Conferences and State Testing

It was wonderful to see all of you at conferences the past two weeks.  We enjoyed getting to meet with you and celebrate in your child’s progress.  We are also celebrating that we have finished our state ELL testing- W.I.D.A. Access.  Our students worked very hard and did their best to finish this difficult test. We will send off the results as soon as they are in and this will help us determine your child’s ELL support for next fall.  We will send one more report card home in June but don’t hesitate to contact us before then if you have any questions or concerns for your child.  Have a great week!

State ELL Testing

Starting February 10 and lasting through March 28, we will be giving our state ELL test (now called WIDA, World Class Instructional Design and Assessment ). This test is given k-12 and is divided into 4 sections:  Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.  In some instances we will be able to pull small groups and will also need to work one-on-one with all students to complete the speaking section.  We are anticipating we will be able to finish the testing in 3, 60-minute sessions per student/group. (K is done in one 45 minute session.)  This test is done paper/pencil.  Results will be mailed home over the summer and will help to determine your child’s language proficiency level and eligibility for ELL services next school year. Unfortunately, during testing time, we will work our students on a limited basis.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

- Miss Lindsey Smith and Mrs. Victoria Cooley

More Ipad Apps

Looking for some extra practice? Check out these great apps!

9 Fantastic Ipad Apps

ELL Report Cards

Dear Parents,

ELL Report Cards will be sent home in the next few weeks. ELL report cards are sent home in January and June. The reason we wait until January is that many of our students with low English proficiency need time before getting an official report card grade. Report cards will only be sent home with the students currently receiving ELL services on a weekly basis. If your student is being monitored, he/she will not receive a report card for ELL. Each report card has 3 levels on it– your student is only graded on one level based on their language proficiency (determined from the ELPA test taken in the spring). Therefore, one level will have grades on it, and the other 2 levels will be left blank.

If a standard is blank on your student’s graded level, do not worry. That just means we did not work on that standard together during ELL time, or it was never noticed when working with your student. Hopefully by the end of the year, all of the standards will be met and graded. The scores on the report card are from 1-3, with 3 being at mastery level.

If you have any questions, please let us know! We are so excited about the progress our students are making!

Victoria Cooley (for Esther VanHaitsma and Lindsey Smith)

Welcome Baby Van Haitsma

We are happy to announce the birth of Truman Edward Van Haitsma. Mrs. Van Haitsma’s son was born Tuesday morning and was 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 21 inches long! We’ll miss Mrs. Van Haitsma but are happy she’ll be home spending time with her new baby. We are happy to welcome Ms. Lindsey Smith who will be Mrs. Van Haitsma’s long term sub. Ms. Smith will start after the break and we look forward to introducing her to you! We will also have a new ELL paraprofessional Ty Jansma starting as well. Lots to look forward to in the New Year. Happy Holidays!

-Mrs. Cooley (for the ELL team)

Merry Christmas!

Dear Students,

Are you looking for a way to impress your friends?   Here is another video showing you how to say “Merry Christmas” in 24 different languages!  Sounds like fun to me!  Enjoy!

Parent Teacher Conferences

Dear Parents,

We have enjoyed meeting with many of you this week for conferences and look forward to seeing some of you next week as well!  At your child’s conference, we will give you a progress monitoring form that will let you know what type of ELL services your student is receiving this year.  As a reminder, ELL report cards are only sent home twice a year – in January and June.

If you have more questions about ELL services, or would like to schedule a separate conference time, please let us know.  We’d be happy to set up another time to talk with you!

Thanks for all of your support.  Be sure to check out the “links for students” on the right side of this page for plenty of activities to work on at home!

-Mrs. VanHaitsma and Mrs. Cooley


Helpful iPad Apps

Dear Teachers and Parents,

2 years ago we suggested some free iPad apps for English Language Learners (click here if you missed it). We just found another helpful website with more free iPad apps that we hope you will enjoy. We know that our students are very motivated by technology and think this is a great list (we use a lot of them already)!  Go here and check it out now!

Have a great day! -Mrs. Cooley and Mrs. VanHaitsma

The MEAP is Coming!

Hello Everyone!

Didn’t the first month of school go fast?!  We are still catching our breath from all the excitement!  The ELL teachers have been busy meeting and screening new students, creating schedules, figuring out MEAP accommodations, and lesson planning with teachers.  We are finally settling into a schedule that works for our students and we are already seeing some fantastic progress!  Thank you for working with us and helping your students achieve success.

This is just a reminder that the MEAP test begins next week!  Almost all of our ELL students will get accommodations for this test- this means that students will still take the test, but will be allowed to take it in a small group.  Most ELL students will also be allowed to have the test read to them by a teacher or can listen to it on a CD.  If your student tells you that he/she took the MEAP test in another location (other than their classroom) or had another teacher read the test to them, this is why.  If you have any questions regarding your students’ MEAP accommodations, please contact us.

We are asking that you help us in our MEAP preparations!  Please make sure that your student has a good night of sleep the night before the test.  Be sure that your child eats breakfast (at home or school) and has appropriate clothing for the weather that day.  Encourage your student to do his/her best and that is what will make them successful!

We know this test can be stressful for many of our students, but with your help and our accommodations, we know they will do a great job!

Welcome Back!

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to the start of the school year!  We hope you are enjoying these last few days of summer with your students.  We had a very busy and exciting summer!  Mrs. Cooley spent the summer officially becoming a Hudsonville resident and moving into her new house!  Mrs. VanHaitsma spent the summer getting ready for her baby boy!  He due to arrive around Christmas!  Both of us feel very blessed and refreshed to start the new year.

Baby Boy


Here are some things you need to know as we get ready for school to start:

-Mrs. VanHaitsma will continue at Riley, South, Jamestown, Park and Forest Grove.  Mrs. Cooley will continue at Baldwin, Georgetown, Alward, and Bauer.  We are also excited to introduce our parapro, Mrs. Sellaro, who will be working with us during the afternoon!  We will be sure to let you know if and when Mrs. Sellaro will be working with your student.

-You will be receiving a letter from us soon.  The letter will include your students Spring 2013 ELPA score which helps us determine appropriate services for this upcoming school year.  Also included in this letter is a “Permission to Provide Services” form, which must be signed by you and returned back to school.

-Stay tuned to the blog in the first few weeks of school (if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so)!  We will be updating our schedules and anything else that you need to know.

We look forward to seeing you at Open House next week Wednesday!  As always, contact us if you have any questions.

Mrs. Cooley and Mrs. VanHaitsma