• March 3, 2017

    Conference Follow-up

    We were glad to see many of you at parent-teacher conferences this week. If you still would like to conference with your child's teacher, please call the school to set up a time for a phone conference, or a meeting with the teacher.

    M-Step Assessment (Michigan's Testing System for Students)

    All of our students in grades 3 through 5 will be taking the M-Step Assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics starting after spring break. In addition to the ELA and Mathematics tests, fourth grade students will take an M-Step Science Test and fifth grade students will take an M-Step Social Studies Test. A schedule of specific test dates for each grade level will be sent home prior to spring break.

    Attendance Update and Pathways to Potential Attendance Incentive

    We continue to stress good attendance and students being present every day at school for academic success. Since the beginning of the school year, Ballard has had an average daily attendance rate of 94.99% which means approximately 30 students have been absent per day. This rate has dropped since the month of December. We hope it will increase as we head into spring. A shout out to the 4th grade. They currently have the best daily attendance at 95.87%. The top three classes with over a 95.8% daily rate are Mrs. Anton (95.94%), Mrs. Lyle (95.87%), and Miss Sabourin (95.83).

    In March our pizza party incentive continues. Each week the top three classes with the best attendance percentages from the previous week are recognized with a slice of pizza on the Pathways to Potential bulletin board across from the office. The class with the most slices of pizza on March 29th will receive a pizza party on March 30th during their lunch time. Remember every student with perfect attendance from January 4th through June 8th has a chance to win a bike through another P2P attendance incentive.

    PTO News

    There is a new fund-raising opportunity sponsored by PTO to help raise extra money for school activities. It started on March 1st (details sent home Thursday-delayed because of no school on Wednesday). Please review the information with your child(ren) and encourage them to sell items to family and friends. The fundraiser ends on March 15th. Checks can be made payable to Ballard School. There are additional order forms in the office. Thank you for your help!

    Box Top collection totals for February: Mrs. Whitney's class took 1st place; in 2nd place is Miss Henry's class; and third place is Mrs. Lyle's class. The next Box Tops collection is on Thursday, April 20th.

    Come join us Tuesday, March 28th for our Family Fun Night from 6:00-7:30 pm. This year the event will focus on reading. More details will be sent home soon. The next PTO Meeting is Thursday, March 9.

    Music Program

    The 3rd grade classes will present a music concert on Tuesday, March 14 at 7 pm in the Ballard Elementary School Gymnasium. Students will be performing several Motown favorites, as well as a song about the Underground Railroad.

    Mr. Gruver will send home more details regarding this concert with your third grader soon. If you have any questions or would be willing to video record this performance, please contact Mr. Gruver at 683-5900 x10539 or at steve.gruver@nilesschools.org

    Teacher Requests for the 2017-18 School Year

    If you would like to request a certain teacher for your child, we ask that you submit those requests in writing to Mrs. Hadrick or Mr. Eichenberg by Friday, April 28. When requesting a teacher, we ask that you have a first and second choice request. In addition, you should state why you are choosing these two specific teachers for your students. It is important for us to have these requests sooner rather than later. Requests received after the deadline may not be granted.

    Dodge-ball at NHS

    The 6th Annual Staff Dodge-Ball Tournament benefiting Project Graduation is Tuesday, March 14th at 6:30 in the Niles High School gym. Admission is $2. Some special features this year include: Half court shot with former Purdue basketball star Brandon Mcknight, shout out announcements for a $1.00 donation, and bead and glow necklaces for $1.00. All proceeds benefit Project Graduation. Come cheer on your favorite teachers/school and help raise money for fun graduation celebrations for our senior class of 2017. We hope to see you there!

    Completion of Hoops for Heart/Jump Rope for Heart

    The Hoops for Heart/Jump Rope for Heart fund-raising has finished up and our school raised $3,076.81! This money will help lots of kids who have heart problems. Because we were over the $3000 mark, we earned $200 in US Game Certificates. First Grade had the most money in donations totaling over $850. The first graders who participated in the event will get to decide what playground/gym equipment we purchase for next year.

    To the left below are the class winners who will get a free day (TBD) in gym class. To the right below are the individual grade winners who will be invited to a movie and popcorn in the gymnasium(TBD).

    Kindergarten-Mrs. Christy’s Class - $200      Kindergarten-Mrs. Dwyer- Madeline Laboda -$150

    1st Grade-Mrs. Gilbert’s Class -$459.81       1st Grade-Mrs. Gilbert- Mikey Howell - $155

    2nd Grade-Mr. Bechtel’s Class -$170           2nd Grade-Mr. Bechtel- BradLee Tincher - $125

    3rd Grade-Mrs. Ripley’s Class - $175          3rd Grade-Mrs. Ripley- Amelia Neff -$175

    4th Grade-Mrs. Anton’s Class - $415           4th Grade-Mrs. Anton- Alyssa Benjamin - $275

    5th Grade-Mrs. Whitney’s Class - $279       5th Grade-Mrs. Whitney- Daytona Jodell - $179

    Zoo Crew Character thank you gifts have been awarded and additional thank you gifts will be awarded after Spring Break. In addition all participants will receive one complimentary ticket to a Detroit Pistons Game as well as a ticket to a Kalamazoo Wings Hockey Game!! Please be looking for these vouchers next week.


    Thank you for your support of the American Heart Association!

    March 8 Science Olympiad students to LMC-9 am–1:30 pm

    March 9 PTO Meeting in library at 4:00 pm;

    Preschool Registration at Northside @ 6:00 pm

    March 10 5th grades to NHS play at 9:00 am

    March 13 Mrs. Dierlam's class begins swimming at the YMCA from 10:00-11:00 am

    March 14 4th grades to Healthworks Kids Museum; 3rd grade music program at 7:00 pm;

    Dodge-ball at NHS at 6:30 pm

    March 16 Box top collection; Kindergarten Registration at Northside @ 7:00 pm

    March 20 Board of Education meeting at 6:00 pm

    March 21 Preschool Playgroup at 6:30 pm in cafeteria

    March 24 Preschool Registration at Northside at 10:00 am

    March 28 PTO Family Fun Night from 6:00-7:30 pm

    March 30 Ballard Reward Store

    March 31 Half day of school, dismissal at 11:58; Spring Break begins

    April 3-7 Spring Break-NO SCHOOL

    April 10 School Resumes