From the Desk ofMr. Arthur Blevins
July 27, 2017
Dear Austin Road Elementary School Families,
Welcome back to another exciting year! We are extremely excited about our students returning to school. They left as Rockets and will return as Jaguars. Our mascot is no longer a rocket but is now a jaguar. Students will have a year of “PAW-sitive” learning experiences. We are committed and focused on improving student and family engagement, developing students’ writing skills, increasing students’ depth of knowledge in science and social studies, utilizing Tier 2 vocabulary words, and maintaining our positive behavior invention system, S.O.A.R. It is our goal to promote a positive culture and climate for all stakeholders. We are determined to deliver excellent instruction in all content areas. We will create a school where safety, respect, accountability, support, and excellence are highly evident!
A.R.E. will continue to focus on making our vision and mission the core of our daily work with children, teachers, and parents. At the same time, we are creating a culture of college and career readiness. This is the year we will build shared understandings about what this means and ways parents and teachers can work together to ensure that every A.R.E.S. student is college and career ready.
Parents, we know you want the best for your children and so do we! We are on the same team. High performing schools have highly effective leaders, teachers, and teams. These schools also excel in family and community engagement. This year, we are going to excel in involving you!
Please take time to read this entire opening letter, so that you can learn about our expectations and the very important work we will do together this year.
PARTICIPATE IN STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES
We are excited to announce that ARE will continue to have student-led conferences as they were a huge success last year. This year, we will improve our work by carefully planning and allowing each grade level to have conferences on different days during the 1st and 3rd nine-week grading periods. You will be invited to attend a conference with your child and his/her classroom teacher(s). Your child will lead you in a discussion of his/her work in each content area utilizing a portfolio. Attending these conferences will mean the world to your child. You will walk away informed and excited about what your child is learning at A.R.E.S., and with information to help you become the best advocate for your child. Please check your child’s folder regularly for more information during the first nine weeks of school.
TEACH AND EXPECT RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, AND IMPROVEMENT
Our theme for the 2017 – 2018 school year is: “Let’s Be Paw-sitive and Strive for Excellence.” Our motto: “Always Reaching Excellence, Excellence in Everything!” SOAR means: Safe, Organized, Accountable, and Respectful! Parents, you are extremely important in helping us create and maintain a positive and safe school culture and climate. We must be on the same team in teaching our children to respect each other and all adults in our community. College and career readiness also require us to teach our children to have excellent character, skills, and behavior. We are committed to CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT and want you to join us as we are determined to BE EXCELLENT in our school climate and culture work!
MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS IN SCHOOL AND ARRIVES ON TIME EACH DAY!
Our expectations are vastly higher this year. They are high for us as the leaders of the school. They are extremely high for each boy, girl, teacher, and parent in our community. Parents, it is very important that children are present and on time every day! Instruction begins at 7:45 a.m. sharp! Children who arrive after 7:45 a.m. will be marked tardy! Excellent attendance is the first step to helping our children become college and career ready. The Georgia Standards of Excellence are very challenging; children must be present and on time for school in order to do their best. Instructional Focus (IF) time is the first instructional period of the day. This is a dedicated time to provide school-wide tutoring and enrichment for all students. Your children will not want to miss a single moment!
Our bell schedule has not changed. Our school day begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends at 2:25 p.m. School doors will open at 7:15 a.m. for breakfast. The breakfast line will close promptly at 7:35 a.m. Please plan to have your children report to school no later than 7:15 a.m. to receive a hot nutritious breakfast.
In the best interest of our children, our attendance team will adhere to the district’s attendance policies. A chronic absence watch list will be maintained and phone calls will be made daily. We will provide ongoing communication throughout the year and offer support through our Student Support Team (SST). We will also make referrals to Family Preservation and Truancy Court, if necessary. The district’s attendance policy will be reviewed during Curriculum Night, PTOs, and other parent meetings. Please make it your aim for perfect attendance, so we can celebrate you and your child at our semester and annual awards ceremonies.
PARTICIPATE IN SCHOOL COUNCIL
School Council will meet once a month. It is one of many forums in which we will monitor the progress of our school improvement plans and come up with creative ideas to keep A.R.E. on the path to academic excellence! You are always welcome to attend. See the school calendar, on our website, for meeting dates and times. We look forward to all that will be accomplished from us working as a team.
T – Together
E – Everyone
A – Accomplish
M - Much