ENSC Weekly Notes

November 4, 2013

November....What? Where has the time gone?

We have just 32 school days until winter break and less than two months before 2014 begins. In just two more weeks, I will begin decorating our house for Christmas. Yes, I start early to make sure everything is up for Thanksgiving. Our families (OK, our kids, the moms and a couple of siblings) come to our house for Thanksgiving. After about 15 years of Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving day, they have finally stopped asking why we put the decorations up so early. So, why so early? I love the Christmas holidays. The festive decorations that sparkle (no glitter please), shine, and flash; red and green everywhere; cheerful people who show more compassion than usual; the excitement of an upcoming new year, and time with family! I can tell the holidays have arrived and it is time for the decorating to start as my mailbox has been stuffed with sales catalogs recently. Even today's newspaper was five inches thick with holiday adorned sales flyers.


So, why set up so early? I want as much time to enjoy the decorations and festivities as possible but within a window of time that the neighbors don't think we are crazy. I will say this, we drove by a home today in the Leo area and they have their Christmas inflated decorations set up in their yard. I am thinking Thanksgiving is late! By the way, our decorations come down on December 26!


Enjoy the next several weeks as you, too, prepare for your holidays.

Board Meeting Week

This week's School Board meeting will be held at the Central Office and begin at 6:30. The agenda is light and will include Cliff Hannon, ENMS, and Chelsey Thangvijit, ENHS, providing an introduction and overview of Canvas and how teachers are using the new learning management system. Becca Lamon will introduce the Board members to Bloomboard and how it is used to collect and record evidence for teacher evaluations. I will also briefly discuss the upcoming community meeting dates to solicit community input on the future of the middle school.


Extended Calendar

Tomorrow, the discussions team will be meeting to narrow the calendar options for 2014-2015. If you have any thoughts, please let them know. The group members are: Charlie Barber, Nancy Bodecker, Renee Rogers, Jennifer Roberts, Jo Smith, and Pam Jennings.


One new change....it appears the spring break could fall March 24 - April 4. Take a look at that and see what you think. That is one week earlier. The second week still falls during the Allen County Schools break. Not sure about other area schools!

Survey

The district has been doing some work with Boyden & Youngblutt to help us better understand our community and learn creative ways that we can better position ourselves in the area. They developed a ten question survey that was emailed to our families and business leaders in the area. In addition, they personally called several people. Brian, Becca, and I met with the representatives last Friday to hear the results. I wanted to pass along a strong, recurring theme that appeared. Our community believes we have outstanding teachers who care about their children. When asked what they perceived as our strength, it was our teachers and staff! I agree! Thank you for all you do for our students and this district.


Cookies This Week Go To....South Side Elementary.

Thank you South Side Elementary for all you do for our students, families, and communities.


South Side Elementary – 100%

North Side Elementary – 98.5%

Avilla Elementary – 97.6%

Rome City Elementary – 97.6%

East Noble Middle School – 96.3%

East Noble High School – 95.6%

Wayne Center Elementary – 93.9%

Super Hero of the Week!

When we decided to get into the education business, it’s because we have a passion for helping kids. Some enjoy working with youngsters, some prefer the older kids, and there are those who like the kids in the middle. A long career of helping kids often makes us look forward to retirement. Retirement gives you time to spend relaxing, to follow your own routine, and time to do what you want when you want. Not too long ago we had a veteran teacher who decided it was time to retire. He was a kid favorite, and many of his colleagues were sad to see him leave. He had a way of connecting with kids and helped many students through the complex algorithms of a high school math class. Although this individual retired two years ago, he has still managed to maintain strong connections to the kids and teachers of East Noble High School. He continues to share his golf knowledge to the younger athletes, and he puts in countless hours advising and assisting our student council. He’s here on a regular basis. Whether it’s taking care of the pop machines or getting things ready for student council conventions or dances, he’s always surrounded by a crowd of kids who are happy to see him. He’s here so much it’s like he never really retired. It’s easy to see why kids and adults love Mr. Richard Bentz. He is committed to providing kids with a positive experience, and just because he’s no longer in classroom on a daily basis, his impact and passion are very much a part our ENHS culture. That’s why we are proud to recognize Mr. Bentz as the ENHS Featured Staff Member.


Websites Worth a Look

http://fluency21.com/blog/2013/10/30/smart-strategies-that-help-students-learn-how-to-learn/
Catch a Glimpse into the Future of Learning | World of Learning t.kwfdn.org/07V

Five powerful questions you can ask your students. buzz.mw/bixog_f

America's School Drop Out Epidemic http://tinyurl.com/nxnjntf

Have a Great Week! Ann

Building and Curriculum News

Curriculum - Math Toolbox Update

This week the Indiana Department of Education released changes to the Math Toolboxes for all grades levels. This link will take you to a 12 minute video that shares information about the changes.


http://www.doe.in.gov/achievement/curriculum/mathematics-toolboxes


In grades K-8, the changes were minor and were mostly “housekeeping” in nature. However, all K-8 math teachers should take time to review the critical concepts document in their grade level toolkit to ensure that instruction matches the priorities outlined by the DOE and not reliance on the sequence of the math texts. Use the priorities to drive your scope and sequence.


The video does state that the documents for high school have undergone significant changes. Some key things to note are the identification of the Indiana standards that may appear on the Algebra I ECA that are not found in the Common Core State Standards. Courses such as Pre-Calculus, Finite, and Advanced Analysis and Modeling still contain draft documents but you are encouraged to use the documents as we await updates.

Alternative Learning Center

It was another busy week at the ALC, as we welcomed a new Elementary Student and a new High School Student. The High School students are starting to feel the crunch of the end of the Trimester and they are working feverishly. Our credit total for the trimester currently stands at 77. That is 7 more credits than were earned first trimester last year. As the new trimester is about to begin we are making preparations at the ALC to increase our capacity in order to be able to serve more students. We look forward to getting to know several new High School students in the coming weeks as well as a few new Elementary Students that will be joining us next week


Avilla Elementary

OUR first graders went on a college visit to Trine University. The weather was perfect for the campus tour! The visit started with Jeremy Howard talking with the students about being college bound and the importance of working hard in school and then he showed a video about exciting events offered at Trine University. The students enjoyed walking around campus and observing buildings, professors, and college students. We even saw two East Noble graduates walking to class! The first graders ran around the indoor track and raced Mr. Howard. The day continued with lunch at the golf clubhouse. Their favorite part of their day was interacting with football players, cheerleader, and Storm (mascot) on the football field. It was a great college visit and many memories were made while being college bound! Many educational seeds were planted at such a young age!


Parent/Teacher conferences were held this past week. It was great to see so many parents coming in for conferences this year. Each class had great attendance and a lot was accomplished. It is so important for OUR students to see so many parents valuing the education that they are receiving from OUR staff. We are so fortunate to work with a community that understands and believes in OUR programming here at school. The students are seeing and hearing the same things about education at home and in the classroom. As we, the community and school, continue to work together OUR students will continue to grow and grow.


East Noble High School

Science is one of those subjects where as soon as they publish a textbook, they have to revise it. New knowledge is constantly being added to what we know every day. Certainly our kids at ENHS have benefited with their access to the latest information available through their laptops. As you can see, our kids are utilizing this information to a high degree.

Ecology just wrapped up a group project in which students had to record a public service announcement. The project was based around communities that live in hazardous areas (i.e. Mt. St. Helens and Washington State). Part of the public service announcement requirement was to introduce a how-to-‘volcano’ drill for a public school.

Honors Biology just finished producing their own Bill Nye videos which covered cell organelles and functions and differences between the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. They are on the home stretch for the trimester with exams the end of the week.

The IED Class has been working on the Cube Project Involved the following steps:

Students had to 1. Research Mind Bender puzzles 2. Assemble a Mind Bender Project Portfolio, 3. Create a 3D CAD models in inventor of their 5 puzzle parts 4. Create CAD Multiview Drawings of their 5 puzzle parts 5. Submit a detailed project portfolio

The POE – Bridge Project involved:

- Researching Simple Bridge Designs, Creating a Mock Prototype of their bridge, Calculating bridge members compression and tension values, Calculating the deflection their support beams would experience, Creating and staying within a cost analysis, Submitting a detailed project portfolio

Principles of BioMed finished a unit on Diabetes. Students also researched current advances in helping diabetics such as transplants and better ways to manage diabetes. They used this information to design a new product that they felt would help diabetics and pitched their ideas to the class. These were grant proposals and next week we will find out what group had the best idea and wins the grant money.

Human Body Systems, are studying the eye and vision in the human body. Students first dissected eyes to learn their parts and functions. They then completed various eye tests and evaluated their vision. This included tests for eye defects like myopia, astigmatism and depth perception. They also worked with model eyes to assess if the eyes were nearsighted and farsighted. From there, students had to find the correct type of lens/thickness to fix the vision of the eye model to make it normal.

Wayne Center Elementary

This week student council met on Tuesday to decorate pumpkins. Their creativity was amazing. The pumpkins became cats, ghosts, super heroes, and spiders among other things. Students then donated their pumpkins to Lutheran Life Villages so that the residents there could enjoy them. The people at Lutheran Life Villages were so excited and invited Wayne Center back any time!


Student council also sponsored a spirit week this past week. Student council members voted on their top five dress up days during a September meeting. The winning days were pajama day, sports day, twin day, 80’s day, and crazy hair day. Students and staff members were encouraged to participate in spirit week! It was a fun week watching students and staff members show their creativity and enjoy the week.


Lastly, our students enjoyed a great time at the Auburn Skatin’ Station on Saturday for a skating party sponsored by PAC. The students and their families had a great time skating to some fun tunes and participating in skating games. Many thanks to PAC members for sponsoring the event for our families!

East Noble Middle School

The month of October is bullying prevention month, and the middle school has been participating in a activities all month long. On Friday, the Friends of Rachel club put together a Positive Pep Rally during AL. ENMS cheerleaders led anti bullying cheers while students cheered along. Bowling Green State University's head hockey coach, Chris Bergeron, had a special video message for the students asking them to take responsibility for their actions, and the grand finale was a talk by ENHS senior, Jake Peterson, who truly engaged with the students through activities and discussed with the importance of breaking down barriers, and reaching out to people who may need it. The students had a great time, and are continuing to promote a positive atmosphere at ENMS.


North Side Elementary

Third grade students in Mrs. Everage and Ms. Savages’ class have been working hard at learning “Area” in math. Students began to learn the concept by “tiling” rectangles with three different shapes: squares, triangles, and narrow rhombuses. The children found that the easiest shape to “tile” with was the square because it took less of them to cover the surface. Next, students worked in small groups to construct one yard square templates out of newspaper. They used these templates to find the length and width of the classroom floor. Students learned that by multiplying the length times the width, they could find the area of the floor.


Parents and teachers had the opportunity to share student’s accomplishments this week as North Side held fall Parent Teacher Conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. A big thanks goes out all our parents and staff as they work together to ensure the best learning opportunities for our students.

Rome City Elementary

Schamberle Williams has been truly a team player at Rome City by helping out in a variety of ways. She has primarily worked with first graders, but has also assisted with 5th grade lunch and recess. In first grade the students have loved working with Schamberle on handwriting and sight word lessons, as well as with burst groups. The Rome City family is going to miss her enthusiasm and the positive manner in which she helps students. We wish her the best at the high school.


Third grade spent the week learning about water safety and basic swimming techniques at the YMCA. This program has benefited a number of students over the years, and we are extremely thankful for this opportunity.


This past week our 6th grade classes had the great opportunity of visiting the Indianapolis Children’s Museum to explore the exhibits and hear the Ryan White story. The students spent time prior to their visit learning about the discrimination and bullying that Ryan White endured during his life. We were fortunate enough to get to hear his story from his mother who made a surprise visit to the museum that day. The students thought that was very exciting and really enjoyed getting to hear her talk. Once finished with the program the students were given time to explore the museum and its many exhibits. Thanks to a grant from the Lily Foundation the museum was able to provide this program and visit for free to our students.

South Side Elementary

Last week was Indiana’s week-long math competition hosted bySumdog.com. For most of the week, South Side Elementary Students held the 2nd place spot competing against 22 other schools in the region, with many of our students placing in the top 10 daily and earning top scores. When the competition wrapped up on Friday, South Side finished in 4th place in Northeast Indiana. Way to go Trailblazers!


Our update this week comes from Physical Education: The last few weeks in gym have been devoted to using hula hoops and balls. The 3rd-6th grades have been practicing volleyball skills and are getting ready for volleyball. Kindergarten-2nd grade have been spending time with partners and individually, rolling and tossing balls and balloons. All of these skills help to develop striking and visual tracking abilities. And the best part is, it's a lot of fun!