NYOS Charter School

Principal's Corner Archive

December 2016

Dear NYOS Community,

Welcome to the Elementary Principal’s Corner. Over my past nine years as NYOS’ Elementary Principal, our team efforts have been centered in building a strong Professional Learning Community focused on continuous school improvement. A large part of this work has been the implementation of Dr. Robert Marzano’s High Reliability Schools (HRS) framework.  Based on 40 years of educational research, the HRS framework defines five levels of performance in which a school must demonstrate mastery to become certified as a high reliability school. 

The HRS Levels are:

  1. Safe and Collaborative Culture- NYOS Certified Spring 2015
  2. Effective Teaching in Every Classroom- NYOS Certified Fall 2015
  3. Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum- NYOS Certified Spring 2016
  4. Standards-Referenced Reporting-NYOS Certified Spring 2016
  5. Competency-Based Education- work in progress

Included in the critical commitments for Level 3 certification is the development of a comprehensive vocabulary program. As part of a recent celebration of our Levels 3 & 4 certification we held a vocabulary parade. With the support of their teachers, students chose words that directly align with the curriculum content they are studying and dressed up as that word. Our parade was fantastic! Here's a photo of the four seasons:

HRS Alphabet Parade

We are currently working on becoming certified at Level 5- Competency Based Education (CBE). Realization of Level 5 certification supports the idea articulated in the NYOS Charter that student demonstration of mastery of the standards and benchmarks will determine movement from one instructional level to the next without regard to traditional units of time or student age. You might find this short video explanation of Competency Based Education helpful. We've begun this work in the area of mathematics and you'll be hearing more about it soon at the mid-year student led conferences on January 20th & 23rd.

As one of seven schools (world-wide) currently certified at Level 4, we are excited to have been invited to present at the HRS Summit once again this year. Having the opportunity to showcase the great work we have happening at NYOS is a privilege and honor!

Sincerely,

Terry Berkenhoff

Elementary Principal

NYOS Charter School

 

 

January 2017

Dear NYOS Community,

I hope the new year is off to a great start for you and your family. We certainly have had a good start to 2017 at NYOS!

January is a very busy month and I’d like to showcase several opportunities for you to add to your calendar.  Friday, January 20th and Monday, January 23rd elementary mid-year conferences will be held. Students and teachers are busy preparing to share updates on student progress. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have not yet signed up. We encourage 100% participation in these important meetings. Also, just a friendly reminder that elementary students will be dismissed at 12:35 PM on Monday, January 23rd.

Our fabulous NYOS PTA is busy planning many events to support our school. The next general PTA meeting will be held on Saturday, January 28th from 11AM- 1PM at the Lamar campus. The meeting promises to be great fun as it will be a Chili potluck. Please check the NYOS Charter School PTA Facebook page for more details.  

As usual, our unpredictable Texas weather has given us warm and cold temperatures all within a matter of days. Please write your child’s name on their coats and jackets. We always seem to have many unclaimed items that make their way to the lost and found bin. Labels will help us to return them to the correct owner. It is likely those jackets and coats will be needed again before we call winter done. 

Thanks for all you do in support of our school. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

Terry Berkenhoff

Elementary Principal


March 2017

 

Dear NYOS Families,

 

Spring has arrived! At NYOS we promote healthy, active habits and with the beautiful weather we’ve been enjoying, students have been able to fully enjoy their two recess periods each day. They’ve also been busy planting and harvesting in our school garden. Ms. Erhart’s Kindergarten class recently harvested carrots and onions they grew and graphed the different colors of carrots. What a terrific example of linking the curriculum to real world experiences.

 

A great spring tradition returns on April 6th- Elementary Field Day! Our fabulous Specials Team is hard at work planning for a spectacular day of fun. Thanks to all who have volunteered to assist as this treasured event could not happen without your support.  I’d like to give special appreciations to Frost Bank for their continued support with their sponsorship of the Kona Ice truck for Field Day refreshments. Needless to say, this is a super “cool” treat our students really enjoy!

I am happy to share that we’ve been invited to participate once again in this year’s North by North Austin Garden & Artist Tour on May 13th. Appreciations to Leslie White, NYOS parent, for volunteering to spearhead the work we’ll do to prepare for this community event. If you would like to help, please let us know. For more info see NxNA Garden & Artist Tour.

It is hard to believe that we are heading into spring break soon. I hope that you’ll find time to enjoy time with your children and that they return to school rested and ready for a great fourth quarter.

 

Thanks for all you do in support of our school. I look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Sincerely,

 

Terry Berkenhoff

Elementary Principal