Good News from Sanford Schools

This report was adapted from the presentation at the May 24 School Committee meeting.

Aislynn Worden (pictured above), a senior at Sanford High School, has been named one of 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. Students are selected based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Aislynn is one of only two students selected for this honor this year from Maine. The 161 Scholars were chosen from more then 6,000 qualified candidates.

In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of our students and local youth, the Elks also recently presented a well-deserved Outstanding Youth Leadership award to SHS Principal Matt Petermann.

The Engineering and Architectural Design Program at SRTC is home to the only three high school students in the state of Maine to ever achieve the Advanced Professional level in Engineering 3D Computer Design. The exam for this prestigious certification spans seven days. Last year, the first SRTC student earned this certification as a senior. This year, congratulations to Nicholas Hammond from Massabesic and Dominic Lagace from Sanford who are the next to be certified.

At Sanford Middle School, the 5th grade STEM students figured out how tendons in a hand work, by constructing a robot hand from cardboard, straws and string, and used it to pick up a tennis ball.

At Carl J. Lamb School, Mrs. Gillis’ second graders recently worked on a phonics activity called A Museum Walk of Illustrated Words from their Lucy Calkins’ Phonics Units of Study curriculum. The students have been on the hunt for new and exciting words. They are now “Word Collectors!” Students choose one favorite interesting word to explain and illustrate. These were hung throughout the school so that other students can learn some of their new words.

Also at CJL, Mrs. Belanger’s third graders have been writing haikus. Here is “Snow” by Isabella Lara: White falling cold snow // Soft snowflakes touching your hair // Snow balls get shoveled. And “The Park” by Ronnie Soucie: Two boys playing ball // The team for basketball won // It was a hot day.

At Margaret Chase Smith School, the students in kindergarten and first grade have been highlighting a letter a day in the ABC Countdown to the end of the school year, and doing activities associated with each letter.

Last year, Dan Fernandez-Phelps and Tricia Boivin started an after-school Homework Club for 4th graders at Willard School. The purpose has been to provide students with a dependable, quiet, safe and calm environment for those students who attend. They get an opportunity to complete their homework, get extra support in any subject, and work with peers on a project, while being removed from distractions at home. This completely voluntary program has grown from about five kids last year to between 15 and 20 students weekly this year. It runs on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Those students who do attend know they are all there for the same reason, which allows them to concentrate. They feel comfortable and are much less likely to feel nervous about asking for additional support. All of the participants have enjoyed being part of the Club. One student mentioned that “Homework Club is a place to get my school work done so I do not have any missing work.” Another student said, “If I do have missing work, this is a good place to get caught up and ask for extra support if I need it.” It is hoped that Homework Club will be a consistent part of the 4th grade community going forward.