Update from our Head of School - February 6, 2023
Dear Truxton Academy Charter Community,
The weather is getting warmer! There were certainly times this last week that I questioned my choice to have farm animals with the frigid temperatures! Enrollment is open for next year! Please make sure you have received and returned the correspondence from Ms. Leaf and Ms. Felicia on your intent to return next year. We have a busy week here at school with Special Person’s Day and the Valentine’s Day Dance and I look forward to seeing all of you.
The Open House that was scheduled for Monday, 2/6 has been canceled but we do plan to have something in the very near future so please keep watching. I also wanted to address the Buffalo Sabres visit. After several conversations with their youth hockey office administrator they realized just how far away we are from Buffalo. I heard from their program director last week that they only travel within a 50 mile radius and that because of their mistake they will be sending some equipment and gifts to our school.
I have said time and again that I want to be transparent and oftentimes my tendency to be direct is misunderstood. Please know that we have the mission, vision, health and safety of our students at the forefront of each decision that is made. When I use the word “we” I mean the Board of Trustees and the rest of the administration here at TACS. The vision of the founding board members has always been to be academically stronger than Homer CSD and the districts around us. There is no question that we are becoming laser focused in academics as we continue to battle the aftermath of the pandemic and various staffing challenges over the years and as we continue towards renewal of our charter. I want to share some changes here at the school. We have hired Sheri Herlihy, our part-time Spanish teacher, to work full time with us. She has an additional teaching degree in mathematics and we have brought her on board to continue teaching Spanish as well as a math interventionist that will work with students in small group math instruction. We have also added Jamie McKinney as a part-time teacher assistant in 3rd grade and then finishes her day, as always, in the cafeteria. Brian Gabak will be joining us as the new Student Achievement Coordinator and Latrise Hopkins will be joining us as the new Special Education Coordinator. Both of these staff members will be on board by mid March. We have begun a new ELA curriculum in grades K-1 and will roll it out to more grades this upcoming school year and we have analyzed the MAP testing data from this fall and implemented more small group instruction that is targeted on the skills that children are struggling with. I hope you will join me by working on skills at home with your students and continue to reach out to teachers for help with this process.
As always, I welcome you to contact me with any questions or concerns. Have a great week this week!
02/07 Special Person’s Day
9:30am - Kindergarten Dance
9:50am - 1st Grade Dance
10:10am - 3rd Grade Dance
10:30am - 2nd Grade Dance
10:50am - 4th Grade Dance
11:10am - 5th Grade Dance
Once Classes finish their dance, they then will take their people to the Makerspace to show them their art gallery and then will transition to the classroom with the one person they selected to do an activity in your room. Please be sure not to walk through when dances are going on, performances are only going to be about 5 minutes long.
02/10 Valentine’s Day Dance 6pm-8pm Grades K-5
02/13 Coffee with Kerryanne 10am-11am
02/13 Coffee with Kerryanne 5:30pm-6:30pm
02/13 Board of Trustees Meeting 7pm
02/20-02/24 No School - Winter Recess
03/11 Truxton Academy Pancake Breakfast 9-11am & Open House/Registration 9-1pm
Updates for the Classrooms:
This week in kindergarten we:
*Recognized and produced rhyming words
*Read challenging decodable texts using our knowledge of letter sounds
*Learned when to use 'I' , 'is', and 'are' in a sentence
*Counted and compared quantities to 20 to determine which is greater
*Discussed characteristics of the 4 seasons and named them in cyclical order
This week in first grade we:
-read more stories from our Grans Trips readers
-practiced our 2 new reading tricks: one sound-y (dot-y) and one sound-e (dot-e). Ask your students what happens when we see these words!
-learned about fractions and how identify 1/2,1/4 and unequal fractions
-sorted fractions onto posters
-spent time with Ms. Jaime connecting fractions to agriculture and herding sheep into equal parts into our whole field
-worked hard on improving our narrative writing stories
-made a Venn Diagram about the similarities and differences in Cinderella, The Girl with the Red Slippers, and Billy Beg
-learned about Folktales and how they change over time when people retell them
-started two new Folktales, Tom Thumb and Thumbalina
- made arctic collages out of materials found throughout our classroom
-learned about and did an exciting groundhogs day arts and crafts project with Ms. Alaina!!
Ask your Second Grader about...
-what they learned in their non-fiction reading about groundhogs,
-their opinion writing sharing if they believe a groundhog can predict weather,
-facts they learned about Abraham Lincoln in their non-fiction reading groups,
-what math skills they are working on using Zearn,
-our new math activity called "Which One Doesn't Belong?"
-how sugar in frog's bodies protect them from freezing in the winter,
-their scientific observations from our experiment on freezing water and maple syrup,
-what it means to be hard working, our new character trait of the month!
Ask your Third Grade kiddo about:
*how you decide whether to use 'er' or 'or' to make the /er/ sound
*putting pencil to paper to push to finish their rough copy of their expository writing and about checking in with our rubric to see if they're meeting the expectations for their final copy or what their next step is to meet the goals
*which class poll question their group examined, categorized, and graphed and what results they found
*taking the math MAP test (ELA will be up next week)
*their opinion on our debate question from the Storyworks article, "Are Class Pets a Good Idea?" and how we support our opinions with evidence and how this prepared us for our class pet's impending arrival. We can't wait to have Rosie in our room!
*about our new activity, Third Grade Million Dollar Words! which will help grow our vocabulary, our knowledge of parts of speech, and our confidence in dividing words into syllables. This week's words are: adept, buttonhole, crude, and disjointed. Each day our leader will pick a word using the next letter of the alphabet and share their word with our class.
*the new problem for James and his insect friends
*what fossils are and what they teach us about the past
*our character trait for February, hard working and how we show this everyday even when something is tricky (right now)
The fourth-grade read the Ethiopian Folktale, The Fire on the Mountain. Students studied the theme of justice to determine if the characters gained what they deserved.
In math students are having fun measuring angles with protractors! We have also started using Khan Academy for math review and skills reinforcement. Many thanks to Senoria Herlihy for introducing this exciting computer activity to our class!
We have been very busy with science activities over the past few weeks, we have made Jack Wax with maple syrup and freshly fallen snow, a special thank you to Ms. Penny for providing her farm fresh maple syrup and expertise! Everyone loved watching Ms. Penny's demonstration and sampling Jack Wax! The class has also been busy spinning wool and making felt. Thank you Ms. Jamie and Mr. Bruce for sharing this interesting colonial craft with the class. The students also enjoyed creating complete circuits for our Science Energy lessons.
The class continues to learn about the Revolutionary War and had fun practicing writing their names using quill pens, as did the Colonists and the Founding Fathers. Again, thanks to Ms. Penny and her turkeys for providing the quills!
In Spanish we learned a fun song about a "marmota" or groundhog who played with his "sombra" or shadow. The students really enjoyed playing the song extra slow and then extra fast! La Marmota
This week in PE we have still been practicing our dance performances and we are looking good and can not wait to share with our families on special persons day!
In STEM grades 2-5 worked with our sphero robots and built snow plows to try and get the robots to push cotton ball snow across the floor.
Grades K & 1 worked on math skills with a Lego board game!
Rural Life Lab
Donation request - we need full-sized round point shovels for the upcoming garden season - new or used would be fine. Hand tools also need to be replenished after 3 years of heavy metal-bending digging. Reviews on this product look reasonable if you are in a position to provide such a donation: https://a.co/d/4vKY65X . Thank you!
"Success is the sum of our efforts day in and day out" -Unknown Kerryanne Schenck Head of School Truxton Academy Charter School pronouns: she, her, hers
Office: (607) 842-6252 Ext. 109 Cell: (607) 218-2268