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September 2, 2019

Hello Parents and Guardians of Park Elementary Scholars,

It is the eve of the first day of the 19-20 school year. I imagine there is much excitement mixed with a bit of nervousness in your household tonight! I suspect our staff members are feeling the sweet anticipation as well. I know I am.

As with each new school year, we are about to open the door to possibilities. We are all excited to be part of that excitement with you and your child(ren). You'll find we have an urgent commitment to literacy at Park and in the entire MCPASD. We invite you to join our efforts as much as you can. We have some exciting events for our Park families coming up this year!

All of the staff at Park are here to support academic AND social/emotional growth. When things are going well, please be sure to tell someone! When there is a bump in the road and things are not going so well (and this will happen!) please be sure to tell us. Our doors (and ears) are open and we want to work with you. We are truly better together.

Thank you for trusting us with your child(ren) and thank you for your on-going commitment to education. It's only through our partnership that we can ensure success for your child(ren). 

Here's to a great start to another school year! 

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

May 26, 2019

Hello Parents and Guardians of our Park Scholars!

What an incredible month we've had at school. Our Park Prowl raised over $22,000 thanks to you, your student, and your families & friends. THANK YOU for your generosity and sending a clear message that books in our classrooms are important!

This was the only fundraiser sponsored by PTO this year. We had planned to hold our first Park Prowl last fall, and with the flooding the PTO thought it best to delay that event. I completely supported that decision. Families had many other things to think about and accomplish and we always want to be mindful of that. Our plan at this point is to move it back to the original timeline - a fall fund-raiser. More to come on that as the time gets closer.

As we think about summer, we all think about the sun, being outside, enjoying some downtime, and of course, as educators we always worry about summer slide. Summer slide is real and we see it at Park every fall. This is when students have been working all year and have attained high levels of achievement in the spring. Then, summer comes along and there is no longer the academic rigor in their day to day schedules. When fall rolls around, many skills have been lost. We want to avoid that at all cost! Here are some ideas for Park families to keep literacy a top priority over the summer.

  1. Park in the Park - a place to come and check out books to read over the summer. This summer we will be open nearly every week! Kids can come, grab up to 5 books, read them at home, and bring them back the next week to exchange for more. This summer we are hoping to have some high school readers to read with kids during many of the days we're open. More to come on that!! A schedule will come home with your student in his/her report card on June 7th. 
  2. In our eNews we have been highlighting activities to do this summer. One of the most important things you can schedule for your child is sanctioned time to read each and every day. Reading during the day is fantastic and reading as a bedtime routine makes good sense. It's a great way to snuggle in for the night and practice reading at the same time.
  3. Some students will be coming home with books from our Park librarian and our Park reading specialist to read over the summer. We will have special days for students who receive these books to come back to school to exchange for a new batch!
  4. The public library is an excellent resource for kids during the summer. They have a reading program that I encourage all of you to join. It's right next to the pool, so if you find yourselves cooling off at the pool this summer, be sure to plan an extra 10-15 minutes to stop in at the library to grab a good read. Catherine Baer, their librarian, always presents to Park kids about their summer reading program, so be sure to ask your child about that, and then go get signed up!
  5. Extra encouragement to read! We are always here to support your literacy efforts at home. Just ask any of us. 

I hope that you all have a fun, relaxing, safe, and literacy-filled summer! Let me know how I may be of service to you this summer.

Looking forward to seeing many of you back here in the fall:)

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

March 4, 2019

Hello Parents and Guardians,

March is here and we are still having snow! While I appreciate a good snow storm and seeing its beauty on the earth, I'm ready for some sun and warm weather! 

Along with snow comes ice, cold days, and cabin fever. We've seen all three at Park over the past several weeks. We are spending time re-teaching expectations around respect and what that looks like, sounds like, and feels like in all of our environments. I encourage you to please do the same at home. 

Last week you should have received an email from Perry Hibner, our Communications Director for the district. He detailed a new internet challenge called the "Momo Challenge". I am sharing another informational website for you here:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/viral-youtube-challenges-internet-...

This site shares information about '13 internet challenges that your kids already know about'. If they don't know it yet, they most likely will soon. We can never ever be too vigilant in our efforts to protect our children from danger - whether that's in your home, out in public, or on the internet. We continuously monitor our students internet activity and have internet filters in place. We also have students sign an acceptable use agreement (written in kid-friendly language) and we always encourage students to let an adult know if they see or hear any content that they know isn't OK. It is our hope that these messages are coming home with your child. 

Speaking of internet activity, we have seen in influx of cell phones here at school. We do not encourage children to carry a cell phone to school as we are not responsible for their property and it can cause a distraction to learning. 

Please remember that all electronic devices at school must be turned completely off and remain in a child's backpack throughout the school day. Thank you for supporting this policy. 

I look forward to the next several weeks for the longer days, a bit more sun, and of course a LOT of LEARNING! 

Thank you for sharing your child with us! It is our pleasure to serve them and our Park families.

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

January 31, 2019

This is unprecedented weather! I can't remember a time we had three snow/cold days in one week. I hope you've stayed warm and safe.

This IS a perfect time to snuggle in and read with your child(ren). Enjoy your time together:)

January 28, 2019

I hope you all enjoyed another long weekend and were able to dig out from the snow successfully! I look forward to having everyone back at school to take full advantage of the newly fallen snow...provided it's warm enough to play outside.

Please keep in mind that we will go outside as long as the actual temperature is above zero degrees and the windchill is above -10. The following graphic is for your convenience. Layers will be key over the next several days and weeks!

Be safe and enjoy the snow:!

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 21, 2019

Dear Park Families,

Happy New Year! I hope 2019 is starting off well for each of you. I'm thankful for the snow on our playground! We were all a little tired of seeing the brown grass day after day. 

I found this article (linked below-just click on the title), and perhaps some of you have seen it too. What a great way to start a conversation with your child about school. I remember when my girls were little and I'd ask how their day was and they'd respond, 'good'. Um, OK... Of course I had my ways of finding out more and this list captures many of my little secrets! I hope you find this useful!

50 Questions To Ask Your Kids After School Instead of "How was your day?"

As many of you know, Ms. Benkert will sit in the Park office chair for one last day on Wednesday January 23rd. We are all so very sad to see her go, and, we know this is an opportunity that she just couldn't pass up! We NEVER confuse loyalty with opportunity. With that, we wish her all the best as she continues in her career with new adventures. WE LOVE YOU MS. BENKERT!!

As we make this big transition in next few weeks, I ask for patience and grace to whomever is sitting in the front office. This is a demanding and complex job and we are searching for that 'just right person' to fill Wendy's shoes. More to come!l 

Enjoy the snow! Enjoy these cold evenings to snuggle up with your child and read a great book! Enjoy your child(ren) right now...time flies by so quickly!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

 

October 12, 2018

Hello Park Families,

With a chill in the air, we savor each day we are able to be outside and enjoy the glorious colors of fall here at Park Elementary. 

We have had an active beginning to our school year! We welcomed an entire new kindergarten class to Park and an additional 30 students in grades 1-4. I love growing our Park family each year!

We've also already had the opportunity to practice several of our safety drills. Each time we run a safety drill we are able to see what 'works' in our plan and what 'needs work' in our plan. Our students did a fantastic job with all the drills we've conducted this year. We conduct a safety drill each month so our students are familiar with each drill should an emergency occur. Of course Park Staff are well-trained as well and your child's safety is always our number one concern.

As we move into October, your children are well-versed in the processes and procedures in their classrooms. This year we are focusing the teaching of those processes and procedures with a philosophy called "Responsive Classroom" or RC.   RC meshes nicely with our PBIS efforts and gives more specificity to the work we do around building community, academics, and social emotional learning.

We are laser focused on our reading instruction this year. We are fortunate enough to have a Professional Developer, Dr. Katie, from Teachers College in New York, working with our K, 1, and 2 staff members. Dr. Katie works with teachers and students to support our work with Reading and Writing Workshop. We have already learned a lot from our first visit with her at the beginning of the month and we look forward to five more visits throughout the rest of the school year. If you ever hear about Dr. Katie coming to visit, now you know who she is! 

I wish you joy and lots of family time during this next month! Remember to read, read, read with and to your kids and make sure they get plenty of sleep so they're ready to be their best at school. Thank you for trusting us with your incredible kids. We know we are so fortunate to be a small part of their lives!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

PS - Don't forget to vote on November 6th! 

PSS - Don't forget to purchase your Mollie B tickets for Friday November 16th specially for Park Families:)  

 

June 19, 2018

Hello Park Families!! 

I hope you've all had a great start to your summer. I know I have!

I hope you plan to read, read, read, read, and read some more over the summer. No books available for your kids at home? We can help you out!!

Park in the Park is being held at Park School this summer. Your child can come to school and check out up to 5 books to take home and read with you, with a sibling, with the family pet, or by themselves. Then, bring the books on back to school the next time Park in the Park is open and exchange them for 5 more! I hope many of you take advantage of this service provided to you and your children this summer:)

Park in the Park schedules were sent home in your child's report card on the last day of school. Just in case you don't have that schedule on your fridge, here it is:




Date

Location

Time

Wednesday, June 13

Park School

1:00-6:00

Thursday, June 21

Park School

10:00 - 2:00

Wednesday, June 27

Park School

1:00-6:00

Wednesday, July 11

Park School

1:00 - 6:00

Tuesday, July 17

Park School

noon - 2:00

Wednesday, July 25

Park School

1:00 - 6:00

Thursday, Aug. 2

Park School

10:00 - 2:00

Tuesday, Aug. 14

Park School

(Information Day for all families at Park)

2:00-6:00

Tuesday, Aug. 21

Park School

8:00-noon

Monday, Aug. 27

Park School

noon - 4:00

Wednesday, Aug. 29

Return your books!

Park School

(Back to School Night)

4:30-6:30

Tuesday, September 4

Return your books!

Park School

(First Day of School!)

7:45-2:40

Snack bags, provided by our partners in Cross Plains, will be available for  any students who visit Park in the Park this summer!

Reading over the summer MAKES A DIFFERENCE!! Summer slide is real. We see it at Park each fall:(

Together, let's win that summer slide battle once and for all. We can't do it without your help:)

Enjoy the sunshine!

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

January 15, 2018

Welcome to the new year! Hard to believe it is already January and we are heading into the second semester of school! 

This year our school goal centers around 'fluency'. What is fluency? Reading fluency is defined in the following ways:

  • Pausing  the way the reader’s voice is guided by punctuation (short breath at a comma; full stop with voice going down at periods and up at question marks).
  • Phrasing  the way readers put words together in groups to represent the meaningful units of language.  Phrased reading should sound like oral language, although more formal.  Phrasing involves pausing at punctuation as well as at places in the text that do not have punctuation.
  • Stress  the emphasis readers place on particular words (louder tone) to reflect the meaning of the text as speakers would do in oral language.
  • Intonation  the way the reader varies the voice in tone, pitch, and volume to reflect the meaning of the text–sometimes called “expression.”
  • Rate  the pace at which the reader moves through the text.  An appropriate rate moves along rapidly with a few slowdowns or stops and long pauses to solve words.  If a reader has only a few short pauses for word solving and picks up the pace again, look at the overall rate.  The pace is also appropriate to the text and purpose of the reading–not too fast and not too slow.
  • Integration involves the way the reader consistently and evenly orchestrates pausing, phrasing, stress, intonation, and rate.  The reader moves smoothly from one word to another, from one phrase to another, and from one sentence to another, incorporating pauses that are just long enough to perform their function.  There is no space between words except as part of meaningful interpretation.  When all dimensions of fluency–pausing, phrasing, stress, intonation, and rate–are working together, the reader will be using expressions in a way that clearly demonstrates that he understands the text and is even thinking beyond the text.

retrieved from: https://thecurriculumcorner.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/fluency-in-the-prim... January 15, 2018

Fluency is SO MUCH more than how fast you can read which is a common misconception. We are looking at fluency ACROSS our entire building. That means fluency in phy ed class, and music class, and technology etc...it means fluency in our academic learning as well as our social-emotional learning.

In reading, our data supports that our students are accurate, but not working at an appropriate rate. We are focusing our efforts on growing both skills (accuracy and rate) for students. You can help by focusing in on the phrasing piece at home. (above in red). This is language our students are hearing at school and an expectation for them and their learning! Give it a try!

If you wish to speak to your child's teacher or to me more about fluency, you know where to reach us!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

 

August 31, 2017

Welcome to the 17-18 School Year! It was so good to see so many of you at our Back to School night on Wednesday. Thank you for coming to school to meet your child's teacher and drop off supplies. 

We are excited for a great start to our year. Seems like many of you are excited to start the school year too:) 

Please check back here monthly for a new message from me and please be sure to sign up for enews if you haven't already done so. Enews is a major way we get the word out to parents about school-wide events. Your child's teacher will also send you newsletters and notes. When they do so, please take a few moments to read through the messages. There is important information enclosed pertaining to your child! 

Thank you for allowing us the honor of serving you and your children during the up and coming year. 

As always, should have any questions, comments, cares, or concerns, please reach out and connect with us.

Here's to a great year!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

July 27, 2017

Hello Park Families,

I hope you've been enjoying your summer with family and friends and are also keeping your skills sharp by reading every day! 

It's been so good to see so many students taking advantage of our Park in the Park dates.

If you haven't yet visited a park or Park School to get books to read this summer, you have a few opportunities left to return your books and check out new books! I hope to see many of you!

August 3 at the Pool Shelter from 3:35 - 5:00 and then at the American Legion Park from 5:15 - 6:45. 

August 15th at Park School during Information Day from 2:00 - 6:00

August 16th at Park School from 8:00am - 4:00pm

August 17th at Park School from 8:00am - 4:00pm

August 30 during Back to School Night from 4:30 - 6:30pm

And of course, you may also return books on the first day or during the first week of school. We want everyone to have appropriate books to read and enjoy this summer and there's still time left to do that!

As always, we are all doing a lot of reading and learning this summer too. We know how important it is to keep our own skills sharp so we're ready for all of the students in the fall. The excitement of a new year is beginning to brew:) I love this time of year and all the anticipation that comes with it.

Enjoy these fleeting days of summer. I can't wait to see you at Information Day on the 15th and then again at Back to School with your child and his/her supplies on August 30th! 

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

        

 

May 26, 2017

Hello Park Families, 

It's hard to believe that this school year is quickly coming to a close. I have seen incredible growth in our students both academically and socially. Well done Park School!

These last few weeks are always bittersweet and usually quite emotional for everyone and especially for our 4th graders. Five years at one school is a long time and will be the longest they spend at any other school in MCPASD. (I can't speak to college!!)  Please remember those emotions are natural and we work hard to help kids understand just what it is they are feeling and then move forward in a positive way.

Report cards will be sent home with your child on the last day of school. Enclosed with the report card will be a number of other resources and information for your family, so please be sure to check their backpack one last time before it gets stored away in a closet for the summer.

I wish all of you a fantastic summer with family and friends. Don't forget to read every day this summer. We know how important it is for kids to keep up this healthy habit all summer long:)

Be well, have a safe summer, and I'll see you back here in September!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

October 31, 2016

Hello Park Families,

What a great Halloween it was at school. Thank you for sending your ghosts and goblins, princesses, and kitty cats to school in costume today. It is one of my favorite days at school and I know the kids enjoyed it too. It's great when we can have fun and still do some important learning at the same time. 

We enjoyed seeing so many parents at school these last two weeks for conferences. I hope you were able to get your questions answered and continue to build that important relationship with your child's teacher. We appreciate  your involvement in school by coming to Park on an evening. We know how precious family time is so, thank you!!

Please know that if you ever have any questions, we are all available via email or phone. Please do not hesitate to ask us anything! We want to ensure the best learning environment for your child and we count on our partnership with you to make that happen.

We hope to see many of you next week at our Harvest Luncheon and our book fair. The holidays are right around the corner and books are great gifts! All proceeds directly benefit our students at Park, so we appreciate your patronage!

We are looking forward to November and December and all of the learning your child(ren) will do. Be sure to read together each night. Enjoy those moments together while you lose yourself in a story with your child. 

Happy Halloweenl

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

August 27, 2016

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!

We are so excited to see everyone back here on Tuesday evening (August 30) for Back to School Night. Be sure to stop in any time between 4:30 - 6:30 to drop off supplies, meet your teacher, meet the other new folks in the building, and take a tour of our beautiful new library, gym, and bathrooms!

We are so grateful for the TLC that Park received this summer. Many thanks to the Board of Education and their vision for long-range planning when it comes to our facilities. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the hard work from so many people, both in and out of our district, who made this all happen. I know that Mr. Peanuts and Miss Dawn were especially busy and they worked extra hard (and around a lot of extra people and major construction!) to ensure that our school is sparkly clean and in tip top shape for students to begin another year of learning!

I hope you had a wonderful summer and were able to have some down-time, read some great books, and reconnect with family in friends in ways we can't always seem to do once the school year begins. Wellness for adults and for kids is important to us at Park and we always do our best to ensure everyone is well taken care of.  

I am thrilled to begin my 6th year as Principal here at Park Elementary. Our students and families are getting a top-notch education from exceedingly dedicated and talented professionals. Teaching is incredibly complex work and the staff at Park make it look easy. Be sure to thank them for their hard work at some point throughout the year.

Welcome back to all of our returning families and a special WELCOME to our new Park families. We are excited that you've joined our family. We know that your child's success is dependent our partnership, and we know how complex parenting is! Thank you for sharing your child(ren) with us. We look forward to working with you this year.

If you ever have questions, comments, cares, or concerns, please be sure to let us know.

Here's to a great 16-17 school year together!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

April 3, 2016

Welcome to spring in Wisconsin! Just a reminder that mittens and warm coats are needed for the mornings at school, and lighter jackets for the afternoon. I can see spring just around the corner!!

Thank you to all of the families who attended Parent/Teacher Conferences just before our spring break. Did you know we have nearly 100% of our families participate in conferences each semester? I am proud of that number! It speaks volumes of the value families have on education. We thank you for that.

We have a lot going on in April for families and kids. On April 9 we are holding our 2nd annual Park Fun Run. You can register through the Park and Rec Department if you haven't already done so. I'm looking forward to a great day of movement and fun with families. 

Immediately after the Fun Run, the third grade students will be hosting their 2nd annual cardboard arcade. Come to Park between 11-1, buy a few tickets or an afternoon pass, and have some fun on the cardboard games created by our third grade students. I've seen them coming to life in the classrooms and hallways. It's sure to be a day for everyone. Please know that if it rains (or snows!!) we'll hold the arcade in the gym.

April 19th is our annual Art Fair and Book Fair. Please plan to join us here at Park anytime between 5:30-7:30 on that evening to check out your child/childrens art work and our Park School book fair. PTO will have activities in the gym for families as well. It's sure to be a great family event! 

I'm already thinking ahead to summer because we have so much going on!! Our library, our bathrooms (near the gym) and our gymnasium are all getting a facelift this summer! We are hopeful that all of our projects move along as expected. You're in for a beautiful surprise next fall! We're thankful for the opportunity to update our facility.

I'm also thinking ahead about summer reading. We know that kids who read over the summer, come back to school in a better place than kids who don't read over the summer. We want to make books accessible all summer long. Since our building will be a construction zone, we are working on plans to make books accessible to you in other ways. More to come on our "Park in the Park" initiative coming to a park near you this summer!

As always, if you have any questions, cares, or concerns, my door is always open.

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

January 4, 2016

Dear Park Elementary Parents and Community,

Welcome to 2016! I hope the New Year is starting off well for you! It was wonderful seeing the kids as they streamed through our doors this morning full of stories, smiles, and lots of welcome back hugs! Thanks for sharing your children with us. We all love what we do here at Park. 
 
At this time of year, we take time to reflect back on the past year and then look forward to the possibilities and the opportunities of the new year. As I reflected back on the beginning of this school year, I recalled all of the positive things that happen at Park daily; kids and teachers who love being here, the rigorous learning that takes place, and the excellent behavior as evidenced by all the paws we have given out so far this year! So many positives! 
 
There are always challenges, to be sure, and we work them out respectfully and through open communication. For that I am most grateful. I couldn’t help but think about the challenges that our neighbors in Mount Horeb recently encountered when they took steps to ensure that a young transgender student felt safe and welcome in their school community. In light of this situation I wanted to remind you that the Middleton-Cross Plains school district includes protections for transgender students in our pupil nondiscrimination policy. Our Nondiscrimination Statement is as follows: 
 
It is the policy of the public schools that no person may be denied admission to any public school in the District, or be denied participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any curricular, co-curricular, pupil service, recreational or other program or activity because of the person's sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, gender identity, gender nonconformity or change of sex, or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability or handicap as required by s. 118.13 Wis. Stats. This policy also prohibits discrimination as defined by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (sex), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race and national origin) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
 
As a public school, we take seriously our mission to welcome and teach all students and families as they show up. We expect our students and our families to be different, and that as a community we respect those differences - that's what makes us great and it’s another positive to celebrate as we look back and move forward! Each day we work hard to ensure the safety, privacy, and dignity of all our students - no exceptions. As I look back, I am proud of our school community and the work we all do daily to ensure that everyone at Park and in our district feels welcome and safe. 
 
If you'd like more information about how to talk with your child about gender diversity you may be interested in the following resource from Welcoming Schools. 
 
 
Thank you for your support in helping our community respect differences.  Please let us know if you have any questions on how we can support your child. 
 
Warmly,
 
Mrs. Schommer
 
 

November 27, 2015

I hope this note finds you enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend and time with family and friends! 

It's hard to believe that we're only three weeks away from our winter break. Time has gone by so quickly this year. That's the sign of a smooth school year and we all appreciate that. 

I wanted to take this time to update you on our school goals for the 15-16 school year. This year as a staff we are focusing on Collaboration and Rigorous Relevant Instruction. Staff members are meeting with each other on a weekly basis to connect around student learning, best practice around instruction, and how we can work smarter for your children.

Our school goal is very specific about ensuring that students are monitoring meaning while they independently read at their instructional level. What does that mean? It means that children are thinking about the words and how to say them (decoding) and at the same time, they are also making sense of all those words as a story (comprehension)!

It's not uncommon for a child to read a difficult book and afterwards when they are asked 'what was this book about' they respond with an 'I don't know' or 'I forgot'. These answers are examples of students who are not monitoring meaning. This is why we spend so much time ensuring students are reading at a 'just right' level and teaching them explicit strategies to use when things don't make sense.

We also want to hear students correct their mistakes while reading aloud. When they say a word that doesn't make sense and continue to read, they are not monitoring meaning. We want them to read the words, comprehend the words, and comprehend the deeper meaning that the author intended.

Reading is hard work and we have excellent teachers guiding your children every step of the way! 

We encourage you to keep reading with your child(ren) and keep asking them to tell you all about the story they just read. Keep a sharp ear out for words that don't make sense and ask them, 'Did that make sense?' See if they can go back and fix it.

If you have any questions about our goals, please feel free to ask. We're all happy to talk about the work we do each day. 

Here's wishing a joyful holiday season to you and yours. 

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

October 2, 2015

Welcome to Fall in Wisconsin! The cool crisp air has arrived! Be sure your child brings a warm jacket and maybe even mittens for the chilly mornings.

Thanks to those of you who participated in the Homecoming parade on the 30th. Fun was had by all! Thank you PTO for organizing and getting us a brand new Park Elementary sign. It was perfect for the event and will be used in many ways in the coming years. 

Last month, I had the opportunity to present at the PTO meeting. One thing we are talking about a lot here at Park is Growth Mindset. I shared a number of things that parents can do at home to support a growth mindset for your children and I wanted to share them here too.

1. Understand growth vs. fixed mindsets (Carol Dweck's book Mindset The New Psychology of Success is a great resource!) Be sure to know your mindsets as well as your child's. Know that YOUR language and actions matter!

2. Know that our brains are malleable and they can grow

3. Know the power of 'yet'.

4. Encourage resiliency at home by:

a)  Using growth mindset praise - praise your child's willingness to try, his/her effort, patience, and practice. Do not attribute success to 'being smart' or 'being the best', but rather to hard work and perseverance. Use growth mindset books/literature to support your efforts!

b)  Modeling Flexibility - let your child 'hear your adaptable thinking' instead of hearing your frustration without positive actions.

c)  Adopt a 'glass half-full' mentality. Be positive and keep HOPE alive!

d)  Help your child find their own niche - give them plenty of opportunities to explore different activities and interests (arts, drama, sports, clubs etc...) without overbooking them.

I also shared some visuals with the group and if you're interested in getting a copy of those or in learning more about what you can do to support growth mindsets at home, please reach out to your child's teacher or to me. We're here to support you in any way we can.

Stay warm!

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

 

September 1, 2015

Thanks to everyone for a FANTASTIC first day of school! The staff was excited to see the kids, the kids were happy to be here and the parents were, perhaps, the happiest of all! :) We had a great day. It's good to have everyone back at school.

Tomorrow's Back to School night is an important evening for you and your child to attend. Please be seated in your child's classroom at the time you were assigned so you don't miss any important information!

We'll see you all on Wednesday evening!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

August 2015

Welcome Back to School!

It was so great to see so many of you at Information Day on Tuesday the 11th. Thanks to everyone for making the time to come to school and get important information for this next school year. I always love this day as it's time to reconnect after a summer away! 

Just a reminder that the first day of school is Tuesday September 1st. Be sure to send school supplies with your child on that day. This is different than in the past!

(If you have a Kindergartener, be sure to check your letter from Information Day to find out your child's first day)

Our Back to School Night is on the evening of September 2. This is an important night for you and your child to connect with your child's teacher, learn about the classroom, the curriculum, and the expectations for the year. Please attend the session assigned to you at Information Day. 

We're looking forward to a fantastic year of growing together!

See you all in a few weeks.

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

July 2015

It's July! Have you and your child(ren) been reading up a storm over the past month? I hope so!

We have many literacy resources listed on this page as well as the home page of our Park website. Please be sure to take advantage of them all summer long to ensure that your child reads each and every week throughout the entire summer. We all appreciate your commitment to literacy - it's win-win for everyone.

Please help me welcome our new Administrative Assistant to Park - Ms. Wendy Benkert. Ms. Benkert comes to us with many years of experience in the Insurance field. Mrs. Martin and Ms. Benkert will work closely during the first two weeks of July to ensure a smooth transition. There is a LOT to learn and we know Ms. Benkert is up for the challenge. We're all so glad you've joined our team Ms. Benkert! WELCOME!!

Keep on reading and enjoying these beautiful July days!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

June 2015

Another June signifies the end to another school year.  I am so very proud of each and every student for giving it their all each and every day. After all, it's about the effort that is made that makes a big impact on a mindset for learning.

Thanks for sharing your kids with us. It is an honor to work with them and with each and every one of our parents/guardians. We are great because of the great people who are part of our Park family. Thank you!

As summer approaches, you may be wondering how to keep your kids engaged in reading and writing over the summer. You may have heard about the dreaded Summer Slide and it's very real. We see it each fall when kids come back to school having lost some of the skills they gained the year before. We need you to be vigilant in your efforts to keep your kids reading over the entire summer. It makes a difference!  Below are a few links to get you started. 

We hope you have a wonderful summer of fun, relaxation, a different schedule, family, and of course lots of reading! Enjoy yourselves and your families and we'll see you back here in the fall! School begins on September 1! See you then

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

We just added a Little Free Library out in front of school! Take a book and leave a book all summer long! Be sure to visit often!!

Summer Reading Tips for Parents

 
Unite for Literacy Online Books
 
Rosemary Garfoot Public Library Program and Events
 
Half Price Books Summer Reading Program
 
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program
 
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
 
Fun Brain Games for Math, Grammar, and Spelling
 
Two more resources for you and your family for summer activities! ENJOY!

2015 Summer Activities Guide Eng.pdf

2015 Summer Activity GuideSpanish.pdf

 

 

March 2015

Welcome to spring in Wisconsin! What a gift of warm weather we were given earlier this month...and now more snow! It's what keeps life interesting! 

We've had a busy few weeks and there’s so much more to come before June. The music program on Friday the 20th was another outstanding show! Our Happy Days at Park continue to add up. What a nice look back on our last 50 years. Here’s to 50 more outstanding years ahead.

Speaking of 50 years, we are celebrating our 50th birthday at Park. Be sure to plan on attending our birthday celebration on May 21st. We’ll have an Open House from 3:00pm – 5:00pm and then we’ll all gather on the west playground (weather permitting) for a short presentation, cake and lemonade. We are all looking forward to celebrating together with all of you.

Mr. Peanuts is also celebrating 50 years at Park! Yes, you read that right. He farmed the land on which our school was built, and he was hired as Park’s first custodian. He’s still going strong after all this time. We’re all so fortunate to have him here. If you haven’t picked up your tickets for the concert that he’s sponsoring at the PAC on April 11, there’s still time. Visit brownpapertickets.com. In the search bar type in Maggie Mae Performs …and the rest will pop up. All proceeds from this concert will go to the MCPASD Education Foundation. Peanuts said to me, “when people reach this milestone, they often ask ‘what do I get?’, I don’t want anything, I want to give back!” This is why we’re all so lucky to have him at Park. He's always giving back! Hope to see many of you there!

We are also looking forward to our first April Fools Fun Run/Walk on April 11. The run/walk is starting and ending here at Park. All proceeds of the race will go to support our par course. You can sign up online at the Park and Rec Department – check under special events!  

What’s a par course you ask? Well, it’s not golf, and it’s not an obstacle course. It IS an exercise course that the whole family can use. Along the tree line of our property and within the existing playground structures, we’ll be adding signs and pieces of equipment to support certain types of exercises. At one piece you’ll work your arm muscles – the sign will tell you what to do. Then you’ll run to the next sign and work another muscle group. We’re excited to create more opportunities for fitness that students can take advantage of during the school day, and that the community can use in the evenings and on the weekends. Our Green Ribbon Award really nudged us to take this next step and here we are. There are plenty of ways to support this course and this Fun Run/Walk is one way. Come join us for a morning of exercise and some fun afterwards! Together, we’ll make this course a reality!

After spring break we only have a few short months left to the 14-15 school year. There is much to be done between now and then! Thank you for your continued support at home. We know that only through partnerships with parents will students be successful. We’re focused on that each and every day!

I hope you all have some time to enjoy your families over our spring break. You’ve got awesome kids! We’re so thankful that you share them with us every day!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

November 2014 

Greetings on this snowy day in November. 

It's hard to believe that we're almost done with our first trimester of the 14-15 school year. We've done so much learning in these first few months. I'm looking forward to more of the same in the months to come.

I want to thank you for attending conferences this month with your child's teacher/s. We are so fortunate to have such involved families as evident by the numerous volunteers that our in our building on a daily basis and by the 98% attendance rate at conferences. We truly are a team and focusing on your child's achievement, both academically and socially, together will ensure success. I appreciate each and every one of our families for letting us partner with you!

Just a reminder for you that our first bell rings at 7:40am and all students should be in their seats ready to learn at 7:45am. We had a significant number of tardy appearances during this first trimester and we're just beginning to see those numbers improve, so we thank you for that as being at school all day is so very important to student success.

Finally, the snow has arrived and so has the need for boots, snow pants, hats, mittens, scarves, and a nice warm jacket. Please ensure your child has all of these items each day. We do go outside for recess multiple times daily and having appropriate gear makes that time safe and fun for your child. Be sure to label, label, and label everything!! We have 305 children at Park, and once in a while things get mixed up. Of course, if you need assistance in obtaining any of these items, please let me know. I am more than happy to help out.

Here's wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

September 2014

WELCOME to the 2014-2015 school year!

We are all so excited to start another year of learning with your child. We hope you had a summer of relaxation, reading, and a lot of family time. 

We are looking forward to connecting with you and your child this year. The home-school connection is essential for student success and we are focused on helping all students succeed.

These first few days and sometimes weeks can be exhausting for little ones. We ask them to work hard all day long so they will need time to adjust to their new schedule! A snack, some play time, dinner, reading and a solid bed-time routine will be important as we're all getting settled into what's sure to be a great school year.

Thank you for sharing your child with us. We love what we do each day and are all looking forward to what we will accomplish together this year. 

If you have any questions throughout the school year, I urge you to contact your child's teacher first. Communication is key!

Here's looking ahead to a wonderful 14-15 school year!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

Remember our BE expectations:

Be Respectful

Be Responsible

Be Safe 

Be a Learner

April 2,2014 

Spring is coming!! Spring is coming!! After a long cold winter, I think we're finally able to say that spring is right around the corner. And for that, we are all very thankful. 

Breakfast at Park officially began on March 31. We've had about 20 students eating each morning. I'm glad to see we're getting these students off to a great start. Mrs. Haack is our new breakfast server and has been busy each morning preparing for students. Once they arrive, she is serving and learning names quickly! I'd call these first few days a success! Remember, breakfast is available to anyone on any day. I encourage you to give it a try.

Next week Mrs. Hutchison is presenting student work in our annual art fair and the PTO is bringing us another book fair. Great books, great prices, and you're supporting classrooms and students with every purchase. Come and enjoy your child's art work and stock up on books for the summer!! We'll see you any time from 3-7pm on Wednesday April 9. 

You may have seen that we've been nominated as a Green Ribbon School. This is quite an honor as only 4 other schools in the entire State of Wisconsin were nominated and sent to the federal level. We'll know if we've earned this top honor on Earth Day - April 22. We'll certainly keep you posted! Even without this honor, we will continue to be green and healthy at Park!

Speaking of being healthy, Park is planning to put in a par course for student, staff, and community use. We are in the planning stages right now, so keep your eyes and ears open for more information. I'm excited to support students and families in making healthy physical choices.

As the days get longer, the sun actually begins to warm our skin, and we're spending more time outside, please remember that it is spring in Wisconsin. The weather can turn on a dime. This means dressing for cold weather and warm weather, dry weather and rainy weather all in the same day. Layers are good! Extra socks in the backpacks...also good. Thanks for helping your child be prepared for this unpredictable weather.

Enjoy the sun when it appears...it will be here for good before we know it. 

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

December 9, 2013

Winter has definitely arrived! I hope this note finds you warm and enjoying this beautiful Wisconsin snowfall. This is a good time to remind you that students will be outside each day it is above zero degrees, so hats, mittens, scarves, snow pants, boots, and a warm coat are a must each and every day!! Even if we don't go outside, if your child rides the bus, warm clothes are also important. Thanks for your help with this. Please know we do have 'extras' on hand just in case. We need to ensure everyone is outside in appropriate winter gear. And, as always, be sure to check out our Lost and Found periodically. It gets pretty full!! Lots of lost mittens, hats, and boots are housed there. Have your child stop by, or please feel free to visit when you are at school.

On December 5, we had a PBIS assembly that focused on healthy and positive choices on the playground and in the cafeteria. We reviewed the expectations in both environments, talked about all the positive behavior we've been seeing, and offered a behavior challenge to all students in both areas.

The Playground challenge for K-2 students is to keep hands and feet to self during recess, and the Playground challenge for 3-5 students is to be a respectful and good friend during recess. I think we're up for the challenge!!

The Lunch Room challenge for all students is to have a voice level similar to that during the Harvest Luncheon, we've got some new visuals for students to help remind them of their voice volume. We also challenged all students to keep the lunch room floor clean!! So far so good. 

During our assembly, we also welcomed visitor Katie Hensel from Tri4Schools to Park. She presented Park School with a check for over $700!! This is money from those students who participated in any of the Tri4Schools fun runs, mud runs, and triathlons this past summer. THANK YOU for your continued focus on your child's health. Everyone wins with Tri4Schools. Your children get to make healthy choices and have a ton of fun in the process and Park receives money to purchase more items for students to use during physical education classes! We can't thank you enough!

In addition to our Positive Behavior Referrals that we announce on Fridays, we also recognized two students from each classroom that are continuously honoring the Park Pride Expectations. These classroom role models were chosen by all the adults at Park School. We will honor students at the end of each trimester this year. We're impressed with the positive behavior being shown each and every day at Park! Keep up the great work everyone:)

As we draw closer to the holidays, it is my wish that each and every one of you are able to take some time to enjoy family and friends during this season. It's a magical time that can sometimes get crazy with all of our commitments! Be sure to make some time to just be together with loved ones, slow down, enjoy the snow, drink some hot chocolate, bask in the warmth of the fireplace, play a board game and remember that before we know it, it'll all be over...time goes by so fast. Enjoy all the little moments together!

Happy Holidays and here's to a productive and prosperous 2014!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

October 25, 2013

Happy Fall Everyone!

It's had to believe that we are two months into the 13-14 school year. There has been a lot of learning going on each day at Park. Not only are we learning new concepts in reading, writing, and math, we are learning how to get a long with each other and make appropriate choices in the classroom and on the playground. Overall, it's been a positive two months!

I have had the pleasure of handing out over 300 positive behavior referrals since the beginning of the school year. Teachers are watching for positive behavior and making a point to send in a positive referral. I'm thrilled to hand out bracelets and PAWS each Friday to those students so deserving of this recognition. If your child receives a PAW, he/she will also bring a copy of the referral home for you to see. Check it out and read all about the positive behavior your child is displaying at school!! 

Be sure to remind your child to wear his/her PAW bracelet to school each Friday so we can remind ourselves of the positive choices we need to make every day, and add more PAWS should a referral be made during that week. Thanks for your support of our Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports at home.

Next week we begin WKCE testing for students in grades 3,4, and 5. You should have already received a note about this in your child's backpack. We are urging parents to ensure a good nights sleep for your child(ren) as well as a balanced breakfast each morning of testing. We need each student to be at his/her best each day, which includes the testing season. Again, thank you for sending your child(ren) to school ready to learn (and ready to show us what they know) each day.

Since we are required by the state to test all students, if your child is absent, we must make up the test. Because of this, we thank you in advance for scheduling appointments around our testing schedule. 

Only with continued partnerships between school and home will we continue to ensure your child's success!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, cares, or concerns please know my door is always open. 

Enjoy our fall weather!!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

September 7, 2013

Dear Families,

We had a great start to the 2013-2014 school year! Thank you to everyone for attending our Back to School event in August. This evening helped start our year on a positive note and helped our first week back to school run smoothly.

Our first few days were full of reconnecting with friends, learning about our new teachers, welcoming new staff and students to Park, and reviewing our BE expectations (BE Respectful, BE responsible, BE safe, so we can BE a learner)  in all six of our environments, (bus, classroom, hallway, playground, lunch room and bathroom).

On Friday, grades 1-5 spent about an hour outside learning about the BE expectations on the playground. Students will be earning PAWS for their classroom when they are following the expectations. 30 PAWS = a classroom celebration of their choosing. We had many different types of celebrations last year and we're looking forward to acknowledging more positive behavior this year.

Students will also be earning PAW charms to add to their new fantastic bracelet each time they receive a positive referral from a teacher. Bracelets will be given out with the first positive referral and first PAW charm. I have the honor of distributing these incentives to students. I can't wait to pass out the first few PAWS & bracelets next week. Parents will be notified when students receive a positive referral...it's truly something to celebrate! Be sure to ask your child about our new incentives for their "PAWSITIVE" behavior :)

We are all so glad to have your children back in school and ready to learn. I encourage you to communicate often with your child's teacher this year as we know that the home-school connection is so very important to your child's success.

Please also know that my door is always open. Don't hesitate to stop in, give me a call, or send me an email. I'm happy to hear from you and get to know each of you a bit better.

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

July 16, 2013

Dear Park Families, 

I hope this note finds you in full swing of summer!! The weather has cooperated for some outside fun and gathering of friends and family. Please take time to enjoy your time together. As a mother of a High School Senior and a College Sophomore, I know how quickly the time goes!

There are some changes at Park this coming school year and I wanted to give you all a heads up about two of them:

1 - All elementary schools in the MCPASD will be utilizing a 6-day cycle for classes instead of the traditional Monday - Friday schedule.

There were a number of reasons to move to this schedule, the biggest of which is that students never miss a day of instruction. With our breaks often occuring on a Thursday or Friday, many students were missing important instruction in our encore classes (music, art, phy ed, technology). If we miss a Day 4 due to a scheduled break (or a snow day), when we return to school, it is Day 4. We believe this will provide equitable instruction for all.

2 - We will be welcoming students and families back to school at our Back To School Night which will take place on Tuesday August 27. There are two evening 'shifts' to which families will be assigned. Please make every effort to attend during your assigned time so we have enough room for everyone! Thanks!

Please note that our Back to School Night is in lieu of our Orientation Day on the first day of school. 

We'll see you at Information Day on August 13th!

More information to come on all of this. Watch your mail and email.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I'll be back in the office on a regular basis after August 5th!

Enjoy your summer:)

Mrs. Schommer

 

 

April 25, 2013

Dear Park Families, It is MAP test taking season once again! MAP is administered three times a year; once in the fall, once in the winter, and once in the spring. This formative assessment helps teachers, students, and families to better meet student needs. We're able to see trends, strengths, and challenges in learning through the results. Your child's best work is important!! Please connect with your child's teacher to know exactly when your child will participate in the MAP testing this spring. Thank you for your involvement...it makes a difference!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

March 22, 2013

Hello Park Families,

Spring has finally arrived in Wisconsin (although you wouldn't know it by looking outside). We definitely know it by the excitement at school for spring break! I've heard of many pending vacation plans and of time with family and friends. I wish you all a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable break. When kids come back to Park on Monday April 1, we only have 10 weeks left in the school year. That time will go fast and we have lots of learning left to do together. We want everyone back ready to learn.

When students come back after spring break we'll also have another change. Our school day is being extended by 4 minutes to make up for our snow days and delays throughout the winter. School will officially end at 2:58 (instead of 2:54). Please note this time change when picking up your child from school and when you're waiting for the bus...it will be a bit later than usual. We'll follow that schedule until the end of this school year. Thanks for your cooperation with this necessary change.

There has also been a lot of talk about our school day next year. The official word is that we will start our day at 8:15 and run through 2:59. This is an additional 10 minutes from our current day. We have one of the shortest school days in Dane County and want to remedy that.

Think about this: 10 minutes/day = 50 minutes/week = 200 minutes/month = 1,800 minutes/year. 1800 minutes= 30 hours. The time adds up quickly and we will use it in the best way possible:)

If you have any questions, my door is always open!

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer

 

Welcome to Park Elementary!

We are so excited to roll out our new web site. We're hopeful that you find it easy to navigate and you're able to find the information you need. If you have any questions or comments about our new site, we'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for being a part of our Park family. We value the relationships we make with students and families because we know how important those partnerships are in maintaining a high level of success for your children. I encourage you to remain engaged in all aspects of your child's learning. Please stay in contact with your child's teacher as you are partners in education and please keep reading with your child every night! (That's the best part of the day isn't it?)

I'll be updating this page periodically throughout the year. Please check back to see what's new at Park.

Warmly,

Mrs. Schommer