Principal's Message

September 9, 2016

posted Sep 9, 2016, 1:04 PM by Kurt Gergler

Hello Families,

Have you heard about Flash Mobs? It is when a group of people gather all at once to perform or do something fun and then disperse. It is for entertainment. OK, OK, the term was coined over a decade ago but I try to sound hip when I can. Last week I mentioned the BES End of Summer Harvest Picnic occurring between 5:00 and 7:00 on Friday, September 16th on the BES playground. Where did this come from? I like to call it a Flash Event. See, all sorts of people have all sorts of great ideas and I think it would be great to jump in and try some. The key to a Flash Event is to make the event fun and not require any one person to dedicate hours and hours to organize. Our picnic will be our first Flash Event!

How will the picnic work? We ask that you come with food for your family, blankets, chairs and lawn games. Feel free to bring finger food to share. We will set up tables for shared dishes and play some music. We will have the building open for bathrooms or if the weather pushes us inside.

If anyone has a particular twist to add, feel free to contact me if logistics are needed. For instance, BES does have a decent sound system so we could have live music. Does anyone want to come perform a song or two? Open mic? If you bring music on an iPod to sing to, we could do that as well.

We hope to see you next Friday!!!

We want to share a bit of our staff conversations around report cards this year. In case you are new, we generally report student progress on standards-based report cards three times a year. Standards describe specific academic skills, such as counting to 100 or reading grade level words. We have end of year standards, or standards that we want children to master by June each year. The first report card, usually given out in December, is rated against the June standards. If you think about it, most children will not master the June standards in December so the ratings on the cards look low, even if the child is on track.

We want to try something different this year. Rather than the standards-based report card in December, we will furnish written comments about the student’s progress at the conferences in November. The comments will capture all aspects of the day, but will not be as long and detailed as the report card. We will then score the standards-based report cards in late January and again in June. We are still discussing if we do any progress notes in between January and June. We will update you on that.

The goal of this change is to give parents more of a real time update in November so parents know how their child(ren) is doing after the first nine weeks of school. We hope the comments will work better than the cards we did last December.

The big picture, looking a few years down the road, is that we are wrestling with the best way to inform parents around student progress. The dream is to have a way for parents to be able to check on student progress in real time. We think that would be great for all! Why wait for a report card, right?

Please let me know if you have questions about our report card conversations,

Keep in touch.

Kurt Gergler

June 17, 2016

posted Jun 17, 2016, 12:04 PM by Kurt Gergler

Hello Families!

Yesterday I greeted a child coming off the bus in the morning. She was crying. I chatted with her and found out that she was sad because school is ending. No one likes seeing a crying child so my heart sank a little, then I pointed out to her that she is crying because she loved the school year. She agreed she loved the year, but assured me she would be sad all day. We gave each other fives and off she went.

I walked away to greet other children and then thought that BES is crying good. That is my slogan for today as I celebrate the end of a great year with the children, staff and families. Many of us will be sad to see everyone leave because it is so wonderful working here; it is easy to see joy every single day.

Wrapped inside the 2015-16 school year’s 180 days, 1,157 hours and 69,420 minutes were 4,165,200 seconds worth of those little moments that make life at BES so great.

BES, it is cryin’ good!

Keep in touch.


Kurt Gergler

June 10, 2016

posted Jun 17, 2016, 12:03 PM by Kurt Gergler

Hello Families!

Remember in 1980 when Celebration by Kool and the Gang came out? It was played all over and at so many events for years. You still hear it around. Last Thursday, for instance, BES had our Education Fair and as I walked around the building all I could here was that song in my head. It was AMAZING to see the work of the children displayed, children pulling family members around to see the projects and the family members reacting to the work. It was a true celebration of a year of learning. We are so appreciative of the efforts of the staff, students and families to support the wonderful work at BES! You all rocked it!

The celebration of JoAnn Willemssen’s career at BES is nearing the end. She taught the first music class and produced the first concert at BES when the building opened and she already produced her last concert and will teach her last class next week. She has built a dynamic and celebratory music program through knowledge, skill, passion and constant refining. She has launched many children into success as members of the BMS and BHS (and CHS and RJHS years ago) choruses and bands.  Her love of children, music and Bow served her students well. It is difficult to accept the thought of BES music without Ms. Willemssen, but, accept we must.

On a personal note, Ms. Willemssen was hired at BES when I was in 5th grade. She taught the younger students so I did not have her. Consequently, I have spent this year getting to know her for the first time, and have found that I deeply respect her and her work. It is like I had a second chance to meet a member of my family and was unwilling to miss the chance. I have been fostering a growing sadness around the time I missed as witness to her music leadership. Perhaps you do the same, but for me, sadness is an opportunity. The opportunity we now have is to play, sing and dance with abandon out of respect of her and her fine work. Do Re Mi, Ms. Willemssen, may the Yellow Brick Road rise up to meet you and Toto as you glide into the next chapter of your life. The door is always open with a place at the table for you.

Another individual we are celebrating is Sergeant Margaret Lougee, our School Resource Officer. She was just named the 2016 New Hampshire School Emergency Preparedness Award winner. We are proud of her work and because of her work we are comforted. When you see her around, give her a thumbs up!

Many children are celebrating the end of the school year. We BES adults have a few items ahead of us to make the end of year experience fun, unifying and memorable. There will be laughter. Next week is a crazy busy week for the school. We have a school meeting on Monday, Spirit Day on Tuesday, Meet and Greet with our next year’s teacher on Thursday and the final assembly on the last day, Friday. Then the children leave. At that point our collective energy dips with the realization that the children are gone. We will look at each other and then realize that it is time for summer. There will be laughter and hugs. We then launch into our summer work to continue to set up the 2016-2017 school year. The cycle continues.

You have been amazing families! You have supported your children and your school all year long and we are grateful. It certainly can be humbling to work in Bow and you are the reason for that. Our hats are off to you as we celebrate your efforts to make BES the BEST!

Celebrate good times, come on!

Keep in touch.


Kurt Gergler

April 22, 2016

posted Apr 22, 2016, 12:58 PM by Kurt Gergler

Dear Families,

Around the beginning of time NH schools were charged to teach state history in fourth grade.

For many decades we sat children down, we had them read about NH, we showed them pictures of purple finches, lilacs and famous NH people, and we brought them to the NH State House. Sometimes students wrote and sometimes they took tests to show their knowledge.  In recent years at BES, students completed a NH famous person project by writing a report and preparing an exhibit to present their person of study (in full costume) at our annual Ed Fair.  

But something very special happened at BES in 2016. The fourth grade performed an original NH history musical that they wrote. The play had four scenes, each depicting a different point in NH history. There was a unifying theme. There were handmade props and costumes. There was music for scene changes. There were songs with soloists, groups and total ensemble parts. The play integrated the work of this year’s Artist in Residence and was supported by the work of the BHS winner of the Christa McAuliffe scholarship.  OK, it rocked and there is no other way around it. Check it out on our website!

I share about the play because we are all so proud of the children and the collective fourth grade work to put this together. The bigger reason I share about this play is that it is a great example of a performance task. Performance task is a school-speak way of saying, “Tests are fine, but we need to look at many more ways of seeing how children can share what they have learned.” The play was a way to see what they have learned AND a way to support learning. This is awfully similar to your job, right? As we engage in whatever we engage, we learn ways of completing the task at a higher and higher level of skill and proficiency. In school, learning by doing teaches the children to persist through complicated tasks, as we know that as adults, they will need to persist and garner strength and knowledge to succeed. Along the way they learn to seek knowledge, solve problems, try new skills, collaborate, share their ideas, accept the ideas of others and take risks.

Oh, sorry, this is the Friday before vacation. Perhaps you are ready for a brain break from school. OK. So, next week allow your children to go outside, get wet, get dirty and maybe even fall down a few times. Have some parent fun and give them building, engineering, cooking, musical, acting and/or poetry challenges. Give them parameters, tools and skills, as needed. Allow them to solve the problem without adult interference. Not only will the children be occupied for a while (!), you will be helping them be successful later in life. Further, you might just get to hear a new song or trip over the automatic dog waterer that your child made out of old PVC piping from the garage.

Keep in touch.

Kurt Gergler

PS: There has been a change to the school calendar for next year. December 14th is now a full school day and no longer an Early Release day. December 23rd is now an early Early Release day and no longer a day off of school. January 2nd is now a day off of school and no longer a school day.  Please follow this link for an updated calendar.

April 15, 2016

posted Apr 17, 2016, 4:00 PM by Kurt Gergler

Dear Families,

As I write this I am watching dark smoke billow through the blue sky. There is a fire at the top of the hill on Manchester Street in Concord. There are mixed reports on the exact structure at this point, but it is a structure fire. I heard the Bow Fire Department sirens around 6:30 AM and I assume they are offering mutual aid. It is never good when a structure burns unexpectedly, but I want to focus on what Bow Fire Department did, respond to a mutual aid call.

As many of you know I grew up in Bow and offering mutual aid is something I remember fondly. Many of you know of Gergler Field on Albin Road. That field was built, for the most part, through mutual aid. Labor, materials and heavy machinery were all donated for the cause. That was the the fourth field in Bow - there were two at the Memorial School and one at Sargent’s Park. Bow needed more fields so a bunch of people got together to build it. The upper fields on Albin Road came later.

Fast forward to April 2016. BES now has two raised bed structures which will be used for school gardens. These were built from, you guessed it, mutual aid. A handful of people got together on April 9th to offer labor and donated materials to create the twelve by four foot beds. Just yesterday a group of children gathered to start the work of growing a garden. All this work came from volunteers. That felt like Bow to me.

Last week a group of fourth graders visited the Concord SPCA to deliver donated items and tour the facility. This was the final piece of their project. They decided to make the world a better place by supporting animals. They contacted the SPCA to see what they could do, they presented their idea to their classes, they advertised for donations and they, well, raided their own homes for animal related supplies. This group effort by the children was impressive and highlighted what a group of children can accomplish if we give them the room.

On April 15th, tonight at 6:00 PM at BHS, there will be twenty-five acts of music, lip synching mainly, featured on stage. This PTO sponsored event has been created to put a spotlight on the talent of about 87 of our children. Parents and BES staff members have worked with the children outside of the school day to help them rehearse and polish their acts. The children are very excited and the event only occurred because of the giving of time.

There can be no reference of time or group efforts without sharing more about the 4th grade play. You may have read the Concord Insider article earlier this week. You may have heard about or read announcements about the play. But to be at BES and witness the development of the play has been an honor. The creative, thoughtful and talented children have created an original musical about NH history. Let that sink in for a bit: an original musical about NH history. Now that is a fun way to learn! From the adult side, this has been a collaborative effort between the classroom staff, our teacher of music, this year’s artist in residence and a creative BHS teacher on a Christa McAuliffe sabbatical to focus on creativity. The performance will all come together on Tuesday, April 19th at 7:00 PM on stage in the BHS auditorium. You might want to come. Here is the link to the article:

It is now 7:30 AM and the sky is back to blue. It looks like the firefighters have been successful. The structure in question is surely devastated. My hunch is that people will pull together to help.

Keep in touch.

Kurt Gergler

April 1, 2016

posted Apr 7, 2016, 4:34 AM by Kurt Gergler

Dear Families,

We know it is April Fool's Day, and not Thanksgiving, but we want to share some things for what we, at BES, are thankful:

  • We were so happy that many of you came out to the School District Meeting a few weeks ago and passed the school budget with huge support. We are now ready to plan in earnest for next year!

  • We are still very impressed with the number of families that attended our Dr. Seuss themed family math and literacy night. The pictures still give us joy!

  • Our first graders were giddy with excitement seeing so many of their families attend the Dreaming Around The World concert last night. Their performances were wonderful!

  • Those at the concert last night heard that Ms. Willemssen is retiring from teaching music at BES at the end of the school year. They heard that she was the first music teacher at BES when BES opened in 1978. She actually worked at BMS when BMS was a Kindergarten to Ninth grade school. Ms. Willemssen has been a leader in music and in our Bow schools for nearly 40 years! We are proud to call her our own. We will miss her!

  • The fourth grade students that arranged the SPCA collection drive will visit the SPCA next week to drop off the pile of collections. They are thankful for all the support for this drive and look forward to touring the center.

  • We all love the new BES Facebook page! Check it out from the link below.

  • A good handful of parents are taking on the challenge of initiating a BES outdoor garden! The construction will start next weekend, so if you are around after April 9th, check out the south(left) side of the gym. We are excited to have that resource at our school.

  • Next Wednesday night, April 6th at 6:30, we will welcome parents of our next incoming kindergarten class to our annual Kindergarten Information Night.  We love this opportunity for parents to meet teachers/staff and learn about our wonderful kindergarten program.  

Overall, we are thankful for all your support in everything we do for and with the children.

In the spirit of helping children in general, I have agreed to work to raise money for the children’s camp fund through the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Hampshire. As part of their annual drive they reach out to leaders of organizations around the state and, well, arrest them. I was contacted and accepted the challenge of being a Jailbird in 2016 Concord Lock-Up benefiting Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Hampshire. I’ll be raising money to help in the fight against muscle disease in our community.  This event is taking place on May 5th at The Common Man. I am going to be "arrested" by an MDA volunteer and placed in "jail" until I raise my bail amount, which is $2,400.  The money raised helps fund the MDA annual summer camp for kids with various neuromuscular diseases at Agassiz Village in Poland, ME.  It costs MDA approximately $800 to send 1 child to camp for a week, and we’re hoping with your help I can send 3 kids to camp this year! So I am asking you to help with my fundraising efforts by donating (all donations are tax-deductible). 
You can donate directly online by following this link: KurtGerglerConcordLockUp

The MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat over 40 neuromuscular diseases through worldwide research, comprehensive services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.  MDA funding maintains two clinics in NH, as well as support groups, local medical equipment assistance, and disability awareness and education programs. 
On behalf of children and adults served by MDA, thank you for your support!

Do you want to be thankful for a fun day? You can hang out with children having fun at school! Read on:

Volunteers Needed

Parent Volunteers needed for Field Day! 
Tuesday June 14, 2016 with a rain date of Wednesday June 15, 2016 
Parents of children in grades K-2 are needed from 9am-11am 
Parents of children in grades 3 and 4 are needed from 12pm-2pm 
Also, 5 volunteers needed to grill and 5 volunteers needed to assist with food distribution from 10am-12:30pm 
Please contact Tracy Berube at to sign up or ask questions

We are also thankful for... Board Books for Babies!! 
Since 1994, Students at Bow Elementary have been invited to participate in a community project called Board Books for Babies. For this project, students are asked to bring in new board books that will be donated to The Concord Hospital Family Health Center in Concord. Staff at the Health Center will give the board books to children and their families during regular doctor visits.

Many of these children have never had access to books before. Part of the Health Center’s program also consists of training parents on the importance of literacy development. Our donated board books will help to support this program. The administrator of the Family Health Center reports that the children’s eyes just light up when they are given a book to take home.

How to participate:  Have your child bring in brand new board books during the week of April 18-22nd. Know that you are making a difference! 

As you enter April, look around and notice all that you value.

Keep in touch.

Kurt Gergler

March 4, 2016

posted Mar 5, 2016, 2:12 PM by Kurt Gergler

Dear Families,

Over time we all become accustomed to tell tale signs that a new season is upon us. The leaves speak of fall. The red and green blur tells us winter is settling in of a long visit. Talk of sap running, town meetings and gooey mud on the roads indicate that spring is about to arrive. Standardized testing tells us that summer approaches.

The school district meeting will be at the high school next Friday, March 11th, at 7:00 PM. This is a very important meeting to determine the budget the school district will use next year. We would love to see you all there - can you see it? Elementary parents everywhere you look? Sounds great to us. Babysitting will be provided. Please come and vote on the budget, support staff contracts, teacher contracts and the other articles needed to run the district. Make your voice heard!

It is almost that time of year when schools across the nation assess the children’s skills in the reading, writing and math areas. Here in Bow, we also take time to measure how dextrous our students are in the literacy and numeracy areas. Assessment looks different across the grades. We use relatively short, teacher administered assessments, computer generated assessments and the state tests, the NECAP for science and the SBAC for reading, writing and math. The SBAC will occur in third grade in April and in fourth grade. Here is a note from our Curriculum Director, Don Gage:

Spring administration of Smarter Balanced Assessment:

As a school district we endeavor to care for each individual every day, focus on learning and teach to touch the future.  In order to help guide the work we do, to meet these three core values, we engage in self-reflection.  Formal surveys, anecdotal comments, your correspondence, awards, national recognition and most importantly student progress, help us in this process of self-reflection.

Throughout a student’s academic experience here in SAU 67, students and parents receive feedback on student progress in many forms.  Parent conferences, returned assignments, report cards, NWEA1 assessments, and SAT2 scores to name a few.  This feedback provides stakeholders with information regarding student progress that is informed by local expectations (assignments and report cards) and more global expectations (NWEA and SAT).  Again this spring students in the Bow School District (DSD) will be participating in the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC3), grades 3-8.  This assessment provides feedback in English language arts and mathematics. SBAC is an adaptive digital assessment, meaning it is delivered online and student responses, to questions, will determine the complexity of the student’s next question.  Your student will experience questions that are easy for them to answer and questions that they will find challenging.  Adaptive assessments provide a more personalized reflection of student achievement.  

Our assessment portfolio provides our school district with information to guide our self-reflection and it provides parents with information regarding their students’ academic growth.  We understand that no single data point fully reflects what a student knows and can do.  We are exploring more comprehensive ways to report out students’ portfolio of data.   We expect results from SBAC sometime in the fall of 2016.

For more information regarding Smarter Balanced Assessment please contact Don Gage, SAU 67, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment  228-2210  ext 346 or

1NWEA = Northwest Evaluation Association

2SAT = Scholastic Aptitude Test

3SBAC = Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

4NECAP = New England Common Assessment Program

Family-School Relationship Survey

In late March families will have an opportunity to provide feedback about their schools.  Families will receive an email from Panorama Education.  The email will include a confidential unique link to a survey for the school their student attends.  Families of students in all grades will receive this invitation to participate.  We will use the primary email on file in Infinite Campus to generate the invitations.  Please be sure that your email is up to date.  Families will answer questions in four categories: School Fit, Learning Behaviors, Parent Engagement and School Climate.  Data gathered in these four areas will be reported to the public in aggregate form and no personally identifiable data is linked to any parent response.  This data will be used in conjunction with our student and faculty survey data to help inform our future strategic plans.  You can view working drafts of both the Family and Faculty surveys at the following link:!services/component_71401

Here is Don Gage’s note on the survey process, we will repeat this piece a few times so you are ready for the email in a couple of weeks:


As part of our process of collecting feedback from stakeholders our family survey will open March 23, 2016.

What you should expect:

-You will receive an email from Panorama Education with "Request for your Feedback: SAU 67 Family Survey" in the subject line.

-The email will be sent on March 23, please check your spam folder if you do not receive an email.

-The email will include a link to a confidential survey(s).

-You will receive one survey per school in which you have a child enrolled.

-Once you have submitted your survey(s) the link will become inactive.

-The survey window will open on March 23 and close April 6, 2016.

If you have questions please email Don Gage, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment  (

BES Night of Songs

Like to sing? Like to dance? Want to get up on stage and perform?

Night of Songs is a PTO sponsored event for elementary students to come lip sync or karaoke a practiced routine in front of an audience. It will be the night of April 15th at 6pm. We encourage interested students to find friends to team up with and put together a performance. We will also be offering an after school enrichment session to create groups for those wanting to be involved but would like more help.


1. Get together with friends and create a performance outside of school, and fill out the goldenrod (dark yellow) form you received before vacation (includes name & artist of song, lyrics, names of group members, classroom teacher, and parent signature). That information goes to Mrs. Rader.


2. Request a permission slip for the Performing Practice after school enrichment (see link to pdf) Classroom teachers will have them available or print from the link. That form goes to Mrs. Ruest.

Dr. Seuss Family Literacy and Math Night

Families, please save the date for Wednesday, March 23rd for the Dr. Seuss Family Literacy and Math night, 5:30 - 7:00PM.  We are creating a fun and interactive event around math and reading. More information to follow.

Fourth Grade Leadership Team Project

Each of our fourth grade classrooms have a group of children working to make the world a better place. Two of the groups, Mrs. Whaland’s and Ms. Allison’s, joined forces to collect items for the local SPCA. If you can donate an item from the list below, please send it in to be added to the bins outside the front office. Thanks!

SPCA Collection Drive

Here are some items needed for the homeless animals at the SPCA shelter:

Small Animal Water Bottles

Small Animal (Guinea Pig, Rabbit) Wooden chew items (the larger the better)

Hooded/Covered Cat Beds

Zukes mini treats for dogs

Peanut Butter

Canned Pumpkin

Soft/cloth cat toys

KMR Kitten Formula

Gift Cards to Staples, Petco, PetSmart, Sandy’s Pet Food Center or any local vets

Love your pets and keep in touch,

Kurt Gergler

February 19, 2016

posted Feb 19, 2016, 9:43 AM by Kurt Gergler   [ updated Feb 19, 2016, 10:18 AM ]

Dear Families,

Bow Elementary School has been a busy, fun place this week. We had two nights of the Second Grade Country Dance, Read Across America events and a wonderful Senior Luncheon! Read on for more….

BES celebrated Read Across America and the birthday of Dr. Seuss this week with guest readers in the library and in classrooms and theme days at school.  Students and staff showed their reading spirit during Mixed-Up Day, Sports Day, Green Day, Hat Day and Comfy Cozy Day.  Special and fun Dr. Seuss activities happened in classrooms and lots of laughter filled our school.  We love reading!

The PTO sponsored the Second Grade Country Dance by funding the Caller and his musical partner. The children work in music class for weeks learning the dances. All this work came together beautifully on Tuesday and Wednesday nights with the cafeteria full of children and families. Our talented music teacher, JoAnn Willemssen, brought this event to BES years ago. You may know, but Ms. Willemssen will retire from teaching music at BES in June. You may remember that Ms. Willemssen has been teaching music at BES since it opened in 1979. She was actually hired to teach at BMS before BES existed! We are uneasy around the concept of letting her go.

Yesterday there was a big event at BES...the 16th Annual Senior Luncheon. It seems straightforward enough, we invite senior citizens living in Bow for a lunch in the cafeteria. As we all know, though, most things are not exactly as they appear! This seemingly simple lunch required the whole school and many parent volunteers. We are very grateful for the work of many to create a special event for the 90 guests.

-Logistics were handily accomplished through the school secretaries, Food Service staff and facilities department. These people did all the heavy lifting around advertising, organizing, setting up tables and chairs, helping with parking and food preparation.

-Decoration creation and setup was handled by second graders, third graders and parent volunteers.

-Welcoming our guests and helping them off with their coats was handled by third graders and parent volunteers.

-Food serving and attending to the needs of the guests during the meal was skillfully accomplished by fourth graders and parent volunteers.

-Entertainment included kindergarten, first grade and a small number of fourth graders.

-Special Heart Day cards were created and presented by first graders and bookmarks were created and given out by third graders.

We are extremely thankful for all who helped with this event. Our guests told us they loved it and they were so appreciative.  We love that it was, once again, a whole school event that emphasizes that great things come from people working together.

PTO Love

Have we mentioned that we love the PTO? We do! Were you at BES last Friday night for the Movie Night? That was GREAT! Thanks for all who helped and attended. It was stupendous to see all the children snuggled in watching a movie in the gym, and some children just busting moves in the hallway and in the cafeteria. Fun all around.

BES Night of Songs

Looking ahead to April 15, Tax Day, BES is celebrating music! We are hosting a BES Night of Music on the BHS stage at 6:00 PM starring our BES students lip-synching or singing karaoke to their favorite songs. Please talk to your child and see if they want to participate. If so, have them start finding a school OK song to perform. The paper advertisement for this has been sent home, look for it! (Oh, and YES, this is sponsored by the PTO.)

Dr. Seuss Family Literacy and Math Night

Families, please save the date for Wednesday, March 23rd for the Dr. Seuss Family Literacy and Math night, 5:30 - 7:00PM.  We are creating a fun and interactive event around math and reading. More information to follow.

Annual School District Meeting - IMPORTANT

The Bow School District meeting will be held Friday evening, March 11th at 7:00 PM at the BHS auditorium.  This meeting is an opportunity for all Bow voters to share their voice and their vote about the budget and other considerations related to the Bow schools.  

Family-School Relationship Survey

In late March families will have an opportunity to provide feedback about their schools.  Families will receive an email from Panorama Education.  The email will include a confidential unique link to a survey for the school their student attends.  Families of students in all grades will receive this invitation to participate.  We will use the primary email on file in Infinite Campus to generate the invitations.  Please be sure that your email is up to date.  Families will answer questions in four categories: School Fit, Learning Behaviors, Parent Engagement and School Climate.  Data gathered in these four areas will be reported to the public in aggregate form and no personally identifiable data is linked to any parent response.  This data will be used in conjunction with our student and faculty survey data to help inform our future strategic plans.  You can view working drafts of both the Family and Faculty surveys at the following link:!services/component_71401

We wish all a wonderful school vacation week next week. We hope the children have time to play!

Keep in touch,

Kurt Gergler

February 4, 2016

posted Feb 4, 2016, 1:15 PM by Kurt Gergler

Dear Families,

The process to pass a school budget for next school year is moving along. The School Budget Hearing will be taking place this coming Monday, February 8th at 6PM in the BHS Auditorium. This is an important meeting to hear about and offer input on the budget before it goes to the Annual District Meeting. Babysitting is available, organized through Student Senate from BHS. They will keep track of and entertain the children after parents register them in the library.  No charge for the childcare service, but donations are appreciated which helps the Student Senate in their charity donation goals.

The Annual District Meeting will be held on Friday, March 11, also at BHS, and will also have childcare. This is when the budget is set by the voters for next year.

Attending these meetings is vital if you want your voice heard. We would love to see a strong BES family presence to be sure you weigh in on what you want for your children in Bow schools. The budget is still in process, but at this point the budget is slightly up and the tax rate looks like it will go slightly down. Here at BES we ready to cut some supplies, we are reducing two support positions, are hoping to maintain our programs and are hoping to add a third grade teacher to support the current second grade moving up next year.

Are you feeling healthy? Has it now been long enough since the holidays to feel yourself again? Do you sense that spring is approaching and you and your body are ready to take on warm weather activities? We at BES are interested in being healthy and are making healthy plans. Some parents and staff members met the other night and focused on three projects: an outdoor vegetable garden, an indoor hydroponic garden and hiking activities. Right out of the box the third grade teachers will take on the hydroponic garden idea as it fits into their curriculum. We have two parents interested in leading hikes, one after school and one on the weekend. All at the meeting were interested in helping with an outdoor garden.

We are looking for some family help:

  1. We would love more people to respond to the wellness survey. If you have not yet, please respond to this short survey:

  2. We are looking for people to join the garden committee. Please email me if interested in meeting about one time a month to plan and/or helping with legwork or garden work:

  3. We are looking for one or two people willing to hike with children. We have leaders, but need some more adults to help keep the children on the trail. These hikes will be randomly scheduled depending on interest. This is not a big commitment! Please email me if interested:

Final Call! The collection of winter coats and boots is winding down. Please look in your closets again and bring in what you can donate to fill the box in the hall.

Final Call, too! The collections for a school in Costa Rica is winding down. Please bring in school supplies, art supplies and thinking type board games to fill the other box in the hall. See more information below.

The PTO movie night next Friday is coming together nicely. The PTO will welcome families to the cafeteria at 5:00 PM for food - the pre-order forms for pizza are due Friday  - but some food may be available that night if you do not pre-order. Around 5:30 I will invite parents into the music room for a showing of Most Likely To Succeed, a movie about school change, followed by a discussion. Around 5:45 the movie will start for the children. We are ready to supervise the children of those adults joining the education movie, but please understand that this is a family event and we need all children in attendance to have a connected adult at one or the other movie.

Keep in touch,

Kurt Gergler

BES Read Across America Celebration

February 15th - 19th

In recognition of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, during the week of February 15-19, we will celebrate by having Read Across America Week at BES. We have some exciting activities planned, including theme dress days, Dr. Seuss read alouds by guest readers, Dr. Seuss trivia raffle for a chance to win a new book, and guess the book quotes trivia.  Students can help celebrate by dressing in the following Dr. Seuss theme clothing on the following days:

Monday: Mixed Up Monday (Hooray For Diffendoofer Day!)  

Tuesday: Comfy Cozy Day (Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book)

Wednesday: Green Day (Green Eggs and Ham)

Thursday: Sports Day-Three Cheers for Reading and Dr. Seuss!!

Friday: Hat Day (The Cat in the Hat)

Thank you!

COSTA RICA DONATIONS! Deadline for donations is February 15th.

During February break, our family will be visiting a school in an undeveloped area of Costa Rica. Our second grader, Maddux, and kindergartener, Dylan, are collecting donations to bring with us. Please consider sending in item(s) if you can help. We hope to bring back pictures of the school and children we are helping to share with BES students. Any questions, please contact me, Sheri Oosterveen at

We need the items by Monday, February 15th and there is a box in the BES entryway. Please check the link below for more information:

January 29, 2016

posted Feb 4, 2016, 4:35 AM by Kurt Gergler

Dear Families,

We at BES are excited to support wellness activities for our BES family. Two weeks ago we shared a parent survey to gather information around wellness activities. We have had 39 people respond to the survey. You may recall that on the survey we listed wellness activities and asked for people to show if they are interested in that event for their child or family. The results follow:

Outdoor Vegetable Garden at School: 27

After School Walking/Hiking club: 23

Family Yoga:         20

Indoor Hydroponic Garden: 16

Child Yoga:         16

Ice Skating Party:         14

Star Gazing Night Walk:         13

Family Cardio:         11

After School Running Club: 10

Healthy Snack Preparation Night:  8

Child Cardio:          6

Evening Meeting on Stress Management:4

Before school Walking Club:  1

Evening Meeting on Healthy Eating:  1

We also left a spot on the survey for additional ideas and received the following:

Fun Science Class

Healthy child education worked into school day

Child healthy cooking/eating class

Look at the food offered through the cafeteria

Learn to cross country ski for families

Geocaching club or trips

Speed cup tournament

Indoor rock wall installed in the gym or cafeteria

Healthy cooking kid challenges

Family meal planning nights to share to make it easier for busy families to eat better

We now want action! We are looking for champions to take on an event. If you feel you can contribute to organize or help to organize an event, please plan on joining us at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at BES. We will meet in the Music Room. At this meeting we will plan which events we can make happen. If you cannot attend this meeting and can help, please email me,

As a review from last week I want to repeat some events coming up:

-There is no school on February 9th because of the Primary Voting Day.

-On Friday, February 12th there will be two movie events at BES. Families are welcome to arrive at 5:00 PM for pizza, if they pre-order.

Then, the parents who are interested can join me in the Music Room at 5:30 or so to see the educational film, Most Likely To Succeed. We adults can then chat about the movie after it shows. Meanwhile, the children will settle down for the Inside Out movie. This could be a fun (and informative) event! There is no need to RSVP for the educational movie, but the PTO will need to know if you will be ordering pizza in advance of the family movie.

-On Thursday, February 18th we will be hosting our 16th annual Bow Resident Senior Citizen Luncheon. The event will be in our Bow Kids’ Cafe at 11:30 AM. This is always an event that the seniors, our staff and students look forward to each year. Each class contributes to the event in a special way. There are handmade bookmarks, place mats and flowers and student led entertainment. We do our best each year to reach out to all Bow Senior citizens through postings around town, emails and mailed invitations. However, each year we learn that there is someone who has been missed. Please help spread the word to any Bow resident senior citizens that you may know and ask them to give us a call so we can put them on our RSVP list. Our amazing food Service team will be making a delicious chicken meal. Thank you for your assistance! If you are interested in volunteering for this great event please email our PTO Volunteer Coordinator, Heather Wood at

Keep in touch,

Kurt Gergler

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