September 2023 Northtowne News
Welcome to a new school year!!
September Important Dates
September 4 - Labor Day: No School
September 7 - Pre-k students' first day of school
September 13 - Save the Date! Open House with information on Curriculum and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) 5:30-7:00pm
September 20 - Professional Development: No School
Stay up to date! The calendar for the 2023-24 school year can be found here.
Hello Families, Caregivers, and Students,
Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! This year Columbus City School (CCS) has selected the theme "Start Strong. End Stronger!" to set the tone for everything we do. This phrase really does capture the essence of many of the educational goals for our Northtowne students. We want each student to start the year putting in their best efforts educationally, emotionally, and socially. Then, as the year progresses we aim to help each student continue to grow and learn at the next levels. Start strong. End stronger.
In all of our work to help develop students we hope to be partners with you, the families and caregivers. This year we are continuing to expand our efforts to be in good communication with families, offer meaningful events and information, and encourage families to be engaged with their student's schooling as much as you are able.
Here is to a great year and all we will accomplish!
Morning Drop Off Reminders
Please stay with your child prior to 8:15 a.m. and/or when there is no adult supervision. For the safety of your child, please wait until a staff member is outside. Children should not be dropped off before 8:15.
If you drive your student to school, please enter the parking lot area and drive beside the sidewalk. Pull forward, as much as possible, until just past the open cafeteria doors.
Breakfast is served starting at 8:30 and free for any child who chooses to eat.
Open House Customs
An open house is an event held at the school where its doors are open to the family of students. This allows people to look around the school and learn about it. An Open House is meant to provide general information to families about the school and the school year. Later, in the Fall families will have the first chance to schedule Parent/Caregiver and Teacher Conferences where time is set aside to discuss educational progress of your specific student. So, please refrain from these very specific type discussions during Open House. Here are a few great reasons we hope you come to open house on September 13th:
1. Meet the teacher: This helps signal to the teacher and your student that you are serious about your parental involvement, that you are invested in your child's education and you want to establish a collaboration with him or her for great results for your child.
2. Learn about the curriculum: Ohio has many requirements about what must be included in a student's education. Hearing about them, asking questions, and taking notes will make it less of a mystery. This will help you explain to your child the importance of learning goals and understand more clearly if your child requires accommodations.
3. Meet other parents: We are so fortunate to live in an age where communication is at your fingertips literally. Perhaps you can create a study group for the students in your student's class, make a walking group to and from school of others who live near you, or just recognize a few more friendly faces.
4. Look for paths to communication: This is a time you can discover a way to support your child and the teacher, how to support the curriculum from home and the best way to communicate with the teacher.
5. Opportunities to support: There are opportunities to be present for students and teachers, whether it's coming to performances/assemblies, answering a request to prepare materials for a teacher, or even making sure your student gets to school on time. Be consistent with the offer of support because it is so important that your student observes your participation. It gives them a sense of connection to school and begins to understand that school is a consistent, scheduled and reliable place that can add value to their future.
Welcome to Our New Northtowne Staff!
Here at Northtowne, we have welcomed several new staff members to the building. We are excited to have them with us! We hope that all of our families will join us giving a warm welcome.
Kindergarten: Ms Bullard
Kindergarten Instructional Assistant: Ms Tesfamichael
English as a Second Language (ESL)Teacher: Ms Sheehan-Lobert
ESL Instructional Assistant: Ms Baro
Physical Education (PE): Coach Love
Instrumental Music: Mr. Damicone
Primary Literacy Specialist (Reading Intervention): Ms Blackstone
Intervention Specialist (Intermediate Grades): Mr. Marquez
Food Services: Ms Davis
School Age Occupational Therapy: Ms Harber
Pre-k Speech Language Pathology: Ms Arens
We may only be only eight days into the new school year, but lots of things are already happening in Mr. Dickerson's counselor world! Last week, students came to the cafeteria by grade level for a presentation by Mr. Taylor and Mr. Dickerson about bullying. The discussion included defining what is bullying, what it looks like, the role of bystanders, and how to speak up if you are being bullied or if you see someone else being bullied. This week has had a focus on school rules and expectations. Each grade level toured the school and learned (or was reminded about) what being respectful, responsible, and focused (our school's key qualities) look like in the different school spaces. Mr. Dickerson has also already started some small groups for Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) topics. In SEL groups students may be introduced to a range of topics. Topics for the groups are meant to help increase confidence, understand and manage emotions, build healthy relationships, communicate with others and create a framework to set and achieve goals.
TAG - Teachers Acknowledging Greatness
Northtowne teachers and staff may nominate students to receive a TAG award. Once the nomination has been made, the student will get an award certificate to take home. The certificate shows that they were TAGed and the great thing that was noticed. Families will also receive a phone call from the Family Ambassador (Sarah Bowman) to make sure they know that their student received a TAG award and they all have something to celebrate together!
Northtowne Building Improvements
Northtowne has been getting some happy and exciting improvements. At the end of last year and over the summer our school received a fresh coat of paint. Teachers were even able to choose between white walls or a pale blue color. No matter the color, a fresh coat of paint has definitely helped to brighten our indoor spaces. The Improvement our students are most excited about about the new playground equipment! More slides, swings and climbing equipment were installed over the summer. It looks like so much fun that some of our staff might even be wishing that they could play too.
Parent Portal Annual Update
Keeping the school informed of all of your current contact information is highly important. The school uses this information to notify you in the event of sudden illness or injury that could occur during the day. We also use to it keep you informed of what's happening At Northtowne and the District. Families with a current email address receive these newsletters directly to their inbox. The Parent Portal account is also where you go check grades each quarter and can check on attendance. The best way to make sure that your contact information and contact preferences are up to date is to complete the Annual Update in your Parent Portal account! If you have any questions about Parent Portal or doing the Annual Update a great place to start is by contacting our Family Ambassador, Sarah Bowman at email@example.com or 614-859-9654.
Free Sundays at Columbus Museum of Art
Afterschool Child Enrichment (ACE) Program
According to the Ohio Revised Code: ACE Ohio Grant amounts are increased to $1,000 per student/per school year.
The allowable family income levels will increased from 300% of the National Poverty Rate to 400% (e.g., a family of four making just under $120,000 will qualify).
The funds can be used for the following services:
• Before- or after-school educational programs
• Day camps/summer camps--including camps for academics, music, and arts (overnight camps excluded)
• Field trips to historical landmarks, museums, zoos, science centers, and theaters--including admission, exhibit, and program fees
• The purchase of curriculum and material for homeschool families
• Educational, learning, or study skills services
• Tuition for learning extension centers
• Art lessons including dance, music, visual arts and even martial arts
• Language classes
Don't pass up this valuable resource!! For more information about the ACE program, please visit the link below.
Northtowne News Past Issues are Still Available
Did you delete a Northtowne News email and then realize there was a resource you still wanted to check out? Do you remember seeing a newsletter announcement about a community resource but now you can't remember the name of the organization and you can't find the email from the newsletter? Don't worry! The information you need is not lost! All prior Newsletters and mid-month updates are available on the Northtowne Elementary web site. The button below will take you directly to the newsletter archive.
Grateful for Family Involvement
Thank you so much for your support and involvement with your child’s learning. Whether it’s conferences, attending the family meetings, or a quick chat throughout the day, we appreciate your involvement and efforts to build the lines of communication between home and school.Lots of school communication and information is in the Parent Portal. If you need help accessing the Parent Portal please contact our Family Ambassador, Sarah Bowman. She can even link families to interpreters (Bilingual Engagement Liaisons or BEL) to help with understanding the Parent Portal set up process. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call or text: 614-859-9654
Thank you for reading this month’s newsletter.
Send a note to let us know what you thought, make suggestions or ask a question. We would love to hear from you. Please send a note to your child’s teacher or send a message.
Austin Taylor, Principal
Sarah Bowman, Family Ambassador
Susan Bryant, Building Coach
Frank Beickelman, Grant Provider