Taft Community School Newsletter, Week of September 25, 2023
From the Principal's Desk
Dear Taft Families,
I hope you’re enjoying the first few days of the fall season. My oldest son is participating in a fall soccer league and so far he's enjoying it. We are very proud of him.
These past few days were pleasant until we had the unhealthy air advisory. As you may know, we enacted a Shelter in Place due to the poor air quality. Students were kept indoors on Wednesday and Thursday during PE, recess, and lunch. They didn’t seem to mind as we kept them busy. October will begin next week and Goal-Setting Conferences will take place from Oct 23-27. More information on that is below. As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, October is going to be a busy month. Let us know if you have any questions.
Goal-Setting Conferences October 23-27
RCSD’s new Student Goal Setting Conference format is in place of what we’ve previously referred to as Parent-Teacher Conferences that are typically held further into the fall. Student and family participation is highly encouraged at the elementary level. Families will be asked to think about what goals they have in mind for their student, such as hopes for student growth or what they are most excited about this school year.
Most of the conference conversations will involve students discussing their thoughts and reflections on their learning, focusing at first on just one goal. Because not all students may be accustomed to taking such an active role in conferences, student input can be either through discussion or via examples of their work.
Our teachers will provide additional information about the student’s current progress and strengths. The conference will cover the work that will take place in the classroom and also suggestions for how the family can support the student in reaching the goal at home.
During the week of October 23-27, we will conduct a super minimum day schedule. Classes will be dismissed at 11:45 a.m. every day. Please make a note of it.
Dolphin Ticket Raffle
We held our first Dolphin Ticket Raffle this past Friday, September 22. Students were selected at random, called to the office and given a prize. Dolphin Tickets are awarded to students for being:
A Problem Solver
We will hold these raffles regularly. Congratulations to all those students who were recognized! Keep up the good work!
Parents, please make sure your student is completing his/her homework. See our homework policy below taken from our Parent & Student Handbook, pg 18.
"Homework is a vital part of the total learning process. Grade-level homework policies are communicated to the students during the first week of school. The following list serves as a reminder about the importance of homework:
Provides essential practice in needed skills
Affords opportunities for increasing self-direction
Enriches and extends school experience
Helps students learn to budget time
Promotes growth in responsibility
Brings students into contact with out-of-school learning resources
All Taft students are expected to read (or be read to) for at least 30 minutes at home each day, including weekends. Teachers will explain additional homework expectations. The average times that each grade level is expected to spend on homework, including reading are as follows:
1st-2nd grade 30 to 45 minutes
3rd-5th grade 60 minutes
If students do not complete the assigned homework, they will be required to make up the work and may miss out on fun activities. Students must complete their homework and if they have problems, let their teachers know which parts they could not complete on their own."
If you have any questions about your student’s homework, please reach out to his/her teacher. You can find our teacher list at https://taft.rcsdk8.net/our-school/our-teachers-and-staff
Parent Involvement Meetings
Our first School Site Council (SSC) meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, Sept 26 from 6:10-7 pm.
Our first English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) will be held on October 13th from 8:45-9:30 am. This meeting will be in person. Additional details to follow.
Our first Community School Advisory Council meeting will be held on October 24 from 3-4:30 pm. More details to follow.
Boys & Girls Club Program (BGCP) Update
Below are a few updates regarding the TK, Kinder, and 5B classes that were communicated to families.
The 5B class will be officially starting on October 2nd. BGCP is communicating with families now and will continue to reach out next week to share important program information.
The Kinder A class is expected to start October 9. This is due to BGCP’s new hire who is almost done with compliance items and onboarding they must undergo to be ready for the class.
The Kinder B class is expected to start October 16. This is due to a candidate BGCP just hired recently and must complete compliance items.
The TK class is TBD until BGCP can hire another candidate.
We encourage parents to talk to their students about digital citizenship at home: Below are some Social-Emotional Learning in Digital Life family conversation resources that are printable and feature age-appropriate questions to get kids thinking about their media and tech use. Plus, they're available in English and Spanish!
- Thursday, Sept 28: Color Day
- Friday, Sept 29: Free Dress Day
- Tuesday, Oct 3: Picture Day
- Thursday, Oct 5: Super Minimum Day, dismissal at 11:45 am
- Thursday, Oct 5: Principal’s Coffee, 8:45-9:30 am
- Thursday, Oct 5: Student Recognition Assemblies
- Monday, Oct 9: Indigenous People's Day, No School
- Wednesday, Oct 11: Second Harvest Food Distribution, 2:30-4
- Oct 16-27: Panorama Fall Survey Window
- Oct 23-27: Goal-Setting Conferences, Dismissal at 11:45 am
- Friday, Oct 27: Free Dress Day
- Friday, Oct 27: Dental Screening
- Tuesday, Oct 31: Halloween (Regular School Day. If we have an event during the school day, we will let parents know)
- Wednesday, Nov 1: Teacher Work Day, No School for Students
- Thursday, Nov 2: Principal's Coffee, 8:45-9:30 am
Student Pick-Up At Dismissal Time
Please pick up your student at the appropriate dismissal time listed in our Bell Schedules. As mentioned above, our office closes at 3 pm and our office staff end their shift at that time as well. We have no staff available after 3 pm. Students who are picked up after 3 pm will have to wait inside the gated area without supervision.
- Please do not park in the staff parking lot in the morning and afternoon. The lot is reserved for staff.
- Please do not block our neighbors’ driveways at any time.
- Please drop off your students in the front drop-off zone. No parking is allowed along the curb. If you are going to park and walk your child to the gate, please park on Bay Rd and walk to the main gate. The RCPD will periodically patrol mornings and afternoons. Administration will be there to receive your students. Once students are dropped off at the main gate, students will be directed to go to their designated area which will be supervised by a staff member. Starting Tuesday, Sept 5, 2023, parents will not be allowed on campus moving forward unless it's a school-related event or have an appointment with a teacher or administrator. All visitors must check into the front office.
- 3rd-5th graders are allowed to walk to their pick-up vehicle at dismissal time without the escort of our staff. Please talk to your students so they are aware and we will also inform them.
- The 8th Ave gate is reserved solely for the Child Development Center and will be closed in the morning for the time being. All students are to enter via the main gate.
- All students need to be in full uniform and wear appropriate shoes every day unless it's a Free Day dress (last Friday of the month). Sandals and Crocs are not allowed on any day. Please refer to the Parent & Student Handbook for complete guidelines. If you need help with uniforms, please contact our Family Center.
- Please review Taft's Cell Phone Policy for Students. Students bringing a cell phone to school must check it in at the front office.
My Next Newsletter
Thank you for taking the time to read my updates. I will send my next newsletter by Tuesday, October 10, 2023.