Gratz Brown Elementary

February Newsletter

Accredited with Distinction

Moberly's Mission Statement:

Create a safe environment that fosters mutual respect and responsibility

Inspire and value life long learners,

The Spartan Way is excellence for all!

GBE's Partners in Education:

El Vaquero

Sonic Drive-In

Art's Appliance

Central Bank of Moberly

Dates to Remember:

Monday, February 1, 2016

  • PTO meeting @ 5:30 GBE

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • District Red Out Day
  • Hat Day for Classes that earned all 5's last week at lunch
  • Math Fun Night at GBE begins at 5:00- hosted by MHS

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Reading Counts Lunch with the Principal Awarded to those who earned
  • 5th Grades Award Assembly at 2:50 GBE
  • PTO Carnival Meeting for Spring @ 6:00 pm, El Vaquero

Friday, February 5th, 2016

  • Mid Quarter

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

  • Board of Education Meeting at High School PD Room @ 5:30 pm

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

  • Progress Reports sent home

Friday, February 12th, 2016

  • Classroom Valentine Parties

Saturday, February 14th, 2016 Valentine's Day <3

Monday, February 15th, 2016

  • No School - President's Day

Tuesday February 16th, 2016

  • Vision and Hearing Screenings take place at GBE up to the 17th

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

  • Moberly Mayor visits 3rd Grade Classrooms

Other Upcoming Dates of Importance:

Wednesday, March 9th- End of 3rd Quarter

Monday, March 15th- Parent Teacher Conferences

Thursday, March 17th- Parent Teacher Conferences-- Early Out day

Friday, March 18th- No School

Friday, March 25th- Easter Break- No School

Program Feature from GBE: Music Program and Mrs. Lewis


We decided to share with you results from our Fall Parent Survey in systematic way by answering some questions that came about regarding specific programs we have at GBE. One area that we saw many questions come forward in regards to was GBE/Moberly School District's Music Program. Mrs. Lewis took those questions and outlined a question and answer format for parents to read. We will continue to feature any questions about programs this way, from the survey, and then give the results directly to parents from the individual survey questions.

2015 Parent Survey Music Question Responses

Q: When does Band start in the Moberly School District?

A: Students in the Moberly School District have the opportunity to start Band class in 6th grade when they enter Moberly Middle School. However, in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades (as well as in grades K-2), instruments are often used in weekly music class. 4th graders learn to play recorders during the first and second quarters of the year, leading up to a performance in November. Several instruments are used on a regular basis for all GBE students such as xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, hand drums, triangles, maracas, conga drums and boomwhackers. This type of instrument helps students learn to read notes and rhythm, learn proper technique on simple instruments, and have lots of hands-on fun!

Q: Do GBE students get instruments for free?

A: Most of the instruments used in the classroom at GBE are purchased with school district money and kept at the school for use only in the classroom. 4th graders purchase their own recorder at a low cost of $3, and those who don’t purchase one may borrow a gently used recorder from the classroom supplies. If students choose to take 6th grade Band at Moberly Middle School, students buy or rent their own instrument since families usually want their students to have their own personal instrument for health reasons and for at-home practice. Some instruments, however, are available to borrow from the school’s supplies. If a student wants to play an instrument, a lack of financial resources should not keep them from joining band since band directors can often help families come up with a solution that meets their needs. In the Moberly School District, we are lucky to have band and choir or general music classes opportunities at every level from 6th through 12th grades.

Q: Do GBE students have the opportunity to participate in drama?

A: Drama is sometimes included in some of the fall performances at GBE, especially in the 5th grade program. The middle school sometimes incorporates drama into their class offerings. At the high school, students can look forward to auditioning for the musical in the fall or the play in the spring.

Q: My child would like to play instruments more often in GBE music class. Is this a possibility?

A: Yes! Mrs. Lewis is always looking for more ways to incorporate instruments in music class because instruments are a great and fun way for elementary students to learn. She stretches her annual budget as much as possible to purchase instruments and supplies that will benefit every student’s education. From time to time Mrs. Lewis applies for grants to purchase more costly instruments, such as the four conga drums that were purchased from the Moberly Public School Foundations Grant in 2013.

Q: Why don’t we have more programs at GBE? Can the programs be longer?

A: Each grade at GBE presents one music program in the fall of each year. Programs are usually 25 to 40 minutes long, depending on the grade. This length of program seems to fit well with the attention span of the age of students at our school (8 – 11 year olds). Though programs are beneficial and lots of fun, and families love to see their kids perform, it takes a lot of time to learn the songs, actions, and speaking or drama parts. When preparing for programs, there isn’t much time for anything else in the music classroom! Therefore, we think one program per year is best, and students are able to focus well when we keep the programs short.

5th graders also present a DARE Program, usually in the spring, as well as a 5th Grade Recognition Program. All 5th grade students sing a song as part of these programs. In addition, 5th grade students have the opportunity to audition for “Spartan Chorale” which is a select choir that meets before school once a week from October to December to prepare for a Christmas tour of businesses, schools, and senior care facilities throughout the Moberly community.

Q: How can I find out what my child is doing in music class?

A: Please feel free to check out Mrs. Lewis’ webpage on the Moberly Public Schools website at to see what’s going on in weekly music classes. Follow the Gratz Brown page, then the staff page to find all the teachers’ webpages. Also feel free to visit any teacher during Parent/Teacher conferences in the fall and spring, or call GBE to make an appointment at other times of the year. We love to hear from parents!

In addition to playing instruments in class, students sing, move, read notes and rhythms, and listen to music to study, compare, and enjoy it. We try to do a little of everything in music class!

Other Reminders for Parents and GBE Families:

Six Flags Reading Logs

Six Flags Reading logs will need to be turned into Mrs. Rivera on or before February 22nd, 2016

Make sure if you have not signed up for Spartan Text Alerts to go to the district's website and click on the Parents tab-- scroll down and the option for the text alerts is listed. ALSO-- know that if you switch carriers you must go back on the website and sign up again. .

Winter Weather is Upon Us:

Please make sure that your student has the necessary and weather appropriate coat, hat and gloves each day for outdoor recess.

Check out our Gratz Brown Library Site and all the valuable resources Mrs. St. Clair has for our students.

Inclement Weather Letter & Snow Routes have been posted to the district website-- Please listen for announcements on School Closings during Inclement Weather:

Note from Mrs. Doss

Dear Parents and GBE Families--

Happy Monday! It is hard to sit inside and type this newsletter with the beautiful weather we have had today. The last two days have brought in a warm wind that we hope continues and helps us elude any further SNOW days. :)

We can tell that this last month with days off from set days in the calendar and our snow day that we were a little off schedule. Our students are ready to get back in gear and push through to the Spring that is soon on the horizon.

At GBE we have been taking time to discuss our students' progress so far this year and have begun having those conversations in regards to looking at best learning opportunities for our students. Our teachers and staff have used valuable data to review teaching practices and take the opportunities to re-teach lessons needed and review concepts that may not be as clear for our learners. We have also started to think ahead to Summer School and make recommendations if we have students that would benefit. Some of you may have already thought of some of these opportunities as well.

In our technology area students have begun to work with a new site we are piloting called Front Row. Mrs. Buxton in the computer lab has started introducing this to our students to help as a supplemental piece for math concepts and skills appropriate to each child's skill level and grade level.

We are gearing up for our Valentine's Parties that are coming up on the 12th of this month. Most of you have probably been in contact with your child's teacher, if you are helping out this month. We have also taken our Reading Counts challenge in a fun direction with the extra incentive I have proposed to our students. In February, we are focused on "Falling In Love with a Good Book!" I challenged students to raise their scores overall and if they do so- I will spend the night in the Library cuddling up with a good book and reading the recommendations they have to fall in love with as a reader. :)

Mrs. Forsyth has helped organize this challenge and will be collecting the data to see if the students hit their target and meet the challenge as a team!

We have been working this winter to meet our students with challenges to push them in their learning and socially as students and part of our school family. One thing we are working on, mentioned last month, is our Student Advisory Committee, this is being headed up by our PBS Team and being finalized with teacher input. Our hope is to begin meeting with these students this month and hear their ideas, plus help them have a voice and investment in our building as learners and citizens. What better way to teach our students to be a part of something bigger!

Another great part of our school family here at GBE is Mr. Samuel and his challenges he presents to students for PBS behaviors. He was a good sport last week and wore a Cardinal's Jersey for our students and their hard work keeping the majority of our student body referral free. This week students in several classes building wide get to wear a hat to school on Tuesday, for keeping their class at all 5's for two weeks during their lunch times. What a great way to promote our kids and their positive choices!!

Again, we are excited for the days ahead and the many things that will flash by as we enter Spring. A large appreciation to each of you as parents and families that support your students and are part of our team approach here at GBE! We value each of you!

Best Regards-

Mrs. Doss



Meet your classroom’s reading counts goal and work toward your next incentive level. Every time you pass a quiz you will earn a Lovey Dovey treat.


Have the highest percentage of participation in your grade level and your classroom wins! (Choice: Technology Time, Dance Time, Treat Time)


IF...the entire Gratz Brown Elementary hits 10,000 Reading Counts points...Mrs. Doss will cuddle up and fall in love with a good book-...SPENDING THE NIGHT IN THE