Category: Newsletter – Principal’s News

The Power of Specific Positive Feedback

At Clinton Elementary School, we acknowledge positive behavior when we see it. We know that when we give specific positive feedback to students, it greatly increases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated. In fact, you can improve behavior by 80% just by pointing out what someone is doing correctly.  Now that’s powerful! To shape behavior we connect the specific behavior to the expectation.

At Clinton, students hear statements like this from adults in the building:

“Sara, thank you for being responsible by following directions and getting started right away. Finishing your work at school means no homework!”

“Jamar, thank you for being safe by keeping your hands at your side when walking in the hallway.”

Students receive “I Got Caught” tickets from staff members when they are doing the right thing.  Students receiving “I Got Caughts” have their tickets entered into a weekly drawing and at the end of the quarter, all names go into a school-wide drawing and their names are announced at the Clinton Comet Celebration of Excellence.

PBiS – Positive Behavior Interventions and Support

Lincoln Public Schools support the academic and behavioral needs of all students. Data is used to determine if students need additional support and to monitor student success. One of the first additional supports that a student may receive is called Check-in Check-out (CICO). Check-in Check-out is an intervention which increases the positive relationship with adults in the school through specific feedback. Specific feedback helps to teach and shape behavior. Students who are participating in CICO receive feedback several times a day as well as a numeric score. A student might hear, “Great job for being responsible today and starting your work right away.” At Clinton, our Check-in Check-out system is called Clinton Comet CICO Club. To learn more about the implementation of PBIS within Lincoln Public Schools please visit www.lps.org keyword PBIS.

Halloween

10/28/2016
Dear Clinton Families,
Halloween is quickly approaching. No costumes, candy or treats are allowed at school on Monday,
October 31. Also, remind students to leave any candy or treats they receive on Halloween at home.
Thanks so much for your help with this matter.
Sincerely,
Angee Luedtke
Principal
Clinton Elementary

Blast off to a great year of learning!

August 24, 2016

Dear Clinton Families,

We are off to a great start to the school year. It has been wonderful having all of our Clinton scholars back with us as we “Blast off to a great year of learning!” We would also like to welcome all of our new students and families to Clinton Elementary. It truly is the greatest place to be!

Thank you to everyone for having your students to school on time each day. Remember, if your student is eating breakfast, they should arrive at 7:45 (no earlier). If they do not want to eat breakfast at school, they should arrive closer to 8:00. Remember to always use the crosswalks when coming to and from Clinton.

If you drive your child to school, Clinton Street turns into a one-way street going east. Please have your child wait in the car until the signal is given at 7:45. After the signal (wave from morning supervisors) students can walk to the front door and form a line. A morning supervisor will walk the line to breakfast.

As you know, it is important for students to be in school all day, every day. Please plan to schedule appointments outside of the school day, when possible. If for some reason you need to pick up your student early from school, sign in at the front desk and proceed to the office. At that time, your student will be notified to come and join you. This allows for maximum learning time.

Please follow the same traffic pattern when picking up students from school each day. It is important not to block the crosswalks when parking. Also, please refrain from pulling into the parking lot from Clinton Street.

Thank you for always being mindful of each student’s safety as you drop off and pick up your children each day.

Mark your calendars for our first family night. Family Math and Reading Night is Thursday, September 15 from 4:30 – 6:00. Look for more information about this fun, informational night as the date nears. Also, our first parent group meeting is Thursday, September 8. We plan to meet in Room 101D at 5:30. We would love to see you there.

Thanks again for helping us get our school year off to a smooth start. We are so fortunate to have great families that are supportive of our school and our students. We look forward to a fabulous school year with our Clinton Comets!

Sincerely,

Angee Luedtke

Principal

Clinton Elementary

Walking Path Approval

May 2016

 

Dear Clinton Parents/Guardians:

During the 2014-15 school year we began a Clinton playground walking path fund drive.  I am pleased to inform our school community of the project’s approval.  Clinton students initiated the project by collecting $1350 through two Change for Change fund raising efforts.  Our current overall total is $23,660.   This amount is slightly below our target but the LPS Facilities and Maintenance Department has indicated they will cover the remaining amount and move the project forward.

The eventual plan is for the concrete walking path to be located around the perimeter of the playground, just inside the fence.  The route layout will take advantage of the current playground landscaping design.  And, future landscaping will be incorporated into the plan as a second phase to this project.

The walking path will be a great recreational addition for Clinton students and neighborhood residents.  Plus, the path will contribute to the beauty of the Clinton building and campus.  Clinton students, families and staff are grateful for the generous donations provided by numerous individuals and businesses.

 

Terry Neddenriep, Principal, Clinton Elementary School

 

Save Those Box Tops

November 2015

Dear Clinton Parents/Guardians:

The Box Tops program really does work. Due to the conscientious work of many Clinton parents, students and community members, hundreds of dollars are generated each year for our school. A wide variety of products participate in the Box Tops for Education program, ranging from cereals to school and office supplies. Clinton’s Box Tops program, led by parents, has heavy involvement by students. Classrooms compete against each other for monthly recognition.

Here’s how the Box Tops program works. As displayed in the images below, participants first locate the certificates, cut them out, and make the deposits in the box located on the Clinton office counter. Each box top is worth 10¢ for our school. Box Tops earnings are sent out to schools twice a year, in December and in April.

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 1.16.22 PM

At Clinton, the funds are used for purchases to benefit students and the school in general. Expenditures go toward items that otherwise may not have had funding sources. Two recent examples of box tops purchases are the fifth grade Saltdogs tee shirts and additional front entrance landscape plants. Fifth graders wore their tee shirts to the August Lincoln Public Schools Saltdogs game. This is an annual event attended by every fifth grader in LPS. The students are able to keep the shirts and wear them for special events throughout the school year. On the last day of school, the tee shirts will become a keepsake as students autograph each others’ shirts. The landscape plants benefit our school community by beautifying the front entrance for everyone’s enjoyment.

Box Tops for Education – a worthwhile fundraising process for the benefit of Clinton School and our students.

 

Terry Neddenriep, Principal, Clinton Elementary School

The Oldest Rules in School

September 2015

 

Dear Clinton Parents/Guardians:

What might be two of the oldest rules in school? Here are a couple possibilities. “Keep your hands and feet to yourself” and “Raise your hand to speak.” Please remind your students to keep doing the first one. But, Clinton teachers are challenging the second one.

The use of multiple opportunities to respond to teacher prompts is engaging and interactive for all students. Hand raising works well for assertive students but not as well for reluctant students or those who may not know the material so well. Unfortunately, in some cases, the less assertive students get used to checking out and thinking about something other than the lesson. So, teachers are often replacing hand raising with strategies to require all students to participate. For example, the teacher may gesture for students to hold their replies, while asking a question, then give another gesture to prompt a choral response from all students. In another instance, the teacher may use a call back where the answer is stated and students are signaled to restate the answer in unison. For more difficult questions, the teacher may ask students to have a discussion with a partner, then, share an answer with the entire class. Another engaging strategy requires students to prepare a response on an individual white board and when cued, hold up their boards for the teacher’s review.

These are a few response opportunities teachers are using as replacements to traditional hand raising. The goal is to engage every student in learning.

 

Terry Neddenriep, Principal

 

 

Back to School

August 2015

Dear Clinton Parents/Guardians:

Our students had a successful school year in 2014-15 and we look forward to them achieving at an even higher level in 15-16.  Noted below are a few points for your consideration as we begin the new school year.  We look forward to partnering with you to help your students do their very best.  Thank you for your support of Clinton School.

Terry Neddenriep, Principal

 

Celebrating with non-food items

As we begin a new school year, I’d like to review our routines related to celebrations of student birthdays and other holidays.  Within our celebrations, a primary goal is to keep students with food allergies safe and respect the cultural reasons others may have for avoiding various foods. We are pleased to have parents/guardians take the time to visit school and in some instances even have lunch with students.  We ask that if items are shared with classmates during these visits, they be non-food items in place of food.  Some parents have used pencils, erasers, and stickers or other small items to help students celebrate. Objects like these are always a hit in an elementary school. Please join us as we put these practices in place to be responsive to our students. Be sure to let me know if you have questions.

 

Clinton Club

This year we are initiating a check in – check out process for students needing an early behavior intervention. We are referring to this process as the Clinton Club and it will be available to students whose behaviors have begun to slip. A detailed description of how this process will support students is available in the Clinton office.

 

Achievement Wall

Last year teachers began using the achievement wall to recognize students for outstanding classroom success. Teachers wrote the student name and accomplishment on a fish cutout, presented this to the student and sent them to post their fish on the main hallway display. By the end of the year, there were hundreds of fish on display.

Our theme for 15-16 will be “Wild About Learning.” The achievement wall will feature a huge paw print with the words, “Look who made these outstanding achievement tracks.” Teachers will recognize students by sending them to the main hallway to post their achievement. We look forward to seeing the pride students take in placing their names on display for academic success.

 

Morning Routines

We again are beginning breakfast at 7:45 a.m. Thank you for dropping students off after 7:45 and helping students time their walks to arrive after the breakfast line enters the building. Our staff supervision and the serving of breakfast begin at 7:45. Thank you for your assistance with this timing to keep everyone supervised and safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Ways to Celebrate Birthdays

July 2015

Dear Clinton Parents/Guardians:

“Happy birthday!”  Those words have special meaning for anyone at any age but especially for children in elementary school.  To add to the significance, many Clinton parents/guardians have made a routine of coming to school on birthdays to have lunch with their child and/or visit in the classroom for a short time.  We are pleased parents take the time to make these visits.  As a staff, we help students celebrate birthdays by announcing their names over the school intercom.  In the classroom, teachers use a variety of methods to honor student birthdays.

Our goal is to build on the successful practices that make birthdays special while also assuring students’ safety, adherence to cultural expectations, and the maintenance of a regular school routine.  Safety can be an issue with some food items.  For example, students with egg allergies would not be able to eat most varieties of cupcakes or cookies.  In some instances, classmates may feel excluded if food items are shared that do not meet the dietary requirements of their culture.

For these reasons, we are committed this year to replacing foods (cupcakes, cookies, juices, etc.) as a means of celebrating birthdays with non-food items.  If you would like to bring a non-food item to celebrate a birthday, please contact your child’s teacher several days in advance to schedule your visit.  The early contact would also provide an opportunity to decide on a non-food birthday item appropriate for classmates.

I invite you to join this school-wide commitment to celebrate student birthdays with non-food items.  Please contact me with any questions you may have regarding school birthday celebrations.

Terry Neddenriep, Principal

A Growth or Fixed Mindset

Child A and child B are both assigned the same task.  Child A looks at the assignment, determines it is difficult and is put off.  Lock down.  Shut down.  “I can’t do this.”  On the other hand, child B sees the task as manageable and goes to work with confidence to complete the task.  Author Carol Dweck, an expert on student mindset, has written books on this topic.  Dweck emphasizes that when students give up or say, “I can’t do this,” we should make a big thing about adding the word YET.  Just one little word can move students away from thinking they are not smart to realizing they can grow their skills and abilities.  As adults, we have an important role in promoting the growth mindset.  Effort, persistence and the willingness to take a risk are key.  So, when we hear a student say, “I can’t do this,” let’s make a big thing about adding the word YET.