Edgartown

It was nice to have a blanket of snow on the ground all last week, glistening when the sun shines and crunchy to walk on, as opposed to the mushy consistency that we are usually left with after it snows. Local ponds have been frozen, at least the shallow ones, providing a great opportunity for skating enthusiasts. To be safe, check with the authorities before attempting to skate or walk on area ponds in the days ahead as temperatures are forecasted to rise above the freezing point.

Last Friday, Principal John Stevens from the Edgartown School held his monthly Principal’s Coffee. The hour-long meetings give parents a chance to talk about the latest happenings at the school and to ask any questions they may have.

This past Friday, after a question by a parent about how the composition of students is determined in the two kindergarten classes, the meeting’s attendees ended up discussing children’s readiness for kindergarten for most of the hour. John pointed out the importance of preschool to prepare children to learn when they arrive in kindergarten. He also remarked that by providing children the opportunity to attend preschool, those requiring special assistance can be identified early on.

Debbie DeBettencourt, one of the guidance counselors at the school, joined in the conversation, adding that it would be helpful if external sources of funding could be identified to help the town’s parents that are unable to afford to send their children to preschool. Also present at the meeting was Kathy Pogue, PTO co-chair and parent of three Edgartown School students (triplets Spencer, Molly, and Paige). Kathy said she would bring up the topic at the next PTO meeting, and would like to explore ways that the PTO could help support Edgartown parents with preschool-aged children.

Bridget Mello’s third-grade class at the Edgartown School has just completed an exciting project on the Titanic. Each student designed a poster filled with pictures and drawings of the ship and facts about what occurred on that fateful day, April 20, 1911. The students’ work will be on display in the hallway outside Ms. Mello’s classroom.

The FARM Institute has mailed out its summer camp catalogue, and it includes activities for young children, teenagers, and adults. If you did not receive a copy in the mail, you can find the information on their website, farminstitute.org.

Edgartown Cub Scouts Michael Courtney, Riley Craig, Camden Emery, Ethan Fink, Luka Olivera, Bobby Olcot, and my sons Charlie and Lukas attended an Emergency Preparedness Fair at the Barnstable Senior Center in Hyannis last Saturday. The Scouts learned about first aid and how to keep themselves and others safe.

With the help of the M.V. Public Health Coalition, there will be an H1N1 Vaccination Clinic open to adults at the Edgartown School between 3 and 7 pm this Friday, Jan. 15. While the swine flu outbreak has subsided on the Island, health officials expect that it will return in a second wave this winter.

Richard McCarron, a well-respected attorney and Edgartown resident since 1966, died on December 31. My condolences go out to his family, friends and co-workers.

Make every day special.