Babcock Neighborhood School
March Madness and Celebrations of Learning
It is March ya'll! In Kentucky, this is a very important month...although admittedly, my beloved Wildcats were eaten by the Gators twice this year! This time of year is called March Madness for a reason, after all, it is the testing season in Florida. While I love basketball and I love March for College Basketball, I also love March Madness as it begins the time when the work of the school year pays off as students are able to confidently enter the mandated state testing and document their growth over the course of the year. Our academic goals are far-reaching in our first year, but I believe our students will rise to the challenge. Our approach to instruction is very different and we will see if our work was fruitful. I have no doubt our students have grown. In fact, our teachers were speaking today how proud we are of them as they have had to adjust in ways they likely never expected.
In many cases, our students have moved from a passive educational environment to an environment that expects and requires high levels of student engagement. It has been exciting to watch students progressively adjust and grow in this model of engagement. Our team has learned a few things about what this instructional structure looks like and we love what we are experiencing. We are working diligently to better prepare for new structures next year that will allow our teachers to balance and manage the work of personalizing learning for our students. BNS Families, it is an exciting time and we are thankful for your support!
Reminder, No School on Monday!
We need your help for the Grand Opening at Babcock Ranch this Saturday. BNS will be having a Bake Sale to raise money for our Lucy Calkins classroom libraries. Please click BNS Bake Sale Sign Up Genius to list what item(s) you will provide.
Items will need to be individually labeled, packaged, and priced. Items will be sold for $1 and $2.
Please keep this in mind when packaging your goodies, and price accordingly. For example, a large cookie may be priced $1 and two or more smaller cookies may be packaged together for $1. Please keep in mind that we have no way to refrigerate items.
Parent volunteers and students will be available in the car line on Friday to pick up food donations.
Before and Aftercare families can drop items off during your drop off or pick up. Thanks in advance for your assistance with this fundraiser.
It is a GREAT opportunity for us to earn for much-needed materials for our classrooms.
Yearbook Sales Coming Soon!
If you need any assistance, please feel free to email Michelle Hendrzak at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to assist.
Cumulative Folder Reviews and Request for FSA Scores
One piece that we know we need from most families is previous FSA Scores from students from Lee County. Please make us a copy and send those in as we need to get them entered into FOCUS for growth monitoring purposes. We are trying to work with Lee County to get them, but at this point, it would be much faster if you just send them to us to get them entered. It is imperative for us to get this information into our records. Please have your child provide them to the teacher and the teachers will then get to our office. Thanks in advance for your help.
iReady Guidance for Parents (3rd - 6th)
Our team continues to work through various hurdles with iReady and the academic struggles that some of our students are experiencing. It is important to me that I hear from you, but I think it is equally as important for you to hear from our team on what we are experiencing. In the recent weeks, we have heard some interesting comments from some of our students and concerns from families. Here is some of our perspective:
Student A: Does not have internet access at home. Desires to achieve high growth despite major academic gaps. Admittedly, doesn't love iReady. Admittedly, shares iReady has improved their performance. Gives up recess weekly to meet the goal set.
Student B: Has internet access at home. Struggles focusing during the day and does not complete enough needed to make the goal. The parent reached out to our team and we were able to implement a support plan to teach focus skills necessary to be successful in an academic environment that requires a high-level engagement (iReady, requires a high level of focus). The student comes early to school to receive support from our staff in the morning and they are able to focus more clearly.
Student C: Reports to class and broadcasts to peers that his/her mother/father has told them not to do iReady in class. They share they don't understand. They don't like iReady. Upon the teacher looking at the time spent on a lesson, the teacher realizes the student is clicking through the questions without reading. The teacher reaches out to parents for support and educates parent on what we can see from the data on our side of the program. All while the message from home is that what the school is doing is not important.
We have all of these examples and many in between. For those who are committing to excellence and partnering with us to work through the hurdles, we are beyond appreciative and you can probably skip the rest of this content.
iReady is hard. It requires focus to listen for the answers and problem-solving skills. It requires more than 10 minutes on the lessons and just clicking through to the finish. The data is showing that many of our students are not focusing on the content and listening to learning. They are clicking to finish. Our team knows the struggles are real, but it takes a positive effort by everyone for us to move the work down the road productively. Here are ways you can help your child with iReady:
- Be present as they work and make sure they are taking their time and listening to the material. It is clear that students are not taking the time to listen to the lessons that will help them perform. Our staff has actually been going in and doing lessons to time them for a good comparison. It is taking our staff three times the time that most of the students who are having difficulty are spending on the lesson.
- Encourage them to focus. This is a skill that requires patience and practice. Find a quiet location or time to complete the lessons. In our home, we found that while it seemed a good idea for the lessons to be completed during dinner prep, the reality was there were too many distractions.
- Stay calm. Students are going to struggle, that is normal and expected as we are pushing them in different ways that they are likely not used to with our instructional approaches. They need you to keep a level head and encourage them to slow down and do their best. I would encourage to refrain from "venting" your frustrations about the program in front of your child as that creates a counterproductive environment. Absolutely let us know the hardships in an effort to help us improve our work, that is the engagement we desire in order to make our school better today than it was yesterday.
- Engage with staff in a positive manner about the expectations of the academic rigor at BNS. Please contact us if you need support and understand that we can provide extensive data and insight on your child as needed. Each child is different and it is imperative we meet each child where they are in their learning journey.
Our team continues to learn and modify for each individual child, but we need you to partner with us on this work and support our focus in growing your child academically. This requires many different approaches and I will remind again that the time we spend in iReady is about 6% of the day. Keep this in perspective as you communicate with your child as this piece is a critically important piece in our work to differentiate for each child and close academic gaps.
All that stated, it is becoming more and more clear that the skills our children need go well beyond academia and include being able to focus and organize their thoughts in a variety of settings without shutting down. This has been a challenge our team has experienced with our different approach to classroom instruction with our students as well as in iReady. Our work to develop academic competencies and skills continues to be validated with our formal and informal assessments.
The good news is we have a quality team of teachers with a plethora of experience from which to build our continued work upon. Stay BNS strong as we develop excellence among our students academically and prepare them to be critical thinkers, finishers, collaborators, and problem solvers. This work is hard, but it is good. I am thankful to all who help us improve our work and partner with us to make these processes easier and balanced for everyone! The statement, "it takes a village", is truthful. Hang tough, I know you are seeing growth as we are each and every day.
If you have a 3rd grader...be extra proud as they are going to earn an extra celebration for their efforts, but shhhh...it is a surprise!
Incredible Support Staff
A huge "Thank You" to Mrs. Keaney who helped us onboard and prepare them to literally hit the ground running out here at BNS. Always trailblazing!
Attendance @ BNS (Repeat Section)
Our Child Study Team is beginning to look closely at absences and tardies and the impact it is having on our school. At this time, we are documenting in FOCUS and contacting families who are in violation of the school and district expectations. If you are an out of county student in violation of the attendance policy, your seat can be revoked. It is imperative that your children are in school every day we are in session. Absences and tardies impact academic performance, and our teachers and I are definitely feeling the impact of having to reteach often due to family vacations or extended weekends.
Tardies are a point of emphasis for us at this time as well. Please note that four tardies (coming late or leaving early) equal one absence.
In planning your vacations next year, please ensure that you are scheduling those when we are out of session. Attendance is a critical piece of academic success.
If your student is experiencing sickness, please send a note with your child upon their return.
**Please take a look at the Student Code of Conduct on pages 16-18 and review attendance policy if you have questions, feel free to give us a call. We are here to help and support our families in this endeavor.
State Testing (Repeat Section)
This is an opportunity for Babcock Neighborhood School to prove that our philosophy and integration of PBL is effective and worthy of the work to implement the model. There have certainly been challenging hurdles this year across the board, but we are excited for our students to have the opportunity to show what they know in regard to the expected standards for mastery.
**Please also note that the state assessments are required in the Charlotte County Progression Plan. If you need clarity or understanding around these assessments, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. Again, we are excited for our students to show what they know this Spring and celebrate their learning.
Dress Code Survey
In an effort to plan for next year, please complete this link with some input on your preferences for uniforms. This will allow us to consider your input in our decision making.
Also, we hope to have a few options for Adult clothing in the upcoming weeks! We have been trying some options out among our staff and believe we have some great items to offer our families.
If you are still reading and would like to help here are some needs:
- Donations needed: pencils (sharpened, if you don't mind), copy paper, Lysol wipes, tissues, paper towels for classroom projects...anything school related we can always put to good use.
- If you are interested in helping in classrooms, please reach out to the teachers. We are needing more help all the time and if you have a specific skill set that you can offer, let us know.
- Details to come for help needed for a BNS Bake Sale on March 10th! There is a huge kick-off and we plan to be offering school tours to visitors and having a Bake Sale to help support our continued technology and library needs. I am being told there will be thousands, so those of you who are bakers..."get your bake on". We will be recruiting volunteers to help make this happen! More to come very soon!
Treece Talks--Date Change Due to a District Conflict
Wednesday, March 14th, 9am
BNS Media Center
Welcome and Objective
Objective: Parents will be able to understand the Summit Program and how this model will support our implementation of Project Based Learning.
Mrs. Treece and Team will explain Summit in detail and allow parents to see the platform that will be utilized in grades 4-8 if we are fortunate enough to be awarded the grant.