Hiawatha Elementary School
A Season Of Change
Wow, what an unexpected way to begin the 4th quarter of our school year. I don't think anyone could have predicted that our farewell at Spring Break would last until the end of the school year. That being said, it is not a farewell, but a change in how we are together. One of the statements I've heard is that we're not necessarily staying home, we're staying safe.
That is the thing we must keep at the forefront of our minds. While it is sad to miss the field trips, events, and great learning that happens at the end of the year, it is encouraging to know that our community is embracing the habits needed to ensure that our families reduce the risks from COVID-19 to themselves and others.
The Hiawatha Elementary Continuous Learning plan relies on two primary systems to continue our instruction. The first, for our younger grades (K-2), is a program called Seesaw that works well with the iPads students can use. This is an online portfolio. Teachers can assign tasks, upload video lessons and receive feedback from students. The program limits how comments and media are shared. Each post is reviewed by the classroom teacher before it is visible. Our older students (3-4) use a resource called Google Classroom. This pairs well with the Google Chromebooks each student has access to. The closed classroom enables teachers to add links, videos, and resources that students can work with. Teachers can then add assignments that each student completes and uploads for the teacher to grade.
While this is certainly not an ideal way to teach, it has showcased the excellence we have in our building. Our teachers were tasked to not only modify a quarter of teaching, developing a sustainable and effective plan in under a week, they also had to box around 400 students' belongings and any educational materials our families may need for the remainder of the year. Aided by an outstanding crew of classified staff, this was accomplished and, in under two days, our students have the supplies they need.
I want to thank our community for the patience, understanding, cooperation, and most importantly the support as our school responds to an unprecedented situation. I am proud to call Hiawatha, home. I'm proud to be an administrator in a district that has excellence at all levels. I know the coming weeks will be challenging in ways we can predict, and some we can't, but I know going forward we will persevere together.
Handing Out Supplies
After teachers packed students' things, our classified staff sorted and passed out the supplies. It was a long two days, but we got it finished!
The Hiawatha Elementary School Parking lot is one of the multiple locations where any child between the ages of 1-18 years old can receive a free lunch.
Our school quickly learned how to use Zoom, a program that lets us video chat. Here, our Kindergarten team plans together on how to use the Seesaw platform for their students.
Handing Out Supplies
WIN Time Update
While we were unable to see the full effects of these new efforts, we did learn how these benefited our school. We were able to evaluate each student's needs for reading and math. The students were given direct instruction based on their needs. This leads us to the end of the first semester.
After the first semester, each grade level's teachers began Data Dives. Every week our intervention teachers would meet and look at our progress monitoring data. This helped us get a good picture of how the students were progressing in their targeted skills. We were then able to regroup students on an individual basis to continue to meet their needs. At conferences in March, parents were given winter scores to show how their student was progressing.
Looking ahead to next year, we will evaluate what was beneficial for students and teachers. It is the plan to have teachers attend professional development this summer. This will allow us, as a building, to reflect on our MTSS model and make changes that will help us progress even more next year. It is our hope that we will continue to see student growth.
Our library is getting a few additions. One of these is a could of bookshelves that will house our new Listening Library books.
Virtual Field Trip
Did you know that our school library is named after Bill and Bernard Martin? New lettering and a "caterpillar" couch themed after one of Bill Martin Jr.'s books helps honor our namesake.
2nd and 4th Grade Music Concert
Our new Listening Library will feature a few exciting products. The books shown are called Wonderbooks. They have an audiobook built into the cover of the physical book. Students can listen to the audiobook while reading along in their copy of the book.
Virtual Field Trip
Horizon Award- From Mrs. Hanf
Earlier this year I was named a 2020 Horizon Award winner. As a new teacher, this experience has been so rewarding and very humbling. I was invited to the 2020 KEEN State Education Conference in Topeka, Kansas in mid-February. I was joined by hundreds of phenomenal and innovative Kansas educators.
Over the course of two days, I had the opportunity to brainstorm with some of the most inspiring and intelligent teachers I’ve ever met. I listened to presentations from former Horizon winners, Teacher of the Year, and Dr. Randy Watson the Commissioner of Education in Kansas. I soaked in the words and teachings as best as I could. After looking back at my (many) notes, I wanted to share some of my biggest takeaways.
- Great teachers don’t look out the window, they look in the mirror.
- If you don’t feed the teachers, they’ll eat the students. (Ha! I thought this one was funny.)
- Don’t enter situations as a firecracker. Go in with small intensity, backed by compassion.
- We win when we don’t care who gets the glory.
- Things you are passionate about are NOT random. They are your calling!
- We as teachers need to market our profession better.
- The world is changed by your example, not your opinion. (AMEN!)
Those are just a few of the insights I took away from the conference. Being surrounded by positive, uplifting people has had a significant impact! Thank you to my awesome team for helping me during my first year and continuing to support me each and every day.
Here is what I wrote the night I got home from the conference. I hope it gives you some encouragement:
"My heart is so full. Being surrounded by some of the best educators in Kansas has inspired me and re-ignited my love for teaching. What we do matters. This is what makes it so amazing. But that is also what makes it SO challenging. It is up to us to change the message we send about teaching and education. Whose voice is most important? We become the stories we tell. Hurt people, hurt people. We must first take care of ourselves before we can care for others. We need to believe in ourselves and each other. We are doing champion work."
-Scotti Hanf, 2nd Grade Teacher
We all knew Mrs. Kneisley was a remarkable woman, but now she's recognized on a national scale. Winning the remarkable woman award, Mrs. Kneisley was going to be invited to New York to make an appearance on a tv show. Even though she wasn't able to travel, she is still a remarkable woman.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. One such challenge these students took on was to create a helicopter using the materials they were provided. They figured out how to create the plane complete with turning turbines!
During the second semester, the elementary school partnered with our PTO to create the H.E.S. Award. This award stands for Honoring Every Student. Adults in the building can give an award to students who go above and beyond with positive behaviors and actions. Students' names are placed in a drawing and 2 students from each grade get their picture taken with the superintendent and also get to eat out during our award luncheon.