Friday, March 24, 2017

Newsletter, March 24, 2017

Principal’s Message

Dear Friends and Families of Los Ranchos,
As many of you know, California has been making changes in our accountability system. In the past we use ‘API’, which was a number that ranked schools with a very narrow focus.  Our state leaders in education have been working to reform this system to include more indicators  including Language Arts, Math, English Language Learners, school climate and more. Please check out the Data Dashboard on this California website  for more information. You may also enjoy the Video explanation.  The Data Dashboard website was launched this month. We will keep you posted as it develops and changes.

We are having our last  Parent Coffee on April 7 in the library from 8:30 - 9:15. Our school counselor, Mary Kay Stratton, will be sharing strategies for students to recognize and refuse bullying behaviors. In addition, she will help parents understand the difference between bullying and conflicts or impulsive "mean" reactions.  We hope you can join us.

Have a lovely weekend.
Sincerely,
Marlie Schmidt  
Help Still Needed
  • We are excited to have Tim Choal as our afternoon Crossing Guard. We appreciate his support! We are still looking for someone to greet our students and keep them safe in the morning at the crosswalk. In addition, we are looking for a parent, or community member, who would like to join our Noon Supervisor Team at lunch. This position is one hour a day, from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. We are looking for  five days a week, but we welcome anyone who is interested in 2 to 5 days a week.   It is a great way to become involved in our school community and support a happy and positive lunch/recess time.

Upcoming Dates
  • PTA Meeting, Tuesday, April 4h at 12:15 p.m.
  • Parent coffee with Mrs. Stratton, School Counselor, Friday, April 7th at 8:30 a.m., Los Ranchos Library
  • Spring Break - April 17th - 21st, Students return Monday, April 24th
  • Celebration of Science and Innovation, April 27th
  • Variety Show - Friday, April 28th

Thank you SLO Provisions

We'd like to thank SLO Provisions for their generosity! Thanks to all the families who went yesterday, they're donating $500 to Los Ranchos! Please try to visit them as the food was delicious and the service was even better!
California Dashboard
March 2017
Dear Parent/Guardian:

California is field testing a new website designed to help communities across the state access important information about K–12 districts and schools. Called the California School Dashboard (http://www.caschooldashboard.org/), the site features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates. The Dashboard is part of California's new school accountability system based on 2013's Local Control Funding Formula. It is the next step in a series of major shifts in public education that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and placed the focus on equity for all students.

To learn more about California's accountability and continuous improvement efforts, visit the CDE Dashboard Web page (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/).

Why a new system and new tool?
The Dashboard is a key part of California's commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. California's future success depends on tapping into the potential of all students, so they graduate ready for college, careers and life. For schools to reach this goal, teachers, parents and the community need clear and useful measures of progress. As an accountability tool, the Dashboard will help the state identify schools (including charter schools) and districts needing targeted assistance.

What’s different?
In the past, accountability systems for districts and schools relied solely on test scores. But one test taken on one particular day doesn't provide a complete picture of all the ways schools are helping students succeed.

Think of it this way: You can’t drive a car by only watching the speedometer. You also keep your eye on the road, check the mirrors, monitor the gas tank and pay attention if the engine light comes on. Similarly, the Dashboard provides information on different aspects of student performance, which will give a more complete picture of a school’s progress. The Dashboard also reports on growth to show a school’s trajectory over time.

What’s next?
The Dashboard is deliberately designed to be a work in progress: Metrics and reports will be added over time. During the field testing phase, the state will be gathering feedback to make additional modifications.

The exciting changes taking place in education will take time to fully implement. While schools are making progress in many key areas there is always more work to do. The Dashboard is part of an ongoing conversation with our community on both how we're doing and how we can do better. Meeting goals will take a united effort, and I look forward to working with our families to ensure success for every student.

Sincerely,
Amy Signature
Amy Shields

Director, Elementary Learning and Achievement

Friday, March 17, 2017

Newsletter, March 17, 2017



Principal’s Message


Dear Friends and Families of Los Ranchos,

We have had some amazing after school learning opportunities over the last few weeks. I want to thank our local Amazon office for providing a Coding Club to our second and third graders  and now our 4th - 6th graders!  


Science Club has also been a huge success. Science Club has been organized and presented by some dedicated and talented young scientists from Cal Poly. We deeply appreciate their time, energy and enthusiasm! The Science Club for 4th - 6th graders is wrapping up today.


Chess is now available on Mondays at lunch thanks to first grade parent Ruslan Arbit.  First through sixth graders are invited to play chess in the multipurpose room with their school mates. There was great interest and enthusiasm on our first day. It is great to see students teaching students. It would be great to have more parents get involved.  Come join us if you can.


State testing is coming for our 3rd - 6th graders. We will begin the testing after spring break. Your child’s teacher will be sharing more details as we get closer. Please take a minute to learn more with the information below.
Have a lovely weekend.

Sincerely,
Marlie Schmidt  

CAASPP System Assessments 2016–17:  Grades 3 - 8

Dear Parent/Guardian:

California’s academic standards—the things we want students to know and be able to do—are designed so students graduate ready for college and a career. One way we measure their progress is through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments. Students across California in grades 3–8 and high school take these assessments each spring. These tests were created specifically to gauge each student’s performance in English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science.  These tests measure the skills called for by the academic standards, including the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems. Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, as designated in their individualized education program (IEP), are eligible to take alternate assessments (CAA).

Because CAASPP tests are given statewide, they provide an opportunity to measure the skills of all students against the same academic standards. Given online, the tests are computer-adaptive, allowing more precise measurement of individual skills.

This year, your child will take the following tests:

·         Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and mathematics OR
·         CAA for ELA and mathematics

Students in Grades 5 and 8 will also take the following pilot assessment for Science:

·         The California Science Test (CAST) OR
·         CAA for Science
Smarter Balanced Assessments

The Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics tests reflect California’s rigorous academic standards and allow students to demonstrate analytical writing and critical thinking skills as well as their knowledge of facts. In 2017, parents will be able to compare results across three years (2014–15, 2015–16, and 2016–17) to determine their child’s progress in meeting the standards. (Exceptions: Only two years of data will be reported for students in grade 4, and only one year of data will be reported for students in grade three.)

To learn more about these tests, please visit CDE’s Test Score Guide Web site at http://www.testscoreguide.org/ca, which provides informative guides and test score descriptions as well as sample test items at different levels of difficulty.

Another great resource are the Practice and Training Tests, which can be found on the CDE’s Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp. Here, parents can experience the kinds of questions that students will encounter on the tests.

California Science Test—Pilot Test (Grades 5 & 8 Only)

California’s new state standards for science call for students to think and work like scientists and engineers—asking questions and learning through hands-on investigation and discovery. Working with science teachers, California is developing a new assessment that emphasizes scientific thinking and reasoning. This year your child will participate in the tryout of test items for this future assessment. While this tryout will not provide scores for your child, it is an important first step in developing an assessment that will fairly and accurately measure how students are achieving on the new science standards. For additional information about the new science tests and sample questions, please visit the CDE’s CAASPP Science Assessment Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppscience.asp.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation in statewide assessments, please contact Cherie Bruce at (805) 596-4075 or email at cbruce@slcusd.org.
 Marlie Schmidt
Principal

Upcoming Dates
  • Look Alike Day, Friday, March 24th - Grab a group of friends, and dress alike!  Wear regular clothing-- this is not a costume day, rather, a "wear the same outfit" day.
  • Family Math Night, Thursday, March 30th at 5:30 p.m.
  • Spring Break, Monday - Friday, April 17th - April 21ST


Family Math Night
Thursday, March 30, 2017 we will have Math Games and Activities from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The whole family is involved to engage in fun math games and activities. Parents must attend with their kids.

Open Enrollment
Now through the end of March is enrollment for TK and Kindergarten students. You can also apply for Open Enrollment during this time (which includes requests to go to Teach Elementary for 4th, 5th and 6th Grade students). Please stop by the office if you need the forms for this process.



Variety Show
Our Variety Show date is April 28th. It is for students 2nd-6th Grade. Please stop by the office for an application. We will notify you when we have our first practice.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Newsletter, March 10, 2017



Dear Friends and Families of Los Ranchos,
We had a small but enthusiastic group of parents enjoy the Parents’ Coffee in February.  Parents had the opportunity to  learn about the Next Generation Science Standards and experience the hands on nature of exploration and inquiry.  Our next Parents’ Coffee will have Mrs. Stratton, our school counselor, share some tips on supporting your child’s social and emotional growth. Stay tuned for the date and time.
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The person greeting students in the morning and sending them off in the afternoon is a super important person in a school community. At our school, that person is the Crossing Guard.  We are looking for a person to fill that role as our Crossing Guard for the rest of the year. The Crossing Guard’s job is from 8:00 - 8:35 and 2:45 - 3:10. It does not need to be the same person for both times of the day. It is a paid position. Please contact the office (805-596-4075) if you are interested, or if you know someone in our neighborhood who would be interested. We want to keep our students safe and welcome them everyday with a smile.

School safety is our number one concern. Every month we have drills with our students to prepare them in the event of an emergency. These drills include fire, earthquake and  shelter in place drills. We work in close collaboration with our local emergency service providers on most of these drills. Next week we will be have a shelter in place drill. The Sheriff and Fire Departments will be on campus for the drill. Please do not be alarmed if you see them.  We are mindful of minimizing any stress for students, while providing opportunities to practice  behaviors for an emergency.
Have a lovely weekend.

Sincerely,
Marlie Schmidt  

Upcoming Dates
  • Daylight Savings Time - Spring Forward, Sunday, March 12th
  • Campus Lock Down Drill, Wednesday, March 15th 2:00 p.m.
  • Family Math Night, Thursday, March 30th at 5:30 p.m.
  • Spring Break, Monday - Friday, April 17th - April 21st


Crossing Guard Duty
We are looking for a parent, grandparent, or community member to help us out with crossing guard duty before and after school. It is a paid position. If you have any interest, please contact Cherie in the office.

Open Enrollment

Now through the end of March is enrollment for TK and Kindergarten students. You can also apply for Open Enrollment during this time (which includes requests to go to Teach Elementary for 4th, 5th and 6th Grade students). Please stop by the office if you need the forms for this process.


Variety Show
Our Variety Show date is April 28th. It is for students 2nd-6th Grade. Please stop by the office for an application. We will notify you when we have our first practice.

    Daylight Savings
    Remember to "Spring Forward" this weekend
    Help Keep our Parking Lot Safe
    Our pick up and drop off areas can get very busy, especially before and after
    school. If you are picking up or dropping off students, please keep traffic moving so we can avoid traffic backing up in our parking lots.

    Thank you parents!!
    Thank you for all the generous donations of tissues and unscented wipes. We have happy noses and clean hands because of you! We could also use bottled water for students, especially with Spring and Summer weather approaching it's nice to have water on hand for kids. Thanks again, for your continued generosity.

    Get Educated Today
    Get educated about Marijuana Today. The Monday Club, SLO will be holding a presentation and discussion about Effects of Marijuana on our youth on Tuesday, April 4th from 5:45p.m to 8:00p.m.. This is appropriate for preteens through adults and is a free event. For more information go to www.posafy.org

    Lost and Found

    Kids and parents looked for lost items in our lost and found during conference week. At the end of school on Monday, we will be packing the remaining items to donate for a project for good.




    Friday, February 17, 2017

    Newsletter, February 17, 2017

    Principal’s Message


    Dear Friends and Families of Los Ranchos,
    We have had many changes in our curriculum and standards over the last few years. Science is included in these changes. The new standards are called Next Generation Science Standards. Our district adopted NGSS last year and our teachers are implementing parts of the new curriculum this year. These standards will impact your children kindergarten through twelfth grades. We are fortunate to have Tristan Shorba, an experienced and passionate Science teacher,  lead our professional learning and planning for our district.  Mr. Shorba will be sharing information about NGSS at our next Parent Coffee on Friday, February 24th at 8:30 a.m. in the library. I hope you can join us.


    Have a lovely weekend.
    Sincerely,
    Marlie Schmidt  


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    Upcoming Dates
    • No School, President’s Day, Monday, February 20th
    • Minimum Days - Thursday and Friday, February 23-24 - Kinder - 6th Graders out at 1:00 p.m.
    • Parent Coffee with Mr. Shorba, Friday, February 24th at 8:30a.m., Los Ranchos Library
    • Read Across America Day - March 2, 2017

    Project for Good
    If you have any spare sweatshirts or jackets, please donate them in the box at the office for Transitions Mental Health. One of our 6th grade students is collecting jackets for his project for good. Thank you for your donations!          

    YMCA Annual Support Campaign - Family Fun Night
    Thursday, March 2nd from 6:30pm - 8:30pm
    Bring your kids and your friends to our Family Fun Night. Enjoy music, a photo booth, dinner and ice cream while supporting the YMCA programs at Los Ranchos Elementary School.  
    Raffle and silent auction items include:
    • Art from the Y kids
    • Movie Tickets
    • Private Tours
    • Gift Certificates
    • ...and more!

    Please Plan for Minimum Days
    Students have minimum days Thursday and Friday, February 23rd and 24th.
    We will also have a full week of minimum days March 6th - 10th for Parent/Conference week.
    TK students are out at 12:20pm. All other students,
    Grades K-6th will be released at 1:00p.m. on minimum days.

    Friday, February 10, 2017

    Newsletter, February 10, 2017

    Principal’s Message


    Dear Friends and Families of Los Ranchos,


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          Sixth grade outdoor school is an amazing experience. Memories are made, new friendships established and students get to re-imagine who they are as individuals. Many, many thanks to Mr. Kersten and Mrs. Matteson.   Camp would not happen without their dedication and commitment!


    Special thanks to Mrs. Sabo for bringing children’s author Alexis O’Neill to Los Ranchos and to our PTA for funding the visit. Her presentation connected beautifully to our reading and writing curriculum. Some of my favorite quotes included . . . . .
    • Everything you write, read outloud!
    • How many of you get stuck when you are writing (all hands shot up). Oh good, that means you are real writers.
    • Words have power, not only what they say but how they are said.
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           Our school district is wanting to gather important information about the technology needs of our students at home and at school. They are working in collaboration with an organization called BrightBytes to collect the data. Your child’s teacher will be sending out information about a short parent survey. The information is anonymous. The URL will be specific to Los Ranchos Elementary. We appreciate your participation.   
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Sincerely,
    Marlie Schmidt  


    Upcoming Dates
    • No School, Lincoln’s Birthday, Monday, February 13th
    • No School, President’s Day, Monday, February 20th
    • Minimum Days - Thursday and Friday, February 23-24 - Kinder - 6th Graders out at 1:00 p.m.



             

    Friday, February 3, 2017

    Newsletter, February 3, 2017

    Principal’s Message
    Dear Friends and Families of Los Ranchos,
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         We had a very informative Parent Coffee with Eileen Calandro this morning. She shared some valuable information to help parents navigate the “constantly flowing river” of social media with our children. Parents had some great questions. How do I teach my children about digital citizenship? How can I be more proactive? What boundaries shall I set? Mrs. Calandro shared many great resources, but highlighted iRules by Janell Burley Hofmann and UnSelfie by  Michelle Borba, Ed.D. We are lucky to have many good opportunities to learn more through our adult school.
         Our next Parent Coffee will be on February 24 at 8:30 a.m.. Tristan Shorba, a lead Science teacher  in our district, will be sharing information about Next Generation Science Standards. I hope you can join us.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Sincerely,
    Marlie Schmidt  

    Upcoming Dates
    • Dental Screening for TK, Kindergarten and 3rd and 5th Gr Students, Tuesday, February 7th
    • Family Night -Children’s Author Alexis O’Neill - Wednesday, February 8th
    (Buy pizza from the PTA at 5:30, Author at 5:45pm)
    • No School, Lincoln’s Birthday, Monday, February 13th
    • No School, President’s Day, Monday, February 20th
    • Parent Coffee with Tristan Shorba -NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) , Friday, February 24rh at 8:30am in the Library
    • Minimum Days - Thursday and Friday, February 23-24


    Author’s Visit
    We hope you can join us for literacy night with author Alexis O’Neill on Wednesday, February 8th, sponsored by our PTA. The evening family night will focus on literacy, literature, and the importance of reading together as a family..  She will be available to personally sign any of her books you bring with you to the family night event. We hope you can join us on Wednesday, February 8th from 5:45 - 6:30 p.m..  (Pizza will be sold for $1 a slice at 5:30 prior to the assembly)



    Parent CoffeeCoffee Talk
    Our next Parent Coffee will be with Tristan Shorba who will talk about NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). Mark your calendar for Friday, February 24th at 8:30a.m. and join us in the Library to learn more about our Science Standards.

    Open Enrollment Period
    If you have a  6th grader going into middle school and you are considering transferring to a school outside of your neighborhood school, please note that Open Enrollment begins March 6th- March 31st.  
    We also begin Kindergarten and TK enrollment March 6th.