Happy New Year and Welcome Back!
We hope that you found time to enjoy friends and family over the long holiday break. January always feels like a fresh start to me. It’s the start of the second semester and the time of year when our students really show a lot of growth. The classroom routines have been established, the academic building blocks are in place, and there are fewer interruptions to the schedule. They are comfortable with their classmates and find safety and trust in their teachers.
As students return in January, our English language learning students will be taking the ACCESS test. This is a required assessment that tests English proficiency levels and guides instruction for teaching our EL students. At this time we are also administering our mid-year PALS assessment for all students in 5K-3
rd grade and benchmarking students in Math. While it seems like a lot of testing, it really is just the opportunity for us to celebrate the progress that our students are making and adjust our plans and instruction to better meet our goals. Please watch for report cards to be sent home at the end of the month. Parent/Teacher Conferences are not scheduled until March, but if you have questions regarding your child’s progress, please ease your mind by contacting his/her teacher.
January also tends to bring the cold and wet weather that comes with winter. Although it is not my favorite season, winter is a much-loved time for our students. With that, it is very important that they come prepared for the weather. Our students have three recesses each day and they LOVE to play in the snow! Winter gear should include boots, snowpants, a coat that zips, a hat, and mittens or gloves. If you are struggling to provide these things for your child, please let their teacher know as we may be able to help. Here are a couple helpful hints in keeping your child warm during recess: 1) Stretchy gloves are wonderful, but they get wet fast. A couple extra pairs in their backpack will ensure that your child has warm, dry hands. 2) Wet feet are also a problem. An extra pair of socks in their backpack are also helpful to ensure that your child has warm, dry feet throughout the day. 3) PLEASE…be sure your child’s name is on their gear. It is difficult to keep track of which black snowpants belong to which child when 12 of the 16 students have black snowpants.
Mr. Nugent and I can’t help but smile as we reflect on the growth that we have seen this first semester. They are showing independence and responsibility and we are grateful to be a part of their learning. Thank you for sharing your children with us.
Mrs. Becky Buhler and Mr. Colin Nugent