GW Elementary School “…reignites excitement for education” of College Professor at SUNY Ulster


GW Elementary School Principal Valerie Hannum recently received a letter from Tom Price, Professor of History at Ulster County  Community College. Starting in February of 2014, he will be sending several of his students to our school to “…learn first hand that creativity and flexibility have a place in Education. I am excited to tell you that we will, if you agree, send students to your school for the very first time.”

Professor Price continues with more high and worthy praise: “…I want to thank you personally for       reigniting in me the excitement for education. I am the son of a school teacher and have spent my life in the profession. Education matters to me in a deeply personal way…my visit to your school relit my enthusiasm.”

“I am not going to transform the culture….but I do hope that I remember the feeling of limitless possibilities produced by the energy and purpose that I sensed at your school. Thanks for that unexpected gift and congratulations to both you and your staff for creating such a special place for learning in our community.”

The GW PTO appreciates the entire GW School staff, and it’s a thrill to see as many professionals responding to the Montessori method in public education. Of course they do!

High School Capital Project Plans Presented at George Washington Elementary School on November 13th.


Dr. Padalino will share his vision for the future of the Kingston City School District and speak on the Kingston High School capital project with parents on Wednesday, November 13th from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. The presentation will either take place in the school cafeteria or auditorium, depending on interest and anticipated size of the audience. Information will be available at the front entrance of the school upon our guests arrival.

The GW Elementary School PTO invites all of the parents in the school district to attend.

More information about the project is available at Kingston High School Project.

For more information regarding this event, contact GW PTO President Rebecca Martin-Grenadier at [email protected]

GW Elementary School Visits Maple Ridge Community in Ulster Park.


Arriving at Maple Ridge

On Monday May 6th Tom and Caitlyn’s E1 classes visited the Maple Ridge Community in Ulster Park.  Students from the GW Montessori School were teamed with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students from the Maple Ridge Elementary School.

Arnold Meyer, the principal of the school, welcomed the GW students.  The weather for the trip was fabulous, so the students started by gathering on the outside circle benches for a snack.  The group then celebrated the birthday of a GW student using the Montessori birthday materials.  The students were then divided into four groups based on grade, and toured the property.  Students visited with farm animals, visited gardens, and hiked through a nature preserve and along streams and a pond.

After a game of kickball, students went to main dining hall where lunch was provided by the Maple Ridge Community.  Maple Ridge students eat with their families, so the GW students went with their Maple Ridge partners and ate at the table with their partner’s family.  Finally after lunch the parents of the students, including one parent from GW, braided the Maypole to the music of Principal Arnie on the accordion.

The trip was a great success and GW Montessori looks forward to expanding the connection to the Maple Ridge community next year.

Mr. Tom (Tom Muro)


Arnie Meyer greats the GW bus

Arnie Meyer greets the GW bus

Continue reading GW Elementary School Visits Maple Ridge Community in Ulster Park.

GW Elementary School Upcoming Events and Fundraisers


The GW Elementary School is proud to share its upcoming school events and fundraisers!

Don’t forget about our weekly Tuesday tours of the school that are open to the public  They begin at 9:30am, so arrive about five minutes early outside of the main office.


Yankee Candle Fundraiser
Ongoing through April 12th.
Fundraising Packets went home with the children last week. This sale will run through April 12th. All proceeds from this fundraiser will allow the PTO to fund end of year field Trips.

Spring Book Sale
Monday April 9 – 11
A three day book sale event. Children can puruse and purchase books. All proceeds to support the GW PTO and their events/activities.

Parent/Teacher Conferences and Parent Book Fair Night
Thursday, April 11th
Parent/teacher conferences. Parents will also have the opportunity to view the book sale and make purchases.

5th Grade visit to Marist College
Friday, May 3rd
All day. The children will visit Marist College and be treated to a spectacular lunch!

5th Grade Yard Sale and Lemonade Stand
Friday, May 10th
2:00pm – 4:00pm
The children will be located on the front lawn of the GW School. Proceeds will help to fund a ‘moving up’ ceremony for our 4th and 5th graders.

Clothing and Toy Drive
May 17th
8:00am – 4:00pm
Bring used clothing and toys to the GW Elementary School. Donate!

E I  John. J. Harvey Fireboat Field Trip (Tugboats in the Rondout Creek and Hudson River)
Wednesday, May 29th
Thanks to GW Parent Ann Loeding, the 1/2/3 graders will enjoy a field trip to the Rondout Creek to ride the John J. Harvey Fireboat out into the Hudson River!

E II – Camp Seewackamano
Thursday, June 13th
The GW Elementary School 4th and 5th graders will return to Camp Seewackamano this summer. We are happy to continue the tradition!

For more information, contact GW PTO President Stephanie Uzee at [email protected]

Ms Julie on ‘Educating for Life’

Ms. Julie's class 'morning meeting'.

Ms. Julie’s class ‘morning meeting’.

By Ms. Julie (Julie Cash) 

An important way we are educating for life at GW is seeing the daily conflicts that arise as opportunities for teaching and learning.  These issues provide many valuable “teachable moments” where we use real life situations in the classroom to model and reinforce positive problem solving and social skills.

An example of this recently took place in my E-1 classroom when a first grade boy came in one morning wearing a new pair of eyeglasses. I overheard a few remarks that I was sure made him feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, and I decided to discuss it in a class meeting.

“How many of you have ever had a new haircut and felt nervous about walking into the classroom looking different, because you were afraid of what someone might say?” Since I had observed this happening I knew many of the children had experienced this. Hands shot up. “Do we want the kind of classroom where children feel nervous about what their classmates might say when they look a certain way? We need to think about what kind of classroom we want to have, and how we want everyone to feel in our classroom.” Continue reading Ms Julie on ‘Educating for Life’

Kinderland Playground Gets A Facelift by the Jr. League of Kingston! Join in the Planning March 14th.


Something is in the air it seems! Lots of ‘face lifts’ on playgrounds in 2013 and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Kinderland Playground is located on Lucas Avenue, connected to the Forsyth Nature Center property.  Please consider attending this important first step.


In 1991, “Kingston Kinderland” was built by volunteer labor with funds raised by the Junior League of Kingston.  Over the years, area children grew up using the free playground.  Kinderland has endured much wear and tear, however, and is in need of an update. Continue reading Kinderland Playground Gets A Facelift by the Jr. League of Kingston! Join in the Planning March 14th.

We Live in a Historically Rich Community by Ms. Pam

Ms. Pam's E II (4/5 grade) students interview Former Congressman Maurice Hinchey.

Ms. Pam’s E II (4/5 grade) students interview Former Congressman Maurice Hinchey.


We live in a historically rich community…
By Ms. Pam (Pam Ruzzo) 
GW Elementary School E II (4th/5th Grades)

The George Washington School is within walking distance to an array of historical buildings, government offices and beautiful parks. There are also programs offered by volunteers, museums, county buildings and local businesses.  At the beginning of each school year we have parents sign a permission slip to leave the building for short walks on any given day.  This gives us the opportunity to experience first hand Kingston’s valuable contributions dating back over four centuries.

The lessons we can build on are unlimited. The other day was a perfect example. With notebooks in hand my class and I went on a scavenger hunt.  The students were looking for geometric shapes, dates on buildings (to add to their US timeline) and local government buildings. As we were walking on North Front Street Maurice Hinchey walked by.  Since we are studying the levels of government I asked him if he would mind answering some of the students’ questions.  Needless to say I had to stop the students and spare Mr. Hinchey. I was than able to bring this experience back into the classroom and have the students do further research. The motivation, enthusiasm, projects and discussions that this experience created will live with the students for a very long time.


Third class picture with Maurice



Writing Standards K–5
Text Types and Purposes:
*Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
*Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic
*Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences
Comprehension and Collaboration:
* Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
* Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Math Standards K-5
Measurement & Data 4.MD:
* Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems. For example, find
the width of a rectangular room given the area of the flooring and the length, by viewing the area formula as a multiplication equation with an unknown factor .

Geometry 5.G
* Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems

Geometry 6.G 
*Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.

After returning from our walk through uptown Kingston a class discussion was held on what we saw and the data we collected. The students were given various assignments that tied into topics we were covering already. For example, the different levels of government, adding to our city’s timeline, geometry, writing a letter to the Mayor Gallo (topics of choice: school lunches, recreational programs offered by the city, or jobs for teenagers), research projects and so forth.

The Benefits of Universal Pre-K – 3 & 4 Year Old Programs in “The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools”

Click on Image to read the article "The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools" in the New York Times.

Click on Image to read the article “The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools” in the New York Times.


Interesting piece in the New York Times.

For those who might think that a Universal Pre-K program is just a babysitting service, here’s food for thought:


“Union City makes an unlikely poster child for education reform. It’s a poor community with an unemployment rate 60 percent higher than the national average. Three-quarters of the students live in homes where only Spanish is spoken. A quarter are thought to be undocumented, living in fear of deportation.”

Public schools in such communities have often operated as factories for failure. This used to be true in Union City, where the schools were once so wretched that state officials almost seized control of them. How things have changed. From third grade through high school, students’ achievement scores now approximate the statewide average. What’s more, in 2011, Union City boasted a high school graduation rate of 89.5 percent — roughly 10 percentage points higher than the national average. Last year, 75 percent of Union City graduates enrolled in college, with top students winning scholarships to the Ivies.

Ask school officials to explain Union City’s success and they start with prekindergarten, which enrolls almost every 3- and 4-year-old. There’s abundant research showing the lifetime benefits of early education. Here, seeing is believing.”


READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE…”The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools” 

NEW DATE: The GW Elementary School PTO Host 2nd Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser MARCH 15th at 4:00pm




The GW Elementary School PTO is hosting its 2nd annual Pasta Dinner fundraiser on Friday, March 15th from 4:00pm – 7:00pm located in the GW Elementary School Cafeteria at 67 Wall Street, Kingston NY.

Dinner includes pasta and meatballs with red sauce, salad, bread, beverage and dessert.

The cost to attend at the door is adults, students & seniors $7.00, families with two adults and up to 3 children is $25.00 (each additional family member is $3.00).

Buy early and save! Copy the attached  Pasta Dinner flyer  for adults, students and seniors are $5.00, families with 2 adults and up to 3 children $20.00 (each additional family member is $3.00).

Please send in the form for tickets with cash or check no later than MARCH 11th to get the discount.  Checks payable to: George Washington PTO.

If you have any questions, or wish to make a donation, please contact Diann Keyser at: 914/466-5741.

To learn more about the GW Elementary School PTO, visit this LINK


How parents and teachers can work together to support the GW Elementary School


The GW Elementary School hosts a really hard-working group of parents and teachers who have worked tirelessly  in fundraising to accentuate programs, after school activities – even items to improve the building as part of the PTO.  The list of those currently active can be found HERE.

The scheduled meeting dates are (and will be all held in the Cafeteria unless otherwise noted):

Thursday, January 17th, 5:30pm
Thursday, February 21st, 5:30pm
Thursday, March 21st, 5:30pm
Thursday, April 18th, 5:30pm
Thursday, May 16th, 5:30pm
Thursday, June 20th, 5:30pm


Continue reading How parents and teachers can work together to support the GW Elementary School