Weekly Newsletters

September 8, 2017


Dear Parents:

            I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend.  I always enjoy an extra day off but then the four day weeks are always really busy.  This week has been no exception.  The weather has been a nice bonus to the week.  The students have enjoyed having great weather to play outside and we have also enjoyed having the opportunity to open windows and not have the air conditioner running all day long. 

            Our reading story this week was about enjoying time with family.  Students wrote a letter to a friend about fun things they did with their family.  We compared and contrasted family activities in the story with family activities they did. We read about different family birthday celebrations and compared them to our birthday celebrations.  Students have continued to work on vocabulary and high frequency words along with spelling and reading words with short vowels.  In math we have continued to work on solving word problems and practicing basic addition and subtraction facts.  We worked on fact families as well. Our morning calendar time focuses on patterns, shapes, counting mixed coins, and solving equations that equal the number of the day.   Students continue to work on Reflex Math and iRead during our computer time and center time. 

            Continue to send in box tops for education.  Our school receives money for each box top returned.  PTO is continuing the popcorn fund raiser and orders and money are due back to school by September 21st.   The money earned will be used to help with the new Cecilia Valley playground.  We are also collecting coins for the playground.  Students can bring in coins or dollars to put in our container.  It will be turned in at the end of the month and the class with the most money will win a popcorn party.  Thanks for continuing to send in coins for the playground.  It is so exciting to see that Cecilia Valley is very close to completion.  We have waited so long – it will be nice to be in a new building.    There are other papers in the Friday folders – please look through the folder and return anything on the return side. 

            Thanks to all of you who have joined Remind.  If you have questions about things happening in the classroom feel free to contact me.  You can send me an email message, Remind message, or a note in the planner. 

            Have a wonderful weekend.  It looks like perfect fall weather.


Kathy Cofer






September 1, 2017


Dear Parents:

                This has been a busy week.  We have had so many out of the ordinary things going on in the building this week.  We MAP tested Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  The students worked hard to read the questions and try their best.  I have listed the scores for both reading and math at the bottom of this newsletter. The average score for reading is 174.7 and math is 176.9.  This is our starting point and we should see growth when we test again in December and at the end of the year.  At the beginning of the year we practice several safety procedures so that students know what to do in case of an emergency.  We have practiced lockdowns, fire drills, and tornado drills this week.  The students know the appropriate procedures for an emergency. 

                In reading this week we have continued with our story from last week.  Students spelled words with short a and i, read the leveled readers about choosing appropriate pets, and sequenced the story events.  We worked on writing complete sentences and identifying the subject and predicate in the story.  We also did a short paragraph about our first club day.  Students enjoyed club day and are already planning ahead for the next club day.  In math we have continued to work on addition facts and strategies, solving word problems, and comparing two dimensional shapes.  We have continued to work on iRead and Reflex math.  iRead focuses on reading and comprehension strategies and reflex math works on learning the basic math facts.  Students visit the library once each week to check out books and I also have a collection of my own that they can read in the classroom when they have time. We have been working on social studies this week.  I read the book Me on the Map.  Students have identified the town, state, and country they live in.  I was surprised that several students did not know the name of the street they lived on.  I started reading the Magic Tree House books this week as our read aloud.  The students always like the adventures of Jack and Annie.   We finished book one on Friday. 

                Ms. Brenda is once again giving away special pencils as a reward for turning in a completed sheet of box tops.  There is information about that in the Friday folders.  PTO is starting the Popcornopolis fundraiser as well.  That information is in the Friday folder as well.  Howevalley Day will be September 9th.  Please look through the Friday folders for any additional information.

                We are still collecting pennies for the playground.  Our school collected over $ 500.00 last month in pennies for the playground during the month of August.  The class that collects the most will win a popcorn party each month.  We already have a good start for the month of September. Send in your coins anytime throughout the month. 

                We celebrated the August birthdays on Friday.  I call this Birthday Friday and I bring a treat and we enjoy a birthday celebration.  If you would like to pick up a treat for a certain month just let me know.  The students always enjoy celebrating birthdays. 

                If you have any questions or concerns about what is happening in the classroom feel free to contact me through email, Remind, or a call to the office.  I will be happy to speak with you. 

                It looks like a rainy couple of days but hopefully nothing as severe as the flooding in Texas.  It is sad to see how much destruction the flooding has caused. There is no school on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.  Enjoy the weekend.


Kathy Cofer




August 25, 2017


Dear Parents:

                We finished another great week.  The week started with the solar eclipse.  This was so cool to watch and everyone did a great job following the rules.  The students were very good as we went out multiple times to watch the eclipse.  Students had learned many facts about the moon and the earth and their orbits so the background knowledge helped them understand the eclipse. 

                This week in math we have reviewed basic addition facts to 20.  Students have worked on multiple strategies to learn and memorize the basic addition and subtraction facts.  We are going to start working on the reflex math program that will help students learn those basic facts.  If they can learn the facts – that will make two and three digit addition and subtraction much easier.   Students read Henry and Mudge this week as our reading story.  We worked on beginning, middle, and end along with understanding the characters in a story.  Students read vocabulary words along with reading and spelling words with short a and i.  We have worked on identifying subjects and predicates in sentences.  In writing this week we spent some time writing about the eclipse.   Students will go to the library once a week during our morning center time.  Remind them to bring their books back to school so they will have them on their library day.  We are not sure if we will continue to do Accelerated Reader this year.  We should have that finalized by the first of September.  Students are not taking tests until we decide what will happen with AR. 

                Homework will be in planners each day.  Students will have any papers in the front plastic pocket in the planner.  Homework needs to be returned the next day. Homework should never take longer than 20 minutes.  If there is a problem with homework please let me know and we will work it out.  Please sign the planner nightly so that I know you see the homework and any notes that have been written.  Parents are welcome to use the planner to write bus notes and communicate with me as well. 

                I will send weekly newsletters in the Friday folder each week. There will also be other communication from the school. Please look through that each week.  Duke’s Sporting Goods is doing an ONLINE ONLY fundraiser for Cecilia Valley shirts.  Orders can only be placed online and the information is in the Friday folder.  PTO is collecting coins for the playground.  If you want to send in coins we will drop it in our bucket.  Any donations are appreciated and it will all add up in the end.   Continue to send in Box Tops for Education. The school gets money for each box top turned in. Look for them on many products and send them in. 

                We will be MAP testing on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. This will give us our starting point for the year.  I will talk with the students about the importance of doing their best. The test will not be read to them this year as it was in first grade.  The students will have to read each question independently. Please encourage them to give their best effort on the test.

                Thanks to those of you who signed up for Remind. That is an excellent way to get in touch with me quickly or for me to send out information. 

                August 31st will be our school picture day.  They use a green background so please do not wear green.

                Thanks for helping get the year off to a great start.  I am looking forward to an amazing school year.

                Have a wonderful weekend.


Kathy Cofer



August 18, 2017


Dear Parents:

                It’s been a busy week for all of us.  We are working hard to get into a normal routine and things are moving in that direction.  It has certainly warmed up this week and our air conditioners are getting a workout.  This week we have been studying the sun, moon, and earth to have some background knowledge prior to the eclipse.  Students have modeled the rotation and orbits of the moon and earth.  We also did an experiment to see how the moon could cover the sun when it is much smaller.  Students discovered that when they were farther away the quarter could cover the paper plate.  We did some size comparisons as well.  This week for our reading time we read some fairy tales.  We completed an organizer that identified the parts of the fairy tale.  We acted out Jack and the Beanstalk and sequenced the story events in Goldilocks and The Three Little Pigs.  In math this week we have been working on solving word problems and locating key words when deciding to add or subtract.  We have also practiced different strategies to add single digit numbers.  Instead of going to the computer lab this year we are using the Chromebooks in our classroom.  We have worked on logging into their student accounts this week.  Once students are logged in then they will be working on iRead and Compass Learning.  It takes a little practice to teach them log in names and passwords.  They are getting better. 

                We are still missing a few back to school papers – if you have not returned them please do so as soon as possible.  Permission slips went home to view the eclipse – if they are not returned by Monday those students will not be allowed outdoors during the eclipse.  School will be letting out about 30 minutes later than usual so students can see the total eclipse. 

                Our window air conditioner runs nonstop when the weather is hot.  Some students nearer the air conditioner are cold so I have told them they need to put a light jacket in their book bag to use if they are cool.  Students are allowed to bring water bottles to school however, they must bring plain water.  Students cannot be bringing soft drinks, Kool-Aid or any other drinks.  If this proves to be a distraction then I will ask that they leave the water at home. 

                Our instructional day starts at 7:40 AM.  I take attendance at 7:40.  Students are allowed in the building at 7:15 AM.  If your child is eating breakfast at school each morning they need to be at school by 7:30 AM in order to have time to finish breakfast before we clean up and get started with our day.  I have several students that are getting to school just as the bell rings and then trying to eat breakfast as we write in planners and start our math lesson.  I appreciate your help in getting students to school at the appropriate time.

                The PTO is collecting change for the new playground at Cecilia Valley. We have a container in our classroom that students can drop change in that will go into the playground fund.  PTO is also planning a pool party fundraiser on August 25th from 6-8 at American Legion Water Park. The cost is $5.00 per person.

                We are collecting box tops for education here at Howevalley.  If you find box tops on any products – remove them and send in with students. 

                I am excited to be teaching another second grade class here at Howevalley.  If you have questions or concerns please feel free to email me or call the office.  I am once again sending home information to sign up for remind.  That is a great way to contact me with questions or concerns.

                Have a great weekend!

Kathy Cofer




August 11, 2017


Dear Parents:

                Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year.  This will be a year of changes in our school as we transition to a new principal and a new building.   We are excited to have Carlena Sheeran as our new interim principal and Billy Coffey as our assistant principal.  They both have connections to Howevalley and will work hard to make this a positive year for everyone.  We also have a new PE teacher, Mr. Jenkins, and new librarian Mrs. Riggs.  Both Mrs. Ghaderi and Ms. Dinsmore have retired. 

                We spent the first couple of days going over rules and procedures.  We will continue to use the clip chart to reinforce positive choices.  There is a letter and picture of the clip chart included in the Friday folder.  Starting on Monday, the students will color their planner to show parents what color they were on at the end of the day.  If students have to clip down they are able to clip back up if they correct their behavior. 

                I use the Remind app to share information with parents.  I have also added a letter in the Friday folder with information on signing up.  With Remind I can send messages to the whole group or individuals.  Parents are also able to send messages to me as well.  Please sign up as this is a great communication tool for both of us.  If you have questions or trouble let me know.

                I will send a newsletter home each Friday with information from the week.  It will be in the Friday folder with any other information.  The school purchased nice Friday folders that should last through the year.  Please look through the information each week.  Papers you can keep will be on the keep side.  If there are papers on the return side – please sign and return. 

                Students also have a new planner this year.  Homework will be written in the planner each evening.  Parents need to sign or initial on the opposite side each evening. If there are notes from me you will find them in the planner.  I will check the planners each morning for any bus notes or questions you may have for me. 

                I am excited to be teaching 2nd grade this year.  I look forward to working with you and your child.  You will find that I am available to you and will be happy to answer any questions you have.  I want this to be a positive and successful year for all of us.  Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.

                I will give homework Monday through Thursday each week.  Students will have spelling words each week.   There will usually be reading, math, and spelling assignments throughout the week.  This is homework that should be completed by the child.  It should take no longer than 15 minutes to do homework.  If you find that homework is taking much longer than that please let me know and we will work something out.  I don’t want this to be a hardship on the family or interfere with other activities.   

I love reading and encourage students to read some on their own as well. They will be able to check out books each week from the library. 

                Thanks for taking the time to fill out the many papers that were sent home the first day of school.  If you have not returned them please send them back on Monday.

                I am excited to be working with your child and look forward to a great school year.   Howevalley School staff and others will be in the Cecilia Day parade on Saturday.  Hope to see you there.  Have a great weekend.




Kathy Cofer