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Wedgefield Rocket News – June 10, 2016

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Facts about the school:
Office Hours: 7:30-4:30
Student hours: 8:45-3:00 (except Wednesday 8:45-2:00)
School colors: Navy Blue and Silver
School Mascot: Rockets

Important dates to remember: (more to come)
June 7 – Nominate and Vote for members of our First Wedgefield School PTA Board! Come at 6:30 pm to the Media Center at East River High School. Let’s start off strong!
July 19 – School Office will be open at Wedgefield
July 27 – Sneak Peak of the School from 6:00 –7:30 pm.
August 1 – Mandatory Gr. 6 Parent technology training and laptop checkout from 6-7:30 pm.
August 2 – Mandatory Gr. 7 Parent technology training and laptop checkout from 6-7:30 pm.
August 3 – Mandatory Gr. 8 Parent technology training and laptop checkout from 6-7:30 pm (Note: More information regarding parent technology trainings coming soon.)
August 11 – Meet your Teacher from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.
August 15 – First Day of School
September 30 – School Pictures
October 17-20 – Book Fair

Middle School Summer Reading Assignment:
Students in regular classes will be required to read one novel over the summer. Students in advanced and gifted classes will be required to read two novels. Students can read any fiction novel they like as long as it is available on Accelerated Reader. When students return to school in August, they will complete an assignment and an Accelerated Reader quiz on the novel.

The OCPS Summer Reading Initiative is designed to fight the “summer slide,” the incident that occurs when students who don’t read over the summer lose a percentage of the reading skills they developed during the previous school year. The purpose of this initiative is to:

  • Provide access to a variety of free resources to support literacy skills
  • Share tips with parents on how to reinforce reading at home
  • Motivate students to read

Students, parents, and educators are encouraged to visit SummerReading.ocps.net to obtain reading lists by grade level, search for books, apps, interactive literacy websites, e-books, parent resources, and literacy events around town. Students may also access the Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge via this site. This challenge encourages students to read and log their minutes electronically. This summer we are challenging the students in OCPS to read 20 million minutes.

The theme this year is ‘Where in the World is OCPS Reading?’ Bus shelters around Orange County and OCPS Social Media will be sharing the literacy message and encouraging families to have students read this summer while hash tagging and posting pictures of their reading adventures to #OCPSReads. Students and Parents who post pictures of their student reading will be eligible to win prizes from the district. Categories will include things like most creative picture, best quote, best location etc…Please update your school social media accounts to join in the fun, and allow students to represent their schools while reading. For example: “@{Insert School Name} Discovering the Titanic while on the beach #OCPS Reads”. Bookmarks announcing the summer reading initiative will be arriving at schools soon.

Each year lists of books are chosen by a committee of Florida librarians for statewide reading motivation programs called the Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Program (SSYRA) and Florida Teens Read. These are the books read for the annual Battle of Books competition. Each of these lists can be found on the SummerReading.ocps.net site. Students, parents, and educators are encouraged to visit SummerReading.ocps.net to obtain reading lists, search for books, apps, interactive literacy websites, e-books, parent resources, and literacy events taking place around the community this summer. The Just Read! Florida website also has a variety of reading resources and additional selections for middle and high school readers at www.justreadflorida.com.

Elective Clarification

Each year students are given 3 electives, one of which fills the PE requirement. In the 2016-17 school year, all Wedgefield sixth grade students will automatically be enrolled in the Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Learning Strategies course as one of their two electives. PE will be their second elective; leaving one elective of their choice. If your child is passionate for two of their electives and meets the PE Waiver requirements below and you complete the PE waiver below, then your student will have the opportunity to choose two elective courses.

Also for all incoming 6th, 7th or 8th grade students, pending the FSA scores one elective period may be replaced with an intensive reading or math course.

PE Waiver for Gr. 6, 7, or 8th

The physical education requirement shall be waived for a student who meets one of the following criteria:

  1. The student is enrolled or required to enroll in a remedial course.
  1. The student’s parent indicates in writing to the school that:
    • The parent requests that the student enroll in another course from among those offered as options by the school district,

OR

  • The student is participating in physical activities outside the school day (excluding school programs) which are equal to or in excess of the mandated requirement.

 

Your child must meet one of the waiver criteria listed above or he/she will be enrolled in physical education while in grades K through 8.

If you do not want your Middle School student taking Physical Education the PE Waiver.

Download Waiver Here

Please print, sign and return it to the guidance counselor, Wendy Griffin via email or fax. Wendy.griffin@ocps.net or FAX 407-672-1310.

If you have any curriculum questions please contact Mrs. Griffin at 407-672-3110 x 3032334 or wendy.griffin@ocps.net

 

Project Lead the Way Update

We are excited to be able to offer the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) elective curriculum at the Wedgefield School!  If you’re not familiar with PLTW, it is a national program providing education and training in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to students in grades K through 12.  PLTW is a non-profit organization funded by some of our country’s biggest technology leaders. PLTW represents a revolution in inspiring and  training students to be inventors and problem solvers. PLTW’s purpose, from their web site (www.pltw.org) is:

“Project Lead the Way provides a comprehensive approach to STEM Education. Through activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum, PLTW gives students in kindergarten through high school a chance to apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. For educators, our engaging, rigorous teacher professional development model provides tools to empower students and transform the classroom into a collaboration space where content comes to life.”

This year, we are implementing the Gateway middle school curriculum and offering Science of Technology the  first semester and Medical Detectives the second semester.  You can learn more about these courses at: https://www.pltw.org/our-programs/pltw-gateway/pltw-gateway-curriculum

In the coming school years, we’ll be implementing additional Gateway courses until we have the complete Grade 6 through 8 course track established. At the same time, we will be laying the groundwork for the Launch curriculum for Grades K through 5.

One piece of really good news here is that we get to choose the courses we teach, and I look forward to working with students, parents and teachers in making these important selections.  Our goal is to inspire a love of technology and teach problem-solving and engineering in ways that excite and inspire our next generation of engineers.

Another interesting fact you’ll see on the PLTW web site is the robust amount of training and professional development PLTW instructor’s experience. Each summer, we attend training workshops where we work with national-level Master Teachers who train, examine and certify each classroom instructor in the subject matter for the courses they will be teaching. We are also provided with incredible learning resources, and students are also able to access many of these resources as their curiosity and inquisitiveness leads them to new knowledge.

We are also very fortunate that the High School PLTW curriculum is already in place at East River High School.  We will be working closely with the East River PLTW instructors to ensure students smoothly transition into their curriculum and effectively continue their journey into engineering and technology literacy.

Our Project Lead the Way teacher is Scott Bawden. If you have any questions he can be reached at scott.bawden@ocps.net

School Advisory Committee – Everyone Has a Part to Play

What Is The School Advisory Council?

The School Advisory Council, or SAC, is a group of people whose primary purpose is to assist the principal in developing a school improvement plan and evaluating the results of the plan in order to help students achieve success. In addition, the SAC advises the principal in the preparation of the school’s budget. The efforts of the SAC are always focused on improving student achievement.

The SAC is made up of individuals from various segments of the community. It includes parents, teachers, school principals, school staff, students, people in business/industry, and other interested community members.

A representative balance among SAC members is required so that all groups of the school community have a voice in school improvement. Business and community leaders are appointed by the principal.

Business and community members bring an important perspective that might not be represented without them; everyone has a part to play in improving local schools.

Why is it important to get involved in SAC?

Education is essential to build strength from our society’s growing ethnic and social diversity. Remember — Today’s students are tomorrow’s citizens.

Look out for our August Newsletter with detailed information regarding our Inaugural SAC Committee election and formation of the committee.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Do you have a high school student who needs volunteer hours? We are looking for responsible, high school students or adults who need to earn or would like to earn volunteer hours starting at the end of July. The student must be someone who doesn’t mind moving boxes, unpacking supplies and helping teachers move into their new rooms.

If you have a student who is responsible, independent and can lift boxes then contact Natalie Stevens, Assistant Principal to arrange a time for your student to volunteer.  Natalie.stevens@ocps.net

 

Click Here to download this Wedgefield School Newsletter