From the Principal's Pen

September 21, 2018

Big picture

Wednesday 9.26.18 is an Early Release Day!!

Dismissal is promptly at 12:45 pm. Please make sure your child’s dismissal plan for the day is in the School Dismissal Manager. Our Julian Curtiss teachers will be working with best-selling author and reknowned math consultant Greg Tang on Wednesday afternoon to develop a deeper, more connected understanding of important concepts, strategies and teaching methods in math.

Save the Date!

On that note, Save the date! Greg Tang will facilitate a Math Night for Parents on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at North Mianus School from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Greg will present for one hour followed by a question and answer period. I highly recommend parents attend this evening. Attached at the bottom of this newsletter are flyers for you in English and Spanish.
Big picture

Be Here - What's Your Superpower?

Monday September 24th, GPS is celebrating “Be Here-What’s Your Superpower?"

Our district-wide SEL events are part of a common initiative across grade levels to promote self-growth, goal setting and community building.

Students will take this opportunity to:

  • Reflect on their strengths and identify their "superpower" and how they will use it to be successful during the school year.

  • Learn how to use their strengths to improve their challenges.

  • Brainstorm ways they can use their superpowers to make a difference in our community and the world

Please make sure your child wears purple (or JC Spirit Wear) in honor of the day!

At JC, we will be following up with our first JC Community Meeting on Tuesday morning where students will be sharing their Superpowers!


It is only September 21st and technically we are still in the process of setting our goals and routines for the new school year. It is my hope that we can take advantage of this fresh start and set good attendance and promptness to school as top priorities. This past week we had 60 tardies, which means that 19% of our students were late to school at least one day. Many students were late more than one day. I find this unacceptable and I am sure that we can do better than this as a community.

Attendance and punctuality are essential to ensuring that your child gets the most out of their time at school. They are important life skills that your child will need as they become young adults and enter the world of work. Research shows that attendance and punctuality are extremely important factors in building school success.

Please ensure that your child arrives in time for the . They are expected to be in their classrooms ready for work at 8:15 am. They can arrive in their classroom as early as 8:00 am. Children can be dropped off in the cafeteria starting at 7:30 am and are admitted to class at 8:00 am. Breakfast is served during that time and will not be served to students who arrive after 8:00 am.

Late arrivals are disruptive for both the child that is late and the other students who have begun lessons. There is no good reason for any student to be habitually late.

Prompt pick-ups after school are also very important. Children can become distressed when waiting for parents and looking after them requires supervision, which deflects staff from other important work that serves our students. Please phone us if you are going to be late! Dismissal is promptly at 2:45 pm.

Please try to take vacations during designated school holiday periods as absences can undermine your child's progress. If you decide to take your child out of school on a holiday, it is not our policy to provide schoolwork to cover the period of absence.

If your child is ill, please contact the main office by phone at 869-1896. The Principal and the district regard attendance and punctuality as important factors in school success. Attendance and punctuality are being monitored regularly.

Why Punctuality is Important...

Being on time...

  • Gets the student’s day off to a good start and puts them in a positive frame of mind. Children settle well and have a better sense of belonging when they begin the day with their classroom community.

  • Is respectful to the teacher and to the classmates.

  • Leads to understanding that school is important and education is valuable.

  • Helps develop a sense of responsibility and is an indicator of good character.

  • Leads to a good attendance record and sets positive patterns for the future.

  • Leads to better achievement.

Lateness has a negative impact on student learning...

  • Gets the student’s day off to a bad start.
  • May lead the student to feel disorganized all day! The student may have missed out on vital instructions, information and bits of news at the start of the day.
  • Can cause students to fall behind.
  • Disrupts the lesson for everyone.
  • Creates a bad habit that can be hard to break in the workplace and lead to poor employment.

Research shows that children with poor attendance are at a disadvantage later in life. They often...

  • Find it harder to make and maintain friendships.
  • Are less likely to gain good qualifications.
  • Earn lower wages.
  • Have a higher chance of being unemployed.
  • Have low self-esteem.

Poor attendance and punctuality, even at the earliest age, can affect achievement in later life. Establishing good habits from the start helps children to settle more quickly into new settings and routines.

Tips for Getting to School on Time...

  • Establish a good bedtime routine.
  • Ensure that your child always get a good night’s sleep and therefore awakes rested the next morning.
  • Provide a schedule and have children organize their materials the night before (e.g. books, instrument, sneakers, clothes).
  • Aim to always be at school 15 minutes before the start of the school day (aim for 7:45 am). If the unexpected happens you can still get to school on time.

In the elementary years, it is the parent’s responsibility to get their child to school on time. Thank you to all of our families that support their child’s education by encouraging good attendance and punctuality!


Parents of 4th and 5th Grade Students

Your child’s SBA report was mailed home on Friday 9.21.18. Students in Grades 3-8 were assessed using the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English language arts and math last spring. Assessments are like academic checkups. They help teachers and parents to see where students are compared with where they need to be. The results can reveal subject areas where a student is excelling and subject areas where a student needs extra help. The SBA is only one assessment, which is utilized along with multiple other classroom assessments to develop a full picture of a student’s learning. If you have any questions about your child’s SBA report please contact your child’s teacher.


Welcome, Ms. Champion!

We are thrilled that our new general music teacher, Ms. Melanie Champion, will be joining us on Monday! If you happen to see her, please give her a warm JC welcome!

Orchestra Lessons

Orchestra lessons will begin next week. Mr. Thomas Purcell will be joining us while Ms. Giulia Sanford is on maternity leave. Please follow the schedule that was sent home with your child.


All families of JC second graders, and new students in grades 2-5, must complete the Student Device Loan Form electronically for the 2018-19 school year. This liability form allows students in grades 2-5, to take the iPad back and forth between school and home. Click on the Student Device Loan Form Link to go to the form.


Thank you to all that have signed up for the Dismissal Manager. We now have 160 families signed up. We require 100% of parents to use this Manager. Ms. Lisa Maniscalco in the office will provide support for parents that need it. Please feel free to call Lisa at 869-1896 to receive support or clarify any information.
Big picture