Dear Second Grade Parents,
We are beginning a great year in Second Grade. We have enclosed the class schedule and details about our activities at school. Please read everything carefully before Open House on August 23rd, The following topics will be discussed and questions will be answered at the meeting.
SNACKS: Children will be allowed time for a nutritious snack when they are hungry. Some easy to pack, nutritious snacks might be raisins, fruit, or dried cereal. Please be aware we may have students who are allergic to nuts. We encourage you to send nutritious snacks and not candy. We usually keep emergency snacks in the classroom; these are for times when someone forgets his/her snack. If you would like to contribute a snack to our "emergency fund" sometime throughout the school year, it would be appreciated! The children are permitted to bring in water bottles, which they may use throughout the year. Please remind your students that water bottles are for water only. Water bottles should have a screw on cap, which fits tightly to help prevent spills. Please remember to have your child take his/her water bottle home over the weekend to clean.
BIRTHDAYS: Students may bring a treat to celebrate their birthday. Let us know in advance if possible. Please do not send in any treats with nuts or made with a nut oil. We may have some very allergic students who can not be near someone who has consumed nuts. Mrs. McGhee's class has 12 students. Ms. Witzgall's class has 18 and Ms. Haskamp’s class has 17 students. Please bring treats in before school and the teacher will distribute them at a convenient time according to class schedule.
HOMEWORK: Please check your child's homework notebook which will be in the portfolio every night. Portfolios will be used again this year. We may send work home that needs to be corrected or examined by you. If students are falling behind we will place work in the homework section that we want completed at home. Always check your child’s planner. Homework or make up papers will be written out in the planner. We sign every planner each day. Do not take papers from the reading, science, social studies, or math sections to complete at home. Students switch classes and they carry their necessary papers in the labeled section. Work in those sections is class work that must be completed in class under the teacher’s supervision. Your involvement in this process is extremely important. A reading contract will also be included in the homework section of the portfolio. This is to be kept in the homework section until Monday then initialed and returned to the homeroom teacher. Everything is to be placed in the student's portfolio and returned to school each day.
GRADED WORK: A graded packet of papers will go home in your child's portfolio. This will inform you of how your child is progressing. You may remove work from the graded section. These papers are for you. Please contact your child's teacher if you have a question.
RELIGION: We will prepare the students for sacraments here at Villa but you will need to contact your parish Director of Religious Education regarding your child's reception of them. You have the option of your child receiving First Communion with the parish group or receiving individually at a parish celebration. Please note your child must receive the sacraments for the first time in your own parish and not at Villa according to guidelines in the Diocese. Sacramental preparation will begin soon. Please look for, sign and return this important paperwork. All students, those, who are not Catholic as well, must return the paperwork. All students are invited and asked to participate in our Villa Class communion Mass, which takes place in May. Once we know the dates that all our students will have made their actual First Communion, we will begin scheduling this celebration. The elementary school will celebrate a mass every other Friday. Please feel free to join us. The students love to see you there, as do we. Mass begins at approximately 9:00.
Service Learning: Please read over the service learning policy in the handbook on page 27-28. Service hours must be activities that require a student to share time and talent with a person other than a family member. These activities will be completed without the expectation of compensation of any kind. These activities may not be chores that are expected to be completed on a routine basis as part of living in a household.
Students will need to obtain a signature from the adult who supervised the service being completed.
Students will need to submit a reflection of their service once a trimester to their religion teacher. The first trimester the religion teacher in second grade will help write the first reflections. Failure to complete the 4 service hours will result in the lowering of the religion grade.
SPELLING: This year we are using words that are generated from students’ reading material and frequently used word lists. A list will go home with your child each week. This year there will be a spelling section in the students' portfolios. We suggest the following daily schedule.
Monday -- Children read each word to someone and use it orally in a sentence.
Tuesday -- Copy each word 3 times, placing them in ABC order. Please turn this
in on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday -- Write each word in a sentence. Sentences are due Friday morning.
Thursday -- Call out words to student so child can write words.
Friday -- Test day unless no school, then test day is Thursday. Tests include at least one dictated sentence.
READING: This year we are using guided reading and literature circles. Students will be reading material at their individual need and ability level. We also use Harcourt Brace's Treasury of Literature series. We supplement with additional literature that is by the current author or relates to the theme of study. Teachers work with students in large groups, small groups and on an individual basis. In using guided reading students will read material more than once. Students read with the teacher, with each other in a partner situation as well as individually.
GRADING: We view literacy as extremely important in the primary years. The ability to read influences how one succeeds in all subject areas. We expect students to be able to read at an instructional level in core subject areas. Subject grades are determined by participation in class, knowledge of material covered, reading ability, class work, and homework completed in a timely manner. Points will be taken off work that is not turned in on the day it is expected. Due dates will be written in the planner. Parents will be contacted on an individual basis as to the strengths and needs for their child.
CONDUCT: We use a traffic light behavior program that is visual so that students are aware of their conduct. Older students use a point system. Each trimester a student begins with 100 points. To translate traffic lights to the point system: a yellow light deducts one point, a red light deducts three points. Your child’s overall behavior in all special classes, the playground, the cafeteria, before and after school in the cafeteria, as well as behavior at Mass is considered. In other words, if the cafeteria staff inform us that a student’s behavior was inappropriate, they will change student’s traffic light to yellow. That deducts one point from their behavior grade.
The following is our list of consequences on a weekly basis:
5 greens or 1 or 2 yellows and the rest green are good.
3 reds = go to Mr. Albrinck's office to work, call to parents.
5 reds = conference with Mr. Albrinck, teacher and students' parent.
Red behavior is rare. Examples are behavior that you would not accept at home.
On days that every one in the class remains on green a marble will be placed in a jar.
It is during the primary years that future work habits are formed. We consider that after the first week of school, students should be able to walk upstairs by themselves, unpack their own backpacks, sharpen their own pencils and place their homework in the homework basket. If students arrive at school early they are to go to the cafeteria and wait until the supervising teacher dismisses them at 7: 45. That allows fifteen minutes to get prepared for school. Fifteen minutes is more than enough time. Time before school is important to teachers for their planning or meeting with committees. Announcements, prayers and instructional time begin promptly at 8:00am.
CONFERENCE: If you wish to contact us please call Mrs. McGhee at extension 205, Ms. Witzgall at extension 206 or Ms. Haskamp at extension 208 and leave a message. We will get back to you. We are more than happy to meet with you to discuss your child or your concerns. Please use the appropriate route to schedule these. Please do not come to the classroom unscheduled to discuss your child’s progress. Please schedule all conferences to avoid taking time away from teaching to discuss an individual child. This is unfair to the students in the classroom. Students need their teaching time.
COMPUTERS: We will have a computer lab period once per week. We will be using i pads in the classrooms as well as our smart boards.
MATH: We will be using Sadliers' Progress in Mathematics this year. We will supplement with activities from Trail blazers. We will send home math homework three days a week once school gets under way. Homework will come home on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
SCIENCE/RELIGION/SOCIAL STUDIES : This year the students will have Mrs. McGhee for science, Ms. Witzgall for social studies and Ms. Haskamp will be teaching religion.
BOOK CLUBS: Occasionally we will send home flyers for you to order books for your child. These book clubs usually offer a wide selection of reading materials at a reasonable price. If you desire to make a purchase, please make checks out to Scholastic with your teacher’s account number. We will provide you with this information. This year teachers will be placing book orders themselves rather than having orders placed through the business office. Scholastic owns the three book clubs we will be sending material home from. Please try to return order forms in a timely manner.
Mission Statement: The mission of villa Madonna Academy is to educate students in grades K-12 for full Christian participation in 21st century life. Villa is committed to forming students who seek God in the Benedictine tradition of reverence and peace, scholarship, service and community.
If you have any questions or concerns, drop us a note or give us a call at school. We are looking forward to a great school year.
Ms. Laura Haskamp extension 208
Mrs. Marianne McGhee extension 205
Ms. Laura Witzgall extension 206