Greetings! Our sign message for last week read, "3rd and 4th graders reach their end of year goals." The air is charged with that bit of disbelief that the year will shortly be over coupled with a sense of urgency to fill the remaining days with as much as possible. Also evident is a strong feeling of pride -- pride in this year's efforts and accomplishments that we can celebrate as a school community. This week's column showcases the pride we have in St. Johnsbury students.

Each week teachers make positive phone calls to parents recognizing several students for improvements and achievements. Here are some of those celebrations:

Effort: a first grader who has made a consistent effort of working hard at staying safe, staying on task, working well with his peers, and helping to pick up and put away physical education equipment; middle-school students recognized for always doing their best on the baseball team; a fourth grader who pushes herself no matter how tough the work is; a third grader who stuck with a written assignment and did not give up until she knew she got it.

Responsibility: a seventh grader who exemplifies outstanding effort and responsibility in art class; another middle-school student who always completes all work; a fourth grader who has demonstrated outstanding work and behavior all year in art class.

Role models: a sixth grader who continually sets a good example and performs as a class leader; a middle-school student who is trying very hard and motivating others to stay focused; a kindergartener who is a wonderful thinker who shares great ideas.

Readers and Writers: a fourth grader who reads carefully to find evidence to help him infer; a sixth grader who took notes, asked questions, and answered questions during library research; a fourth grader recognized for improved writing with her thoughtful, clear concluding statements; a fifth grader who wrote an inference using a clear focus statement, vivid, original language, and an effective conclusion; a third grader whose voice came through in a comical story she wrote; a preschool bookmaker who drew lots of details in her pictures and told a long, elaborate story.

Scientists and Mathematicians: a middle-school student who has been working hard in science to get good grades and do high quality work; another middle-school student who is consistently a good role model for the other boys in block 3 science; a middle-school student who has been working hard to understand difficult concepts in science; a sixth grader who has been willing to share her ideas and conjectures around fractions and, at the same time, has made sure that her partners have had opportunities to share their conjectures; a second grader for doing some "awesome math" and another second grader for putting full effort into solving math problems.

Academic growth: a kindergartener and a second grader who have made vast improvements in reading.

Citizenship: a third grader who helps classmates clean up at the end of every day; a fourth grader who daily displays a friendly, positive attitude, helps adults and peers, and works well in groups; a kindergartener who volunteered to sweep up soil that had gotten onto the tables in the classroom when the students planted sunflower seeds; a middle-school student who has been helpful all year long in advisory.

Kindness: a second grader who is working very hard to respond in a respectful way and use kind words; a kindergartener who consistently models kind behavior and doesn't hesitate to help others; a first grader who puts a chair at everyone's desk when he first gets to school; a fifth grader who, all on his own, befriended and took under his wings a new student.

Ready to learn: a kindergartener who is always excited for music class, ready to listen and participate; a middle-school student who gives thoughtful responses, participates well, and is always engaged and on task; a second grader who comes to music class inquisitive and eager, and a kindergartener who consistently displays vigor and enthusiasm in music class.

In one positive phone call, the teacher declared, "Witnessing students do their best is such an honor for teachers!" We are very proud of St. Johnsbury students!

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