October Elementary News and Views

JOHNSON CREEK ELEMENTARY                               

NEWS AND VIEWS                              October, 2014


Greetings to all!
As the weather is changing and nature is preparing for the cold, we are also preparing for the 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 Sept.29-Oct.10
MAP testing for grades 2 – 5
Week of October 6-10           
Fire Prevention Week                                                
Tuesday, October 7
5K Field Trip to Busy Barn
Wednesday, October 8
Walk and Bike to School Day
Thursday, October 9
Friends of Our School Mtg. @ 6:30
Market Day
5K and 4K to Fire Station ( AM
and PM)
 Friday, October 10
Fire Prevention Assembly 1PM and
Firemen Lunch                                                                          Visit and Safe House
Monday, October 13
Parent Teacher Conferences from
1-8 PM
Tuesday, October 14
2nd grade field trip to Aldo
Leopold Center
Thursday, October 16
Immunizations Due
Thursday, October 23
Picture Retakes
4K Field Trip to Ebert’s
Monday and Tuesday, October 27 and
 Author visit and writing workshops
Tuesday, October 28
Parent Night featuring our
visiting author-6 PM
Wednesday, October 29
Fall Festival sponsored by
Friends of Our School
Thursday and Friday, October 30-31

The Johnson Creek School Board sponsored a Food Drive to benefit our local Food Pantry during the week of Homecoming (September 22nd-26th). 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 1,234 WOW!!  That’s 500 more items than last year! Way to go Principal Advisory Committee! The winner of the pizza party sponsored by the School Board and other class winners will be announced at our POPS assembly on Monday!.
Thank you to everyone who helped support this great community effort!!!!!
            MAP testing
During the weeks of September 30th-October 10th, 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 continue our practice 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.

Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Monday, October 13th, 2014, from 1PM to 8PM.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.

Our district uses principles of Love and Logic in our work with students regarding behavior and discipline. Each month, I will insert interesting articles by Dr. Jim Fay, founder of the Love and Logic Institute for you to read. I hope they will give you some insight and support in dealing with your child. This article deals with parent-teacher conferences and grading.
“The kids are back in school and it won’t be long before they start getting report cards. One of the most common questions I’m asked by parents and educators is how to respond to bad grades.
The first thing to remember is that the child’s report card is the child’s…not ours. While it’s easy to get down on ourselves when kids perform poorly, it’s very important to our mental health and theirs to remember the following:
We can’t learn for kids.
As educators and parents we can up the odds of high achievement by modeling responsibility, establishing a safe and calm environment, providing excellent instruction and demonstrating excitement for learning.
We can’t control every action they take or decision they make.
Secondly, it’s comforting to remember that some of the world’s most successful people have struggled with grades. Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Jim Fay and Dr. Foster Cline are some notable examples. What’s most important is that our children develop good character, curiosity and problem-solving skills.
Many highly successful people struggled with grades as children.
Thirdly, if we can consistently demonstrate empathy rather than anger or frustration, the odds of them overcoming their difficulties dramatically increase. Is empathy really that powerful? Yes indeed! In fact, a growing body of research is demonstrating that warmth (i.e., empathy) is strongly correlated with higher achievement and better behavior. (If you like reading research, study: Rivers, Mullis, Fortner & Mullis, 2012 and Silt, Hughes, Wu & Kwock, 2012.)
So…let’s remember to respond with sincere love and concern:
“Oh man. I bet these grades are really disappointing for you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. The good news is that this doesn’t change the way I feel about you.”
Rather than fighting with kids about their grades, consider studying my book, From Bad Grades to a Great Life! If it doesn’t completely change your life, I’ll buy it back.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay”

                      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.

Johnson Creek Fire Department  will be bringing the Safe House to our school for students to visit on Friday, October 10th. At lunch, students will have the chance to visit with the firefighters as they are spending lunch with us. Following lunch, the fire department is presenting the whole school an assembly on fire safety.

Picture re-takes for the JC Elementary School will be Thursday, October 23rd. 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.

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 extras. For every card purchased, Friends of Our School will receive 10% of the sale. Michelle Kieckbusch-Eisner, 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!

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 2014
This Fall’s book fair will be held starting October 7th through October 13th. 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 13th.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.

Again,this year at Johnson Creek Elementary School we are starting our day off with a healthy start.
This year our goal is to “Keep On Keepin’ On” by logging our miles and getting points for exercising before our academic day begins. So far, we are dancing and groovin’, as well as bookin’ around! We are doing 15 minutes of cardio plus our PE class. 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.


Guest Author!!

As part of our building theme of BOOKS ALIVE, we have invited an author to visit our school and work with our students on writing and exploring books. Our first author visit is in the month of October.
Marla McKenna, guest author will spend two days with the elementary students on Monday October 27 and Tuesday October 28.  She was born in Wausau and now lives near Milwaukee.  Marla wrote “Mom’s Big Catch” one night when she couldn’t sleep. It is a fun-loving story inspired by actual events that took place at Miller Park. Her latest book is entitled “Sadie’s Big Steal.” To learn more, visit her website at www.marlamckenna.com.
She will start each morning with a large group of students to introduce herself and the books she has authored.She will then meet with literacy rotation groups throughout the remainder of the day. Students will work on creating their own writing under her leadership.
On Tuesday evening at 6:00PM, Marla will offer an opportunity for parents and children to come together. More details will go home at a later date. Families will have an opportunity to purchase her books.
Attached with the News and Views, you will find a copy of the order form if you wish to purchase one of our author’s books. Proceeds go to Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation! Help Give a Dog a Home!

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.

Friends of Our School is once again sponsoring our Fall Festival on Wednesday, October 29TH, 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

Walk and Bike to school day is Wednesday, October 8th. The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month. Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle or walk to school.

The event builds on the popularity of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October. Many communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school events for years. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month.

Help us continue our participation in this event by having your child walk or bike to school!

Welcome back to school, parents!
This year our school will be participating in the Box Tops for Education program. My name is Carol O’Neil and I’m thrilled to be continuing as the Box Tops Coordinator for Johnson Creek Elementary School and Johnson Creek Middle/High School. Clipping Box Tops is an easy and painless for you to help our school buy what it needs. Box Tops are each worth 10 cents and they quickly add up to real cash for our school. This year, our school’s earnings goal is $1,500.00.

To help our school, just look for pink Box Tops on products, clip them (but not too close) and send them to school. For more information on the Box Tops for Education program, including a list of participating products and our school’s progress, visit www.BTFE.com. Be sure to become a member to receive exclusive coupons and recipes and learn about extra ways for our school to earn.

I hope you’re excited for everything we can do this year with BoxTops! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at caroljo@tds.net. I’m here to make our school’s Box Tops for Education program a huge success this year!
Thanks for your help!

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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