I’m sorry to be late writing to you this month, but glad to be finally getting to it. Spring is getting closer and closer, and with that, comes CMAS testing. When so many schools cut back on arts and science and social studies, at Polaris, we believe that emphasis on these areas and social emotional learning enables our students to be more successful in reading, writing and math! I know that you support our emphasis on the whole child. Each day as I walk through the halls seeing happy, healthy children, I thank you for your support from the bottom of my heart.
While I do believe that we have too much testing, I am grateful that we do have testing and the accountability that goes with it. I want to know that our students are able to read, write and do math, and that they are each growing in these areas. We use state assessment data to plan our programming as it is one of the indicators that shows us where we are strong and where we need to make changes to best serve our kids.
This year our testing schedule is as follows:
5th Math: March 20, 21, 22 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
3rd, 4th and 5th Literacy: April 10, 11, 12 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
3rd and 4th Math: April 17, 18, 19 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
5th Science: April 17, 18, 19 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
Makeups: As needed throughout testing days and April 20-27
We are fortunate that we have enough devices to support all students testing in the mornings when they are the freshest. We want to keep lunch schedules the same, and while we have moved specials times, we have made it a priority to ensure that students still have their specials each day. This means that our schedule is tight. Please ensure that students are here on time on test days, otherwise they may not be able to test with the class. While testing with the class is best for students, please don’t hesitate to keep your child home if he or she is ill.
Ms. Kielmeyer has been hard at work! Third grade night of the Notables was wonderful, thanks to Ms. K and third grade teachers. On Feb. 13, Ms. Kielmeyer, fourth grade teachers, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Mey will work with fourth graders to present an African Drumming, movement and song performance. It will feature hand crafted percussion instruments, dance and beautiful singing.
Next week, on Feb. 14, we will have Valentines Parties. You are welcome to join us for your class party. To continue our tradition of service projects, our students are making valentines for several senior centers that will be delivered later that day. Thank you to all who are helping make this possible, especially Ms. Forington, Ms. Figueroa, and Ms. Strassburger.
Conference time is also upon us. As a school, we conference with the parents of each student in the fall, and in the spring, teachers will reach out to the parents of students who they feel they need to conference with. If you would like a conference but have not heard from your child’# # s teacher, please feel free to reach out to them to request one.
Last year, our Parent Surveys indicated that our communication did not always meet the needs of our families. We really want to do better and have added some new methods this year. To help with that Kara Chitwood and PTO Board members helped put together this list of our communication plan: (Thanks, Kara and PTO)
Thursday Folders – The school’s yellow folders are reserved for student work (both completed work and homework), teacher communication, and school admin/DPS communication. You may see a message from PTO every once in awhile.
Teacher Emails and Websites – Each teacher has her or his own manner of communicating with their students’ parents. Grades 1-4 send a parent communication email each week. Grade 5 teachers consolidate their communication with a website and monthly emails.
Infinite Campus/School Messenger – This email communication comes directly from the school and/or district administration. In order to receive these emails, you must opt in once you are logged in to your Parent Portal account. Principal letters, DPS Transportation, emergency announcements, etc. all com from the “ email@example.com” email address. Access Parent Portal here: https://myportal.dpsk12.org/Pages/Default.aspx
Principal Emails – The principal sends a monthly informative email to the community. This comes from the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org.” To receive these communications, you must opt in from your Parent Portal account. (See above.)
Room Parent Emails – Emails from your room parent go out as often as needed, usually a few times a month. Room parents forward condensed information from the PTO, and may also communicate needs from the classroom teacher. Some room parents send emails from MySchoolAnywhere (the online school directory), and some use their personal email addresses.
Polaris PTO ePost – This bi-weekly email newsletter arrives every other Wednesday morning. The ePost is managed by the PTO and mostly consists of all-school PTO-related announcements about programs, events, volunteer needs, and fundraising information. To subscribe to the ePost here.
MySchoolAnywhere – MSA is Polaris’ online school directory. Room parents, PTO, and the Electives program all use this platform to send email announcements. You can use MSA to look up contact info for Polaris families. There is even an app for your iPhone or Android! To ensure your contact information is updated and correct, please accessMSA here.
Polaris Elementary School Facebook page – School administration and PTO communications manage this page. On it you will find articles about gifted and talented, opportunities for students, pertinent DPS announcements, and important school/PTO events and announcements.
Polaris website ( http://polaris.dpsk12.org) – The Polaris school website is jointly managed by school admin and PTO. Most any information you have received in another format can also be found on the website.
Parent/Teacher Conferences – Teachers conference with the parents of each student in the fall. In the spring, teachers conference with parents as needed. Parents are welcome to request a conference at any time.
Report cards – Report cards are sent home three times a year. Report cards provide summative information about how students are progressing toward meeting grade level standards for that time of year.
Thanks so much for being part of our wonderful school! Have a great weekend!