From Dr. B: Spirit Week, Flex Time, PARCC News & the Stanley Cup!

Dear Lafayette Families,

We are nearly one month into the start of the school year, and already there are amazing things happening!  Last week we had a very fun spirit week  culminating in Dot Day !  Thank you to all the parent volunteers and our fabulous art teachers – Laurie McLaughlin and Andrea Perll – for leading the day of celebration.  This is a day to celebrate our creativity and the courage to “make your mark”.  If you are interested in reading more about Dot Day, check out the book “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds.  You can also read more about our celebration here.

Flex Time

We also have our Flex time activities in full effect!  This means that every day between 2:40 and 3:10 pm there are a variety of opportunities for students to join a club or an activity.  Our students work with their teachers to choose their activities each day for Flex time, which could include reading for pleasure, joining a club, or using some extra time to finish assignments of class time.  In the next week or so we will publish the full listing of activities and their descriptions.  For example, students can join Choir, Banana Splits, or Kaleidoscope Kids.  There’s also International Club, Spanish Club, and a “Dear Diary” Club coming soon.  Don’t forget playing board games with me or visiting the library.  As a quick note about the library, it’s now also open this year every morning before school from 8:20 am – 8:40 am. 

LSAT,  PARCC & Volunteering

This past week our LSAT team also met and talked through our enrollment and staffing updates.  We also shared out our long term plan for the school year and topics to be discussed.  Next month, LSAT will be looking discussing how to best plan to support potential growth for next year.  For a full listing of the LSAT meeting notes, the link is here

In other academic news, many of you are aware that our PARCC scores were released in late August.  PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) is our “state” mandated standardized test for accountability purposes taken by all 3rd – 5th grade students in May.  While I recognize that there are strong feelings about standardized testing, the reality is that as a DC Public School, this is a required accountability measure.  To find out more about PARCC, please refer to their website.

For the 2017-2018 school year, Lafayette’s overall scores fell slightly.  In English Language Arts, we dropped 3% pts (77% à 74%) of students performing at proficient or advanced levels.  In Math, we dropped 2% pts (82% à 80%) of students performing at proficient or advanced.  While no one wants to see an overall decrease, it is important to note that every cohort of students made gains from their previous years’ performance.   In other words, last year’s 4th graders grew from their previous year’s performance as 3rd graders.  If we compare apples to apples and track a class’s growth over their years with Lafayette, we continue to see an upward trend in their achievement.  This is a direct result of our teachers’ continuous support of students’ learning.  I am so incredibly proud of how our teachers are able to meet students where they are and push their learning in meaningful ways.  For our current 4th and 5th grade students, individual score reports will be sent home on Friday.  These reports include a parent explanation, as well as the reminder that this is only one measure of students’ academic performance.  Please reach out to your student’s teacher if you have questions about the score report.

Finally, thank you to everyone who joined us two weeks ago at the first HSA General meeting.  There are many ways to continue to build community and work together.  Our Fall Festival is quickly approaching!  There are many opportunities to volunteer :).  We also have our first round of field trips heading out this week!  Thank you in advance to all of you who have already paid your class activity fee.  As a gentle reminder, we have only collected about 50% of our class activity fee.  If you have not already, please go here and pay your child’s class activity fee.  This ensures that we can pay for buses, entry fees, class activities, and field day tshirts!  We ask that everyone has paid no later than 9/28.

Stanley Cup!

To cap off our week, we will celebrate with a visit from the Stanley Cup this Friday!  Thanks to Don Fishman for sharing this incredible opportunity with us as a community.  All students will have an opportunity to view the cup while they exit the building during dismissal on Friday.  At 3:20 pm, we will bring the Cup out to the east side of the playground blacktop (side closest to the backstop of the field).  Families are welcome to view the cup, take photos, and enjoy this celebratory moment together after our regular dismissal procedures.

Here’s to another great month of school!  And hopefully a month with less humidity and rain!

Dr. B