Tiger Tales

Taft Elementary August Newsletter

A Note from the Principal

We are so excited to begin the 2018-2019 school year! We have had a surprising amount of student turnover since last year. At the end of May, our enrollment was down to a little under 270, and as of last week, we were back up to approximately 330 students. We're happy to welcome so many new tigers to Taft! As we welcome new and old to our community, I thought it might be interesting to share a little of our history.

Taft Elementary has been a part of the Boise community for 58 years, opening its doors in 1960. The school is named for William Howard Taft, who served as the 27th president of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Taft is the only politician to serve in both of these important government offices.

The school expanded the first time in 1964, adding the northwest wing of the building. Relocatable buildings were added in the 1970’s. Now we’re thrilled to be adding a brand new gymnasium and kitchen for students to enjoy.

Currently, Taft serves about 320 total students. These students speak 19 different languages at home and 25 countries around the world, creating a richly diverse community for our students.

Lots of Smiles During our First Days of School

We're Becoming a Community School!

We are thrilled to announce Taft has become a Community School. Community schools are partnerships between the school and other community resources. Services provided by the Community School may include help getting food, clothing, medical care, mental health services, early childhood resources, and parenting information and support. We will also be providing extensive English Language classes for adults as part of our partnership with the English Language Center and International Rescue Committee.

Our Community School is located in room 5, and our coordinator is Michelle Weickum. The next time you’re in the building, feel free to stop by, introduce yourself, and see what resources may best support your family.

LivingTree Communication

We are introducing a new communication system called Livingtree. It will look similar to the FaceBook platform and is very user-friendly. Livingtree will become another way for teachers to communicate with parents and guardians about the great things happening in class and send classroom announcements. Mr. Lowe will also use the tool to communicate schoolwide information. Living Tree is available as a free downloadable application for your smartphone and will send notifications to the app, your email, and via text messaging. As a parent or guardian who enrolls with the system, you can control how you receive information. We the are most excited by the language feature of the system. You can choose your preferred language from over 100 options (including Swahili, Arabic, and many others!) and LivingTree will translate communications from the school to that language.

Invitations will be sent to all emails in our Infinite Campus system on Tuesday, August 28th. Please look for it in your inbox. It should come from LivingTree.com, and the message will give you directions on how to create your profile. We hope that EVERY family will participate so that we can share important information and messages.

Students Had Fun Posing as Boise's Finest!

"Raptor" Visitor Management

The Boise School District is pleased to announce that we will begin using a new state-of-the art security visitor management system known as the Raptor Visitor Management System in all of our schools to strengthen our program of campus safety for students and faculty. Part of keeping students and faculty safe is knowing who is in our schools at all times, and the Raptor system will allow us to do that. The Raptor system will better allow us to screen visitors in our schools and provide us with a safer environment for our students and staff.

Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit. A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork. Once your identification is scanned at one of our school sites, it will not need to be scanned again.

Big Thanks to Boise Police Department for Their Visit!

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School's Open, Drive Carefully Campaign

Taft Elementary was selected to participate in the School's Open, Drive Carefully Campaign. The campaign is sponsored by AAA of Idaho in cooperation with Boise Police and Idaho Transportation Department. Police officers rode along on school buses on Tuesday morning, and a couple of motorcycle patrol officers brought their bikes to school for kids to see. AAA and Boise Police provided swag for the kids to help them remind their friends and family to drive safely. We will also be having a poster contest in the classrooms. The winning classroom will receive an ice cream party and a visit from Boise's own police dog, Scout.

Annual Notification Regarding Public Release of Student Directory Information

The Boise School District complies with federal law (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) as it relates to the release of student directory information to the public. To learn more, log on to www.boiseschools.org and navigate to Parents & Patrons > Parent Information > FERPA Form. Or, you may pick up a FERPA form at your school, or call the Clerk of the Board at 208-854-4123 to obtain a copy of the FERPA form.