Culver Elementary April Newsletter
From the Desk of Mrs. Proskey
Happy April and Happy Spring!!!! I would like to start by saying THANK YOU to all of you for being so tremendously supportive of our marketing efforts and now, our new Varsity Shop!!! With all of your help, we have won and are going to be rewarded with 5 banners that will hang from light poles around our campus that will show school spirit to our community. In a joint effort, the Town is having a Banner Contest to help support us and put more banners up and line the town with school spirit. Truly #CULVERPRIDE!!!! Another amazing thing that is happening in our town, if you haven't heard already...Culver is one of the top three finalists to be named a Stellar Community in Indiana with a population of under 6000 people. If this happens, it will benefit not only our town but also our schools!!! This is such an exciting time in Culver!!!
On another note, it is time for spring sports- Baseball, Softball, Soccer and Track. Please come out and support our truly fabulous kiddos!!!! They need your support. It is so wonderful seeing the bleachers full of fans!!!!
Well unfortunately, we are in full testing mode this month. :( Please make sure your students are well rested and healthy. :) I know that this month is not going to be fun but we will just need to push through it and give it our absolute best. Remember, we are not defined by a test, a score or a letter grade!!! May will be here before we know it and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. :)
Parents and Guardians, I just want to reiterate my appreciation for all that you do to support us as a school and all of our programs, me as a principal, my amazing staff, and your fabulous children. Together, you make this an truly rewarding place to come to work everyday!!!
If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate or come in, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 574-842-3389.
The VARSITY SHOP IS NOW ONLINE!!!!!
Dates to Remember...
- 4/4- Intersession (4/4-4/7)
- 4/4- Board Meeting @ Admin Building @ 7:00pm
- 4/12- TERRA NOVA Testing Begins (4/12-4/15)
- 4/12- Spring Picture Day
- 4/12- 4th Grade Band Tryouts
- 4/13- 5th Grade Field Trip to the Dunes
- 4/14- Science Fair (Public Viewing 3:30-5:30)
- 4/15-6th Grade Field Trip to The Shedd Aquarium
- 4/18- ISTEP Part2 TESTING BEGINS (4/18-5/6)
- 4/18- Board Meeting @ Admin Building @ 7:00pm
- 4/19- Student Council Meets in the Pit @ 7:45am
- 4/26- Band Open House @ 6:00pm
KINDERGARTEN SIGN UP....
TERRA NOVA 2nd Grade Test Schedule- Starting April 12th
ISTEP+ Best Practices
- Please make sure that your children are in attendance during their testing dates.
- Get a good night's sleep
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Fill in all answers with your best educated guess
- Remember... Do your best....It's just another test! :)
----------ISTEP Mandatory Practice Testing------- 3rd- 6th Grade/ April 11th through April 14th
- Monday, 4/11- 6th Grade
- Tuesday, 4/12- 5th Grade
- Wednesday, 4/13- 4th Grade
- Thursday, 4/14- 3rd Grade
-------------ISTEP Testing Schedule------------- 3rd -6th Grade/ April 18th Through May 2nd
4/18 Mon--- Math 3 tests
4/19 Tues-- English 3 tests
4/20 Wed-- Science 2 tests
4/20 Wed-- Math 2 tests
4/21 Thurs- Math 1 test/ English 2 tests
4/22 Fri----- English 1 test/ Soc Studies 2 tests
4/25 Mon-- Math 3 tests
4/26 Tues- English 3 tests
4/27 Wed- Science 2 tests
4/28 Thurs- Math 3 tests
4/29 Fri----- English 2 tests
5/2 Mon-- English 1 test
Culver Max Move Free Event
Saturday, April 23rd, 10am-12pm
Culver Academy Naval Building
Please register at: Dana.email@example.com
Blessings in a Backpack Needs Packing Volunteers!!!
If you would like to help volunteer packing Blessings Backpacks, please see times and dates below.... (it usually takes about an hour)
Please mark or update your calendars to reflect the following times and change of time:
Wednesday, April 6 packing @ 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 11 set up @ 4:30
Thursday, May 12 packing @ 4:30 pm
All set up and packing is done at Culver Bible Church, 718 S. Main Street in Culver.
Dianne, Stephanie and Tracy
Blessings in a Backpack Coordinators
CES Community Volunteer Program
CES Loves it's Volunteers!!!!
Weekly Message from Superintendent Ritz March 28, 2016
As Superintendent I am committed to ensuring that all stakeholder groups, administrators, teachers, parents and community members receive frequent and relevant communication directly from me to you. As such, I would like to share my most recent videos for parents and educators of the 2015-16 school year.
Today's messages provide families and educators with resources and information on the 2016 ISTEP+ assessment as well as literacy resources for students to use at school and at home.
Also this week, I would like to share a FAQ on the topic of piloting ISTEP+ test items, and the future of assessment in Indiana given the Governor's signature of HEA1395 ending ISTEP in its current form, yet providing for a framework of a continued assessment system aligned to the assessment expectations of the USED Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Please share this FAQ with your school community.
Have a Great week!
Glenda Ritz, NBCT
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Pence signs bill eliminating unpopular ISTEP
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The deeply unpopular ISTEP student exam will be repealed by July 2017 under a bill Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Tuesday.
Appearing at an assembly at Eagle Elementary School in Zionsville, the Republican governor jokingly told students that the good news is the ISTEP will go away but the bad news is they will still have to take tests.
"We're going to have accountability in our testing, but we're going to find a better way," Pence said before signing the bill at a table flanked by students. "We're going to look to our teachers and we're going to look to our administrators ... and we're going to ask how can we do a better job?"
After years of tinkering with the state's education policy, including withdrawing from the national Common Core standards, the decisions by the GOP-majority Legislature now pose a political liability, because parents and educators have become increasingly weary of high-stakes testing. And ISTEP scores plummeted about 20 percent in 2015 when compared to the previous year due to a hastily rolled out test that was based on Indiana-specific standards for math and science instead of the Common Core.
While Democratic State Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz has long called for student testing to be rethought, the idea to scrap the ISTEP did not gain currency until recent months with Republicans, who have enacted school accountability measures that use student performance on the standardized test to determine school grades and help award teacher merit pay.
The bill signed by Pence was sponsored by GOP House Education committee Chairman Bob Behning and will create a 23-member panel of educators and experts who will study and make recommendations about what should replace ISTEP.
The committee is tasked with finding ways to reduce the amount of time students spend taking standardized tests, as well as ways to decrease the cost of administering tests. But they are also being asked to evaluate ways to increase the fairness of testing to students, teachers and schools. Another consideration for the panel is figuring out the impact the newly approved federal Every Student Succeeds Act will have on education in Indiana. The law replaces the No Child Left Behind law that was put in place more than a decade ago by former President George W. Bush.
Democrats, however, are unhappy with the measure, because minority Democrats cannot appoint people to the board. As is, Pence, Ritz and GOP leaders in the Senate and House are able to appoint members, but legislative Democrats are not. Additionally, Democrats complain that that Ritz, the state schools chief, will not chair the committee.
"Superintendent Ritz has said for years that the state needed to get rid of the ISTEP exam," state Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said in a statement. "But unfortunately, her advice fell on deaf ears. That is, until another public relations crisis fell on the governor's lap. While it is encouraging that Mike Pence finally listened to Ritz, he still refuses to respect her position as our State's Superintendent of Public Instruction."
Much of the testing backlash came after lawmakers abruptly withdrew from national Common Core math and English standards. Conservative critics say the national math and English benchmarks that describe what students should know after completing each grade amount to a federal takeover of education. The new Indiana-specific standards — the third time in a decade that the standards were changed — were touted as more difficult. The 2015 ISTEP exam also was plagued by testing glitches.
5 skills your child should know before starting Kindergarten
There comes a time when we are all ready to send our little ones to Kindergarten. I waited an extra year to send ours (you can see why I decided to “red-shirt” my kids here), but now it is almost time to send our second child to Kindergarten.
I was a teacher and I saw many things that I wish my students had known before coming to Kindergarten. While they aren’t mandatory, these 5 things your child should know before starting Kindergarten certainly help your child to feel more independent. I have been lucky enough to see things from a teacher’s side, as well as from the side as the parent. These things may seem little to you, or not-important, but I can tell you that for your child, they are HUGE. They give your child confidence and they show the teacher that your child is independent and ready to take on Kindergarten! Its the little things that give your child that feeling of success and leadership.
1. Tie their shoes – this is not as hard as you think. Just let your child practice it in steps. For a few days, teach them to do the X and go through the first loop (the easy part). Do this over & over. Let them tie everything (cushions on chairs, your shoes, aprons, etc…)
Next, move onto the rest of the tying process (past just making the X). Yes, they will get frustrated… that is a given. Both of our boys became frustrated when learning, but with a little encouragement, they caught on. It took about a week. They were so proud of themselves (our kids had me take a video of them tying their shoe laces to send it to their Dad at work and to their grandparents.) Remember that when you want to jump in and tie it for them, when you are in a rush, or you see your child struggling, that you need to STOP doing that for your kids.
Ps- These things take away so much classroom time. If I had a penny for each shoelace that I tied when I taught… I would be RICH!! haha!
2. Open a juice box- Yes, its strange. To be honest, I RARELY send my kids with juice boxes in their lunches, because they drink water with their lunch, but parties and celebrations in schools make this one of those little things that is happening more & more often. When I taught, I felt like I opened 27 juice boxes on those days (Birthdays happen quite often in a classroom with 20+ children).
How do you teach them to open a juice box? Step-by-step. Take the straw off, open it, insert it into the juice box, drink it, throw it all away (do not wait for the teacher to come by and get it). Easy enough, right? There are many 5 and 6 year olds that do not do this because no one has taught them how. Our four year old LOVES to open his own juice box at parties- he feels like such a “big kid”.
3. Use the bathroom, wash hands and button their pants alone.
Again, easy enough. If your child can’t button their pants without help, you might want to send them in different pants. Most kids do not want to walk out, in front of 25 fellow-students, to ask their teacher to button their pants. Practice, practice, practice, to avoid your child being embarrassed.
4. How to handle getting what they need
You want your child to take responsibility for themselves. Think about if your child breaks their pencil in class. Will they know that they need to raise their hand to get another one? Or will they sit there, doing nothing, because they don’t know that they need to take care of themselves? One day our son came home and told me that he didn’t eat his yogurt because I didn’t pack him a spoon. I said “Don’t they have spoons there?” and he looked at me like I was crazy, until I explained that if I do not pack him a spoon (or napkin or a straw), he needs to get up, get in line, and take care of his needs. No one is going to do it for him. Remember, you are raising your child to be a responsible adult.
5. Know the basics! Does your child know their name, phone number, address? These are IMPORTANT! You are relying on adults that have 24+ other students that day. While I’m sure that our kids will be safe, I still make sure that they know these things. I would never want to send our little ones out ‘into the world’ without this information. Oh- and this means their LAST NAME, too, not just their first. If your child doesn’t know this, at least slip a piece of paper in between their sock & their shoe with the info on it. This is what I do when we go out somewhere with a lot of people, like an amusement park… and the kids know to look for it there, in case they “forget”.
This is an exciting time and I’m sure that your child’s teacher will have a blast teaching your little ones! Enjoy the journey of Kindergarten with your child!