Graves Elementary School
Creating. Discovering. Challenging.
- Graves ES
- Graves Gaceta
November 2nd, 2022
Posted by Graves Elementary on 11/1/2022
NOVEMBER 1, 2022
Welcome to our Graves parent communication newsletter that will be issued three times a year. The next issue will be published in February and the last issue will be published at the end of the school year. This will not be a repeat of the SchoolMessenger information you receive, but the purpose of this correspondence is to provide you with how our school is focusing on topics that assist us with improving our school environment academically, behaviorally, and social and emotionally.
Academic Corner – Graves Administration
Ms. Ball, Principal, Mr. Burke, Dr. Chapman, and Ms. Henderson, Assistant Principals
Each of our focus topics can interfere with student achievement in a positive or negative way. It is imperative that our school partners with you to address concerns that you may have and/or concerns that have been brought to your attention. In doing so, ongoing interactive communication is the key to creating a plan to assist our students to become successful contributors in our society by knowing how to read, write, compute, and communicate effectively. We ask for your support with having your students read nightly for 15 or 20 minutes in their home language or English, practice basic addition, subtraction, and/or multiplication facts depending on the grade level, and have the students respond to their reading by answering questions about what they have read and responding by writing this information in complete sentences. In Kindergarten, this response could begin with a drawing with the students being able to explain what was asked. These basic things can have a huge impact on improving the confidence of student learning and it begins with our student attending schools regularly.
Ms. Stallings (K, 2nd, and 4th) and Mr. Mazumder (1st, 3rd, and 5th)
Graves Elementary School Attendance Information/Overview
Consistent and daily attendance play a crucial role in students social/emotional and academic success. Students who come to school regularly are shown to have higher academic scores in math and reading as well as higher test scores. Attendance also impacts students’ social skills and ability to collaborate and work in group settings. Chronic absenteeism has been linked to higher high school dropout rates and lower financial attainment compared to students who attend school regularly and miss an average of five days or less a school year. At the elementary level, parent collaboration plays a large role in student attendance. In late middle and high school levels, it becomes student habits, routines, and motivation for coming to school and missing school.
Here are the facts! Students attend 180 days of school a year. That is less than half the year. Tardy, coming to school late, can also impact student achievement. Tardiness at a quick glance and thought might not seem like an issue but chronic tardiness can significantly impact student learning and routine/habit building. Arriving late to school 10 minutes a day can equal to missing 50 minutes a day each week, nearly 1 ½ weeks a year, and nearly ½ a year of school from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Missing 1 hour each day can mean missing a day of school a week, 8 weeks per year (nearly half a semester) a year and missing 2 ½ years of learning from Kindergarten to 12th grade. With breaks available for students every month, we ask parents to please plan accordingly when planning doctor’s/dentist appointments. Let us all work together in making sure our younger generation attends school every day during the school year!
Attendance Interventions/Things Being Implemented at GES
- Classroom wide attendance is encouraged through class parties and rewards. When a class spells out M U S T A N G S, they can earn a class reward such as pizza party, extra recess, cookie party, etc. by the school counselors. The only way to earn a letter is when the whole class comes to class in that given day.
- Classroom lessons are also provided to students at the beginning of the school year teaching the students the importance of attendance.
- Unexcused absence letters are accurately and promptly delivered to students or mailed to parents, so parents are aware of any unexcused absences. It is highly encouraged for parents to adhere to these letters and communicate (verbal or written through a letter or Class Dojo) with teachers or counselors to excuse any unexcused absences.
- Parent meetings are held to discuss the importance of attendance and collaborating with parents to meet student and parent needs to increase student attendance.
- Small group student attendance check-ins are where students who have missed a certain number of days will be invited to sign-in on a daily basis. If students are present for a week, they can earn a prize or reward of their choosing. If students are present for the whole month without missing a day of school, they can earn a greater prize/reward. Parents can also earn gift cards monthly for their child’s perfect attendance if this intervention is being used to increase student attendance.
- Counselors collaborate with the Parent Center to discuss the importance of attendance with parents during events such as Chat and Chew or Parent Center Information Sessions.
- Counselors also provide teacher professional development and guidance on attendance protocols and procedures, so teachers are better prepared to monitor and encourage consistent attendance.
Should you have questions about the attendance protocols, please reach out to your child’s grade level counselor.
PBIS Behavior Corner
Ms. Valentine, PBIS Coach
Social Emotional Learning Corner
Dr. Whyte Russell, SEL Leader
Students participate in an SEL activity each morning at the start of the school day from 8:45-9:00 A.M. This is a way to address some of the concerns a student may have, or this is a way for teachers to introduce skills such as conflict resolution, problem-solving, and collaboration. Below is a graphic of what the competencies include for SEL.
Ms. Baker, MTSS Coordinator (Multi-Tiered System of Support)
Students in grades K-5 were screened in August. Over 600 students needed an additional screening due to them falling below the 25th percentile for learning in Language Arts.
The turnout for our Saturday School Program was low for our students to receive academic support. Now that parent-teacher conferences are over, information about the upcoming after school intervention program, with transportation, will be shared in the upcoming weeks.
Based on student feedback about our programs, we were encouraged to include enrichment programs this year. We are proud to announce that 30 students were invited to participate in our pilot program where learning is language arts and math activities are extended to enhance the learning of these students.
Parent Communication: Negative interactions are never the answer to getting issues resolved. Should you have an issue or concern that cannot be resolved by your child’s classroom teacher, feel free to contact the school and ask to speak with or email the Grade Level Administrator who will be happy to assist you once the details are shared. When there are inquiries that you’d like to discuss with the principal, the same process can be followed. There is also a form that can be completed in the front office should contact need to be made when an administrator is not available. In addition, our Parent Center personnel is available to assist you if you are uncertain about who you need to speak with. Lastly, you are encouraged to participated in the Town Hall meetings scheduled which is an open forum and it does not have a prescribed agenda to ask questions that you are wondering about. A virtual meeting will take place on Friday, November 4th, from 10:00-11:00 A.M.
School Safety: We take the safety of our students seriously from the time they arrive at school until they return to you safely. This safety also includes dropping students off early and leaving them outside alone before 7:45, not parking in a parking space in the parking lot and allowing students to walk across the bus lanes by themselves. The car rider lane is open from 7:45-8:08 each morning for student drop-off. Should you come to the front of the school to drop off your student, please park in a space and walk your student across the bus lanes. In addition, there are continuous drills that we participate in to ensure everyone knows what to do should we have an emergency. We will have a practice Lockdown Drill on Monday, November 7th at 9:30 A.M. During this drill, no one will be allowed to enter the school until the drill is over.
Parent Center Corner
Mr. Timaran (Parent Instructional Coordinator) and Ms. Reavis (Parent Outreach Liaison)
Arrival: 7:45-8:15 A.M.
School Begins: 8:15-2:45 P.M.
Check-Out Ends: 2:15 P.M.