ENSC Family Notes

February 16, 2015


Well, It has been an interesting week with more dialogue and controversy to come, I am sure. Since the release of ISTEP testing information 2-3 weeks ago, there has been much conversation and, at times panic, that continues to swirl around the test. You probably have all heard through the media, the 2015 ISTEP test is nearly 12 hours in length depending upon grade level. This is more than double previous years.

State Superintendent Ritz and the State Board of Education are working with legislators to shorten the test. The proposal suggests eliminating some questions, not testing all students on all 2016 pilot questions, and eliminating the social studies tests from 5th and 7th grade. In addition to an attempt to shorten the test, the testing window has also been slightly extended.

With just two weeks left until the start of the testing window, there is much to be done by the state to get changes made to create a more positive testing environment for our students.

Fortunately for East Noble School Corporation students, we have never been a district to place "all of our eggs in one basket." Meaning, we strive to serve the whole child and refrain from intensive "test prep" and try not to place undo pressure on students when participating in the tests. To determine gaps in student learning, our teachers have multiple ways to assess student progress throughout the school year rather than on one test. In addition to multiple measuring sticks, our teachers are extremely attuned to their students' abilities and growth and are able to provide immediate interventions that support student success.

Over the years, the Indiana testing environment has moved from collecting student progress data to be used for interventions, to a test to measure the success of a school using a "one size fits all" metric. The test isn't about kids any longer.

We will continue our daily passion of providing a quality education to all students and helping each of them create and reach their dreams--regardless of the ISTEP test.

February 18 Board Meeting

This week's Board meeting will be held at the Alternative Learning Center and begins at 6 p.m. Agenda items include:

1. Tina Miars, ENHS Senior, will be providing the Board with an overview of her experience at Harvard University last summer.

2. Board members will learn about the middle school programming at the Alternative Learning Center.

3. A few documents will need to be approved which are related to the high school mechanicals project which was approved at the last meeting. The primary purpose is to request from the State an additional appropriation (permission) to spend the bonded money that will be received to finance the replacement of boilers and chillers.

The Board meetings for March are March 4 and March 18.

This Week at the Legislature

There are two different bills that are being pushed and those are the elimination of a $4,800 cap on vouchers for private and parochial schools and an increase of $1,500 per student funding for charter schools. While the governor has proposed a 2 percent and 1 percent increase to education funding over the next two years, the actual amount to public schools will be less since the voucher and charter school increased will come out of this increase to education funding.

All Star of the Week

We all have moments in our day when we feel like air traffic controllers. Multi-tasking and going in a multitude of different directions, and doing so calmly so no one panics. There is no job more demanding of a multitasker than a school secretary. Walk into East Noble High School, and you’ll be greeted by a friendly smile from someone who has a great deal of multitasking ability. Whether it’s answering phones, getting subs to the right rooms, making announcements, working with visitors, or any of the other tasks that comes her way, Dawn Metz does so with an inviting personality and a warm smile. For the past 10 years Dawn has been the face and voice of East Noble High School. Prior to her current role as Front Office Secretary, she served the staff and students by working in the Media Center. There is no doubt she bleeds blue and gold. Dawn has one son, daughter, and son-in-law along with two grandchildren whom she adores – Miles and Sylvia. Dawn is a resident of Kendallville and she likes to quilt, play cards, bake, and spend time with her children and grandchildren. Every Monday she brings in homemade baked goods to share with her colleagues. It’s fitting to be able to acknowledge Dawn for her contributions on Valentine’s Weekend, as she shares a birthday with the February holiday. We proudly recognize her as an East Noble High School All-Star, and we wish her a Happy Birthday too!

Have a great week!

Enjoy your week. Right now, the weather is looking promising for five school days this week!


Building Notes

East Noble High School

At what age do you become older than most of the people in the United States?

If you think back to when we took Social Studies, many of us will often remember lengthy lectures that challenged our ability to stay awake and filmstrips that were dug out of an archaeological site. Who won which war and when seemed to be the basis of every social studies class. Not at ENHS! Our Social Studies Department engages kids and immerses them in technological opportunities. Our teachers challenge our students, gets them to think, and supports their ability to write and apply evidence to defend their decisions. Students walk away with a connected experience that gets them to understand their role in a global society. It’s one of the reasons many of our students are so engaged in social activities such bringing water to Africa, and projects designed to bring awareness to human trafficking.

Mr. Maksimchuk’s World History classes have been using google docs, 6 + 1 writing traits, and peer editing to create a Napoleon Newspaper.

Mr. Bell’s Government students recently finished researching jobs on usajobs.gov for a presentation on executive departments and their agencies. Students had to describe what the job entailed and what training/education was needed to get the job.

In Mr. Amstutz US History Classes, students are busy filming and editing Silent Films on a range of 1920's topics from Prohibition to the Scopes Trials.

Mr. Lash’s World History classes has been studying the Early Middle Ages and Byzantine Empire. For a 6+1 assignment they were to write an essay discussing the pros and cons of halting a modern day construction project when ancient artifacts are found so that archaeologists and historians can study the site.

These are but a sample of the activities that engage our students within the Social Studies Department here at East Noble High School. By the way, the answer to the original question…37!

East Noble Middle School

The middle school like the rest of the state is busy preparing for this year’s ISTEP test. On Monday the Math classes will take the practice test followed on Wednesday by the Language Arts teachers. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned this year.

On Friday after raising $670.00 for the American Heart Association the students and staff once again battled on the hard wood. The teachers won quite handily behind the play all. This game was the conclusion of fun Friday. Many classes had stress relieving activities allowing students to realize school and learning can be and needs to be fun. The seventh grade all watched the Outsiders after having just completed reading the book.

The wrestling team in the middle of their season. If you have not had the opportunity to watch them it is 6 very intense minutes of competition. The track and soccer teams have met to discuss the upcoming season and practice times.

North Side Elementary

This week at North Side saw the whole school come together to culminate their fundraising efforts for Jump Rope for Heart with a visit by the Turtle Town Twirlers. The group wowed students from Kindergarten through sixth grade with their performance. North Side Wildcats have been raising money through the Jump Rope for Heart campaign and learning about healthy exercise habits with lots of jump roping! A special thanks to Mary Getts for organizing these efforts.

This week, the kindergarten students were really excited to use a new app called Raz-Kids. The students can interact with books at their reading levels. They can listen to books read to them, they can read the stories on their own, they will practice answering comprehension questions about the stories, and can even record themselves reading the books. The students love listening to their own voice recorded on the iPads. The Dekko foundation provided the money through a grant so ALL our Kindergarten students would have access to this program. The excitement was also building this week in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. The students love giving and receiving Valentine cards as well as enjoying the sweets that go along with the holiday!

Rome City Elementary

Four outstanding musicians from our Rome City 6th Grade Band participated in the ISSMA contest at Carroll High School held on Saturday, February 7. They all were awarded gold medals on their solos! One of our band students received a perfect score on her clarinet solo. Congratulations to our fine Rome City musicians!

This week the 1st grade students kicked off their Animal Unit! They got to explore the books and pick their animal topic for the unit. First grade Romans are eager to learn more about animals and their habitats.

On Friday Mrs. Krebs kicked off the American Red Heart Jump Rope for Heart program by inviting the Turtle Town Turners visited Rome City! Students and staff loves the energetic group of students. Students who were nominated for student of the month were selected to jump rope with the Turtle Town Turners.

South Side Elementary

Kindergarten through 4th grade brought their iPads to gym last week. They used the newly downloaded Tabata app for their warm up. Students giggled when the instructor says “TABATA, ” to start their work out. Students completed all sorts of exercises such as, the plank, squats, mountain climbers, superhero fly, and many others. Students were very excited to see an Achievement Award pop up after completing their first set. 5th and 6th grade started their archery unit. Those students have spent the last 2 weeks learning archery safety and practicing the 11 steps of archery using a string bow. Next week, they are moving on to practicing with the bows and arrows.

Mrs. Stohlman and Mrs. Mossburg are selecting and preparing student artwork to be exhibited at the Kendallville Public Library. The February 23rd art show is part of an KPL open house, celebrating their newly remodeled basement. Mrs. Mossburg’s art students have just finishing up their paintings for the FAME Fusion of the Arts poster contest. Students listened to the music E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial by John Williams and interpreted it into a painting. Six finalists from South Side were chosen. They are Ethan Pelfrey and Nathan Gillespie in 1st grade, Trace Cain 2nd grade, Jade Terry and Caleb Hershman grade 3 and Tristin Frye grade 4. Their paintings will part of a travelling art show for the next 6 months and will go on to compete with students from about 50 other northeast Indiana schools. One winner from each grade will be chosen. His or her artwork will be made into posters to promote the Festival of Art and Music Education (FAME). Nice job South Side artists!

Mr. Johnston’s 1st and 2nd grade music classes are beginning a unit on jazz rhythms using new tubano drums purchased by the PTO while Kindergarten is starting “smooth and bumpy” music, and 5th and 6th grade is continuing their work for their program on March 10th: 5th grade singing and playing syncopated rhythms, and 6th grade playing African rhythms.

Saturday February 7 was the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival at Carroll High School. These South Side students prepared solos and performed for a judge. Ratings of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Participation were possible. All South Side Students performed exceptionally well receiving Gold or Silver ratings. Participants included Alissa Hamman; Jasmine Evers; Abby Moore; Holly Butler; Madison Pegan, Eli Hanson; Brenda Rodriquez; Hunter Woodward; Katie Clark; Cecilia Stearns. Nicely done, Trailblazers!

Wayne Center Elementary

Second graders have been hard at work at Wayne Center. They have been working on the No Excuses Convocation for February. The February convo revolves around caring. Second graders collected pictures of fellow Wayne Center students showing caring around the school. On their iPads they took those pictures and put them into the app, Skitch. In Skitch they were able to write a sentence on the picture about how caring was being shown by the people in the photograph. One of our sixth grade classes helping with the convocation is taking the pictures and putting them into a slide show with sound.

Tuesday night Mr. Yoder and the second grade teachers hosted their Family Tech night. What a great idea that was started by Mr. Yoder! It was so neat to see our second graders interacting with their parents. The students were shown how to use the app Shadow Puppet. Second graders and their parents recorded themselves reading different poems and some even put their project to music. It was really neat to see our students showing their parents how they are able to use technology. Thanks again Mr. Yoder for all of your hard work putting this night together!

Mrs. Munk from the Kendallville Public Library joins our second grade classrooms on Wednesday mornings. Currently she is working with the students on different weather related topics. Our second grade students look forward to Mrs. Munk’s visits. The topic of weather has gotten our students even more excited about meeting Meteorologist, Curtis Smith at our No Excuses Convo at the end of the month.

Alternative Learning Center

It was a great week at the ALC. One student graduated early and several others completed their class to earn a credit. Congratulations to Jordan Davis for her accomplishment and good luck to her in the future. The students celebrated with a party on Friday for earning over 100 credits this trimester. It is exciting to watch how much the students can accomplish when they set their minds to it and work hard.

Avilla Elementary

Congratulations to all Avilla musicians that participated in the solo competition at Carroll High School this weekend. This College Bound group of 11 students earned our school a total of nine first place medals, and two second place medals! It just goes to show that hard work pays off. Great job everyone, we are very proud of all of you. Those who participated where: Laura DeLong, Miah Hudson, Rachael Carlson, Ruby Marquez, Emma Archer, Morgan Forker, Grace Hardiek, Xavier Ghrist, Michael Rhoades, Nathaniel Summers, and Cassidy Estridge.

The 2015 Avilla Science Fair was held on Thursday, February 12th. We had 22 students’ present projects this year and with the help from ENHS students Rachel Skurner, Adam Albertin, Caleb Larson, and Adam Dills we were able to pick our winners. Our winning students will move on to the Regional Science Fair at Trine University on March 14. Congratulations goes out to Lydia Hallman, Lydia Yoder, Janel Gustin, Eva Hallman, and AnnaBella Brown for advancing. We wish them all the best at regionals! Science Fair participants will have the opportunity to share their projects with fellow classmates and the community on Tuesday, February 17th from 4:00-5:30 PM

Mr. Keck invited a jump rope club of 3rd through 5th grade students from Churubusco to help “Jump Start” OUR Jump Rope for Heart program this year. The group visited OUR Character Counts Convocation this past Friday. Thirty-five members make up this club that practices two nights a week. The group takes pride in all the team work and dedication it takes to master the program they have put together. The most important message that they wanted to pass on to OUR students is to work hard and have fun! Thank you, Mr. Keck, for arranging for this unique group to perform for OUR kids.