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Did You Know?




Attention Parents: IF YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT FROM SCHOOL

Please Remember to Notify the School Your child attends, if she/he has an unexpected absence due to illness or emergency. The parent must call the school he/she attends before 9 a.m. if at all possible. This saves the office staff a tremendous amount of time, and quickly assures us that your child is accounted for and safe.   Phone numbers are listed on this website for the school.  Furthermore, if your child has a "planned" absence, the office should be notified by the parent AT LEAST a day in advance so that the missing work can be provided if available.  This work on pre-arranged absences is generally due upon return.  Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in assuring your child is safe and in school! 



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You can help your child succeed in math at GGS!!

What can you do to be sure your child is ready for the next level of math?

  • Teachers grades K-8 send home IXL homework and information.
  • Go to www.ixl.com
  • Enter your child’s username and password (provided by your child’s math teacher in your report card)
  • Practice for at least 20 minutes every day of the week for the entire month of February!
  • Can you complete one whole grade level of review with your child during February?
  • Call your child’s teacher with concepts of difficulty for your son or daughter and discuss more math strategies!
  • Have fun! Move on to the next grade level! Practice in March, April, May and all summer!



The 8 Conditions that Make a Difference

When students have high aspirations, they have the ability to dream and set goals for the future while being inspired in the present to reach those dreams.

Whether the goal is to learn trigonometry or a trade, get good grades, or go to college/university, students want to be successful. Too often, however, students don’t reach their goals and fullest potential because the conditions that inspire and support them are not in place.

The Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations (QISA) has identified 8 Conditions that need to be in place if students are to strive for, and fulfill, their academic, personal, and social promise. Based on more than two decades of research, these Conditions help schools live out the Three Guiding Principles of Aspirations work: Self-Worth, Active Engagement, and Purpose.

Gallatin Gateway School is conducting surveys of students grades 3-8 to determine how to better meet local student needs.  More information will be discussed in the upcoming Strategic Planning Meetings.

The 8 Conditions That Make a Difference are:

Belonging: The Condition of Belonging means that a student is a valued member of a community while still maintaining his or her uniqueness. It is a relationship between two or more persons characterized by a sense of connection and support. A sense of Belonging is an important condition for a student's feeling of well-being, social engagement, and competence. The Condition of Belonging increases intrinsic motivation, for it fosters self-confidence and investment in the community. Teachers have the opportunity to establish a culture of Belonging in their classroom, one that promotes their students' sense of well-being, connection, and self-belief.

Heroes: Heroes are the everyday people – teachers, friends, family – in students’ lives who inspire them to excel and to make positive changes in attitude and lifestyle. Heroes are people students can connect with, who have a positive influence on them, and who listen to and value their ideas. Heroes build trust in others and belief in oneself. Teachers can be heroes to their students. Students can look up to teachers as people to learn from and communicate with about many things. Building relationships with students through support, guidance, and encouragement enables them to become more confident in their academic, personal, and social growth.

Sense of Accomplishment: The Condition of Sense of Accomplishment recognizes effort, perseverance, and citizenship – along with academic achievement – as signs of student success. Educators have traditionally used a narrow view of accomplishment as it refers to academic achievement, innate ability, or who is “best in the class.” Sense of Accomplishment, however, views success in terms of personal growth and effort, not just through measurable outcomes and countable successes. Teachers have the opportunity to celebrate their students' accomplishments in visible ways. Taking time to recognize and support students’ efforts can help motivate them to persevere through difficult tasks, creating an appreciation for hard work and dedication.

Fun & Excitement: The Condition of Fun & Excitement is characterized by students being inspired. They are actively engaged and emotionally involved in their schoolwork. Students who exhibit Fun & Excitement are usually self-confident, curious, and prepared; they are willing to meet the challenges of the day. Teachers who foster Fun & Excitement provide new opportunities, initiate challenges, and respect individual interests. The first three Conditions – Belonging, Heroes, and Sense of Accomplishment – help establish a learning environment in which students can feel safe to have fun together in learning.

Curiosity & Creativity: The Condition of Curiosity & Creativity is characterized by inquisitiveness, eagerness, a strong desire to learn new or interesting things, and an eagerness to satisfy the mind with new discoveries. Curiosity triggers students to ask “Why?” while creativity gives them the initiative to ask “Why not?” The intensity of Curiosity & Creativity tends to diminish over time due to the habituating effects of the environment. Teachers can devote extra attention to creating a classroom environment that promotes questioning and creative exploration in order to maintain student motivation.

Spirit of Adventure: The Spirit of Adventure is characterized by students’ ability to take on positive, healthy challenges at school and home, with family and friends. Students experience the Spirit of Adventure when they tackle something new without the fear of failure or success. Teachers can encourage and support students' Spirit of Adventure by urging them to explore new things. When teachers create an atmosphere that allows for healthy decision making and risk taking, students can become more confident and resilient. Students with the Spirit of Adventure see life as full of opportunities worth exploring for their own sake.

Leadership & Responsibility: The Condition of Leadership & Responsibility means students are able to express their ideas and are willing to accept consequences for their actions. It cultivates accountability for the classroom environment and school community. Fostering leadership empowers students to make just and appropriate decisions and to take pride in their actions. Teachers who promote this Condition teach and expect their students to be good decision makers. They provide legitimate decision-making opportunities, seek student input, and expect students to be accountable for their actions and words. Students are trusted to make the right decisions and are recognized for doing so.

Confidence to Take Action: Confidence to Take Action is the extent to which students believe in themselves. It encourages them to dream about their future while being motivated to set goals in the present. This Condition is what educators strive for: instilling in their students a confidence in and expectation of success. Confidence to Take Action is characterized by a positive and healthy outlook on life and by looking inward rather than outward for approval. Teachers have the ability to help build their students' Confidence to Take Action by providing support, celebrating diversity, and encouraging independent thinking. By enhancing the quality of academic and personal growth, teachers can empower their students to become active and involved members of their learning environments.

In an era of educational policy that changes almost daily, educators must be grounded in a set of principles that are solidly based on research and that provide a practical, common-sense approach to working with students. The 8 Conditions give educators this framework. They are not a new fad in education. They are the same conditions that inspired us when we were students ourselves, and they will be the same conditions that inspire generations of students to come. The Condition of Belonging will never be replaced with the Condition of Alienation; the Condition of Fun & Excitement will never be replaced with a program of intentional Boredom, and the Condition of Leadership & Responsibility will never be replaced with efforts to nurture Apathy. We must take education back to the basics – the basics that ensure students’ feelings of self-worth, active engagement in their learning and in the life of the school, and sense of purpose for themselves and the world around them.

The 8 Conditions can be used by all educators to improve their relationships with students, make teaching and learning more relevant and engaging, and create a renewed sense of purpose in the world of education. If nothing else, the 8 Conditions are a clear reminder of why we entered the field of education in the first place: to make a difference in this world.




What Does Research Say is Effective in Addressing Bullying?

It is not uncommon for schools to use a variety of approaches to address bullying, such as schoolwide assemblies or zero tolerance policies. But are these approaches effective in creating long-term, lasting change in the bullying rates at school? Research shows that both of these approaches are not effective. 

 So what is?

 


Although research into bullying prevention is still relatively new, a review of existing bullying prevention programs and feedback from educators in the field have identified ten strategies that represent “best practices” in bullying prevention and intervention.

1. Focus on the school environment. To reduce bullying, it is important to change the climate of the school and the social norms with regard to bullying. It must become “uncool” to bully, “cool” to help out students who are bullied, and normal for staff and students to notice when a child is bullied or left out. This work should be done schoolwide, not just in one or two classes.
2. Assess bullying at your school. Often, adults are not very accurate when estimating the nature and extent of bullying at their school. For this reason, it is most helpful to administer an anonymous survey to your students. This will show you how prevalent bullying and its forms are at your school.
3. Garner staff and parent support for bullying prevention. Bullying prevention is most effective when the entire school community, from the bus drivers to the teachers to the parents, is on board.
4. Form a group to coordinate your school’s bullying prevention activities. Bullying prevention efforts seem to work best, if they are coordinated by a representative group within the school. This coordinating team should meet regularly to establish bullying prevention plans for the school.
5. Train your staff in bullying prevention. All administrators, faculty, and staff at your school should be trained in bullying prevention and intervention. In-service training can help staff to better understand the nature of bullying and its effects, how to respond if they observe bullying, and how to work with others at the school to help prevent bullying from occurring.
6. Establish and enforce school rules and policies related to bullying.
Although many school policies and procedures prohibit bullying, they don’t clarify expectations for bullying behavior. Developing simple, clear rules about bullying can help to ensure that students are aware of adults’ expectations and they will know that adults will help if they are bullied.
7. Increase adult supervision in hot spots where bullying occurs. Bully- ing tends to thrive in locations where adults are not present or are not attentive. Once school personnel have identified hot spots for bullying from the student surveys, look for creative ways to increase adults’ presence in these locations.
8. Intervene consistently and appropriately in bullying situations. All staff should be able to intervene effectively on the spot to stop bullying. Designated staff should also hold separate follow-up meetings for the child who is bullied and the child who bullies.
9. Focus class time on bullying prevention. It is important that bullying prevention programs include a classroom component. Teachers should set aside 20-30 minutes each week to discuss bullying and peer relations with students. Bullying prevention is most effective with students when it is integrated into their classroom time.
10. Continue these efforts over time. There should be no end date for bullying prevention efforts. Bullying prevention should be woven into the entire school environment.
By following these ten strategies identified as “best practices” in bullying prevention, you will be well on your way to reducing bullying at your school and providing a safe, supportive learning environment for your students.

 




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