating Community has been to our science curriculum!

Students in grade 4 began working with Gretchen Berg this week as part of our collaboration with Side x Side.  The students will use physical theater to explain the Civil Rights Movement.  Please attend the 4th grade performance on Friday, February 16, at 1:30, in the cafeteria.  

Read Across America Day
Riverton will celebrate Read Across America Day on Friday, March 2nd. The theme for this national event is “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.” At Riverton, we will celebrate our own richly diverse reading community through multilingual read-alouds and book discussions of stories that promote multiculturalism, tolerance and peace. Please stay tuned for more information about this special event. 

Mid-Year Attendance Reminders
Good attendance is the first step in helping children become college and job ready.  It begins in preschool and elementary school and continues through high school. Building a habit of good attendance is your child’s ticket to success in school and eventually on the job. Some absences are unavoidable. We understand that children will get sick and need to stay home occasionally. The important thing is to get your children to school as often as possible, on time and to communicate with the school when your child will be absent.

As we prepare to take a short break from school over February vacation, we want to express our gratitude for everyone who makes it possible for our students to come to school every day, on time, and ready to learn. We thank:
  • ·      Our students and families for making daily attendance a priority. They know the habit of attendance will help them do well in the classroom and eventually in a job.
  • ·      Our wonderful teachers who make each classroom an exciting place for exploration and knowledge for children.
  • ·      Our support staff and community volunteers who provide the extra hands and attention our children need.

Attendance matters and every day counts!

Morning Drop Off Reminder
We want to remind parents and guardians that morning drop off should not occur earlier than 8:05 am. There is no supervision before this time.  Students must not be dropped off at school in the morning before 8:05am, unless they are attending the Morning Rec Program. If you need before school care for your child please call 874-8455. Also, please remember that our drop off and pick up spot is the area near the community entrance of the building.  The front half circle is intended as a parking area for visitors coming in to volunteer or attend a meeting.  Only busses are permitted in the bus loop. Mr. Turner and I offer a sincere thank you for working with us at morning drop off and dismissal by following the posted signage, keeping traffic flowing smoothly, and, most of all, creating safer conditions for our students. Your patience and efforts are deeply appreciated!

Walking School Bus
The Walking School Bus needs your help! We are looking for volunteers to walk with our students to school on the Forest Avenue route on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Volunteers meet at Riverton at 7:15. For more information please email call 874-8210.

Upcoming Events
February 8, Family Dance, 6:00
February 12, PTO Meeting, 5:30, Media Center
February 13, Meet the Principal Night, 5:30, Media Center
February 14, SPIRIT DAY! Show your love for Riverton!
February 14, Early Release, 1:50
February 19-February 23- NO SCHOOL, February Vacation

 Ann Hanna


May News

May 8, 2018 Dear Riverton Families, Happy Spring! Thank you for your support during the current budget process, and for advocating...