Dear Howard Families,
This school year, we are taking time out to focus on the social emotional needs of our students. We know that many of our students have situations in their lives which might make them feel anxious, upset, unloved, angry, sad or not excepted. Sometimes these situations seem trivial to us adults, but in the world of a child they can seem overwhelming. Each morning on announcements Mrs. Scheuler and I are guiding students through either two minutes of meditation or two minutes of writing things we are grateful for in our gratitude journals. Research has shown these two daily practices can help us feel more joyful. They can also help us be more creative, be better problem solvers and be more productive throughout the day. This is what we want for our Hornets.
Please consider modeling one or both of these practices at home. Ask your child what they wrote in their journal that day. Share with them something you are grateful for. Ask them how it feels to sit quietly and focus on their breathing. Developing a new habit takes time and practice. We know these practices are going to benefit our students greatly.
You should have received a Skyward message regarding our new NWEA assessment. This assessment is taking the place of STAR but will be used in much the same way in terms of setting goals for our students, assessing their growth and making instructional decisions. If you would like to know more about this new assessment, you can go to https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit/ and read more about it. We are excited about this change and are looking forward to the data it will give us on our students.
I am sure you have read that ILEARN scores are in. We will be sending student reports home very soon. You will be notified through Skyward messaging when to look for these in your child's folder. Throughout the state of Indiana, scores were lower than expected. This is the typical outcome when assessment expectations and rigor change. Due to the changes in the new ILEARN assessment it is possible that your child did not score as well as they did on ISTEP last year. Please do not worry! We will be looking more closely at scores and the data we receive to make good instructional decisions for our kids. As any good educator knows, a number does not define a student, a teacher or a school. I am very proud of Howard students and staff for their hard work and dedication to their work.
I am super excited about this school year. As always, I appreciate all you do for our school community. Please never hesitate to call or email me with questions or concerns.
Mrs. Rhonda Lanie, Principal
Howard Elementary School