Friday, September 28, 2012

Highlights of the Week

Digger Dash

The Digger Dash was a tremendous success!  Students enjoyed running for a great cause – our school – and showing their classroom and school spirit.  Together our school walked/ran a total of 14,685 laps, which is 1,826 miles! Wow! The children proudly went home today with a certificate of participation and their armbands that tracked their laps.  We thank our many parent volunteers and the PTO for making this event possible.  The Digger Dash is an honored tradition and we thank you for supporting it both financially and personally!  Just a reminder that your child’s fundraising packets are due on Thursday, October 4th.   We look forward to sharing how much was raised for the school in the near future.  

Parent Conference

We enjoyed sharing children’s progress with families during our first evening of parent teacher conferences this Thursday.  Parent teacher conferences are an opportunity to celebrate students’ accomplishments, highlight academic, social and emotional gains and address future areas of growth.  We thank our PTO and parent volunteers for taking care of us during the evening by providing us with the unbelievable feast!  The dinner was the perfect way to honor the staff and it was greatly appreciated!  We are looking forward to meeting our remaining families during our second evening of conferences on Wednesday, October 3rd, from 4:30-8:30PM.

Student Anti-Bullying Survey
As you recall, students in grades three through five took an anonymous anti-bullying survey that addressed the following topics: reporting measures, safety, personal experiences, being a bystander, and where and when bullying has been experienced or witnessed.  The overwhelming majority of students stated that they feel safe at school.  Students also indicated that they feel comfortable sharing situations that come up with you, their teacher and their peers.  Students did identify the playground as a place that we could make even safer.  This data supports our current work with playground assistants around restorative practices.  Restorative practices are ways to deal with conflict that focus on repairing relationships and fostering a sense of social responsibility and shared accountability.  In addition to restorative practices, we look forward to talking with the children about what bullying looks like and what they can do to prevent or report it.  We will continue to keep you updated on our progress each month.

Mark Your Calendar

Fall Break

Students will be off of school from Friday, October 5,th through Sunday, October 21st for fall break.  We wish your family a fun and safe time together!

Student Events
*Math Olympiad for students in grades 3-5 is back! Information will be sent home in next week's 
  Thursday folders. This club is scheduled is start after fall break. Stay tunned!

* Click here for information about Girl Scouts and Daisies.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Digger Dash
The count down to the Digger Dash is on!  With only seven days left before Gold Rush’s annual run/walk, I am sure the students are busy getting their last minute pledges.  We thank the PTO and our many volunteers who have already spent hours preparing for this event.  We hope you will be able to join us next Friday to cheer on the students on race day.  If you are able to volunteer during that day please click here.  You can see the schedule below for specific running times for each grade level.

7:30am – 9:00am         Setup
9:15am – 9:30am       (Division 1 – K-1st) Stretching   
9:30am – 10:00am     (Division 1 – K-1st) Race Starts 
10:00am – 10:15am   (Division 2 – 2nd-3rd) Stretching 
10:15am – 10:55am   (Division 2 – 2nd-3rd) Race Starts
10:55am – 11:10am   (Division 3 – 4th-5th) Stretching 
11:10am – 11:55am    (Division 3 – 4th-5th) Race Starts
11:55pm – 12:30pm    Cleanup
11:55pm – 3:00pm      Tally Pledges
Parent Teacher Conferences
We are looking forward to sharing your child’s progress this year during parent/teacher conferences on Thursday, September 27th, and Wednesday, October 3rd from 4:00-8:30PM.  If you haven’t already scheduled your conference, please click here . The conference scheduling window closes September 25th.

Staff Professional Development Day Monday
Gold Rush staff is looking forward to a professional development day together on Monday, September 24th.  We plan to continue our work towards implementing best reading practices in reading on this day.  Teachers will explore how to plan for reading instruction using a backwards design method.  Teachers will also share how they are teaching and assessing how students are thinking as they are reading.  Just a reminder… students do not have school on Monday due to the teacher workday.

Parent Coffee
Our next parent coffee will be held on Thursday, September 27th, from 9:20-10:20 AM in the Gold Mine Room.  I hope to see you there for coffee and informal conversation!

PTO Push
Meals for Teacher Conferences
We will be providing a dinner for our wonderful teachers on both conference days (9/27 and 10/3). It is a great way to take care of our teachers and show our appreciation. Click here for additional details.

Box Tops for Education
Every month the class that brings in the most Box Tops will win a prize.  Last year the PTO was able to purchase several pieces of equipment for our Physical Education teacher with the money earned from Box Tops. Gold Rush also gets money just from parents registering at this site.  The deadline for this month’s contest is September 28th so clip your Box Tops and submit them in a Ziploc bag to your child’s teacher. It’s that easy!

Event Planning Committee
Do you love to plan events? Have creative ideas? Or just love to help our school? Become a part of the PTO’s event planning committee which will meet on Wednesday, October 3rd at 6:00 – 7:30PM in the Gold Mine Room. Our spirit and fundraising events take a lot of volunteers to make it happen and we could use your help. Hope to see you there!  If you are interested please email:

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012

 Highlight of the Week

TCAP Celebrations
Gold Rush has many things to celebrate, including our recent state assessment, or TCAP, results.  As you may know, students in grades three through five are assessed on the TCAP in reading, writing and math each spring.  Fifth grade students are also assessed in the area of science.  At our first School Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting this week I shared that Gold Rush made tremendous gains in both achievement and academic growth across reading, writing and math.  Academic achievement reflects how our students’ are meeting the state’s proficiency goal.  Academic growth measures individual student's growth and whether their level of growth will allow them to reach proficiency on the state assessment in three years.  I was proud to share that in addition to these results and growth trends, more students scored advanced in all content areas as well.  Click here for more information on our results.

If you have a student in fourth and fifth grade you received your child’s individual results in the mail this week.  Please contact your child’s classroom teacher if you have any questions regarding his/her scores.  I thank our teachers and students for their efforts that resulted in such great gains! 

Drop Off and Pick Up Reminders
Please help us ensure that our drop off and pick up is safe for all children by abiding by the following friendly reminders:

Do not proceed when pedestrians are at or in the crosswalks.
Be patient and don’t drive in a hurry.
Stay in traffic lanes and don’t pass into opposing lanes.
Limit driving distractions and refrain from using your cell phone in the school zone.
Do not block intersections or cross walks.
Make sure that buses can turn into the bus loop.
Provide parental supervision prior to 8:55 AM.
Give pedestrians the right of way.
Slow down when approaching school grounds. 
It is our collective responsibility to make before and after school a safe experience for all.  As always your cooperation is appreciated!

Anti-Bullying Efforts Continue
Next week students in grades three through five will take an electronic survey that will measure how safe they feel at school.  Our school’s anti-bullying committee will use the results from the anonymous survey to identify how we can better our school environment.  I look forward to sharing the results with you in coming blogs.

Digger Dash Volunteers
Volunteers are still needed to man stations on race day! Click here to help.

PTO Meeting
Tuesday, September 18,th from 6:30pm – 8:00pm @ the Gold Mine Room. Topics of discussion: the Digger Dash & Spirit Events

PTO Breakfast
Can’t make our Tuesday meeting? Join us on Friday, September 21st at 9:30 in the Gold Mine Room. This is a time to get a recap from our Tuesday meeting and share your ideas.  Coffee and pastries will be provided.

Event Planning Committee
Do you love to plan events? Have creative ideas? Or just love to help our school? Become a part of the PTO’s event planning committee. We will be meeting Wednesday, Sept 26th at 6:00 – 7:30 in the Gold Mine Room. Our spirit and fundraising events take a lot of volunteers to make it happen and we could use your help. Hope to see you there!  If you are interested please email:

Mark Your Calendar
Student Directory
This is the last chance to pre order the Student Directory. Be sure to order yours! You can check Parent Portal or your RevTrak account to see if you already ordered.

Digger Dash Schedule
7:30am – 9:00am         Setup
9:15am – 9:30am       (Division 1 – K-1st) Stretching   
9:30am – 10:00am     (Division 1 – K-1st) Race Starts 
10:00am – 10:15am   (Division 2 – 2nd-3rd) Stretching 
10:15am – 10:55am   (Division 2 – 2nd-3rd) Race Starts
10:55am – 11:10am   (Division 3 – 4th-5th) Stretching 
11:10am – 11:55am    (Division 3 – 4th-5th) Race Starts
11:55pm – 12:30pm    Cleanup
11:55pm – 3:00pm      Tally Pledges

Friday, September 7, 2012

Highlight of the Week

On Friday students gathered at our kick off assembly for the Digger Dash that will be held on Friday, September 28th.  During the assembly students helped me – the new principal- answer several questions about the honored running event.  For example, students and teachers shared what they thought about the event.  Our school community shared that the Digger Dash is “fun”, “enjoyable” and “meaningful!”  When asked why we do the event, students shared that it was a healthy activity that also raised money for our school.  Our fifth grade students showcased how classroom ipads purchased with last years proceeds are used in the classroom and throughout the school.  We also asked parent and Olympian Mrs. Richesson what she thought about the event.  She shared that engaging in healthy activities like the Olympics or the Digger Dash is a life long goal that takes dedication and determination.  We closed the assembly by leading the school in several stretches that we will be sure to use on race day. 

You will find this year’s Digger Dash pledge folders in your child’s backpack.  We are excited to share that we will use this year’s donations to fund reading materials to support classroom libraries and our existing curricula.  Reading research identifies time spent reading books that match with students’ interests and readability directly related to increased reading achievement.   We thank you in advance for all of your efforts to support reading in our school.

Reading Expert Stephanie Harvey Speaks to Staff

Gold Rush was fortunate to have acclaimed reading expert, Stephanie Harvey, speak to our staff this week.  Mrs. Harvey identified the following four factors cited in research that support students’ reading achievement: volume, response, explicit instruction and purpose.  She stated that the number one element leading to student success is by far the amount of time, or volume, that student are reading.  She stated simply, “the more students read, the better they read and the smarter they become.”  She shared that it is also clear that the more students interact or respond to books, the more they understand.  Mrs. Harvey noted several ways that students can respond, including talking or writing about what they are thinking, reacting to, questioning or making a connection to.  In addition, Mrs. Harvey pointed to the need for students to have teacher model thinking strategies and time for children to practice them and finally the need for students to see the purpose for reading.  We look forward to continuing our learning about best reading practices and Stephanie’s work by engaging in a book study using Mrs. Harvey’s The Comprehension Toolkit.

Conference Dates
Mark your calendars….Parent teacher conferences will be held on Thursday, September 27,th and Wednesday, October 3rd, from 4:15-8:15PM.  Parents will be able to sign up for conferences starting Thursday, September 13th, at 12:01 AM through parent portal. The conference window closes on September 25th.

This week Gold Rush began assessing students in grades K-5 using the Aimsweb assessment.  Aimsweb is a reading assessment that measures students’ accuracy compared to local and national norms.  We look forward to sharing your child’s results with you during parent teacher conferences.

The PTO is seeking volunteers for both the Digger Dash and the fall festival.  While the PTO is well on its way with the Digger Dash, parents are still needed for race day.  Plans are also in the works for the fall festival in October. We need many volunteers to make this happen. Please contact the PTO if you can help out and keep this tradition alive! We can’t do it without you!

School Advisory Committee (SAC)
Our first SAC meeting will be held on Thursday, September 13,th at 5:30 PM in the Gold Mine Room.

Legend Feeder Area Elementary Instrumental Music Program
Click here for information on Legend High School’s instrumental music program that begins on September