Updates from the Principal
It is hard to believe the school year will soon come to an end! It has been an exciting academic year full of wonderful learning experiences. Our students have worked hard to achieve their goals and as a result, have many accomplishments to celebrate!
Each year, we set goals for our students at Tashua School. This year, we have focused on increasing our students’ writing skills. I am thrilled to announce that our students have shown significant growth from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year. Over the summer, at least one teacher from each grade level will receive professional development from the Teachers College Writing Institute. Next year, we will continue to work on strengthening our students’ overall writing abilities across all content areas.
In addition, we have continued this year to improve our Positive Behavior Interventions and Support System. Our students have responded well to the positive structures that have been put in place to help them excel socially and emotionally. As a result, student engagement has increased and overall academic performance has improved.
I know the summer months will be a welcome break from the structure and demands of the school year and it will give our students time to relax and to focus on non-academic endeavors. While it is important for them to enjoy the summer, they must also maintain the academic skills they honed during the school year. This can only be accomplished by consistent practice.
When children do not practice, they can regress significantly and it may take several months to recoup these academic losses. As a result, these students are less apt to make a year’s growth during a typical school year because the first few months of school are spent just catching up to where they were when they left school in June. For this reason, it will be important to make practice fun for them and you; there are a variety of activities and resources available for you to use.
Here are some suggestions:
Reading – The most important thing your children can do to maintain skills is to read daily during the summer months. Take them to the library weekly so they can exchange books. While you should monitor their choices, allow them to select their own books, as this will encourage them to read more. You can also set aside family reading time. This will enable your children to benefit from having adult role models. Parents who are readers are more apt to have children who are readers. And, don’t forget to have discussions about the books you are reading!
Math Fact Practice –Math fact understanding is essential for success in mathematics. Flashcards can be found at a variety of stores, including dollar stores. Additionally, there are many websites that provide math fact practice in a game format. Practicing facts a few times a week for 15–20 minutes can make a huge difference for children. When students are automatic with their facts, they do not have to rely on their fingers, freeing them to focus on the math problem at hand.
Summer Journaling –Encourage your children to keep a journal of their summer activities. Set aside time each day for writing. If you have relatives who live in other locales, have your children either write letters or email these relatives. Consistent writing practice during the summer helps to improve writing fluency.
Keyboarding – There are a variety of free websites where children can learn and practice keyboarding. This is an increasingly important skill in our world of technology. When they are proficient with their keyboarding skills, they can devote their energies to thinking about what they are writing not hunting for the correct letter keys!
Learn while Traveling -As you travel, roll out the map and converse with your children about your destination and the routes you will take as you travel there. From there your children can measure the number of miles you will travel using the map key for distance, estimate the amount of gas required for the trip, and estimate the cost of the gas for a round trip. Once you are on the road, your children can read the road signs along the way. Not only is this a great way to show practical use of reading, but is also a great way for your children to practice common sight words.
So, remember to make learning one of your children’s summer routines! Spending time each day reading, writing, and practicing math can help them start the new school year feeling confident and set the tone for a successful school year.
In closing, I would like to say thank you to our wonderful PTA and all parent volunteers that contributed to our school this year. We couldn’t do it without you!! Through your volunteering commitments and fundraising efforts, we will be able to begin to create a new learning commons in our computer lab and media center; enhancing our students’ academic experiences at Tashua.
Further, I would especially like to thank the PTA co-presidents Irene McGeachy and Jen Meza and the Fathers’ Club co-presidents, Rob Sanderson and Jason Oberhand for their leadership in running these organizations. They did a wonderful job rallying their groups who ran many wonderful events for our students and school community.
It has been another wonderful year at Tashua School. As the principal, I am very proud of all we were able to accomplish!
Questions, concerns, or positive feedback to share, feel free to contact me by emailing me at JNeumeye@trumbullps.org or by calling 203-452-4433.