Ross Glen Road Runner Reporter

November 2019 News

Big picture

Winter Gear

Please ensure your children are dressed appropriately for outside recess. Fresh air, the opportunity to socialize and play are important parts of the school day. We will have students go outside as much as possible, so proper clothing is essential.

Bell times

Our warning bell rings at 8:15

Announcements start at 8:20am. If students arrive after 8:20, they are considered late and are required to get a late slip from the office.

Attendance Matters

Students who miss just two school days each month are more likely to fall behind in reading, writing and math, even if the absences are excused. While some challenges to a child’s attendance are unavoidable, it’s important to understand the impact of each absence. Although it does not seem like much, showing up everyday and on time for school improves marks, friendships, and mental health. When students are not in school, we notice. We care about students and want them to be successful.

Attending school every day is important for the academic and social success of children. In the same way you keep track of the marks your children get, monitoring school attendance and working with teachers to improve the attendance of your children is important. It does not matter if your children are in preschool or grade 12, school every day matters.

This fall, we’ve asked our schools to collect attendance information in a slightly different way. There are several reasons for this, each of which are designed to support learning and make our schools the safest possible place. We want students to be at school as often as possible and when they are not, we want to be sure they are where they need to be; we are ready to support them when they return to school.

Why change how we track attendance?

While we’ve changed our attendance codes, the day-to-day expectations for tracking attendance, communicating with parents and supporting students have mostly remained unchanged. The changes will provide consistency across the school division, give schools a better picture of why students are missing school and assist us in achieving a goal of improved attendance.

Why #1 – Aligning practice

School staff expressed a desire to better understand how to support student attendance and to develop clear processes to support this work. We researched attendance policies and practices across the province and built a plan that aligns with our practice.

Why # 2 – Better, cleaner information

Changes to our attendance codes give us greater certainty of when students are at school and when they are not. Again, mostly at the secondary level, we situations where a student could be in the school building but marked absent (school special event, suspension). Should an emergency situation occur, it is crucial to have the most accurate attendance information available.

Why #3 - Support

It is important to build good attendance habits early. As students get older and things become more complex, some students start to experience attendance issues. We wanted to develop a system that builds good attendance habits and provides supports for those who struggle.

The How:

We believe that the classroom teacher, working in tandem with the family, is the best persons to support student attendance. Teachers will begin to make calls to families where students have missed a certain percentage of classes or days since the start of the school year. The intent of these calls is supportive and not punitive, to build a plan with the student and the family that can help to change a student’s path.

New school division wide attendance codes have been adopted to create consistency and to provide both the school and families with more detailed and accurate information. A clear picture of a student’s attendance profile can help us to provide academic and social emotional supports to students. The new codes will allow us to separate types of absences (illness, family vacation, extra curricular activities) to better understand how and when to offer support. Soon we will be integrating some technological support through applications like School Messenger to make it easier for families to report absences as well.

Big picture

Assessment

Report Cards

Report cards will be sent home on Monday, November 25th. Please sign and return the report card and envelope to your child's teacher at Parent Teacher interviews.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Parent Teacher Interviews will be held on Wednesday, November 27th and Thursday, November 28th from 3:30-6:30pm. We will remind students to have parents call in to arrange interview times.


**Interview appointment times may be booked by calling Miss Foster at the school at 403-529-2960, ext 4701.


Children do better when they have a support team of adults. This team includes parents/guardians and teachers. Attending parent–teacher conferences is one way for parents to be involved and help child(ren) succeed.

A parent teacher conference is a great opportunity to:

  • discuss your child's progress
  • share your child's strengths and needs
  • work with the teacher to help your child do well in school


These tips can help you make the most of those important meetings:

  • In the weeks ahead of a conference, check in with kids about how they are progressing with their learning. Freshgrade provides insight into your child's learning as well.
  • Ask if there are questions or issues your child wants you to discuss with the teacher.
  • Plan to bring something to take notes with (paper and pen or a laptop or other device).
  • Share a few things about your child with the teacher — interests, strengths, favorite subjects — to help the teacher know your child better.


Write down questions or topics you'd like the conference to cover. Depending on your situation, you may want to ask about:

  • whether your child is meeting grade-level expectations (not how he or she compares with peers)
  • what the teacher sees as your child's strengths and challenges and how these are being addressed
  • other services to help your child grow as a learner
  • making a plan to check in regularly if there are any learning or behavior problems
  • your child's work habits, independently and in large- and small-group instruction
  • how your child gets along with other students in class and during lunch, recess, phys-ed, and other classes
Big picture

Literacy

11 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Read

By: Reading Rockets


Here are 11 practical recommendations for helping preschoolers and school-age students learn to read.


1. Teaching reading will only help.

Sometimes, parents are told early teaching is harmful, but it isn’t true. You simply can’t introduce literacy too early. I started reading to my own children on the days they were each born! The “dangers of early teaching” has been a topic of study for more than 100 years, and no one has ever found any convincing evidence of harm. Moreover, there are hundreds of studies showing the benefits of reading to your children when they are young.


2. Teaching literacy isn’t different than teaching other skills.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to raise a happy, healthy, smart child. Parents have been doing it for thousands of years. Mothers and fathers successfully teach their kids to eat with a spoon, use a potty, keep their fingers out of their noses, and say “please.” These things can be taught pleasantly, or they can be made into a painful chore. Being unpleasant (e.g. yelling, punishing, pressuring) doesn’t work, and it can be frustrating for everyone. This notion applies to teaching literacy, too. If you show your 18-month-old a book and she shows no interest, then put it away and come back to it later. If your child tries to write her name and ends up with a backwards “D,” no problem. No pressure. No hassle. You should enjoy the journey, and so should your child.


3. Talk to your kids (a lot).

Last year, I spent lots of time with our brand new granddaughter, Emily. I drowned her in language. Although “just a baby,” I talked — and sang — to her about everything. I talked about her eyes, nose, ears, mouth, and fingers. I told her all about her family — her mom, dad, and older brother. I talked to her about whatever she did (yawning, sleeping, eating, burping). I talked to her so much that her parents thought I was nuts; she couldn’t possibly understand me yet. But reading is a language activity, and if you want to learn language, you’d better hear it, and eventually, speak it. Too many moms and dads feel a bit dopey talking to a baby or young child, but studies have shown that exposing your child to a variety of words helps in her development of literacy skills.


4. Read to your kids.

I know everyone says this, but it really is a good idea — at least with preschoolers. One of my colleagues refers to this advice as the “chicken soup” of reading education. We prescribe it for everything. (Does it help? It couldn’t hurt.) If a parent or caregiver can’t read or can’t read English, there are alternatives, such as using audiobooks; but for those who can, reading a book or story to a child is a great, easy way to advance literacy skills. Research shows benefits for kids as young as 9-months-old, and it could be effective even earlier than that. Reading to kids exposes them to richer vocabulary than they usually hear from the adults who speak to them, and can have positive impacts on their language, intelligence, and later literacy achievement. What should you read to them? There are so many wonderful children’s books. Visit your local library, and you can get an armful of adventure. You can find recommendations from kids at the Children’s Book Council website or at the International Literacy Association Children's Choices site, as well as free books online at other websites like Search Lit or Unite for Literacy.


5. Have them tell you a “story.”

One great way to introduce kids to literacy is to take their dictation. Have them recount an experience or make up a story. We’re not talking “Moby Dick” here. A typical first story may be something like, “I like fish. I like my sister. I like grandpa.” Write it as it is being told, and then read it aloud. Point at the words when you read them, or point at them when your child is trying to read the story. Over time, with lots of rereading, don’t be surprised if your child starts to recognize words such as “I” or “like.” (As children learn some of the words, you can write them on cards and keep them in a “word bank” for your child, using them to review later.)


6. Teach phonemic awareness.

Young children don’t hear the sounds within words. Thus, they hear “dog,” but not the “duh”-“aw”- “guh.” To become readers, they have to learn to hear these sounds (or phonemes). Play language games with your child. For instance, say a word, perhaps her name, and then change it by one phoneme: Jen-Pen, Jen-Hen, Jen-Men. Or, just break a word apart: chair… ch-ch-ch-air. Follow this link to learn more about language development milestones in children.


7. Teach phonics (letter names and their sounds).

You can’t sound out words or write them without knowing the letter sounds. Most kindergartens teach the letters, and parents can teach them, too. I just checked a toy store website and found 282 products based on letter names and another 88 on letter sounds, including ABC books, charts, cards, blocks, magnet letters, floor mats, puzzles, lampshades, bed sheets, and programs for tablets and computers. You don’t need all of that (a pencil and paper are sufficient), but there is lots of support out there for parents to help kids learn these skills. Keep the lessons brief and fun, no more than 5–10 minutes for young’uns. Understanding the different developmental stages of reading and writing skills will help to guide your lessons and expectations.


8. Listen to your child read.

When your child starts bringing books home from school, have her read to you. If it doesn’t sound good (mistakes, choppy reading), have her read it again. Or read it to her, and then have her try to read it herself. Studies show that this kind of repeated oral reading makes students better readers, even when it is done at home.


9. Promote writing.

Literacy involves reading and writing. Having books and magazines available for your child is a good idea, but it’s also helpful to have pencils, crayons, markers, and paper. Encourage your child to write. One way to do this is to write notes or short letters to her. It won’t be long before she is trying to write back to you.


10. Ask questions.

When your child reads, get her to retell the story or information. If it’s a story, ask who it was about and what happened. If it’s an informational text, have your child explain what it was about and how it worked, or what its parts were. Reading involves not just sounding out words, but thinking about and remembering ideas and events. Improving reading comprehension skills early will prepare her for subsequent success in more difficult texts.


11. Make reading a regular activity in your home.

Make reading a part of your daily life, and kids will learn to love it. When I was nine years old, my mom made me stay in for a half-hour after lunch to read. She took me to the library to get books to kick off this new part of my life. It made me a lifelong reader. Set aside some time when everyone turns off the TV and the web and does nothing but read. Make it fun, too. When my children finished reading a book that had been made into a film, we’d make popcorn and watch the movie together. The point is to make reading a regular enjoyable part of your family routine.

Happy reading!


Sources:

Ritchie, S.J., & Bates, T.C. (2013). Enduring links from childhood mathematics and reading achievement to adult socioeconomic status. Psychological Science, 24, 1301-1308.

Karass J., & Braungart-Rieker J. (2005). Effects of shared parent-infant reading on early language acquisition. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 26, 133-148.

ENGAGED COMMUNITY

November School Events

Friday, November 8th - Remembrance Day Assembly at 10:30am

Monday, November 11th - Remembrance Day - No School

Tuesday, November 12th- School Council Meeting at 7pm

Friday, November 22nd - Staff Development Day - No school for students

Monday, November 25th - Report Cards are sent home

Wednesday, November 27th - Parent Teacher Interviews 3:30-6:30

Thursday, November 28th - Parent Teacher Interviews 3:30-6:30

Friday, November 29th - Spirit Day

Ross Glen School Clothing

The online store for Ross Glen clothing will open up again in November. This will ensure that clothing items are ready in the event you are wanting them as Christmas/holiday gifts. Once the store is open, we will email you the link and post it to our website.


If you have questions, please email Ms. Mastel at natosha.mastel@sd76.ab.ca.

Lost and Found

Our Lost and Found bin is starting to overflow!!

Please stop by the lost and found bin and see if you can find any of your child(ren)'s missing items. It is located at the rear entrance of the school, just off of the playground. The items not claimed will be donated to charity during the Christmas break.

Ross Glen Family Christmas Night

We hope that you and your family will be able to join us at the Family Leisure Centre (FLC) on Thursday, December 12th from 6:15-8:15pm for swimming, skating, hot chocolate, cookies, and possibly a visit to the Secret Santa Workshop ($1 gifts available for children to purchase for family members). Admission is free, but any clothing donations will be given to the Phoenix Safe House and monetary donations will be given to the Salvation Army.

Secret Santa Workshop

If you are in the process of decluttering or have items you no longer use, we will be accepting donations for the Secret Santa Workshopp. Keep in mind, these are items that students will purchase for $1 each for their family members.

Please do not send the items to school until December 1st.


Thank you for your support.

Christmas Gift Bags and Gift Tags

We are looking for donations of Christmas gift bags and gift tags. We would like to provide students with gift bags/tags so they can wrap the gifts for their family members that they purchase during the RG Christmas Night on December 12th.


If you would like to donate gift bags or gift tags, please drop them off at the office. :)

PARENT COUNCIL

Spirit Day - Friday, November 29th

Theme is WACKY HAIR DAY!!!


Lunch is from Subway.


Papa John's

Pizza night allows families to order pizza from Papa John’s online using a special code. The code gives the family a 15% discount and also earns a 15% donation for our school. Once we have further instructions and the required code, we will share it with families.


Here are the Papa John’s pizza night dates for the year:

Thursday, November 21

Thursday, December 12

Thursday, January 16

Thursday, February 13

Thursday, March 19

Thursday, April 9

Thursday, May 28

Thursday, June 11

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture