Greetings! Catamount success continues to thrive at the St. Johnsbury School. Each week, teachers make positive phone calls to parents celebrating students' growth and accomplishment. I am so proud of our students and teachers as I review these calls.

For one student, the teacher was reporting that he is keeping his homework planner and his homework up to date Another teacher celebrated a student who always maintains a "positive, can do attitude" and never stops trying. A first-grade teacher's call recognized a student for being a great listener and actively participating during class discussions. A third-grade teacher's call acknowledged a student's hard work during math workshop and his contribution of key ideas to class math discussions while a second grade teacher highlighted a student's specific explanation of his math thinking during a math skills game.

A middle school teacher gave parents the good news that their child took her feedback and rewrote his essay. Our music teacher called made a call for a student who consistently demonstrates class attentiveness, a very positive attitude, willingness to perform, and student leadership. Other student attributes that teachers affirmed included being kind, acting as a role model for other students, and being extremely conscientious.

With the end of the first quarter coming in November, we will be presenting student awards. We have two levels of Honor Roll, an Honors Award and a Roll of Achievement Award, for students in grades 5-8. Several other awards recognize students in grades 3-8. We have an Outstanding Effort Award for students who maintain enthusiasm for learning, persevere when challenged, and take responsibility for extending their learning.

Another award is the Academic Student Improvement Award for students who demonstrate growth in skills or concepts, increase their independence, or increase their academic scores. The Positive Growth in Behavior Award recognizes students who have made significant improvement in behavior. Our Citizenship Award reinforces the five qualities of respect, outstanding service, courtesy, kindness, and safety. Students can also earn the Homework Award for turning in all of their homework on time with a high level of quality. We will present students with award certificates at a special assembly.

Teachers remain engaged in professional inquiry. Middle school teachers are beginning conversations about a vision for our middle school to ensure rigor and relevance in curriculum and instruction. Classroom teachers consult with technology teachers about how to use technology tools to provide global learning experiences and enhance communication. Teacher teams spent time during a recent in service framing student learning objectives that will deepen students' conceptual understanding and advance skill development. We are increasing reading and writing of informational text, embedding writing across the curriculum, and emphasizing students' explanation of their thinking since these are three research-based practices in effective instruction.

Two recent messages on our outside sign were, "5th graders are the adults of a great future," and "Grade 6 collaborates to problem solve." Both capture the powerful energy in our school -- your school -- as staff, students, parents, and community members work together for educational excellence.

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