Vollmer Principal's Message from Lisa Farina

Lisa Farina
  • Dear Vollmer Families:

     

    We have had a great second year of learning at Vollmer Elementary School! Your children - supported by you, your families, and our staff members - continue to be part of a relatively unique experience - a brand new school! We are looking forward to continue to make our school even better for the  2019-20 school year.

     

    Here are some reasons to celebrate from this past school year. Vollmer Elementary:

     

    • continued to implement new ELA and Math primary resources.
    • initiated Coffee Talk with the Principal to foster ongoing communication with our parent community.
    • provided more than 600 students with music ensembles outside of the school day. Due to the sheer volume, we held these ensembles four days a week.
    • offered more than 300 students opportunities for clubs, including intramurals, LOTE, Drama, Strategic Thinking, Math, Art, Makers, Magic, Kindness, Student Council, and our biggest club, 5K Club.
    • continued to focus on strengthening relationships, cultivating a culture for learning and collaboration among teachers, students, and Vollmer community.
    • implemented a new recess system supervised by classroom teachers.
    • refined our PBIS system, began to rebrand our logo, and provide various positive interventions and supports.
    • raised money for organizations, such as the Ugandan Water project, through donations as part of student-led initiatives.
    • created a Wall of Fame that posted headshots of all of our “Student of the Month” recipients
    • initiated a Vollmer Culture NIght

     

    Although we have made progress this year, we look forward to continuing to help our students grow next school year. Here are some enhancements we plan to address this summer:

     

    • Increase differentiation within ELA and math blocks during WINN time.
    • Provide parents with more educational programs to support learning outside of school. These include ways to help monitor Chromebook use and promote positive technology use and digital citizenship at home.
    • Bring our school community together as one family.
    • Provide a Career Day during the school day when parents/family can showcase what they do.
    • Establish a Big Brother/Big Sister program with Burger Junior High School

     

    I previously communicated that there is no summer school this year. We hope you will continue to read with your children, have them practice math facts and real-world math problems, and go see and appreciate the many wonderful landmarks in our community. Also, please encourage your child to stay physically fit by being active outside or inside (and putting the computer or controller down for a little bit).  

     

    Here are some math and ELA sites to keep you focused on fun educational activities this summer:

    Math

    http://www.mathplayground.com/thinkingblocks.html

    https://www.ixl.com/

    http://www.gamequarium.org/dir/Gamequarium/Math/

    https://www.zearn.org/

     

    ELA

     

    http://www.readingrockets.org/article/get-ready-summer-ideas-teachers-share-families

    http://www.readingrockets.org/pdfs/edextras/57820-en.pdf

    http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/

    http://www.hpl.org/  (Henrietta Public Library)

    https://wonderopolis.org/

    http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/p/find-poem-by-topic.html?m=1

    NYSED & myON! Access to free digital books through September 30th, 2018

     

    Writing Notebooks

    http://www.sharingournotebooks.amylv.com/?m=1

    http://www.wordle.net/

     

    Technology Sites

     

    https://rhcsd.typingagent.com

    https://hourofcode.com/mchoc

    https://code.org/starwars

    https://hourofcode.com/us/learn

    Coding for Kids: 24 Free Websites that Teach Programming

     

    I have called the Vollmer staff “My Flock” after sharing with them the poem below. Through a team-building activity, teachers identified how they “honk from behind” and what they do when others “Fall out of V-Formation.” My goal is to continue to encourage staff, students, and our families to follow the mantra of the goose poem.

    The Goose Story

    by Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes ARCS NEWS, Vol. 7, No. 1, January 1992

     

    Next fall, when you see Geese heading South for the Winter, flying along in V formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

     

    People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.

     

    When the Head Goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs with people or with geese flying South. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

     

    Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group. IF WE HAVE THE SENSE OF A GOOSE, WE WILL STAND BY EACH OTHER LIKE THAT.

     

    On behalf of the Vollmer staff, thank you for sharing your students with us and for supporting our work and their academic and social development. We appreciate the strong parent partnerships we have developed with all of you this school year and throughout the years.  

    Sincerely,

     

    Lisa Farina

     

    Principal
    lfarina@rhnet.org