The PTO will host its annual Breakfast with Santa morning on Saturday, Dec. 5, beginning at 9 a.m. There will be photos with Santa, special baked goods and breakfast goodies and items available for purchase, such as Scholastic Books.

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The second-graders in Melanie McCormack's classroom have been busy working on creative writing stories, with a focus on learning about characters and comparing and contrasting those in their stories. They also are working on the sequencing of events in their stories. The students have been busy reviewing their phonics skills and learning new vowel teams and trigraphs.

In science studies, the students have been working with and learning about sand, clay and humus and even made their own soil salad during an in-house field trip.

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There will be a School Committee meeting tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Pentucket High School.

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Report cards go home on Wednesday for students in grades 1 through 6.

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To allow for parent/teacher conferences, Thursday will be an early release day. Dismissal at the Donaghue School will be at 11:50 a.m., while the students at the Sweetsir School will be released at noon. There will be no afternoon kindergarten that day.

Additional conference days for kindergarten and preschool students also have been scheduled. These conferences will take place during regular school days/hours.

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Parent/teacher meetings will be held at both the Sweetsir and Donaghue schools on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Conferences also will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m.

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Carol Ruest's full-day kindergarten students were busy in November learning about Pilgrims, Native Americans, the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving feast. Their hands-on projects included making Mayflower ships and paper bag turkeys, as well as comparing the weights of different foods by using rocker balances.

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A final flu clinic to administer the H1N1 shot to Pentucket students in grades 9 through 12 was held on Nov. 24. This will be the school's last flu clinic as the number of interested students does not warrant a clinic. Families are encouraged to contact their pediatrician or local Board of Health to get their vaccine.

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The 50th annual Merrimac Santa Parade takes place on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. The parade, which promises music from bands from area schools, antique cars and unique floats, begins at the Sweetsir School and travels south on Church Street into the square and turns onto West Main Street, ending at the Donaghue School. This year's parade theme is Christmas Memories. Parade organizer Thelma Gibbs is looking for volunteers to help out or offer suggestions of fundraising ideas for the event. Contact Gibbs at 978-346-9486.

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Michelle Pelletier Marshall reports on the Rowley and Merrimac elementary schools. She can be reached at marshallsinmass@comcast.net.

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