very warm welcome to new and returning MLS community members. We have
an exciting year coming up for a number of reasons not least of which
are some renovations and innovations to our playground and outdoor
space. Please set aside Saturday, Sep 20 as a campus work day
(9:00-3:00). We’re looking to install a patio and plant some greenery
under the supervision of Marilyn Wyzga. Marilyn accomplished wonderful
results with our students last year in creating a landscaping plan to
enhance our playground, making it more conducive to outdoor instruction,
reflection and habitat for wildlife. We also have an artist in
residency scheduled in October with Susan Bothran who will be teaching
our students how to bind the journals and books they write. A visit
from local author D.B. Johnson in
December takes us through the end of the first half of the year! Last
year all of our students read, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg as part of our book club selection, Mr. Johnson’s first children’s book.
Who: Again this year we experienced some attrition at Mt. Lebanon so
we’ve reduced our teaching staff by one teacher. As a result we have
also realized some additional space. We are most pleased to welcome
into our school the regional Headstart Program. An independently
funded, administered and supervised program, it will be housed in the
room closest to the entrance by the multi-purpose room, room #32.
Headstart hours have been staggered against school hours so as to
minimize traffic congestion during drop-off and pick-up. The new
guidance office will be located in the room adjacent to the library
facing the playground, room#19. Mr. Wynkoop, who coordinates our
Behavior Program, will relocate to the former guidance office, room #22.
The district pre-school office
is now located in room #15 , (Mrs. Skiffington’s old classroom.) For
your convenience all rooms are numbered and map is attached. As for
new faces, we extend a warm welcome to Jody Stone, our new Media /
Technology Specialist, Emily Matteson-Weld, our new guidance counselor,
and Christina Joanis, grade two classroom teacher.
Classroom: The Mount Lebanon School has been a “responsive school” for
over a decade. Responsive Classroom is a structured, socially oriented
curriculum based on the premise that children can only be academically
successful in the classroom and school when social behavioral
expectations are clearly articulated, understood, modeled and practiced.
Our classroom and school rules are based on kindness, courtesy and
respect toward ourselves and one another. One specific RC method is
using a positive approach to discipline “that draws on children’s
ability and desire to behave in constructive, friendly ways—and
teachers’ ability to empower children to do so.” At Mt. Lebanon
teachers and children create classroom rules together. Teachers help
children practice the rules, and they respond to inappropriate behavior
with consequences that help children learn self control and
responsibility. Another RC strategy is daily Morning Meeting. Morning
Meeting is designed to promote social skill building. Morning Meeting
has a formal structure and includes four components: a) Greetings: each
student greets and is greeted by name, b) Shaing, this is usually of
some personal interest that includes feelings and the responses of
classmates, c) Group Activity intended to build class cohesion and, d)
News and Announcements built around a written teacher message intended
to reinforce academic skills. It is of utmost importance to have your child to school on time every day so that he/she does not miss Morning meeting.
The first six weeks of school focus on laying the groundwork for a
productive year of learning. Please talk to your child specifically
about Morning Meeting and
other class activities.
Rules: On the first day of school all children will participate in a
playground orientation. We divided our playground into five areas and
teachers described behavioral expectations for the children based on
safety and respect for others. Again, this is part of the Responsive
Classroom protocol that urges us to make sure that what we expect of the
students is clearly explained, properly and consistently modeled and
continuously reinforced. For safety reasons we ask you send your
child to school in sturdy shoes or sneakers. Flip-flops, crocs, and
“dress” shoes are not allowed on the playground, as they do not provide adequate support or traction for active play. Please see attached “Playground Rules”.
and Snacks: For students to perform and learn optimally they need
plenty of sleep (8.5 -10 hours / night), outdoor exercise and play, and
nutritious food. We are continuing our theme of healthy snacks this
year and recommend locally available seasonal fruits vegetables. Cheese
and nuts provide energy and protein. And we encourage the children to
drink lots of water. District guidelines do not permit microwave ovens
in the classroom and so we ask that you do not send snacks or lunches that require heating.
Health: The parking lot is a busy place especially before and after
school. We are encouraging parents who live close by to have the
students walk or ride bycicles. (Helmets and permission slips for bike
riders required.) You’ll see “No Idling” signs as a reminder turn off
your car engine while you wait pick up your child. Thanks for your
Conference and Teacher In-Service Days: This year you will notice that
Sep. 24 and May 13 are “Delayed Openings”. This will enable teachers
two hours of professional in-service time prior to school opening for
students. At Mt. Lebanon, morning classes will begin at 10:07AM.
Please plan accordingly.
Attendance: For the first half of the school year, September-January,
AM kindergarten students will attend school on all delayed-opening and
early-release school days. On delayed-opening days AM kindergarten will
be from 12 noon to 3pm. On early-release days AM kindergarten will be
at the regular time. PM kindergarten will be canceled on those days.
the second half of the school year, February-June, PM kindergarten
students will attend school on all delayed-opening and early-release
school days. On delayed-opening days PM kindergarten will be at the
regular time. On early-release days PM kindergarten will be from 8am to
11am. AM kindergarten will be canceled on those days.
first several days of school have been very smooth and it is so great
to see the children back and ready. Please make sure that we have your
latest emergency contact information so that we can reach you. Also, we
encourage you to use our website to find information about the school
and district. Your feedback on how we can improve our site is welcome. http://lebanonmles.learningnetworks.com Our door is always open and I am happy to meet with you should you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.