FALL NEWSLETTER ~Brooks Elementary~

"Creating a Community of Learners"

From the desk of Mrs. Amy Harrison



The season of Fall is always an excellent time to renew, reenergize and refocus. The weather’s getting cooler, and with Fall definitely in the air, it gives us a sense of something exciting headed our way. Whether it’s the notion of the holidays which we know is fast approaching, or if it’s how we see our children learning, adapting, and fulfilling our expectations as parents and educators, I often reflect not only of the changing of the seasons, but on how our profession is continually changing. As a Principal, I am continually thankful and reflective because every day, I am privileged to see the entire range of ages and abilities throughout our building. I am constantly amazed at all the different ways we reach students here at Brooks. And it’s not only the awesome technology I’ve observed with all the differentiated, rich activities. It is the strong collaboration of teams and grade levels. Yes, technology is great, efficient, and certainly necessary, but it is used as an enhancement, not a replacement. We seem to understand that. One thing that has NOT changed, and has stayed the course, is the way I have observed our teachers interacting with your children. From the constant hugs and support, to the academic intensity of small groups, from the Socratic questioning of…”why” and “give me evidence to support..”, to the gentle insistence for excellence, not perfection, our staff supports your babies. From the comments I’ve heard such as…”it’s ok if you don’t get it right the first few times, that’s what helps us learn” to the sweet, calm acceptance of all of our children, that is Brooks. So, as we reflect on all of life's currents and changes which seem to bombard us at times, I urge you to cherish this season of Thanksgiving because it gives each of us a reminder to reflect on all the many blessings that we encounter each and every day in the sweet smiles of our children. I know I am richer for knowing each and every one of you, and I know what a blessing I have in my Brooks family!


Mrs. Harrison, Principal


~Unity is strength...when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!” Mattie Stepanek

IT's OFFICIAL!!! CCRPI SCORES ARE IN!!! And...they're AMAZING!

It is official! Brooks Elementary leads the way in Coweta County as the highest-rated school with an overall CCRPI score of 96.3!!! If you were to base last year's criteria from 2016, our 96.3 rating for 2017 places Brooks in the top 30 elementary schools in the State of Georgia (see AJC.com 2016 scores here ), which puts us in the 97.5 %ile in the state. It will be interesting to see how we place this year for 2017! CCRPI is critical because it compares our schools not just to the county's, but to the entire state of Georgia. As the GADOE tallies the rankings for 2017, I will be sure to post where we land (see link)


When Dr. Barker asks me, "what are you doing differently from other schools--what sets you apart?" my answer has several layers:

1) as the school's instructional leader, my responsibility lies in growth: growth in myself, my teachers and our students. We constantly examine our impact on learning and adjust our teaching and methodology as needed. We research, we take classes, and we immerse ourselves in job-embedded professional learning.

2) our teachers, and our students, utilize data like scientists! Through continual examination, we have instilled a growth mindset throughout the school. Everyone has a learning goal -- students are avid volunteers in their own learning, and chart their own progress. We earned all 40 points possible in the area of "Progress" for CCRPI.


3) we have MANY collegial conversations about how to best serve the unique and individual needs of all students. We don't just collect data, we use it to build and adjust instruction on a weekly basis. We also continue to research, to learn, and to apply new skills and new knowledge so that our children will have the best education we have to offer! This is our driving force!


4) we strive to instill a growth mindset in children from Pre-K to 5th grade. This is not only academic, but we work with our children on leadership skills and serving others. Through a shared school-home partnership, we are excited about the future of our children!


We also are examining our areas of growth this year. A major contributor is student attendance (or lack of). Because of the many absences of students (many of whom take vacations during the school year), it has impacted our school climate score from 4 stars to 3 stars. This is an area that we are working diligently on and providing incentives for students and families to come to school. While sickness cannot be helped, other things we feel, can be addressed in a positive way.


Again, parents and Brooks community: as a school, I can tell you that we are both elated and excited for our score as we feel that we are moving forward in the right direction in the areas of Achievement and Progress. Continuing to focus on the "Whole Child", too, is critical. This means that we understand that strong foundation in the early grades is critical to preparing our babies for future success. By continuing to personalize learning and expand educational opportunities here at Brooks through a focused parent-teacher partnership, there is nothing that we cannot do! Together....We.Are.ONE!


All my heart,

Mrs. Harrison

CLASSROOM HIGHLIGHTS - HANDS -ON LEARNING: THE BROOKS WAY!

Focusing on the "whole child" is important and endemic in our school culture. We cannot achieve high academic success without providing emotional and social support as well. Here are a few pics which highlight this belief:

Counselor's Corner

During the month of October we celebrated Red Ribbon Week. During RRW students in grades K- 2 participated in a guidance lesson to teach the importance of making lifelong healthy choices. In November, students in grades 3-5 will participate in a lesson to increase awareness of the four different types of conflict that they may encounter when interacting with peers throughout the school year. They received instruction on how to distinguish if they are experiencing a disagreement, a rude moment, a mean moment, or bullying. They were introduced to 13 problem solving strategies that they may use to resolve many types of conflicts including seeking assistance from an adult immediately if they should need assistance.

JR BETA NEWS


We are excited to welcome 53 new 5th graders into the Brooks Elementary School Jr. Beta Club! Our members look forward to completing many service hours this year by participating in our Beta Buddy program and assisting Ms. Mary Beth Muzio with the lost and found items. Congratulations to all our new members! I know that our members are going to accomplish great things this year!


~Penny Jones~



From Nurse Beth:

Influenza { also known as the flu } is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose,throat,and lungs. Flu symptoms can include fever,cough,sore throat,runny or stuffy nose,body aches,headache,chills,feeling tired and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Protect your child by staying away from people who are sick as much as possible to keep from getting sick yourself. If you or your child are sick,avoid others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Also,remember to regularly cover your coughs and sneezes,wash your hands often,avoid touching your eyes,nose and mouth,and clean surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu viruses. These everyday actions can help reduce your chances of getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others. However,a yearly flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu illness. Keep your child home from school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. The fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine. A fever is defined as 100 degrees F or higher.

Cash and Cans 2017!

Let's can hunger together through these activities:

Friday: November 3rd, Pajama Day: Bring in $3 or 9 cans to wear your pj's

Wednesday: November 8th: HAT DAY: Bring in $1 or 3 cans to wear a hat

Friday, Nov 17th: SLIME - A - TEACHER DAY! If we raise at least 6,000 cans, a teacher gets slimed! More teachers will be added for every 1,000 cans raised. Our goal is...10,000 CANS!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

*Nov 9th: COFFEE and CONVERSATION for all interested parents w/ Mrs. Harrison @ 8:15. Topic: CCRPI

*Nov 10th: Veteran's Day program @ Brooks - 3rd gr presenting with Dr. Bone

*Nov 11th: Saturday-1:45 Coweta Christmas-Bronco Chorale at Coweta Fairgrounds

*Nov 13th: Picture Retakes

*Nov 16th: Native American Day - 3rd gr

*Nov 16th - SkyZone Spirit Night for Brooks!

*Nov 29th: Popcorn & Pickles

*Dec. 5th: Newk's Spirit Night

*Dec 6th: School Council meeting @ 8:15

*Dec. 15th: K'garten - 2nd grade performance @ the Nixon Centre

*Dec. 18th: PTSO Teacher Luncheon and Relay for Life Read-a-Thon

*Dec. 19th: Students' Last Day before Christmas Holidays/ Polar Express Day

*Jan 2nd & 3rd: Teacher Workdays

*Jan 4th: Students return to school

*Feb 6th: Newk's Spirit Night

*Feb 8th: Specials' Night

*Feb 19th-23rd: WINTER BREAK

*Feb 28th: Popcorn & Pickles

*March 9th: Teacher Workday

*March 23rd: Spring Fling Dance

*April 2nd-6th: SPRING BREAK

*April 10th: Brooks presenting to the BOE

*April 11 - MILESTONES testing begins for all 3rd, 4th and 5th grades