September 9, 2016

posted Sep 9, 2016, 1:04 PM by Kurt Gergler

Hello Families,

Have you heard about Flash Mobs? It is when a group of people gather all at once to perform or do something fun and then disperse. It is for entertainment. OK, OK, the term was coined over a decade ago but I try to sound hip when I can. Last week I mentioned the BES End of Summer Harvest Picnic occurring between 5:00 and 7:00 on Friday, September 16th on the BES playground. Where did this come from? I like to call it a Flash Event. See, all sorts of people have all sorts of great ideas and I think it would be great to jump in and try some. The key to a Flash Event is to make the event fun and not require any one person to dedicate hours and hours to organize. Our picnic will be our first Flash Event!

How will the picnic work? We ask that you come with food for your family, blankets, chairs and lawn games. Feel free to bring finger food to share. We will set up tables for shared dishes and play some music. We will have the building open for bathrooms or if the weather pushes us inside.

If anyone has a particular twist to add, feel free to contact me if logistics are needed. For instance, BES does have a decent sound system so we could have live music. Does anyone want to come perform a song or two? Open mic? If you bring music on an iPod to sing to, we could do that as well.

We hope to see you next Friday!!!

We want to share a bit of our staff conversations around report cards this year. In case you are new, we generally report student progress on standards-based report cards three times a year. Standards describe specific academic skills, such as counting to 100 or reading grade level words. We have end of year standards, or standards that we want children to master by June each year. The first report card, usually given out in December, is rated against the June standards. If you think about it, most children will not master the June standards in December so the ratings on the cards look low, even if the child is on track.

We want to try something different this year. Rather than the standards-based report card in December, we will furnish written comments about the student’s progress at the conferences in November. The comments will capture all aspects of the day, but will not be as long and detailed as the report card. We will then score the standards-based report cards in late January and again in June. We are still discussing if we do any progress notes in between January and June. We will update you on that.

The goal of this change is to give parents more of a real time update in November so parents know how their child(ren) is doing after the first nine weeks of school. We hope the comments will work better than the cards we did last December.

The big picture, looking a few years down the road, is that we are wrestling with the best way to inform parents around student progress. The dream is to have a way for parents to be able to check on student progress in real time. We think that would be great for all! Why wait for a report card, right?

Please let me know if you have questions about our report card conversations,

Keep in touch.

Kurt Gergler