Leaping into Excellence

September 2018 - Issue 9

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Greetings, Piedmont Panthers!

I hope this back-to-school letter finds you rejuvenated and full of wonderful memories made over summer break. Our Piedmont staff extends a Panther Pride welcome to our new and returning families for the 18/19 school year.

It is always a highlight for me to send out the beginning of the school year letter. Our staff has been busy preparing the school, classrooms, curriculum, programming and Panther Pride initiatives for another amazing year. Our way of life at Piedmont is essential to the growth and success of our students. We are committed to providing a positive, engaging and rigorous academic and social environment where all students flourish and take pride in their school and work. This year’s theme, Every Student...Every Day will focus on the whole child through our Panther Pride and MTSS (Multi Tiered System of Supports) initiatives. You will see this motto in our work, classrooms and school communication. Every Student...Every Day commits to our mission in providing an educational atmosphere where students can learn in a caring, creative, diverse, safe and positive environment. We are eager to collaborate with you and continue our work together as partners in your child’s education.

Every Student...Every Day will continue to prioritize Panther Pride and student achievement. Implementation of rich academic and educational experiences, that promote student strengths, growth, success and learning will be at the heart of our work. Staff will collaboratively focus on the whole child through core instruction, common formative assessments, data analysis and school-wide programming, services and supports. As partners in your child’s education, communication will be an important part of this mission. I encourage you to make connections with your child’s teacher and school staff through collaborative conversations, volunteering and other parent involvement opportunities. Your partnership is vital to our school’s success; we appreciate you and the role you play! Here are a few ways you can support, communicate and increase your child’s success at Piedmont:

  • Attendance Matters! Make attendance a priority, including limiting tardiness and absences. Core, grade level instruction, in math and reading, starts first thing in the morning.

  • Check the parent portal to stay current on your child’s progress and attendance.

  • Communicate with your child’s office staff and homeroom and specialist teachers.

  • Read to or with your child, regardless on their age, for at least 20 minutes a day.

  • Work on math facts with your child for 15 minutes a day.

  • Encourage PLAY! Research shows active kids, ignites learning!

  • Create a structure and routine for homework, reading and math, bedtime and morning.

  • Encourage Panther Pride in and out of school, “Work ~ Respect ~ Belong,” Our way of life at Piedmont!

  • Communicate any changes in your child’s school contact information, as soon as possible, to the main office staff and teacher (i.e. phone numbers, emergency contacts, medical information, email, address, etc.).

Please review the following information, as we prepare for the school year.

  • We are now in our third year of 4th and 5th grade departmentalizing. We have had positive feedback and results. We have also made adjustments where needed to this delivery model. The rotation and homeroom framework gives students a deeper level of instruction in academic disciplines known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). These exciting experiences tap into engaging and rigorous opportunities within the classroom and along with community partners. In 17/18 our 5th graders spent a week at STARBASE, Minnesota-Duluth, engaged in project based STEM learning experiences of a lifetime.

  • School begins at 7:45 a.m. Student drop off does not begin until 7:15 a.m. Please remember the importance of school attendance to ensure your child does not miss out on core instruction and classroom community building.

  • School is dismissed at 2:15 p.m. Respectfully, we ask that you wait in our main hallway until classes are dismissed for pickup. Teachers will be teaching up to this time and preparing students for dismissal.

  • “Pride Time” is known as Panthers working in class or staff in session. We love this new language, as do our students. It assists in our common school-wide Panther Pride language. When doors are closed and the hallways are quiet, Pride Time is in session.

  • Parking continues to be a challenge in our small lot. If you plan to depart from your car during drop off or pick up school times, vehicles must be parked in the parking lot or on a side road. The area in front of the school is for drop off and pick up only. This is where the traffic should flow. You will see crossing guards and supervisors assisting in getting families and students across the front of the school. Please adhere to this process to ensure our Panthers and families are safe. Parking is prohibited in front of the school yellow zones and where the fire zone is marked. Additional parking, drop off and pick up is now available on Ensign. All busing is assigned directly to the busing zone.

Piedmont Elementary is a wonderful learning community with dedicated families, staff and community partners. Thank you for helping us achieve our Piedmont vision of Every Student...Every Day.

In Partnership and Panther Pride,

Beth Shermoen

Piedmont Elementary, Principal

Mark Your Calendar!

  • 9/17/18: PTA Meeting in the Media Center - 6:00 pm - JOIN US! New members needed!
  • 10/2/18: School Photo Day
  • 10/10/18: Walk/Bike to School Day
  • 10/11/18: Parent/Teacher Conferences (Watch for information from your child's teacher)
  • 10/15/18: PTA Meeting in the Media Center - 1:30 pm - A short presentation by Superintendent Gronseth and Assistant Superintendent Horton on the Levy/Referendum will take place.
  • 10/16/18: Parent/Teacher Conferences (Watch for information from your child's teacher)
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Attendance - Did you know?

Parents are encouraged to strive 5 or less absences during the school year.

Studies have shown that students with good attendance have greater academic success.

Students missing just 2 days of school per month, including half days, tend to fall behind academically and find it extremely difficult to recover fully in the classroom. These students are at a greater risk for retention and dropping out.

So strive for no more than 5!

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21-20-19... and counting for our Panther Pride Gear Sale!

Check it out. All orders delivered right to our school. Proceeds go to our Panther Pride ~ Our Way of Life at Piedmont!


PANTHER PRIDE - PBIS Fundraising is Under Way!

  • Our World's Greatest Chocolate PBIS - Panther Pride Fundraiser is officially off and running! We hope you will participate and help make this our BEST fundraiser event ever. Remember, permission forms can be turned in this week to receive your box of chocolate to sell. Great prizes begin when the form comes in! Turn into your classroom teacher.
  • The SchoolMall booklets are still being collect. This fundraiser is for magazine sales. Have your child turn in their booklet this week and receive a backpack pet key ring!
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Every Student - Every Day...

We Grow Together. We Learn Together. We Inspire Together.

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ISD 709 Welcomes You!

Everything you need to know is attached on the back to school information page for ISD 709 - http://www.isd709.org/for-parents/back-to-school
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Come work with our team!

We are hiring recess monitors for the 18/19 school year. This is a great opportunity to make a difference, connect with kids and teach Panther Pride. Contact Principal Shermoen for more information at beth.shermoen@isd709.org or 218-336-8950 ext. 1013.
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STEM Challenge Materials Needed!

Our 4th and 5th grade science rooms are looking for some extra items for their STEM challenges. If you have any extra materials and would like to make a donation, see Ms. Guse, Ms. Lyons or Ms. Jodi in our front office.
Extra helpful items you can bring to help with STEM challenges - (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math):
*Masking tape
*Plastic bottle caps
*Clear packing tape
*Toilet paper rolls
*2 Liter bottles
*Shaving cream
*Cotton balls
*Food dye
*Shoe boxes
*Pipe cleaners
*Popsicle sticks
*Plastic bowls
*Spaghetti noodles
*Plastic spoons
*Mini Marshmallows
*Plastic cups

Thank you for your extra help. We appreciate your support! #PantherPride


Free or Reduced-price Lunch Information

Applying for free or reduced-price lunch is easy and confidential, choose which application works best for you.

Apply online at www.paypams.com/onlineapp, click the link and follow the instructions. Online application is safe, secure, convenient and available 24/7.

OR fill out a hard copy form and submit by mail or drop off at the school office. Hard copy forms are mailed to families at the beginning of the school year, are available from the school office, from the Child Nutrition Office or download an Application for free and reduced meals.

Qualifying for free/reduced price lunch may also qualify families to pay a lower fee or no fee for school activities.
Students who qualify take the ACT Test at school for free.
Families who qualify are helping Duluth schools qualify for additional education funds and discounts.
Children in households participating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Plan (MFIP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and foster children can get free school meals without reporting household income.

Also, children can get free or reduced-price meals if their household income is within the income shown for the household size on the instructions.

A new application must be submitted each school year. Approval for school meals is good for the school year.

For more information - https://www.isd709.org/…/child…/free-and-reduced-price-meals


Start saving your Box Tops for our school. Money raised from our 18/19 Box Top Drive will go to our Special Education programming and Specialist classrooms. Our Box Top bin is located in the main office. Thank you for supporting Piedmont!
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