The Principal's Posts

News from Ms. Appleyard

November 2, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on What’s Up With All This Testing?

What’s Up With All This Testing?

It was great to have such a wonderful turnout at the PTA Meeting on November 2nd!  In case you were unable to attend or if you want to review the presentation, CLICK HERE to access the Google Slides document.

To better understand your student’s Learning Profile from the CogAT, CLICK HERE.

For information on the Georgia Milestones End of Grade Test, CLICK HERE.

To find links to view Milestones Study Guides, CLICK HERE.

Iowa and CogAT Scores will be distributed the week of November 13th to all 1st, 3rd, and 5th Graders.   If you have questions about Gifted Eligibility, please plan to join the Target team on Wednesday, November 8th at 8:00 am in the Learning Commons.

October 15, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on It’s October – The Patron Drive is in Full Swing! Have You Participated?

It’s October – The Patron Drive is in Full Swing! Have You Participated?

October is the month of our annual Foundation’s Patron Drive!  Your donations ensure that our Buccaneers have opportunities to ENRICH. EMPOWER. EXCEL above and beyond funding from the District.

If you have already made a donation, THANK YOU!  We are almost half way through the month and every donation makes a difference!

Visit the Foundation website to make your donation today:

www.mbesf.org

Please remember to check if your company offers Corporate Matching
by clicking here!

October 9, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on Students Need More Than a Great Teacher. They Need a Great School.

Students Need More Than a Great Teacher. They Need a Great School.

This summer, the Mt. Bethel Administration was fortunate to attend a week-long professional learning course regarding the implementation of Writer’s Workshop held right here in Cobb by Columbia University’s Teachers College and funded by our Foundation.  Alongside many of our teachers, we learned about creating the optimal environment for teaching writing, discovered multiple strategies, experienced integration of reading and writing, discussed assessments/learning progressions, fine-tuned how to conduct an individual conference, and more.  This was great information and really set the stage for our teachers to launch writing as a priority this year, and set the stage for our administration to support teachers of writing.

One of the instructors (also a contributing author to Lucy Calkins) made a statement that resonated with me and causes me to pause and reflect on our Mt. Bethel community and our practices often.  Her statement:

STUDENTS NEED MORE THAN A GREAT TEACHER.
THEY NEED A GREAT SCHOOL.  

While a seemingly obvious statement, it is a statement that summarizes the impact of our Foundation’s exemplary support of our staff and students to not only enhance teachers’ professional knowledge, but to ensure that globally, Mt. Bethel continues to ENRICH. EMPOWER. EXCEL. and move forward together as a school community providing an education above and beyond the grade level standards. Over the last four years, we have been on a journey to implement Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop (common literacy practices in English Language Arts) through the provision of training and materials funded by our Foundation.

The Workshop Model ensures several things:

  • Common structure to the instructional block with a mini-lesson, independent work time, differentiated individual or small group work to refine and extend thinking, independent practice, closure.  This framework allows students to maximize time learning as the format is always the same, but the message and time spent independently changes as they grow as readers/writers.
  • Explicit scope and sequence of skills.
  • Rigor and high expectations.
  • Guaranteed differentiation for all learners.
  • Student choice and engagement.
  • Research-based strategies.
  • Application of content in a real-world methodology.

Is there any evidence to suggest that this practice is working?

Longitudinal Standardized Test Data supports measurable student growth at Mt. Bethel since we began our literacy initiatives.

  • 88.4% of Mt. Bethel third graders in 2015 scored above average on the complete composite of the Iowa Assessments.  This same group had 90.7% score above average in 2017 as fifth graders.
  • 87.8% of third graders in 2015 scored above grade cutoffs for reading Lexile scores on the Georgia Milestones End of Grade Assessment.  This same group had 92.7% score above grade cutoffs in fourth grade 2016, and 98.5% score above grade cutoffs in fifth grade in 2017.
  • 95% of third graders in 2015 scored in the top three levels on the English Language Arts Assessments on the Georgia Milestones End of Grade Assessment.  This same group had 97.4% score in the top three levels in fourth grade in 2016 and 99.5% score within the top three levels in fifth grade.  Additionally, we decreased the percentage of students scoring a level 1, and significantly increased the percentage of students scoring a level 4.
  • Notes about growth:  showing growth when there is already a high level of achievement/proficiency is difficult.

Thank you for your support of our school, our students, our teachers, and our Foundation!  Your generosity makes an impact on the most important instruction we can provide in elementary school – teaching students to read, write, and communicate. Literacy and communication impact all other subjects.  ENRICH. EMPOWER. EXCEL.  It is more than just a vision for our Foundation and Buccaneers.  It is our reality.  We are able to ensure a GREAT SCHOOL that benefits all of our students!

 

September 6, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on STEM Fair – Register between Tuesday, September 5th – Friday, September 22nd

STEM Fair – Register between Tuesday, September 5th – Friday, September 22nd


Calling all future scientists and engineers! Register for the 10th annual Mt. Bethel Foundation STEM Fair (formerly known as the Science Fair)! The STEM Fair will take place on October 24 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. The STEM Fair registration link and guidelines can be found on the Foundation’s website at www.mbesf.org.

Special thanks to Mathnasium for sponsoring this year’s STEM Fair.

July 30, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on Welcome to 2017-18! 40 Years of Buccaneers!

Welcome to 2017-18! 40 Years of Buccaneers!

Parents & Guardians:

We are excited to begin a new school year and know that 2017-18 will be our BEST YEAR YET for the Buccaneers with 40 YEARS OF BUCCANEERS as we continue to embody our vision of EXCELLENCE IN ACTION!  

Some news you can use and important procedures:

Communication:  We communicate in a variety of ways.  Be sure to subscribe to the Mt. Bethel website:  www.mtbetheles.com and check the PTA Website frequently.  You will receive emails if there is a weather event or dismissal change through Blackboard Connect.  One email address is automatically loaded to Blackboard Connect.  Information on how to subscribe/add additional email addresses will come home in Cobb County folders on Monday!

Arrival:  Please do not arrive on campus before 7:15.  When parents cue up early, it blocks our teachers from entrance and causes a safety issue.  We are ready to receive students at 7:15.  The only drop-off location for carpool is at the front of the school where staff greet you in carpool.

Lunch:  For the lunch menu, CLICK HERE!  We are excited about having a new Cafeteria Manager, Donna Childs-Milford this year!  Student breakfast items are served a la carte and are available in the cafeteria daily.  Student lunch cost has changed to $2.35 this year.  You can pay via check made payable to Mt. Bethel or through MyPaymentsPlus.  Kindergarten students will receive a letter with their ID number on Monday.  If your 1st – 5th graders needs their student’s ID and you wish to sign up for MyPaymentsPlus, please call the front office.  In order to solidify lunchroom procedures and to ensure adequate food for all students, we ask for guest diners to wait until after Labor Day to join us for lunch.  Guest lunches cost $3.75 and will be available in September!

Dismissal:  We begin dismissal early during the first week and try our best to make sure buses run on time.  All transportation changes must be made on our Transportation Change/Bus Pass form and approved through the front office before 10:00 am.  You will receive a copy of this form in Cobb folders on the first day of school and can download the form from our website at THIS LINK.  No guest riders will be approved until after Labor Day.  If you need to check your child out early, please do so prior to 1:45 pm.  NOTE:  GUEST RIDER PASSES WILL BE DENIED IF PARENTS DO NOT FILL OUT BOTTOM PORTION – THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE.  Again, no guest riders until after Labor Day!

Yellow Tags on Backpacks:  Yellow tags will be placed on backpacks for students in K, 1st, and 2nd Grades.  This is a visual cue to bus drivers to ensure that no student under the age of 8 is released without an adult/guardian to meet them at the stop.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM TRANSPORTATION.  If you happen to miss the bus at the afternoon stop, children under 8 or with a yellow tag on backpacks will be brought back to school.

Classroom Deliveries:  We deliver items to classrooms one time daily at 10:00 am.  Items worthy of delivery are lunches and eye glasses.  Please help your student practice the LIFESKILL of RESPONSIBILITY and accept the natural consequence if they forget a water bottle or homework.

Office Hours:  Phones will be answered from 7:15 am – 3:30 pm.  We suspend phone and doorbell response during dismissal (1:45 pm – 2:25 pm) to ensure the safety of our 1,100 students.

Absences/Tardies:  If your child is absent or tardy, upon return, please send them with an Absence/Tardy Excuse form.  Two Absence/Tardy Excuse forms will come home on the first day in the Cobb County folder, or you can access the form by CLICKING HERE. Excused absences include:  illness, death in the family, religious holiday, court order, or parent military deployment/return home.  If a child checks in after 11:15 am, they are considered absent.

We recognize how lucky we are to have your support.  More importantly, we are grateful that you entrust your staff to teach your amazing children each and every day.  If you have a question or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or one of our administrators.

Looking forward to an another amazing year,
Jessica Appleyard, Principal

May 21, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on Summer Learning Opportunities

Summer Learning Opportunities


This summer, we hope you explore, relax, and enjoy time off from school.  We also encourage you to take advantage of some wonderful summer learning opportunities.

SUMMER LINK is a repository of Math and English Language Arts resources curated by the Cobb County School District’s Academic Division.   Summer Link’s Math and Literacy resources are grade-specific, and you can take advantage of resources for your grade level, you can back up and remediate learning, or zoom grade levels ahead for a challenge!  

COBB SUMMER READING is a program sponsored by Cobb County Public Libraries in conjunction with the Cobb County School District’s Library Media Education Department.  We will partner with Scholastic and participate in the SCHOLASTIC SUMMER READING CHALLENGE!

GET GEORGIA READING is a partnership between the Georgia Department of Education and many other agencies to provide resources for reading and learning over the summer.

If you would like to share any images of your student participating in summer reading/learning, you are welcome to send them to [email protected] or to post on social media with #SchoolsOutGA .

Have a wonderful summer!

 

May 6, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on Buccaneer Block Scheduling for Specials – Input Needed

Buccaneer Block Scheduling for Specials – Input Needed

This year, we have implemented Buccaneer Block Scheduling during Specials for 1st – 5th grades.  Before we move forward and create schedules for the 2017-18 school year, it is imperative that we solicit input from Specialists, Teachers, Students, and Parents.  Parents and Students, please take a few moments to provide thoughtful insight by completing the Parent and Student Surveys below.

Your input will help us make our schedules for next year!

Input from Parents: CLICK HERE to offer input via survey!  PARENT SURVEY REGARDING SPECIALS ROTATION

Input from Students:  CLICK HERE to offer input via survey!  STUDENT SURVEY REGARDING SPECIALS ROTATION

Survey input provided prior to May 12th will be used to determine specials schedules for 2017-18.

Thank you!

-Jessica Appleyard, Principal

April 29, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on GEORGIA STEM DAY – FRIDAY

GEORGIA STEM DAY – FRIDAY

May 5th is Georgia STEM Day where over 600,000 students across the state of Georgia will celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math learning.

Mt. Bethel’s theme will be AMUSEMENT PARKS and is sponsored by our Foundation.  Students in every grade level will participate in STEM challenges and each grade level will spend one hour engaged in the five step Engineering and Design Process:  Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve.

We can’t wait to share our products and learning!

In order to complete our STEM challenges, we need a multitude of EMPTY paper towel and toilet paper tubes.  We hope you can drop some (or many) in the bins outside the front office!

March 15, 2017
by appleyard
Comments Off on EdCamp Elementary East – March 7, 2017

EdCamp Elementary East – March 7, 2017

On March 7th, over 200 educators participated in EdCamp at Mt. Bethel!  Most teachers came from MBES, East Side, and Shallowford Falls, but many came from the 24 elementary schools that comprise the Elementary East group.  Teachers participated in 45 different discussions ranging from behavior management to curriculum to scheduling and more.

Anchor charts/brainstorms are below from the variety of topics discussed!

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