Message from K8 Principal
Liz Lawlor, K8 Principal

Dear Levine Community,

As we embark on a new school year we are delighted to welcome new families and new faculty to our Levine School Community. We are excited and enthusiastic about the school year ahead and look forward to a great year of teaching and learning.

We are pleased to continue our partnership with the CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) to bring year two of STEM education to Levine Academy. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM is more than just a grouping of subject areas, it is a movement to develop the deep mathematical and scientific foundations students need to be competitive in the 21st-century workforce. The National Science Foundation"estimates that 80% of the jobs created in the next decade will require some form of math and science skills". STEM develops a set of thinking, reasoning, collaborative teamwork, and creative skills that students can use in all areas of their lives. Our science teachers will be employing the Engineering Design Process and 5E+AI (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate +Acceleration and Intervention) instruction model. A big focus of our K-4 STEM program will be integrating STEM into the general studies curriculum. The STEM coordinator and general studies teachers have already identified areas of integration for this school year. All K-8 STEM teachers will be using the STEMscopes curriculum. In our Middle School we have expanded our electives to include several STEM choices, makerspace challenges, robotics, minecraft, biomedical science, environmental science and math counts. We are excited that we will have 2 teams representing Levine at the CIJE Robotics Competition in December. Please mark your calendars for the K-8 STEM Night Thursday, April 2nd at 6:00 p.m.

In conjunction with our STEM initiative we will be utilizing our newly renovated Makerspace. The makerspace is a creative space where students can create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials. The Makerspace is a special space for artists, builders, crafters, graphic designers, engineers and even those who just tinker. All have a space to explore and develop new skills. Students will be visiting the Makerspace on a regular basis this year with their STEM teachers and general studies teachers. Several of our Middle School electives will also be held in the Makerspace.

We continue to evaluate and update our programs. This year we have implemented new programs to include The Collaborative Classroom - Making Meaning in the 4th grade. This is a continuation from the Making Meaning in 3rd grade and Being a Reader used in K-2nd grade. We have also implemented Being a Writer in 5th & 6th grades. Collaborative literacy integrates the core skills that are traditionally taught in language arts block with social-emotional learning, transforming the classroom into a student-centered learning environment where students thrive academically and socially.

We are delighted to announce the implementation of our new music curriculum in grades K-4th grade.The GAMEPLAN Curriculum is an active music curriculum. Each grade level includes experiences in imitation, exploration, improvisation, and visualization; repertoire rich in folk literature, nursery rhymes and traditional singing games. The yearly plan categorizes objectives in these 5 conceptual areas: rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre. Our students have already begun to experience this curriculum in their music classes.

Research confirms one of the most important factors contributing to a student's success in school is the quality of teaching. Over the summer, our teachers were engaged in many professional development opportunities. Ongoing professional development allows our teachers to strengthen their craft and develop the very best practices in education. Sessions attended by our teachers this summer included: CIJE STEM Training in NY, Music Educators Workshop Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, Schoology Conference in Boca Raton, National Differentiation Conference in Las Vegas, STEM Perot Institute, Teachers College Units of Study in Writing and Reading, The Flipped Classroom, SED Workshop Momentous Institute, Texas Wildlife Association Seminar and Mental Health Needs of Children and Teens at Region 10. Teachers arrived back at school energized and enthusiastic to share with their colleagues and to put their training into action in the classroom. We are very proud of our teachers and the commitment they have shown to their continual professional growth. Their dedication to being the best teachers they can be is commendable.

The Meet the Teacher/Mini-School Nights were both well attended and our teachers enjoyed sharing with you their expectations and plans for the school year. Thank you for your continued support!

Wishing everyone a restful weekend, take time for self, family and friends!

My very best, 

 

Liz Lawlor
K8 Principal