Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Happy December!

Happy December!
I hope you all had a nice, relaxing, Thanksgiving! It's hard to believe there are less than three full weeks until the next holiday break!

This week we are focusing on the character strength of kindness. Kind people think about the needs and feelings of other people, and then act to help those people. Kind people are selfless. For more about kindness, click here. Speaking of kindness, thank you to everyone that donated to our Thankfulness project! Our student council, in conjunction with the PTA, was able to provide eleven Thanksgiving dinners for East Hill families which were very much appreciated! Thank you also to everyone that was able to take a tag off of the tree in our lobby and purchase a gift for one of our families. We are so fortunate to live in such a generous community!

Yesterday Officer Brand visited East Hill for our second CODE (Community-Oriented Drug Education) assembly. She spoke on different topics at each grade level. You should have received a letter detailing the different topics. If you could follow-up on these discussions at home it would be very beneficial for our students!
Upcoming Events
12/5    Board of Education Meeting, 7:00, WGHS
12/12  4th & 5th Grade Concert, 7:00, WGHS
12/13  Report Cards Distributed
12/19  Holiday Parties, 2:15
12/23  Holiday Recess Begins
1/6      School Resumes

Have a great rest of the week!
- Lisa

Monday, November 18, 2019


According to Mike Erwin, co-founder of the Positivity Project, the benefits of this character strength are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude, by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for, experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems! Gratitude, which means being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen in our lives, shouldn't just be reserved for big occasions as there are hundreds of opportunities daily to express our thanks. It does take some training for most of us to allow this character strength to flourish, however. Sometimes being grateful means realizing how fortunate we are, but it also means expressing that appreciation through our words and actions. Thanksgiving is a perfect time of year to focus on gratitude. I certainly don't express it enough, but I am very grateful to be able to work in a place with such a caring staff, amazing students, and supportive families. For more information on gratitude, click here.

Open Forum with the Board of Education
The WGCSD Board of Education invites parents, staff, community members, and students to a community forum this Wednesday at 6:00 prior to the 7:00 board meeting. This is an opportunity to meet the Board and learn about their role.

Thanksgiving Meals!
Are you in need of a Thanksgiving meal for your family? Our student council, along with our PTA, are teaming up to provide several meals for East Hill families. The meals come with a turkey, rolls, pie, stuffing, canned vegetables, cranberries, etc. Please call me (487-4648), email me (, or stop in the office. If you aren't quite sure how to cook a turkey, here are the instructions (written by Ava, a kindergartner in Mrs. Ciciarelli's class):
How to Cook a Turkey
My daddy usually hunts the turkey. He goes to the farm with one of his friends that know how to hunt. I usually go to a friend's house so that I don't have to see the turkey. I don't like to see the turkey. We should buy the turkey at Wegman's instead of hunting it because Wegman's has a lot of stuff. My mommy helps daddy cook the turkey. They push the buttons on the oven for 10 minutes. When the oven beeps they take it out and put it on a tray in the middle of the table. We also put flowers on the table to decorate for dinner. They always put carrots on the table and sauce for the turkey to dunk in. My Grandma, Nona, Pap, and my Gigi all come to eat. For dessert we have ice cream and some cookies. Daddy does all the dishes because my brother and I tell him to.

Upcoming Dates
11/20     Open Forum with the BOE (6:00, WGHS)
11/25     Parent Conferences, Half-Day, 11:30 Dismissal
11/26     Parent Conferences, Half-Day, 11:30 Dismissal
11/27     Thanksgiving Recess Begins
12/2       School Resumes

Have a great rest of the week!

- Lisa

Monday, November 11, 2019

Happy November!

Happy November!
I realized I never sent this blog out last week so I apologize if this one is a bit lengthier than usual!

Positivity Project
Creativity was the character strength focus two weeks ago that was mentioned in my last blog. We had a pumpkin decorating contest among the different classrooms in the school. As part of PARP, each classroom was asked to decorate a pumpkin to look like a character from a book of their choice. Below are the top two winners as well as a couple of the runners up!
Primary Wing Winner (Mrs. Ciciarelli's Class)

Intermediate Wing Winner (Ms. Dattellas' Class)

Runner Up (Ms. Stevens' Class)
Runner Up (Mrs. Shewchuk's Class)
Last week's character strength focus was bravery. Mrs. McConnell was able to get several members of the Syracuse University Marching Band to come to East Hill to play for us and talk to the students about how bravery plays a role in their performance. It was a huge hit!

This week we return to the Other People Matter Mindset and will focus on "Knowing My Words and Actions Affect Others". According to Mike Erwin, the P2 co-founder, everything we do, say, text, tweet, snap or post can positively or negatively impact other people. We need to be mindful that every interaction we have with each other matters. We can strengthen our relationships with people every time we open our mouths, move our fingers, or move our thumbs. Ask your child about this concept!

Thank You Parents/Guardians!
Thank you to everyone that was able to come in and be a guest reader during PARP. It is so much appreciated by the students as well as the rest of our staff. Thank you also to everyone that volunteered to bring something in or help out at the Halloween classroom parties. We appreciated everyone's cooperation during the check-in process which ran very smoothly this year.

Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Chase, Raniah, Micah, Annabelle, and Charlie for doing such an amazing job representing East Hill in last Thursday's District Spelling Bee. Raniah was one of the top 12 finalists so she will be going on to the next level. Congratulations, and good luck Raniah!!
Thanksgiving Meals
You should have received information about our Thanksgiving Meal project that our 5th Grade Student Council, along with our PTA, is doing. We are looking to supply several East Hill families with a Thanksgiving meal. Please contact me (, or 487-4648) if you would like a Thankgiving meal. We'd love to help!

Upcoming Dates:
11/13    PTA Meeting, 6:30, Library
11/25    Parent Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal
11/26    Parent Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal
11/27    No School, Thanksgiving Break Begins
12/2      School Resumes

Have a great rest of the week! Stay warm!

- Lisa

Monday, October 28, 2019


Creativity is the P2 character strength focus for this week. Creativity means you come up with new and original ways to think about and do things. For more information on creativity from the Positivity Project co-founders, click here. Here are two examples of students showing their creativity on crazy hair day from last week:

Guest Author
Speaking of creativity, thank you to the PTA for sponsoring our guest author, Troy Cummings, this year! He is the author and illustrator of several children's book. He gave a great presentation to our whole school last week. He read one of his books to us and also shared some new characters that he has come up with that will be appearing in future books. Third-grader Bobby was absolutely thrilled that he got the honor of introducing him to the school, and first grade artist Tommy got to help Mr. Cummings with one of his drawings. Mr. Cummings was impressed with the welcome he received in our school as well as the creative monster drawings that students had created at home.

Thank you to all of the moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., who have been able to come in and be a guest reader during our two-week reading celebration! It is greatly appreciated by all!

Halloween Reminders
Halloween parties will be held in the classrooms this Thursday at 2:15. Only those parents who have been contacted by the room parent to volunteer in the classroom will be allowed in the building (at 2:00). Please understand that this is for safety's sake so we will be enforcing this rule. Costumes are optional again this year as there will not be a parade. Students should bring their (appropriate) costumes in a bag and not wear them to school. Thank you for your understanding.

Upcoming Dates
11/5     Half-Day, 11:30 Dismissal, Teacher Workshop Day
11/7     District Spelling Bee, CMS, 9:45
11/13   PTA Meeting, East Hill Library, 6:30
11/25 & 11/26     Parent Conferences, Half-Day, 11:30 Dismissal
11/27   Thanksgiving Break Begins!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

- Lisa

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Being Present

Being Present
Last week during P2 time we focused on the first of five Other People Matter Mindset elements - being present and giving others our attention. As Mike Erwin said, "It's never been easier to be distracted from the person right in front of us." It is SO important to make sure that we are present with others. Ask you child what it means to be present, why it's so important, and how you can show you are present in a conversation.

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. Integrity is this week's P2 focus. For more information on this character strength, click here!

Upcoming Dates
Our two-week PARP (Pick a Reading Partner) celebration kicked off this afternoon.  Our theme is "Reading is Spooktacular!" You will receive more information about this today. Thank you to the PTA for arranging for author Troy Cummings to visit East Hill. We are busy getting ready for his visit! Click here to see the song our students made!

You should have received a letter about Halloween at the end of last week. Please make sure you read the letter thoroughly and let me know if you have any questions. We want everyone to be safe and have an enjoyable day!

Upcoming Dates
10/17     Family Night Book Fair, 5:30 - 7:30
10/21     Crazy Sock Day
10/22     Mismatch Day
10/23     Blue and Gold Day
10/24     Sports Day
10/25     Freaky Friday Hair Day and Wear Pink

Have a great rest of the week!

- Lisa

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Happy October!

Positivity Project
This week's character strength focus is Open-Mindedness. Individuals with this strength might be described as reasonable, rational, impartial, and logical. They are likely to make accurate decisions and decisions they won't regret. To learn more about this strength, click here.

Our first P2 (Positivity Project) assembly of the year was held yesterday morning. Ms. O'Keefe reminded our students of the purpose of the Positivity Project and reviewed the character strengths of Teamwork and Open-Mindedness.
What a beautiful day we had for the jogathon last week! Thank you to those of you that were able to come out and cheer on the children and/or volunteer your time. Thank you also for your generous donations! The PTA will be collecting donations through this Friday.

Upcoming October Events
10/7       East Hill PTA Meeting, 6:30, East Hill Library
10/9       School Pictures
10/16     Pick a Reading Partner Celebration starts; Book Fair
10/17     Family Night Book Fair, 5:30 - 7:30
10/28     District Halloween Carnival, WGHS, 4:00 - 7:00
10/30     PARP Closing Ceremony
10/31     Halloween Parties, 2:15

Enjoy the rest of the week!

- Lisa

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


This week's character strength focus is teamwork/citizenship. Thank you to those of you that sent in pictures of your children involved in some form of teamwork! It's not too late if anyone else wants to send in some. Please email them to Click here for a one page overview of Teamwork/Citizenship from the Positivity Project.
This Friday is the East Hill PTA's annual jogathon! This is their primary fundraiser for the year. The schedule is as follows:
9:40    1st Grade
10:10  2nd Grade
10:40  4th Grade
11:10  3rd Grade
11:40  5th Grade
12:25  Kindergarten
PLEASE NOTE: The schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather. Currently the weather is looking good for Friday so let's hope that doesn't change! There is no parking in the front circle on Friday so please be prepared to park on the street. We are hoping you will be able to come out and support your child(ren)! Here is a sneak peek at some of the class posters:

Upcoming Events
9/27    Jogathon
10/7    PTA Meeting, 6:30, Library
10/9    School Pictures
10/16  PARP (Pick a Reading Partner) Reading Celebration Begins; Book Fair
10/17  Book Fair Family Night, 5:30 - 7:30
10/23  Guest Author Troy Cummings

Have a great rest of the week!

- Lisa