December 16, 2013

ENSC Parent Notes

Saturday's Snow

What a snow we had Saturday! For some reason, when the snow hits, I am compelled to be out and about. Not sledding or skiing, but overcoming the challenge of driving through unplowed roads, hardened snow chunks, millions of crafty snowflakes that freeze to the windshield, and crazy drivers. It is the excitement of being one of a few who are on the road who must be doing something important. I was out there doing some important holiday shopping, nothing tremendously significant. OK, well, I wasn't driving. That would be my husband, but it was still fun. And, to add to the fun, we got our car washed! Just so you know, we were not the only ones getting their car washed during an eight inch snow fall. (Yes, we have a monthly pass and wanted to get our money's worth!)

ENMS Meeting

If you were not able to attend the community meetings to discuss the future for ENMS, there will be another meeting Monday, December 16, at 9 am. and held at ENMS. A brief tour will follow the meeting. If you attended an evening meeting and are interested in listening again or taking the tour, you are welcome to attend. Bring a friend! Enter the building from the Riley Street entrance.

This Week's Board Meeting

This week's Board meeting will be held at the Central Office beginning at 6 p.m. Agenda items include:

  • Barton, Coe, Villama Architects reviewing the calculations of their estimates for the middle school project options.
  • Approval of a raise for classified staff.
  • An update to Support Staff School Board policy 4430. The change will allow support staff to take days without pay when extenuating circumstances arrive regardless of the once every five years.

You are always welcome and encouraged to attend ENSC Board Meetings.

ISTEP scores, growth scores, negative impact scores, school grades....

The Indiana DOE struggles to get it "right." The 2013 ISTEP was completed in May. Seven months later, they are still not able to disseminate accurate information. The latest is with the release of growth scores. Superintendent Ritz sent out an emergency message to districts asking everyone to stop using the previously released data as a calculation error was found that affected 50 percent of the scores. Negative impact information was to be released weeks ago and yet another delay was announced last week.

It is late December and some districts are still waiting on receipt of accurate 2013 data to determine raises/compensation for teachers who started working as early as August 1 of 2013. At what point do districts choose to "dump" this unreliable information and use internal data to evaluate their teachers. I am pleased that East Noble School Corporation teachers collect regular data on their students and were able to pass on the ISTEP results to use more reliable data that better measures student achievement and shows a clear picture of mastery! Thank you ENSC teachers for all you do for our students. For you, it is about your students and doing what they need locally!

Heros of the Week - Josh Walters and JD Emmert

They may not be faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive, and they certainly are not able to leap small buildings in a single bound…but this week’s ENSC Super heroes do many things behind the scenes to keep technology in our corporation running smoothly. This week’s Super Heroes of the Week are Josh Walters and JD Emmert.

Josh Walters has been with East Noble School Corporation since he was in elementary school; he grew up going to school at East Noble, worked as an ICE student in high school, and has continued to work for the corporation tirelessly since then. Because of this history, Josh’s loyalty to East Noble knows no bounds. He recently spent almost an entire Thanksgiving vacation day at the high school because he knew the doors weren not locking correctly and were not secure. He has spent countless hours in the evenings working on teacher computers because he knew they needed them the next day for their classes—and the list could go on and on. This type of dedication is what makes Josh an invaluable part of East Noble School Corporation.

JD Emmert did not grow up going to East Noble, but he has quickly become an integral part of the technology department at the corporation. JD does a large amount of the repair on student computers and without him, many students would be without their machines for much longer than they currently are. JD steps in when needed to make up for other co-workers in their absences due to illness or vacation days.

Thank you, Josh and JD, for your tireless dedication to the work you do for the students and staff at East Noble.

Have an Excellent Week

Ann Linson



Building and Curriculum News

Curriculum Notes

ISTEP+ is Just Around the Corner

I can’t believe that I am saying this but the ISTEP+ and IREAD 3 tests are just around the corner. Below you will see some important dates that all students, parents, and teachers should be aware of. As we begin to prepare for the multiple choice section of the test, which will be taken on the computer, it is a requirement that all teachers and students update their computers frequently. Frequently would be defined as a minimum of every two weeks but will increase to weekly just prior to the test. Computers must be updated to ensure that all software properly loads to the computers, even if the test is months away. Updating a computer keeps it in optimal working condition. Computers that have not been updated may run slowly, have trouble booting up, have trouble logging into the Internet or other programs, and/or have difficulty opening files.

Please set a day of the week for updates and take the few minutes each time to complete this process.

  • January 14- Statewide Readiness Test (computer/iPad) from 10-11 AM - Students in Grades 3-8 will participate
  • February 4- Make-Up Day for Statewide Readiness Test (computer/iPad) from 10-11 AM – Students in Grades 3-8 will participate
  • March 3- March12 – Applied Skills ISTEP+ (paper/pencil) - Students in Grades 3-8 will participate. Students will test approximately 1 hour a day for 4 days within the window.
  • March 17-19 – IREAD3 (paper/pencil) – All 3rd Graders participate
  • April 28-May 9 – Multiple Choice ISTEP+ and IMAST (computer/iPad) - Students in Grades 3-8 will participate. Students will test approximately 1 hour a day for 4 days within the window.

North Side Elementary

On Monday morning, North Side was scheduled to have Breakfast with Santa. Unfortunately, the two-hour delay caused Santa’s sleigh to be delayed in his arrival. However, that did not put a damper on the spirits of our North Side family. Santa safely arrived to North Side on Tuesday morning. Families enjoyed togetherness with donuts, juice, and milk. Kids also had the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap next to the Christmas tree to commemorate their morning of fun with a picture. A big thanks goes out to the Parent Night Committee for their organization of this memorable event.

The 2nd grade classes have been studying Holidays Around the World in Social Studies. The students have learned about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and compared these Holidays to Christmas. Thanks to Craig Munk and the theatre department we have many 2nd grade students who want to study the arts more in depth. Our classes are so excited to take the next round of mClass reading and math. They have set data goals and are ready to see the gains.

Alternative Learning Center

Another week has gone by and more credits have been compiled at the ALC. Our students keep plugging away and I am hopeful that we will be nearing the 130 credit mark when Christmas break arrives. We welcomed a new student at the start of the week and we are anticipating the arrival of another new student next week. Last week the ALC staff spent time interviewing candidates for an open IA position and I am hopeful that I will be able share exciting news about a new staff member by this time next week.

Side South Elementary

It has been an eventful week at South Side as students decorated our school Christmas tree and prepared their performances for the winter music program. Each grade level created ornaments for the tree resulting in 454 total ornaments—one for each student at South Side. On Thursday, students sang their hearts out to a packed house for our winter program. The PTO Santa’s Workshop was also a huge success as we began with eleven tables full of holiday items priced under $5 each with multiple boxes of refill items at the ready. We ended the evening with only two tables of items left as students flooded the workshop to shop for their families both during their assigned classroom time and well into the evening as parents visited the workshop with their students.

Our grade level update this week comes from first grade: First grade South Siders have been very busy this week! The kids worked very hard on their gingerbread ornaments for the school tree, and they turned out fantastic. We also showed off our musical skills at our winter program. In Math, we have been working hard on measurement, and have been measuring a variety of objects. Mrs. Becker has been coming into our classrooms and helping us with daily timelines on our iPods. The students are loving the Disney Story app, and we have been comparing and contrasting The Runaway Pizza to The Gingerbread Man. We look forward to reading the different gingerbread story versions before Christmas

Avilla Elementary

On Tuesday night OUR Kindergarten, second, and fourth grade performed in the annual winter program. Under the direction of Robert Smith, the students performed to a packed house of parents, family, and friends. Everyone had a great time listening to some great holiday classics like "Holly Jolly Christmas" and new favorites like "Pete the Cat Saves Christmas".

When the concert ended students and families were able to move from the gym to the multipurpose for Panther University. Panther University for December has traditionally been a month that some type of craft or crafts are made. This year was no different. Families were able to create College Bound magnets for their refrigerators! The magnets were a huge hit for everyone involved. We would like to thank Mrs. Leffers for creating this really cool craft for OUR families.

This past Thursday Ms. Holbrook’s class made a spaghetti lunch for family members. The students selected the menu, shopped and purchased the food, and prepared the meal. All the families enjoyed the meal and spending time at OUR school. Ms. Holbrook and her staff do an outstanding job each and every day preparing students for life after East Noble. Thank you, all of you, for all that you do each day for OUR kids.

East Noble Middle School

East Noble Middle School was ripe with activity this week! As the first semester comes to a close, students are taking final unit tests and preparing for final exams. The second round of Acuity is finished for both 7th and 8th grades. Students made a great amount of growth, with some students increasing over 100 points! Many teachers were caught praising students for their hard work and students showed a great deal of pride in themselves. Prizes for growth include candy from the concession stand, a chance to enter the drawing for larger prizes at the end of the year, and a draw string bag. 7th grade language arts classes continue to study The Outsiders, and PE classes have been participating in the ever popular archery unit!

The Student Council introduced a contest between Academic Lab classes this week. ENMS will be participating in the Pennies for Patients drive. Each Academic Lab class will be collecting money through next Thursday to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The AL with the greatest donation will win a pizza party!

After school activities were in full swing this week. The boys and girls basketball teams have begun regular games for the season, and the cheerleaders have been active in pepping up the crowd! The 7th and 8th grade bands hosted a dinner/concert on Wednesday evening. Over 100 students were present on Friday evening for the annual Holiday Dance sponsored by the ENMS Scholarship committee.

Wayne Center Elementary

Wayne Center students are working hard towards our goal to read for 1,000,000 minutes this year. We reached our first milestone which was to read for 250,000 minutes. The students all were able to celebrate by having a donut and juice on Wednesday morning. Our next goal is to read 500,000 minutes, and we are well on our way to achieving that. When we achieve this goal the whole school will get their choice of a snack. The students also have been receiving individual awards for their at home reading minutes.

On Monday night our first, third, and fifth grade students will be presenting their holiday concert. The first graders have been working hard on memorizing their lines and songs for the concert. The High School Show Choir will also be our special guest at the concert.

The first graders have been working hard on sequencing a story and figuring out author’s purpose. The students learned that sometimes authors hide secret messages in a story that they wrote to entertain. We talked about these secret messages in two of our favorite stories, A Bad Case of Stripes and Giraffes Can’t Dance. Mrs. McDonald’s class is working on writing friendly letters. They have been writing back and forth to a first grade class from Parkside Elementary. After break the students will be assigned a pen pal to write letters to.

Rome City Elementary

The Fort Wayne’s Children Zoo came to Rome City on Tuesday to show the students different animals. The zookeeper showed them a hedgehog, parrot, cock roaches, and a snake. She talked about how they live, where they live, and let the children pet him. The zookeeper also taught the children songs for each animal that they could sing as she walked around with the animals.

Mrs. Rogers's 4th graders worked together to collect 20 Sunny D labels. Their 20 labels earned 20 free books for their classroom library! Some of the titles include Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever, Sophie the Chatterbox, Meteor Showers, the Vampire Sisters, and Geronimo Stilton. This is the second year her class has earned free books. Thank you to Sunny D for sponsoring the book spree for classrooms.

The 1st, 3rd and 5th graders entertained a packed audience at the annual Rome City Christmas Program this Thursday. The 1st graders sang and played on kazoos, the 3rd graders sang and played on several instruments including bells, bell-kits and recorders. The hit of the program was seeing the 3rd graders in sunglasses singing "We Will Jingle" to the tune of "We Will Rock You". The 5th graders ended the program with wonderful performances on handchimes. Thank you to Mr. Cary for putting this program together!

East Noble High School

This past Friday the high school participated in the Hour of Code. The promotion was part of Computer Science’s Education Week. Their goal was to get ten million students exposed to the world of computer code writing. ENHS was the only high school in northeast Indiana and one of the few high schools in the state. However, the organization met its goal and over ten million students participated.

Our students were actively engaged in writing code in a variety of settings. Students had the opportunity to create their own holiday cards, their own version of Angry Birds, or other simulations. Several students wrote code creating a game for their smart phones. For many of our students, this was their first experience in writing code. The students and teachers enjoyed the experience, and often worked collaboratively to solve the various problems that were being posed in their tutorials.

Many of the coding opportunities are appropriate for a wide range of ages and skill levels. For anyone who’d like to learn more here’s the website:

ENHS was selected as one of four schools in Northeast Indiana to start a JAG program this year. JAG stands for Jobs for America's Graduates and is funded with a grant from CANI. Students are selected to participate in the two year JAG program that meets daily. During class, students learn employability skills, while developing leadership skills and participate in community service. ENHS currently has 30 students enrolled in the program, with the opportunity to add 10 more. Attached is a picture of the students in 3rd hour who dressed for "dress to impress day". This is another avenue for us to help students at ENHS for post-secondary success.