Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hereford Elementary School Monthly Blog
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December 2015

Establishing Expectations: Common Language for Behavior

Hereford Elementary focuses on improving social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students.

Example of Our Code 1 Hallway Signs

In order for students to achieve academic excellence, they must be in an environment where they feel safe. Part of establishing a culture of safety, is creating common expectations for students and staff about what is appropriate school behavior. Hereford Elementary School has three overarching school rules which encompass the core behaviors needed to be successful:

  • Be Safe
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible

In addition to these general school rules, Hereford Elementary has adopted a “Codes” system to more clearly define the desired behavioral expectations school-wide for its different environments.  All students and staff members recently participated in a “Codes” assembly where we re-established Hereford’s five codes for our school.  The following is a brief description of each code:

Code 0-”Zero Voices” - used during emergencies when we need silence;
Code 1- “Adult Talk” - used for hallways, bathrooms and in classrooms during
              certain instructional periods, like testing;
Code 2-”Partner Talk” - used in classrooms during small group work.;
Code 3-”Small Group Talk” - used in the cafeteria and in classrooms for groups
              larger than two students working together;
Code 4-”All Talk” - used during recess when all students are permitted to talk at the
              same time.

You will see in our school environment that there are signs posted with these codes to assist students and staff in making them a routine part of each school day.  

For students who are following our expected behaviors of being safe, respectful, and responsible, there are “Hereford High Fives” that are given to students by any staff member. These slips of paper are then placed in a raffle box where names are drawn each Friday and announced over the intercom to be publicly recognized for their positive achievements.

For students who have a disciplinary infraction that violates our three school rules, “Better Choice Slips” are sent home detailing the undesirable behavior and a student-identified solution for correction of the behavior for the future.

When students have clearly defined rules and expectations for behavior that are positive and consistent, the focus of their day can truly be on learning and growing academically, socially and emotionally. Hereford’s School Rules and Code System provide all its students and staff with a common behavioral framework for success.
 Silas depositing a “High Five” into the raffle box                                     

In Our Classrooms

Our teachers continue their commitment to lifelong learning focused on rigorous and differentiated literacy instruction.

Supporting Balanced Literacy Instruction at Home
In the October blog, we shared that our teachers have been participating in targeted professional development focused on the Balanced Literacy model of reading instruction.  Throughout the fall, teachers have been trained in the “Shared Reading” component of the model.

Shared Reading happens every day in the elementary classroom.  The teacher
uses challenging and engaging text to explicitly model reading fluency and targeted skills and strategies.  The students actively participate in the thinking processes that lead to comprehension.

Check out how you can help support your child’s literacy development at home in the following ideas below provided by

How do parents turn their children from novice or even struggling readers into kids (and later, adults) who will consistently turn to reading as a source of pleasure? There are several rules of thumb that the experts agree are building blocks to raising enthusiastic readers.
  • It all starts with reading aloud. And reading aloud should start from birth. The more words your child hears from the beginning of her life, the bigger her vocabulary will be — which will pave the way when she learns to read herself.
  • Have plenty of books in the house. Keep books in the bathroom, on the bedside table, and in the backpack. Get your child a library card as soon as she is old enough, then take weekly or biweekly trips to the library. If the thought of frequent trips to Barnes & Noble sounds like a budget-buster, visit a used bookstore.
  • Model reading for your children by being a reader yourself. Make a point of reading a book or the newspaper while your children are in the room. As your child gets older, look for areas of common interest and read together. If your preteen son is an athlete, read the sports section together or get him a subscription to a sports magazine.
  • Let your kids be in charge of what they read. Allow your kids to select their own books, even if they're too easy. And it's OK if she wants to read junk once in a while, as long as she's reading a variety of things. Parents who try to exert too much control over the content of their kids' reading risk fueling the perception that reading is a chore.

In Our Community

Hereford Elementary hosts the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce.

AJ Juliani Presents to the UPVCC
Annual UPSD & UPVCC Breakfast
On Thursday, November 19th, Hereford Elementary was visited by over 50 local business and community leaders.  The event included:

  • welcome music provided by Dr. Thomas and the UP High School Up Tones;
  • a presentation regarding the increased availability of technology in the district provided by Mr. AJ Juliani;
  • a concluding song provided by Mrs. Margaret Lerch and our 5th grade chorus; and
  • Mr. Tom Guellich and 3 of our 5th grade students modeling our current available technology and classroom opportunities.

Annual Volunteer Breakfast
On Friday, December 11th, the amazing team of Hereford volunteers was treated to breakfast and energetic holiday performances by our students.  Our volunteers are tutors, coaches, interventionists, fundraisers, bakers - the list goes on.  Most importantly, they are amazing.  We love our volunteers!

Family Fun Night
Thanks to the hard work and planning of Mrs. LaSalle and the Hereford PTFS, our annual December book fair and family fun night was a huge success.  So many good books found great homes!

Shop with a Cop Program
The Hereford and Marlborough Elementary Schools assisted the Upper Perkiomen Police Department in its annual “Shop With a Cop” program.  On the evening of Monday, December 20th, the Upper Perk PD provided around 20 deserving students with the opportunity have their holiday wishes come true.
 Upper Perk Chief Devlin & Mrs. Kenna

Hereford Wrapping Team

       Kayla with Chief Devlin

Hereford Proud

Hereford Elementary School
1043 Gravel Pike
Hereford, PA 18056
Phone: 215-679-4151
Fax: 215-679-1591

Twitter: @HFDLeadLearner

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