Tiger Tales

Taft Elementary Newsletter - April/May

Wrapping Up and Looking Ahead

Can you believe we're almost through another year?! It's been a good one. Despite the challenges of having a 5th/6th grade combo class and all of the construction, our teachers and students worked together to make Taft a great place to learn. We added the Community School program to our school. Our new kitchen opened in February, and we're hoping to have our new gym open in a couple weeks. Stand by for an announcement on the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

We have 25 school days left, and there is a lot left on the calendar. Please be sure to check out the "Important Dates" listed below so you don't miss anything. As we look forward to the next year, we have great news to share. Our district administration has decided to increase our staffing in the upper grades, so we will NOT have a combo class next year! This is incredibly exciting and extremely generous. Boise School District has lost enrollment for the second consecutive year, so we are downsizing across the district. Nevertheless, they recognize the unique challenges we have at Taft and have decided to restore full staffing.

Dr. Megan Jones (English Language Development) and Mrs. Dena Duke (2nd Grade) have decided to retire. We will definitely miss them, but we wish them both many happy years in retirement. They've earned it. The two of them have taught a combined 63 years! As a result of the retirements, some of our teachers have requested new assignments. Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Prohaska, will move to English Language Development. Mrs. Theresa McSweeney will be our new kindergarten teacher. Fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Miller, will move to 2nd grade, and 6th grade teacher Miss Elliott, will move to fifth grade. We have an experienced teacher, Mr. Franz, transferring from Highlands Elementary to one of the 6th grade classrooms, and I will be hiring another 6th grade teacher. Big changes!

Female Leaders Came to Taft to Celebrate International Women's Day

Parent Engagement Survey

One of the pieces of Idaho’s new school accountability system is a parent survey. This survey asks for your input on several topics to help measure how our schools are doing in meeting your needs.

To access the survey, visit

https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/105091/p30811. Then pick your student’s school from the drop-down menu. Please complete a survey for each school your child attends.

The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete and your responses are anonymous. You can submit your survey from now until May 17, 2019.

We will use these survey responses to identify opportunities to maximize satisfaction, engagement, and communication. Additionally, the state will report the results and the number of responses on Idaho’s new school report card (https://idahoschools.org/).

Thank you for participating in the survey. If you have any questions, please contact your school’s Principal.

Do You Know The Dangers of Vaping?

If you don’t know the difference between a JUUL, e-hookah, and a vape pen, you’re not alone. However, a growing number of teenagers know the difference. Locally, we’ve seen an increase in incidents involving student vaping. Due to the negative health effects vaping can have on our students, we take this issue very seriously and want you to be aware of the dangers. To learn more, plan to attend our Parent Night on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at South Junior High School, 3101 W. Cassia St., Boise. Food trucks, free child care, activity booths and panel discussions will be provided.

Our Garden will Bloom On!

Thanks to the incredible efforts of Bobbie Aitchison and a ground swell of volunteers and donors, I am happy to announce that our garden will remain. Over the last two weeks, over a dozen community members have volunteered to save the garden, and they've already begun working. All of the planter boxes have been "adopted" and there are even a few folks on the waiting list. Among the volunteers, we have a master gardener, a landscape architect, and many outdoor enthusiasts. Over $1000 has been donated to repair sprinklers, add bark to the unplanted spaces, and compost to the planting beds. Edwards Nursery has also donated several plants. Teams of volunteers have weeded garden beds and walkways, started sprinkler repairs, and begun planting spring vegetables. It's amazing! You're welcome to drop by and check it out the next time you are on campus. Let Mr. Lowe know if you're interested in participating in some way.

2nd Grader, June Redlich won FIRST place in a recent chess tournament! Way to go!!

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It's Almost Summer, Let's Have some Fun!

It's time to begin planning summer activities! Your child(ren) should have received an activity guide from Boise Parks and Recreation. We know some of these activities can be more than many of our parents can afford, so we would like to give you the opportunity to access a full or partial scholarship.

To learn more, contact Julie Drews, Andrea Geraghty or Michelle Weickum at Taft. Before calling, please look over the activities and make a list of what would work well for your family. There are pool passes, art, dance, sports camps and even age appropriate play camps to offset summer daycare expenses.

We hope you will take advantage of these and other opportunities for your child to get outside, unplug and enjoy learning something new! Click here for the 2019 Summer Guide.

There are also a couple sports-specific camps for girls this summer. Both are being hosted by coaches at Boise High School. You can download information on the following links. Scholarships are available for these events, too. Don't miss out!

Important Dates

4/23 - 4th Grade Wagon's Ho

4/24 - District Track Meet @ East Junior High (5:00-7:00 PM)

4/25 - AVID Welcome Night at Hillside Junior High (exiting 6th graders 6:00-7:00 PM in library)

4/26 - Elementary Choir Festival

4/29 - City Track Meet @ East Junior High (5:00-7:00 PM)

5/3-5/5 - Everyday Leadership Trip to Horsethief Reservoir

5/9 - CULTURE FESTIVAL (5:00-7:00 PM)

5/10- Band & Orchestra Performance (9:30 & 2:00)

5/16 - Read to Rise Hot Air Balloon Visit to Celebrate Taft Readers!

5/17 - Junior Achievement Day AND Early Release

5/21 - Field Day

5/22 - 6th Grade Graduation (9:00-10:30 AM)

5/23 - Kindergarten Graduation (9:15-10:15 and 2:15-3:15)

5/24 - Last Day of School AND Early Release