PreK-2 Priority School Newsletter

February 2016


Question: Can you share one success from your beginning of the year?

Kathryn: I had a child tested for the gifted program. By December she knew all her letters, letter sounds, 25 HF words, was writing complete sentences and was able to read any material I gave her. She missed the program by a couple points. I can not be any more pleased with her and she is still gifted in my mind. I will continue to set her goals high and allow her special projects to work on. What an honor it was for me to go through the process with the family and child.

Question: What’s something that you are struggling with?

Kathryn: The one thing I struggle with the most is not being able to leave my work. I have such a patient for what I am doing that I think about teaching all the time. I am jotting notes during the night, up early and to work before most other teachers and stay late to make sure everything is just right for the children. I know I spend more than I should but I want every child I touch to have what they need to succeed. I love each of them as if they were my own.

Question: What’s your favorite “go to” classroom management strategy?

Kathryn: My favorite "go to" classroom management strategy is to keep the lessons moving, plan plenty, get children involved, get children on their feet and moving. When children are actively engaged in their learning you will not have discipline issues.

Question: What’s your favorite “read aloud?”

Kathryn: My favorite read aloud is the Kissing Hand. I read this story every year in the beginning of the year to allow children to understand that school is scary and knew but to know that I am there as well as their families to help make the transition a happy, enjoyable one.

Question: Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

Kathryn: My favorite teacher in school was my Kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Sleeper). Back in the day Kindergarten was only a half day program and we met in the basement of the Masonic Lodge. She was an older teacher who was very creative, had a big heart and loved her job. She made learning fun. I remember her reading voice and how animated she was. She carried you right into the book. She accepted my creativeness and was very nurturing to all the students.

Question: What is a memorable moment in teaching for you?

Kathryn: I have been with the district for 24 years as a Kindergarten Instructional Assistant and have only been teaching for three years. But my most memorable moment in teaching occurred in my second year of teaching. We were at an awards assembly and I watched 10 of my previous year children receive honor roll certificates. The assembly was held in November and I was so pleased to see those children standing on the stage giving me a little finger wave. I knew then that what I had taught them the year before had carried over into Kindergarten and they had become very proud accomplished students.


Scholastic BookFlix, a collection of paired fiction and nonfiction eBooks that promote foundational reading skills such as vocabulary and fluency, is available at no charge to all preK-3 Ohio classrooms through INFOhio. This year, Scholastic has added five new fiction/nonfiction book pairs for a total of 120 pairs. The new titles are:

  • One Zillion Valentines and Valentine’s Day;
  • Emily’s First 100 Days of School and 100th Day of School;
  • John, Paul, George & Ben and Benjamin Franklin;
  • Fletcher and the Falling Leaves and How Do You Know It’s Fall?; and
  • How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? and Back-to-School Safety (both titles also in Spanish).


  • Student writing portfolio submissions should be collected and graded at least 1 time per quarter. For more information on Writing Portfolio specifics go to:
  • Ongoing progress monitoring should be documented for all students on a RIMP for grades K-3; Some recent changes have been made by the 3GRG committee in terms of student determination for being placed on a RIMP. If a child does not pass the MAP BOY cut score, he/she is placed on a RIMP for the duration of the year regardless of his/her MOY score. However, if a child is at or above the cut score at BOY but fails to meet the cut score at MOY then that child is placed on a RIMP midyear.
  • As the 211 Process approaches, there have been training sessions to clarify questions and discuss guidelines of the process. At least one representative from each building should have attended one of these sessions and can answer any questions you may have.
  • Several coaches in various buildings have attended informational sessions in regards to LC training for the 2016-2017 school year. Lisa Chappell is our district trainer for LC and will be providing training to those coaches as determined by the building principals.
  • A CCS Reading Task Force has been created for the purpose of providing recommendations to the curriculum department around the direction of literacy instruction in our district. The team is diversely composed of teachers, coaches and leaders across the district who are most interested in providing teacher voice and increasing student literacy achievement across the board.
  • As we continue to look for great differentiated Managed Independent Learning center activities that children can actively engage in while teachers facilitate small Guided Reading Groups, a fabulous resource shared by the coach at Linden Stem can be found at the following website: You will find hands on acitivities for students in vocabulary, phonics, comprehension and more. And is FREE to download!!! They have also been integrated in PD as make-it-take-it acitivities for teachers!
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion