Katie Feldman, Bugbee Curriculum Specialist
(860) 929-5500 x5502
Please click on the bars below for curriculum updates throughout the year.
Curriculum Update: Social Studies
In February 2015 the Connecticut State Board of Education passed the Connecticut Social Studies Framework. The new framework encourages instruction in four disciplines: Civics, Economics, Geography and History. In West Hartford Public Schools, the new Social Studies curriculum will be implemented over the course of the next three years.
This year, we begin with implementation of two of the four disciplines: Civics and Geography. These two disciplines help to build the foundational skills that students need to be successful social scientists. Civics is rooted in fostering social and emotional development and the ability to interact with one another in the classroom. In Kindergarten through 3rd grade our students will be focusing on knowing yourself, recognizing how your behavior impacts others, understanding and following rules, and developing healthy relationships. In 4th and 5th grade, our students will focus on Citizenship and Civic Virtue, Local and State Government and Federal Government.
Students in all grade levels will be engaged in the study of Geography. In Geography students will learn to visualize where objects, places, cities and countries are in relation to one another. They will also learn to read and build maps.
Standardized Testing: Score Reports
Yearly, Connecticut students in grades 3, 4 and 5 take part in the Connecticut state testing program. Last year, Bugbee students took the Smarter Balanced assessments for Literacy and Mathematics as well as the Connecticut Mastery Test for Science (Grade 5 only). As a school, we are very proud of the excellent academic achievement of our students as we remain a School of Distinction in the State.
SBAC score reports, for the 2015-2016 school year, were mailed home last week. The SBAC report provides information regarding a child’s overall performance as well as specific information detailing literacy and mathematics performance standards. The overall performance for ELA and Mathematics are reported by a scale score ranging from 1 - 4. Performance levels (above standard, at or near standard, below standard) are given for specific areas of knowledge and skill. In ELA these areas include Reading, Listening and Writing and Research/Inquiry. In Mathematics, these areas include Concepts and Procedures, Problem Solving and Modeling & Data Analysis and Communicating Reasoning. If you have any questions interpreting the score report for your child, please feel free to contact your child’s classroom teacher or myself.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent teacher conferences occur twice a year (November and March). This fall, conferences will take place during the week of November 14th. Conference conversations are an important aspect of home-school communication and are essential in understanding the needs and progress of each child. At parent-teacher conferences, you can expect your child’s classroom teacher to share their report card as well as work samples from reading, writing and mathematics. We encourage your participation in your child’s conference. No one knows your child the way that you do, and your insights into your child’s personality and work habits are necessary to assist teachers in helping students learn. If you haven’t yet scheduled your child’s parent-teacher conference, please contact your child’s classroom teacher. We look forward to seeing you during conference week. Our conference week schedule is included below.
Conference Week Schedule
Monday, November 14th- 3:20 Dismissal
Tuesday, November 15th- 1:30 Dismissal
Wednesday, November 16th- 2:00 Dismissal
Thursday, November 17th- 1:30 Dismissal
Friday, November 18th- 1:30 Dismissal
Report cards, completed three times a year (November, March and June), provide scores of M (mastery), P (progressing) and L (limited) progress in all academic areas. In each grade level our students are working toward the goal of end-of-the year mastery of academic standards. In addition, a student’s personal and social development, as well as their work habits, will be reported on through a numerical scale of 1 (excels), 2 (satisfactory), 3 (needs improvement).
New this year, report cards will also include information from World Language (Grades 3, 4, and 5), Physical Education, Art and Vocal Music. Separate report cards for ESOL, Instrumental Music and Quest/Math Quest will be available for students involved in those classes.
Bugbee teachers and staff value the on-going partnership between home and school. We know that this relationship supports the successful development of each child.
Thank you for your active participation in Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Katie Feldman, Bugbee Curriculum Specialist
As the calendar changed from November to December last week excitement filled the hallways! Students remarked about how early it was getting dark, the chill in the air (despite our above average temperatures!), and the delight that comes from the anticipation of the winter holidays.
It is no doubt that December is a month of special occasions. At Bugbee, we’ve practiced giving this season by participating in the Fill a Tent food drive, the Toy Drive for Children’s Hospital, and our current Wish Upon A Star initiative for families in our community. We are proud that our kids recognize the month of December as a time to give to others.
We are also looking forward to many school wide celebrations this month! Our young musicians will delight us at the Winter Concert this evening. We look towards a favorite Bugbee tradition, held later this month, Cozy Slipper Day! As always, we will join together to celebrate our Bugbee Champions at our Monthly Buzz Assembly in late in December. The wonders of the winter season are all around us.
One of the beauties of West Hartford is the many different holidays that our families celebrate. In accordance with the West Hartford Board of Education guidelines, our curriculum includes the religious holidays of the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish religions. These lessons are designed to provide brief exposure as students develop an “understanding, appreciation and respect for religious diversity.” The list below details the holidays that are recognized at each grade level during the course of the year.
Kindergarten- Christmas, Epiphany, Hanukkah
Grade 1- Passover and Easter
Grade 2- Birth of Buddha (Vesak) and Obon
Grade 3- Diwali/Divali an Dusserah/Durga Puja
Grade 4- Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur
Grade 5- Ramadan, Id Al-Fitr, and Id Al-Adha
As your family enjoys your own traditions and celebrations this winter season, please let us know if there is any way that we can support you or your child at school.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Despite the unpredictable, dreary weather outside, the halls at Bugbee are filled warmth, love and celebrations of learning. With the 100th day of school this week, it is hard to believe that we are more than halfway through the 2016-2017 school year. Although the weather forecast shows that we haven’t seen the end of winter yet, February brings the promise of springtime and the reminder that our yearly state assessments are approaching.
Assessments provide important information about our students, our school and our district. At Bugbee, we are very proud of our students and their progress, not only reported through formal assessments, but the progress that we see, hear, and experience in our classrooms and hallways on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, yearly assessments do provide important information and accountability for the learning that takes place in our school.
Math Quest Screening: At Bugbee, the Math Quest Screening will take place on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. A handful of our 3rd and 4th grade students will participate in this screening. More information is available through the Quest department or from your child’s classroom teacher. An informational evening on Math Quest will be held at Duffy Elementary School on February 16, 2017 at 6:30 P.M. All are welcome to attend.
Grade 6 Math Placement Screening: Grade 5 students will participate in a math placement screening which will be administered on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The factors considered for math placement in middle school include the following: student performance on the placement screening, current progress in Grade 5 mathematics, motivation, and use of higher order thinking skills. Families will be notified by letter during the first week of June regarding placement recommendations for 6th grade mathematics. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions regarding the upcoming math placement screening.
Science CMT: The Science CMT (Connecticut Mastery Test) will be given to all 5th graders in Connecticut. West Hartford 5th graders will take this assessment on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The assessment is given on the computer, takes approximately one hour, and is a culmination of science concepts covered in elementary school. Score reports will be sent to each family in September 2017.
SBAC: Smarter Balanced Assessments will be given to all students in Grades 3, 4 and 5. Our testing window extends through April and into the beginning of May. A specific schedule for each grade level will be available in early March. As part of SBAC, each student will take a total of three subtests. The first is in the area of English Language Arts. The second two are in the area of Mathematics. Each session will be administered on-line, using devices our students are very familiar with (Laptops / Chromebooks). Students will be provided with headphones as well as an external mouse (if desired). Testing, on any given day, will take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. In creating our assessment calendar, we have worked around special classes (Art, PE, Library, Music, Spanish) as to provide as little disruption to our building as possible. Testing sessions are scheduled in the morning, with afternoons reserved for make-ups.
We are confident that our Bugbee students will be well prepared for the assessments at their grade level. When you visit our classrooms during the months of February and March, you will not see students visibly prepping for these tests. Instead, you will notice that our students are engaged in authentic reading, writing and math tasks that meet the standards of the West Hartford Curriculum and the Common Core State Standards. We know that this active learning and engagement is the best preparation our students can receive and has been in place (and will continue) all year.
If you have any questions or concerns with our assessments, please feel free to contact me at anytime via email (Katie_Feldman@whps.org) or by calling the Bugbee Main Office at 860-929-5500.