ENSC Weekly Notes

May 9, 2016

Last Weekly Notes

This will be the last ENSC Weekly Notes for the 2015-2016 School Year.

School Board Meeting

This week's meeting will be held at South Side Elementary, 6:00 p.m. The agenda will be brief. Jen Roberts fourth graders will be demonstrating a variety of robots they have build. The usual personnel items and approval to raise the unoccupied section of Rome City Elementary will be the business items. No, we are NOT closing Rome City Elementary.

What Teachers Really Do Over the Summer

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Hero Peggy Skagges

Peggy has driven school bus for East Noble over 20 years and has driven both special needs routes and general education routes. She treats all of her kids as her own and greets them each day with a smile. Recently, Peggy was involved in an accident with her bus and she remained calm and professional during the entire process. She is a compassionate person and goes out of her way to help those in need. Her smile is contagious and she offers it to anyone that is around her.

Hero Becca Lamon

Finishing her fifth year with ENSC, Becca has been instrumental in the many positive instructional changes that impact our students daily. We all know these changes have not been the "easy thing" to do and Becca is one of the first to recognize that. She is always willing to provide any support and guidance that teachers needs. She has organized countless PD sessions, grade level meetings, small group opportunities, guidance through the Weekly Notes, and send staff to off site PD opportunities to help teachers develop their craft of teaching. Becca is constantly evaluating teacher/staff feedback and providing explanations and adjustments to help everyone be successful.

In addition to her instruction and curriculum duties, she is also the district testing coordinator. Craziness is the only way to explain the process! Becca spends numerous hours/days talking with the IDOE and Pearson during testing "season" advocating for teachers and students to ensure everyone is successful. Following the testing, her office houses "tons" of boxes containing tests and testing materials to be recounted, organized, and boxed to be shipped to Pearson.

Thank you Becca for your dedication to ENSC staff and students! You make a lasting difference!

Items for Your Calendar

May 23 - Retirement/Teacher of the Year Recognition Dinner

May 27 - Last Student Day

May 31 - Last Teacher Day

June 5 - Graduation

August 2 - First Staff Day of the 2016-2017 School Year

Technology, Curriculum, and Building Notes

Technology Notes

A special shout out this week goes to the staff at South Side Elementary School! In the last month alone, five staff members have earned their backpacks, and the entire staff has earned over 40 badges! In addition, Anne Smith earned 23 badges in that month alone! What amazing work! Thanks, South Side Staff, for sharpening your skills on behalf of your students!

A reminder about Lenovo updates…we have seen an increasing number of teacher laptops in that have not been updated. Please remember that if you start having connection issues, keyboard issues, anything…there’s a good chance you need to run Lenovo updates. Lenovo updates do NOT run on their own; you must manually run the Lenovo System Updates for them apply on your machine. If you need a refresher about how to update your machine, please see one of your building technology coaches and they will help you out!

Finally, we want to make certain that we have an accurate picture of how well the teacher Helix laptops are staying connected to the network. Josh Walters sent out a survey on Friday called the “Wireless Connection Survey.” Please make sure to take a brief minute to fill out that online survey so that we know if that issue has improved or not. If you have not already taken this survey, you may access it from this link: https://goo.gl/b8CFwq.


As we wind up this year’s ISTEP, we know that in its current form there is only one more year of this test. However, before we rejoice too much, we need to be aware of what comes next. Will we have the same thing with a new pretty bow on it or will the newly appointed committee actually design a test that provides meaningful data without 13 hours of testing? Below are the members of the new committee and who made their appointments. As teachers who see the needs of your students every day, you have great information to share with the committee members as to what is valuable to you and our students in the design of new state assessment.

State Superintendent Ritz's Appointments

Ayana Wilson-Coles, a third grade teacher at Eagle Creek Elementary School

Julie Kemp, Principal at Chrisney Elementary School

Wendy Robinson, Superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools

Callie Marksbary, Indiana State Teachers Association

Senate President David Long's Appointments

Jean Russell, 2016 Indiana Teacher of the Year, Southwest Allen County Schools

Steve Baker, Bluffton High School Principal

Dr. Kenneth Folks, East Allen County Schools Superintendent

Marilyn Moran-Townsend, Chairman and CEO, CVC Communications

House Speaker Brian Bosma's Appointments

Melissa Scherle, 2 grade teacher at Washington Irving Elementary School, IPS

Edward Rangel, assistant principal at Tindley Genesis charter school in Indianapolis

Scot Croner, Blackford County Schools superintendent

Lynne Stallings, parent and professor at Ball State University

Governor Mike Pence's Appointments

Nicole Fama, principal of Indianapolis Public School 93, was chosen by Pence to serve as chairwoman of the committee.

Jim Roberts, superintendent of Batesville Community Schools.

Chuck Weisenbach, principal of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis.

Brent Freeman, special education officer for Indianapolis Public Schools.

Michelle McKeown, general Counsel and Director of Policy for the Indiana Charter School Board.

Indiana State Board of Education member Byron Ernest, Commissioner of Workforce Development Steve Braun, Commissioner of Higher Education Teresa Lubbers, Glenda Ritz, Sen. Dennis Kruse and Rep. Bob Behning will also be on the 23-member committee.

East Noble High School

With most of the testing for ISTEP and AP being completed and the end of the year near, many classes are using the time to complete the year with small projects to engage students at the end of the year. Ecology is developing wind turbines to test the most effective design for generating wind power. AP Chemistry is designing their own demonstrations of chemical principles. Students will develop and explain these to the class. Medical Terminology is testing their eyes for acuity, depth perception, astigmatism and multiple other traditional eye exam components. Zoology students are investigating response mechanisms to various stimuli in live Planaria. Biology just finished molecular genetics and learning about protein synthesis. Some classes modeled the process using Kinex kits. The class is finishing the year with ecology topics with classes creating videos to show natural selection.

A shout out to a couple of extra-curricular groups associated with science. East Noble science represented the school well. There were 17 schools participating and East Noble placed 6th in engineering, 4th in Forensics and 10th in math. In another event, Phillip Phan placed 2nd in Chemistry at the State Science Fair. His project was for excellence in demonstration of a chemical principle. His project earned him a cash prize of $150 and a certificate. His project was titled: Water Hyacinths: Effects of Fertilizer Contaminants on Regulation of Copper in Wetlands. He will be recognized at the American Chemical Society state banquet at the University of Indianapolis on May 10th.

East Noble Middle School

It was an exciting week at the middle school as staff got a chance to meet our new incoming 7th grade students. Teachers from each subject area along with Mr. Deming and Ms. Laur visited all the elementary buildings to begin the transition to the middle school for our 6th graders. The middle school staff shared information about electives, team teaching, No Excuses, and many other exciting things that await our newest Knights. We followed up with a scheduling meeting for parents and students on Thursday. This was a very well attended evening at the middle school gym and was a great evening to welcome the class of 2023!

Our sports seasons for the spring are starting to wrap up and it has been great seasons for all of our athletes. Track teams finished their season on Saturday at New Haven against some tough conference competition. Soccer teams begin their battle at conference this week and our golf team wraps up their season as well. On Friday evening our students enjoyed a night of dancing and spending time with friends. Our annual Goodbye 8th grade dance was well attended and all of the students looked great. It was a fantastic evening for our students!

Avilla Elementary

This past Tuesday morning was OUR annual Muffins with Moms breakfast. What a great way to begin the day. THANK YOU to OUR PTO for putting this together! A great time was had by all. The coolest part was seeing all the dads helping out so that the moms could enjoy breakfast with their kiddos. We truly are blessed to be able to work with so many great families here at Avilla School!

The Kendallville Public Library held its awards banquet on Thursday for the 17 Annual Kleiman Writing Contest, and students from Avilla were well represented among the winners.

On Wednesday, May 4 OUR first grade went to Science Central. Students enjoyed exploring hundreds of science exhibits. The traveling exhibit put our students in motion! The slanted room and the slide were also big hits! They were able to have hands on experiences with animals and were able to spend some time in the Maker Space section to create their own inventions! They even enjoyed an interactive demonstration called "Shocking Science". Students learned about protons, neutrons, and electrons! It was a hair raising day!

North Side Elementary

The past week at North Side was filled with excitement. The almost seventh graders heard a presentation from Mr. Deming and the middle school team regarding life at the middle school. The nearly Knights are super excited to move from the elementary to the middle school. Their claim to fame will be one of the last classes to ever roam the halls of that 100 year old building.

Later in the week the upper grades heard a wonderful presentation from internationally renowned author and illustrator Troy Cummings of the best seller Notebook of Doom. It was a great opportunity for students to see the messy writing practice come to life right in front of them from a professional.

In other grades second graders are "hatching" butterflies any day now and had a lovely field trip to Science Central and the Botanical Gardens. Students across the building spent time making special gifts for the mothers in their life.

Rome City Elementary

Our first grade Romans have been working on a plant unit. They have learned all of the things plants need in order to grow and have even planted their own fruits and vegetables to observe as they grow! To finish up their plant unit the students planted their class tree this week! How exciting to plant something that will be around for many years to come!

First grade was also visited this week by Kevin Dreibelbis from Noble REMC for a presentation about electricity safety. Mr. Dreibelbis used a model with real electricity flowing through it to teach students how to be safe inside and outside. One student was picked to model the hard hat, safety glasses, and rubber gloves that linemen wear when working with power lines. What a great real world connection for our Romans!

Second grade Romans have been studying the life cycle of a butterfly. Each class has been watching the life cycle through catapults in their room. Some of the butterflies started hatching from their chrysalis this week. To go with the unit they took their field trip this week to the Fort Wayne air base and to the Botanical Gardens. While at the Botanical gardens each student got to spend time in the butterfly exhibit!

South Side Elementary

South Side fourth graders are wrapping up the year with a project based learning lesson that has them planning a dream vacation in an effort to persuade their teachers to go on the vacation. Each student has a $15,000 budget to use on travel expenses, food, and entertainment. Students are working in pairs to plan and budget everything from their plane ticket cost to meals each day to daily activities and entertainment. Expenses and activities are being charted and journaled using Google Slides so that partners can work collaboratively even if they are in different classes. Later in May, groups will present their projects. We look forward to seeing the day-to-day activities that students plan for cities around the world.

The annual Kleiman Writing Contest Banquet was held on Thursday, May 5. Ms. Roberts’s class had 100% participation as students wrote books designed for younger audiences. There were books about chipmunks at war, an ant who moved to Antarctica, a cat’s first day of school, a nonfiction book about planets, and many more. We are very proud of all of our published authors that demonstrated their creative ideas and fantabulous word choice throughout their children’s books.

Thanks to a Bosch grant, Ms. Roberts’s fourth graders have been constructing and coding Lego robots this year with a lot of help from Mrs. Becker. Students started with smaller projects like a rocking sailboat and a hungry alligator. Now they are building and coding things like a carousel with speed controlled by a tilt sensor and a drawbridge that lifts when a vessel crosses in front of the motion sensor. The class will have many of their projects on display at an open house in the South Side gym on Wednesday, May 11 from 4pm to 5pm. Some of the students will also be presenting their projects at the school board meeting at South Side that same evening.

On Wednesday, April 27, the South Side Chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society held their annual induction. Eight fourth graders and two fifth graders were inducted into this strong leadership group. The ceremony was also a celebration of the many accomplishments of the chapter this year and an opportunity to honor our graduating sixth graders. This year NEHS sponsored our annual food drive, volunteered at Lutheran Life Villages, rang the Salvation Army Bell, sponsored a shoe drive, and hosted a sundae party to celebrate our wonderful classified staff.

Wayne Center Elementary

We recently had a No Excuses University convocation at Wayne Center. Our guest speaker was East Noble’s own Mr. Ryan Pepple. He shared with our students the responsibilities of what his job entails. One of his important messages to the students was to appreciate everything that you are able to do, and not take things for granted. He brought Wanda, his facility dog, and shared how she works with him to help students who have physical challenges. At the convocation we reviewed our Wayne Center motto ROAR. We had several students who participated in a short skit to review the meaning of ROAR:

  • R is for respect
  • O is for openly honest
  • A is for always caring and honest
  • R is for responsible.

Our second grade students are studying the life cycle of butterflies and plants. They are observing the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly starting with the caterpillar stage. The students are very excited to watch the transformations. Our second graders have planted seeds, and they are observing the life cycle of Marigolds.