Happy Friday the 13th,
Given the nature of this day “the 13th” all has been moving along marvelously. As I continue to work on communication with everyone, I have decided to institute three new items. First, coming home with your oldest San Tan kiddo will be a Home and School Connection newsletter, this is a monthly publication that is full of helpful hints and goodies to make the school year successful. Second, will be “Marty’s Memos”, this will be a monthly newsletter that will come from Marty our Community Outreach and Fundraising Director. However, this newsletter will also include a calendar of events that you can post so you have a snapshot of activities for the month. Finally, San Tan Learning Center is proud to announce our new page on Facebook, “San Tan Learning Center Family Connection”! The San Tan Learning Center Family Connection page was created as a way for families to connect with other families, keep up to date about upcoming events and promotions, learn about passive giving opportunities, and keep up to date with the activities our FEC (Family Engagement Committees) are currently working on. Families will have the opportunity to communicate and connect through this page. For example, if you are in need of a carpool you can post on the Family Connection Page asking if anyone would be willing to carpool from your area. The school and FEC committees will be able to post about upcoming events or contests that could bring free money to the school. We look forward to having the STLC Family Connection Page be a positive and fun way for families to connect with one another. To locate the page you do need a Facebook account. You can either search for “San Tan Learning Center Family Connection” on Facebook or follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1405318893015221
Thank you to our amazing families who have participated in the Target “Take Charge of Education” program. The program links your card to our school to give us back 1% on all purchases. We just got a check for $800.00 to help fund all of the campus improvements! For more information on this program, check out our web page: http://www.santanlearningcenter.com/giving/
Frost Gelato Family Fun Day Food Fundraiser; We are excited to be having our first Family Fun Day Food Fundraiser at Frost Gelato at San Tan Villages on September 25 from 11am to 10pm. Frost will donate back 20% of all STLC sales during the event plus we will get 5,000 School Cents points for hosting the event and we will earn double School Cents points for the event sales. Money raised during this event will support our Growing Brilliance program. Come out between 4PM-6PM and visit the Roadrunner Committee table who will be sponsoring an ice cream cone art creation contest, two $10 Frost gift cards will be awarded for the best art creation for the lower and upper grade levels. Please note that September 25 is a half day, so please feel free to come out any time between 11am-10pm to participate in the event. Please make sure you bring in your flyer, which will be distributed to the students soon.
Paper Please: Our Annual Paper Drive is in full force! The front office is keeping track of reams of paper brought in for each teacher. Please drop off reams of paper with your teacher’s name on it; the winning class will receive a pizza party and $100.00 in free classrooms supplies! This paper helps us all year long. Below is the current ranking:
1st – 73 Mrs. G
2nd – 55 Gibson
3rd – 39 Lee
4th – 34 Kotkin
5th – 33 Beezhold
Who is hungry? The October lunch menu has been posted the menu will be available for October until Sun, 9/22 at http://www.santanlearningcenter.com/families/school-lunch/.
A Note from Mrs. Haughan our Professional Development & Instructional Services Director
We have accomplished a great deal of professional development this first quarter. As we look to finishing the quarter the final items that we will continue to revisit in staff weekly training sessions are using www.nwea.org to support planning Tier 2, small group instruction and documenting student progress on the Individual Learning Plan. Our half-day early release schedule allows both staffs to join again to continue with providing necessary teacher input on the district curriculum mapping & assessment project. It’s been an exciting year as we had rigorous professional development goals outlined for staff in regards to Common Core instruction and assessment.
I wanted to take a moment to explain the reasoning behind how PD was structured this year in terms of how topics are selected and how facilitators are chosen. Our school district is known for many different and unique qualities that make us who we are. It’s what allows us to teach the way we do while keeping our students at their cutting edge. I want to outline for you those key qualities that we tell parents they should expect to see in their child’s classroom and how the professional development offerings correspond providing teachers with avenues to implement these foundations aligned to the school vision and mission in their classrooms.
We also follow a teacher-led learning community model to implement professional development. While we do hire out for our Love and Logic Coach, Keri Maughan, who has been with the school leading in providing the culture from the beginning, the bulk of our sessions are led by teacher leaders or Mrs. Haughan and her team of teacher coaches. The facilitators have attended additional outside trainings or demonstrated through student achievement mastery of a particular strategy that led to their leadership role in supporting their peers to meet similar goals.
Common Core Curriculum Mapping and Assessments
We’ve been working for three years to shift our instruction, materials, and assessments with the end in mind with K-8 students experiencing quality Common Core instruction and assessments in every classroom. This year we went full steam ahead with two all-day PD sessions where teachers were able to collaborate as they planned Quarter 1 ELA/SS themed unit as well as Semester 1 Math units. The work products created will ultimately flow into a District Common Core map that reflects the full school year for grades K-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics. There was time for teachers to gather resources, align materials, research common core lessons, and really think about what it is we want our students to walk away with as an overarching understanding of the content. This process will continue during the upcoming staff PD days as work to complete maps and shift our assessments for the entire school year. When the teacher versions are finalized, a parent version will be produced and published for all stakeholders to view.
Love and Logic
Teaching with our hearts at peace and allowing students to have a safe place to learn is truly at the heart of LCPS mission. This year we differentiated our Love and Logic offerings for our new teachers 0-2 years and our veteran teachers 3 years and up. This training was as much about the teacher and the way in which he or she models character and self-control when dealing with children and their colleagues. Love and Logic is a district-wide common culture expectation of how to work with students on promoting student independence as students learn to make choices for themselves. Teachers were in years 0-2 the district also completed an additional 16 clock hours of professional development with our coach, Keri Maughan, to understand work towards mastery in applying the 9 Essential Skills into their classrooms.
Small Group Instruction/Differentiated Instruction
As educators, we are well aware of all the current research reflecting that students achieve more when being in classrooms utilizing small group instruction vs. a classroom that only reflects a direct instruction approach. At LCPS we teach focused small groups in math, spelling, reading, and writing as a minimum standard. This allows us to help those students who need a smaller group of students, more one on one attention, or extension to concepts they’ve mastered. Then what would the rest of your students in the class be working on. That’s where purposeful, authentic, and clear expectations come into play for the remainder of our class. We don’t want teachers to manage kids or packets; we want small group lesson clearly planned and executed to keep our kids exceeding. Our professional development offerings that provide teachers with the background knowledge to plan and implement small group instruction includes: Daily 5 Literacy, SMART
Math, and Words Their Way. We will continue to offer times throughout the year where we can talk, analyze data, and refine how we make this a part of our class every day.
LCPS is known for providing hand-on opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning or explore a concept as opposed to creating worksheets or worse yet the dreaded “packet.” This PD season we’ve integrated trainings on Dinah Zinke Foldables and Play Math to give teachers the tools and practice to make this happen. Our students like to explore, create, investigate, and love learning and these are just a few of the offerings that can make that a reality.
It is amazing what we accomplished and the 2013-2014 school year is still in the beginning stages. I look forward to continuing our journey of becoming reflective and proactive educators always striving for what is best for our students. Please keep your eyes peeled for the Professional Development portion of survey coming out this fall. We want to be certain our office is meeting your specific needs as a teacher just as we want you meeting the specific needs of your students. Thanks to all of our dedicated teachers for all of your efforts, especially the teacher leaders that put so much of their personal time into additional training and preparation of presentations to support their teaching peers. We are off to a wonderful beginning to the school year; I am confident we will see our efforts paid back in the academic, social, and emotional growth of our students.
Going for FIRST, help STLC out! The Give with Target voting is still going strong! Currently we are 5th in the city leaderboard; help us keep up that momentum! Go to http://givewith.target.com/school/18849 and vote for San Tan Learning Center! A new screen may open asking you to log in to a Facebook account as you do need a Facebook account to vote. You can also vote by searching “Give with Target” while logged into Facebook. You can vote once a week with each Facebook account; pass this on to your neighbors, friends and families as ANYONE can vote for our school!
9/25 Half Day Kid’s Camp Noon to 5:00pm Cost $50.00
Villari’s Family Center half day kids camp includes indoor play, arts and crafts, Creative Connections through the Martial Arts character development program, and learn through play discovery activities. Snack is included; lunch is also available for an additional charge. See the attached flyer: Half Day Camp Sign Gilbert
9/18 – Preschool Music Together Night @ 5:30
9/20 – Preschool through 8th grade Fall Pictures
9/24 – 40th Day of School
9/25 – K-8th Half Day Dismissal
9/25 – Frost Family Day
9/26 – Modified Lockdown Drill
Dr. Kristofer Sippel