Jefferson Elementary Newsletter

October, 2017

Welcome Back from Principal Kluver

There is nothing like the energy that a new school year brings. We have had a great start to the school year! We are all busy adjusting to our routines at school, getting our minds back in shape, and renewing old friendships and beginning new ones. The Jefferson staff is hard at work each day and you can be assured that your children are in great hands. This is the first edition of the 2017-2018 school year newsletter. Our newsletters will be published on the last day of each month.

New Staff

As with most new school years, we have new staff to welcome. New Jefferson teachers are:

2nd Grade: Katie Erb

3rd Grade: Katie Pechacek and Jaclyn Ranweiler

4th Grade: Elizabeth Dolter, Rachel Moe, Allison Santaella and Katie Wangensteen

Specialists: Kyara Koepsell and Jodi Timm

Sped: Allison Woitas

I am confident they will all be great additions to the Jefferson staff!

Student drop-off and pick-up

Our first priority every morning and afternoon during drop off and pick up is student safety. We want to ensure that students get into and out of the building and home safely. We also try to do this as efficiently as possible for parents. In order to do this, the road behind Jefferson is one option for morning student drop off. Parents can enter the road from Garden Street, pull up behind Jefferson, drop off students near the rear entrance, and pull away onto Payne Street. An additional option for morning student drop off is to use the shared MS and Jefferson parking lot. Parents can pull up along the west side of the Annex, drop off students along side the sidewalk using the newly painted drop-off lane, and pull away on Garden Street. Please refrain from parking in the diagonal bus stalls for drop-off.

For afternoon pick-up, parents have two parking options: using Payne Street or in the shared parking lot. When Jefferson students are dismissed at 3:10, first and third grades will exit from Door #1, while second and fourth grades will exit from Door #2.

If you do park in the shared MS/Jefferson parking lot for afternoon pick-up, please do not park in the front row, nearest the Annex. That row is very close to the buses and many parents who have parked there have had difficulty backing out while the buses are loading. The extra vehicle traffic so close to students and buses is not safe. Please park further back in the parking lot and avoid the front row altogether.

Two improvements made to our afternoon bus pick up procedure are assigned spots for all the afternoon buses and an improved crosswalk from the sidewalk to the shared parking lot. If you or your children walk to the parking lot during the busy pickup time, please remember to use the crosswalk and follow the directions of the supervising staff member.

Thank you to all the parents who have waited outside the building while picking up their students. That has made for very little congestion in the hallway and vestibules as we dismiss every day and makes it easy for all of our students to exit the building.

PBIS Place

Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is a way to promote appropriate behavior expectations. We teach desired behaviors in order to prevent undesirable behaviors.

The students at Jefferson Elementary School have been learning about school-wide behavioral expectations through our SOAR acronym. Expectations for students have been created by staff and are specific to locations around our campus. SOAR stands for: Self-control, On-task, Accountable, and Respect.

This is a positive and proactive approach to managing behaviors. Students are recognized for exhibiting expected behaviors by earning “Jefferson Eagles SOAR High” tickets.

Please take this opportunity to talk to your child about the expectations at school and the importance of continuing to demonstrating SOAR. More information, including our student matrix, can be found on the Jefferson website in the “Parent and Student Handbook” under Section 4. Student Conduct.

Jefferson students will focus on a different character building theme each month. We have been focusing on “Empathy” for the month of September. The monthly themes are introduced at our all school PBIS assemblies and directly correlate with our social-emotional learning curriculum. Our October theme will be “Standing up for Yourself and Others.”

Upcoming Events

October 2nd - No School (Workshop day)

October 4th - Walk & Bike to school day

October 5th - Smoke Trailer visits 4th Grade

October 10th - Firetruck Visits Jefferson

October 12th - Conferences and Book Fair 3:30-7:30 p.m.

October 17th - Conferences and Book Fair 3:30-7:30 p.m.

October 19th-20th - No School (MEA Break)

October 23rd - Picture retake day (until 10:00 a.m.)

1st Grade

The first month of first grade has been focusing on our Eagle Expectations. We are working on Eagles “SOAR”. SOAR stands for students who have S = Self-Control, and are O = On-task, A = Accountable R = Respect. We are helping students understand these expectations with positive feedback and Eagle SOAR tickets. The students are collecting these tickets at school to redeem when our school store is open next month.

First grade has been learning what good readers do with interactive read alouds using a mentor text. Some of the favorite stories this month have been “The Recess Queen” and “Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon”. In each story, we have been working with comprehension strategies that all readers do such as predicting, inferring, visualizing and retelling.

In phonics and word work, we have been working with short vowel sounds and recognizing every word needs a vowel. First graders love showing off their new reading skills! Have them read or practice their words with you too. Our sight word lists will be coming home soon to continue the learning at home. In writing, we have been learning that “writing is telling on paper”. We know first graders have a lot to share, so we are putting our sharing in pictures and in words.

In math, first graders are working with numbers 0 - 10. We are writing them correctly and also breaking them apart into number partners.

First grade scientists are learning about what a scientist does, and how they follow a method to conduct experiments to learn more about the world around them.

2nd Grade

Big image

3rd Grade

3rd grade is off to a great start. Students have been busy getting to know teachers, classmates, routines and procedures. The 3rd graders have the opportunity to switch and see different teachers for Social Studies and Science which is an exciting change for them this year. In science they have been learning about what a scientist does and science tools. They are moving on to living and non-living things. In Social Studies the students learned about communities and are moving on to maps. They also have STEM for the first time this year with Mrs. Sletta.

In reading students are working on building their read to self stamina and finding good fit books. Students are also working on summarizing stories and character traits. Be sure to help your child study for their spelling tests on Fridays and we encourage parents to have their child read at home everyday! In math students have been working on place value, multi-digit addition and subtraction and some word problems.

Meet your 3rd Grade Teachers!

Mrs. Zimanski has been teaching in New Ulm for 8 years. Six of those years were teaching 4th grade and this is her second year of teaching 3rd. Before teaching in New Ulm she taught 6th grade for 2 years. She lives in New Ulm with her husband Mike and they have 2 kids. Lucas is a third grader at Jefferson and Morgan is a kindergartner at Washington. They also have a labbradoodle puppy, Rey who keeps them on their toes at home.

4th Grade

Welcome back to the 2017-2018 school year. Fourth grade has been busy getting back into the swing of things. We have been building our classroom community by incorporating Morning Meeting into each day. Students have been learning the routine and expectations.

In Math we have been practicing multiplication/division, properties of multiplication and order of operations. We have started using Mentor Sentences in reading class to help with grammar and reading skills. Students are loving it so far. There are some parts that have been challenging for them, but is pushing them to be independent thinkers. We have also been incorporating cursive handwriting more into 4th grade. In Science we have started with the skills that we will be using when we are conducting a lab/experiment. Students have already used their 5 senses with gummy worms to put those Science Process Skills to work. Social Studies will be a look into the regions of the USA. We start out by talking about the 5 Themes of Geography.

Team Spotlight

Mrs. Rewitzer & Ms. Moe

This is Mrs. Rewitzer's 9th year in District 88 with it being her 19th year teaching either 4th or 5th grade. She is married to Jason. They have a son named Robert who is in 1st grade and a daughter, Cassy who is in kindergarten. Mrs. Rewitzer enjoys attending sporting events with her family especially Gopher hockey games and Twins games. She likes to travel, shop and attend concerts with her husband and friends.

Ms. Moe is new to District 88 this year. She has taught 5th grade for the past 2 years. Ms. Moe and her boyfriend live in Mankato and just adopted a puppy this summer. She enjoys running, camping, scrap-booking, and baking.

Mrs. Rewitzer is teaching Science for both classes and Ms. Moe will be teaching Social Studies.


Big image

What's new in the Jefferson Library & Lab

Good-bye and Hello-This summer Mr. Ryan (our library paraprofessional) took a job at the District Technology Office, so we welcome Mrs. Gail Boe, as the new library paraprofessional!

Library AND Technology Teacher-This year I will be the librarian and technology teacher for all Jefferson kids. Skills covered in the Library have been: how to responsibly use the shelf marker, check out a book, and pick out a book of their choice using the strategy “I PICK”. “I” is for I (the student) get to pick the books I want to read. “P” is for purpose. Why am I reading this book? “I” is for interest. Am I interested in this book topic? “C” is for comprehension. Do I understand what I’m reading. “K” is for knowledge. Do I know most of the words? Hopefully this will help our students find books they will enjoy reading, which will excite them to read more!

In the computer lab first grade is learning how to operate the mouse, and all students reviewed computer lab expectations and grades 2-4 reviewed home row position along with typing practice. Try our new Jefferson Technology website:

Checking Out Books-The students can pick out any THREE books they’d like this year, as we are in a 7-day rotation for specials. I’m suggesting one book is “I PICK” and the others can be their choice: a chapter book to read aloud at home, nonfiction or fiction. This is a long time in between visits, so books can be exchanged before school. If you’d like the book longer, bring it to library and we’ll renew it for you. Please return book on library day by placing them on the cart either in the cafeteria or outside the library doors before school.

Book fair-The Jefferson Book Fair will be held this fall coordinating with Parent Teacher conferences on October 12 and 17. Rounding up all readers as we head to the Wild West to see what’s new in Scholastic books. Proceeds from sales go toward purchasing new books for our library. Hope you can stop by!

-Mrs. Wilker, Jefferson Librarian/Tech teacher

Big image

Phy Ed

As September is wrapping up, the physical education classes have also just finished their fitness testing and are moving into some Fall sports like soccer, football, and volleyball! As a reminder, Mr. McKeeth and Mrs. Timm want to make sure you don't miss out on any of the fun. Make sure you bring your gym shoes every time you see them and make sure those laces are tied! If you don't know how to tie your shoes quite yet, now is a great time to practice your independence! Also, as temperatures are changing it might be a good idea to have a sweatshirt or an extra layer for those chilly days when we head outside. Did you know kids are supposed to get 60 minutes of physical activity EVERY day? Grab your family and head outside to rake some leaves or go for a walk, jog, or bike ride!

Literacy Corner

As we start another year, the excitement in the building is apparent. This summer we were blessed to add a large collection of library titles for teachers to use in their classroom.

Reading Tip: For younger readers it is important to encourage your child to re-read favorite books and poems. Re-reading helps kids read more quickly and accurately.

Book recommendations: Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier: This book for younger readers explores how taking away one letter changes words into something entirely different.

Wild Robot by Peter Brown: This chapter book for older readers explores what happens when a robot is left on a deserted island.

Jefferson Reading Tutors Needed! Do you enjoy working with kids? Do you have a heart to serve and help others? Check out the Reading Corps website for more information.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime:

Nurse's Notes

We are three weeks into the school year already, and we’re starting to see an increase in some common illness in the schools…. Illnesses like common colds, stomach flu, and some strep throat. It happens every year once kids are exposed to other kids. Please keep your kids home if they are running a fever over 100.0 or are generally not feeling well enough to be in school.

There has been a policy change, regarding medication, that goes into effect this school year. If your child needs to take prescription pills during school hours, a parent or guardian is required to bring the prescription pills into the nurse’s office and count them with Tammy Neidecker (Health Assistant). This will be a safer way to handle medication, from getting the pills to school, to assuring that the number of pills brought to school is accurate. As always, we still require a doctor’s order and parent signature for any prescription medication in school.

We’re looking forward to another school year and hope everyone stays healthy!

Title I

Hello From the Title 1 Department! Our team is busy doing benchmark assessments with all students at Jefferson Elementary School using our new FastBridge assessment system. We do benchmarking three times a year; fall, winter and spring. Benchmark assessments are short tests that give teachers immediate feedback on how students are meeting academic standards.

Back to school reading tip for parents from

-Reading regularly at home provides children with the practice they need to become great readers. Remember, “The more kids read, the better they read,” and the same holds true for the opposite effect, “the less kids read, the poorer they’ll read.” Beyond practice time, reading at home reinforces a positive attitude around reading—kids start to enjoy reading!

The best way to incorporate reading in the household is to devote 20 to 40 minutes, at the same time every evening, to family reading time. A fun idea is to have children read to their pets, siblings, or stuffed animals.

Jean Jore, Dawn Portner, Lisa Thorson

Special Education

Special education is specially designed instruction and related services that enable a student with a disability to access and benefit from their program of education. The focus of special education is to insure a Free & Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for eligible students identified to have a disability and who are in need of individualized and specialized instruction. Specially designed instruction means adapting the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction (i.e. what we teach and how we teach it) to address the student’s unique needs and to ensure access to the general education curriculum. Special education addresses the individual needs of the child that arise from a disability and is provided at no cost to the parents. The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is designed to maximize the student's abilities and help them to succeed in an academic setting through a collaborative process between parents/guardians and professional staff.

Meet our Jefferson Special Education Team:

Speech Language Clinicians: Angie Anderson and Michelle Hopp

EBD Teachers: Kasey Bode and Christine Boettger

LD Teachers: Kayla Jones, Holly Sieg, and Allison Woitas

DCD Teachers: Susan Krogstrand and Leslie Urch

ASD Teachers: Alicia Hinkle and Irina Soboleva

School Psychologist: Mark Goodall

SPED Secretary: Michelle Rathmann

Special Services Coordinator: Irina Soboleva

Cafeteria - Easy to Access Menus

New Ulm Public Schools Lunch Menu’s can be viewed on Nutrislice! The way we access our school menus is changing in an exciting new way! New Ulm Public Schools in partnership with Chartwells K12, is now using Nutrislice to publish the school menus to a new interactive website and a free smartphone app. Now our school community can access our menus anywhere, anytime!

Find the menu’s at:

You can view the menu in two ways:

1. View the menu’s online at the website

*Select the school you want to view

*Select the school menu you would like to view

*Once within the site, the menu is interactive with pictures, nutrition information and allergen information***

2. Download the Nutrislice App.

Using the App

*Select your state, followed by your school district

*Select the grade level, school and then the school menu you wish to view.

*Once within the menu, you will be defaulted to the current day. The menu is interactive with pictures, nutrition information and general allergen information (not for use with students with documented food allergies/special diet requirements).

Easy-to-use features include:

*More information about menu items, including a photo and description

*Filter for common food allergens like nuts, wheat and dairy

*A translation feature to translate your menus into a number of different languages *Access to nutrition information like carb counts and calories with just a few clicks!

Counseling Connection

The school year has gotten off to a quick start! I can’t believe it’s already the 3rd week in September! We are all excited to be back!

Our first round of in class lessons are complete. Students were able to learn about their school counselor – what my role is at Jefferson, how I can help them, and how to let me know they need help. The lessons went A-m-A-z-I-n-G-l-Y. I was extremely impressed by students showing my how Eagles S-O-A-R High! Students did an excellent job of showing me their self-control, being on task, having accountability for their actions, and being respectful to me, themselves and their classmates!

In the near future I will be meeting with students one-on-one through something called “Minute Meetings,” where I get to know them a little better. Whoever named these “Minute Meetings,” was mistaken, because they take a little longer than a minute! In getting to know students, I also understand further how I can help them be successful here at Jefferson. Students have access to their school counselor in an abundance of ways – through counselor lessons within the classroom, individual meetings with the counselor when they need help solving a problem, peer mediation, small groups, and more.

I am continually busy meeting with students and am thankful that they trust to come to me to help brainstorm ways to solve their problems. If you have any concerns about your student(s) that you believe I could be of assistance with do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail at or by phone (507) 233-3503. Also encourage your student(s) to come and speak with me if they inform you of a problem they are experiencing here at Jefferson.

Jenna Helget

Jefferson School Counselor