February West and East Network Meeting

NID Early Childhood West Region Meeting
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church & School, Belvidere
1.     Conferences:

a.     Concordia University Early Childhood Conference: Friday, August 5, 2016.  Watch the Concordia University, Chicago website for information about this conference.  Keynote Speaker:  Kevin Leman  http://www.drleman.com
b.     Lutheran Education Association (LEA) National Administrators Conference  April 7-9 in Milwaukee, WI.  Early Registration rates through March 10.  Special sectionals for early childhood administrators, principals, and admissions counselors http://www.lea.org/Events/2016LEANationalAdministratorsConference.aspx
c.      University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Early Childhood Conference  “Our Words Are Important”   April 8-9, 2016  online registration    http://www.uww.edu/ce/camps/other-camps-events/ecc

2.     New early childhood websites:

a.     Concordia Publishing House’s new education site to assist with integration of the “One in Christ” materials into the preschool through 8th grade curriculums.  Grade level blogs, projects, and activities.  http://education.cph.org

3.     Other:

a.    “Voice of Care”  a ministry to special needs individuals and congregations who serve them.  Regional directors: Rev. Paul Klopke, Rev. Phil Grunbalm, and Rev. Dean Pittelko can come out to schools and do chapel services and set up disability awareness stations. http://www.voiceofcare.org

February Topic: "Challenging Families"
Two different scenarios were shared from some of our represented schools.  Here’s some gleanings from the discussions:

1.        Some of our students are faced with some very major challenges with dysfunctional family situations.  They often come to school hurried and hungry.  A proper start to the day is very important.  Schools seeing this as a major hindrance for learning might want to look into breakfast programs for their whole school or at least stock breakfast bars or other informal foods for students needing some nutrition in the mornings. 

a.   Zion, Marengo has had very good experience with these programs, even in the summer time (Illinois Summer Food Service Program). Contact them (Sandee Dunker) for more information about these programs. 

b.  Immanuel, Belvidere stocks foods like pretzel sticks to use as possible extra morning nutrition and then turns it into phonics lesson with making the alphabet letters with the pretzels.   Related to this same situation St. Johns, Lombard  (Laura Weston) shared about a “Mentoring Program” that matches up students, especially those who need some extra attention with senior citizens from the congregation.  They periodically eat lunch together and have some reading times.

2.        Another discussed situation involved families who bully teachers in the school.  Some suggestions for assisting teachers with these situations included:

            a.         Strive to get the principal and/or pastor more involved.  If tensions get difficult, it can be helpful to have all communications o and from the parent go through one of these individuals, if possible

            b.        Use school security cameras, as needed and available (documentation)

            c.         Discussion took place about whether to use email responses with challenging families.  These emails can great documentations of conversations but can also be taken in the wrong way.  

            d.        Have parents read and sign a “Communication with Parents” statement at the beginning of the year.  Thank you , Judy Schafer and our friends at  Immanuel, Belvidere for sharing their version of this statement:


The faculty of Immanuel Lutheran School believes that home-school communication is a priority.  The “Immanuel Information” sheet contains news concerning school and congregational activities. It is distributed via e-mail to school families.  In addition teachers may send notes home with class news, teacher concerns, academic schedule, and/or field trip information. The lunch menu and other information may be viewed on Immanuel’s website at www.immanuelknights.org.  Teachers’ web pages are accessible through the school website.

Parents are encouraged to attend the Parent Information Open House.  Conferences between teachers and parents are held at the end of the first quarter and during the school year by parent or teacher request.   Parents are given an opportunity to schedule conferences at a time that is convenient for them.

Communication during the entire year between parents and teachers is important.  Teachers will make every effort to confer with parents if a pupil is having difficulty academically or socially.  Parents should also feel free to contact a teacher and schedule a conference at a mutually convenient time.  Teachers are not available for meetings or phone calls after 7:25 AM and before 3:00 PM.

Parents of students in grades 1-8 are able to check assignments, grades, etc. over the Internet. They can also communicate with teachers by email using the TeacherEase web-based grade book and student information system.  Parents without Internet access may request a progress report from their child’s teacher at any time.

The Athletic Department will hold Parent Information Meetings before the beginning of each sports season.  Parents are requested to attend.  Coaches will share expectations for involvement, schedules, philosophies, and other information relevant to preparing for a successful season.

Staff Authority To maintain discipline and a clear sense of authority, teachers and other staff have the responsibility to make professional decisions and judgments regarding the learning and behavior of students. Occasionally, parents may need clarification on how a staff member’s decision was arrived at, but the student involved is not the best choice to provide that clarification. If any disagreements or misunderstandings among the adults involved do arise they must take place in a professional, private, and problem-solving manner.  Without the support and authority you have entrusted us with, our school would not be a wonderfully safe place for children to learn and grow.

When a problem arises, our teachers and staff want students to share how they saw an event. However, due to students’ inexperience they may be unable to view the event from others’ point of view, or recognize the error in their own point of view. As part of the responsibility you have entrusted us with, it is our job to help children mature and see an event from more than one perspective and accept responsibility for their part in the problem. This is a very hard lesson for students to learn. They often appeal to a more sympathetic ear – yours. Teachers, staff, and parents need to be united and consistent when decisions and judgments are arrived at for each child to grow and mature. Please know we will always keep the best interest of the children in mind at all time. 

Guidelines for Parent Behavior As a Christian school we hold our own behavior and the behavior of students and families to a higher expectation than other schools.  All parents agree to act in a respectful, non-threatening manner at all times. If you have a concern, please voice it to the teacher and or administrator in privacy and not in the presence of your children or other students. Intimidation or harassment of any parent, student, or staff, whether verbal or physical will not be tolerated.  Immanuel Lutheran School has a zero tolerance policy in this regard.

The school committee reserves the right to disassociate itself from, and force the withdrawal of, any parents/students in that case where the parent(s) act(s) in a threatening, intimidating, inappropriate, or consistently disruptive manner or in a manner that seriously violates our operating principles or threatens the functional climate of the school. In other words, the school reserves the right to expel any child who fails to comply with established standards of behavior or, at the discretion of our school board and administrator, ask any family to leave who interrupts the education, climate, and operating principles established at Immanuel.

If, in the judgment of the administration, a family or student has violated our behavior policies, the family will be notified by letter that the next occurrence may result in their immediate withdrawal from our school. Families who are asked to leave will be reimbursed any remaining unused portion of tuition payments minus the registration fees.           
Space Rocket!

School-wide Art Calendar

Valentine String Art Craft

 Summer Positions Available at Zion Lutheran in Hinsdale
1. Kindergarten Teacher to plan and teach K-skills in a fun and relaxed environment. The camp is Tuesday and Thursday mornings 9-noon, June 14-August 4th.

2. Flexible days (pending enrollment and vacations) from 9-noon for 2 1/2 to 6 year-olds.  The lessons are planned. DCFS teacher qualified to be a teacher or high school graduate to be an assistant.

Contact Director Peggy Farrell for further information at:
630-323-0065 or via email pfarrell@zionhinsdale.org 


No comments:

Post a Comment