Notable Accomplishments

2016-2017   
     
                                                    Because we care about each other... 
                                            Every day is a GREAT day at Bluff Elementary
                                                                                     
Bluff Elementary prides itself on the positive experiences to which our students are exposed.  In addition to being taught by a staff that deeply believes every child can learn to high levels and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, students are presented opportunities to learn new skills and give back to the school itself and their community.

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports):
  Bluff believes in the concept of catching students being good.  Bluff students are taught the importance of acting responsibly, being respectful, and being safe.  This concept holds true in the classroom, the playground, the Commons; with adults as well as their fellow students.  Students receive "crown" tickets for exemplary behavior and turn them into the office.  Schoolwide rewards are given out as the collection container reaches designated "reward" lines.  Assemblies are also held several times throughout the year to further instill this belief. 
 We may be small now, but we're learning how to RISE TO ROYALTY!!!!
 

Accelerated Reader Program:  Bluff students in 1st - 5th grades participate in the "AR" Program, a reading program designed to help develop their basic fluency and comprehension skills.  Students and their teacher collaborate in setting a goal (points) the student strives to reach.  Points are determined by the difficulty level of the book.  After reading their book, students take an online test.  Awards are given to students who successfully reach their AR goals. During the past school year 26,172 AR tests were given to students with 23,321 (89%) passed successfully - WOW!  We love a good book!

Guest readers help build our enthusiasm for reading...  
       

                               Miss Iowa, Taylor Wiebers, with students from Mrs. Kettwick's 3rd grade classroom

TAG (Talented and Gifted Program):  Qualifying students (in most cases dependent on Iowa Assessment scores) are exposed to new and higher-level skills that challenge them and call for the use of higher-order thinking.  These students participate in reading, math and intellectual interest groups.  These groups provide an environment that encourages divergent thinking and supports the development of originality, fluency, flexibility and elaboration.  Students are given opportunities to develop critical thinking and complex problem-solving strategies and to develop confidence in expressing ideas in discussion, debates, expository writing and creative writing.  Below:  TAG students - Thinking, Strategizing, Planning, Developing...

SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
Helping students become aware of their role as members of our school community - especially as they move on to the 4th/5th grades -  is a vital part of promoting success both in and out of the classroom.  Bluff Elementary offers students the opportunity to explore areas outside the classroom where they can become members of a team developing and incorporating new ideas to enrich the school environment; among these:
  • Safety Patrol:  Guidance Counselor, Lavina Engle, leads a group of fifth grade students in the Bluff Safety Patrol.  These students are taught the importance of acting responsibly as they offer assistance to the Bluff staff at dismissal, and they garner a sense of achievement each day knowing they've helped ensure the safety of their fellow students. 
  • Wellness Committee:  This committee is comprised of both students and staff who work together developing ideas for school activities that provide opportunities to improve our overall health and wellness.  Each spring Bluff students take a "Walk for Wellness" and on "Go the Distance Day" we walk to the Ashford University track where students take part in activities and return to Bluff.  Genesis VNA Community Health Dept. thoughtfully provides water for us on our return.

                wellness meeting

                                                                               WELLNESS COMMITTEE:
                                             Students and Staff Working Together to Promote Healthy Choices
 
  • Diversity Club:  Diversity Club members are dedicated to extending an attitude of acceptance throughout our school and community; they stand firmly against all forms of harassment and bullying.  Guidance Counselor, Lavina Engle, leads this group of 4th and 5th grade students, with meetings held monthly.  Members participate in various activities and experiences that foster acceptance and regard for all people.  Members participated in the Peace Walk, organized an assembly for Unity Day and created an anti-bullying video.                                                                                     Diversity Club members have a strong sense of connection       

 

DARE:  Each year 5th grade students participate in the DARE program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), a comprehensive education program launched in 1983 with curricula addressing drugs, violence, bullying, internet safety and other high-risk circumstances that today are all too often a part of students' lives.  Bluff is proud to announce that fifth grader Becky Selmani was the winner of the 2015-16 county DARE essay contest.  Deputy Stacey Bussie presented Becky's award at our final school assembly of the year where she received well-deserved recognition for this accomplishment.  As part of her award, she spent a day with Deputy Stacey Bussie riding in his patrol car, eating lunch with him at her restaurant of choice, visiting the county jail and court house and also meeting with county officials.  Becky has been an excellent role model for her fellow students during her six years at Bluff.  Becky conistently earns top grades, has achieved perfect or near-perfect attendance in three of her six years, and has been actively involved in Safety Patrol, and Diversity Club, and Bluff's Rising to Royalty Committee.   

Becky Selmani, winner of the DARE county essay, prepares to start her day with Deputy Stacey Bussie.

We Work Together to Make Us Better:  Kindergarten student Jax-Zen Alberts reads with his third grade buddy, Ayden Wiebers.


Awareness of the World Around Us:  Bluff students are encouraged to be mindful of the needs of others in our community, our nation, our world.  They have often taken on projects that have not only helped others, but also have instilled in them a sense of responsiblity and self-worth as they reached out to those in need.  Most recently, students donated $138.00 in coins to help CHS Student Council achieve their goal of donating $3,000 to the Quad Cities Honor Flight.

          Helping veterans through the Honor Flight Project