This is JJ and me in December. I was so happy to see a bunch of My "old" kids now in 6th grade while I was at the middle school for the food drive, but it was especially great to get a hug from him. While at Mt.Vernon JJ was a great student, a quiet kid and a friend to everyone. During his 5th grade year JJ learned that he was fighting a brain tumor. Recently he was hospitalized for what they found was another tumor at his brain stem and some more evidence of issues along the spine. He's in for another fight and we want him to know how very much we all love him and are fighting for him. PRAYERS AND HUGS for you JJ! We love you!
Tuesday was my birthday and it was also National Hug Day. I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with tons of hugs from the kids. Well I get that every day but that's neither here nor there. Miss Bleil's class made me cards, and these were just a few of the awesome thoughts. Truly these are the most precious gifts that make me remember just how lucky I really am.
These are first graders who just learned to write last year so I am very proud of them! If you don't recognize a word just sound it out. For example har=hair. A card that tells me I have beautiful har? Move over Hallmark!
We had a phone call at Mt.Vernon yesterday that was a little unusual and left me smiling. A woman who lives in New York City called to ask if we had a student named "Jane Doe" (names are changed to protect the innocent). In fact we did have a student by that name but she is now at the middle school, but we don't just hand that information out! The woman went on to tell us that she found a camera in a taxi labeled with this student's name. To track down the owner she clicked through some pictures and saw that in several pictures she was wearing either an Elizabeth Forward or a Mt.Vernon Elementary t-shirt. She put two and two together to reach us. Long story short we were able to put our former student in touch with this kind stranger who then mailed her her camera. The moral of this story? Wearing your Mt.Vernon shirt is a safe bet no matter where you go! There are lots of really good people out there.....
I started teaching at EF in 1995 so I've been with the district for 19 years now. In that time I have seen the district go through ups and downs. We struggled to shake the "Betsy Backwards" label that haunted us. Well the struggle is over and there is no one who can say that EF is backwards now!
At tonight's school board meeting we were given the distinction of being named an Apple Distinguished District. Only 240 educational institutions from elementary through college have received that distinction. Think about that. That's a lot of schools. EF has always had a strong belief in technology and we have always been ahead of the curve, but things are different now. Our kids are leaving each grade with new job-ready skills. Kindergarteners work collaboratively and print in 3-D. 3rd graders use Augmented Reality. It's incredible!
It is such an exciting time to be a part of the amazing things happening at EF. Our kids use technology as a tool to accomplish learning the way that they will work and consume information for the rest of their lives. It used to be that we were preparing kids for a world that they wouldn't be living in. What I mean by that is that while the world grew and changed with technology education continued to stagnate, buried in worksheets and papers. Now we are giving kids the skills to adapt and change with the world, using technology that will drive jobs, entertainment, and daily life. Our students have an edge that very, very few other districts are able to give.
Hi friends, here are a few answers to the question, "Why are we closed AGAIN?" Feel free to share.
Q. Who makes the decision to close or delay? Usually it is the superintendent of a district. They usually confer with one or more of the following people: bus garage, police, road crews, other local superintendents.
Q. Is there a magic temperature when schools must close or delay? No. But many things are taken into account such as what kind of bus garage you have and what kind of fuel your buses use. If the buses are kept outside and use diesel fuel, the fuel turns to gel at around -4. Capability and man power of each garage to warm the vehicles and get them de-iced varies, so that is a major factor. You also have to look at bus runs. If there are buses that go many miles to pick up students there is a greater possibility the kids will be left standing outside for extended periods, subjecting children to the cold. On Monday I had a chid come to school with no coat. You also have to think about those parents who don't dress their kids appropriately or the fact that even little ones sometimes get themselves off to the bus each day, esp. when there is a delay.
Q. The roads don't seem that bad so why the delay/cancellation? Keep in mind that many districts like EF are between 26-45 sq. miles. In other parts of the state the districts are over 100 sq. miles. Your roads may look fine, but there are rural roads in other parts of the district where plows or salt trucks cannot reach to make a safe way for the bus. Also later in the season municipalities may run out of salt or non-skid.
Stories from school and beyond.
The good, the bad and the funny. All here.