Newsletter 08/26/2015

Dear Awbrey Park Families,

Welcome to Awbrey Park. We are so fortunate to get to work with your children. Our staff is committed to providing the best educational experience possible. We strive to make the Awbrey Park community an enriching environment where your children will learn and grow. Our love of children, ongoing efforts to improve instruction, and cutting edge technology make Awbrey Park a special place. We are constantly trying to improve.

School Improvement

Working through our Site Council, we developed five goals that we will be working on for the next three years. The Site Council is comprised of parents and staff. We used parent and staff surveys, test scores and anecdotal records to determine our goals. Once we identified these goals, we worked with the entire staff to develop strategies on how to complete them.

  • Staff will use instructional strategies and initiatives to strengthen the core academic program and address the learning needs of all students.
  • The school will work with families and provide needed resources for supporting their children’s learning.
  • The school will actively promote a shared vision for equity, cultural competence, and high expectations.
  • Instructional teams will use a variety of data to assess strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum and instructional strategies and make necessary changes.
  • All instructional staff in the school will use sound classroom management practices that encourage student engagement and affect student learning.

In the coming month, we will share with you the strategies that we hope to complete these goals.

Staffing

I would like to welcome four new staff members to our building for the 2015-2016 school year:

  • Janet Rapoport – Educational Assistant in the Learning Center
  • Carisa Henninger – Kindergarten Teacher
  • Anna Bravo – 4th Grade Teacher
  • Vanessa Gallego – Educational Assistant

Also, Cathy Sullivan and Pam Reynolds will both be returning to teach 2nd Grade this year. Amy Anderson will be joining the Kindergarten team this year.

Our office is open each day from 8:00 am-4:00 pm. It is closed from 12:00-1:00 this week only. Once school starts, students are supervised starting at 8:00 in the cafeteria/gym. They will have the opportunity to eat breakfast. The classroom doors open at 8:15. School starts promptly at 8:25. School gets out at 2:40. We have Early Release each Wednesday when school gets out at 1:40. Early Release days provide important opportunities for staff collaboration.

Class Lists will be posted, as they have in the past, on the windows outside the office on September 4 at 4:00 p.m.

Back to School Open House

On Tuesday, September 8th, Open House will occur from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. This is an opportunity to meet with teachers, see friends, and visit classrooms. Parents can also pay the $25.00 Tech fee and school lunch fees, if needed.

First Day of School

The first day of school on September 9 is an important day for all students. We know that your children will be excited and perhaps a bit nervous. We want to do everything that we can to get them off to a great start. Please work with your child to set up a bedtime that will help them be successful a few days before school starts. We want them rested and ready to go. This is also an Early Release day. Students will get out at 1:40 pm.

Kindergarten

We are excited that we have full-day Kindergarten. Since all of our Kinders are new to us, we want to make sure we set up the best possible situation for success. The Kinders first day of school is the same as all students on September 9. Our Kinders will come into our Kindergarten classroom on the first day and will be randomly broken up into groups. All students will report to Room 1. Our Kindergarten teachers will get to know your child. We want to make sure we have classes that are balanced with the same number of students who are energetic or quiet, readers or non-readers, students who are used to classroom situations and those who are not as comfortable. We will work to set up the best combinations possible. We will assign a teacher to your children on September 14. Other schools have used this method and found it to be beneficial to get to know the children before placing them in a class.

Monday Mailer

This is an envelope that will go home each Monday with information from your child’s class, homework, upcoming events, etc. Please send this back to school with your child on each Friday.

Technology

At Awbrey Park Elementary, technology is used to support learning and to enhance instruction. It is a general policy that all technology is to be used in a responsible, ethical and legal manner.

Our students have access to more than 120 laptops, 225 iPads and iPod touches. Our 3-5 graders will be issued their own mini-iPad to do their reading instruction and independent work. K-2 will also be using mini iPads as well as laptops. Prior to device usage, students are required to review technology expectations including the treatment of the equipment and the proper usage of the mini iPads and laptops. All technology is used only for educational purposes. Each student will be expected to sign an Awbrey Park Technology Contract in order to use the technology available at our school. To keep up with ongoing maintenance of our computers, to replace our aging technology and to purchase school-wide subscriptions to multiple educational software programs, we require a $25.00 Technology Fee from each student. Kindergarten fees also go towards the purchase of classroom supplies.

PTO

Our PTO is a great organization that gives guidance to our school. The focus is to support the efforts of our staff and enhance the educational experience of our students. It is a positive and efficient group that really makes a difference at Awbrey Park. We meet once a month, usually the first Monday of the month. Our meeting time is usually one hour. The PTO works with the school to put on many great events and makes Awbrey Park a fun place to be.

Our next PTO meeting is Monday, September 14 at 6:00. All parents and guardians are welcome, please come and join the fun.

Hot Dogs and Hot Rods

This is a great event put on by the PTO on Thursday, September 17 from 5:30–7:30.  Hot Dogs and Hot Rods—what can be better than that.  This is a chance to build the Awbrey Park community.  Last year, we brought back an old tradition of having a Fire Truck, a Police car and Hot Rods.  If you know of anyone who has a Hot Rod, we would love for them to join us.  They just need to contact the school and show up. We will be giving out trophies for Kids Favorite and Adults Favorite Hot Rods.  We will also have a dunk tank.  I am sure that I will be one of the first in the dunk tank.  Kingston, our Bulldog mascot, will also be there, but I don’t think he will be going into the dunk tank.  It will be a blast!  Come join us as we build that great Awbrey Park spirit.

The Jog-A-Thon will be on Thursday, October 8.  This is another awesome event put on by the PTO.  It is one of our two major fundraising efforts for the year.  Thanks to you, last year we raised over $7,500 to pay for field trip transportation and scholarships.  Our goal this year is to continue to support field trip experiences for every student at Awbrey Park.  This activity also promotes healthy living.

School Pictures

School pictures will be taken on Tuesday, September 29. Order forms, with collection envelopes, will be distributed in late September by homeroom teachers. If you wish to purchase a picture packet, please have your student bring in their envelope with the desired packet checked off and funding at the start of picture day. Lifetouch does accept Visa or Master Card, cash, or checks made out to Lifetouch. You may also pay online. A link will be on the Awbrey Park website a week before picture day. If you do not wish to purchase pictures, please have your student dress appropriately as we will still take their photo for school records.

Calendar

To view all upcoming events and special schedules, please visit the Awbrey Park website and view the school calendar.

Meal Costs:

K-5 Hot Lunch is $2.90

Breakfast is $1.40

Please remember that all meal plans may be purchased through our school cafeteria or online. All checks must be made out to 4J Nutrition Services or paid in cash in the cafeteria. If you wish to pay online you may go to www.4j.lane.edu, select departments, select nutrition services, and then select the prices & payment link for the school meals online. Once on the payment page select the MealTime Online link. At that point you may just simply type in your student’s ID number and follow the online directions if you already have an account or click create a new profile if you need to set up a new account. If you are unsure of your students ID number you may type in 999999 and your student’s name and school. FYI: there is a service fee attached to online payments of 6%.

If your student(s) was a part of the free or reduced lunch program last year, you must complete a new form in order to have the same status this year. The Free and Reduced lunch forms will be mailed out in a packet with the district calendar to your homes if you qualified for Free or Reduced Meals last year. If you need a new form, we have them available in the office. You may also apply online on the 4J web site at www.4j.lane.edu/nutrition/freelunch/. Please remember that if you do not get this form completed at the start of the school year, your student(s) will return to full price status by October 13th. Please remember that the district has 10 days from the date of receiving your application to process it before the reduced status can apply.

SMART Readers

Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) is a wonderful program that helps Kinders and 1st Graders learn to love to read. We are looking for more SMART Readers to help make a difference at Awbrey Park. SMART readers volunteer 2 hours a day, one or two days a week. They undergo a background check and are trained to work with kids through the program. It is hugely rewarding and can really impact a child’s life. Please contact the office if you are interested. If you have any family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.), please let them know of this opportunity.

Transportation Information

You can go to the 4J website to find out about busing.

www.4j.lane.edu/transportation/

  1. Click “Find My Bus Stop”
  2. Enter your address

If you need busing to an address different than your home address, go to the website to make sure it is in our busing boundaries and fill out a form available in the office. For transportation questions, contact the Transportation Department at 541-790-7474.

After School Club

The After School program is an educationally enhancing extracurricular program that has been at Awbrey Park for 15 years. It is a fee-based program. They can be contacted at 541-554-2890 or at:

lori@theafterschoolclubeugene.com

http://theafterschoolclubeugene.com

They strive to provide fun, exciting, and creative before and after school activities that are developmentally appropriate for children K-5. Each week they schedule daily art, crafts, games, etc. They also include music appreciation, drama and cultural exploration. They include a daily 15-20 minutes of homework or reading time. The program starts immediately after school with a nutritious snack, and runs until 6:00 pm.

It also has the Early Morning program from 7:00-8:15 am. They provide relaxed quiet activities, a variety of craft projects, quiet play choices and a chance to finish homework. Breakfast is available through the school’s food service program.

It is an honor to work with your kids. The partnership of parents/staff/students is so important to us. Working together, I believe we will have a great year.

Best wishes,

Michael Riplinger
Principal
Awbrey Park Elementary School
Eugene, OR 97404
541-790-4050

 

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