Viking Newsletter

Weekly Update for September 3 - September 6

As our newsletter continues to grow and expand we would appreciate any input our community might have to make this a better form of communication. Its our hope that this newsletter will continue to grow and evolve in the weeks and months to come but we would like to actively seek any input you might have to help us get better. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly with any thoughts or suggestions.

Kindergarten

Now that our kindergarten students have been in school for a full week they are really beginning to grasp the procedures that go into attending school. Once that happens Mrs. Troha can really begin to dive into the curriculum. Please see the pictures below to see just a few things our kindergarten students are working on.

Go Math!

After looking at several math programs throughout last year, Taft teachers selected Go Math! as the resource to use to teach Kindergarten - Sixth grade math students. GoMath! is a comprehensive mathematics program that approaches mathematics education through focus, coherence, and rigor. Closely tied to our standards, fewer concepts are introduced at each grade level to allow for deeper understanding and mastery. Coherence emphasizes connecting rigorous content both within and across grade levels. The GoMath! program provides a multitude of engaging resources, both written and digital, that enhance students' learning while accommodating a variety of individual student needs.

Meet our Student Council President

Taft is pleased to introduce our new Student Council President, Melody Alleman. Melody ran on a platform to add mirrors to the locker rooms, work to get more field trips, and plan and schedule a lock-in at school for students. We are extremely excited to see what our student council does under her leadership and look forward to helping her provide more student voice into all the great things that are happening at Taft.

Listening and Learning

As part of the interview process I presented our School Board with an Entry Plan for how I wanted to go about learning about the district. While I have been involved with the district for a number of years as a parent, community volunteer, and as a school board member I still believe that there is so much to learn. I think it is critically important for our community to be involved in our school. I also believe that being transparent is vital to building trusting relationships, and relationships are extremely important for schools and their communities. To that end, I have included my entry plan document for you to review. It paints a clear picture about the intentional actions I am taking to learn about our district as well as the planned outcomes based on what I am learning.


A key component for my entry plan is to gather insights and perceptions about our school from a variety of different sources. While I believe face to face meetings are the best I know that is not always possible with our parents based on their busy schedules, so I created a short survey for parents to complete to tell me what they think about Taft. The Chat and Coffee with the Superintendent meeting that I held this week and the scheduled one for next week will both cover all of these questions.


Please access the link below to take the survey. I truly value the time you will take giving us your thoughts about Taft. I also believe that it will help make us a better school. To that end I have created the survey with open ended questions, so it would not restrict your ability to give us your thoughts in any way.

Snack and Chat with the Superintendent

Thursday, Sep. 12th, 2:30-3:15pm

1605 South Washington Street

Lockport, IL

Please join us for another Chat with the Superintendent. The topic for this Chat with the Superintendent is the same as last Thursday's chat. We are trying to have more parents attend so we changed the time to begin before dismissal in the hopes that parents who could not attend in the morning could attend at this time.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Chat with the Superintendent

Wednesday, Sep. 18th, 5-5:45pm

1605 South Washington Street

Lockport, IL

In an effort to make sure that as many parents have access to these chats we will regularly host three a month. The first two will be held during school hours and one will be held after school hours in conjunction with our regularly scheduled board meeting.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

PTA Share a Dish Meeting



Taft's Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, September 11th at 6:00 PM in the Library. Parents are asked to bring a snack and some ideas to share. Our PTA does so many fantastic things for our school and they can do even more with more parents working together for our kids. We hope everyone can make it!

Attendance

Our attendance rate went down a little bit compared to last week. For this week students had 50 educational days lost for students due to absences. The number of students who were tardy to school also went up which is especially significant when you consider we had one less day of school this week due to the Labor Day holiday.


I truly feel that attendance is one of the most important indicators for student success and completely understand that students will be absent from time to time. I just feel that keeping this one data point on display on a weekly basis helps illustrate just how important it is. I have always subscribed to the famous quote, "What gets measured, gets done" as a way to drive continuous improvement. Measuring and reporting our attendance is something we can do to hold true to that value.

Sports Update

Baseball and Softball have been having great seasons. Softball is heading into regional play next week with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss. Baseball has 3 regular season games left before regionals and currently has 4 wins and 3 losses.


Girls Basketball tryouts for 5th-8th grade are on 9/19, so make sure you have a current sports physical on file.

Taft Parents Athletic Association Meeting

The Taft Parent Athletic Association is looking for parents interested in supporting their future Viking basketball stars! Kids in grades 3-6 can participate in the TPAA's basketball program. If you want to find out more about the TPAA and the basketball program or are interested in coaching a team, please come to the first meeting! The TPAA is run by great parents who do a fantastic job working with our students.

Lockport Police Department's Citizens Police Academy

Please check out the link in the file below to see information about the Lockport Police Department's Citizens Police Academy. The is an excellent opportunity to learn about our local police department in a way that can help develop a rapport between the department and our community. Taft has always had an amazing relationship with the Lockport Police Department, and we are excited to share this opportunity with our community.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

9/6/19 - PTA Profit Day at Pops

9/6/19 - PTA Walkathon Shirt Orders Due

9/9/19 - Taft Spirit Wear Sale Begins

9/11/19 - Taft PTA "Let's Share" - 6PM in the Library

9/12/19 - Taft Parents Athletic Association Meeting - 7PM in the Library

9/18/19 - Special Board of Education Budget Hearing at 6:55PM

9/18/19 - Regular Board of Education Meeting at 7PM Closed Session & 7:30PM Open Session

9/23/19 - Last day to turn in Spirit Wear Orders

9/23/19 - Taft Profit Day at Sizzles

10/4/19 – Fall Picture Day

10/7/19 – Spirit Week – Pajama Day

10/8/19 – Spirit Week – Favorite Sports Attire

10/9/19 – Spirit Week – Wear Mismatched/Backwards Clothes

10/10/19 – Spirit Week – Crazy Hair and Hat Day

10/11/19 – Spirit Week – Walkathon Day

For a complete list of Clubs, Sports, and Activity Schedule please click the button below to go to our webpage!