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Elementary News: August 14

posted Aug 14, 2015, 12:21 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Aug 14, 2015, 6:51 AM ]
Dear Parents,

Welcome or welcome back! We in the Elementary faculty are so excited to meet new and old friends, and to start our journey into the 2015-16 school year. We have a lot of fun and challenging things planned in every grade PreK-3 through Gr 5, and we have already made a great start in the classrooms. I have been visiting all of the rooms over the last few days, and it is amazing how confident and eager to learn the children are, and we all look forward to making a strong start and continuing to build on the skills we have learned through the year. It was great to see so many parents coming on Tuesday, and I hope you found the drop-in helpful in breaking the ice for the new year. More below....


1. Faculty and Rooms: I would like to start by listing for you all our Elementary faculty and the rooms where you can find us:


Name on Order

Room Color/No.

Teaching Assistant

Pre 3

Jody Rodine (LS in pm)

Room 25

Haoua Bala

Pre 4 B

Linda Bockarie

Room 27

Paula Teixeira

Pre 4 M

Melissa Breiter

Room 28

Jeanne Faye


Jasenka Besic

Room 31

Mamadou Traore


Mike Gallagher

Room 32

Nyah Gueye


Stephanie Ogg

Red Room

Asiya Mashori


Julienne Guillaume

Blue Room

Marieme Mbaye


Monica Yu

Yellow Room

Rebecca Hughes


Maura O’Reilly

Coffee Room

Henry Baffour


Shelly Stein

Turquoise Room

Mary Pendame


Sarah Clark

Mustard Room

Natalie Rimmer


Kelly Campbell

Purple Room


Greg Ishmael

New Room 12

Niassa Harris-Henry


Scott Carpenter

New Room 13


Adja Sakho

Room 14

Abdoulaye Ndione


Toni Hillman

Room 15


Andrea Cushing

Room 24

Sedi Mupeso


Nancy Magnus

Room 105

Janel Trinchitella


Joy Osundwa

Room 207


Els Sueters

Room 202

Amelia Drummond & Paula Traore


Djamila Idir

Green Room



Christine Boccaccini

Room 104



Axelle Mbaye

Room 103



Chantal Gesland

Room 203



Deanne White


Jacqueline Dieye &  Paula Traore

Also: Stephen Bowler - PE, Pam Pelliccia - ES Counselor and Trupti Patel - ES Instructional Coach. Ms. Emefa and myself round off the Elementary team. 

2. 6-day Rotation: If you have yet to receive a copy of the 6-day rotation, it is linked to the school web site HERE. I will be changing the day number daily on the bulletin board next to Ms. Emefa's office. Please just focus on the three main days you need to know - PE and Library. 

3. Calendar for the Year: In addition, we have placed the yearlong calendar HERE. On it you can see the monthly reporting events for the Elementary this Fall Term. We have the Open House (Sept.), Goal-Sharing Conference (Oct.), followed by the grade-only mid-term reports (Oct.). Then our Parent-Teacher Conferences (Nov.) and the full end-of-term report cards with narratives (Dec.). 

4. Drop-off and Pick-up: A quick reminder. Please adhere to the policy of drop-off no earlier than 8:00am. There is supervision on campus for Elementary School children at the sand playgrounds only after 8:00am. Also:

- Elementary students on campus after 3:20pm must be with a parent or nanny

- Only Pre-K - 3 students are permitted to play on the sand playground after school - if supervised

- Playing soccer is fine after school as long as it's on the field and if children are being watched by their parent/guardian

- Pre-K - 5 Students are not permitted to leave campus without an adult

Thank you for adhering to these requests, as they are key to keeping our students safe.

5. Reading with our Kids:  One of my favorite quotes is "children are made readers on the laps of their parents" (Emilie Buchwald). I share this because it is one of the most important roles that we have as parents that relates to our children's development in school. 

ISD requests that every Elementary child either reads or is read to for at least 20 minutes a day. There is an article HERE on just this subject. CLICK HERE also, for an interesting article from Ms. Els entitled Bilingual parents: Talking to your child in your native language makes it easier for them to learn English. 

6. TransitionEvery year we welcome new families, and below I have included some links that may help when your children have difficult questions about the transitions they have made. Ms. pam will be having lunch grade-by-grade with all the new children, when admissions settles, and she'll also be sharing stories. 

Here are a few sites about transitioning that you might find interesting and helpful: 

- This is about helping kids thrive during transitions: http://www.thecultureblend.com/?p=1056   

- There is this one about expats left behind: http://www.thecultureblend.com/?p=1482

- Here are two other links new parents may find useful:  

TCKWorld.com     Interactionintl.org     http://www.ori-and-ricki.net/ (this one is also for kids)

7. Word Study - a change in program: As I had mentioned at our end of year parent coffee, the K-5 classes are rolling out a new word study program, and I will outline more at the first meeting we have together. We are continuing with our word work in classrooms, of course, but there will be a new feel to the work the children bring home. The program is called Words Their Way, and it is utilized by many international and US schools. It is a research-based developmental approach to teaching phonics, vocabulary and spelling. Students engage in developmentally appropriate lessons and activities that help them to examine words in order to discover the regularities, patterns and conventions of the English language. The program also helps students to increase their knowledge of words, including the spelling and meaning of individual words. This approach to word study supports students’ reading, writing and spelling.

8. Faces on Facebook: As you may know, we regularly post on Facebook, and here is a link to the photos from Day 1. 

9. Teachers Team Time: Here we are as an Elementary team a week ago, getting to know each other during some team-building work. It was the first of many meetings with returning and new faculty. Perhaps you can spot your teacher making a marshmallow tower! 24 cm was the record by the way....

Upcoming Events:

- September 3: Elementary Open House
- September 9: Gr 2-5 MAP Testing Begins
- September 9: Board Meeting
- September 14: ASA's Begin
- September 18: Elementary Peace Day
- September 24/24: SCHOOL CLOSED (Professional Development)
- September 25: SCHOOL CLOSED (Tabaski)

Ian Clark

Ian Clark Ed.D.

Elementary School Principal

International School of Dakar