I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying this beautiful fall we are having! The school year has started very smoothly here at Helman and I must thank all of you for your diligence in prioritizing your child’s education by getting them to school on time and prepared for a day of learning. Your participation in their learning (attending conferences, helping with homework, showing general interest in what they are learning) communicates to your child that you value education, expect them to do their best, and support them along the way.
Our phenomenal and professional staff ensures each child is welcomed into a safe, loving community where each is honored as an individual, challenged to take risks, develop friendships, reflect on their growth, push themselves to reach their potential, and embrace the wonder that leads to a lifelong enthusiasm for learning. There is a direct correlation between a school’s positive, safe culture and student academic success.
The Oregon Department of Education recently released the State report cards for each school. Helman continues to outperform the state average on standardized achievement tests in Math, Language Arts, and Science. Oregon elementary students in grades 3‐5 participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessments each year in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. Additionally, our 5th graders take the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills in Science. These tests are just one of many indicators we use to help us analyze how our students are performing individually, as sub‐groups, and as a whole. We use this information to help us set school improvement goals and individual goals for students. While they are summative tests that don’t drive “in the moment” instruction, the results do help us examine our current practices and identify areas where we need to improve instruction.
We have a new reading curriculum that teachers are beginning to implement this year. Literacy by Design is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and supports children in their development of literacy skills through whole class and small group instructional activities. With this curriculum comes online access for your child to a collection of e‐readers they can use both in the classroom and at home. Watch your child’s Friday Folder for information on accessing this great resource.
I am honored and humbled to serve this community of learners. I welcome you to contact me with feedback or concerns.
Michelle Cuddeback, Helman Principal