Friday, April 1, 2011

Roaring News

Hello Baldwin Community,

Last Saturday, our Kinder and First Grade Math Pentathlon Team participated in the Division I competition. I am so proud to announce that our Kinder-First Grade team did an outstanding job! We will recognize the following students at morning assembly on Monday:
Honorable Mention - Ashley B., Cara G., Justin H., Alexander R., Matthew T. and Nathan V.
Bronze Medal - Stephen C., Andrew D., Kennedy H., Sara H., and Maha M.
Silver Medal - Griffin K., and Maddy S.
Hall of Fame - Allyson B., Jacob K., Matthew M., and Cristian V.

Hall of Fame is the highest award and means the children scored a perfect score - i.e. won all their games. Their names will go into the Math Pentathlon Hall of Fame permanent records.

I would like to thank the two coaches, Mr. Paul Hart and Ms. Andrea Musat for their commitment to our Kinder and First Grade children. They helped instill such great confidence in our young children and have provided them with great learning opportunities. Also a big thank you to Linda Alvarez, our Math Pentathlon Organizer and all of our volunteers that come out every week to coach our different grade level math pentathlon teams. Without their help and hard work we would not have this great after school program.  Please join us in honoring our winners on Monday at morning assembly.

At today's morning assembly we honored students that have earned 25 or more points within the designated time period in the AR program with certificates and ribbons. When the last name was called, we had a stage full of first through fifth graders. Other students who had earned some points but not quite the 25 were given ribbons in their classrooms. Thank you for encouraging your children to read AR books and for taking the tests to earn their points. I am seeing more and more children reading and participating in the program. Thank you to Mrs. Kim Tillisch for providing us with such beautiful AR certificates!

Also today, 8 first grade students from Mrs. Lopez's, Mrs. Beeler's and Ms. LeBlanc's classes presented their "Restaurant Project" to Mrs. Lopez's class. These eight students, who are identified GT in the area of math, were given an assignment of creating a Restaurant so that they could show their skills in counting money, giving change, adding and subtracting costs, and incorporating their writing, listening and speaking skills. The students named their restaurant, created menus: child, adult, and dessert and then opened their restaurant to the rest of Mrs. Lopez's class. Mrs. Lopez helped her students transform their classroom into the students' restaurant. The eight boys took turns in playing the roles of waiters, chefs, money counters and hosts. All of the students learned so much from the boys' project. Their next assignment is for them to use the measurement skills they have studied around the school and create some school maps. I can't wait to see their measuring and mapping skills. Keep up the great work!

This week I noticed some creative writing displayed in the Prek and Kindergarten wing. Be sure to stop by the Prek and kinder classroom areas and to read the stories the students have written. The Prek and kinder students have learned so much since August and their writing is a great example of this learning and growth.

This week I also caught a glimpse of Ms. Cheaney's first graders working in the computer lab. They were typing some of their work into a word document. I am so proud of the way our students take pride in their work and in our school. This class was taking good care of the equipment in the lab as they did their best to type their work. The next time you are at Baldwin, take some time to walk around the school hallways to enjoy the beautiful art work and the great student work that is displayed!

Today, at the Parent-Principal coffee hour we discussed our district's budget crisis and the impacts it will have on our campus. I explained the 2011-2012 projected number of students and teachers for each grade level. Our enrollment is expected to increase so at this point we will be reduced only one teacher unit. I reminded parents that our student to teacher ratios will also increase next year, which means a few more students in every class. Next year, we can go up to an average of 23 students in all K-4th grade classrooms. I also shared details of this year's school's budget and the different areas these funds were allocated. Along with this, I showed the group the amount of money our PTA has supplemented us with to date. The PTA has helped us with about $31,000. I wanted to show that without our PTA's support we could not have accomplished all that we have thus far. Along these same lines, I shared next year's preliminary budget and the areas that the funds have been allocated. Again the amount of money we receive to run the school on a day to day basis is minimal and we will continue to need our parents' support every year. Below is a link to the five documents that we discussed this morning. Feel free to email me with any questions, concerns and/or ideas. Also don't forget to visit our district website for specific updates on next year's district's budget.

This next Thursday, we will hold our First Family Fitness Night from 6-7 p.m. Please make plans to come to Baldwin as a family to learn more about staying healthy and fit. It will be an evening of fun for all!

Next week, on Monday-Wednesday, our fifth graders will be taking the Math and Reading TAKS tests. Just a friendly reminder to our fifth grade parents that we need our fifth grade students to get plenty of rest this weekend and throughout the week so that they arrive to school on time and ready to do their best on the tests. Also, fifth grade students will not be able to eat with their parents or guests on testing days. For the rest of us, I ask that we show our support to our fifth graders by wearing our school t-shirts, or our school colors on testing days. Go Bobcats!

Roaring with Pride,
Dr. Peña