Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome back! I hope you have all had a summer full of fun, relaxation, and reading. 

 I would like to welcome you to our school. I am thrilled to be working with such an outstanding faculty, staff, amazing students, and supportive parents and community members. Teachers have been working hard getting their classrooms and lesson plans ready in anticipation for the new year, and Tyler and his staff have worked extremely hard all summer to make sure the school is in excellent condition. 

We are welcoming Shonacee Bradley in fourth grade and Jamey Oberg as our new full-time secretary. They are both outstanding professionals, and we are very lucky to have them on our faculty and staff. 

Remember that all back to school information can be found on the district website, www.ssanpete.org under schools, then under Ephraim Elementary. Please check this site frequently for school information, lunch menus, bus schedules, policies and the school calendar.

I would like to strongly encourage you to make it a goal for your children to read at home every night, and for you to read to your children. The National Education Association has stated that having kids read on their own at home is a crucial component of becoming good readers. Young readers need to become practiced at recognizing letters and sounds. The only way to keep improving is to practice.The U.S. Department of Education found that the more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores. 

I would also like to emphasize the importance of regular attendance. Students have a much greater chance of succeeding in school when they attend on a regular basis. It is especially crucial when learning new math and reading skills. Regular attendance can make all the difference in whether or not a student finds academic success or frustration. Students will also find school much more enjoyable when they are caught up and feeling positive reinforcement through academic achievements.

This year we are excited to be continuing our researched based program called Second Step to teach and reinforce positive social, emotional, and bullying prevention skills in grades 1 - 5. Social and emotional skills, like math skills, build on each other. This classroom-based program is designed to teach children how to understand and manage their emotions, control their reactions, be aware of others’ feelings, and have the skills to problem-solve and make responsible decisions. Each grade-level will receive weekly lessons that include engaging songs, games, daily activities, and take-home materials to reinforce learning. 

Once again, because of state safety protocols regarding student information, class lists will not be posted on the doors. Student classroom placements will be made available on August 5thby logging on to your child’s PowerSchool account. We apologize for any inconvenience, but our students’ safety is of the upmost importance.

The first day of school for 1st - 5th grade is Thursday the 15thof August, and school will be out at 1:40 p.m. on Thursday and Friday the first week. Because of supervision and safety concerns the school doors will remain locked until 7:30 a.m., please plan accordingly when dropping off students in the morning. 

Back to School night will be held on, Thursday, August 15th, at 6:30 p.m., the evening of the first day of school. We will not be having an opening session in the gym this year. There will be three fifteen-minute classroom sessions starting at 6:30 p.m. There will be no kindergarten Back to School night sessions. These will be done during individual parent meetings during the first week of school.

Regular kindergarten will start on Thursday, August 22nd. The kindergarten teachers will be conducting initial testing and a meet and greet the first week of school. Watch for a postcard in the mail that will have the specific day and time for you to bring your child. 

Also, first grade will be holding an open house on August 14thfrom 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  This is an excellent opportunity for the first-grade students to come and get introduced to their new teachers and learn all about being a first grader. You will be receiving a letter in the mail with specific details.

Please feel welcome at our school anytime. We encourage volunteers and community involvement. Your concerns, ideas, and positive comments are appreciated and respected. Communication is vital to student success, and to our overall growth and sense of community here at Ephraim Elementary.

I look forward to another great year at Ephraim Elementary, and we will see you soon!

Sincerely,   

Principal Gannon Jones

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