Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Keystone Elementary Newsletter / Dates on Deck

October Newsletter
Wednesday, October 7th- 1:00 PM DISMISS for Professional Development.
Monday, October 19th- NO SCHOOL for Professional Development.

Thank you to all of the volunteers and participants for this year’s Bobcat Dash!  We had 46 teams and 250 people participate and raised over $5000! We invite you to attend our next meeting on Monday, October 5th at 6:30 PM at Norway Elementary.

BCPTO is providing a light breakfast for all Keystone students and one buddy of their choice on Friday, Oct. 2nd from 7:30-8:15 a.m. We are excited to see all the buddies!!  

BCPTO has sponsored a field trip to Bloomsbury Farms for all Keystone Elementary students on Friday, October 2nd.  Keystone students will leave the school at 8:30 AM and return prior to lunch at 11:25 AM.  Please, make sure your child is to school on time that day and dressed appropriately for the weather that morning.  THANK YOU PTO!!

Mrs. Happel and Ms. Upah’s first grade students will be taking a field trip to St. Luke’s Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 8th.  Students will leave Keystone at 8:30 a.m. and return around 1:30 p.m.  Students will be stopping at Cherry Hill for lunch. A sack lunch is required.  

GWAEA will be coming on Thursday, Oct. 8th to perform hearing screening on ALL K-2 students, as well as any new 3rd graders, known losses, and preschoolers with an IEP.

Morning and afternoon preschoolers will be taking a field trip to Bloomsbury Farm on Friday, October 9th.  All students will be leaving Keystone at 8:30 a.m. and returning by 11:00 a.m.

Students will be given the opportunity to have their school pictures retaken on Monday, October 12th at the Keystone Center.  If a student is having their picture retaken, they must turn in their first set of pictures at that time.  If you have any questions, please call the school office.  

The Keystone Center will celebrate their Fall Festival on Friday, October 30th. Students should NOT wear costumes to school.  They may bring costumes but will not be dressing up until later in the day.

First graders at Keystone Elementary will be collecting NEW socks of all sizes to donate to the Olivet Neighborhood Mission throughout the month of October. More information will be coming home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Keystone Parent Communication

I am far from a social media high flyer.  Part of my professional goal this year has been to increase communication with parents.  There are various avenues I am using to try and accomplish that.  Please provide me feedback positively or negatively as to how you would like me and our staff to communicate with you on a regular basis.  Many of the professional learning opportunities I have attended over the last couple of years I have regularly heard the following quote, "We, as school staff, spend more hours in the day with your children than you do."  This is very true during the school year.  So our goal as a school is to provide you, as parents and families, with as many communication techniques as possible to view what is going on with your kids during the school day.

1. Instagram - If you have a smart phone you are able to have an Instagram account.  It is a free download and is all photo or video based.  We have a Keystone Elementary Instagram account that all staff are posting pictures / videos to on a regular basis.  Please check it out at Keystone Elementary #keyrocks.

2.  District Facebook page, there are consistent forms of information put on there that pertains to district and building information.

3.  Email alerts - You have been receiving email notifications from me.  We have a new system that is very easy to use that pulls all email addresses from our power school informational system.  This allows me to push out information on a regular basis.  So, if you are going to be changing your email address at any time please let the office know so we can update your information in our system.

4. School website - Please be patient as we continue to iron out the kinks in our new school website.  It is going to be a great change but there are issues we are still working through with the company that set it up.  In saying that, there is a great feature that is up and running now.  To have email notifications for updated announcements specific to Keystone Elementary go to www.benton.k12.ia.us.  Under our schools, select Keystone Elementary, on the right hand side of the page click on Keystone Announcements.  You will see Candi Benesh, click on her name, then click on subscribe to updates from author.  It will then ask you to enter your name and email address.  When you sign up for this, anytime a new announcement is posted it will be emailed to you. 

5. Teacher blogs -  Please check out our teacher blog pages.  They do a great job of using these to share information and pictures of their learning.  

                                      Teachers Connecting at Keystone

Mrs. Benton - dabenton.blogspot.com
#KFkinders and @Mrs_KFisher (twitter)
@SamanthaHappel and #happelfirsties (twitter)
@AnnaUpah (twitter) and @BCFirst (instagram)
Mrs. Bridgewater - 2b2nd.blogspot.com
Mrs. Bonewitz and Mrs. Kimm - keystone3rd.blogspot.com  

Other Keystone / BC Educator Blogs
Mrs. Townsley - townsleyaj.blogspot.com  @townsleyaj (twitter)
Benton Community Teacher Leadership -
Keystone Elementary - Instagram @KeystoneElementary #KeyRocks
BCSD Twitter - @BentonCSD #BentonCSD #beaboBCat #bentonpride

Mr. Junge 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Keystone Elementary September Newsletter

September Newsletter

Early Dismissal
Wednesday, September 16 – 1:00 dismiss for teacher professional development
No School
Monday, September 21- teacher professional development

Benton Community students will be celebrating the 50th Golden Anniversary of Benton Community this week.  Keystone students will be attending the parade and pep rally in Van Horne on Friday, September 18th.  We will leave Keystone at 1:00 p.m. and return by the end of the school day.  If there is going to be a change in your child’s routine on Friday please send a note/email/call PRIOR to Friday. There will not be anyone in the office at Keystone to take messages!!  Thank you!

BCPTO Meetings:   
PTO meetings are held the first Monday evening of the month.  The next meeting is Monday, October 5th in Norway at 6:30 p.m.

Bobcat Dash
The 4th Annual Bobcat Dash will be held on Saturday, September 26 starting at 10 a.m. at the Van Horne Recreation Complex on the west side of town. Registration material is due back to school on Wednesday, September 16th.

Absenteeism Policy/Notes from Home
If your child is unable to attend school for ANY reason, you are required to call the school by 9:00 a.m.  Please make sure to call/email or send a note with your child if there is going to be any change in their routine.  If we do not receive any correspondence we will automatically follow the normal routine.  Please keep us informed!
Office email- Candi Benesh- cbenesh@benton.k12.ia.us

Alzheimer Walk:    
The Keystone Elementary, along with residents of the Keystone Care Center, will participate in a walk on September 22nd at 2 pm. for The Alzheimer’s Association. Students are asked to bring loose change this week to donate.  Every student that brings change receives an opportunity to vote for their favorite teacher to complete a “crazy or gross” challenge! 

Bloomsbury Farm:
BCPTO has generously paid for Keystone students to take a field trip to Bloomsbury Farm.  K-3 students will be going on Friday, Oct. 2nd and Preschool AM/PM 4 year olds on Friday, Oct. 9th.  More information will be sent home at a later date.  Thank you PTO!!

***This may be the only paper copy of the monthly newsletter you receive.  Please, check out the Keystone announcements at www.benton.k12.ia.us, click on Our Schools at the top and then Keystone Elementary.  The announcements link will then be on the right side of the page.  You can also subscribe to the announcements page and receive an email anytime something new is added!!  If you do not have access to the internet, contact Candi in the school office to sign up for paper copies.  Thank you!

Homecoming Week

Homecoming week at Benton Community and Keystone Elementary.  Many students participating and showing school spirit today on millionaires day.  Also had our HS cheerleaders, dance team, and athletic captains speak about sportsmanship to the kids.  Great annual tradition and the kids love it! Great week to be a Bobcat!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

30 questions to ask your child about their day instead of "How was your day?"

If you're anything like my wife and I you regularly ask your children when you get home from work or they get home from school, "How was your day?"  You probably get an answer about as vague as your question, "it was fine".  I read a great article on Twitter the other night that I wanted to share out that has 30 questions you can ask your child that should create some great thought provoking conversations.  If you are on the twitterverse please follow me at Ryan Junge @ bbob17.   Enjoy!

30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?”

When I picked my son up from his first day of 4th grade, my usual (enthusiastically delivered) question of “how was your day?” was met with his usual (indifferently delivered) “fine.”
Come on! It’s the first day, for crying out loud! Give me something to work with, would you, kid?
The second day, my same question was answered, “well, no one was a jerk.”
That’s good…I guess.
I suppose the problem is my own. That question actually stinks. Far from a conversation starter, it’s uninspired, overwhelmingly open ended, and frankly, completely boring. So as an alternative, I’ve compiled a list of questions that my kid will answer with more than a single word or grunt. In fact, he debated his response to question 8 for at least half an hour over the weekend. The jury’s out until he can organize a foot race.
Questions a kid will answer at the end of a long school day:

  1. What did you eat for lunch?
  2. Did you catch anyone picking their nose?
  3. What games did you play at recess?
  4. What was the funniest thing that happened today?
  5. Did anyone do anything super nice for you?
  6. What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
  7. Who made you smile today?
  8. Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
  9. What new fact did you learn today?
  10. Who brought the best food in their lunch today? What was it?
  11. What challenged you today?
  12. If school were a ride at the fair, which ride would it be? Why?
  13. What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
  14. If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?
  15. If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
  16. Did anyone push your buttons today?
  17. Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?
  18. What is your teacher’s most important rule?
  19. What is the most popular thing to do at recess?
  20. Does your teacher remind you of anyone else you know? How?
  21. Tell me something you learned about a friend today.
  22. If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who do you wish they would take? Why?
  23. What is one thing you did today that was helpful?
  24. When did you feel most proud of yourself today?
  25. What rule was the hardest to follow today?
  26. What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?
  27. Which person in your class is your exact opposite?
  28. Which area of your school is the most fun?
  29. Which playground skill do you plan to master this year?
  30. Does anyone in your class have a hard time following the rules?

Parent Partnership Night, Breakfast/Lunch/Announcements info, Keystone Blogs

Important info. for Keystone Parents,

Parent Partnership Night - Thanks to all of the parents that came to our Parent Partnership Night last night.  We had about 60 parents attend and they had opportunities to learn about the grade level learning expectations for their child as well as their own learning opportunities in the areas of  reading practice, math practice, writing/spelling/phonics practice, outdoor learning / garden, makerspace, and Instagram/Blogs/School Website.  Please send me an email, rjunge@benton.k12.ia.us,  with feedback about the event so we can continue to make it better in the future.

Keystone Breakfast & Lunch Calendar / Announcements If you would like paper copies of school notices, breakfast/lunch menus, etc. contact Candi in the school office and those items will be sent home in your student's folder. Ph#319-442-3221 or cbenesh@benton.k12.ia.us.  If you want to access electronically please go to www.benton.k12.ia.us. At the top go to "Our Schools" and select Keystone Elementary on the drop down.  At the right you will see Keystone Announcements.  Please click on that and you will see announcement posts by Candi Benesh.  If you click on her name it will give you an option of "subscribe to updates from author".  It will then have you enter your name and email address.  If you sign up for this option anytime Candi posts new announcements that are for Keystone Elementary you will get that notice sent to your email.  
-The lunch and breakfast menus are also on the school website.  On the home page you will see some blue boxes on the left, click on lunch menus and you can see the breakfast and lunch menus for the current month. 

Keystone / BC Blogs / Instagram -  Blogs and our Instagram account are a great way to stay in touch with what is happening in your child's classroom.  They will email you when they have updated posts to their blog.  Here are their addreses along with mine and other Central Administration blogs.  Keystone Elementary has their own Instagram account as well.  Check us out at Keystone Elementary #keyrocks.      

Mrs. Benton - dabenton.blogspot.com

#KFkinders and @Mrs_KFisher (twitter)
@SamanthaHappel and #happelfirsties (twitter)
@AnnaUpah (twitter) and @BCFirst (instagram)
Mrs. Bridgewater - 2b2nd.blogspot.com
Mrs. Bonewitz and Mrs. Kimm - keystone3rd.blogspot.com  

Other Keystone / BC Educator Blogs
Mrs. Townsley - townsleyaj.blogspot.com  @townsleyaj (twitter)
Benton Community Teacher Leadership -
Keystone Elementary - Instagram @KeystoneElementary #KeyRocks
BCSD Twitter - @BentonCSD #BentonCSD #beaboBCat #bentonpride


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Parent Partnership Night!

We are having our 3rd annual Parent Partnership Night at Keystone Elementary on 9/9 from 6:30-7:30. Cookies
 will be served starting at 6:15. We strongly encourage parents to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to 
build the home and school team that all kids need to excel! Teachers will spend 15 minutes at grade levels with
 their parents to explain learning goals for grade level and then we are trying a new "menu" option for parents.
 This will allow parents an opportunity to learn about areas of our school that will benefit them at home with their 
own children. We will have daycare provided for children and we will have cookies for everyone. Feedback from 
parents that have attended in the past have been very positive. 

Thanks, Mr. Ryan Junge Keystone Principal

New Beginnings -- Keystone Elementary

"Every story has an end, but in life, every end is a new beginning" -- Unknown

It was very difficult for many staff to say good bye to Van Horne Elementary and Keystone Elementary this past June. Some Keystone staff made the transition to Norway Elementary or Atkins Elementary with new roles. Many Van Horne staff made the transition to Keystone Elementary. With new surroundings and roles, there is always going to be anxiety about the unknown. All staff put in an astounding amount of time packing, moving, unpacking, and getting the building ready to go. It was all worth it this Monday when the main reason we do what we do showed up.... the kids! It was great seeing all of the faces come into the building for the new school year. My favorite part was seeing all the new faces and how quickly our staff makes them feel comfortable and at home. A strong mix of students that are new to Keystone are due to district restructuring and new families moving into the district and our community. Was great to see the looks of anxiety, fear, sadness, quickly replaced with looks of happiness and excitement to be back at school. 

Welcome all parents and students to Keystone Elementary. Your children are in highly capable hands. The Keystone staff is filled with passionate, experienced, and professional educators. We are very excited to have you here and will do everything we can to make your child's educational experience one that has a great balance of social, emotional, and educational growth. We are committed to do everything we can to make your child's time at Keystone a safe, nurturing, and engaging experience. 

If you are on Twitter, please follow me @bbob17. 

Go Bobcats!