Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Gift Twice Received

When I was in 1st grade, my principal gave each student a book. Over the years I have searched my childhood home numerous times, drilling my mother as to where my little book could have been stored. Of course at the time I received the book I did not understand it's value. It was a simple book written for young children just beginning to learn about the world. The book has no real monetary value, however, as I spend more of my career at the elementary level, I realize the true value of that little book I received. I just can't find it.

I can remember what it looks like, the colors and that it had a hardback cover. I recall the principal sitting in the middle of the main hallway of the elementary school surrounded by boxes. As I stood in line with my classmates, we eagerly waited for our personal copy of this special book.

That is where my memory of the book ends. I have no recollection of the story within the pages of the book. I don't know how many times I read the book, but I do remember that I, along with my classmates, received a special gift that day. The gift was reading.

The story of this special book does not end with memories alone anymore. This past week I received a gift in the mail - a copy of that special book from 1st grade. Seems that when my elementary principal came to visit me a couple of years ago he was listening when I told him that I could not find the gift he gave us so many years before. The specialness of the book increased when I opened the package, I recieved in the mail, and found that my elementary principal had contacted his secretary from all those years ago and it was she that had a copy and sent it to me.

This gift has touched my heart knowing that someone thought highly enough of me to give me a book, and then, 30+ years later, give me the same gift again. I now have the book I have been searching for, but somehow, it is more special than ever! This time, I will store it in a very special place - my office at Smithville Elementary School.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Website Training

The district has a new website and Jennifer Vinklarek, Krystel Gutierrez, and Ana Murray participated in training on Thursday, July 19.  As we learn more about posting information to the website such as calendar entries, pictures, and links the website will be more helpful to our community.

The website has some really neat features that we know you will love.  We encourage you to check back often as we develop our webpage to meet your needs.  If you have any questions on how to find items, please don't hesitate to email us or call the campus.  We will be back in the office August 6, 2012.  Please be patient with us as we are working on the site to update information.

You can access our webpage at Smithville Elementary.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Welcome New Faculty to SES

Our final faculty member was approved at tonight's School Board Meeting.

Congratulations and welcome to Cary Sargent who joins our Special Education Department and will teach Lifeskills.

S.E.S. Teachers Attend Professional Development

S.E.S. teachers are once again attending professional development in preparation for the upcoming school year. The latest opportunities include Gifted & Talented Training in LaGrange, Tx, as well as Power of Two Training at the Region 13 Educational Service Center in Austin, Tx.

The Gifted & Talented Training is a 5-day training which begins with analyzing the historical, legal and conceptual understandings of gifted education. Teachers will examine the characteristics and behaviors of gifted learners, which are the basis for developing programs that meet their needs.  Teachers will also consider the social and emotional needs of these learners and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of programs for gifted learners.  This is description for just day 1!  We are excited to increase the number of GT certified teachers at S.E.S., working to provide the best educational setting for all of our students.

In addition to the GT training, we have teachers who are attending a 2-day training called Power of Two.  This training is designed for general education and special education teachers, with different expertise when working collaboratively can enrich the educational experience for all students in the classroom.  Teachers will gain many ideas for creating a caring, structured, and engaging environment where students follow multiple pathways to accomplish learning outcomes.

As you can see from the descriptions above, our teachers are committed to meeting the needs of all our students.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Welcome New Faculty Members

Smithville Elementary is happy to introduce new faculty joining us for the 2012-2013 school year.

Welcome our new faculty members:

Jennifer Kolinek - Assistant Principal

Victoria Pope - 4th grade Teacher

Krisha Fellows - 3rd grade Teacher

Other moves within the campus:

Sarah Vinklarek - Counselor

Jana Patrolia - 4th grade Teacher

Cathy Kirby - Special Education Teacher 4th grade

Monday, July 2, 2012

SES Teachers Attend the 2012 CSCOPE Conference

Smithville Elementary teachers are busy this summer attending professional development in preparation for the upcoming school year. The first of the opportunities has come through the CSCOPE Confence in San Antonio this past June. Teachers Chris White, Bryan Ladd, Amy Kennon, and Michele Mathis attended the three day conference along with other teachers from SISD as well as teachers from across the state of Texas.

The conference is an annual event which supports our adopted curriculum, CSCOPE. The conference hosted two keynote speakers and numerous pull-out sessions for teachers to choose from. The conference focuses on the four core courses of math, science, reading, and social studies along with sessions supporting data and technology in the classroom. SISD teachers have attended the conference for the past two years and return with new ideas, reinforcement of concepts, and strategies to share with their colleagues.

Among the topics SES teachers attended include: Creating Strategies with Curriculum to Optimise Pupil Engagement, Teaching with Social Studies Concepts in the Elementary Classroom, Dinah Zikes Notebook Foldables, Balanced Literacy Curriculum Components, Introduction to Writer's Workshop, CSCOPE Differentiation, Rubrics, Word Walls, Math Differentiation, Building Academic Vocabulary, Using Data and CSCOPE to Improve Instruction and Intervention, CSCOPE and Special Education, Accommodations and Modifications, and the Assessment Validation Process.

Teachers will share information from the sessions with their colleagues during the week of inservice in August.