An exciting day for Arena Union Elementary School! Our school is being honored under California’s new Gold Ribbon Schools Awards Program. Arena is the only elementary school in Mendocino County to receive this honor.
“These schools shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st century college and careers,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a news release.
California schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies.
Welcome to the 2015/2016 school year at AUES! A very special welcome is extended to our newest students and family members. Family members, please join us for a School Site Council meeting, a District English Language Advisory Council meeting (DELAC), and/or a Native American Educational Advisory Council meeting (NAEAC). Attending the meetings is a great way to meet people, and will help you to feel more connected with your child’s schooling. The meetings offer you a way to provide input about what goes on around school. The meeting information is located in the Beacon Calendar.
Here are a few reminders and updates:
Safety Reminder: The turn-around area (car-rider pick-up and drop-off zone) on Main Street in front of the Multi Purpose Room is a yellow No Parking Zone. It is for loading and unloading of students, only. Please do not park near the yellow curb; students need a safe way to load and unload from vehicles and if cars park there it presents a safety issue for students. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Facebook fan? If you use Facebook, we created a school Facebook page. The page is called “Arena Union Elementary School.” On the Facebook page you will find lunch and breakfast menus, pictures of school events, and notes from around the school. We hope you join us on Facebook!
Cell Phone Use: Cell phones are to remain in pockets, or in a pre-designated classroom area- they are not to be used during class. Please remind your children that they must always get permission before taking a friend’s picture or a video at recess.
State Assessment: Last spring, our students took the Smarter Balanced Assessment, part of the new CAASPP assessment system. Cindy Cione, a parent here at Arena, sent us an article that does a terrific job of explaining the CAASPP and what you may expect when you receive the results of the assessment. Here are some excerpts from the article, Smarter Balanced Assessments, A Comprehensive Plan for Student Success, from California Schools Magazine, by Kathy Caric, Summer, 2015.
The new statewide assessment system, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), is one element of the statewide comprehensive plan. The primary purpose of this statewide testing program is to promote high-quality teaching and learning in order to improve outcomes for all students. Students across California have participated in the first administration of CAASPP this spring. The Smarter Balanced English language arts/ literacy and mathematics tests are part of CAASPP, and results from those assessments will soon be available to districts. Since this is the first year that results from the tests will be provided, the information will establish a baseline for the progress students are expected to make. Based on the 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test in California and several other states, many students will need to make significant progress to meet the standards set for ELA and mathematics that represent college and career readiness. As students have more experience with the new curriculum and assessments over the next few years, they will likely demonstrate increased 21st century skills and knowledge on statewide assessments.
Social-emotional Impact of Results
Due to the increased rigor of the content standards and the Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics assessments, students may find that the Individual Student Report they receive indicates that they are not achieving at standard for their grade levels. For many students, this may be discouraging and could have a negative impact on their self-image, attitude and engagement in the learning process.
What can educators and parents do to prevent or mitigate the potential negative impact of Smarter Balanced assessment results on students? What are the key messages that need to be communicated to students about the Smarter Balanced individual student results?
Key Messages for Sharing Individual Student Results
The overarching message on the Smarter Balanced summative assessments is that student success as learners is not defined by test results. Educators and parents should stress that statewide assessment information is just one source of data that can be used to determine academic progress and improve classroom teaching and learning….
If educators and parents express and model the belief that the Smarter Balanced summative results are just one of multiple measures to be used to monitor student learning progress, students will be more likely to put the test results in proper perspective. If the adults in the system make the statewide test results a “big deal,” students will react to them as a “big deal.”
The message should be that learning is a continuous process and students improve by checking their understanding frequently and then making adjustments. This will help students put the results of the Smarter Balanced assessments in proper perspective and reassure the students that their success as learners is not determined by statewide assessments alone (pp. 1-2).
School wide Behavior Policy Updates: As a staff, we recently updated our School Rules and Expectations and the Behavior Communication Referral Process. Please see the attached revisions on the next few pages and review them with your child.
We are excited to have new opportunities for our students this year, including Student Council, Newspaper, Spanish, and Coding! Please be patient as we adjust these courses and opportunities and make them just right for our school. As always, please call the school office with questions, concerns, or to volunteer; our number is 707.882.2131.
Kathy Crossman, Principal