ENSC Weekly Notes

September 19, 2016

EMS Ride

On Saturday, I had the chance to take a ride in a Michigan City ambulance. This was a new experience for me, so I thought I do some observing and note taking.

1. EMTs are very kind and want to save you money. (Unlike the State Trooper who pulled me over for speeding this summer.)

2. EMTs have lots of paperwork and some of that is CYA.

3. Laying in the stretcher is not a requirement (note CYA paperwork in #2),

4. When moving from an ambulance to a room in ER, a wheel chair ride is not a requirement as seen on TV.

Taking an EMS ride was not on a whim or for educational purposes. I had another bike wreck on Saturday. If you find yourself bike riding on a rainy day, use the sidewalk on a drawbridge rather than the gridded bridge surface. As said in motorcycle terms, I "laided down" my bike which did require a trip to the hospital.

During the ride, the EMTs did not point out that I missed the small road markings pointing to the side walk as our course, thus my "nice" comment in #1. They also tried to save my bike glove by pulling it off my injured hand. Ahhh....no! "Cut it off buddy" was my response. I was given a choice of laying on the stretcher or sitting on the bench. Who knew! After signing CYA paperwork, I was allowed to ride on the bench with a seat belt. When we arrived at the hospital, I over heard this conversation: "Are we going to get her a wheel chair before she gets off?' "No." Followed by this when we walked in the doors: "Are you going to wait for a wheel chair now?" "No, she can walk." Again, who knew, TV is very different.

Three hours later, I have a concussion and three breaks to my hand that "may" require surgery. Hoping for an orthopedic appointment Monday. Looks like my bike riding is suspended for a bit. Perhaps training wheels next year. It is good to know helmets do their job!

This does mean I am now typing with one hand and, 1) this edition of the ENSC Weekly Notes is short, 2) future emails from me may be short messages, and 3) I now have an excuse for all of my errors!

New Faces in Different Places

Thank you goes to John Legus! In his short time with ENSC, he has implemented many processes and strategies that positively impact our students and staff. We all wish him well as he leaves our district for new challenges!

Replacing the big shoes that John leaves, is ENSC's own, Josh Buhro! We are very excited to have Josh moving into this important position and know he will be a great addition to the transportation department.

Josh also leaves big shoes to fill and that will be done with some internal transfers:

  • Jaime Carroll will now be the Dean of Students at Avilla Elementary and Wayne Center Elementary
  • Faith Erexson will now be the Dean of Students at Rome City Elementary and Instructional Coach at Wayne Center Elementary
  • Melissa Pilz will be moving from IA at Rome City to second grade teacher at Rome City

Congratulations to everyone!!

Unsung Hero

This week’s unsung hero is South Side’s own Mrs. Josie Urig. Miss Josie, as our students and parents call her, teaches special education pre-school in a highly individualized, discovery-based learning environment. Miss Josie’s students range in age from 3-5 and vary greatly in academic, physical, and social-emotional abilities. Her classroom environment and instructional style meets each of them exactly where they are and helps them grow in their confidence and their love of learning providing a depth of experiences that extends well beyond the classroom. She is kind, patient, and warm; she has high expectations for her students, and provides them with the environment and supports to help them reach those expectations. Our pre-schoolers go exploring on our grounds year round—sledding down the South Side hillside in the winter, and hiking through the fields in the warmer months. Miss Josie plans field trips and after school programs that are highly engaging for her students and that involve and encourage our parents as well. The relationships she builds with our families last for many years. Mrs. Urig’s dedication to the individual growth of her students is evidenced by the success they find as they transition to Kindergarten and well into their school careers. Mrs. Urig shares her talents in interpersonal relationships with our staff, helping to plan social committee events and managing our staff “fluff” funds. We are all very fortunate to have such a talented educator here to service our families as our colleague and our friend. Thank you for all you do, Miss Josie!


This week's cookies go to South Side Elementary. Thank you for all you do for your students, staff, and community.

South Side Elementary - 98.8 percent

North Side Elementary - 97 percent

Rome City Elementary - 97 percent

East Noble Middle School - 96.9 percent

East Noble High School - 96.1 percent

Wayne Center Elementary - 95.8 percent

Avilla Elementary - 95.6 percent

I had a staff member share that if we are truly vested in developing a healthy life style, I probably should consider a different reward than cookies:o) Good point!! This staff member had a couple of ideas as alternates. Do you have any ideas???

Curriculum and Building Notes


Say Yes to Redos

Many teachers used extra credit as a means to help student raise their grade when they struggled with the content of an assessment or class material. When we stopped using extra credit last year, most teachers understood that the removal of extra credit that was not content based was appropriate. Bringing in soup cans or Kleenex should not help a student’s grade. These items have nothing to do with the course content. However, many questions continue about the use of extra credit that was content and standards based. Why is it not appropriate to give this type of extra credit?

If the goal is for students to master the content of an assessment, why do we need to give kids “extra” problems or work to measure their level of mastery? If we offer students an opportunity to redo the items that they struggled with, are we not helping kids learn the intended material? Don’t we want students to learn the original material before they work on new material?

Help students learn the intended content by allowing them and expecting them to redo items when they have not demonstrated mastery. Isn’t that our ultimate goal – for students to know the intended class standards?

South Side Elementary

Kindergarten at South Side has been learning about how to be a Super Digital Citizen. Mrs. Becker taught all of our kindergarteners how to be safe, responsible, and respectful with our school devices and on the internet. We even got to meet the Super Digital Citizen himself, Batman. Our Hallway near Compass Hall has a Super Digital Citizen photo booth where we took pictures explaining how to be a good digital citizen.

For the past two weeks, kindergarten has been reading various versions of the Three Little Pigs. We have discussed the similarities and differences between the stories. Students even listened to stories on their Ipads. They have been planning, drawing, and designing their own houses for their own little pig. Then after nearly two weeks of learning and planning, our kindergarteners were able to complete their first STEM project by building a house for their own pig. Their houses were built from fruit candies and toothpicks. Then the Big Bad Wolf came in and tried to blow their houses down. Students uploaded their project onto SeeSaw for their parents to see. It was a very successful learning experience and we cannot wait for our next STEM adventure.

Wayne Center Elementary

It’s Digital Citizenship Week!

Wayne Center Tigers had fun this week participating in activities to endorse digital citizenship. After an activity in the classroom students had the opportunity to be silly and visit the Digital Citizenship photo booth. While in the limelight, students shared phrases about being good digital citizens.

Through a NearPod activity, fifth graders were able to interact and review what it means to use technology responsibly. Students learned how to be responsible and safe while online. The NearPod activity was student centered and fun. Students were given the opportunity to respond during Mrs. Jarrett’s presentation. Fourth graders used Common Sense Education to reinforce on and offline community expectations. They discussed why expectations and rules are put into place and the importance of following them.

East Noble High School

Algebra 1 students are busy learning about equations of lines. Students are learning how to write equations with different slopes and y-intercepts. Students are able to manipulate the equation by making the lines parallel or perpendicular.

In the three trimester Algebra 2 course, students just finished up unit 1 that was over transformations of parent functions. Students used Desmos.com which is a free on-line graphing calculator to look at how parent functions can be vertically/horizontally stretched/compressed, reflected, or translated on a coordinate plane. They applied these ideas to real life application such as adjustments to incomes when expenses occur and how that expense translates the original income equation. Students learned how much businesses needed to sell in order to make up for the loss based on the parent function’s translation.

Geometry has been looking at properties of parallel lines and the angles created when a third line crosses them. We are also using logic skills to write proofs for parallel lines and constructing parallel and perpendicular lines using a compass and straightedge. These concepts will be used throughout the end of the term and into the second part of geometry.

In Pre-Calculus, the students have been busy reviewing domain and range of functions, graphing, and evaluating function. This week the students also started the unit circle which is the foundation for everything we will do in Trigonometry! They are excited about the change of pace and starting something new. Many students have also taken advantage of the dual credit that is offered for this course through IPFW. It is a great opportunity for the students to start college with some credits they earned in high school and it is a HUGE savings for the parents!

Finite Math students will never look at the Keaunu Reeves’ “Matrix” trilogy the same after the unit they just completed. Far from the dystopian, post-apocalyptic, bullet-dodging world of the movies, students found the usefulness of a matrix in analyzing large data sets and proving a new approach to old questions. Students explored the applications of matrices to topics like the mathematics behind the computer generate power-rankings in sports and the evaluation of the robustness of computer networks. Perhaps by the final exam, they will learn to use a matrix to bend spoons with their minds like in the movies.

Currently in AP Calculus, students are learning about derivatives. Students are learning the basics of derivatives and evaluating them geometrically, numerically and analytically. Students are also applying the definition of derivative and how derivatives apply to velocity, acceleration, and rate of change.

East Noble Middle School

This week, East Noble Middle School continued preparing for the future through extended team collaboration, the ground breaking ceremony, and a challenge of positivity for students.

Teams of teachers met during the week to discuss ideas and plan upcoming units to be used throughout this school year. Each team reviewed procedures and expectations, shared curriculum, studied NWEA data, and developed strategies to better meet the needs of our students.

On Wednesday morning, the ground breaking ceremony was held for the construction of the new middle school to open in the fall of 2018. It is interesting to see the changes that occur each day along Drake Road, starting with the arrival of heavy equipment, then the removal of trees and buildings, and the continual movement of soil from one place to another.

Students were introduced to Logan Weber, a motivational speaker who visited the middle school on Wednesday. Logan encouraged everyone to set goals, keep our attitudes and thoughts positive, and always support each other. Logan’s use of humorous stories and audience participation made his important message entertaining and interesting.

Avilla Elementary

OUR 5th graders spent last Thursday and Friday at Camp Potawatomi! A great time was had by all! The students learned about the importance of team work and ways to help each other during a difficult situation. Thursday evening ended with the students learning about the Underground Railroad. Thank you the families that volunteered to help with this annual event. Without your help this experience would not be possible for OUR students. A HUGE “THANK YOU” goes out to Mrs. Onion and Mrs. Hudson for organizing this trip once again for OUR students.

OUR 6th graders spent Wednesday afternoon interviewing for a job position for BizTown. Each student completed an application and selected three job choices before practicing for her/his interview. The 6th grade staff would like to thank Ms. Ackerman, Mrs. Carroll, Mrs. Ventura, Mr. Dylan Hunley, and Mr. Justin Ramsey for taking the time to interview OUR students. This was a great experience for each of OUR kids and hopefully for you as well.

Friday was Grandparents’ Day at Avilla. What a great way to end the week! We had a great turnout once again this year. We are so blessed to be able to work with so many wonderful families. In many cases, the grandparents were put to work while visiting with their grandchildren, and that seemed to be quite alright. The grandparents worked as hard as the grandchildren at the task at hand. Thank you to all that helped organize this great event for OUR students, families, and staff.

Friday was also the 2nd Annual 6th Grade Car Wash! Students collected over $600 while washing several cars in just over two hours! The money donated will be donated to Engineering2Empower while on OUR Notre Dame Field Trip in October. Thank you students and parents for volunteering and helping with the car wash. Thank you, Mrs. Leffers, for organizing this event once again this year.

North Side Elementary

North Side 6th graders teamed up with South Side 6th graders to run JA Biztown on Wednesday. All students had their own jobs, bank accounts, and debit cards. They used their breaks to eat pizza, and buy popcorn and souvenirs. They learned to be trustworthy through understanding how businesses need teamwork in order to be successful. This is such an exciting experience for our kids and we are very grateful to the Junior Achievement staff for allowing us to spend our day with them.

Fourth grade worked on writing personal narratives this week. They focused on adding detail to their writing piece so that the reader can picture what is happening.

Third grade attended the play, “Pinocchio” at the high school on Friday. What a great program and performance. Our students are excited to one day become performers themselves.

Spell bowl tryouts are under way. The team will be chosen soon and practices will start. We are excited for our team to compete in the future Spell Bowl and put up a great fight!

Sending out a thank you to the grandparents and special guests that attended Grandparents Day with our students. The staff enjoyed meeting each of the special guests and the students enjoyed sharing their classrooms.

We are looking forward to the upcoming weeks here at North Side!

Rome City Elementary

Week six is coming to a close and I know it won't surprise you, but our Romans have been BUSY!! 3rd grade Romans have had a spectacular time swimming this week!! There was a wide range of ability level swimmers but by the end of the week, everyone was feeling FABULOUS!! What a great opportunity for your Romans to learn about safety and overall respect for the water!!

Digital Citizenship was also happening all around the building this week!! #RomansRock is the new hash tag you will find floating around the digital world to showcase all of the ways kids can show digital citizenship!!!

Rome City fifth graders enjoy their time at camp Potawatomi. Students were able to do many team building activities, enjoy outdoor fun and stay the evening with friends and great teachers. Students love this trip every year and we are thankful for the memories camp brings to the students.