I hope you are all enjoying our transition into Spring. The weather has been crazy and definitely kept us on our toes, but I am so proud of our students adapting to our schedule changes and coming in each day ready to learn.
Volunteer Applications: We have a new online volunteer application system. Our new system provides new and valuable information for our volunteers and will assist us all in providing a safe environment for students, staff and community members. Anyone interested in volunteering must register and complete an application in the new system. Please register at: bethelvolunteers.hrmplus.net. Thank you for your continued support!
Centennial Drama Performance: Our amazing students, under the direction of Ms. Olson, are preparing for their upcoming rendition of the musical Tut,Tut! Performances are schedule for April 27th and 28th at the Bethel High School Auditorium beginning at 7:00pm. Donations are encouraged at the door.
SBA Testing: A reminder that end of the year SBA assessments in grades 3-5 begin May 2nd. Teachers will communicate individual grade level testing dates/schedules to families as the testing window approaches. Students will be tested in ELA and Math in grades 3-5 and Science in grade 5. It is important that students arrive to school on time, well rested and ready to show what they know. Thank you for your continued support in helping Centennial Elementary maintain its high level of academic excellence.
Looping K-1: I would like to take the opportunity to communicate that Centennial has embraced looping as a portion of our classroom design in grades K-1 beginning the 2017-2018 school year (this will impact next years kinder students). Looping is an educational practice in which a single class of students remain with their teacher for two years. The students and the teacher remain together as the class is promoted. At the end of the second year in the rotation, the students move on to a new group of teachers while the looping teacher returns to the lower grade level to receive a new group of students.
The benefits of looping include reduced apprehension at starting a new school year, increased continuity, and more in-depth relationships with teacher and peers. For teachers, the benefits of looping include a deeper familiarity with developmental stages of their students, and an opportunity to work with students and parents for longer periods of time. You can hear more about looping at Kindergarten Round-Up – May 18th at 6:00 pm.
Subject Specialization Model: For the past two years, Centennial Elementary has successfully embraced the subject specialization model within our classroom design for grades 3-5. “Specializing” is an educational practice in which teachers are responsible for teaching 1-2 subject areas rather than the traditional teacher “generalist” who is responsible for teaching all of the subject areas. In this model, students rotate daily between all of their grade level teachers who provide instruction on specified content. Students still have a homeroom teacher, where they have added time built into the day for classroom meetings, etc.
The benefits of teacher specialization include personalized attention from multiple teachers, rather than just one. Specialization allows our teachers to focus their attention on a narrower range of content, which lends itself to a deeper level of instruction. Schools who have implemented this model have seen an increase in student achievement school wide.
Based on the strong results we have seen as a school, next year, we are moving forward with the plan to include second grade in our subject specialization model. Your student will have two teachers who specialize in targeted content. Each student will rotate between two teachers during specified instructional blocks. Students will continue to have specialist time as they have had in the past (PE, Library, Music, Art).
As mentioned earlier, students will all have a homeroom teacher for morning meetings and other class bonding opportunities. As always, we value input and invite your questions, thoughts and concerns. We believe this to be the best model for our students at this time and are excited about their continued growth academically and socially.
The staff at Centennial would like to continue to emphasize ways for parents to partner with the school and support students this year:
I want to be clear that educating our students is a partnership with the school and home. I would e encourage parents to take the opportunities to get involved and share this journey with us.
Feel free to contact the Centennial office staff or myself if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for being part of the Centennial family; here is to a great end to the school year!
Chris Brauer and the Centennial Elementary Staff