Ballard Elementary School

Niles Vikings

Dynamic Learners * Diverse Opportunities * Driven to Succeed

December 2, 2016

Parent/Teacher Conferences

We want to thank all the parents who attended conferences this past month. Your interest and support are very important to us. We know you want the best for your children and so do we. Positive parent involvement gives students a huge advantage in academic growth. During conferences we had a School Climate Survey for Parents/Guardians. There is one in this week's Friday folder. If you did not already fill one out, please take a moment to do so and return it to school with your student.

Please feel free to contact your child's teacher, Mr. Eichenberg, or Mrs. Hadrick if you have any questions or concerns that arise regarding your children and their education at Ballard. We are always open to listening.

Half Day and Winter Break

Students have a half day of school (am only) on Friday, December 16, 2016. Teachers have Professional Development in the afternoon. Our Winter Break begins on Wednesday, December 21. School resumes on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

Attendance Update

It is important that everyone be at school every day. Since the beginning of the school year, Ballard has had an average daily attendance rate of 95.81% which means approximately 25 students have been absent per day. A shout out to the 4rd grade. They currently have the best daily attendance at 96.49%. The top three classes with over a 97% daily attendance rate are Mrs. Dierlam's, Mr. Bechtel's and Miss Schrader's classes.

For the months of November and December our incentive is “the fish bowl”. Each week a class has everyone in attendance the class may place a fish in the fish bowl on the bulletin board across from the office. Each student in the class with the most fish in the bowl on January 12, 2017 will receive a prize from our Pathways to Potential (P2P)Success Coach. Remember every student with perfect attendance from the start of the school year through December 16th has a chance to win a bike through another P2P attendance incentive.

Upcoming Student Assessments

During the month of January all of our students will be given mid-year assessments in the areas of reading and math. These assessments were also administered in the fall. We use the assessment results to determine the academic progress students are making which allows us to adjust our instruction to meet their needs. Please encourage your child to do their very best on these assessments. Teachers will be sharing the results with you at conferences in March.

Music Program

Grades 4 and 5 are busy practicing in music class for their performance, “Rock the Hall”, scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 PM. If you have a student in these grades, mark your calendars and be sure to invite family and friends. There are more details from Mr. Gruver in today's Friday Folder.

News from Mrs. Johnson/Computer Lab

We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. Only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science. Less students are studying it than a decade ago.

That is why our entire school is joining the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 5-9) and the entire month of December, during computer lab specials!

See for details, and to allow your child to explore coding at home.

No School in January

There is NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 16-in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. On Friday, January 27, there is a half day of school (am only) due to professional development for teachers.

Girls on the Run

This spring Ballard will once again offer Girls On The Run, an award-winning national program for 3rd through 5th grade girls! Girls On The Run is not a running program. The mission of Girls on the Run is to “educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.” We will offer this 10-week program beginning in early Spring. Registration forms will be sent home soon. Watch for more details to come.

PTO News

A big Thank You for all the families that came to play BINGO on November 10th. A lot of prizes were won. It looked like everyone had a good time.

Congratulations to Mrs. Dierlam's class for bringing in the most Box Tops in November (total of 366). Second place went to Miss Newhouse's class (159), and Mrs. Gilbert's class came in third place (98 collected). The top class with the most Box Tops for four months also wins a special party of their choice! So far the top three classes this year are Mrs. Dierlam at 592, Mrs. Lyle at 445, and Mrs. Wieger at 395. Thank you to everyone for sending them in. We couldn't do it without you!! Remember, each time you cut a box top, Ballard earns ten cents. It may not seem like a lot but, if everyone brings them in, it adds up quickly. The money earned goes toward making our end of the year celebration even more fun. 

Great Lakes Fundraiser products have been delivered. The money was due last month. If you have not turned in your money, please do so as soon as possible. We have a total of 26 students that sold $250 or more in product and will be able to enjoy a ride in a limo for lunch at Applebees. These students will be going on December 8: Analya Luczkowski, Madeline Laboda, Landon Ransbottom, Jayce Hoffman, Jonathan (Ezra) Valentin, Jimmy Brown, Sadie Wyant, Aubree Pointer, MaKayla Catt, Brayden Hamilton, Emerlin Bailey, Oziel Garcia, Braeden Turay, Quieton Brown, Reece Kechkaylo, Tiffany Storey, Addison Wylie, Kayden Williams, Nevaeh Poisel, Karson Kendall-Baldwin, Nevaeh Brown, Matthew Richards, Amelia Neff, Shelby Skalla, Alexis Culp, and Trayvon Wylie. Congratulations to all of you!

There is another fundraiser opportunity in December that our PTO is sponsoring. Students will be bringing home coupon books to use at the Five Below Retail Store in Mishawaka. For every dollar spent at the store, Ballard will receive a percentage. The coupon books will be sent home in Friday Folders next week.

We are having a food drive starting Monday, December 5th through Monday, the 12th to benefit our local Salvation Army Food Pantry. Students may bring in non-perishable food items to their classroom.

The 2015 Winter Apparel Collection order forms were sent home with students last week. Orders are due December 12. There will be no late orders accepted because we wish to get items in for Christmas gifts.

We would also like to thank everyone that helped with the teacher luncheon during conferences. The teachers appreciate not having to worry about running out to grab something to eat really fast.

Upcoming Events

December 2 Ballard Reward Store

December 8 Limo Ride to Applebees Fundraiser prize; All other prizes distributed

December 9 4th grades to Morris Civic Auditorium for Nutcracker Performance

December 12 Winter Apparel orders due; Board of Education Meeting at Westside Admin Building at

6:00 pm

December 13 Music Program for grades 4 & 5 in gymnasium, 7:00 pm

December 14 Mrs. Gilbert's classroom program at 2:30 pm

December 15 Box Tops Collected

December 16 Half day of school for students-dismissal at 11:58

December 19 Third grade program in cafeteria at 2:30 pm

December 21 Winter Break Begins – No School

January 4 School Resumes

January 5 PTO meeting at 4:00 in the library