The Tiger Times

August 2018


The MSD of Decatur Township is Student Invested, Community Connected. We prioritize Student learning, Safety and Customer Service, fostering a support system for our families.

A Note from your Principal

Dear West Newton Families,

The 2018-2019 school year should prove to be a successful and exciting year for your child! I welcome all of our returning and new students to West Newton Elementary School. As parents of the West Newton students, I want you to know that I am one of your child’s advocates in education. Their teachers and you, as parents, join me in that important role. Decisions at West Newton Elementary School are made based on what is best for children.

We welcome new staff members or those who have transitioned to new roles on the West Newton team. A warm welcome goes to Miss Amanda Webb (school psychologist), Mr. Samuel Houston (special education teacher grades 2 & 6), Mrs. Jill Gildersleeve and Mrs. Jennifer Mroz (behavior support teachers grades 1-6), Mrs. Nicole Dye (behavior support IA), Mrs. Patty Clayton-Allen (transitioned to behavior support IA), and Mrs. Amanda Thomas (Title I IA). Mrs. Janica Humphries has transitioned to the role of Lead Teacher while Mrs. Rita Ryden and Miss Krissy Langley are West Newton’s Mentor Teachers. These staff members will teach and take care of your children each and every day!

I will share a few of the things our teachers, administrators, and all staff are working on this year to ensure that high quality instruction is delivered and that all children learn:

· The School Leadership Team will continue to identify and put actions into place to improve the overall achievement of our students in mathematics and literacy based on student district and state data. All staff members are also supporting students in building their academic vocabulary to support learning in all content areas.

· Teachers follow the district’s scope and sequence in Math and English Language Arts in grades 1-6. Each grade level at West Newton has a teacher representative on the District Math and ELA Committees while Mr. Werner and I also participate in making decisions and ensuring that best practices are implemented. Teachers will continue to have common planning time this year in order to plan, collaborate and make the best instructional decisions for the children of West Newton Elementary.

· The student information system (Skyward) and learning management system (Canvas) are in place for the start of this school year. Daily attendance and grading will be done electronically by teachers. Teacher's upload grades by Tuesday of each week and are expected to communicate with parents.

· West Newton has a school wide positive behavior system in place called Tiger Pride and you will always see this exhibited by our students and staff.

Thank you for sharing your child with the staff of West Newton and collaborating with us to make your child a successful learner! I look forward to seeing you at West Newton whether it’s for school events, stopping in for lunch, or attending a conference. Thank you for all that you do!

With Tiger Pride,

Susan D. Strube


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Decatur Township is continuing our partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library. Through this partnership, we are providing the library with a list of our students, and they are going to match the list with their database. If a student does not currently have a library card, they will be issued one. This program has been very successful in our township and across this city in other schools.

The special card students receive will give them access to all of the library’s digital materials, such as databases of magazine and journal articles, downloadable ebooks, emagazines and audio books. In addition, it will give them very limited access to physical items, such as regular books. Of course, you can change this to a full access card by visiting your library. This is an outstanding opportunity for your student. If for any reason you do not wish for your child to participate, please contact our school office for paperwork to opt out.

Any questions or concerns about the program can be directed to Lynn Hodgkin, Elementary Media Coordinator, at 317-856-2221.


5 Top TIps for Parents from Apptitude2Learn

#1 Vigilance~
In the evening, children definitely need their sleep and time to de-tech for the day. We recommend that students do not go to bed with their device. Setting up a charging station that is in a common area of the home will help keep the device out of the bedroom at night. Please note that the device may not be needed for all assignments.

#2 Accountability~It is important to know what your child is doing on the device. To view all previously opened apps, double click home (or four finger swipe up on screen).

#3 Notifications~Swipe up the control center from the bottom of the screen and tap on the crescent moon icon to turn on “Do not Disturb.” This will block any notifications from popping up while your child is working in an app. You can customize notifications by tapping on Settings – Notification Center.

#4 Guided Access~If your child has trouble staying focused on their work within a specific app, Guided Access enables you to set up the iOS device so that you cannot leave apps, and you are able to control which features of the app you are allowed to use or not use.

#5 Restrictions~If certain apps, such as iMessage or FaceTime, have become a distraction, you can set up restrictions on your child’s iPad. You can access this feature in Settings – General – Restrictions.

CANVAS Parent Instructions

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PICTURE DAY ~ September 5, 2018

Watch for order forms to come home with your student.


Popcorn is $.50 per bag. Popcorn money will be collected all week and the popcorn will be distributed during the students' lunch time.


All students have homework each evening which includes reading for 20 minutes, studying word study words, and practicing math facts. Students in grades 4-6 may have extra work for any assignments not completed in class that day.

Practice equals mastery ~ students will gain confidence and show success in the classroom. If you need help with ideas and/or strategies, contact your child's teacher.


1st round of letters regarding missing immunizations will be going home with students on August 20th. Please check your child's folder for any updates sent home by the nurse. If you have a doctors appointment, please call to inform the front office or nurse of that date. Please keep in mind that exclusion date will be September 24th, so all required vaccines or appointment dates MUST be given to the nurse to prevent school exclusion. You may call the office if you have any questions or concerns!

Paige Ison, RN


All Decatur Township School volunteers must register and be approved before volunteering for the 2018-2019 school year.

Go to

Click on the tab 'Families', then 'Volunteer' to submit an electronic form.

Don't have a computer, not a problem. Volunteer forms are available in the school office.

For more information contact:

Bev O'Toole 317-241-0183 or

West Newton PTO ~ Events at a Glance


Friday, 24th - - - Trash Bag Fundraiser Kickoff

Friday, 24th / 6:00-8:00 - - - Movie Night


Tuesday, 4th @ 6pm - - - PTO Meeting

Monday, 10th - - - Trash Bag Orders are DUE

Friday, 14th / 6:00-8:00 - - - Movie Night

Wednesday, 26th / 5:30-7:00 - - - Literacy Night

Wednesday, 26th - Oct. 3rd - - - Book Fair

(Lunch with Someone You Love)


Tuesday, 2nd @6pm - - - PTO Meeting

Wednesday, 3rd - - - Conference Day/Last Day of Book Fair

October 15th-19th - - - Fall Break ~ No School

Friday, 26th / 6:00-8:00 - - - Movie Night


Support Decatur Township by purchasing a metal "Decatur Proud" license plate. The cost is $5 (cash only) and the profits help the students in our school.


Clipping Box Tops for Education is an easy way to help earn cash for our school. Each one is worth 10¢ for our school! Just look for the pink Box Tops on hundreds of products. All you have to do is clip them and send them to school. Your child can earn personal rewards and rewards for their class or grade level when they bring in Box Tops! For more information on Box Tops, including a list of participating products, go to Be sure to sign up as a member (it’s free!) so you can check out our school’s earnings details and get access to coupons and bonus offers. You can also download the Box Tops Bonus App to earn even more money for our school.

Thank you for your support!


It is the Board’s commitment to provide a safe, positive, productive and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. Any individual who believes a student has been or is the victim of discrimination, bullying, or harassment should report the situation to the building principal or designee or complete the School District’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying report form, which is available online at
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