Counselor’s Corner

Journals are Great Tools

Last week the older students learned how Anne Frank used her journal, Kitty to process what she endured during her time in hiding during WWII.  Students learned how a journal is an EXCELLENT tool toScreen Shot 2017-10-20 at 8.57.55 AM process our ZONES OF REGULATION, whether one writes about their feelings, draws, doodles, or creates cartoons that journal can be very healing.

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Students also learned about the ZONES OF REGULATION online game that was created by the same company as our guidance curriculum.  This is a wonderful online game that supports what we are learning in guidance class.  Please feel free to learn more about this online game and app at:

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Here are two great videos to help your discussions with your child at home.

Sara Le Blanc

Elementary School Counselor



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Did you know there are 6 types of syllables?  A syllable is part of a words that is surrounding a vowel sound.  Every syllable has a vowel sound.  They can be remembered by the acronyms “VELCRO” or “CLOVER.”  They are Closed, vowel-consonant-E, Open, Vowel Team, R-controlled, and consonant-Le.
Students learn Closed syllables first.  These syllables can be remembered if you think about the candy Dots.  Closed syllables contain 1 vowel followed by one or more consonants.  This vowel is almost always the short sound.  Examples are cat, will, and cactus (cac-tus).
Next students learn vowel-consonant-E (VCe) or as most adults remember, magic e.  These syllables can be remember by the candy Mike and Ike.  VCe syllables have a vowel followed by one consonant and then an “e.”  The “e” is not sounded out but acts as a way to signal that the first vowel is to make the long sound.
Ever wonder why “give” and “have” are said with the short vowel sound?  It’s because when the printing press was invented they needed something to hold up the “v.”

Congratulations to Natalie!

On Sunday, October 8, 2017 Natalie McCormick a former 5th grader at Van Allen Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.06.26 AMElementary received an award for academic excellence at the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  I had the privilege of walking across the stage with her to receive her award, what an honor.  Congratulations to Natalie and her family.  Natalie and her parents are pictured here with former Mount Pleasant teacher, Christie Vilsack, who addressed the students receiving awards for their academic excellence.

Tracy Jarrett

Principal’s Note

New students

Our NEW Student Photo Bulletin Board

Dear Van Allen Community:       

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 17th is Photo Make-up Day, and the retakes usually occur early in the school day.

As we become more familiar with this year’s calendar, this Friday, October 20 is not an early dismissal. Students will be dismissed at 3:10. The reason for the intermittent early Friday out calendar is that the afternoon time when early outs are not used, these minutes were combined to provide full PD days for teachers and simultaneously allowing students and families extra days for rest/holidays. This calendar also provides teacher PD days later in the year, which also allows time for students to recharge batteries, as this District does not schedule a late winter or spring break, students do tire as the year winds down.

Parent conferences are being scheduled, and thank you those who signed-up utilizing the on-line tool, PTC. This electronic sign-up tool is more efficient for the Office, but more importantly, allows parents the opportunity to identify a time which works best for your family. Due note that conferences are planned for Thursday, November 2 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm and on Friday, November 3 from 8:00am to 11:40.

And a very big THANK YOU to our dedicated community for your  support with our Magazine Sale Drive as well as our PTA Box Top Collection Drive. We appreciate your support and assistance!


Donald P. LeBlanc



Let’s Get In the Green!

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Last week the younger students focused on getting in the GREEN ZONE which is the best zone for learning and making decisions.  Through the story written by Julia Cook students learned the steps for listening and following directions as listening  Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 10.48.04 AMcarefully and following directions helps to keep US ALL in the Green Zone.  Please feel free to reinforce these same LISTENING SKILLS at home.

Here are two great videos to help your discussions with your child at home.

Sara LeBlanc

Elementary Guidance Counselor

Oakland ‘s Mills Annual Hike Night, Alice’s Wonderland.

Ms. Cari Nicely visited Van Allen this week to get students excited about her upcoming Annual Hike Night, Alice’s Wonderland. This event takes place Monday, October 23rd from 6-7:30 at the Oakland Mills Nature Center. (This event is free, family friendly, and informational!)
Pictures feature members from Mrs. Manning’s 4th grade class participating in a skit about ECHOLOCATION!
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