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What does being a "Heart Hero" mean to you? To one of our Matthews Elementary families it means everything!

Connor, a student at Matthews Elementary, was born in June of 2015 and although he looked and seemed healthy, he was immediately diagnosed with a heart murmur.  Through more testing, it was discovered that his murmur was actually a complex rare congenital heart defect called "Tetralogy of Fallot".  With this diagnosis the doctors determined he would need to have open heart surgery. 

Tetralogy of Fallot features four defects in the heart: 

  1. Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD, which is a hole in the wall between the lower chambers of the heart.
  2. Pulmonary Valve Stenosis, or tightening of the pulmonary valve causing an obstruction from the heart to the lungs.
  3. Overriding Aorta, which just means that the aorta lies over the hole in the lower chambers.
  4. Right Ventricular Hypertrophy, meaning the muscle surrounding the lower right chamber becomes overly thickened.

On November 11, 2015, at exactly 150 days old, Connor underwent open heart surgery. They placed Connor on a heart lung bypass machine, which provided blood and oxygen to the body while the doctors repaired Connor’s tiny little heart. The operation took approximately 6 hours, which felt like an eternity. They placed a synthetic material patch in the lower chamber of the heart to correct the VSD, in essence, building a wall between the lower chambers of his heart, allowing his heart to separate oxygenated blood from deoxygenated blood. They also placed a stint in his pulmonary valve in order to open the valve enough so that blood flow was no longer restricted. They also removed some of the thickened muscle tissue so that his heart could function easier. They then took him off the bypass machine and stitched him back up. Six days later, Connor got to come home!

Connor has no restrictions on activity at this time. However, he does have a heart murmur caused by the stint that is holding his pulmonary valve open. Connor visits his pediatric cardiologist annually and gets an echocardiogram, EKG and other heart function tests. At some point in his future, most likely when he is 9 or 10 years old, Connor will undergo another procedure to replace his pulmonary valve. We have hope that technology will improve enough in that time that the valve can be replace via a catheter procedure, rather than another open heart surgery. At this point, some patients still have to have open heart surgery to replace the valve because of their anatomy. In 5 more years, we hope all valve replacements can be done in the cath lab and a second open heart surgery can be avoided. Otherwise, Connor is expected to live a long and healthy life.


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Students in Miss Delisles' Third Grade class have been learning a little something extra this quarter.  Students have been learning "SEE"  Sign Exact English and ASL American Sign Language alphabet from Mrs. Camille Lancaster.  Mrs. Lancaster works with the district as a Speech Pathologist.  

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Students in Mrs. Palmer and Miss Myers kindergarten class spent Monday afternoon celebrating Thanksgiving with a feast! There were Rice Krispie Treat Drumsticks, Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, applesauce and capri suns.  The students definitely gobbled till they wobbled after all of that.  They also made feather headbands and pilgrim hats to wear as part of the celebration.  

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5th Grade Peacebuilder lesson for this week was based on the book "The Dot" by Peter H Reynolds.   Through this story students are encouraged to believe in the power of YET!!! “Keep trying! Not we can’t do it but we can’t do it yet!!!” as with Vashti when she didn't believe she could draw.

Students worked in small groups to create the longest paper chains possible using one sheet of paper, one pair of scissors, and one sheet of dots. They were given two attempts and here is what they came up with: 

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It was a dark and.....

Students in Miss Delisle's third grade class spent some time in their English class learning what components it takes to make a story.  The students used what is called a story cubes to determine how to start the story, the character in the story, the location and the actions of the story.  When they were done writing, they then shared their "Spooky Stories"  with their classmates. 



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1st Quarter Luau

Students at Matthews Elementary were treated to an Ice Cream Soda Luau for reaching their Accelerated Reader goals, even surpassing them, for the  First quarter! 



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Making Gravity Art

Students in the 3rd - 5th Grade Learning Lab group worked on an interesting art project on Wednesday afternoon under the direction of Miss Delisle.  

They used different tools to create the different effects of the "splatter" from the paint and gravity:


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Classroom teachers across the state of Missouri are given the opportunity to apply for a grant through the MDC Discover Nature Schools Nature Unleashed program.  With this grant teachers have the chance to promote conservation education through instructional units through resources and funding from the grant. 

One of the units the students have done with the grant is to plant Boxwood shrubs between the main building and the art/music building.  Not only will this be a beautiful addition to the campus, it has a purpose.  As they grow they will provide shelter from any debris and wind.  

Pictured below are:
Bella, Violet, Constance, Mr. Allen, Brayden, Caine and JC planting the new boxwoods. 


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September PeaceBuilders

Students at Matthews Elementary are chosen each month as "Peacebuilders of the Month" by showing that they are capable of praising people, giving up put downs and seeking and being wise people.  They were also chosen because of their ability to make smart choices and help others around them.  

Congratulations to:

Kambri (PK), Noah (K), Sarah (K), Jersey (1st), Gavin (2nd), Ethan (3rd), Amber (4th) and Kiyla (5th) and our staff PeaceBuilder Ms. Destiny!

Our Community Peacebuilder is Ms. Debbie Grimes for helping us set up for our Grandparents Day Breakfast and assisting Nurse Barbara during our yearly screenings. 




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What do the two have in common?  The Peacebuilder program  teaches students about being kind to others, working to bring peace to the community and to school.  The elephant is none other than sweet Dumbo!  Students in the Morning PreK class spent some time in the library being read the book Dumbo and learning what it means to care about each other and be accepting of each others differences. 

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