I can’t believe how quickly this year is going by. We are ready for standardized testing and the teachers and students are working hard to show their knowledge. I hope you all enjoy your Spring Break!
We would love some donations of white 1” binders (25) to create writing binders for our teachers. We always need Xerox paper, binder paper, and colored Xerox paper, as well as Kleenex.
We have many changes in store for next year in kindergarten. We will continue our early bird late bird program next year, which means that only ½ of the class comes for 50 minutes of their day. This allows teachers to work with small groups and give personal attention to each child. One possible change is transitional kindergarten, as the enrollment date has changed to November 1st. Transitional Kindergarten would provide education for students whose birthday falls between November 2nd and December 1st, the previous cutoff date. However, a decision cannot be made on this program until we get more information from the state department. Another change that we have planned is that all of our classes will take place in the morning, allowing teachers to work more closely together, as well as organize schedules.
Placement for next year
With the uncertainty of the budget next year, it is unclear how many teachers we will have. Until we find out whether the governor’s budget plan is passed and whether the parcel tax passes, we will not know the exact configurations. Because of this uncertainty, it is unfeasible for parents to request teachers. However, if you have particular concern about your child and his or her needs next year, please come to the office in May to get a special needs form. I will personally read these and take the information into account when placing students into classrooms. Also, please return your intent to return form if you have not already done so. This information allows us to plan!
STAR Testing Dates (State testing)
As stated in the previous Bear Tracks, the weeks of April 16th and 23rd are our testing dates. All 2nd-5th grade students will be taking the California Standards Tests that cover English/Language Arts, and Math. Additionally, 5th graders take a Science test that covers both 4th and 5th grade concepts. Please remember that these tests occur over multiple days, so do not schedule morning appointments during those weeks. Also, be sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast!
Annual Parent Survey
Every year the School Site Council develops the Annual Parent Survey, using the information to monitor our overall educational program and guide school improvement. The results of the survey are very helpful, and hearing from EVERY family assures we get a balanced picture of our school. As a result of previous surveys, we have continued to concentrate on issues of safety, specifically at drop-off and pick-up and supported work to improve writing at all grade levels.
The site council reads each survey personally and takes the information very seriously. We would like to get at least 2/3 of families to respond. The survey will be available April 13th through your child’s class and will run for two weeks, due back no later than the 25th of April. This will give the site council time to look at the information at the April and May meetings and get back to families by the end of the year.We are looking forward to administering a separate survey to all Vine Hill students during the same timeframe during our computer lab time. We glean a great deal of information from the students, including how they are feeling both about their personal as well as academic successes.
PTA supports Vine Hill with Carnival, Carnival
In this newsletter there is a write up about our fantastic carnival. I want to give an official thank you to all of the people who participated in this year’s auction at the Top of the Ritt in Santa Cruz. What a wonderful evening we had together, in a beautiful venue and with lots of fun games! The fundraiser was a great success because of the amazing work of our PTA volunteers. They put in countless hours planning, soliciting and giving donations, creating baskets and other auction items, decorating, cleaning, building, cooking, calling, copying, and much more. We all know that without our PTA Vine Hill would not be what it is and they deserve the credit for making our school a wonderful place to be.
Junior Fire Marshall
Our March fire marshall was chosen from 21 students who answered questions on our last Bear Tracks. The lucky winner was Elizabeth Parker! February’s Jr Fire Marshall was Samantha Maykrantz.
Next month there is one more person planned. In March we will be having a special raffle, and then you too can sign up at the auction so your child can be a Junior Fire Marshall!
Many of our third graders read persuasive paragraphs to the school board in March. They were on the topic of the amount of physical education we have at school. They did a fantastic job of providing details and backing up their arguments, and we were so proud of them!
|Readers from Mrs. Sanguinetti’s class
| Readers from Mrs. Keane’s class
- Michelle Stewart / Vine Hill Elementary Principal
VINE HILL SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL
Have you ever wondered why you took that parent/student survey at the end of school year? Well, the School Site Council is excited to start implementing YOUR suggestions! Take a look below… and see what we are doing to improve satisfaction through out the school.
PARENT'S AND STUDENT'S SURVEY - WE HEAR YOU
Last year’s survey expressed some concern about the school budget and what was being done about it.
Well, the budget has not gotten any better; in fact projections are that it will get even worse. The District has now issued pink slips in order to balance the budget in anticipation of another $790,000 cut in its budget from Sacramento for the 2012/13 school year.
What we have been trying to do is the following:
- Increase volunteer contributions, but in this economy that has been difficult.
- Endorse the Save our Schools initiative to raise money for our school district -- more on this later.
- Encourage more donations to the Scotts Valley Educational Foundation which supports our school with funds for the library.
Volunteers and their contributions have been incredible and gracious – but unfortunately they are not enough… they have always been meant to augment school services, not replace them.
With this latest round of expected budget reductions, we need even more help – the help of the entire community that benefits from the great schools we have in Scotts Valley. Enter the Save our Schools (SOS) initiative. It is a tax on property of $48 per year for three years. What it does is:
- Help fund teachers in the classroom
- Help fund programs in math and sciences
- Help maintain reading and writing skills
- Minimize further increases in class size
And that is all the money can be used for! Not for buildings, administrative salaries, or non-classroom personnel. There is even a citizens committee authorized in Measure K to make sure the funds are used properly.
Please become informed. Our schools need your help and involvement!
For more information please go to the SOS website at www.sossv.org.
This last month our esteemed leader, Principal Michelle Stewart joined other principals whose schools are participating in the Cotsen Art of Teaching Program and visited two schools in Long Beach. She was very impressed with their Readers and Writers Workshop and CGI math programs. She returned with a lot of ideas and inspiration. The Cotsen Foundation also sponsored a professional development opportunity this last Tuesday open to our entire staff. We were treated to a presentation by Martha Kaufeldt and Gayle Gregory, they have just written a book: Think Big Start Small, the Brain Friendly Classroom. Martha and Gayle spoke about “Finding a Students Sweet Spot”, in other words ,using what we know about our students culture and strengths to design engaging curriculum for all learners. It was an informative and fun presentation.
Feel free to contact me or any of the *Cotsen Fellows for more information.
*Karen Abraham, Peggy Benjamin, Crystal Hintze, Anne Hober, Sonya Lantz, Chris Smith, Cathy Weist.
- Mary Dettle / Cotsen Mentor Teacher
GRADE LEVEL EXPERIENCE SECTION
Moving forward we will be highlighting a grade level. This is a great way to stay up to date on all the happenings for each grade level at Vine Hill. The teachers will be submitting the articles.
Ms. Hintze is excited about her writing program “Writers’ Workshop”. Every lesson begins with a mini lesson that teaches a strategy in the writing process. They use mentor texts to model those strategies. Everything they write is a true story about them. There is a mid lesson review, and at the end there is a share out. The children publish once a month.
NEWS FROM THE SCHOOL NURSE
This month’s topic is about lice. As you all know, SVUSD has a “no nit” policy, which means if your child has lice eggs, known as nits, then they will be sent home from school until treatment can be applied. They can return the next day.
There are some new treatments out there and you are welcome to explore what is best for your family with your pediatrician. The best treatments for head lice are those that are easy to use, inexpensive, as well as nontoxic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Standard treatments for head lice are available without prescription. First-line treatment should still be 1% permethrin lotion, which is available over the counter (RID or NIX) or pyrethrins when resistance to these products is not suspected. In cases where resistance is confirmed or treatment fails, prescription malathion 0.5% can be used in children 2 years of age or older. Benzyl alcohol 5% is another option. The most important step is to follow the directions and repeat the application in 7 to 10 days following the first treatment. Oral treatments are also now becoming available.
According to the guidance from both the American Academy of Pediatrics early infestations are easy to miss. If the school personnel tells you your child is lice free, then the incentive to check them at home may be removed. If a child with an undetected early infestation slips through the screening process, and his/her infestation becomes more established, as inevitably it will, it will only confirm fears that the lice are spreading. Therefore, even if your child has been cleared, It is a good idea check your child twice a month. We are lucky to have in our community Nitless Noggins, a non-toxic treatment, that many parents report having successfully used.
- Elizabeth Thorne BSc RN PHN CSN-CA(p) /
Scotts Valley USD
831.750.9829 / ethorne@scottsvalleyUSD.org
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