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2241 Russell Street Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 644-6290 www.leconteonline.org

LeConte School Newsletter

Cheryl Wilson, Principal, cherylwilson@berkeley.org Cal Collier, PTA President, calcollier@yahoo.com February 2012

Plan to Attend our African-American Heritage Celebration, Friday, Feb. 24, 5:30PM

This issue includes information about our last intervention program and procedures. Ms. Barer will be teaching basic Reading two major fundraisers, professional Recovery strategies to kindergarten and development activities, multiplication and first grade teachers. This means some academic language strategies, and an students will have guest teachers upcoming fundraiser to help pay for the (substitutes) within the next two months. I fourth grade overnight field trip to Sierra will do my best to notify you in advance Outdoor School scheduled for May 16th to should your childs teacher be absent May 18th. One aspect of our African FEBRUARY EVENTS: because s/he is attending a professional American Heritage event is a school-wide Meetings: development event. Learning the concept raffle. We ask all students to sell raffle of multiplication and memorizing the tickets that will be sent home soon, along Wed., 2/1, School Governance facts to 10 is a third grade standard that with information about the prizes and the Council (SGC) 6:30PM, Library many students have difficulty mastering. procedures/ideas for selling the tickets. The Its often the six through nines that they next event the LeConte Spring Auction that Thurs., 2/9, English Learner forget so Im asking you to assist your will be held in May. In order to make the Advisory Committee (ELAC) child with this task by using the attached auction a success, we need both ideas and 6:00PM, Room 106 charts to practice memorizing 16 facts of donation and, most importantly, a strong which 12 are repeated (6 x 7 = 42, 7 x 6 = attendance from our entire LeConte Thurs., 2/16, Coalition of 42, etc.) based on the commutative community. After school staff, noon Families, (CFAAS) 6:00PM, property. See Principals focus for more supervisors, and two teachers have been Library information about English language attending the Playworks training that is development strategies and examples used designed to improve supervision and engage Tues., 2/21, PTA, 5:45PM dinner students in activities during both recess in our classrooms. Onward, Graciela is 6:00PM meeting, Cafeteria periods. The final training is Mon., Feb. 6th now offering Zumba classes on upcoming Saturdays from 10:00AM to 11:00AM in from 9:30AM to 1:30PM. We still need Special Events: the auditorium to raise funds for the 4th volunteers to act as recess supervisors NO SCHOOL, Mon., 2/17 & between the hours of 11:00 to 12:15; if you grade overnight field trip. The dates are Mon., 2/20 are available, please contact our school Feb. 4 & 11, March 3 & 10, and April 14 Thurs., 2/2, Family Literacy secretary, Marie Ferguson. Teachers are and 21st. More fundraisers are needed to Night, 6:00PM, Auditorium continuing to visit other school sites to help pay the admission costs so please do Thurs., 2/9, Circus Performance, observe instruction in reading and will be what you can to support our fundraisers. 5:15PM, Auditorium going to Rosa Parks to observe their Thurs., 2/16, Im a Performer Updates and Support Needed Now Berkeley Symphony Concert School Closed: Fri., 2/17 & Mon., 2/20 Please support our Spring Auction The exact date of our LeConte Spring Presidents Day Holidays Attachments Auction is yet to be determined; however, Family Literacy Night: Thurs., Feb. 2, were hoping you'll join us! Last year we 6:00PM. The evening will include activities Students of the raised $25,000 and our goal is to raise that you can use at home to encourage your Month $25,000 again this year and to have all child to read, light refreshments, and prizes!!! Condensed families attend. It's an adults only event Multiplication Table with incredible food, beverages, and African-American Heritage Celebration: Fri., Feb. 24, 5:30PM 8:00PM Volunteers ambiance hosted at Pizziaolo courtesy of 4th English Language are needed to help arrange items for the student grade parent Charlie Hallowell. Dev. Sample art contest, set up and serve food, and clean up If you'd like to make a donation or volunteer Engineering for Kids between the hours of 5:00 6:30 and 8:00 to help out, please contact Sian Shumway Day 9:00PM. Please contact Principal Wilson by phone or email (cherylwilson@berkeley.net) to sianshumway@gmail.com 510.908.0415. Growing Up Asian sign up to volunteer.

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School-Wide & Committee Updates

LeConte Newsletter

Teachers/Classroom focus for the month February

Teachers are now in the process of preparing students to pass the district wide reading, writing, and mathematics assessments. The assessment results will be used to complete the second report cards that will be sent home March 2. Much of the homework that is assigned within this time period relates to these assessments. You can help prepare your child and increase his/her success by making sure s/he reads EVERY NIGHT and completes the required writing and mathematics homework. Students will also be rehearsing with the Berkeley Symphony in preparation for the Im a Performer concert on Thursday, February 16 at 8:30AM in our auditorium. Kindergarten through second grade will be singing and third through fifth grade students will be performing instrumental music with the help of the symphony. Various grade levels have also scheduled field trips this month. Some teachers may still need chaperones so please volunteer to attend a field trip if you can. Our next school-wide enrichment activity is an Oratorical event. All students will have an opportunity to perform a poem, speech, monologue, spoken word, narrative, etc. for their peers in late March. Teachers, staff, and parent volunteers will be helping students with selections that they will begin practicing by the end of this month.

Principals focus for the month of February

Much of the focus this month is on completion of teacher observations and evaluations. All principals are required to not only complete daily, classroom walkthroughs but also formal evaluations, which are due by February 15. Principal Wilson is responsible for evaluating 17 teachers and 3 classified staff. The other area of focus is helping our teachers improve English Language Development (ELD) instruction. Ms. Katz, Ms. Perez, and Principal Wilson attended an ELD conference in January. One of the most important goals of the conference was to provide participants with strategies to introduce and reinforce use of academic English among all students, especially English language learners. An example of the type of sentence frames we want students to become accustomed to using is attached. Some of the initial steps toward helping students use academic language is to model and expect them to speak using complete sentences, to express their thoughts using phrases such as In my opinion, My idea is similar to, and to provide them with non-fiction texts that capture their interest while introducing new and challenging vocabulary. You can help us with this effort by encouraging your child to use complete sentences when responding to requests or answering questions. Our school has also purchased a selection of cards with a variety of sentence starters that students use during small and whole group discussions. Examples of the sentence starters and sentence frames are also attached.

School-wide Committees Brief Summaries of Meetings

PTA: In addition to general announcements and requests for volunteers, participants received an update about our efforts to improve playground supervision, the PTA enrichment classes, our upcoming Spring Auction. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to discussion about the potential TWI Consolidation. Playworks staff, formally known as Sports4Kids, will be facilitating a 12 hour recess supervision and games training for two teachers, after school staff, and noon supervisors. The next session of PTA classes will begin in February, more details are forthcoming. Our Annual Spring Auction is now being organized and volunteers are needed to help coordinate this eventplease contact Sian Shumway at sianshumway@gmail.com 510.908.0415 to assist. Participants discussed the pros and cons of having a consolidated TWI school at Rosa Parks or LeConte. For complete meeting minutes, visit our website. Next meeting: Tues., Feb. 21, 5:45PM. English Learner Advisory Committee: Agenda items included changing the meeting day to the second Thursday, a report from Iain Bolton, our PTA Treasurer, officer elections, a budget update from Principal Wilson, and discussion about the proposed TWI Consolidation. The total amount raised from our Latino Heritage event was $2,205, expenses totaled $1698 The total amount raised by this committee is $1448 which includes $941 from the Friday Coffee treats!!! Committee members should be aware that all PTA funds are available for use by ELAC regardless of the amount raised by ELAC members. The newly elected VP is Jos Valencia and the treasurers are Luis Huerta and Araceli Salgado. Members voted to use State/Federal funds to hire two-three tutors. After much discussion, members voted to recommend LeConte as the proposed consolidated TWI school site. Next meeting: Thurs., Feb. 9, 6:00PM School Governance Committee: Highlights of the meeting included a thorough presentation by our Literacy Coach, Ms. Katz about her role as support provider for teachers, completion of the Parent Survey, and budget updates authorizing use of $6000 to pay the cost of the Playworks recess supervision training. Coach Miles will be presenting in February, discussing his role as a PE coach and noon supervisor. Next meeting: Wed., Feb. 1, 6:30PM Coalition of Families for African-American Students: Plans were finalized for the A-American Heritage Celebration. Fourth/fifth grade students will be performing dances from Africa; lower grades will be singing; there will also an exhibit of student artwork and, of course, plenty of food!!! Volunteers are needed to support this event. Next meeting: Thurs., Feb. 16, 6:00PM

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Student News & Appreciations

LeConte Newsletter

Student News CONGRATULATIONS Spelling Bee Contestants

Congratulations to all of our second through fifth grade students for participating in our first Spelling Bee Contest. The grade level finalists were 2nd grade: Maggie Fern, Riley Low, Emma Rhodes, and Julian Rhodes; 3rd grade: Jasmine Daniels, Joyce Kim, Nimah Muhammad, Asa Perez, Ishmael Perry, Lillian Schouten, and Cole Shumway; 4th grade: Milagro Adom, Misako Dickinson, Joey Fern, Eva Fiedler, Adela Figueroa, Ikaika Gunderson, Mara Halpern, Riya Malhotra, Pedro Munoz, and Leah Paniagua; 5th grade: David Copithorne, Lucas Grandison, Joni Lee, Selene Rodriguez, Alexandra Steverson, Charlotte Shelton, Aaron Trego, and Isabelle Wolansky. The student who will represent LeConte for the next Spelling Bee round will be DAVID COPITHORNE!!! David will be competing on February 18, 9:30AM at the Lawrence Hall of Science! If he wins, he will participate in the next round in San Francisco on March 17 at Pier 39 at 9:30AM. One of the values of having this competition is that it increased students awareness and understanding of the importance of studying. Several students asked for the spelling study guide so that they could prepare for the tests. Students are also beginning to value the ability to spell and more students are saying that they will compete next year. Photos are attached of the students with their families. Though it was an emotionally challenging event, all of the students were victorious because they showed up and did their best!

Spelling Bee Coordinators: This event would not have been possible without the leadership of Jeff Wallin and the panel of judges: Hannah Love and two LeConte teachers, Yusef Auletta and Susan Katz. You all had a really difficult job as you supported the cheers and tears of the contestants. Thanks for giving your time to our students, and thanks to all of the families who attended. Parent Volunteers/Presenters: Fortunately for us, there are a lot of families who have come forth to share their stories, expertise, and knowledge about various subjects and events. Thanks to the following LeConte parents Sian Shumway, Monica Wu, Jeanny Miles, Yumiko Dickinson for sharing aspects of the Lunar New Year with the students in their childrens classrooms and thanks to grandparent and former teacher, Jackie Buettner, for teaching lessons about Native American culture. As always, we need volunteers to help supervise in our cafeteria and on the yard so thanks to all of you who have come forward, especially Celeste Low who has been coming in every day. One of the best and most rewarding memories your children will have is the day their parent/guardian/relative came to class. All of you have expertise in some area, please feel free to demonstrate your talents to our students. The Mysterious LeConte Society: A special thanks is overdue to one of our fourth grade teachers, Ms. Cross, for facilitating games and activities for all students who show up to her classroom every Thursday after school. Ms. Cross welcomes the 15 to 20 students with open arms regardless of the six and half hours she has already spent teaching. My Mama Earth: This is the title of Ms. Katzs, our literacy coachs, second book. The beautifully written and illustrated book celebrates the wonders of Mother Nature and reminds us how much we appreciate Mama Earth. The book will be available this Spring.

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LeConte Newsletter

General Information
PTA Membership: Please join or renew your LeConte PTA membership for 2011-2012! Online forms are available for download on our school website, including the PTA membership form. The suggested donation is $10 per member - half of which goes to the umbrella organization of the Peralta District PTA. The form is available on our website: http://www.leconteonline.com/default/index.cfm/pare nt-groups/pta/joinpta/ If you have already donated, but were unable to include a form, please take the time and fill out a form and return to Marie at the front desk as confirmation. Lunch Balances: Unless you have received a letter from our district nutrition office stating that your child qualifies for free lunch, you must pay the reduced or full price. You can write a check payable to BUSD and give it to our cafeteria clerk, Ahlam or you can pay online any time of day throughout the year. You can pay for meals, view cafeteria purchases, track meal account balances, schedule recurring payments, etc. Visit www.mySchoolBucks.com to create your account. You can call Marni Posey or Sara Leon at (510) 6446200 if you have any questions.

Attendance: According to our latest district wide

attendance report, we are continuing to lose funds because of unexcused absences. Whenever your child is ill, you must notify your childs teacher or write a note verifying the absence for our school records. A truancy letter is automatically sent to the parent/guardian of all students who are repeatedly late for school or absent. Families who receive a third truancy letter will be required to meet with district staff to make arrangements for improvement. The concern is not only about losing funds but also the amount of time that students are missing instruction. Our children need to come to school every day by 8:10AM.
Disaster Preparedness: Plastic bags were sent home with instructions requesting that you use the bag to create a survival kit for your child. The kit is needed to help our school make sure all students have nonperishable food items should they be trapped in a classroom during an emergency. Please return the bag ASAP. BUSD TWI Task Force. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 6:30PM, 1720 Oregon Street. For information about this committee, please visit the Bilingual Program and other services for English Language Learners section of the BUSD website: http://www.berkeleyschools.net/superintendents-twoway-immersion-task-force/

February March 3, 2012


Updated LeConte News & Calendar: www.leconteonline.org Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri.
31 Feb. 1 School Governance Council Meeting 6:30PM Library 8 2 Community Kidz Literacy Night, 6:00PM 3

4 Zumba Class Auditorium, 4th Grade Fundraiser 10:00-11:00 11 Zumba Class Auditorium, 4th Grade Fundraiser 10:00-11:00

7 TWI Consolidation Meeting 6:30PM Oregon St.

9 After School Class Performances Circus & Art Show 5:15PM English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) Meeting, 6:00PM, Rm106 16 Im a Performer Concert 8:20AM Coalition of Families Meeting 6:00PM Library 23





15 DELAC & DAC Meetings 6:00PM Longfellow Middle School 22

17 SCHOOL CLOSED Presidents Day



20 SCHOOL CLOSED Presidents Day

21 PTA Meeting 5:45-dinner 6:00-meeting Cafeteria

24 Celebrate LeConte Assembly 8:15AM Silly Dress Day African American Heritage Celebration 5:30PM End of Second Grading Period 2






March 1

LeConte felicita a sus... (Determinado por los maestros del saln) Vea sus fotos y certificados en el tabln de Estudiantes del mes LeConte congratulates its...
(Determined by the classroom teacher) See their pictures and certificates on the Student of the Month bulletin board



Teachers/Maestros Ms. Aguas Mr. Auletta Mr. Argueta Ms. Barer Ms. Bernal &Ms. DonaldsonFletcher Ms. Bull Ms. Cross Ms. Diebel Ms. Gearring Mr. Henderson & Ms. Rios-Duran Ms. Johnston Ms. Logan Ms. Louie Ms. Perez Ms. Torres Ms. Tyshler


Examples of Strategies used to acquire and apply Academic English/Vocabulary

(Source: K. Kinsella, Ed.D., Center for Teacher Efficacy, SF State University) If we could institute only one change to make students more college ready, it should be to increase the amount (of reading of non-fiction texts) and quality of (non-fiction)writing students are expected to produce . D. Conley, College Knowledge Whenever I see elementary age children on the news expressing their opinions and observations, Im often impressed with by their comments because of their command of academic language, their ability to use vocabulary words beyond their age. Improving students use of academic English and helping them expand their vocabulary is one of the many characteristics of English language development instruction. Below are some examples from Kinsellas work that teachers will be teaching the students to use when speaking and writing; examples you can use at home.

LANGUAGE FOR ATTENTIVE LISTENING Instead of using Everyday responses such as Try using Academic English such as Huh? Will you please repeat that? What? Will you please restate your idea? What do you mean? Can you explain what you mean by_____? I dont get it. I dont quite understand your_____ (suggestions, example, perspective, etc.) (Teach, Brainstorm, and Practice) PRECISE WORD CHOICES Replace everyday vocabulary with precise words. Everyday Adjectives Precise Adjectives (When someone saidI felt) bad humiliated ________, ________, ________ (I was) mad upset, _______, ________, _______ (I felt) sad disappointed, _________, ________ Everyday Nouns Precise Nouns a kid a classmate, ______, ________, ________ a guy a school bully, ________, ________ somebody a teacher, ________, ________, ________