Principal’s Winter Update
Greetings, Brandon Families and Community!
Now that we are in full swing in this second semester, it is time to update you on the latest hot topics! This is the time of the year in school where we are really focused on making sure we are effectively teaching all grade level standards and skills and that we will have it all covered by the end of the year, and for tested grades, before they take the Georgia Milestones. At the same time, this is the time of year when we begin thinking hard about the next school year! With both of these things in mind, here are things to know as we progress through this semester:
Testing: This is always a hot topic! We all know there are pros and cons to testing. By this time, everyone is familiar with the STAR assessments that we rely on to monitor student learning and progress and intervene when needed. We also use STAR to communicate student progress with parents. You should have received the most recent STAR reports on or by February 8. We also administer district-issued benchmark assessments which directly measure student learning in comparison to state standards. Teachers utilize the results of these to know if there are standards they need to revisit. Benchmarks are being administered this month. They are not a grade and are not sent home; these are an instructional tool for teachers. Finally, for our 3rd-5th grade students, we have recently sent home a letter that includes the dates the Georgia Milestones will be administered in April. New this year, 3rd and 4th grade students only test in ELA and Math, while 5th grade tests in ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Look for this letter in your child’s backpack or online where it is posted to our website.
2017-2018: Registration for the next school year will begin in the month of March. At that time, we will communicate about what documents are needed for returning students and have full registration packets available for students who will be new to Brandon and/or entering Kindergarten. Look out for communication about timelines for return of information as well as the Parent Input Forms which allow you to provide me with feedback specific to your child about the kind of classroom they will thrive in next year. I will send out a text when these are available, and everything will be posted to our website. If you are not signed up for text message reminders from me, text the message @mbbees to 81010.
In addition, our GO Team has recently approved our budget for the 2017-2018 school year. This budget allows us to keep our class sizes below the maximum and prioritize grade levels with the highest enrollment to have the number of teachers needed to keep class sizes manageable.
Thank you for your continued involvement, investment, and collaboration! It is through our partnership with our parents that we are able to continue to provide an excellent education “on purpose”! Thank you for partnering with us on this journey.
Kara Stimpson, Principal