Week of August 29, 2016



Dear Staff,

We hope you all have had a restful and relaxing weekend!  What a joy it has been this week watching you all mold your classrooms into true communities.  I have especially loved meeting all the new little kindergarteners, and watching them acclimate to their new friends and teachers.  In the Choice Literacy article below, the author talks about how classrooms start out as a group of strangers and end up as a type of family.  This family community is formed through working and playing together, much like a family unit at home is created.  This reminded me of our classrooms here at CSD, and of our sweet kindergarten babies.  Although we don’t know them well yet, through work and play we will get to know them and in just a short amount of time they will be their own little part of our family.  I think about the picture that I saw Debbie Thrasher post on Facebook last week of one of her kindergarten classes, and they are now our seniors.  Each of these senior students with their own unique story to tell and special role they have played in our CSD family.  I can hardly wait until May to listen to their very last Standing O and hear where they will be spreading their wings and flying off to next year.  It is so exciting to think about the possibilities of this new class of kindergartners, the stories they have to share, and the role they will play in our CSD family.  Have a wonderful week!


Hosting Martha

The ornaments of your home are the people who smile upon entering time and time again.

-Maralee McKee

This fall marks the third year our family will host an exchange student. First there was Taija 12 years ago, before Andy and I had kids of our own. We traveled from sea to shining sea with Taija. Every month we were headed to another state, visiting family and landmarks and you-can’t-be-in-America-and-not-experience-this places. We also did the dishes together every night. We joked that our dishwasher (Andy) was an American model and the dish drier (Taija) was an import model. We learned a family isn’t built on blood, but on adventures and card games and laughter.

Then there was Karianne five years ago. We had three kids by the time Kari arrived. We learned a family grows close when they invest in one another. We cheered Karianne on at her soccer games and tennis matches. She went to elementary open houses and art shows. We ate pizza out of the box while watching movies, and we laughed over heated games of Hungry Hungry Hippos. We all pitched in each night for “15 Minutes to Clean,” and Kari did more loads of laundry than I did that year.

As I write this, Martha hasn’t arrived yet. By most definitions she is a stranger, yet I know she will soon become family. We already consider her the newest addition to our forever family, and she is taking up space in our hearts.

It reminds me of the way a class of students works. By most definitions, they begin as strangers, yet we know they will soon become family. I wonder how a person can go from stranger to family, often in a remarkably short amount of time. For a world that teaches us to build walls around our hearts, classrooms remain a place where families form.

I think it happens through a combination of play and work. The weekend Martha arrives we will go swimming, play card games, and take her to the loud and crazy Ayres family reunion. She will also empty the dishwasher and fold laundry. It takes both, play and work, to become a family. The same is true in our classrooms. It is through play and work that bonds are formed and communities of learners are built.

Ruth Ayres
Contributor, Choice Literacy

Ruth Ayres is a full-time writing coach for Wawasee School District in northern Indiana. She blogs at Ruth Ayres Writes and is the coauthor of Day by Day and other books available through Stenhouse Publishers.

The Week At A Glance:
Monday, August 29th:
Staff Bridal Shower Peyton Randolph (after carpool in Garren’s room)
Tuesday, August 30th:
3rd Grade BOG
IMPT Parent Advisory Kick Off Meeting – 7:30 p.m. @ HS
Wednesday, August 31st:
K-7 Curriculum Night – 6:00-8:00p.m.
Thursday, August 25th:

Friday, August 26th:
Elementary Spirit Friday

Upcoming Dates:
Sept 5th – NO SCHOOL – Labor Day Holiday
Sept 6th – ASE Classes begin
Sept 7th – Yearbook Pictures – Grades 3-5
Sept 7th – Staff Meeting
Sept 8th – Yearbook Pictures – Grades K-2
Sept 9th – Yearbook Pictures – Grades 6-7
Sept 13th – Ident-A-Kid
Sept 15th – Discount Cards $ (or cards) due
Sept 23rd – 6th Grade Ropes Course Field Trip (1/2 grade level)
Sept 28-30 – 5th Grade Barrier Island Ropes Course
Sept 30th – 6th Grade Ropes Course Field Trip (1/2 grade level)
Oct 3rd – NO SCHOOL – Holiday
Oct 4th – Parent Advisory 7:30 p.m. at HS
Oct 7th – Elementary Spirit Friday
Oct 7th – HS Homecoming
Oct 11th – CSD Kickball Tournament and Family Festival
Oct 12th – No School; Teacher Workday
Oct 28th – Parade of Fiction
Oct 31st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 1st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 3rd – Elementary Day of Dead Celebration (Spanish)
Nov 4th – Elementary Spirit Day
Nov 8th – Parent Advisory 8:30 a.m. at HS
Nov 14h – 7th Grade Africa Day
Nov 11th – NO SCHOOL – Veteran’s Day Holiday


CSD 1st Annual Kickball Tournament and Family Festival – KICKBALL REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN… register on the festival website.  There is a elem staff team, MS staff team, and HS staff team.  It is going to be a wonderful evening of community and school spirit.  Scholarships are available for staff, please let Joyce know if you are interested in a scholarship.

K-7 Curriculum Night is this Wednesday!  Please click Curriculum Night Schedule to view the schedule (for MS).  We will have Elem follow the same schedule as MS. This was posted for parents in order to make it as easy possible.  Listed below are the times for each session.  Remember to leave a few minutes at the end for parents to “travel” to their next session if they have more than one child.    This means you do not need to talk for the entire 40 minutes.  Leave about 5 minutes of travel time.   Also, Elem Specials Teachers are asked to be available for parents to pop in and learn about your classes as well, although we will not have specific rotations for specials classes.  Last year, we also got quite a few questions about what goes on in the Literacy Lab, so please let us know which Literacy Facilitators will be here to answer parent questions.  Thanks, all!  Let us know if you have any questions!
6:00-6:40 session 1
6:40-7:20 session 2
7:20-8:00 session 3

Staff Meeting Schedule

Please note the dates for our Staff Meeting.  Please pay special attention to our Mandatory EOG Training on May 10 not May 3.


Teaching Tips with Marianne

The below article explains why parents should attend Curriculum Night.  I thought this would be helpful to all of us as we prepare for August 31.  There are some helpful tips listed after the article.

10 Reasons to Attend Curriculum Night at Your Child’s School

Thursday Sep 18, 2014 by Joanne Sallay

With the start of the school year underway, curriculum night is almost here.

So, what is curriculum night? Often confused with parent-teacher interviews (though they, too, are on the horizon), Curriculum Night is an educational open house hosted at your child’s school. It takes place across all levels, including elementary and high schools, public and private schools alike.

Teachers typically make presentations on curriculum, routines and expectations—all of which are a great help in getting students prepared for a successful school year. It is also an opportunity to hobnob with your child’s teacher and establish a good working relationship from the get-go.

Although the date varies by school, this orientation night typically takes place in the first month of school, anywhere from mid to end of September.

Fall is a busy time of year for parents, but attending curriculum night is something that is exponentially worthwhile: there is much to learn at this open forum, which is why educators encourage all parents to go. (Yes, even if your child’s older sibling had the same teacher!)

Here are 10 reasons to mark curriculum night on your calendar:

1. Meet your child’s teacher and school administration.

Take this opportunity to be proactive and meet the teacher and school team in advance of Parent-Teacher Interview Night and progress report time.

2. Network with parents and participate in Q&As.

Use the occasion to meet the parents of your child’s peers and participate in a group question and answer period. Sometimes parents learn the most from the questions asked by others.

3. See firsthand what students will be learning.

Get a glimpse of the timetable, routine and curriculum breakdown of what will be covered throughout the year. This will also include highlights, field trips, and other topics students will look forward to.

4. Understand homework expectations and evaluation practices.

Learn about homework and organizational expectations, as well as what students need to bring to school to be successful.

5. Get familiar with your child’s learning environment.

Presentations tend to be in the classroom that your child will learn in throughout the year. This is an opportunity to sit in their seat, literally!

6. Start one-on-one dialogue with the teacher.

Although this is not a formal meeting, it’s a time to ask any questions or provide the teacher with any critical information that will benefit you child’s learning throughout the year.

7. Learn about the teacher’s communication strategy.

By meeting the teacher firsthand you will get a sense of their teaching style as well as their communication strategy. Teachers will explain how they plan to interact with students and parents throughout the year, whether by letters, emails, agendas, or blogs. It’s also an opportunity to give your e-mail to the teacher if there is a class list.

8. Be informed on school policies and rules.

Use this time to get information on school safety routines, as well as pick-up and drop off expectations.

9. Find out how to get involved and volunteer.

If you’re interested in volunteering, use this evening as a chance to learn how to become involved in your child’s school.

10. Send your child a message that you care.

This may be the most important reason to attend. You’ll show your child that you are interested in their experiences as a student and in what they are learning.
Joanne Sallay is a Director at Teachers on Call, a personalized home tutoring service with 30 years of experience. Teachers on Call’s Ontario Certified Teachers specialize in providing one-on-one instruction in all subjects and grades including French Immersion tutoring. Like Teachers on Call on Facebook and follow on Twitter @TeachersonCall_. http://www.helpwevegotkids.com/ottawa/articles/education/10-reasons-to-go-to-curriculum-night

As Curriculum Night approaches I wanted to share some resources to keep it stress-free:




I also created a Pinterest Board titled Curriculum Night and will keep finding resources to help you.



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