Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Classrooms Establish Reading & Writing Routines
Students have been learning reading and writing routines that will allow them to engage in meaningful literacy work throughout the year.  Students, for example, have been talking about choosing books that provide them with appropriate levels of challenge.  They are also reflecting on the need to practice reading strategies while reading fiction and nonfiction books.  As classrooms build their stamina, or their ability to read and write for longer periods of time each day, they are reflecting on what they are thinking about, noticing and wondering.  Tuning into their "inner voice," which in educational terms is referred to as metacognition, allows students to recognize what makes them struggle and which strategies they use to help them eventually create meaning.

You can support our literacy efforts this year by reading and writing with your child each day.  Twenty minutes a night makes a difference!  The graph below shows how reading at home directly impacts student achievement.

School Advisory Council - Open Position
Our School Advisory Council (SAC), which is comprised of three parents, school administrators, one teacher and a community representative, provide feedback regarding our school goals and priorities.  We meet after school as a team four times a year for approximately one hour.  We have one formal parent seat open for the coming school year.  If you are interested in serving on this committee please email me a short paragraph describing your background and why you are interested in participating by Wednesday, September 3rd.  If more than one parent expresses an interest our parent community will elect the member.  While the number of formal SAC positions are limited, all parents are welcome to attend meetings.  Please see future blog posts for meeting dates.

Correction: Fall Conference Dates
To avoid overlapping with Cimmeron Middle School, we have changed our fall conference dates to the following:
* Thursday, September 18th & Tuesday, September 23

Cognitive Abilities Test (Cogat) - September 8th
The week of September 8 students in grade 3 and “referral” students in grades 1-2, 4-5, will take the Cognitive Abilities Test to determine areas of strength and a possible need for gifted programming. The referrals for CogAT testing may come from the parent and/or the classroom teacher.  The CogAT is an assessment that indicates the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student in comparison to grade and age mates.  All students in grade 3 will participate in the Universal Screening and will take the test in the classroom with the classroom teacher.  All students participating in the referral testing process must have a signed “consent to test form” which will remain in the student’s cumulative file.  This form is available from Kristi Barta, PLS.  Please return the signed consent form by 9:00 September 8th, 2014. Click here for additional information.

Safety Tips for Arrival & Dismissal
* Please cross only at designated cross walks.
* Please pull all the way forward during drop off and pick up.
* Please remain in your car at all times.

Important Student Information
* If you have not done so already please complete your emergency release form and return it to the school office
* If you have not paid your student fees please do so by clicking here to access your parent portal.  Select student and click on the fee tab.  You will be directed to the online payment engine.

Miner Diner Updates
* Students can select either milk (white or chocolate) or bottled water with their meal.  There is only an additional 50 cent charge if students chose two of these drinks.  As always, students can ask for a glass of water or use their water bottle for no charge.
* The vendor for credit card payments has changed.  Click here to create a new account.
* Complete and return a paper copy of the opt out form if you do not want your child to purchase a la cart items.

Upcoming Events / Opportunities
* Western Night - September 5
* Click here for information regarding local baseball clubs.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Assessment Days
We appreciated the opportunity to get to know your child even more this week during his/her assessment day.  Individual assessment sessions allowed teachers to identify your child’s strengths, needs and interests in the areas of reading and math.  This year we decided to gather this information during assessment days so that we could tailor instruction for your child much earlier in the school year.  We also wanted to gather this information in a way that limited the amount of time students had a substitute teacher.

The information we collected about your child is extremely valuable and will be used on Monday!  Next week teachers will be better able to match your child with books that align to his/her level and interest.  Research states that students best learn to read when they practice strategies using reading materials that provide the appropriate level of challenge.  Teachers will also be able to target individual student conferences at your child’s specific areas of growth in reading in math. 

We look forward to sharing more specific data with you during parent teacher conferences on September 16th or 18th.  We will ask for parent feedback regarding the start of the school year following conferences.  We hope that your input will make our current changes to the start of our school year even better next year!

Back To School Night
We want to thank you for participating in our Back To School Night this week!  We hope that you received a preview of grade level curricula, activities and classroom practices.  We look forward to working together to make this a wonderful year!

Early Dismissal Due To Weather
You will be alerted of a delayed weather dismissal via email and text. If you are picking your child up, please come into the building and sign him/her out in his or her classroom.

Students who attend B.A.S.E. and after school activities housed in the building will proceed to their intended location/activity when the bell rings.

Bus riders will be called to the gym and will be loaded onto buses when it is safe to do so. Transportation will ensure a safe arrival home. Students will be dropped off to waiting parents at stops.

Walkers and bikers will be dismissed when the weather is clear.  If the weather does not clear by 4:15 PM, please come into the building and pick up your child in the gym. All students must be picked up by parents and/or adults listed on your emergency contact information.

Text Messaging
Please add 877-279-4061 to your contacts as DCSD to be sure you are able to receive test messages from Gold Rush.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Welcome Back
We had a wonderful first week back! 

Assessment Days - August 21st & 22nd 
We are excited to get to know your child’s strengths and needs during his/her assessment hour on either August 21st or 22.nd We will be administering reading and math assessments during your child’s assigned time. This data allows teachers to adjust instruction to meet your child’s needs.  Please review the checklist below for an overview of the day. 

___ Review the day & hour you scheduled your child’s assessment.

___ In order to complete all of the assessments it is imperative that you arrive 15 minutes 
prior to your assigned hour.

___ Please walk your child toward the gym (the front door will be open).

___ An adult will escort your child to the library where he/she will check in.  An adult
       will then take your child to his/her classroom to begin testing.

____If you would like to wait for your child at school, you are welcome to do so at
        his/her grade level table in the gym.  You are also welcome to leave the building and
        return to the gym at the end of the testing hour.

___ Teachers will walk your child to his/her grade level table in the gym at the end
       of the hour testing session.

___ Please take your child to get his/her school picture at the back of the gym.  Due
       to time constraints pictures may not be taken prior to the assessment hour.

___ Thank you for a great day! Please exit through the west gym doors when your
       child has taken his/her picture. 

___ Teachers will share your child’s results with you during Parent Teacher
       Conference on September 16th or 18th.  Additional information regarding fall
       conferences will follow.

** Students attending BASE will be escorted to their testing session and returned to BASE.

Back To School Night - August 20th 
Please join us for an overview of grade-level curriculum and classroom expectations for your 
child’s upcoming year. 
Session #1: 6:00 – 6:30
Session #2: 6:45 – 7:15
*Please go directly to your child’s classroom
*Presentations are for parents only and will be repeated for families with multiple children
*Ms. Marchese’s am class presentation will be during session 1 only
*Ms. Cleary’s pm class presentation will be during session 2 only

Drop Off & Pick Up 
Thank you for ensuring a safe arrival and dismissal for all students by abiding by the following procedures:
* Remain in your car at all times while you are in the drop off and pick up line.
* Please wait in line and do not pull around cars unless you are directed to do so.
* Pull all the way forward when dropping off or picking up your child.
* Only cross at designated cross walk areas.

Forms to Return
If you have not done so already please return your child's emergency form and student directory to the main office by Friday, August 22nd. 

Community Events
* Click here for information regarding a Legend Feeder Recycling Event
* Click here for information regarding Legend 5th Grade Basketball
* Click here for after school Spanish