Winooski School District

Cloudy, and 36 °F | Tomorrow: White Day

Tomorrow: White Day

Principal Raabe

- 1/13/17

Friday, January 13, 2017

Dear Families,

It has been another busy week at JFK. We had a lot of classes fill their class HEART jars this week. These classes were able to have a class celebration and add to our school HEART monitor. The monitor is about 2/3rd’s full at this point, so another All School Celebration will be happening soon!

Vermont Reading Institute was here this week to work with our 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade teachers. Each grade level had a half day of planning time with one of our VRI consultants to work on their Literacy planning and instruction. Next week our Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd teachers will do the same.

This past Wednesday was our January Early Release. We had about 90 students sign up for an early release activity. Students played basketball, cooked with an expert from City Market, participated in a read-aloud, played strategy and team building games, or participated in yoga. To quote one student “It’s Awesooooome!”.

While the students were home or doing an activity at school Wednesday afternoon, our teachers were participating in professional development. As a school, we are doing ongoing professional development around teacher language. This week, we starting diving into the 5 tenant of teacher language:

  1. Be direct and genuine
  2. Convey faith in children’s abilities and intentions
  3. Focus on action
  4. Keep it brief
  5. Know when to be silent

The work around teacher language will continue this year, and into next year.

Monday, Winooski School District is closed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This day is a national holiday, and has developed as a day of service for people. Many people across the country take the day off as a chance to do a community service project. Go to https://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday for more information about how to get you and your family involved in this day of service.

Have a wonderful weekend. We will see you Tuesday, January 17th at 8am.

Sara Raabe

JFK Principal


- 1/6/17

Friday, January 6, 2017

Dear Families,

Welcome back! I hope that everyone enjoyed their vacation. The staff came back on Tuesday ready to go. The students came in a little tired but quickly got back into the routine of being in school. During Morning Meetings, many of our teachers took the opportunity to review expectations with students and get them oriented to being back in school. After that, everyone jumped back into academics!

This week, our 5th-grade students began their Starbase experience. “STARBASE Vermont has served students, teachers and schools since 1994. Our mission is to raise the interest and improve the knowledge and skills of youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We provide an exciting activity-based curriculum involving hands-on STEM, teambuilding, and healthy choices” (http://starbasevt.org/). It is an amazing experience that all of our 5th graders get to participate in.

As you know, this fall we implemented PBiS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). A part of our PBiS system is our HEARTs. Each school that implements PBiS is required to have a post-implementation assessment called a Set. JFK had our Set Assessment before vacation, and we have received our results.  Here are some of the key findings:

    • Final average score of 100% (expectations taught) / 93.8% (total score). You have exceeded the benchmark score of 80% / 80%.
    • The expectations are widely posted and the posters are very well-created.
    • All school staff knew all five behavioral expectations and 87% of your students knew all the behavioral expectations. All students had earned HEARTs and all teachers had given out HEARTs .
    • Your delineation of majors vs. minors was very clear and staff had an understanding of the steps to take before asking a student to go to the student support room (e.g. take a break space, buddy classroom).
    • The “extras” you are doing seem really great (i.e. the postcard home, staff recognition, tri-fold in all languages, weekly challenges, tip of the month).
    • I heard lots of teachers using the language of “expected behaviors” – pre-correcting, reminding, and recognizing students for the expected behavior. Common language is HUGE.

This is a fantastic post implementation assessment! Wonderful job JFK staff and students!

Have a wonderful weekend

Sara Raabe

JFK Principal


- 12/22/16

Thursday, December 22,  2016

Dear Families,

This week was a short week, but that did not stop our students and staff from learning all four days!

This morning was our All School Morning Meeting. Once a month, we get the entire school together in the cafeteria to do our morning meeting. This month’s morning meeting was run by the 5th grade team. We did the Pinky Greeting. The share was telling your partner what you are looking forward to in 2017. As an activity, we all did the Cha Cha Slide together. Ask your student(s) to show you how to do the dance!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of vacation. The school is closed for 11 days. Students return to school on Tuesday, January 3rd at 8am. During the vacation, take some time to read with your student(s), play boardgames or cardgames, and get them outside to play if it is warm enough! “Storytime with Elsie” is every Friday at 10:30am at the Winooski Memorial Library at the O’Brien Center. Meals are served Monday-Thursday 6-9pm at the Winooski Memorial Library at the O’Brien Center and are available to all children 18 or under.

The full Winooski Memorial Library calendar can be found here: https://winooskilibrary.wordpress.com/events-calendar/

Have a wonderful vacation, and a happy New Year. 2017 is going to be a great year at JFK Elementary!

Sara Raabe

JFK Principal


Friday, December 16,  2016

Dear Families,

Once again, the Winter Performance was amazing! The students did a great job singing the songs and fully participating. It was an incredibly cold night, which made leaving warm homes to come to school an extra challenge. Thank you for supporting your student(s) hard work and bringing them to participate.

A huge thank you to Hilary Rivers, JFK’s music teacher. Each year Hilary coordinates the whole school Winter Concert. She picks songs, choreographs them, works with classes to master the songs, puts together the rehearsals, and manages to get the details for the show all done. From the rehearsals to the staging to the final performance, she is a dedicated individual that helps our students to shine during this big event.

Also a huge thank you to the teachers and staff at JFK. Having students ready to perform takes a huge effort from all of the students and all of the adults. Our staff at JFK practice the songs with the students in classrooms, at recess, at lunch, walking down the halls – wherever they can! Everyone works together towards the common goal of an amazing concert by supporting each other and the students.

On Saturday, December 17th 9am until noon, the PTO is hosting a pancake breakfast and gift wrapping. It is $5 per person or $20 max per family for the breakfast. All the proceeds go to the WSD PTO, which helps to support all of our students.  This event will take place in the cafeteria here at the school.  

Please come and check the Lost and Found before December Vacation. All items not claimed by December 22nd will be donated.  There is a lost and found box in front of the Health Office.

The cold weather is here! It is very important that our students get time outside whenever possible. If the temperature is at or below ten degrees with the windchill, students will be inside at recess. Please check the weather each day and send your student dressed appropriately for the weather.

Have a great weekend.

Sara Raabe

JFK Principal


Friday, December 9,  2016

Dear Families,

This week was the national Hour of Code. Coding is similar to what used to be called programming. It is what makes it possible to create computer software, apps, websites, etc. All apps, websites, social media, internet browsers, etc are created with code. Exposing our students to coding, even if just for an hour, gives them the opportunity to learn about something that they use each and every day. While the concept of coding is complicated, the Hour of Code has made it super easy to implement in classrooms. The students were engaged and excited about learning how to code. Go to www.hourofcode.com to learn more about it. Your student(s) can show you what they learned, and maybe teach you something!

Wednesday, December 14th is an early release day. Our teachers will be working on Project Based Learning or Readers Workshop. Students are dismissed at 12:15. If your student(s) is signed up for an activity at 12:15, a confirmation letter will be sent home. If your student is not signed up for an activity, then they need to be picked up or walk home at 12:15pm.

Thursday, December 15th is the JFK winter performance. For our new families, this is an amazing night with a whole school performance, and well as individual grades. Students have been practicing hard for weeks to master all of the songs. Students need to be at school at 6pm, and the concert starts at 6:30pm.

On Saturday, December 17th 9am until noon, the PTO is hosting a pancake breakfast and gift wrapping. It is $5 per person or $20 max per family for the breakfast. All the proceeds go to the WSD PTO, which helps to support all of our students.  This event will take place in the cafeteria here at the school.  

Please come and check the Lost and Found before December Vacation. All items not claimed by December 22nd will be donated.  There is a lost and found box in front of the Health Office.

Have a great weekend.

Sara Raabe

JFK Principal