Happy Holidays

Wishing everyone a restful and enjoyable break

The Viking Newsletter - Hinesburg Community School

December 18, 2014

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'Tis the Season to be Proud

Our favorite part of the holiday season at HCS is the tremendous giving spirit that our entire community shows to ensure everyone in Hinesburg has a wonderful holiday season. With the amazing coordinating efforts of our school social worker, the Hinesburg Community (churches, local businesses, individual donors) and our very own gracious faculty and staff, we were able to provide 32 families with gifts this holiday season (total of 90 children). In addition to the gifts, there was also a coordinated effort here at HCS to make sure families had enough food for the extended break. In this regard, 7 families were provided Holiday Snack Boxes while 13 families were provided Holiday Meal Boxes. In total 40 generous donors made this holiday season a little merrier and bright for so many of our HCS students and families. We couldn't feel better about being part of this school and community.

Keeping the feelings of gratitude going, we would like to personally thank PiE and specifically Maureen Blanck for the creation of the HCS student directory. For the first time in many years, HCS families now have access to their child's friends. This wouldn't have been possible without a tremendous amount of work from Maureen and our PiE group. Thank you for making this dream into a reality.

Wishing everyone a safe and merry break!

Happy Holidays!
Jeff and Allegra

School Vacation: December 22nd - January 2nd. First day of school after vacation is January 5th.

New K-4 Report Card

Article #2 of 3


What are the benefits of the new K-4 report card for students and parents? This article is the second in a three part series about improvements and changes in the new K-4 report card. Each of the three newsletter articles will describe new aspects of the K-4 reporting system. In a previous newsletter, the first article explained a change in the times you will receive the report card and the chart below was enclosed.


Dates for the K-4 Reporting Periods:


Fall Parent Conferences: Based on teacher schedule - Around October 17th

January Report Cards: 1st report card sent home on January 23rd

Spring Parent Conferences: Based on teacher schedule - Around May 23rd

June Report Cards: 2nd report card sent home on the last day of school, June 12th


This article focuses on standards, grading and new, detailed guides teachers will use to accurately report your child’s progress.


One significant change in reporting student progress is the use of the Common Core State Standards, standards required by the state of Vermont. These are the basis of our CSSU curriculum and are the standards you will see on the new report card. K-4 teachers will grade students on each standard. Lists of the expectations for each standard, at each grade level, have been developed. They describe what students need to know and be able to do for each Common Core Standard on the report card. The lists (also called Learning Targets) are a teacher’s guide to grading, and are new to our reporting practice. They describe what each number grade (1, 2, 3 or 4) means so that every K-4 teacher throughout CSSU will grade students using the same criteria. This level of detail and understanding among teachers provides consistency in reporting student progress to parents. Each level of proficiency or number grade (1-4) will therefore, provide parents with a more specific assessment of their child’s development on the Common Core State Standards. What one teacher, at one school, determines is a score of 3 will be based on the same standards and grading criteria used by colleagues across CSSU K-4 classrooms.


Below, please find a description of grading improvements on the new report card.

1. Students will be graded on grade specific Common Core State Standards in Literacy and Math. Every K-4 teacher will be assessing students using the same standards.

2. Student progress will be reported using a 1-4 grading system for each standard on the report card. A reference for parents at the top of the report card will define each number grade. The grading scale is also described below in more detail.

3. Teachers will use a guide called Learning Targets to determine a student’s grade (number score) on each standard. Learning Targets provide scoring consistency from teacher to teacher and school to school.

4. Student performance will be reported based on how a student is doing at the time of reporting.

5. Work Habits (transferrable lifelong learning habits) and Citizenship Skills are also critical aspects of student development and growing competence. Since these are such important skills, the new report card will provide a score for each of these transferable skills separate from scores for academic progress.


Grading Scale also called Proficiency Scale


4 = Demonstrating initiative and independence for this time of year.

This means a student is proficient and also applies concepts and skills to new contexts, or uses these skills and concepts to solve new problems in new settings. The student demonstrates flexibility in thinking. Application is the key distinction between a 3 and 4.


3 = Meeting expectations for this time of year. This means a student is proficient with this standard with little or no help needed.


2 = Nearly meeting expectations for this time of year. This means a student is making gains toward the expectations with some help provided. This score is given when a student is almost meeting expectations with support, according to the Learning Targets.


1 = Working toward expectations with additional support for this time of year. This is an indication that a student requires additional help in order to work toward the learning expectations.


NA = Not Assessed at this time of year (NA)


Please look for one more article in this newsletter that will provide you with a summary of the improvements to the K-4 report card prior to receiving it on January 23rd.


Molly McClaskey

CSSU Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

National Geographic Society GeoBee

Students in grades 4-8 who would are interested in participating the National Geographic Society GeoBee are encouraged to take a look a the GeoBee Study Corner.


http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/study-corner/

The HCS school level competition will take place at the end of January.

Celebrate the Arts Night at CVU Thursday, January 8th

Mark your calendars for the 7th annual Celebrate the Arts Night at CVU. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Unified Arts offerings at CVU (visual art, music, fashion design, family and consumer science, technology education and theater arts).


Join us for an evening filled with musical and theatrical performances, demonstrations and visual art on display. This event is free and open to the public.


All Evening Over 450 pieces of art work, representing every student currently enrolled in a visual art, fashion design, and technical education class (ist floor hallways)


6:30pm Tech Ed Demonstrations (Tech Ed Rooms)


7:00pm Musical Performance by Men’s Chorus (Science Wing)


7:30pm Madrigal Singers, Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band, and a sample of performance works from Acting and Public Speaking classes (CVU Theatre)



For more information, contact Abbie Bowker: abowker@cvuhs.org.

Individual Tutoring with a Teen * TeenOpps * After School Mondays -Thursdays

Could your child benefit from some one-on-one tutoring with a mature, accomplished teen? If so, then the TeenOpps Teen Tutoring program might be what you are looking for! Tutoring is offered in homework support, math skills strengthening, reading support, instrumental music practice and more! If needed, participants can receive Part 2 After School care free on tutoring days. Please visit our website at http://www.teenopps.org/ to learn more about our program and to register. All proceeds benefit TeenOpps, Inc., a local 501C3 that works with teens to manage an online opportunity board for teens.


​Cost: $180/6 weeks (discounts available) Grade: K-8 (including Algebra 1 coursework)