March 2014


tashuaschoollogo Dear Parents/Guardians: I know I speak for most of us when I say, “It is time for spring!”  It is has been such a pleasure to hear the birds chirping in the morning and it will be with great joy that we “spring” our clocks ahead one hour this weekend. As we move into spring, our daily schedules often become filled with after school sports and activities.  During this time, it will be important to maintain a consistent nightly routine of completing homework, practicing math facts and reading daily. During the month of March, we will be focusing on the “E” for empathy in our TIGERS acronym.  During our Closing Ceremony for Olympics/JRFH Kickoff Assembly, we will be showing the students acts of empathy and discussing how our actions make others feel. Below are some suggestions for you to use at home when supporting us to help your child to identify and exhibit acts of empathy.

  1. Address your child’s own needs, and teach him/her how to “bounce back” from distress.
  2. Treat your child as an individual with a mind of his/her own, and talk to him/her about the ways that our feelings influence our behavior.
  3. Use everyday opportunities to model—and induce—empathetic feelings for other people. By modeling empathic behavior and pointing out situations that call for empathy—parents can generate empathetic responses in their children.
  4. Help kids discover what they have in common with other people. Children are more likely to feel empathy for individuals who are familiar and/or similar to them.
  5. Help children explore other’s roles and perspectives. Empathy involves perspective-taking. What is the world like when experienced from another person’s point of view? Stories—from books or television—are opportunities for kids to practice perspective-taking skills. What do the characters think, believe, want, or feel? And how do we know it?          Source: Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

This month, we will begin to administer the Smarter Balanced Field Test to students in grades 3, 4, 5.   The SBAC Field Test will expose students to Common Core Mathematics and English/ Language Arts questions and problems. Although testing is scheduled over a three-week window for each grade level, each student will be administered a computer-based assessment on only four mornings. In addition, our students in grade 5 will be taking the CMT Science test on March 18, 2014. Please see our SBAC testing schedule below:

Grade 5

Grade 4

Grade 3

Math 1 Computer    Mar. 19 Math 1 Computer    Apr. 7 Math 1 Computer    May 5
In class Math           Mar. 21 In class Math           Apr. 21 In class Math           May 12
Math II Computer    Mar. 24 Math II Computer    Apr. 22 Math II Computer    May 13
ELA I Computer      Mar. 26 ELA I Computer      Apr. 24 ELA I Computer      May 15
In class ELA            Mar. 31 In class ELA            Apr. 28 In class ELA            May 19
ELA II Computer       Apr. 1 ELA II Computer     Apr. 29 ELA II Computer       May 20

This field test is an opportunity to “test the test”.  Information from the field test will be used to evaluate the testing software, ensure the quality of test questions, and evaluate the effectiveness the testing administration and training materials. This is a very exciting opportunity for our school.  Students will be able to try out new, online testing software and innovative question types which will be very similar on future Smarter Balanced assessments.  By participating in the field test, your child will be influencing the development of future Smarter Balances assessments used in our schools. We hope that students will not be absent during the testing period, except for illness, and that they will strive to do their very best. Here are some ways you can help us from home:

  • Make sure your child arrives to school on time.  If he or she is late, your child will not be able to enter the classroom until testing is done for the day.  A make-up test will be given at another time by one of the specialists so your child will miss classroom instruction.
  • Make sure your child has a nutritious breakfast. Even toast and a piece of fruit will provide the body and brain energy. 
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep.  Most children need at least 10 hours of sleep each night.  Children cannot do their best work when they are tired.
  • Let your child know that you expect him or her to try their very best.

Some children can become so worried about taking a test that they cannot demonstrate what they know.  Telling your child not to worry just will not work. Instead, share these tips:

  • Tell your child to remember past tests where he or she did well and remind your child that he or she can do well again!
  • Reassure your child. Let your child know that all you expect is his or her best effort.

If you would like to learn more about the Smarter Balanced assessments, you can log onto:   Congratulations   The following students were recognized for “Earning Tiger Stripes” at our most recent assembly: Michael Antipas, Jared Canepari, Jared Cappello, Alexander Faccio, Rohit Gunda, Natalie Hall, Julia Hull, Sara Kocinsky, Dylan Lamy, Lexie Magi, Taylor McGeachy, Peter Messerschmitt, Peter Monks, Sofia Paolella, Lyla Petitti, Delaney Roth, Fiona Thompson, Nicholas Ulmer, Madeline Wilkins,  and Tej  Yalamanchili. These students were recognized for exhibiting positive character traits.  Sophia Paolella won the raffle drawing to wear the kid-sized tiger mascot costume at our next assembly. Thank you I would like to thank Ms. Kinn, Ms. Kenler, and the entire Student Council for organizing the Bedtime Story assembly and fundraiser. Over $625.00 was raised to purchase books for the library media center! The Student Council also collected gently used books during “Drop Everything and Read Week.”  These books will again be given to Read-To-Grow CT.   Through this wonderful program, the books will be distributed to children and families through pediatric primary care centers, childcare centers, schools and other programs serving communities who are in need. Safety Drills   Please note that if you are visiting our school when we have a safety drill, it is expected that you participate in the drill.  Last week we had a lock-down drill during our lunch shift.  I am happy to report that our school was in complete lock-down in less than a minute and the entire drill was completed in less than 8 minutes.  Our students, staff and visitors all did a phenomenal job! Kindergarten Registration   Kindergarten registration will begin this month. If your child was born on January 1, 2010 or prior, and you will be enrolling your child in kindergarten for the 2014 – 2015 school year, please contact Cindy Beres in our office.  Registration is by appointment only!