ENSC Family Notes

March 10, 2014


This week marks the start of the testing season. Students in grades 3-8 will be completing the first part of the ISTEP test this week, followed by the third grade iRead test. After students return from spring break, the second round of ISTEP beings along with ECAs, CoreLink, and AP exams. Good Grief, how many more tests will students take?

While it seems the administration of tests is out of control, the data gained from these tests can give teachers and administrators valuable information to better meet the individual needs of students.

With the number of years that students take these tests, they are becoming accustom to the routine and expectations. Parents can be most helpful in encouraging students to get rest, relax, and eat a good breakfast. Your support is very important to your child.

Save the Date!

East Noble School Corporation schools will be hosting a Technology Open House on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Parents and community members are invited to attend one or two school buildings to learn more about technology in the classrooms and how it impacts instruction everyday. Each building will hold two separate sessions: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Everyone is encouraged to attend this excellent opportunity to visit a school and learn more about teaching and learning in ENSC.

Board Meeting Week

This week's Board meeting is held at Wayne Center Elementary, 6 p.m. Below are the agenda items.

  1. The Interact Club will be presenting a check to the Honor Flight organization
  2. Wayne Center third and sixth graders will be presenting a few ways they are using technology in the classroom.
  3. Sherry Onion will be giving an overview of her "Onion Store."
  4. Board members will hear an overview of the process to be followed for building a new middle school.
  5. An overview of the laws for disposing of a school building.
  6. The Board will also be approving 96 updated school board policies.

You are always invited and encouraged to attend the meetings.

eLearning Days

The Indiana Department of Education has officially approved ENSC for an eLearning day for secondary students on March 28. Students will receive their assignments in advance and teachers will host two "office hours" sometime during that day. While the eLearning day is designated as March 28, a true virtual student most likely will not complete their work during a structured 8-3 school day.

In addition to approval for the secondary day, ENSC has also been approved for future eLearning days as needed. Hopefully, we do not miss anymore school days, but if we do, we will try out an eLearning day on a Saturday.

Assignments will be provided to students in advance so that if they do not have access to the Internet from home, they will be able to download information from school to complete their work. In addition, wifi is available in the school parking lots, public libraries, various restaurants, and downtown Kendallville.

School Messenger

Beginning Monday, ENSC will be switching their district messaging system to School Messenger. You need to be sure your account is set up and you are set for text messaging.

If we have a SMS device number for you AND you have NOT already sent “Y” (yes) to 68453, SMS text ready devices in our database will receive this message from 68453 over the next few days:

East Noble SC text messages. Reply Y for aprx 3 msgs/mo. Txt HELP 4info. Msg&data rates may apply. See schoolmessenger.com/tm

If you receive this message because you did not opt-in for text messages, it’s not too late! Reply to the message with “Y” and you will be all set to receive important information through SMS text messages from East Noble School Corporation.

If you have any questions about setting up your School Messenger account or text messaging, feel free to email Veronica Mosely at vmosley@eastnoble.net

A Few Websites Worth a Look

6 Teaching Strategies that Promote Deeper Learning: http://tinyurl.com/lcks6fa
20 Signs you are Making a Difference as a Teacher: http://tinyurl.com/pa8oppn
Free Reading Month Activities: http://tinyurl.com/mrggeaj

Super Hero of the Week

The Hero of the Week is Linda Franks, cafeteria manager at Wayne Center School. Linda always has a smile on her face and enjoys chatting with the students at Wayne Center. She has been in East Noble Food Service for 32 years. Linda started part time at Wayne Center in 1982. After 3 years, she became the full time Baker at Rome City School. She was transferred to North Side School in 1990 and then became the Cafeteria Manager at Wayne Center in 1994. Linda has dealt with many difficult situations through the years with the old Wayne Center School Building. The cafeteria also served as the Library, the kitchen had a regular stove (like you have in your home), a regular refrigerator and a freezer that was located across the gym in a locker room. They did not have a dishwasher, just a 3 compartment sink; so the children ate on Styrofoam trays. Linda always said she would work until she got a new school. Now she has a state of the art kitchen and cafeteria and she is still feeding Wayne Center Children! Linda is very committed to her work and to the children of East Noble School Corporation. It is her passion to make good, nutritious, meals for the students and serve it with smiles and laughter and encouragement every day. She truly cares for the children at Wayne Center and makes a difference in their young lives.

An Unexpected Visitor

The students and staff make school at South Side Elementary so exciting everyone wants to join. This deer was taking a peek during Teresa Kloepper's Writers Workshop this week.

Have a great week and you never know who will be visiting.


Curriculum and Building Notes

Curriculum Notes

How to Help Students Become Better Close Readers

When students are faced with a new reading assignment, the first thing that they all generally do is scan the reading to the end to see how long the reading is. We have all done this. When I pick up a book, I flip to the back to see the page count and then make a decision to move forward or not. As we help students move to understand how to read more closely, the first item that we should keep in mind is that close reading is not a skill that comes naturally for students.

Here are some essential tips for helping students become close readers.

1. Be a Close Reader Yourself. To teach items such as inference and text based evidence you will also need to know where these items are. If you are presenting a new reading item to your class, how many times have you read the text? Have you identified the main idea of each paragraph or section? Have you identified key vocabulary words ahead of time and have activities planned to help students gain a context for the meaning of these words?

2. Teach Students to Look for Evidence. Going back into the text is a skill not an inherent ability. Students need teachers to model how this is done. They need practice, practice, and more practice to go back and hunt down the details of a text. Have you carved out time in every guided reading lesson to have students go back into a text to look for evidence?

3. Let Them Make Mistakes. If students have misinterpreted a piece use this as a learning opportunity. Ask them to explain their reasoning and help guide them to places in the text that they may have misread or key information that might be misunderstood. The important thing is that students clarify and refine their thinking strategies, not that everyone has the same “right” answer.

Alternative Learning Center

We made it!!! A grand total of 104 credits for the Trimester!!! It came down to the wire, but several students pushed hard and cranked out some credits right at the end of the week. The end of the Tri is always a bitter sweet time at the ALC. We are happy for the successes of our students but the end of the Tri means that we have to let some of them go. Great things have happened at the ALC this year, we are currently 44 credits ahead of our pace from last year!!! Third Tri is usually the one where the most credits are earned as seniors push hard toward graduation. It should be an exciting end to the year. We would like to thank our students for a great Trimester!!! To the ones that are leaving, we wish you well. To the ones that are joining us, welcome and we look forward to seeing what great things are in store between now and June.

Avilla Elementary

OUR third grade students were able to visually understand edges, vertices, polygons, pyramids, prisms, 3-dimensional, and faces with a hands on lesson this year. Students used toothpicks and marshmallows to fully understand the recent geometry unit. They made 3- dimensional prisms and pyramids to make a number of shapes. After they made the shapes, students found the edges (toothpicks), the vertices (marshmallows), and faces to each figure. They also made different sizes of polygons to emphasize how prefixes change the meaning of a word. Then, students were able to indulge in the sticky treats.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Mrs. Brown has been reading “The King’s Stilts” to all classes during media time and then several students got the opportunity to try walking on stilts themselves. To further our discussion about the book, in Character Counts class, the students had presenters educate them about working dogs and they got to watch demonstrations of how these animals work and help in the community. Presenters were able to connect all the pillars of character to characteristics of all their partners. To follow up the week, students invented their own working animals and how they could help in our communities. Winners from each grade level will be drawn at our monthly convocation for Dr. Seuss prizes. A special thanks to Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Justus for organizing these activities, and to all our presenters, Jan Abbs with Bodo, Sergeant John Dixon with Knight, Trouper Mike Carroll with Deezle, and Deputy Eric Lawson with Major.

East Noble High School

East Noble High School ended the trimester that would never end this past week! Thank you to all the counselors for working on third trimester scheduling adjustments. Counselors have been taking advantage of the extra hour per day to meet in person with students to work on next year’s schedule. Everyone has adjusted quite well to the extra hour, and as we approach the halfway point of the extra time, everyone is beginning to look ahead to Spring Break. A vacation that we actually earn, but more importantly a time of year that brings consistently warmer weather. Our winter athletic seasons are coming to a close with the Awards Presentation this Wednesday. Softball begins Monday, baseball next week, while track and tennis have already been at it. Think spring!!!

We often hear visitors who come to the high school say, “you always have something going on”. It’s true. We offer a wide variety of opportunities for our kids and support our community. Student council has been finalizing their annual Riley Week fundraiser. This year student council, despite the weather, was able to raise over $11,000! Student council appreciates all the support made by the school and community for this project. East Noble Theatre will be performing 101 Dalmatians this upcoming weekend. Come and check it out. On Friday, March 14th, East Noble will hold its annual blood drive. Questions on this event should be directed to Carissa Prater.

East Noble Middle School

ENMS staff went above and beyond this week to lift spirits for next week’s ISTEP testing. It started with a door decorating contest, dress up spirit days, and ended with an epic pep rally.

The door decorating contest was sponsored and judged by the office staff. The winners of each category were: Most Creative (Pirates) went to Brooke Cain, Most Motivational (Big Foot) to Janet Berkey, Most Humorous (Duck Dynasty) to Brooke Stauffer, Principal’s Award (Stars) to Sandra David, and Secretary’s Award (iPhone) to Allison Joy.

Each day had a different theme with staff and students dressing to match the theme. Monday was “Put your thinking cap on!” by wearing a hat. Tuesday was “Be a good sport about ISTEP” by wearing your favorite sports jersey. On Wednesday, students “dressed for success” to look good and feel good! (Of course, the staff always dresses for success.) “Show how BRIGHT you are” was Thursday’s theme with neon pink, green or yellow shirts and shoes found throughout the building. To “pump up the spirit,” Friday was EN Spirit Day and in the afternoon a pep session was held. Staff surprised the students with unforgettable costumes while bustin’ a move for the Harlem Shake. An ISTEP parody video and “Happy” video were played for all to see. The week ended with positive words of wisdom from Mr. Deming himself. “We all care…we’re seeing high growth in our dreams…”

North Side Elementary School

Exciting news was delivered to the North Side Math Bowl team this week. Their score of 26 points in last weeks’ competition placed them among the top ten in the green division. The top score in the state was 28 points with two schools scoring 27. There was a five-way tie for the next five spots. Tie-breaker criteria placed North Side at sixth place in the state. This is the second consecutive year they have placed in the top ten. Each student will receive a certificate to recognize their accomplishment.

Using Time Wisely

The fifth grade students at North Side have been using the extended hour of each day to focus on math and language arts skills. The students are engaged in math activities for the first half hour followed by language arts. The use of Simple Six, Acuity, and IXL have the students feeling confident and prepared for next week.

Test talks are complete with students in grades 3-6 and the “Magic Golden Paw” has been around to provide each Wildcat with an extra boost from the power of the paw for the ISTEP test as they will begin the applied skills section of the ISTEP test on Tuesday. Good luck Wildcats!

Rome Center Elementary School

First Graders in Ms. Ruse’s room have been collecting vocabulary words with the use of the PicCollage. Students take the vocabulary word and find a synonym or antonym for the word. They match the synonym and antonym to a picture and send an email when they are finished. It was a long process to learn but now that they have the hang of it most students can get it finished in 5 minutes. This also provides them with a great resource for all their vocabulary.

Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Owen’s Kindergarten classes have been blazing through Rocket Math and the best part is they are learning math facts and loving every minute of it! They are encouraged to do 35 out of 40 problems in 2 minutes to be able to go to the next level. The children enjoy coloring their rockets and comparing their score to that of the previous day.

Mrs. Biedess and Mrs. Fuller’s sixth grade classes and kindergarten students have found a new and exciting way to spend some of their extended school day together. Once a week for a short period of time the 6th grade classes are buddying up with the kindergarten classes to read and work on counting. The 6th graders are loving helping their kindergarten friends learn. It is a great connection for the 6th graders to get to be the teacher for a little bit.

South Side Elementary School

South Side celebrated Read Across America day on Monday with a visit from The Cat in the Hat and a building-wide read-a-thon. The afternoon started with a student assembly and some fun Dr. Seuss trivia delivered by Mrs. Holly Edwards. Students then broke-out into cross-grade-level reading buddies to share the joy of reading with each other. After that, Students lined the halls for some silent read-to-self time before returning to their classrooms.

On Friday this week, Mrs. Schuyler of the Friendship Food Pantry visited South Side to present a special certificate thanking the Trailblazers for their caring citizenship in donating 1,105 pounds of food. The students had the goal of raising 1,700 pounds of food. The staff was so proud of the effort of the students that the eleven staff members volunteering to take a pie to the face if the goal was met agreed to take a pie anyway. All students with perfect attendance (no missed days, no tardies) were in the drawing to be the pie “deliverers.” Eleven students from kindergarten to sixth grade gave each of the following staff members a pie facial: Mrs. Bloomfield, Miss Juillerat, Mrs. Owens, Mrs. Perkins, Mrs. Pulver, Ms. Roberts, Mr. Robertson, Mr. Schutte, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Spencer, and Mrs. Tipton. With a 3 – 2 – 1, students laughed and cheered for the sticky celebration of caring and citizenship.

Also at this month’s celebration, third grade classes shared a tremendous multimedia compilation of music, dance, tumbling, and general creative genius to demonstrate the hard work they have put into preparing for IREAD 3! Kindergarten students performed the “ISTEP cheer” and lined the halls in a red carpet solute as grades 3-6 returned to their classes after the assembly.

Wayne Center Elementary School

Wayne Center students continue to strive to reach their reading goal of reading one million minutes by the end of the school year! The students are earning incentives along the way before they reach the special surprise event. The students have surpassed the 500,000 minute mark and are well on their way to the 750,000 mark. Our students have also been reading to earn a free ticket to see a TinCaps game on April 18. The last two years our readers and families filled an entire section at Parkview Field and we hope that we will have even more this year!

Each classroom is working on putting together a themed basket for a silent auction for our upcoming spring carnival in April. Wayne Center ended the week with spring pictures. We all ready for spring!