Greetings! Once again I am proud to present several examples of student success. For the past two weeks students have been taking the NECAP's, the New England Common Assessment Program, the state assessments given each October to measure students' mastery in reading, writing and math in grades 3-8.

Our students were shining stars. Teachers reported that students took their time, even using available extra time, checked their work, reread when necessary, and definitely gave full effort. I met with each class prior to the start of the testing, and I was very impressed as students demonstrated their intention to do their best. In fact, it was fourth grade's turn to post the weekly sign for our outside sign last week, and their message was, "The fourth graders rocked the NECAP's."

Students daily demonstrate positive, respectful attitudes. I am greeted in the hallways with polite "Good morning's," smiles, and hugs. A teacher recently recognized a sixth-grade class with these words describing their conduct during a math class. "Students were accountable, efficient and compassionate. They helped others without being asked; they were very focused; they stayed on task without reminders. I've never been so wowed in the years I've taught." A paraeducator celebrated fifth graders who "went above and beyond expectation to show kindness and sensitivity." Just prior to the first day of NECAP testing, fifth graders got an extra burst of support with letters of encouragement written to them from their second-grade buddies.

A seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher had this to say about his students' work. "Middle school students have done an exceptional job with their science projects. Students have made videos and animations, baked cakes, written poems, raps, and plays, and made artistic posters about the states of matter." Fourth-grade teachers took students to Ben's Mill in Barnet and reported that "the students were excellent representatives of our school, were focused, and asked great questions." I congratulate St. Johnsbury students for their growth and success!

We have a new after school program this year called Catamount After Hours run by four teachers and three paraeducators. The program is organized around four themes throughout the year. This first session, which started in September and will run through November, centers around the theme of children's favorite authors and illustrators with a focus on myths, legends and folktales. The second session will run from November through January. Its theme will be timeless and current classics with a focus on families, seasons and celebrations. The theme for the third session (January-March) will be friends and self concept, magic and mystery. The year will end up with a fourth theme centered on math, music and science. Over 50 students are participating. Teachers have chosen a research based program called LitART which uses award winning books to provide creative learning experiences that connect reading to drama, writing, art, science, social studies, math and recreation. A key goal of the after school program is to cultivate students' social skills, language development and love of learning.

Family and Community Math Night is coming up on Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. We hope you will come and try out some of the math games and activities students engage in to learn math.

Happy Autumn from a professional learning community where we are working together to accomplish what we could not achieve by working alone!

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