Wednesday, March 22, 2017

IT IS ALMOST SPRING VACATION!

Time really does fly as we are on the cusp on our spring vacation!  It is amazing to see all of the changes that have occurred with our students since we began school at the end of August.  Students are reading and enjoying fiction and non-fiction, really enjoying all of the engaging activities with technology and without that our teachers have planned for them, and their math successes are seen each day! Ask your children what they have learned about during social studies and science instruction. The topics that they have covered are wide ranging and quite interesting!  I also cannot get over how tall so many of our students have grown even in the past month!  When we return from spring vacation, we will kick it into high gear for the last two + months of school.  ENJOY your vacation- whether or not you are traveling, doing a staycation, resting, or just spending time doing fun and restful things together.  Each of these events make memories for ourselves and our children.  We will see you all on Monday, April 3rd!  Image result for time flies

Friday, March 17, 2017

How Do We Assign Students to Teachers?


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This is the time of the year, where parents begin to think about next school year and wonder which teacher their child will have.  Our Windsor staff also begin to plan for placing students in late spring. We are sharing this information with you now as conferences are next week. If you have planned to come in for a conference, we really want the conference to be about your child's current progress. We only have 15 minutes to talk with you and would prefer it to be about this school year. In fact, we have not completed our plans for our staffing for the 2017-18 school year.

We often get asked how we assign our students to their teachers, in other words: class placement. This is a process that requires a long time and a great deal of thought. We want to create classrooms that provide a well balanced learning environment for all of our students. Teachers put together a first iteration. Then they meet with their grade level teachers to do a second iteration or third, etc.  Our support staff reviews the list and perhaps a new iteration of that list occurs. Our specials teacher also review the lists and make suggestions as they work with all of the students in each grade level. Their input is very important.

What do we use to make those determinations?  We look at many variables about each of our students academic abilities including their strengths and their challenges. Will they benefit by being with like-minded academic peers? Additionally, we look at their social- emotional- behavioral characteristics. Some of the questions we ponder include: How do they get along with others? Are they students who require a lot of movement during the day? Do they feel comfortable talking in a group? Are they independent workers? Do they need help with organization? Is the student able to advocate for themselves- ask for help?  Who are the student's friends? We always try to have one friend with another in each class. That being said, there are multiple opportunities for students to be with their peers during the school day if they are not in the same class including lunch, recess and clubs.

We also look at the student's needs- are they an English Learner? Do they have a 504 or an IEP? Do they require interventions for literacy or math? Do they require enrichment in terms of differentiation of instruction?  Do they any have other specific needs? We will also determine which classrooms our instructional students will buddy with for the 2017-18 school year.  While all of this collaboration occurs, the administrators review and finalize all class lists.

We ask that you trust our teaching staff in this process. If you have questions or feel as if you would like to highlight characteristics of your child, in terms of how they learn to help us with this process, that would be fine. Please do not name specific teachers in this letter as we cannot honor specific requests. Please feel free to send that information to Mrs. Fabrizio.





Friday, March 10, 2017

March Worthy Wildcats!

Congrats to these students who were selected by their peers as the March Worthy Wildcats! They have all been following the Wildcat Way and being kind to others!
Students were selected for helping others and saying kind things, demonstrating the Wildcat Way every day, reading and doing work quietly, picking up trash seen in the field, helping a friend by collecting materials for them and standing up for a peer!  Well done to Kindergarten student: Joey B, Ben B. in first grade, second grader Hannah T., third grader Taran M., fourth Grader Jeremy G. and fifth grader Addison J.
Joey B. 

Addison J. 



Hannah T. 

Jeremy G. 


Ben B.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

#Kindness Campaign Part 6


Kind acts are continuing here at WIndsor School in week six of the Kindness Campaign. Students continue to be recognized for their kind acts and have been adding their thumbprints to our heart on the courtyard doors.  Or goal is to have every student place a thumbprint on the window for a kind act they have done.  Students have been helping peers, cleaning up work space of others, helping teachers and complimenting peers. They are also sharing with us and they are seen playing with those who seem to alone at recess and/or sitting with peers who don't have alot of others around them. It is joyful for our staff to see all of the wonderful kind behaviors displayed towards other Wildcats at Windsor. It is really fun to see them place their thumbprint on the window as you can see how they feel so proud of themselves. We hope that you are seeing random acts of kindness at home, as well.


Below are some pictures of our kind first graders putting their thumbprints on the window.


Friday, March 3, 2017

#KindnessCampaign Part 5 - Respect

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One of the unnamed tenants of the Wildcat Way is RESPECT as we talk about being Kind, Safe and Responsible.  If our students, staff and parents demonstrate being kind, safe and responsible then all of us are being respectful of each other.  In school, we do expect our students to be respectful in all areas of their day including lunch and recess. Those are the typical areas in all schools where children can forget to be respectful for a myriad of reasons. There may be different adults supervising, than their teachers, in the lunch room and outside. There are more students in one space, and they are with more of their peers than they see in their classrooms.

While there are rules and expectations at lunch and recess,  there is less structure.  Just yesterday at lunch, I reminded the intermediate students that I was having a difficult time as I was noticing students not being respectful to their peers and our supervisors.  I reminded them that no matter where they are during the school day, they needed to model and give respect, not only to the adults, but also to their friends.  They need to "give it to get it".

We hope that you will model respectful behavior, as well. Whether you need to be patient in the drop and go and/or pick up lines or waiting in the office for your students. Please take a minute to thank our staff and parent volunteers who keep our students safe. That would show respect. As you email our teachers or meet them for conferences, please remember we are here for our students. We love what we do and hope that you see that we always try to do our best.  A reminder to please remember positive intent. We love what we do- we will not always agree- but we will always be respectful to our students, parents and other staff members. We will "give it to get it" and hope that as parents you will too!  


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Friday, February 24, 2017

#Kindness Campaign- Part 4

Week 4- Kindness Campaign

Our heart is almost full of student thumbprints!  So many kind acts have been recognized and celebrated at Windsor school during February.  We couldn’t be more proud of our kind Wildcats!  We hope that this month has inspired and motivated our students to continue to show acts of kindness throughout the year.  If you are in the building, don’t forget to check out our heart on the courtyard doors. In fact, we are enjoying the #Kindnesscampaign that we will continue it until Spring Break.
It would be great if families could further pursue acts of kindness with your children.  There are several websites listed below that you can look into for ideas that you can with your children to spread kindness:

Friday, February 17, 2017

#kindnesscampaign Part 3-

This is the third week of the #KindnessCampaign and students continue to enjoy putting their thumbprints on our Kindness Window.  Students in all grade levels are saying kind comments to their peers and doing nice things for each other. Some classes are doing a 30 day challenge in their classroom. Others are reinforcing the concepts of kindness in different ways.

Author Molly Larkin writes this about kindness in a  2015 blog post. 
Research shows that repeated acts of kindness:
  1. Makes you happier.
  2. Improves your immune system and health.
  3. Lowers the rate of depression .
  4. Makes you feel more creative.
  5. Causes employees to want to work harder for employers.
  6. Increases the endogenous opioids in the brain, giving us a natural high.
  7. Create the feeling of “emotional warmth,” producing the hormone oxytocin which in turn helps reduce blood pressure and protects the heart.

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” William Arthur Ward.



Kindness and compassion go hand in hand. We live a wonderful community that is compassionate and supportive of others.  We continue to work on instilling kindness and compassion with our students every day!  Check out the sidewalk kindness art work on Miner.