February 14, 2019
Dear Increase Miller Families,
We hope you are all enjoying the sunshine on Valentine’s Day. It is certainly a day to celebrate our family and friends both in school and at home. For our first graders, it was an extra special day as they celebrated the 100th day of school. This tradition for our first grade students is always a fun celebration as our students enjoy engaging hands-on learning activities. This year the theme was outer space and the children excitedly traveled to different stations and classrooms to play games, solve puzzles, count items, and build new words and ideas! Thank you to all the teachers and parent volunteers for making this a memorable experience for our first graders.
Most recently, we enjoyed many performances. Our fourth and fifth grade students who participate in our school’s instrumental program performed last week and this week for the school and for their families. The IM Band, Chorus, and Strings students, led by Mrs. Walsh and Mrs. Kirshenbaum, demonstrated their new learning and hard work. We look forward to their continued growth and talent at the spring concerts. Singer and songwriter, Jonathan Sprout, also visited our second graders and performed many of his popular songs about American Heroes. Thank you to our PTO for supporting this program.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
This year, our Character Education Committee, Compact Team, and overall school community has worked together to create opportunities and programs to support social emotional learning (SEL). Self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship building, and decision-making skills are among the core competencies, and on a daily basis, we seize opportunities to teach and support our students’ development in these areas. Our monthly themes, such as empathy and identifying our emotions are explicitly defined for students and integrated in our academic program. We are also fortunate to have enrichment programs to build awareness and understanding. In January, SEPTO along with the PTO helped plan for guest speaker, Geri Mariano, who spoke to our third graders about her disability and personal challenges. She inspired our students to think positively, take risks, and show compassion toward others. Our fifth graders also benefitted from a Youth Ambassador presentation from the Tourette Association of America. High school students from Westchester County shared information about Tourette and Tic Disorders and how living with Tourette affects their daily lives. Our fifth graders listened attentively and engaged in an activity to help build understanding and acceptance. We look forward to future programs such as Branch Out of Anxiety led by Northern Westchester Hospital. In March, our fourth grade students will have a chance to learn how stress effects them and strategies they can use to cope and relax when anxious. We continue to value these programs along with other school-based instruction that teaches these important life skills.
Response to Intervention (RtI)
As per our Response to Intervention District Plan, as mandated by New York State, winter benchmarks were administered and completed for students in grades K-5 during the month of January. The benchmarks, or screenings, are administered as a whole group and individually, depending on the grade and subject area. This is an opportunity to analyze and celebrate student growth. If your child qualifies for services, exits services, or increases services based on the criteria outlined across the district, you should have received a parent communication. Additionally, if your child has been receiving services, he/she will receive a progress report summarizing your child’s progress and future goals.
Friday, February 15 Schools Closed/Professional Development for Staff
February 18 & 19 School Closed for Winter Recess
Month of March Pick A Reading Partner (PARP)
Thursday, March 2nd PARP Assembly – JJHS students perform books for our K-5 students
Wednesday, March 6 Principal’s Coffee/PTO meeting Topic: Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Friday, March 8th Elementary Progress Reports on the Parent Portal
April 2nd – April 4th NY State ELA Assessments in Grades 3, 4, and 5
Friday, April 12 Student Day Reinstated/School in Session
April 15 – April 19 Spring Recess
Monday, April 22 Student Day Reinstated/School in Session
Wednesday, April 24 Grade 5 Parent Orientation at JJMS @ 7:00 p.m.
May 1 – May 3 NY State Math Assessments in Grades 3, 4, and 5
Wednesday, May 8 PTO Meeting: Budget Presentation
May 14 & May 15 Grade 5 Play Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Enjoy the winter recess, and we look forward to seeing you in the near future.
Kerry Ford & Andy Galotti