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


Friday, January 12, 2018

January News

January 9, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Happy New Year! January is an energizing time of year when classrooms dive deeper into rigorous learning activities, and students start to show great gains in their progress.  Across the district teachers will be giving mid-year assessments that tell us whether students are keeping up with the class, or need extra help. The tests will also determine new areas for teachers to work on between now and spring. 
Over the next few weeks, our PK, kindergarten, first and second grade students will be taking the winter CPAA assessment, and our third, fourth and fifth graders will be taking the winter NWEA assessment. These computerized tests in reading and math are generally not anxiety producing for students and do not take much time to complete. The information from the tests is very detailed and identifies student’s strengths and weaknesses in both reading and math. 
Also, during January all ELL students will be taking the ACCESS test. This test measures the domains of speaking, listening, reading, writing and comprehension in English.  In March the third, fourth and fifth graders will take the MEAs, which is the state’s required standardized assessment. 
These assessments are yardsticks that teachers, schools, and school districts use to measure what and how they teach and how well students are learning what is taught.  There are a number of ways that you can maximize your child's learning capabilities throughout the school year, which can lead to confident test-taking. Some of these strategies include:
  • Talk to your child about taking a test. It’s helpful for children to understand why schools give tests and how it’s an important way for students to show what they know!
  • Encourage your child. Praise her or him for the things that she or he does well. If your children feel good about themselves, they will do their best on a test. Children who are afraid of failing are more likely to become anxious when taking tests and more likely to make mistakes.
  • Assist your child with homework and ensure that your child is completing all homework assignments. Help your child learn how to follow directions carefully!
  • Make sure that your child attends school regularly. Remember, tests reflect children’s overall achievement. The more effort and energy your child puts into learning, the more likely it is that he or she will do well on tests. 
  • Stay in communication with your child's teacher. Ask the teacher to suggest activities for you and your child to do at home to help prepare for tests and to improve your child’s understanding of schoolwork.
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home and make sure that your child is well rested on school days, especially on the day of a test. Children who are tired are less able to pay attention in class or to handle the demands of a test.
  • Encourage your child to read as much as possible, and to increase her/his vocabulary - even reading magazines, newspapers, and comic books regularly will help improve your child’s reading skills.
Math and Tech Night
Thank you to all who attended our Math/Technology Night. We hope you were able to get the math apps downloaded to your device so that your child can practice math at home. If you are having trouble with your Apple ID, you can still access these programs via Safari.

     That Quiz
Kahn Academy:
     Reflex Math (3rd Grade)

Also, it is very important to supervise children using ipads. Here are some links to get good tips on how to support your children and keep them safe when using technology: 

You can also set parental controls on the ipad by following these directions:

A Note From the Nurse
There has been a confirmed case of Pertussis (whooping cough) in the Riverton School community.  Pertussis is caused by a bacteria and looks like a cold or virus, but then develops into a severe, persistent cough that often lasts weeks.  Your child can get the disease, even if fully vaccinated.  It is particularly dangerous for infants and young children to get Pertussis because they have not been fully vaccinated and have immature immune systems.  Pertussis is not a pregnancy threat, but pregnant women should check with their medical providers about being vaccinated. If someone in your household has a severe, persistent cough, please see your medical provider and ask if it might be Pertussis.  It is easily treated with antibiotics when diagnosed. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school nurse or your medical provider. Let’s keep the Riverton community healthy!

New School Secretary
Please welcome Ms. Coleen DiPhillipo as our new school secretary. Coleen has previously worked at Reiche School and Catherine Morrill Preschool.  We are so happy to have Coleen join our office staff. Please stop by to say hello!

Music News from Ms. Nunelley
As we enter 2018, Riverton's music program is engaging students in a variety of exciting activities! Pre-schoolers are exploring the music of the winter season through song and dance, including Vivaldi's "Winter" from The Four Seasons. Kindergarten and first grade students are reviewing popsicle stick rhythms, which includes quarter notes, quarter rests, and eighth notes. With these, students are composing and improvising rhythms with African drums. Further, second grade is reading "Freddie the Frog: The Thump in the Night." using this book as a launching point, students are learning how to read and write pitches on the treble clef. 

Upper elementary students have begun preparing for their spring concerts. Third grade is composing body percussion rhythms before they begin their Recycled Percussion/Bucket Drumming unit. Fourth grade has started learning how to play the recorder. And fifth grade has dived into the music of the American Revolution using songs from the musical Hamilton, which will lead us to creating our own revolutionary fife and drum corps!
The Portland music teachers are putting on a fundraising concert on Feb. 6 at PHS at 6:30 pm! We will all be performing solos and as a group!

New from the Library
Over the past few months 4th graders learned more about using our amazing library resources, both books and those online. Starting first with Maine weather, they are now increasing their skills as they find more ways to learn about Maine Government. They have become experts on using the Riverton homepage to open our library catalog, and from there to find books and trusted websites. Students are excited about the resources they have added to their own personal online reading lists. There are great resources on the library catalog homepage - and students are encouraged to use them at home.

In just about eleven weeks many classrooms will be voting for their favorite book from the 2017/2018 Chickadee Book List. We started with a bang today reading, Hammer and Nails, by Josh Bledsoe. It’s a humorous and heartwarming story of Darcy and her dad as they alternate choosing activities for their day at home. The first classes we have read it to laughed out loud, over and over. You will have to read it to see how dad ended up wearing a tutu for the day, and glamour girl Darcy successfully fixed the fence. How does it get better than laughing, while also seeing that, “sometimes things you have never done before end up being fun!” In March students will vote for their favorite of the ten chickadee books.

Find out more about the Chickadee Award Program and our Library Catalog from the Riverton home page, Use the quick link, “Library”.
Did You Know? 
  • Riverton School has formal partnerships with Theater for Kids, Portland Ovations, Side x Side, Learning Works, Portland Recreation, CPort Credit Union, Center for Grieving Children, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and the Locker Project. 
  • Twenty-eight different languages are represented at Riverton School. 
  • Every school day begins at 8:05 with a healthy breakfast. Classes begin at 8:25.
  • The Box Top’s you donate earns us cash for our school! Keep clipping and sending them in!
  • Riverton’s Family Handbook is located on our website’s homepage at
Special Reminder- Martin Luther King, Jr Day -There is no school on Monday, January 15, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Upcoming Dates
January 10: Early Release, 1:50
January 10: Family Math Night, 5:00-6:30
January 15: Martin Luther King Day, NO SCHOOL
January 16: ACCESS Testing Begins
January 17: Early Release, 1:50
January 18: PTO meeting, 5:30 Media Center
January 19: 5th Grade All Star Basketball Night 
January 23: Math Meet, 9:00-12:00
January 24: Early Release, 1:50
January 26: Riverton School Spirit Day! Wear your Riverton Colors!
January 31: Early Release, 1:50

Please feel free to reach out to me, or Assistant Principal David Turner if you ever have questions about how we can best support your student(s) at Riverton School (874-8210). 

Mrs. Ann Hanna

Mr. David Turner

Assistant Principal

Monday, December 18, 2017

December News

December 18, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Every December, we are reminded of the reality of living in Maine in the winter. The cold weather has arrived and we know there will be many frosty days ahead. We urge you to do your best to send your children appropriately dressed for school during the winter months. Students need jackets, hats, snow pants, boots and gloves/mittens in order to be safely protected from the cold when they are outside at recess. We have recess outside every day, unless the temperature is below 13 degrees wind chill. If you need help getting these items for your child please contact the office at 874-8210.  We are also continuing to accept donations of new or slightly used winter clothing for our students in need. Thank you for your generous support.
Community Meetings
Every other month Riverton School gathers in the cafeteria for a School Wide Community Meeting. At the Community Meeting, we share news and announcements, talk about our PBIS expectations and watch skits based on our Second Step curriculum to help us learn more about what it means to be safe, respectful, responsible and cooperative at Riverton School. Parents are welcome to join us this Tuesday, December 19 at 8:45 in the cafeteria.
Growth Mindset - What is it?

We used to think that our intelligence was fixed – meaning we were either smart or not. Now we know, through science, that this isn’t true. Our brain continues to change and grow each and every day the more we use it and challenge it.

When you have a fixed mindset you give up easily and avoid challenges.  When you have a growth mindset you don’t give up, you learn from feedback and go for the challenge. It’s not just about working hard and giving your best effort. It’s about believing that your brain and intelligence changes the harder you work.

At Riverton we are all about having a growth mindset. We are learning about how our brains work and how making mistakes makes the brain grow and become smarter. We praise students’ effort, persistence and creativity. In every subject we talk about how, through hard work and not giving up, we not only become better students, but become better learners in all parts of our lives.

At home, remind your child that their brain is growing each and every time they try something and not to give up when it’s difficult. Each time he/she learns something new, his/her brain is making new connections. Instead of saying how smart they are, praise their effort and encourage your child to make mistakes. Mistakes grow the brain! If they say it’s too hard, say, “You can’t do it yet, but keep trying!"
Morning Drop Off
Keeping our students safe is our number one priority, especially during morning drop off and afternoon pickup. Our drop-off/pick-up is in the LOWER parking area, which is the large lot at the back of the school at the Community Center/Pool entrance. Students should not be dropped off in the morning before 8:05, and must be picked up by 2:50, unless attending Rec or Learning Works programs.
Dropping off your children in the morning should be a quick, kiss-and-go. Please do not park along the drop off area. If parents need to come into the building, please pull into a parking space to allow for safety and a smoother traffic pattern for others. Also, please DO NOT drop off students in the bus loop or the smaller parking area near the bus loop. The bus loop is only for busses and the smaller parking lot is for visitors. Finally, be sure to obey all the speed limits on and surrounding the school grounds. This will help avoid a $300+ ticket!
The Portland Police have notified us that they will be monitoring our drop off and pick up times in order to help ensure safety. Thank you for your help in keeping all students safe at Riverton School!
Lost and Found
Are you looking for your child’s favorite jacket, sweatshirt or hat? The lost and found is located in the hallway at the far end of the lobby. Please take a moment to stop by and have a look to find anything that may belong to your child. The Lost and Found is emptied out three times per year; over December break, April break, and at the end of the school year, and the contents are donated to charity. Please be sure to check it now before December break.
Walking School Bus Update

The Walking School bus is up and running and we have a few dedicated volunteers who support students to school safely and on time each day! We have a ton of fun walking together and we need more help! We need LOTS more volunteers. Please contact Mr. Turner in the office at 874-8180 for more information or if you would like to volunteer.

Volunteering at Riverton

Speaking of volunteering, we have plenty of opportunities for parents and guardians to volunteer at Riverton School. Currently, we are looking for help leveling books in our book room. Please contact Ms. Elliott at 874-8210 if you would like to help.

Winter Break

Special Reminder - December Break is coming. There is no school from Dec 23 - Jan 1st. Classes resume Tuesday, January 2nd. All the best over the holidays and Happy New Year! See you in 2018!
Mrs. Ann Hanna, Principal
Mr. Turner, Assistant Principal
All the staff at Riverton Elementary School

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November News

November 13, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is hard to believe that it is already the middle of November and time for parent teacher conferences!  Parent Teacher Conferences are a wonderful opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher(s) to learn how your child is progressing academically and socially in school. The dates for conferences are November 16 and 17. Students will have lunch and be dismissed at 11:50 both days. We hope to have 100% of our parents/guardians attend conferences this year. Please call Riverton at 874-8210 if you need to schedule or reschedule your child’s conference.  

On Thursday afternoon during conferences, Riverton will be holding a Community Resource Fair.  At the Community Resource Fair food, clothing, supplies, and other resource information will be provided for free to any family that visits.  The Community Resource Fair will be in the cafeteria from 12:00 to 5:00.

The Book Fair is also being held during conferences and is located in the media center.

Be Prepared for School Cancellations
 Portland Public Schools close when it is unsafe for children to get to school due to the conditions of roads and sidewalks.  School closing decisions are generally made by 5:30 a.m.  and announced on the school district’s website (, Facebook page (Portland ME Public Schools) and on local radio and television stations, including TV3. The district may also choose to delay the start of school due to weather or specific issues in one or more buildings.  Notifications for a delayed start will occur in the same way as full-day cancellations. 

If schools are closed for the day, extracurricular activities usually are cancelled, too.  However, Portland Recreation may be open for participants of their before- and after-school program.  Please call the Recreation Information Hotline at 756-8130 for updates or check the Portland Recreation page on Facebook. For more information about cancellations and delays please visit:

Moring Drop Off Reminder
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 Morning Rec Program. If you need before school care for your child please call 874-8455.

Lost and Found
Just a friendly reminder to please check the Lost and Found for missing items. Lost and Found is located toward the back of the front lobby. Remember to sign in with the office if going to the Lost and Found area during school hours.  Thank you!

Upcoming dates:

 November 15-PTO meeting, 5:30 in the Media Center.

November 13-17 Riverton Food Drive

November 16-17 Parent Teacher Conferences

November 16 Community Resource Fair-12:00-5:00

November 16-18 Book Fair


Mrs. Ann Hanna

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 100 th ...