News From ….
Colebrook Elementary School
August 28, 2013
Dear Parents: Welcome to the 2013-14 school year at Colebrook Elementary School. We truly hope that everyone had a great summer and that your students are glad to be back at school. We are certainly excited for the new school year. As always my door is always open. Please feel free to come in and chat about any concerns that you may have. Your student is my first priority.
Free/Reduced Hot Lunch Forms:
If you are applying for free/reduced hot lunch for the first time, please understand that processing the forms takes time. If you qualified for free or reduced lunch last year, you do qualify for the first 30 days this year or until you hear from the Food Service coordinator that your child qualifies. If not you must send in money for your child’s lunch. There is no charging of lunches. Please remember that a healthy nutritious lunch is very important for your student. Thank you for your cooperation.
Drop-off Times: Please do not drop off your child before they need to be here in the morning. Breakfast is served in the cafeteria at 7:30 am. Students who do NOT eat breakfast at school and who do not take a bus should NOT arrive before 8:00 am.
Pick-Up and Drop-Off II: In an effort to tighten security measures during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times the follow procedures will be used. We understand that parents want to walk their children to their classrooms so that both parent and child feel secure. However developing your child’s independence is also important. With that in mind, we will encourage parents to walk their
child to the entrance of school and then let the child enter the school on their own from there. After September 20th we will discourage parents from walking students to their classroom during the morning drop-off. During the afternoon pick up all doors will be locked and secured from 2:30 pm until 2:50 pm. We encourage parents to wait outside as your student is dismissed. We will not allow adults to enter during this period as it creates high security issues during dismissal times. Teachers will escort students to designated pick up areas for Kindergarten and Preschool. Again, thank you for your cooperation.
Emergency Cards: Please return all emergency cards by Wednesday, September 4th. Please include an email address as this is becoming an increasingly important way of contact.
Open House: Open House will be Tuesday, September 24th from 5:30-7:00 pm. Please take the opportunity to come and meet the teachers and to see how you can become involved in your student’s education. This year’s Open House theme will be Global Awareness. Each classroom will take on a particular emphasis on Global Awareness that they will include in their classroom décor and curriculum. The Clif grant committee will again be having a FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY as well as having storyteller to read to the children. Please remember that every child from ages (0-12) who is eligible to be a CES student can receive a free magazine subscription as well from Carus Publishing. Details of this great deal will be discussed at Open House.
School Picture Day: School Pictures will be taken on Tuesday, October 1st. Order forms will be coming home about a week before Picture Day.
NWEA and NECAP Testing: Kindergarten, First and Second grade students will be taking the NWEA assessment test in September. These tests will give us a baseline for academic performance and needs that will be monitored throughout the year. Students in Grades 3-8 will be taking the NECAP tests beginning October 1st. This will be the last version of the NECAPs that our students will take. The next statewide assessment will be the Smarter Balanced Assessment that will be taken in the spring of 2015. Our students will be preparing during September for the NECAP tests, through RTI and regular course work. Mr. Gorham, the Special Education teachers and the Guidance counselors will also be meeting with each student individually to present ways for your student to improve their scores. We ask that parents help us during this testing period by encouraging and supporting your student to do well. Thank you.
Teacher Professional Development: Many of our teachers worked hard at continuing their professional development this summer. Six teachers participated in a three week course on Understanding by Design (UbD) that was offered at CES. A district wide emphasis, UbD will help our teachers create innovative, 21st century, common core enriched units that students will find stimulating and exciting. The teachers who attended this training came up with some great ideas that will be exciting to see implemented in the classroom. For more information on Understanding by Design, please check out the link on the Colebrook Elementary School website. Many other teachers attended a two day IPad training course at the beginning of August. As we attempt to infuse a great number of IPads into our classrooms, teachers got off to a great start by learning how to include the IPads in the curriculum, daily support sessions and so much more.
Higher Expectations: Research has shown educators that if we create higher expectations for our students, usually the students will accomplish the desired goals. With that in mind, our teachers are being asked to hold higher expectations for our Colebrook Elementary students. What does that mean? It means the expectation is that all our students can learn and meet state and school standards. It means that our teachers will challenge our students thinking, writing, reading, math, comprehension and many other academic skills. Our teachers will work hard to make sure our students know the expectations but also demonstrate how these expectations are to be accomplished. Higher achievement begins with higher expectations. Please help support and encourage higher academic expectations at home as well.
Keyboard Instruction: This year Keyboarding will be taught in Grades 3, 4 and 6. Your student in this grade will have 30 minutes of Keyboarding, twice a week, all year long. Educational requirements are showing us that students in these grades will benefit from learning keyboarding skills and using them within the curriculum. The keyboarding skills will be taught using an on-line computer program that will be exciting and entertaining and is designed to move at the student’s pace of learning. This is truly exciting learning that will be going on.
Summer Reading Program: Students in Grade 6-8 were given a Summer Reading Book to read over the summer. When the students get back to school on the first day, they will receive a writing prompt (with rubric) in which to write an essay that will be part of the final assessment. The students will also be asked to take an Accelerated Reader assessment and then they will have a group book discussion on Thursday, September 5th. All three assessments will then be combined to become the student’s first ELA test grade of the year. Please encourage your student to be prepared for these assessments. Thank you.
Advisory: CES will be continuing its school wide Advisory again this year. Every student will be assigned an Advisor, who they will meet with, on the first Friday of every month for 30 minutes. During this time there will be activities in which to encourage student and teacher collaboration. The goal of Advisory is to have your child develop a relationship with an adult in the building in which they can turn to and trust in a time of need.
Writing Emphasis: Last year we began to emphasize improved Writing Skills in a school wide initiative. Our testing scores demonstrated that our students, needed improvement in writing skills and encouragement with developing and implementing ideas to create writing themes. This emphasis will continue this year, as we will generate higher expectations for our students writing. Your students will be spending a lot of time writing. Please ask your child to show you their writing assignments and I challenge you to compare their writing skills in September and again in May. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Colebrook Community Birthday Calendar: This is the twenty-fifth year that Colebrook Elementary School students will be selling birthday calendars. Your child will be bringing home a letter and form for taking orders. All calendar order forms and money are due in by Monday, September 30th. Children who sell five or more calendars will receive a prize, while the classroom that sells the most will win a box of games. Proceeds from the calendar sales goes to support Children’s Stage Adventures. Thank you for your support!
Community Carnival: Our annual Community Carnival will be held on Friday, September 20th from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the lower parking lot of Colebrook Elementary School. Children can win prizes and enjoy many activities such as the Wet Sponge Toss, Penny Toss, and Ping-Pong Goldfish. Tickets are 25 cents each or five for a dollar and are sold at a central table in the parking lot. Each activity “costs” two to three tickets. Winners redeem chips at the prize table for prizes. Please join us for this exciting school event! It’s a great way to meet other parents and teachers and have a fun afternoon with your kids.
Cafeteria News from the Abbey Group
It's hard to believe the new school year is beginning already. There are always changes to a new school year, and the cafeteria will be no exception. In many of our schools there have been increases in the price of student meals, in compliance with federal guidelines, and approved by each unit's school board. Please check the menus in this newsletter for any price changes. On a more positive note, students will see menu changes to both breakfast and lunch. This was done using feedback from the students in all of our schools, and we think will be well received. Also, CES will be implementing a salad bar for grades 3-8 this school year, hopefully in the first 2 weeks. Grades K-2 will still have the option of ordering pre-made Chef Salads. Finally, we are inviting all Kindergarten parents to come to school one day and have lunch with their child. We want parents who are sending kids to school for the first time to be able to see what is available to their child first-hand. There is a coupon on August's menu redeemable for one adult lunch. We look forward to meeting all our new school parents, and explaining what we have to offer for the students. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me. Hope to see all of you at some point this school year!
Steve Learned, Abbey Group
Monday, September 2 – LABOR DAY - No School
Thursday, September 5 - Grade 6-8 Summer Reading Assessment
Friday, September 6 - School wide Advisory
Wednesday, September 11 - 9/11 Remembrance
Friday, September 20 - Community Carnival
Saturday, September 21 - Groveton Homecoming
Tuesday, September 24 - CES Open House
Friday, September 27 - Progress Reports Sent Home
Monday, September 30 – All Community Birthday Calendar sales due in to school
Tuesday, October 1 – School Picture Day
Thursday, October 3 - Early Release Day - Students dismissed at 1:00 pm
Friday, October 4 - Administrative Day – No School
Saturday, October 5 – Colebrook Homecoming