Principal’s Message October 2017

Wow! Did September go by as fast for you as it did for me?

Thank you MCS Families for making sure the transition from summer to school year was smooth. You getting your kids up every school day, ready to come and learn makes our jobs so much easier.

I think David says it very well in Psalm 118:24

“This is the day that the Lord had made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

I have now had a full 5 months at MCS (counting last spring) and with that I have been able to ask questions and make observations. One observation that I would like to highlight this month is something I see every morning and afternoon.

Morning drop off and afternoon pick up.

First, I would like to acknowledge the patience demonstrated by our neighbors every morning. As they try to get on with their day, they have to navigate increased traffic flow that sometimes makes their own morning commute hectic before it even begins. If you could be mindful of the driveways directly across the street from the playground and avoid blocking them as you stop to drop off your children, I am certain our neighbors would appreciate that.

If dropping your children off on either side of the front street continues to be necessity, I would like you to consider this question:

  • What if we couldn’t jaywalk?
  • How would your children get across the street?

mapI understand that this is not a new concern, but one that has been brought up many times before. The vast majority of you are aware of previously established routines and drop off locations for your children. If you are a new to the MCS family or need a quick reminder, the map is here →

Moving into the building, I would like to highlight, briefly, some of the work that the teachers have engaged in this year. Teachers from Kindergarten through to Grade 9 are working on aligning how they teach writing. The goal is to have instructional strategies and vocabulary that is aligned as your child moves from one grade to the next. The language and strategies teachers use will not be identical between grades, as higher grades will need to be more complex, but teachers will use consistent language and instructional strategies that build upon each other as students progress through the grade levels.

In addition to writing instruction, teacher are working to develop shared background knowledge around reading, specifically the Five Pillars of Reading:

  1. Phonemic Awareness (the sounds in spoken words)
  2. Phonological awareness (the sounds in written words),
  3. Fluency (the ability to read text quickly, accurately and with expression),
  4. Vocabulary (the meaning of words), and
  5. Reading Comprehension (the meaning of a written passage of text).

During the last week of September every student at MCS was given 3 reading screeners, which are quick and easy assessments that give us information about these pillars: Phonological Awareness, Fluency, and Reading Comprehension. These assessments will give us a benchmark or starting point to give our teachers feedback on how students are progressing on these three areas of reading. These screeners will be administered again in January and May.

These pieces are just two of the actions your child’s teachers are engaged in this year to make sure all students at Meadowlark Christian School are successful.

A couple of important dates worth noting this month:

  1. October 20, 2017 – Interim Reports released
  2. October 24 & 25 – Parent teacher interviews (3:45-7:45)

Scott Markine