The Paw Power Press

News and Highlights from Butler Elementary School

Information about 2013-2014 Class Placement

The purpose of this article is to help you understand the process we will be using at Butler Elementary School for deciding your child’s placement for the next school year. Obviously, this is an important and challenging task. Our professional staff considers many factors and gathers as much information as possible on each child so that we can create well-balanced and productive learning groups in each classroom. My job, as principal of the school, is to then match those balanced groupings with a specific teacher. We will work hard to ensure that each child is in a class that has an appropriate balance of students. We will assess each child using the data collected from the present classroom teacher(s) and the input of the Student Support Counselors, Reading Specialists, Special Education Teachers, School Psychologist, and the Principal. We appreciate the trust you place in our professional judgment, and we will work hard to provide the most appropriate class placements possible.

The placement process works on three levels:

· Parent Involvement

· Professional Staff Involvement

· Principal Involvement

The information in the next section of the newsletter is designed to explain each stage of the process in more detail. Many parents have already been involved as a result of ongoing parent-teacher conferences and communication throughout the school year. In fact, many parents do not feel the need to fill out the Parent Input Form because their child’s teacher has all the information needed. Please be aware that we cannot accept any requests from parents for a specific teacher or requests that specific students be placed with your child.

We welcome your input and value your information about your child. If you have information you would like to share about your child, please click here for a copy of the Parent Input Form. If you choose to fill it out, please return it to your child’s teacher or the Principal’s office by Friday, May 10, 2013.

As always, thank you for your support and cooperation.

MOVE-UP DAY Returns for a Second Year

Butler will continue with Move-Up Day this year. Placement letters and class lists will not be mailed over the summer. Instead, students and parents will find out their 2013-2014 teacher assignment on June 17th, Move-Up Day. On that day, students will visit with their new teacher, get to know their classmates, and be given a teacher assignment notice and supply list that they will deliver to their parents when they get home. To protect student confidentiality, class lists will no longer be distributed. The PTO will publish a student directory in the fall and will give parents a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them or their children.

One of the drawbacks to Move-Up Day is that, in rare instances, teacher placements could change over the summer. If there are summer retirements or resignations for instance, or if a new section is added over the summer, class placements might need to be reconfigured. If this were to happen, you will be contacted by the Butler office.

An Overview of the Placement Process

Parent Involvement

The Parent Input Form is designed to gather parent input about your child. You are not required to fill out this form, but are encouraged to do so if you have any information you would like to share. In light of the complexity of the class placement process for over 820 students, requests that specify a particular teacher, rather than the characteristics of an optimal learning environment, will not be honored. If you choose to fill out the form, please return it to Butler by May 10th, 2013. Click here for a copy.

Professional Staff Involvement

The professional staff is very involved in placement decisions for our students. Classroom teachers are asked to summarize the academic and social growth of the students in their classes in preparation for placement meetings. The entire grade-level team meets with the Student Support Counselors, Reading Specialists, School Psychologist, and Principal to discuss each individual child’s progress. The whole team then begins the delicate process of creating combinations of children to form a balanced classroom grouping. The classes are designed to be heterogeneous with a wide range of abilities academically, socially, and emotionally. We carefully examine the balance of needs and personalities within each homeroom group. The grade-level team reviews each child’s needs in relationship to the classroom group context we have created. Once we all believe the classroom grouping is a good one, the professional staff has completed its part of the process.

Principal Involvement

Following the completion of the parental and professional staff phases, the principal reviews the class groupings for balance from a school-wide perspective. It is the responsibility of the school principal to match the class with a specific teacher. Notification letters from each teacher will be sent home with students on June 17th, Move-Up Day.

Third Grade Motions Assessment

District Art Show

Save the date! The opening night of the District Art Show 2013 is on May 17th from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Mill Creek Elementary. Every year, many of our Butler students are featured. Why not gather your family and check out the incredible talents of students across the district?

Central Bucks School District Board Briefs: April 9, 2013

1. Heard the Lenape Jazz Ensemble performance before the school board meeting and via video, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mrs. Egan’s 4th grade Warwick class.

2. Heard the Academic Spotlight about Google Science Fair which is a new way for students to showcase their work for a global audience. Dr. George Mehler presented the program and showcased some student work.

3. Heard the Superintendent’s Report, Communications, Curriculum, Finance, Operations, IU Board, and MBIT Committee Reports. Also, an After School World Language Program report from Mr. Brian Caughie and Ms. Stacy Gray.

4. Approved School Board Minutes – March 12 and 19, 2013.

5. Approved the 403(b) and 457(b) Investment Program, construction contracts for Unami renovations, and the MBIT 2013-2014 General Fund Budget.

6. Tabled School Board Policy 902-1 – Cable Television so that proposed policy can be posted on the CBSD website.