GRE Family Gazette

February 4, 2019

Dear GRE Families,

The weather sure provided a challenge this week! Hopefully students enjoyed the extended break this week due to the frigid temperatures and unexpected snow. With three days off school there are many things that will need rescheduled including our January Party Wagon adventure that I shared about in last week's newsletter.

Look for conference notifications to come home on Monday via backpacks for our February 21st conference night. February conferences are by invitation only per teacher recommendation. If you have any concerns about your child’s progress don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher. Every family will get a letter to indicate whether or not a conference is needed at this time.

Here's to a great week full of fun, friends and learning!

Kate Thoma

Principal, General Rosecrans Elementary

Need some help with the special schedule? See below:

Monday 2/4- C Day

Tuesday 2/5- D Day

Wednesday 2/6- A day

Thursday 2/7- B Day

Friday 2/8- C Day

A Few Important Reminders:

1. Kindergarten and Preschool enrollment will begin on February 19th thru March 15th. You can find all the information you need for this below.

2. A final reminder that Mrs. Keller is in need of some Engineering items. Click here to learn more about it and see if you can help out!

3. We are looking for members of our community that either live or work within the Big Walnut enrollment area, have a vested interest in the district, and have expertise in a financial field to be a part of this committee.

Finance Committee Goals

  • To obtain advice and counsel that enhances the effectiveness of the decision-making process with respect to financial and business issues.
  • To serve as an avenue to improve public awareness of the Big Walnut School District’s finance issues and to inform the District governing team of community perspectives related to finance.
  • To enhance communication between all stakeholders.

The finance committee by-laws, application form, and contact information on the Treasurer’s page of the District website at, and interested individuals are requested to send a completed application form along with a letter stating interest to the District Treasurer, Jeremy Buskirk (

Winter Blues...Try some of these!

Special Spotlight: Music with Mrs. Wood


Students are singing, chanting, listening, dancing, exploring movement, and playing

instruments. Students read the story “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?” by

Eric Carle. Students sang questions and answers in the story and used finger puppets

to create their own patterns and melodies.

Ask your child to sing or chant: My Mother, Your Mother, and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?”

1st Grade:

Students are beginning to chant, decode, and create patterns in duple meter where the

rhythms are organized in groups of two. Students learned about dynamics by playing a

fun game called “Closet Key” where one student closes his/her eyes while another

student hides a key in the room. The student opens his/her eyes, and the rest of the

students must help the student find the key by singing “forte” (loudly) if the student is

closer to the key or “piano” (quietly) if the student is far away from the key.

Music Playlist: Closet Key, Mi Cuerpo, Yankee Doodle

2nd Grade:

Students are beginning to sing and play instruments in two-part harmony. They are

continuing to learn about ostinatos, chord roots, and performing in a two part round.

They are also finishing up their unit in duple meter where they are chanting, decoding,

and reading patterns in duple meter with rhythm syllables.

Music Playlist: Ask your student to sing: Are You Sleeping, Closet Key, Yankee Doodle, Down in the Valley

3rd Grade:

This month, we are in the process of completing our recorder karate unit, where

students receive a colored karate belt to put on their recorders every time they master a

new song. This is a self-paced unit where students learn a variety of songs and each

song gets progressively more challenging with new notes and rhythms. Please remind

your student to practice their recorder karate songs and to bring their red folders and

recorders to music so that they can earn their belts! Recordings to the songs can be

found on our music website.

Ask your student to sing or play: Gently Sleep, Merrily We Roll Along, It’s Raining, and Old Macdonald, When the Saints Go Marching In, Amazing Grace, Ode to Joy

4th Grade:

Students just began our ukulele unit where they learned about parts of the instrument,

history of the ukulele, how to play the “c” chord, and basic strumming patterns. Students

learned how to play the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, which is an African American

spiritual. Students analyzed the song lyrics and discovered how the song has hidden

code words that directly relate to the Underground Railroad.

Ask your student to sing: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Don’t Throw Your Trash in my


Open Music:

3rd graders have been working on their recorder songs

Important Dates


February 7 PTO Meeting 6:30pm

February 15 K-4 Valentine Parties

February 18 NO SCHOOL: President’s Day

February 21 P/T Conferences 4:00-8:00pm

February 22 Columbus Zoo Visit

Feb. 25-Mar. 1 Read Across America Week

Big picture

Don't forget...this goes into effect in 1 Month!!!

Our schools are extremely fortunate to have the support of our parent and community volunteers. While we are continually grateful for this support, we are also aware of the potential concerns that can arise when volunteers are working directly with students. One of the recent priorities established by our District Safety Committee, which is comprised of law enforcement personnel, first responders, parents, and staff, is that volunteers should have background checks completed to promote safety within our schools. Each staff member and coach in the district is required to provide initial and ongoing background checks to insure that they are deemed safe for working with our students, so it makes sense to consider a similar requirement for volunteers working with students or who are helping in the building during the school day. Click here to read more about our volunteer policy that will go into effect on March 1, 2019.
PaySchools Central

Pay school fees, add lunch money to accounts, etc.