ENSC Weekly Notes

February 1, 2016

Legislative Bills to Watch

There are two bills in the House right now that are of interest to all of us. House Bill 1395, if passed, will make 2017 the last time ISTEP is administered and a committee to study and recommend a different end of year accountability assessment will be created. In addition, the bill also requires rescoring of the 2015 ISTEP test. That is a waste of taxpayer dollars!

Another bill to watch is HB 1001. This bill increases the taxes on cigarettes and gasoline to raise funding for road improvements across Indiana. During the Legislative Forum Saturday at the Kendallville Library, Representative Ober indicated that would mean adding four cents per gallon of gas and $1 per pack of cigarettes. To make this a tax neutral effort, the state will cut the income tax for five years beginning in 2019. You may be saying, I am fine with the income tax reduction and I don't smoke, so it is only the gas tax that is a burden. Please keep in mind, income taxes fund education. The tax collected on gasoline will be going to road improvements, not to school funding. The tax on cigarettes will be going to fund cigarette health related issues not school funding.

If this bill is passed as is, this could mean a reduction in school funding.

2016 Retirement/TOY Dinner

Please mark your calendar for the 2016 Retirement and Teacher of the Year dinner. The date will be Monday, May 23, 6 p.m. and will be held at North Side Elementary.

This evening is an opportunity to recognize several very important teachers and staff members, both retirees and teacher of the year candidates. Your attendance makes these staff members feel special. Please plan to attend.

2016-2017 School Calendar

When the 2016-2017 school calendar was developed, three Fridays in May were set as snow make up days. With the use of eLearning, we no longer need those days. I plan to take the calendar to discussions and to the Board to determine how we want to use those three days. Below are a few possibilities:

1. Leave the calendar as is and use the three Fridays as days off.

2. Attend school on the three Fridays and end the school year three days earlier.

3. Attend school on the three Fridays, and use two of the days to extend winter break. Currently, school will be held on the Monday and Tuesday with Christmas on Sunday. The third day could be to end school one day earlier.

There are several other possibilities. Keep in mind, we will still begin school on August 4, 2016. Below is a link to the 2016-2017 school calendar:


Be thinking about where you want to place the three days and look for a survey to come in your email soon.

Unsung Hero of the Week

Craig Balzer is the head custodian at Wayne Center Elementary. This year marks Craig's 37th year of service to East Noble Schools. Craig started his career in 1981 working as a custodian at the middle school. In 1996 he moved to his current assignment at Wayne Center. He has seen many of his high school friend's children come through Wayne Center and is now seeing their grandkids. His duties keep him very busy from the start of his shift; often coming early to clear snow and ice from walk paths as well as inspecting the heating and cooling controls for classrooms. Craig's love for Wayne Center is demonstrated everyday in the operation and cleanliness of the building. He is relentless in his efforts to make sure the needs of the staff and students are taken care of.

Wayne Center Elementary is a better place because there are people like Craig Balzer who care.

The Cookies Go To South Side Elementary

Thank you for sharing your time, talents, and treasures with the students and staff of South Side Elementary.

South Side Elementary - 97.4 percent

Avilla Elementary - 96.9 percent

Wayne Center Elementary - 96.7 percent

Rome City Elementary - 96.1 percent

East Noble High School - 95.5 percent

North Side Elementary - 92.8 percent

East Noble Middle School - 92 percent

Reminder.....February 15 is Presidents Day AND a day off from school!

Building Notes

Alternative Learning Center

It was a great week at the ALC. Several students completed their classes and earned another credit. The students celebrated credits earned with a pizza party on Friday. There are several more classes close to being finished and more credits will be earned by the end of the trimester. The students have three weeks to complete their coursework prior to the end of the trimester. Trimester 2 ends on February 19th, which means on Monday, February 22nd, Trimester 3 begins and some students will have a different schedule and placement.

The ENSC Board Meeting was held at the ALC this week. Mr. Vogely presented about the Homebound program and a parent of a Homebound student spoke about her experiences with the program also. It was wonderful to hear a story of how alternative education helped to keep a student engaged in school and have a positive experience. Every student has different reasons for why they attend the ALC. The goal of our staff is to figure out how to meet their needs and help them become successful in school.

East Noble High School

This last week was Riley Week. East Noble Student Council annually raises money for Riley Children’s Hospital. One of the events of Riley week is Riley wagon. This one portion of Riley week brought in more than $3000. EN fundraiser for Riley ends next week with Collage (EN’s own talent show). Collage is at 2:00pm on Sunday, February 7th on the Craig Munk stage. This is an opportunity for all EN students to showcase their talents. Cost is $5 at the door with all proceeds going towards Riley’s Children Hospital.

ENHS Guidance recently hosted a financial aid night for seniors and their families. We had over 80 families present to listen to Mr. Dave Peterson, the financial aid director from IPFW. He discussed federal and state financial aid as well as scholarships at the collegiate level. We also kicked off the local ENHS scholarship program, where we have over 50 scholarships available to students. Students who receive local scholarships will be honored at Honors Night in May.

This week we received student PSAT scores for 10th and 11th graders. The PSAT (practice SAT) is new this year to reflect the changes that are being made with the SAT, effective March 2016. Mrs. Benedict and Ms. Salway, counselors for 11th and 10th grade students will be meeting with students to discuss score interpretation as well as opportunity for score improvement.

Next week we start scheduling for the 2016-2017 school year! Students will receive course selection sheets, course information, as well as instructions on how to complete the process online. New courses we are looking at offering next year are: Sports Literature, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, Photography, Digital Design, and Advanced Science Engineering. This year we added Sports Nutrition, Educational Professionals, Human & Social Services, and Information Communication & Technology with great interest and success! We are always on the lookout for opportunities to provide students with relevant and meaningful is often found in our elective courses.

National School Counselor Week is next week! We are so happy to have the opportunity to work with students on a daily basis to provide opportunities and resources for life long success.

East Noble Middle School

Seventh grade language arts students continue their journey with The Outsiders, and have been comparing/contrasting. Eighth grade language arts students have been studying the mystery genre, and doing a lot of close reading skills. Students are also working on rough drafts of “My Most Memorable Teacher.”

In social studies classes, seventh grade students have been creating digital timelines of the Chinese Dynastic period. This will be used to guide their creation of a website over the Chinese dynasties that students will be creating next week. In the eighth grade, students have been breaking down the articles of the Constitution. Students will then take the roles of different branches of the government in a law making simulation to better understand the ideas of separation of power and limited government.

All math students are reviewing their NWEA scores and focusing on learning what their individual strengths and weaknesses are. Students were given a Goal Setting Worksheet that contains their score from this Fall’s test and their projected Spring score. These can be discussed with parents at home as well. In addition to reviewing these scores, eighth grade math classes have been focusing on linear functions for the past several weeks. Seventh grade Pre-Algebra has been working in the geometry unit while seventh grade Math has been focusing on percents, ratios, and proportions.

In seventh grade science, we are thinking our way through the basic concepts of physics. Although we aren’t quite to “The Big Bang Theory” level, we are making progress in our understanding of motion. We have learned to calculate and apply both speed and velocity and we are now introducing the concept of acceleration. In eighth grade science, we have begun researching our DNA. Our goal is to understand why DNA is so very important by learning exactly how DNA codes our body. After a few weeks we know the structure of DNA, and we understand how DNA replicates itself to make perfect copies. We are now moving on to “The Central Dogma of Biology”, making proteins from DNA.

Avilla Elementary

OUR January Character Counts Convocation focused on the pillar of trustworthy. OUR students learned what trustworthy means from Fort Wayne Fire Captain Neil Hudson and Indiana State Trooper Mike Carroll. The message presented to OUR students focused on being trustworthy all the time. Captain Hudson also talked to the students about the steps it took him to become a fire fighter. Captain Hudson spent four years at Manchester College prior to entering the firefighting field. He told the kids about the 14 week training he had to endure and persevere through starting with an extremely hard test.

State Trooper Carroll focused on being trustworthy at home, at school, and with friends. He talked about the importance of being trustworthy even at a very young age. He explained that being trustworthy extends to social media as well. When Trooper Carroll was being considered for his career as a state trooper his elementary teachers where asked about his trustworthiness and character while in elementary school!

OUR 6th grade band students performed this past Saturday at Carroll. Many thanks to parents and Mr. Smith for getting the students prepared for individual solo events. Thank you goes out to Mr. Smith for all the time and effort he and the students put into this event each year. It is quite an accomplishment to take students that may have never played an instrument before in their lives to be able to play a solo under six months! Mr. Smith works wonders with all the students he works with and is definitely a key component to the overall success of all of OUR students!

North Side Elementary

Another exciting week has passed at North Side. This week the Wildcats welcomed the jump rope group the Turtle Town Turners who delighted the student body with a rousing routine that included lighted jump ropes, pogo sticks, and audience participation. Staff also were busy setting up the book fair preparing for next week.

In the classroom fifth graders were completing ecosystem projects while sixth graders were preparing for their upcoming Biztown trip by learning real-life money and business lessons.

Rome City Elementary

Romans have been busy applying their math and science skills to collect data. Mrs. Erexson’s and Mrs. Herber’s second grade classes created their own investigative questions. Next they asked their classmates their questions and collected data based on the answers to the questions. Students graphed their results and enjoyed sharing their data.

Third graders have been learning about simple machines. Miss Haley from the Limberlost Library led the students in an activity in which they made pulleys. The students had to use pencils, rubber bands, paper clips, and a shoe box. Their pulley had to move the paper clip across the shoe box.

Kevin Dreibelbis from Noble County REMC spoke to the fourth graders this week about energy. Students in Mrs. Babyak’s class have been researching various types of energy sources. Mr. Dreibelis informed the students about alternative energy resources, and the students enjoyed playing a game about electricity.

This week the kindergarten students worked on using pattern blocks to complete puzzles. They used problem solving skills to make shapes out of other shapes.

South Side Elementary

The Great Depression. Drought. The “Dirty-Thirties”. Dust Bowl. Woodie Guthrie. Dust pneumonia. Black Sunday. Okies. South Side 6th graders are learning all about these terms and more as they tie in concepts from science, social studies, reading, and writing while reading Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust. Our students starting building knowledge about the Dust Bowl Era with our Amazing Race group project. Students used text evidence from books, videos, and online text to learn about this devastating time in our nation’s history.

Using google drive, students collaborated and strived to be the first team to locate details to answer questions posed to them about the effects of drought and over-farming in the Great Plains during the Great Depression. Using part of Ken Burn’s Dust Bowl documentary, students viewed video footage from the time and heard from survivors of the Dust Bowl to help them understand the setting of our class novel. As we work our way through the novel, students are also reading paired nonfiction text about California’s drought and water conservation to compare and contrast the current situation to that of the past.

Wayne Center Elementary

Wayne Center families enjoyed a fun-filled indoor tailgating party this past week. Families had an opportunity to shop at the Scholastic Book Fair too. They enjoyed hot dogs, chips, and dessert for dinner and played several tailgating games. Books were raffled off for prizes.

Kindergarten students finished their personal narratives. Students shared their published narratives with classmates at our narrative publishing party. They used Puppet Shadow to record their stories. Students then uploaded them to Seesaw so they can share with their families.

Mr. Ulrich’s class began their seasons of the year project. They are studying what happens in each season and discussing what they like to do during each season. Students are creating a poster to show a year in the life of a tree.