Pike Road Schools

Think. Innovate. Create. The Pike Road Way 11.22.15

The Mission of Pike Road Schools

To create a culture of intellectual curiosity where all students have ownership of their learning and are inspired to think, innovate and create.

Thank you to the 1,158 people who read our PRS Newsletter last week!

Happy Thanksgiving!

No School on November 23-27

Kindergarten Community Field Trip to Lanark

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Publishing Party in Mrs. McDevitt and Miss Braswell's Families

Making Scarecrows in Mrs. Shelton's Family

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Mrs. Steindorff's Family Celebrated Meeting their Goal of 1,000 Dojo Points by Having a Picnic

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Investigations in Community Four

Learners in Community Four carried out investigations that explain transference of energy from one form to another through simple and parallel circuits created with squishy circuits and littleBits electronic kits.

Woodland United Methodist Church Food Pantry Visits with Community 4

Community Four welcomed guest speakers on Monday from Pike Road Woodland United Methodist Church Food Panty. They discovered the importance role of the Pantry and how it helps to educate others about healthy eating options as well as helps them to eat well.

Community Four decided that they will hold a Food Drive in the month of January as often supplies are low following Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Community Five Picnic

When learning the parts of a five paragraph essay, Community 5 used the "Hamburger Method" -- each part of the hamburger represents a part of the essay. To culminate their learning, they had a hamburger picnic! Thank you to the many parents who made this fun event possible!

Community Six Living in Hoovervilles

As part of their study of the Depression during the early 1930s, Community 6 experienced living in a shantytown.
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Below is the link to the Montgomery Advertiser “Classroom Of The Week” feature on Mrs. Granfeldt from Community 5.


Community 7/8

Planning Civilizations

Lead Learners Serving on a Panel at PTSA Meeting

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Q&A from PTSA Lead Learner Panel

PTSA November 19 Teacher Panel Questions

Can you provide additional information about the modular classrooms coming in January?

  • We will have 5 portables, which will consist of 10 classrooms and 5 restrooms (one restroom in the middle of each portable).

  • We were hoping to have them at Christmas; however, we will not have them until mid-January (hope to move on the three day weekend of January 16-18).

What grades will be in the modular classrooms?

  • We are still working on this. Our goal is to have the least disruption on learning, while optimizing space for all communities. Keep in mind we have three transition times (moving into the modulars in January 2016, adding 9th grade and additional lead learners for August 2016, and moving middle school to Pike Road Middle School during Christmas 2016).

Will learners still have access to the main building?

  • Yes, students will still access the cafeteria, gymnasium, and other shared spaces.

  • They will most likely enter through the west end door. We are exploring ways to make this secure.

How do we teach spelling?

  • We currently teach spelling, we just do it in context of our learner’s writing.

  • The end goal is for our learners to be competent writers and spelling is part of this process.

  • We conference with our learners as they are writing.

  • Some learners have dictionaries, lists, and/or use the back of the previous page in their journal to list words specific to them.

  • Students in the upper communities are being taught to use Spell Check and other electronic resources as part of the editing process.

  • We are also talking with our learners about how we need to edit and spell correctly when writing for an external or public audience. Writing for an authentic audience raises the standard for the quality of spelling.

Will cursive still be taught in the second and third grade?

  • We will introduce cursive writing in the second half of third grade. In second grade, we expose advanced learners who are ready for this.

  • We want our students to know the difference between a printed name and a signature. We also want them to be able to write their signature, which is cursive writing.

  • We will expose our learners to how to read cursive as some historical documents are written in cursive.

  • Our emphasis is more on exposure.

  • As learners mature, they will ultimately develop their own style of writing.

  • We also know that many writers will have a growing dependence on using electronic means, which reduces the dependence on all types of handwriting.

How do parents know how our student is improving and mastering skills previously not mastered, especially in areas that are indicated as “year-long” standards? Will parents be able to know when our child is falling behind?

  • Yes, we reassess as needed throughout the year.

  • We personalize to each learner as to where he/she is and what he/she needs to work on.

  • Lead Learners use the comment section of FreshGrade to make comments about reassessing students on various skills/concepts.

  • When possible, we unpack larger standards into smaller skills that we are able to assess daily or over the course of a couple of days.

How can parents promote self-directed learning at home?

  • Model your own curiosity to your children, “I wonder why . . .” and share your love of learning with them.

  • Read to your children and discuss books with them.

  • We encourage learners to reflect on their learning and parents can do this too as you look at their FreshGrade with them and discuss their progress with them. (Don’t do this as a punitive conversation, but as a growing and supportive conversation about their learning.)

  • We have systems in place to help learners identify the standards they have yet to master; this gives learners a specific plan to follow at school and at home.

How are assessments designed to promote learning rather than simple measurement?

  • We focus on actual needs of individual students.

  • Assessments are ongoing measurements of where your learners are at that current moment.

  • Assessment is an ongoing process that drives teaching and learning.

How can communication between lead learners and parents be strengthened? Is it possible to have the child’s work sent home so that the parents can see with what their child struggles?

  • In Communities K through 2, samples are sent home periodically for review through newsletters and Freshgrade.

  • Projects are sometimes difficult to send home. However, lead learners are providing pictures of project processes, so that parents can see the learning within the project (It is challenging to send a 20 foot whale home, but there was writing, reading, math, and research that went into the project that in some cases can be sent home.)

  • The upper communities push all assignments out on Edmodo. Using the parent login, parents can see all assignments and student achievement there.

  • We communicate standards/ objectives and activities through the newsletters.

  • By looking at Edmodo as well as FreshGrade parents can see objectives and understandings. This will allow parents to work on specific objectives as opposed to broad standards with learners.

  • Some communities use ClassDojo to communicate with parents regarding learner behavior.

  • The things they are learning are not often on a worksheet. The type of work we are doing is not something that can always be “packaged” to be sent home.

How do we engage all students?

  • We continue having conferences with learners and challenge them to move to a different level. We move our learners based on their individuals needs. Learning is very fluid and thus learners have opportunities to move at the pace they are emotionally and academically capable of moving.

  • In the upper communities, learners must actually be able to prove that they truly know or can apply the material, as the standard requires. Just because a learner has previously covered the material does not necessarily mean that the learner has mastered it.

  • If a student feels that they have already mastered the material, they need to discuss this with the teacher. We want our students to be active participants in their own learning. They can show their mastery in a variety of ways. For example, they might be able to have a conversation with the teacher or take a short quiz.

  • Once the student has proven they have truly mastered the material, then the lead learner can either work with the learner to design a special project, move on to another standard, or work on a similar standard at a higher grade level.

When will the state required tests be administered? How will the lead learners prepare the learners for testing?

  • PRS will administer state required tests

  • The testing window is from April 4 to May 13.

  • All C3 through C8 learners will take state mandated ACT/ASPIRE reading and math.

  • C5 and C7 will take science.

  • All testing will be computer based.

  • We use sites such as Edmodo snapshots and other such assessment tools to prepare learners for the format of the test.

Are there any plans to teach typing to learners?

  • There are several websites that help students learn keyboarding/typing.

  • Students can practice this at school; however, we have shown students these and they can also work on these websites at home.

  • BBC Bitesize - Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr)

Community 7/8 Preparing for the Dance

Fun with Friends at Communities Four through Six Dance

Community 7/8 Looking Good at the Black and White Ball

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Alabama Physical Fitness Assessment

Dear Patriot Parent/Guardian:

Beginning November 30th and ending December 11th, the PRS Physical Education Department will be administering the state-required Alabama Physical Fitness Assessment (APFA) to students in Communities 2-8. This assessment includes concepts that encourage achievement of personal physical fitness as well as an appreciation for wellness both in and outside the school setting. Each student will be tested according to the following assessment components and test items:

Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance – One-Mile Run or Walk Muscular Strength/Endurance – 90-Degree Push-Up Abdominal Strength/Endurance – Partial Curl-Up

Flexibility – V Sit-and-Reach

Assessment is an integral part of the physical education curriculum; therefore, we are committed to ensuring all students participate in this evaluation process. We assure you that all test items, information, and student data are treated confidentially and sensitively. Scores are not posted nor shared with anyone other than the individual student and parents or guardians. As with any test, students should be prepared. To help your child do his or her best on the assessment, please be certain to follow these recommendations for test day:

Have students wear proper clothing and footwear to allow for ease of movement. Allow students to get plenty of rest the night before the test.

Make sure students attend school during all testing days.

If your child has a medical condition in need of attention, please send medical documentation to me by November 30th in order for necessary accommodations to be made. We will be available prior to testing to answer questions or to explain any assessment components. Thank you for your continued support.


Patriot Physical Education Department

Attendance Calls

After Thanksgiving, we will begin using SchoolCast to communicate learner absences. If a learner is absent, a robocall will be made around 10:00 am that day, alerting you of the absence. There is no need to respond to the call. If you feel the absence is reported to you in error, please call the school office.

School Attendance

Great things are happening at Pike Road School, and attendance matters! We want your learner to have every opportunity to plug in and get the most out of this unique academic experience. Together, we can set the expectation for great attendance at PRS.

Here’s what you need to know about attendance:

A learner must be present at school for more that 50% of the school day (8:00am - 3:00pm) to be considered present. Students checking out before 11:30 am and not returning to school will be counted absent for the day.

Written explanation for a learner’s absence must be submitted within three days of a learner’s return to school. These may be turned in to the office or the homeroom lead learner.

Excuses must be dated, reason for absence given, and signed by the parent, guardian, or physician.

The following are considered permissible reasons to have an absence excused: student illness or doctor visit, death in the immediate family, inclement weather that makes it dangerous for a learner to attend school, observation of a traditional religious holiday verified by the learner’s minister or religious leader.

Parents who have opportunities to travel with their children may request permission in advance for those absences to be excused. Copies of this permission form are available in the school office, or under the Parent Portal in Forms on the school website.

PRS accepts parent notes for a maximum of 10 days of excused absences per school year.

After two unexcused absences, a letter will be sent to the learner’s family.

After four unexcused absences, a parent conference will be scheduled.

The bottom line - We don’t want our learners to miss what’s going on! Great things are happening at PRS, and all of our learners are valuable in this community.

Please Contribute to Items on Donors Choose

No Way Jose Grill and Cantina Spirit Night for PRS

Monday, Nov. 30th, 5:30-8:30pm

9593 Vaughn Road

Pike Road, AL

Please come and support PRS. 10% of sales that night will help fund Pursue Our Passions (POP) at PRS.

PTSA Board Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 8am

500 Avenue of Learning

Pike Road, AL

December 3 - Patriots vs Marbury (at Pike Road Gymnasium) - Girls at 5:00 and Boys at 6:15

December 4 - Patriots vs Tallassee (at Pike Road Gymnasium) - Girls at 5:00 and Boys at 6:15

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PRS Polar Express

Wanted: All PRS Families

What: A night of fun with Santa, games, food and fellowship.

Sponsored by the PRS PTSA

When: December 7th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Where: PRS Cafeteria

Cost: FREE for PRS Families

Chick-Fil-A and Jim N' Nicks sandwiches will be available for separate purchase. See flyer that will be coming with with your learner to make your reservation and purchase your ticket.

Board of Education Meeting

Monday, Dec. 7th, 6pm

500 Avenue of Learning

Pike Road, AL

Christmas Band Concert

Thursday, Dec. 10th, 7pm

500 Avenue of Learning

Pike Road, AL

2015 National PTA Reflections Video: Let Your Imagination Fly!

Information about PTSA Reflections Art Competition

PTSA is sponsoring their first annual PTA Reflections Art Competition. This is a national art competition with various art categories for all ages. There are six categories: dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, and visual arts. PRS learners who want to participate will submit their art work to the front office on Monday, December 7th. All art work will need to follow the guidelines for the selected art category as well as include an attached student entry form to the piece of art. See links below for Guidelines and Student Entry Forms. PTSA will also be sending flyers home with K-4 learners. This is a great way for all K-8 PRS learners to show their creative side and LET THEIR IMAGINATIONS FLY.




Students last day before Christmas/New Year Holiday will be Friday, December 18.

Students will return to school on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.
Email Addresses for Lead Learners

Select your child's lead learner to send an email.

Community Websites

Link to each Community's Website: http://www.pikeroadschools.org/?DivisionID=20934

Target Red Cards Help PRS

Target has added Pike Road Schools to their red card program. You will need our ID#, which is 154207 for your red card. If you already have a red card, you can go to the website target.com/tcoe and add Pike Road Schools so when you use your card, PRS will benefit. Target will issue PRS a check every February. We will use these funds to enhance teaching and learning.

December Breakfast and Lunch Menus

Click here for Menus

PTSA Membership

Lost & Found

Lost and Found items are located in the Gym. If your child has misplaced a jacket, sweater, lunch box, umbrella or water bottle, please have them speak with their Lead Learner so they can come to the gym to reclaim this item. Younger learners will be brought to the gym. Parents are encouraged to check out Lost and Found periodically to look for items.

Unclaimed items will be donated at the end of each month.