ENSC Weekly Notes

November 16, 2015


It is very interesting how a conversation, heard from a distance, can skew the perception of the context of the message. For example, a teacher may complain about an action of a student while standing in the hallway. A volunteer in the building may overhear part of the conversation and assume (yes, I know what happens when you assume), the teacher "doesn't like the student" and isn't going to treat him/her fairly. The reality may be the teacher is complaining about an action, but that action doesn't define the teacher's commitment to the student. Have you been in the grocery line and overheard gossip? We heard lots of gossip during the middle school referendum process. None of it true; however; many people believed the gossip and voted no.

Nearly all of us have been heard by others making negative comments about education, testing, accountability, and the direction the state is taking. I am very guilty. Many of us have mentioned to others, "why would someone want to go into education today." That message is pretty powerful. During a time when there is a teacher shortage, do we really want to speak negatively about the profession. Wait a minute....Is there a teacher shortage because of the changes in education, or is there a shortage because so many people keep asking our youth "why would you want to go into education" and are critical of the profession. Perhaps it is a little of both.

Not all of the education reform changes are bad for students and teachers and there are many wonderful reasons to pursue education as a career. Every person in our district has a career in education for a reason. What is yours? Is it because you want to help students? Is it because you want to make a difference in a student's life and future? Is it because you enjoy working with youth? Is it because you believe in the value of an education and you want to make a lifetime difference for students and the community? I know it isn't because of the money!

We are all in this district because we believe in our youth and the importance of helping them become successful. While we may all criticize the profession, perhaps it is time to reflect upon the positives, the reasons you stay in education, the 3,700 youth who walk our halls depending upon you to help shape their future. Lets share the positive messages about the education profession with others. You just never know who will make a life changing difference in a child.

Technology Notes

Be sure to check out the newest Knight in Training modules that were published last week. These include modules called “Blogger,” “Google Search Ninja,” and “Google—Using Forms for Differentiated Quizzes.” Coming in the next few weeks are modules entitled “Google Map Tools” and “Differentiation and Engagement with Google Tools.” You may notice that the majority of these new modules focus on Google Apps for Education or “GAFE” tools. We have purchased access to an online training series called “SimpleK12” which has over 45 different topics about Google. In order to bring you the best of these modules, the peer coaches are weeding through all of the videos to bring you the highest quality topics of this series and then using these within Knight in Training. We hope you will take advantage of these exciting new topics.

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Nov. 18 Board Meeting

During this week's Board meeting at Avilla Elementary, teachers will be giving a presentation over the Seesaw app and demonstration how this app keeps parents engaged with their student's work. Other agenda items include approval of a new transportation direction, and approval to increase instructional assistant sub pay.

East Noble Theatre

East Noble Theatre is celebrating it’s 50th theatre season and season tickets go on sale Monday, November 16, at 4:00 PM at the Cole Auditorium box Office. The theatre season opens with the Broadway Musical Mary Poppins. Tickets for Mary Poppins go on sale on Monday , November 23 at 4:00 PM.

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The Advanced Acting Class will be competing at the Indiana Thespian Regional Competition next Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Bethel College with their original production, Legacy. The class will present a free public performance on Thursday evening, November 19 at 7:00 PM in Cole auditorium/Munk Stage. The public is invited.

Unsung Hero of the Week

Imagine what it must feel like as a parent to not be able to communicate with your child’s school. Many of our Spanish speaking families are faced with that obstacle. It can be a daunting and frustrating experience for many. We are fortunate to have someone here at ENHS who has the ability to reach out and communicate with those families. She has bridged the communication gap many times and has turned what could have been a terrifying ordeal into a simple conversation.

Dunia Campos is our Featured Staff Member and is always willing to help with needs outside of her school duties, and always with a bright smile! She recently translated the social and developmental history used in the Special Education department, as well parent rating scales. She is always willing to help communicate with our Spanish speaking families not only at the high school, but the entire district when needed. She has gone above and beyond her duties whenever requested.

Dunia is always willing to help out wherever and whenever she’s needed. Whether she’s preparing mailings while supervising ISS, or taking care of managerial tasks in the APC, Dunia can always be counted upon. Her ability to communicate with Spanish speaking parents allows us to better reach parents. She has a great demeanor and is a true asset to our staff. We are proud to brag about Dunia Campos, as we present her as our Featured Staff Member.

The Cookies Go To.......

Rome City Elementary for their 100 percent attendance this week. A special shout out goes to East Noble High School for their commendable week. You were very close to getting cookies for the second time this year!

Thank you everyone for your dedication to your students and your profession.

Curriculum and Building Notes


Part 2 of the Knights in Training Grading for Learning Mastery is now posted. As was stated in Part 1, the district policy will be built over the next 1-2 years. There are many aspects of grading to explore, examine, discuss, try at, fail at, and work through before we come to some clear answers. Many good questions have been brought forward. For some there are answers and for many there are not at this time.

What we can say is...

  1. We don't anticipate moving away from letter grades, especially at the high school level. These are part of a larger system that we do not have the capacity to change. What we will work towards will be a district understanding and practices that ensure that our grades are representative of student learning.
  2. The technology programs of today are under constant change. What PowerSchool and Canvas can do today may look very different one, two or more years from now.
  3. Informing students, parents, and teachers will be a huge component of the work that will be undertaken in 2015, 2016, and beyond.

East Noble High School

Electives are such an important opportunity for students. Whether it’s learning a new language and cultures, creating pieces of art, or performing in front of an audience, having the chance to try new things gives students a chance to express a side of themselves that often gets overlooked in today’s educational climate. ENHS has a rich tradition and a wide variety of electives to fit a broad range of talents and interests.

At the beginning of November, the second year Spanish students completed a unit about Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). They independently researched an influential Spanish speaking artist, author, political figure, etc. They used that research to write an informative essay, which was eventually graded based on the 6+1 writing traits. They then found the other person in the class who researched the same influential person and worked together to create an ofrenda (a traditional altar honoring the deceased person) as well as a presentation to give to the class in order to teach them about the person and their influence. This project provided them with insight into the traditions/purpose of the Day of the Dead while also giving them the opportunity to learn about influential Spanish speaking individuals. There was a lot of positive student feedback about the whole unit!

The first year Spanish students have also been busy creating invitations using their newly acquired vocabulary. The foreign language teachers have been working hard to create connections to the real world and culture in their classrooms.

Intro to Art, Ceramics & Sculpture are getting started off with some “yoga for the brain” with Zentangling on their sketchbook covers that will be used throughout the trimester. Each class is also exploring various artists in their respected media and compiling a digital gallery of the best of the best to use as inspiration on upcoming projects.

Mr. Munk’s first term Advanced Acting Class has been busy creating an original production and will compete at the Indiana Thespian Regional Competition on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Bethel College. A preview of the show will be presented on Thursday evening, November 19 at 7:00 PM in Cole Auditorium/Munk Stage for the general public. This year’s original piece, Legacy, features the original work of nineteen East Noble thespians. The original ensemble piece is a tribute to the fifty years of East Noble Theatre and it’s director, Mr. Craig Munk. The class is hoping for a win at regional competition and have the opportunity to return to state competition where they placed second in 2013 with their original production, Between the Bells.

East Noble Middle School

East Noble Middle School was very happy and honored to welcome so many veterans to our Veterans Day Program on Wednesday. They were welcomed to our gymnasium with a standing ovation while many being escorted by family members that attend ENMS. We honored these veterans by reading letters and poems written by staff members and students that expressed sincere gratitude for their service, commitment, and sacrifice to our country. The program also included music by our 8th grade band led by Kevin Haydl and a beautiful rendition of the song “Hallelujah” with lyrics written by the students of the ENMS show choir and led by Chris Mettert.

In 7th grade social studies classes, students are finishing collages and questions based on each of the student's individual and unique cultures. They are also beginning a world religions unit where the students will be exploring, comparing, and contrasting the five major religions from around the world. This Indiana Standards based unit will culminate with a world religion tiered unit project that students will complete before Thanksgiving break.

Seventh grade science classes are starting a new unit on energy resources and energy conservation. Students will begin by researching the various sources of energy available for us to use in the United States. Students will wrap up this unit by experimenting with two different sources of energy in the classroom focusing on renewable resources.

In math and language arts classes, students had their first experience with NWEA testing. The first round of testing will continue next week.

Progress reports for the 2nd 9 week grading period went home with students on Friday.

Avilla Elementary

This past week was another great week at Avilla School. We started the week with an outstanding Veteran’s Day program. We were honored to have several veteran’s attend OUR convocation. Former East Noble graduate Shelbi Carmichael was on-hand to introduce her father, Lieutenant Colonel James Carmichael, who is actively serving in the military. Mr. Carmichael explained to the students how the support from East Noble teachers impacted the education of both his children while he was serving in the military.

Mr. Smith led OUR students in a song dedicated to veterans. We would also like to thank National Elementary Honor Society members Aaronessa Vanderpool, Lily Meyer, and Ryan Ludwig for speaking during the program.

OUR sixth grade band did a fantastic job showing off their new band skills. Every seat was filled and the band spiced up their concert by playing and acting out Jaws. The audience went wild when a "bloody arm" flew across the auditorium!

STAR and NEHS are collecting items for Basket Brigade once again this year. Avilla is sponsoring seven families this year and are very excited to be able to help. This Wednesday will be “Hat Day and/or Scarf Day”. The cost is $1 and all monies collected will go toward purchasing perishable items for the basket. If you would like to donate items please send them in with your student. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the school at 897-2301. Thanks in advance for your generosity.

Please take time to view these important videos:



North Side Elementary

The past week at North Side was highlighted by the ceremonies celebrating our nation’s veteran’s. This Veteran’s Day North Side students honored those who have served by hosting a breakfast in their honor and by participating in an assembly to start the day. The breakfast was hosted by the North Side Student Council which is led by Beth Spaw and Morgan McClarnon. There were a slew of students helping serve the many veterans in attendance. After breakfast veterans and students alike joined in a rousing game of Veteran’s Day trivia on Kahoot! The day continued with an assembly in the gym in which the entire student body gathered to hear speeches from two North Side alumns who are veterans, Renee Hood (Air Force) and Corey Spaw (National Guard), a couple of videos explaining the history of the day, and a wonderful performance by the school band. The event was attended by many veterans who have connections to North Side.

Rome City Elementary

Rome City 6th grade students had the opportunity to spend the day with their Bronco Buddies from Western Michigan University. These students began communicating about college in September, and will continue their letter writing through the remainder of the year. It was great for the students to be able to put a name with a face of their buddy. The students spent time getting to know more about their buddies and about all the new and exciting things college has to offer.

The 6th Grade Band put on its first ever performance of 2015-2016 school year! The audience got to be a part of the band by sitting next to their sons and daughters throughout the “info”rmance. Mr. Cary spoke to the audience about what the band does every day with warming up, playing their 5-note scale, and reading exercises out of the beginning book to help improve their sound. The performance featured a duet between flute and baritone, a lively version of Hot Cross Buns and their final number of “My Country” was the hit of the evening!

Romans also had a chance to have a maker space this week in character counts. Students created posted with whatever supplies they chose. Their only requirement for their poster what to display a slogan to encourage great character.

South Side Elementary

As a nation, we join together on the 11th day of the 11th month each year in remembrance of those who have served to secure our liberties. As a school, we preserve the tradition of a Veteran’s Day observance to teach our children the legacy left to each generation by our men and women in uniform. We had the opportunity to express our gratitude to the veterans in our community at this year's Veteran's Day Observance Ceremony at South Side Elementary School. Thank you to all of our veterans for your service to our nation and your personal sacrifice for so many generations to come.

Our grade-level update this week comes from first grade: Our first graders went book shopping at the PTO sponsored Scholastic Book Fair this week! In Writing, we are working on opinion pieces; and in Reading, we are focusing on asking and answering questions while we read. In Math, we are just finishing up Chapter 3 and are ready to begin our unit on measurement.

The school year is flying by already! Continue to watch your child’s newsletters, Class Dojo, classroom blogs, Facebook, and Twitter for the goings-on around our building!

Wayne Center Elementary

The second graders used the skill of persuasive writing this week. On Tuesday they answered the prompt “Someone says that veterans are not important, how do you change their mind?” They used their persuasive skills and important reasons to write their response.

On Wednesday, our whole school, veterans, and families came together for our annual Veterans Day program. Throughout the program, a student choir performed songs and skits, Barb Babcock talked about her service, veterans folded our country’s flag and talked about what each fold means, the sixth grade band played, veterans were introduced, three students honored their mom or dad by reading what a hero means to them, and students and staff honored their family members by putting a carnation on a wreath. It was a great way to honor all of our veterans. Happy Veterans Day!

Alternative Learning Center

Each new Trimester always starts out a little chaotic feeling with new students, new classes, and new schedules, and this one was no different, but the students adjusted very well. There are several students who have never attended the ALC before, but they quickly figured out how to navigate Apex and have been working very hard on their coursework.

Our Seniors will be taking a new elective class called Career Information and Exploration. They will explore career interests, write resumes, visit employers, and get prepared for life after high school.

Trimester 2 continues through Thanksgiving and winter break then will end in February. Please remember during this time of cold weather to watch for delays and cancellations. If your child attends the ALC only in the morning, they do attend on 2-hour delay days, but they do not attend on 3-hour delay days. Full day ALC students arrive at 10:00am on 2-hour delay days and 11:00am on to 3-hour delay days.

Please remember to call in absences and communicate directly with the ALC if your child is ill. (260) 349-0814

Superintendent Ritz to Speak

If you are interested in listening to State Superintendent Ritz speak, she will be at West Noble Middle School on Wednesday, November 30, at 6 p.m. to address issues in education.