Belleville School #5

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Dear Parents and Guardians,


My name is Janice Ray and I want you to know how seriously I take the responsibility of being entrusted with your child’s education for the 2016/2017 school year.


I have been privileged to be teaching in the Belleville Public School System for what is now thirty seven years. You might be surprised to know that despite the number of years of service, as I approach each new school year I am still filled with the excitement and enthusiasm that I experienced when I began my tenure in the Belleville School System. Nothing is more rewarding to me professionally than witnessing the academic, personal, and social growth of students throughout the school year.


As with every school year, there will be challenges and opportunities to be addressed and joys and triumphs to share. I look forward to partnering with you to do all that we can to make this as rewarding and successful a year as we possibly can.


The following are my thoughts and approaches to some key elements of our education journey for the upcoming academic year.


Classroom Behavior: In order to truly thrive, the classroom environment needs to be a supportive one. Children need to feel that they are free to question and express their thoughts on the topics at hand – and that they can do so without fear of being teased or ridiculed. For this to occur, I will stress the importance of treating their fellow students, myself, and anyone else in the room with dignity and respect at all times. We are preparing them not only for their further academic growth, but for their growth as individuals and members of society. Respect for others – and themselves – as well as cooperation and adhering to directions will be stressed at every opportunity. Fostering a growing sense of personal responsibility is something that we will look to encourage and support.


Homework and Studying: By the end of the school and work day, the energy to undertake homework and studying can often be a challenge – for students and parents/guardians alike. While efforts are made not to assign an inordinate amount of such activities each night, there is a tangible benefit to the learning process to have the opportunity after school to review, practice, and expand on the classroom activities. I ask you to make every effort to be supportive of your child’s efforts and to do so in an encouraging, yet firm, when needed, manner to have the assigned tasks completed by the assigned day. The habits and skills that your children begin to develop now will be increasingly valuable to them with each passing year.


Finally, I would appreciate it if you would please also sign your child’s planner each evening so that I know that your child has shared with you his home assignments.


enVisions Math 2.0: As many of you know, last year we began to use a new system for teaching mathematics. While this is a potentially challenging system, it is one that our initial experience indicates will ultimately lead to the more capable and confident students that we had anticipated. In the event that you might be interested, the website for the program can be found at: If you have questions about the new approach, please let me know.


Partnership: I very much intend to approach this year in the spirit of collaboration with you this year in a joint commitment in the ongoing development of your child. I believe that when a child experiences the ongoing support between parent/guardian and teacher, she or he has reinforced the value of education and the learning process. So, please, join me in this journey from now until the end of the school year. As I will be sharing with you my observations, concerns, and questions, I welcome your doing so with me as well. Please do so through whatever means is best for you: a hand written note, an email or a face-to-face chat.




Janice Ray