Holbrook Middle School

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  • December 3 Announcements

    The Holbrook Student Council is holding a canned goods food drive to help the CHEFS food cupboard.  Bring in your coins to donate through December 18th.

    Student Council is sponsoring the annual Giving Tree this year.  It will look different than normal this season.  If you are interested in getting a tag with an item please send Mrs. Archambault an email.  She will get a tag to you.  All items will need to be returned by Thursday, December 17th.

    Next Tuesday, December 8th, is  picture retake day.

    Gingerbread and the shapes it takes have a long history. An early form of gingerbread can be traced to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians who used it for ceremonial purposes. Gingerbread made an appearance in Europe when 11th-century Crusaders brought back ginger from the Middle East for the aristocrats' cooks to experiment with. As ginger and other spices became more affordable to the masses, gingerbread caught on.

    An early European recipe for gingerbread consisted of ground almonds, stale breadcrumbs, rosewater, sugar and, naturally, ginger. The resultant paste was pressed into wooden molds. These carved works of art served as a sort of storyboard that told the news of the day, bearing the likeness of new kings, emperors, and queens, or religious symbols. The finished cookie might be decorated with edible gold paint (for those who could afford it) or flat white icing to bring out the details in relief.

    In the 16th century, the English replaced the breadcrumbs with flour, and added eggs and sweeteners, resulting in a lighter product. The first gingerbread man is credited to Queen Elizabeth I, who knocked the socks off visiting dignitaries by presenting them with one baked in their own likeness. Gingerbread tied with a ribbon was popular at fairs and, when exchanged, became a token of love.

    On a more practical note, before refrigeration, aromatic crumbled gingerbread was added to recipes to mask the odor of decaying meat.

    The gingerbread house became popular in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published their fairy tale collection which included "Hansel and Gretel" in the 19th century. Early German settlers brought the tradition to the Americas.

    Gingerbread houses never caught on in Britain as they did in North America, where some extraordinary examples can be found. But they do exist in other parts of Europe.

    In December 2001, bakers in Torun, Poland, attempted to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest-ever gingerbread house. It was made in Szczecin, Poland, with 4,000 loaves of brick-shaped gingerbread measuring 11 1/2 feet high. It took a week to create and used 6,000 eggs, a ton of flour, and 550 pounds of shortening. Alas, they lost to an American team.

    Random Thought of the Day:  I wonder what my dog named me


    December 2 Announcements

    Today’s Lunch:  Chicken Quesadillas 

    The Holbrook Student Council is holding a canned goods food drive to help the CHEFS food cupboard.  Bring in your coins to donate through December 18th.

    Next Tuesday, December 8th, is  picture retake day.

    Odd Moments This Month in History - December 14, 1807: Space Invader - At 6:30 a.m. on this day in 1807, residents from Vermont to Connecticut looked up at the sky and saw a red fireball. About two-thirds the size of a full Moon, it raced across the heavens, broke apart, and fell to earth in at least six areas of Weston (now Easton), Trumbull, and Fairfield, Connecticut. Whizzing sounds were heard close to the impact sites, and three sonic booms were heard as far as 40 miles away. The entire event took about 30 seconds.

    Upon hearing the news a few days later, Yale professor Benjamin Silliman, accompanied by his colleague, professor James Kingsley, traveled to the impact area to talk to witnesses, examine impact sites, and collect specimens (including some that enterprising townsfolk were selling as souvenirs). Silliman confirmed that it had been a meteorite—the first officially recorded in the New World.

    Meteorites, rocks that fell from space, were a concept slowly gaining acceptance in Europe, but their study was still a relatively new science. In an article in the Connecticut Herald published on December 29, Silliman and Kingsley described the Weston event. The news rapidly spread to other newspapers, and accounts were published in literary and philosophical journals. Later, Silliman performed a chemical analysis of the rocks and published a revised report. The findings were discussed by notable scientific organizations in Philadelphia, London, and Paris. Still, there were skeptics about the idea of meteorites, including U.S. president Thomas Jefferson, who was said to have remarked, “It is easier to believe that two Yankee professors could lie than to admit that stones could fall from heaven.” 

    Did You Know:  Koalas share a strange similarity with humans in that we both have fingerprints.  However, even stranger is the fact that it’s impossible for you to instantly tell between them.  In fact, even experts struggle to separate koala fingerprints from human ones.

    Random Thought of the Day:  “Go to bed, you’ll feel better in the morning” is the human version of, “Did you turn it off and back on again?”


    November 30 Announcements

    Our new Mask Rules are that masks are on inside the building at all times (unless it is lunch or snack).  Your teachers will go over this with you.

    You all know him, his name is Waldo and we’re always looking for him.  This is the history of Where’s Wally (known in the US and Canada as Where’s Waldo).

    The iconic, elusive man in the red-and-white striped shirt was first hidden away in 1987 by British illustrator Martin Handford.

    Handford started working as a freelance illustrator, drawing crowd scenes for a variety of magazines and advertising companies. He got the idea for a whole book made up of crowd scenes and approached a publishing company about it in 1986. The art director suggested that he make a character to act as a focal point in his pictures of crowds to encourage people to look at the picture more closely.

    After a bit of thought, Handford came up with the distinctive Wally/Waldo character. The round glasses and pom-pom on top of Wally’s head were definitive of Wally’s personality, which Handford described as something like a “train spotter”—a phrase used in England in the 1980s to describe someone who was a bit daft.

    Handford soon started designing the two-page spreads that would make up the first Where’s Wally? book. It took him as many as eight weeks to finish each picture, which were filled with various other characters doing a myriad of entertaining things. Some of the spreads contain upwards of 3,000 to 4,000 tiny figures, which understandably take some time to create—not to mention the crazy backgrounds, which include everything from a cake factory to a band competition.

    The books have since been widely published throughout the world in nineteen different languages to date. Wally’s name is often changed for these different editions.  For instance, he’s “Waldo” in the US and Canada, “Charlie” in France, “Walter” in Germany, “Ali” in Turkey, “Efi” in Israel, and “Willy” in Norway.  All total, the books have sold well over 50 million copies and are still going strong.  Not bad for what essentially are just books of drawings of a bunch of crowds in various settings.

    Random Thought of the Day:  Clapping hands is all about hitting yourself when you like something.

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    This information has also been sent through email.  Please make sure we have an updated email address for you on file.                  


    Dear Families and Students of Holbrook,         

    As we begin our journey through the 2020-2021 school year together, I would like to thank you for all the flexibility and support that the community has shown during our planning stages. Throughout the summer dedicated staff members have been reading, planning, and thinking about the safest and most effective ways to have our students in our classrooms. While we cannot plan for everything, we will continue to work together using the lens of safety, academics, and social-emotional needs for all. Below I have listed many important things to remember as we come together in learning at Holbrook School.


    New Staff Members and Staff Changes:

    We are excited to welcome Marleina Ford to Holbrook School as our new Music and Gifted and Talented Teacher! We are equally as excited to welcome Sharon Haskell as our new 5th Grade teacher and Zackery Pratt as an Ed Tech III. We would also like to congratulate Michele Archambault on her move to 8th Grade ELA as well as Peter Walsh on his move to 8th Grade Math! We wish them all a wonderful start in their new positions.



    A Pod              Will attend school on Mondays & Wednesday                 First day 8/26/2020

    Will have remote learning on Tuesday & Thursday


    B Pod              Will attend school on Tuesday & Thursday

    Will have remote learning on Monday & Wednesday     First day 8/27/2020


    A/B                  Will attend school Monday through Thursday                  First day 8/26/2020    

    All Remote Option Students: Pod A students who chose the All Remote Option can pick up their computers/tablets from their school on Wednesday, August 26th from 10:00am until 4:00pm.

    Pod B students who chose the All Remote Option can pick up their computers/tablets from their school on Thursday, August 26th from 10:00am until 4:00pm.
    (Note:  All Remote Option students will not be counted as absent on Wednesday or Thursday.)

    All Remote Option Students need to participate in Friday’s Morning Meeting and complete the Friday assignments.  Because the first week is shorter than most weeks, links to assignments for Friday, August 28th and Friday’s Morning Meetings will be sent through each school’s newsletter/School Messenger emails.   In the future, those and other assignments, meeting links, etc. will start arriving through individual emails from Homeroom Teachers every Sunday evening at 5:00pm.

    Everyone will have remote learning on Friday.

    For the safety of our students, RSU #63 has a detailed, “medication dispensing” policy that must be followed by our staff.  I have enclosed a copy of the form that explains the policy.  The form must be completed and on file before we can dispense any medication (prescription and/or over the counter) to your child at school.


    Pick Up and Drop Off:

    I would like to highlight our new pick up and drop off routines. Parent drop off times have changed and are now: 8:10-8:40. Please be aware that prior to 8:10 there will be no coverage and students must stay in cars until 8:10. Parent Pick up times for Holbrook are 3:00-3:30.

    ·       5th-7th Grade will be dropped off by the hill going up toward the back fields and CHEFS. 

    ·       8th Grade parent drop off will be by the back steps (near the Central Office entrance door).

    ·       Bus drop offs will continue to be in the loop in the front of the building.

    There will be staff members positioned to help students learn to navigate these new routines safely in the morning and afternoon.


    As stated above the regular school day hours are from 8:40 to 3:00.  Students must report to homerooms through their designated door, by 8:40 to avoid be marked as tardy. Any students arriving after 8:40 will enter through the Central Office door adjacent to the parking lot. Students are asked to attend morning meetings with their homeroom every day.  If this cannot occur for any reason please call the office and let us know.


    We would like to limit the number of last minute after school plan changes to emergency situations only. We understand that things come up and sometimes plan changes are necessary.  Try to have your arrangements made ahead of time and when changes come up let us know as soon as possible.  Please, make every effort to finalize after school plans no later than 2:20. Thank you for your support as we keep student safety a top priority. 


    Parents picking students up at the end of the day are asked to fill all available spaces prior to stopping in the traffic circle. Again, safety is our top priority and the increased number of students being picked up at the end of the day causes a challenging traffic situation.  If you are in the traffic circle please pull all the way around to the exiting side of the loop before stopping. We will have staff on duty to assist students as they travel safely to vehicles. Thank you for your cooperation.   


    Bus Schedules
    Bus schedules for the year have been sent out by Superintendent Smith. They will also be on the school website. Students will be required to wear a mask on the bus at all times. The phone number for our bus garage is 561-9238.  (If no one answers, it is probably because they are all out driving.  Please call Holbrook School 843-7769 or the RSU 63 Central Office at 843-7851.)



     A virtual open house schedule for the evening of Tuesday, August 25th. The links to each google meet are provided below. Please have students log in to meet their teachers and “see” their classrooms.  Copy and paste the link into your web browser's address bar. 



    Classroom Virtual Open House Links and Times: 

    Copy and paste the link into your web browser address bar:

    A drive around Holbrook!



    Where do I go in? 








    5 Haskell




    5 Ostrander




    5 Bean Hutchins




    6 Miller




    6 Simko




    6 MacLaren Mayo




    7 Goss




    7 Merritt



    7 Briggs




    8 Dusablon




    8 Doughty




    8 Archambault



    This year all Holbrook students will transition to Google Calendar. We expect all students to use their calendar daily, we will provide support as they learn to use this new platform. Parental support for student use of the calendar is critical in making this an effective tool. We strongly encourage families to sit down with their student (s) and talk about the benefits of staying organized. 

    We hope that our website continues to be an easy and effective way to access information such as curriculum, upcoming events, daily announcements, bus routes and so on. The website will continue to host links such as; reporting of bullying or harassment, NutraKids/MySchoolBucks (nutrition services), calendar and the RSU 63 Facebook page.


    Mr. Cummings has been working hard to prepare the MLTI laptops (11” MacBook Air) for the Holbrook 7th and 8th grade students. Our 5th and 6th grade students will be issued a Google Chromebook. Both are effective tools for students to access a large host of Google tools (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Classroom, Google Calendar and so-on) that will be used regularly at school.  It is expected that students return with their computer fully charged each day. 


    We will provide student supplies for what is needed at school. We are asking that you provide a water bottle and mask. Please contact the office if you need support with this request 843-7769. Backpacks are allowed and will be stored safely while students are at school. Any supplies you might want to purchase can stay at home and become remote learning tools for at home use.

    Food Services/NutriKids:  

    Students may purchase breakfast; a breakfast cart will come around for students who choose to take it. Breakfast will be served in classrooms from approximately 8:15-9:00.  

    We will continue to use the NutraKids and MySchoolBucks program to manage credits and debits to students’ nutrition services accounts.  Each child will have their own account and parents are encouraged to deposit funds electrically into the account to minimize monetary transfers at school. We suggest depositing at least $50.00 at one time to minimize transaction fees (this is out of our control).  With each $50.00 deposit to an account a free meal is provided to offset the assessed transaction fee. The program will confidentially manage students that qualify for free and reduced lunch as well. We encourage you to visit the NutriKids website at: www.nutrikids.com.  The link can be found on the Holbrook School Website.

    Students that are eligible for free and/or reduced lunch are also eligible for free and/or reduced breakfast.  Please contact our nutrition services staff if you are interested in having your student bring home lunches during their remote days, they can be reached at 843-7769 (164).              

    In closing, I hope you enjoy this beautiful weather and have a fabulous weekend! I look forward to our continued work together and I cannot wait to see kids within these halls again!  If you have any questions, please call the office at 843-7769.


     Ashley Allen 

    Holbrook Principal


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  • CHEFS Schedule

    CHEFS (Clfifton, Holden, Eddington Food Support) continues its schedule of every Thursday evening from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. CHEFS is also open the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. If you or someone you know is in need of additional food, please come!

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  • Bullying/Harassing Concern Report Information

    Holden, Eddington, and Holbrook Schools all promote, recognize, and expect positive behavior. Our expectations are taught through our Core Values; Honesty, Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, and Courage. Students are recognized for making good choices in a variety of ways including gold slips, kudos cards, and “Busted” slips. We are also aware that incidents of bullying and harassment have a negative impact on school climate and culture as well as academic achievement. This year we have added an online, anonymous reporting system. CLICK ON HEADLINE LINK TO READ MORE.

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