Clay Academy Newsletter

October 2019

Mrs. Cook's Message

It is good to have all of our staff and students back again. I have wanted to provide parents with information from speakers for several years, but know how difficult it is to come to Clay in the evening. I have also wanted to provide staff with more professional development, but this is also difficult due to time constraints. So I have decided to use TED Talks during our Late Starts for staff and will provide you with the same.

I think many times parents feel alone when dealing with a child or teenager who has social/emotional difficulties and disabilities that impact the family. With this in mind, I want to provide you with short videos that may be useful. If you have difficulty accessing this video, please let me know and I can email it to you. I have found them to be very interesting and useful. Have a great October.

Schedule of Events

  • 10/9/19 - Noon Dismissal for students - Parent/Teacher Conferences 5 -9 pm

  • 10/10/19 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences 9 - 9 pm

  • 10/14/19 - No School - Columbus Day

  • 10/22/19 - Noon Dismissal for students - PM SIP for staff

  • 10/23/19- Picture Retake Day


Thank you for all of your support to start the school year off.

Stay on the lookout for information coming home about these upcoming events!

Upcoming Dates:

  • 9/1-11/8 1st Trimester Box Tops
  • 10/2-10/16 Club’s Choice Catalog Fundraiser
  • 10/9 Panera Bread Day

Nurse's Office

  1. Please have your student bring all physicals, dental forms, and immunization records to the nurse ASAP.

  2. Please notify the nurse of any medication changes or new diagnosis for your student. This information is important in case of an emergency.

  3. Per district policy students can not transport medication to school. All medications must be brought in by a parent or guardian.

Physical Education

It has been great having the kids back for the start of the year. We have been covering the basics with our K-3 students working on body control, motor movements, and using manipulatives around other people. Our students 4-12 have been brushing up on their soccer skills and are doing quite well picking up where they left off last year. Going into October the indoor GaGa Ball pit will be coming to Clay again and students K-12 will be focusing on different skills, strategies, and game formats before we need to send it on to its next school.


Mr. Roloff: It’s been wonderful being back at Clay and the art classes have been going great. I have seen a lot of creativity and imagination through the students art. High school has been drawing with different materials and finishing up watercolor landscape paintings. The art history class has been studying ancient art and made Easter Island sculptures. Elementary and Middle school have been using a variety of materials such as scratchboards, paints, colored pencils and will be starting ceramic projects.

Counseling Corner

Tips for Parents on Parent-Teacher Conferences from the National Educational Association (NEA):

- Show up, please! “We know parents are busy, but it is important to carve out time to invest in your child’s education and ensure success at school,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “To get the most out of parent-teacher conferences, parents need to take an active role in their child’s education year-round and come prepared Eto discuss how their child can reach their full potential.”

- Get Ready! Do your homework prior to parent-teacher conferences. Prepare by writing notes to yourself concerning:

  • Any questions about the school’s programs or policies.

  • Things you can share with the teacher about your child and his life at home.

  • Questions about your child’s progress.

- Ask Important Questions! Don’t be afraid to engage in a frank conversation with your child’s teacher. Your goal is to develop an action plan for your child’s success at school. Good questions to ask the teacher include:

  • What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How does my child get along with classmates?
  • Is my child working up to his/her ability? Where could he/she use improvement?
  • What can we do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom?

- Initiate the Action Plan. Start immediately on the action plan you and the case manager/team put together. Discuss the plan with your child and track his/her progress. Stay in touch with your child’s case manager and social worker/counselor throughout the year to keep the communication lines open.

“Parents are the best resource for a child to make the grade,” said Van Roekel. “When teachers and parents work together, we can help a child have a successful school year.”

Elementary Team

The Elementary Squad is planning for a wonderful October. Grades 3-5 will attend a ballet performance at the Woodstock Opera House on the 15th. On the 16th, Miss Krzeski’s class will visit the firehouse and learn about fire safety. On October 24th, we are planning a fantastic day at the pumpkin patch. Make sure to pack your child a lunch that day!. Finally, we will have our annual Literacy Day on October 31st. On that day, students may dress as their favorite character from literature or their own writing (school appropriate) and bring along the book/story to share with their friends. It should be a fun filled month!

Mrs. Mason’s Elementary Science Corner

It has been an amazing start of the school year! The first trimester, we have focused on structures of life. We started the year by learning about fireflies and their life cycles. Ms. Krezski’s class and Mrs. Stewart’s class are finishing up a unit that compares goldfish and guppies. We are patiently waiting for our guppies to have babies! Mrs. Cantwell’s class is exploring the life cycle of plants. They will be growing microgreens in a sprouter and their own herbs that they will bring home.

Middle School Team

The middle school crew has been off to a great start! All middle school staff are returning for this school year. The biggest change we have had is the moving of classrooms. The middle school team and elementary school team switched classrooms over the summer. Huge shoutout to our Head Custodian Jake Fritz for all his help and hard work! Middle school classrooms are now located along the perimeter of the cafeteria. So far students have done well with this adjustment.

We have completed our beginning of the year testing and are now in the full swing of academics. 5th grade students will continue to use the ReadyGen curriculum for reading and GoMath curriculum for math. 6th and 7th grade students will be using the Collections curriculum for reading and Discovery Math curriculum for Math.

High School Team

The high school is off to a fast start. English classes are currently working on identifying figurative language within the text. They are also reading the book Elie Wiesel's Night and really diving into the nuances of that particular novel. In U.S. History the students are learning about Jamestown and the early settlements of the English Colonies. They will start to discover the intricacies of starting a nation and the difficulties of trying to unite millions of people under one law. In Biology the students have begun to study genetics and heredity. It is one of the most interesting aspects of Biology and one they all seem interested in. In our math classes most students are working at their own pace. There are as many as four different math groups being taught during each class so it can be hectic.