Paw Prints 🐾 April 2021

The Newsletter of Auburn Early Education Center

Principal's Message

Hello AEEC Families and Happy April! While I write this, a chilly spring morning has descended upon us, but we look forward to warmer days ahead full of all the joys that spring renewal brings. The months of April and May are always interesting as we work to wrap up one year, prepare for all the summer happenings, and plan for the fall. These last seven weeks will be busy, fun, and full of learning!

Teacher and Staff Appreciation:

A BIG Thank You to all who contributed, shopped, shared, created, and loved on our teachers and staff this week and always. They work tirelessly to serve, and this week of appreciation was such a treat!

End of Year Testing

New this year, the state of Alabama is incorporating the end of year summative test ACAP (Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program). This begins in 2nd grade. Our students' main days of testing are next week, April 6-8. Certain groups of students have already begun this week. Please reference letter from Mrs. Lammons that went to 2nd grade families about all that can be done to help prepare your child for successful days of testing. We look forward to showing off all the growth we have made this year!

Weather Day April 16

Since the weather day we missed in March was considered a state of emergency in AL, schools are waived from making this day up. Therefore, April 16 is currently still a day with no school.

Face Covering Update

While Governor Ivey's mask mandate is set to expire April 9, the ACS School Board has decided to maintain our spring return to learning plan. This means we will keep our facial covering for students and staff through the end of this school year. More info to come on what Fall will bring!

Field Days

We are working on a plan to hold field days once again! This will be the last week of school, and we will run activity stations arounds campus. We will maintain all of our cohorting and cleanliness protocols, but will still find a way to get out, get active, and have some fun that last week to celebrate a successful year!

Curriculum News

Spring Benchmark Testing will begin in late March and continue through April. Please make sure that your child has had a healthy breakfast and gets plenty of rest for the assessments. If your child is sick, please keep him/her at home. We want them feeling their best so they can do their best! If your child is a remote student, we ask that you allow your child to take the test independently so that we can get an accurate score for his/her learning needs. Thank you so much!

We will continue with our new assessment according to the Alabama Literacy Act known as STAR CBM (curriculum based measures) and it falls under Renaissance. Renaissance is the same program we use for STAR Early Literature, Reading, and Math assessments. STAR CBM will take the place of DIBELS. While STAR Early Literature and Reading assesses multiple measures at once, STAR CBM (similar to DIBELS) will assess individual, targeted measures such as letter naming, letter sounds, expressive and receptive nonsense words, phoneme segmentation, and oral reading fluency. These targeted measures are not all assessed at each grade level. For example, kindergarten will not be assessed with oral reading fluency but instead will be assessed with letter naming, letter sounds, and receptive nonsense words.

Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade classrooms will not complete both DIBELS and STAR assessments in the same day. The testing schedule has been organized thoughtfully so that students do not lose too much or any instructional learning time in their classrooms. They will be tested in a comfortable and safe environment by one of the testing team members (instructional tutors, instructional coach’s maternity leave sub, title one teacher, and computer lab teacher).

Schedule for Spring Benchmark Testing

Week of March 22nd-26th

Kindergarten STAR CBM in the Morning

Week of March 29th-April 2nd

1st & 2nd Grades

STAR Reading in Computer Class

STAR CBM in Guidance Class

Week of April 5th-9th

1st and 2nd Grades

STAR Math in Computer Class

Kindergarten STAR Early Literature in the Morning

Week of April 12th-16th

STAR CBM and CAT Make Ups

Title 1 News

WOW…What a Forecast!

Books are falling, books are falling! Can you believe that the reading forecast for the whole month of April includes story storms, gusty words, and raining books? The reading meteorologist has predicted that it will rain books, storms of words, sentences, and paragraphs will develop into quite amazing stories and flow through the brain waves of our marvelous students’ minds here at AEEC.

April is National Humor Month and National Poetry Month, which makes it the perfect time of the year to dive into funny stories and all kinds of entertaining books. So, with the 100% chance of books falling from the sky like precipitation, I hope your eyes and minds are all set and ready to receive this wonderful reading rain that shall help our students’ brains grow! Wow, this forecast is and will be pleasant and enjoyable. Therefore, please be sure to enjoy all of the raining stories!

Counselor News

For the month of April in guidance, we will be learning all about our new core value, PEACE. We will be learning ways to solve conflicts peacefully. We will also learn about career awareness and careers that interest us.

Nurse News

Spring Safety Reminders

With the first official day of spring near it’s important to keep spring health and safety in mind for both home and school!

Sunshine doesn’t just provide valuable Vitamin D—it is essentially for a healthy, happy mind and mood as well. If your child is susceptible to sun burns, please apply sunscreen prior to coming to school. Dress for the weather. Light layers may provide comfort. Please encourage your student to wear tennis shoes as PE and recess will be headed outside.

Consider sending a water bottle with student to ensure adequate hydration throughout the day.
Spring means more children will be playing outside. Parents should be extra careful while driving, and always drive slowly and cautiously in neighborhoods and school areas.

Keep in mind the ACS Wellness Policy and the ACS Spring 2021 Return to School Plan.

Thank you for all of your help to ensure safety throughout this year!

Happy Spring!

Media Center News

Our Spring Book Fair was another success! We cannot thank you enough for supporting this fair and getting great reading materials in the hands of your children! The students enjoyed searching the book fair shelves on the iPads and making their “Wish Lists”. Several of the books highlighted on the fair were read aloud during library media classes. Library media classes have also engaged in a Google Maps scavenger hunt. We will be having our annual BOGO Book Fair the first week in May, so mark your calendars! “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” - Dr. Seuss

Music and Art News

In kindergarten, we read the book “If the Dinosaurs Came Back” and used our imaginations to create our own artwork of what we thought it might be like if the dinosaurs really did come back. We practiced some observational drawing (and playing!) by looking at dinosaur figurines and then collaged them into our backgrounds. In first grade, we read “Beautiful Blackbird” and practiced our cutting and gluing skills to create a collage inspired by the main character of the book. In second grade, we finished our Mary Blair castle paintings and have moved on to ceramics! We learned about “chanchitos” (small pigs) from the country of Chile and created our own figurine out of clay. We’ve got lots of upcoming fun planned for the last quarter of the school year!

This month in Music, we are continuing our unit on French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saën’s Carnival of the Animals. We further explored "The Elephant," “Kangaroos," and "Aquarium”. At the same time, we are focusing on the musical concept of dynamics (loud and soft). We learned that "The Elephant" features a double bass violin, and “Kangaroos" uses two pianos to reflect a kangaroo’s method of transportation: the hop. We also loved reading Katy No Pocket by Emmy Payne on Kangaroo Day, and of course hopping along to the music. Possibly our favorite piece so far is “Aquarium,” - we learned about a brand new (to us) instrument invented in 1761 by Benjamin Franklin called the glass armonica, and how this song has been featured in movies like Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast. Our next project is making fish by layering scale patterns - look out for some of our fish at the AEEC Student Showcase!

PTO News

Click on the MySchoolBucks link to purchase your AEEC PTO membership for the 20-21 school year.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Marco's Spirit Nights in March! Please join us for our April Restaurant Spirit Night at Mikata's! Dine in and take out options available. 20% comes back to AEEC. See you there April 15 from 5:00-8:00!

Upcoming Dates for AEEC

April 2-12: First Grade Art Student Showcase

April 15: Mikata's Spirit Night 5-8

April 16: No School/Weather Make Up Day

April 19: Progress Reports Go Home

April 15-26: Second Grade Art Student Showcase

April 22: Earth Day

April 30: Pep Rally at 8:00am