ENSC Family Notes

January 12, 2015

eLearning Day

Thank you for all of your patience as East Noble School Corporation used their first eLearning day in place of canceling school. We heard many wonderful stories of students engaged in their learning throughout the day. We know it was not a perfect event; however, as many parents shared, it was better than adding the day in June and better than their kids sitting around watching TV all day. There were many excellent lessons prepared for students and teachers who not only were available during the school hours, but were assisting students and parents into the late evening hours.

There are approximately 60 school districts in Indiana (which includes parochial schools) who have been approved for eLearning in place of cancelling school. All have differing values and beliefs of what eLearning should look like.

ENSC's vision for eLearning is to provide off site, technology based instruction where students are independently engaged in relevant and rigorous lessons that build on a sequential standards-based curriculum creating a seamless transition from one school day to the next.

Is it going to be 100 percent? No, that is not possible. However, I have faith that we can come close.

As teachers prepare lessons, it is important to understand they are providing materials and lessons that address standards and skills which students have received exposure. Students develop their independent learning skills from the time they enter kindergarten and their level of independence escalates as they move through their K-12 career. During eLearning days, students are expected to work independently and parents are not expected to spend hours with their child! If your child is struggling with their work, have your child create a list of questions to ask when he/she returns to school. In addition, the teachers are available and an email away for parents and students. Some teachers do share their personal phone numbers.

We will continue to evaluate and improve our eLearning option as we move through the winter. East Noble plans to use eLearning only when we have sufficient time to plan appropriate lessons and properly inform families in advance. Please contact Ann Linson with any eLearning day questions you may have. (347-2502 or alinson@eastnoble.net)

Board Meeting

This week's Board meeting will be held at the central office. It is one held with many business items which include: Reorganization of the Board (president, vice president, and secretary), approval of the treasurer and deputy treasurer, approval of a newspaper for publications, approval of the depository, etc. In addition, we will be moving approximately $20,000 from the bus replacement fund to the rainy day fund. These excess funds are a result of receiving reduced pricing on our new busses. These funds cannot be moved between accounts, but can be transferred into a rainy day fund.

All Star of the Week

This week’s All Star of the Week is, Jenelle Combs, from the ALC. Jenelle has been employed by East Noble for one calendar year. When she started last January she instantly became part of the ALC team. Jenelle is usually the first voice you hear when you call the ALC and she tracks all student’s attendance. More importantly, she helps keeps Mrs. Justus organized, helps students with their classwork, and builds relationships with everyone in the building. Jenelle’s education and employment background makes her our resident expert on resume writing and job planning, so she assists each Senior on their final project. She is an asset to our staff and students, and is going to be greatly missed during her maternity leave in a few weeks, but we are all excited to meet her new bundle of joy.

Jenelle, thank you for all you do for our East Noble students!

Curriculum and Building News

Curriculum - Parent Specific

This spring students in grades 3-8 who take the ISTEP and those taking the English and Algebra I ECA (high school) will see and experience several new types of questions. In the past students have filled in short answer questions, written an essay based on a short scenario, (i.e. If you could design a new postage stamp, what would it look like and why?) and answered many multiple choice questions. This year students will be asked to read two passages, instead of one, and respond with a short answer that requires the use of text evidence. In other words, students will be expected to provide details from the stories in the answer. The long essay will also be based on additional reading passages instead of a scenario. In addition, there are several possible writing types that may be given depending on the age of the student - narrative (story), persuasive (opinion), or argument (opinion supported with facts and counterarguments). Instead of traditional multiple choice questions, students may also see the following question types:

  • · Multiple-correct Response Questions – Mark all answers that are correct, not just the one correct answer
  • Drag and Drop Questions
  • Select Text Question – i.e., Click on the sentence in the passage that shows the meaning of a certain word
  • Matching Questions
  • Equation and Expression Entry Questions – Students use a keyboard number pad to create a typewritten math equation
  • Graph Lines Questions – Student place a line on a graph on the computer
  • Plot Point Questions – Click on a graph to add a point

ESNC has been working diligently with students on the new types of question for the past three years, but more so this year after the official question types were released by the State.

The Department of Education has also released a sample test for parents, students, educators, and community members so we can experience what the new assessment might feel and look like. I encourage you to explore the site and learn how this year’s test will be different.

Experience IN College and Career Ready Assessment - http://experience-ccra-in.ctb.com/

In the upcoming weeks, I will share more information on the new assessments. If you have any questions about how we are helping your student prepare for the changes, please feel free to contact your student’s teacher or the building administrator.

Alternative Learning Center

It was a short, quick week at the ALC. Even with all the weather interruptions the students were focused and productive. A slow start is expected after returning from break, but that is not what our students displayed. They worked diligently and even earned several credits this week.

Our E-learning day went very well. Students logged in to their online classes and teachers were able to facilitate continued learning throughout the day. It was a great way for students and staff to connect through technology, continue their learning together, and stay safe off the hazardous roads, all at the same time.

The ALC progress reports went out over winter break, so students and parents, had time to review them and discuss trimester goals that still need to be met.

Hopefully, we will have a full week in school.

Avilla Elementary

ELearning day this past week was very successful for OUR students and staff. All grade levels did a great job preparing students for lessons that would be completed on Thursday. Mrs. Smith set up links to all grade levels on the website to help students and parents find assignments that needed to be complete. Staff monitored email, sent out messages on Remind, texted with parents, and made phone calls when needed. Hats off to everyone for making this a success at Avilla.

OUR next Panther University on January 27th all grade levels will be presenting information to parents to help clear up any questions or issues that may arise when they are at home helping their children with school work. Panther U will begin at 6:30 that evening and we hope all will attend.

OUR 4th grade students have had the opportunity to learn about ecosystems, animal adaptation, food chains, and animal characteristics for the last 8 weeks. Zoo Suzy, from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, has visited the classrooms once a week and her focus has been on scientific inquiry. Students conducted weekly science missions which included: building and caring for live ecosystem terrariums with Texas millipedes and conducting their own investigations with them with an emphasis on the steps of the Scientific Method. OUR students will visit the large version of a terrarium, The Rainforest, at the Fort Wayne Zoo on Wednesday, January 7th. Small groups have been researching an animal and habitat not currently at the zoo and will present a possible new exhibit to the zookeepers that they would like to see added to their zoo population.

This past Friday during lunch OUR k-2 students were treated to music from the EN Jazz Band. It was great to see the HS students playing for OUR kids. Several former Avilla Panthers make up the band and it was great to see them! Thank you to Mr. Munoz for allowing his students to come and spread some holiday cheer. OUR students were also treated to a Magician during lunch. The magician strolled around the MPR and “wowed” the kids with his skills. He even convinced several of OUR 6th grade students that he has Jedi skills!

OUR students and staff ended a great week with one of my favorite holiday traditions. The entire school sang Christmas songs in the MPR on Friday afternoon. Students and staff alike were singing and enjoying just one of the many things we have to be thankful for at Avilla: family. Thank you to Mr. Smith for putting the music together for us.

East Noble High School

ENHS has a great relationship with Impact Institute. Each year we have 100 students to attend Impact Institute for career readiness instruction in one of 14 vocational programs. Our students have college credit and certification opportunities in the following programs: Automotive Technology, Auto Body Collison Repair, Computer Aided Drafting, Construction Trades, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Interactive Media, Primary Health Care, Health Occupations Education, HVAC, Precision Machining, Marine Mechanics and Welding.

Our Primary Health Care students successfully passed their state Certified Nursing Assistant test with Indiana State Department of Health. This semester they will begin focusing on Medical Assisting and the duties performed in a doctor’s office, hospital or outpatient facility. Students also become certified in First Aid and Health Care Provider CPR.

This past Thursday, ENHS students and teachers took advantage of our technology and engaged in our first eLearning make-up day. Technology is such an everyday part of what we do at ENHS, this was a seamless transition for our kids. Teachers had assignments posted on Canvas that allowed education to continue. Students extended their learning by collaborating with one another, worked on individual tasks, and engaged with teachers by posting comments regarding various assignments. Many of our students are exposed to these types of strategies on a regular basis. Technology allows engagement opportunities in a variety of settings never before possible. Utilizing the tools we have to allow learning to continue on a cancelled school day is yet another benefit of being a one-to-one school. ELearning sends a message to our kids that learning never stops. In today’s world of competition it’s important that we give our kids the support and resources to help them maintain their edge.

Prior to our winter break, ENHS Student Council hosted an “Out of this World” semi-formal. Over 400 students from grades 9-12 danced the night away under the galaxy themed decorations. Thank you StuCo for all your efforts in keeping the social calendar at ENHS exciting.

East Noble Middle School

Staff and students returned to a very cold start to our second semester. Despite the weather and the delays, students have seemed to settle back into a routine and were working hard when Mother Nature decided to strike with a vengeance. Teachers and students started to review the goals set by our students for the second quarter to see who have earned prizes. Congratulations to all students who worked hard all grading period and achieved their goals!

E-learning was a success with our students and teachers on Thursday. Technology has been integrated so deeply into the day to day learning of our students; that the e-learning was not a completely new thing for our students. Staff was available all day for students to email them and ask any questions. We have heard positives from parents but also know we can always improve on the e-learning lessons. Staff worked hard to develop lessons that pushed our students and continued to stretch the depth of knowledge with the activities.

Upon our return next week, students will set new goals to aim for during the third quarter. Setting goals allows students to choose where they want to go in school and what they want to achieve. By knowing what they want to achieve, they know what they have to concentrate on and improve. Goals setting gives students long-term vision and short-term motivation. Having goals which students can measure will allow them to take pride in accomplishing those goals. Research has shown that by setting goals, students can improve their academic performance, increase their motivation to achieve, increase pride and satisfaction in performance, and improve their self-confidence. We all want our students to become believers of their academic abilities!

Hopefully the weather will soon cooperate, and we will have our next awards program to recognize our 7th grade students’ achievements on Wednesday, January 14, and our 8th grade students’ achievements on Thursday, January 15.

North Side Elementary

North Side staff and students had a lot happening this shortened week as we returned from winter break. Students of all grade levels were making final preparations for Acuity or mClass assessments while teachers began the planning stages of using Study Island to administer common assessments every third week. Of course, however, the weather dominated our week as staff made plans for eLearning and students endured a couple false alarms before finally getting to try out our first ever weather-induced eLearning day. Elearning was a great experience for our students and our staff as we begin reflecting on the process with the expectation that it may happen again. Next week brings Acuity (3-6) and mClass (k-2) midyear benchmarks, progress reports, an ISTEP readiness check, and a return to somewhat normal weather (hopefully).

Rome City Elementary

Despite the shortened week , Romans continued down the path of success as they learned new skills technology skills and their practical applications. With instruction from Michael Cary and Carrie Huelsenbeck, 2nd graders began to recognize and understand QR codes. They were presented the opportunity to use their iPads to scan codes that accessed virtual tours of colleges, the Statue of Liberty and even the moon!

Rome City welcomes a new, but familiar face this week. Stephanie Stuchell, a former Rome City student, started her students teaching with Mrs. Kim McKibben. We are proud to have a former Roman showing students the goals they can reach if the attend college.

Romans were very excited to be able to take their devices home this week. Grade K – 4 prepared to do learning at home in case Mother Nature brought us extreme weather. Students use their iPads on a daily basis and love to be able to take the devices home to share with their parents.

South Side Elementary

Well, Indiana weather will be Indiana weather, but South Side was prepared with engaging, tech-integrated e-learning lessons to keep students moving forward on grade-level curriculum despite the chill and snow. One parent shared that their first-grader said, “I love e-learning because I can do work like when I’m at school” and still others expressed appreciation that such an opportunity was available to their children. We are still in our infancy for using e-learning for weather-related cancelations, and we will continue to gather input from our families, teachers, and students so that we can also continue to get better and better in our service to our community.

Our grade-level update this week is from 3rd grade: Holly from IMI Concrete helped all third graders create a concrete block that included some fossils. Each student was also given a rock box that included ten rocks native to this area. Third grade students participated in creating fossil imprints. Before the break, all third graders also participated in national Hour of Code week. Mrs. Becker introduced them to coding using the app Lightbot.

Wayne Center Elementary

At Wayne Center, students have been learning their own class chant that relates to their college graduation date. With introducing the No Excuse University expectations and values, our students are gaining interest in learning about different colleges and what college has to offer. Before break, our students participated in a convocation where they got to show off their college cheer. They were loud and excited to share with the rest of the school. Miss Gandy shared some of her own college experiences from Purdue University with the students. Our next convocation is scheduled for the end of January, and we will have a special guest speaker. The staff members and students are all looking forward to more college and university activities!

The sixth grade had a great week after returning from a relaxing Winter Break. They were quick to demonstrate what they’ve learned as they took their Math Acuity test this week. The teachers are very proud of the many improvements that were made during this round of testing! In math, the students have spent the week working with finding percent of a number which has so many applications to the real world such as finding sales tax, discounts, and tips. In science, the students are beginning a study of the solar system by comparing and contrasting a variety of characteristics of the inner and outer planets. Prior to Winter Break, the students wrapped up their grade level text, The Giver, by completing a project in which they created their own fictitious community with rules everyone must abide by. The students were then able to compare and contrast their community with that of the community in The Giver. Students will soon be working with determining cause and effect by using non-fiction informational text. In writing, the students have been working with argumentative essays.

eLearning proved to be a positive experience for all. Many students contacted teachers asking for help while working on completing their assignments. Fifth graders completed assignments in different subjects. Students were able to use their laptops to listen and watch videos from YouTube and other sources, as well as listen to instructional videos created by their teachers. Teachers combined Science and English Language Arts curriculum to cover information about our solar system. Students viewed a PowerPoint as an introduction to the system. This video included educational videos explaining the sun, Earth’s atmosphere, and the order of the planets. After this was completed, students were able to use several websites to gather their own information. After researching and adding notes to a two-column chart, students wrote an expository piece about two objects in our solar system. In the math curriculum, students have been working on collecting and organizing data into various charts, plots, and graphs. Students used a teacher-made video to place existing data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Once this data was in the spreadsheet, students were able to use the program to create a bar graph for the data. Sixth graders completed similar learning experiences using their grade level curriculum that included watching a lesson video in math and completing problems based on the instructional video, conducting research on the Internet for their science lesson, and creating a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two texts they read.

Lastly, fifth and sixth graders have been preparing for the upcoming spelling bee that will take place on Tuesday, January 13th. Approximately 40 students will be participating in our school