• Jan. 30th, 2019

    Posted by Michael Lenox on 2/27/2019

    Principal’s Notes

    January 30, 2019

    With the snow and ice building up this winter, safety concerns around morning drop off have been becoming more evident.  It is more of an issue this year due to an increase in the number of students in the building. We are considering some possible changes to the morning routine to help reduce the risk of an accident but, in the meantime, please keep the following considerations in mind:

    • We have families that walk to school.  Please keep an eye out for them.
    • If you want to escort your child into the building, please park on the south side of the parking lot to avoid blocking cars from entering the parking lot.   
    • We are attempting to control the ice build up in the parking lot, but please be vigilant for ice.
    • The busses drop off between 7:30-7:35.  The ideal time for parents to drop off students is from 7:40-7:45 to help avoid overcrowding.


    Please let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas to help improve our morning drop off.    

    So far it has been a cold winter and the extended forecast is predicting a colder than average February.  It is important for physical and mental health that the students still play outside. We will move recess inside if the temperature is below 10℉ or if the wind chill is below 0℉, but most days we will have outside recess.  We greatly appreciate your efforts to send your children to school with the gear that is needed to enjoy winter.

    Every January we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and try to teach our young students about his life and work in a way that connects to their lives.  This year we have been using the concept of “doing the right thing” to help our students understand why Martin Luther King Jr. is an American hero and to inspire all of us to do the right thing.  As a school community we are going to continue focusing on “doing the right thing” until February Vacation, when we will celebrate all of the bee tickets that students have earned by doing the right thing.  This is a good example of our approach to helping our students develop the qualities outlined in the I.B. Learner Profile and creating a school climate that promotes learning and a sense of belonging through the use of PBIS.   PBIS stands for “Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.” PBIS is a framework for a school-wide system to teach and support desired behavior.

    During the past couple of  weeks, our teachers have been busy writing progress reports that will be sent home on Friday, February 1st.  Progress reports are a chance for us to stop and note each student’s accomplishments at school. For each subject area there will be several academic standards with a symbol indicating how well the student is meeting that particular standard.  Students will receive either a PD proficient with distinction, P proficient, PP partially proficient, or BP below proficient.  At the end of the progress report, the teacher will have a paragraph or two that describes how the student is performing in a variety of school settings.   Progress reports are an important piece in communicating how well the student is learning with their family, but it is much more powerful when it is used as an opportunity to stimulate communication between the school and home.  Parents and Guardians are encouraged to reach out to their child’s teacher to discuss how we can work together to help further their learning and development. The most important thing to keep in mind regarding progress reports is to view them from a growth mindset.  They are a snapshot of the student’s current skills and knowledge at this time. These reports do not dictate a student’s future success as a learner and adult, which is determined by hard work and an openness to growth and improvement.

    January is the month that we receive our brook trout eggs.  Our 100 eggs have already hatched and are now alvein, which means they will soon start feeding.  Raising the brook trout provides our students with a variety of hands on science experiences.  They watch the trout move through their life cycle from egg to alvein to fry to parr, and finally, to their release into the wild.  The students test and record the water’s ph, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites levels. They will learn about managing an environment that trout can thrive in, and how we need to manage our watersheds.  The experience will culminate in May, when the students will release the trout into the wild. You can learn more about the project by searching online for “trout in the classroom Vermont.” It is a project that we have done at Shoreham for three years now, but it is being enhanced through incorporation into the 3rd grade unit of inquiry.  I hope to share more in the spring about how a rich learning experience has grown in depth and impact by being enhanced through the lens of I.B.

    Best Regards,

    Michael Lenox

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