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Friday, August 18, 2017


We had our first visit to the school library today. Our regular library time will be on Fridays at 2:30  pm. Please help your child remember to bring their books back to school by Friday mornings so that they can check out new books. We love visiting Ms. Martha and the library!

Arts and PE
We will have PE next week.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


One of the things that will help your child most at school is a growing sense of independence. Being able to do things on their own gives children confidence to try other new things and to take risks. This is a good thing in many areas. If a child will take a risk, they will be more willing to try to figure out an unknown word or to try solve a more complicated math problem. They become what we call self-extenders which means that they begin to learn on their own and this makes them feel great. You can help your child with this by asking them to do things that they are capable of doing on their own. I know that it can take way more time and patience on your part (believe me, I know) but it really does pay off in the long run.  So ask your child to do those little things that they are capable of doing on their own.

Some suggestions might be:
learn to write their last name
learn their address
learn a parent's phone number
tie their own shoes
zip their coat
turn their coat right-side out
put on their own band-aids
make their own sandwich or bowl of cereal

These little things will help them become more independent and feel more confident and this will carry over to their academic growth as well.

Random Photos from Our Week

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Beat

Our all school meetings are called, The Beat. Ambassadors are chosen from various crews and grade levels to set up and run each meeting. When we meet we sit in a semi-circle next to an elevated  stage in the gym. Today was the first Beat of the year. Members of our crew will be chosen to lead The Beat as we progress through the year. Today a group of teachers led The Beat to model for the students. As always, you are invited to attend any meeting. The Beat happens every other Wednesday at around 9:15 am. The next Beat will be on August 30th.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Information, Please

There are now many great places to find the information that you might need about the happenings at our school. All of these sites are linked on the sidebar of our crew blog so that you can find them easily.

Our Crew Blog


Our Crew blog is where you will find daily posts about what is happening in our classroom. This blog has tabs across the top that have more information about various topics from Adventure Ed to Resources for Students to Parent Resources and more. On the sidebar there is a search box so you can simply search for what you are looking for, too.

Also on the sidebar, you will find links to other important blogs, an archive of previous posts, a cluster map that shows where our blog's visitors are from, and a list of labels. Labels are another quick way to find what you are looking for because this is a alphabetical list of topics that are on our blog. Be sure that you have subscribed to this blog by email or RSS feed so you will always have the most up-to-date information. (Information about subscribing is on the Information page of the crew blog.)

Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School Website

The Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School website is where you will find information about our school and school-wide events. You can find information about our philosophy under the About Us tab. You can find information about each crew under the Parent Central tab. Calendar information is under the Calendar tab. Please take some time to browse this site. It is beautiful and well-organized.

Our Seesaw Blogs Page

 Our Seesaw Blogs page is where you will find individual student blogs written by the students in our crew. The most recent posts will be in the middle of the page and along the sidebar are student names so you can easily find your child's individual blog. Posts will be coming soon - we are still waiting to use our ipads.

The Douglas County School District Website is where you will find district related information. You will find things like school closure information, curriculum and standards and much more. You can find information alphabetically by clicking on the letters below the photos on the main page.

Ponderings of a Principal

Ponderings of a Principal is Ms. Deborah's blog about our school and its philosophy. You can find links to crew blogs on the sidebar of this blog and you can also follow it by email.

Renaissance Art

At the Renaissance Art blog written by Ms. Pam, you can learn all about her philosophy of teaching Art along with updates about what each crew is learning. An added bonus is that this blog is filled with beautiful photographs of Art and life.

  Renaissance News Archives


Also on the sidebar of our crew blog, you will find a link to the archives of the Renaissance News that are created by the front office staff. These newsletter will have details about all of the latest happenings and events at Renaissance.

Other helpful links:
Crew Photo Album - Visit this album to download photos the Wendy and I have taken of the crew. You will get a better quality photo from the album than from trying to download from the crew blog. The link to this album is also on the side of our crew blog.

Ms. Jill's Crew on Twitter

Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School  on Twitter
Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School on Facebook
Renaissance Student Activities

 Information is all around, you just need to find the sources that work best for you.

Hopefully all of these sites and blogs will help you stay well-informed about our classroom, school and district. Remember, most of them are linked on the sidebar of our crew blog so you can always find them easily.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Every Monday, we have a drum circle to help us make the transition from the weekend back into the school environment. Drumming gives us a chance to lead, to follow, to build community and to make music. It takes a lot of concentration to keep the beat. Today we just drummed on the carpet for our first drum circle of the year. It went very well. If your child is new to Renaissance, he or she will be making their own drum in the upcoming weeks. At some point you will get a letter from Ms. Pam with more information about this. In the meantime, we will borrow drums and other instruments from around the school for the students who don't have drums yet.

Important Dates
8/16 The Beat 9:15 am
8/29 - 8/30 Fall Voyage for First Grade
8/31 Day of Rest for First Grade
9/4 No School - Labor Day
10/2 - 10/13 Fall Break
10/16 No School - Teacher Work Day
10/18 Crew Photos and Re-Take Photos
11/6 Vision and Hearing Screening
11/7 No School - Professional Development for Teachers
11/22 - 11/24 Thanksgiving Break

Friday, August 11, 2017

Guidelines for Behavior

Our school only has 3 guidelines for behavior that cover most any situation. They are:

  • You may do anything that does not create a problem for you or anyone else in the world.
  • If you find yourself with a problem, you may solve it by any means that does not cause a problem for anyone else in the world.
  • You may do anything that does not jeopardize the safety or learning of yourself or others. Unkind words and actions will not be tolerated.

We discussed these as a crew and then signed our names to show that we all agreed to live by these guidelines. (You will notice that we shortened the written guideline for first grade but we did discuss all three guidelines.)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Photos from Day 2

Today's post is just lots of random photos of our day. These first few days are so busy that I haven't had time to write a regular blog post - that will come next week. In the meantime, enjoy the photos below - lots of happy children today.