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Welcome to Mrs. Kirks Fifth Grade Class!

Welcome to the 5th grade and to the 2017-2018 school year. I hope you have had a fantastic,
rejuvenating summer. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the amazing students at
Peruvian Park Elementary. I have great expectations for each student and believe this will be a
productive and exciting year for everyone.

Teaching Philosophy
The teachers in my life that have served as role models have had a few attributes in common:
they were always excited about their subjects, clarified difficult topics, demonstrated a personal interest
in my learning as well as my life outside of school, and put information into context so that its relevance
to the real-world was evident. My approach to teaching is to exemplify these characteristics and model
the importance of being a life-long learner by facilitating learning, rather than simply delivering
information to students. In my lesson planning, I always take into consideration students different
learning styles, rates, and needs. Having taught in diverse environments, I have come to understand the
importance of teaching to the student, not purely to the text.
Ultimately my goal as a teacher is to help prepare students to be productive and innovative
members of a global society. This objective requires skills such as critical thinking, creativity, logical
reasoning, problem solving, collaboration, public speaking, and the ability to view an issue from
multiple lenses. This school year my hope is that your student will refine and build upon these skills.

This is my ninth year teaching--my fourth at Peruvian Park Elementary. I love being a part of
such a great community and collaborative faculty. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A.
degree in International Politics. During college, I lived in Logrono, Spain, studying Spanish Language
and Literature. After college, I moved to Washington, D.C. and began working on Capitol Hill in the
personal office of Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Though these were incredible and educational opportunities, after working at Rowland Hall-St.
Marks School in Salt Lake City and volunteering in various agencies throughout college, I realized how
much I loved learning and working with kids. I then attended Westminster College in 2009 and
obtained a masters degree in elementary education. I have since taught sixth grade at Butler Elementary
in Cottonwood Heights as well as at Glendale Middle School in Salt Lake City. In my spare time, I love
to travel, backpack, run, ski, read, and spend time outdoors with my family.

Contact Information
Please email me ( with any questions or concerns. It is the quickest
way to communicate with me. I will answer email or phone messages within 24 hours. If there is a more
urgent message for your child, please call the office.

Behavior Management
My classroom is guided by elements of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) which is a
proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture that is needed for all
students to be successful. This coincides with Peruvian Parks tradition of SAFE, RESPECTFUL, and
RESPONSIBLE behavior. I am committed to making my classroom a safe and challenging
environment and engaging my students through the curriculum, as well as getting to know them and
interacting with them one-on-one. To do this I believe in reinforcing positive behavior and explicitly
teaching rules and expectations. Meeting the needs of my students is a very crucial part of my teaching.
In order to encourage meaningful discussions and interactions, we will engage in many cooperative
learning activities as well as presentations.

Birthday Treats
Children may celebrate their birthdays in school. If you wish to bring items, please contact me before
hand. This provides us with proper time to pass out items and celebrate! Our 5th Grade classrooms are
nut free classrooms and we have multiple children with various allergies or health concerns. Acceptable
items will need to be store bought and commercially made.

What will my student learn in 5th Grade?

At Peruvian Park, we follow the Utah Core Standards curriculum for Language Arts and Math and the
Utah State standards for all other subjects. These standards are all available online at
Compacting Curriculum
As this is a SALTA class, I will be compacting the curriculum in both math and reading. SALTA
students will move through the core curriculum at an accelerated rate that is also responsive to
individual needs in order to allow time for deeper understanding and application of 5th grade concepts
and skills.

o Math homework will be sent home on a weekly basis, and will consist of one complex problem
per night. We will review the problem at the beginning of our math block the following day. For
extra practice, please utilize links on the class website.
o If your child is struggling with a problem, I ask them to attempt it for no more than 15 minutes
after which they may bring it back to school with a parent/guardian signature. They will not lose
credit and I will assist them with the problem the next day.
o Students should ALWAYS be reading 30 minutes minimum each night, as a part of our Read
Across America challenge.
o There will be a Rockin Roots (Greek/Latin Roots) Test every Friday that students should spend
time studying for throughout the week.
o Your child will be presenting a Current Events story roughly every other week.
o Further long-range projects will be assigned throughout the year (i.e. Science Fair, Debate).
o Aside from special projects and incomplete work, students will never be given homework over
the weekend.
o Students will earn points for having assignments completed neatly and on time. Points will be
required for attendance at fun activities.
o Unfinished work will be sent home on Fridays to complete over the weekend. Email notice will
be given by Mrs. Kirk for students that need to complete assignments at home.
Instructions and details for each assignment will be available on our class website.
For any other questions, please email me at

Absent Work
In effort to prepare your student for middle school, I emphasize that they are responsible for asking the
teacher for missing work. If a student is absent, they will collect their work from their desk and consult
with their table. They will also need to update their ELA, Math and Science Journals using the class
master copies. Your student has two days for every day missed to make-up the missing work. After that
time, it is considered late.

Parents should always leave a message in the office when their child is absent. If your child is sick,
please keep him/her home for at least 24 hours after the fever breaks and he/she is feeling better.

We will make contact with you if your child misses three consecutive days of school. If your child
misses six days of school, you will be contacted by the front office.

Drop Off/Pick Up
Students are not allowed on campus until 8:00 am when supervision begins. School gets out at 2:55pm,
it is important that you are on time to pick up your child. Please note that supervision is provided for
students for 15 minutes before school and 15 minutes after school. Families are asked to pick up
students before 3:10 when supervision ends. At 3:10 p.m. students will come inside the building.
Student pick up and drop off can only be done in designated areas. Parents/guardians are then required
to park their cars and pick up students from inside the building.

A district medication form must be submitted to the office before the school office staff is allowed to
administer all medications. Please do not send medicine to school in your childs backpack - they
will not be allowed to take it. This includes cough drops or sore throat lollipops.

Mastery Grading
Your student will receive grades this year in Language Arts, Mathematics and Science.
Below is a list of the possible marks that your student may receive in each standard area.
3M = Mastered
2NYM = Not Yet Mastered, but making good progress
1NYM = Not Yet Mastered, and making poor progress
3* = Early Mastery
A standard is considered mastered when a student demonstrates that they can apply acquired knowledge
and skills consistently over time. Students will demonstrate their application of skills and understanding
through class assessments, assignments, and projects. For further information on report cards, please see
the I-CANyons Parent Toolkit.

Weekly Communication
The class website ( will be updated each week with the coming weeks
events, copies of assignments, important announcements, and learning objectives. Please let me know
if you do not have Internet access available at home, and I will make alternative arrangements with
you. I also recommend you check the school website (
periodically for more community happenings and school-wide news.

Thank you,

Halley Kirk

Please sign and return the bottom portion of this document.

I ______________________________, acknowledge that I have received and reviewed this disclosure

_______________________________________________ ____________
Parent/Guardian Signature Date