Welcome to the Panther Project

January 5th, 2016
Kent Warneke
Norfolk Daily News
Not a day goes by in the Norfolk Public Schools that something interesting, educational, fun or important doesn’t occur.

The students may be well aware of what’s taking place; teachers and administrators, too. But what about everyone else.

That’s the premise behind the Panther Project — a collaborative effort involving the Norfolk Public Schools and the Daily News that has been in existence since the 2009-2010 school year. Each of the Norfolk school buildings has its own website, filled with information. But the sites tend to only be viewed by individuals and families with a direct connection to each school. By working with the Daily News and sharing some of that information on the newspaper’s website, many, many more people will see it.

Here’s how it works:

Each building within the school district has a media coordinator. Within the Daily News’ Web site at www.norfolkdailynews.com, we have created a separate page for each school building. Under the coordination of the Norfolk Public Schools’ Tim Kwapnioski, the media coordinators are encouraged to post as much information, photos, announcements and more on that portion of the Daily News’ website.

The benefit to the school district is that it gets additional exposure for the Norfolk Public Schools by piggybacking onto the most widely used website in Norfolk. The Daily News site attracts close to 2 million page views a month from 60,000 to 80,000 different users each month.

The advantage to individuals who are interested in the school district is that they now can go to just one Web site and see a host of information about different schools without having to go to so many individual websites.

The advantage to readers of the Daily News’ print edition is that from the information posted on the Web site from school media coordinators, some of the most noteworthy, most interesting items will be included in a Panther Project weekly advertisements in the newspaper.



Montessori Elementary Makes a Splash !!!

May 25th, 2017

The Montessori students had a little fun to help with closing out the end of this school year.  The 1st through 4th graders headed to the YMCA for a little swim time.  This is the perfect time of year for them to brush up on their swim skills before summer vacation begins.  They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Thank you YMCA staff for all your help.  It is greatly appreciated.

And so with that, the students and teachers are wished happy and safe summer vacations. We will see you in August !!!IMG_0142 IMG_0704 IMG_0710 IMG_0135 IMG_0142 IMG_0134


Second-Graders at Grant Elementary enjoyed a hot day at the Henry Doorly Zoo!

May 22nd, 2017


Students have learned about animals and their habitats, their culminating activity was a field trip to the zoo.  For some students, this was their first visit to the zoo!  A favorite highlight this year included seeing the 16 day old baby giraffe!  Our zoo trip has become a Grant tradition second-grade students always look forward too! Thank-you to our parent volunteers who joined us!  We appreciated the extra help!
Zoo 1 Zoo 2 Zoo 3 Zoo 4 Zoo 5 Zoo 6 Zoo 7 Zoo 8 Zoo 9 Zoo 10 Zoo 11 Zoo 12 Zoo 13 Zoo 14 Zoo 15 Zoo 16

Grant School Meets Reading Goal

May 19th, 2017

This year the Grant students set an Accelerated Reading goal of  20 million words by the end of the year.  Our principal, Troy Berryman agreed to kiss a pig if they met their goal.  

Delva Santee, our long time AR facilitator spearheaded the project.  For each million words read, a cartoon pig was placed in a prominent area in the hallway.  The students could then track their progress throughout the school year.  

By the beginning of May the Grant students had read well over the goal.  Mr. Berryman had to pucker up and kiss a squealing pig!  The student then enjoyed pig cookies decorated by Mrs. Santee.

Pig 1 Pig 2 Pig 3 Pig 4 Pig 5 Pig 6


Graduate Walk

May 18th, 2017

The senior “Bel Air” students walked through the halls today.  Bel Air students and teachers cheered and greeted them with cheers and high fives!  Congratulations Graduates!9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2



Westside Students On the Move

May 17th, 2017

Westside students in First through Fourth grade have been “on the move” this quarter in music class. They have learned several dances from around the world, including the United States, Russia, Ireland, and Sweden. In addition to counting music beats, these dances focus on motor movements such as galloping, skipping, walking, hopping, and elbow swings.

Students in Kindergarten learned several movement games, which introduce the concepts of shared space and scattered formation. At this age level, students are taught how to use up the entire space available, instead of congregating, as if attracted by magnets. This concept takes time to internalize and will become easier as the child matures.

Some of the dances learned are called “partner dances”. These dances require the students to pair up with one person for the entirety of the song. Other dances are called “mixers”. Students will have more than one partner, during the course of the dance.

Lastly, students of all grade levels played new movement games/dances that allowed boys and girls the choice to partner up or dance alone, while still part of the group. In one particular game, students are supposed to “be a statue”. The first time the music plays, students create one pose. The second time, the student needs to be two different statues. The third time, three and so on. This proved to be a challenge for many students, since they had to come up with seven altogether! Many students chose to use the latest popular move called the “dab”, which usually caused an eruption of healthy laughter. Always a welcome sound!


We LOVE Technology!!

May 11th, 2017

Third graders at Westside created a Google slideshow about a place they would like to visit. In addition to practicing their skills with Google slides, they also learned more about how to follow copyright requirements. Students practiced finding copyright information for images to learn if they had permission to use them. Let’s keep learning those 21-century skills!
Copy of IMG_1080
Copy of IMG_1083


Amazing Artists

May 11th, 2017

Fourth-graders from Mrs. Thompson’s class show off their Art Achievement Awards, earned for having projects selected for art shows during the school year. Ms. Bennett, their art teacher, personally presented them with their special certificates. More than 30 students from Westside Elementary won ribbons for their artistic talents this year. Way to go!
fourth grade art


Jump Rope for Heart Celebration!

May 11th, 2017

On February 2nd we held our annual Jump Rope for Heart event here at Grant Elementary. We had more than 70 students raising over 2200 dollars for the American Heart Association.  The students then got to have a celebration on February 16  for all those who raised money by getting to throw water balloons at Mr. Long. The entire school showed up to watch the event, I got really wet,  and it all went to a good cause.

IMG_0043 IMG_0067 IMG_0069


Music with Mrs. Stange

May 11th, 2017

One of the first questions I got from students (and some staff!) when I started this year was: “Will 4th grade get to play recorders?” I’m happy to say we have!  Most of the students are doing quite well, and are very excited about learning to play.  After learning some basics, we began using a book called Recorder Karate.  Students earn belts for learning to play songs on their recorder.  Songs increase in difficulty, and students must earn their belts in order, just like they would in karate class.  Above are some 4th grade students who have earned their white belts.  Some students have even given up recess time (willingly!) to come test for their belt. We’ve just started this book, and I can’t wait to see how far they’ll go!

REcorder pics 1 Recorder pics 2

recorder pics 3




Speech News!

May 11th, 2017

As the school year winds down, we are still working hard in speech therapy to ensure each student has access to their best speech and language over the summer! It has been a busy year for us and many students have made incredible gains toward their speech goals. Students who are seen in speech therapy due to articulation impairments have learned all about the “Articulation Ladder”. We address sound errors beginning at the sound or word level. We work on correct placement of articulators and correct sound productions. From there, we move up the speech ladder to phrases, sentences, reading and, finally, conversation! Many students have climbed the ladder and are at the sentence, reading, or conversation level! Our goal is to say as many words as we can during each speech session to address sound errors (and our favorite way to do that is using a game).

Over the summer, parents can work with their child to ensure that what was gained during speech is not lost. Label objects in your environment that contain your child’s speech sound. Have your child read words with their speech sound and listen for correct productions. Talk about topics that involve your child’s speech sound.

It has been a pleasure to work with students at Grant Elementary this year! I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing summer!

Mrs. Albrecht, MS, CCC-SLP

Photo 1 (1)