From the Principal
March 30. 2018
Dear Abbott Parents:
Spring break is finally here, and when we return from break on April 16th we will officially be in the last quarter of the year. In just over two months’ time, this school year will be ending and our 8th graders will be promoting from Abbott and beginning their high school adventure. There is much that has happened at Abbott this spring, and below you’ll find my take on some recent events and highlights at Abbott.
In February, Abbott’s leadership class hosted a week with a variety of spirit activities, including a student staff basketball game at lunch, and closing with our school dance at the end of the week. Students had fun at the 80’s themed dance, and many of our students knew both the lyrics and dance moves for 80’s songs, so kudos to parents for exposing your kids to 80’s culture. Thank you to Ms. Bollbach, our Leadership class, and to our PTA for their help in coordinating the dance and spirit week activities.
Abbott Science Festival
This Thurs., March 29th, Abbott’s science department in conjunction with the Lawrence Hall of Science hosted a Science Mystery Festival at Abbott. Thanks to Ms. Rose, our 7th grade science teacher, for coordinating this event, which was a fun, hands-on way for students and parents to explore some of the scientific concepts that students are learning in school. Thanks also to our PTA for arranging to have the Tacos Peralta truck and the Big Sweets Ice Cream truck on site for the event.
All of our returning students have now selected their electives for next year. Communication went out to families about electives last month, and students signed up online for electives at school earlier this month. We have a wide range of electives, including: Spanish 1 & 2, Robotics, Coding, 3-D Design, Art, Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Bio-Creativity, Creative Writing, Drama, Science Fiction, Leadership, Yearbook, Journalism, and AVID. You can find more information about electives on the Abbott website electives page: http://abbott.smfcsd.net/academic-services/electives.html. If your students want to revise an elective choice, please ask your student to reach out to his or her counselor in April.
March 12 PD day
On March 12th, Abbott teachers gathered for a day of professional development and learning. In the morning, our teachers reviewed our year-one adoption of PBIS (see my prior newsletters and/or pbis.org for more information on PBIS). In the afternoon, students and staff from our local Design Tech High School gave our staff an introduction to design thinking and led us through a design thinking activity. Design thinking is a method for uncovering practical, creative resolutions for problems and for stimulating innovation. The process involves a number of steps, including: empathy (learning about a user’s need), defining (sharpening key questions), ideating (brainstorming and creating solutions), prototyping (building representations of one or more ideas), and testing (testing user ideas and gathering feedback). We will include parent information nights next year about both design thinking and PBIS so that parents can learn more about each of these practices.
On March 21, our PTA hosted their annual Founder’s Day award ceremony, where members of our school community are recognized for their outstanding service to the community. This year’s honorees included teachers Deb Torke and Tom Haycock, para-educator Kit Rhoades, and parents Julie Kaprielian and Kristi Puls. Each of this year’s honorees made outstanding contributions to the Abbott community, and we are grateful for their selfless service.
Thank you to Ms. Marcone for coordinating another round of PPP trips for students who have earned the reward through the positive points program. Earlier in the month, students in each grade level who earned their PPP points were rewarded with a trip to Ice Oasis, our local ice skating rink.
School Safety and Emergency Preparedness Big Five
As an educator and as a parent, I know that this can be a stressful time to be a student or a parent as our nation grapples with issues relating to gun violence. You will find below a link to a resource for talking to your child about violence. I’ve also included the link to our county’s emergency guideline (known as the Big 5), which we follow at Abbott and across our district.
Happy Spring Break
When we return from break, remind your student to finish the year with focus and a sense of purpose. Hopefully, you will all have time to spend time with your student during break, and talk to them about what they are learning in school. We hope your student has a relaxing and safe spring break, and that your student returns from break rested and ready to excel in the final quarter.
Joe Hadley, Abbott Principal