Hello Tiger Families,
We are starting a Little Free Library (LFL) to be located next to the nurse's office on the first floor. The LFL will consist of a small book shelf and sign. Students and families will be invited to take and leave books as they please. No check out. No due dates. You don't even have to bring the book back that you borrowed. The goal is to get as many books circulating among students as possible. There are a couple ways you can support this effort.
1. Donate a bookshelf. We are looking for a donated bookshelf in good condition (needn't be fancy) that will fit in the space provided. I believe that anything around 3.5 feet tall and maybe about 3 feet wide would work. If you have a bookshelf to donate (or have a neighbor or friend who has one), let me know! It all begins with a shelf.
2. Volunteer to be a steward. Let's share responsibility in making sure the books remain orderly. This means stopping by periodically to organize the shelves and make sure they're free of trash. I plan to breeze by routinely when I pick up my son, but I would love some help. Anyone who passes by is invited to help clean up the library - no need to be a formal steward. But if one or two folks could volunteer to more intentionally help organize the shelf periodically, that would be fantastic. AP Jennings will also keep an eye out as it is near her office. Together we can keep it looking nice at all times.
3. Bring in your books. Do you have books your child has outgrown or is no longer interested in? Does your neighbor or friend have old books their child has outgrown? Once we have the shelf set up (I will email this list), we invite you to bring your books in to share. And, while you're there, pick up a new book to take home. The school will also be donating some of their old books to put on the shelf.
4. Help us spread the word. Once the book shelf is up, we want to make sure the word gets out. If any of the committees are sending home written materials to parents, I would love to include a blurb about the LFL. Also, if you are hosting an event and there is some way to advertise the LFL (a quick announcement or some fliers at a table), I would appreciate it. If you have opportunities I would appreciate you letting me know! The more we can get the word out, the more families will partake in the exchange.
Answers to questions you may have...
I joined about 30 other parents, caregivers and teachers Thursday for A Night of Consciousness, Part 2, a workshop to teach us about our school’s social emotional program and ways to adopt it at home. I’m so glad I went. I came away with a better understanding of the brain science that is the foundation for the philosophy, as well as a handful of ideas for better aligning my discipline routine at home with what is taught at school. I wish I could distill all the information for those who couldn’t attend the workshop (I tried!), but Nicole Mercer, our Conscious Discipline certified instructor, packed the two hours with so much – I could never do it justice in one blog post.
Instead, here’s a bit about the final lesson of the evening – Connection:
The Conscious Discipline program does not rely on the traditional threat-reward system for getting kids to cooperate. Instead, that buy-in is earned through a strong relationship. Nicole explained that connecting with our kids every day is one way we build that relationship – and it’s important to understand that routine is not connection. Spending time together as we go through the normal routine of the day is not enough. A real connection requires special moments that include eye contact, touch and an expression of your feelings for the child. For example, our principal greets each student daily with eye contact, touch (high-five, fist bump, or bear hug) and warm words as they enter the building – not because it’s cute, but to start their day with a positive first connection. If you’ve ever tried the threat, “if you don’t stop that behavior, you might need a visit to the principal’s office,” I'm sure you realized it didn’t work - none of our kids are afraid of their principal! She has built connections with them and has earned their cooperation, rather than scaring them into obedience. And that’s what we’re really after at home too.
Nicole said that at home, rituals for connecting can be anything – family songs, sayings, inside jokes or secret handshakes. She gave us this adapted version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which some families practiced during the workshop:
While Langley students throughout the school were churning concepts and making discoveries Friday morning, second-graders in the science lab were churning butter and making waffles.
Foodprints teacher, Sarah Gaudreau, walked down the hall to fetch the children from their homeroom. When the kids realized it was their day to participate in the special gardening and cooking program, a cheer rose up from the group. Because, yes, second breakfast! Nothing wrong with that. But also, hands-on learning, making messes, working together and accomplishing a big goal - delicious food for everyone.
The kids were divided into several groups and each given a different task: some ground wheatberries into a fine flour, others shook jars of heavy cream to make butter. A group of children used kid-safe knives to cut up apples for a sweet compote, as another composed a few sentences describing what they know about butter; what does it look like, where does it come from, what is it used for? "It looks like a rectangle!" one shouted out, "We get it at Wal-Mart," said another. "Write it down," replied educational aide Ronnie Johnson.
The flurry of excitement throughout the room was also packed with learning opportunities. Math was done as ingredients were measured out. Chemistry was observed as those ingredients were combined and heated. Kids debated the efficiency of a low-tech antique mixer verses an electric one.
Hi Tiger Families,
Principal Drumm-Canepa & I want to address with you the STAR (School Transparency and Reporting System) scores that came out Friday - ranking Langley a 1 STAR out of 5.
This number is not a surprise to us.
Why? What’s important to remember about the STAR / Report Card scoring system:
75% of that score is based on PARCC scores.
PARCC scores only reflect 3-5th graders test results in Math & English Language Arts from *LAST YEAR*
We are only 2 years into Principal Drumm-Canepa's 5 year plan to improve our school.
For the past 5 years our scores were declining. Last year they plateaued. This year we expect increases due to the new academic programming and improved school culture (a.k.a Conscious Discipline).
Last year we exceeded ALL our K-2 student achievement goals. Which means we have a strong cohort of students moving up into those testing grades that will change our PARCC scores & STAR rating in years to come.
The good news:
Because of our 1 STAR rating we will receive 1 MILLION DOLLARS through OSSE’s Comprehensive Support Schools Initiative.
This funding will come immediately and be implemented over the next 2 1/2 years.
No, this money cannot build our garden or renovate our bathrooms. But it WILL help us in these categories:
Principal Drumm-Canepa & her academic leadership team (made up of teacher leaders) will be working with DCPS to determine how this will specifically be implemented but we know it will include intense intervention with students who need a boost & strengthening academic programs where needed.
All this to say we are growing and now we have more funds to do it quickly!
Questions? Want more details?
Come to our ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) discussion that Principal Drumm-Canepa & her leadership team are hosting on Thursday, Dec. 13th from 6p-7p at Langley.
Come and bring your questions!
All the best,
Langley Elementary PTSA President
Langley Kindergarteners were treated to a special field trip on Friday.
For the third year in a row, the PTSA secured a grant from the Kennedy Center for a free performance for our Kindergarteners. They went to see 'How to catch a star.' Based on the book by Oliver Jeffers, it is the story of a boy chasing his dream to catch a star - a story of persistence, curiosity and friendship.
The kids truly enjoyed the experience; they were engaged, entertained and stayed focused throughout the duration of the show! The ride on the school bus, also generously provided by the Kennedy Center, brought the excitement to another level. For many of the children, it was their first time at the Kennedy Center, and they said they cannot wait to come back again. Thank you, Kennedy Center, for this great opportunity to introduce our kids to the world of art and musical performance!
Tiger Families, registration for our winter after school enrichment opportunities opens on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 PM.
Read below for more detailed descriptions of the fantastic offerings for this session. And don't forget - the PTSA offers a scholarship for one student each session (contact Ms. Wortham to be considered).
Langley school family, we need your help!
First: just close your eyes.
Picture yourself walking toward the school's front doors, passing our garden on the way. Imagine a welcoming gate, open and beaconing. Beyond the gate lay pavers that wind through the space - to green bean teepees that provide shade and whimsy for imaginative play, to accessible garden beds where all our students can learn, to a corner where students can sit and paint portraits of our new chickens. This, and so much more, are within reach through our partnership with FoodPrints.
But, we can't do it alone. We need help raising money - if that's an interest of yours please contact PTSA President Christina Robbins (email@example.com). And we need to secure grants (contact Sandra Vijn at firstname.lastname@example.org). And on Dec. 1 from 10-4, we need some hard workers willing to assist in cleaning the space out.
If you're able to pitch in that day please confirm with Sarah Gaudreau at email@example.com.
Together we can bring this dream to life.
The first-graders at Langley have got it good with an invigorating dinosaur-themed classroom makeover that includes some rrrrRrrradical furniture. The first-graders, AKA the Responsible Raptors, are test-driving non-traditional seating options this year - bouncy ones, wobbly ones and super soft and squishy ones too.
The cozy nooks and cushy surfaces invite new readers to settle in with a good book. The chairs that move are great for kids with restless bodies and wandering minds since they increase secondary focus, relieving the student's need to fidget.
These specially designed seats set the tone at each station of the classroom. They promote closer attention to detail and retention of lessons - oh yeah, and they're fun.