VBES Spirit Week 12/17-12/21

Please join the VBES Student Council to celebrate Spirit Week!

Monday 12/17: wear either a festive sweater or an ugly sweater

Tuesday 12/18:  it’s a “WHObilation” Celebration 1

Dress in your best Who-ville/ Grinch Costumes


Wednesday 12/19: wear your winter white, sparkles, and winter wear 2

Thursday 12/20: wear your holiday clothes, socks, and headbands!

Friday 12/21: wear PJs and bring a favorite stuffed animal. No slippers, please!



VBES 5 Things!

  1. Happy Halloween to all our VBES families! Trick-or-Treat in Pepperell is tonight from 6:00-8:00 PM. Be safe and have a blast!
  2. School Council will meet tomorrow at 3:00 PM at VBES. All are welcome to attend.
  3. Tuesday, November 6th there is no school for students. VBES teachers will participate in professional development. It is also Election Day and voting is in the gymnasium here at VBES.
  4. The Veterans Day Observance is Friday, November 9th at 9:45 AM. This is a program for students in grades 1-4.
  5. Pick-up and drop-off: PLEASE drive slowly as you enter the school grounds. Do not enter the circle in front of the school during student arrival and dismissal (8:40-9:00 and 3:00-3:25). Veterans Day



On Thursday, October 25th Varnum Brook Elementary School staff and students, in conjunction with the Pepperell Police Department, will participate in a walk to our rally point.  This is part of our Safety Plan if we were ever to evacuate our building. This walk will be from VBES to the grounds of the Peter Fitzpatrick building and back.  The weather is looking to be cool in the morning. Please be sure your child has a jacket or sweatshirt and comfortable shoes to walk in. The whole process takes about an hour. Please let the school know if you must dismiss your child the morning of the 25th.  If you have any questions please contact me at 978-433-6722 or by email thanley@nmrsd.org.

VBES 5 Things!

  1. All grade levels are utilizing the Second Step Program this year.  Second Step is a program rooted in social-emotional learning (SEL) that helps transform schools into supportive, successful learning environments uniquely equipped to encourage children to thrive. More than just a classroom curriculum, Second Step’s holistic approach helps create a more empathetic society by providing education professionals, families, and the larger community with tools to enable them to take an active role in the social-emotional growth and safety of today’s children.  (http://www.secondstep.org/what-is-second-step). There are four areas addressed in lessons: skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, and problem solving. Information regarding this program will be included in correspondence from your child’s teacher. We appreciate your support with this program. We know these skills will provide a foundation for school success!
  2. VBES Playground Committee volunteers are needed! Please contact me if you are interested in helping to plan for a space that provides a safe, fun, and interactive physical environment for the children of Pepperell (thanley@nmrsd.org)

    This is not the design for VBES-it is a stock photo. But imagine what our playground could look like!
  3. MCAS result reports should be arriving this week. They will be mailed home to parents of students who participated in the 2018 Spring MCAS last school year. A detailed School Report is available on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/. It is listed on the School and District Profiles page.
  4. Columbus Day is Monday, October 8th. There is no school. Columbus Day
  5. As we work with students to develop their social-emotional growth, we model expected behaviors throughout the school day and beyond school hours. This applies to a variety of settings, including social media. I have posted this previously…       THINK

Spotlight on VBES Library and Open House Tonight!


Mrs. Norris with a grade 4 class.

I am thrilled to introduce Mrs. Norris-she is the new librarian at Varnum Brook Elementary School. Mrs. Norris is known to many parents and students, as she was a paraprofessional here at VBES for the previous two years (students know her as Miss Mullin-she was married in early August).  She holds several degrees (a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree) and attended the University of Massachusetts – Lowell and Fitchburg State University.

Some thoughts from Mrs. Norris:

“This year in the library, I will create a positive, welcoming environment for the school!  We will foster a love of reading for different genres and forms of literature.  I hope to empower students to be enthusiastic readers and skillful researchers.

Our library is used for scheduled class times, student research projects, and exchanging books.  I am excited to collaborate with classroom teachers through research projects and various curriculum areas.  I look forward to teaching students how to navigate the library through various activities and games.  It is going to be a great year!”

lib 2
The VBES Library! Ready to checkout?!

Tonight is Open House at Varnum Brook Elementary School.

Grades 1-4 5:00-7:00 PM

Parents of elementary school students in grades 1 through 4 are invited to attend the Open House on September 11th. This is an opportunity to meet your children’s teachers and learn:

  • What the teacher is like as a person
  • How the teacher will help your child thrive
  • How you can be involved in your child’s education this year
  • The classroom rules, procedures and our curriculum

The goal of this night is for parents to make connections about what students are doing in school and talking about at home, as well as increasing parent involvement. Parents who are involved in their child’s education have children with increased motivation, self-esteem, and better attendance!

 Time  Presentation
5:00-5:25 Grade 1—Teachers will be available in individual homerooms
5:25-5:50 Grade 2—Teachers will be available in individual homerooms
5:50-6:15 Grade 3—Teachers will present in their individual classrooms
6:15-6:40 Grade 4—Teachers will present in their individual classrooms


6:40-6:55 Band – Instrumental Information with Mr. Lanctot in the auditorium—this is for Grade 4 students only!
5:00-6:55 Visit our PTO table to sign up!

PLEASE NOTE: This evening is designed for informational purposes, not for conferencing with teachers regarding individual students. We also request that if you bring your children that they stay with an adult at all times.

VBES 5 Things!

1. Yesterday was the first day for kindergarten students at VBES! There is nothing like the excitement of the first day of school. Students were greeted by staff as they arrived, and hand-in-hand they walked into their new classrooms. Parents, please have students continue to wear name tags for at least the first week, as they have important bus information and help our staff to identify our youngest learners.

2. The Early Chldhood Center moved out of VBES a few weeks ago. We will miss the preschoolers but are happy they are back at Squannacook in Townsend. A week later, we were able to extend a welcome to the Gateway Program. This is an awesome group of NM students. These students have their own drop off and entrance, similar to the preschoolers who resided at VBES. The past two years, the Gateway Program students provided coffee and baked goods to VBES through The Gateway Cafe. Many are former VBES students and it is amazing to see the growth of these young people. They are also out of the building at various community job sites. 

3. The schedule went home for Open House on September 11th. We hope you can attend and meet your child’s teacher. On the notice was a change regarding Friday lunch-unpopular to some, I am sure. The reasons for this change are all directly related to student safety and I know as concerned parents you will understand the change.

4. Please make sure all emergency forms are updated and sent back to school by Friday. This is important information for us to have in case of emergency.

5. This year, there will be added emphasis on the importance of our students’ social emotional learning. This is district-wide and tied to the Strategic Plan. “Social emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.”(CASEL). We think this is an essential piece of educating every child and we look forward to their growth as members of the VBES community.

Welcome Back to VBES!

We extend a very warm welcome back to our students, staff and VBES families. On Tuesday, September 4th our kindergarten students will begin their school year. Orientation was held today and our staff is eager to start with our youngest learners.

Also on the 4th: Pepperell voting for the Massachusetts primary elections will be held in the VBES gymnasium.  With voting and day one of kindergarten, please be vigilant driving in and out of the school driveway. There are construction materials in the back parking lot, and work continues on the building. Naturally, our concern is for student safety. As long as everyone drives carefully and with an eye out for children we will work through the congestion on Tuesday!


We hope your Labor Day weekend is filled with relaxation and time spent with family and friends!

labor day