September 25, 2017 

Volume 27, Issue 1                              Monday, September 25, 2017

Important Dates

September 25, 3-5 PM, Instrument Night

September 28, 6-7:30 PM, Open House Grades K-6

September 29-October 16, Cherrydale Fall Fundraiser

October 6, Picture Day

October 9, Columbus Day, NO SCHOOL

October 12, 6:30 PM, TEAM SRS Meeting

November 29, Picture Day Retakes

Any forms from the first day of school need to be completed and returned to school immediately. Thank you!



We are well under way with the school year and it feels great to be back! I truly enjoy seeing our students again and having everyone back in the building.

We had a busy summer here at Swift River! We were grateful to have the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department bring a crew to paint the back of the building’s exterior and the garage.  Whittier’s Plumbing replaced 15 of the school’s 22 toilets with low-flush toilets; we are pleased with the results, and feel great about saving water. Butler’s Painting and Decorating replaced the carpets in Grades 2, 3, 4, and 6. Walter gave each room a fresh coat of paint, along with the Nurse’s Office, the Teachers’ Room, the Kitchen and the CNC/OT Room. The building looks great!

The maintenance crew spent a considerable amount of time fixing and caulking cracks and crevices around the exterior of the building. And, in addition to all of this work, the crew also built a GaGa Ball Court on the playground. GaGa Ball is like a fast-paced game of dodge the ball where the ball is rolled instead of thrown, and each game only lasts five minutes.  It has already been a huge hit with the kids and the staff. 

At this time, we will continue to offer school lunch at no charge. We thank everyone who sent in completed Free/Reduced Lunch applications. If your family has yet to send in an application, please do so as soon as possible. Tracking our qualifying families helps us to determine whether our school qualifies for meal reimbursements from the state. Our hope is to sustainably continue to offer lunch at no charge to all of our students!

You may notice that this issue of the current popped up in your email inbox! Moving forward, we will be sending the Current digitally to all of our families using our robo system. If you used the purple form to indicate that you would still like to receive a hard copy of the Current, we will honor that request. We will only provide hard copies of the Current to those who have requested them. If you haven’t yet returned the purple form, but would like to receive a hard copy of the Current, please return the form at your earliest convenience. 

We are very fortunate to welcome five new staff members this year! Shannon Brown is our new Grade 5 Teacher, Chris Williams is our new PE Teacher, Kaitlin Scutari is our new Art Teacher, Ally Jefferson is our new Speech and Language Pathologist, and Gosia Spooner is our new Grade 4 Paraprofessional. We are very happy to have them join our team.

This has been our last week with Trudy Smith, our Speech and Language Pathologist for the last 16 years. Trudy has provided fabulous support to the students of Swift River School. She brings color and vibrancy to our community through style and vocabulary. She is patient, forthright, and kind, and it has been a great pleasure to work with her. We wish her the very best upon her retirement.



Open House and Science Fair Kick-Off

This year, Open House will be combined with the Science Fair Kick-Off on Thursday, September 28. Classroom visitations will take place from 6:00 – 6:30 PM, and parents may go visit their children’s classrooms. Teachers will give two presentations, the first from 6:35 – 7:00 PM, and the second from 7:05 – 7:30 PM. During that time, children may enjoy two programs in the gym by Blue Star Planetarium, split by grade. The first presentation, “In My Backyard,” for students in PK – Grade 2, will run from 6:00 – 7:00 PM and will explore seasons, moon phasaes, planets and constellations. The second program, “Oasis in Space” will be for students in Grades 3 – 6, will run from 6:30 – 7:00 PM. There will also be science experiments and biology activities for students in the cafeteria. We look forward to seeing you there!


Fall Fundraiser

Look for the Cherrydale Fundraiser packet coming home with students next Friday, September 29! The fundraiser will run September 29 – October 16. Just like last year, all orders will be shipped directly to your house, so be sure to fully complete the name and address section on the order forms. All proceeds will defray the cost of field trip buses. Participation in this fundraiser is optional and we appreciate all sales.



Thank you to everyone who volunteered and came out for the Ice Cream Social in August. It was a great way to start the new school year!

Please join us for discounted rates on apple picking and hayrides at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston on Saturday, September 23, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Let the cashier know that you are with Swift River to receive your discount!

Start collecting your coins. TEAM SRS will be hosting Penny Wars again this year! The class who collects the most change by May 31 will win an epic prize!

Next week is National Box Tops Week so start gathering those Box Tops from friends and family! See the attached flyers for details on both National Box Tops Week and Penny Wars.

TEAM SRS will be organizing Raffle Baskets again this year. Please support your student’s classroom by donating items for the baskets. Come check out our table at Open House where we will begin pre-sales of raffle tickets. The raffle basket themes for each grade will be as follows:

Preschool: Things that Squish            

Kindergarten: Arts and Crafts

Grade 1: Let’s Have a Party

Grade 2: Winter Fun

Grade 3:Family Game Night                           

Grade 4: Chocolate    

Grade 5: Rest and Relaxation             

Grade 6: Anything Goes

Library and Computer Lab: Kindle Fire                       

Field Trips: Dinner and a Movie                     

Community Network for Children (CNC): Family Brunch

100 Mile Club: Running         

Join us at next month’s TEAM SRS meeting Thursday, October 12 at 6:30 PM in the cafeteria! Childcare will be provided in the gymnasium.



These announcements and events are not school-sponsored.

New Salem Public Library News

We are happy to announce the lucky winners of our Summer Reading raffles!


Carol Hayes                 Soap Basket

Sue Turner                  New Salem Store Gift Card

Gosia Spooner             Barnes & Noble Gift Card

Anna Channing           Big E Ticket

Young Adults:

Elina Gordon-Halpern  Soccer Ball

Elina Gordon-Halpern  Big E Ticket

Elina Gordon-Halpern  Barnes & Noble Gift Card

Issac Lovell      Solar Car


Elise Wolfe                  Football

Vincent Spooner         Wax Hand Print

Holden Wolfe   Wax Hand Print

Daniel Briand  Badminton Set

Lucas Briand   Magic Set

Wengie Lester  Basketball and Hat

Isaiah Barnes   Soccer Ball

Look for the Tween and Teen program to start on Wednesday, October 4 at 1:30 – 5:30 PM.


Cookbook Club and Local Author Talk

A new Cookbook Club series starts at the New Salem Library on October 18 at 7:00 PM, with local author, Rob Chirico. Rob will be joining us to talk about his book: Not My Mother’s Kitchen: Rediscovering Italian-American Cooking Through Stories and Recipes. Rob will also join us beforehand for a meal that participants will prepare using recipes from his book! All are invited to Rob’s talk with no registration (or cooking) required. If you wish to join in on the culinary fun, please sign up in advance. You will be asked to prepare a recipe from Rob’s book to share. (Copies of the book will be available at the library.) The meal will begin at 6:00 PM, and there will be a limit of 16 people. To register for the meal, please call the New Salem Library at (978) 544-6334, and call or send an email to with any question. 

This will be the kick-off event for a new Cookbook Club series, sponsored by the Friends of the New Salem Library.  Please be on the lookout for more upcoming information about the Cookbook Club.

First Annual New Salem Harvest Supper Potluck

Save the Date for the New Salem Harvest Supper Potluck! This fall, the New Salem Agriculture Commission will host a Harvest Supper potluck on Sunday, October 1, starting at 4:30 PM, and everyone is invited! This is an opportunity to get to know the members of your community, learn about local food, and share the delicious bounty from local farms. Please bring a dish to share that incorporates some local ingredients. The supper will take place behind the Town Hall, near the Community Garden. For questions, to RSVP or to get involved (we would love to have volunteer support), please email Molly at Hope to see you there!


The New Salem/Wendell School District assures that all programs, activities and employment opportunities are offered without regard to race, color, gender, age, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, economic status, homelessness, sexual orientation and physical or mental disability.

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