ENSC Parent Notes
October 21, 2013
It has been several years since East Noble School Corporation had a long fall break. I hope students are able to relax for a few days and enjoy some time away from the stress of the daily classroom.
Trip with State Superintendent Ritz
I had the opportunity to spend this past week with State Superintendent Ritz and she certainly convinced me she is very passionate about helping the students of Indiana. She is well versed in education legislation and rules set by the Indiana Department of Education. Most recently she and a committee of other teachers, administrators, and superintendents have been reviewing the school grading system and developing a plan to present to the DOE board. Discussion has included the use of NWEA in place of Acuity and mClass. East Noble School Corporation used the NWEA test six years ago and it is effective at showing student growth.
October 23 Board Meeting
This week’s Board meeting Lindy Munson will be giving an overview of the Accuplacer college readiness assessment. Rome City teachers will be providing a review of the Daily Math Review framework. Lastly, the Board will be asked to approve the use of the performance grant funds. This is a grant that East Noble School Corporation received and is to be used to provide to teachers based on their evaluation from the 2012-2013 school year.
More Balanced Calendar Information
Again, I ask that you share your thoughts concerning the use of a balanced calendar with me. We will begin discussing the 2014-2015 calendar this month. So far, the questions I have been asked most are as follows:
- Will athletes still be expected to attend practices and games during break? The answer is yes, just as is currently expected during winter break.
- Will the fall break be placed at the end of the nine weeks? No. With the high school on trimesters, a nine week break would leave the high school with a two week break and then return for three weeks of class. While this currently happens for K-8 with the semester break after winter break, most courses are held for the full school year where the high school courses are just 12 weeks in length.
- Do snow make up days need to be made up during the two-week spring break. No, they do not. Some school districts do this and others do not.
- Can we still build in snow days? Yes, we could; however, we will most likely add them to the end of the school year.
- Will we start August 1? No. I do not see that as a option at this time. We will probably start 4-5 school days earlier than we have in the past. The concern I have heard with the start date is with the middle school and the heat. While August can be hot, the temperatures are inconsistent. This year, the temperatures between August 1 and August 14 were in the 60s and 70s. It was 80 degrees three times and did not exceed 80 until August 19. The temperatures for August 2012 were very similar. To avoid the heat, we would really need to start in late September to early October.
Again, please feel free to contact me with your questions, concerns, and comments.
This Week's Super Hero of the Week is Assistant Superintendent Becca Lamon
Becca is starting her third year with East Noble School Corporation and during her short tenure has impacted students, staff, and parents through her dedication to curriculum development, support of technology integration, guidance to teachers and administrators, and her excellent ability to calm and serve parents through any challenging situation.
Thank you, Becca, for your dedication and commitment to serving the stakeholders of ENSC. You make a outstanding difference every day.
Building and Curriculum News
Even though it seems far off, the ISTEP test is just around the corner. In an attempt to prevent some of last year’s issues, CTB will be conducting a state-wide, mandatory stress test to test the capacity of their servers. We will be participating at the same time with another State to further test the load of the system. Mark your calendars for January 28th from 10-11a.m. with a backup date of February 4th. All students in grades 4-8 will participate in the test.
To help make this process a smooth one, remember to have your students stay current with all updates and to remove unneeded programs frequently. There will be Microsoft updates shortly before the stress test so all machines will need to be updated in the week before the test. You can also help your students by providing them assignments and tests that mirror the style of ISTEP so that they have opportunities to use the computer and iPad in testing environments.
As of now, we are not participating in the online applied skills portion of the test. We will not be asking for this, so unless the State requires this we will be taking that part of the test in a paper/pencil format.
The week leading up to fall break was a busy one at the ALC. We welcomed two new high school students and said good bye to one of our elementary students. He is returning to his home school and we wish him well on a smooth transition. Our high school students have passed the 60 credit mark for the trimester and still have almost 3 weeks to go. I'm confident there are many more credits to be earned before November 11th. In addition to their academic pursuits, several of our high school students have volunteered to help with the Avilla Elementary trip to Biztown in Ft. Wayne. Thanks to Ms. Justus for facilitating this service opportunity for our students.
This week OUR students and staff will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week! OUR STAR group has put together some fun ways to celebrate being Drug Free! Students and staff will have an opportunity to wear a hat in class, crazy socks, neon, twin for a day, favorite college, and of course red. We look forward to this week each and every year to show the importance of being drug free now and in the future. Thank you to Mrs. Kerr & Mrs. Cowley for helping the STAR students put this week together.
OUR 4th grade will once again host a Blood Drive at Avilla on the 18th of November. This is the second year that we will be hosting a drive here. Last year, OUR parents and community members came through with 37 units filled. We hope to do even better this year. If you have any questions about donating please contact Mrs. Smith.
Another activity OUR fourth graders were challenged with is a globe activity where students calculated airline mileage from Washington, D.C. to various locations around the world. We explored the best tool to use for measuring on a spherical object, and how to use the information on a map scale to effectively calculate distance. We also discovered the best way to go from point A to point B might be across the North or South Poles! We’d like to thank all the Avilla staff members who allowed us to use their classroom globes for this activity. We couldn’t have done it without your help!
East Noble High School
What’s the best way to celebrate National Pizza Month…..? Eat pizza! This month, a group of special education students are doing just that. Working with area pizza restaurants, students are trying out their skills as food critics. After analyzing the appearance and taste, students are writing short food critiques to be published in the school newspaper. A special thanks to Little Caesars, Hungry Howie’s, Pizza Hut, and Pizza Forum for helping make this project possible. Mrs. McNamara’s students are enjoying this project and appreciate the help from the community to make this happen!
SADD students, along with Drug Free Noble County Sponsors, hosted two activities at the Friday, October 18th Senior Night to promote safe driving awareness. A seat belt competition, in a car provided by Shepherd’s Dealership, was used to promote the small amount of time it takes to buckle up. Students also participated in a football toss activity while wearing simulation goggles to show the effects drug and alcohol have on the body. State Farm was a sponsor of the event and provided prizes to the students who competed in the activities. ENHS SADD students are also preparing for the upcoming National Red Ribbon Week October 28-November 1st.
Key Club will be hosting their 2nd annual Trick or Treat Halloween on Friday, November 1st, in the ENHS cafeteria from 6:00-8:00. Children from the community are encouraged to dress up for Halloween while trick or treating and participating in fun activities. Trick or Treat participants will receive a small amount of free tickets and more tickets can be purchased at a minimal price to continue playing games. Hot Dogs, popcorn, and drinks will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit UNICEF.
Students recently participated in the annual ENHS Homecoming Parade. Some rode bikes, a few rode in cars, and other walked the parade route along with family members to show their school spirit.
East Noble Middle School
The grading period is over and both students and teachers have finished many important projects and are preparing to start new ones. The language arts teachers are jumping with joy over completing the reading tests that all 7th and 8th graders were required to take. Now, they, along with the math teachers, can focus on discussing and setting Acuity B goals with their students. Subject grade goals have already been determined during Academic Lab classes in preparation for the first round of our new ENMS Rewards program.
Eighth grade science students are finished the Consumer Challenge project. Lab partners developed testable hypotheses to determine if one product is better than another. Soap, popcorn, paper towels, mascara, candles, toilet paper, chocolate, and duct tape were just some of the items tested. Students also learned the strengths and weakness of using Google Docs to construct documents with graphs, and to make presentations with photos and videos during this project.
In extra-curricular, football and cross country ended with conference events and the regular season of girls volleyball is also be winding down. The 8th grade football team placed third in the conference will a well-deserved win over Summit Middle School.
North Side Elementary
The first graders at North Side are finishing their Science unit about the Five Senses. The students listened to a lot of interesting books. They also participated in experiments using their senses. Some other activities were making a flip book, and labeling the five senses on a diagram. In writing the children wrote about a time they tasted something they didn’t like. Students used their I-pods to take pictures using their five senses. They learned how to download and upload pictures into an App. They also used their keyboarding skills to write a sentence into the Story App.
Rome City Elementary
Things were hopping at RC this week as students and staff worked to get everything squared away in preparation for Fall Break. Roman students have been pretesting math skills for the kick-off to the “Rocket Math” program in our building. Students are excited about the new program they will be using to practice computation and build speed and accuracy in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Also, on Monday evening, our 5th grade students and parents were treated to a technology night hosted by our 5th grade teachers, Mr. Martin and Mrs. Scherer, and our peer coach, Lance Yoder. Parents and students enjoyed pizza, pop, cookies, and company as a kick off to the evening. Presenters highlighted their class websites, digital citizenship, expectations for care of devices, and tutorial on use of PowerSchool Gradebook Viewer. Over 70 people were in attendance and at the end of the program our 5th grade students were able to take their computers home for the first time this year.
Monday afternoon several of our Arabic students shared information about their religious holiday, Eid, which they celebrated on Tuesday. According to the students, Eid is similar to our Christmas holiday in which they receive gifts of candy, money, and other goodies along with spending time with family and friends. Our students were treated to several accounts of traditional Eid celebrations as our Arabic students shared pieces they had composed in writing that they read over the intercom at the end of the day.
Wednesday our students were treated to a very welcomed visit from Sgt. Dixon and Knight as students gathered in the gym for a short presentation over what the crime fighting duo does each day to keep our schools safe and free of drugs.
South Side Elementary
Chris Smith recently presented his yearly talk on fire safety to all South Side students. Chris gave our students lots of very valuable information and students were able to ask questions about his safety gear. Chris is working on bringing the Smoke House to SS kindergarten students soon.
This week, East Noble social worker, Kris DeLong, presented internet safety talks to all fifth and sixth graders. Sixth graders reviewed information presented last year and learned about the problems of cyber-bullying and sexual harassment. Fifth graders talked about staying safe while using the internet.
Wayne Center Elementary
On Wednesday the Functional Life Skills class went to visit the Kendallville Fire Department. We learned that some of the firefighters work 24 hour long shifts and have to stay at the fire station for their entire shift. We were able to see where the firefighters stay, where they cook their meals, and where they sleep while on duty. Next we went into the area of the fire station where the trucks are kept. We heard a VERY loud sound when the dispatcher came onto the radio. We learned that the firefighters were being called to help an ambulance driver. While the firefighters were gone, we were able to explore the fire trucks with their helper (The Fire Chief's Secretary). While exploring we discovered that fire trucks have numbers on them, that fire trucks have lots of letters and words on them and that some fire truck tires are taller that we are. When the firefighters returned, they showed us their turnout gear. Firefighters wear boots, pants over their uniform with big suspenders, a coat with three layers to protect them from heat and water, and a hard helmet. Next we learned what each of the fire trucks do. Some carry water, some carry firefighters and tools, and some spray water. We saw the fire hoses and the nozzles that are used to shoot out the water. They even have a truck with a trailer and an ATV to go into areas where there are no roads if someone needs help.