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February Newsletter


PH: (614) 365-5579 | FAX: (614) 365-8324

A Message From Our Principal

Dear Parents/Guardians:

During the past several weeks, Indianola students participated in the Spelling Bee, the National Geography Bee and continued preparing their projects for the Power of the Pen and Service Above Self competitions. During these competitions, I am always so impressed with not only the knowledge of our students, but also the level of sportsmanship our students exhibit during these academic competitions. I would like to take this opportunity to commend each student who participated in these events; your hard work and dedication to learning helps to make Indianola the amazing place it is! Thank you.

As we enter the second semester, I would like to ask for your assistance in ensuring our students have access to uninterrupted learning while at school. If your student forgets his/her lunch or other school work, please drop items off at the office, rather than delivering items to the room. The office will ensure the items are taken to your student in a timely manner. Delivering items personally can distract the other children and can make it difficult for the teachers to maintain their "teaching rhythm" with the class. Thanks in advance for your support and understanding!

Please see below for some important dates during the month of February.

As we enter the final stretch of winter, I hope you stay warm and remember that spring is just around the corner.

With Indy Pride,

Jay M. Poroda

Important Dates

Feb. 2 - Read My Shirt Day

Feb. 2 - Student-Led Conferences

Feb. 3 - Parent Education: Informal Philosophy (6:00 pm)

Feb. 3 - PTO Meeting (6.30 pm)

Feb. 5 - Spirit Day

Feb. 5 - Read-A-Thon minute tracking ends

Feb. 10 - Student-Led Conferences

Feb. 11 - CCS School Choice/Lottery Fair (East High School, 6:00-7:30 pm)

Feb. 12 - Invention Convention judging

Feb. 12 - Read-A-Thon wrap-up celebration

Feb. 15 - Presidents' Day - NO SCHOOL

Feb. 16 - I Know I Can - Blueprint:College middle school program (6:00-8:00 pm)

Feb. 17 - Indianola Causes Club meeting (3:30-4:45 pm)

Feb. 24 - Bookclub meetings (lunchtimes)

Curious About Informal Education?

Come to the Parent Education session on the informal philosophy of education. Michelle Barnes and Marie Boozer will provide a brief presentation on what the "informal" part of Indianola Informal K-8 is all about. There will also be time for questions. The Parent Education session will be at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, February 3 in the school library. The February PTO meeting will follow.

February PTO Meeting

Come to the Parent Education session, stay for PTO! Get informed about the inner workings of your Parent Teacher Organization, share your interests and concerns, and maybe even eat some snacks. Join us on Wednesday, February 3 at 6:30 pm in the school library. Childcare will be provided.

Reading Is Magical!

Readathon is in full swing- you can feel the magic in the air! Chairs are rocking with readers, pledges are made and minutes are being counted. As of Friday, January 29th, our students have read 41,986 minutes!!

Keep reading until February 5th. Don't forget to send in the final goal card that day. If our school can reach 100,000 minutes, Mr. Poroda will wear a costume when he delivers an e-reader to our top reader in the school. Remember "Read my Shirt Day" is on February 2nd, and "Spirit Day" is on February 5th. Collect your pledges to bring in February 12th to be entered for our last drawing. (If you can't collect all your pledges by the 12th, that's OK - pledge money is accepted all month!)

Volunteers are still needed to help tally reading minutes on February 5th and 12th from 9:15-10:30 am. Sign up on Volunteer Spot at

Can You Spell Bicameral?

Indianola 4th-8th graders participated in our school spelling bee on Tuesday, January 26. Our Bee is part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee program. Andrew Staley (7th grade) took 1st place, and Orion Kristel (6th grade) took 2nd place. Great job, Andrew and Orion! Indianola is proud of all 23 students who participated. Andrew has taken his regionals qualifying test and will soon find out whether he has advanced to the Regional Bee to be held at Ohio University - Athens on March 19.

Do You Know Where Tuvalu Is Located?

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. Indianola students in 4th-8th grade recently had the opportunity to participate in the Bee. Congratulations to our first place winner Jacob Barnes (7th grade) and our runner-up Jordan Vandecar (6th grade)! Jacob will take an online qualifying test in February and will learn in March whether he has advanced to the State Bee.

Still Looking for Latchkey Care?

The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center offers a Kids Club, a low-cost after-school and summer care program for elementary youth Mondays through Fridays during the school year and the summer months.

Kids Club helps youth improve their academic performance and overall well-being by providing a multitude of socially and educationally enriching activities, including structured homework time, arts and crafts games, physical activity, working with a Certified Reading Specialist, Greater Columbus Arts Council art classes, and monthly guest speakers. The CRC Kids Club is a win-win for the community. Youth are kept safe and are provided with educational opportunities; parents have affordable youth programing, with fees on a sliding-scale basis.

CRC's Kids Club has recently opened a third location and has some spots still available! For more information, call 614-268-3539 or visit the CRC website (

Invention Convention

The Invention Convention program envisions a day when EVERY child in Ohio has the chance to follow their natural curiosity, invent creative solutions to problems, and be inspired to achieve their highest level of personal accomplishment. Invention Convention is an optional at-home project for Indianola's 4th-8th graders.

Judging of student projects will take place on February 12. If you would like to assist with judging, please email Stephanie Stegall ( or Kelly Aitken ( for more information. You can learn more about Invention Convention at


There will be NO SCHOOL on Monday, February 15 in celebration of Presidents' Day.

I Know I Can! Blueprint:College

I Know I Can has been hosting Blueprint:College workshops for CCS middle school families for the past six years. The workshops are focused on providing families with important information and strategies around getting their middle school student prepared for success in high school, college and beyond.

I Know I Can will be hosting a Blueprint:College workshop at Indianola Informal K-8 on Tuesday, February 16. Families should check in from 6:00-6:30 pm. The Blueprint:College workshop will take place from 6:30-8:00 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Childcare will also be provided for 18 months - 5th grade.

For more information and to register for the program, visit or call I Know I Can at 614-233-9510.

NEW! Indianola Causes Club

Indianola Causes Club is a new, after school volunteer club for students in kindergarten through third grade. Led by third graders Eliza and Ellie, Causes Club will meet on the third Wednesday of each month to learn about community needs and organize activities to help. At our first meeting on February 17 from 3:30-4:45, students will brainstorm ideas for future volunteer projects, learn about The Cat Welfare Association, and create cat toys that will be donated. Look for the Indianola Causes Club flyer in next week's Friday folder for information or email with questions. Working together - a hope for the better!

February Bookclub

Interested in Bookclub? Students can join at any time! Students will be discussing their Bookclub choice from a new set of books on Wednesday, February 24. Michelle Barnes will meet with students during their lunch period. Students will sit in groups and answer the discussion questions she will provide for each book. Any student is welcome to join, but K/1 students need permission to participate. All students should pack a lunch on Bookclub day. February book choices are listed below. Paper lists and permission slips are also available on the wall outside the book room (next to the library.)

Please consider helping out as a Bookclub "guide" on Wednesday, February 24 during your student's lunch period. Sign up to help on Volunteer Spot:

February Book Choices:


  • The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osbourne
  • Nate the Great (Book 1) by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
  • Ivy and Bean (Book 1) by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall


  • Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Book 1) by Kate DiCamillo
  • Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
  • Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker


  • City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau
  • Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr


  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Excused Absence Policy

Please send an email right away to when your student is going to be absent. If the student's absence, late arrival, or early departure is due to a doctor or dental appointment, a written excuse from the doctor' or dentist's office is REQUIRED. If your student does not turn in a written excuse, the absence will be marked as unexcused.

Save the Dates!

We have some fun activities coming up to add to your calendar. It may seem like a long time from now, but middle schoolers can start getting excited about their spring dance! It will be held on Friday, April 29. Also, please save Wednesday, May 4 for the 4/5 spring concert and Tuesday, May 10 for the 6/7/8 spring concert.

Indianola Community Coats

Now that cold weather is upon us, everyone needs a warm winter coat. Some of our students have had to stay inside during outdoor recess, simply because they didn't have a warm coat to wear. If you have a coat that you no longer need (any size, toddler through adult), please contact Parent Consultant Lisa Evans ( to learn how to donate your coat to Indianola.

Donated coats will become part of the Indianola Community Coat Program and will be given to students and families in need as a long-term loan. (Donated coats must be freshly washed and will be thoroughly cleaned after they are returned, before being loaned out again.) If your student, your student's siblings, or you need a winter coat, please contact Lisa Evans ( or Principal Jay Poroda (, and we will provide one for you. If you receive an Indianola Community Coat, write your student's name in it, keep it as long as you need it, then bring it back so that it can be loaned out again.


Indianola Informal K-8 School

251 E. Weber Rd.

Columbus, OH 43202

(614) 365-5579