As we continue to work toward excellence in all that we do at Collins-Maxwell Elementary, we also need to take time to recognize those around us that display great leadership, character, and learning.
One way that we are going to recognize these students, teachers, and staff members is to have Students of the Month, Teacher of the Month, and Staff Member of the Month. These people will be nominated by parents, students, teachers, and community members and recognized for going above and beyond for the sake of excellence!
Each month you have an opportunity to nominate a teacher and/or staff member for this recognition. The Elementary staff will have the opportunity to recognize students who have also displayed these characteristics at school. After receiving the nominations, I will share with our stakeholders.
We will be recognizing the following:
Teachers and staff members can be nominated by any student, parent, or community member using the attached document or e-mailing directly to email@example.com. (You can also access the nomination form by CLICKING HERE)
The teachers and staff at Collins-Maxwell Elementary will be nominating the students monthly.
Winners will be announced via e-mail and social media. Each winner will also have a certificate printed for display in the school office. We are excited to recognize these members of our school community who are show excellence in and out of the classroom!
Teachers and staff have completed the nomination forms for November and those winners will be announced soon!
Our initial goal for our Therapy Dog is $4,500.00, to date we have raised $2,437.00. Most of this money was raised by sponsorship donations from the following organizations, businesses, and/or individuals.
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit with CARES, Inc, the company that will be providing the dog, training, and resources.
We went through some of the most frequently asked questions:
As you walk into the building you will see a colorful addition on display to the left of the tv. This addition is our Literacy Data Wall.
What exactly is a Data Wall?
Our Data Wall will have three sections...a green, yellow, and red. Just like our IGDI’s and FAST data, the green represents “Adequately Progressing”, the yellow represents “At Risk”, and the red represents “Persistently At Risk”. Within the three colored-sections, there are cards with numbers. In order to ensure student’s privacy, each student will have his/her individual number for the current year based on grade-level. The students brought home a letter with their number on Thursday of this week. If you did not receive this number, please feel free to contact your child's teacher. Each grade-level will have it’s own color as well:
Why CM Elementary Will Wear Red
Next week, more than 80 million people across the county will wear red to recognize National Red Ribbon Week and show their support for a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. According to the National Red Ribbon Week Campaign, this week was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displayed Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance toward the use of drugs. The mission of this important week is to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a DRUG-FREE AMERICA.
CM Elementary staff and students will bring awareness to National Red Ribbon Week in a couple of different ways. A flyer was sent home with students with a list of dress up days.
The days will be the following:
Incorporating fun into this week will help get students thinking about why they are dressing up and ask questions to help them understand the importance of making healthy choices in life.
In guidance classes the first and second graders will be creating their own “Drug Free Me” book. The third, fourth, and fifth graders will be participating in awareness activities and diving deeper into the facts of drugs, ways to say “no,” and healthy lifestyle resources from YSS during a 10-week Too Good for Drugs Program.
We will be posting pictures and information regarding Red Ribbon Week all next week on social media as well.
For any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of our focuses this year at Collins-Maxwell Elementary is to create more partnerships with our families and community. Some of the ways we are doing this include:
We have had great turnouts for our first 2 events held at the elementary and I am looking forward to more of these events monthly.
Along with these events, we also understand that we have businesses and organizations that can provide our students with great learning experiences and through those experiences we can continue to build and strengthen our communities.
Over the next few weeks we would like to compile a list of organizations and businesses that would like to partner with the elementary to help support student learning and offer opportunities to interact with the students and staff. Some of the ways you can partner with our students and be an active member in the schools include:
Please contact the Elementary Office if you are interested in partnering with the elementary to continue to grow our community and support the learning of our students!
Events planned for the year include: (Dates subject to change)
As many of you are aware, we have been working to improve our elementary report cards. Last fall we asked teachers to complete a survey to gain feedback so we could improve report cards. This feedback was extremely valuable as our committee worked through the best option for a new reporting tool.
Throughout the spring and summer, I have been in contact with the company that develops our report cards, Infinite Campus (IC). IC has been working to write the script for the new version of report cards. Unfortunately, this will not be complete in time for the end of Quarter 1.
Rather than go back to our old reporting system, which based on parent and teacher feedback was not effective, we will not be sending home a paper or digital copy of your child’s report card for the first quarter. IC has assured me that the new report card will be complete for the 2nd quarter report card window and we will make sure the 1st quarter grades are on there as well.
While this is less than ideal, during the fall we have the luxury of having Parent-Teacher Conferences. Taking part in fall conferences will be extremely important to better understand how your child is doing academically and behaviorally.
Please contact me with any questions.
**Below is a SAMPLE report card. Subject to change**
***The report card will be 1 page (Front/Back). Unfortunately the image shows differently***
Please plan on attending our Super Family Literacy Night on Thursday, October 6!
Notes about the night:
Schedule: (Session times are tentative)
5:15-6:00 --- Meal (Lunchroom)
6:00-6:15 --- New Report Card - What to expect.
Following the Report Card Information, you will choose 4 stations to attend, they are as follows:
6:20-6:35 --- Reading Strategies K-2, Reading Strategies, 3-5, Title 1 Info
6:40-6:55 --- Using Technology in Literacy, Online resources for Parents/Families
7:00-7:15 --- Reading Strategies K-2, Online Resources for Parents/Families
7:20-7:35 --- Reading Strategies 3-5, Using Technology in Literacy, Online Resources
***Preschool Literacy Strategies will be ongoing throughout the evening, come and go as you please.***
What are the Sessions about?
Reading Strategies K-2 & 3-5: Learn 2-3 ways to support your student in Fluency and Comprehension. The strategies reviewed will be simple and easy to implement at home. The sessions will be specific to grade levels, Kindergarteners use different strategies than Fifth graders so we want to offer multiple strategies for all parents.
Title 1: This information is required for parents of students who work with Mrs. Christian for Title 1 Reading Support. Mrs. Christian will walk you through the things she will be doing with your child and ways you can support at home.
Literacy in Preschool: Ms. Rowe will have activities set up for you to come into the classroom and see how literacy looks for our preschool program. Come and go to this session as you please.
Technology in Literacy: Learn how your child can complete reading tasks, practice skills and navigate through the online portion of our new reading series. Working online is a large component of our new series, this will be a great session to see what your child will be doing with the technology.
Online Resources: There is a large amount of online resources for parents and families. In this session, we will work to organize that information and direct you to some of the best resources out there.
I hope to see you there!
"Take pride in what you do! Whether it be an athletic field, mowing your lawn, or at your job. Take pride in it!"
Over the first few weeks of school, pride has been evident in our teachers, students, and community. Information has been presented to all classes in Guidance about how we can show pride in what we do. Mrs. Wilson will continue to work with students and teachers as we implement our Raider Pride tickets and educate our school community on how we can show Raider Pride all around the building and community.
One of my very first posts was about our focus on excellence. This continues to be the focus and our goal in student achievement and student conduct. Teachers have been working tirelessly at learning and implementing our new reading curriculum which I know is overwhelming some days!
Our building goals continue to guide our work moving forward around academic achievement.
We will also be offering several opportunities throughout the school year for the parents, students, and community to come to Collins-Maxwell Elementary for an opportunity to celebrate and show the pride we have in our school and community. We have scheduled tentative dates for a variety of different activities that we will be having throughout the year as a way to help build and support pride in who we are and what we strive to achieve. Continue to keep an eye on the Community Calendar on the top of this blog to see upcoming events or changes.
The tentative dates and events are as follows:
Our first event on Friday, September 9, was a great success. It was a great opportunity for families to come and enjoy an evening together, relax for a movie, and enjoy popcorn! We will continue to offer these events for free and we appreciate our Partners in Education willing to support these events financially!
Our next event will be Literacy Night on Thursday, October 6!
Over the next 2 weeks students in Preschool - Fifth grade will take part in several different universal screeners that will provide us with information to ensure we are meeting the needs of all of our students. These screeners are MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) and FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers).
These screeners continue to be a great way to ensure our kids are receiving the instruction they need and are receiving the support needed to reach their goals. The data is closely monitored and is reviewed monthly using progress monitoring scores. If we notice a change in instructional practices or an intervention needs to take place, we make that change quickly. Having the ability to see scores in real-time allows us to be very responsive to the data and needs of kids.
MAP (Grades 2-5, testing - Math, Science, Reading, Language Arts)
You may be familiar with paper and pencil tests where all students are asked the same questions and spend a fixed amount of time taking the test. Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP® ), created by Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™), is different. MAP is a computer adaptive test, which means every student gets a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions get harder. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions get easier. By the end of the test, most students will answer about half the questions correctly.
NWEA provides many different reports to help schools and teachers use MAP information. Schools, grade levels, and classes can be monitored to see how students are growing. Teachers can see the progress of individual students and of their class as a whole. Students with similar MAP scores are generally ready for instruction in similar skills and topics. MAP also provides data around the typical growth for students who are in the same grade, subject, and have the same starting achievement level. This data is often used to help students set goals and understand what they need to learn to achieve their goals.
IGDI's/ FAST (Preschool - 5th, Testing - Reading)
The FAST/IGDIs and Iowa TIER are high-quality tools that are being used effectively by classroom teachers across our District. FAST provides universal screening data that allows teachers to form flexible groups for reading. Students are assigned interventions based on their individual needs and progress monitoring is conducted frequently to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Iowa TIER is a user-friendly database that shows student’s reading status and progress. The data from Iowa TIER guide teacher team’s conversations about student achievement. FAST/IGDIs and Iowa TIER are starting to cause a change in instructional practices.
For more information and an abundance of resources please check out the Iowa Reading Research Center's website at www.iowareadingresearch.org
September is Attendance Awareness Month. Not only this month, but throughout the entire school year, CM Elementary staff believe strongly that attendance and academic success go hand in hand. According to www.attendanceworks.org, if a child misses just two days a month, he or she will be missing at least 10% of the school year. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school – and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and in their future occupations.
If you have any questions regarding CM Elementary’s attendance policy, be sure to check out our Elementary Handbook on the Website at www.collins-maxwell.k12.ia.us under the Elementary Handbook link. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the main office and we can supply you with a copy of the handbook.
Throughout the month, continue to follow us on social media where we will be posting resources on helping families get students to school, even when sometimes they might not want to.
FACTS & FIGURES
WHAT CAN YOU DO?