Village School

Printable News

Use the latest version of Firefox to print this page. Remember to set print settings to print background colors and images and make sure ignore scaling is not checked. Also, make sure "Page Headers" and "Page Footers" are all set to "--blank--."

This help text will not show up on the print.

Upcoming Events

Continuous Learners — Teachers and Students

From David Wilce, Village School Principal

In our fall edition of the Village Voice I wrote about Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This educational framework is based on research in the science of learning and guides the development of flexible learning environments and opportunities that accommodate individual learning differences. 

While UDL does ask that we consider the physical space, the classroom configuration, it also requires that teachers provide a choice of tools, materials and resources. Then they must work with students to help them reflect on how the use of these resources impacts their learning. 

Another key feature of UDL is the integration of digital resources and materials. Digital resources offer greater flexibility than traditional print media, which in turn provides greater access for a variety of learners. Learners are provided with frequent, formative feedback and encouraged to share their learning process at stages. Celebrating that the process of learning is valuable, not simply the outcome, builds stamina and encourages persistence while stressing that learning is a continuous process. UDL actively involves the student in their learning by ensuring that the learning goal is clear and accessible. Learners are taught to frequently reference the goal and work purposefully toward it. 

I am excited to tell you that this summer most of our teachers will be attending a course presented by the CAST Institute on implementing UDL. Learn more about UDL.


Time Well Spent

On a separate note, it is time to say goodbye to our soon-to-be-sixth-graders, who have risen through the ranks of Village far too fast.

Whenever I meet new Kindergarten parents, I often talk about how quickly time passes and remind them how fortunate they are to have the opportunity to spend time with their child at Village School, time that they can never get back.

It really is ‘in just in the blink of an eye’ that children grow and leave. In my mind, it was just last month that my wife and I took our son, Cooper, to his first day of Kindergarten. It was only last week that we moved him into the dorms at Chico State. It was just yesterday, ‘in the blink of an eye,’ that he graduated.

The same rings true of our fifth grade students. Only six short years ago, they were in Kindergarten. Only three years from now they will be preparing to enter high school. How quickly these years have passed, and how fast those to come will fly!

Departing parents, you chose to be part of the Village School community. And, in doing so, you created time to spend with your children inside and outside of the classroom, not simply content to see them before and after school. You were purposeful in ensuring that ‘the time you can’t get back’ was time well spent and, in the process, you nurtured both your own children and those around them. In turn, these children and their families have shaped, formed and influenced you and your child. Everyone learned and grew together. You made an investment into your children’s future, while also banking memories of shared experiences that are unique to a parent participation school.

By spending your time invested in your children’s ‘everyday,’ you were able to slow time down, stretch it out. The memories of your shared experiences will last a lifetime. As we move into the summer months, I encourage you to cherish time with family and friends. Remember to celebrate, not to dwell on the details. Relish the big experiences that create lasting memories. You can’t get the time back, so make the most of it. Everyday.

An Enchanted Evening

Under the twinkling lights party goers wandered the enchanted forest, feasting on magical bites, drinking potions, and casting spells in hopes of winning prizes.

From Snow White, to forest elves, to horned deer people, the Village party goers arrived in fine fantastical form. There were class snack services, margarita and tea party invites, and a year’s supply of Ike’s sandwiches to be won. A marvelous time was had by all Villagers at the Enchanted Forest.

And in the end, at final tally, we raised over $20,000 to support our children’s education. Thank you to the Auction Team for their tireless efforts to make this a memorable evening, and to all of our wonderful community for your support.

Village by Language

Our Village community is wonderfully diverse! Our families hail from all around the world, practice a variety of religions, and speak many different languages. We’ve compiled a fascinating glimpse into the lingual diversity of our student body. Prepare to be amazed!

Data does not reflect all of the languages spoken by students at Village. It was compiled by survey of raised hands in each classroom and teacher/parent input. Results may not be 100% accurate.


Village Bridges (Not) Falling Down

By Amilia, Village School Parent

Our second graders are officially engineering geniuses — at least, that’s the conclusion perpetuated by my proud-mom-bias. Last month, in a culmination of their one-month STEAM study on structures, the Surfin’ Second Graders and Wise Watermelons presented their popsicle stick bridges for strength testing in front of the entire school and throngs of excited parents.

For those of you new to Village, our second grade curriculum consists of a unit on Structures. Although science and engineering is the focus, the unit incorporates geography, art, reading, writing, public speaking, teamwork and social emotional learning. It really is a classic example of cross-disciplinary, project-based learning.

Students begin with a study of bridges. They learn about the different types of bridges, how to identify them, their design and structural integrity and the pros and cons of each. They visit the Tech Museum to learn about roller coaster design. Their focus then moves to structures around the world. Students bring in examples of structures that are meaningful to them, their families or their cultural heritage. In class, they arrange these structures on the wall by continent to get a view of aesthetics and design from around the world. They each pick a structure to research in depth, creating both a written report (showcased to parents during a publishing party) and a slideshow (presented complete with microphone and movie screen) in front of their classmates. Finally, students study science and engineering, learning about different materials and their properties, and about shapes and which create stronger and more stable structures. They are visited by an architect (also, a former Village parent), who discusses this topic in more depth and — as a prequel to their popsicle stick bridges — the students endeavor several challenges to build towers and other structures out of various classroom items for strength and stability. Finally, just a couple of weeks before the 100th day of school, students are presented with their 100 popsicle sticks to be used to build a bridge of their choice using only glue. The goal? To support 50 pounds of weight for at least 5 seconds!

Although some bridges survived and others didn’t, all of these students triumphed. Their pride and bravery were inspiring. Their joy at each others’ successes, and their empathy for those whose structures fell short of the 50 pound mark, were touching. And their love for their friends, teachers and this wonderful learning community was palpable. I felt so grateful to be a part of the experience.

A huge thanks to Teachers Chris and Elizabeth for their energy and enthusiasm. They were as excited as their students on Bridge Strength Testing Day!

Connect before Correct

By First Grade Teacher Talia

It was a typical morning. The kids were eating breakfast at a snail’s pace. “We have five minutes until we have to leave, and you still have to brush your teeth. Please finish eating!” I said to them as I walked out of the kitchen and down the hall to brush my own teeth. An all too familiar feeling of anxiety was beginning to creep in, and I silently told myself that today would be the day we get out the door without a fight. A few minutes later, Robby came into my bathroom.

“Mom, I have a ques-”

“Have you brushed your teeth yet?” I interrupted.

“No but-” he answered, trying to ask me again.

“Go brush your teeth! We’re going to be late!” I could feel my voice and anxiety rising. We were about to fall into our same routine of me shouting to get the kids to finish their tasks, and all three of us leaving the house a little grumpy.

“But Mom, can I ask you a question first?” He tried again. To be honest, I wanted to say no. I wanted everyone to just focus on the tasks until they got done, and for no one to complain or say another word. But today was going to be the day that we changed that routine, I reminded myself. I took a deep breath.

“Of course you can. What’s your question?” I said.

“If the same water has been on Earth for millions of years, then is it possible that there is a drop of water somewhere that has never been touched by a living thing?” he asked me earnestly.

Wow. Where did that come from? Although the question seemed to come out of nowhere, it didn’t really surprise me. Robby has always asked thought provoking questions, questions that I have no clue how to answer sometimes.

“Hmmm. I’m really not sure. That is such an interesting thing to think about!” I answered. “Maybe we should try to find the answer after school today.”

“Ok. I’m going to brush my teeth now.” he said.

As he walked away, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of his thoughtful questions I’d missed, simply because I was unwilling to take the time to listen. Although I do my best to use Positive Discipline to influence my parenting, I’m human and I’m guilty of sliding back into what seems easy in the moment. Taking a moment to connect with my children before offering a criticism or giving feedback sometimes seems to take too long. It’s quicker to just shout to get what I want. But that’s not what I really want. I want to build a trusting and caring relationship with my children, and that won’t happen without taking the time to remain calm and listen, especially when times get stressful.

Later that day, I saw another example of connection before correction at work. This time it was on the softball field. Aubrina is on a new team this year, with a coach who has a reputation for always having a winning team. He has a loud voice, and he always knows what every girl is doing. Aubrina is on a team with girls who are taller, stronger, and older, so it’s not hard for the coach to find things to coach her on. Watching practice that day I realized a pattern with how the coach communicated with each girl. He would first say something positive, and then afterward he would give his feedback. For example, when Aubrina fielded a ball and then threw it to first base, he said “Aubrina! Nice job getting behind that ball. Next time follow through with your whole body on the throw and you’ll have more power.” The entire interaction was simple, quick, and demonstrated that he sees the positive and not just what needs to be fixed — a way to connect before offering correction.

It’s easy to forget that as adults we don’t get a lot of feedback on our behavior from others, whereas kids get criticism and correction all day, everyday. Connecting with our kids first is one sure way to build a relationship where they feel safe, supported, and loved.
For more about the “Connect before Correct” tool card, visit the Positive Discipline web blog. For more Positive Discipline Parenting tool cards, visit the Positive Discipline website.