HOOF BEATS: Aspire, Grow, Succeed



Twice each nine weeks we will be sharing our parent newsletter via text message, our web page, and our Facebook page. We hope you find the information helpful. We are glad you are part of our SWE family!

To Our New Families!

Some important information and terms you might hear this year. We know learning a new school can be difficult. We want to help! Below is a quick reference to some of the terms and information you might find useful.

School times:

Doors open for children at 7:45

Tardy Bell rings at 8:15

Announcements begin at 8:16

Instructional Day begins after announcements

Dismissal is 3:00 for car riders and 3:10 for bus riders


ERPD days are days when children are dismissed at 12 noon and staff remains on campus for professional development.

Benchmark Test:

A benchmark test is a test that allows to take a look at what children have learned and to get an idea of where they are in the scope and sequence of the year's content. These tests are for our use only and do not count for any grades.


MClass is the to we use to look at a child's literacy skills and progress in grades K-3.

Progress Monitoring:

Progress Monitoring is a quick drop in on a child's literacy skills on a regular basis.

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessments are quick checks to gauge the strength of a child's grasp of their learning on a specific topic. These are quick and are used by teachers to design lessons. These are not graded.

Summative Assessment:

Summative assessments look at learning over the course of a unit of study. These are most likely tests and may be graded tests but they may be projects, presentations, or classroom discussions.

Who Is My Child's Teacher?

Everyone is anxious to learn who their child's teacher will be. Teachers will return on August 17th. They will receive their class lists on that day. On August 18th, a letter will be mailed to your address on file with the name of your child's teacher. Please allow a day or two for that letter to arrive. If your address has changed over the summer, please come by the school with a new water/utility bill so we can update your information.


Connect with Us!

Get the latest news by following us!

Onslow County Schools APP (Android)

Onslow County Schools App (Apple)



Webpage Our web page will be transitioning to a new service over the next few months. This may result in some loss of reliability during the transition. We will continue to use our texting service to keep you informed.

Join Us!


We have many opportunities for our SWE families. We are proud to be home to a very active and supportive PTO. You can contact them here for information and look for them at orientation!

Field Trips

We welcome parents to join their children on field trips! Some venues do not have space for families to join but those that do, we encourage our families to participate with their children in these learning extensions.


Classroom volunteers are a vital part of our school. We will offer volunteer training throughout the year. Each volunteer working with children will need to be fingerprinted. We will post the training dates, times, and the fingerprinting schedule on our webpage and via our texting service once they are available. Volunteer training takes about 20-30 minutes and fingerprinting is done at the school board at no charge.

School Planning Team

Our school planning team is the body of stakeholders who look at our areas of strength and our areas of need and design strategies to support our learners' and our teachers' growth. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month as needed. These meetings are open to all! Your parent representatives for the 2016-2017 school year are:

Erica Van Voorhis

Meghan Medina

Nicole Pierce

Every Day and Every Way

Not all of us can give time during the school day. Providing support to your child at home is one of the best ways to be a part of their education! 15 minutes a day to talk with them about their school work can make the difference between getting along and getting ahead.

The Greatest Teachers in the World

In the Home

You are your child's first, and greatest teacher. Always! You provide the critical skills of self-regulation, manners, respect, perseverance, honesty, timeliness, diligence, patience, and kindness that will pave the way for success in the academic setting and fulfillment in life.

You have the best opportunity to impact your child's success by sending your child to school ready to learn each day and reviewing with them each evening.

As a working mom of a 5th grader and a 7th grader, I do understand the struggles. When I leave school, I go to my second job as a mom, a housekeeper, a chef, and a dog parent (we have 4 nutty dogs). Many nights it is a struggle to choose to spend time on school work. No one is perfect and we aren't going to nail this every time! But as often as possible, talk to your child about what they did in school. While you are making dinner, or bathing the children, or running errands, or waiting for practice to start, ask your children what they learned at school and then ask them to explain it to you. If they can teach YOU what the learned, then they are solid on the topics.

Finally, let your child make mistakes! Giving your child the answers or doing their school work for them does not help your child. We want to see your child's mistakes on their homework. That lets us know where they need our help. Please let your child work on their own with only limited guidance from you.

In the Classroom

At SWE we believe that what we ask of our students, we model ourselves. We hold very high expectations for every child, and for ourselves. Over our summer we have been in professional development to learn new ways to support our students. Just as we hope all of our students have taken some time each day to review their school work and stay strong for the year to come.

This coming year you will hear about Number Talks in our classroom and about Mentoring Minds Critical Thinking, our teaching resource for language arts and math. These are two of the ways we will be supporting exceptional learning at SWE. You can find information on both of these on the web.

Several of our classrooms will be Pen Pal School Partner Classrooms allowing them to collaborate globally on real world ideas that are important to children.

We truly want to be the very best teachers and role models we can be for our children.

With this in mind, we will be trying new ways to help keep you informed not only about your child's progress but also about what they are learning and how we are teaching it.

In Support

Throughout the year, we will be offering parent sessions to help parents understand what is being taught and how it is being taught. We will also offer sessions on study habits, best homework practices, and other topics.


Check on Our Webpage for Updates, Field Trips, and Other Events That May Not Yet Be Posted.

August 20-21: Estimated delivery by mail of teacher assignments

August 23: Kindergarten Orientation 5-7

August 24: Pre-K Orientation 8:30-10:30 and 12:30-2:30 in the media center

1st-5th Grade Orientation 5-7

August 28: First Day of School for Students

September 4: Holiday

September 6: School Planning Team Meeting 3:30-4:30

September 11: Kindergarten Bell Ringing Ceremony 9:45-10:15

September 13: 3rd Grade Beginning of Year Test

September 21: Early Release for Professional Development

September 28: Interim reports go home and Open House 5-7 pm

October 4: School Planning Team Meeting 3:30-4:30

October 9: Workday, no school for students

October 12: Fall School Pictures

October 19: Early Release for Professional Development

October 23-27: Grades 3-5 Benchmark Testing

October 26: Fall Festival

October 30-November 8: Booster-a-Thon Fun Run

October 31: Grade Close

November 1: School Planning Team 3:30-4:30

November 3: Fall Picture Make-Up Day

November 7: Report Cards go Home

November 9: Early Release for Professional Development

November 10: Holiday

Please feel free to contact us

Betsy Castle, Principal elizabeth.castle@onslow.k12.nc.us

Molly Stitz, Associate Principal molly.stitz@onslow.k12.nc.us