Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Holiday Season Begins at Barnard

There continues to be much going on at Barnard School.  October is NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) testing month and students in grades 3-8 participated in reading and math assessments while grades 5 and 8 were also tested in writing.  Across all grades the students put in an excellent and thorough effort to "show what they know" and I am confident that our school will continue to fare well as a result of the hard work of dedicated students, their supportive families, and devoted teachers and other staff.  Hats off to the faculty and students for flexibility and creativity in developing and following the schedule and make-ups.  We tried something a little different and completed the testing in 8 consecutive days.  We also had shortened classes so that each day we could get the whole schedule in.  We will be meeting as a staff but preliminary feedback is that it was a good plan. Also a big "shout-out" to our wonderful students and teachers in grades K-2 for being quiet as a mouse during testing so their friends in upper grades could do their best work!
October was “Heroes Month” and students in all grades worked on performance-based writing assignments related to our Quality Performance Assessment team project.   The QPA team, consisting of Carol Dugan, Sara Casassa, Nicole Ryan and I participated in a 2-day symposium this summer involving  K-8 teams from all over the state.  The goal of the project is to develop and share these performance-based projects and the appropriate assessments to produce a higher level of student participation in the learning process. We have meetings with the statewide cohort scheduled for Nov. 8 Mar. 5 and April 4.  Drew Szeliga will be joining the team for those meetings.
More is on the way as I write this with our annual Costume Parade on Halloween Oct. 31, and a District-Wide In-service on the  November 8 Early Release.  This important day will allow our staff to collaborate with teachers from Hampton, Seabrook, North Hampton, and Hampton Falls.  Parent Conferences are scheduled for Wednesday December 4 and we will continue with a format to allow parents to schedule 10-minute meetings with one or all of their child’s teachers.  
Our PTA is planning to bring the community together for a Fall Festival on November 17 from 11-1 at the Town Hall.  The festival will feature soup and chili cook-offs, a silent auction and other fun. They will be sponsoring many other events as the year progresses, the most notable of which ifs the “Trash-Can Lid Production” anti-bullying “Sticks and Stones”  program Dec.16-20 featuring out own Mr. Frank (Skip) Brunette.

From Mrs. Sheckells:
“For three Saturdays, students have been enjoying sewing classes offered by Mrs. K and Mrs. Sheckells. Their theme is sewing cats and dogs and the class has been working on making cat beds and toys for the animal shelter. Many students brought their own machines as feathers, catnip and felt was transformed into "mice" and " birds". Next they will learn how to read and cut a pattern as they create pillow cases and pajamas for themselves.”
That’s another snapshot of our goings on here at Barnard.  As of this reading we have completed 46 days of the school year according to Mrs. Pruett’s 2nd graders.  Thanksgiving will bring student and family events with grades K-1 and my 5-6 graders studying and celebrating the Pilgrims.  Soon enough we hope to begin the PTA ski program as long as the snow comes!

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