Last 19 DaysPosted by Becky Catlett on 5/12/2023
This has been one of those weeks where I am struck with how many things everyone is juggling! What a crazy time of year! In the remaining 19 days of the 2022-23 school year, we still have the following events that I know about. I’m sure there are others!
- Middle School Dance
- Spring Sports Banquet
- Field Day
- 5th grade trip
- Middle School Extravaganza including hockey clinic, staff v kids wiffle ball, staff v kids kickball, tie dying, silly string, and so many popsicles!
- New Family Orientation
- 2nd grade field trip
- Band Mini-Concert for rising 5th and 6th graders
- End of Grade tests
- 8th grade field trip
- 7th grade field trip
- 8th grade Walk
- Final pep rallies
- Move Up
All of these events are memory makers for our students! Try to be sure your child is present for the full day every day so they do not miss any of these great events. Many of these events require volunteer help. Please stay tuned to the Weekly Update each remaining week and come help when you can. In particular, Field Day is a monumental event that PAWS provides the school. They need many more hands. If you enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine, and happy smiley kids, this is the event for you!!
If you are looking for a different way to give back, please know that our teachers work really hard until the very last day of school. They are busily planning for next year already while trying to incorporate some fun into these last student days. Having a break at lunch keeps them moving forward. Let’s try to fill every lunch calendar for the rest of this year - only 19 lunches remaining!!
I share the thanks with the entire staff for the outpouring of love for this week’s Teacher Appreciation Week. The treats, supplies, and kind notes have meant the world to the staff. Thank you for the support!
Stride For The Pride Fun Run & Color RunPosted by Becky Catlett on 4/24/2023
It is Boosterthon Fun Run/Color Run time! We appreciate all of you who have jumped in and registered your child. Be sure to read the updates sent daily as there are often extra prizes for students who meet certain milestones!
Our Fun Run donations are directed this year toward Outdoor Improvements to our campus. While this may not sound like a super-flashy target, this is an area we need to focus on, and we need your help! Did you know that charter schools each have one “bucket” of funds? Out of this bucket, they fund salaries, instructional materials, technology purchases, furniture, electricity, custodial services, paper/toilet paper/soap, and everything else used in and on our campus. You can imagine that when we have to choose between paying a teacher’s salary, paying an electric bill, or buying new basketballs, the choice to buy playground equipment is often at the bottom of the list.
Outdoor improvements include, first and foremost, measures we take to keep our students safe. Did you know that playground mulch is one way to decrease injuries? Can you imagine how much mulch it takes to give our entire elementary playground a good covering?? Our middle school recess area has a large bare dirt hill that we think we have a solution for, but we need to fund it. Our Wiggle Worm broke beyond being repaired, and we’d like to replace it. We also need a solution to the puddle that forms around the blue spinning playground ride. Could we add additional playground equipment? Sure, we could, but have you ever checked the price??
Outdoor improvements can also mean improvements in appearance or functionality. Landscaping, signage, and drainage are all expensive. We’d like to add tall nets behind our soccer goals. They cost more than some cars! Did you know we have a school garden? Our middle school students are planting and maintaining a garden, and there are big plans for future growth! Making this a functional outdoor classroom and learning environment will be a wonderful addition to our campus when it is funded. We have a large upper field (also sometimes mistaken for a helicopter landing pad) that we’d like to make into a usable play or sports field. We’d like to carve a cross-country trail out of our woods. The recurring play expenses also add up! Soccer goals, basketball nets, balls of all shapes and sizes, and basketball court striping must be replaced frequently.
The list of things we want for our school goes on and on. I hope you will share our Fun Run donation information with your social media and email contacts. Share the info with your colleagues, friends, and families. We appreciate any funds you and your extended network can contribute toward our fundraiser. Thank you for helping us!
Student ShowcasePosted by Becky Catlett on 1/23/2023
This weekend we host our first in-person Open House for prospective families in three years! It is so nice to spend some time freshening up our bulletin boards and trophy cases. We are so lucky to have such an excellent facility! I am eager to show it off!
As part of these preparations, we decided to do a trial run of something our Culture Committee had been thinking about for a while. We’ve decided to highlight some of our excellent students in a showcase in the main hall. We considered the subjects and core values we utilize and then the teacher teams each chose someone they felt best represented those categories.
So, without further ado, here is our Student Showcase.
If you see these students around campus, please congratulate them!
Welcome Back to Third QuarterPosted by Becky Catlett on 1/9/2023
Welcome back for the third quarter! It was so nice to see the smiling faces return on Wednesday. So many students seem so much taller since December! This quarter there are many special events. Be sure to read the weekly update each week to stay informed. This week I want to highlight three important events for this quarter.
- Our first middle school dance of the year will be held on January 27! Ticket sales will begin soon. Students must maintain a good behavior record in order to be eligible to attend.
- Next week we will begin piloting a new opportunity for our students. Teachers will be able to schedule appointments with students during morning office hours. These appointments will primarily be for the purpose of reteaching and making up missed tests/quizzes. The office may also use this time in cases where detention has been assigned as a disciplinary consequence. When a teacher needs to meet with a student, he/she will email the family for consent. On the appointment date, the family will drive in our middle carpool lane, pass the waiting cars, and pull into the gym/auditorium parking lot. A staff member will open this door from 8:05-8:15 ONLY. Student appointments will be verified and those students will be allowed to enter the building. The siblings of students with appointments may also be dropped off at the appointment. No students without appointments will be allowed to enter through this door.
- January 20 will mark the return of Coffee and Conversations, a time for parents to come to campus, meet one another, and learn more about our school. The focus of this session will be getting to know our guidance counselors. Mark your calendars for Jan 20 at 8:45!
On behalf of our entire staff, thank you for the outpouring of love and appreciation that you showed us before the holidays and with our back-to-school lunch this week. The ECS parents are truly the best!
LiveSchoolPosted by Becky Catlett on 12/5/2022
Have you set up your LiveSchool account? If not, please go to your grade level’s newsletter, and find the link at the top of the page. This will take you exactly where you need to be to set up a LiveSchool account. This tool is the staff’s easiest, most immediate way to inform you about your child’s behavioral successes and challenges. Every staff member has access to every child in the entire school, not just in their grade level. So a child might be caught doing something great in an enrichment or elective class, at recess, or in the hall and be awarded a point by a staff member they do not typically see. As of today, our students have collectively earned 296,000 points. They have collectively lost 7,420 points. I love that they have earned 40 positive points for each negative point lost!
Looking at your child’s LiveSchool data can provide you with information about many things. Be sure to celebrate areas your child has had success with. These are usually great examples of our core values: respect, responsibility, relationships, and resilience. If your child is showing a pattern of losing points in a particular area, this can provide topics of good conversation at home. Please know that when a child loses a point, they have almost always already been spoken to by an adult, so tread lightly if a child makes a single mistake here and there!
We help the students stay motivated to earn and not lose points through three types of LiveSchool stores.
- Our K and 1 classes have in-class treasure boxes students get to shop from.
- Our grades 2-5 classes have a store of coupons that visits their grade every other week during morning carpool. I have the privilege of seeing the students at the store each week and helping them celebrate their success! The options vary by grade, but some examples of coupons include: no shoes in class, visiting the treasure box, saying the morning announcements, leading the morning meeting game, bringing a stuffed animal to school, and eating lunch with a teacher. The kids are so excited for each other as they make their purchases! Our Student Council members enjoy helping me run this store!
- Middle School students shop at the end of each semester at the LiveSchool Extravaganza - an assortment of items they can bid on or purchase. This semester, students were able to bid on options including playing in the staff vs. kids basketball game, the staff vs. kids volleyball game, painting the spirit rock, and choosing the last song of the January Middle School Winter Dance. Winning bids will be announced on Monday. They could also purchase options including hot cocoa at lunch, s’mores at lunch, lunch with a teacher, choosing their own carpool room for a week, and much more.
We love these moments that allow us to celebrate the great things our students do each day! If you have items that you could contribute to one of our stores in grades K-5, please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher for more information. Our middle school students would love the opportunity to bid on items such as gift cards and passes to entertainment/adventure locations. Donations of those items can be made through Ms. Calabrese, our Middle School Counselor. Thank you for partnering with us as we prepare our students for success and happiness at ECS and after!
ThanksgivingPosted by Becky Catlett on 11/22/2022
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! As a classroom teacher, I spent time each year teaching the truths and dispelling the myths. No, Pilgrims did not wear buckles on their hats, belts, or shoes! (Some uninformed artist of the past took liberties with those details, and the buckle idea stuck!) Yes, they did eat a big meal with the neighboring Wampanoag tribe who had helped them survive the brutal winter.
The simple story of the Pilgrims is that they came to the New World for religious freedom. The real story is more complicated, as real life usually is. They actually left England several years before the trip on the Mayflower and moved to Holland. There they found the religious freedom they were seeking. However, in Holland, they could not move forward in any other way. They were only able to work in low-paying industries and could not find financial stability. So, they came up with a new plan and set their sights on the New World. There, they hoped they could have their religious freedom AND make a good life for their families. So, the trip on the Mayflower to the New World was their second try. It was a second attempt to get what this group wanted for themselves and for their families.
I sometimes think that this is the most important part of the Pilgrims’ story. Not that they wanted something and went for it, but that they tried and then tried again. Working so hard and risking so much for an outcome that wasn’t all they thought it would be must have been devastating. I am amazed by the courage it took for them to save up and take a second journey that literally risked all their lives with the hope of something more.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the Pilgrims’ story that still apply to us today.
- It’s okay to keep trying if something doesn’t work out the first time.
- It’s good to take time to celebrate good fortune and life and family and friends.
- Changing your future and carving a new path is not easy.
- Having enough food is important.
- Thanking those who help you is important.
So, building on those lessons, I want to thank you. Thank you for helping us - through your time, your donations, being patient in carpool, sending a kind note to a great teacher, volunteering through Lend a PAW/our Foundation/our Board of Directors, and thank you for helping your child do homework and stay organized. Thank you for supporting our efforts to feed our community through the gleaning field trips and the Thanksgiving food collection. Thanks to our substitutes who have literally allowed us to keep our doors open over the last few weeks. Thanks also to our amazing teachers and staff who work every day to give our students the best day and year and future that we can envision for them. Thank you all!
Second Quarter BeginsPosted by Becky Catlett on 10/21/2022
What a crazy, busy first week of the second quarter! In just this first week back at ECS we had field trips in kindergarten and fourth grade, our Fall Sports Awards Ceremony, and our Middle School Opening Ceremony. Winter Sports have begun, and all classes are now in the second half of the first semester!
This quarter brings us all the following: additional field trips including grades 6-8 Gleaning at NC farms to help support local food banks, our Middle School production of Annie Jr, Middle School Fear Factor Day, DARE, and our Family Fun Fest. We will continue our elementary treasure boxes and LiveSchool store for our Elementary students, and Middle Schoolers will participate in our LiveSchool Extravaganza in December.
Please know that this quarter, we need all families to help our students be successful in the following ways:
- Watch the weather! Students will be outside for recess unless precipitation falls or the ground is unsafe for play. Please be sure your child dresses appropriately for the cold days ahead. We know the NC weather can fluctuate rapidly, so please check the forecast daily!
- Many school supplies were used up last quarter. Please be sure your child has a good supply of papers, pencils, etc.
- This quarter has fewer days than most. This means that one zero or one very low grade can be difficult to recover from. Please help your child meet deadlines all quarter!
- Second quarter assignments may get significantly more difficult. The beginning-of-year reviews are finished, and all classes are moving forward. Please be aware of your child's struggles and help them power through difficult work rather than giving up.
- Check Powerschool and LiveSchool to stay current on missing work, behavior issues, etc.
As we move into this busy time of year, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for helping your children and our school be successful. When you come to lunch and recess duty, chaperone field trips, volunteer for PAWS/Board/Foundation, or come to Lend a PAW, you are helping our entire community. When you help your child complete homework or study for a test, you are helping not just your child, but our entire community. When you take a moment to send a positive note to a staff member, you are helping our entire community. When you send in tissues and cleaning products and emergency lunch food, you are helping our entire community. With each action you do to invest in our school, you are lightening the load of someone else. Thank you for making those decisions! You are making a difference in more ways than you know.
End of First QuarterPosted by Becky Catlett on 9/29/2022
Well, the first quarter certainly ended with a bang! Hurricane Ian messed up our last-day plans and started our track out a bit early. We hope everyone is safe and sound and weathering the storm.
We are very proud of the work we’ve done together this quarter. I reviewed our LiveSchool data today and was so impressed! Our students earned 161,000 points this quarter. They lost 4,091. That is a ratio of 39 positive points earned to every point lost. Our elementary school students have spent 54,802 LiveSchool points in our grades 2-5 Liveschool Store and K-1 classroom treasure boxes. Middle school students are earning points towards our winter LiveSchool Extravaganza! Please take some time over the break to look at your children’s LiveSchool accounts and praise them for the behaviors they are earning points for. We’ve got really great kids!
Over the break, please clean out their backpacks, replenish school supplies, and help your kids relax. We want them all to be well-rested and ready to start the second quarter strong! Be sure to mark your calendars for our annual Fall Fun Fest! It’s going to be a great second quarter!
Student SuccessesPosted by Becky Catlett on 9/19/2022
We’ve had a short week, but a great week! It was so nice seeing so many families on campus and on-line for conferences. The information our teachers have to share is important! Thank you for prioritizing this time!
We are excited to begin sharing some of our student success as captured in our LiveSchool data. One of my goals for the year is to share the data regarding our initiatives. We will be posting this information in our front hall.
The line graph below shows information about our whole school as of today. Ignore the money section. We aren’t using that feature! You can see that, as a staff, we’ve given 40 positive points for every negative lost point. That shows how fantastic our kids are!
The chart below shows the top five traits students have received points for. For a school that focuses on hands-on learning, I am so proud to see that the most points we’ve given are for Active Participation. Wow!
Moving forward, we will be looking at this data organized by grade level. I am excited to start sharing the successes with each grade level.
Thank you for sending us such great kids!
Campus ProjectsPosted by Becky Catlett on 9/12/2022
Happy Friday! This Labor Day week has been a busy one at Endeavor! Many of you have asked about the projects happening around campus, especially the work on the middle school playground. No, we are not building an ice skating rink!! When we reviewed ways to make our campus and our procedures safer at the end of last year, we looked at external and internal risks. One of the areas we were concerned about was the area where middle school played soccer at recess. The wear and tear would not support grass growth, which left rocks and sticks continually coming to the surface after each big rain. So we’ve done two things. First, soccer is being played on our actual soccer field. This increased usage is taking its toll on that field, but we are working on reconditioning it. Second, we are putting in a turf area. This is the small framed area where you see the work currently happening. Our middle schoolers are patiently waiting to have the area back for use each day.
You’ll also see some other changes happening on campus. Some concrete drainage paths have been poured to direct rainwater to the correct spots in the middle school recess area. Some downspouts are being adjusted. Numbers will soon be painted over each exterior door to support first responders accessing our campus. We are also very eagerly awaiting the installation of our auditorium sound and lights system coming sometime this winter. However, our most immediate change is the library! What a gorgeous thing to see!! We are finalizing the process for students to check out books starting on September 19. Students and staff will be trained on how to care for the books (no folding page corners!!), how to check out and return books, and behavior expectations in the library. We are also training some of our National Junior Honor Society students who will serve as library assistants.
Thanks for all you do each day to help our campus continue to grow and flourish!
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