Virtual Red Folder
March 12, 2021

Gillian Makes the Front Page!

PMFS’ own Gillian Pokalo recently made the front page of The Times Herald! In the article, “One Artist’s Pandemic Journey,” Gillian discusses how the pandemic has shaped her artwork over the course of the last year. Reflecting on the past 12 months, Gillian finds her work “feels more significant in its scarcity…It’s been a year of learning and trying new things because I have the time to do so,” she says. “I’ve learned more digital media platforms than I know the passwords for, how to teach online…and experienced a myriad of online art festivals, virtual tours, online music festivals, workshops and more. I’m amazed at how the creative community transitions into virtual reality. It’s gritty, low-fi and beautifully human despite being distanced.”

You can read the article in its entirety here.

Exploring Mars in Pod 1/2

Last Friday, First and Second graders had a very special guest speaker as the culmination to their Mars Exploration Project with Varley. For two weeks, students studied the Mars Perseverance Rover, the planet Mars, and Mars exploration (including future robot and human habitation, which may happen in these students’ lifetime!). They began the unit by watching the actual Perseverance Rover landing. And they finished the unit by Zooming with James “Uncle Bo” Borders. An engineer who worked on earlier Mars Rovers, Bo presented information on NASA, the space program, rocket speeds (compared to transportation students have used), take-off and landing mechanisms, and so much more. It’s not every day we get to talk to an expert on what we’re studying and rarely does it happen in such a timely manner. Bo’s slideshow was a great extension of the students’ knowledge, and students eagerly lined up to ask him questions. As a final question, Varley asked students what they might want to explore more. Their answers ranged from rocks and geology, the red dust, building an underground base, and radiation on Mars, to the solar system, Jupiter, Venus, Pluto, and the sun.

After Bo’s talk, one student said, “I never thought I would be able to talk to a real engineer.” Thank you so much to our student Evan, to his mom Ashley, and to Uncle Bo for making our Mars studies come alive!

Experimenting with Snow

Our Kindergarteners took advantage of the snow still lingering on campus by doing some science and nature experiments. They experimented by mixing colors and observing how their colors blend together as the snow melts. They learned that snow turns to water when it melts and also that the volume of melted snow is much less than that of solid snow.

Parent Resources: Having Meaningful Conversations

Jen Cort, an education consultant in areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ), joined us for last week’s Parent Happy Hour to offer a presentation on having meaningful and uncomfortable conversations with young children. Jen spoke to us about the importance of shared language between school and home; creating a plan for listening and responding to our children; naming feelings and zeroing in on their locations in our bodies. “Where is the physical location of feelings?” We talked about helping children to realize that they hold feelings in their bodies; and they can determine how big a concern or upset is, in order to manage those feelings. “Is this a pebble, a rock, or a boulder?” When communicating with our children, we need clarity; be concise, check-in for their understanding and conclude before using too many words. Jen offers a number of resources for PMFS parents, to help when tackling small and big issues with our children: 

Jen Cort welcomes your questions. Contact her at

Did you miss the conversation and want to listen now?

Contact Kali in the Main Office if you’d like us to send you the recording of this conversation!

Weekly Query

We have recently re-introduced queries into our weekly Meeting for Worship. For those who may not know, a query is a question asked at the beginning of Meeting for Worship that you then reflect on during Meeting.

Last week our 5/6 pod provided the query: “If you could say one sentence to or ask one question of either your past or future self, what would it be?”

This week’s query comes from our 3/4 Pod: “Who is the person you most look forward to seeing? Why?” Our friends had many great answers – grandparents, aunts, cousins, brothers – it seems we all can’t wait to see our families once it is safe to do so.

Getting Ready for Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Students are looking forward to sharing a piece of Plymouth with grandparents and special friends this Thursday, March 18. All grandparents and special friends (and parents!) are invited to join us for Meeting for Worship at 9am, where a query will be presented to the group. Please reach out to Kali in the Main Office (office or your child’s teacher if you need a reminder of the Zoom links or class invitation. 


Sixth Graders and teacher Gillian are hard at work putting together the yearbook for June, and they need your contributions now. We encourage families to buy an ad to celebrate your child. You can send in pictures, text, or both! Click here for more information and an online order form. Orders are due April 1.

Yearbook Business Ads

Do you own a local business or know someone who does? Please consider placing an ad in this year’s yearbook. Click here for more information and the online order form.

Less Than 3 Weeks to Get Early Registration Discount
Summer & Camp ARE Coming!

¡Vamos a PMFS Durante el Verano Seedlings Camp is coming this summer! Created just for kids age 3 – 7, the camp will feature a different Spanish theme each week for the 8 weeks it is running (June 14 – August 6).

Early registration discount for those who sign up before April 1 (no joke). Check out the website for more details.

Your PTO is Zooming Along

For those of you who missed it, the week’s PTO meeting featured discussion around community and events to bring us together despite COVID. Parents (including but not limited to PTO officers and class parents) and staff (including PTO reps Leann and Ralph and head of school Brenda) brainstormed a quarantine- friendly Strawberry Festival, Faculty appreciation, and integrating a “family fun night” into the upcoming 3|4 pod Circus & Late Night with Sixth Grade.

Check out our most recent Alumni Spotlight: Isaiah Barlow-McGee (’13)

Click here to read about what Isaiah has been up to!

We Want More Alumni News and Photos!

Are you a PMFS alumnus, or do yo have a child who is? We want to hear from you! Submit your news and memories at here.  We’ll get in touch about featuring you in an upcoming blog post, social media post, or alumni newsletter too. Every child who has passed through PMFS is precious to us, and we want to share your joys.
Have any old PMFS photos you’d like to share (either digital or in a shoebox)? Get in touch with Maeve Sutherland at to talk about how we can archive your photos (and return the originals to you, of course) with love and care.

Upcoming @PMFS

Thursday, March 18
Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Meeting for Worship, join us on Zoom, 9-9:30 am
12:00 pm Dismissal

Friday, March 19 – Tuesday, March 30
Spring Break

Wednesday, March 31
School reopens

Thursday, April 1
Camp- Early Registration Deadline
Yearbook ads due

Want more info on happenings at school?

Subscribe to the PMFS Public Calendar at
Take a look at the 2020-21 At-a-Glance Calendar and the 2021-22 At-a-Glance Calendar.

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