Monday Morning Motivation

Central Elementary Staff News----February 15-February 19

A Central Facelift!

Dear Staff,

The message below went to our parents regarding the upcoming renovation. I am sharing it with you as well.

Last night, at the board meeting an architect from CSO shared and the board approved the exciting renovation project, which will give Central Elementary a much needed face-lift.

Over the last four months staff members have been meeting with the architects to share ideas and visions for Central Elementary school. Our committee really wanted to update, while keeping the history of the building, deeply rooted in Plainfield Community Values.

Staff members have selected traditional color schemes, finishes, and carpet designs--all with elementary children in mind. A large part of the first phase in redesigning the school will be to move two special education classrooms upstairs and move the library downstairs. The library will now be located on the first floor adjoining the patio, allowing for much needed natural light. Additionally, we are going to expand our Kindergarten Club House room, doubling it in size. Our goal is to create a developmentally appropriate place, which celebrates free play, exploration, and hands-on activities. Kindergarten and first grade teachers are working together to allow a maximum number of students access to the room.

Another factor in updating the building was continuing to look at the safety of our students and staff. We are remodeling the front desk and lobby area, enclosing it and creating a warm reception area for parents, grandparents, and guests to our school.

Currently, bids are being accepted for the job and the deadline is March 15th. Once we know the construction company, we will have a better idea of the final scope and sequence of the project. We do know that the goal is to complete all of the classroom, restroom, and library updates by the end of the summer. Our office will be housed at Van Buren with the hope of being back at Central the week before school starts. Once we have a more concrete timeline for construction, I will share that with you.

As you visit our school we will have a display of the color schemes available for you to see located in our current lobby.

Have a great week!


A Week at a Glance

Central Calendar

MONDAY, February 15

  • No School

TUESDAY, February 16

  • Grade level data team meetings in the conference room

  • Cogat testing

WEDNESDAY, February 17

  • Cogat testing
  • Cabinet Meeting and ISTEP meeting--My goal is to have schedule to you by the end of the week.
  • New Teacher meeting at Central Office

THURSDAY, February 18

  • Cogat testing
  • PTO Officer meeting 9:00 a.m.
  • RTI committee meeting after school in the library
  • Art Show 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. in the gym

FRIDAY, February 19

  • Cogat testing

Announcements and Reminders

  • School Improvement plan summary will be emailed to you.
  • PTO officer meeting on Thursday. Please let me know by email if you have items you would like me to discuss.
  • Unplanned Classroom Observations are underway. Please remember to have your lesson plans out on your desk.

  • February 16th and 18th there will be a parent band meeting at the Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

  • February 16th Our School-wide grade level data team meetings. Begin thinking about students who you want to bring to the committee

  • The Central Elementary Art Show will be on Thursday, February 18th from 5-7 pm.

  • February 29th we will have an ISTEP convocation to pep up grade 3, 4, and 5. This will be held from 8:50-9:20. Please see Jennie Menser if you are interested in helping.

  • March 22, 2016 Staff Appreciation Luncheon provided by Central Office

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Professional Development!

· February 23 at Clarks Creek--more information on location to follow

  • Literacy Stations #3: Implementing Literacy Stations for Word Work (K-5)

  • Follow-up to the 18 Power Strategies to Boost…. Citing Textual Evidence (3-12)

    • Introducing Comprehension Strategies to Students (K-12)

    • Delivering Dynamic Comprehension Lessons (K-12)

    • Creating and Conducting Differentiated Small Groups (K-5)

Curriculum and Instruction


I've included a You Tube link that I think you'll enjoy. Joe Reitz is an Indianapolis Colt. This promo for reading is really well-done. You may have to copy the link in your browser. Consider showing it to your students, especially upper elementary.

Preview YouTube video Indianapolis Colts’ Joe Reitz on ReadingIndianapolis Colts’ Joe Reitz on Reading

Literacy Focus of the Month from the DOE

Vocabulary Focus

Writing Connected to Texts Focus

The purpose the Literacy Focus of the Month is to provide guidance to administrators and teachers for supporting a monthly, school wide instructional focus based on best practices and research-based strategies in literacy. This "user-friendly" guide and support tools will assist districts and schools in the implementation of reading instruction in classrooms across multiple grade levels, as well as different subjects/content areas.

Spring Assessments!

Students are preparing now more than ever for upcoming assessments this semester.

  • Cogat High Ability Assessment February (all students in kindergarten and second grade and those students new to the district)
  • STAR 360 Math and Reading February (all students grades k-5)
  • ISTEP Part 1 Window February 29- March 11, 2016
  • I-Read-3 Window March 14 - March 18, 2016 (all third grade students)
  • ISTEP Part 2 Window April 18-May 6, 2016 (all students grades 3-5)

Very Important ISTEP Information/Resources Grades 3-5

1o School Days Until ISTEP+ 2016 Window opens!

Please take some time to review the updated resources on the DOE. Additionally, I will sent an email with all the information, including a PowerPoint. At the end of last week, I put printed materials in your mailbox. Students should be exposed to ISTEP sample problems once a day!

Look at the grade-level pdf resource guides.

The IDOE is pleased to announce the ISTEP+ “Experience” opportunity is now available through Pearson. Experience is presented via the Pearson online platform (TestNav 8) that will be used for ISTEP+ online testing, as well as IREAD-3 online testing. The purpose of Experience is for students, educators, parents, and community members to see how test items similar to those on the ISTEP+ Part 2 assessment are presented in the online system. Experience makes a great classroom-based activity!

Overview: Experience (ePATs)

Pearson provides Electronic Practice Assessment Tests (referred to as “ePATs”) for Indiana’s Experience opportunity. ePATs make it possible for students, educators, parents, and community members to experience various technology-enhanced item types that will appear on the ISTEP+ Part 2 assessment as often as they like from home, at school, or on mobile devices. ePATs use the same TestNav 8 tools, navigation, interface, and infrastructure as the online ISTEP+ assessments, providing students with a more authentic, low-stakes way to practice and become familiar with online testing and technology-enhanced items. Practice opportunities such as these enable students to become comfortable with the technology used for online testing before they take ISTEP+, allowing them to better demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have gained in the classroom.

Accessing Experience

To access the Experience TestNav 8 forms, Pearson recommends that students only use officially supported devices, browsers, and operating systems. Other devices and hardware/software combinations could result in students experiencing incorrect formatting, functionality, or other unanticipated issues. For a list of currently supported platforms, please refer to the TestNav 8 System Requirements page at

Guidance Regarding English/Language Arts and Math Experience Online Items

· English/Language Arts Experience Online Guidance Video (link is external)

· Math Experience Online Guidance Video

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Celebrate Staff

  • Additional Compass recognition this month goes to a very deserving Karen McLaughlin!! She holds us together :) Thank you for all you do for students and staff.
  • Attendance last week---97.38 percent! Great job creating an environment where students want to be here to learn.
  • Valentine's Day Parties were a success!
  • Thank you PAT THOMAS for organizing and formulating all of our tiering data!
  • Awesome Read-A-Thon!!!!

    Total minutes read by Central: 137,019 – Cragen’s class with the most (14,920)

    Total dollars earned: $5,236.49 – Weaver’s class with the most ($495.25)

    Approx 200 participants,will be able to attend the Bounce House Celebration on March 4th.

  • Thank you to Kathy Crum for bringing the Central Book Challenge to our students!

  • Celebrate True LifeSavers

  • Sabrina Karim from Randi for “going with the flow”

    Alyssa Felton from Nicole for going above and beyond

    Julie Smith from Randi- for not ever complaining about schedule changes

    Kelly Scott from Randi- for all the help she gives

    Kim Lease from Randi- Helping with Christin when I can’t be there

    Ashley Kuhne from Katy- for bringing down her class to mentor the Kindergartens

    Jennie Menser from Bridget- always thinking of others

    Krista Bullington from Carey- getting the Book Worm stuff together

    Angie Clay from Bridget and Jennie- Making the answer keys

    Margaret Rosine from Bridget- Superstar at the laminating machine

    Karen McLaughlin- helping me figure out ordering things on line and always being patient

    Diana White- from Randi- Thanks for always being there from the kids

    SHonda Meranda from Randi Thanks for helping with the Benchmarks and Cogat

    Dana Loudermilk from Julie Parker- for doing a great job with her class- great projects and they love coming up

    Margaret Rosine from Karen-always helping out when she asks

    Michelle Strange from Randi- for helping keep me sane!

    Curt Pickard Annie Pagels and Katy Riester from Nicole- for covering team time so she could finish a parent conference

    Diana White from Julie Parker- for getting the chewy sticks for a student in her class. It is working well.