Dear Parents and Students,
It’s that time of year again. The lazy days of summer are winding down as the first day of school approaches fast. It’s a time of year filled with hope, excitement and perhaps a bit of anxiety. It doesn’t matter if you’re an incoming 3rd grade student or a seasoned teacher, the beginning of a school year is always special. This year will be particularly exceptional as the former Elwood Middle School transitions to Elwood Intermediate School housing grades 3-6.
As Elwood Intermediate starts its inaugural year, the staff is focused on ensuring every student has the opportunity for success through research-based best practices and a strong collaboration with parents. We are prepared to offer time and support as needed and ask for your support by sending your child to school every day, encouraging him/her to read at least 30 minutes every night, monitoring homework and asking your child to share what they learned each day.
Our EIS theme for this 2014-15 school year will be “Getting Better.” Five years ago, Elwood School Corporation underwent a reconfiguration moving the fourth and fifth grade into the Middle School. During those years the middle school has been faced with several difficult challenges. Test scores were below expectations, we were lagging behind in technology and the wide range of grade levels required staff and students to follow two completely separate schedules in the same building.
That’s the bad news. But, more importantly, here’s the primary message parents, teachers, students and the community as a whole needs to hear: we’re getting better. Our test scores have been steadily improving over the last three years including a double-digit improvement in ISTEP math scores in the previous school year. In addition, 5-Star Technology has been hired to assist in the process of distributing Apple iPads in the near future with plans to bring over 130 additional iPads for student use soon to follow. And finally, a new grade configuration will allow the new Elwood Intermediate School to transition to a single schedule for all staff and students.
As we move forward into the upcoming year, it’s important to realize that, while we’ve made great progress, there will undoubtedly be new challenges to overcome. The key is to ensure we’re taking two steps forward for every one step back so we continue making steady positive progress.
Elwood Community Middle School is destined for amazing things in 2014-15. Excellence is not the result of good intentions or a clever slogan. It comes from hard work, dedication and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to ensure the success of our students. The EIS staff has never been better positioned to do just that. It’s up to all of us to follow through on this potential.
We look forward to seeing you at our Back to School Open House, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.