Greetings Parents and Community Members!!
And……We’re Back!! Just like that, the school year has taken off after hopefully a long and enjoyable summer! It was so great to see all of our families at our annual Celebration of Learning. I loved seeing all of our rising Kindergarten students meet their teachers for the first time, seeing how much our students have grown in just a few short months and of course former Morris Brandon siblings visiting their old teachers! That’s how you know we have the best teachers around. Brandon should be a warm and welcoming environment for all students, and that’s exactly what Celebration of Learning is! As Monday rolled around, it was only appropriate to see our very own school, Morris Brandon, featured on the news. What a great way to start the school year! Special thanks to Crash Clark for making the day that much more special! On Saturday, I had the privilege of representing the North Atlanta Cluster at a table with a few of the other Principals at the annual Back2School Bash. The day was filled with students and families stopping by to learn all about our cluster but the highlight was definitely seeing Senator John Lewis and Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen give us a message of hope and growth for the 2019-2020 school year. It’s going to be a great year indeed!
If you’re curious about the first few days of school, your children have spent the time setting expectations, creating goals, establishing essential agreements, unpacking supplies and getting to know their classmates. They’ve begun to travel to Specials and have nearly completed one full rotation of Music, Art, PE and Technology. They should have already visited their French class or joined our Learning Lab and should now know how they are getting home! Within the coming days, the instructional focus will begin to take off with the implementation of our reading program Wit and Wisdom as well as Eureka Math. Of course, much of this has already begun! Our teachers will soon be giving their beginning of year STAR Tests that will help us determine the appropriate level of instruction for all students in the 1st-5th grade. Our teachers will also begin the F&P (Fountas and Pinnell) Benchmark assessment. During this assessment, all students will be given a reading inventory by their grade level teacher. It will determine their actual reading level. Depending on their reading level, the assessment could take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. We will use this as a data point for intervention, acceleration and our newly established Learning Lab. This assessment will be given up to 2 times this school year to assess our students’ reading growth. We hope with the implementation of F&P, Wit and Wisdom and our intervention plan our Reading and ELA scores will continue to grow as we get more and more of our students reading on grade level and above.
As the days continue to roll on, please be patient as we continue to work out some of the kinks with transportation. I understand that it’s not always easy, but rest assured we are working cooperatively with the APS Transportation Department to make sure our students get home as quickly as possible and that routes are running as smoothly as can be. Furthermore, with the intense summer heat, we will be closely monitoring the heat index for recess. Please feel free to send a water bottle with your child to avoid overheating. I look forward to sending my first week wrap-up on Friday, but until then, have a great rest of the week!