Letter to ES Parents SY2010-11

July 30, 2010

Dear ISM Elementary School Parents,

Welcome to the start of the 2010/2011 school year!  We are excited about the continuation of your child’s learning journey.  We look forward to challenging and motivating your children to reach their greatest potential in a safe and caring learning environment.

We trust your children are excited about seeing their friends again and forming new friendships, while at the same time looking forward to meeting their new teachers.

Michael Rourke, our Assistant Principal, and myself (Simon Gillespie, Elementary Principal) are looking forward to meeting you over the course of the school year.  We will see you on the playground at the start of each day, and around the school.  We are also available by email or to meet in person if the need arises.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new faculty to ISM.  We are welcoming back NayNay Montilla teaching Grade One.  Moving to Elementary School from Middle School is Jennifer Juteau who will be our Grade One Program Leader.  New to our ISM Elementary School are: Jennifer Etherton as a Learning Support Teacher; Nadia Hartley as our Art Program Leader; Annie Markovich as our Grade Four Program Leader; Travis O’Neel teaching Grade Three and Lee Allison teaching Grade One ESL.

Our overall goal in the Elementary School is to meet the individual learning needs of each of our students.  We guide our students to take an active role in their own learning, as they build upon what they know and understand.  We want our students to communicate, question, inquire, to be independent, to be risk takers, to be creative thinkers, and to be caring, responsible people.  You will have the chance to meet with our faculty and learn more about our program at our Back to School Nights on August 24 for Preschool, ECLC, and Grade One; and August 25 for Grades 2, 3 and 4, starting at 5:00 p.m. in the Little Theater.

Below is some information to assist you with the start of the school year:

Communication with Parents
We believe that positive communication between the school and home is essential to the education of our students.  Constructive relationships built on trust are vital in making our students feel safe and secure in their learning environment.  Partnerships between teachers, parents and students support the development of skills and knowledge, as well as how children feel about their learning.  Our faculty all make themselves available to meet in person, and via email.  In some instances it is necessary to make an appointment to ensure there is adequate time to talk properly.

Last year we began using WordPress blogs as a way to communicate with you about the learning taking place in your child’s classroom.  There is an overall elementary school blog (http://es.ism-online.org) where you can find links to your grade level blog, along with each individual teacher’s blog.  There are also blogs set up for each of the specialist subject areas.  Blogs are updated a minimum of four times per month.  Your child’s classroom teacher will inform you more about their class blog by email and at Back to School Night.  At the beginning of each month, the overall grade level blog will be updated with new posts.  We will continue to send out an ES Parent Bulletin every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month.  An email with the link to this newsletter will be sent to you by your classroom teacher.  The newsletter will be posted on both our website and the ES blog main page.

Counseling Services
At this time, I regret to inform you that Dr. Sook-Young Lee will not be returning to ISM this school year due to personal reasons.  Mr. Derek Selander will be continuing in his role as our ES Guidance Counselor and will be working with families throughout the Elementary School.

First Day of School for Grades 1 – 4
The first day of school for students in Grade 1 through 4 will be Thursday, August 5, 2010.  Parents are invited to take their children directly to the classroom beginning at 7:15 a.m.  Students must bring their SECTION CARDS and submit them to the classroom teacher.

There will be a brief opportunity to meet your child’s classroom teacher before the day begins.  If you are unsure of the name of the teacher or the room number, you can contact the ES Office.  Faculty will also be available on the playground and in the corridors to assist students and parents as they locate their new classrooms.

On all other days, school begins at 7:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. on Wednesdays).  Please ensure that your child arrives at school before 7:25 a.m. (8:25 a.m. on Wednesdays) in time for the beginning of the school day.  Classroom teachers will explain the morning procedures to the children on the first day.

Please note that playground supervision is provided from 7:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. on Wednesdays).

Please refer to the Staggered Start for Preschool, ECLC – SY 2010-2011.

Daily Dismissal
The school day will finish at the following times:11:15 a.m. for Preschool (3/4 year old) students
12:00 p.m. for Preschool (4/5 year old) students
2:15 p.m. for students in ECLC to Grade 4

School Supplies
All resources for students and school supplies will be issued by the classroom teacher for distribution to students on the first day of school.  There is no need for students to go to the textbook or supply center.

Students are requested to bring a hat for outdoor play and Physical Education classes, along with a water bottle.

We look forward to a great year ahead and to welcoming everyone back next Thursday morning!

Yours in Education,

Simon Gillespie                                         Michael Rourke
Elementary School Principal                    Elementary School Assistant Principal
gillespies@ismanila.org
rourkem@ismanila.org

Elementary Teachers are Blogging

All elementary teachers will be using blogs to replace the class newsletter that would normally go home on the 3rd Friday of every month.  These teacher blogs will provide a “window” into your child’s classroom.  Blogging is a new skill for many teachers so we ask that you please be patient as our teachers develop this new skill.  You can expect 4 posts within a month.  You can access all elementary teacher blogs by going tohttp://es.ism-online.org or by typing the teacher’s last name and first initial followed by ism-online.org. (ex. smithj.ism-online.org)

Please know that your child’s safety is at the forefront of our minds.  For this reason, we only use students’ first names and if images are used, names will not be matched to the image.  You will be able to interact with the class by adding comments to the posts.  When commenting, please do not use students’ names. Teachers moderate all comments to make sure the content is appropriate and safe.  It is also important to know that reminders, field trip information, and time sensitive information will continue to be emailed out to you.  This type of information will not be posted on the blog.

We hope that you will view these blogs frequently.  To do this, you will want to set up an RSS feed.  I recommend watching the online video “RSS in Plain English”.  (You can Google that title).  It will provide a brief explanation on RSS feeds.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Jen Smith
ES IT Coordinator
smithj@ismanila.org
http://smithj.ism-online.org

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