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September 2021 PTSO Newsletter

Welcome (Back) to JVF!

Check out our first PTSO newsletter of the year that just went out via email — lots of good stuff to share! Reach out if you have any questions, suggestions, or interest in volunteering!

🎉 Here We Go!

We hope everyone had an awesome summer and is recharged and ready for the school year ahead! We’d like to extend a warm welcome to both new and returning JVF families! Although things are still not quite back to normal, we are grateful for all that our administration, teachers, and staff are doing to keep our students safe, engaged, and in school. And, families and caregivers, we’re sending you a virtual high-five — it’s not easy parenting during a pandemic! Lastly, a big congrats to our wonderful Principal Wiggins, who welcomed a baby boy recently, and a warm welcome back to Mr. Eric Romanino who will be reprising his role as Interim Principal while Principal Wiggins is on maternity leave!

When you're posting those First Day pics this year, consider making a donation of any size to the newly formed Foundation for Beacon Schools and use the hashtag #BCSDFirstDay! Your donation will help fund innovative teaching tools, events, and pilot projects that enrich the student learning experience in Beacon's public schools.

Here are the topics in this month’s newsletter:

  • Key Initiatives for This Year

  • Survey Says… (Results from Our June Survey)

  • Fall Fun at Forrestal Day: September 25, 1-4pm

  • Pre-Order Our JVF Mural Tote Bag!

  • Donations Needed

  • PTSO Google Calendar

  • Upcoming Dates

  • Helpful Resources

💡 Key Initiatives for This Year

We have a range of focus areas for our efforts this year. Read a summary below and feel free to join our monthly meetings to hear more and add your voice! Our first meeting of the year is on Tuesday, September 14 at 7:00pm via Zoom.

  1. Student Equity Fund — In partnership with the JVF Equity Team (Mrs. Coleman, Ms. Gall, and Mrs. Greenspan), we will establish a fund to help create equity for all students as needed. For example, the fund can help provide school supplies, field trip fees, and JVF spirit wear.

  2. Literacy — Led by our PTSO Literacy Chair, Kristen Holt-Browning, we will support a range of reading-related initiatives including class library enhancements, book fairs, read-a-thons, author events, library media center upgrades, and the Book Nook.

  3. Arts — We will support music and the arts at JVF through an assembly (which can hopefully happen in spring) and music department supplies. Special thanks to Tessa Dean and Cheryl Silvernail for their help spearheading these efforts!

  4. Outdoor Spaces — We will create comfortable and beautiful outdoor spaces for learning and play. We will maintain the six outdoor learning sites outfitted with stumps and easels last spring so they can be used this year. We are also in the process of planting a pollinator garden alongside the Land to Learn garden in front of the school and improving the plantings around the grounds. Many thanks to our wonderful committee volunteers helping with these efforts: Monika Aymar-Blair, Bekah Starr, Valerie Shively, Jessica Jelliffe, Katie Sheehan-Lopez, Beth Poague, Shelly Blumenthal, Tessa Dean, Margaux Lange, and Phoebe Zinman!

  5. Buildings and Grounds Beautification — We hope to address some of JVF’s wishlist items that may not be covered by the BCSD Capital Project, especially restoring windows and light to the 4th grade wing.

If you are especially interested in any of the above areas and would like to pitch in, please email us! It’s a lot easier to make things happen when we have good help 😊

Survey Says...

You may remember back in June that we sent out a survey to JVF families, to get input on ideas for potential programs and fundraisers. Thank you to those who responded! Here are some of the key takeaways from the survey results:

  • Each of the key initiative ideas mentioned above was compelling to about ½ of respondents, except the Student Equity Fund which was compelling to 93% of respondents.

  • Bingo at the Brewery was the most appealing fundraiser overall, for 2/3 of respondents.

  • 2/3 of respondents liked the idea of doing an Outdoor Movie Night (we will likely do this in spring) and 3/5 liked the idea of a Board Game Night.

  • The ideas of new types of spirit items (water bottles, tote bags, hats) and plant / flower sales were both very appealing to 2/3 of respondents.

  • Half of parents were interested in a Parents’ Night Out (with free childcare), and there was also interest among 1/3 of respondents in other Parent events.

  • 80% of respondents were interested in a beginner Spanish language program (Beacon Recreation used to run a Spanish program but it is not currently being offered) — hopefully we can find a way for JVF students to have this opportunity in the future!

  • 40% of respondents want to volunteer and help out with the PTSO this year — join them! 😊

We really value your input and shape our plans based on your feedback. You can email us anytime if you have questions, suggestions, or comments!

🍂 Fall Fun at Forrestal Day — Saturday 9/25 from 1-4pm

As we plan the fall season, the PTSO will be focusing on outdoor and virtual programming. Our first event this fall will be in honor of Spirit of Beacon — instead of a parade this year, organizations around town are holding satellite events throughout September leading up to Spirit of Beacon Day (Sunday, September 26).

Join us to celebrate all things autumnal with a free “Fall Fun at Forrestal Day” on Saturday, September 25 from 1-4pm in the lower field at JVF, including:

  • Apple cider and donuts

  • Lawn games

  • A “Falcon Wing Feathers” collaborative crafting project

  • Mums flower sale (pre-order)

Volunteers needed! If you would like to help with prepping for the event or running a station on the day of, please sign up on our Signup Genius page or email us to let us know!

🛍️ Pre-Order Our JVF Mural Tote Bag!

We are taking pre-orders for this new double-sided tote bag featuring the beautiful mural design done by artist Joe Pimentel incorporating art from JVF students! The bag is 16"x16" and made from durable poly fabric with sturdy webbed straps. The artwork is the same on front and back. Pre-order your bag for $20 by clicking on our JVF PTSO Shop! Bags must be ordered by September 24th and should arrive within 2 weeks after we close pre-orders.

🧦 Donations Needed

Nurse Carol is in need of socks and underwear in allsizes to restock her supply. If you would like to donate, please send new or freshly laundered items in good condition — you can send them with your child in a bag labeled “for Nurse Carol” or drop them off at the main office. Thank you for your help!

📅 PTSO Google Calendar

Make life a little easier by subscribing to our JVF PTSO 2021–2022 Google Calendar! Just click on the link and click “Add.” This way you’ll always know about key dates at school, events, and our monthly meetings (second Tuesday of every month, at 7pm via Zoom for the time being). We will update the calendar as programming gets added.

Upcoming Dates

Here are a few key dates coming up:

  • Tuesday, September 14 at 7pm via Zoom — PTSO Monthly Meeting

  • Thursday, September 16 — No school in observance of Yom Kippur

  • Friday, September 24 — Last day to pre-order JVF Mural Tote Bags

  • Saturday, September 25 from 1-4pmFall Fun at Forrestal Day

  • Saturday, October 2 – Sunday, October 17 — Virtual Book Fair in partnership with Split Rock Books in Cold Spring

  • October dates TBD — Spirit Wear Sale

🔖 Helpful Resources

We send out a monthly PTSO newsletter and occasional special announcements to keep everyone updated on news, events, and volunteer opportunities. Sometimes you’ll also get paper flyers sent home with your child(ren). For up-to-the-minute updates, be sure to follow the JV Forrestal PTSO Facebook page (our online bulletin board) and join the JV Forrestal PTSO Facebook discussion group (our closed discussion group.)

Not on Facebook? The JVF PTSO is also on Instagram (@jvforrestalptso) and Twitter (@JVFPTSO). On Twitter, also follow @MsSessoms and @JVFElementary.

For your reference, you'll find the JV Forrestal Student Handbook here and the BCSD Code of Conduct here. Get the latest BCSD Superintendent Blog post here.

Shop and Earn Money for JVF!

Did you know that when you shop at ShopRite or purchase Box Tops products, you can easily earn free money for JVF? Follow the links below (it’ll take 5 minutes!) to set it up and watch the rewards roll in! Thank you so much for helping our school!

ShopRite for My School: Click here to register your ShopRite card and earn money for JVF each time you shop! This program will automatically redeem any Box Tops credits you get from products you buy at ShopRite!

Box Tops for Education: For any Box Tops products you buy outside of ShopRite, you can still earn 10 cents per product for JVF! The Box Tops program has gone fully digital — download the Box Tops app and scan your receipts!


Fostering community among JVF families and staff




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