MARCH 2016 NEWSLETTER
I was pleased to see so many of you join us for Specialty Week. The children were excited to have their parents/grandparents join them in their classrooms to see what they were learning. I heard that a group of our third grade moms played a mean game of soccer in the PE class. If you were unable to join us this week do not worry as there will be other opportunities such as Youth Art Day on Friday, April 22nd. Along with our annual sidewalk chalk project, parents will be invited to visit their childrens’ classrooms for an art show featuring our very own Merryhill artists. This year we are inviting our parents to join their children for chips and salsa on Cinco de Mayo while some of our Merryhill musicians entertain with song and dance. We know for some of us week days are difficult to break away from work so please consider joining us for our Open House on Saturday, March 12th from 10:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. The student’s science projects will be on display and ribbons awarded. Our teachers will be in their classrooms so we invite you to take this as an opportunity to visit with the teachers in the grade level your child will be attending next year. The re-enrollment process at Merryhill Elementary began in January and now open enrollment has begun. We hope that you have already decided to remain part of our thriving school community.
I extend a huge thank you to all of you who took the time to complete our Parent Annual Survey. Your feedback is truly valued and given careful consideration. In fact, the reason we are offering the various opportunities for our parents to visit our classrooms as described in my opening of this newsletter was a direct result of last year’s Parent Annual Survey feedback. Several parents commented on the survey that our May We Show You Program has run its course and it was time for a new view of our Specialty Classes. And from the overwhelming positive response I received from parents who attended our Specialty Week it was a great suggestion. As one dad who attended all the classes commented, “I feel much better now about paying all that money on education”. Your response to the Parent Annual Survey indicated a high level of overall satisfaction with our school. The small class size, challenging curriculum, the quality of teachers and staff were the most important reasons for attending Merryhill Elementary. We are committed to ensuring your satisfaction by maintaining these outstanding elements of our program and continuing to offer our students exceptional learning experiences.
As we move forward in our continuing efforts to improve we have provided in our 4th and 5th grades 1:1 iPads. We realized the use of the iPads as one of the many effective approaches available to support our school’s 21st Century Education mission points of collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. This past semester we have piloted the “First in Math” program with our students in grades 1-5. This past January your child was issued a login and web address to access this program that will provide a fun solution for additional math practice at home. If your child has not participated I strongly urge you to encourage your child to give it a try. If you have any difficulty accessing the program or need assistance please contact your child’s classroom teacher to get your child started. Our Nobel Education Department is currently providing additional math professional development with principals and classroom teachers to focus on the improvement of our students’ mathematical literacy. This past week I started visiting each classroom to observe math instruction and focusing teacher’s growth on the improvement of mathematical instruction. As a team we will work together to amplify math in classroom projects, practice number talks with students and focus on in-depth problem solving. Parents can help support our endeavor to improve our students math performance through the encouragement of using “First in Math” at home, practicing math facts and having their child explain their answers when completing homework. Making sense of mathematics through reasoning is a key component of mathematical thinking.
If you have any questions about the upcoming school year, please do not hesitate to call me or email me at Theresa.Gotay@nlcinc.com. Partnering with parents to ensure student success is imperative. The staff and I look forward to our continued partnership in providing the best education for your children.
Theresa Gotay, Principal