Important Beginning of Year Information for Red Parents

Important Notes About Red Cluster

Teacher/Parent Correspondence

  • We send as much correspondence as possible by email, which is also the best way to reach us (red.clusteratmac.com). We check email at least once a day.
  • Most papers go home on Thursday in the homework folder. However, it is important to check your child’s backpack daily, just in case…
  • Keep finished and checked homework at home.
  • No toys may come to school, unless the toy is your child’s share item (more information further down the page).
  • Label all clothes and belongings. Several times a year, the school donates hundreds of almost-new jackets and lunch pails to Goodwill because children never claim them.

Absences/Tardies

  • Please call the office to excuse an absence or tardy. LAUSD’s automated system will call you every time your child is marked absent or late. The only way to avoid these calls is to be on time ☺

After-school “Stuff”

  • The first few weeks of school, please talk to your child before school every day about what he/she will do after school, regarding bus or pick-up. Maybe even write it down on a note card. They often don’t know or can’t remember.
  • The best way to handle a change in pick-up, a play date, or a change in bus procedure is to notify us with a note or email before school, as well as calling the office and letting them know. Emails received during the school day may not be read until early evening.

Homework

  • The first homework packet will go home on Thursday, August 22, 2012.
  • Homework is given every Thursday and collected the next Thursday.
  • It is differentiated strictly by grade level. If it seems too difficult in the beginning, you are encouraged to help your child as much as necessary. If it seems too easy, your child can go beyond what is expected by reading more, writing with more detail and quality, etc.
  • Children have 7 days to do 4 activities. The agenda is just a suggestion. How and when activities are completed are up to you and your child.
  • Due to the flexibility embedded in our homework procedures, we strongly discourage late homework unless there is an emergency. We are trying to help your child develop responsible work habits.
  • Your child’s homework grade will be affected if 3 or more homework packets are late, missing, or incomplete within a given grading period.

Lunch/Snack Information

  • Students may bring a snack and lunch from home.
  • Students may bring $1.00 for snack and $1.50 for lunch daily or can bring larger amounts to purchase a month’s worth of credit. Our cafeteria manager keeps track of this credit on her computer. It is best to pay larger amounts at a time so the children are not responsible for hanging on to loose change every day.
  • The first few weeks of school, please talk to your child before school every day about what he/she will do for snack and lunch. Remind him/her where the money or food is. They sometimes don’t know/remember.

Differentiation

  • We differentiate as much as possible for all students, in all subjects, throughout the year.
  • Kids will sometimes be grouped…
    • by ability
    • alphabetically
    • randomly
    • according to interest
    • in carefully designed diverse groupings
    • by grade level
  • Our goal is to meet every child where he or she is, and to move him/her make positive progress throughout the year.

Features of Our Multiage Classroom

  • In a given year, some children will loop, while others will not. This depends on many, many factors, including personality and parent/teacher preference. By springtime, teachers are already thinking about choosing a capable and dynamic group of students who they think can be excellent leaders the next year.
  • Curriculum is varied from year to year, so that students that loop are not experiencing the same units of study.
  • Benefits of being the older student – familiarity with environment and procedures (can “hit the ground running” with academics), development/use of leadership skills, and expanding confidence, knowledge, and self-esteem.
  • Benefits of being the younger student – surrounded by good role models for academics and behavior, in a challenging environment, and everything is new and fresh.
  • Teachers want all Open School students to experience both of these roles at least once.


Conferences and Report Cards

  • Conferences are twice a year. The first set is in the late fall and the second set is in spring.
  • Report cards go out during both sets of conferences, as well as at the end of the school year.

Share Day

  • Share Day is every Tuesday afternoon starting the second week of school, August 20.
  • The first share day will be for the “Suns,” children whose name starts with A – Luc. “Moons,” children with names starting with Luk - Z, will share August 27. They will rotate Tuesdays from there on out.
  • This is OPTIONAL.
  • Students must fill out a share paper in order to be allowed to share -  no exceptions.  This is a paper that will be accessible in the classroom at all times, but if your child forgets to bring one home, they can use a piece of scratch paper that you have laying around.  On the paper they must write out the following 3 things…
    • My item to share is…
    • I got this item from…
    • This item is important to me because…

Birthdays

  • Explained in detail on a separate page

All of this is discussed in further detail at Back to School Night.