News

Welcome Back to School Parents!

Hopefully your family has had a smooth transition to the routines of school.  Here are a few tips to improve homework struggles and to get the most out of the up-coming October parent-teacher conferences. Schedule yours today! HOMEWORK TIPS…… Allow your child time to decompress after school.  A light, healthy snack a chat with you or about 20 minutes outside can do wonders when it is time to sit down and focus on homework. Make homework time the same time each day.  Building homework into the regular routine will decrease homework battles.  Assume your child will need about 10 minutes of time, per grade level.  So expect a fifth grade student to need about 50 minutes a day for homework.  Most importantly, try to get homework done before tiredness sets in.  Homework will take twice as long and be at least twice as difficult the later it is done. Help your child know when it’s time to move on.  There comes a point of diminished returns when it comes to homework.  If your child is... read more

Our new-look elementary gradebooks/Parent Portal

If something looks different when you check grades in Parent Portal (aka Infinite Campus), it’s by design. As part of our focus on personalized learning, we modified Parent Portal to match a grading system that measures learning — the concepts a student knows and can apply. Too often in the past, traditional grades were goals to reach in order to stop learning. That’s not productive or a reflection of how people actually learn. Learning is a process — sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes it requires extra review and practice. And a final grade, especially at elementary, should reflect a year’s worth of learning. Here’s what’s different in Parent Portal: Subjects (math, reading, etc.) are organized by Power Standard and learning targets. Each subject has Power Standards and under each Power Standard are learning targets. Students show their teacher they have learned each target and once all targets are learned, we are confident the student can apply that Power Standard.... read more

Our New-look Elementary Gradebooks/Parent Portal

If something looks different when you check grades in Parent Portal (aka Infinite Campus), it’s by design. As part of our focus on personalized learning, we modified Parent Portal to match a grading system that measures learning — the concepts a student knows and can apply. Too often in the past, traditional grades were goals to reach in order to stop learning. That’s not productive or a reflection of how people actually learn. Learning is a process — sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes it requires extra review and practice. And a final grade, especially at elementary, should reflect a year’s worth of learning. Here’s what’s different in Parent Portal: • Subjects (math, reading, etc.) are organized by Power Standard and learning targets. Each subject has Power Standards and under each Power Standard are learning targets. Students show their teacher they have learned each target and once all targets are learned, we are confident the student can apply that Power Standard.... read more

Top 10 Back To School Tips

You did it! The kids are back in school, routines have been established (well mostly) and another begins. Here are ten tips to help your family navigate the transition more smoothly. 1.  Limit after school activities.  Over-scheduling undermines your child’s overall success in school, at home and with friends.  Keep the schedule simple and predictable. 2.  Ensure adequate sleep & nutrition.Most children require 10 hours of sleep nightly.  Healthy meals and snacks (non-processed, fresh foods) fuel optimal school performance. 3.  Create predictable and manageable routines. Routines provide structure, self- control and build time management skills.  Post the schedule on your refrigerator. 4.  Build down-time into your schedule.  Your child needs time to play outside every day.  Outdoor time is good for your child’s brain, body, creativity and reduces stress. 5.  Help your child get organized. Make a daily checklist (do homework, get mom/ dad to sign planner, pack... read more

Summer, Summer, Summer!

It’s true, school is almost out.  You may have lots planned already or perhaps you haven’t given it much thought yet.  But it’s coming.  Your kids are excited.  No more text books, teachers and homework, for a few months anyway.  For parents however, summer may present mixed feelings.  You might be excited for the change in routine too.  But with the change in routine comes the question, “What do I do with the kids all summer”?  Then there’s the kids question that generally happens sometime during the first week of summer break, “I’m bored, what can I do?”  Ah, the joy of summer! As parents we want to consider summer activities that do more than simply fill time.  We want to be intentional about the developmental opportunities that summer presents.  Here are a few important suggestions for helping you and your kids make the most of the warm, wonderful days of summer. Make an idea jar.  With your kids, brainstorm ideas for things they can do at home this summer and write them down on... read more

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING HARD AND BEING A PERFECTIONIST?

Most likely you were raised with the idea that it is important to work hard and do your best at everything you do.  It can be the foundation of a great work ethic.  Unfortunately though,  some kids will misinterpret doing your best or working hard at somethings as meaning being the best and/or being perfect.  This kind of thinking can lead to Perfectionism.  Although having high standards is generally a positive characteristic, perfectionism can lead to negative consequences and undermine success. Perfectionists may exhibit some of the following behaviors: Spend lots of time worrying about school work, friendships, activities etc. Afraid of making mistakes (embarrassment). Often run out of time on projects, homework or timed tests. Always have to win. Has to make “A’s”. Reluctant to try new things or will quit if they are unable to do it well right away. Angry with themselves for not being able to do things just right. Have a hard time making choices/decisions. Always compare their... read more

Parent Input on Student Placement Forms

Parent Input on Student Placement Forms Student Placement Process for 2017-2018 begins soon. In the coming months, our teachers will begin the process of creating next year’s class placements. We will be working hard to consider the following factors as we create next year’s classes: Academic achievement Emotional/social combinations Effective grouping Special needs of students Teaching styles Gender balance If you have information about your child you believe should be considered as we build next year’s classes, please pick up a form that is available beginning on April 3rd called Parent Input on Student Placement. These forms will be available in the office. Please understand that many factors need to be considered as we build class lists. While your input is valued, we may not be able to honor special requests. We do our best to place all children in a classroom that best meets individual needs. The forms will be available in the office after April 3rd with a... read more

Mindset Matters!!!

As parents, we are always looking for ways to bolster our teen’s self- confidence.  Most of us have been using praise as a way to cheer them on from the time they took their first steps and we continue to do so as they take on new challenges.    We praise our children’s efforts with the very best of intentions. Dr. Carol Dweck, of Stanford University has done extensive research on the use and effects of praise on student’s academic performance that may cause us to rethink how we praise and coach our kids.  The details of her research can be found in her book, Mindset, The New Psychology of Success. Her research found that kids who are praised for their intelligence are less likely to pursue more difficult or challenging tasks, and children who are praised for their hard work and effort are more likely to persist in challenging or difficult tasks.  Of course we want our kids to work hard and persevere in their school work whether that be trying to figure out a really difficult math... read more

Cultivating Perseverance in Your Child

Cultivating Perseverance in Your Child Most parents want the very best for their children and work hard to ensure their success in school and in life.  Recent research at the University of Pennsylvania conducted by Dr. Angela Duckworth indicates that a critical factor influencing success is the characteristic of “grit”.   Duckworth and her colleagues define grit as perseverance and passion for long term goals despite obstacles.  View Dr. Duckworth’s inspiring Ted Talk on Grit below: http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit.html How can we help our children become more “gritty” and persevere in reaching their goals despite frustrations, set-backs and obstacles?  Here are a few recommendations: Model grit and perseverance. Discuss times when you have had to push through difficulties to reach your goals.  Describe how it felt. Use a positive approach. It’s normal to expect setbacks, mistakes, frustrations or wanting to quit.  “Mistakes are how we learn. ... read more

SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR “Happy Camper” February 23 – March 2

The Book Fair is right around the corner and WE NEED YOU! Use this link to sign up! http://signup.com/go/otGdBM   Hours will be: Wednesday, February 22 – 10:00 – 12:00 (set up only, no sales) Thursday, February 23 – 7:30 am – 3:30 pm Friday, February 24 – 7:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday, February 27 – 8:00 am – 3:30 pm Tuesday, February 28 – 8:00 am – 7:30 pm Wednesday, March 1, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm Thursday, March 2, 8:00 am – 7:30 pm   Besides having a FUN time helping make the book fair a success, all volunteers will receive a coupon for $6 towards any book purchase! Sign up early to get a shift that works for you! http://signup.com/go/otGdBM   Do you enjoy helping at the book fair? I am looking for 1-2 parents who would be interested in much co-chairing these fairs in the future. It is NOT a complicated process and does not require an immense amount of time. Multiple people could work together to make it... read more