Principal's Newsletter

December 2015

The Holiday season is upon us and our classrooms have been full of activity. Our seniors' first wave of college applications have been sent off and the first quarter honor roll is out, with 34 well deserving honorees. Basketball season and student enrichment activities have begun with the promise that our winter months will be full and exciting. Looking ahead after we return from Christmas break there will only be three weeks till mid term exams and the quarter's end, so it is important that students keep up with their studies and get all those last minute assignments in before our winter break. Over the break, please remember to head up to school and cheer on our girls' basketball team on Dec.30th at 11;15 a.m. and January 2 at 12;30 p.m.

A new, old face!! Rob Closter joins the crew!

As many of you may already know, we have a new tech education teacher at the school. Rob Closter has begun the process of bringing our once dark shop to light. He has done a Herculean clean up of the space and is off and running to take on our technology education program.

Schoolstore Success

Our fundraiser through SchoolStore.com has been a huge success. K-7 teachers have been recipients of over $2,300.00 in gift cards. These gift cards allow teachers to purchase classroom supplies through a special website. Additionally, as a school we have earned $250.00 through cash back incentives. Funds are directed back to our school when our participating families and friends shop at over 400 major retailers like Walmart, Kohls, Target, or Sears through the portal at schoolstore.com. So, please keep us in mind when shopping this year.

Talented

I spent an hour at our school Talent show the other night and all I can say is, "What a fun bunch of kids we have!" Fearless, funny, talented and entertaining sums up this bunch. I love to see what these kids cook up and the audience gets to see a side of a kid that we as teachers don't always see (or want to see in the middle of class). They did not disappoint. When next year rolls around think about coming to the show, it was a hoot!!! Ezrah Murry won for his cool dance moves, Amira Veldman-Wilson for her piano playing and Ryan McGarry and Julia Gasner for an entertaining, oh, so out of tune, rendition of Adele's "Hello".

An Hour of Code

Block Island School participated in the "Hour of Code" for the third consecutive year. The initiative was started in 2012 to expose more students at all levels to coding (programming). It is part of Computer Science Education Week.


At the school, students in Grades 4-6 and 9-11 participated. Among the coding choices were Angry Birds, Frozen, Star Wars and Minecraft. Mr. Moran's freshman Computer Applications classes spent the whole week coding.


The "Hour of Code" is not limited to one week a year. If you would like to see what your child can do, or if you would like to try it yourself, go to <code.org/learn>.

Social Emotional Learning

This year we continue to squeeze into our busy days ways that we can teach and reinforce the non-academic skills that allow our students to be successful adults. In past Newsletters I have told you about how we have focused on Perseverance and Managing Impulsivity. This fall all classrooms were outfitted with posters that help kids be mindful of these life long skills. Recently, we have introduced a new " Habit of Mind", Remaining Open to Continuous learning. As adults we all know it is vital to be in a continuous learning mode throughout our lives. We hope to instill in students the concept of humility ( To know - and admit- that you don't know and to not be afraid to find out). Instilling a growth mindset into even our youngest students will serve them well as life presents challenges and new opportunities later in life.

Friends Helping Friends

We want to give a big shout out to our School supporters, The Block Island School Friends. If you bought a pie, a candle, some holiday greens or those cool new Block Island School Socks, you have a member of the School Friend's to thank. Please help support this tireless group of parents by attending meetings and lending a hand if you can. We are truly Thankful for all they do!!

PARCC scores coming to A mailbox Near You!!

PARCC scores for last year's grades 3-8, 10, Algebra I and Geometry have been sent home. The reports are fairly easy to interpret, but if you have any questions please contact us. Since this was the first year for PARCC, the data from these tests will provide a new baseline from which to progress and measure against as we move forward. Overall, our little school should be encouraged by the results. As always, we see room to grow, but we see this as an opportunity for producing a students who are better prepared for whatever our future holds in this century. We are slated to take the paper version of the PARCC again in May of 2016. To learn about the student reports, parents can gain further information at http://understandthescore.org/ or http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Instruction-and-Assessment-World-Class-Standards/Assessment/PARCC/2015%20PARCC%20Score%20Report%20Interpretation%20Guide%20for%20Parents.pdf

Early Dismissal

Don't Forget-- We dismiss early on Wednesday, December 23rd at 12:22 p.m.

Gallery of Events

Talent Show

Off Island Travel

Festive Fun

Students of the Month

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Superintendent's Corner

Dear Families, Faculty, Students and Community Members,

Starting this month, there will be a “Superintendent’s Corner” where I will communicate with you about school events, news, and information. This month, as the new superintendent, let me introduce myself and share with you some of my background. Following graduation from NY State University at Oneonta, NY, I started my educational career. It has led me to teach in Tennessee, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in a variety of positions. Most of my experience was with Cranston Public Schools as a teacher and administrator. When I started my first teaching position in Cranston, I never dreamed I would finish my career as a superintendent. It’s been quite an adventure and a wonderful learning experience.

On a personal note, this career would not have happened without a supportive family. My husband, Hans, and I have been married for 44 years. We have three sons and six grandchildren, ages 4 months to 7 years old. They are a delight and a wonderful gift!

It is said that “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” As this year winds down and a new year is on the horizon, I want to thank you for sharing your children with us. Each and every one of them is a special gift.

On Wednesday, we had the pleasure of seeing your children sing and play their instruments at the holiday concert. It was spectacular and it was so nice to see families and the community. The UnbelievaBELLS were fantastic as they played in the rotunda of the RI State House on Thursday, December 17th. And the basketball season has started. I’m looking forward to seeing the varsity team play at Rocky Hill this weekend.

Beginning December 23, we will enjoy our winter recess. Block Island School will be closed for the winter holiday. The school will reopen on Monday, January 4th. Then, just as it is every January, it will be full steam ahead for a very busy winter and finishing the first semester strong.

Again, thank you for sharing your children with us—they are the greatest gift of all. May the magic and wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the coming year! I wish you all a holiday season rich with the gifts of love, joy, and happiness.

Best wishes,

Judy Lundsten

Superintendent