Dear Parents and Families,
Welcome to the new school year at Braddock Drive and Gifted Magnet! My name is Rabell Afridi and I am your child’s fourth grade magnet teacher. I am looking forward to getting to know you and collaborating to assist in the cognitive and social development of your child. Together, we are the biggest advocates for your child and I know that as long as we can work together, your child will be successful. It is my goal to facilitate the growth of your child to become an active agent in transforming our world. Please read this letter carefully, as it contains important information about your child’s classroom and program.
Learning, first and foremost, begins at home. Parents are their kids’ first as well as lifelong teachers. This is why it’s pertinent that you as parents, guardians, grandparents, etc. contribute to your child’s intellectual advancement. Furthermore, because you know your child better than anyone, communication between us is essential. Just as significant is both talking and listening to your child.
I highly encourage you to have conversations with your children about both their social and academic experiences at school as well as about the knowledge they have gained. The more you talk with your children, the more you will understand how they are benefitting from school as well as how they can be further supported.
When they come home to you after their school day, ask them questions like, “What did you do at school today?” “What are a couple of things you learned?” “What was the most exciting part of your day?” “What was the most challenging part?” Try to always follow up with “Why?” and “How?” so they can expand on their experiences.
As they read, ask them to tell you about the story. “What is your story about?” “What is the main character like?” “What is the problem in the story?” “How is it solved?” “What lesson did you learn from this story?”
By engaging with your child about school, it will help assist in their oral language development as well as in retaining the information they gain at school. Encourage them to keep a journal to write down their thoughts throughout the day or even just questions they have. Ask your child to explain their homework to you and/or concepts they learned, read with them and to them. Try to ask them as many questions as much as possible!
I will be sending you a schedule to set up beginning of the year conferences as your children start this new academic journey. This will be an opportunity for me to learn more about your families, home routines, and your children more personally. These conferences will take place in the first three to four weeks of school as we adapt this new year.
I will also send newsletters about any events that will be occurring in our classroom to communicate with you about any special projects or activities in our environment.
Parent/Family of the Month
Throughout the month, I will pick a student and their family to highlight to share a piece of their home and/or culture with our classroom community.
*Modified on Minimum Day Tuesdays (P.E. directly after lunch and then clean-up for the day)
8:06-8:20 Arrival/ Breakfast/Health
8:20-8:35 Community Circle/ Morning Meeting/Second Step
8:35-8:50 Shared reading
10:10-10:55 Writing Workshop
10:55-11:10 Word Study
11:10-11:40 Interactive Read Aloud
12:20-1:20 Reader’s Workshop
1:20-1:40 Physical Education
1:40-2:10 Investigation Science/Social Studies/ Art/Friday Fun
Children should bring a backpack to school to carry their folders, materials, books, etc. If you can, please ensure that your child has pencils to bring to school as well. We will have an electronic sharpener and monitor who will sharpen the pencils every morning.
I will contact your shortly about both intake conferences and parent conferences. These conferences will be an opportunity for me to get to know both you and your child as well as update you on their progress.
Every minute of every school day counts! All students are expected at school regularly, unless they have a reasonable/valid excuse (please see read school policy regarding this). If a student is absent, his/her work will be collected in a folder and placed on his/her desk. Upon return, the student can collect the work from the folder and has a day (per absent day) to make up the work. The student is responsible for finding out about assignments missed. Please be sure your child is on time to school every day. Tardy students miss out on important instruction and disrupt learning for others.
I encourage you to work closely with your child on homework because it’s most beneficial when they receive immediate feedback/support. The red folder you located this letter in serves as your child’s home and school communication folder AND homework folder. Your child will be expected to write down homework daily on a “Homework Sheet” form. Please use this as a way for you to be aware of all homework assignments. I kindly request that parents initial the homework record daily and sign at the end of the week. Students are expected to return the record every Monday. I assign homework that is relevant to the academic program and is, I believe, a reasonable amount for your child to have. Usually, we spend time in class going over the previous night’s homework the day it is due. As a general rule, I do not assign homework on Fridays. However, homework may be assigned on Fridays when, for example, students are working on a project or report. Class work that is not completed during the time frame given during the school day, becomes homework and is due at the beginning of the following school day. Homework must be turned in to the designated area in the classroom within the first 5 minutes of entering the room for it to be considered on time. Homework that is presented/turned in after the first 5 minutes of entering the room, will be regarded as late. Students will not receive credit for homework turned in late (unless due to an excused absence/tardy). Students that have a reasonable excuse (such as illness or a doctor’s appointment) and provide verification of such can turn in work up to one day per absence and receive full homework credit. If a student turns in an assignment on time, but it is not completed as expected, they may receive partial credit, depending on the circumstances.
I encourage and expect students to be respectful of themselves as well as others. I foster a values-based classroom environment that recognizes and rewards the community of learners for making positive choices. Students understand and describe the meanings of our classroom values in their own language and are expected to uphold and demonstrate these values throughout the entire school year. When problems or ‘issues’ arise, I encourage students to apply conflict resolution skills (guidance/training provided). If need be, I hold conferences with students involved, in addition to having students reflect on incidences in written form. Behavior is generally maintained as an entire community; however, each student will have their individual behavior information on their “Class Dojo” profile which parents can keep track of. There are certainly consequences for inappropriate behavior. Possible consequences are discussed at the beginning of the year with students so that they are aware shall something occur in the future. The school has a very specific behavior plan that is implemented in addition to mine. You can find out more about this by reading the other enclosed school-wide information.
Birthday Celebration Policy
Birthdays are special events for many individuals and although I do recognize students’ birthdays in the classroom, I do so in a modest manner, to maintain the academic flow of the day. Generally, the class will sing “Happy Birthday” to a student on their birthday and I will recognize the student with a small token of my appreciation (changes from year to year). If you would like to honor your child’s birthday in the classroom, the donation of a book dedicated to them for our classroom library is greatly appreciated. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding.
Food Prepared Off School Grounds
Because the District cannot oversee preparation methods used elsewhere, food prepared in private homes and brought to school grounds for distribution at special events is restricted in accordance with Board Rule 2320 which stares, “Food prepared outside of school premises shall not be served on school premises.” Essentially, all food that is brought to school that is intended for student consumption, must be store/restaurant bought.
If you have an emergency, please call Braddock Drive Gifted Magent at (310) 391-6707. You can contact me at email@example.com.
I know this year is going to be fantastic and I am so excited to meet all my new wonderful students. I look forward to working with you, parents so we can have a successful year helping our children grow!