I hope you enjoyed a restful long weekend. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our Back-to-School Night this Wednesday, September 4th from 6-8pm. At BTSN you will have the chance to meet your child’s teacher as well as meet other members of your child’s instructional team. We are fortunate enough to have many staff members besides homeroom teachers working with students at each grade level and our instructional model is one of the many things that makes Janney unique. Last year, I used a weekly Principal’s column to explain how our staffing model supports our core values. I have included an excerpt of that column below and also added information further explaining our partner teacher model. You will meet your child’s homeroom teacher, co-teacher, and partner teacher tomorrow night, so this part of the newsletter will be helpful in understanding the role that each adult plays in your child’s day-to-day school experience.
Please note that information regarding participation in the school band made its way into some teacher newsletters. Our Janney school band is for 4th-5th graders only and we apologize for the miscommunication.
We will host our annual Fall Picnic on Friday, September 6th. All families are invited to come out on Saturday, September 7 from 10:00-12:00, to help get the Janney gardens ready for students to explore and plant. Please bring trimmers, clippers, weedwhackers, if you can. Wear a hat! We also look forward to seeing you at our first Community Night of the year on September 12th; more information is included below.
Finally, tonight’s THT contains repeat information about our first community dinner at Potomac Pizza!
New: Janney Staffing Model
Our co-teaching model allows us to provide a more flexible approach to meeting the needs of all students by adding one to two extra teachers at each grade level. Co-teachers at Janney hold a Special Education teaching license and work closely with the classroom teachers at their assigned grade level. In other schools, a special education teacher is assigned to multiple grade levels and works with a variety of students and teachers. At Janney, a co-teacher works with one grade level and three to five teachers. This model allows for more frequent and flexible small groups, for more collaborative planning time, and for a more responsive and innovative approach to teaching students. Many teachers identify the professional learning community and the co-teaching model as not only what initially attracted them to teach at Janney, but as key factors as to why they remain at Janney. This model allows us to promote achievement for our students, and engages our teachers in continual cycles of inquiry, collaborative planning, and reflection. We also engage in equity-focused conversations as we work towards ensuring that students have what they need to be successful.
Your child’s classroom or grade level might also have a partner teacher working with students. Partner teachers in grades one through three – and often in PK and K – are working towards their advanced degree in education and are ready to take on full time teaching responsibilities. Many of the teachers on staff began their careers at Janney as a partner teacher. Partner teachers help to lead classroom and small group instruction. They often engage in the same trainings as our homeroom teachers.
It is important to note that our co-teaching model and the extra partner teachers on staff are not positions that are initially allocated in our DCPS budget each year. We are allocated between four to five special education teachers annually, and we must use flexible funds to pay for four to five additional teachers. The money that we are allocated for a second Assistant Principal and for additional front office staff is reallocated to pay for our co-teaching model, as is the money that we are allocated to spend on educational and custodial supplies. We are incredibly fortunate to have a committed and dedicated parent community who is willing and able to ensure that we are able to maintain this staffing model by filling in the budgetary gaps. I know that our many staff members are looking forward to getting to you and your student this year!
New: Student Support Service Column
Beginning in October, a member of the Student Support Services team will write a weekly column containing helpful information or advice. During the month of September, I will include team member bios in this space to give you a chance to get to know our team! This week, Ms. Toni Carroll-Wills, our Speech-Language Pathologist, is featured.
Toni Carroll-Wills has been the Speech-Language Pathologist at Janney for the over 15 years! Toni is a graduate of Howard University-Go Bisons!- School of Communication, where she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the area of Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition to working at Janney, Toni is also the Speech Pathologist at Horace Mann Elementary School.
Toni is originally from sunny, Los Angeles California and often returns to visit family and friends. Toni and her husband, a native Washingtonian have two active boys-William and Drew who are both DCPS students! Toni truly enjoys her work with her students and strives to make an impact among each student that she serves. In her free time, Toni enjoys spending time traveling abroad with her family, trying new restaurants (Millie’s is one of her favorites), and listening to old school 80’s and 90’s music!
Reminder: Back-to-School Night
Back-to-School Night will be held next Wednesday, September 4th for PK-5th grade families from 6:00-8:00 pm. We will host 3, 30-minute sessions so that parents of multiple of students have a chance to attend each child’s classroom session. Please see the schedule listed below:
6:00-6:10: Arrival and transition to first classroom
6:15-6:45: Session 1
6:50-7:20: Session 2
7:25-7:55: Session 3
I will provide a brief, 10-minute presentation on our enrollment and instructional program for this school year in the cafeteria, followed by a brief presentation from our PTA. Please note that I will host three sessions of the same presentation just like your child’s homeroom teacher. If you choose to attend the cafeteria session, you will also have the opportunity to visit with Specials teachers and Student Support Services team members for the remaining time in each session.
Please note that for each session, you may choose to visit your child’s classroom and hear from your child’s teacher OR you may visit the cafeteria to learn more about specials or student support services at Janney and hear from me. If you do not make it to the cafeteria, the material presented will be included in next week’s newsletter.
Reminder: JAC @ Back-to-School Night
Janney+ staff will provide child care services for Back to School Night for students who are already enrolled in JAC on Wednesdays. Please drop off your child at the mulch playground and be sure to sign them in. Staff will be available to receive students beginning at 5:45p. Students will transition to the gym for a movie at 7pm. Be sure to sign out your child at pick-up. If you plan to use Janney+ services at any point during Back-to-School Night, please register using this Google doc link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_TBq9h2JL1mUukzknT6y0TytHeXF3RhMWNB36JVgQLU/edit?usp=sharing
If your child is not enrolled in JAC, we kindly ask that you do not drop them off for Janney+ services while you participate in Back-to-School Night. This is for safety reasons. Given the size of our school community, ratios can quickly become very high if children who are not enrolled are dropped-off. Please note that we are unable to register your child for just one day of JAC services for this.
Reminder: Community Night September 12th: Dr. James Gordon and Self-Care
Janney will host its first Community Night of the school year on Thursday, September 12that 6pm. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. James Gordon from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, who will engage with our community around self-care routines and support in response to everyday stress and trauma. We’ll experience meditation, movement, music, and more with him, and learn how to use them to reduce stress and enhance resilience. His widely-acclaimed new book, “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma” will be on sale. For more about The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, please visit https://cmbm.org.
We all struggle with managing everyday stress and often do not have enough time for proper self-care. This is a great opportunity to learn self-care routines as we begin the new school year. Free child care will be offered via JAC for Janney students attending this event. Please let us know if you plan to take advantage of the child care by signing up here.
Reminder: Upcoming Events
For the month of September, we will hold grade level coffees so that families from each grade level get to know each other in a smaller, more informal setting. AP Barnhart or I will be present for at least a portion of each coffee. The grade level coffees will take place in the cafeteria.
Grade level coffees:
PK/K: September 4 @ 8:45 am
1st/2nd: September 11 @ 8:45 am
3rd/4th/5th: September 18 @ 8:45 am
We will also host Open Houses by grade level throughout the year. This is a chance for parents and families to visit a child’s classroom for a short time to see the learning in action. The Open Houses will begin directly after Jamboree, at approximately 8:45 am. A schedule of Open Houses will appear in this space soon.