Crabapple Crossing Elementary

Principal's Newsletter

September 23, 2016

Dr. Rachel Williams, Principal

From the Principal

Dear Parents-

Last Friday we held our first STEAM Day. It was a huge success! We have dedicated one day per month for these types of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math activities. Each grade level determines their activities for the day and parents may be invited to volunteer on occasion. Please see pictures below. Special thanks to our kindergarten parents. Many helped the teachers and classes create scarecrows that are displayed in downtown Alpharetta. I hope you will check them out! Tweet me a photo if you go!

I had the pleasure of attending a conference this week held through the Georgia State University Principal’s Center. Valerie Burton, a national best-selling author, was the presenter and she brought so much of my work as a leader into perspective. Much of her day focused on the power of positive thinking and telling yourself positive words. She discussed the three measures of success: Purpose, Resilience, and Joy! My biggest take away from the day was work life balance and being in the moment. Technology has consumed our lives (adults and children). We keep it in our hands at all times and we are addicted in a sense to staying in touch with the world instantly. This was a great reminder for me to take time for people, as it is important to “be present” and listen.

I, for one, carry two phones at all times so I can be accessible to anyone and respond promptly to concerns. The day reminded me that family, friends, and relationships should be a priority. What a fantastic reminder we all should live by!

We are getting geared up for our annual fundraiser, Glo For It! Last year we raised over $90,000 and we hope to be just as successful this year with your support! Our teachers are dedicated to Reader’s Workshop instruction, which provides students with choice in text. This means our students are reading books on their level of interest to them. Because of choice and the sheer volume of books kids need to read to grow, we are looking forward to monies being dedicated to our book room and teacher classroom libraries. When we attend staff development through Columbia University’s Teachers College, we are reminded that a “dream” classroom library for each teacher is about $4,000-$6,000. We will continue to hold book drives and as always, we welcome your donations as you clean out your personal spaces at home. It is imperative that we are placing our money into areas we have written into our Strategic Plan, which I shared with you last week.

We are one week away from our CCES Spirit Night at MHS! Get your CCES clothes ready so you can join us on the field to be recognized as a school. Tonight is Movie Night and I hope many of you plan to attend. Also, don’t forget Monday is Chick-fil-a night in Roswell. I plan to be there early and would love to see many of our families come out and support our school. Have a great weekend!

A Message from our Counselor…

Red Ribbon Week is a drug prevention week observed in October.

Students are invited to participate in a week of spirit to celebrate our choice to be drug free. Please remember to follow school dress code.

Red Ribbon Week Spirit Days

October 17-21

Monday- Proud to be Drug Free! Wear Red to help kick off Red Ribbon Week!

Tuesday- Put a Cap on Drugs! Wear your favorite hat .

Wednesday- Sock it to Drugs! Wear your favorite silly socks.

Thursday- Team Up Again Drugs! Wear your favorite sports shirt or jersey.

Friday- Our School Chooses to Be Drug Free! Wear your school shirt or school colors.

CCES and Personalized Learning

As we move along in our personalized learning journey at Crabapple Crossing, our COLTS are beginning to take ownership of their learning. Currently we are focusing on three personalized learning principles at CCES: varied strategies, choice and voice, and just in time, direct instruction. Our personalized learning instructional model for Readers Workshop, Writers Workshop, and Tabor Math aligns directly with our personalized learning principles. Teachers are providing students with various learning experiences, students have choice and voice within workshop rotations, and teachers are consistently providing just in time direct instruction through small groups and one-on-one conferencing.

Using formative assessment data, students are grouped flexibly for instructional class time. Our workshop model begins with a whole group mini-lesson before moving into rotations. This time allows teachers to set the stage for the learning that will take place during the workshop rotations. After the mini-lesson, students move into rotations which vary based on the unit and needs of each student. Rotations provide varied strategies and choice and voice for our students.

Collaborative group rotations allow students to work with their peers to explore, learn, and create to show mastery of standards. During independent work time, students are working on their own to progress towards a goal or complete an assignment. Most importantly, our workshop model provides students the opportunity to meet with their teacher in small groups and one-on-one conferencing so that teachers are able to provide just in time direct instruction based on specific student needs.

Through personalized learning at CCES, our students are not just consumers of instruction, they are active participants through flipped and blended learning, setting and tracking goals, collaborating, and creating to build knowledge and to show mastery of standards.

Digital Citizenship at CCES

Crabapple Crossing Elementary School is in the process of becoming a Common Sense Media Certified School for the 2016-2017 school year!

Our students have been receiving lessons designed by Common Sense Media on Digital Citizenship. Students are learning to be good Digital Citizens and stay safe on the internet. Our goal is to give our CCES Colts the digital education needed to begin developing positive and responsible digital footprints. In addition to being a vital resource to educators in this digital age, Common Sense Media is also a great resource for parents to use as they guide their children through these formative years.

Be sure to check out the Common Sense Media website:

Upcoming Events

9/23 Family Movie Night

9/24 Hands On CCES, 8am-12pm

9/26 Spirit Night at Chick-fil-A in Roswell

9/30 CCES Spirit Night at Milton High Football Game - Kids arrive by 6:50 pm

10/5 Glo For it Begins

10/10 Columbus Day - No School

10/11 Staff Development Day - No School for Students

10/12 CCES Release Day - No School for Students

10/14 Walk to School Day

10/18 Katie Reeves' Community Meeting, Cambridge HS, 7 pm

10/19 Katha Stuart's Community Meeting, Mountain Park ES, 6:30 pm

10/21 Box Tops Due

10/21 PTO meeting - 10:30 am

10/24-28 ITBS Testing for grades 3 & 5, no lunch visitors please!