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Elementary News: May 3

posted May 3, 2013, 3:12 AM by ianc@alumni.isd.sn   [ updated May 3, 2013, 7:55 AM ]

Dear Parents,

As in many international schools, there are celebrations and events packed into the last month, so while April was hectic, May is even more so! Of course, we are still working, as the MAP tests below remind us, but there are a lot of new events to end the 2012-13 school year - and as ever, we appreciate all your support.

May 13-21 MAP Tests for Gr 2-5: This is our final battery of tests, and here is some information for any of our recent arriving parents who are new to the MAP tests:

ISD uses the MAP Test as our standardized test.  The MAP Test is Measures of Academic Progress™ and is created by the Northwest Evaluation Association. These tests determine your child’s instructional level and measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of math, reading and language. This is the  third and final set of tests this year.

In addition to using our own assessments and report cards, ISD, like most schools, uses a standardized test to compare how our students are doing as compared to a larger pool of students.  The MAP test is especially useful to ISD as we receive the results within a week after the tests are complete.  Once we receive the test results, each parent will receive a test report.

Students in Grades 2-5 will be taking the final round of these MAP tests starting Monday, May 13.  Students take these tests in three sessions, each lasting about an hour.  The first test is in reading, then math, and the third test is language usage. 

MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests your child takes on a computer. That means that the test becomes more difficult the more questions your child answered correctly. When your child incorrectly answered a question, the test became easier. Therefore, your child takes a test specifically created for his or her learning level.   We also receive very detailed reports on each student and each class, and this information is used for teachers to better tailor instruction to the needs of each child and each class, based on the reported areas of strength and weakness.

Please know that there is no need for your child to study in advance of these tests.  However, there area a few things you can do that will help your child be at his/her best when the test is taken:

·       Get a good night’s rest the week of the tests.

·       Always have a good breakfast before coming to school.

·       Help your child understand that he/she should not rush through the test.  

·       Relax.  This should not create any stress or anxiety for students.  It is not a “high-stakes” test by any means.  

K-5 Swimming in PE from May 6: From this Monday, the children will be swimming in K-5 PE. Please make a special note of the PE day and send swimwear in instead of trainers. 

Teacher Appreciation Day (shhhh!): On Wednesday May 8, ISD as with many schools, celebrates "Teacher Appreciation Day". If you would like to encourage your child to make a card, or send in a home-baked cookie or two, I am sure this would be well-received. Such things always put a smile on a teacher's face. I am sure Pinterest has some advice!

Gr 3-5 Disco: Mr. Ishmael, and Ms. Osundwa will be hosting the Gr 3-5 Disco on Friday, May 10. I believe there will be some dancing and a few games. All activities will be in the gym, and this will begin at 6:00; we request that all students head home before the disco:

Assemblies: Here are some pictures of today's assemblies:

Assemblies

As you know, we give out CORE awards. While we know that all our children exhibit all the CORE values most of the time, we do want to give public praise for recent achievements. All students will have received a CORE award by the year's end. Upcoming assemblies are: May 16, Pre-K 3; May 30, Pre-K 4W and May 31, 5H. I realize that my Nokia phone pictures pale into insignificance against some of the wonderful photos and movies those of you who attended manage to take, but I hope they give a flavor of what went on. 

3D Piñata: If you were wondering why 3C took home so much candy a week ago, here's the reason. Thanks to Mrs. Monterrubio for her help in creating this with the class:

WCM Final Day: Here are some photos from the final day. There are more on our Facebook page:

WCM Final Day

Summer Camp: In case you missed this last week, Ms. Gage has been working with trustees to look into the viability of running a Summer Camp. If there is enough interest from school parents, it would run the two weeks from June 17-June 28, counselors would be our TA's and the times, 9:00am-3:00pm. It would serve children ages 4-13, and the emphasis would be on FUN. She would need to know the level of interest to see whether it would be viable. There is much more information here in Ms. Gage's Director's Dispatch, including who to contact if you are interested. We need a critical mass to make the program viable.

Report Cards: Please be aware that the school year continues to June 12, and our program is designed to end on that day. If you do need to leave early, there may be important in-school or in-class events that are missed and - we do appreciate your attendance through the last day. In addition, report cards are not sent home early. All report cards go home on June 12. If a family does leave early, we would need a forwarding address or email to send a scanned copy.

6-Day Rotation Change: A reminder that ISD has added the Pentecoste Holiday to the calendar on Monday May 20. This has led to a small amendment in the 6-day calendar. Please could you change the calendar you have and update it with the attached new ES 6-Day calendar below. Click here for the link to the one on the web site.

Grade 5 Parent Meeting: There will be a meeting for parents to discuss the transition from Gr 5 to Gr 6 with Mr. Bell on August 8. This will be in the Board Room and begin at 8:30. As you may know, Mr. Bell has been working on re-aligning the MS Curriculum, and he and I have spoken a lot about this - I think there are some great additions being made, and that this is really strengthening the MS program that we offer.

Summer Pool Plans: Please note that the school pool will remain open throughout the summer, and the usual ISD pool rules apply. 

Upcoming Events:

- May 4: Gaucher Academy Soccer Tournament
- May 6: Gr 5 to 6 Parent Transition Meeting
- May 7: Board Meeting
- May 8: Teacher Appreciation Lunch (11:45-1:15)
- May 9: School Closed: Ascension
- May 10: Gr 3-5 Disco (6:00)
- May 13-22: Gr 2-5 Spring MAP Tests
- May 15: DELF testing day at Lycée Mermoz
- May 16: Pre-K 3 Assembly, Whole School Art Show (5:30)
- May 17: Professional Development: 12:00 Dismissal
- May 20: School Closed: Pentecoste
- May 22: Aristocats Musical (10:30 for K-3 & 7:00)
- May 23; Aristocats Musical (7:00)
- May 24: ASA Program Ends
- May 25: ES Volleyball Tournament
- May 27: Gr 3-12 Sports Awards (2:00)
- May 29: K-2 Spring Concert (6:00)
- May 30: Pre-K 4W Assembly, 3-5 Spring Concert (6:00)
- May 31: 5H Assembly
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