Frenchtown Glossary

SCHOOL AND PTA TERMS AND EVENTS – PTA terms/events denoted by *

AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES * – PTA sponsored after school programs and activities that are available to interested students. A brochure listing the programs and costs is sent home with children several times a year.

AWARDS ASSEMBLY – An annual, year-end program for Grades 1-5, usually held on a Friday morning in June, which recognizes student achievement. Recognitions include Most Improved Student, Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Academic Olympiads, perfect attendance, Presidential physical fitness, Reflections, Nutrition Committee, Student Council, and Service Awards.

B ACK-TO-SCHOOL NIGHTS – Evenings in September allowing parents an opportunity to meet teachers, learn about curriculum and student expectations and visit classrooms. The evening begins with a reading/language arts meeting for each grade, followed by a classroom presentation by your child’s teacher. A separate night is devoted to a PTA meeting to present the annual budget followed by an opportunity to meet specialists such as music, gym, band, strings, art and those on the PPS Team.

BEDTIME STORIES – An evening event for first (in the Spring) and second graders (in the Fall) and their parents held in the school library. Students wear their pajamas and bring a book to read to the Principal and/or the Media Center Specialist (Librarian). The Principal, Assistant Principal, Media Specialist and teacher also share their favorite bedtime stories with the group.

BOARD OF EDUCATION LIAISON* – A PTA representative whose responsibility is to attend the Board of Education meetings and report matters to the PTA Executive Board.

BOEHM TEST – A standardized test of basic abstract word concepts given to kindergartners in the fall and the spring as a partial indicator of reading readiness.

BOOK FAIR* – An opportunity for parents and students to purchase books at school with the proceeds benefiting the school and the PTA. The fair is held for three consecutive days, three times per school year, usually in September, November/December and May. Students and families have the opportunity to purchase books during school and parents are welcome to shop at any time during the sale.

BOX TOPS for EDUCATION/CAMPBELL SOUP LABELS – Box tops and labels (General Mills, Betty Crocker, Pepperidge Farms, Campbell Soup, and Pillsbury) are collected and sent to school to raise money to be used to purchase items needed by the school.

CAFETERIA COORDINATOR* – A committee responsible for coordinating volunteers to assist students in the cafeteria and on the patio during lunch periods.

CALENDAR* – A PTA Committee which compiles a calendar for the entire school year. It includes scheduled special events, school vacations/days off and student artwork. The calendar is free to Frenchtown families and is distributed in September.

CAREER DAY – A program for second grade students, which coincides with the second grade Social Studies curriculum, in which parents and community members are invited into school on this day to share information about their careers.

CAST-A-SPELL – The spelling program used for Grades 1 and 2. The program is interactive and involves the use of white marker boards instead of textbooks to teach the children to spell. Parents are invited to an overview of the program in the fall.

CHARACTER COUNTS – A program adopted by the Trumbull Board of Education in which schools study a different “Pillar of Character” every 2 months. The Six Pillars of Character are: respect, caring, trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility and citizenship. Children are recognized with a certificate and special pencil.

CITIZEN OF THE MONTH – An award program where two students from each class in Grades 1-5 are chosen each month based upon their demonstration of the Six Pillars of Character: respect, caring, trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility and citizenship.

CMT (Connecticut Mastery Tests) – State mandated criterion-referenced tests in reading comprehension, DRP (Degrees of Reading Power), writing prompt and editing and mathematics. Given in the fall to Grades 4, 6 and 8.

COMPUTER CLUB – An enrichment activity for students in grades 3 – 5 offered before, after school, and at recess time. Flyers for signup are sent home several times a year giving information on sessions.

CONCERTS – A performance by the strings ensemble, band and fifth grade choruses held twice a year in December and June. Second grade chorus performs in December and May.

CONFERENCES – A scheduled meeting between parents and teachers to discuss their child’s school progress. Conferences are held on two afternoons and evenings in November and/or December with students having early dismissal for the afternoon conferences.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY COMMITTEE – District committee comprised of teachers, parents and community representatives dedicated to further cultural diversity within the district. The group meets once a month at Frenchtown.

DELAYED OPENING – A delay in the start of school due to inclement weather. WICC or Channel 8 reports on the status of Trumbull schools. Considered a legal day of school. Grades 1-5 begin school at 10:05 AM. Morning kindergarten attends from 10:05 AM to 12:30 PM and afternoon kindergarten attends from 12:50 PM until 3:15.

DRP (Degrees of Reading Power) – An expository reading test designed to measure a student’s ability to understand non-fiction English prose on a graduated scale of reading difficulty. Administered in the fall and spring to Grades 1 – 5.

EAC (Early Assessment Conference ) – A conference called by staff or parent to discuss a child’s academic (or non-academic) needs and to plan an appropriate course of action.

EARLY DISMISSAL – An abridged academic day due to inclement weather or other emergency. Considered a “legal” day of school (counts towards the state-mandated number of school days in the year), students in Grades 1-5 are dismissed from school at 12:55 PM. Lunch is served. Morning kindergarten is dismissed at 10:40 AM; there is no afternoon kindergarten.

ENDANGERED SPECIES FAIR – A showcase of research done by fourth graders on an endangered animal. The project includes a written report as well as a display board showing pictures and additional information about their animal. Parents are invited to attend during the evening on the first day of the fair, usually held in April, and students from other grades visit the fair during school with their class. In conjunction with this project, students also make paper mache masks of their animals in art class, which are then displayed at the fair. All students in the school are encouraged to wear T-shirts showing an endangered animal on the second day of the fair.

ENRICHMENT* – A committee responsible for arranging various cultural and curriculum-based programs for students throughout the school year.

FAMILY MATH NIGHT – An evening for third grade students and their parents, usually held in the spring, consisting of various math problems and games.

FAMILY WEEK – A celebration of the arts and science held in May consisting of Monday and Friday programs during which selected classes/students sing, play instruments or read a writing piece. A science fair for K – 5 is held Thursday night and Friday morning. The second grade traditionally performs an evening concert.

FATHER’S CLUB* – A club open to all Frenchtown men (fathers, grandfathers, uncles, etc) dedicated to organizing fundraising events and father/child (ren) activities with the proceeds going to benefit Frenchtown School. The Father’s Club also uses the talents and connections of its members to perform money-saving labor for the school such as landscaping, construction and computer training.

FIFTH GRADE FAREWELL – A “graduation ceremony” for fifth graders held in the morning at the end of the school year. Fifth grade awards are presented as well as recognition of students who achieved academic excellence during the year with every child receiving a promotion certificate. The program is followed by a luncheon at a nearby restaurant arranged by fifth grade parents.

FIFTH GRADE PICNIC – A day of fun in the sun, held in June, for the fifth grade students at Lakewood Trumbull YMCA. Children can swim, boat, play tennis, basketball, etc. In the event of rain, the students usually spend the day at another (inside) location.

FREE – F renchtown R eaders E xplore E verything. A program using monthly calendars designed to encourage students to read (or be read to for K-1st) for twenty minutes a day on at least twenty days each month. The program runs during the school year from October through April. The PTA gives a book to each student who returns six calendars. If you return seven calendars, you receive a surprise gift in June.

FRENCHTOWN WOLF TIMES – The monthly newsletter by and for Frenchtown School students, staff and parents. The Frenchtown newsletter is one of the most important communication tools used by the school.

HEROES PROJECT – A fifth grade project involving an essay, an oral presentation and an extension project on a person the student has selected as their “hero”; someone who exhibits one of the Character Counts “Pillars of Character”.

HIGH MATH – A group of students in each grade (3rd-5th) who cover the mathematics curriculum at an enriched and accelerated pace. Students are placed based on testing, report card grades, and teacher recommendations.

HISTORIAN – The person responsible for keeping a scrapbook with pictures and articles of Frenchtown events held during the school year. The books are displayed in the lobby upon completion.

HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE* – A two day event in December when students may purchase holiday gifts for their families. Items are offered for sale within a wide range of prices. Special theme baskets will be auctioned.

HOLISTIC SCORING – A scoring system used to evaluate the Writing Prompt Test given in the fall to Grades 2-5 and readministered in May. Holistic scoring uses a rubric listing what is present in the writing piece. Writing rubrics are on a scale of 1 to 6. Two people, typically teachers and/or administrators, score each piece and the two scores are added together. The CMT writing prompt goal is a score of 8 out of 12 for grades 4, 6, and 8.

HOSPITALITY COORDINATORS* – A committee responsible for supplying refreshments for various PTA events throughout the year such as Back-to-School Night and School Visitation.

HOSTS/MENTORS – (Help One Student to Succeed) – This mentoring program is designed to pair a student who could benefit from extra one-on-one support for academics with a middle or high school student or adult, who works with them one day a week either during or after school.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL* – Sponsored by the Father’s Club in the fall.

IEP (Individualized Education Plan) – A written plan that describes in detail a child’s special education program.

INTRAMURALS – An after school physical education program for grade 5. Sign-ups will be announced.

JUMP ROPE FOR HEART – A fundraising activity, held in the spring, with proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association. Students in grades three through five form teams with a parent or teacher coordinator. On the appointed day, students take turns jumping so that someone is always jumping during the designated two-hour period.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT* – A community business-sponsored program which exposes children to how businesses and government work to protect us and provide the things we need as a society. Community and parent volunteers provide instruction for the 6-week program.

KINDERGARTEN CROSSING OVER – A ceremony held in June to mark student’s completion of kindergarten.

KINDERGARTEN/GRADE 1 LUNCH BUNNY PROGRAM* – Program designed to transition kindergartners into eating lunch in the cafeteria in first grade. Parents volunteer to assist.

KINDERGARTEN BUS RIDES – A day when incoming kindergarteners learn about what to expect in kindergarten. The day typically includes the children taking a bus ride and meeting the kindergarten teachers while parents attend an informational meeting and tour the school. Usually held in late May or early June.

KINDERGARTEN PARENT’S DAY – A day when the kindergarten students give a musical performance for their parents/caregivers and then serve them refreshments.

LEGAL DAY – Students in Grades 1 – 5 are dismissed from school at 12:55 PM. No lunch is served. Morning kindergarten attends from 8:35 AM to 10:40 AM and afternoon kindergarten attends from 10:50 AM to 12:55 PM. Typically occurs before holidays, for parent/teacher conferences and for staff development.

MEMBERSHIP* – A committee responsible for signing parents up for PTA membership and keeping the membership database. The PTA goal is to enroll 100% of Frenchtown families.

MOM & TOT COLLATING* – A committee consisting of moms with young children who meet at the school to collate the monthly Frenchtown newsletter and prepare Take Home Readers for our reading program.

MOTHER’S DAY PLANT SALE* – A sale held on the Thursday and Friday before Mother’s Day during the school day. Children may purchase plants for their moms or grandmothers.

MOVIE NIGHTS – Sponsored by the Father’s Club once a month on Friday nights.

NEWCOMERS* – A committee responsible for assisting families who are new to Frenchtown with the transition to a new school. A reception is held before the start of school to help them become acquainted with the school and children are given “buddies” to help them find their way. This committee is also responsible for giving informational packets to families that move in during the school year.

NOMINATIONS* – A committee responsible for finding parents to serve as officers or chairs of the various PTA Committees.

NUTRITION & HEALTH* – PTA Committee. Helps with Frenchtown nutrition Committee, which meets monthly and consists of 2 students appointed from each class plus two teacher advisors.

OLSAT (Otis Lennon School Ability Test) – A cognitive abilities test given to Grades 5 and 7 in the fall and Grade 3 in the spring.

PACT *– Stands for Parents and Teachers Together. A committee responsible for attending the PTA Council PACT meetings, reporting back to the Executive Board and coordinating PACT activities for the school. These activities include Red Ribbon Week and Red Ribbon Day in October and Prevention Month in May.

PARLIAMENTARIAN* – The member of the PTA Executive Committee responsible for ensuring that parliamentary procedures are followed at PTA meetings.

PARTNERSHIP ACTION TEAM (PAT) – An ad-hoc committee comprised of administration, staff, parents and community members that meets once a month, before school, at 7:50 AM. The Committee uses the Tri-State Indicators (see below) to monitor the school improvement action plan. They also look for ways to improve the communication between school and home.

PPP (Partners Promoting Progress) An optional staff program for children and their parents in grades three through five. Teachers meet individually with students and their parents in the beginning of the school year to talk about their child’s strengths and weaknesses and set specific goals for the child’s progress. These goals are assessed and reevaluated throughout the school year.

PPT (Planning and Placement Team) – The interdisciplinary team of educators and parents that make decisions regarding a child’s special education.

PTA* (Parent Teacher Association) – School based organization designed to bring the community, parents, teachers and administrators together in support of education. Each school’s PTA undertakes programs and initiatives designed to enhance the educational experience of that school’s students. Proceeds of all activities, including fundraising, are used to directly benefit the students.

PTA COUNCIL* – The PTA for the entire town. Consists of PTA representatives from all Trumbull schools (elementary, middle and high schools).

PTA EXECUTIVE BOARD* – A board consisting of the officers and all committee chair people for Frenchtown School PTA.

PUBLICITY* – A committee responsible for submitting items to the school newsletter, getting newspaper coverage for school events, and submitting articles for “School News” to The Trumbull Times and Channel 17.

PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST – Student Council sponsored contest held in late October. Three entries from each class are sent to the cafeteria where the Student Council judges them. Awards are given out in various categories & the winners are displayed in the hallway during Halloween week.

READ-ALOUD DAY – Town-wide program sponsored by the Rotary Club. Community members visit classrooms and read-aloud to students.

REFLECTIONS* – A cultural arts contest sponsored by the National PTA. Children are given a topic or idea and their entry can be a written essay, photograph, artwork or music that depicts the idea. Local judges evaluate entries from Frenchtown and winning entries are submitted for the state and national contests. All participants receive recognition at the Awards Assembly.

REPORT CARDS – A periodic evaluation of student’s progress. Kindergarten report cards: February & June (students are evaluated in a number of developmental areas); Grade 1 (no letter grades): February, April & June; Grade 2 (no letter grades): November, February, April & June; Grades 3-5 (letter grades): November, February, April & June.

ROOM PARENT COORDINATORS* – A committee responsible for assigning room parents to each class. Sign up sheets are sent home early in the school year.

SAFETY* – A committee responsible for overseeing safety issues at school including drop off and pick up procedures, arranging parent riders on buses for the first week of school (to assist kindergartners) and helping with the school’s safety patrol.

SAFETY PATROL – Fifth grade students are chosen at the beginning of the year and are responsible for assisting the bus drivers, teachers and parents in maintaining safe riding conduct on school buses or on the walker line. Advisor-Mr. Gerace, Physical Education teacher.

SCHOOL ENHANCEMENT* – PTA Committee dedicated to making enhancements to the Frenchtown school building and property.

SCHOOL PHOTOS* – Photographs are taken during the school day in the early fall of the children individually and with their classmates. The profits benefit the PTA Council.

SCHOOL PICNIC* – A luncheon scheduled to coincide with School Visitation Day in October. Parents may join their children for lunch with parent volunteers setting up, serving and cleaning up. Picnic foods are available for purchase or picnic lunches may be brought from home.

SCHOOL POP – Website ( ) where items can be purchased with a percentage going to Frenchtown Elementary School.

SCHOOL STORE* – A school supply store held the first and third Thursdays of the month in the lobby from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, during the student’s lunchtimes, for children to purchase school supplies. The store is also open during school open houses and everyday during lunch the first week of school. The times are announced in the newsletter, on the website, on Channel 17, over the PA, and in the school calendar.

SCHOOL VISITATION – Two half-days in October when parents can visit the school and their children’s classrooms while school is in session. Coffee and dessert is provided in the front lobby. This event is scheduled to coincide with the School Picnic.

SCIENCE FAIR – Grades K-5 – Held as part of Family Week in May.

SNAP (School Nutrition Accountability Program) – A voluntary debit system for students to pay for lunch, drinks and snacks. Each child, in Grade 1, is assigned a 6-digit account number (which they will keep until they graduate from high school) that they may use to purchase food and drink. Parents are notified when their child’s account is running low on funds. Cash may also be used to purchase cafeteria items.

SPECIAL NEEDS* – PTA Committee currently known as Trumbull Parents of Children with Learning Differences, also includes representation of TAG families.

SPIRIT DAY – To show school pride, students are encouraged to wear the Frenchtown colors, blue and white, first Tuesday of each month during the school year. Classes with 100% participation receive certificates. The last Tuesday of each month is Citizenship day and students are encouraged to wear “Red, White & Blue.” Classes with 100% participation receive certificates.

SPRING FAIR* – Frenchtown’s annual fair, usually held in May or June on a Saturday featuring games, food, prizes, Chinese auction, etc. Parents, staff, and students man booths. Room parents solicit parent volunteers for various shifts that day.

STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAYS – Early dismissal days that give teachers and staff the opportunity to participate in workshops.

STAR READERS’ LITERATURE GROUP – A group of readers who use the same book or other piece of literature to read and study in friendly conversation. Based on testing in the fall and teacher recommendations, students in Grades K-5 are invited to participate and agree to a set of membership rules. The group meets by grade level weekly for 30 minutes.


  • Honor Roll – Students in Grades 3 – 5 that achieve a certain level on their report cards receive a letter of recognition with a Star sticker and pencil from the principal. Their names are printed in the Frenchtown newsletter and displayed on the lobby TV .
  • Effort Award – Students in Grades 3-5 that show outstanding effort on their report cards receive a gold star on their report cards and their names are printed in the Frenchtown newsletter.

STUDENT COUNCIL – Student organization comprised of one representative and one alternate from each class, Grades 1 – 5. Officers are elected by school wide election. Staff advisors are appointed each year.

SURF – S ilent U ninterrupted R eading at F renchtown. Students read for a period of time, during the school day, a book of their choice.

SUNSHINE* – A committee responsible for various activities throughout the year such as purchasing gifts for staff, etc.

SUPER BOWL BREAKFAST* – Sponsored by the Father’s Club.

TAG – (Trumbull Academically Gifted program). A program which identifies students in 4 th and 5 th grade and invites them to participate in academic enrichment activities.

TAY* (Trumbull Arts for Youth) – A PTA Council committee which arranges for two cultural programs, usually in the performing arts, to be presented at all five elementary schools each year.

TEACHER APPRECIATION COMMITTEE – a committee responsible for teacher breakfast and luncheon during teacher appreciation week in May.

THANKSGIVING PROGRAM – On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, fourth grade classes perform a program of fall and holiday songs for an audience of parents.

TPS BUDGET REPRESENTATIVE* – A committee consisting of Frenchtown school representatives who meet with the Superintendent of Schools and representatives from the other Trumbull schools concerning the school budget.

TRI-STATE INDICATORS – Standards designed by the Tri-State Consortium to use student performance data to develop a rigorous framework for systemic planning, assessment, accreditation and continuous improvement. School districts from Westchester County, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut join the Consortium to advance teaching and learning and to share best practices among member districts. Member school districts in Connecticut include Fairfield, New Canaan, Easton/Redding, Newtown, Wilton, Ridgefield and Trumbull.


  • Frenchtown – A variety of apparel with the Frenchtown emblem is available for purchase twice a year;
  • Endangered Species – A variety of t-shirts with a nature theme are available for purchase in April;
  • Fifth Grade – T-shirt memento for fifth graders, traditionally worn on the Class Trip in May and to the picnic in June.

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR* – A committee responsible for recruiting and coordinating volunteers. This committee refers interested volunteers to the appropriate committees on the PTA.

WALKING WELLNESS – A before school walking program open to all students. Flyers will be sent home.

WEBSITE ADDRESS . School website containing information about Frenchtown School including teacher and staff news, school lunch menus and PTA Father’s Club information.

WOLF – Frenchtown’s Mascot (canis lupus)

WRAPPING PAPER SALE* – An annual fundraiser held in September with proceeds benefiting the PTA. Items for sale typically include gift-wrapping supplies, gifts and candies. Orders are delivered to school before Thanksgiving for parents to pick up. This is the PTA’s largest fund-raiser for the school year.

WRITING PROMPT TEST – A writing test given in the fall and late spring to Grades 2-5 and evaluated using a Holistic Scoring rubric.

*PTA Sponsored