Cliffwood School Parent Newsletter

March 2017

Principal's News

Dear Cliffwood School families,


As you know, parent/teacher conferences are next Tuesday, 3/7 and Wednesday, 3/8. I really hope that you found the updated sign-up process (using the portal) to be easier and more efficient. The 7th will be evening conferences and the 8th will be afternoon conferences. Both days are 1/2 days for students (1:20 dismissal). Please try your best to attend these conferences. These meetings are key for strengthening the home-school connection. Teachers will be prepared to discuss your child's academic progress and show examples of work and assessments. Parents can ask about strategies for home that will support their student's learning at school. Here are some ideas to make the conference more meaningful:


  • Before the conference, review your child's grades online.
  • Before the meeting, talk with your child about his/her progress in school.
  • Make a list of questions beforehand to ask during the conference (e.g., Is my child performing at grade level? What do you see as his/her strengths? How could he/she improve?).
  • Ask the teacher what you can do at home to help your child learn.
  • Think about ways you would like to become involved in your child's learning and discuss with the teacher.
  • Make a plan. Write down what you and the teacher will do (and how often) to support your child.
  • Schedule the next time to talk with the teacher. Discuss the best way to communicate and set up a schedule to stay informed about your child's progress.


Please reach out with any questions or concerns. I hope to see you at next week's conferences. Take care,


Mark Van Horn, Interim Principal
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Celebrating 100 days of school!

On February 14, Cliffwood's students and staff celebrated the 100th day of school by dressing like they were 100 years old. It was a lot of fun for both kids and adults. Check out some great pics below.
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Upcoming PTO meetings

Our PTO will be hosting 3 meetings this week; 2 "open house" meetings (for parents of students in all grades) and 1 yearbook meeting for 3rd grade parents only. The open house details are below and the grade 3 yearbook meeting is on Wednesday, 3/1 @ 7:30 p.m. in the library. We hope to see you at these meetings!
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March Madness reading challenge for 3rd graders

Cliffwood's 3rd graders will be celebrating March Madness in their Reading classes. Each class will decorate their room's door to proudly display their reading progress throughout the month. Our goal is to encourage and excite our students about reading! Let the madness begin! Here is how it will work:


  1. Your student will come home with a reading log for the month of March.
  2. Your student will record the title of the book and the # of minutes they read each night.
  3. A parent/guardian must initial the reading log in order for it to count towards their overall total.
  4. When a student reads 100 minutes, they will receive a basketball to add above their name on their class' door.
  5. The student who receives the most basketballs (reads the most minutes) per class will receive a special reward!


Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions. Let's get our kids excited about reading!

Fun with reading and Dr. Seuss next week!

On this Thursday, 3/2, we will be celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday with special guest readers visiting our classrooms, but the reading-themed fun will continue next week too. Please have your child join our Seuss celebration by participating in the following:


Monday, March 6th – "Daisy-Head Mayzie"

Wear crazy hair to school!


Tuesday, March 7th - "Oh the Places You’ll Go!"

Wear a shirt with the name of a place!


Wednesday, March 8th - "Wacky Wednesday"

Dress your wackiest!


Thursday, March 9th - "The Cat in the Hat"

Wear a hat to school!

CogAT testing coming for grade 2 students

2nd graders will take the CogAT assessment on 3 days in mid-March, Tuesday, 3/14 to Thursday, 3/16. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a group-administered online test intended to estimate students' learned reasoning and problem-solving abilities through a battery of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal test items. The results of the CogAT will be used in conjunction with other measures to identify students for G&T/Enrichment services during the 2017-2018 year.

Spring picture day coming in March

Please mark your calendars for Spring picture day on Friday, 3/24. Students, be ready to show your smile!

March Dates to Remember

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming school events:


  • Parent/teacher conferences - Tuesday, 3/7 and Wednesday, 3/8.
  • School closed for students - Friday, 3/10.
  • CogAT testing for 2nd graders - Tuesday, 3/14 to Thursday, 3/16.
  • Garden Club meeting (rescheduled from 3/2) - Thursday, 3/16.
  • School store - Wednesday, 3/15 and Thursday, 3/16.
  • PTO Star Student - Wednesday, 3/15.
  • Spring picture day - Friday, 3/24.
  • K registration - Saturday, 3/25 and Saturday, 4/1.