WELCOME to the 2019-2020 School Year!


The first week of school is an exciting, fresh, new beginning! Students are eager to see their friends and new teachers. There is some nervous anticipation and some mixed feelings about leaving home/family to go back to school…on the part of both and teachers!

Classroom teachers are establishing routines and norms this week. Fall assessments will begin the second week in order to obtain information about which students gained, stayed the same or lost some skills during the summer months so we can meet their individual current needs. Some assessments that will be given during September are the letter and sound identification for kindergarten students, NWEA-Reading and Math MAP tests, DIBELS -indicators of early literacy skills, and the BAS Benchmark Assessment System which indicates a reading level which would be a comfortable fit for each student. A couple paper/pencil short math assessments are also given to students in grades 3-5.

The Academic Support Program will begin in September and October by servicing students who were in the program last spring and did not meet spring benchmark scores. After the teachers are done with fall testing, some students may no longer need help and new students may be added to the Academic Support Program. Parents will receive letters at that time to let them know whether or not their children will continue to receive help from our instructional aides. Usually, most of these changes are made towards the end of October. As the year progresses, children may continue to be discontinued or added depending on how they are doing. Flexibility is important to meet children’s ongoing needs!

Students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade may be eligible to receive reading support within the classroom by our highly qualified instructional aides. (Read more about them by clicking on Meet Our Instructional Aides in the menu at the top of this blog.) In addition, some students in grades 3-5 may be eligible to participate in computer adaptive math support using Reflex Math and/or Learning Farm programs to shore up basic math facts and to practice math skills which are needed for State of Michigan requirements. More information about these programs will follow.

There will be a Title I Annual Meeting on Meet-the-Teacher Night, Thursday September 12 at 5:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. At that time information will also be given regarding the Third Grade Reading Law. Program design will be discussed, Mrs. Metzger and I will be available to answer questions, and opportunities to volunteer and be involved on the Title I Parent Advisory Team and in other ways will be explained. This Annual Meeting will be held in the Bennie Cafeteria and is open to all parents/guardians. Please join Mrs. Metzger and me there!

This year I will be working closely with classroom teachers modelling strategies and supporting them in various ways. Working with them and your children is an honor. I consider myself lucky to be an Allen Park teacher and look forward to sharing information with you about literacy strategies and how you can support your child’s education at home throughout the year.

You can email me during the year at artman@appublicschools.com or leave a message for me by calling me at Bennie at 313-827-1300. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Sandy Artman

Bennie Elementary Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach

Academic Support Programs Coordinator