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FWCS Visionary January 2018

Career Academy IT students take Hour of Code to younger students

Students from a computer programming class at the FWCS Career Academy went to four elementary schools and one middle school the week of Dec. 4 to do an Hour of Code with the younger students.

The students visited Levan Scott Academy, Waynedale, Fairfield and South Wayne elementary schools and Jefferson Middle School.

Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code," to show that anybody can learn the basics and to broaden participation in the field of computer science, according to the Frequently Asked Questions at www.code.org

The event has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.

The Hour of Code happens during Computer Science Education Week, which recognizes the Dec. 9, 1906 birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, according to Code.org.

Career Academy Instructor Alex McKinstry said the initial intention was to have his students work with all fifth graders in the District. That goal was whittled down to a more manageable number, focused on schools interested in doing the Hour of Code.

To prepare, McKinstry’s students reviewed 10 Hour of Code presentations and settled on three specific programs to use with the younger students.

Through the Hour of Code sessions, “we really hope that we can light a spark in students who might never have seen or done anything like this,” McKinstry said in an email. He was anticipating the presentations would reach between 500 and 800 students.

During the Hour of Code, students designed scenes in Minecraft, or developed a game or worked on how things might happen in a game.

Once home, the younger students could login to code.org and show their family and friends what they did during the Hour of Code.

The Monday after the Hour of Code presentations, McKinstry spoke to his students about their experiences with it.

“It went a lot better than I expected,” one student said.

The students said the classes were more prepared for the program than they had expected and that the younger students were engaged.

The Career Academy students tried to drive home a couple of points:

  1. Coding, or programming, can be done at home, it doesn’t have to be just a classroom activity; and
  2. The Career Academy at Anthis has some pretty cool programming for interested students.

Fairfield Principal Lindsay Amstutz-Martin had nothing but praise for the Hour of Code.

“Fairfield's Hour of Code was a success. We had such a great response from the kids and the teachers,” she said in an email. “I think having the Anthis students here guiding our students made it so much more powerful and made it less daunting to teachers. They already want to do more with coding in their classrooms. “

South Wayne wins $6,000 in Battle of the Fit, Adams and Fairfield take 2nd and 3rd

South Wayne Elementary School principal Brenda West knows how far $6,000 can go for a local public school. And, now, she gets to find out how far she can make it go.

South Wayne won first place in the MDWise Battle of the Fit, which pitted South Wayne, Adams and Fairfield elementary schools against one another in a competition to earn the most points through physical activity.

As part of the competition, which kicked off Sept. 25, schools incorporated physical fitness activities into the students’ day, including general exercise, sports, games and dance-related activities.

Students earned points for activity and MDWise, an Indiana-based nonprofit health management organization, encouraged students and their parents to keep track of their progress online.

The three FWCS elementary schools competed for title “Fittest School” and the results were:

• South Wayne Elementary – First place with 15,729 points and the winner of $6,000

• Adams Elementary – Second place with 12,617 points and the winner of $3,000

• Fairfield Elementary – Third place with 2,621 points and the winner of $2,000

The money is meant to be used for the purchase of fitness-related equipment for each school. And, each school will receive a Battle of the Fit Trophy for display.

“This year’s Battle of the Fit competitors gave it their all! Every year I am so impressed with how involved the students are and how encouraging the faculty are at each school,” MDWise senior vice president and chief medical officer, Dr. Ty Sullivan, said in a news release. “This competition provides us a unique opportunity to engage with students and get them excited about physical fitness and health. We know that building healthy habits at a young age helps children stand a better chance of preventing the development of chronic diseases down the road. We hope these students continue to make healthy choices in the months and years ahead.”

“What an amazing way to get students and staff engaged in learning about healthy choices and movement by creating a challenge,” Adams Elementary Principal Federa Smith said. “The students and staff at Adams loved the opportunity to participate in the Battle of the Fit Program. They enjoyed everything from the morning stretches, organized recess activities, lunchtime movement, all school dancing at the end of the day and the fun Fridays and field days we would have. The teachers also came up with creative ways for the students to move in the classrooms and incorporated it into their lessons. Children were made to move and they really enjoyed the extra movement. It truly does help them to learn better.”

FWCS staff, students get into the spirit of giving

Throughout FWCS this holiday season, departments and schools (students and staff) came together to collect needed items for those less fortunate. Whether it was collecting items for the FWCS Clothing Bank or a local food bank, or adopting families for whom to purchase gifts, the spirit of giving was alive and well in the FWCS family. The slideshow video below touches on only a portion of what our students and staff did this season. To see more, visit our Facebook page and look for the 12 Days of Giving posts.

Nineteen students recognized in Allen County Public Library poetry contest

Every year for the last 35 years, the Allen County Public Library has sponsored a poetry contest open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

This year, 19 students representing eight FWCS schools, won awards in the contest. There was no theme for this year’s contest, entrants were simply encouraged to “Just Write It!”

Sometimes, teachers use the contest as an opportunity to develop a poetry lesson and then enter all of their students’ work.

This year hundreds of students from public, private, parochial and home schools entered the contest.

Winners were honored at a ceremony Dec. 9, where they read their poems. The ceremony was taped by Access Fort Wayne and will air this month. In addition, the winning poems will be put together in a book, one of which will be sent to each winning student’s school.

A hard cover copy of the poetry book will be added to the permanent library collection and students' names added to the card catalog as authors, according to Mary Voors, children’s services librarian for the library.

FWCS winners were:

FWCS winners of the Allen County Public Library Poetry Contest
North Side hosting 1st Little Legends basketball tourney

North Side High School will host the Little Legends basketball tournament Jan. 13 with tip off at 9:05 a.m.

The tournament features elementary school basketball teams from the schools that feed into North Side High School, as well as teams from other elementary schools, according to Andrew Schmitz, athletic liaison for North Side High School.

Northcrest, Croninger, Brentwood, Forest Park, Bloomingdale, Harris, Weisser Park and Maplewood elementary schools will all participate in the tournament.

The tournament is a sportsmanship and bonding experience among all levels of FWCS schools. The boys’ and girls’ teams from North Side will host and work at the tournament. Cheerleaders from North Side will work with Northwood and Lakeside cheerleaders to pass out crowd spirit awards for biggest crowd, sportsmanship, loudest crowd, Living Legend and school colors.

The event is free. Doors open at 8 a.m. Jan. 13, coaches meet at 8:35 a.m. and tip off is at 9:05 a.m.

Health Corner: Cold Weather Safety

We have reached the coldest months of the year, but also the months where your children may be most excited to go out and ice skate, sled or build a snowman.

It's important to make sure your children are dressed appropriately for the cold weather, whether going out to play, or going to school.

The National Institutes of Health provides this information from the Canadian Paediatric Society to help you keep yourself and your children safe in the winter weather.

  • Children should be dressed in several layers of clothing so that, if they become too warm, they can remove a layer at a time;
  • Wet clothes and boots should be removed immediately;
  • Because most body heat is lost through the head, make sure children wear a hat;
  • Ears should be kept covered to prevent frostbite;
  • Mittens should be worn instead of gloves;
  • Boots should be warm and waterproof with enough room for children to wiggle their toes around;
  • To prevent strangulation, all drawstrings should be removed from children’s clothing and Velcro or other fasteners should be used, and use a neck warmer instead of a scarf.

For more winter weather safety tips for children, check out this publication.

To stay safe on icy sidewalks, it’s best to walk like a penguin. Check out this cute video to see what we mean.

Seeking Special Education Assistants

FWCS is proud to serve all students, including those with different learning styles or special needs. You can help us meet our mission with a rewarding position as a Special Education Assistant! Job openings are available throughout the district. To see what's available click the link below.

Created By
Joyce McCartney
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