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Principal's corner

Suzanne Guntlow
Principal Suzanne M. Guntlow

En español

February 2016

Dear Friends and Families,

As always, the weeks are flying by and already February is upon us. As you may recall, last year the Primary School participated in a community service project designed to boost reading habits while also supporting our local Ronald McDonald House. Starting February 13 and running through March 12, students at the Primary School will again have the chance to take part in this service learning project.

On February 3rd, we will be having an in-school assembly to kick-off the Read for Ronald McDonald House program. More information will be distributed and sent home with your child at that time. Last year the children who participated raised over $2400! In order to take part, the children seek out family and friends to sponsor their reading for the month with pledges of either a flat amount for the reading completed, or any amount they decide per minute read during the month. This is strictly voluntary, but I hope that many children will participate and take an active role in helping others while also enjoying the benefits of daily reading!

Also beginning February 13th, we will be joined by our newest staff member, our service puppy! We are excited about all the benefits that our new labradoodle will bring to the Primary School. Next week additional information will be coming home about our service dog program and will include details for parents who wish to opt out of the program. Be sure to check your child’s backpack each day for all of this information coming home this month.

Finally, I hope everyone has a healthy and fun-filled winter vacation beginning February 20th. Stay warm and keep reading!

Sincerely,
Suzanne Guntlow



January 2016

Happy New Year, Ichabod Friends and Families! I hope you enjoyed your holidays and the winter break with many opportunities to celebrate with family and friends. I would like to extend a warm welcome back to our students, families and staff members. The month of December was an exciting one at the Primary School as we officially moved into our new addition. Last month, three of our third grade classrooms relocated into new rooms. This also shuffled two second grade classrooms, the English Language Learner classroom and Academic Support classroom. I am thrilled to also announce that our art teacher, Miss Addison, and our music teacher, Miss Jacque, now have their own rooms and no longer will be teaching on a cart! The new addition provided us with the much needed space to accommodate special area teachers and support teachers.

January represents the mid-year point for the academic school year and is an opportunity for staff to take another look our children’s progress. There are many types of data considered when reviewing student progress that support student learning, including those that do not involve test scores. The right data, in the right format, used the right way, empowers everyone with the information needed to make decisions and take actions to support achievement. Teachers and support staff will be meeting to review student growth to ensure the right level of support is in place for all students. This means there will be adjustments made to reading and math lab groups as some students move out of services while others may hit a bump in the road and require support services. Our goal is to ensure that the type, duration and intensity of all interventions are appropriately matched to the needs of our children. Parents and guardians will be notified, as usual, if their child requires intervention beyond that provided in the classroom or if an intervention will be ending. These services are intended to be fluid with students entering and exiting as needed based on their individual progress. If you have concerns about your child’s progress, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the classroom teacher. As always, we continue to focus on building strong parent partnerships in order to maximize each child’s individual learning and development.

Next, I wanted to include a quick reminder about our outside recess policy and appropriate dress during these chilly winter months. The children will be headed outside for daily recess if the temperature is above 20 degrees. Outside play is important as it benefits physical, social and academic development. Please help us provide this valuable time outdoors by making sure your child is equipped with the proper attire including a warm winter coat, snow pants, boots and mittens.

Finally, I want to wish you all a happy, healthy 2017 with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Guntlow


November 2016

Dear Friends and Families,

Last month was National Bullying Awareness month. This movement began in 2006 and has continued to grow with schools joining in all over the world including Ichabod Crane. Last month, all the children in district attended an assembly titled, Sweethearts & Heroes. At the Primary School, children attended a 45 minute presentation aimed at teaching them how to identify bullying and emphasizing an action-based approach to stopping it, going beyond just awareness to providing strategies to stop it. The children learned all about the “ABC’s of Bullying” (A-Get Away, B- Be a Buddy, C-Call for help). We are continuing to reinforce the message all throughout the school. Next time you visit the building, you may notice posters displayed that reinforce these simple strategies. By providing visual reminders and a catchy phrase (ABC’S of Bullying), we hope children will remember these tips if ever needed.

This month we will be wrapping up the first marking period on Thursday, November 10th. Report cards will be distributed during parent-teacher conferences, which are scheduled for November 17th & 18th. If you haven’t already, please be sure to schedule a time to meet with your child’s teacher. Conferences are a great opportunity to start or continue ongoing conversation with your child's teacher and to learn more about how to help your child succeed. One of our primary goals is to create a partnership with each family to ensure every child’s success!

Finally, the State Education Department is offering a monthly eNewsletter for parents. You can subscribe by sending an email to listserv@listserv.nysed.gov with the message SUBSCRIBE PARENTS [then your name here]. You will receive an email confirming the subscription. This is a convenient way to stay current with the latest education updates directly from the NY State Education Department.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with warmth and happiness!
Sincerely,
Suzanne Guntlow


October 2016

Dear Primary School Friends & Families,

September has been a month filled with new beginnings for staff and students as all settled in with their new class. We have had a very successful opening at the Primary School. There was a great turn out at the Welcome Back Picnic and at our Open House nights. Parental involvement is a key element in children’s success at school and these events are a great way to begin forming a partnership with your child’s new teacher. We also started off the year by showing off our school spirit! On September 9th we held our second annual Unity Parade bring our whole school community together to celebrate our first week back. This week we also showed our Ichabod Pride with the elementary, middle and high school as we all participated together in School Spirit Week! Research tells us students with school spirit do more than just show support for their school. They perform better academically, are more socially and civically engaged, and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers. Go Riders!

Lots of exciting events will be taking place this October for the children. To start, school banking will begin again October 6th with the Bank of Green County. Banking will take place every Thursday thereafter in the lobby from 8:30-9:00 am. This is great opportunity for the children to learn about banking and saving money. Next, Fire Prevention Week is scheduled for the week of October 14th and special visitors from our local fire department will be joining us with fire trucks and special presentations for each classroom. Please consider using this time to also discuss fire safety in your home including reviewing a fire escape plan. On October 10th there is no school in honor of Columbus Day. October 20th will be our annual School Picture Day. Please watch your child’s take home folder for more information. And finally, October 31st is Harvest Day at the Primary School. We are asking all children to wear plaid to celebrate. Once again, renowned artists and storytellers, The Story Crafters, will be joining us that day to entertain the children with suspenseful, engaging and age-appropriate stories. This is also a scheduled half-day for the children with professional development for staff in the afternoon.

I hope the children have enjoyed the first month back and all are off to a positive and productive new school year. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. As always, my goal is to work together to make each day successful for every child.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Guntlow
Principal