Saturday, October 25, 2014

Events in the Cafetorium

     Neat things happened at Horace Mann this week, and some of them took place in our cafetorium.  By the way, for those who think  the word 'cafetorium' (cafeteria and auditorium combined) sounds weird, I agree with you!

     Last Monday, the Lakewood Board of Education held their meeting in the Horace Mann Cafetorium. Thanks to a great performance by the Horace Mann 4th and 5th Grade Choir, the room was packed!  Since the H2O's Pumpkinpalooza took a year off, this was a perfect venue for the choir to perform two Halloween numbers:  Scarin' Alive (think Stayin' Alive) and Doin' the Igor (think about the play/movie Young Frankenstein).  The students, under the direction of 2nd year HMES music teacher Mr. Aaron Waryk, not only sounded and looked terrific, but demonstrated their best respectful behavior during the National Merit Scholar recognition ceremony that preceded their performance.
The Horace Mann Choir

     At the same board meeting, longtime Lakewood Intervention Specialist Mrs. Pat Schiazza was honored.  Mrs. Schiazza is retiring at the end of this month.  She has only been at Horace Mann since the beginning of this school year, and yet, we will miss her so much.  Thank you for all of your work with our students, Mrs. Schiazza--we wish you well!

Mrs. Pat Schiazza with Board President Mrs. Linda Beebe
     Finally, on Wednesday evening, the students who attend the aftercare program run by St. Peter's presented a play as part of the national Lights On After School movement.  The play featured students in a self-written production where they showed what could happen if kids went home alone after school instead of being in a safe aftercare program.  We are glad to have St. Peter's at HMES before and after school to help keep our kids safe and productive while their parents are at work.
Miss Courtney and some of the HMES actors

Sunday, October 19, 2014

PTA Mini-Grants Excite Staff

     Taking a cue from Harding Middle School PTSA, the Horace Mann PTA started a new tradition last year:  Mini-Grants.  Mini-grants are designed to help provide funding to enrich the school experience for students by allowing access to resources that would otherwise not be available.  The grants were a big success last year, resulting in purchases of technology to connect iPads to Promethean boards, books to support the Common Core, a visit from the Western Reserve Historical Society and other neat things.

     This year, Horace Mann PTA--through the skilled leadership of Mrs. Heather Facaros--is again offering the mini-grants.  Staff members (both teachers and support staff) who are also PTA members were invited to submit applications to fund a special project or event.  Ten grant applications were received by the deadline of Monday, September 13th.

     Creative and interesting ideas ranged from books to a Play-a-Day series to  Lego Story Starters to a proposal for gifted 8th graders to come to The Mann to teach science to our 5th graders.  Here is a link to the site (which includes videos) about the Legos if you're curious:

     All ten applications were approved by the principal and then passed to a PTA mini-grant committee to choose the winners.  Mirroring last year, the committee plans to decide soon in order to put the resources in kids' and teachers' hands as quickly as possible.

     This is just one more way PTA makes Horace Mann a great school.  If you are already involved--thank you!  If you have yet to join in with this friendly, supportive group, maybe this post will prompt you do consider it :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Day of Fire Safety and a Recap of the OAA

     On Tuesday, October 7th, the 3rd graders applied themselves to the Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) in Reading.  It was the "old style" test using #2 pencils and paper booklets. Happily, every student who was expected to be in school and take the test that day was here--no makeups!  Good job 3rd graders!  We'll see the results in several weeks.  Then, students will have additional state tests in reading in the springtime.  Which test they will take is complicated, so more on that later...

     Friday October 10th was all about Fire Safety at Horace Mann.  Fifth grader Riley Griffiths won the district-wide award of Junior Fire Chief based on her essay and a perfect score on the fire safety test.  Way to go, Riley!  We also had a fire prevention assembly Friday afternoon, presented by Fire Marshal Tim and Fire Inspector Mike of the Lakewood FD.  Fifth grader Tyrel Thompson was the videographer for the event.  There was also a guest appearance by Seth Andregg, firefighter and father of Horace Mann 4th grader Addy Andregg.  Thank you for teaching us about smoke detectors, Lakewood FD :-)  We also enjoyed cheering Seth on as he climbed all the way to the top of the ladder:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Busses, Books, and Bow To Your Partner

     In addition to the engaged learning visible in the classrooms last week, students prepared for upcoming field trips with the annual K-3 Bus Safety Program.  Karen and Lisa joined us for a morning to teach students about riding the bus safely to and from field trips.  They even practiced emergency evacuations out the rear doors!  The first field trips of the year are the Kindergarten and First Grade students visit to Playhouse Square at the end of October.

On Friday, October 3rd, while Lakewood High School's "big kids" had their Homecoming game, our Horace Mann-ers enjoyed the Scholastic Book Fair and Family Dance in our gym.  Attendance was great and, as usual, our square and line dance-style DJ kept things lively and fun for all ages.  

The Book Fair did a brisk business, which is good in two ways.  First, it means that our students will have plenty of high-interest material to read.  Second, it helps our PTA collect some funds which are folded right back into beneficial programs and resources for our students.  Thank you to all the PTA members who helped out with the event.  Special thanks to Family Dance Committee Chair Anne Schleicher and Book Fair Committee Chair Wendy Hoppel.  

Here are some pictures of the dancing: