April 28, 2014

Mind Over Matter

Saturday, I decided to take a run in Kendallville. I have a couple of routes mapped out in the area and chose the five mile route that takes me behind the high school past the tennis courts, along Bixler Lake, through town, up Riley to Wayne Center and back to the office. I started the route and felt the brutal wind (anything over 5 mpg is brutal to me) and realized this was not going to be fun (ok, no run is fun). By the way, "run" for me is just a ten minute mile. I think most people call that a "jog." As I ran past the high school and began to hit the rolling hills (no, there are no hills in Kendallville, but a slight incline is a hill to me), my legs and body kept wanting to stop and head back to the start. Thinking about the limited steps I would get from shortening my run, I kept running. As I got closer to Wayne Center Elementary, I decided the heck with it. I didn't want to run the near 90 degree incline it takes to get to the school, so I turned around about a 1/4 mile short. I was not happy with myself as I knew this would mean just a 4.5 mile run. As I approached SR 6, I walked long enough to figure out which way I wanted to head back to the office but long enough for Tony Blomeke to pull up and harass me about walking. I happily finished my run, stopped my GPS watch, and took a look hoping I had completed at least 4.5 miles. To my surprise, I ran 5.97 miles. Not believing that was what I ran, I double checked my FitBit to find I had over 10,000 steps. Apparently, I couldn't remember my route and combined two courses into one.

So the point of this story, when I started my run, there was no way I felt prepared or ready to run six miles. I had no intentions of attempting such a distance. After all, I spent the better portion of the winter walking due to an old age injury. My run Saturday was a demonstration that we all can achieve much more than we believe is possible. Just imagine what your child or children can achieve when you challenge them to do more, encourage them to be more, and show them you believe in them everyday.

During these next few weeks, a good portion of our K-12 students will be taking "high stakes" tests. With encouragement and support, ENSC believes our students will achieve beyond what they believe is possible and we will be diligent in continuing our support and encouragement to your child and children.

Building Weekly Notes in Video Form!

As you read through the building weekly notes, look for student created videos for the notes and other updates. This week, ENHS, Avilla, and North Side posted their notes in a video.

This Week's Board Meeting

This week's Board meeting has just two agenda items.

  1. The high school will be discussing the elements of an Early College model and how these elements can impact our students' success.
  2. The Board will be discussing design elements for the new middle school.

A Family Event

East Noble Theatre will present the hilarious Broadway Show, Shrek the Musical, May 1 (7pm), 2 (7pm), 3(2 and 7pm) and 4 (2pm) in Cole Auditorium. Based on the popular movie, EN’s Shrek has a cast of 60 fairytale characters headed by three talented Seniors, Josh Ogle, Jonathon Kane and Jordan Sible. The box office is open Mon. - Friday, 4-6 PM. Phone 260-347-7167 during box office hours to make reservations or stop by the box office. Tickets are $12.00, Students/Seniors $10.00. The best seats are now Saturday afternoon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj3GH5myc3M

East Noble Middle School Update

Last week several ENMS teachers and administrators visited Concord Middle School. The group was able to see many great features and learn some "dos" and "don'ts" as a footprint is designed for the potential new ENMS. The group was able to gather good feedback and will use this to evaluate their wants and needs. Monday, the group will be visiting two other middle school buildings.

Title I at East Noble

“Does that make sense?” “Does that look right?” “Do you see a part of the word that you know?” If you walk by a Title I room at North Side, South Side, or Rome City, these are some of the phrases that you may hear the Title I staff asking students. Federally funded Title I dollars, based on free and reduced numbers, allows East Noble to hire additional staff in these buildings. The staff works with criteria selected kindergarten through fourth grade students primarily with reading and writing. You will also find them managing students on Waterford and Successmaker programs on the computer, sending home books and games for parent involvement, collaborating with classroom teachers, involved in RTI, and teaching Success and Burst groups. These ladies are busy!

This Week's Super Hero is Rome City's Sarah Carpenter

Hats off to Sarah Carpenter at Rome City! Sarah has a “super hat” which changes its powers by the minute to offer students everything they need. Sarah is the Rome City Special Education teacher. She has been at Rome City for one year and the students love her! All students ask to go to Mrs. Carpenter’s room whether they need her services of not.

Sarah does a fantastic job with offering students the learning opportunity they deserve with the level of learning they need. Her ability to use data daily to drive her instruction is commendable. Students celebrate on their successes daily and clearly understand what their goals are with Mrs. Carpenter.

Sarah not only supports students, she supports the staff in numerous ways. Sarah gives teachers support to help her students, is a member of the RTI team and helps differentiate classroom work when needed. Rome City is proud to have Sarah Carpenter as a Super Hero on their side!

Have a great Week!

Curriculum and Building Notes

Curriculum Notes

Writing to Read is a new Carnegie Corporation report published by the Alliance for Excellent Education which finds that while reading and writing are closely connected, writing is an often-overlooked tool for improving reading skills and content learning. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading identifies three core instructional practices that have been shown to be effective in improving student reading.

“Writing is often recommended as a tool for improving reading. In Reading Next (Biancarosa and Snow,2004), intensive writing was identified as a critical element of an effective adolescent literacy program. Reading Next stated that writing instruction improves reading comprehension and that the teaching of writing skills such as grammar and spelling reinforces reading skills. It is also believed that writing about a text improves comprehension, as it helps students make connections between what they read, know, understand, and think (Carr, 2002).”

To see the recommendations outlined in the report go to: http://carnegie.org/fileadmin/Media/Publications/WritingToRead_01.pdf

The most valuable recommendation, in my book, is to increase the amount of time students spend writing. According to the report, “Students’ reading comprehension is improved by having them increase how often they produce their own texts.” Are your students writing a significant amount every day?

Rome City Elementary

This has been an exciting week at Rome City. We began the week with a kickoff of the Rome City School’s very own FACEBOOK PAGE! Friend us and receive updates of what is happening at Rome City School. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rome-City-Elementary/577535515633321

All the students and staff have expressed their appreciation all week long to Mrs. Stafford and Mrs. Rodenbeck for Administrative Professionals Day. Students showered these fine ladies with flowers, lunch, candy and many other surprises! THANK YOU for all that you do to make Rome City a great school. Many parents have stopped in to say Thank You as well. The thoughtfulness expressed reveals the outstanding Rome City community character.

ISTEP is just around the corner and our students and staff are ready. Students in 3rd- 6th grades have been studying hard and should have no trouble passing this test with flying colors. Testing begins on Wednesday. Good luck students.

Our Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grade students perform a wonderful Spring Program for our Rome City parents and families this past Thursday evening. The Kindergarteners performed songs about Shoes and entertained the audience with a version of Pete the Cat and His Rockin School Shoes! 2nd Grade performed songs with Solfege, using hand signs and words like Do-Re-Mi! 4th Grade wrapped up the program with 4 great songs on their recorders. They played songs like BAG-O-Saurus, BAG-Zilla, Aunt BAGgy’s Roadie and Starship BAG. A big thank you to Mr. Cary for putting on this program for our students!

South Side Elementary

This year, each South Side fourth grader wrote a children’s book with their kindergarten reading buddy in mind as the target audience. Forty of our fifty-two students entered their story into the Kleiman Creative Writing Contest hosted by the Kendallville Public Library. These students worked to perfect their story and meet all the guidelines of the contest. On Thursday, April 24th a banquet was held at the Kendallville Event Center to celebrate all the published authors in the contest. Fourth graders attending the banquet included: Omar Barrientos, Ethan Conn, Canaan Gamble, Melissa McIntosh, Brayden Marshall, Kylee Savoie, Reagan Sexton-Godsey, and Lukas Swager. Mrs. Spencer and Ms. Roberts are very proud of all our published authors!

South Side Elementary School is currently in 16th place in the regional SumDog Math contest! We were as high as 13th place earlier this week, but this contest isn’t over yet! It will run through next Thursday. Follow our progress at this link: http://www.sumdog.com/contests/IN-NORTHEAST-INDIANA-DISTRICT-SET_REGIONAL_20140502080000/results/schools

Our video update comes from first grade this week! Click the link below to check out the cool stuff our first graders are doing now with reading, writing, math, and technology! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCGCn97zq7o

Wayne Center Elementary

Lead by advisers Tara Ortiz and Ellen Ferguson, thirteen students were inducted into Wayne Center's National Elementary Honor Society Wednesday night. Current members described the pillars of NEHS including character, service, leadership, and scholarship. Both current and new chapter members received a certificate and recognition item. The inductions ended with all the members reciting the National Elementary Honor Society pledge and enjoying refreshments with their families.

Friday night was an exciting night for WC families! It was our annual spring carnival sponsored by our parent group, PAC. Students played several fun games in the gym including plinko, lasso a saddle, and snake in the hole. The excitement continued outside where several staff members braved the elements to sit in a dunk tank; however, sitting was not something they got to do a whole lot of as they continued to get dunked over and over and over! Adults bid and outbid one another in the silent auction comprised of themed baskets from each classroom and items and services that several staff members donated. Great fun was had by all!

Alternative Learning Center

We welcomed two more new students this week and will be welcoming two more next week. The ALC often becomes a popular place as the end of the year approaches. We have many students rushing to complete credits in time for graduation and others trying to get done a little early to extend their summer, move on to a job or prepare for the next stage of life. Credits have continued to accumulate this week and our grand total for the year now stands at 246! We have six weeks to go and we are keeping our fingers crossed that our students will reach the once unthinkable total of 300 credits earned for the year.

We had several students participate in the Job Shadowing day on April 24th and have heard some excellent reports on the experiences they were able to have through those opportunities. Thanks to Mr. Cockroft for spearheading that project for the students of ENHS!!! Stay tuned next week for more exciting news from the ALC.

Avilla Elementary

Please click on the link to view Notes from Avilla. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-HQu0MkUW0&feature=youtu.be

East Noble High School

Select http://youtu.be/fM6sK3pTb44 to view notes from East Noble High School.

East Noble Middle School

Yet another EPIC week at ENMS. This week 8th grade Language Arts/Honors classes presented their final projects and commercials for PBL assignment: "Create It-Sell It-Own It". Groups were selected to move on to the ENMS SHARK TANK finals where local community members will select the most persuasive entrepreneurs. Language Arts classes are now working out of the novel To Be a Slave, where students are reading about real life experiences of slaves and following a virtual journey to freedom.

The middle school students had a full week of athletics and events. Soccer, golf, and track all had events throughout the week. Ending the week, the students took on the staff in a basketball game to raise money for the American Heart Association. Annie Jr cast put on a fantastic show both Friday and Saturday at the middle school auditorium.

All departments are getting students mentally and academically ready for round two of ISTEP.

North Side Elementary

Fourth Graders are North Side are ISTEP ready! We have been focusing on preparing for the big days next week and our students are excited, eager, and ready to rock the test! All year, we have been working on test taking strategies and it’s now time to put those to use. In our classrooms, students worked to come up with a tip or suggestion that they would give to another student before ISTEP so that they are test ready, too. Some students picked their favorite tip while others picked a tip that they want to make sure they utilize. Then, they created posters to show off their tips and suggestions to others. Check out what they came up with…