ENSC Weekly Notes August 19, 2013

Outstanding Start to a New School Year

I don't know about you, but from my perspective, the start to the year was outstanding. We have many happy parents and families and that is because of all you did to get the year started. Walking through the buildings last Wednesday was wonderful for Becca, Brian, and me. There were many happy faces and the students seemed excited to return too. The first day of school has always been a favorite day of mine and, of course, the three of us started at the high school. Thank you to everyone for welcoming our students back to school and helping them feel important!

2013-2014 Negotiations

The administration and representatives from ENEA have started negotiations. This Wednesday will be another session and it is hoped that we can get much accomplished. Raises for teachers will come from the Performance grant ENSC received over a year ago and will be based on your "units" you earned last year. The negotiations team will be negotiating a compensation model to be used for 2013-2014. If you have anything would like to share, please contact one of them (Nancy Bodecker, Tony Blomeke, Carissa Prater, Charlie Barber, Faith Exerson, and Jessica Buhro). By law, we are suppose to settle/ratify by September 30 and I am confident we can get this accomplished.

All teachers who have been with ENSC at least one full year and were evaluated highly effective or effective will receive their raise/stipend before December 31! Hopefully sooner! Your building principal should be meeting with you in the next three weeks to go over your final evaluation score. Once that data is collected, we will then calculate the dollar amount you will be receiving.

Miscellaneous "Stuff"

The next school board meeting is August 28. The major agenda item will be the budget hearing for 2014.

Next week is a five day week. It will be a cookie week!

The August 26 Weekly Notes will also be our first "Hero of the Week" for the 2013-2014 school year.

Last year, my technology skills were challenged by the use of Edline and after many attempts, I gave up. Not proud of that, but it is what it is…. A few weeks ago, I decided to create my own website using WordPress. It is linked to the ENSC Website. As I indicated in last week's notes, I will be adding periodic posts, Parent Notes, and other information. Feel free to follow me at AnnLinson.com .

Have a wonderful week and welcome back!


Building and Curriculum News


The third edition of the Curriculum News is now available. This issue is dedicated to all of the hard work by ENSC staff members over the summer. You can read the newsletter at http://www.eastnoble.net/files/_rSLbV_/e48267eba678e8b93745a49013852ec4/district_newsletter_august_2013.pdf .

Avilla Elementary

What a great way to start a new year! Once again, OUR students, parents and staff were able to begin school with a great meal and even better music. We had OUR second annual Tailgate Party to kick off the school year. We would like to thank the East Noble Marching Knights for joining us. We also owe a HUGE “Shout Out” to the band boosters for cooking all the hot dogs!

After the great music and great meal, classrooms were open to students and parents. All students were able to find their classroom, meet their new teacher, and find their desk in the classroom. Many parents asked staff throughout the meal where their child’s classroom was located. It was pretty cool to simply tell parents the college name/flag of their child's classroom and they were on their way. The best part was, all the parents understood this and did not question why a college name and not a room number. OUR message about being COLLEGE BOUND is gaining meaning throughout OUR community! What a GREAT place to spend the work day!

East Noble High School

Believe it or not, high school kids are just as excited to come to school as elementary students. In fact, some of those students never left for the summer. The high school has been buzzing with kids all summer long. We had over 350 students complete summer school, some of which just ended August 2. Our athletes have been lifting weights over the summer. Team camps were held everywhere from Chain O’Lakes to Hope College. Our clubs started service projects early with the 4H fair and Kid City. The band represented East Noble High School at several parades this summer and the choir started evening practices. Maybe high school kids are excited for school to start so things will slow down?

We welcomed a large 9th grade class to orientation on August 8th. Our Knight Mentors did a great job helping out with this event. The "what not to wear" style show is always a highlight. The 9th graders were excited and a bit nervous but I can say by Friday, you'd never know they were 9th graders.

The word most commonly used among the high school staff this past week was “calm”. The general consensus being that this is one of the calmest starts to a school year that any of us can remember. Clearly the kids are excited about seeing their friends and eager to make this year their best year ever. The routines already seem to be clearly established in the classrooms, hallways, lunch room, and during arrivals and dismissals. It has been an enjoyable start as we welcomed over 1250 students to ENHS. Our high school enrollment is now near an all-time high and full of great students and excellent staff. We are off to an awesome start to this school year!

East Noble Middle School

On August 8 the middle school hosted over 175 7th graders and nearly 150 parents for our “Transition to a Knight”. Students were able to visit classrooms and get to know many of our teachers while parents rotated to four different presentations to learn how they can help their student be successful in the middle school.

Our teachers followed this great day up with our back to school night on Monday. The turnout was great with many positive comments about how wonderful the old building looked (our maintenance staff is top notch!). Students were finding their classrooms and trying to crack the code to those pesky locks on their lockers. Parents were trying to keep up with the students while walking up our seven staircases and three floors.

Wednesday came and we had a great start to the middle school year! Our nearly 590 students were very eager and excited to return (as much as students can be) to school. Students and staff quickly found their groove and it felt as if school had been in session for several months. The 8th graders made us proud by taking the lead and helping the anxious 7th graders find their classrooms and learning the ins and outs of the school day.

North Side Elementary

After the long silent summer months, the hallways of North Side Elementary School were once again filled with the familiar sounds of the voices of children as the doors open and the staff eagerly welcomed more than 400 students to another new school year. In only three short days, the students were well into the swing of things with active discussions focusing on the three ways to read a book, building stamina and modeling reading behaviors that good readers use during Read to Self. Kindergarten students were busy exploring math as they built patterns. As the day closed on Friday, a friendly competition had arisen between Mrs. Maag’s fourth grade students and the 6th grade students in Miss Moore’s and Mr. McHenry’s classes over their class stamina goals for Monday. Indeed it is great to be back with all of our staff and our Wildcats!

North Side would like to take this opportunity to welcome the following staff members to our team: Keeley Ebert has joined our second grade team, Caroline Garner has joined our fourth grade team, Lorren Bordine has joined our 4th and 5th grade team teaching as a 4/5 split, Megan Opliger has joined our 6th grade team, Matt Johnston is our new music teacher, Carrie Demske is our new Mild Disabilities teacher, Stan Fraze is working in our Skills for Success classroom, Jean Smith and Dawn Brendal have joined us in the cafeteria, with Andy Ogle as our new Dean of Students.

Rome City Elementary

The 2013-14 school year started at Rome City with lots of excitement and anticipation! As busses pulled into the parking lot students began to look over seats to finally meet their new principal! Likewise, as a principal, Mrs.Green was eager to finally meet all of the students.

Every day this week students and staff quickly began T.E.A.M building activities throughout the building. Rome City’s theme this is year is T.E.A.M.,





Working together as a T.E.A.M. we will be stronger and more successful.

Throughout the week we also expressed how important good character is and celebrated those already displaying character traits throughout Rome City. Staff members wore Character Counts shirts on Friday to remind students that Character Counts at Rome City.

South Side Elementary

The 2013-14 school year started at South Side with lots of excitement and enthusiasm; and for this year’s third grade class it started more than a week early when they attended a summer cookout on August 5 held in their honor. As second graders, these Trailblazers raised money for Liberty Island and Ellis Island after they were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. David Luchsinger, Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, was deeply touched by the contribution from the students and personally called to thank them for their donation. He followed up with a letter that stated he would share their story at the Opening Ceremony of the Statue of Liberty on July 4. Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Becker had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Opening Ceremony. They sat in the front row, next to Mr. Luchsinger’s wife. South Side’s story was shared at the ceremony that included New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Secretary of the Department of Interior Sally Jewell. The teachers hosted a cookout at South Side on August 5 to share their experiences with the students who were in their class and helped to raise the money.

Wayne Center Elementary

Riding the bus or not knowing which bus to ride can be a scary thing for a kindergartner at the beginning of the year. To help eliminate students from getting on the wrong bus at the end of the day, the Wayne Center kindergarten students are split into groups by bus number and sixth grade buddies walk them out to the bus. The sixth graders take this responsibility very seriously and do a great job of leading their new friends to the right bus. Eventually the kindergarteners will be able to walk to the bus on their own, but for now the kindergartners love the extra attention they get from the older students.

Fifth and sixth graders received their laptops this Thursday, and it was an exciting day for them. Students logged on and began using their new learning tool right away. Over the course of the next several weeks, students will be learning specific skills related to the proper maintenance and use of the laptops including how to run updates, what they can/should not download to the laptop, and use of the different software applications. Digital citizenship skills such as safe surfing on the Internet, email etiquette, and protecting privacy will also be taught to the students. Each student will be given a punch card with ten benchmarks to reach. For each set of skills mastered through a performance assessment, the student will receive a punch on their technology ticket. Once all the benchmarks have been reached, the students will be permitted to take their laptop home. It is expected that the fifth graders will be able to master the skills by the end of the first nine weeks and that the sixth graders will have demonstrated mastery by midterm this first nine weeks of school.

Alternative Learning Center

It has been a great first week at the ALC. The first credit of the year has been earned. The credit was earned by a returning student in a class that was started last spring, but we’ll take it. Each credit earned is a step taken toward graduation. The Knights Kloset has been a busy place of late and has already provided assistance to many families in need this school year. A big thank you to Ms. Justus and the students who work very hard in the Knights Kloset to provide this important service to our community. If you have clothing items you would like to donate please contact the ALC at 349-0814.