MLK PTO Weekly Email 12/16/15 – Happy Holidays!

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

With two and a half days left before winter break, we have a final MLK PTO email for 2015 with six items for your interest.

  • Guidelines for food during classroom celebrations
  • Winter Recess – December 21-January 1 (school resumes January 4)
  • Follow up from December 9 PTO meeting
  • MLK International Potluck in January – we need your help!
  • Shop and support King!
  • Providence Public Schools Climate and Culture Survey – final reminder

Guidelines for food during classroom celebrations
On behalf of principal Kristen Lussier and school nurse-teacher Rhonda O’Keefe, we want to share information about the food policy at MLK Elementary. King has many students with many different food allergies. It has become increasingly difficult to be sure that food brought into school will be safe for all students. In order to provide for everyone’s safety, King does not allow any food items to be brought into school for classroom celebrations. If you wish to celebrate your child’s birthday in the classroom, you may provide non-food items. Be sure to speak with your child’s teacher first. Also, if your child’s teacher allows in-classroom snacks on a regular basis, please make sure that what you send is is nut-free, and remind your child not to share any food brought from home with other children. Thank you for your understanding.

Winter Break – December 21 through January 1
Reminder: The Providence Public Schools will be closed for Winter Break from Monday, December 21 through Friday, January 1. School resumes on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Follow up: PTO Meeting Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 pm
Many thank to those family, community, and MLK staff members who joined us at last week’s MLK PTO meeting, at which we discussed many opportunities for community involvement at King. We left the meeting feeling great pride in our school, which has been for several decades the center of our neighborhood and which also serves students from across Providence incredibly well. We’re eager to focus our energy on 2016 on making sure that King has a strong base of support both from current families and also from the many families whose lives have been touched by our school. We also want to make sure that the greater East Side, of which our school has been a part since 1967, is able to participate in King’s ongoing success. We will be scheduling further conversations on this topic; please look for a meeting invitation in early January.

We discussed creating several new committees within the PTO, including a fundraising committee, a family and community engagement committee, and a morning drop off/walking school bus committee. These ideas are fantastic and we’re excited to move forward with them. Look for more in early January and please get involved!

We also appreciated information provided by Mrs. Lussier and MLK Elementary’s math specialist, Lori Whalen, about our school’s math curriculum and PARCC test scores. We will be revisiting these two topics, and also discussing the English/Language Arts curriculum, during future meetings.

MLK International Potluck in January – we need your help!
We had a fabulous time at October’s Harvest Fest! Thanks to the many King families who came out to eat, dance, make friends, and have fun. Once we return to school, it will be time to get ready for another fantastic annual event, the MLK International Potluck. The International Potluck happens to celebrate our school’s connection to Dr. King, and also to celebrate the many countries of origin of our students. Families bring a dish from their cultural heritage to share, and we plan entertainment that includes student performances that honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.

This event happens in late January (we’ll announce the date soon). This year, we need your help! We need a committee of family and staff members to make the MLK International Potluck a success. If you would like to be involved, please email You can choose to help with food, entertainment, student performances, publicity/community involvement, or any other aspect of this wonderful annual tradition. Thank you!

Shop and Support King!
As you shop online for the holidays, please remember to use the MLK PTO’s Amazon Smile link, which is By clicking there, and regularly using Amazon Smile, every Amazon purchase will support the PTO. We’re gearing up for fundraising to make sure we can support another round of fabulous field trips, teacher appreciation, and more, and your participation makes a big difference. Thanks!

Providence Public Schools Climate and Culture Survey
Students have received copies of a climate and culture survey that the Providence Public Schools is conducting. Your input is very important. Please fill out the survey on paper or online before December 17 (tomorrow!).


All the best for a joyous holiday season. See you in 2017!

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

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