Principal's Newsletter

Welcome to Mr. Panozzo's newsletter. If you would like to receive this newsletter in your email each week, please subscribe by clicking the orange bell below. Thank you.

Week Ending 1-11-19

Happy New Year to all of our Shabonee families and friends! We look forward to seeing you tonight at the PTA sponsored Family Night. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences  

Parent-teacher conferences will take place on February 6, 7, and 8. The PT Conference Maker sign-up system will open for Shabonee on January 18 and letters will be emailed with details about how to sign-up for a conference with your child’s teachers. As always, please contact your child’s teachers or the school office if you have any questions or concerns. Conferences are 15 minutes so that parents can meet with both teachers together. We’ve found this structure works best with our partner teaching model. Parent-teacher conferences are just one of the opportunities to talk about mid-year progress and parents are welcome and encouraged to reach out to their child’s teacher(s) at any time during the school year. It’s truly through our collaborative efforts that our students achieve success.

We keep SWIM’ing!   

On Friday, January 18, our students will rotate through a series of three quick 20-minute lessons designed to re-teach and reinforce expected school behaviors as identified by our PBIS systems. Our internal PBIS Universal Team meets at least twice each month to review trends in behavior and create activities that support the whole school to benefit student learning. The activities are based on the continuous collection and evaluation of school data and will promote our SWIM themes of respect, kindness, and responsibility. The activities on this day will be fun and interactive as we review with children how to engage in appropriate play during recess while including others, me versus we thinking, and expected lunchroom behavior. These activities help us sustain our positive school culture and climate in a fun and interactive manner.

Homework and Requests during Student Absences

Requesting homework for absence due to illness: Parents/Students have the option of requesting homework during an absence due to illness if the parent perceives this to be in the best interest of their child, and if the request is made to the classroom teacher(s) before the start of the school day. It’s important to request homework as early in the day as possible so that the teachers can plan accordingly. Please understand that it may not be possible to get homework when requests come later in the day or due to other circumstances that require the teacher’s attention during the school day. Teachers will certainly make every effort to gather work when they can.

Homework is often intended to reinforce concepts taught at school. Now that academics are well underway for the school year, we want to ensure that our students have developed healthy routines for completing homework. Every child is different and there's no single approach that works for everyone. Some children benefit from taking a break after school before starting homework while others find it helpful to start immediately. Children at the third through fifth grade level are only developing and learning good study habits for the first time and often need adult guidance and support to be successful. This is more prevalent at fifth grade where studying is introduced in preparation for tests and quizzes, and where content moves beyond memorization of information and facts. Study skills are new for the children, especially as the process moves from memorization to application, and we anticipate the students will need both support and encouragement as they learn and develop habits that will remain with them throughout their education.

If you find that your child is frequently becoming frustrated, or taking too long to complete homework, please discuss this with his/her teacher at any time during the year. If your child is struggling on a specific part of an assignment, simply write a note or send an email to the teacher and let her know that the assignment was especially challenging. Working collaboratively with teachers will help ensure that our students are developing the knowledge and skills to achieve success with homework. Checking Canvas or your child’s assignment notebook to monitor homework are resources to help keep families informed about these assignments.

Several suggestions and strategies for developing healthy homework habits are included below:

  • Children can get overwhelmed easily, so help them break up the work into manageable segments on days where there may be more homework than usual. Long-term assignments are more common in fifth grade. Teachers at this level help their students understand how to manage these assignments. Parental help at home is valuable in the process as the children develop these skills for the first time.
  • Establish a routine that works for your family and your child for completing homework.
  • Use a timer with homework completion to help your child with time management skills.
  • Take a short break between school and homework or between subjects.
  • Work in a quiet location free of distractions.
  • Start with the easiest homework first to help your child feel successful and then tackle difficult subjects. However, avoid leaving the difficult subjects to complete too late in the evening.
  • Be a cheerleader for your child. Positive reinforcement and encouragement go a long way.
  • Communicate with your teachers if homework becomes frustrating.

Morning Arrival for Extra-Curricular Activities

Activities before school begin no earlier than 8:00. Students may not arrive before 7:50 because staff are not present and the office needs time to open. If you arrive prior to 7:50, please wait in the car outside until this time. We cannot ensure student safety and accountability for children that are dropped off outside of our established drop off time. We fully understand this can be difficult for working parents and appreciate your cooperation to coordinate with family and friends and work out alternate arrangements on days when children participate in early morning activities. This will be especially important during the winter months when inclement weather occurs and parents need more time to travel.

After school Clubs and Activities (3:15 - 4:05)

Similar to morning activities, supervision is not available after extra-curricular activities. Please ensure that children are picked up promptly at 4:05 when the clubs and activities are dismissed. We expect that children who are signed up for an activity will attend. Send a note to school if your child is not attending a planned after school activity so that the club sponsor/supervisor is informed that the child will not be in attendance that day.