Buffalo Family Bulletin

January

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News and Reminders


  • Students return to school on January 8th. Enjoy your holidays with your families!


  • Tardies: Please remember that the tardy bell rings at 8:05. The number of students counted tardy daily is steadily increasing. Any student who arrives after 8:05 should be counted tardy, however we are working to accommodate our families who wait in the car rider line in the mornings and have been allowing the last groups of students who unload after 8:05 to go to class without tardies. Even doing this, we have at least 20 tardies per day which are arriving any time between 8:10 and 8:40. Please do your best to ensure your students are present by 8:05 so that they do not miss out on our morning announcements and community circle time.


  • Peach Jar: Please make sure that you are receiving electronic flyers, as that is our sole source of communication this year in order to reduce cost associated with paper flyers. If you are not currently receiving them, visit their website and sign up manually. You can also opt out of certain types of flyers to lesson the number coming to your inbox. We suggest you at least accept school and PTO flyers so that you don't miss any important news.


  • Lunch menus: Can be found on this website which is updated monthly.



  • Crossing Guards: As a friendly reminder, please respect our crossing guards. They are public servants who are employed by our police department, and they are working hard to keep all of our kids safe whether they are in cars or buses or walking/biking. Also, please refrain from dropping students off on Lacey Road and having them walk across the street and the ditch to school. This is incredibly unsafe and we do not want anyone to get hurt. Thank you!

Counselor's Corner

Lexia Core5 Online Reading Program

Many of you have asked questions regarding the new program that our students are using, so I want to address them here in a Q&A format. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions you may have.


Q: Is Lexia Core5 aligned to the Common Core standards?

A: Lexia Core5 is fully aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS. HERE are some helpful documents showing the alignment to the K-5 TEKS. According our Lexia company representative, "Common Core was not taken into consideration in any way when the program was first designed nor throughout its many updates."


Q: If it is not aligned to the Common Core standards, why does it have "Core" in the name?

A: Core5's name comes from the original 5 core components of literacy, which are the strands that the program was designed around: Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Automaticity/Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. However, after the program had been around for quite a while the developers came to realize that it would make more sense to break Structural Analysis off as its own strand, so now Core5 really should be Core6. The decision was made not to change the name just due to product name recognition.



Q: Why are we the only elementary campus using Lexia Core5 this year?

A: As a part of reimagine learning and aligning to our shared KISD vision, our district provides resources to campuses after assurance of alignment to TEKS. Lexia Core5 Is a program that our district instructional team is reviewing and they have selected us to try out this program that is aligned to our curriculum and our standards. I agreed, knowing that we have adequate technology in place to support the use of another digital resource, and also because I was excited for our students after reading the research behind Lexia.


Q: Is Lexia obtaining personal information about my student?

A: The answer to this question is, no more than any other program that we use. Student performance data is collected and used to produce individualized lessons and to provide teachers with hands-on resources to use to reinforce skills, but that is the extent of it.


Q: My child reads above grade level and Lexia Core5 has him placed on grade level. Is there something wrong with the assessment?

A: No, there is nothing wrong with the assessment. The placement test assesses all foundational reading skills before moving on to more complex skills. In the case of many of our advanced readers, they may not have mastered just a couple of very specific phoneme blends or other skills along the way. Lexia Core5 is going to be sure to fill in those gaps before the student is moved along to the next grade level. If your child works above grade level, you should see him/her advancing through the levels of Lexia much faster than normal until they reach their instructional level.


Q: Is Lexia Core5 taking over the classroom and taking the place of teachers?

A: ABSOLUTELY NOT! Nothing or no one could ever take the place of our fabulous Blackshear teachers! Lexia is simply another digital resource for students to access during learning stations or while teachers are working in small groups with other students. In fact, Lexia provides teachers with a bank of over 1,000 printable lesson plans, games, and activities to be done individually or in small groups based specifically on student strengths and needs.


Q: How much time does my child spend on Lexia at school?

A: Each student is assigned a unique goal by the program, based on their performance on the placement test and the activities they are working through. Many students only need 40 minutes per week to meet their goal, while others require the maximum of 80 minutes per week. Our teachers do their best to meet these minimum goals, although depending on the week it may not always happen.


Q: Do the kids enjoy using Lexia?

A: Being the pilot campus, I ask a lot of questions from the students about how they feel about the program. After all, they should be the ones to decide if it is worth the district adopting next year! Every time I am in classrooms and see kids working on Lexia, I sit down and ask them how the are liking it. They always tell me with excitement how much they are learning and how fun it is. Several have compared it to other programs, and it almost always comes out on top.


Q: Is Lexia the only digital program available for my student?

A: Definitely not. The district also provides Stride Academy and Flocabulary for all core content areas, First in Math and Waterford (K-2) for math, Stemscopes for science, digital textbook materials, and more. Our teachers and students also frequently use other digital tools such as the Google Suite, Flipgrid, and Seesaw among others. For more information regarding the specific digital tools your students are using in class, contact your student's teacher(s).


Q: Where can I get more information about Lexia Core5?

A: Here is their website, where you can read more information, watch videos, and read testimonials from Texas parents and teachers.

Upcoming Dates

Please check school website for additional dates; dates are subject to change


  • 1/8 - Students return to school
  • 1/11 - Report cards go home
  • 1/15 - EL Parent Night (parents of students who are English Learners) - 6:30-7:30 in the cafeteria
  • 1/21 - Student Holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • 1/23 - Chick Fil-A Spirit Night (5:30-7:30)
  • 1/25 - Spring individual and class picture day



State Assessment Dates - Please plan around these dates when scheduling advance appointments.


4/9 - 4th Writing, 5th Math

4/10 - 5th Reading

5/13 - 3-4 Math, 5th Math Retest

5/14 - 3-4 Reading, 5th Reading Retest

5/15 - 5th Science

5/16 - Makeups


Blackshear will be a closed campus (including volunteers and lunch visitors) on state testing dates.

Blackshear Holiday Festivities