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October 14, 2014

posted Oct 14, 2014, 12:42 PM by Web Congdon   [ updated Nov 18, 2014, 8:01 AM ]

                     

Dear Congdon Park Families,

October is here and students will have a short week - remember “No School” on Thursday or Friday.   Congdon Park students are becoming familiar with teacher expectations and classroom routines.  I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the great start to the school year.  The staff, students, and families have done an excellent job.  Students are working very hard and as I go into the classrooms I continue to be amazed with all of the strong learning opportunities our children have.

Parent-Teacher goal-setting conferences are well underway.  I really love this approach because it steers the conversation in a positive direction and helps to get everyone on the same page.  During conferences, teachers  shared the child’s goal–setting information that he/she filled out in class.  This is a nice way to have the student’s voice in a conference (our conferences are adult-only, no students unless teachers suggest) and it also gives everyone some nice talking points.

Congdon Park School has made a commitment to use less paper and will continue to send a weekly electronic e-mail with all important school information and a link to the Wednesday weekly news.  We hope this approach is working for your family.  Each week, PTA volunteers come in to help organize this.  It seems to be going well but, I want to make sure that the school news is reaching all of our families.   Our hope is to save thousands of pieces of paper and make it easier for everyone to digest all of the information that is sent home with your student.  Please know, if you have any suggestions, comments, etc. we would love to hear from you at:  kathi.marshall@isd709.org.

At Congdon Park the social emotional approach used is called Responsive Classroom.  This approach focuses on positive behavior at school using strong, consistent, and positive discipline.  Staff will offer practical strategies for building a safe, calm, and respectful school climate.  Some of the positive changes that will be implemented are:

·    Establishing signals that get children’s attention. This is called “show 5.”  All staff will use this approach when asking for quiet attention anytime and anywhere in school.

·    Establishing School Rules:  Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible.

·    Work on creating peaceful recess, lunchtime, hallways and school bus rides

·    Staff works on methods for quickly restoring positive behavior when a discipline problem comes up. Using an apology of action.

·    Involving families in improving school discipline.

·    Positive “Thank You’s” on the bus/playground areas

·    Anti-bullying strategies

One underlying belief of the Responsive Classroom approach is that it is important to know children individually, culturally, and developmentally.  As a school we value community membership and will strive to balance the needs of the individual along with the needs of the community.  This month I will travel to the National Responsive Classroom conference in Chicago. I can’t wait to bring back some great information!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank families for paying attention to traffic patterns before and after school.  Please remember that if you are dropping off your child before school or picking them up after school that you do so carefully.  Please slow down, especially while traveling on Greysolon Road.  The new procedures seem to be going very well.  Please use extra caution when you know that students will be on their way to and from school.

Peace,

Kathi Kusch Marshall/Principal
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