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