Babcock Neighborhood School

Trailblazers

Love and Kindness at BNS: My Heart is Full

This journey is exciting and each month I am more overwhelmed with how much fun these elementary students are each and every day! This month has already been full of love and kindness among our students. Last week, the Second-grade students began fulfilling their mission to complete 100 Acts of Kindness as their class Passion Project. They warmed the hearts of many as they delivered cards of encouragement to our staff. This is only one example of many.


Each day here at Babcock Neighborhood School, we get better at our work and find ways to improve our practices. These last few months, we have been able to see our students shine through their Passion Project experiences. It is truly amazing to watch the growth in our students. I continuously praise the work of both our students and teachers. Our school is being built from the foundation up. While the work is hard and there is plenty of work to go around right now, this team believes in our mission and we work every day to move us closer to our goals.


The new school is taking shape and right now I am living in two worlds, the present and the future. We are making decisions daily about furniture, teacher training, and technology all to enhance the learning experience for your child throughout the future of BNS. It is crazy fun and mentally exhausting at the same time.


This endeavor has definitely challenged me beyond my own comfort zone as I have had to learn business terms, understand insurance at levels I never knew existed, and ask for help at times. Asking for help is the hardest as I never want to burden others. Some days I am the windshield and some days I am the bug. The interesting part is that no matter which day it is...a bug day or a windshield day, I love my work! When my alarm goes off in the morning, I am up and ready to go! This place is absolutely the best, even on the hardest days! Your children make Babcock Neighborhood School the most enjoyable school in America!


I know it has to be hard for you as a parent at times as it is brand new, and we are trying to respond to our needs and address our gaps while keeping the energy and excitement positive. Thank you for your patience and for your respectfulness in your inquiries as we try to respond with an approach that makes sense and is reasonable on all fronts. While there are times we may miss the mark, we always come back to the drawing board with one goal: what is best for the children we are serving. Most of our families are a delight to work with, and we are thankful for your kindness every day!


Please, never hesitate to give us a call if you have questions. We are here to help. Thank you for sending your children to BNS and believing in our mission even through the tough work. The journey is one in the making, a very good one in the making and you and your family are a part of our forever history.


Kind regards,


Mrs. Treece

Emergency Protocol

I am adding this portion to our newsletter due to the heightened concerns from yesterday. Please know that our school follows all requirements expected for safety. My heart goes out to the families who were impacted yesterday. Safety is the top priority for our team. Our team met this morning to review our protocol as a result of what happened yesterday and we have adjusted the necessary components to reflect a different approach on some of our guidelines. Our emergency plans and procedures are on file with the Charlotte County law enforcement in case there is ever an emergency. In fact, I just met with Safety Supervisor of Charlotte County this week to review our plans and ensure we are up to par.



Tragedies, like we saw occur yesterday, are heartbreaking and change our hearts. For the first time, I spoke to my own seven-year-old about what she should do in the event an intruder finds access to the school. You should have that conversation with your own children as well, not just for school, but any event venue. I talked to my daughter about how if you can, you have to run away from the chaos and find a safe place and that I would locate her when the time was right. I told her if she could run, that she would need to hide and never open the door, that a police officer would open the door and keep her safe. I told her that if anyone were to come at her to fight with all her might, kicking and screaming in an effort to get away to a safe area. It was hard. It was all I had to not cry. It was uncomfortable and her innocence was clear as she stated with confidence that her teacher would protect her and make sure she knew what to do. This is true. It is hard to not create fear in teaching this and I found myself struggling. Parenting is hard.


Run, hide, fight, is what we teach for lockdown (obviously the different grades will use different verbiage). We had a lockdown planned for today, but we will reschedule due to the tragedy on Wednesday. It is too close in time as everyone is dealing with a heightened sense of emotion. The teachers teach the protocol in their classrooms in ways and times that it is appropriate for their classrooms. Please know that safety is an on-going discussion here and everyone is committed to ensuring the safety of all students.

Attendance @ BNS

Our Child Study Team is beginning to look closely at absences and tardies and the impact it is having on our school. At this time, we are documenting in FOCUS and contacting families who are in violation of the school and district expectations. If you are an out of county student in violation of the attendance policy, your seat can be revoked. It is imperative that your children are in school every day we are in session. Absences and tardies impact academic performance, and our teachers and I are definitely feeling the impact of having to reteach often due to family vacations or extended weekends.


Tardies are a point of emphasis for us at this time as well. Please note that four tardies (coming late or leaving early) equal one absence.


In planning your vacations next year, please ensure that you are scheduling those when we are out of session. Attendance is a critical piece of academic success.


If your student is experiencing sickness, please send a note with your child upon their return.


**Please take a look at the Student Code of Conduct on pages 16-18 and review attendance policy if you have questions, feel free to give us a call. We are here to help and support our families in this endeavor.

Curriculum and Instruction

Our team has been working diligently throughout the year to cover the teaching of our standards. In the last month, we have asked you to help support our efforts to provide personalized learning time, specifically in the i-Ready program. Thank you very much for your efforts! Classroom instruction coupled with i-Ready is yielding wonderful growth. We are very proud of our students, and they are really beginning to understand the link between the effort, the classroom experiences, and growth. I love having conversations with them about these areas of growth. In an effort to show our appreciation of their work and focus in i-Ready, we are implementing a field day for those students who complete 20 lessons. In fact, I have been asking the students what they think about i-Ready at this point, and many shared it is helping them learn. We are also ensuring that our conversations with students revolve around celebrating learning and growth, not on "testing". It is a shift in thinking, but in time we will get to where we desire.


I have had a few folks share their concern about the time in i-Ready. I want to put this in perspective. If you take our minutes per week and the maximum minutes (most students don't need the maximum time to complete lessons) that students are working in i-Ready, it is less than 6% of the day. Keep in mind this time has always been set aside for intervention, the difference is that the ability for this program to personalize learning for each child is much more efficient and effective than the teacher trying to accomplish the same goal. The rest of the time they are receiving incredible classroom instruction. In regard to i-Ready, remember it is only one of many tools we are using to create a diverse learning environment. Our work to find the right balance of all tools is a process, and we are appreciative of your willingness to partner with us on this educational journey.

State Testing

In the upcoming months, we will begin our state testing. It is imperative that our students attend and complete the assessments. Our school score is based on our performance, and our charter contract with Charlotte County is based on our performance. We must have 95% attendance for our scores to count. It is imperative that we meet these criteria and earn a grade. Please make sure your child is here during all assessments to help us achieve our requirements.


This is an opportunity for Babcock Neighborhood School to prove that our philosophy and integration of PBL is effective and worthy of the work to implement the model. There have certainly been challenging hurdles this year across the board, but we are excited for our students to have the opportunity to show what they know in regard to the expected standards for mastery.


**Please also note that the state assessments are required in the Charlotte County Progression Plan. If you need clarity or understanding around these assessments, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. Again, we are excited for our students to show what they know this Spring and celebrate their learning.

Dress Code Survey

Our new vendor is awesome! Just FYI, I submit an order every other Friday. In order to place an order, I need 12 polos or 12 Tie Dyed shirts at a minimum. I have currently taken down the TD shirts as the ordering of those have slowed down. If you need a TD shirt, contact the office, and if we have the size you can pay on MSB. Then, we will get you the shirt.


In an effort to plan for next year, please complete this link with some input on your preferences for uniforms. This will allow us to consider your input in our decision making.

https://goo.gl/forms/plUIVaVDGRjQv6uL2


Also, we hope to have a few options for Adult clothing in the upcoming weeks! We have been trying some options out among our staff and believe we have some great items to offer our families.

School Start Times

I have been able to have many great conversations around the school start time. In sharing specific reasons for our concerns, most everyone seems to understand the dilemma and support the rationale. In my communications with families, I work really hard to communicate as many details as possible. There have been many conversations about the pros and cons, and our team continues to come back to what is best for our students. We are finding that our students are wearing down before the end of our school day. Starting later is, of course, ending our day later. In aftercare, we have now gone to straight play time as the children are tired, and frankly, need a break. In the morning between 8-8:45, we have several students who are burning their energy waiting for school to begin. This is what prompted our conversations to consider beginning earlier. Our team is still planning and looking at the best options, but please feel free to share your ideas. Those of you I have spoken to have been great and like myself, enjoy the later start time, but also understand the need to do what is best for the learning environment of the children. Many parents have expressed appreciation of the start times as it will give them more flexibility in their afternoon planning with children and travel time to other activities. Thank you for your engagement and feedback as we work to navigate an approach that meets the needs of the majority of our families. We are still discussing, but here is where we are as I am typing this information.

Quick Information:


  • Start Time = 8:00
  • End Time = 2:30
  • Dropoff will begin at 7:45
  • Before Care will begin at 7:00 (Cost, TBD, we are working with Script to offer options in billing based on days attended in some capacity. It may be if you attend1-2 days, it is $10 and 3-5 is $15...these are made up numbers)
  • After Care will end at 6:00, based on the survey, it seems most parents prefer we provide snacks. We are working on the cost of providing care for both programs.
  • We are also looking to give families with two or more children a discount.

Please know we are still working on logistics, and we will continue to keep you posted as we solidify what makes the most sense for the needs.

Volunteers

I owe a THANK YOU to our volunteers who have been helping in the classroom and office. The amount of work they are accomplishing each day is helping us meet our demands. I am extremely appreciative of their commitment and willingness to help. Volunteerism wears off by middle/high school, and it has made my heart full to see the involvement and support. It has been refreshing and a positive experience for me at BNS! Thank you all!


If you are still reading and would like to help here are some needs:


  • Donations needed: pencils (sharpened, if you don't mind), copy paper, Lysol wipes, tissues, paper towels for classroom projects...anything school related we can always put to good use.
  • If you are interested in helping in classrooms, please reach out to the teachers. We are needing more help all the time and if you have a specific skill set that you can offer, let us know.
  • Details to come for help needed for a BNS Bake Sale on March 10th! There is a huge kick-off and we plan to be offering school tours to visitors and having a Bake Sale to help support our continued technology and library needs. I am being told there will be thousands, so those of you who are bakers..."get your bake on". We will be recruiting volunteers to help make this happen! More to come very soon!

Treece Talks

Tuesday, March 13th, 9am

BNS Media Center

Tentative Agenda


  • Welcome and Objective

  • Objective: Parents will be able to understand the Summit Program and how this model will support our implementation of Project Based Learning.

    • Mrs. Treece and Team will explain Summit in detail and allow parents to see the platform that will be utilized in grades 4-8 if we are fortunate enough to be awarded the grant.

    • Hiring Procedures

    • Other Housekeeping:

      • Testing

      • Attendance

      • New Building

  • Adjourn

Bully Button

BNS is working hard to build a culture of kindness in our daily interactions. In our work to teach students kindness, we address daily how we should interact with each other in respectful ways. We do ask your help in speaking to your own BNS students about treating everyone with kindness, and if there are issues that arise we do have a "Bully" Button for anonymous reporting as needed (located on our home web page). Please remember you do not have to use the button, you are always welcome to give me a call. I will address any concerns immediately. The link to the reporting form is below.

http://yourcharlotteschools.net/district/bullyForm.cfm