Larson Newsletter

Eagle News You Can Use --- June 1, 2020

Fresh New Format

Hello Larson Families;

I am excited share a fresh format of our newlsetter through Smore! This stye of reporting will provide our families and learning community with a contemporary look at what is happening on a bi-weekly basis at Larson Elementary.

Beckie Murphy, Principal

Larson Elementary

Tribute to Mike Jakiemiec, Larson Eagle News Editor for 10 years

Mike Jackimiec has been the editor/publisher of the Larson Eagle News for the past 10 years. Mike has been volunteering his time and talents to help our team report Larson happenings every other week during the school year. Mike's youngest daughter is moving on to Teeland next year and he let us know that at the end of the year, he would be retiring from this voluntary position. On behalf of the entire staff at Larson, we wanted to be sure to tell Mike THANK YOU for all your support over the past decade. You and your family will be missed at Larson.

Larson Library and Learning Center (LLC)

Our STEAM teacher, Emily Callway has moved back in the classroom and will be teaching 4th grade next year. With her move back to the classroom; I siezed the opportunity to develop a program that has been a vision/passion of mine for many years.

Larson will have a new Library and Learning Center (LLC).

Chris Stegall has joined our Larson crew. In in addition to being a certfied librarian, Mrs. Stegall will also be teaching Computer and Science Technology. The goal of our LLC is for the physical library to become the hub of the school for digital and print resources. In addtion to teaching tradtional library skills, and checking out books; Mrs. Stegall will be teaching computer etiquette, digital citizenship, computer science, robotics units, some STEAM units & much more.

Next Fall

As we go through the summer, any new updates and practices surrounding the pandemic will be sent via newsletter or recorded message. We will also update our webiste and Facebook page as needed. I am anticipating more information will come out the middle of July.

Registration has been pushed back to June 29. At the time of registration you will be asked questions about your schooling preferences. I hope your preference is still Larson!

This summer all schools are working through planning and preparation of multliple scenarios. Please note that the number one priority at Larson is student health & safety. We will be putting as many precautions in place to have students come to school and be as safe as possible. If you have concerns about your child returning to school, please reach out to me. As it gets closer to school opening I will have options outlined for you.

Listed below are a few examples that we are anticipating putting into practice upon our return in the fall:

Handwashing has always been a priority, but it will be an incorporated, expected and monitoried practice by all staff and students.

Eating in the Classrooms: All students will be eating in their classrooms next year. Previously, we had groups take turns eating in the gym, but we will now have all students eating where they can sit at their own space, have access to a sink for handwashing and clean up. In addtion; staff can closely monitor students and reinforce good hygiene and "no sharing of food" rules.


We are getting a new door bell!

The MSBSD has instituted a new process of locking building front doors during the day for additional safety of students and staff. The program has been very successful with many schools across the district and Larson is on the list for implementation next fall. A doorbell and a video camera has been installed on the entry doors of our building and office staff will be going through training in early August.

There will be posted signs letting you know when the building will be locked and how you access through the front doors.

Doors will be open during arrival and dismissal times.

The process is quite a simple: you walk up and ring the bell, the secretary answers, verfifies why you are at school, and opens the door for you to enter.

However, the biggest change for our school will be that when school starts again students can not be dropped off prior to 8:55 AM. Due to COVID-19 mandates and anticipated continued social distancing practices we already know that we can NOT have students gathering in large groups in the hall before the bell.

As you are preparing for school's opening in the fall: please make arrangments for your child to ride the bus or be dropped off at school at 8:55 in time for the 9:00 morning bell.

I know this is a new procedure, which is why I wanted to let you know as far in advance as possible so you can make necessary arrangments.

Further details and reminders will be sent again before school starts in August.

New Grading System Next Year

Next fall we are transitioning all students--in all grades-- to the Standards Aligned Reporting System that is often referred to as the SARC. This means all students will receive numbers instead of letters in grade levels 3-5. Currently our students in Kindergarten through Second Grade (as well as PE and Music classes) receive numbers for grading.

The discussion to align our grading system K-5 has been in the works for the past two years; but the switch to Remote learning during our last quarter of school provided our grade level teams an opportunity to prioritize and collaborate on grading practices/policies; which led to my decision to transition to this new direction for Fall of 2020.

1) Rationale:

Using one grading system school wide will create consistency and alignment between grade levels and specifically identify content standards taught at each level.

Standard Aligned Reporting is based on the mastery of specific standards and will provide more opportunities for student who have mastered concepts to advance their learning.

The state required testing (PEAKS) uses Standards Aligned reporting and we want to align our teaching and student learning for a more accurate comparison of scores.

2) How the process will be communicated to students:

Academic goals, targeted standards and how students earn grades will be addressed by each teacher and posted for students both in class and on Google Classroom.

Students will be instructed on how to track their own learning progress and achievement, set personal goals and compare their goals to their actual achievement.

Students will be trained on the teacher provided rubric that explains what students need to master and how their grades will be established.

3) How the process will be further communicated to parents:

We are partners in your child’s education. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and reach out if you need further information. Larson staff is available for you. This document will be posted on our school website along with other grading resources.

Teachers will be providing information regularly regarding grading: via their newsletters, websites & other classroom communications.

In addition, at Parent Teacher Conferences, parents will still be provided with detailed data indicating how each student earned their grade in each content area.

Our main goal with grading is to provide communication regarding student achievement that is: specific, accurate, and consistent. I know this is a change for our upper elementary, but I am hoping that the transition will be smooth due to the excellent work our primary elementary teachers have done in explaining, preparing and communicating about the SARC.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like more information.

Have a Great Summer!

On behalf of all of our Larson staff; we wish you a fun, safe and sunshine filled summer!