Newsletter August 12, 2011

posted Aug 18, 2011, 6:50 AM by   [ updated Sep 8, 2011, 9:33 AM ]

Principal's Message:
We are off to a great start! These past two weeks have been filled with  excitement, expectation and sometime anxiousness for all. However, as we close the second week of school I can truly say that we have started a new year with a lot of positive energy. Walking through the hallways and going into the classrooms I see the children being eager to learn and happy with their teachers and class. Our new and returning teachers are putting great effort in making sure all students feel safe and secure while transitioning to a new class, new school , new teacher and new friends. One of the things that makes our school community strong is the diversity we find here. This year we have received new students from Nicaragua and other parts of the world. Approximately 96 children are new to our school this year.  A new school year is always exciting.  Our focus will be on providing each child with new challenges that will result in a rewarding school experience.  Academic emphasis on the core content areas of reading, writing, English language, math, science, and social studies will remain a priority as well as providing a safe learning environment where students feel part of a caring community of peers and adults.  Instruction in the fine arts, technology, library/media skills and physical education complete our program providing each student with the opportunity to develop areas of interest and skill. I want to let you know that on August 19th, I will hold an informational meeting for all parents where we will talk about curriculum as well as new initiatives being implemented in the elementary school this year. Meeting times will be 7:15 and 1:15, you are welcome to attend either one of those two times. 
As we begin this year, please remember that this is your school and we welcome your involvement. We encourage parents to be partners in the very important job of educating our children.

From Our Literacy Specialist
For the last three years, the ANS elementary staff has been learning about and implementing a balanced literacy approach. It is evident by the overall reading growth our students have made over the years that this research based approach has been successful at ANS. It allows for differentiated instruction and individual student growth.
Last year, teachers participated in book clubs, created curricular roadmaps of instruction and planned with the Literacy Coach to refine their practice. To continue with our balanced literacy approach, we will embark on learning more about and implementing Writer’s Workshop. Teachers will participate in book clubs, revise their grade-level roadmaps, as needed, and continue to meet weekly with the Literacy Coach for grade level planning. Materials to support the instruction that is already in place and to support the instruction we will implement was purchased at the end of the year. The materials are in the building and ready for teachers to use. We purchased comprehension toolkits that align with the cognitive strategies, as well as, support material for small group work and math work stations. In addition, our book study books have arrived and will be in teachers’ hands soon.
The Spanish teachers are also aligning their curriculum with their assigned grade level implement a balanced approach to reading and writing. They have also begun to meet with the Literacy Specialist for support in planning, the use of materials, assessment and teacher modeling.

Counselor's Corner

Our Caring School Program started last year was very successful. With the support of teachers, administrators and parents, the elementary school counselors implemented the Caring School program in order to promote a greater sense of community among our students, foster tolerance and equip students with tools to help them in their social development. We will continue this year with our Caring School Program and will add new elements to help teachers integrate this caring community building approach. You will here more about this program and the new implementations in future meetings. Also, we are happy to announce that this year we will start our Parent School. The parent school will be scheduled monthly. The counselors will conduct presentations and workshop for parents on different topics of interest. We look forward to a great year!

Other News

  • I ask for your patience during this first weeks of school at dismissal time. We know the parking lot get crowded at that time, but please know that once after school activities begin next week, things will get better. On that note, we have asked teachers in the lower grades K3-2nd, to dismiss students to adults only. This of course is for the safety and security of our children. Please speak with your child's teacher if you need to make arrangements.
  • We have new vendors both in the Food court as well as in the Elementary "Hungry Tiger" Children are excited with the options they are finding in those places. We are trying to offer more and healthier choices for our children every day. Please visit this link for the menu of "The Hungry Tiger"
  • Extra-Curricular Activities will start next week. Due to some technical problems with the web sign up system, the Athletic Department will be providing printed forms. You should look for sign up forms.
  • The Tiger meeting: This is a school event that takes place once a month. In this event the students are the center of attention. Children from different grade levels are chosen to be the host or hostess of the meeting. In the weeks prior to the meeting students have the opportunity to submit original writings or pieces of art to be considered by a board comprised of students and two teacher advisors. In the Tiger Meeting, the works of art and writing selected by the board members are displayed and student work recognized. Student performances and special guests are also featured. Tiger meetings always end with all the students singing "The ANS Virtues Song" (You can download the song and the lyrics here). Parents are always welcome to attend these meetings.

Dates to Remember:

  • August 17, Early Dismissal 12:00
  • August 19, Parent Information Meeting
    Time: 7:15 and 1:15
    Place: Ossi Room
  • August 24, Early Dismissal 12:00
  • August 25, Open House and Board Elections
  • August 26 Tiger Meeting
    Time: K5-2nd grade at 7:15
    3rd - 5th grade 8:30 a.m.
  • August 31, Early Dismissal 12:00