Welcome, Parents and Students!!!!
On this page you will find general information about our classes...although this information is as thorough as possible, you may still have questions that are not answered. Please feel free to ask us any question. You can contact us during the school year by note, by calling the school and leaving a message (269-3625), and by E-mail from this site or directly to your child's teacher-- (Rhonda.Holtan@mps.k12.al.us) or (Susan.Sessions@mps.k12.al.us)--know that these addresses will be checked regularly, but they may not be checked every day.
We also have included links that should be of help to the students as they learn the vocabulary this year in various subjects. There are several games available for the students to play as they learn the vocabulary in Reading, Science, Spelling, and selected chapters of Alabama History.
Enjoy these pages!
R. Holtan and S. Sessions
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR PARENTS:
We would like to welcome you to fourth grade at Carver Elementary Arts Magnet!!! We are welcoming you along with your child, because we consider the fourth-grade experience to be that of a team--with teachers, parents, and the student all working together to make the most of this experience. We treasure your part in this teamwork.
We know that this will be a fantastic year of learning for your child. Please know that we are dedicated to working with you toward this goal.
The fourth grade is a tremendous milestone in your child's education. He/she has just left the early grades--many times called the primary grades (K-3)--and has entered the intermediate grades (4-6). You will find that there is generally more expected of your child academically--and although much more independent learning will be expected, you may find that your child might need extra help and encouragement, even if he or she has never shown that need before. Our goal is that with all of us working together, your child will have a very successful school year--and much greater than that--that your child will find a love for learning and gain a pride in his or her knowledge leading to a growth and maturity that will carry him/her through many more years of successful learning.
We will contact you by note or by phone as needed. Whether this contact is about something good or about a problem needing special attention, we would appreciate your support. Please sign and respond to any notes immediately as your child will be expected to return the signed note on the following school day.
Please let us know if we can be of help to you in any way---or if you know of a problem of which we may not be aware. We look forward to working with you this year.
R. Holtan and S. Sessions
PARENTS ARE IMPORTANT
Parental support is an important part of our program. We ask for your help in many areas--especially in supporting and encouraging your child throughout the year. If you are able to give of your time, we also need volunteer help in several ways. Some of these may include:
-helping to make copies of papers
-driving students and helping to supervise
these students on field trips
-helping on special learning days (especially
during "FRONTIER DAYS")
-speaking to the class about your area of expertise
-helping to arrange for resource persons to visit our
class to share their areas of expertise
If you feel that you want to help in any of these areas, you will find a form at the back of the "Parent Information" packet given to you at the first of the year. You may want to fill out this form or just contact us about this matter. We will also be giving specific information throughout the year about each field trip to which you may respond.
Parents are welcome to observe our classes at work at any time. However, please remember that you must GO BY THE OFFICE AND SIGN IN TO RECEIVE A GUEST PASS ANY TIME THAT YOU ENTER THE BUILDING. This, of course, is for the safety and security of our students. We are not allowed to admit you to the class without a guest pass, so please do not put us in the awkward position of having to ask you to return to the office to receive this pass.
Also, if you are going to help drive on a field trip, please sign in at the office before coming to the classroom. Volunteer hours are logged, and this documentation is important as we report to several agencies.
Parents are welcome to lunch with us. If possible, you may want to let the cafeteria (269-3913) know of your plans to dine at Carver, especially if you are bringing other guests, such as grandparents, with you.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT OF THIS YEAR
We will do our best to help your child mature and advance academically. We will also try to continue the development of appropriate social skills and character traits. This year should offer many opportunities for your child in learning through varied methodologies. Your child will be asked to complete individual assignments, to participate in discussions, to work with a partner toward a shared goal, to cooperate and to participate in many types of active learning, and to work as a member of a group. There are many times that we will be working as team teachers with both classes. He/she will be given the opportunity to learn from guest speakers and through field trips. Your child's progress will be evaluated in many ways which include teacher observation, tests and daily assignments, individual and group presentations, reports, journal writing, creative writing, and projects.
We will expect each student to enter the classroom each day ready to show respect to the teacher and to the other students. This includes consideration for the feelings of others, respect for others' belongings, respect for the school rules, and the demonstration of common courtesy. We will try to ensure a safe environment for your child, where he/she does not feel threatened and where he/she feels comfortable asking questions and interacting. We will also try to help the students understand the importance of maintaining high standards of behavior. In addition, we will expect your child's cooperation and best effort toward the timely completion of assignments (both those given in class and for homework).
Although we are happy to have our parents visit, please understand that we cannot stop teaching to have a conference with any parent. Your visit is a nice way to show your child that you are interested in what he/she is doing in school. If you wish to meet with your child's teacher, a conference may be scheduled by contacting us or by scheduling a conference through the school office. Please feel free to contact us about any problem. In a classroom setting, a teacher may not always be aware of a small problem which may be bothering your child. If you feel that such a problem warrants our attention, please notify us.
Graded papers, both tests and daily work, will be sent home in an envelope regularly. Please sign and return the envelope on the following day. If you would like to keep the envelope for an additional time, you are welcome to do so. However, please send a quick note to this effect. (Consistent failure to return the envelope may cause following sets of papers not to be sent home.) Please review the papers carefully with your child and give praise or careful, constructive criticism. These papers are often a good representation of your child's progress.
The following grading scale is used for all Montgomery public elementary schools:
F----------------------63 or below
The report card grades (every nine weeks) are calculated in READING, ENGLISH, SOCIAL STUDIES (ALABAMA HISTORY), SCIENCE, AND MATH by weighting the average of daily grades as 1/2 and the average of major grades as 1/2.
MAJOR (TEST) AVERAGE 88
DAILY AVERAGE 86
174/2= 87 B
SPELLING TESTS are weighted as 100% of the spelling grade.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION grades are derived using the following measurement:
(G)-making progress (S)-performing satisfactorily
Although homework should not be excessive--we try to limit the amount to not more than an hour each night--you should usually expect a homework assignment each Monday through Thursday nights. Assignments will generally not be given for weekend work.
PLEASE ALLOW SOME TIME IN YOUR FAMILY'S SCHEDULE FOR THE COMPLETION OF HOMEWORK! We are asking that you help your child find a suitable setting that will facilitate concentration--this, we hope, should help your child to develop good study habits for the future.
The homework assignment is written on the chalkboard daily, and tests are generally announced at least two days in advance. We would appreciate your checking periodically to see that your child is recording these assignments daily. Also, please watch for notices of major assignments which will be sent to you so that you can offer support.
Every effort should be made to assure attendance in class, but it is understood that absences are sometimes unavoidable. When a student is absent, make-up tests must be completed at school, but we ask for your help in seeing that the daily work is completed at home. If there is a lengthy illness, you may call the school office to arrange for assignments to be sent home.
Please send a note with your child upon his/her return explaining the reason for the absence. If such a note is not sent within a reasonable amount of time, this absence is considered unexcused.
IF THERE IS A NEED TO TAKE YOUR CHILD AWAY FROM SCHOOL FOR A DAY OR MORE, PLEASE CONTACT MRS. HENDRICKS, THE PRINCIPAL--IN WRITING--TO LET HER KNOW ABOUT THE SITUATION. Mrs. Hendricks is authorized to make the determination if this will be an excused absence. Please allow time for Mrs. Hendricks to consider your request. We are asking that you also notify us of your request.
It is important, of course, for your child to have learning supplies available to him each day. Some of the items we request each year include:
1. notebook paper (wide-ruled, please)--Many parents
feel that it is wise to stock up on this while the
first-of-the-year sales are on.
2. 2 #2 pencils each day (another item that you may want
to stock up on)
3. 2 red pens
4. 6 folders with tabs and pockets (different colors
as much as possible, please)
5. crayons or markers
6. glue stick
7. small scissors
8. a small schoolbox that will latch closed (to house
9. 2 rolls of paper towels
10. 2 boxes of tissues
11. Permanently bound homework notebook
--THERE IS REALLY NO ROOM IN THE DESKS OR CUBBIES FOR LARGE BINDERS--LIKE A TRAPPER KEEPER--SO WE ARE REQUESTING THAT THEY NOT BE BROUGHT TO SCHOOL--
--THE STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO USE THE BOOKCOVERS PROVIDED BY THE SCHOOLS, SO YOU DO NOT NEED TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL BOOKCOVERS--
We plan to participate in several field trips this year. We appreciate any help that you can give us in this endeavor. Your child will bring home a letter describing the trip and a field trip permission form well in advance of each trip. Please send these forms back to school as soon as possible. Also, if there are deadlines concerning any monies for the trip, please be aware that these are deadlines to which we must adhere--as there are specific deadlines that we are required to follow. Please try not to wait until the very last day to send in the items that we request. SCHOOL RULES SAY THAT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LET YOUR CHILD CALL YOU FROM SCHOOL TO REQUEST THE PERMISSION FORM ON THE DAY OF THE TRIP. WE CANNOT TAKE YOUR CHILD FROM THE SCHOOL SITE BY VERBAL PERMISSION--WE MUST HAVE WRITTEN PERMISSION. PLEASE DO NOT PUT US IN THE POSITION OF HAVING TO DISAPPOINT YOUR CHILD!!! We are also requesting that siblings not be allowed to accompany the students on these trips. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS AREA!
We feel that good discipline is an essential element of successful learning in the classroom. The students are asked to exhibit behavior that is both considerate of their classmates and teachers and conducive to learning.
Some examples of behavioral guidelines include:
1. Students will enter the room quietly.
2. Students should prepare for the day--
having all supplies ready.
3. Students should raise their hands and be acknowledged
before speaking out in class.
4. Students should mind their manners at lunch and
be considerate of those around them while eating.
5. Students should be considerate of others in the
classroom and out of the classroom.
6. Students should walk quietly, in a straight line, while
in the hallway.
7. Students should treat the classroom and items in the
classroom with respect.
8. Voices should be held at appropriate levels during all
9. Students should treat the belongings of others with
WE FEEL THAT NO ONE STUDENT, OR HANDFUL OF STUDENTS, SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO KEEP OTHERS FROM LEARNING. Steps taken to correct unacceptable behavior will follow the guidelines of the Montgomery Public Schools Code of Student Behavior. These steps will generally include (most likely in this order):
1. Counsel with student
2. Notify parent of the problem
3. Parent/teacher conference
4. Referral to school counselor
5. Office referral
However, the severity of a problem may cause the order of these steps to be changed.
It is our opinion that THE BEST DISCIPLINE IS SELF- DISCIPLINE--CARRIED OUT BY THE STUDENT HIMSELF/HERSELF. This self-discipline, encouraged daily by the home and by the teacher, is often all that is necessary. If, however, this encouragement proves to be insufficient, you will be notified. As stated earlier, further action will be taken according to the Montgomery Public Schools Code of Student Behavior.
We have great confidence that with the three of us working together (student, parent, and teachers) this will be a great year!!!
Rhonda Holtan and Susan Sessions