By Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers
School mission statement: “Good morning! Buenos dias Steiner Stars. At Steiner Elementary, we will have a 100 percent day where readers are leaders and leaders are readers and everyone is a star.”
School spirit will be the focus as Steiner Elementary School students begin classes Tuesday by reciting the school’s mission statement. School officials say they hope to carry that spirit through the entire school year.
Steiner Principal Becky Flen, now in her third year as principal, is looking forward to ringing in a new school year. “I always love the newness of a new school year, seeing kids come back from summer and teachers doing what they dream of doing and seeing their spirits lifted. It is exciting to see them get excited,” Flen said.
Flen also noted that Portales Schools Superintendent Randy Fowler’s motto is “Life is Good” and this philosophy has transferred to a district wide attitude since Fowler took over the reins in 2005. “We try to pass this ‘Life is Good’ approach on to parents, teachers and students,” Flen said. “It basically means that we are able to face anything that happens.”
Flen hopes that parents will be more involved in what happens in the lives of their children this school year. “We will be seeking a lot of parent involvement. In fact, we have two teachers who have a lot of activities planned,” Flen said. She also said the school wants to try to have at least one parent each day to read in classrooms.
“For fluency (in reading) we know that it takes practice, practice, practice!” Flen said. “At Steiner, we will be working together for our kids so that they will be able to meet the standards they are required to meet.” Flen noted they will do this mainly by focusing on middle-of-the-year assessments in which students usually show a dip in scores.
Since the school’s motto is on readers being leaders and leaders being readers at Steiner, the school also wants to make sure these little stars are also well socialized. Because of that, Flen is also excited about the bright new, round cafeteria tables which have just arrived.
“These round tables are more inviting, more relaxing and provide more of a home atmosphere,” Flen noted. “Kids can socialize without having to yell because they will be sitting across from each other rather than sitting in a long row down those long bench tables.”