ENSC Weekly Notes
September 3, 2013
A New Week
The start to this school year has been very smooth and truly "issue free." I have heard very similar comments from administrators, teachers, and other staff members across the district. I have something for you to think about. "What is different this year over previous years?" I am very interested in your thoughts so that we may be able to replicate the same in future years.
Leadership in Education
Being an educator or working in the education field, requires a quality that some people lack. When asked what quality an educator needs, some may say patience, depth of knowledge, a sense of humor, ability to put up with "attitudes," a love for kids, etc. The list can go on.
A person who works in the field of education actually needs the skill of servant leadership. A true leader is one who places others before themselves and serves those they are leading. It is not about being out front or outspoken, it is about compassion, consideration, and selflessness.
As ENHS senior, Natalie Pine, wrote in a recent essay: "I consider true leaders to be very charitable people by nature. Leaders wake up every morning hoping to make their team, group, or organization better and they go to bed every night thinking of what they can improve upon for the next day. Every decision a leader makes benefits the group in the long run. Leaders are neither selfish nor conceited; they are positive, insightful, and supportive."
When you are a part of the education profession, regardless of your role, you are all leaders who serve others--students, parents, peers, administrators, community, etc. Thank you for the many times daily that you have placed others before yourself.
Sometimes I forget
OK, I forget many things, many times, and some times I forget that several of our students lead very different lives than mine or yours. Most arrive on our doorstep eager to learn and exhausted at the end of the day from the rigorous engagement and stimulating environment school provides. Some arrive at our doorstep eager to enter for the peaceful and safe environment you provide.
During the past week, I have listened to our principals share experiences they had with their students. We had a situation where an out of state parent arrived with a court order to take their child back to their state. The dad did not return the child following the summer visit. Another principal had a child who was crying and asking to stay at school because home was not a good place and the child didn't feel either parent wanted him/her. We had another child whose parent left for jail and the other parent was already in jail. There was also the story of a child who moves between parents and grandparents on a near nightly basis.
The home lives of some of our students continues to astound me. What is frustrating, is the expectation from the state that "one size fits all" and their belief that a one time standardized test in the spring is a true snapshot of the quality of education we provide to our students. That standardized test and the school/district grade that is generated from that data is not relevant and does not tell the story of the multitude of hours each and every teacher works outside of each school day to ensure that every student's unique needs are met. It does not tell a true story of the academic and social growth that a student experienced during the school year. That test does not reflect the hard work that our students put forth while in school. The final grade does not recognize the many small and large successes that our students have experienced nor does it measure the many ways that our support staff also impact our students every day.
My point....the IDOE is now charged with tweaking or developing a new school grading system. Please stay tuned, read the papers, check the internet, and listen to the discussions concerning the school grade. If you are not hearing anything or not comfortable with the direction of the new school grade, please contact your State representatives as soon as possible. They need to hear your thoughts!!
The new system is to be in place by early November. That is just around the corner!
This week's cookie recipients....yes, more than one, are North Side Elementary for the second week in a row and South Side Elementary. Both buildings had 100 percent attendance. Thank you everyone for all you do for our students and the district.
North Side Elementary - 100%
South Side Elementary - 100%
East Noble Middle School - 99.7%
Avilla Elementary - 98.7
Wayne Center Elementary - 98.3%
Rome City Elementary - 98%
East Noble High School - 96.8%
Super Hero of the Week
East Noble High School would like to present Marilyn Freiburger as our Hero.
Without her in this building serving the way she does, this place would not be the same. She puts in hours well beyond what’s expected of her, she goes the extra mile for everyone in this building. She knows the answer to every question, or at least knows who to talk to on that rare occasion that she doesn’t have an answer, and she does it with a willing heart and a smile on her face. She’s very patient, even when she has a million things of her own to do, she stops what she’s doing to assist, guide, and give directions. She’s a cheerleader for ENHS – constantly giving praises when she attends an event. Beyond the countless hours she spends behind her desk, she gives of herself by helping at events, whether it’s selling tickets for softball, working the gate at football, running the scoreboard for basketball & gymnastics or checking teams in and working the finish line at track meets – every season, somewhere, you will find her hard at work and supporting our kids.
Thank you, Marilyn, for all you do for ALL of us - We are very blessed.
East Noble High School
The Four County Area Vocational Cooperative recently went through a re-branding process, and is now known as Impact Institute. Located in Kendallville, we send several of our students to earn vocational skills and certifications that prepare kids for life beyond high school. Students have access to a variety of trades such as automotive, welding, culinary arts, and cosmetology. This partnership allows ENHS to exceed state expectations for College and Career Readiness benchmarks.
Jerry Ackerman, a motivation speaker on anti-bullying, addressed East Noble High School students this week on the importance of changing the school culture from bystander to defender. Students got up and danced to the Lawn Mower Diddy as an ice breaker, see on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Cbb4UqP-dI
Rome City Elementary
At Rome City Elementary we are extremely fortunate to have a very active National Elementary Honor Society. Officers of this organization met recently to discuss and plan various activities for the upcoming school year such as: the formation of a Light the Night Team, popcorn sales during lunch, and organizing fundraisers to help raise money for a different type of cancer each month. Members of the Honor Society also demonstrate their leadership skills by serving as office helpers, mentoring kindergarten students, and reading the morning announcements. They put the Character Counts Pillars into action, and we greatly appreciate the example they set for others.
Students of the Month were recognized for demonstrating the Character Counts Pillars. They were selected by each teacher as students who have done an exemplary job during these first few weeks of school. Students were rewarded with a certificate, extra recess, and will even get to eat lunch with Mrs. Green.
The credit train keeps on rolling. We had five different students earn credits this week in five different subjects. It is exciting to see our students making progress toward their graduation. Students could not make such progress without the dedicated and caring team at the ALC. A heart-felt thanks to a great staff!!!
A big ALC thanks also goes out to ENHS Principal Steve Peterson for inviting the ALC students to the Bullying Presentation put on by Jerry Ackerman on at the High School on Wednesday. The presentation was excellent and gave all of the students much to consider about the issue of bullying.
East Noble Middle School
The middle school had a great week! Despite the sweltering heat and extreme humidity our students had some great experiences this week.
East Noble Middle School students help raise over $200 for the Friends of Rachel Club, the middle schools anti-bullying group. Students paid one dollar for one yard of duct tape to stick it to Mr. Deming. Students also wrote anti-bully slogans or words of encouragement on cut out hands and put them all over the cafeteria. This was done with the idea in mind of “Lend a Hand, Take a Stand”.
Eighth grade science students practiced measuring mass and in the process created some interesting sculptures.
Social studies students are creating projects about Native American culture, such as food, music, homes, tools, headdresses and more. Some very interesting projects were turned in and students seem excited about their work.
Jerry Ackerman spoke to all our students in the Cole auditorium about bullying. Not only did he make us dance and laugh, he made us think about how each of us should always step-up to stop bullying and support each other.
Wayne Center Elementary
Wayne Center is extremely fortunate to have ICE students and senior interns at our school each year. The high schoolers work directly with our students by providing remediation and enrichment in addition to helping the classroom teachers with organizational tasks. The interns/ICE students work with boys and girls in both the general education setting as well as our special education classrooms providing much needed assistance. It is not uncommon to see them working with small groups of students or individuals on math and reading skills. Some of the tasks the interns/ICE students do with students include: reviewing problems students may have missed on an assignment, helping them learn a new math concept, listening to students read, quizzing students on sight words or math facts, and helping them with their writing. Our staff continues to be impressed with the quality of work these students bring to our school. The interns/ICE students are very valuable members of our school, and their work is greatly appreciated.
North Side Elementary
Our first graders are off to a nice start. During our Daily Five Time we have been working on building up our stamina during Read to Self. Each classroom is recording daily the number of minutes the class can make. Students have reviewed the procedures for picking Just- right books. We also know that there are three ways we can read our books during our reading time: Read the pictures, Read the word and Retell the story. During our work on words time, students have enjoyed the many different choices of materials they can use to practice their words. They can use dry erase boards, magnetic letters, stamps, and letter tiles to name a few.
In math, we have been working on adding and subtracting with unifex cubes. Our goal is to be fluent with math facts to 20. The students are excited because as they succeed they can earn an awesome North Side bracelet and get their photo on the North side website.
One of the major topics of discussion between teachers and parents of OUR students is how can parents help their children become College Bound. Computer skills is a major concern for OUR parents. They want to be able to help their children by being able to email teachers, look up grades, and find assignments more easily. OUR webmaster, Joantha Smith, has put together a HUGE help to them. She has created a Parent Symbaloo that can easily be found on the website and turned into a home page for parents when they log on to the internet. Mrs. Smith has shortcuts for the major websites that OUR parents need to help OUR children on this one site. The parents can simply select which site that they want to visit and click on it. What a great tool for OUR parents to have access to. Mrs. Smith has also created a student symbaloo and a stafF symbaloo as well. Many grade levels have begun creating grade level symbaloos also. Please feel free to take a look at OUR parent symbaloo by simply clicking on http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/parentresources51.
South Side Elementary
This past week and in the week to come, South Side has welcomed families into the building for our grade-level Success Nights. Our parents are hearing all about Six + 1 Traits, Daily 5, Everyday Math, the Six Pillars of Character, and how we continue to work to integrate technology into our daily practice in meaningful and engaging ways. These informal discussions have allowed our teachers to talk directly with parents in a smaller, more casual environment. We have had a great turn out! In addition, many parents linger after the presentations to talk with teachers and Mrs. Smith, ask questions, or just take the opportunity to get to know the professionals that work with their children each day.
Our grade level update this week comes from our first grade teachers: The students are working hard in the first components of Daily 5. They are building stamina in reading to self and practicing the three ways to read a book. We are learning about nouns and adding to our list of vocabulary words. We are in the process of conducting our Amplify testing. This usually takes several weeks to complete, and will help us meet each student on an individual level. And finally, we are striving to model good behavior and portray the six pillars of character!
Have a great week.....
I hope you all have a wonderful week. Enjoy your Labor Day and take time to relax. If you want to read the basics on the school grade or need the link to Becca's Curriculum Newsletter, check out my website/blog at annlinson.com.
Have a wonderful week.