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Elementary News: May 25

posted May 25, 2012, 12:19 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 25, 2012, 12:30 PM ]

Dear Parents,

We have two and a half weeks to go, and our calendars are reflecting the annual end of the year ground rush. The classes are busy preparing for presentations and assessments, we are writing our final thoughts for report cards, while we are also looking to keep our students focused on work, as opposed to summer trips! As a faculty, we have been recently discussing the implementation of next year's 6-day rotation, and we are also designing our Elementary School version of the healthy food guidelines for next year - more below. Over the next few days, we are preparing for moving-up ceremonies, more class assemblies, and finally, some goodbyes. 

Other Notes:

1. After School Activities Ended Friday May 25: This was the final week of the after school activities program, and I would like to express our gratitude to Murray Te Huki for running this and the PE programs at the school. We have a chance to celebrate many of the activities in an After School Activities assembly on Monday Jun 4. More to follow.

2. Confirmation of Returning: Thank you for confirming with the school if you are staying next year. Those who have not, please contact the office soonest.

3. Elementary School Spring Concert:  On Thursday May 31, we will be having our Elementary School Spring concert. The children have been working hard in their music classes, and we look forward to some creative entertainment!

4. 2nd Grade Trip to Bandia: Here are some photos of the recent 2nd Grade trip to Bandia. If you are a 2nd Grade parent - do you know why a white rhino is called a white rhino? You may be surprised….:

2nd Grade to Bandia

5. Photographers from Outside: We request that you do not ask outside photographers to come and take photographs of school functions. We are happy for you and family members to, but some parents and teachers would rather school events were photographed by school personnel. We do have a contract with a company, and details can be obtained through Emefa.

6. Healthy Snack and Lunch Guidelines: The Elementary School faculty, in consultation with Katie Morgan, have been looking at healthy snacks and lunch guidelines This has grown from the initiative of the whole-school committee set up earlier. Next year, the main focus is that we will be asking parents to no longer send to school candy or sodas. This is based on research unearthed through the committee, and we hope that we will start to develop even more aware eaters. Some classes already have such guidelines in place, regarding the snack, and we would also like to encourage this through lunch - and i believe we have many very healthy eaters! However, Shady's meals have changed, and we would like to support this with a focus on the packed lunches. There will be more to follow, along with many web sites and resources to facilitate healthy choices next year. 

7. Gr 4 & 5 Sports Awards: On Thursday May 30, from 9:30, the Grades 4 & 5 children will be attending the Sports Awards ceremony. At the event we will celebrate excellence and attainment in the sports they can play in these grades, and the children will have a chance to cheer for their peers. Award winners are decided by the coaches of the teams in track & field, basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming in different categories. Children will find out at the assembly who the winners are. 

8. Performance-Based Assessments: Here are some photos of 3C and 4H taking part in two different end-of-unit assessments. Both involve role play and are judged on a rubric by non-class moderators - they are assessing learned skills in a rocks and a tourism unit. We use performance-based assessment to add some variety to our evaluation of work. The children also complete other written assessments, but this is a much more fun way to discover attainment!:

Performance-Based Assessments

9. Final Assembly & Leaving Teachers: On the last day at 10:30am, we will be having a full Elementary School assembly where we'll have a chance to say goodbye to those of our ES students and faculty who are leaving. The departing ES teachers and Teaching Assistants are: Celeste Mason, Jasmeen Philen, Karen Sheaffer, Nathalie Audibert, Laliya Ndiaye, Kelly Valdmanis, Nathan Fuhr, Julia Hoyle, Kim Rochette, Laura Perry and Lisa Emborsky. Also moving on are Katie Morgan, Roxann Siegel. 

10. Office Story Sessions: The best part of my job is when I have a chance to speak to a class, tell a few stories and finding about their year. I have "entertained" all the classes these last two weeks, and learned so much about the new skills they have discovered, and fun they have had. I try to choose picture books that allow me to segue into the themes of moving on, and I try to reassure them that "at this time last year you might have been nervous, how do you feel about that now - so do you need to worry about next year?" I also tell them a few things about their next year's programs.

11. ELL at ISD: Right through to the end of the year, our ELL specialist Els Sueters continues to be busy guiding our English Language Learners. Students new to English, and those who need a little reinforcement spend time with Els daily, and we appreciate the work that Els and Amelia do to help with the transition to the English medium. Here are some busy students:

Working with Ms. Els

12. High School Graduates: Just to mention that we are graduating 30 High School students this year, who are heading to well-placed colleges in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond. For those of you with a graduating student - congratulations from the Elementary division!

13. 5th grade to Lac Rose: The 5th Grade were at Lac Rose two weeks ago, and enjoyed learning some salt science. They head to Ile de Goree next week, and have a moving-up party, too! Here are a few Lac Rose photos. 

5th Grade to Lac Rose

14. 6-Day Rotation Next Year: Next year we will be switching to a 6-day rotation, and here is a reminder from March. Many larger international schools use a 6-day rotation, and this is the model that the Elementary School will be adopting in the 2012-13 school year. It is a 6-day version of the 2-day rotation used in the MS and HS. It will overcome the problem we have when there are occasional one-day holidays, which often fall on Fridays and Mondays - this greatly disrupts the specials schedules. 

A 6-day rotation is a schedule whereby instead of having a Monday-Friday daily timetable, there are 6 days numbered 1-6, and these days run through the year. Thus August 21 will be Day 1, 22nd Day 2, and so on. Once Day 6 is reached, we begin again on Day 1. Confusing initially, (and more explanation below!), but we will have the following benefit:

·       We will be adding a second Art session (we currently only have one Art per week)

·       We will no longer miss a day's PE, Art, Music, Library or Computers when there is a one-day holiday

·       We will still have French every day

·       We will be able to have more PD afternoons on Fridays

·       We add 15 minutes a 5-day week to homeroom class contact time

To illustrate further, below is an example of what the 4th Grade schedule could look like next year (it will not):

…and looking at August next year, the sessions from the beginning of school would go as follows:

Tuesday 21st: Day 1, Wednesday 22nd: Day 2, Thursday 23rd: Day 3, Friday 24th: Day 4, Monday 27th: Day 5, Tuesday 28th: Day 6, Wednesday 29th, Day 1, Thursday 30th: Day 2, Friday 31st: Day 3, Monday 3rd: Day 4, and so on. A public holiday would be skipped in the same way as a weekend. Therefore no specials will be missed. 

This would be printed on a calendar, and we have will the day numbers labeled clearly around the Elementary School- changing each day. While this may lead to some confusion about PE days, we will accommodate forgotten trainers as best we can. 

15. "Let Them Eat Cake": After school today, we celebrated the many achievements at ISD of Wayne and Mike. I truly wish them the best in Cairo and Abu Dhabi  - their new colleagues are very lucky to have such dynamic, imaginative and fun people to work with. They earned a big slice of cake, and here they are admiring it:

16.  Builders of the Future: Wayne even found time in his busy schedule to show Ms. Marje's class some of the exciting parts of the construction site. They just went through the doorway for a peek, but that was excitement enough! The children took their ideas straight back to their Pre-K 3 classroom, as you can see here: 

Future Builders

Upcoming Events: 

- May 28: School Holiday (Pentecost)
- May 29: Board Meeting
- May 31: Pre-K 3 Assembly, K-5 Spring Concert, 6:00pm
- Jun 1: 4P Assembly, June/July Birthday Lunch
- Jun 4: After School Activities Assembly
- Jun 7: Pre-K 4 Moving-up Assembly
- Jun 13: Last Day of School, 10:30: Final ES Assembly (12:00 dismissal)

Ian Clark

Ian Clark Ed.D.

Elementary School Principal

International School of Dakar