XS San Juan GSPO: Second Quarter Reminders for Grades 3 to 6

gspo colored letterhead17 August 2015

Dear Parents of GRADE 3-6 Students,

Greetings!

As we begin the Second Quarter, and in response to concerns raised by parents, we take this opportunity to remind you of important matters in the Grade School.

HOMEWORK

Homework is an important part of schooling inasmuch as it provides students with the opportunity to practice what they have learned in the classroom.  It is a tool in the learning process and as such should be done with very minimal help from parents and tutors.  Results of how well or how poorly homework is accomplished also gives the teacher an idea of how much the students have understood and mastered a lesson, and gives the teacher a cue as to the readiness of the students for the graded assessment and the next lesson.

  • Mindful of the limited attention span of young children, the number of homework from Grades 3-4 is regulated by the school.  Moreover, the amount of homework per subject is also designed to be age appropriate in terms of length and type in all grade levels.
  • To develop good study habits and independence, Study Hall and Advisory Period have been incorporated on some school days.   These periods have been earmarked primarily for the completion of homework (or in some cases, the copying of homework) under the supervision of the Class Adviser.
  • To develop grit and good study habits, consider doing the following:
    • Set aside a specific length of time for doing homework, i.e., approximately 10 minutes in Kinder to around 1 hour for the higher grades.
    • Ensure that your son’s full attention is focused on the task at hand, i.e., no distractions (e.g., TV, food, music, etc.) nearby
    • Teach your son to independently employ strategies (e.g., reading the direction again, rereading a text, solving a math equation more slowly, writing down important concepts, pronouncing crucial terms aloud, etc.) in accomplishing his homework.
    • Encourage your son to be resourceful in case he does not know what to do, e.g., check his HSCN, research the topic in the Internet, call up a classmate, look for the chapter in the book that gives examples, email his teacher, and to ask for your help as a last resort.

ASSESSMENTS

Xavier School exerts considerable effort in developing the critical thinking skills of students.  One concrete avenue for this is through the design of assessments and the nature of the questions asked.  Rarely are children asked to memorize irrelevant facts that can otherwise be Googled, rather, they are usually made to apply what they learned or asked to analyze situations.   Classroom activities and non-graded seatwork are done in class to prepare them for this kind of higher order thinking assessments.

  • Graded assessments and the deadline for submission of requirements are announced at least three days prior to the date of the assessment.
  • Checked assessments are ideally returned 2-3 periods after the assessment is given depending on the nature of checking required.
  • To manage subjectivity in checking open-ended assessments, the team of teachers calibrate their standards and agree on a marking scheme prior to checking the actual assessments. Rubrics are used to check more complex assessments.
  • Parents may request for a PTC with the Subject Teacher or Department Chairperson in case clarification regarding the grading is needed.

MANAGING SCHOOLWORK

To ensure that the load of student work is manageable, the Grade School has put a cap on the number of homework and graded assessments that are given in a day.

Please refer to the table below for a more detailed description of homework.

Homework that are INCLUDED in the cap Homework that are NOT INCLUDED in the cap
·       Answering items in a workbook, etc.
·       Reading a story/article/text for the first time
·       Researching a topic
·       Collecting data, may include interviewing people, etc.
·       Taking pictures or taking a video
·       Writing a journal entry
·       Other similar activities
·       Bring items
·       Announcements regarding circulars released, test papers given, change of schedule, etc.
·       Review of lessons in preparation for a summative assessment (since this is already counted as an assessment)
·       Regular practice of skills needed in the different subjects, i.e., oral reading in Filipino, playing the recorder, etc.
·       Other similar activities

The table below describes the different types of graded assessments.

Type of Assessment Description Implication on the Cap
Long Test/Mastery Test ·       Paper and pen test
·       Closed book test (students may not consult notes and textbook during the test)
·       May span more than 1 lesson/topic
·       May require considerable review at home
·       Usually comprises 20-25% of the final grade
Included in the cap; counted as TWO (2) entries
Writing Activities ·       Paper and pen test
·       Open book test (students may consult notes and textbook during the test)
·       Will not require considerable review at home
·       Usually an application of basic concepts learned in class
Included in the cap; counted as ONE (1)
Performance Tasks ·       May or may not be paper and pen
·       May entail group or individual work
·       Application of learned concepts in a real-world setting with real-life ‘problems’
·       Little or no review required at home (but student HAS to listen well in class!)
·       Open book activity
·       Completion may take more than 1 class period
NOT included in the cap*
Listening Tests ·       Will rely on decoding skills and stock knowledge
·       May have a focus on current lesson in English, Filipino or Chinese
Included in the cap; counted as ONE (1)
Oral Tests ·       Proficiency is achieved only with consistent and regular practice (ideally 5-10 minutes/day), not with one big review/practice
·       Students take the test on different dates due to time constraint
NOT included in the cap*
Practical Tests ·       Tests of skill, usually in Music, Art and PE
·       Proficiency is achieved with consistent and regular practice
·       Students take the test on different dates due to time constraint
NOT included in the cap*

*These assessments are NOT counted in the cap because their success lies in the students’

1) understanding and appreciation of the lesson as a result of their attentive participation in the classroom discussion rather than a long and thorough review of the topic right before the exam, or

2) short periods of regular/daily practice that will help build muscle memory and confidence.

Cap Per Grade Level and Examples

Grade Level Maximum Number of Combined Graded Assessments AND Homework Example Note that if you check the HSCN of your son, there is usually a smaller number of homework and assessments than the examples below.
3 – 4 4 English:     Listening Test
Math:       Do pages 12-13 of TB
Science: Long Test
5 – 6 5 Chinese:   Mastery Test
Filipino:     Magdala ng asul na panyo.
Math:       Long Test
CLE:        Reflection Paper (to be done in class)
  • Students may report non-compliance with the cap to Mr. Aude, the Grade 3-6 Team Leader, so that certain assessments may be rescheduled.
  • Please know that each section has an Assessment Board (also called a Quiz Chart, SA Board, etc.) to help the students keep track of how many assessments and homework are scheduled in a day.

Assessment-Board

  • There is also a dedicated portion of the blackboard/bulletin for homework. The entries in this part are erased only at the end of the day. Students who do not finish writing their homework in their HSCN during the subject period may still copy before they go home.

ABSENCES AND LEAVES

Xavier School puts a lot of premium on the physical presence of students in school because one has to be present to benefit from classroom discussions, inquiries done in class, and the different interactions that happen in school.   We believe that all these are crucial to learning.

  • A student who is absent from school for 1-2 days is required to present an EXCUSE LETTER to his Student Supervisor upon his return.
  • Please submit ONLY ONE excuse letter.  The ODS will inform your son’s teachers about the contents of the excuse letter.
  • A student who is/will be absent from school for 3 days or longer (but not more than 20% of the total number of school days for the year) is required to submit an APPLICATION FORM FOR STUDENT’S LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA).  This form is available at the Grade School Principal’s Office (GSPO) and may also be downloaded at xs.edu.ph
  • A medical certificate is required for absences due to sickness that last for 3 days or longer.
  • Students who are coming back from an illness that is considered contagious should first present themselves to the Infirmary for clearance by the School Doctor. The Student Supervisor may pull out a student from class for this purpose.

MAKE-UP ACTIVITIES

  • Students whose absences or leaves are excused may
    • request for an extra encounter with the Subject Teachers for lessons missed, and
    • take make-up activities for assessments missed.
  • For Grades 5-6: In the interest of developing independence and self-reliance, ONLY STUDENTS (not parents) may request for the two accommodations listed above.  Parent requests will not be entertained.
  • The school reserves the right to determine whether the reason for an absence or a leave is considered excused or not.
  • If a student who was previously absent reports to school on the day an assessment is scheduled, he is expected to take the test together with his classmates UNLESS he has a letter from his parents requesting that he be excused from taking the test or if the student himself explicitly tells the teacher BEFORE THE TEST that he is not ready to take the test.   When this happens, the student takes the make-up assessment on the earmarked dates upon advice of the GSPO.
  • The GS Principal’s Office has earmarked make-up assessment dates every month per grade level.  A parallel set of exams will be given as make-up so that the original assessments may be returned immediately to the students for feedback upon being checked and recorded.
  • The schedule of the make-up will be communicated to the student and his parents through a MAKE-UP ASSESSMENT NOTICE from the GSPO.
  • On the day of the scheduled make-up assessment,
    • students should go to the GSPO Testing Center (3rd Floor, near GSPO) 5 minutes before his designated make-up assessment schedule
    • only students with a signed MAKE-UP ASSESSMENT NOTICE will be allowed to take the test as scheduled  (Students with unsigned notices will have their make-up rescheduled.)
  • Not taking the make-up assessment on the scheduled date (including a rescheduling due to a no P.S. on the notice) may mean a postponement of the make-up to the succeeding month or for repeat offenders, may also result in the test being forfeited and the student getting an automatic F.
  • For Grades 5-6: The last set of make-up tests for a quarter is scheduled on the day of the Quarterly Tests. The subjects tested for QT are the same subjects scheduled for make-up.

HOME-SCHOOL COMMUNICATION

  • While the school encourages an open line of communication between the parents and the teachers, please empower your child to coordinate with his teachers himself about school-related activities, i.e., asking for additional encounters for missed lessons after an excused absence, requesting for clarification regarding homework, reporting an offense against him by a classmate, etc.  This is a concrete training in developing independence.
  • To further inculcate independence, we discourage you from posting on social media and/or relying on the post of other parents as regards homework for the day. Instead, remind your son to diligently copy his homework on his HSCN before going home.  Please note that students are given time at the end of the day to fix his things; thus, he will have enough time to make sure that he has the complete list of assignments.  This will ‘force’ him to move faster and be more alert.
  • Should you have a letter or a note on the HSCN for the teacher, please remind your son to give/show the note to the teacher first thing in the morning or at the start of the subject period.   This will allow the teacher to respond adequately to the matter.
  • You may also email your concern to the teacher. You may call up the GSPO (local 282, 279, 244) to request for the email address of the teacher.
  • To ensure the quick and efficient resolution of your concerns, it is always better to observe protocol in arranging for meetings with school officials.  Always request to meet with the concerned teacher FIRST.  The next person to meet in case your concern is not resolved would be

o   Prefect of Discipline for discipline cases

o   Team Leader for general concerns

o   Subject Department Chairperson for academic concerns

Please note that requested meetings with the Principal may be initially delegated to the concerned office and administrator.

RULES FOR PLAYING

To ensure order and minimize untoward incidents during break time, students are regularly reminded to observe the school’s RULES FOR PLAYING.  It is our hope that you can also reiterate these at home for greater consistency.

  • All players must be safe.
  • No one’s feelings should be hurt during play.
  • Joining a game should be optional.
  • Any player should be able to stop and leave in the middle of a game.

CARE FOR PERSONAL BELONGINGS

  • Please make sure that ALL belongings, e.g., pencil, books, sharpener, jug, lunch box, shoes, socks, PE shirt, pants, underwear, eraser, etc., of your son are labeled clearly with his name, grade and section.  This will facilitate the retrieval of the items in case they are misplaced or forgotten.  Moreover, it will lessen the incidents of students mistakenly bringing home someone else’s property.
  • On a related note, please have YOUR SON look for items that he misplaced.  Instruct him to check out the Lost and Found cabinet on the ground floor of the GS building.  Parents may also personally go through the lost and found items during the Parent Teachers Conference (PTC) day.   We appeal to you NOT to call up the teacher to request him/her to look for the lost items of your son.
  • Please do not let your son bring non-school related objects and/or expensive items, e.g., watches, jewelry, electronic toys, etc., to school.  These items are not needed in school and serve as distractions during class hours.  They are also potential causes for trouble.

SCHOOL CAMPAIGNS

iBuhat

We encourage students to carry their own bags and other belongings in school.  It is never too early to train our students, especially because they are boys expected to be gentlemen in the future, to carry and be responsible for their own things.  It is in this light that we request you to remind your son’s fetcher NOT to insist to get your son’s things from him during dismissal time.  Our students know what to do, but there are times when it is their fetcher who does not comply.

Stop-Drop-Go

Please observe the 15-second rule when dropping your son at the gate.  Train your son to have all his things ready even before the car rolls to a stop near the gate.  Your strict compliance with this campaign will go a long way in easing the traffic situation around the school campus.

We are issuing this circular in the hope that greater clarity regarding the whys and hows of things done in school will put needless fears to rest.   Rest assured that we have the best interest of your sons in mind, i.e., his well-rounded academic development and character formation, when we formulated these school policies and practices.

We welcome your thoughts. You may email your feedback and suggestions to gspo-mail@xs.edu.ph However, please note that this openness is not a guarantee of the approval of your requests and suggestions inasmuch as we need to consider the bigger context of the school in all our decisions.

We pray for your continued full support and cooperation.

Thank you,

(Sgd.)
Mrs. Jane C. Cacacho}
Grade School Principal

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One thought on “XS San Juan GSPO: Second Quarter Reminders for Grades 3 to 6

  1. scugrad

    Sorry….I remain extremely skeptical of the value of homework for students below Grade 5 or 6. I would rather see time at home spent reading or playing with parents. When homework becomes a battle or if students spend inordinate amount of time at a tutor’s then something is seriously wrong.

    Reply

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