BSES Welcome Back Letter 2016

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 3:15pm

August 2016

Dear Bellows Spring Families:

Welcome to the 2016 - 2017 school year!  We are very excited about the year ahead and will finalize the plans when the staff returns on August 29th.  At the end of the year, we said good-bye to Joanne Howard, our reading specialist and Ginny Stickles, principal’s secretary.  Both ladies are now retired.  We would also like to wish the best of luck to other staff members leaving Bellows Spring.  Stacey Schroeder, Special Ed teacher, accepted a position at Worthington Elementary in third grade.  Sam Cassard, PE, was assigned to Forest Ridge Elementary.  Jeremy Collins, 5th grade, was transferred to Gorman Crossing, due to our enrollment numbers.  Ms. P in art, resigned to move closer to her fiancée and will work in another county. Rachel Tallent took advantage of an opportunity to work closer to home and accepted a position at Hollified Station.  Although it is sad to lose staff members, we are excited to welcome great folks to start the year!  Natalie Dohner was promoted and will be a special ed teacher.  Avery McClelland will join us for art.  Dallas Wiles and Gina Rower join the RECC staff.  In the front office, please come in and meet Brandy Myers.  She is the new principal’s secretary.  We are grateful to have such great folks join our Bellows family!
One of the rewarding characteristics of working in education is that it is always moving and each year we begin anew.  Staff is motivated to share what they have learned during the summer and create new classroom structures.  All summer long, the Bellows Spring staff was involved in preparing to greet your child for an outstanding year!  Before the year begins, there are a few items that will help facilitate a smooth start for students on August 29th. 

Class Placement
Our class assignments are ready, but we will finalize them when we know our staff numbers next week.  If you know of anyone that has not registered for school, please tell them to come in next week!  We also adjusted the classes that were created in June to accommodate new students that move in and students that leave.  Much thought and discussion goes into preparing classes including the parent information you sent to school for us.  Parents who have updated their Family File data (see information below) by the end of the day on Wednesday 8/24 will have access to their child's homeroom teacher as of 9:00 in the morning on Thursday 8/25.  Otherwise, students can learn their teacher when they come to the Sneak Peek on Friday, August 26th.  Students should enter the school through the cafeteria doors and we will help you with your class.  No lists will be posted on the front doors.  If you are unable to come to open house, please call school after 3:00 on the 26th and we will tell you the teacher’s name.  Don’t forget, students can bring their supplies to school when they come on Friday.

Family File
During the week of August 22, you are asked to create or update your Family File.  Family File can be found by logging in to HCPSS Connect.  In the Family File section, parents will find all the information historically located on the Emergency Procedure Cards such as transportation, contact information, medical considerations, and preferences. For the safety of your child/children it is very important that this information remains current, please assure it is updated prior to the start of school.  Once logged in, parents will be able to provide or update all of their contact information, medical considerations, and preferences in approximately 10 minutes.  If you are a returning parent, data will be there from last year when you log in for the first time. If you encounter any problems logging in or accessing Family File, please contact our school at 410-313-5057.  We will also have computers available at open house with staff to assist you.

Do you ride a bus?
Are you in the transportation zone?  The School Bus Locator can help!  School bus routes for the coming school year will be available on the HCPSS website. Bus routes are no longer published in the newspaper.  Get into the habit of arriving at the bus stop approximately 10 minutes ahead of the posted pick up time.  Pick up and drop off times will vary by a few minutes the first few weeks of school until the routines are established.  
Important – On the first day of school, assuring all students get home safely is a top priority and we need your help to make sure this happens!  If possible, have your child arrive at school in the same manner that they will go home.  Please complete the tag you receive at open house and attach it to their backpack.  As students arrive, we record their transportation – bus rider, car rider, or walker – so that we can ensure children leave the correct way at the end of the day.  If your child is going home another way other than how he/she arrived, please send a note for the teacher and include the relevant information such as the bus number.

Arrival and Dismissal
If you live in the non-transportation area (walker or car rider), it is important to familiarize yourself with the arrival and dismissal procedures.  Children should arrive at school by 9:15 and be in their seats, ready to start the day at 9:25.  Staff members are outside to help assist with the car loop.  Please do not drive into the bus loop while our buses are present.  Again, the safety of the children is a priority so please follow the staff directions.  At dismissal, car loop parents should have the name of the child prominently displayed.  We will talk more at the open house about the car loop.

HCPSS News & Opting in for text messages
HCPSS News keeps parents and guardians, community members and employees up to date on news and events, and delivers real-time notices of bus schedule changes, weather related closings and emergency information via email messages and text alerts.  Parents and guardians of currently enrolled HCPSS students automatically receive HCPSS News emails from the school system and their child’s school based on the contact information submitted through the Emergency Card process last school year.  If you are new to Bellows Spring, you will automatically be added or updated in the system before the school year begins.  To comply with wireless carrier requirements, parents must opt into receiving HCPSS text message alerts.  Standard data fees and text messaging rates may apply based on your mobile plan.  Prior to the start of the school year, parents/guardians new to HCPSS will receive a text message prompt from the number 67587.  Parents/guardians must opt in by replying to the text message with a text that simply says Y.  Parents who opted in last year will not need to opt in again.

HCPSS Mobile App

Stay up-to-date with school news and events with customized news feeds! View school information at a glance! Quickly find our social media accounts! Download and learn more about the mobile app today! 

Follow BSES on Twitter
Don’t miss what’s happening at school!  Follow Bellows Spring on Twitter at @hcpss_bses.  When you sign up, be sure to enable notifications on your smart phone.  Tweets will immediately appear on your phone.  

Supply list
Our supply lists are available now!  Supplies can be dropped off at the Sneak Peek open houses on August 26th.
9:00 – 10:00 RECC and Kindergarten Sneak Peek
2:00 – 2:45 Grade 1 & 2 Sneak Peek
2:45 – 3:30 Grade 3, 4, & 5 Sneak Peek

Important Dates for your calendars

Thursday, August 25th @ 7:00 PM RECC and Kindergarten Back to School Night for parents
Monday, September 5th – NO SCHOOL – Labor Day
Tuesday, September 6th @ 7:00 Back to School Night for grades 1 & 2
Wednesday, September 7th @ 6:30 for GT and 7:00 for grades 3, 4, & 5
Monday, September 12th  - NO SCHOOL – Professional Learning

Join our PTA!
It is said that many hands make heavy work light.  Please be an active member of our PTA.  The PTA provides much for the children and staff at school.  This is one way for you to show involvement in your child’s education.  

We look forward to a collaborative and productive school year ahead!  We are so proud to be part of the Bellows Spring community and look forward to a wonderful year!

Carol Hahn, Principal
Cathleen Lopez, Assistant Principal