Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Principal Johndrow's Message

Thank you for entrusting your children to us this past year. With the arrival of the end of the school year, it is so heartwarming to see how much progress our children have made. Whether it is to be more socially responsible, kinder to others or feeling good because they can now read, write or solve that algebraic problem everyone has grown in some area. How lucky we are to live in a country where everyone has the opportunity to attend school.

To the Dad’s, Mom’s, Uncle, Aunts, Brothers and Sisters and all others who serve in the military or some other service to our country, thank you.

On Thursday evening, May 20, I presented the final copies of the Math Summer Packets and Language Arts Summer Packets to the Board of Education. The Science Packet is in its final stages. The board members devoured the packets. They complimented and were visibly impressed with look of the packets. They recognized the appropriateness of the requirements aligned to each grade and the enormous commitment that teachers at every grade level made to provide summer activities which will keep our students at their current level of learning.

Much of the success and how students view the packets will be contingent on parental support. Each family can decide how best to approach the packets. We have some guidelines that you may choose to use. In the Math Packets you will notice that the week number is at the top the page. (summer is 10 weeks long). A few problems done every week and you will easily complete the work. If you are going to be on vacation you can do a b it more of the work the week before, or a bit more the week after. It is not a bad idea to carry a book with for that rainy day or long drive. A few rainy days and a large part of any math packet or writing requirement can be completed. Every student may approach the completion of any packet at his or her own pace. I hope that parents do a periodic check to make sure that the work is being done.

This completion of the summer packets is required. The work will be handed in on the first day of school. Every grade has planned rewards and ways to acknowledge the great work that our students will do. Students, you will love what is planned.

Have a wonderful and safe summer!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Principal Johndrow's Message

Happy Spring! Happy Memorial Day!

Spring is a busy time of year for students both in school and out of school. I ask all of you to keep school as the primary focus in your children’s lives. Homework still needs to be completed and bedtimes and routines, now more than ever, need to be maintained. There is still a lot of active learning occurring in our classrooms.

Some students are beginning to look forward to moving into a new grade next year; while for others just thinking about the change can be stressful. Listen to what your child is saying and give them an outlet to talk about how they feel. For some the classroom and the teacher are sources of comfort and any change may be hard to contemplate.

New for summer!

This summer we will be rolling out the first ever Math and Language Arts Summer Packets. These materials were created by teachers over the course of the year and will allow students through a minimum of review and practice to maintain their current academic level. Students will bring the packets home on the last day of school and will be required to return them completed on their return to school in the fall. The work in the Math Packets is CMT practice and review of basic math skills. The language arts packets have suggested readings with assignments practicing basic skills.. All of the materials in the packets have been assessed in terms of amount of time to complete.

The Summer Packets are one way in which we support the Ashford Board of Education’s Goals which is “promoting instructional practices rooted in individual skills, talents needs and performance”. Your support in encouraging your children to complete the packets is very important.

HIghlights from the Art Room

By K. Dockendorff

All the art classes have been working over this last marking period on their clay projects. Can you imagine over 500 clay projects in various stages of making, drying, glazing, firing and painting?

The kindergarteners made wall pockets and roses using pinch technique and textures, then painted with watercolors. The 1st graders made classic pinch pots that they glazed and are now using for their cereal, ice cream, juice or M & M's. They also made simulated medals like the winter Olympians, using textures from their shoes and special metallic paint.

The 2nd graders sculpted wonderful birds of all kinds, some for votive candles, all with bright bold coloring. What a beautiful flock!

The 3rd graders finished a very challenging project creating a Native American storyteller, paying homage to the family tradition of passing on history through storytelling. This included many techniques of pinch, slab, coil, and score and slip. They followed up by writing a story using Native American picture symbols.

The 4th graders had fun integrating their unit studying the Iditarod with their clay project of designing their own part of a class totem pole. Each student researched totem poles, studied the meaning of the animal spirit as well as the color meaning for their clay piece. They learned that Totem poles come from the Northwest coast, not the mid- west states. The students used the Internet for research, viewed a PowerPoint about the history and meaning of totem poles, and used slab, pinch, relief design, and carving for the clay portion of their work.

The 5th grades just finished delightful gargoyle sculptures.

One exciting note on pottery, Mrs. Dockendorff just had 2 of her pottery pieces accepted into a juried art show sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism. A juried show is one where you apply by sending an artist statement along with photographs of your work then they are judged and accepted or rejected based on merit. This show will be open from June 11 into August sometime. The title of the show is Change, Artwork of people with Disabilities. Mrs. Dockendorff's work will include a Raku fired bowl and a traditionally fired tall lidded vase. I hope some of you will visit the Department of Culture and Tourism gallery in Hartford to see the amazing abilities of the disabled artists.

Babysitters Training Course

Wednesday June 16th 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Students ages 11 to 15 are welcome
Cost: $50 per student

Look for registration to go home in your child’s backpack

First Camp

June 21st through June 25th 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
This camp is for children entering and exiting First Grade.
Cost: $40 includes a camp T-shirt

Third Camp

June 28th through July 2nd 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
This camp is for children entering and exiting Third Grade.
Cost: $40 includes a camp T-shirt
Children in both camps will play games, make crafts, explore nature and have fun with friends!
Camp registration forms will be sent home with your child in May.

Care 4 Kids

Care 4 Kids helps low to moderate-income families in Connecticut pay for childcare costs including some summer day camp programs. A family of 4 for instance making up to $73, 281 is eligible to apply for assistance. If you would like assistance applying for Care 4 Kids or have questions about eligibility please call Ashford Social Services at 487-4417 on Mondays or Tuesdays.