Elementary Principal Letter

Dear ANCS elementary families,

It was great seeing so many of you at the Wonderball Family Reunion on Saturday evening. 

Getting back to some of our traditions feels so good and it definitely felt like a reunion. I want to give a big shout out and thank you to Michele Kresge and Dara Dearborn for chairing the event and to everyone who volunteered time to make this possible this year. We appreciate you! 

Speaking of bringing back traditions, you know our book character parade is this Friday. I just wanted to give you a heads up that while the parade begins at 1:15, students will be parading around the building first so that all of the students can see each other. We probably won’t be outside until 1:30 or so. I just didn’t want you standing around waiting and wondering what was happening. We encourage you to view the parade all the way around the school. There will not be enough room for everyone in the front of the school. We are all excited about the parade and celebrating reading. We hope to see you on Friday! 

While you are on the front lawn for the parade, you will notice all the pinwheels. This was a project that all our students did in art class, based on the book Finding Peace by Amy E. Ayers. This book takes the reader on a journey of discovering what peace is. What it sounds like, looks like and feels like. The pinwheel is a representation of our hope for peace in the world. I hope you enjoy them as much as the students enjoyed making them. 

We are also looking forward to our spring book fair that will take place from May 17th-20th. This is a great time to stock up on books for the summer. We collaborate with Little Shop of Stories, an independently owned bookstore located in Decatur. This allows us to choose quality books that we know our students will be interested in and enjoy reading. 

In an effort to support summer reading, students in each grade are required to complete a book over the summer. It is our hope that participating in this activity will provide our students with a shared summer experience.  This will contribute to them having a common language and experience beginning the first day of school. Additionally, it allows teachers to plan community building opportunities for the beginning of the school year.  Classes will engage in discussions, activities, and lessons surrounding these texts when they return to school. Please know that the books were chosen to create opportunities for dialogue, not to necessarily be a challenging read for each student. It is fine for the student to listen to a recording of the book or have the book read aloud to him/her. The school purchases the books, but we encourage a contribution if you are able. You can take care of the contribution here.  The selected books are as follows:

  • Rising Kindergarten: Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes
  • Rising First Grade: Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
  • Rising Second Grade: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Rising Third Grade: What Do You Do With a Problem by Kobi Yamada
  • Rising Fourth Grade: El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Rising Fifth Grade: When Stars Are Scattered by Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson

Just one more heads up. Our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will begin taking the Milestones assessment next week. While our K-2 students do not take Milestones, it does affect their related arts schedule and the look of our hallways, as all displays in the hallways must be covered up. We will explain it to everyone in our morning meeting tomorrow, but I wanted you all to be aware of this, too.  

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions. Have a wonderful remainder of your week.

Wishing you well,

Lara