Bulldog News

Spring Edition

Calendar of Events


03/03 - 03/09 Dr. Suess Dress-Up Days

03/06 - 03/10 Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration

03/13 - 03/17 Spring Break - No School

03/22- Spring Picture Day

03/23 - Report Cards go home

03/24 - Coffee with the Counselor 8:30 - Test Taking Skills

03/28 - PTO Meeting - Honor Roll Recognition 6:00 pm


04/07 - Donuts for Dad

04/08 - Breakfast with the Easter Bunny & Easter Egg Hunt

04/11 - ACT Aspire Testing - READING

04/12 - ACT Aspire Testing - MATH

04/13 - ACT Aspire Testing - SCIENCE

04/17 - ACT Aspire Testing - ENGLISH & WRITING

04/20 - 4 1/2 Week Progress Reports go home

04/28 - Weather Day - NO SCHOOL


05/03 - 6th Grade visit to Buckhorn Middle School

05/04 - National Walk at School Day

05/09 - 6th Grade visit to Meridianville Middle School

05/09 - OSR Pre-K Enrollment Drawing

05/12 - Muffins for Mom

05/12 - 3rd Grade Field Trip - Space & Rocket Center

05/16 - Indian Ed Field Trip

05/18 - Pre-K - 6th Grade Music Concert

05/19 - Field Day - K-3rd morning & 4th - 6th afternoon

05/25 - Kindergarten Graduation - 8:30 am

05/25 - Awards Day 9:00 am

05/25 - Last Day of School for Students

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Dress-Up Days

Monday, March 6th - Fox in the Crazy Socks Day - wear a pair of crazy socks

Tuesday, March 7th - The Lorax Mustache Day - wear a mustache

Wednesday, March 8th - Whoville Hair Day - wear your hair crazy day

Thursday, March 9th - The Sleep Book Jammie Day - wear your favorite pj's (must meet dress code)


Students must have a completed registration packet before being considered for admission. The completed packet includes:

  • Registration form
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of Residency
  • Current immunization record reflecting all necessary shots (Blue Card)

Pre-K students must be 4 on or before September 1st

Kindergarten students must be 5 on or before September 1st

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Calling All Parents - Become a PTO Officer

We would love to see more parents involved in PTO. If you are interested in becoming a PTO Officer for the 2017-18 school year please contact:

Kathy Reynolds kreynolds@mcssk12.org

Brooke Young byoung@mcssk12.org

Amanda Reese areese@mcssk12.org.

Plan to be more involved next year.

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March 28th at 6:00

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04/11 - READING

04/12 - MATH

04/13 - SCIENCE


How You Can Help Your Child: Test Taking Tips

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As you know, attendance now counts for our school accreditation. Each school must have an attendance rate of 95%. Please try your best to have your child at school on time every day. The State Department of Education made attendance a component of our accreditation because it is the most critical piece to your child’s education. Teachers can only make a real difference for your child when they are here on time ready to learn. Missed instructional time is difficult to replace, and although work can be made up the instruction missed is not easily recouped. If your child must be absent, please make sure to send a note when they return to school. Notes are accepted for three days after they return to school. Also keep in mind that you are allowed eight personal illness/ parent notes a year. Once those are used the absence will be coded unexcused unless you have a doctor’s note. Please remember family trips and vacations are not considered excused absences.
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DIBELS Assessment

All students in grades K-3 are assessed for reading fluency using the DIBELS assessment. Reading fluency is the power to read quickly and accurately. The more fluent a reader, the more he or she automatically groups and recognizes words. Fluent readers excel at oral reading, which is highlighted by smooth and natural expression. Reading fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Since fluent readers don’t have to concentrate on decoding the actual words, they can focus their attention on what the text actually means. They can make mental connections throughout the text, as well as apply those connections to their personal backgrounds and experiences. Simply, fluent readers recognize the words and comprehend their overall meaning at the same time.

The 3 best things you can do to help improve your child’s fluency are 1. Read to your child regularly. Students learn what a fluent reader sound like by listening to good readers read. 2. Make sure your child reads to you every day. Children should read aloud to a partner every day. They should read text that is easy to read. It is best for the children to select the text that is at the lower end of their reading level, so the text is easy and enjoyable to read. 3. If your child’s teacher assigns fluency homework, please make sure to take the time to listen to them practice and time their cold and hot reads. A “cold read” is the first time a child reads the passage, and a “hot read” reflects how well they can read when they are familiar with the text. Both types of reading are important for students to practice to build fluency. If you have questions about fluency or any other instructional practice, please contact your child’s teacher. Teachers are a wealth of knowledge and are available to help and support you and your child.

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What it means for WGS to be a Title 1 school.

Walnut Grove Elementary School is a Title 1 school, which means that we receive funding from the federal government to help us purchase school supplies and resources. Being a Title 1 school gives our community several benefits, such as:

Parents are encouraged to be a part of the process in giving input for the school year and for how Title 1 funds are spent. Two meetings are held at the beginning of each year; I encourage you to attend one of these meetings to learn more about how to be involved and know more about the direction of the school and to provide input.

Finally, the Alabama Continuous Improvement Plan contains both information about the school as well as our goals for the current school year. This "ACIP" is available online, in the office, and in the school library.

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Parent Access to CANVAS

WGS Parent Directions for Using Canvas LMS

Canvas is an online learning management system that will be used by your child’s teacher this year to:

  1. Post class resources such as homework assignments and notes.

  2. Post newsletters, events, and announcements

  3. Post online assignments, quizzes, and discussions (1st semester - only 4th-6th grade students; 2nd semester - all students)

Parents are encouraged to sign up as observers in their child’s class. Doing so will allow you to receive email or text notifications when assignments and announcements are posted to the course.

To create a parent account in Canvas

  1. Go to https://mcboe.instructure.com (Google Chrome works best)

  2. Click “Parent of a Canvas user? Click Here for an Account”

  1. Complete fields with Your Name, Child’s Username/Password (ask your child’s teacher for this information). Agree to the terms of use and click Start Participating.

  1. You will then enter Canvas. Click on the “Account” link in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Then, click on “Settings.”

  1. Add additional emails and other contact method to include your cell phone for text messages.

To observe more than one Madison County student:

Click Account - Settings - Observing - Add 2nd student’s username and password

To receive text or email notifications:

  1. Under “Ways to Contact” menu, enter an email address and a cell phone number. This will allow your child’s teachers to send you messages directly from Canvas, but it does NOT allow them to see your cell phone number.

  1. Click on “Notifications” link on the left hand of the screen.

  2. Under the “Cell Number” and/or “Email Address” columns, click the “check mark” for each notification you want to receive. Recommended: Due Date, Announcement, Grading, and Conversation Message.

  1. To finish the registration process, check your email. Open the email titled, “Confirm Registration: Canvas”. Click on the included link to finish the registration process.

  2. When you wish to login to Canvas again:

    1. Go to https://mcboe.instructure.com

    2. Enter your email address and password

    3. Once in Canvas, use the “Courses” button to select the course you would like to explore/observe.

If you have any questions, email our WGS Canvas contact at hwhitt@mcssk12.org.

Thanks to Paige Craig of Buckhorn High School for this Canvas Parent Guide.

Other Important Information!

AFTER SCHOOL TUTORING - We are currently offering afterschool tutoring on Monday's and Thursday's from 2:45-3:45. Please make sure that if your child signed up for after school tutoring, they stay and attend.

Volunteers - we are always looking for volunteers to tutor students, to become lunch buddies with a child, or to help teachers with materials. If you would like to help our kids, please contact Brenda Hurd at bhurd@madison.k12.al.us.

Dress Code - Please refer to the Madison County Code of Conduct for Dress Code guidelines. Tank tops and shorts/skirts that are not fingertip length are no permitted in school.

Student Medications, Epipens, and Inhalers - If a child needs an EpiPen, an Inhaler, or other medication, please provide our nurse with Doctor's orders so that we can properly monitor and administer medical care. Information on what is required is covered in the Madison County Code of Conduct. If you have questions, please contact Nurse Cynthia at cfitch@mcssk12.org.

If your child has a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting he or she must be symptom-free for 24 hours without medicine before they may come back to school so as not to infect their peers.

Car Line Reminders - Parents and Guardians, please follow all state and local laws in transporting children; make sure young children are restrained properly when leaving the WGS campus.

Please remember that any transportation change needs to be in writing and sent to the school before 1:00.

Check-outs - Please remember that we make every effort to teach bell to bell. You can help us in this by refraining from checking your child out after 2:00 unless they have a Doctor or Dental appointment.

Easy ways to raise money for WGS!!

Did you know that raising money for our school can be as simple as swiping a Publix card, using your REDcard at Target, or clipping Box Tops off of food packages? These are three ways to support our school that require little time or effort and make a HUGE impact!

Simply pick up a Publix card, go online to register the card for Walnut Grove, and swipe it every time you make a purchase.

Finally, clip Box Tops off of packages and send them in with your child. The class that collects the most each quarter wins ice cream.

One more way to support education in this area is the Sign Up to Round Up program through Huntsville Utilities. It is an easy way to make a difference in public education because pocket change can add up!

Your change supports The Schools Foundation programs including National Math Science Initiative (NMSI) teacher training, Principally Speaking Network, and A+ College Ready components reaching over 53,000 students throughout Huntsville City, Madison City, and Madison County Schools.

Huntsville Utilities will round up your bill to the nearest dollar. The maximum contribution per year is only $12, but if we all contribute our change will add up! Join us and ask your friends to do the same! The link is below.