The Cat's Connection
October 24, 2014
Learn from the past and look ahead
Recently I had the opportunity to discuss with our School Board the progress we are making and the accomplishments of which we are proudest. During the presentation, I reviewed our state report card for last school year, which can be viewed at the Oregon Department of Education website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx or on our website under the links tab. Our report card shows that we scored a 4, which puts us above the state average compared to other middle schools.
One of my favorite sayings I used to hear from my own dad was, "Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." We are proud of many things here at LaCreole, and we celebrate our past success, yet we are very aware that the landscape for this school year has drastically changed and the challenge of transitioning toward the new Smarter Balanced Assessments will not be easy for our students. So, though it is good to know we are making progress, our steps have been to look briefly at the past year to evaluate our performance and how our efforts made us better or helped us identify room for growth.
We have since moved forward, looking at the learning needs of our kids in the present. Our staff believes the energy we committed to the building blocks of writing and math problem solving the past couple of years -- both areas in which our students have made a great deal of growth that is not reflected in the State Report Card -- are the things that will have a sustaining benefit to our students. Our students demonstrate the ability to organize their thinking at a higher level in all content areas. This is the kind of learning our students will need to be able to demonstrate increasingly more in school and in real life. So, despite the ever-changing target of measuring student growth in our world of education, I believe we are doing the right work for our students to ensure their academic progress not only now but in the future as well so they can be successful.
We have lofty goals for ourselves and our students, which is nothing new, and I am confident we will make even more progress this year. The number one thing of which I'm the proudest, and which I shared with our School Board, is our staff's unwavering high level of commitment to our students and their success.
Great Things Are Happening at LaCreole
Wildcat Band -- Awesome!
Our beginning and intermediate bands in conjunction with our Dallas High School jazz band and wind ensemble took to the stage for their fall performance. Our students performed well and have made great progress. Band is a wonderful addition to our program at LaCreole.
Homework Club has been up and running on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. We have had a great turnout, averaging 40 students getting help from their teachers. This is a great resource to consider for students who need a little extra time and assistance to complete homework.
Leaders in our Community!
Our 6th grade leadership class took to Delbert Hunter Arboretum this past week for a service project. This has been an ongoing project for our students, and the caretakers of the arboretum love the help on various maintenance projects. Hunter Arboretum is a wonderful resource in our community, located just adjacent to the Dallas City Park.
Wildcat Band -- Awesome!
Leaders in our Community!
Fall Spirit Week Dress-up Days! 10/27 - 10/31
Meet Mrs. Shryer, Attendance Secretary
Linda Shryer, LaCreole’s amazing new Attendance Secretary, thoroughly enjoys her new job because she loves connecting with students and their families each and every day! She also loves the people she works with because everyone’s focused on doing what’s best for kids.
Family is important to Linda. Not only does she enjoy taking care of her LaCreole “family,” but she loves spending time with her husband, Larry, and two boys, Jeff and Jake. Jeff is serving in the Air Force in Misawa, Japan, and she is anxiously awaiting a visit from him during Christmas. In the meantime, she’s busy helping Jake, who’s a senior, explore options for college next year. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, being outdoors, and watching baseball come springtime.
Linda likes a challenge, and she likes the variety of work she does, but mostly Linda likes taking care of people, which is what Linda does best! Next time you are at LaCreole, stop by and hello to our wonderful Mrs. Shryer.
Creativity in Digital Arts
We've had many students asking, "When do we get to dissect something?" Last year the answer was that we don’t really have standards that call for it. In PLCs we discussed student interest and the fact that we have a stockpile of “patients” needing dissection. Since we knew it wouldn’t be happening in class, we figured it would be an enriching after-school activity for those interested. Students were able to gain hands on science experience. We still have plenty of supply and demand and expect to do at least one more dissection event later this year, probably in the spring.
Student-Organized Learning in our 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Technology Classes
A Dallas Alum Has Got SOLE
7th Grade Science - Earthquake Simulations
Over the last weeks, seventh grade science has been evaluating the risks earthquakes and volcanoes pose to the Willamette Valley. Students then used what they had learned in the unit to create a public service announcement to help inform the public about these hazards.
7th Grade Language Arts
Our 7th grade language arts classes are currently listening to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Our kids are excited about this engaging fantasy that centers around a boy who is the only living resident of a graveyard, raised by its inhabitants. The Graveyard Book is an award-winning novel -- winner of the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, and Hugo Award for Best Novel.
Rather than reading the book, kids are listening to the story and answering questions in preparation for the state reading test that requires students to listen and comprehend what they've heard. The book link and the questions are both posted on our website for easy use. Please go to: http://molliefisher.wix.com/7th-grade-ela for these valuable resources.
Wildcat Spirit Week
NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
November 7 - District Assessment Day
November 10 - District Inservice Day
November 11 - Veterans Day
Have a wonderful long weekend!