FOREST CITY ELEMENTARY NEWSLETTER

FEBRUARY 2015

                  

Dear Forest City Families,

We have had another good month at Forest City Elementary with many great learning activities going on in our school!


During the month of February our students will participate in the "Read A Million Minutes" program.  Our theme is ”Plug Into Reading!" and we have many fun activities scheduled for this month.  Our goal is to have students extend an extra effort to read during February with a goal of 300,000 minutes for our school.  Please help support your child in these activities by providing extra time for them to read in their schedule at home.  Please make note of the detailed information regarding this activity later in the newsletter.


Forest City Elementary will also be hosting Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences on February 17th and 19th.  We truly appreciate your commitment to your child's education by attending their conferences!


While our school schedule has been a bit inconsistent due to our winter weather, we have had a great start to 2015 and we are confident that this will continue throughout the remainder of the school year.  With students, staff and parents working together, great things will continue to happen for students in our school.  I appreciate the opportunity to work with your children on a daily basis!

       

Sincerely,

Steve Putz

Elementary Principal

NO SCHOOL

There will no school for students at Forest City Elementary on the following days in February:

Friday, February 20th

EARLY DISMISSAL

Forest City Elementary students will be dismissed at 1:50 p.m. on the following dates in January:

Every Wednesday in February (Staff Development)


ELEMENTARY CONCERTS

As we have in the past, Forest City Elementary will host Elementary Concerts throughout the upcoming year.  Dates for these events are as follows:


Thursday, April 23rd Kindergarten           6:30 p.m.  Elementary Cafetorium   

                                    Early Primary          7:30 p.m.  Elementary Cafetorium


Thursday, May 7th 4th Grade                  6:30 p.m.  Middle School Gym            

                                     5th Grade                  7:45 p.m.  Middle School Gym

We are very proud of our school and the many talents that our students possess.  We enjoy seeing friendly faces in our school.  Please mark these important dates on your calendar.

4TH GRADE GRANDPARENTS' TEA

Fourth grade students and staff will host a Grandparents' Tea on Friday, April 24th at 9:30 a.m.  We are hopeful that families add this very special date on their calendars!

READ A MILLION MINUTES

Forest City Elementary will again participate in the "Read A Million Minutes" program during the month of February.  Our theme for the month is "Plug Into Reading” and we have many special activities going on each week.  Information regarding our weekly themes and participation rewards for this activity is as follows:


Weekly Themes:

Week of February 6th Weekly Theme:  “Read with the Best Computer”: Your Mind!

Prize: Smartphone Eraser

Week of February 13th Weekly Theme:  “Get Connected- Read!”

Prize: Pencil

Week of February 20th Weekly Theme: “Check Out the "Text" of a Good Book!”

Prize: Smartphone Pencil Sharpener

Week of February 27th Weekly Theme:  “Download the Pages of a New Book!”

Prize: Laffy Taffy Rope

VALENTINES DAY INFORMATION

We will again follow the practice of not allowing gift/flower deliveries to students for Valentine's Day.  We appreciate your understanding regarding this matter and ask that if you to do purchase gift/flowers for your child on this day that you have deliveries made to homes.


BACKPACK BUDDIES AND UNITED WAY

Each Friday, approximately seventy-seven Forest City Elementary students receive a bag of food for the weekend.  This program, “Backpack Buddies” is sponsored by United Way of North Central Iowa. People may be interested how much it costs to support the Backpack Buddies program.  Each backpack that our students receive cost $3.30 to produce or $254.10 for our seventy-seven students each week.

We have had many people inquire about how they could donate to the "Backpack Buddies" program that many students in our school participate in each week.   People interested in donating to this very worthy cause can contact United Way of North Iowa at 877-428-8962 or at programs@unitedwaynci.org.

"SAVE FOR AMERICA" BANK DAYS

Save For America, a school based savings program will begin at Forest City Elementary during the month of November.  Students participating in this program will have the opportunity to deposit money in their savings accounts at a designated time during the following days throughout the school year: 

February 10-11         March 17-18                 April 7-8                 May 13-14


Student coin bags will be sent home with classes the Friday before each of the scheduled Bank Days as a reminder of the upcoming event.
Please contact Mr. Putz at 585-2670 if you would like more information regarding Save For America.


WEATHER RELATED INFORMATION

With the winter months slowly approaching us, it is time to get ourselves ready for winter weather in North Iowa.  As you know, it is important to dress your child appropriately with winter coats, hats and gloves or mittens daily.  When snow is on the ground, students are expected to wear boots.  Students in grades K-3 are expected to wear snow pants as a great deal of their winter play involves playing in the snow.  4th and 5th grade students are required to wear snow pants if their recess activities involve playing directly in the snow.  We will be going outside in cold weather and proper clothing will make this activity most enjoyable for our students.   If you are unable to provide for winter clothing items, please contact Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Jackson, Mrs. Prohaska or Mr. Putz at 585-2670.


If it becomes necessary to cancel school because of a snowstorm, notification can be heard on radio stations-KGLO, Mason City or KIOW, Forest City. Weather conditions may force closing of school early in the day.  If this should happen it may find some parents away from home.  It is suggested that parents make arrangements with friends or neighbors to have their children stay with them in a situation of this kind.  You may also register for Iowa School Alerts Sign Up on our Forest City Elementary web site: http://www.forestcity.k12.ia.us/elementary/index.php

BREAKFAST/LUNCH ASSISTANCE 

Please remember that our school has assistance for families to reduce or eliminate costs for breakfast and lunch for children.  Families who have changes in their earnings from work are encouraged to contact Mr. Putz at 585-2670 to fill out the required paperwork for this support.


TENNIS SHOES FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION

As you become more adjusted to their daily specials' schedule here at school, please encourage your child to wear tennis shoes on the days he/she has physical education.  This will keep them both safe and comfortable when participating in their physical education activities.

HOMEWORK HELP

Forest City Elementary will again offer Homework Help for students in grades 3-5 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-3:45 p.m. in the Elementary IMC.  Students may come to the IMC, grab a quick snack and complete their homework for the next day.  An adult is available to assist any students who may have questions during this time.


We ask parents of children who stay for this assistance to pick up their child from school at 3:45 p.m.


SCHOOLWAY

Please take time to check out our new school app!! You have the option to choose what notifications to receive - emergency announcements, district-wide announcements, building announcements, sport and activity announcements or all of them.  The app also offers access to the school web page, Infinite Campus portal, school contacts, and much more. Available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and as a web app on your computer or other device.  To see recent posts and to get the app go to http://myschoolway.com/forestcity.

FOREST CITY ELEMENTARY LEARNING CONNECTION

The Forest City Elementary Learning Connection will again be holding classes in Forest City during the 2014-2015 school year.  Please note the changes in our structure for the upcoming year.


During the Learning Connection classes, children explore in areas of math, science, literacy, large and small motor, music and art. Parents work with their children for half of the class, and enjoy conversations about early childhood education and development during the second half of the class. All classes are 90 minutes long and meet from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. in the Early Childhood Classroom at Forest City Elementary School.

Learning Connections dates for the 2013-2014 sessions are as follows:

SPRING SESSION

March 23rd

March 30th

April 6th

April 13th

April 20th

April 27th

ELEMENTARY STUDENT PICK UP/DROP OFF INFORMATION

Elementary student pick up/drop off information is as follows:

GENERAL

Bus Drop Off Area – Only buses will use the I Street entrance from 7:30-8:45 a.m. and from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Visitors can only use this area during the hours of 8:45 a.m. through 1:30 p.m.


Car Drop Off Area – Parents dropping off and picking up their children from school will use the new entrance off Spring Valley Road from 7:30-9:00 a.m. and from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Children will enter our school through the new Cafetorium doors.  Parents who choose to walk their children into the building are asked to park in the far west parking lot and enter school through the Cafetorium doors.

PRESCHOOL

A.M. Preschool – Parents wanting to walk their children to their preschool room in the morning, must use the Spring Valley Road Entrance and park in the far west parking lot.  Parents picking up their child from preschool at 11:15 a.m. may use the I Street entrance and park along the left side of the road leaving the designated bus area open.


P.M. Preschool - Parents wanting to walk their children to their preschool room in the afternoon, may use the I Street entrance and park along the left side of the road leaving the designated bus area open.   Parents picking up their child from preschool at 2:45 p.m., must use the Spring Valley Road Entrance and park in the far west parking lot.


Other Information - When dropping off or picking up your children from school between the hours of 8:45 a.m. through 1:30 p.m., families may use the I Street entrance.  Should you be visiting our school for lunch or an extended time period, please use the Spring Valley Road entrance and park in the far west parking lot.

STUDENTS ENTERING THE BUILDING (7:30-9:00)

Bus Riders - K-3 students riding the buses will enter the school in the morning using the doors in the wings near their classrooms.  Students in grades 4-5 will enter the school through the Cafetorium doors.


Car Riders - K-5 students riding to school in a car will be dropped off near the west sidewalk or directly dropped off in front of the Cafetorium doors.  They will enter school through the Cafetorium doors.

STUDENTS ENTERING THE BUILDING (9:00-3:00)

Students entering the building between 9:00-3:00 each day will enter the building using the front entrance and reporting to the Main Office.

STUDENTS LEAVING THE BUILDING (9:00-3:00)

Students leaving the building between 9:00-3:00 each day will leave the building using the front entrance after reporting to the Main Office.  Parents are asked to meet their child in the Main Office and walk with them to their car.

STUDENT DISMISSALS AT THE END OF THE DAY

We will follow this structure when dismissing students at the end of the day:


K-3 Students - Bus students will be dismissed using the exit doors in the wings near their classrooms.  They will proceed to board buses in the front of the school.  Students being picked up in a car will proceed to the Cafetorium and exit school from these doors. Students will not be allowed to walk unattended throughout this parking lot, as there is increased traffic during these times.


4-5 Students - All students will be dismissed using the Cafetorium doors.  Bus students will walk on the sidewalks to board buses in the front of school. Students being picked up in a car will wait for their ride near the Cafetorium doors.  As stated earlier, students will not be allowed to walk unattended throughout this parking lot, as there is increased traffic during these times.


We thank you for following the new guidelines that we have put together in dealing with these new facility improvements.  Please remember that while there may possibly be a slight inconvenience from how things were done in the past, we have made these changes for the safety of our students and your children!   Your extra efforts and support during our transition period is greatly appreciated!

2015 PRESCHOOL STUDENTS

We have started our planning for the 2015-2016 school year and are presently looking for preschool students for the upcoming school year.  If you have a child who will be four by September 15th 2015, he/she will be eligible for our Four Year Old Preschool Program during the 2015-2016 school year. Please fill out the information below.  More information will be shared with you in the spring.

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If you have a child who will be four years of age before September 15, 2015, please complete this form and return it to our Elementary Office.

        Child's Name         ______________________________

        Gender         _____  Male            ______  Female

        Birth Date         ______________________________

        Parent's Name         ______________________________

        Address         ______________________________

        Telephone         ______________________________