• Failure as a tool

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 4/24/2017

    Failure as a tool

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  • Do you have a growth mindset?

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 4/17/2017

    Do you have a growth mindset

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  • Brain Comparison

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 4/10/2017

    Brain Comparison

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  • Developing a Growth Mindset

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 4/3/2017

    Developing a Growth Mindset

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  • A Parent's Guide to the Common Core Standards

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 3/27/2017

    The NYS 3-8 ELA assessments will be administered this week. With that in mind, I wanted to share an article with families tat was previously released about the NYS Standards.


    Currently, each state has a separate set of education standards, lists of skills that students are expected to do by the time they graduate each grade. However, in response to concerns about American student achievement and just how prepared students are for college and careers, education leaders in 48 states, along with the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), have written a set of standards for student across the U.S. The common core state standards were released in 2010. Now, 44 states are working to implement them by 2013-2014. Here’s what you should know and how to help your child prepare for the common core:

    The Common Core Standards are State-Driven

    • The common core state standards are a set of learning skills that all American students should achieve, not a federal curriculum. They set the benchmarks and guidelines for what each student should learn, not how or what teachers teach.
    • Parent Tip: Find out if your state has adopted the common core at the common core standards web site.

    The Standards are a Progression

    • In general, standards set a progression of skills that students learn as they move through school. Kindergarteners work on phonics and letter sounds, while eighth graders work on building vocabulary and reading fluency.
    • Parent Tip: Look through the common core standards to get a feel for what your child will be learning as he moves through school. Read the English-language arts standards and the math standards at the common core web site.

    Students will Delve Deeper into Core Concepts

    • One complaint about separate state standards was the concern from teachers that students were learning about too many topics in a year to fully understand them, says Carrie Phillip, CCSSO program director of common core standards implementation. The common core state standards, on the other hand, focus on the most important topics that students need to know. In math, that means that students focus on really understanding numbers in elementary school before they start to apply that understanding of numbers to data in middle school.
    • Parent Tip: As your child completes homework, help them hone in on the most important aspects and core concepts.

    The Reading Standards will Get More Difficult

    • As the common core is implemented, students will be expected to read more difficult text sooner, and discuss what they read at a more complex level. For example, instead of pulling out individual text elements, such as characters, plot, and setting, students will be reading or listening to various stories, and will compare stories using their understanding of text elements.
    • Parent Tip: As you read with your child, ask her in-depth why and how questions that encourage her to analyze and synthesize texts. For example, read three different versions of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears and ask your child to compare and contrast them as you read. Also, as you build your child’s library, see Appendix B for book ideas.

    Focus on Informational Text

    • To prepare students for college-level work, there will be more of a focus on informational and expository text. In middle school especially, students will be reading informational text, including original documents, from the Declaration of Independence to presidential speeches.
    • Parent Tip: Encourage your child to research a topic he’s interested in using informational texts and original documents.

    Assessments Will Change

    • Compared to current achievement tests, common core assessments will likely be more difficult. Ideally, instead of multiple choice tests, students will be analyzing and synthesizing information, writing essay responses, and answering in-depth questions to show how much they understand.
    • Parent Tip: Ask your child to explain or show how they’re solving problems. Then, have them think of multiple ways to solve a math problem, or answer a reading discussion question.

    Focus on Practical Skills

    • The common core standards were designed with the workplace in mind. So, students will be working on taking the role of scientists, historians, researchers, and more. For example, says Bill McCallum, co-author of the standards and professor at the University of Arizona, the standards “describe what a mathematical practitioner does, make sense of problems, preserver and solve them, and critique the reasoning of others.”
    • Parent Tip: As your child works through his homework, ask him how someone might use what he’s working on in “real life.” Help connect thinking in school to thinking at work by explaining how you solve problems, or use math every day.

    As the common core state standards start to be implemented in schools, there will be some changes, but many things will stay the same. The most important aspect, as always, is to stay in contact with your child’s teacher to find out how you can support this latest educational advancement at home.

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  • I have a growth mindset

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 3/20/2017

    I have a growth mindset

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  • Entering the Building

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 3/7/2017

    Dear Families,

    The safety and security of our students and teachers is extremely important to me. We have implemented procedures for entering the building to ensure the safety of all students and protect instructional time. 

    The loading dock door will be locked in the morning starting March 8, 2017. Families must enter the building through the previously identified doors. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

    I have included entrance information that was sent home at the beginning of the school year as a reminder of our policies for entering the building throughout the day.



    School Hours/ Entrance

    School hours are from 8:00-3:13.  We do not have supervision before 8:00 a.m.


    Walkers/ Family drop off/ pick up

    • All students entering the building before 8:00 must go to the cafeteria.
      • No students will be permitted in the PK-4 hallways before 8:00.
    • Students who walk to school should enter the building through the PK door.
    • Students who are dropped off at school should use the new student drop off entrance and should not be in school until 8:00.
      • Families should not park in the drop off area.
    • Only families with students in the new 3 year old preschool program should enter the building at the far end entrance.
    • Reed will let families of the preschool students in through the door in the morning.
    • Reed will let 3PK families in the building at 12:15 at the designated entrance.
      • Families should not go to the afternoon UPK or 3 year old classrooms until 12:15.
      • Families who arrive before 12:15 for afternoon preschool should wait in the front of the building until 12:15 to reduce distractions for other classrooms.
    • Families who wish to walk their child into the building should park in the front or rear parking lots, enter through the PK door, and go to the cafeteria with their child.
      • In an effort to increase independence, we ask that families say good-bye to their children at the cafeteria and then have the child walk to their classroom independently.
    • Families should enter the building through the front entrance and wait by the PK-4 office at the end of the day to pick up their children.
      • Families should not go directly to classrooms (except for 3PK families).
      • All students being picked up at the end of the day must check in at the PK-4 office.

    Guests Passes

    We love having families in school, but please remember that all guests are required to sign-in into the PK-4 office and get a visitors pass before walking through the halls of Fillmore Central School.

    • If you need to bring something to school for your child, please bring the item(s) to the office and we will call your child down to get the items.
    • If you need to speak to your child, the office will call your child down to the office and make them available for you.
    • If you need to talk to a teacher or visit a classroom, the office will call the teacher to make sure the visit will not disrupt instruction before you go to the classroom.
    • If you are picking up your child at the end of the day, please stay in the front of the building and wait for your child to come to you. Do not walk to the classroom.

    Teacher Meetings

    Communication among teachers and families is extremely important. We value all communication. At the same time, it is very important that our teachers meet each student at their door to start the day in a positive manner and have their full attention on the needs of the students. Please set up a time to meet and talk with your child’s teacher. Please do not stop by your child’s classroom without a prior appointment. The elementary office phone number is 585-567-4432 and the e-mail address for every teacher is listed in your child’s agenda. Please leave any messages with the PK-4 office, and we will communicate the information to the teachers.

    I appreciate your help and cooperation as we implement these procedures. Please contact me at 567-4432 if you have any questions.

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  • Read Across America Week

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 2/26/2017

    Read Across America

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  • Be a Soaring Eagle

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 2/13/2017

    At our quarterly awards assembly I challenged all PK-4 students to be a Soaring Eagle.

    What is it?

    The Soaring Eagles Club is a group of students who have been recognized by teachers and administrators for displaying exemplary character qualities at Fillmore Central School.

    How do you become a member?

    • Perform random acts of kindness
    • Stand up against bullying
    • Doing the right thing without being told
    • Accepting differences and including everyone
    • Consistently making good decisions
    • Being a leader by setting a good example

    I know they can do it!

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  • Growth Mindset at Home

    Posted by Wendy Butler at 2/6/2017

    The way parents talk about ability and learning can have powerful effects on their kids’ beliefs. Below are three ways parents can instill a growth mindset. And remember, developing a growth mindset in yourself and in your kids is a process that takes time. Have a growth mindset about developing a growth mindset!

    • Recognize your own mindset: Be mindful of your own thinking and of the messages you send with your words and actions.
    • Praise the process: Praising kids for being smart suggests that innate talent is the reason for success, while focusing on the process helps them see how their effort leads to success.
    • Model learning from failure: When parents talk positively about making mistakes, kids start to think of mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.
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