Dr. Doelger and Students on Halloween
  • January 2020

    Dear Parents:

    Happy New Year!  I hope everyone enjoyed the time off with your children for Winter Recess.  I also hope you were all able to recharge your battery and spend a great deal of time with the family.  I am very excited for all the things to come in 2020 for the Shelter Island School.  Please take note of the upcoming events over the next couple of weeks.

    • 1/6 – 1/10 Spirit Week!
    • 1/13 – Wellness Committee Meeting
    • 1/15 – PTSA Meeting
    • 1/20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – School Closed
    • 1/21 – Board of Education Meeting
    • 1/26 – End of 2nd Quarter

    I would also like to highlight that there will be a good deal of information presented at the Board of Education Meeting on 1/21.  We are starting with a 5:00 pm meeting to work on board of education goals.  Our regular meeting will begin at 6:00 pm.  We plan to have a presentation on curriculum and we will also be presenting an introduction for our budget for the next school year.  So, if you have the time, we would love to see you there! 

    As a general note for our older students, and all students for future reference, if your child for any reason needs to leave the school building during class or assembly time, please make sure that someone in our building receives a note or a phone call.  This is for their safety and well-being. If it is not a lunch period for your child, they should be here in school where we can account for them.  Thank you so much for your understanding in this situation.

    Please see the most recent excerpt with book recommendations from the January edition of Scholastic on 5 Reading Tips for Parents to Keep Kids Engaged.

    Even if your child is motivated to read, supporting her in a variety of ways will keep her momentum going. Here are five tips to open up the wonderful world of reading for your child.

    What’s “Just Right”?  Children feel confident and competent when they read books that are “just right.” But how do you find a “just right” book? Have your child read the back and front cover, and the first page of the book. If there are more than five words that he cannot pronounce or understand in context, the book may be too challenging. Be supportive about finding a more perfect fit. Choosing the right book will help your little reader feel successful.

    Book Pick: Find a set of titles that will support your child as she grows as a reader. Owl Diaries is a popular series within Scholastic's book line Branches aimed to help your child as she grasps independent reading. From text that advances as she does, matched with fun plots and lovely illustrations waiting on every page, your reader will be excited to keep turning the page.

    Card Tricks

    Do you think effective reading only takes place at libraries and bookstores? Think again! There are reading opportunities everywhere. Go to a greeting card store with your child and read the cards together. Later, vote for the ones whose words convey the best birthday wish or just thinking of you sentiment.

    Book Pick: Scholastic Early Learners: Flashcards: 50 Sight Words combines sight words with physical flashcards to turn your child's learning into a fun and interactive game. By beginning to associate certain pictures with simple words, your growing learner can memorize what words mean while seeing colorful images and clear letters. Plus, the flashcards are super-sized for little hands to grab onto.

    Picture This!

    During your next outing or gathering, take action-packed photos, then have your child create captions to go with each picture. Assemble the pictures and captions in a picture book or album, and add speech and thought bubbles to create a personalized—and probably hysterical—graphic novel. 

    Book Pick: Picture taking just reached a new level with stop-motion! Klutz LEGO Make Your Own Movie: 100% Official LEGO Guide to Stop-Motion Animation will turn your child's photos into a mini movie full of action-packed awesome. Your little director can follow instructions to practice important language skills while learning all about the tricks of the movie trade.

    Last Comic Standing

    Take time to read and enjoy comic strips together. Share favorites from your own childhood and have your child put his favorites on the fridge. Read them aloud, and often—repetition is a great way to build reading skills. Soon, he’ll love looking forward to the “Sunday funnies” each week. 

    Book Pick: The Captain Underpants #1-5 Full Color Pack is sure to get a laugh with your reader. From goofy hijinks with George and Harold to tackling evil villains, your child can follow adventure after adventure with this series. Plus, each book is full of kooky illustrations and easy-to-read text combining the style of a graphic novel with the challenge of a beginner chapter book.

    Become a Fan

    Your reader will soon develop a love for particular authors and illustrators. Nurture her fan-ship by helping her write a letter to her favorite author. Many authors have their own websites with contact information. You can also contact the book’s publisher; the mailing address for which can often be found on the back of the title page or on the publisher’s website.

    December was a wonderful month here at the school and in our community.  I enjoyed seeing many of you at the various community and school events.  The good that happens in this community – much of it somehow coming through our school – is quite inspiring.  Most of it occurs without anyone knowing who did it. 

    Sometimes, during hectic times of our lives, we can lose track of what is truly important.  Spending the last month on Shelter Island certainly reminded me what is important in life – doing all we can to help others.  Our school is a wonderful place where every stakeholder of the school and community plays a role in our children’s development – and for that, I am truly thankful.

    Happy New Year!  I hope to see you soon and I look forward to helping to make 2020 the best year possible for our students and families. 


    Brian Doelger, Ed.D.