THE BLAKE BUZZ

March 9-13, 2015

What's Happening This Week?

Welcome Back!!! I think we can safely say that the snow is officially gone until next winter. What a crazy beginning of March we have had this year...Glad that's over!


Here's what is going on this week.


Parent-Teacher Conference Nights are this Tuesday and Thursday.

Teachers who are staying for PTC Nights on Tuesday and Thursday must send down their conference schedules early on Monday. When parents call in, Jeanna or Cyndi can schedule them to come meet with in one of the time slots you have open. They will let you know if and when they schedule any conferences for you. Send an updated copy to the office again on Tuesday so they will have accurate information. Jeanna will have a sign-in/sign-out sheet for teachers to sign on Conference Nights for accurate payroll purposes. You are required to stay both nights- Tuesday and Thursday! Thanks for your hard work and preparation to help parents understand their students' progress.


Monday, 3/9 Report Cards Distributed

Tuesday, 3/10 Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4:00-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 3/11 LG&E Engineering Club, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Thursday, 3/12 Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4:00-7:30 p.m.

Friday, 3/13

  1. Book Character Parade rescheduled, 3:00 p.m. PTA is providing popcorn.
  2. Staff Pie Day (in honor of International Pi Day) Bring in a pie to share in the lounge if you'd like to. Homemade pies should be dropped off in the library to be numbered and voted on. Emily Freeman is organizing this event.

ESL Q&A- Susan's Notes from District ESL meeting last week

  1. Approximately how many ESL students will we be getting? Approximately 30 new students will be placed by Student Assignment this year. We currently have 18 additional students in our building who qualified but whose parents waived services. They will now qualify and recieve services at Blake.
  2. Will our students be in one grade or several? The short answer is that we could potentially have students in all grades. Blake's area has a large number of ELL (English Language Learner) students who will be ready to start kindergarten in 15-16, so there could be a large number of K students. However, if they have older siblings already enrolled in another school, they could be placed at the school where their siblings attend.
  3. What is the process for staffing teacher(s) and Bilingual Associate Instructor (classified/fluent in another language)? If there are no staff members who hold an ESL certificate, the transfer process and overstaff process will be used for staffing. Three elementary schools are losing an ESL unit. Blake, Indian Trail, and Fern Creek are gaining one.
  4. Is there an opportunity for Blake teachers to earn certification? Yes, Spalding & UofL have ESL cohorts that you may apply for.
  5. What opportunities are there for staff training? There is District PD offered for teachers each summer. It will occur this summer around July 22-24, so keep those dates open. We will also have focused PD for staff at the beginning of the year and several opportunities throughout the year.
  6. Who will help us learn best practices? We will have an ESL Resource Teacher assigned to us. Typically, they check in once a week like ECE Resource Teachers do.
  7. What will the primary language be? Most likely Spanish-but there could be a sprinkling of many languages.
  8. Will we get any "newcomer" students who just moved to the U.S. and may know no English? It is very possible. Our BAI will be bilingual and will be able to help us communicate with students and families.
  9. How many students can one ESL teacher serve? The rule-of-thumb is 45-1. There is not a cap on the number of students ESL teachers can have in the state of KY.
  10. Does the ESL teacher pull out children or come into rooms? The model varies based on student needs. It is very much like an ECE teacher's schedule.
  11. Does the ESL teacher have to have their own classroom and materials? Yes, so we will have to make a classroom for him or her. They must have a SMARTBoard, projector, set of On our Way to English books, and other materials that will be provided as start-up costs by JCPS.
  12. How likely is it that we will get more than one ESL teacher? We will most likely only have one teacher in 15-16, however, the ESL population is rapidly growing in our end of town, so the number of students will have will grow each year.
  13. Do we have to teach in Spanish and English? No, students in the ESL program are fully immersed in English.
  14. What are best practices for comprehensive teachers to use with ELLs?
  • Teach a set of academic vocabulary words intensively across several days using a variety of instructional activities.
  • Integrate oral and written English language instruction into content-area teaching.
  • Provide regular, structured opportunities to develop written language skills.
  • Provide small-group instructional intervention to students struggling in areas of literacy and English language development.