NOVEMBER 2022 NEWSLETTER
FROM THE PRINCIPAL
It has been an exciting Fall! Students have become more accustomed to following the routines of school, are enjoying recess and lunch with their whole grade level again and becoming more active in their classrooms. It’s awesome to observe this much growth in academics and social-emotional well-being so early in the year. As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, our district continues its focus on the implementation of its five-year Strategic Plan, of which Curriculum & Instruction is one of the ‘big rocks.’
One of our core beliefs is that each student, regardless of school, grade level and background, has equitable, high-quality and comprehensive learning opportunities to promote academic achievement.
Working with a group of K-12 teachers and staff, we created a district K-12 Instructional Model. It reflects our core values in that learning should provide work that is accessible by all students, be culturally responsive, integrate timely feedback to students and include varied assessments so students have opportunities to show what they know. The instructional model (see graphic below) prepares students for new learning in various ways, which might include activating background knowledge. Next, teachers provide student-centered learning experiences to deliver new knowledge that might include modeling a concept or skill. The process then involves students making meaning of the learning through group work or independent application. This means students have a chance to show that they can independently demonstrate whatever learning was achieved. Lastly, teachers provide a time for students to reflect on new learning through a lesson closure.
Together, these instructional elements create a consistent framework by which students access learning and ensure that students across grade levels and schools have equitable experiences. I hope that the conversations you have with your child about school connect to this instructional model as well.
As always, please reach out to me with any questions or feedback. I feel fortunate to be on this journey with you and your child.
Principal: Brenna Farrell | firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Amber Kash | Amber_Kash@westiron.monroe.edu
Main office: 585-336-1610
Health Office: 585-336-1618
· Nurse: Lisa Marrapese
District Office: 585-342-5500 | District website: westirondequoit.org
- 11/10: NO SCHOOL- Parent Teacher Conference Day
- 11/11: NO SCHOOL- Veteran's Day
- 11/18: School Picture Make Up Day
- 11/23-11/25: NO SCHOOL- Thanksgiving Recess
- 12/20: Winter Singalong- 9:30 am
- 12/26-1/2/2023: NO SCHOOL- Holiday Recess
FULL CALENDAR: westirondequoit.org/briarwood_school
READING INSTRUCTION IS SYSTEMATIC, COMPREHENSIVE
To foster strong foundational literacy skills is critical in the West Irondequoit K-6 instructional program. Our goal continues to be equitable access for all students to instruction that is rooted in the science of reading.
Our program is designed to engage students systematically and comprehensively in instruction that adheres to the Simple View of Reading. That formula articulates that, in order to truly be a reader, it is essential to be able to recognize words and understand language; if a student is missing either component, they will not be able to read effectively.
At the K-2 level, our approach is to provide systematic literacy instruction to develop word recognition skills. That is implemented alongside our locally developed standards-aligned humanities curriculum, which supports language comprehension. At the K-2 level, mastering foundational literacy skills is so essential and requires specific and exact instruction, so we adopted a new literacy resource called CKLA Skills Strand (version 2.0). Delivered during a 40-minute block, teachers provide students with the science-based literacy instruction they need. The humanities curriculum complements this learning by engaging all students in grade-level and beyond learning around comprehension, social studies, vocabulary, speaking, listening, and writing projects.
At third and fourth grade, as we slowly shift the focus from “learning to read” to “reading to learn,” we continue to apply the Simple View of Reading to our humanities curriculum. Alongside the language development and social studies content learning supported by the humanities curriculum, teachers use a variety of tools to support phonics instruction, including a newly adopted program, Amplify Reading and Skills Boost. Students read rich texts that will build language and vocabulary, as well as reinforce foundational literacy skills.
In fifth and sixth grade, the humanities curriculum focuses on deepening students reading comprehension skills, writing skills, speaking and listening skills, and social studies conceptual understanding. Foundational literacy skills are reinforced through vocabulary and other reading instruction, as well as through intervention. Our goal is to solidify foundational skills at the early elementary level, so that in later elementary grades, students can focus on critical thinking and extension.
LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENING AT BRIARWOOD
REPORT CARDS OUT ON NOV. 18
Report cards for 1st– 3rd Grade will be available on Parent Portal on Friday, November 18th. Kindergarten will get their first report card in January. Click here to go to the portal.
UPDATE EMERGENCY CONTACT INFO
· Have a new cell phone number or email address?
· Have a new work phone number?
· Need to update your emergency contacts?
Be sure to keep your child's school informed of any changes to your phone numbers or emergency contact information. Update info directly on the Parent Portal, or send in a note with your child.