FEBRUARY PARENT NEWSLETTER

"CREATING A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS"

From the desk of Mrs. Harrison...

Happy February to all of our Brooks Broncos! We have certainly hit the ground running since January, and are continuing this month as we progress towards Spring and the end of the year. I feel that Spring is peeking its head just around the corner, and with that comes some of the most exciting times at our school:) Just to name a few...we will have a Sock Hop on Friday, Mar 4th, as well as our fifth grade musical, The Lion King, on March 31st at the Centre for Performing Arts. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend these events! Additionally, we will have online (Milestones) testing for all third, fourth and fifth graders from April 18th - 28th. I am pleased to announce that we will have 100% testing online, and feel confident that we will do well.

On another note, I was reading one of Pat Conroy's books the other day, The Lost Season and he has always personally been one of my favorite Southern writers; indeed, he is often touted as one of our greatest American authors, and was inspired to write by teachers. He truly puts education into perspective when he writes about his first teaching experience on Yamacraw island: "the teacher must always maintain an air of insanity, or of eccentricity out of control, if he is to catch and hold the attention of his students. The teacher must always be on the attack, looking for new ideas, changing worn-out tactics, and never, ever falling into patterns that lead to student ennui." This excerpt comes from his first novel, The Water is Wide (1972), after he had completed his first year of teaching. This experience was a huge wake-up call for him, and was an extraordinary memoir of his time on the island as he worked in a two-room schoolhouse, working with children who had had no exposure to the outside world. He had to continually think outside of the box in order to capture, maintain, and encourage learning from his students. His approach to education and teaching is reflected here at Brooks. We, too, are always on the look-out for new ideas, we consistently change tactics, and we make certain that our children are engaged and inspired every step of the way. Isn't it something that a memoir written over forty years ago still stands true today? Certainly, we engage our children with twenty-first century learning and relevance, but Conroy's long-ago experience is still a reminder that we must, together, provide our children with every resource available, and do it with purpose, wisdom, and love.

STEM IN ACTION -- WE ARE ALWAYS THINKING OUT OF THE BOX!

ADVANC-ED ACCREDITATION and its IMPORTANCE:

Accreditation of a school system is crucial for a community. Economic development in a community, quality of life in a community, competitive college admissions for students, and the reputation of a school system in part hinge on this event that happens in five-year cycles for every county. I can share with you that Coweta County School System positively shone during the accreditation process! Because of the tremendous work of all educators in Coweta County, the process was deep affirmation of the commitment that we have for excellence. During the presentation of the exit report, Dr. Steve Oborn, the Lead Evaluator, referenced evidence of engaging classroom instruction, meaningful stakeholder involvement, exemplary leadership of the board of education, strong school and district leadership, autonomy at the school level, fiscal responsibility, and engagement of parents and students. The Accreditation team called our students the most well-mannered students they had ever encountered! The team pointed out that all of CCSS employees were to be commended for striving toward our vision of student success. On Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, Brooks Elementary was a "visited" and interviewed school during this process. I can tell you that because of the tremendous, engaging work facilitated by every educator in this building, we exceeded all expectations. Our school system has been named an "exemplar" that other school systems should look to as a model. I am proud to be a part of the Coweta school system, and am humbled by the honor that was afforded to us. We are family and we are one!

Please check out this link for the exit report which was presented to Principals and community members at the board meeting:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1zDIc-eTI9orfAt49uagYq2l_HDJ0woPxYSAyjx2W5Cw/edit?ts=56b37973#slide=id.p4

~Mrs. Harrison

INCREDIBLE BRONCO SCORES for 3rd - 5th!

The following data has been calculated based on the End of Grade School Summaries for the 2015 Spring administration of the Georgia Milestones Assessment which is published on the Georgia Department of Education’s website at http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Assessment/Pages/Georgia-Milestones-Statewide-Scores.aspx.

Compared to all other schools who participated in the testing across the state of Georgia, Brooks Elementary students fell among the top in every category. This is especially commendable considering our 4th graders at Brooks took last year’s assessment completely online for the first time; a feat many other schools in the state did not even attempt, who instead took the assessment in the traditional paper/pencil based format. This year all testing for Coweta County will be taken online.


Please keep these important dates for this year on your calendar: Apr 18th -28th is Milestones assessment for 3rd - 5th and Student Growth Assessments (SGA's) for K - 2nd.

If you have any questions concerning testing, please contact the front office and ask for Mrs. Harrison or Mrs. Andrew.

GARDEN CONTEST DESIGN WINNERS!

Big image

Winners from left to right (beginning in the front row): Rhea Patel, Payton Ryan, Alicia Gonzalez, Charlotte Nutter, Noah Hayes. Pictured from left to right second row: Ruby Zhao-Kanode, Allie Knight, Madeline Elliot, Abigail Vogel, Julia Howell, Mrs. Harrison, Cameron Pfahl

We should begin breaking ground in late March! Can't wait to see what awaits us :)

From the Media Center

We are happy to report that our first K.I.S.S. luncheon which coincided with the Book Fair was a rousing success! Thank you to all of our Brooks families who came out and supported our endeavor.

Students who have joined the Birthday Book Club for this school year will be able to choose their book donation and receive their goodie bags in March. I will send more information home once an exact date is decided. It is still not too late to sign your child up for the Birthday Book Club. Forms are available on the Brooks website or you can drop by the media center. I would like to thank all those who have already signed up their student/s this year. Your donation is much appreciated and adds greatly to our media collection.


Remember that the Six Flags Reading forms have been sent with students and will be Due March 1st.

Thank you for your continued support of the Brooks Media Program.

Sherry Copeland

EVENTS TO MARK IN YOUR CALENDARS:

*FEB 15-19 - WINTER BREAK

*FEB 22-26: KINDNESS WEEK

*FEB 25TH - ACADEMIC BOWL FINALS

*FEB 27TH - SCIENCE OLYMPIAD REGION MEET @ ARNALL MS

* MARCH 4TH: SOCK HOP

*MARCH 18TH: TEACHER WORKDAY; PRE-K DRAWING @ 1:00 HERE IN MEDIA CTR

*MARCH 22ND: SPRING PICS FOR INDIVIDUAL AND CLASS

*MARCH 22ND: CHICK-FIL-A SPIRIT NIGHT

*MARCH 29TH: TRACK MEET AT ECHS


*MARCH 31ST: 5TH GR PLAY

*APRIL 18 - 28: MILESTONES TESTING

*MAY 23-25: RETEST DATES FOR MILESTONES