A Note from Principal Curran

Updates from Thorpe Creek Elementary Jan. 2022

Dear Thorpe Creek Families,

You have likely seen on the news recently individual schools outside of HSE, as well as school districts across Central Indiana and across the United States, move from in-person instruction to virtual instruction due to a large number of unfilled staff absences due to illness. While we have remained in-person in HSE, we have experienced similar staffing challenges recently at Thorpe Creek Elementary.


Last week we had 9+ staff absences daily across our school. The absences impacted classroom teachers, cafe staff, support staff, and our related arts teachers.


I share our recent staffing challenges with you and ask for your help to keep our school community healthy, safe, and learning together in-person. Here are a few ways YOU can help.


1. Please follow our school district's procedures for isolation and quarantine. You can find more information here: https://www.hseschools.org/happenings/return-to-in-person-instruction-plan/isolation-and-quarantine-procedures


2. Please consider joining us at TCE as a guest teacher (also known as a substitute teacher)! When our staff members are sick, or their young children are sick, they must stay home! We need help filling these openings until our staff are able to return. If you might be able to substitute, even a day a week, you can find more information here: https://www.hseschools.org/departments/human-resources/substitute-teachers


We are all weary from the pandemic and the emotional toll it has taken on all of our lives, and yet we remain fully committed to joyful and rich teaching and learning experiences at Thorpe Creek Elementary - whether in-person or virtual. Thank you for lifting TCE up and supporting our school in any way that you can during this pandemic. We will get through this. I look forward to the post-pandemic celebrations with you!


Sincerely,

Sara Curran, Principal

Winter NWEA

North West Educational Assessment (NWEA) testing is administered three times per year for all K-8 HSE students. During the months of December and January, the winter NWEA testing assesses student skills and provides actionable data for Reading and Mathematics. Our teachers, administrators, and support staff observe students daily to understand individual achievement and growth. NWEA is another tool to understand and approach learners in what they have learned and what they are ready to learn. Classroom performance and NWEA results provide the data and resources to deliver effective instruction for all students to grow. This winter window of testing will also be used in part to identify students in need of high ability services. Students may also be identified for high ability services during the spring window of testing in May. More information about identification for high ability services can be found on the HSE Schools website. https://www.hseschools.org/academics/educational-supports/high-ability


New for 2021, NWEA has developed an extension to our typical reading assessment for grades K-2. This winter, students will test as noted below.

· December - January: NWEA Oral Reading Fluency and Dyslexia Screener for grade K-2

· December - January: NWEA Reading and Math Growth Testing for grades K-8

*NWEA has a modified assessment for second grade students who score at or under grade level benchmark. Your student’s report may reflect that modification.


Please know quarantines, absences and retests may affect individual classroom schedules. Reports from NWEA to share student growth targets and percentile performance will be sent home in late January once all testing and make-up testing is completed.

Masterpieces From Our TCE Art Studio

Winter! We're Ready For You!

This snowy picture is from 2019 and these Cardinals are now our 4th graders! As we enter our winter months, please be sure to send your child to school dressed to play outdoors. Here is our School Board approved language for our 13 elementary schools regarding outdoor recess: https://tce.hseschools.org/student/student-handbook/recess-policy


Wondering what to expect this season if HSE Schools closes due to weather?

Our first goal on snow days (also called eLearning Days) is for children and staff to be safe. If you are at home with your child and need some ideas, bundle up and play in the snow! Invite your child to help in the kitchen and bake something warm and delicious. Play a board game, put together a puzzle, snuggle up and read a book! Empower your child to shovel the sidewalk, the bus stop, and a neighbor's driveway. All of these experiences are learning opportunities that develop vocabulary, build background knowledge, and stimulate curiosity.


On a snow day (which may be called an eLearning Day on the news and on social media) prekindergarten - sixth grade students will have assignments posted in Canvas by 9:00 a.m. Our elementary assignments will be thoughtful and will require about 1.5 - 2 hours-ish of completion time. Assignments will include materials that are available in our homes and childcare centers. Teachers will not Zoom with students on snow days (eLearning Days).


HSE Schools announces school delays and closures on the local news and on Facebook and Twitter.


If HSE delays the start of the school day by 2 hours (called a "2 Hour Delay Day"), our elementary school day will begin at 9:40 a.m. The end of the school remains the same (2:10).


While some days may feel long, childhood goes quickly. Snow days are a beautiful reminder to slow down and experience the wonder of nature. Here's to a safe winter filled with warm memories!

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Our Next PTO Classroom Party

Due to the current increase in Covid positive cases in our community, our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) will host our next classroom party later in the spring, not in February. In years prior to the pandemic, our TCE PTO hosted a classroom party on or near Valentine's Day.


If your child would like to bring a Friendship card or Valentine card to each of their classmates, they may! Cards must be signed at home and cannot include food or candy. The cards will be placed into the students' backpacks on February 14th for the students and their families to read and enjoy at home. Friendship cards or Valentine cards are optional.


In the spring our PTO will share details about the next classroom party.


Wondering about classroom parties? Here's the HSE School Board approved language from the student handbook regarding elementary classroom parties:

CLASSROOM CELEBRATIONS

Schools may have up to two classroom celebrations during the year. It is the decision of the individual building administrator as to what the celebrations will entail and when they will take place. Examples of the celebrations are traditional classroom parties, presentations of student learning, or service learning projects. Treats may be provided through HSE food services in conjunction with payment by the PTO. Students should not bring in candy or other food items during these celebrations.

HSE Covid Dashboard

Data for this tracker is collected from the school nurse at each building and includes information relating to students and staff members. The tracker will be updated every Monday morning to show new COVID-related absences and positive cases that occurred in the previous week. The school nurse along with the Fishers Health Department will determine the length of quarantine based on current information and guidance. Past data will remain on the dashboard to view historical trends. To see data for a specific building, select the box next to the site you want to view.




https://www.hseschools.org/happenings/return-to-in-person-instruction-plan/covid-dashboard
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Miss Barry, Mrs. Janutolo, and Mrs. Pugel joined teachers from across the state to present the American flag at the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship in Indianapolis

*All of the teachers that participated were required to wear masks and to be fully vaccinated*

Each day please be sure that your child has a mask and a refillable water bottle (with your child's name on it)!


Thank you for helping teach and re-teach your child proper mask wearing (over the nose and over the mouth). We are using the same language at school. We are getting better every day!