It finally feels like fall!
The students have worked on assembling our new greenhouse this week. All students that wanted to participate worked in one hour shifts and I am extremely proud of the progress they have made. We are extremely fortunate Mr. John Calhoun (retired contractor) volunteered to oversee the project. He was able to teach students how to measure, plan, and follow written and verbal directions. The money for the greenhouse was donated by the Community Volunteers and we look forward to growing produce, spices, and peppers.
Next Wednesday is Count Day. Please make sure your child attend that day!!!
Students that are planning on going to college next year have to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and have it sent to the college he/she is planning on attending. Many colleges will not accept student applications until a FAFSA is submitted. Here is a worksheet that breaks down the information that will be collected. This worksheet is NOT the FAFSA. https://fafsa.ed.gov/fotw1819/pdf/fafsaws18c.pdf
The FAFSA website will be open October 1st: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
Progress were handed out to students today. Many of the students were involved with community service, art class, building the greenhouse, or cooking....so don't be too surprised if your child's report isn't as good as previous weeks. In addition, we had two unexpected half days which lessened the amount of work time.
Thank you to those who sent in extra food items! The cheese, bread, and mixes really came in handy this week.
Parent teacher conferences will be here before we know it. Please sign up on the conference sheet.
We will be offering a taco bar to all families during Thursday conferences. Please indicate how many members of your family will be attending. There is no cost for the meal. Food will be available, starting at 2:00pm.
Rundown for next week:
Monday: Art class
Tuesday: Sherman Lake
Wednesday: Cierra Patrick from Michigan Rehabilitation Services will be speaking at 12:30. Parents are welcome to attend. (Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) partners with individuals and employers to achieve quality employment outcomes and independence for individuals with disabilities.) Disabilities have many categories and most of our students will qualify for services if they have an account.
Friday: Gospel Mission community service
Something to plan ahead for: $ 10.00 for lunch at Ten Ten November (https://www.kazoostate.com/event/takemetotheriver/) Watch for updated information in the next few weeks. If your child does not have the funds for this trip, I will be glad to cover the cost.
A very busy week! We had picture day Monday, Sherman Lake Tuesday, Milton Lake Raptor Center Wednesday, Counseling and the art class visited the Kalamazoo Nature Center on Thursday, and today Officer Adam Kelm will be speaking at 1:00. In addition, students prepared two meals this week: spaghetti and sloppy joes.
Next week looks to be just as busy!
Monday: Art class
Tuesday: Sherman Lake
Wednesday: Early release at 12:50
Friday: Book/science buddies and Kim Sinclair (seamstress) will be teaching a basic skills sewing class for all students
Progress reports will be sent home today. Please ask your child to share his/hers with you.
Parent/teacher conferences will be October 19 & 20. I will send a link next Friday so that you can sign up. I participate in all conferences so having a signup will allow you to choose the day/time that works best for your schedule. If the day/times don't work for you, then let me know and I will be glad to work out something for you. For Thursday conferences, students will be preparing dinner so that those who come for conferences can stay for a meal. When you sign up, please indicate how many people from your family will be here.
During the week, students filled out notecards that started with the statement: "I wish my teacher knew......" For the most part, the students took it seriously (but there's always one wise-guy who tries to be funny) and I was moved by many of their answers. Parents, your kids feel deeply and you'd be surprised by the things they wrote. Just know that our staff will do our best to address their needs and be aware of issues in their lives. Don't be afraid to have a conversation about what is happening in your child's life.
These are items that we need in our kitchen. If you find that you have extras laying around your house, we would be glad to take them off your hands :)
Bread (for sandwiches)
Shredded cheddar cheese
On a final note....we've had NINE students pass classes (with one student passing two classes...good job, Winter). Encourage your child to keep working and to work outside of school to stay on track.
Have a great weekend!
If your child says something like...."Why are you telling me this?", I'd like you to know why he/she is saying that. Those words are our school's response when someone tells us something about someone else (gossip) or tries to draw us into conversations that we have no reason to be in. As a school, we are making a conscious effort to stop spreading rumors (or even facts that are hurtful) and to make our building a better place.
As a parent myself, I have felt the pain of my children when someone has said something hurtful about them. I know the power of words. But at the same time, my daughters (and their mother) have said things about others as well. Please join our effort to curb our tongues and encourage your child to be kind and use kind words.
Our kids are on their phones 24/7 but we as parents have the right and responsibility to control the amount of time our children should be on their phones. Our kids are letting their phone control them instead of our kids controlling their phones. Our kids need to be reminded that they don't always have to respond to messages they receive...they can block or delete those people who are making their lives difficult. The negativity has got to go!
I'm done with my rant now :)
Picture day is Monday. Forms were sent home to all students. Even if you don't want pictures, students will still need to be here as the pictures will be used on their school id's. We do not have a retake day.
If your child has signed up to visit the Sherman Lake YMCA on Tuesday's then he/she will need the proper attire (such as tennis shoes, loose clothing). If you cannot afford to purchase needed items, let me know and we will make sure that he/she has what is needed.
You are invited to join us on Wednesday as we welcome speakers (and birds) from the Lake Milton Raptor Education Center at 12:30. Family members are welcome to attend this special program with us. More information can be found at: http://www.raptorcenter.org/aboutus.asp
Officer Adam Kelm will be at Gateway, Friday at 1:00 to meet and speak with students. Parents are invited to attend.
Remember to reinforce to your child that phones are only to be used to listen to music during non-lecture times. Students have had phones taken away this week when caught texting, watching videos, or playing games. If the teachers and I continue to have issues, then phones will need to be placed in a box in each classroom. I do not wish to do this....it's a pain for all of us!!! Unfortunately, parents and employers are contacting the students during the day which makes it even harder to keep track of what the kids are doing. I don't want the kids to be without their phones but they need to know when it is appropriate to use them.
Progress reports were given to all students today. Mrs. Wilga explained how to read the data. If you have questions, please contact her at: 548-3426 or email@example.com Just keep in mind that the reports will fluctuate weekly, depending on how busy we are with community service, activities or speakers. In addition, the data is determined by how much work is completed...not that it is passed. So if a student completed a section but has to redo it because sections were failed, the data will only reflect the completed amount, even though they may have to redo multiple times to be able to go on to the next section. I know...you understood better before I tried to explain it :)
It's amazing that this time last week, we were concerned about hurricane Irma. I hope your families made it through safely. My parents lost power for three day but my grandma (who live one mile away from my parents) didn't lose power, internet, or her cable tv. So glad that it's over.
Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Don't be insane this weekend!!
We have successfully completed the first four days of school!! There have been a few glitches....like no phones, slow internet, missing lunches....you know...the basic first week of school issues. I anticipate things running smoothly next week (knock on wood).
Today, seven students and Mrs. Stage went to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission to help those in need. This is the first time community service event with many more to follow. We will keep the website updated with pictures.
Here's a quick look at some of the events going on this month:
Monday, September 11, students will visit the SPCA in Kalamazoo (to help with the animals).
September 12, a trainer from the Sherman Lake YMCA go over equipment safety and procedures before we start our weekly visits the following week.
We will also continue counseling with Dennis LeClear on Thursday's.
Friday, September 15 students will be headed to the Richland Area Community Center (to teach technology to senior citizens).
Smile pretty on September 18 for picture day!!
September 19th will be our first visit to Sherman Lake YMCA. We have transportation for nine students. Priority is given to those who need PE credit. Students who drive to school may drive there and then go home. Students who normally ride together on a regular basis may carpool ( a note from each parent/guardian is required). There is no fee for this activity. We are grateful for the individual donors and organizations who make our weekly visits possible. This activity is a privilege that can be taken away if warranted.
September 20, we will have speakers (and birds) from the Lake Milton Raptor Education Center at 12:30. Family members are welcome to attend this special program with us. More information can be found at: http://www.raptorcenter.org/aboutus.asp
Officer Adams will be over on the 22nd for a meet and greet with the students. Parents are welcome to join us.
On September 25, we will start art class with Mary Whalen from Education for the Arts. She will be here on Monday mornings for 10 weeks. The class will cap at 15 students and students can only miss one class during the 10 weeks. If a student misses more than one class, he/she will be dropped as there are group projects/activities and attendance is a requirement of taking the class.
Early release at 12:50 on the 27th.
September 29th will find students hanging out with their book/science buddies in the 3rd and 5th grades at the Ryan Intermediate. Students will read, be read to, and work on science projects. This is a great event if you like kids :)
Progress reports are being tabulated and our goal is to have them ready next Friday to be sent home.
I hope you all have a great, uneventful weekend. My parents and grandma live in Florida and I know that many of the students have loved ones that live there, too. We will keep our fingers crossed and pray for safety of all those we hold dear.
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