Rocky's Schoolhouse Scoop
November 15th, 2023
Dear Fort Parents,
I hope this message finds you well. I am thrilled to share the success of our recent "Coffee with Courtien" event! It was heartwarming to see parents visiting classrooms from ECSE to 5th grade, witnessing the incredible things that happen every day at the Fort. A video compilation of the pictures parents took during this special day is available below—capturing the joy and engagement our students experience.
Additionally, I want to express my gratitude for the overwhelming success of the Scholastic Book Fair. A special thank you to Ms. Phillips and the dedicated parent volunteers in the Library. Your support has made the book fair a tremendous success, and it's truly heart warming to witness the enthusiasm with which our students are purchasing books.
Assessment Updates: In the past nine weeks, our students engaged in various schoolwide and district assessments. Our youngest learners took part in state-mandated screenings focusing on foundational literacy, aiding in the placement of students in either Wilson Fundations or Phonics Word Study programs. Meanwhile, students in grades 3 - 5 successfully concluded their initial district quarterly assessments across literacy, math, social studies, and science. Additionally, students in grades 1 - 5 are currently undergoing the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, a valuable tool used to assess independent, instructional, and frustration levels for reading comprehension.
Parent Teacher Conferences: We are scheduling Parent Teacher Conferences on November 20 or 21. We appreciate the time to connect and talk about first marking period progress, and ways to work together to support your children. If you have not heard from your child's teacher to schedule a time for an in-person, virtual, or phone conference, please email your teacher or call the school. Our goal is to meet with 100% of families!
Late Arrival & Early Dismissal : Recently, we've observed an increase in the number of students arriving late to school or leaving early. To ensure the safety and well-being of all our students, we kindly request your assistance in adhering to the following drop-off procedure:
If you plan to drop off your student after 8:00 AM, please personally escort them in to the building.
This small adjustment is essential in maintaining a secure environment during crucial morning hours. Your cooperation in this matter is not only appreciated but vital to the safety of our school community.
Additionally, we would like to stress the importance of timeliness in drop-off and pick-up routines. We understand that mornings can be hectic, but being on time limits disruptions to your child's education and ensures a smooth start to their day.
Please make every effort to be punctual and minimize the time spent outside of school during these critical hours.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this new procedure or if there are specific challenges you'd like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to administration. Your partnership is crucial in maintaining a safe and efficient learning environment.
Biased and Inappropriate Language : In recent weeks, there has been an observed increase in biased and inappropriate language being used, not only within the school premises but also on the bus, during lunch, and even over text messages. We believe it is crucial to address this issue proactively to maintain a safe and welcoming atmosphere for all.
At the school level, we are reinforcing our commitment to the code of conduct. We will be actively enforcing it to ensure that every student understands the significance of choosing their words carefully. Our goal is not only to curb biased and inappropriate language but also to educate students about the impact their words can have on others.
As parents, your support in this endeavor is invaluable. We encourage you to engage in open conversations with your children about the importance of respectful language, both in person and online. It's an opportunity to reinforce the values we uphold at Fort Smallwood and to remind our students of the impact their words can have.
Moreover, we request that you remain vigilant in monitoring your child's devices, especially text message threads. Many reports suggest that inappropriate language often finds its way into group text conversations. Regularly checking and discussing these interactions with your child will help us collectively address and rectify any issues that may arise.
We believe that by working together as a community, we can create an environment where every student feels respected and valued. Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation in nurturing a positive school culture.
As we approach Thanksgiving break, I take a moment to reflect on how grateful I am to serve the Fort Smallwood community. Your ongoing support and partnership make our school a vibrant and nurturing place for our students to learn and grow.
Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving filled with warmth, connection, and cherished moments with family.
📸 Snapshots from the Fort 📸
I'm delighted to share some fantastic news with you. Our school has made strides in improving attendance compared to this time last year. This accomplishment is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our students and families.
However, our journey is not complete, and we must continue to work together to maintain this positive momentum. Your ongoing support is crucial. Please continue to send your students to school regularly and on time. Every day in the classroom is a day of learning and growth for our students.
Early Dismissal Requests
To help streamline our dismissal process and minimize disruptions to classroom instruction, we kindly request that all early dismissals be completed before 1:25 PM. This allows us to maintain a focused learning environment for our students and ensures their educational experience remains uninterrupted.
We understand that there may be exceptional circumstances that require an early dismissal, and we will always try to accommodate those situations. However, please communicate early dismissals to the front office before 1:25 PM.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Your commitment to this effort is greatly appreciated.