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Principal Snider's Message
October 2018
Michael Snider

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
L.M. Montgomery
 
October is the month for painted leaves…As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint just before they fall, so the year near its setting.  October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.
Henry David Thoreau
 
Dear Parent/Guardian:

Welcome to October.  It is hard to believe that September is behind us.
 
I don’t know how many of you read one of the two Farmer’s Almanacs that are published each year.  As a child, I used to be fascinated with The Old Farmer’s Almanac because my dad was a seed salesman in South Georgia and farmers always talked about the weather and sometimes referenced one of the almanacs.  My uncle in Alabama believed in The Old Farmer’s Almanac almost religiously.  Almost all my summer jobs were agricultural (helping a widowed neighbor on Saturdays and summers with her cows and general handyman chores, picking peaches one summer, working on a large corporate farm another, and working for the county extension agency as a cotton scout for four summers).  It seemed like magic when the Almanac and the farmers’ forecast proved to be true.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac claims that its weather forecasts are typically 80% accurate (though most scientists say it’s usually accurate a little over 50% of the time).
 
As we begin October, I thought I would share The Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast for October 2018, which was printed in August of 2017.  This long-range forecast covers our area of New York; parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts; and all of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.  It is a large area for a long-range forecast.  Let’s see how it does with our local weather.  The Almanac does predict snow before Halloween.  Yikes.

Almanac weather
 
In this month’s student letter, I discuss what an almanac is and provide some fun information about animals and weather.  I hope you and your student can share that letter and discuss it at home.  It could be fun.
 
Please don’t hesitate to call or visit if you have questions, concerns, or would just like to chat about education.

Sincerely,

Mike Snider
Principal 
 
Mid-day PTA meetings
This year, the Townsend PTA plans to hold short mid-day PTA meetings for parents and staff who have trouble getting to the 6:30 pm meetings each month due to family commitments etc.  The first mid-day meeting is set for Wednesday, October 10th at 11:30 am in room 137.  We will also hold the evening meeting at 6:30 pm in the Townsend cafeteria.  We hope to see you at one of the two meetings.


Upcoming Events
October 3 - Townsend Photo Day for grades UPK – 2
October 4 - Townsend Photo Day for grades 3 – 5
October 8 - Columbus Day – NO SCHOOL
October 10 - PTA mid-day meeting at 11:30 in room 137
PTA evening meeting at 6:30 pm in the Townsend cafeteria
October 12 - Friday Fun Night – Grades K – 2 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm
October 16 - Board of Education Appreciation – 6:00 pm – BOE room
October 17 - Bus Driver Appreciation Day
October 26 - Friday Night Primetime Reading Night – Grades 3 – 5 – 5:30 – 8:30 pm
October 31 - Townsend Halloween Parade – 1:30 pm – weather permitting
If we cannot hold the outdoor parade because of inclement weather, we will not have an indoor parade.  Classes will hold afternoon parties and students, informally, may visit each other’s classes to share their Halloween costumes.
November 9 - Friday Fun Night – Grades 3 – 5 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm 
This is also Red, White and Blue Day.
November 12 - NO SCHOOL – Veterans Day
November 14 - PTA meetings – mid-day meeting at 11:30 am and regular meeting at 6:30 pm
November 15 - ½ day dismissal – 11:00 - Parent-Teacher Conferences in the afternoon
November 19 – 23 - NO SCHOOL – Thanksgiving Break
November 30 - ½ day dismissal - 11:00 - Parent-Teacher Conferences in the afternoon
December 6 - Townsend Winter Concert – in the HS auditorium – 6:00 pm
December 7 - ½ day dismissal - 11:00 - Parent-Teacher Conferences in the afternoon
 
STUDENT LETTER -- OCTOBER 2018
 
This Month:  What is The Old Farmer’s Almanac?
 
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is published on the first Tuesday in September and covers the following year from January to December.  It provides weather forecasts, planting charts, recipes, astronomical data, gardening tips, and other information for the entire year.

It was first published in 1792 (George Washington was President) and America celebrated the very first Columbus Day that same year.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the oldest continuously published periodical (magazine) in America.  

The almanac’s first editor, Robert B. Thomas, used a secret weather forecasting formula that is still used today.  Very few people have seen this secret formula and it is kept in a black box at the Almanac’s office in Dublin, New Hampshire.  The secret formula uses solar science, weather patterns, and meteorology (the study of Earth’s atmosphere) to make predictions.

Meteorologists say the almanac is correct about 50% of the time but the almanac claims that its weather forecasts are correct about 80% of the time.

About 3 million copies are sold each year.
****
Can Animals Predict the Weather?
 
Here are some Folk sayings about animals and weather.  If you can, check some of these out with your own pets or farm animals.
 
• Expect rain when dogs eat grass, cats purr and wash, sheep turn into the wind, oxen sniff the air, and swine (pigs) are restless.
• When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.
• Woolly bear caterpillars are said to be winter weather predictors: The more brown they have on their bodies, the milder the winter will be. Just look – don’t touch.
• When horses and cattle stretch out their necks and sniff the air, it will rain.

Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting the chirps of a cricket? Here’s the formula.
 
The frequency of chirping varies according to temperature.
 
To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, then add 40 to get the temperature.  The number you get will be an approximation of the outside temperature.
 
Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F – See if it works.
 
****
 
Challenge:  Get a copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac for 2019 and see how accurate the weather forecast is for the year.  I plan to do this.  It should be fun.  Check the almanac and write down Walton’s actual weather each week.  Then we can check to see how accurate the almanac is for Walton for 2019.  This is a long-term observation.
 
****
 
The Old Farmer’s Almanac also has a website.  It includes updated information, articles, and more up-to-date forecasts for things like “when the leaves will change color in upstate New York.”  
You can check this out at https://www.almanac.com/  -  Make sure to ask permission from your parent or guardian first before you go to the website.
 
****
 
Winners of the tie design contest for September are:  Anika Fassler and Lucas Rice – Congratulations.
 
Information and quotes in this student letter come from various internet sources. 

 
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47-49 Stockton Avenue, Walton, New York 13856 - 607.865.4116