New School Year and a New Theme

Sep 11th, 2015

Theme for the year

The new school year is off to a busy and energetic start!  We begin with a new theme for the year – “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Our focus is on how we treat one another as we create our community together. Each morning, we begin in prayer, share the Gospel of the day, reflecting on the readings as we consider how we live this theme each day. Classes take turns leading us in our Hail Mary and our pledge of allegiance. Together, we begin by asking God to guide us in all we do.

As staff and parents, we want to model this for our children, too. We look for ways to consider others and treat them as we wish to be treated. What we do is a stronger lesson than what we say, so we work hard to live our theme each day as well.

IB Learner Profiles

This year, the first steps of our implementation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program involves Learner Profiles. These are “character traits” that we want to model and develop in each of us. We will be focusing on one new Learner Profile each week. You will see them posted in classrooms and throughout the school. By using this common language and helping students develop these traits, we will reinforce our theme, too.

Parents and other are asked to use the learner profiles words, encouraging students and pointing out when they act out one of the traits. All staff will be sharing the profiles, noticing when students or staff live out these actions. Look for more information on the Learner Profiles and IB implementation in the coming weeks.

Communication

We believe communication is one of the most important elements of a strong partnership with parents to help each child be successful. We are working hard to find better ways to communicate and also streamline our communication to families. A few things to note:

Emails – we will be limiting the number of “eblasts” to parents. Most information will be communicated through our Weekender with links to the website. We will be working this year to put more of our school information on the website so parents have one stop for all school information.  If you have information to share, please submit this to the school office by Wednesday each week for addition to the Weekender.

Facebook – information that is short and frequent will be sent through our school Facebook page.  Be sure to check this during the week for updates, school activities, photos and other short announcements.

Website – Our communication committee will be focused on the website as our main communication tool. The Parent tab in the upper right hand corner of the school page will provide you many of the details regarding your child’s school needs. Currently, we are working on adding classroom and teacher information to the site.

Cornerstone – The Cornerstone site will provide parents updates on grades and other academic information. Please check this site to keep up to date on your student’s progress.  The Cornerstone system has also been used to send out emails to parents. We have had issues in the last few weeks with some families not receiving emails or other families receiving multiple emails from school. Please accept our apologies for any email issues. We are working on correcting this problem as soon as possible.

We continue to work on improved communication and welcome your input. Thanks for your support and partnership in our efforts!

Student Assessments

During the year, we will be sharing information on our student assessments, including standardized testing that provides student data to support our teaching and learning.  Next week, students in grades 5-8 will begin OLSAT testing. The OLSAT test is an ability test that provides benchmark data to assist teachers in individual student learning and goals. No studying or preparation is needed, just a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast.

We feel like we are off to a good start! Please contact me if you have any questions.

Jennifer Cassidy
Annunciation School Principal
jcassidy@annunciationmsp.org