December 11, 2016

Dear Leopard Families,

     We held our second School Advisory Board meeting this Saturday, Dec 10th in the conference room at ISG DMM.  Our first order of business was to review “Old Business”  These topics can be seen on the Principal’s Blog. A major item on the review list was the idea that our students must have their own device in grades 5-12 for the coming school year.  It would be great for them to get one yet this school year and we have published the minimum specs that all students should have again on the Blog.
     Another item was “After School Tutoring”.  In the high school, this is being taken care of by staff manning Academic Clubs after school. Several staff have volunteered to help with students seeking extra help and only have to see their counselors for sign up on certain days of the week.  In the MS, these clubs are being handled by the Junior Honor Society during recess for students seeking out this extra help.
     New business:   We discussed the idea of the SAB and its role.  A number of people mentioned that the school needed to do a better job of publishing the work and outreach of the Board.  A suggestion was to publish minutes using Skyward and the Blog together.  This will be adopted.  Another role of the Board is to actively seek input from the community at large.  An idea to set up and man a booth at the Carnival was floated and agreed upon.
     Homework:  This issue has been brought up mostly by grades 3 & 4 parents.  I explained the idea of the “No Homework Policy”.  It isn’t that there is no homework, but that the expectations that homework is to be corrected and graded in school should no longer be an expectation.  ALL STUDENTS still have 20-30 reading expectations and perhaps a short journaling process to complete.  Any work in all other subject areas are to be in the form of games, website visits, family “thinking problems” and the like.  Mrs. Wood, our “literacy specialist”, has volunteered to produce a calendar with monthly formats for you and your child to engage in good ways to build skills and learning together.
     School Wide Testing:  This idea was discussed in that parents felt that they needed more information regarding the testing administered at the school  The school will double check that all families are given access to the fall and spring testing results with the emphasis on “growth” to be the major factor of interest for our individual and grade level students’ results.
     Carnival:  February 9th is our school Carnival.  It is a wonderful celebration of our school, its students, staff and community.  If you are willing and able to help us get sponsorships, donate cool prizes to raffle, or work in any capacity, you are more than welcome to contact me @ 050688-2670 to volunteer.  We are looking at a show that is bigger and better than ever!
     New & Old Student Registration:  These dates are rapidly approaching us.  Shortly after the winter break, papers will be sent home asking for your intentions for the new year and also opening up our school to new families for possible seats at the school for 2017-18.  (JUST A NOTE THAT THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL NEXT FALL IS SEPTEMBER 10, 2017)
     Screenagers: The Movie:  We reviewed the movie and talked about the impact of screen time on students in a global sense. Also, I reported that we will be having another presentation after the winter break having to do with the impact of the internet on adolescents and how to be safe online.  We will let you know about this important event as soon as dates are nailed down.
     MakerSpace:  I attended the Bayan Gardens Maker Fair last week.  It was a good attempt at showing off the new reality of computational power merging with everyday life.  Our dream is to do much of the same and show off our students building, computing, and creating cool and sophisticated projects for everyone to enjoy.

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