MCS updated info for you

Simply meant to keep you informed

Important Dates

  • Monday, September 6 - Holiday, School Closed

  • Wednesday, September 8 at 8:15am - Coffee Talk with Shawn and Greg at the Gazebo

  • Thursday, September 9 - New Parent Night, hosted by the PTO

  • Friday, September 10 - Band Forms due to Mr. Ramsey (grade 6)

  • Wednesday, October 6 at 4:00pm - Coffee Talk with Shawn and Greg

Message From The Principal

MCS has had a successful start to the school year!  This year I gave myself permission for the first week to avoid my computer, especially email, during the time when students are in the building.  Although I can’t do this every day, it was such a pleasant experience to focus on kids and teachers.  I can happily report that this was an amazing start to the school year.  The past school year provided much experience in reading a masked smile - and I saw many this week. 

Picture day was a success.  We were thrilled to host Whipple Studios for a second year.  Last school year we received a wealth of positive feedback about the quality of service provided.  Student photos were taken maskless outdoors, and group photos were taken on the gazebo with masks.  A funny aside, when Mr. Whipple was taking my photo, he reminded me that he took my high school photos, prom photos, and now my principal photo!

There will be a special edition of the Cross Words next week that will explain in depth the situation with the Norwich Nature Area (Milt Frye Nature Area).  This week a meeting was had with Tony Daigle, Facilities Director, Tom Candon, School Board Chair, Brie Swenson, Recreation Department, Rod Francis, Interim Town Manager, members of the UVTA, and myself.  These collective minds are putting together a message that explains where we are, a possible timeline, and where to direct further questions.

A reminder that if you have questions or concerns, please always start with the person closest to the question or concern.  In most instances, that is the classroom teacher.  I am always willing to help problem-solve, but in many instances, the classroom teacher can solve the problem or answer the question with more accuracy.

I continue to be in awe of the awesomeness of your children and the support given by the Norwich Community.  Many times this week, I paused to think about how very lucky I am to spend my days with your children. 

...and I neglected to include information about one very important new staff member last week.    

Lucy Hampton is excited to be joining the Marion Cross team this year as the Academic Support Teacher. She is passionate about early intervention, data-driven instruction, and helping each child love learning.  Lucy has her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and a Masters in Education from Harvard. She lives in Norwich with her husband and two daughters. Lucy enjoys reading, baking and exploring the Upper Valley with her family.  We are extremely fortunate to have her talents joining our team!  

Have a lovely weekend,


Message From Student Services

Marion Cross School does not currently participate in the national School Lunch Program and so we use this application to determine eligible families for free milk, and lunch, and/or breakfast.

Important notes about Milk, Breakfast, and Lunch for all families

  • Milk can not be ordered through Fresh Picks.  To order milk this year, have your student tell their teacher that they would like milk.  Parents/guardians will pay by giving a check to Joy Smolin made out to "Norwich School District". 

  • Milk is .35/carton

  • Every Friday, Chocolate Milk is available...$10.50 for the year

  • If you are going to pay for the whole year...1 milk/day = $60.20, 2 milk/day = $120.40

  • If you are going to pay weekly...1 milk/day = $1.75, 2 milk/day = $3.50

  • If you are eligible for free milk, your student will order through their teachers and the family will not be billed.

  • Lunch (and soon) Breakfasts will be ordered online through Fresh Picks

  • If you are eligible for free milk/you will order your student's lunch and/or breakfast through Fresh Picks and will not be billed.

On Thursday, I sent an email containing two attachments regarding free milk, breakfast,and lunch. One of those attachments was an application. If you did not receive it, or need another copy, please contact me. 

Greg Bagnato

School News and Information

Coffee Talk with Shawn and Greg -  Once a month, Mr. Gonyaw and Mr. Bagnato will be available for coffee and light conversation. The location will be announced prior to the event. 

From the Covid Committee:

If you have travelled internationally or by cruise ship and are not vaccinated, you will need to stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after the last date of any international travel.  You may end the quarantine after day 7, by getting a PCR test on day 6-7 and testing negative.  Students and staff must not return to school until this occurs.  

We recommend that those who are 14 days beyond vaccination, or are within 90 days of being infected with COVID follow the CDC guidelines and get a PCR test 3-5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel and self-monitor for symptoms.   

From Nurse Pam:

Dear Parents, Staff, and Students,

I will not be returning to Marion Cross School this year. I have been so fortunate to be a part of this wonderful family for the past seven years. It has been wonderful to be a part of the lives of so many students. Watching them grow and mature has been like watching my own children grow. I will miss everyone so much. I was so glad to hear from Mr. Gonyaw that there is already someone stepping up in my place. 

I do hope our paths will cross in the community. Until then, I wish you all the best.



Welcome Back to the Music Program!

I'm so pleased to share that we have been able to return to the music room this year.  Please look through this list of program offerings and write Mr. Ramsey if you would like to join!

CHORUS!  We are thrilled to be able to offer chorus again this year.  Chorus is for all students in grades 3-6 and takes place on Wednesday mornings.  (You don't need to do anything to sign up for chorus.)

STRINGS! We also offer a once-weekly strings program.  We will focus this fall on playing fiddle tunes together.  This is a very inclusive program for all ages and most ability levels.  Music-reading is not required!  Participants must have their own string instrument (usually violin, viola, or cello) and be able to play a few songs already.  We will meet for strings on MONDAY MORNINGS from 7:50-8:35, which is during your child's homeroom/morning meeting time.

Thank you and welcome back,

Mr. Ramsey

BAND! This week, 6th graders may sign up for the school band program.  Lessons will begin the week of September 20.  For more information, please print this letter.  5th graders will be invited to begin studying an instrument this winter.

Dear Families and Community

We are hopeful that at some point during this school year, we will be able to allow volunteers back into our schools. 

Please reach out to Emma Cottage, the SAU70 Volunteer Coordinator and she will get you added to a Volunteer List

Please be aware that there may be background checks needed, depending what level of volunteering you are able to offer. 

In the meantime, opportunities do arise that don't involve being in the schools, or with the students. 

Emma Cottage

802 299 1269

Circle UP!

Dear Dresden School District Parents/Caregivers and Community Members,

We are writing today to invite you to become a part of Circle Up!

Circle Up! is an active parent/caregiver group that works in conjunction with professional community partnerships and the Dresden school community. We host a variety of programs that are designed to address current student concerns and help support the well-being of Dresden students and their families. 

Since 2013, Circle Up! has offered almost two dozen community events. These events have ranged from training adults in Youth Mental Health First Aid to evening presentations on growing up in the Digital Age to forums advocating adequate time for lunch. Of special importance to Circle Up! is increasing mental health awareness, reducing substance misuse, teen wellness, suicide prevention and celebrating diversity. We aim to encourage a positive and healthy culture for today’s teens by building protective factors, education, awareness and open dialogue.

As we plan for the 2021-22 school year, we are interested in hearing from the Dresden community. If you would like to receive Circle Up! news or event information, share an idea for a program, or to volunteer any amount of time, please contact us at You can also find more information on our Facebook page

We welcome you to join the audience at our events and to constructively participate at your comfort level. For those interested in additional participation, our event planning meetings are currently on zoom every second Tuesday of the month at 7pm, starting September 14th. Meetings are currently on zoom and can be accessed through this link-

Come be a part of Circle Up! It takes a village!

The Circle Up! Board

A huge thank you goes out to Lindsay Putnam and the MCS garden crew! Mrs. Moore's first graders harvested tomatoes on Wednesday and what a bounty! They also got a garden tour and brought back a large cucumber and some carrots to their classroom. For math the next day the class discussed the best way to count up all the tomatoes they picked. It was decided that because we can count quickly by tens, that was the way to go. But before getting started the children gave estimates of how many tomatoes they thought were in the four containers. Estimates ranged from 12 - 217. After carefully counting out groups of ten and then counting the groups all together they got up to 230! WOW! Snack time became a feast of vegetables for the first grade bunnies! Funny how vegetables taste so good when you grow and harvest them yourselves! (When the first graders were in kindergarten they grew the tomatoes from seed!)

PTO Bulletin Board

1)Please join us for New Parent Night 

Thursday, September 9th, 6:00PM -7:00PM

MCS Multipurpose Room

This is a nice opportunity to meet other new parents, and to hear from Principal Shawn Gonyaw, Student Services Coordinator Greg Bagnato, Nurse Jane Glick, School Board members Tom Candon and Lisa Christie, Norwich Recreation Director Brie Swensen, and PTO Chair Stephanie Hamilton. There will also be time for any questions you may have about the MCS community. 

All parents and caregivers with students new to the MCS community are welcome to attend. This is an adult only event. Masks on please! 

We look forward to meeting you! 

Questions, please contact PTO representatives: 

Katharine Navins (

Suzane Regan (

2) New to Norwich FairNorwich Community Resource Fair, Saturday, September 11 (rain date is September 12) 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Free, Outside on the Norwich Historical Society Lawn, 277 Main Street Masks will be required because kids are invited.

Description from the Historic Society: 

“Norwich’s non-profits, churches, clubs, and committees are all gathering on the lawn at Norwich Historical Society to share their activities and invite you to get involved. Come on down in the afternoon and meet the many people working to make Norwich such a great place to live. We invite everyone, but especially those who are new to Norwich!  There will be music and children's activities”

3) Class RepsEach classroom has a PTO representative (Class Rep)  The Class Rep serves as a communication liaison between the teacher and class parents and caregivers, and helps to share information about both PTO and class events.   If interested please email Rebecca at

4) Directory, Directory, Directory! 

Please update or add your information to the PTO Directory. Signing up for the directory is the only way the PTO can include you in our email list to send you PTO communications.  Adding your information is of no cost. If you would like to access the online directory or receive a printed one, we do charge a fee. The directory fee (aka membership drive) is our largest fundraiser.  The funds raised, help support PTO Grants and Programs that in turn support the school.  For more information on PTO Grants and Programs check out our website:

MCS Directory Brief Overview Instructions 

Here's what you need to do:

  • Go

  • Click on the Register/Login button.

  • If you registered last year, login with your username and password. If you forgot your password, choose forgot password. 

    • If you are new, select "Create Account" and fill in the name, email, and password information. Click "verify my email" and then check your email for a link to complete the process. The link expires in 2 hours. If you do not receive the email, check your spam or junk folders. Once you have verified your email address, log back in and finish the registration process. 

  1.  Update your Parent/Family and Student Information.

  2. Complete the Directory/Publish Preferences.

  3. Once these forms are complete, you will be presented with the PTO Store where you can pay your PTO Membership Dues and get access to the print and/or online MCS PTO Directory. With your online Membership you can access the directory conveniently from your phone using the Membership Toolkit App. Follow theApp Directions to install and use.

PTO Membership Dues Drive

The membership dues drive is the main source of funds for the programs and grants the PTO offers throughout the year. As a thank you for your support, you will receive a print copy and/or continued online access to the 2021-22 MCS Directory.  If you choose not to pay membership dues, your online access will be discontinued.

PTO Membership Dues Options*

$25 = 1 printed MCS directory OR online access to the directory

$35 = 1 printed MCS directory AND online access to the directory

*We offer copies of the directory at no charge to families in financial need.  Please contact the main office or Katie Cormier (MCS School Counselor) for more information.

To be clear, you do not have to pay dues to be listed in the directory, but in order to to be listed in the directory or to receive emails from the PTO, you need to update/verify your info using theMembershipToolkit link above

Questions? - Please don't hesitate to contact Jessica at

School Administrative Unit 70 would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact School Administrative Unit 70 directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: UnsubscribeSchoolMessenger is a notification service used by the nation's leading school systems to connect with parents, students and staff through voice, SMS text, email, and social media.


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