News and Notes from Principal Goetz

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Principal Tammy Goetz

April 18, 2014

Dear Seward Families:

This month your student will be taking his/her MCA math test. Check our website and the teacher’s newsletter for specific dates and times. Make-up reading and math tests will continue to be given until the test window closes on May 16th.

The Seward Student Council is hosting a food drive. Please send non-perishable items with your child or drop them off at our school.

The plans for our building renovation and addition are proceeding nicely. We expect the architects to present the plans to our learning community and neighbors in May.

Room Assignments for the 2014–2015 School Year

At this time of year, the staff begins thinking about student placements for next year. This involves the examination of each individual child and making decisions about where s/he might work best based on social, emotional and academic criteria. It is important to note that often we have to separate certain children because they may not work well with a particular student/or they may need to flourish on their own resulting in the need to be separated from a friend. This process is extremely thought provoking and time consuming because teachers want to “get it right” and make sure that all classrooms are balanced and all students are in an environment in which they can flourish.

In order to make this process equitable for all children, we ask that family members not ask a teacher to place their children in a particular room for the next year. The aforementioned criteria results in teachers needing flexibility to place students to ensure the rooms are balanced and every student has an opportunity to excel. In addition, Seward teachers use criteria established by parents and staff to balance our classrooms. If you want a copy of our Classroom Balancing Policy, please let me know. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated as it takes staff out of any awkward position. Thank you!

2014–15 Budget Synopses

What you asked for via the staff survey: more English Language Learner (ELL) support, support for Response to Intervention (RTI), more Associate Educators (AE), and more reading support. What parents asked for: talent development support/plan, Our School Improvement Plan, and 3–5 year plan are based on need to improve math and reading scores for our students.

  • no cuts
  • more ELL going from 3.8 to 4.6 teachers and adding a 20 hour Bilingual Program Aide
  • keep Chris Allman, our reading interventionist
  • monies set aside for Leveled Literacy Intervention reading kit for Kelly and Chris
  • add .5 math interventionist plus Teacher on Special Assignment who would support RTI, Professional Learning Cohorts, Verlene and me and possibly solve our issues with a kindergarten specialist/prep and talent development
  • fund our Somali Parent Coordinator (this money came from the superintendent this year)
  • additional 20 hour AE
  • about $6,000 more in supply monies as recommended by Linda Fish
  • increased AE/Daniel’s hours by 4

This spring we have a lot to look forward to, mark your calendars for the events listed in the upcoming events section below.

I look forward to seeing you this spring.

Sincerely,

Tammy Goetz
Seward Principal