Monday, October 16, 2017

Building Routines Leads to Student Success

The first weeks of school are spent developing routines in the classroom to support student learning. This can range from something as simple as how to make a lunch choice to how agendas are completed to record homework assignments. By making these procedures routine, students and teachers are more readily able to focus on the goals of school. The classroom becomes consistent and predictable in a way that helps students to feel more at ease while maximizing time available for teaching and learning.

While our homes do not reflect the classroom environment, routines are just as important. Without a doubt, there are factors at home that can disrupt routines - inconsistent work schedules, student activities, and much more can affect what occurs. However, the more families pay attention to day to day routines, the greater the likelihood that their children will be successful.

In building routines into your child’s life, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Weekday Mornings:

To make the household function well in the morning, everyone needs to know what has to be done to get ready for the day. Try the following:
  • Put as many things in order as possible the night before.
  • Keep wake-up routines cheerful and positive.
  • Be sure your child eats breakfast, even if he or she is not hungry in the morning. Don’t forget that we offer breakfast here at VE.
  • Finally, round out each morning by saying goodbye to your young child. A simple hug and a wave as he or she heads out the front door or slides out of the car are extremely important. They will give your child a positive feeling with which to begin the day's activities.


Dinner should be an important time for your family. As often as possible, all family members should eat together at the dinner table, without the distraction of electronic devices. During dinner the family can share the day's activities and participate in enjoyable conversation. Everyone should be encouraged to take part, and negative comments and criticism should be discouraged.


On school nights, children need a regular time to go to sleep. Lights can go out at different times for different children in the family, depending on how much sleep each child needs. Nighttime rituals can help ease a child to sleep. These rituals can include storytelling, reading aloud, conversation, and songs. Try to avoid exciting play and activities before bedtime. If your child has become accustomed to using electronics before bed, consider moving away from these activities. Electronics before bed can disrupt sleep patterns for a variety of reasons.
Paying attention to these details and striving to make them routine can have immense benefits for children and families.  Have a great routine you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about it - feel free to contact me (
Thank you for all that you do to support the home-school partnership.
Benjamin B. Rudd, Principal

Walk to School Day

It was a beautiful morning for our first walk to school day on October 4th and the students seemed to really enjoy themselves.  We recognize this event took support from families in ways large and small – thank you for your support!  In particular, thank you to Shannon Ingles for her work to coordinate this event and to our One Healthy Village Team for their planning efforts as well.  

Friday, October 13, 2017

October PBIS Update

During the month of October, Village Elementary learners are continuing to focus on the behavioral expectation Be Respectful.  We have had many students participating in our interactive bulletin board by submitting examples of what respect looks like in our school and identifying students that they have seen being respectful.  Star submissions are not only placed on the bulletin board, they are also read over our morning announcements.  We could not be more proud of the fact that our students are internalizing this expectation.

Our PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Systems) assembly this month will be virtual.  This means that while all students will be participating in the same assembly, they will experience it in their own classroom.  This format allows teachers to facilitate a discussion and an activity at individual grade levels, with each student having the opportunity for their voice to be heard. During our assembly, the students will be playing RESPECT Jeopardy, with all categories centered on the topic of respect.
Our hopes are that by providing the entire Village community with common language surrounding respectful behavior, we can have more meaningful conversations with our students to help support their growth in this area.

Community Connection
During the last week of October, we will celebrate Red Ribbon Week - the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug and healthy life-styles events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life. Red Ribbon Week reminds us to respect ourselves by choosing a drug-free life.

Village Elementary will combine Red Ribbon week celebrations with our annual Food Drive.  Students are encouraged to participate in the following way:
  • Monday, October 23rd : "Soup" er Hero Day:  Dress like your favorite superhero and bring in a can of soup!
  • Tuesday, October 24th : "Team up against Drugs and Hunger”: Wear your favorite sports clothes and bring in food items. 
  • Wednesday, October 25th "Bon Appetit Village ": Dress like a chef or baker and bring in food items for the food drive.
  • Thursday, October 26th : "Drugs are Old School”: Dress in your favorite era (50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s) and bring in food for the food drive!
  • Friday, October 27th: "School Unity Day!": Wear Red and Black to support both the Food Drive and Red Ribbon Week!!! Don’t forget your food items.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


At Village Elementary we teach and promote positive behaviors in all areas of our school.  We encourage each and every one of our students to be responsible, be respectful and be ready to learn.  As you may be aware, one way that we have helped our students to better understand what this looks like in practice is through our School-Wide Behavior chart.  The chart specifies certain locations in our school – cafeteria, hallway, classroom, bathroom, playground – and communicates our school’s expectations for positive behavior in these locations.  For the 2017-2018 school year, we decided to take a closer look at this School-Wide Behavior chart and make it more kid-friendly so that it could be used more often as a learning tool.

Our teachers worked collaboratively within their grade-level teams to review and discuss the behavior expectations listed.  Each grade level then submitted their suggestions for improvement and the existing document was edited, revised and approved by our PBIS Committee.  The language on our updated matrix is now clear, concise and includes a new location category of bus.  Our hopes are that by providing the entire Village community with common language for what positive behavior looks like, we can have more meaningful conversations with our students that will help support their growth in the areas of responsibility, respect and readiness to learn.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Welcome (Back) from Dr. Rudd/District Homework Policy Updated

Welcome back to our returning families and welcome to those that are new to the Village Elementary community.  We hope your children are off to a great start this year and that they are enjoying school.  

The beginning of a new year brings a mix of emotions for students and families.  It also brings possibilities and opportunities with the months that lie ahead. With the outset of the year upon us, I would like to take time to talk about how parents and families can be partners in the success of our students.  

  • Make time for reading.  Reading should be a priority in any child’s day-to-day life.  When children are younger, they rely upon their family to read to them until they are ready to read to adults.  Once they can read to an adult, they should be given time for this while also still having an adult read to them every day as well. Families can continue this routine as children become stronger readers by delving into chapter books to enjoy together.  In fact, we’ll do this as a whole school community later this year through our One School, One Book program!

  • Keep in touch.  Families are busy, without a doubt.  Teachers here at Village Elementary communicate with families in many ways. Make time to review this information, reach out when you have questions, and share when something unique in your child’s life may be happening. Don’t forget to follow the Principal’s Blog for updates throughout the year, too!

  • Get involved.  There are a number of ways to be involved here at Village Elementary.  VEPTO, our parent-teacher organization, meets monthly and does much to support the work of our students and staff.  There are ways to volunteer that are possible even for working families.  Even a small amount of time can make a big difference.

District Homework Policy Updated

With the start of a new school year, I would like to take time to share that the District’s Homework Policy has been updated.  Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, our District Improvement Team (DIT) studied research that has emerged regarding homework since the policy was last updated a number of years ago.  By engaging this group, the district was able to consider homework from multiple perspectives in light of the research, as DIT includes parents, community members, teachers, administrators, and Board of Education members.  

Following the year-long study, DIT made recommendations to the Board of Education which were adopted in approving a revised district’s revised homework policy.  While the full policy can be found on the district’s website, the following reflects some of the key points embedded within this document:

  • In general, homework should not exceed in total ten minutes per grade level per night. For example, a fifth grade student should have no more than 50 minutes nightly; a tenth grade student should have no more than 100 minutes.
  • Teachers assign homework that students can complete independently.
  • Student are able work on the homework independently and complete homework in a timely manner.
  • Parents/Guardians assume the role of the facilitator.
  • Parents/Guardians provide a place at home for students to do homework.
  • Parents/Guardians and/or students communicate to teacher(s) when students need additional homework support.
Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact your child’s teacher(s).  
Thank you for all that you do to work as a partner in the success of your children. I’m looking forward to another outstanding year!

Dr. Rudd, Principal