Dutch Fork Elementary

Academy of Environmental Sciences - Week of January 11 -

DFES Beliefs

  • We believe all people deserve to feel safe, valued, and loved.

  • We believe all children are naturally curious about the world around them.

  • We believe learning is a social process.

  • We believe inquiry fosters an environment of noticing and questioning.

  • We believe learning should be viewed from multiple perspectives.

  • We believe in learning through authentic and primary sources.

  • We believe in encouraging learners to be risk takers.

  • We believe reflection should lead to change and growth.

  • We believe reflection should lead to social action.

  • We believe our actions should be aligned with our beliefs.

DFES Academic Goals 2015-2016

  • By the conclusion of the 2015-2016 school year 65% of 2nd-5th graders will meet or exceed their spring MAP reading goal.
  • By the conclusion of the 2015-2016 school year homeroom teachers will have received a minimum of 10 hours of environmental sciences professional development to build teacher capacity and magnet theme implementation.

Welcome Back USC MAT Interns

Our two USC interns return this week. Nick Musciano will spend the semester in A. White's class and Sally Copeland will spend the semester in K. Donald's class.

Vertical Team Curricular Conversations w/H. Mills

Tuesday, Jan. 12th, 8:15am-2:15pm

Sally Somerall's room

As a reminder 2nd and 4th grades will switch related areas, lunch, and recess schedules. Please see previous email for further details.

Welcome Shannon Herrin

Shannon Herrin, former D5 reading coach/reading interventionist, is now an adjunct professor with USC. She is teaching an undergraduate writing course that will meet at DFES each Tuesday from 8:00 - 3:00 for the spring semester beginning January 12 in room 6.

Shannon and her undergraduates will work along side S. Crouch and A. White's third grade classes. We are fortunate that Shannon chose our school for this important work and we are confident that all involved will reap benefits.

DFES Magnet Showcase/Open House

Wednesday, Jan. 13th, 6-7:30pm

7900 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC

We are excited about the upcoming open house where we will showcase why prospective parents should chose our school and in doing so how their children will benefit by becoming Fox Cubs. We want to make sure that the branding of our school including wall displays give insight into a glimpse of what life is like here at DFES.

The instructional team created the following rubric for hallway displays based on data collected by certified staff members on December 15, 2015:

  • Explanation or purpose of display

  • Please consider showcasing learning across various content areas

  • Representative of authentic data collection

  • Represents evidence of student growth

  • Up to date and tidy

Looking forward to a great time.

Student Holiday/Swap Day

Friday, Jan. 15th, 8am-3pm

Dutch Fork Elementary

In addition to this Friday being a student holiday it will also be swap day for professional development. Last summer we shared that attendance to our summer institute w/Heidi Mills (professional development) would qualify DFES staff for a swap day. If you attended the institute you will not have to work this Friday.

If you attended professional development or training this summer that I am not aware of please make arrangements to speak with me in person this week. Please bring evidence of training attended.

A few highlights from last week.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Launch Training Saturday, January 8.

PLTW Launch is for kindergarten through fifth grade and is designed for students to become problem solvers. Students use structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and employ critical thinking. They apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind, learning that it is OK to take risks and make mistakes.

This past summer N. Doremus and B. Windham received this training. On Saturday they trained C. Paparella, A. White, and T. Sumpter. They investigated a kindergarten module on Structure and Function: Human Body.

In this model students explore the relationship between structure and function in the human body. They examine major organs within the body and investigate how the structure of each is related to its function. Once students established an understanding of basic structure and function in the body, they take a deeper look at the functions of bones. Students assemble a skeleton and create a model.

Students are introduced to the design problem through a story in which Angelina falls off the monkey bars and breaks her arm. Students learn about the diagnosis and treatment of her injury and then work to design and build a cast for Angelina.

We develop students who care about the world we live in and express critical thinking through natural curiosity and wonder.

Where Wonders Grow!