June 2014

 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

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!

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 writing time each day. 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!
  • Play with Water– Have your children use measuring cups at the beach, pool or in the backyard to practice their measuring skills. As they do, they will become familiar with various liquid measures and they will also have the opportunity to estimate volume.   Not only will your children learn more about measuring, but they will also keep themselves busy for long stretches of time. You may even be able to enjoy some beach reading while they play.
  • 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 of your children’s summer routines!  By 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 addition to celebrating our students’ successes, I would also like to celebrate the successes of our school community during this school year.  Here are just a few of our accomplishments:

  • We have more school sprit due to our new P.B.I.S initiatives! Thank you, School Climate Committee members!
  • Our Winter Olympics, Jump Rope for Heart and Juvenile Diabetes Walk were all successful events! Thank you, Ms. Gibson and Mrs. Flynn!
  • We had two wonderful concerts! Thank you, Mr. Cohen, Mr. McGrath, and Mr. Turechek!
  • We had an exciting visit from author Stehen Swineburne! Thank you, Ms. Cassidy and her committee as well as to the PTA for funding this endeavor!
  • Students at each grade level had (or will have) the opportunity to present their projects to their parents! Thank you, classroom teachers and Ms. Cassidy!

I would also like to thank our PTA and Fathers’ Club for their support throughout the year.  I would especially like to thank the PTA co-presidents, Michele Brunone and Jen Kegan 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!

 

Have a wonderful summer!

Mrs. Neumeyer

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