Originally delivered on 12/2/2022 1:15 pm

SUBJECT: Riverside School Peek at the Week 12/2/22

Riverside School PTA Newsletter
PTA Logo
Friday, December 2, 2022
PTA Highlights

Dear Riverside Parents,

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.   

We were delighted to see so many families at the Book Fair and the Hot Chocolate Social this week. Thank you to our Book Fair chairs, volunteers, and the whole Riverside community for helping to make this event a success for our school.  If you are still interested in shopping for books, purchases can be made online through Tuesday, December 13th.  

We have two drives kicking off next week. Our Green Committee is hosting a holiday light recycling drive, and Luke McQuillan’s 6th Annual Holiday Toy Drive will be supporting 10 to 18-year-old patients at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital (please see below for more information on both).

Lastly, please mark your calendar for next Friday's Holiday Sing!  Join us in the front of the school immediately after dismissal on December 9th to ring in the holiday season with festive songs led by Ms. Punchatz. 

Calendar reminders for the remainder of the 2022:

  • December 5 & 6 – Early Release (Teacher Conferences)
  • December 5-9 – Luke McQuillan’s Toy Drive
  • December 5-9 – Holiday Light Recycling Drive
  • December 7 – Apparel Sale
  • December 9 – Holiday Sing & Spirit Day
  • December 13 – Last day for online Book Fair purchases
  • December 23 – Early Release

Have a wonderful weekend!

Allison Maus & Clare Johnson
PTA Co-Presidents

PTA News

The Community Service Club will be collecting new, unopened toys for the Yale New Haven Children's Hospital in honor of Luke McQuillan from December 5-9. Luke was 8 years old and a student at Riverside School when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He found joy and normalcy in the toy closet at the hospital and now gives back through his annual Holiday Fundraiser. Help stock the toy closet for all the 10-18 year old patients with items like Echo Dots, Instax Polaroid cameras with film, makeup bags, cozy PJs, Legos, and more. Collection bins will located in front of the school throughout the week.  

You can also make a monetary donation to Luke's Fundraiser here through December 14.


The holiday season is in full swing, and it’s time to stock up on NEW Riverside gear! We will be holding an in-person holiday sale on Wednesday, December 7 outside in front of the school from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (Rain Date is December 8). Come and check out our new items, including fuzzy PJ pants, water bottles, winter beanie hats, bandanas and more. We also have favorites back in stock including hoodies and white fuzzy PJ shorts. Can’t make it on Wednesday? Visit the Spirit Wear store online today!  


Riverside School families and staff are invited to gather outdoors and sing festive songs to ring in the holiday season. The Holiday Sing will take place on Friday, December 9 for 15-20 minutes immediately after dismissal, outside the gym in the front of the school, led by our music teacher, Ms. Punchatz. Bring your merry spirit and help us jingle along!

Students are encouraged to show their holiday spirit by wearing their favorite holiday colors to school on Friday, December 9.


Do you have holiday lights that are broken and no longer work? The Green Committee is hosting a Holiday Lights Recycling Drive from December 5-9. A collection bin will be located outside the front doors at drop-off and pick-up all week. Let's work together to keep dangerous materials out of our landfills!


Let your children run off their energy before school! Beginning next Tuesday, December 6, the Early Morning Program will head to the Gym at 8am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, giving students a bit more exercise as the weather outside gets colder. If dropping off after 8am, please bring them to the front door. The drop-in rate is $18 per day, and you may register your child and get more information here. Please contact Melissa Goldstein or Anne Akyuz with any questions.


Last week, the children had their annual daffodil planting day, putting another 500 bulbs in the ground! This is the 9th year of this wonderful tradition, and the children love the idea that their flowers continue to bloom long after they have graduated. Please see the Riverside Reel (rivpta.shutterfly.com) for photos of your children! 


High Touch-High Tech: What's the Matter

This week, High Touch-High Tech visited the 3rd grade for a hands-on presentation on What's the Matter. Students investigated the properties of matter including solids, liquids & gasses and learned why matter matters, how droplets and bubbles form, and how substances can transform by undergoing chemical reactions.

Upcoming Enrichment Programming

  • December 15: Dinosaurs Rock (Grade 2)
  • December 19: Riverside Rhythms, violinist Renee Oliver (All Grades)
  • December 21: Author Visit with Jerry Pallotta (Grade 1)

These programs are paid for by your generous donations to the PTA. Thank you!


At Monday's CSC meeting, a drawing was held to determine which club member, who had displayed random acts of kindness Thanksgiving week, would be our big winner. Congratulations to Zara G., who won the opportunity to select her favorite charity to receive a $50 donation in her honor.  She chose the very worthy Neighbor to Neighbor. Neighbor to Neighbor improves the lives of residents in need throughout the Greenwich area and strengthens our community by creating access to food, clothing, and basic living essentials in an atmosphere of kindness and respect.


On Tuesday, December 13th, Greenwich Lions Club KidSight coordinator, Alan Gunzburg, will be providing students in Grades 1, 4, and 5 with free vision screenings. Please contact Nurse Flynn with any questions.


Safety Duty is an important part of keeping our children safe at Riverside School. Volunteers make the morning drop-off process more efficient and secure. Volunteers assist children as they exit their vehicles in the front driveway from 8:30am - 8:45am daily and help to enforce the “Rules of the Road.”  Sign up online.

For more information, contact Sean Sullivan.

5th Grade News

It's time to start thinking about the 5th grade yearbook! Our committee needs your help gathering photos from your child's time at Riverside School - Kindergarten to 5th grade (think field trips, concerts, first day of school, etc.). In addition, we ask every family to submit a baby photo of your child. Full instructions for uploading pictures can be found on the 5th Grade Yearbook Page. The deadline for submission is Friday, December 16, 2022.

Interested in helping with the yearbook this year? We are looking for a few more volunteers! Please contact Luisa Lander or Kelsey Mayhall with questions or to volunteer.

District News
Greenwich Public Schools Board of Education Meetings

You can attend this year’s Board of Education meetings in person or on Zoom – which makes it easier to stay informed! Here is a list of 2022-2023 academic year Greenwich Board of Education meetings. Information on how to access the meetings virtually can be found on the GPS Accessing Virtual BOE Meetings page. All meetings start at 7:00pm unless otherwise noted.

  • Thursday, December 15, 2022
  • Thursday, January 19, 2023
  • Thursday, February 2, 2023 (Retreat, no public comment)
  • Thursday, February 23, 2023
  • Thursday, March 16, 2023
  • Thursday, April 20, 2023
  • Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Thursday, June 1, 2023 (Retreat, no public comment)
  • Thursday, June 15, 2023
PTAC Academic Excellence Committee: Upcoming Session

"Fostering a Love of Learning at Home" Series 

We have another opportunity for elementary school parents to learn more about hands-on strategies they can use to support their children at home, both with review and enrichment. OGS Principal, Jennifer Bencivengo, has put together a four-part series, "Fostering a Love of Learning at Home." All GPS elementary school parents are invited to join the conversation. All sessions will be offered both in-person at OGS' media center and virtually through Google Meets. If you are interested in attending any or all of this discussion series, you must register by using this link.

ALP Program Update and Grade 2 Placement

Important dates for Grade 2 Enrichment Placement for the 2022-2023 School Year are as follows: 

  • December 9: Grade 2 ALP Enrichment Deadline for Parent Input for Building Advisory Committee 
  • January 3: Grade 2 ALP Enrichment Placement Recommendation Notifications 
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Community News
Waste Free Holidays – Less Waste, More Cheer, Support Your Local Artist

One of the easiest ways to make sustainable choices this year is to swap out your wrapping paper for a more eco-friendly option. At 4pm on Thursday, December 15, at the Old Greenwich Social Club, talented local artists Jesse Gestal and Katie Humbold are offering personalized gift wrapping with unique upcycled wrapping paper to any gift you want beautifully wrapped for the holidays. Hassle free, sustainable, and all handmade, their wrapping paper will surely make your gifts into pieces of art! Come and enjoy arts & crafts for the kids, and a Christmas market too. If every American family wrapped just three gifts in reusable materials, the paper saved would cover 45,000 football fields. Let’s wrap it up and recycle!

Some easy gift-wrap alternatives include: reusable cloth fabric, leftover paper and ribbon, newspaper or magazines, artwork by your children, and reusable baskets or mason jars. 

Helping Parents Get the Most from Parent Conferences

In conjunction with the Elementary School Parent Conferences coming up next week, Patti Jomo (who is conducting the "Families as Partners in Learning" program) shared a brief video and a one-page guide as a reminder and resource for parents.

"Emotional Intelligence: Key to Raising Healthy, Happy and Successful Children"

The presentation by Dr. Marc Brackett at Eastern Middle School, on the topic of "Emotional Intelligence: Key to Raising Healthy, Happy and Successful Children", was engaging and thought-provoking.  If you weren't able to attend (or if you want to see it again), the video recording of the presentation is available here.

Kids in Crisis: Holiday Central

Kids in Crisis will be holding its annual "Holiday Central" at the North Greenwich Congregational Church, located at 606 Riversville Road, Greenwich CT 06831. There are several opportunities to help between now and Monday, December 5:

  • Sponsor a Child’s Holiday Wish: A typical list includes a winter coat, sneakers, pajamas, underwear and something fun. They'll send you the list!
  • Shop the Online Registry: Kids in Crisis has set up a Amazon registry for online shopping.
  • Giving Tree: Just let Kids in Crisis know how many wishes you need to create your giving tree and they will send the list!
  • Holiday Food or Gift Drive: Please contact jfebles@kidsincrisis.org for a list of what’s needed most this year.
  • Donate Gift Cards: Consider donating gift cards in any amount that can be used to purchase last-minute items from supermarkets, Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Visa/Amex, etc.
  • Sponsor a Holiday Dinner: The dinner benefits those kids staying at Kids In Crisis’ SafeHaven shelter this holiday season. 

For more information or to schedule a drop-off, please contact jfebles@kidsincrisis.org

Greenwich Department of Human Services Fund: 2022 Holiday Aid Program

The Greenwich Department of Human Services Fund is running their "2022 Holiday Aid Program" to provide financially eligible Greenwich residents with food, clothing, toys, and gift cards at Thanksgiving and for the Winter Holidays. The program is made possible by generous donations from community organizations, church groups, corporations, and private individuals. 

Because the need is greater than ever this year, the Fund is looking for additional support for the “Holiday Wishes” portion of the Holiday Aid program. The Fund is seeking monetary donations or $25 gift cards to Walmart or Target. Gift cards will be distributed to Greenwich families, so that they can purchase clothing and/or toys for their children. The deadline for gift card donations is Friday, December 9.

Open Arts Alliance Announces Auditions for The Wizard of Oz

Open Arts Alliance is proud to announce auditions for The Wizard of Oz on December 12, 14 & 15 at 6 p.m. at River House (125 River Road Extension, Cos Cob, CT 06807) for students ages 6-18. Follow the yellow brick road in this delightful stage adaptation of the classic film featuring "Munchkinland," "If I Only Had A Brain" and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." Performances will take place in March 2023 at the historic Westport Country Playhouse where many cast members from the 1939 film performed. Register today and join us over the rainbow!


Access the Peek Archive for past issues. If you are not receiving an issue every Friday please email riversideschoolpta@gmail.com.


Have something to add? Email us at: peekweekriv@gmail.com/ Deadline for submissions is 3pm on Wednesday of the school week

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