||Principal's Corner Continued:
Principal: Dina Marshcall
The 2017 Territorial Elementary Outdoor School was a huge success. More than150 students enjoyed a variety of stations that lined up with our theme “Long Ago at Lutherwood”, from June 12-16. It took the combined efforts of the sponsoring Territorial Parent Association, the Outdoor School Committee and Program Director, Terrie McFadden, AKA Mother Frog, along with more than 60 parent volunteers, school staff, local community groups and representatives from local businesses; as well as past students, staff and parent volunteers to put on this outstanding and well organized week of activities.
Students from preschool through grade 5, were placed in “clans” of 12-14 members, led by a staff member and assisted by a parent volunteer. Each clan visited a variety of stations throughout the week, including Swimming & Water Safety, Shelter Challenge, Climbing Tower, Nature Trail, Archaeology, Stream Science, Archery, Outdoor Cooking, Leather Craft, Music and Old Time Stories and Games to name a few.
The week closed out with an all school feast which allowed students to sample a variety of locally grown and produced food items including garden fresh vegetables, berries, salmon, eggs, hazelnuts, apple cider, bread from Camas Mill Bakery, Mom’s berry pies, and Lochmead ice cream.
Following the feast, each clan performed a song or skit for Tribe Territorial during the closing ceremony which was coordinated by TES Music Teacher Amy Burrow and volunteer Laurie Doscher.
This outstanding event provided each Territorial student with an opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills, while reinforcing the strong sense of community already a core value held by Territorial, students, staff and parents. Truly an amazing reflection of what it means to be a part of this “small school with a big heart”.
The following week, students and staff made good use of our additional snow make-up days, using the time for a mini-Science camp, with students participating in hands on Science activities throughout the day, on both June 19th and 20th. We then wrapped up the school year with the 5th grade recognition and promotion ceremony and all school awards assembly on June 21st. During the assembly retiring custodian, Araceli Miranda was recognized for ten years of service to Territorial Elementary.
Staff used time on the 22nd and 23rd to complete record keeping and other end of year tasks as wells as to prepare for next year by participating in a Science webinar intended to familiarize them with the newly adopted Science curriculum and resources.
It’s hard to believe I began my administrative career at TES just five short years ago, it was clear from the start that Territorial Elementary is a very special place, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to serve these students and families alongside outstanding teachers and staff, they will always have a special place in my heart.
May 22, 2017
This month started out with Teacher Appreciation Week, and it was clear that Territorial Teachers are truly appreciated. In addition to an “appreciation station” where students were given the opportunity to write notes of appreciation throughout the week, teachers were on the receiving end of fun and yummy treats each day of the week in addition to getting beautiful potted flowers from the Territorial Parent Association and enjoying a catered lunch courtesy of the classified staff. It was really encouraging to see the Territorial community bless our teachers in this way.
State assessments for our 3rd-5th grade students wrapped up mid-month and Easy CBM Spring Benchmark assessments are well underway. These assessments are particularly useful as they provide data related to student learning and growth in the areas of reading and math over the course of a school year. Information from assessments are used to inform instruction, including identification of areas for focus for whole group lessons as well as targeted interventions for individuals and small groups.
Garden Club and LEGO Club picked up again this month. Both programs are supported by grant funds and dedicated volunteers, providing outstanding after school enrichment opportunities for our students.
Fifteen 4th and 5th grade students, led by Music teacher Amy Burrows, performed a song on their ukuleles at the Empty Bowls fundraiser held at JCHS on May 3rd. What a fun event to be a part of, the showcase of talent from each building and a number of HS programs was inspiring.
The annual TPA sponsored, track and field day was held on May 20th. Students competed in a variety of events, 50 yard dash, hurdles, long jump, relay, softball throw and cross country to name a few. The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all.
Coming up the Territorial “Barn Raising” Celebration is scheduled to take place tomorrow, May 23rd to celebrate the construction of our new, bond funded, covered play area at TES. We will kick off activities with an all school performance of some old timey tunes, followed by square dancing to a live band and a number of fun western theme activities including stick horse races, cowboy boot bean bag toss, branding and lassoing activities and of course a chow station with healthy snacks for all.
Also on the horizon preparations are underway for Outdoor School, our theme this year is “Long Ago at Lutherwood”. Students in PK-grade 5 will spend June 12th -16th participating in fun outdoor learning activities at Camp Lutherwood.
We will wrap up this year with an all school assembly and 5th grade transition ceremony on June 21st.
April 24, 2017
The 10th annual Territorial Talent Show was held at Junction City High School on April 20th. Students, alumni and even some parents demonstrated that Territorial truly does have TALENT. Individuals and groups entertained the capacity crowd with singing, dancing, piano playing and joke telling in addition to demonstrations of soccer and tumbling skills to name a few. A heartfelt “thank you” to parent volunteers, Sara Probert, and Steph van Hecke both of whom worked tirelessly to support our students with practice time and coaching this past month.
Staff development activities in April were focused Science, specifically the work of identifying and organizing existing materials and resources in a way that will allow for their use and accessibility as we continue the transition to Next Generation Science Standards and related curriculum going forward. “Kudos” to Pam Nelson and Elyse Elder for their work on the Science Curriculum Adoption Committee this year; we will continue to draw on their passion and expertise in this area going forward.
Our Kindergarten Round –up and Open House took place on April 13th. Ten prospective kindergarten students and families toured the school, checked out the classroom and met the kindergarten staff. Each kindergartener left with a backpack filled with fun summer activities, school supplies and a copy of Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, books were generously provided by The Eugene Airport Rotary Club. Additionally, a representative of the KITS program was on hand to provide a brief presentation and invite parents to sign up to receive more information about Kindergarten readiness activities scheduled to take place in Junction City this summer and fall.
Coming up, April 26th, we will recognize and honor school secretary, Terrie McFadden for her contributions on Administrative Professionals Day and throughout the year. There truly are not words to adequately describe the impact of this Administrative Professional on the Territorial School Community. Filling multiple roles from Head Secretary, to School Nurse, Stand in Administrator, Counselor or Custodian; Terrie is called on to do it all and she does it with a smile and a genuine love for the students, staff and families she serves. In addition to these many hats, Terrie brings a passion for nature education to her position at Territorial. She was the impetus behind the formation of our School Garden Club, identifying curriculum, recruiting volunteers and accessing necessary resources to provide this outstanding after school program for our students each fall and spring. Additionally, Terrie became involved in planning and operating the every other year Outdoor School Program at Territorial as a parent volunteer when her own children were TES students. Now as a staff member this is another area in which Terrie steps up and leads, planning, organizing, mobilizing and directing staff, volunteers and community resources as the Outdoor School Director. Suffice it to say, all those associated with Territorial Elementary recognize Terrie as the heart of our small school.
Speaking of Outdoor School, planning for this year’s programming is well underway, Outdoor School will be held at Camp Lutherwood from June 12th – 16th. Many hands on activities focused on nature, conservation, recreation and history are planned for students from preschool-5th grade. Students will begin a series of preparation activities next month, meeting in assigned groups with their clan leaders. All TES parents are encouraged to volunteer to assist with Outdoor School activities and reminded of the need to complete a background check through the district prior to May 31st in order to be considered.
March 20, 2017
March 2nd, students and staff participated in an assembly and 30 minute school-wide read-a-thon in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Dr. Seuss titles were available and pairs of older and younger students participated in partner reading throughout the read-a-thon, reporting on the titles read, which were later tallied, graphed and displayed in the hallway. This year students read 463 books! Traditions like these are great fun and really support the connections that are so valuable to student learning and success.
Also on the 2nd, representatives of the Junction City Soroptimist Club visited Territorial to give each and every child their very own book again this year. It is such fun to see the excitement generated by this activity as students select a book to KEEP. Many thanks to the members of the Junction City Soroptimists; we appreciate their continued efforts to support our students and families throughout the year.
March 8th Nurse Carol provided First Aid and CPR instruction for TES staff, certifying 11 staff members. Additional instruction was provided on the use of the available AED equipment.
The annual Territorial Elementary School Project Fair held March 10th, was a huge success with 82 students submitting project boards for display. Students illustrated their use of the scientific inquiry method as they developed and tested hypotheses related to questions they developed. Several parent volunteers served as judges, evaluating each project board and providing a participation ribbon and written feedback for students. Many thanks to our project fair volunteers as well as the parents and families who supported and assisted students in completing their projects at home.
Members of the Eugene Ems staff joined us for our morning Bobcat Assembly on March 13th to kick off their reading incentive program. Students who meet their reading goal this spring will receive two tickets to an EMS baseball game as well as VIP access to meet players on the field.
State testing got underway at TES on Wednesday, March 15th with 5th grade students taking the OAKS Science assessment. This first round of assessments provided staff with an opportunity to check the readiness of technology and practice procedures prior to implementation of the Smarter Balanced ELA and Math assessments for 3rd - 5th grade students scheduled to begin April 10th.
One team from Territorial qualified to compete in the Regional OBOB tournament held at North Eugene HS on Saturday, March 18th. Coach Annette Sisler expressed her admiration for the time, energy and dedication of all our OBOB participants as well as her appreciation for the number of parent helpers who assisted with practices throughout the season.
Two LEGO League Jr. Teams from Territorial joined teams from Laurel and around the state, showcasing their projects at the State Level Expo held at OMSI on Sunday, March 19th. Coaches Amy Barnes and Sara Probert have worked with these students throughout the winter as they researched a problem related to the provided theme, Creature Craze, in addition to identifying a solution, constructing a model and creating a project board to explain their thinking.
Today, the construction fences came down and students had their first opportunity to play under the newly constructed covered area at TES. We are all incredibly grateful for the community investment in our school!
Coming up, staff will use time on March 23rd and 24th to complete 2nd trimester report cards, conference with families as requested, and plan for instruction through the end of the year. Additionally, students are preparing for the annual Talent Show and the TPA is working to plan for another amazing school-wide Outdoor School experience.
February 27, 2017:
Territorial students completed the Winter Easy CBM Benchmark assessments this month, with teachers meeting to review data February 13th. We saw growth across grade levels in Reading and Math Measures, with 89% of students scoring in the “low risk” category on the CCSS Math measure of the Winter Benchmark assessment. Currently 5 of our 6 classrooms have moved above the 80% “low risk” target and 3 grade levels now have more than 90% of students identified as “low risk” in Math. We attribute this improvement to our focus on Math instruction over the past four years, the availability and use of Common Core aligned curriculum for core instruction, the inclusion of “Double Dose” time in the schedule and the addition of specific math intervention activities outside of the core. We also saw growth in student scores on Reading measures school-wide, with 83% of students identified as “low risk” in those measures on the Winter Benchmark. At this point in the year, 4 of 6 grade levels have reached year-end targets, with more than 80% of students scoring in the” low risk” category in Reading. Teachers collaborated to identify specific strategies to support student learning and growth in core subjects going forward with an eye toward moving our “some risk” and “high risk” students up at least one level on the Spring Benchmark scheduled for May.
During the February 8th Early Release, Territorial teachers met with ESD Science guru Bob Curtis for a workshop focused on applying Next Generation Science Standards to hands on activities in the area of Engineering and Design. Additionally, Bob provided insight and feedback on available and aligned curriculum and resources.
The annual Grandparent’s Day Tea was a great success, with outstanding grandparent participation. We estimate that over 150 grandparents and special guests joined a child or two or three for tea and pastries February 10th. Entertainment was provided by Territorial students, directed by Music teacher Amy Burrow. Each class performed a song or instrumental selection for their guests. Festivities wrapped up with students and grandparents visiting a photo booth to commemorate the day, before stopping off to shop at the Scholastic Book Fair. Many” thanks” to our faithful TPA volunteers and Territorial Staff, all of whom worked very hard to make this a memorable day for students and grandparents alike. TPA volunteer and Book Fair Coordinator, Wendy Thelander reported sales of over $3,000 this year.
Fifteen Territorial students participated in the Oregon Battle of the Books Program this year, with two teams continuing on to the District competition held on February 24th at Oaklea Middle School, ultimately, one team from Territorial qualified to move on to the regional competition to be held March 18th at North Eugene High School.
Planning for Outdoor School activities is well underway, a theme of “Long Ago at Lutherwood” will take us back to yester-year as students school wide spend the week engaging in a variety of hands on, enriching activity stations including leather craft, archery, stream science, archaeology, old time games, pioneer challenge and outdoor cooking to name a few. We are incredibly grateful to the Territorial Parent Association volunteers who have worked all year to raise funds for this fun and memorable culminating experience as well as those staff and parents who are engaged in the planning and preparation necessary.
January 23, 2017
Territorial wrapped up 2016 and the first trimester with our first round of parent-teacher conferences. Conferences were held on December 5th and 6th and were well attended across grade levels, providing an opportunity for teachers to introduce parents to grade level standards and the elementary report card, which they used as a springboard for conversations around student progress toward year-end targets. Parents and teachers alike appreciated the scheduled time to meet and connect.
The Territorial Parent Association organized our annual Holiday Bazaar, providing an opportunity for Territorial students to select gifts for members of their immediate families. Due to three Snow Days prior to break, the Holiday Bazaar was cut quite short. Thanks to our amazing volunteers, most student gifts were selected, wrapped and delivered prior to the break. However, Preschool students did not have an opportunity to shop before break, and instead enjoyed their own mini-Bazaar this week, selecting “New Year’s” gifts to give to immediate family members. Bazaar co-chairs Dena McDonald and Jennifer Daeges went above and beyond in the face of adversity to make sure all of our students enjoyed this Territorial tradition.
Teachers and staff joined colleagues district wide for a presentation as well as small group discussion activities during the scheduled Early Release time on Wednesday, January 11th. Activities provided staff with an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of issues related to Civil Rights as well as expectations around recognizing and responding to bullying and harassment.
Winter Easy CBM benchmark assessments, though delayed by additional inclement weather closures in January, are now underway. Preliminary data looks good with students showing growth in the areas of math and reading, including notably improved scores in specific student subgroups. Teachers will gather for a building wide data meeting in February to review data and identify strategies that will support student learning and growth toward grade level benchmark standards.
Teachers Elyse Elder, Pam Nelson and Cheryl Glasser have been active in their efforts to access and utilize available resources to supplement and enhance Science curriculum as well as align instruction to the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition to taking advantage of multiple professional development opportunities related to Science instructional practices, staff are working to access, review and evaluate ODE approved Science curriculum materials in preparation for the upcoming adoption.
January 20th the TPA hosted a BINGO fundraiser, this event is always a highlight for students and families. In addition to fun refreshments and raffle drawings for great themed baskets, BINGO prizes included a wide variety of items, with the grand prize being a 50 inch flat screen television.
Looking ahead, Territorial students participating in OBOB will complete school wide battles for a chance to represent Territorial at the district competition to be held at Oaklea Middle School on February 24th. Four teams of 4-5 students each, have worked together to read 16 selected books and will prepare to answer a variety of “content” and “in which book” questions in the coming book battles. Also planned for February is the annual Grandparent’s Day Celebration as well as the coinciding Scholastic Book Fair.
In conclusion, on behalf of the Territorial Elementary School community, I would like to express sincere gratitude to our School Board members. Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of all of our students and families. Your contributions do not go unnoticed and you have our thanks and appreciation this month and throughout the year.
November 28, 2016
Territorial’s Annual Food Drive is underway with boxes of donated, non-perishable food items filling the school entrance. Food donations will be used for holiday baskets that will be distributed to local families through the Goldson Grange and Food for Lane County this season.
Our Coordinated Approach to Child Health or CATCH team, kicked off program activities at Territorial this month, as teachers and students used program materials to learn about and discuss the importance of healthy eating and exercise. Second grade teacher Annette Sisler introduced the school to the CATCH program during our November 7th Bobcat assembly. In addition to sharing staff CATCH cards, Mrs. Sisler led the whole school in an aerobic dance. That afternoon, each class used whole foods to make a fun, healthy and yummy snack. Classroom teachers implemented CATCH program health lessons at each grade level, while P.E. teacher Rebecca Smith integrated CATCH activities into her P.E. lessons. Additionally Wendy Erickson created a “Go”, “Slow” and “Whoa” foods bulletin board which has been a great conversation starter for our students and parents. The CATCH team has plans to continue the conversations started this month as well as plan for additional school-wide activities related to promoting healthy eating and an active lifestyle using the CATCH program materials.
The Taste for Territorial Dinner, Art Sale and Auction held on November 18th, was a huge success. This TPA sponsored event brought in nearly $6,000 while providing an opportunity for students and families to spend time together enjoying food and fellowship while appreciating the displayed art work and bidding on a variety of donated items including a custom fire pit, garden cart basket, spa package, coast trip and duck hunting excursion to name a few. Many thanks to the volunteers who worked to put on this fabulous community FUNdraiser as well as those business partners who supported these efforts with donations of goods and services! Dinner was provided by the Viking Inn. As a result of the tireless efforts of our Territorial Parent Association, we are well on our way to generating the substantial funding needed to support our upcoming Outdoor School Activities.
Territorial teachers are excited about the prospect of adopting updated and aligned Science Curriculum this year. To that end, teaching staff are working to identify and review available curriculum options as well as other resources to support implementation of Next Generation Science Standards in classrooms throughout the school. Earlier this month, Pam Nelson and Cheryl Glasser attended an NGSS Science workshop in Albany, while Elyse Elder spent Veteran’s Day weekend at the National Science conference in Portland. Elyse shared information and materials from the conference with staff on November 16th as part of our early release professional development activities. Coming up, we have arranged for Bob Curtiss from the Lane ESD, to provide additional training around NGSS standards during the January 11th early release.
As the first trimester comes to a close, teachers are preparing for completion of report cards as well as scheduling parent teacher conferences which will take place on the evening of December 5th and throughout the day on December 6th. This is a great opportunity to make the connections necessary to supporting student success. Teachers are hoping for 100% turnout this year!
In the spirit of the season I would like to express my thankfulness, I am thankful to be part of a school, district and community that cares about and works to support students and families like no other.
October 24, 2016
Excitement is building with the Bond funded outdoor covered play shelter components delivered this past week. Students and staff alike are eagerly anticipating the end of indoor “Rainy Day Recess” at Territorial!
From the successful Scholastic Book Fair and Open House/Curriculum Night, to the annual Jog-a-Thon, which has already raised over $1,000 for school programs and activities, it's clear Territorial and our ever involved and supportive parent group are off and running this year! Coming up the TPA will sponsor an all-school Harvest Party on the afternoon of October 31st, with the Taste of Territorial spaghetti feed and art show scheduled to take place on November 18th at the Long Tom Grange.
This month marked the start of multiple after school programs including; Garden Club, LEGO Club, OBOB and Yearbook. So far students in Garden Club have harvested strawberries and tomatoes, viewed compost material through a microscope, identifying micro-organisms that live within it and winterized both garden spaces, as well as participating in a variety of garden related games and activities. Students in LEGO Club are presented with a LEGO challenge weekly, providing opportunities for small groups to learn about and demonstrate a variety of skills related to teamwork, creativity and sportsmanship. At the conclusion of each club meeting LEGO creations are collected and displayed in the hallway for the week. New this year at Territorial is the addition of LEGO League activities for our older students who are learning about programming robots to complete predetermined tasks and challenges. These students will compete in a LEGO League tournament in December. Oregon Battle of the Books and Yearbook activities also got underway this month and look to be generating a lot of excitement among involved students.
On another note, our grant purchased iPads are on campus and in use in classrooms K-5, bringing us up to 8 iPads per classroom, with additional devices deployed in our SpEd / ELD classroom as well as in our Music and PE programs. Teachers are finding a variety of ways to use these devices to enhance student access to core curriculum and materials as well as for research, demonstration of skill and intervention and enrichment. A huge thank you to the District Technology staff, Bob and Laci for getting these processed and out to us so quickly, and also to parent volunteer Wendy Thelander for her work getting the barcodes registered in the computer system so that the iPads could be checked out to teachers.
Our 4th & 5th grade students along with several staff and parent volunteers had the opportunity to participate in a fun and exciting Coast field trip to Newport, facilitated by “Maritime Discovery Tours”. The group of about 50, headed out to sea observing and learning about sea life first hand, including whales, jelly fish, porpoises, sea lions, crabs and plankton. This trip was the result of Ms. Elder’s great luck, as she won the tour in a drawing at a Science conference last year. Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade students enjoyed a trip to Wintergreen Farms where they visited the Pumpkin Patch, selecting their very own pumpkin to bring home.
Beyond that our Fall Easy CBM benchmark testing wrapped up earlier this month, with staff coming together for a school-wide data meeting on October 13th. We looked at student scores in both Math and Reading, identifying strategies and planning for interventions to support student growth and enrichment. We continue to be really excited about the turnaround in math scores and achievement over the past few years and will focus on continuing to identify the best resources and strategies to elicit similar outcomes in reading going forward.
Welcome to the new school year at TES- we are so glad to have you and your students join us for what is sure to be an outstanding year!
Enrollment at TES is holding at about 135 currently, with class sizes ranging from 13 to 28, with most classes falling in the low to mid-twenties.
This year we are excited to welcome three new teachers to our staff. Amy Burrow – Music, Rebecca Smith- PE, and Nancy Reade- Special Education. All three are recent retirees looking to continue teaching on a more part time basis and we are thrilled to benefit from their wealth of experiences and expertise.
With the passage of the bond this past spring, Territorial will be on the receiving end of some much needed facility improvements. First on the list is the addition of a covered play area which will make a significant difference for our students on rainy days as they will be able to get outside and move during recess and PE regardless of the weather. The projected completion date for this project is November 23rd, with work beginning in late October. We are currently waiting on the fabrication of the steel structure. Down the road we expect to see improvements to our driveway as well as the addition of safety and security features.
Territorial was the recipient of a couple grants this spring. One of which allowed us to purchase 20 new iPad minis and cases, for use in classrooms, while the other aimed at improving student Health and Wellness by targeting our Health and PE offerings. In addition to Health and PE curriculum components, we also received about $2,000 worth of new PE equipment as well as $5,000 to be spent on training and implementation of program requirements. More coming on this soon.
Drop off and Pick up- if you arrive and find that there is no parking in the lower lot, you may park on the asphalt of the upper lot under the basketball hoops, ONLY if both school buses have already arrived for drop off or pick up. Do not park in the lot before buses arrive as it makes it very difficult for them to pull in. Generally this would be after 8:05 in the morning and after 2:20 in the afternoon. School starts at 8:15 am and dismissal is 2:30 pm.
Territorial school t-shirts are for sale through Custom Ink. Follow this link to order, https://www.customink.com/g/ear0-00aq-f8vu the order will close next Friday, September 16th.
I am looking forward to a great year, and to working with you all. We certainly appreciate the contributions of our parent association, a group who embody our school motto “small school, big heart”. If you plan to volunteer and do not yet have a photo badge, please plan to get your picture taken on October 5th at 8:00 am in the cafeteria so a volunteer badge can be made for you
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and here at Territorial we really appreciate our teachers and staff! In addition to an appreciation station where students have been given the opportunity to write notes of appreciation throughout the week, teachers have been on the receiving end of fun and yummy treats each day so far. Additionally, TPA members delivered pots of beautiful flowers and kind notes for our teachers. Coming up Wednesday, Staff have planned a catered lunch for our teachers, prepared by our own Araceli Miranda. I am so thankful our staff, students and parents have taken time this week to show our teachers how much they mean to all of us!
I really enjoyed the Talent Show last Thursday night, our students never fail to impress! The change in venue seemed to work really well, the added seating and other theater features added to the ambiance of the evening. Great job to our parent organizers, Bethany Hartle, Sheila Allred and Steph Van Hecke.
I know preparations for the all-school track meet, end of year field day and spring book fair are well under way. Also on the horizon, our all school picture is scheduled for Friday, May 6th. Students should plan to wear their school shirts that day. On the 11th Mrs. Kelley along with students in kindergarten through 2nd grade will host a spring music concert in the gym, with older students slated to perform on May 18th. Spring LEGO Club is in full swing with more than 25 students led by Amie Barnes and Sara Probert. Garden Club will resume this Thursday with Terrie McFadden and Sandy Tedrick at the helm, I understand there are a number of additional parent volunteers as well as 5th grade student leaders on board. Local Martial Arts Instructor, Gary Martin has offered to provide an introduction to Martial Arts during PE this week and a flier will go home about an after school club he would like to offer at TES this spring. Also coming up, planning is in the works for a number of year-end field trips including a special 5th grade adventure planned for June 15th
As we wrap up the school year, 3rd through 5th grade students will complete state testing, while all students K-5 will take the Spring Easy CBM assessments in Reading and Math. As a school, our goal is to see growth from the Fall assessment to the Spring assessment, for every student, as well as to have at least 80% of our students at or above grade level benchmarks in Reading and Math. As of the Winter assessments, we had already surpassed that goal in Math, I look forward to seeing the great growth I know our students are making in Reading as well.
We are looking forward to this outstanding year coming to a close and appreciate the support of the Parents and the TPA - your investment of time, planning and putting on special events, working in classrooms and taking on any number of tasks, makes all the difference in the operation of our sweet little school. Please know your consistent presence on campus, can do attitudes, enthusiasm and energy are valuable beyond measure.
If you are interested, I will be presenting our end of year school report to the School Board on May 23rd. All are welcome to attend.
We are looking forward to a great 2016 and want to thank you for the tremendous work you do to support the students and staff of TES!
Over the break we were able to install the newest Promethean Board purchased with a combination of TPA and Education Together grant funds. Mrs. Meek is already putting this new piece of technology to work in her first grade classroom and anticipates using this tool to support student learning and engagement across the curriculum in a variety of ways. The SMART board removed from room 5 was relocated to the Music classroom and will soon be operational in that location.
The new Nikon cameras purchased by the TPA have expanded our ability to document classroom learning and school-wide activities. Our yearbook students, teachers and staff are putting them to good use daily.
Ms. Elder and Mrs. Meek have been working to identify and explore educational apps as well as potential kid friendly browsers and security features to improve our use of iPads in classroom. They will work with the rest of the staff to share ideas and information during our next scheduled early release day.
Coming up this month, January 11th-29th, all students K-5, are scheduled to take the EasyCBM benchmark assessments in Reading and Math. This mid-year measure provides teachers with valuable information about individual student learning as well as progress toward year end grade level standards. When reviewing data staff will be looking for evidence of student growth determined by progress toward grade level standards or targets. This information will be used to inform instruction and interventions going forward. Testing includes oral reading fluency and a written test of reading comprehension as well as a written math test. Older students may take some of the assessments in the computer lab while our youngest students will test one on one with our proctor Jenny Rogers or Kindergarten assistant Heidi Hamilton. State testing for students in 3rd-5th grades will take place later this spring.
Parking, the parking difficulties we experienced earlier this school year appear to have been alleviated by the changes made to staff parking assignments and the opening of the top lot for drop off and pick up. Please let Terrie or I know of any additional concerns or if you have suggestions that could improve the drop off and pick up processes.
With our recent weather related closures and delays, some additional concerns around transportation were noted. When the district is operating busses on snow routes in the morning, the same routes apply in the afternoon even if weather conditions have improved. It will be important that parents are aware and plan to pick students up at designated locations. Specific information related to pick up and drop off locations and schedules can be found on the JCSD website or by contacting First Student directly.
Thanks again for the many things you do in classrooms and behind the scenes to support this school!
Wow, what a Harvest Party! That was something to behold, I am continually in awe of our parents and volunteers, your dedication, creativity and willingness to step in and make things happen is truly inspiring. Thank you for all you do to make Territorial such a special place for our kids!
You may or may not know that enrollment is up across the district, this in addition to reduced personnel costs due to lower overall “years of experience” among new staff, left the district in a better than expected position financially this school year. As a result, principals at each building were asked to identify needs for additional staffing and or one-time expenditures for consideration by the Administrative Team and the School Board. At Territorial, our primary request was for an increase in licensed FTE, to allow for single grade instruction in Writing, Science and Social Studies. Additional requests included Instructional Assistant time to provide math interventions for students needing that support and lastly a one-time purchase of 30 new USB headphones for the Media Center computer lab. All of these additions, at a cost of over $20,000 were approved. The licensed and classified positions are currently posted and until the hiring process concludes, we will implement schedule changes, with current staff “subbing” in those spots. These additions and subsequent schedule adjustments allow us to provide increased lunchtime supervision, more than an hour of math intervention daily and single grade instruction for our 4th/5th grade students in Science, Social Studies and Writing. We believe the impact of these changes will be immediate and significant.
With our continuing focus on Technology at TES, we have been looking for ways to bring a Promethean Board into the 1st grade classroom, this classroom is the only grade level classroom in the building without that most up to date feature. I am excited to report that with a combination of funds from a variety of small grants, we expect to be able to make that purchase within the month. The older SMART Board currently in the 1st grade classroom will be relocated to the Music room where Ms. Kelly is excited to put it to use.
Recently a group of 5th grade students proposed the addition of a cheerleading club at Territorial. I was more than impressed with their dedication and commitment to working through the process to gain approval. Yesterday, permission slips went home with all 4th and 5th grade students, inviting their participation. In addition to monthly after school practices at TES with coach Lysa Sangermano, students expect to practice on their own at recess as well as perform at one Bobcat Assembly each month. They also plan to approach the TPA to schedule performances at special events like the upcoming Spaghetti Feed, BINGO Night, Talent Show and Grandparent’s Day to name a few. I look forward to seeing this new club and these students add to the positive culture of our school. Go Bobcats!
Coming up, Parent/Teacher conferences will be held at the conclusion of 1st trimester in December. Territorial teachers made a choice to continue with December conferences after trying it for the first time last year. By conferencing in December, with completed report cards in hand, teachers have the ability to not only speak to the standards of achievement expected for each grade level, but also provide detailed information about current student progress toward those standards. Also at conferences, teachers of 4th and 5th grade students will share individual student score reports from last spring’s Smarter Balanced Assessments as well as an overview of our school data from those same state assessments.