Principal's Corner

Dear Forder Elementary Families,
 
I would like to welcome you and your family to the 2015-2016 school year. I would also like to take the opportunity to introduce several new staff members to Forder Elementary. I would like to welcome Ms. Megan Russell as our new school nurse. She comes to us with great experience and I know she will be a true asset to our students and school.  I would also like to welcome Ms. Kristian Sedlak as a Speech/Language Pathologist to Forder Elementary along with Mr. Anthony Reidler and Ms. Ashley Siegel as new teaching assistants in our Special School District resource room. We wish all them the very best during their first year at Forder.  
I would also like to wish Ms. Kristin Cooke the best as she moves from 2nd grade to 3rd grade. She shared that she will miss working directly with her 2nd grade team, but is looking forward to collaborating with Mrs. Krebs and Mrs. Billmeyer in 3rd grade.  
 
Classroom Placement
I know it is exciting for a child and their family to know their classroom teacher for the upcoming year. In the past, we have always sent home classroom placement letters on the last day of school. Due to budget cuts and its impact on staffing, classroom placement had to be postponed.
Classroom placements are completed and the letters are being mailed today. You should receive them in time for the weekend.  
School Vision and Mission
The Forder staff is committed to providing the best learning opportunities and experiences for our students to ensure their academic and social growth. Our focus will be student achievement and our commitment to this process can be found in our vision statement presented below.
Forder will:
  • Utilize data in collaborative teams to differentiate instruction for our diverse learners.
  • Support students through school wide behavior systems.
  • Cultivate partnerships with our community to maximize student success.
  • Maintain high expectations that the actions of our students, families, and staff reflect the Forder 5.
Our vision statement aligns to the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) trainings that have been the staff’s focus the past two years. As we continue to hone and reflect upon our teaching and its impact on student learning, there are four questions that always frame our conversations.
 
1.)           What do we expect our students to learn?
2.)           How will we know when they have learned the material?
3.)           How will we respond when they don’t learn?
4.)           How will we respond when they already know the material?
 
 
Forder PTO
I am inviting all of our families to take an active role in your children’s school and success this school year. I believe that a child’s success begins with a strong partnership between the Forder staff and our students’ families. A successful partnership will help nurture and guide the children to develop a true love of learning. A great way to become more involved at Forder is to join Forder’s Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO). The PTO works tirelessly to provide educational support for the Forder teaching staff by purchasing educational tools and materials, funding field trips and hosting school events like movie night, Kids Trivia and the Forder Fling. Forder’s PTO has provided each classroom with projectors and sound systems. As you can see, your support of the PTO will have a positive impact on the social and academic success of not only your child, but every child at Forder Elementary. Forder’s PTO most recent goal is to replace Forder’s aging playground equipment. This is a lofty goal and we will need your help and participation in fundraisers to meet this goal.
 
As the school year gets under way, it is important to keep in mind the following info:
 
School Hours
Regular school hours for Forder Elementary are from 8:45 A.M. to 3:35 P.M. Please do not drop your child (ren) off at school prior to 8:30 unless they are involved in a before school activity, eating breakfast or attend before school care provided by the YMCA. Students who are eating breakfast at school may arrive at 8:30. 
 
Bus Riders
The bus is the safest, most convenient way for our families to get their children to and from school. As always, students will not be issued bus passes for any reason. Students may only ride their assigned bus to and from school. If you need to pick up your child before dismissal, you must do so before 3:15 P.M. After this time, the students will be dismissed at 3:35P.M. to the buses or the gymnasium for parent pick-up. Thank you for your cooperation.  You can find bus route information at www.mehlvilleschooldistrict.comtwo weeks prior to the first day of school.
As you know, students living less than 1 mile from school will be charged a fee this year. This fee must be paid to the transportation department by August 1st. Below are some frequently asked questions that have come up during this transition. I hope you find the information helpful.
 
1. How is the one mile determined?
Answer: It is determined from your house to the school. There are maps provided on the website to see if you live within the one mile from the school.
 
2. What if I send my student to a daycare or other and they live/business is within the one mile?
Answer: The one mile is determined from your home address. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, State of Missouri: 167.131.1 RSMo, “…State aid for transportation shall be paid as provided in section 163.161, RSMo, only on the basis of the cost of the pupil transportation for those pupils living one mile or more from school…”
 
3. What if I have a safety concern?
Answer: Please contact the Transportation office.
 
4. Are the stops changing?
Answer: We do post the routes approximately 2 weeks before school starts on the website. We make changes to them periodically.
 
5. How do I know if I have to pay for bus service?
Answer: If you live within one mile of the school then yes.
 
6. Are we changing the pick-up and drop offs due to the fee?
 
Answer: Not generally. The stops were designed to be safe and efficient
 
Curriculum Night/Open House
The Forder staff will host an Open House/Curriculum Night for parents and students of all grade levels (K-5) on Tuesday, August 11th beginning at 5:30pm. Students will have the opportunity to drop off school supplies from 5:30 to 6:00pm. The first session of Curriculum Night will be from 6-6:30pm and a second session from 6:35-7:05pm. During these sessions, students and parents will learn about the curriculum, classroom expectations and routines. Forder’s PTO will also be providing a frozen treat for your enjoyment. We hope you and your family can be in attendance. The Forder staff is eager to see the smiling faces of our returning students and the privilege to meet new students and their families. 
 
Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures
We do encourage students to ride the bus due to the limited parking lot space at Forder Elementary. However, if you need to bring your child to school, please do so no earlier than 8:30 A.M. as there will be no adult supervision prior to 8:30 A.M. We will ask our students to remain in the car in the drop off line until 8:30 A.M. In the afternoon, students walking or riding bicycles to school will be dismissed from the gymnasium once the buses have pulled off of the parking lot. As stated above, if you need to pick up your child before dismissal, you must do so before 3:15 P.M. After this time, the students will be dismissed as usual at 3:35 P.M. to the bus or the gymnasium for parent pick-up. Please help us keep the students safe by following the traffic direction arrows painted on the asphalt and by parking in the available parking spaces in the lot. We appreciate your understanding in this matter. 
 
As in the past, the YCARE program will be offering before and after school supervision. Please contact the South County YMCA branch at 849-9622 or visit http://www.ymcastlouis.org/locations/south-county-family-ymca for more information.
 
School Lunch
The Mehlville School District is proud to continue the implementation of the district Wellness Plan by providing our students with a nutritional breakfast and lunch. For the 2015-2016 school year, breakfast will be $1.00, lunch will be $2.30 ($2.50 on branded pizza days) and milk and juice will be available for $0.50. Students purchasing a breakfast or lunch must pre-pay for their meals. Please send money in a sealed envelope marked with the student’s name, teacher, date and the amount enclosed. Only snacks can be purchased with cash in the cafeteria.
 
Classroom Parties/Birthday Treats
The Mehlville School District is committed to keeping our students safe while promoting good health and wellness practices. The District has a Student Allergy Prevention and Response Plan and a Wellness Policy that helps provide an environment where all students can participate safely in celebrations and activities.
 
Birthday treats must be ordered from the birthday order treat form found on the District’s website two weeks prior to when the treats will be dispensed to the students. No food items are allowed to be brought in for classroom birthday treats. The list contains healthy food selections and allows the building nurse to check for classroom allergies in advance. The food items are offered at District cost.
 
For elementary classroom parties that occur three times a year, room parents are encouraged to use the birthday order form for convenience. This would allow more time for the parents to focus on the activity or craft. If parents want to bring food in for the party, the food items must meet the Missouri Eat Smart Guidelines; less than 35% of total calories from fat, less than 35% of total calories from sugar and less than 200 calories for an individual item. Classroom food allergies need to be checked, so room parents must submit food labels for all food items to the building nurse two weeks prior to the classroom party. There is a list of foods that meet the Missouri Eat Smart Guidelines for Classroom Parties on the District website under Departments-School Food and Nutrition. 
 
The 2015-2016 classroom parties are listed below for your convenience. Please remember to have your snack order in two (2) weeks prior to the classroom party date.
 
Fall Party- Friday, October 30th at 9:30am
Winter Party – Thursday, December 17th at 9:30am
Friendship Party – Friday, February 12th ay 9:30am
 
 
I look forward to another successful school year with our fabulous students and teaching staff. With your partnership and support, I know we will all experience many incredible successes. If you ever have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at sclark@mehlvilleschooldistrict.net or 314-467-5601.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Scott Clark, principal



 

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