Brilliant Bear Bulletin

Baltz Elementary School * October 2018 * Volume 1




Learning and

Team Building with

Zeal (Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or objective)

Student News: Baltz Bulletin EP 1

From the Principal

Dear Baltz Families,

The opening of the new school year has been an exciting one! Our school wide theme for the year is that “You are the star of your own story. Make it a great one!” We are working with students to empower them to use the Baltz 3 R’s (Being Ready, Responsible, and Respectful) to help them make great choices and work hard to create a great story for themselves!

A Few goals this year….

One goal this year is to help to improve communication with our families and the community about the great things happening here at Baltz. To stay up to date on all events and communications, be sure to update your phone number or address in the office whenever you have a change and follow us on social media.

Another goal is increasing membership for our staff and families in the BPO (Baltz Parent Organization). The BPO helps to coordinate events for our students every month and they support learning at Baltz in a variety of ways, too! The BPO meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6 pm in the library. Childcare and interpreters are always provided!

This year membership is a simple $5 per family or teacher. Every member will be given a punch card. If you attend 5 events and 5 BPO meetings this year then your family will earn a $5 gift card! Let’s see if we can get more than 200 families to join this year! Last year fewer than 40 families joined. I am sure we can do better!

Have you seen our new outdoor classroom space? It is located near the big tree between the bus lot and the playground. This project was completed by Jack Morris (who is also Ms. Morris, our Art Teacher’s son) as his Eagle Scout Project. Check it out with your children!

Looking forward to our staff, students, and community creating a great Baltz story this year!


Amy O’Neill

elieving…Achieving…Learning and….Team Building with…Zeal (Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or objective)
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Baltz Bulletin Special Edition 2018-2019 Open House: Meet the Staff!

Introducing the Reading Team!

The Reading Team at Baltz includes: Mrs. Pat Kelly, Ms. Valaska Brown, and Ms. Amy Britz; the three Reading Specialists. We are excited to take part again in the RTI process to improve educational outcomes for all students!

RTI stands for “Response to Intervention”. RTI is “the practice of providing high-quality instruction and intervention matched to a student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about instruction or goals and applying child response data to important educational decisions” (N.A.S.D.S.E., 2005).

RTI is focused primarily on effective instruction to enhance student growth. We, the Reading Specialists, work with students in small group settings based on student needs, derived from both benchmark and diagnostic assessments.

In small groups, each child receives explicit instruction, targeting skills such as: word work, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, or comprehension. We give children multiple opportunities to review and practice reading skills matched to their needs.

We progress monitor students bi-weekly to check their improvement in skills and adjust RTI groups accordingly after 6-8 weeks of instruction. If your child receives Tier 2 or Tier 3 RTI instruction, our goal is to eventually move them to Tier 1 – where they are working on grade level during the RTI block of time.

You will receive a district –issued letter in the mail if your child(ren) are receiving RTI services at Baltz. By the time you receive this newsletter, RTI groups should be up and running!

Please remember to take time to read to or read with your children at home! It’s the most important thing you can do to promote a life-long reader and learner!

Thank you!

Ms. Britz, Ms. Brown and Mrs. Kelly

Unified Arts/Specials

We have a new librarian at Baltz Elementary! Janette Vickers is a veteran teacher with 23 years in the district, but still didn't know how to roll at cart full of book up the ramp! As Miss Vickers introduces the library to new students this September, many more projects are to come as she transforms the library.
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Baltz’s Kindergarten students have gotten off to a fabulous start this school year! Currently, your child is becoming increasingly familiar with classroom expectations and routines. We are learning how to demonstrate being READY, RESPONSIBLE, and RESPECTFUL at school. The children are also practicing daily BUCKET FILLING by being kind to their friends and teachers. If you do not already know what a bucket filler is be sure to have your child fill you in!

The K Team has started our reading curriculum. Students will be introduced to two new letter sounds per week. Soon they will learn how to blend those sounds together in order to read words! You can support them at home by reviewing letter sounds with them. Other English Language Art skills your child will be working on over the course of the first marking period are rhyming, syllables, beginning sounds, ending sounds, sight words, and story elements.

Kindergarteners will be focusing on counting, cardinality, number recognition, writing numbers, and problem solving in math during the first marking period. Students will be doing this through the use of manipulatives and other engaging activities.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to teach your child every day!

Fantastic First Grade

Wow! What a great first month of school we have had! First graders have learned many new skills so far and continue to build on those skills daily. Every day, students are practicing being a part of a classroom community and showing the 3 R's wherever they go! Students are also learning new phonics skills weekly to become fluent readers. In Math, first grade friends are becoming math leaders as they lead the daily routines! First graders are also busy learning grammar skills, practicing handwriting, and much more. We look forward to a great rest of the first marking period!

For updates on what is happening in the first grade classrooms, follow the first grade teachers' twitter accounts:

Miss Trate-

Miss Cherico-

Miss Flowers-

Mrs. Whiteside-

Second Grade

2nd graders at Baltz Elementary are working hard! We have finished our math and language arts assessments and are now really getting into routine at home with homework and at school. All 2nd graders have started each day off with a Morning Meeting. It is a great way for all the students to get to know each other and to create a community and sense of belonging in each classroom. During our Morning Meeting, we have a greeting, a “share”, a short inclusive group activity and we read a morning message. This also creates opportunities for students to foster speaking/listening skills and cooperative interaction. It’s a positive way to begin each day.

In math, we are starting our year with lessons to build fact fluency. Students have been working on addition and subtraction equations and moving into word problems. We are working on different strategies with the goal being that students solve fluently within 20. Practicing math facts with flash cards, computer games etc. would be a great use of any extra time at home. In Reading, we have started our Word Work with the goal of improving spelling and reading fluency. Students are working in small groups with teachers and are completing centers independently or with a partner. We have been working on Character, Setting, Prediction, Main Idea and Details and much more. The goal is to become fluent readers AND have comprehension. All 2nd grader should be reading at home! The best way for these kiddos to become better readers is if they read, read, read…and read some more!!

Third Grade

Hello Baltz families!

We have gotten off to a great start in Third Grade this year. The first few weeks of school are always spent getting to know all the new faces in class and getting everyone back into the school routine but we’ve also gotten off to a fast start academically. In Math we have started our multiplication unit, which is a skill that is completely new to the students this year. We’ve started with the 5’s multiplication facts and will be moving on to the 2’s next. We’ll also be starting on division soon, which is another brand new skill for the kids this year. We will be learning multiplication and division side by side for the next several weeks. If you get the chance, please review multiplication and division facts with your kids whenever you can. If you need flashcards the students have the chance to make their own using a set in their homework books.

In Reading we are doing a new story each week which comes with new vocabulary words and reading skills to focus on. In addition to any reading homework the students have please read with them at home if you have the time. If you have any questions or concerns about your third grader please don’t hesitate to contact us! We look forward to working with you to make this a great year!


The Third Grade Team

Making Waves in Fourth Grade

With all beginning of the year testing completed and behind us, the fourth grade team is knee deep in learning new and exciting skills to kick off the 2018-2019 school year. We are excited about our new ReadyGen reading series. We are becoming great detectives with finding evidence and information within the stories to support our thinking. In math, we are using what we learned about place value in third grade and applying it to bigger numbers in fourth, and in Social Studies are learning about Geography. Another fun and exciting opportunity this year in fourth grade is that we are starting to learn CURSIVE! We should be expert hand-writers by the end of the year.

Lastly, here are some friendly reminders:

  • Students should be reading and practicing their basic multiplication and division facts nightly.
  • Sweatshirts and sweaters should be solid color and not have hoods.
  • Please make sure your child has a book bag every day. If your child needs one please contact their teacher and we can get one for you.
  • Doors open at 8:25am and dismissal begins at 3:50pm

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of us and we will do our best to help.


Ms. Toto, Mrs. Harmeson, Ms. Personti, and Ms. Ruiz

Fifth Grade

We are off to a busy start in 5th grade. The first few weeks were dedicated to teaching the students procedures and routines. Our focus going forward will be on improving math computation skills, solving word problems and reading comprehension. Please encourage your child to read every night and practice multiplication facts. We are looking forward to an exciting school year.

5th Grade Team

Ms. Hattley, Mrs. Loughrey, Mrs. Munoz, and Mrs. Watkins

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