A Message from the Principal - August 1st, 2016
Well, everyone, today officially marks the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, so I thought this would be a great time to look back briefly on the 2015-16 school year as well as preview what is in store for 2016-17. First off, our district-wide student information system is changing over from Aeries to PowerSchool. PowerSchool has more functionality, including the ability to share out grade information, so we will no longer be utilizing Jupiter Ed. Grade access information will be made available when school begins.
Academically, we continue to make great strides with our instructional models and our ongoing transition to Common Core Standards. In 2014-15, we took the new national SBAC test to measure the academic progress of our students. Spanning 3rd-5th grades, 61% of our student were advanced/proficient in both math and English-language arts; for the sake of comparison, the district average was 39% in math and 48% in ELA. Our scores were comparable to schools in neighboring districts as well. Preliminary results for the 16-17 SBAC project an increase over last year’s scores! We are very proud of the work of our students and staff, especially considering the newness of our adopted Common Core Envisions math curriculum. These hard-earned scores took our Great Schools rank all the way from a 7 to a 9 last year— a score we expect to maintain or improve upon for 16-17! This past year, we had district grade-level “Action Teams” working hard on new ELA curriculum to guarantee greater depth of knowledge in all language arts areas. In science, we have slowly begun making the changeover to the new Next Generation Science Standards as well, and we’ll continue with the conversion into the 2016-17 school year. As a staff we have begun to work on a more comprehensive and data-driven “Response to Intervention” model which will help us be better able to intervene and meet the needs of our struggling learners; it also will allow us to offer more enrichments and challenge for our higher-achieving students. As part of this RTI process, we have added a school-wide intervention block from 11:00-11:40 which will enable us to better pool our resources in order to support our kids in the best way possible. This is an exciting first step that we hope will bear even more fruit in the years to come as we get better at identifying learning gaps, progress monitoring our kids, and providing the most effective first instruction, intervention, and enrichment possible!
Those most to be thanked for the academic growth of our students is our incredible staff. We are sorry to be losing Mrs. Lambert and Mrs. Bass to retirement; Mrs. Willis will be moving up to share her amazing special ed. talents at TBMS; Mr. Toy will be taking his vast science knowledge to the LHS farm/science program; Julie Perry will be moving up to teach kindergarten at Foskett Ranch; Mrs. Aday will be going to teach music at her children’s school; and Mrs. Garbett will be taking a job as a district curricular coach. We are very proud of our TBES alumni and we know they will be amazing in their new endeavors! With departures comes change, and while that can be scary, it is also exciting and allows for an influx of fresh energy and ideas. Some of our remaining teachers have snatched the opportunity to change grade-levels which does not come along very often. We have also been very fortunate to fill our openings with some incredible new teachers whom I know you will all really come to love. Below is the list of teachers by grade-level and specialty area. Our new teachers are in bold:
- TK - Mrs. Cederholm; AM Kindergarten - Mrs. Berkley & Mrs. Wall; PM Kindergarten - Mrs. Foote & Mrs. Muskat
- 1st Grade - Mrs. Gutierrez, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Snodgrass, and Mrs. Williamson.
- 2nd Grade - Mrs. Davies, Ms. Emmerling, Mrs. Graves, and Mrs. Morris
- 3rd Grade - Mrs. Andrews, Mrs. Evangelisti, Mrs. Sanchez/Mrs. Snook, and Mrs. Villa
- 4th Grade - Mrs. Conway, Mrs. Scarbrough, Mr. Swanson,
- 4/5 Combo - Ms. Mandel; 5th Grade - Mrs. Baker, Mr. Gammelgard, and Mr. Souto
- Science - Mrs. Walters (5 days) and Mrs. Patterson (1 day)
- Music - Mrs. Gale (4 days) and Mrs. Harp (2 days)
- RSP - Mrs. Gill; TK-2nd ILS - Mrs. Vickner; 3rd-5th ILS - Mr. Murphy
Jeanine Troxel, our secretary, has also retired. Coming over from Carlin C. Coppin to take her place is Cindy Hood.
As mentioned in an earlier message to our 4th grade parents, we have decided not to continue with the subject area specific rotations in 5th grade. While we did see some advantages and growth in some areas, in the end we found that it was too difficult logistically to properly fit a secondary instructional model into an elementary framework, and, developmentally, many students just were not quite ready. Having the year to specialize in specific academic subjects did allow our 5th grade teachers to really become proficient in their content areas. They will be able to share these skills, insights, and best practices in collaboration with each other which will make for even better overall instruction for all of our 5th grade students. We are also looking forward to another week of outdoor education at Shady Creek for our 5th graders in early spring this year!
From a behavioral and school-climate perspective, we are very proud of our California Gold Ribbon School PBIS program and the positive impact it is having on our students. Our kids are very familiar with what it means to “ROAR” all over campus and in the community, and substitute teachers frequently comment on how nice our kids are and how much they enjoy working here! PBIS has allowed us to better address behavior concerns as they arise and positively support students in making better behavioral choices. Our attendance rate has also risen from 96.74% to 97.29% - a 0.55% increase which is significant! That simply means that students are enjoying being at school and are making every effort to be here which greatly impacts overall academic success! We also began implementing a “Stop, Talk, & Walk” program to help give our kids tools for when they feel they are being teased or picked on. We hope to continue building upon those foundational skills during the coming school year!
At TBES we have always taken great pride in nurturing a sense of greater good in our students, and our kids continue to shine in that regard. With the help, guidance, and leadership of our staff and K-Kids & Tiger Crew programs, as well as community support, our kids brought in $2,400 for students in the Middletown School District who were impacted by the Valley Fire; we raised enough money to feed 20 local families during Thanksgiving; we were also able to donate generously to the Lincoln Host Lions Club annual canned food drive; and we once again raised over $4,000 in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Pennies 4 Patients” fundraiser earning us “Champions of Change” status and area recognition for a third consecutive year. In addition, Mrs. Aday and Mrs. Gale also led our students in another powerful Veteran’s Day assembly and our 4th graders took part in our yearly “Touch of Understanding” training which gave them a greater understanding of, and compassion for, those with disabilities.
And finally, our new PTC did a fabulous job of taking the reins and building upon the amazing work of our past PTC groups. With your support, we had the most people ever come out to our annual Harvest Festival, and our “Fun Run” raised more money than it ever has before. Our Mother–Daughter Painting Night, Daddy-Daughter Dance, Starstruck Performance, Bingo Night, and Open House were also very well attended! And, moms out there, we’re already working on a better plan for a Mother-Son event in 16-17! What is most exciting is to just see the joy and happiness that is evident in staff, students, and families alike whenever our community comes together for an event. We live in a truly special place, and we look forward to your continued support of our school and TBES PTC in all they do. Without their help, the hard work of our other volunteers, and your generosity, our school would not be the special place that it is.
It is an honor and privilege to serve as your Principal. Here’s to a great 2016 school year! Warmest Regards, Rey Cubias Go Tigers!