Rocket Fuel

March 2023

A Note from Mrs. McMinn

No snow days??? That's o.k.! The sun has been shining, and outside learning is in full swing. A lot has been happening at school over the past few months. Phase one of the K-2 play and learn space was cleared for use. Grade levels participating in RootEd learning projects are busy at work, and changes to our main building are right around the corner. We had a very successful Book Blast campaign during the month of February. Over the course of the next few months, our front entrance to the office and K-2 building will be replaced, bringing added security to our campus. Work is scheduled to be done over Spring Break, which means new protocols for entry will be in place upon students' return to school. As the work gets closer, we will send information about the new entrance and check-in and check-out procedures. If you have visited the middle school in the last few years, our entrance will be similar in that entrance into the main building will have to go through the office before entering the hallway. We are excited about this new safety feature to keep our staff and kids safe! The entrance to the 3-5 building is also scheduled for replacement later this year. Stay tuned for more exciting news for our Rockets!

Nurse Anna's Notes for Families

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Let's Talk Concussions

As spring approaches, the weather gets warmer and children become more active outdoors.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, and can occur from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. The potential for a concussion is greatest during activities in which collisions can occur, such as during physical education (PE) class, playground time, or sports activities. However, concussions can happen any time a student’s head comes into contact with a hard object, such as a floor, desk, or another student’s head or body.

Concussion Signs Observed

  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.

  • Appears dazed or stunned.

  • Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent.

  • Moves clumsily.

  • Answers questions slowly.

  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).

  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.

Concussion Symptoms Reported

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.

  • Nausea or vomiting.

  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.

  • Bothered by light or noise.

  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.

  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.

  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.

Counselor's Corner

February was a busy month here at Polk Central. February we celebrated Kindness month with many different activities to spread Kindness. In classroom lessons we focused on learning about and practicing Executive Functioning Skills. These daily life skills that help with organization, focus, planning, and memory are so important for students to learn and practice as they continue to become more independent. Please view the QR code below for more information and resources about Executive Functioning Skills and activities to build these skills at home as well! In March we are focusing on College and Career Readiness to begin the discussion of future plans. At the end of the month we are excited to welcome presenters back on campus for our in person Career Day Event. I have secured representatives from many different jobs and careers, however, I have a few spots still available if anyone would like to present. Please reach out to me for more information.

We are proud to be ROCKETS!

Title I Updates

Read Books Online!!!

There are many fun and interactive websites for literacy online. Here are a few online resources:

ELL News from Mrs. Llanos

This month, ELL (English language learner) students took the WIDA ACCESS test. This is a test that is designed to measure the student's progression in learning English on all four domains of language- Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. To exit the ELL program the student must score a 4.8/6 on all four domains. Once a student exits the program, they go under a period monitoring, where the ELL teacher can check in with the student and the teacher to decide if exiting the program has affected the student negatively and can be rescreened for ELL services.

In our Polk County program most students exit the program without needing to be screened.

Here is a link to the WIDA ACCESS Test page if you would like more information.


Este mes, los estudiantes ELL (aprendices del idioma inglés) tomaron el examen WIDA ACCESS. Esta es una prueba que está diseñada para medir el progreso del estudiante en el aprendizaje del inglés en los cuatro dominios del idioma: lectura, comprensión auditiva, expresión oral y escritura. Para salir del programa ELL, el estudiante debe obtener un puntaje de 4.8/6 en los cuatro dominios. Una vez que un estudiante sale del programa, pasa por un período de supervisión, donde el maestro de ELL puede consultar con el estudiante y el maestro para decidir si la salida del programa ha afectado negativamente al estudiante y puede volver a evaluarse para los servicios de ELL.

En nuestro programa del condado de Polk, la mayoría de los estudiantes salen del programa sin necesidad de ser reevaluados.

Aquí hay un enlace a la página de prueba WIDA ACCESS si desea obtener más información.

PTO News

PTO has two upcoming events in the month of April! We will be hosting a parent night on April 4th, 2023 from 6:00-7:30. We would like to encourage parents to join us to see what students are learning in the classroom. This event will allow parents to register future Kindergarten Rockets, raise money for school grounds, and learn more about community outreach! On April 29th, PTO will host a Rocket Rainbow Color Run. This event will be a 1 mile run/walk. Bounce houses will be set up, as well as a snack table, white PCES t-shirts, chalk to throw, a PCES spirit gear for purchase, and a donation table. The proceeds will support our school playground needs. Registration for this event will be forthcoming soon. Please be on the lookout for more information about both of these events. We look forward to seeing you soon!