I absolutely love that Swift does a teacher conference every nine weeks. I really appreciate the feedback, at that interval, which was not available in our public school. I was once again ecstatic with the gains that Brayden has shown during the past nine weeks.
At the beginning of the conference, Brayden presented a written list of items he has accomplished, things he would like to learn, and a strategy that has made learning easier for him. Brayden’s DIBELS fluency rate has increased by almost 100% from the time of his previous evaluation in October — thank you Mrs. Salapka, Ms. Roddy, and Ms. Northop! As a parent who strives to parent with a “positive parenting approach”, I am so very appreciative for teachers who teach from that point of view as well.
I recently overheard a conversation Brayden was having while playing in our backyard with a child whom he previously attended school. Brayden’s playmate said that he was not really smart and that was why he went to another school. Brayden responded that he:
- learned differently,
- he was dyslexic,
- at school they told him he was smart and could do anything as well as anyone else,
- and there are a lot of FAMOUS dyslexic people!
Thank you Swift for building Brayden’s self-esteem by showing him in a concrete way what he has learned. His self-concept and self-esteem are soaring!
(School note: DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is a series of short tests that assess early childhood (K-6) literacy. It is a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of a set of K-6 literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The theory behind DIBELS is that giving primary school students a number of quick tests, educators will have the data to identify students who need additional assistance and to monitor the effectiveness of intervention strategies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIBELS - Morgan Sapp)
Life at the Swift School continues to bring much excitement and growth! Mrs. Salapka’s class treated their parents to a Thanksgiving reading about their most memorable Thanksgiving. It was such an awesome reading experience for children who are challenged to read in front of a group. We were so very proud of Brayden and all of his classmates! One of our wonderful parents found a book called, If You are So Smart Why Can’t You Spell Mississippi? The book was sent home with each child to read with their parent, and then we made a journal entry as to how our child is special and bright. I highly recommend this book, and other books in this series, as it is an esteem building book for our kids with dyslexia. Thank you to Mrs. Salapka..this was a wonderful exercise.
(School note: The book If You are So Smart Why Can’t You Spell Mississippi? is about a third grade student whose father, a very intelligent lawyer, is dyslexic. As he tries to help her with spelling words for school, Katie learns more about dyslexia. You can read more about this book at http://www.amazon.com/Youre-Mississippi-Adventures-Everyday-Geniuses/dp/160336448X - Morgan Sapp)
There have been so many things going on at Swift School; I hardly know where to start. I am impressed and grateful that there is such attention to making the members of the Swift School Community a real family.
Highlights over the past month have included:
- The Dyslexia Dash;
- Parent & Faculty Mingle;
- Parent Conferences;
- and Swift–O-Ween.
The children also all voted for their favorite book on Election Day.
Brayden really enjoyed having the opportunity to dress up for Halloween at school. My highlight was meeting with Brayden’s teacher, Mrs. Salapka for parent conferences. I am overjoyed with the progress that he has made in a very short period of time. The pride and sense of accomplishment that Brayden feels, and the joy that it brings to my husband and me are truly phenomenal.
(School note: Thanksgiving presentations were held earlier this week for students in the Lower Division. Mrs. Salapka’s students painted pumpkins with their families as a part of their Thanksgiving presentations. - Morgan Sapp)
These first six weeks of school have brought so much joy, peace and harmony to our family. We were quickly enveloped into the Swift Community. The New Family Ice Cream Social allowed us to get to know other families in the school and provided a fun social time for both children and parents. The class room Meet and Greet, allowed us to meet our teacher and new classmates. Brayden’s teacher is Mrs. Lindsay Salapka. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there were mothers crying tears of joy when they discovered that their child had Mrs. Salapka for a teacher. Immediately following the the Meet and Greet Brayden said, “Mom, I like it here so much, you don’t even need to pick me up on Friday, I will just stay here all weekend!” You can imagine my joy and relief.
Welcome to the introductory post of the Swift School blog. My name is Shannon and as a first year Swift School parent, I was asked to write this blog to share our family’s experience/journey by Morgan Sapp, Swift’s communications and development associate. The goal of this blog is to allow current and prospective families to gain insight into the awesome opportunity of a Swift School education from a parent’s point of view.
About us: We are a family of 5 that includes our 16 year old son, 13 year old daughter, and our Swift student Brayden. Brayden began the 3rd grade at Swift this year.
Our journey to Swift began in earnest at the beginning of Braydens’s second year at our local public school; however I was aware that there were learning differences when Brayden was in kindergarten.