GIS Newsletter - Glenwood Intermediate School

GIS Newsletter - Glenwood Intermediate School

Intermediate School


A publication of the Ball-Chatham School District February, 2013

On the Cover

Teaching and learning using Chromebooks

continues at GIS. Read more

about the initiative in this newsletter!

Got Tickets?

Glenwood Intermediate School just

concluded a PBIS campaign that focused

on responsibility throughout the

school. Students were awarded special

blue “golden tickets” for demonstrating

responsibility in the following areas: arriving

to class on time, completing their

homework, and remaining engaged in

the classroom. Students then placed

their blue responsibility tickets in a collection

box in the cafeteria. Ten lucky

students in each grade level had their

tickets drawn and received a “choose

your own recess” pass which allowed

those students the opportunity to

choose whether to have recess before

or after their lunch.

Glenwood Intermediate School

strives to provide a safe and positive

learning environment for all students

through the continued implementation

of PBIS in our school. Our school has a

PBIS universal team composed of teachers,

staff members and a parent representative

that meet regularly to review

recent data. PBIS is a data-driven, proactive

systems approach for establishing

behavioral supports and social environment

needed for all students to achieve

social, emotional, and academic success.

Spelling Bees are Buzzing at GIS!

Glenwood Intermediate School

has been buzzing with students

competing in our school spelling bee

contests. The purpose of spelling bee

competitions is to help students improve

their spelling, increase vocabulary

use, learn language concepts, develop

correct English usage and to promote

academic excellence. In fifth and sixth

grades, students had the opportunity to

compete to represent our school at the

regional spelling bee held in Pawnee.

Students put forth their best efforts

continued on next page


Officer Nominations. We are already

in the second half of our school

term! Soon we will be seeking nominations

for PTO officers. Consider volunteering

for a position. No previous

experience is necessary. Your efforts for

our schools are appreciated. Anyone interested

please contact jnortellbriggs@ or come to an upcoming PTO


Student Design Opportunity. Looking

for an activity for your 5th and 7th

graders over Spring Break? Students will

be asked to design a logo for t-shirts

and hoodies for the 2013/14 school

year. Submissions will be turned into

the art teachers after spring break. One

design will be chosen!

Spring Fundraiser. Please contact

a PTO officer or attend a meeting

to contribute your feedback for such

an event. Ideas and participation are

needed. Funds are used towards educational

needs at GIS and GMS.

Simple Ongoing Fundraisers. Here are

easy ways to help earn GIS/GMS cash


• Little Italy’s Pizza –If you enjoy the

pizza at Little Italy’s, be sure to cut

off the “Proof of Purchase” seal on

the back or side of the box. Send

it to school just as you would your

Box Tops. GIS/GMS receives 50

cents per Proof of Purchase.

• County Market Max Dollars for

Education. GIS/GMS can earn a

portion of $50,000 through its Max

Dollars for Education Fund Program.

Sign up online at

or complete a form at the

store’s Customer Service desk. The

school code is 9993. GIS/GMS automatically

qualifies for funds each

time you use your card. You must

enroll at the start of each school

year, even if you’ve previously registered.

Sign up today!

• Meijer Community Rewards

(MCR) Program. Every time you

shop at Meijer, you can earn money

for GIS/GMS by using your Meijer

Guest Card or Credit Card. When

your MCR card is scanned at the

checkout register, a percentage of

the purchase totals are rewarded to

GIS/GMS automatically. To enroll,

simply log on to Meijer at

The school code is

560594. You must re-enroll online,

even if you already have a Meijer’s

MCR card.

• Campbell’s Labels for Education.

Clip UPC codes from Campbell’s

products, earning points to be

redeemed for educational products.

UPC codes are collected year round.

Drop them off in 1st hour classroom.

See the eligible products by visiting

• SCRIP. Purchase a wide selection of

gift cards thru SCRIP. GIS and GMS

receive a percentage back from each

sale. The SCRIP order form is available

from the school website from

the PTO link. Simply print out order

form, fill it out, and send it to school

with your student. SCRIP orders are

completed within a few days.

• Boxtops. Thank you for participating

in the 60 Bonus Box Tops

promotion at Meijer. We have

received many, many certificates!

This income is much appreciated by

GIS and GMS. We will be launching

a 100-word persuasive essay contest

for one 5th grade winner and one

6th grade winner on the topic “Why

Should YOU Collect Box Tops?” Each

winner will receive their choice of

a $10 gift card to either iTunes or

AMC or a popcorn party for their entire

class. The winning essay for 6th

grade will be published in the GIS

year-end Box Tops newsletter and

the winning essay for 5th grade will

be published in the GIS beginningof-year

Box Tops newsletter for next

school year. Essays will be due on

Friday, March 1st. Keep sending in

your Box Tops. This year’s contest

continues through 4/30/13.

Spelling Bees are

Buzzing continued

spelling increasingly challenging words

during our school contests.

Our top spellers:

5th Grade: Joshua McGinnis (1st),

Matthew Ortman (2nd), Jenna Cheffy

(3rd), Aiden Stapleton (4th)

6th Grade: Medha Venigalla (1st),

Briana Wilson (2nd), Alyssa Mueller


Teaching and Learning with Chromebooks

Glenwood Intermediate School’s new tool to facilitate learning

This spring, 10 classrooms are

piloting the use of Chromebooks,

which are powered

by the Google Chrome web

browser and come preloaded

from the Internet cloud with

Google applications. “The

school originally piloted, but

on a much smaller scale, the

‘Bring Your Own Device’ program

last year in two of our

classrooms, using whatever

devices students brought in,”

says GIS Principal, Dan Lund.

“The problem with that, we

discovered, was that learning

actually slowed due to

the inequity in devices.” At

the end of 2012, the price

of Chromebooks dropped

nearly in half. “It was at that

point we researched more

closely all that Chromebooks

could offer instructionally,

and any limitations as well.

We talked with neighboring

school district teachers

and their students for their

feedback, and felt that this

was the direction we should

be heading.”

Grant money, and a

little luck

The Ball-Chatham Educational

Foundation awarded

$21,000 to GIS for the purchase

of Chromebooks last

November. (Chromebooks

cost $249 each.) The district’s

IT staff proceeded to place

the order in December, but

was informed by the provider

that the Chromebooks were

on backorder until February

2013. So, to make things

right, they shipped an equal

number of new Chromebooks

(with slightly different

features, but the same ones

GIS Teacher, Tim Niemeyer, explains his lesson using Chromebooks

our teachers use) and told

our district that they are

ours to keep, even when our

first order arrives in February.

Two for the price of one!

That meant that 10 classrooms

could be using them

instead of just five. The plan

is to outfit the final three

classrooms next school year

with Chromebooks, and also

move 120 Chromebooks up

to the sixth grade to be used

in science and social studies


How using Chromebooks



Teachers can create

templates using apps so they

can share documents with

students and the students

can then manipulate those

documents. They can log into

their computers and provide

real time feedback on students’

papers as they write


Teachers can also provide

virtual comments within

Google Documents and

Google Drive. That cloud

technology has an added

advantage — accessibility.

Students simply log onto

their Google Drive account

from any computer with an

Internet connection. School

programming is mindful

of the disparity between

children who have and those

who do not have a computer

in the home. All Internetbased

activities are done in

school so that no student is

at a disadvantage.

Chad Kent, Ball-Chatham’s

Director of Technology

notes that Chromebooks

are durable and can be used

again next year or can be

shared from class to class as

students log in via the cloud.

The plan is for the Chromebooks

to be used for several

years to come.

“This technology will

help with online testing in

2014-15 with common core

standards,” Kent said. “For

example, fifth-graders will

have to compose writing in

one sitting at a computer for

that writing standard, so the

students need to be familiar

with not only grammar, spelling

and sentence structure

but also with keyboarding.

They’ll be testing online at

desks instead of labs.”

Unlike traditional personcontinued,

next page

Teaching and Learning with Chromebooks


al computers, the Chromebooks

boot up in just eight

seconds and have a six-hour

battery life off one charge.

Students must have a WiFi

connection to use them but

there are applications that allow

students to do word processing

off line, for instance.

Kent said that the apps

are supplied by Google and

third party vendors. They’re

constantly updated so that

students have more up-todate

technological tools, and,

though students cannot take

the Chromebooks home,

they can access their

accounts at any time through

the Google cloud. “Since

Google owns YouTube,” says

Kent, “students can easily

insert a video into a presentation

directly from YouTube

and the cloud, or create their

own off their webcam, with

teacher approval.”

Google apps and Google

access are free. Updates

to apps occur in the background

and there is no need

for the expense of antivirus

protection because the apps

are hosted off Google’s servers,

not Ball-Chatham’s, and

Google has protection in

place on their end.

Prior to rolling out the pilot

program this semester at

GIS, each fifth grade teacher

was issued a Chromebook so

he or she could learn to use

it before teaching students

with it. Teachers and administrators

started as learners

and then transition into facilitators

that support students’

producing and creating.

Teachers are more facilitators

providing immediate feedback.

The goal is students

being able to access technology

in such as way that they

can become independent


Since students in the

10 classrooms are having to

share, and two classrooms

are still not outfitted with

Chromebooks, donations are

very welcome to help fund

this initiative. If you would

like to contribute, contact

principal Daniel Lund at;

or the Ball-Chatham Educational

Foundation’s treasurer,

Patrick Murphy, at pmurphy@

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