ENSC Parent Notes

October 7, 2013


ENSC has a community survey out right now. There are ten quick questions asking for community input related to strengths, weaknesses, perceptions, and requests for comments. We are working with an organization that will be calling some community members to get more in depth responses, and they will also compile the data for us. The results they provide will help us evaluate what we do and how we can become even stronger in educating the ENSC students. A part of this survey is also collecting input on the future of the middle school.

Families should have received a survey link through an email. If you would like to complete a paper survey, stop by the ENSC central office at 126 West Rush Street, Kendallville.

September Professional Development Day

On September 27, teachers were involved in professional development! Building administrators and teachers prepared valuable activities that will impact student learning. Most schools received additional training on the 6+1 Writing Traits. Using this assessment strategy as a corporation will certainly provide strong consistency with our students. As many have heard me say, "education is not about surprises." This consistency provides quality guidance and direction for our students as they develop their writing skills.

What does the Federal Government Shutdown Mean for Education?

You shouldn't see anything different....for now. Ninety percent of our school funding is from the state and local level. Those funds are continuing to flow to our district and we are fine. However, if the federal government continues on a shut down for several weeks and months, our federal funding dollars, such as Title I funds, will slow down. No worries for now!

Thank you to the ENSC Special Education Staff

ENSC has an outstanding special education staff! I sent a last minute email to the special education teachers late morning on September 27 requesting student pictures and narratives about their services for a presentation I am doing. By mid afternoon, I had received numerous pictures, narratives, and gifts. Our students are blessed to have such passionate and dedicated teachers.

This Week's Super Hero of the Week is Wayne Center's Faith Erexson

Faith Erexson is a dedicated and talented teacher who gives 110% effort in all that she does. Faith is keenly aware of her students’ needs and works hard to address them. It is not uncommon to find Faith working with students after school or even during the summer months. She very much cares about her students and their success.

Faith is also a leader among our staff. She is our primary level teacher leader, serves on our 8 Steps committee, and provides support on our RTI committee. She has been an official mentor to a beginning teacher, but serves in that capacity for all her colleagues as she is willing to share her ideas and practices with others. She will go out of her way to help others in any capacity that she can.

Wayne Center is very fortunate to have Faith on our staff!

Websites Worth a Look

Edudemic, "Should You Share that Photo Online" - http://www.edudemic.com/share-that-picture/

"8 Social Skills Students Need and How You Can Teach them" - http://ht.ly/pvKQ5

Have an Excellent Week!

As always, you may follow me on Twitter for ENSC information (ENobleSchCorp). You may also contact me by email (alinson@eastnoble.net) or telephone (260-347-2502). Check out my website for additional updates also (annlinson.com).

Thank you for your support of East Noble School Corporation and our students!

Ann Linson, Superintendent

Curriculum and Building News


As our Individual Reading Inventory data starts to be collected in grades 3-8, one thing is very clear….most ENSC students can read the words but many don’t understand or think about the words. In other words, they have good fluency – they sound like good readers; however, they can’t comprehend what they read – they can’t answer questions about what they just read. This deficit has a tremendous impact on any assessment that involves reading – ECA, ISTEP+, class test, etc…

Too often when students sound like good readers, we assume that they are good readers. Our data, however, is painting another picture of a missing skill set that is essential to reading. To help our students develop necessary reading comprehension strategies here are some tips that all teachers (all subjects) can use to help bridge this gap.

1. Tap into prior knowledge on a topic before you read

Ask questions or provide information about a topic before kids read about it. Here is an example of what this may sound like: “Today we are going to read a chapter on different cloud types. What do you already know about clouds?”

2. Demonstrate what reading questioning looks like

When you are reading aloud to the class, model what you are thinking and the questions that you might have as you read. This is an automatic skill for proficient readers so we don’t think about it as we do this but our students need to learn this skill.

3. Model inference skills

As you read out loud demonstrate how to elaborate upon what you read, the conclusions and predictions that you are drawing, and how you personalize what you read to build deeper meaning.

The key to teaching comprehension strategies is modeling. When we model, we think aloud while reading to or with the student so that they can hear our thinking about what we are reading. For more information on this topic, please visit http://www.readingrockets.org/article/3479/ .

What can you do differently this week to help your students improve their reading comprehension?

Alternative Learning Center

October began as a great month at the ALC. Our students passed the 50 credit mark for this trimester. We have had students earn credits in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies. Several of them have earned credits in more than one discipline and they are well on their way to having a great school year. Congratulations to all who have earned credits this Trimester.

The Boomerang Backpack program kicked off this week. The Boomerang Backpack program is a free weekend food distribution program that provides students enrolled in free/reduced lunch programs a backpack filled with healthy foods for the weekend. A big ALC thanks goes out to Ms. Clancy and the students that washed and prepared the backpacks to be packed. This is a great program and the ALC is very happy to be a part of it.

Avilla Elementary

OUR third grade has been learning about sound waves, pitch, volume, frequency, and vibrations. The students researched information on these vocabulary terms and were able to construct an instrument made from recyclable materials. They were able to demonstrate the different pitches and volumes using their instruments. In conclusion, they were able to write sequential steps on the construction of their instrument. Students presented their instruments to the class through an oral and video presentation.

OUR Kindergarten had a great time at Orchard Hill apple farm on Friday. We had a fun tractor ride around the orchard where Mr. Meyer taught us many interesting facts about apples and the orchard. We also went for a tour of the factory where we saw the process the apples go through to get ready to sell. After a picnic lunch, we enjoyed an apple from the farm!! What a great learning adventure. Thanks to Orchard Hill!

East Noble High School

Business classes and kids who are part of the Business Pathways will be heading to Parkview Field October 11th for a day with the Tincaps. They will tour their facility and sit down to discuss their marketing strategies. The Tincaps will talk to the kids about how they drive people to the stadium and how they market the team. They also will discuss how the stadium derives income from the sale of advertisements and other use of their facility. The day will be very informative for any student wanting to go into business/marketing of any kind!

Speaking of kids who want to go into business, DECA has been busy thus far in ’13! They are not only selling donuts, but they are now running a coffee shop! They have worked long and hard to come up with an attractive menu (and coffee shop aesthetics) that includes two different types of signatures blends, a STARBUCKS blend, as well as an ice coffee blend. They started serving coffee on Monday September 30th for all of our coffee drinkers!

We are also extremely busy with the Campus Beautification project. To date DECA has contributed the business plan, the brochure, as well as many hours of meeting time to discover potential donors for this awesome project. The kids are doing a great job with their role in promoting the Beautification of our athletic/activities complex.

Lastly, several DECA kids are looking to compete in the district competitions January 11th at Snider High school. This will be the first competition for East Noble DECA. Wish them luck!

Advanced B Foods classes have been busy this term! The students have learned how to Water Bathe Can and Pressure Can. They have made and canned salsa, tomato juice, blanched and canned tomatoes, pizza sauce, pickles, grape juice and peaches. They have also made zucchini jam (yes, it’s good!) soda pop jelly (not too healthy, but interesting to make) applesauce, apple butter and chicken. Now they are starting to learn how to dehydrate foods. They will be dehydrating fruits and vegetables, learning to make jerky and even be making venison salami. It has been a very exhausting time but they have learned how to preserve food for our health, economy and just for the fun of it.

Ms. Lear’s health classes are working on substance abuse and violence prevention. Students participated in Drunk Goggles challenges as well as challenges concerning the short term effects of alcohol.

East Noble Middle School

This week the middle school was full of activities. In classes, students participated in goal setting activities with their Academic Lab teachers. Students set goals for each of their classes for the end of the year rewards program. Acuity progress goals were also set. Digital Citizenship lessons continued on Friday, too. Students in the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club began an awareness campaign for Bullying Awareness month. The entrance doors to the building are painted with the slogan, “Take a stand, lend a hand, and stop bullying.” All students and staff are being asked to wear blue on Monday to help raise awareness of bullying prevention. Students had the opportunity to attend the first school dance hosted by the student council on Friday evening, as well.

Seventh graders are beginning a study of the novel Hunger Games. They will incorporate this novel into their other classes and will utilize their skills from other classes in the language arts class. Eighth graders are finishing up their study of the novel All of the Above. They are constructing their own tetrahedrons as part of their final projects.

North Side Elementary

Sixth graders at North Side Elementary were all smiles this week as they finished up final preparations for their field trip to Junior Achievement’s Biztown. Students have put forth hard work and dedication, as they have been preparing for this trip since the first week of school! Their hard work finally paid off for students on Wednesday when they had the opportunity to apply all of the things they had learned. Students took part in working within their assigned businesses and specific jobs within that business. Students were also given real-world experiences that will benefit them in the future including check writing, banking, shopping, and managing their money responsibly. This gave students exposure to help with many endeavors and challenges they will face as they grow up and join the workforce.

Highlights of the day from the student perspective was being able to go shopping at other businesses, being given responsibilities in which others depended on them to accomplish their job, being able to take the lead within the businesses, and “getting to act like grown-ups.” Highlights of the day from the teacher perspective was watching students take on leadership roles in which they would previously shy away from, witnessing teamwork coming together, the development of friendships that did not previously exist, and students taking the initiative to go above and beyond their job descriptions. Other successes included our 6th graders recycling over 1,000 ounces of paper throughout the day and the hard working employees of the restaurant earning the Business of the Day Award. Students were beaming from ear to ear and sharing their experiences to whomever would listen when they returned to school and departed for home. Be sure to ask our 6th graders all about this exciting trip!

District Social Worker and Attendance Officer, Kris DeLong spoke with 5th and 6th grade students this week about the potential harm that can come their way through the use of Facebook, Skype, and other online mediums. DeLong encouraged students to be cautious because a person they meet online may not have good intentions or be who they say they are. DeLong also discussed how emailing or texting personal information or pictures to one person could potentially be seen by thousands of others; and sometimes could even result in legal charges. Students learned that once they send/post something via the internet they can never erase it and that picture or document could potentially affect their future in a variety of ways. It was important information for our students to hear as they begin to take their laptops home.

Rome City Elementary

6+1 Traits!!! Students from all grade levels have been enjoying helping with the announcements in the morning. First and Second grade sang the Ideas song on the announcements Tuesday and Wednesday. Organization was represented by Mrs. Opper’s second grade class. It is great to see students and staff speaking the same language in our writing lessons.

Thursday was the first of a series of six Family Fun Nights for first grade students. Kari Ruse and Toni Doyle worked together to provide parents with fun games to play at home that are centered around sight words. We enjoy seeing parents and children working together toward academic achievement. “Research shows that when parents and other family members take an interest in what children are learning, provide opportunities to do learning activities at home, and offer encouragement to a child’s learning efforts, the impact can be significant.” (Edie, McNelis, & Wisconsin Council on Children and Families Inc., 2008)

South Side Elementary

South Side had our first "Pizza with the Principal" lunch this week. Each student was selected by staff based on their demonstration of each of the six pillars of character through their daily interactions at school. These students were also honored at our Trailblazer University Celebration. We will continue this new tradition each month at South Side!

South Side 6th graders have been busy with all things Hatchet (our first quarter novel written by Gary Paulsen). To build schema prior to beginning the book, our students studied biomes and climate in science as well as latitude and longitude and a comparison/contrast of U.S. and Canadian geography in social studies. Beyond the reading of the novel, our students have learned about various reading strategies for comprehension and worked with interesting or unknown words from the book. Our students have also written multiple pieces, including poetry, problem-solution essays, journal entries, and book reviews which directly relate back to the book and help our students connect with what they are reading.

Wayne Center Elementary

Wayne Center welcomed 500 guests for our PAC sponsored breakfast with grandparent's event. Students and their special guests were treated to donuts and juice in the cafeteria before school started Friday. After their yummy breakfast, students led their visitors to their individual classrooms where teachers had activities waiting. In second grade, students had two activities to choose from. In one activity students could choose to interview their visitor. What was your favorite subject in school? What was school like? How did you get to school? It was great to see students comparing their school experience to that of their visitor. The second activity incorporated the use of technology and the Popplet app. Students took the information that they learned from Mr. Yoder earlier this week and taught their visitors a thing or two about the app! It was awesome to see second graders teaching others! It was a wonderful start to our Friday and an end to the week.