WASS E-NEWS March 3, 2017

Principal's Message

Culture! Culture! Culture!  Culture is a HUGE part of the foundation of our school. For the past few months, I have been working on bringing a project to fruition that will help make our students' thinking and feelings about our school visible. Our main front hallway that leads to our cafeteria, gymnasium, and kindergarten classrooms has been painted with a design that is completely student-driven. It is not fully complete yet, but the final stages are being completed this week. Each student at Wass (kindergarten through fifth grade) has participated in a discussion and activity with their classroom teacher to share one word that describes what they think or feel about our school. There were hundreds of words submitted. After tallying the frequency of the words and looking at patterns, I have worked with an artist to visibly display our Wolves' feedback in a permanent mural that symbolizes our Positive School Culture through the students' perspective. I would encourage you to stop in after school sometime to view the mural in the hallway. It's very impressive! We have deep thinkers, great citizens, and dedicated learners in our Wolf Pack!

Wass Read-In

We kicked-off March is Reading Month with a school-wide Read-In on Wednesday. Every member of our school gathered together in the cafeteria and gym to ENJOY THE RIDE WITH A GOOD BOOK for 30 minutes. Students brought their Wass reading cinch sacks to begin our reading for enjoyment throughout March. We had some special visitors from our central office administration team join us - Dr. Machesky (Superintendent), Jordan Harris (Asst. Supt. of Employee Services), Kerry Birmingham (Communications Director), and Stephanie Trotter (Finance Director).


Our kindness campaign is an ongoing and never-ending initiative. We want it to become a natural habit and a part of our students' daily character. I have enjoyed viewing the kindness examples shared on our Twitter page with the hashtag - #BeWassKind. I had the honor of sharing an act of kindness from one of our kindergartners at our Read-In with our entire Wolf Pack on Wednesday. If your child performs a random act of kindness (no matter how small), please consider sharing it on @WassWolves with #BeWassKind. I will be visiting each classroom in the month of March to read Maria Dismondy's new book, Jelly Donut Difference - Sharing Kindness with the World, to emphasize the importance and impact of kindness in our school, homes, and community.


Every year, the NCAA college basketball season culminates its season in the month of March with a tournament. It is traditionally known as March Madness. This year, we will be having our own March Madness with a Tournament of Books for each grade level to determine our Wassbery winners. Each grade level has eight books selected by the grade level teachers for the students to determine what is their favorite read aloud. You can view each grade level tournament bracket on the bulletin boards in the front hallway. Again, our goal is to make reading fun and enjoyable in as many ways as we can for our students.


The Troy School District Future Chefs program took place on March 1. Twelve students were chosen as finalists from the 40+ who applied. They came to Troy Athens High School with their adult helpers — food service workers from various Troy schools — to create healthy comfort food from their own original recipes. Then a team of judges carefully evaluated each entry for originality, taste, ease of preparation, kid friendliness, and use of healthy ingredients. One Wass student made it to the finals – Julianna Petrous. She finished as a silver medalist. Congratulations Julianna!

Future Chefs Article - School Life Troy


I'm proud of all of our first and second grade students for reading in and outside of school to grow as readers. I also enjoyed going into our grades 1-2 classrooms to honor and recognize students that have spent time on Raz-Kids reading and developing their comprehension skills. Way to go Wolves!!!


Spring Parent/Teacher Child Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, March 30 from 1:00-4:00 and 5:30-8:30 p.m. Spring conferences differ from fall conferences in that only one afternoon and evening are allotted for teachers to meet with parents. Therefore, conference times are limited and will not be scheduled for every child in grades 1-5, however all kindergarten parents will have conferences. Specific instructions have been emailed to kindergarten parents. Teachers in grades 1-5 have sent home an email if a conference is needed or not. Students will have a half-day of school on March 30.


For those of you that are on Twitter, you might notice a variety of students and staff reading as they follow Energy Bus Rule #5 - "Enjoy the ride with a good book." This was the emphasis of our Wolf Pack lesson at the end of February. If you would like to take a picture of your child reading at home or in a favorite or unique spot, you can Tweet it to @WassWolves with #WassReaders. You can also view all of the #WassReaders in action on the Wass website on our Twitter feed.



Every year the Troy Elementary Physical Education Department hosts a race called the T.R.O.Y. Fitness Run. The event is only for Troy School District students who are in 5th grade. This serves as a culminating event as we send elementary students off to middle school. The T.R.O.Y. Fitness Run is about having fun and getting some exercise with friends.

This year the race will take place on Saturday, May 13 at Boulan Park. The event starts at 9:45 a.m. and is usually over by 11:00 a.m. I understand that the springtime is very busy. However, I hope you will consider that this is just a one-time, can’t miss event for your child! Sign-up only takes a few minutes and the link is below. Please sign up your 5th grader today. Encourage them to come out to Boulan Park, Saturday May 13th, to have a fun-filled morning with their teachers, principal, and friends. Let’s Go WOLVES!!


Sincerely - Mr. Mark Cavataio

Should You Make Your Child Redo a Homework Assignment?

You are looking over your child’s homework and you notice that a few of his answers are incorrect. Should you make him redo it?

According to experts, you should not ask your child to redo his homework if just some of his work is wrong. Instead, point out the items that are incorrect, and let your child choose whether or not to correct them.

This policy makes it clear that homework is your child’s responsibility and it also helps avoid power struggles over homework. Leaving incorrect work also enables the teacher to see where your child needs help.

There are, however, two reasons you should ask your child to redo his homework:

  1. The assignment was done in a hurry and is sloppy.
  2. The entire assignment is totally wrong.

Reprinted with permission from the March 2017 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2017 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: J. Craig, “What Happened in School Today?”– Helping Your Child Handle Everyday School Problems, Skylight Press.


Wass students and staff are always looking at ways to be more green and display the Wass Wolves' traits of responsibility and respect. Our Wolves were responsible by collecting 44 used eyeglasses and 10 eyeglass cases to be reused or re-purposed. This is certainly a great example of being respectful to our environment. Every act counts! Way to go Wolves!!!


After we return from Spring Break, I begin the planning process for next school year. I would like to share our procedures for moving students to their next grade level teacher for the 2017-2018 school year. We use a comprehensive procedure to determine grade/teacher placement. The process is outlined below

  1. Teachers will fill out a student profile sheet on each student in his/her class. The profile sheet will allow teachers to identify each student’s strengths and needs.
  2. A team consisting of the grade level teachers, principal, and other pertinent staff such as the reading specialist, special education personnel, and/or ELL teacher will meet to place students into classes based on information from the profile sheets, and any additional input. The class lists will be constructed so that each class is relatively equal with regards to the following factors:
  • Balance of male and female students.
  • A range of reading, writing, and math abilities in each room.
  • Consideration of learning needs.
  • Separation of behavior conflicts.
  • Balance of students with strong leadership qualities.
  • Balance of students with independent study habits.

In analyzing all these factors we strive to develop balanced classrooms, which will be minimally affected by the addition of new students as they move into our area.

We do not accept specific teacher requests. Parents are cautioned not to request placement or non-placement based on what they may have heard about a teacher from other parents. Just as each child is unique, so is each teacher. An experience that other parents may have had with their child may be totally different from what your child could have with the same teacher. However, if there is a concern, parents may send a letter with information regarding their child’s learning style and specific educational needs. I need to receive this information by April 21st.

Please help your child understand that he/she may not be with the same friends next year, or with a teacher a sibling may have had. Help them know they are capable of working with new friends and teachers, that they are skillful youngsters, and able to handle new situations. It will help ensure a smooth transition. We value your help and appreciate your consideration.

Thank you for your time and interest regarding the Grade Placement Procedures. We are looking forward to using this process and feel confident that each student will be placed in a classroom that will allow him/her to have a successful school year! Thank you.

Half-Day of School for Students on March 30 - Dismissal at 12:17 PM.

No School for Students on Friday, March 31 - End of Marking Period / Teacher Work Day.

NO SCHOOL March 31—April 9

Classes will resume on Monday, April 10.


I would like to thank Mrs. Hajra Siddiqui for organizing, planning, and counting our Box Tops Competition. Our students turned in approximately 300 sheets of Box Tops. This will equal about $300 for our school. Congratulations to Mr. Lawson's class for turning in the highest percentage of sheets per student in this year's competition. His class turned in 54 sheets. Mrs. Dipzinski's class turned in 43 sheets and finished in second place. Mr. Lawson's class wins a frozen treat donated by FROYO. Thank you to everyone that turned in Box Tops to benefit our school. Keep saving those Box Tops for our next competition.


According to the old saying, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Is this true where you live?

In many parts of the country, the month of March brings changeable weather—which makes it a great time to enjoy science and other weather-related activities.

Try these ideas with your child:

  • Keep a temperature graph. Have your child record the temperature each day for a month. Or, use the online weather report for your area. Record whether the day was sunny, cloudy or rainy.
  • Measure the rain. You’ll need a plastic jar with straight sides and a flat bottom, a ruler and a marker. On the outside of the jar, use the ruler and marker to mark off each quarter inch. Have your child keep track of the amount of rainfall.
  • Make wind chimes. You’ll need four clean, empty cans, some string and a coat hanger. Make sure the edges of the cans are smooth. Help your child punch a hole in the bottom of each can. Tie a knot in one end of the string and thread the string through the can. Then tie the other end of the string to your hanger. Each time the wind blows, it will make music!

Your child can also go online to learn more about weather. Check out these fun, age-appropriate websites:

  • Weather Wiz Kids, www.weatherwizkids.com.
  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, www.almanac4kids.com/weather.
  • Space Weather Center, www.spaceweathercenter.org.

Reprinted with permission from the March 2017 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2017 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.



Wass Weekly Link for March 6-10

March Lunch Menu Link



Parents can utilize this online program to pay for their child’s lunch using these three easy steps.

  1. Go to myschoolbucks.com.
  2. Create your account.
  3. Pay with your credit/debit card or electronic check.

Parents that use My School Bucks can:

  • View account balances and meal purchases.
  • Schedule automatic payments.
  • Make payments anytime, anywhere using their mobile app.

Have a great weekend! #BeWassKind #WassReaders

Mr. Matt Jansen - Principal - Wass Elementary

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