All About Alloway
Alloway Township School's E-Newsletter - July/August 2018
We hope our students and families are having a memorable summer. The summer staff at ATS has been busy getting ready for the 2018-19 school year. Any parent or guardian who has questions or concerns about our school and/or the upcoming school year is welcome to call, e-mail, or set up a time to meet with either Mrs. Ledyard or Ms. Schell. We are partners in your student's education, and we have an open door policy. We want to have the opportunity to address your needs! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Here's a list of the things you'll notice when you return:
The goal is to make our entrance and front of building ADA compliant, statute compliant, and safe for pedestrians. These recommendations come from a traffic study of our drop-off procedures. The project has been reviewed and endorsed by: ATS Safety Committee; ATS’s insurance broker; Woodstown State Police Barracks; ATS BOE Property Committee; Alloway Township Public Works & Road Department; and J.A. Montgomery Risk Control.
1. Install wheelchair accessible curb and bump pad in front of school sidewalk.
2. Remove concrete sidewalk in order to fill, seed, and add fence rail on island.
3. Paint crosswalks at wheelchair accessible crossings from parking lot to school.
4. Paint lines to indicate no parking in 2 spots closest to crosswalk.
5. Seal fire lane with black topcoat to cover crosswalk and ‘Yield to Peds'.
Grade Level Wings
Some classrooms have moved this summer. The occupational therapy/physical therapy (OT/PT) room has been moved into a much needed bigger space. Middle school students have their own wing. Third through fifth grade students are clustered with their developmental peers. The K-5 science lab has been moved closer to the the K-5 classroom wings. The PTA office has moved to be closer to where they host events. The classroom moves benefit our students, and we are grateful to our custodial staff for making this happen!
We are expecting our security cameras to be installed prior to the opening of school this year.
WElcome back, students! open house Wednesday, August 29 10:00-12:00
Drop-off & Pick- up Procedures
When dropping students off, please pull up to prevent vehicles from blocking the entrance. For safety, students should exit vehicles on the passenger side. Staff are on duty in the morning and available to assist students if necessary. Drop-off starts at 7:37, and school starts at 7:50.
When picking students up, please pull up to allow as many pick-up vehicles as possible to line up in the lane. Parents and guardians will continue to pick up students through our dismissal staff on duty at the main entrance. Students are dismissed at 2:30.
Students who walk home are dismissed through the doors closest to the music room. We document our walkers when they depart as a safety measure. Please make sure you send in a note stating your child(ren) will be walking if they aren't on our daily walker list. We will verify the note and add them to the list for the days you indicate.
Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail with any questions or concerns regarding these procedures.
Familiar Faces in New Places
We are excited to see these teachers and staff in new roles this fall!
Mrs. Bowling - Child Study Team secretary
Mrs. DeFebo - Pre-K
Mrs. Derenberger - Kindergarten
Mrs. Garrison - year-long substitute for Mrs. Jaep (3rd grade)
Mrs. Lodge - main office secretary
Mrs. Murphy - SOAR Math (formerly called BSI)
We are welcoming parents back to school on two separate nights this year. The dates are:
Tuesday, September 4 (5:30-7:00) - pre-K through 2nd grade
Wednesday, September 12 (7:00-8:30) - 3rd through 8th grade
We sent out a survey to parents of pre-K through 2nd grade students regarding a new format for their Back-to-School Night. The vast majority of parents are in favor of having a Meet & Greet on Tuesday, September 4 from 5:30 to 7:00 in lieu of the traditional Back-to-School Night. This format will allow our youngest students to check out their class, desk, and cubby on the eve of the 1st day with their parents at their side. Classroom teachers will provide the typical Back-to-School Night information at the Meet & Greet. This would be a great photo opportunity, so don't forget the camera!
The School Improvement Team (SIT) has been planning for the school to go through the strategic planning process during the 2018-19 school year. The actual 3-year plan will go in effect for the following school years: 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22.
The process involves getting parents, community members, grandparents, community leaders, BOE members, and other stakeholders in the school to come out for a series of 3 meetings. The meetings are held in the evening at the school and cover the following topics: Points of Pride, Hopes for the Future, and Action Planning. The input gathered from our students, our staff, and our parents/community through the night meetings informs the 3-year plan. Everyone has a voice in establishing our school's "North Star" and charting a course to get there, too.
The projected dates for the night meetings was intended to be September, October, and November. The SIT has decided to collaborate with a facilitator, and this will affect the projected dates for the night meetings. Since the SIT will need some time to work with the facilitator, the night meetings are being moved to January, February, and March. It is important to note that this will not impact the timeline of the 3-year plan. As originally stated, the plan will take effect starting with the 2019-20 school year.
8 Period Schedule
School will start and end at the same times for the 2018-19 school year; however, we are shifting from a 7 period day to an 8 period day. Homeroom business will be conducted during the first few minutes of 1st period to eliminate an unnecessary class switch. There will also be 15 minutes between lunches which will allow for a smoother transition. Here's how the 8 period schedule impacts our elementary and middle school students:
Grades K-5 have a period called "Tiger Time" every day. This period is for individualized instruction during the school day. Students who need support in math and/or language arts will receive that support during this period. Students who are performing at grade-level standards and students who need to be challenged to extend beyond the grade-level standards will be tasked to do so by the classroom teacher during this period.
Each grade level has a separate designated recess time. We want to have one grade level on the playground at a time so students get a chance to play. We want students to have the social time with their grade level peers, too.
Grades 6-8 have two periods for their special classes as opposed to one period. PE and Spanish alternate days for one period. The second period alternates between and digital literacy and visual/performing arts. For one semester, students will have a visual arts course with our art teacher, Mrs. Gallatig. For the other semester, students will have a performing arts course with Mrs. Wyckoff. The performing arts classes are new this year. We are purchasing keyboards for the performing arts courses, so these new courses are going to be exciting!