Sunday, August 26, 2012

Roaring News!

Hello Baldwin Community, 

Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year! It was so exciting seeing so many of our Baldwin students and families at the "Meet the Teacher" event Friday afternoon. The children were a little hesitant as they entered the building but by the time they made it through the hallways to their classrooms and met up with some of their friends, you could see and hear the excitement in their faces. I know they are looking forward to another great year at Baldwin. 

As many of you know and saw on Friday, we are growing at Baldwin! Our enrollment is over 720 students and we added 3 full portables, which is 6 classrooms. All of our teachers, but especially the teachers that are in the portables, worked every day this past week from early in the morning until very late in the evenings to get ready for the new school year. I am very proud to work with such a dedicated and professional staff. All of the classrooms inside and outside of the building look splendid and are ready for children to come on Monday to begin their learning for this year. 

We have made a few changes for this school year. To best meet the needs of our students, we had to move a few teachers from one hallway to another and we had to add a few new classes. The biggest change for the children and our community this year will be morning assembly. After much discussion and reflection, we decided to have morning assembly only on Fridays. The children will still come into the cafeteria everyday and sit in their designated places in the mornings between 7:10 and 7:35 a.m. except that on Mondays through Thursdays, their teachers will come to the cafeteria at 7:35 to walk the students to their classrooms. On Fridays, we will remain in the cafeteria for our Friday Assembly, which will cover celebrations, recognitions, and/or Fitness Friday movements. Although the start time for elementary students in our district is 7:45 a.m., at Baldwin we will begin walking to our classrooms at 7:35 a.m. so that we can get a headstart on the classroom morning rituals and routines and begin instruction immediately at 7:45 a.m. We ask that you have your child at school no later than 7:35 so that they can be ready to begin learning at 7:45 a.m. The drop off line in the morning gets long and backs up at times, so please leave your house early so that your child can get to class on time. In advance, we thank you for your support with this effort. 

Here are a few reminders for Dismissal: we will dismiss our children like we did last year. Teachers walk their students to their designated areas. We ask ALL parents to wait in the designated areas. We will not allow anyone to enter the building as we dismiss our students. The designated areas allow us to keep all of our children safe until a parent or child-care provider picks them up. 

Car Pick UP: If you are picking up your child by automobile, you must REMAIN in the car pick up line in the front circle of the school. Parents should stay in their vehicle and the child will be brought to the car by an adult and/or a safety patrol member. Parents in the pick up lane should display their car placard with their child's name on it for the staff member to read the name and have your child brought to your car.  If you need a car placard, stop by the front office and/or ask your child's teacher. Again, do not get out of your car while in the pick up lane in front of the school. Vehicles should not be left unattended in the pickup lane. Also, turn off your cell phones in the school zone areas and campus driveways. Unless you have a hands-free system, the same cell phone safety measures apply (especially during arrival and dismissal). 

Walkers: If you walk or park your vehicle to pick up your child, you will pick up your child or children in the gym or the blacktop in the back of the gym. Kinder, 1st and 2nd graders wait in the gym and 3rd-5th graders wait on the blacktop in back of the gym. If you have children in multiple grade levels, the older child will be with the younger sibling. Students sit by grade level and parents are allowed a few at at time to walk into the gym to pick up their children. Please do not arrive until 2:45 because we will not begin dismissal until that time. 

Older children are allowed to walk home on their own or with younger siblings. Espina walkers are dismissed after the buses have left the school grounds and Meridian walkers are walked out of the building and dismissed by their teachers at 2:45.

We now have portable classrooms that are located on the west side of the main building so please DO NOT park on the back of the school by the blacktop, or behind the gym and cafeteria because our students and teachers will be crossing that parking lot to get to their designated places. 

We are looking forward to our 3rd year together as a Baldwin Learning Community. As man of you all already know, we rely on our students' parents and partners to help us reach our school goals. We cannot do this difficult and important work without you! We will continue to focus on providing rigorous instruction in all academic areas and holding each child to high expectations. When parents get involved in their children's education, the children do better in school, are better behaved, have more positive attitudes toward school and grow up to be more successful in life. Helping with homework can be a way for families to learn more about what their children are learning in school and an opportunity for them to communicate both with their children and with teachers and principals. Helping children become-and remain-readers is the single most important thing that parents and families can do to help their children succeed in school and life, so please read to your child everyday! Also, attendance is directly tied to high achievement and success, so please do everything possible to have your child at school everyday and on time. 

Please invite your friends to read the Baldwin Weekly Roar, the Baldwin Website and this blog for continuous updates on events and school information. 

Again, I am excited about another year with you at Baldwin and am looking forward to great accomplishments!

Roaring with Pride, 
Dr. Peña