Washington School: September Issue 2017
Letter from Mrs. Daly
Dear Washington Families,
As we begin our second week of school, I want to thank you all for your patience and understanding during the first several days of school as we tried to make the arrival and dismissal procedures at Washington smooth and safe for children. Please make sure you follow the parking signs around the school. Please continue to bear with us as we work through the snags. Attached you will find a calendar of events for the month of September and October. Our school website has detailed information for you as well.
I am anticipating another great school year!!! Parents and staff who collaboratively work together each day for the students are key to a successful school year!! I know you will find the setting at Washington conducive to learning. Each teacher is extremely committed to assisting all children in developing a positive attitude toward education and making our school an even better place for our students to learn and grow.
Our first PTO will be held on Tuesday, September 12th. PTA meetings will be held the second Tuesday of every month. Please join our new PTO Presidents Rebecca Hennigan and Laurie Panizo and the entire PTO Board in our school library at 7pm.
Here are a few things that parents should know:
If someone other than yourself is picking up your child after school, please send a note to school with your child so that your child’s teacher is aware that your child is going home with someone other than yourself for that day. That person must be added onto your emergency contact list if that person is going to pick your child up regularly.
Release of Students: Definite procedures are followed to assure the safety of children who are released during the day.
1.Written parental permission should be sent to the teacher stating the requested time of release. Please note the following: If any person other than the parent or guardian is to pick up a child, the school must have a statement from the parent specifying the necessary information.
2.If a student needs to be dismissed early for medical or emergency reasons, the parent or guardian must come to the office and sign out the child. All children must be signed out in the office. Children will remain with the teacher until notified by the office personnel.
Medical Records: All medical records must be in the school office. All immunizations must be up to date. Students without these state required records will not be permitted to attend school after 10/15/17.
Birthday Party Invitations: Birthday party invitations should not be distributed in school unless ALL children from that particular class are invited. Consideration of and sensitivity to the feelings of all students is an important aspect of education at Washington Elementary School.
Student Absences: Parents are asked to call the school to notify us of a child’s absence and the reason for that absence. Students with excessive “unexcused” absences will result in a letter. Please see the Parent/Student Handbook about the district’s homework policy.
Forgotten Things/Homework: Students are not permitted to use the telephone unless an emergency exists or a forgotten lunch. Students cannot phone home for forgotten gym clothes, musical instrument, or homework. Let’s work together to teach our students to responsible and take ownership of their homework and other supplies that need to be brought to school.
Visitors: Parents/Guardians are always welcome at Washington Elementary School. All adult or student visitors must come to the office before going to any classroom. Visitor name tags, provided by the office, are to be worn by all visitors in the building and the visitor must sign in. All visitors need to present their ID once entering the building. As visitors leave the building, they must stop by the office and sign out.
Student Handbooks: Please make sure to review the information with your child. It is very important they are aware of the rules and expectations of Washington School and of District 64.
Thank you for your cooperation to the above matters. I look forward to a wonderful and productive school year here at Washington.
No Dogs on School Grounds
It is great to see so many families are walking to school. However, we ask that you leave your dogs at home. Even the most gentle and friendly dog can become overwhelmed with 650 plus excited students around. Also, we have many students and adults who are allergic to dogs or terrified of dogs. We love dogs, but ask you to please not bring them to school, as it is district policy not to have them on school grounds. The sidewalks in the front and sides of the building are occupied with children before and after school, so I ask that we all respect these rules regarding dogs. Thank you!
Voice Volume Expectations at Washington
New to Washington this year... Voice Volume! Teachers and students will be following the ROARS expected behaviors which now include voice volume levels for each location of the school. Following our expected voice volumes will assist with providing uninterrupted learning throughout the building and will ensure safety for all students in case of an emergency.
Look for the Washington Voice Volume charts throughout the school!
Also new this year: ROARS stickers for positive behavior. Students can earn ROARS stickers when demonstrating our Washington ROARS expected behaviors. Students can wear their ROARS sticker proudly throughout the day and can take it home to celebrate with families. Each sticker enters your name into a drawing for a prize from the office at the end of the week. Students can receive these stickers from any staff member at any time, so they know to always be demonstrating their Washington ROARS.
District Pilots New ELA Curriculum
Last school year, District 64 launched an English Language Arts Review Committee to take a closer look at our instructional practices and resources for reading, writing, word study, and speaking/listening. After an extensive study, the Committee recommended the adoption of two resources to support reading instruction: Units of Study - Reading at the K-5 level and Schoolwide Reading Fundamentals at the 6-8 level.
Both resources are founded on research that supports the Reading Workshop model as best practice in reading instruction. In Reading Workshop, instruction begins with an explicit mini lesson that targets reading skills and strategies. Students then practice these strategies and skills in shared texts before applying them independently in their own texts. Because these texts are matched to students based on their individual instructional levels and interests, the Reading Workshop provides for differentiated instruction and promotes student engagement.
Assessment during Reading Workshop is ongoing. Teachers conference with students to learn more about how they are applying reading skills and strategies. Assignments and class activities are designed to assess students’ comprehension and written responses.
The Reading Workshop Model and these new resources will help District 64 achieve an important objective within our 2020 Vision Strategic Plan: providing a rigorous education for all students, within an aligned, articulated curriculum.
This spring, all teachers will participate in professional development to implement Reading Workshop. To support our transition, some teachers at each school will begin this work this fall. Your child’s teacher will share more information about this at Parent Night.
Please do not hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions.
Dr. Lori Hinton Lopez
Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning
EL (English Learners) Program
What is the EL program?
*English language instruction in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
*Co-taught with grade level classroom teachers. Additional small group and individualized support as needed.
*Provides support for vocabulary and academic language development.