Thank you to everyone who attended our Open House last Thursday. It is always a special day at St. Isaac’s when your children know you’re visiting with their teacher, seeing their school work displayed in their classroom, and sharing in their daily SIJ experiences. A huge thank you to our PSA co-presidents, Kristine Jeka and Michelle Wake, who spoke about the Parent School Association and all it does to support our school, and raffle chairs, Megan Noell, Amy Allegra, Tracy Allegra, and Kelly Riordan who have been working so hard to direct “The Greatest Show on Earth.” I know it’s the children and all of our families who sell the raffle tickets, but the event couldn’t be possible without the organization and long hours of our raffle committee. In addition, Kathleen Devine, Megan Malloy, and Melissa Kinzler gave us a preview of Auction 2020, “Leap into Action, Leap into Auction,” being held on February 29, 2020. A personal thank you to all of the chairs of our major events and to our parents who work behind the scenes to make SIJ such a special place for our children.
I hope you were able to stop in the library and visit our Exceptional Learners Center as well as the sensory room and pick up a packet with the enrichment opportunities available for our students. These offerings, plus the specialists who serve our children during the school day, are a wonderful addition to our already successful school. Again the ELC is a living example of the strong support our school receives from our families. We thank you and hope you are as proud of the ELC as we are. The ELC packet will also be available to view on School Speak.
Over the past week we have been working with our police and fire departments to practice our safety drills to ensure all know what to do should a situation arise. We had our lockdown drill in coordination with the Hinsdale Police Department and our first fire drill. We exited the school during our fire drill in one minute and forty-eight seconds. The Fire Department was highly impressed with our speed and most importantly, how quiet our children leave the building and follow directions. This is especially impressive as both the preschoolers and kindergartners are new to these drills. Today we had our severe weather drill. Also, St. Isaac’s will be working closely with Officer Karen Kowal from the Hinsdale Police. Officer Kowal, upon the retirement of Officer Coughlin, will be taking over our DARE program in addition to supporting our school whenever needed. We are very fortunate to reside in a community with such a positive relationship between our law enforcement, fire safety, and school community.
We will be begin to administer our external assessments next week. MAP (Measuring Academic Performance) will be administered to grades K-7 on September 16th or 17th and the 8th graders will be assessed during the week of the Iowa tests. MAP is used in K-12 both in private and public schools to track a student’s progress in the areas of Math and Reading. MAP is a computer based assessment where the difficulty of each question is based on how well the student answered previous questions. The Fall assessment gathers baseline data and the Spring assessment measure the student’s growth. This will provide us with valuable data to guide teachers in designing instruction as well as interventions. In addition, the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) will be given to students in grades 3-7 the week of September 23rd. This battery of tests goes beyond Math and Reading and compares a student’s ability to students nationwide. Please have your children present for testing. Make-up testing is required for those students who are absent. In addition, we stress that each child’s goal is to do their personal best. Our teachers will go through practice materials with the children to make sure they are familiar with the time frame, types of questions, and tips to attack the assessment. You can help us out at home by making sure your child is well-rested, eats a good breakfast, and tries to do his/her best work.
Finally, thank you for adjusting to the new pick up and drop off procedures. Things are running smoothly, our children are safe, here on time, and ready to work. Who could ask for more?
Enjoy the summer-like weather this week as shortly the winds will blow, the leaves will fall, and we’ll be wishing for the warmth of summer.