JC Elementary October News and Views

JOHNSON CREEK ELEMENTARY                               

NEWS AND VIEWS                              October, 2013
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FROM THE DESK OF THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL………

Greetings to all!
As the weather is changing and nature is preparing for the cold, we are also preparing for the WKCE, PALS and MAP testing and developing all of our learning outcomes. As temperatures are dropping, please remember to dress your child for the weather. We do have recess daily and start our day outdoors and all children need to go outside for fresh air and exercise. Please make sure your child’s coat is labeled, so if it is lost or left on the bus or playground, we can return it to him/her.
                   MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Some important dates to mark on your calendar for the month of October are…….
Weeks of October 4-15                                MAP testing for grades 2 – 6
PALS testing in 4K, 5K and 1st
Tuesday, October 8                                Character Education Assembly at 2:15
Wednesday, October 9 Walk and Bike to School Day
Thursday, October 10                                    Market Day
5K and 4K to Fire Station
Friday, October 11                                        Fire Prevention Assembly 1 PM and
Firemen lunch visit and Safe House
Monday, October 14                                    Parent Teacher Conferences from 1-8 PM
                                                                    NO SCHOOL
Wednesday, October 16 Picture Re-take Day
Wednesday, October 23                              Fall Festival sponsored by Friends of Our
                                                                       School
Thursday and Friday, October 24 and 25       NO SCHOOL
                                                                Teacher Convention
Wednesday, October 30 Reading Assembly for grades 2-5 @ 1 PM

CONGRATULATIONS TO JC ELEMENTARY ON A SUCCESSFUL FOOD DRIVE

The Johnson Creek School Board sponsored a Food Drive to benefit our local Food Pantry during the week of Homecoming (September 23-27). The school goal was to fill-up Mrs. Blakeley’s office. Well, the Principal’s office was very full and it was difficult to get to her desk! The grand total of items collected was 977! WOW. The winner of the pizza party sponsored by the School Board will be announced at our POPS assembly on Monday!.
Thank you to everyone who helped support this great community effort.
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            MAP testing
During the weeks of October 4th through 15th, all 2nd  through 6th graders will take tests called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). We give students MAP tests to determine the child’s instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and then from year to year in the areas of Math, Reading and Language Arts. These are taken on the computer.
MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing. Following each test, you will receive a report showing your child’s growth.
We are truly excited to begin a new era that focuses on every child’s individual growth and achievement. Partnering to help all kids learn, parents and teachers can have a profound effect on the lives of children.
For more information, check out www.nwea.org MAP testing.
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PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES
Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Monday, October 14th, 2013 from 1 PM to 8 PM.A key ingredient for educational achievement is the parent-teacher conference, and to make sure they’re successful for both parents and teachers, we’ve come up with a list of what educators would like parents to know.
The first on the list: Show up, please!
We know parents are busy, but it is important to carve out time to invest in your child’s education and ensure success at school. To get the most out of parent-teacher conferences, parents need to take an active role in their child’s education year-round and come prepared to discuss how their child can reach their full potential.
Here are the rest of our tips for parents:
Get Ready. Do your homework prior to parent-teacher conferences. Prepare by writing notes to yourself concerning:
  • Any questions about the school’s programs or policies.
  • Things you can share with the teacher about your child and his life at home.
  • Questions about your child’s progress.
Ask Important Questions. Don’t be afraid to engage in a frank conversation with your child’s teacher. Your goal is to develop an action plan for your child’s success at school. Good questions to ask the teacher include:
  • What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How does my child get along with classmates?
  • Is my child working up to her ability? Where could she use improvement?
  • What can we do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom?
Initiate the Action Plan. Start immediately on the action plan you and the teacher put together. Discuss the plan with your child and track his progress. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher throughout the year with regularly scheduled “report card” conferences that can keep the communication lines open.
Parents are the best resource for a child to make the grade. When teachers and parents work together, we can help a child have a successful school year.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher. We look forward to sharing information with you on October 14th.

PICTURE RE-TAKES

Picture Re-takes for the JC Elementary School will be Wednesday, October 16th. If you would like a re-take or if your child missed the first picture date, please contact your child’s teacher for an envelope.
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 KWIK TRIP CARDS

Friends of Our School, our parent organization, is selling Kwik Trip cards. This is a great and easy way to help raise funds for elementary field trips and extra. For every card purchased, Friends of Our School will receive 10% of the sale. Michelle Kickbusch, a paraprofessional in the elementary library and parent of one of our students, has the cards available for purchasing. Checks can be made out to Friends of Our School. Please help support our organization and help Friends support our school!
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Listen Better When Your Kids Want to Talk
Why don’t you and your kids communicate better? If you’ve asked this question more than once, you may want to take a look at your own listening skills. It’s as true with children as it is with adults: Good communication is mostly listening.
  • Don’t interrupt. Kids, especially younger children, may need more time to find the words they need. Be patient. You don’t like being cut off by others in mid-sentence, and your children don’t enjoy being interrupted either.
  • Ask good questions. Grown-ups may see a yes-or-no question as an opportunity to expound at length on a subject. Children are more likely to take the query literally and respond with a one-word answer. Structure questions that encourage full answers–what did you do? Why did that happen?
  • Be empathetic. You don’t have to agree with what your child says to understand how he or she feels. Before giving advice, share your own feelings honestly and succinctly: “I get angry when that happens to me, too. What do you think you could have done differently?”

Book Fair 2013
This fall’s book fair will be held starting October 8th through October 14th. Students
will have an opportunity to check out the selection with their classes during the school day and parents can purchase books during Parent Teacher Conferences on October 14th.Also, please check our webpage as you can now purchase books on line!  The book fair not only puts more books into our children’s hands, but also provides our library with free new books and materials. Please be sure to check out the great offerings this fall, the perfect time to pick up some good books to read on those cold winter nights. Any questions, contact Dale Schumacher at 699-2511.
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                      Parking Lot
Please remember to follow the arrows in the parking lot when dropping off or picking up your child. Remember also, DO NOT leave your car unattended. Please follow the designated path and have patience. We are looking out for the safety of all.
The playground is now only accessible from the west side of the building. Parents SHOULD NOT park cars by the kindergarten entrance or in staff parking. That entrance will NOT be open. Everyone needs to enter the building through the front doors ONLY.
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HEALTHY START
This year at Johnson Creek Elementary School we are starting our day off with a healthy start.
This year our goal is to “Walk across the US” by logging our miles and getting points for exercising before our academic day begins. So far, we are averaging 2.5 miles a week! Think about that! We are doing ½ mile a day. What a great way to get our hearts pumping and our brain energized!
Research shows that there are good reasons why we want students to start out with a refreshing exercise routine…


Morning Exercise Gives You an Early Energy Boost

Here at school, students need to ‘hit the books’ and gain new knowledge at a fast pace. Getting extra oxygen into the brain will help students have the energy to stay focussed and be involved in the activities.

Morning Exercise Clears up Your Day

How many days have you gone to work and felt unproductive because your mind is worrying about everything that has to be done when you get home? It’s common to be less productive when you have a lot on your mind; getting through the day becomes a chore. That’s why exercising in the morning can help you start your day off right. Not only does it give you a boost of energy to get through your work day, it helps relieve stress.

Morning Exercise Will Help You Eat Better

When you work out in the morning you’re setting yourself up to eat healthier the rest of the day.The morning exercise will motivate you to carry on with healthier habits the rest of the day.Through our physical education and health curriculum, we are teaching students about healthy habits. With our Healthy Start, we are modelling exercise and encouraging healthy eating.
Morning exercise can make a world of difference in your well being. Join your child in switching  up your routine to start your day with exercise and healthy eating  and see if you don’t begin to feel more productive and in a better mood.


        

 Help Children Be Fit Through           
Daily Physical Activity
• Make sure kids get at least one hour of physical activity a day. Fun activities
 work best- try bicycling, dancing, jump rope, playing basketball or going for a
 walk.
• Limit children’s TV, video game and Internet use.
• Prepare healthful meals at home. Offer children fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack.
• Don’t let children drink their calories. Choose water and low-fat milk, not juice or high-calorie, sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas.
• Encourage children to take advantage of healthy food choices provided at school.       
Prepare for Those “Tough Talks” with Your Kids
Parents need to discuss lots of tough issues with their children: relationships, alcohol, sexuality, drugs, and other topics that may make you feel uncomfortable. The best way to prepare is to keep the lines of communication open and flourishing all the time. Follow these guiding principles:
  • Maintain an open environment. Let your children know that you’re interested in what they’re doing, that you care about what they’re thinking, and that you’re available to listen to them when they want to talk.
  • Give them your undivided attention. If you’re watching TV or doing the dishes when your child approaches you, drop everything to listen. Give the child one-on-one attention to show you value what he or she has to say.
  • Be proactive. Don’t wait for kids to bring up sensitive issues. Start the conversation for them when you think they’re ready for information about the issues they’re facing. Children need to hear from their parents first.
  • Respect their intelligence. Don’t condescend. They probably know more than you expect. Even if they don’t, they’ll want to be taken seriously, no matter how old they are.
  • Keep the dialogue going. Talk often–especially about important topics. One-time explanations or lectures can become highly charged confrontations, or leave you with the mistaken impression that your children now have all the answers they need.
  • Be honest. Avoid double-talk. Give straightforward, honest answers to their questions. Most children can easily recognize when you’re being evasive, and you’ll lose credibility as a result.


FALL FESTIVAL

Friends of Our School is once again sponsoring our Fall festival on Wednesday, October 23rd during the school day. Each class visits the activity room where the Friends have games and activities for students to enjoy. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact Friends at jcfriends@friendsofourschool.com  
Teach Your Children to Be Safe at Any Age
Parents worry about their children; it’s a fact of life. Teaching them to be safe as they grow and explore is one of your most important jobs. But with so many potential threats to worry about, the task can seem overwhelming.
Here are a few basics to concentrate on:
  • Discuss safety calmly. You want your children to be careful, not terrified. When you talk about safety matters, emphasize that your main concern is their welfare. Listen to their concerns, and answer their questions as clearly and honestly as you can.
  • Highlight important information. Be sure your younger children know their home phone number and address, as well as contact information for another relative or trusted adult.
  • Don’t talk only about strangers. Attacks or abductions by total strangers are (thankfully) very rare. Let children know they should tell you anytime they’re made uncomfortable by someone’s behavior, even if they know the person well.
  • Play “what if?” Rules and advice can be too abstract for young minds to understand. Make advice real by asking children what they would do in certain situations–if a stranger tried to get them into a car, for example, or if they got lost in a shopping mall.
  • Discuss body issues. Let your children know that no one should be allowed to touch them in personal areas. Teach them what areas you’re talking about, with the proper names, so they can tell you accurately if something happens.
FRIENDS OF OUR SCHOOL
The staff of JC Elementary would like to take a moment to thank all the parents involved with the Friends of Our School Organization . We would like to thank Friends for sponsoring our field trips, the Fall Festival and supplying the playground with equipment. The staff and students really appreciate all this organization does for our building. THANK YOU. If you are interested in being part of this organization, the group meets the 3rd Thursday of each month here at the Elementary; or, your can leave your name and contact information in the office or contact them at jcfriends@friendsofourschool.com


As always, we welcome you to take an active role in your child’s education. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.


Kris Blakeley
Elementary Principal/Director of Pupil Services

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