We had another great week at the Elmore School.  We began the week with a special trip to the beach at the Elmore State Park where we watched the PAML 6th grade students race cardboard boats!  It was exciting to see two siblings among the crew! 

This week students worked on goal setting. They began by identifying three things they can do well and three things they would like to get better at.  I then asked them to identify one school related goal they would like to achieve this year (hopes and dreams). Students wrote their hopes and dreams on a paper feather which they later painted.  We used the feathers to create a giant class dreamcatcher.

We are getting into the full swing of math and literacy instruction!  Writers and readers workshop are well underway.  This week I have been assessing reading levels for all the new students so we can begin reading groups soon.  In math we have been building up to a full math menu.  Students are being exposed to various forms of independent work and exploring math materials.  Additionally, we have begun differentiated math lessons.  This year I will be using lessons and materials from Greg Tang for our concept development and practice.

Ryan Heraty stopped by Friday to read a book to the class!  It’s always so much fun to have guest readers!  Which reminds me… if parents would be interested in being guest readers this year, please let me know and we can put together a schedule.

Student devices (iPads) arrived this week.  Students have completed their pledges.  Now we just need to assure that all parents have completed their permission to use technology form which was part of the e-registration process.  Next week I want to get all students comfortable with their iPads and become familiar with the programs we will use regularly and if we need to transition to remote learning at any time.  We also have two district-wide screening assessments (STAR) students will be taking on their iPads in the next two weeks.  

As COVID-19 remains a threat in our communities, and has already affected schools in other nearby districts, we want to be vigilant about having plans in place in the event we need to transition to remote learning.  Unlike last year, we will not be sending iPads home nightly.  They will remain at school unless there is a need for remote learning.  What this means is, in the event the Elmore School has a need to close to in person learning for any amount of time, students will have a paper packet for school work for the first day.  If we need to remain closed for more than a day, we will issue iPads and revert to our remote learning schedule which I would share with you at that time.  

Yard Sale: As mentioned in my Welcome Back letter, I would like to have a Elmore School Yard Sale this fall to start raising funds to purchase equipment and gear needed for ECO.  I’m hoping there are a couple of parents who would be willing to work together to organize such an event?  Please let me know if this is something you would be willing to take on.

Open House: I’ve been given the green light to host an Elmore School Open House provided we keep the groups small.  I would like to invite students and immediate family members to join us on Thursday, September 30, between 5:00 – 7:00 pm.  I will be putting together a schedule for families to come for 20 minute visits.  This will be a time to have students show the classroom and some of the things we have been working on for first month of school.  We will have a chance to discuss student progress later at Parent Teacher Conferences on October 11.

ECO: I met with Carrie Riker from the NBNC this week.  Carrie will be our partnering teacher for ECO.  ECO will take place every other Wednesday this fall beginning October 20.  We will take a reprieve during the winter and will resume again at the beginning of March.   You should have and parent information and permission form in your Friday Folder.  Please read this over and sign the permission slip and return it to school next week.  If you are interested in joining for ECO you can indicate this on the form and I will arrange parent volunteers for specific dates.  

Hot Lunch:  Some parents have expressed an interest in wanting to provide hot lunch for the school on Friday (or if there is another day that works better for folks we can figure that out), as was tradition in past years.  Again, I’m hoping a parent be willing to help organize a schedule.  It might work well to plan a month or two at a time, or we can think about the whole year.  Please let me know if you would like to take this endeavor on!

We will still continue to offer school lunches (sandwiches or salads) the other days.  Chef Jeff Brynn is also willing to provide hot lunch if there are weeks when there is no parent to provide hot lunch.   

Best,
Diane Nicholls

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