Trick or Read or Math
We're All IN to Writing!
This year our school improvement focus is around student writing. Each of our grade level teams will be working together to design common lessons that support students in developing strong writing skills: from elaboration (bringing characters to life and showing expertise in a topic) and craft (language choice, strong details) to transitions, organization, and spelling/punctuation. For example, first graders are already practicing with speech bubbles and quotation marks! Students will be introduced to new checklists to help revise and edit their work according to specific criteria that we will be teaching them. When you attend your child's parent-teacher conference, take a look at the writing your child is doing and find out what is in place to spark his or her writing genius! In addition, Ms. Tatel, our reading specialist, has added a new tab at the top of this newsletter for resources and ideas about all things literacy at Venable.
Religious Holidays and Perfect Attendance
Religious holidays are excused absences for students. In addition, this type of excused absence will not count against a child's perfect attendance record. If your child misses school due to a religious holiday, please make sure we are aware of it so that we can document it appropriately.
October is Bully Prevention Month
The focus of Mr. U's classroom lessons this month is on kindness and being bully-free. He will be talking to the students about what bullying is, how we can avoid it, and what to do if we see or experience it. When we talk about bullying, we are guided by a specific definition: "Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time." For more information, visit www.stopbullying.gov (where this definition was taken).
Next week, we will celebrate being Bully Free with a spirit week. Students are encouraged to dress up to support kindness and anti-bullying behaviors:
Monday: Mix it Up Day--wear mismatched clothes
Tuesday: Put name-calling to sleep: wear your PJs!
Wednesday: Be a Good Sport--wear sports team gear
Thursday: Hats Off to Upstanders--wear a hat
Friday--Smile! and dress up to go with it for picture day
Back to School Night Survey Results
Thank you to the many of you (101!) who responded to our parent survey about the new format of Back to School Night. From a purely subjective birds eye view, it felt very positive with good energy and enthusiasm from students and parents. Overall, it seemed like you agreed as well. Here are a few highlights from our survey: