Island Academics by Dionne Wells

Happy New Year to All

Guy H. Benjamin School is back in full operation. We are rejuvenated and ready to tackle the remainder of the school year.
Within the month of January, we will host our Intermediate Spelling Bee for students in grades 4 through 6. We also will conduct our second round of DIBELS testing which is the diagnostic reading screening that is given to students three times during the school year.

The goal for our school is to have all our students reading at benchmark by the end of the school year. We have been able to progress monitor our below level students either on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on their levels. We are elated to say that we have seen some improvements in fluency for the majority of those students.

I am proud to say that our school has received AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) for this school year as determined by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Go GBS Go!!

We pride ourselves on the success of our students. Congratulations to the teachers for their hard work and dedication. The students’ successes are a clear reflection of the positive things that are happening at Guy H. Benjamin School.

The next testing for the Iowa Test of Basic Skills is scheduled for March 3 through 7. We encourage parents to help us to impart the importance in trying your best on the test.

Additional testing information and tips will be presented to the parents. We have been working on test taking skills and practice testing with our students in hopes of preparing them for this important test.

I am also excited about our new after school pilot program on computer programming. Our school was grateful to receive 20 laptop computers donated by OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) through Waveplace.

We will conduct our after school pilot on Tuesday and Thursday for 10 weeks. This will give our students the opportunity to discover the wonders of computers and learn computer programming.

Kudos to Mr. Timothy Falconer for seeing this vision and giving us this opportunity. Hopefully with enough footage and great success stories, we will be able to implement the program and provide it to all of our students.  

We still have major goals that we would like accomplish at Guy Benjamin. One such goal is to have an indoor facility built to be used as a cafeteria and auditorium. GBS is constantly growing and the present accommodation just doesn’t work anymore.
We have explored various possibilities in terms of the type of design that we would like, but now we have to look at possible funding.

There are several parties which are exploring some possible venues, but any assistance that could be given from the community would be greatly appreciated. Remember that together anything is possible.

The Coral Bay Yacht Club is in the process of organizing the Flotilla this year. I am truly happy to be a part of this endeavor. Information will be forthcoming as to the date and time of the event. Community involvement is needed to make this a complete success.

The Guy H. Benjamin PTO has been hard at work also. During the holiday season they did a series of fund raising events which brought in some excellent profit. Thank you to the community for their donations and tireless support. Thank you to the PTO for their commitment and effort. The PTO is also in the process of planning a family fun day in Coral Bay.

That event is slated to take place on February 16. We plan to have go-cart rides and lots of fun and games for all the family. Please look forward to participating in this event and together let us make it a success.
We plan to have fun, so be there!