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    April 27, 2018

    Student Assessments

    All students have been taking the NWEA tests in reading and math again. After they take all the tests this month, we will be able to see the academic growth that each student made this school year. In addition to the NWEA tests taken on the computer, students in kindergarten through fifth grade will take a DIBELS assessment during the week of May 14th.

    The DIBELS assessment was also administered during the months of September and January. In kindergarten and first grade, the DIBELS assessment helps determine a student's readiness for reading. In grades 2 through 5, the DIBELS indicates how fluent a student is at reading. Please encourage your child to do their very best on these assessments. We will be sharing the results with you at the end of the year.

    Our fifth grade students have completed all of their M-Step Assessments through the State of Michigan's Assessment Program. Fourth grade is taking their M-Step Assessments the week of May 1st through May 10th. And, our third grade students will be taking the M-Step Assessments the week of May 8th through May 23rd.

    New this year, all K-5th grade students will be taking the Delta Math Screener from May 7th

    Through May 18th.

    Attendance Update and Pathways to Potential Attendance Incentive

    We continue to encourage regular school attendance for all of our students. Regular attendance equates to missing no more than 9 days for the entire school year. How is your child doing this school year with being a regular attender? At the end of school all students that have missed 9 or less days of school for the year will receive a 9 or less bracelet and will be recognized at our end of the year assembly by our P2P (Pathways to Potential) organization.

    Since the beginning of the school year, Ballard has had an average daily attendance rate of 93.82% . This rate has dropped slightly since last year. The 3rd grade continues to have the best daily attendance at 94.86%. The top three classes with over a 95% daily rate are Mrs. Tallis-Crowner (96.93%), Mrs. Hoedema (95.65%), and Mr. Bechtel (95.43%).

    We have two attendance incentives currently running through the end of the year. First, “Paw into Spring” started in March. Each week the class with perfect attendance for the week earns a paw print that goes up on the P2P bulletin board across from the office. The class with the most paws on May 11th week will receive a prize. The other incentive is for every student who has perfect attendance from January 8th through June 8th. There are still 20 students who have perfect attendance this year. These students have an opportunity to win a bike through a drawing for one boy's bike and one girl's bike on Monday, June 11th.

     Dress Code Reminders

    With warmer weather approaching we would like to remind you of our Dress Code at Ballard. Tops with spaghetti straps, mesh shirts, bare midriffs, short shorts and skirts, and significantly altered or torn clothing are not allowed. Sleeveless shirts or blouses with large armholes (muscle shirts) may not be worn unless another garment is worn underneath. Open toed shoes and flip-flops are discouraged due to playing on the playground at lunch. Many toes have been injured due to inappropriate shoes being worn to school. You may refer to our student/parent handbook for more information on our Dress Code. Also, Mr. Payne wants to remind students to dress appropriately on gym days to go outside as they may be running, so all students should wear tennis shoes to gym class. Open toed shoes and flip-flops are not appropriate for gym.

    Spring Music Concert

    Second grade students will perform their Spring Music Concert on Tuesday, May 29th and first grade students perform on Tuesday, June 5th. Both are in Ballard’s gymnasium beginning at 7:00 pm. More information will be sent out by Mr. Gruver. Mark your calendars now and plan to attend.

    Kindergarten Registration/Hearing & Vision Testing

    Kindergarten registration is now open at all elementary schools for next year. To be eligible for kindergarten, children must be five years old on or before December 1, 2018. Parents must provide an official birth certificate, proof of residency, up-to-date immunization record, and proof of vision and hearing screening. If you have a kindergarten student that hasn't been enrolled yet for the upcoming year, you may stop in at the office to fill out an enrollment form (please bring the above mentioned items with you at that time). We will accept applications through Tuesday, June 12th. You may also go into the Westside Administration Building on Spruce Street during the summer to register your child for school.

    If your child needs hearing and vision screening, the Berrien County Health Department at the Front Street location, has a free screening on Tuesday, July 24th and Tuesday, August 21st from 8:30-11:30 am and 1:30-3:30 pm. You may contact the Health Department at 684-2800, ext. 6525 for more information.

    Welcome Mr. Hamstra

    Earlier this week, Mr. Scott Hamstra sent home a letter introducing himself as the Interim Assistant Principal. Mr. Hamstra will be helping us for the rest of the school year. Welcome to Ballard Mr. Hamstra!

    PTO News

    Our final PTO meeting is Thursday, May 3rd. We would like to thank all of our parents for your effort this year in helping our school with the many collections that earn our school extra funds (fund-raising opportunities, Box Tops, Martins Advantage Card, and recycling, etc.).

    A behavior contract will be sent home soon outlining expectations for all students through the end of this school year in order to attend the last half days of school and participate in the fun activities being planned by our PTO.

    Upcoming Dates

    May 1 First grades to Fernwood (JG, NW) 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

    May 2 First grades to Fernwood (DB, RS) 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

    May 3 Last PTO Meeting of the year at 4:00 pm in the library

    May 17 Girls on the Run 5K event at Berrien County Fairgrounds/Berrien Springs

    May 21 Board of Education Meeting at 6:00 pm

    May 24 Fifth grade trip to Chicago

    May 25 Kindergarten program at 1:00 pm (watch for more information from teachers)

    May 28 Memorial Day – No School for students

    May 29 Second grade music program at 7:00 pm

    June 1 Fifth grade Wax Museum (1:30-3:30 pm in cafeteria)

    June 5 First grade music concert @ 7:00 pm

    June 6 Third grade classes to Binder Zoo (9:00-3:30); K-2 grades Field Day Events

    June 7 3-5 grades Field Day Events (rain dates for field days will be June 8)

    June 8 Kindergarten trip to St. Joseph Curious Kids (9:15-3:00);

    Fifth grade moving on celebration – 1:30 pm in the gym

    June 11&12 Half days of school; End of year celebration activities. Tuesday is the last day of

    school for students.