"handmade" wreaths from our preschoolers

   Primrose Hill Elementary School 

Weekly Newsletter

December 22, 2022

Primrose Pandas are Respectful, Responsible and Safe

Mission: Barrington Public School’s mission is to empower all students to excel in character, citizenship, collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking, so that they may positively impact the future.

Vision: Together we inspire, learn, love and grow.

Dear Primrose Families,

It has been a very energetic and joyful week. Many of our families have been celebrating Hanukkah this week and others are preparing for Christmas. I hope that you and your family enjoy time together for the winter break. Below are some photos from our wonderful concert with the Barrington High School Chorus. They did a wonderful performance for us and we were all thrilled to have them visit!

Thanks to all of our staff and families for making the adjustments with the arrival and dismissal process run so smoothly. Change can be tricky, but with your support and patience it has been a welcome change. We are finding that the students are more calm and settled for the dismissal process, which I hope parents are seeing as well. 

As I shared in last week’s newsletter, we have been making progress towards opening our new learning spaces in the modular classrooms. This week we had the delivery and installation of the units and the ramps and stairways are being built. Utility work, security measures and communications connections are in the process of being set up as well. During the school break, the work will continue to allow us to open these classrooms in January. Having these two new classrooms, for our third grade class and for our Art room,  will allow us to transition to the full use of the cafeteria for lunches and other activities and events in January. I have included a few photos and we will certainly share more as the rooms are opened.

Have a wonderful holiday break with your family. Safe travels and I hope you enjoy all this season has to offer.  See you all in 2023!

Educationally yours,

Coleen Smith 

Our third grade library council has been working together with Mrs O’Kane. They provide updates for all of our classes and I thought you too would like to know what they presented this month…

Over the last 30 days, our school has checked out 1,969 books! You helped check out that big number! Remember, if you finish your books early, you can visit the library to get new books with your teacher’s permission. Find a safe place to keep your books so you always know where they are when it’s time to return it. Next month let’s try to set a goal to check out 2,000 books or more!

These are some new books that have appeared in the library: 

  1. “The Kindness Book” by Todd Parr (nonfiction - 177 PAR). 

  2. “One wish : Fatima al-Fihri and the world's oldest university.” by M.O. Yuksel (biography - B ALF)

  3. “Weekend dad ” by Naseem Hrab (picture book - E HRA)

3rd Grade Only: 

  1.  “Shine on, Luz Véliz! ” by Rebecca Balcárcel (realistic fiction chapter book - F BAL)

Library Updates:

  • The big box for privacy is for when kids feel like they need a space away. You need Ms. O’Kane’s permission to go in the box. She will take it down and put it on the floor for you. You are kids not cats. Do not try to enter the box while it is on the shelf. Students can stay in the box for a short time to take care of big feelings. 

  • There are some 3rd graders in our Library Council who made the decorations in the library. If you know someone on our Project Committee, please give them some thanks for bringing some cheer to our space.

  • We know it is getting close to our holiday break and you are excited, but please try to do your best focus on the library rug by looking at Ms. O’Kane and keeping your body still. The better you focus the better you will learn. I will feel proud if I hear from Ms. O’Kane that you’re doing a great job staying calm on the rug. 


Next month we’re going to do some awesome learning in the library! 

  • In Kindergarten you will learn about a new section of the library.

  • In 1st Grade you will begin our Who Would Win research project.

  • In 2nd Grade you will explore the differences in author, reader, and publisher perspectives.

  • In 3rd Grade we will practice evaluating websites for accuracy.

Ideas for winter break…

We hope you have a wonderful school break with your children. As parents, opportunities are available each day for you to work with your child on developing social emotional skills through play, especially when we have some time off together.  Imaginative play, block building, board games, play-dough etc. are everyday activities that allow for turn taking, asking for help, solving problems and following steps. 

If it is not already part of your everyday schedule, make a resolution for the new year and plan time into your day to play together. Game Night, baking together, reading aloud, block building are engaging ways to enjoy time together. It might even be helpful to put it on your family calendar or in your phone with an alarm to make it a habit.

Although the winter brings some frigid temperatures at times, outdoor play is still an important activity for us all. Bundle up and go outside to explore the changes in your yard and neighborhood whether there is snow on the ground or not. Children’s curiosity about their world is not limited to warm sunny days (although I may personally prefer those).  Ask your child about what changes they notice. They often are full of questions about their surroundings-where the bugs go in the winter; why can I see my breath when it’s cold?; why is this puddle frozen?… You may already know the answers to these, or maybe not. Be honest and open to what they think. If you don’t know, tell them and come up with a way to find out. “I wonder…” or “I notice…” are great starters for a conversation about their observations. While Googling the question is quick and easy, maybe start with asking someone else in the family or looking for the answer in books. Most importantly go and explore!

Second Grade students worked on designing and creating gingerbread houses as part of a recent math project. The children worked with partners to collaborate on the plan and to make sure that their measurements meet the expectations in the directions. Not only did this activity challenge the students to use their skills in math, creativity and collaboration, but Mrs Hines has arranged to have these projects shared with the residents of two different assisted living centers. Thank you for sharing some joy with our seniors. I am grateful that I get to see the residents’ reactions when I drop some of these projects off this week! 


You’re invite:

Barrington schools participate in Recess Rocks. The organization provides recess workshops for our staff. We’re excited to share that we have scheduled a workshop for our BPS K-5 recess volunteers, and it’s going to be fun! There are only 40 spots available; so if it works for your schedule, please register right away. The workshop is not required but encouraged for volunteers who enjoy supervising recess.

Please join us:

Recess Rocks Workshop for BPS Recess Volunteers and Recess Staff

Wednesday, January 11th, 9:30am-11:30am

Barrington Middle School, Student Union/Cafeteria

Dress comfortably


From Recess Rocks:

The Power of Play workshop introduces the importance of play for child development and lays the foundation for creating a safe, healthy, and respectful environment for youth. During this workshop, we give you the tools to use play intentionally to support students’ social and emotional learning. Participants walk away understanding how to select and initiate games that support student engagement, physical activity, and positive recess culture.


Please register here: BPS RECESS ROCKS WORKSHOP

REMINDER:  There will be a Barrington bivalent COVID-19 booster clinic on Thursday, January 12, 2023 at Barrington Middle School from 4:30-7:00 pm. This clinic will be open to all community members age 5+ who have completed their primary covid series. 


Online registration is required. Please click the link on the REGISTRATION FLYER to schedule an appointment.

Just some of the beautiful art that our students have been creating!


PTO Website: Please take a quick moment to log into the PTO website and opt into the family directory at https://www.primrosehillpto.org/directory. Once this is done, you’ll be included in the Room Parents' list to be informed when class parties, events, and fundraisers are being planned.

Support the Primrose Hill PTO through Box Tops for Education and Amazon Smile!



Box Tops for Education:  No more clipping! All you need to do is download the app and scan your receipts. The new and improved Box Tops mobile app finds participating products on your receipts and instantly adds money to the school's earnings online. Box Tops works with paper receipts and digital receipts. 


 Here's how to sign up for Box Tops for Education:

1. Download the app for iOS or Android

2. Sign up for an account

3. Choose: Primrose Hill School Elementary School

4. Buy Box Tops products at the store

5. Scan your receipt to submit Box Tops within 14 days of purchase

  => Open the app

  => Tap scan receipt


Amazon Smile: Amazon will donate 0.5% to Primrose Hill Elementary School for your eligible  Amazon Smile purchases.   AmazonSmile works just like the Amazon you already know; same products, same prices, same service.  AmazonSmile can even be used with your Prime membership. 


Here's how to sign up for AmazonSmile:


1. Visit smile.amazon.com

2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials

3. Choose: Primrose Hill School Parent Teacher Organization

4. Add a bookmark for smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile

4. Start shopping!


Turn on AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app

1. Make sure you're signed up for AmazonSmile (use your web browser to visit smile.amazon.com)

2. Download or update to the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app for iOS or Android

3. Open the app and find “Settings” in the main menu (☰)

4. Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile in the app.

If you are interested in helping out with any events at school, please reach out! New software helps parents connect with other parents (great for planning play dates and birthday parties), pre-register for events (and avoid standing in line!), learn about volunteer opportunities (YOU make Primrose the amazing school it is by your participation and support), and so much more!

Have a wonderful winter break!