Red Ribbon Week, October 20-24 From Mr. Barton Mary Morgan Elementary School has designated October 20 – 24, 2014, as Red Ribbon Week. This week every year is set aside to help students and their families become more aware of drug and alcohol issues and how those concerns impact families.
Important Dates! From Mr. Barton
Parent Teacher Conferences are next week, October 22 & 23. You may check your conference time(s) by logging on to your Skyward Family Access account and selecting the "Teacher Conferences" tab, located on the left side of your screen. If you need any support accessing this information, please contact the Mary Morgan school office at 815-234-5491, Ext. 251 or 757.
In addition to Parent Teacher Conferences, we will have more information available for parents to access in the Mary Morgan library. Parents can obtain information on how they can support their children with reading and math skills, learn about the upcoming PARCC assessment and Common Core State Standards, or get guidance on how to navigate our new student information system, Skyward Family Access. Please stop by the library. We look forward to seeing you next week.
Mary Morgan, Boyer Earn Gold Circle of Quality Award From Mr. Barton
Mary Morgan elementary school has achieved the Gold Circle of Quality designation, the highest award issued through the state’s new early learning program rating system known as ExceleRate Illinois.
When determining a program’s rating, ExceleRate Illinois employs a consistent set of standards in four domains: Teaching and Learning, Family and Community Engagement, Leadership and Management, and Qualifications and Continuing Education.
There are four levels of distinction: Licensed Circle of Quality, Bronze Circle of Quality, Silver Circle of Quality and Gold Circle of Quality.
The Gold Circle of Quality recognizes programs which have demonstrated quality on all fifteen standards, as validated by an independent assessor. Gold Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment, instructional quality, and all program administrative standards; group size and staff/child ratios; staff qualifications; and professional development.
Mary Morgan’s preschool program has been run by longtime preschool teacher, Mrs. Kim Boyer, who often works in conjunction with Mary Morgan early childhood teacher, Mrs. Mindi McKinley.
“Mrs. Boyer is very deserving of this award,” McKinley stated. “She has been dedicated to the Pre-K program for many years and strives to create a safe and fun learning environment for her students each day. Mrs. Boyer has positively touched many little lives in her career, and Mary Morgan has been lucky to have her all these years.”
When told that she had been given the Gold Circle of Quality Award, Mrs. Boyer stated, “I feel very honored to have been given this distinction. It validates the work we have put into the program the past several years. I have always tried to improve upon the opportunities we provide for our kids, and I am fortunate and grateful to have been given a great deal of support throughout my years teaching the program – it truly take a village to raise a child.”
Author Steve Cotler at Mary Morgan From Mrs. Smith, MM Library
On Wednesday, October 8, Mr. Cotler will speak to 3rd-5th grade students about writing, reading and creative thinking. His presentations are animated, enthusiastic, and interactive. He will excite the students about the creative process and challenge them to imagine. He will share tips from his career as a working writer, and encourage students to think, dream, and improvise. Plus laughing…lots of laughing!
Recently, your student has been excited and energized by a library read-aloud of chapters from Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything. Picked by the children’s librarians of Illinois as one of the best books of 2014, it’s the first in a series of smart, funny wholesome adventures for readers aged 8-12. I
If you would like your child to have an autographed copy of any or all of these five books (or to order copies for gifts), please complete the form that is coming home with your student and return it to your child’s teacher with payment NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, October 8. Mr. Cotler will sign and personalize each book.
Get To Know Me From Mr. Barton
Position: 2nd grade: 2 years at Mary Morgan Family: Husband~ Jay, Kids~ Payten, Brady, Reese Dogs~ Cubbie and Gussie Education: Bachelors Degree form NIU, Masters From Rockford University
Position: District Librarian 7 years Family: Husband~ Pat, Son~ Riley and Daughter~ Delaney Education: Masters of Education Hobbies: Reading The person I admire most: Eleanor Roosevelt
Favorite Food: It’s a tie…Cheese and fruit The thing I miss most about being a kid: Being able to ride carnival rides without feeling sick What I love most about my job: I get the opportunity to make a positive impact in a child’s life.
The thing I miss most about being a kid: Running around without fear. Dream Vacation: An Island Greatest Achievement: My kids
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The Byron School District will be holding preschool screenings on the follwoing dates from 8:00 am to 11:00 am at Mary Morgan Elementary School.
November 7, 2014
February 27, 2015
April 17, 2015
May 19, 2015
This screening is for Byron school districtresidents only. The developmental screening is for children ages 3-5 years old. Areas of development that are screened include language, concepts, motor, hearing, and vision.
Please call Joy at 815-234-5491 x 223 to make an appointment for your child.
Reading is Fun! From Mr. Barton
Help us celebrate!! The Mary Morgan Library is collecting 4x6 photos of students reading. Be creative!! Show us how they like to read or even who they like to read with. Click images to enlarge.
These photos will be on display in the Mary Morgan Library during the month of September. Please check back to see photos of some of our teams and classes reading.
Health Related Examination Requirements From the School Nurse
In effort to increase the current level of building security, we are making a slight change to our drop-off procedures.
Parents are still directed to drop their children off at their currently designated drop off area from 7:50 – 8:10, at which time the first bell rings, allowing students to enter the building. In the past, to allow for efficient student access to classrooms, the doorways at all drop-off areas remained accessible until 8:20, when the tardy bell rang.
Moving forward, however, those doorways will not be accessible and all students dropped off after 8:10 will need to go through the office area, regardless of grade level. This means any student dropped off after 8:10 must enter the building through the office doors. As always, students will not be counted as tardy until 8:20.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the school office. State Law: No Cell Phones in School Zones Pick-up and Drop-off Diagram[pdf]
Food Service Payments
The Byron School District is no longer using MySchoolBucks.com for food service payments. Payments are to be made using Skyward Family Access, the same program used for student registration.
After login, click on the Food Service link found in the left navigation pane where you can view totals or make a payment.
New: Common Core State Standards and PARCC Assessment From Mr. Barton
The Illinois State Board of Education has adopted new Math and English Language Arts standards for K-12 education known as the New Illinois State Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core. The goal is to better prepare Illinois students for success in college and the workforce in a competitive global economy. You can learn more about the Common Core State Standards at : http://www.corestandards.org/
The state has determined that the current expectations for our students in grades 3-8 are too low and do not give an accurate picture of a student’s ability to succeed in college and the workforce. Therefore, the Illinois State Board of Education is raising the bar on the ISAT performance expectations in Math and English Language Arts for elementary and middle school students to bring them into line with the Common Core’s more rigorous standards.
The new expectations also pave the way for the state to replace the ISAT tests in Math and English Language Arts with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. The PARCC exams will line up with the Common Core State Standards and provide better information about students’ abilities to master the appropriate skills and content for college and careers. Unlike the ISAT, which is given once a year, the PARCC tests will be given more than once during the school year. This should help give educators a more detailed picture of students’ strengths and areas that need improvement. The new PARCC tests are scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 school year. You can learn more about the upcoming PARCC assessment at: http://www.parcconline.org/
Though more difficult, these higher standards will better position students to tackle the challenges of college and careers. With these new tools and standards – and with your help – we are confident that our students will rise to the occasion.
Mary Morgan 1:1 Initiative From Mr. Barton
The 4th and 5th grade students will be loaned a laptop to improve and personalize his/her education. It is essential that the Byron Community Schools Laptop Use Guidelines be followed to ensure the safe, efficient and ethical operation of the district's laptop.