Stephen Decatur News

February 5, 2016

Improved Security Measures in the Building

Within the next few weeks, Stephen Decatur will be receiving a new system for checking visitors in and out of the building. The system is called Raptor, and it screens for registered sex offenders in all 50 states, individuals with restraining orders, custody issues, suspended or expelled students, known gang members, or any other custom alert set up by our district. EVERY PERSON WHO ENTERS THE BUILDING DURING SCHOOL HOURS WILL HAVE TO PRESENT A VALID STATE ISSUED ID. (Young children accompanied by a parent will not need an ID) Once the system is in place, we will not be able to allow anyone in the building without an ID...even if we are familiar with them. Please share this info with any family member who would have any reason to visit our building. This includes friends and family on a student's emergency contact list who are picking up a sick child from the nurse.

Student Achievement Plan

The staff at Stephen Decatur continually works on developing/reviewing our Student Achievement Plan. We would like parent input. Please review our Student Achievement Plan by clicking on the link. This is a draft copy and could have some grammatical changes that need to be made along with updating the latest student data.

We would like to have all comments or questions sent to us by Friday, February 19 as we will submit our final copy to the Indiana Department of Education on March 1.

Email Communications

Keep us informed if you have a new email, and we will keep you informed on all the great things that are going on at Stephen Decatur! Please make sure to have rkehrein@msddecatur.k12.in.us and rkehrein@smore.com approved to go to your inbox and not spam. These emails will still be in addition to classroom communications from the teachers. Our hope is to have an email for every family so that we can share school related information quickly and efficiently.

ISTEP Testing

The first round of ISTEP testing begins on Monday, February 29th. All students in grades 3-6 will participate. We ask that students make every effort to be at school every day during testing, and that parents make an effort to schedule appointments outside of school hours. ISTEP is a strictly-timed test that is difficult to administer when students arrive late or leave early during the testing time. Please make sure that students are well fed and have a good night's sleep so that their brains are awake and functioning at full potential. We have a great group of kids and we know that they will do their best on the test!!

2015-2016 Yearbook Pre-Orders

Order forms for the 2015-2016 yearbooks will be coming home with students next week. The yearbooks will be $15 and you can send cash or check in with the order form to pre-order a yearbook. There is also an option to order a yearbook online and pay by credit/debit card if you visit www.inter-state.com/yearbook and enter the school code 04658R. The pre-order window will start when the order forms come home this week and will run until Friday, February 26th. Yearbooks usually arrive by the end of April, and we do order a few extra, which will then be available on a first come, first serve basis.
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Winter Compassion Carnival

Our annual winter carnival is having a makeover! In an effort to promote our character traits, we have tied this event with our compassion trait. In coordination with one of our former students and Mary’s Movement, Inc., Stephen Decatur students will enjoy a fun carnival night while also working together with special needs students to complete activities and games in order to promote a more tolerant generation of students. The carnival will still include games and prizes, the Scholastic Book Fair, and dinner in the cafeteria, and it will also have some new concepts. The event is Thursday, February 25th from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. As the event date nears, more details will be sent home. We will also have a volunteer sign up for assistance with the games, food, and other events. We are looking forward to making this one of the best carnivals yet!

SD Parent Teacher Council

The Parent Teacher Council will be holding its next meeting on Wednesday, February 10th at 5:00 p.m. This date and time has changed from when it was originally scheduled, so please make sure to update your calendars with the new date and time. We will be discussing the upcoming winter carnival.

Registration for the 2016-2017 School Year

Registration dates have been approved for the 2016-2017 school year. Similar to this year, we will have 3 dates in July for registering. All families are required to come in to the building to register, pay school fees, and see the nurse if necessary. Please add these dates to your calendars and look for more information towards the end of this school year.


Wednesday, July 13th 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 14th 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 16th 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Colder Weather, Delays and Closures

As it gets colder, please make sure to dress your child appropriately. Students will go outside for recess as long as the temperature is above 20° with wind chill factored in. Please make sure that the student has a winter coat, hat, gloves, and appropriate clothing for this time of year.


In the event that the weather causes us to have a 2 hour delay or closure, a Skylert message would go out to the primary phone number to alert parents. It would also be advertised on all of the local news stations that scroll local schools and businesses that close. We would be listed as MSD Decatur Township or Decatur Township. Please note that we are not listed as Decatur County Schools or Decatur Community Schools. Those are located in Decatur County, not Marion County. We also try to update the district's web page with the most current information on school changes.


A 2 hour delay means that Stephen Decatur would start at 9:45 a.m. instead of 7:45 a.m. Buses will run exactly 2 hours behind their normal schedule for pickup times. We would still dismiss at 2:40 p.m. in the event of a 2 hour delay.

Transportation

Students who need daily transportation will be assigned to one bus. Due to bus capacities and routing efficiencies, students will not be able to use multiple bus stops or ride alternate buses. This includes riding to a friend or family member’s house just for the afternoon. Any daily changes in transportation from car to bus, bus to car, or AYS changes need to be in writing to the teacher in the morning. This ensures that the information is received and that the student is sent in the right direction at dismissal. Phone calls to the office are not guaranteed to reach the student in a timely manner, and teachers may not be available to receive messages during classroom learning time.

School Hours

School opens at 7:45 every morning. We are not equipped to watch children prior to 7:45. Door 10N will be staffed from 7:45-8:00 for all car riders. At 8:00, students will be considered tardy and will need to enter through the front office and check in. School dismissal is at 2:40. Car riders are to be picked up at door 10N at dismissal time. If there are any difficulties conforming to our drop off and pick up times, AYS is an independent before and after care service that is located in our building. Information about that program can be obtained at http://www.ayskids.org or by calling 317-283-3817.

Attendance

In order to comply with Indiana State Law, the school and district are monitoring attendance. Administrators are required to report all chronic attendance occurrences, including excessive tardies, absences, and early dismissals. Parents are to report their student absent by telephone within one hour after school starts. Excused absences include doctor, dentist, or counseling appointments, a death in the immediate family, court subpoena, and major religious holidays. These will remain unexcused until proper documentation is provided to the school. Students are expected to be seated in the classroom, unpacked, and ready for learning at 8:00 a.m., or they will be considered tardy.

Student Textbook Rental

Payments on all balances were due no later than January 29th. Please make sure that your child’s account is up to date. We rely on these fees to provide necessary items to your child for their daily learning needs. Payments can be made by cash, check, money order, or debit/credit card in the office. Any balances that are still on the statement are current. These balances are after any free/reduced book rental has been credited. Families are responsible for these fees.

Volunteering

Parents and family members wishing to volunteer in the classrooms attend field trips, or help with class parties need to be registered with our volunteer coordinator. Registering on the volunteer hub needs to be completed annually. If you anticipate that you will be helping or going on a field trip, please register early. Applications take 48 hours to process, so last minute applications may not be approved in time. To register, please visit the following link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16saMYiObU8saHfeNGCPpMe-0WONduTIr4Vep1Mdo2aU/viewform and complete the form or visit our district homepage at www.decaturproud.org and select volunteer hub from the community tab. You may complete the online application, or you may print off a paper version and turn it in to the office.

AYS

AYS, Inc. and MSD of Decatur Township are working together to provide an activities program before and after school. This program provides creative, recreational and physical activities, as well as enrichment and homework opportunities. For more information, please visit http://www.ayskids.org or call 317-283-3817.

Decatur Proud License Plates

Support Decatur Township by purchasing a metal “Decatur Proud” license plate for the front of your vehicle. The cost is $10 (cash only) and the profits from the plates sold help the students in our building.

Kroger Community Rewards

Every time you use your Kroger Rewards card to purchase groceries, you can also help Stephen Decatur. Register your card number at http://www.kroger.com/communityrewards and a portion of your total sales will be donated to Stephen Decatur. Any questions, please contact Bev O'Toole at mailto:botoole@msddecatur.k12.in.us.

Marsh Fresh Ideas for Education

Sign your Marsh Fresh Ideas savings card up to help Stephen Decatur. You may enroll your card at http://www.freshideasforeducation.com/. Any questions, please contact Bev O'Toole at mailto:botoole@msddecatur.k12.in.us.
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Community Dinner

Second Helpings and MSD of Decatur Township have joined together to provide free community dinners every Tuesday at Stephen Decatur. The dinners are from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria, and guests may enter through door 4 South. This dinner is open to anyone in the community and is not limited to Stephen Decatur families.

Calendar of Events

SD Parent Teacher Council Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 5-6pm

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Winter Compassion Carnival

Thursday, Feb. 25th, 5:30-8pm

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Success Time

Friday, Feb. 26th, 8:15-9am

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

ISTEP Testing

Monday, Feb. 29th, 8am to Friday, March 11th, 2:30pm

3425 Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Decatur Township Roller Skating Party

Tuesday, March 8th, 6:30-8:30pm

175 Southern Plaza Drive

Indianapolis, IN

Spring Break - No School

Monday, March 21st, 7:45am to Friday, April 1st, 2:45pm

3425 Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Decatur Township Statement

It is the Board’s commitment to provide a safe, positive, productive and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. Any individual who believes a student has been or is the victim of discrimination, bullying, or harassment should report the situation to the building principal or designee or complete the School District’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying report form, which is available online at http://www.msddecatur.k12.in.us.