May 2022 Newsletter

From the Principal’s Desk


Now that the weather is getting a wee bit warmer, it is great to see many students are riding their bikes to and from school. Please help us reinforce the importance of following the rules of the road, wearing a helmet, and being fully alert to the surroundings while riding. For those of you who drop off and pick up your children at school, please keep a close eye out for children who are riding their bikes on school grounds and be mindful of the reduced speed zone on campus.


Be reminded that this Tuesday will be the last day of pooled testing, as the state is discontinuing the program given its reduced effectiveness in limiting the spread of the highly contagious BA.2 variant and the widespread availability of free and convenient at-home tests for students and school staff. The BA.2 variant is significantly more contagious than previous strains of the virus, lowering the likelihood of detecting, identifying, and isolating an individual with COVID-19 through pooled testing before that individual has spread the virus to others. As such, please continue to monitor for symptoms daily and keep your child home as needed to keep our school community as safe as possible. Though we are mask-optional, many staff and students are choosing to wear masks for their own protection. 


Congratulations to Peter Colianni, Freya Benham, Jimmy Boston, Leo Senecal and Joelle Castro. Each had their writing chosen to be published by The Telling Room. The publications Stepping Stones and Footprints will be available June 16th.


Congratulations to Michaela Kern for being the only fifth grader to represent Greely Middle School in the District 2 Elementary Honors Chorus back in April.


Please know that we are always open to communication that will enhance your child’s educational experience with us and welcome your questions and feedback at any time.


Sincerely, Carol MacArthur

Principal, Grades 4-5


In an effort to save on paper, newsletters are sent via email and posted on our web page.

If you would prefer a paper copy each month, please let your child’s teacher know.


Office Reminders

  • School begins at 8:45 AM.  Students arrive at 8:15 AM. 
  • Please remember to have your child complete the Daily Symptom Screener before leaving home each day.
  • If your child will be absent from school, please call the main office to notify us of that absence at 829-4815 or send an email to If we do not hear from you letting us know your child will be absent, please expect a phone call from the school to check on your child’s status.  
  • If your child arrives after 8:45AM, he/she is tardy to school and needs to check-in at the office before going to the classroom.
  • Please communicate with the office prior to 2:30pm if there is a change in your child’s afternoon schedule. Remember that buses may only transport students to & from home and/or a childcare facility.

We greatly appreciate your attention to these procedures, as they help to ensure that our routines run smoothly and efficiently.



From the 4th and 5th grade Civil Rights Team


May 21 is World Cultural Diversity Day.  

Why does cultural diversity matter?  According to the UN, "three quarters of the world's major conflicts have a cultural dimension.  Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability, and development." You can read more about 

World Cultural Diversity Day here.


And here is a link to a great resource with many suggestions of ways families can learn about the cultures of the world - including your own!


The Civil Rights Team Project helps schools think and talk about issues related to race and skin color, gender (including gender identity and expression), religion, national origin and ancestry, and disabilities.  


Katie Campbell and Ali Waterhouse

Civil Rights Team Advisors



Parent/Guardian Support: We Feel How We Eat

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

(What is mental health? click here for more information) 


Living through a pandemic continues to tax our emotional resources.   While it feels like it should be over and we should be "back to normal," we are in fact charting a new path and new paths can be mentally exhausting. 


This month, you might take time to talk about mental and emotional health as a family.  Making it a subject that is easy to talk about means your children might tell you sooner if they are struggling.  Here are some ideas for opening up these types of conversation: 

  1. Watch a movie together or read a story and talk about the characters' feelings, how they manage hard situations, or how they support each other.
  2. Share a time when you needed help and reached out to friends, family, or coworkers for support. 
  3. Importantly, you can talk about mental health out loud.  "Let's take a mental health break and go out for a walk."  "I'm going to avoid screens for the rest of the evening because it's good for my mental health."  "I make time for my yoga class because it's good for my body and my mental health."  


Be well and take good care of your mental health! 

Katie Campbell, school social worker

Ali Waterhouse, school counselor 



french club 




Please be sure to read the information that pertains to your child’s grade and band “status.”


For 5th graders currently in band

I’m sorry I missed you at the meeting for incoming 6th graders last week. Here are some things to know about band in grade 6:

  • Full Band and small group lessons are DURING school - no after school rehearsals!
  • Band (and chorus) are scheduled during the same period as study hall. Students are not missing other classes to be in the performing arts.
  • Students may be in both band and chorus if they wish. Ms. Perkins Hall and I work out the schedule to accommodate students who wish to participate in both ensembles.
  • Band and chorus are both graded
  • Instruments over the summer? Students who will be in band next year should hold on to their current instrument over the summer (and maybe even practice it!). If you need to return an instrument and need help, please email me.
  • Switching instruments? Students often ask me about switching instruments but I like to remind them that changing to an entirely new instrument will put them back at “square one” and would make participation in full band difficult. I will, however, introduce the bass clarinet to the clarinet players, tenor and baritone saxophone to the saxophone players. A small number will be selected to transition to these instruments, based on interest and ability.

For 5th graders who wish to be in band next year (but are not now)

It’s important to recognize that students who start learning an instrument now will have to work at it in order to catch up with their peers and participate in the full band. Motivated, independent students will have the most success with this. If possible, I would encourage interested students to start as soon as possible (immediately or over the summer). While I don’t have time in my schedule to provide in-person instruction now, I would be very happy to share instructional videos that I have created over the last couple of years for all of the common beginning band instruments. Private lessons are a great way to go but please contact an experienced teacher. Please email me for more information about getting started!


For 4th graders who want to start band in grade 5

Mr. Saunders will be introducing the band instruments during general music classes over the next few weeks and I will visit his classes when I am able to answer any questions. There will be a number of activities planned and in early June, I will send home detailed information about signing up for next year, getting an instrument, etc. So for now, it’s just time for your children to think about and get excited about band!


Looking forward!

Sarah Cummings




Submitted by Art Teachers, Joanne Matusko & Michelle Cook


A mixed media collage has multiple design layers, each made from a different medium. An artist can use any medium he or she wishes, but paper, pencil, marker, and pen are often used in a mixed media collage.  4th and 5th grade students used their prints from our printmaking unit as the base of the collage, adding layers with a variety of papers, old books, colored pencils…




A Look into Literacy

*April Author Visits*


Greely Middle School was fortunate enough to have author visits for both grades 4 and 5 during April!  Fourth graders spent time on April 29th listening to Cynthia Lord speak about her career as a writer, the books she has published, and specifically the book Touch Blue, that all students heard as a read-aloud in their classrooms.  Mrs. Lord was a fabulous speaker who sparked the students’ imaginations, taught them some of her tips and techniques, and answered all of their great questions.  She explained to students how important the editing process is, and showed examples of pages where her editor had made comments and suggestions.  She really showed how writing is a process!  Her love of books, writing and family was truly inspirational.



Earlier in April, fifth grade students had the pleasure of listening to Casey Sherman (who happens to be Mr. Goldsmith’s brother-in-law)  speak about a book called The Finest Hours, that he co-wrote with Michael J. Tougias. The fifth grade teachers read this book to all of their classes in March and April.  Mr. Sherman told fantastic stories about how he came up with the idea for this true story book about a daring US Coast Guard rescue in 1952.   He told the students how he persevered, and was able to get a first hand account from the captain himself.  Students learned about some of his writing strategies and techniques, and what goes into writing a nonfiction book.  Mr. Sherman also shared how he went on to pitch his idea of turning the story into a movie!  He ended up being a part of the movie process also.   He answered a lot of student questions about both the book and the movie.  It was a wonderful experience for our fifth grade students!




Submitted by Janet Giguere, Grades 4-5 Literacy Specialist



The Math Corner 

Submitted by Shannon Peterson, Grades 3-5 Math Specialist


As May begins, so does the last major unit of study in mathematics. In fourth grade, students learn to apply and extend their previous understanding of multiplying whole numbers to multiplying a fraction by a whole number. Students learn to multiply fractions by whole numbers in different ways: using concrete objects, drawing pictures, and writing equations. 


In fifth grade, students extend their knowledge of multiplication to learn two strategies for multiplying mixed numbers. The first strategy relies on the distributive property, where students use the area model to break numbers into small parts that are easier to multiply. The second relies on the fraction multiplication algorithm they learned earlier in the year. In this strategy, students convert mixed numbers to improper fractions and then use the algorithm to multiply.


There are advantages and disadvantages to each multiplication strategy. Using a variety of strategies helps students build conceptual knowledge and gives them more than one method to choose from when solving a problem. It is important to encourage students to use the strategy that makes sense to them at this stage in learning.



The Late Bus


In addition to regular, daily dismissal, a late bus is also available on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for students who stay for co-curricular activities or after-school academic support.  Buses pick up students from GMS at 4:15pm and transport them home. Please be aware that depending on the number of students riding the late bus on a given day, your child's arrival time at home may vary.  If you have specific questions about the late bus, please feel free to call the Transportation Garage at 829-4820.




Co-Curricular Activities


Monday After School:

5th grade Band - Ms. Cummings

Tuesday After School:

Chorus - Mrs. Perkins-Hall

Thursday After School:

5th grade Math Team - Mrs. Provencher

Ukulele Club- Mr. Saunders

Newspaper Club - Ms. Coughlin 

Unfortunately, the club is at capacity and not able to accept new members at this time.

During the School Day: 

Civil Rights Team - Mrs. Waterhouse & Mrs.Campbell

Green Team -