Notable Accomplishments

2017-2018   
     
                                                    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. 
 Rising to Royalty group pixWe may be small now, but we're on the 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...  
         Superintendent Olson reading with Bluff students

 

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 student Anthony Harrington demonstrating Reverse Engineering:  "It's broken now, but I'll fix it!"

 

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 River King and Queen Complex where students take part in activities and return to Bluff for a healthy snack.
  • Rising to Royalty Committe:  This committee is comprised of 4th and 5th grade students chosen by their teachers as role models for other students.  This group works with the Bluff staff on school-wide projects that require the responsibility and respect these students personify.
  • 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.  Recently, members worked with the Sole Hope organization providing the makings for 300 pairs of shoes for underprivileged children around the world and collected an additional $400 to include with their package.                                               Diversity Club members work together to achieve their goals  

  We all join together FOR friendship and AGAINST bullying!!

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 student Becky Selmani was the winner of the 2015-16 county DARE essay contest. Throughout her years at Bluff, Becky was an excellent role model for her fellow students.   

DARE boys                   DARE girls

                                                                                        JUST SAY "NO!"

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 participated in several fundraisers throughout the year to provide $3,000 in funding for the Kids Against Hunger Program.  Additionally, our Diversity Club members, along with many volunteers, sent the makings for over 300 pairs of shoes - along with a $400 donation - to Sole Hope, an organiation that provides shoes for children in need throughout the world.

                 Kids Against Hunger

Students and volunteers cutting patterns from discarded              Preparing food to feed the world's hungry.                         
jeans to be used for the upper part of the shoes.
 
bIG GROUP KAH                  Trees forever
 
By working together, we can accomplish far more!                                    Plant trees to protect our environment!  
                                                                                                                            Thank you, Trees Forever!!
 
     
throw kindness around

 

Bluff Elementary where everyone cares about YOU!