March 15, 2021


Hi Everyone,

Kids are finally coming back into the building this week. Guess that means it’s time to put away my “work slippers” and get out my principal ties.

Eight items of note for this week (though the second one is a long one):

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates

• Recess/Title 1 EAs – Please welcome Lisa Phillips and Kelly Stapp as our two newest EAs. Lisa and Kelly interviewed for Ben’s old position, but we had enough funds left in our Title 1 budget to hire two new staff members. Lisa comes to us from Utah where she worked as a Title 1 EA and is currently in the process of getting her teaching degree. Lisa is also a new Holt parent this school year. Kelly comes to us from Redmond, OR where she was a Title 1 EA for almost 10 years before moving to the Eugene area. Please welcome Kelly and Lisa to Team Holt!

• Hybrid EA – None of our Hybrid EA candidates worked out, so we’re back to the drawing board. However, I’m wheeling and dealing with HR to get a reliable sub into the position who was not in the original candidate pool, so hopefully I’ll have something to good announce next week.

• 21/22 Secretary Staffing – One bit of upsetting news, which I’m not done pushing back on downtown yet, is that HR informed me they are not staffing Holt with two secretaries next year. Their rationale is this is an equity issue concerning other large elementary schools who only have one secretary. I’d agree this is an equity issues, but there seems to be some even more gross inequities when every middle school gets a program staffed secretary and registrar, when a majority of 4J middle schools are smaller than Holt. Size of school should really determine whether a school gets additional office staff program staffed. I’m not sure I’ll be able to win they battle, but I’m certainly going to try.


• Hybrid Updates – Several Hybrid related items of note:

• Holt Hybrid & SSO Handbook – Linked here is the Holt Hybrid & SSO Handbook. I don’t expect staff to read this cover-to-cover, but use this as a reference guide if you need to look up something specific. There is no new information in the above plan, outside of the items listed below. It’s really just a consolidation of all the emails, slide shows, meeting minutes, district videos, and various docs that have been shared over the past few months. Let me know if something is missing or wrong or if you have questions on anything.

• Snacks for Grade 2-5 Orientation – Nutrition Services is not providing snacks for the K/1 Orientation this week, but they will provide snacks for the grade 2-5 orientations. Deb said she would bag up a snack to simulate the morning breakfast pick-up when studnets first enter the building and which students can practice the meal protocols in their classroom later.

• Attendance/Contact Tracing – Student attendance is now less about tracking attendance and more about contact tracing. Classroom teachers will meet students at classroom door to complete the Visual Screener, looking for student symptoms of COVID.

• Unusual color
• Unusual behavior (behavior change, lethargy, unusual fatigue)
• New or significant coughing
• Respiratory symptoms not typical for student (noisy breathing, voice changes, nasal dripping)
• Shortness of breath
• Chills (shivering, teeth, goosebumps)
• Appearing ill (sweating, sunken eyes)
• Vomiting

Teachers will then ask ALL students the following two questions:

• Are you feeling okay?
• Have you felt anything that’s different for you in the last few days?

If students answer yes to either question, they are to be escorted by an adult to the office. Call the office if you need assistance.

Classroom teachers are expected to take attendance daily before 8:10. The district is working on logistic if this will be done through Synergy, paper/pencil, email, or other means.

• Routine Cleaning by Teachers – Teachers are responsible for spot cleaning throughout the day within the classroom. This includes items or objects students or adults touch that will then be handled by others, such as shared items or any object students touch that shouldn’t be touched. Teachers will also need to spray down student desks and wipe them down after meals. All classrooms will have disinfectant spray, rags, and “Tech Wipes” for teacher use (not for student use). Place dirty rags on the lip of your garbage can and a clean rag will be left for you near your sink.

• Outside Recess Protocols (UPDATED) – Students will get a daily 30-minute recess with their cohort group. Students are allowed to play all the usual playground games that allow for 6-feet distance (4-Square, Horse, Hopscotch, etc.), minus those where they would come within 6-feet of one another (i.e. soccer, basketball, tag, etc.). Masks will continue to be worn at all times.

Before Recess: Teachers will walk students from the building to either the soft play or hard play if it is their day in that area. Students are released once EAs signal readiness.

During Recess: One grade level will be assigned to soft play and the other to hard play. The next day, the grade levels will rotate.

Restrooms: If a student needs to use the restroom, they will use their wing’s designated entrance/exit and will use their designated cohort restroom.

Equipment: Each cohort will have their own set of balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, etc. which will be sprayed down nightly.

End of Recess: At the end of recess, students on hard play will line up on the tic marks. Students on the soft play will line up on their own sidewalk (up front next to the fence by the parking lot, middle by the tether balls, and next to fence by the buddy bench). Bolts will be painted on the ground where students will stand. Teachers will meet their class to walk them into the building, maintaining 6-feet distance.

All classes need to have an assigned line for the end of recess times. Please work with the teachers/grades to assign class to lines. Consider flow, entrance to buildings, etc. when determining lines. A copy should be given to the office so that supervision staff can be informed.

• Inside Recess – Each class must be supervised by an adult. An indoor recess supervision schedule will be drafted. Students must remain 6-feet apart. Students should not share items. Electronics are allowed.

• Students may not go in the cubbies
• Students should choose a seated activity
• Games and activities should be provided and taught
• Students must stay in their own classroom
• Permission is needed by supervision staff to use the restroom
• When the lights turn off turn and look at the adult by the door
• Classroom expectations/choices should be posted above your classroom door
• In the future we may allow some access for under cover supervision
• Classroom teachers will have expectations in Guest Teacher binder and post on the wall (near or above the door) what room expectations are.
• All certified staff will teach their students what appropriate activities are prior to the first indoor recess.

• Hybrid Meals (Breakfast & Lunch) Process – All students will be provided with a free breakfast and lunch, which they will eat in their classrooms. Students will eat meals at their desks and are allowed to remove their masks while eating. All meals are supervised by their classroom teacher.

Breakfast: Students will receive a bagged breakfast upon entry at their designated entrance.

Lunch: Lunches will be delivered to classrooms on a rolling cart. There will be a box of cold food (milk, fruits, veggie, etc.) and a warmer-bag of the individually packaged hot food (bagged pizza, hamburger, burrito, etc). The teacher will hand students one of each bag.

Extra Food: If there are extra breakfast or lunch bags, these may be given to students to take home. However, do not send home any hot items from breakfast, since that will go past their 4-hour lifespan.

Home Lunches: It’s encouraged that students eat food provided by the school but if students bring food from home, students should be able to open containers and bottles without staff assistance. Of course, we won’t allow a student to not eat because they can’t open their food and we can step in and help but we will want to follow up with the family to ensure they practice with their child so we don’t make a practice of touching students’ food/containers. Home lunches need to be nut-free.

Lost & Found Cohort A & B – We will have two separate lost and found racks. One will be out for Cohort A on Mondays and Tuesday. The other will be out for Cohort B on Thursdays and Fridays. Custodial staff will move the lost and found racks between cohorts.

• Transportation Update – The Transportation Department has contacted all K-1 families eligible for bussing and will soon reach out to grade 2-5 families. The number of students allowed on buses is limited this year, so the Transportation Department is wanting to know who is riding the bus and who is getting to school by another method. Health and safety measures for riding the bus will be:

• Students will receive a visual screening before entering the bus
• Seats by the driver will be reserved for ill students and the school will be contacted
• Green dots will be marking places for students to sit. They are staggered left to right and on each row of seats.
• Drivers will assign a seat to each student
• Students will wear face coverings while on the bus.
• Students may not eat while on the bus.
• Drivers will use windows, fans, and roof vents to increase ventilation.

• REMINDER: IEP/504 Collaboration Log (UPDATED – Left of Unit Info) – The IEP/504 Collaboration Logs are to be completed each Monday by 5:00pm for the previous week of lessons or at the end of a unt. This has been the same all year and will continue into hybrid. You will complete a separate entry each week or unit for reading, writing and math instruction (for the entire week or unit, not for each daily lesson). One response is required for each content area you teach in which students with disabilities are receiving specially designed instruction or 504 accommodations. If you do not have any students with a 504 or IEP related to reading, writing, or math, you do not need to complete this form. Linked here is an SSD Slide Show w/Voiceover on this topic.

504 Documentation – Since 504 Plans are typically not content area specific, if a teacher completed at least one log entry for a student with an IEP in any content area, that will cover the requirement for students with a 504 Plan.

Social Skills Only IEP Goals – If classroom teachers are delivering the Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) to meet social skills goals, they would fill out the log form, but in most cases it is SPED staff delivering social skills instruction and they will be the ones documenting this SDI on their own log.

Grade Level Content Specializing? – If one teacher at a grade level is creating the math lessons for the entire grade level, they can also fill out the log for their entire grade level IF (and this is a big IF), all of the teachers at that grade level are proving the same accommodations (since IEP accommodations can vary widely).

• Contact Tracing and Attestation Google Forms – I will cover this at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, but if you want a preview, downtown is going to reactivate staff badges to work at all entrances. Swiping your badge will take the place of the paper/pencil sign-in we’re currently doing for contact tracing. For this switchover to happen, all staff will need to complete two Google Forms. One, the COVID-19 Attestation: Daily Screening and Reporting Requirements for Reporting to the Worksite form, and two, the Eugene School District 4J Contact Tracing form. Once all staff have submitted their forms, I will notify downtown, who will activate all of our building’s card reader access pads.

• Monday Mailer Pause – Leadership discussed continuing to primarily use digital communication over using paper. This is for reasons of being a green school, trying to avoid germ transmissions, and also making sure families during hybrid all get the same information at the same time, since we’d have to end up with Monday and Thursday Mailers for each cohort. There will be families with extenuating circumstances where will need to do paper communication, though that should for exceptions and not a family preference. We want families to get used to digital communication.

• Hybrid Master Schedule – Survey feedback on the hybrid schedule was generally supportive, ranging from I can live it (a 3) to it’s the greatest thing ever (a 5) and no 1s or 2s. After discussing with the Leadership Team, we are going to move forward with the Holt Hybrid Schedule. The schedule should be up to date, but let me know if you spot any mistakes or something that needs tweaking.

• Schedule the Next 4 Weeks – Will all the calendar changes, here’s the current plan:

Week of March 15: Kids shift into their new classes but nothing else changes. CDL schedule stays the same. K/1 zooms for blue time and does orientation events. 2nd-5th zoom as a whole group in their new class using the current CDL schedule. Interventionists continue to provide services.

March 22-26: Spring Break

Week of March 29: K/1 shifts into their cohorts and begins following the new hybrid/SSO schedule. 2nd-5th stay in their whole groups and continue to follow the CDL schedule, but each grade has an assigned day where they will do an in-person orientation (no optional Zoom orientation is required, as is for K/1). Grade levels DO NOT have any synchronous time on their orientation day. K-5 groups are canceled this week.

Week of April 5: 2nd-5th shift into their cohorts and begin following the new hybrid/SSO schedule.

• Synergy Rollover – The new hybrid cohort sections became “real” in Synergy Friday night. The SIS staff will be end-dating student class enrollments in the original homeroom sections. That should cause those original classes to drop out of Clever and probably anything that pulls data from Clever. The new cohort sections should be available in Clever as of Saturday. It may take a day or two (or three) for them to find their way into the other online applications that roster from Clever, depending on how often a vendor pulls data.

• Food Box Deliveries – Weekly food box deliveries will continue through the end of the year. Location for pick-up may change. If you become aware of a family needing food assistance, please contact Darla.

• Purell Professional Disinfectant Spray Product Literature – If you’re interest, linked here is an Email and Product Information for the replacement disinfectant products coming to schools. The Oxivir Five-16 Disinfectant spray bottles currently in classrooms will be replaced by Purell Professional Disinfectant Spray and the bottles in restrooms will be replaced by Oxivir Tb Wipes. Directions on using these products are in the above link, but will also be delivered to classrooms when you get your new products.

• Welcome Back Bolts Video – Here’s a short video covering some of the protocols we’ll follow when student return to in-person learning in the coming weeks:

• Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Protection Unit – Even though we are in CDL, the state still requires we cover the child safety lessons required by Erin’s Law. 4J uses the Second Step Child Protection Unit to meet this requirement. For each grade level, there are six lessons, which are to be covered at three points in the school year. The recommendation is to teach lessons 1-4 in the fall, lesson 5 right before spring break, and lesson 6 right before summer break.

I’m not sure if each teacher has a copy of your grade level’s Child Protection Unit and since CDL makes sharing more difficult, I’ve posted scanned versions of Child Protection Unit in the Staff Google Drive. Holt Staff Documents > Curriculum/Instruction > Social Emotional Learning (SEL) > Second Step

• Changes to the Staffing Timeline – As an FYI, this year’s Staffing Timeline was revised. The main impact for elementary is the Job Expo dates got moved back a week.

• Single Desk Samples – I went over the Edison to check out the furniture samples they had. There were a couple single desks that kind of worked with Holt’s extra wide chairs. Below are a few pictures. School Specialty is getting me a quote on these to make sure they’re in our price range and will then bring us some physical samples for staff can check out. Ignore the wheels on the one desk. We’d get them without wheels. Also, desks come with different styles of book boxes; clear plastic, solid colored plastic, wire basket, or no basket.


• REPEAT: 2021 ACE Award Nominations – How about nominating a fellow Bolt! Nominations can be made in three categories: teachers and licensed specialists, administrators and supervisors, and classified staff. Nominations are due by April 15th. Linked here is the ACE Awards Email and the ACE Awards Nomination webpage.

• Mars landing engineer is Jaime Escalante’s former student – Here’s a cool inspirational education story. Decades before leading a team of more than 100 engineers responsible for The Perseverance Rover that landed on Mars recently, East L.A. native Sergio Valdez was a student of none other than Jaime Escalante at Garfield High. In case you’re too young to remember or so old you forgot, Escalante was such a bad-ass math teacher that they made a movie about him in the ’80s called Stand and Deliver. Guess he’s still got it.


• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:


March 15 (M)
K/1 Distance learning ends for K/1 Orientation Week
Grades 2-5 shift to hybrid class lists, continue following CDL schedule
12:00-1:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, 1st Grade Orientation
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom) & KG Orientation
3:15-4:15, 1st Grade Orientation
4:00-5:00, Allan to Admin Meeting (Zoom)

March 16 (T)
12:00-1:00, Kindergarten Orientation
1:00-2:00, 1st Grade Orientation
2:00-3:00, Kindergarten Orientation
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

March 17 (W)
St Patrick’s Day
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
10:00, Allan to Title 1 Budget Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-3:00, Bolt Stencil Party (Playground and Sidewalks)
4:00-5:00, Allan to BusinessPLUS Training March (Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 18 (H)
12:00-1:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, 1st Grade Orientation
3:00-4:00, Allan to SSD Elem SPED Meeting (Zoom) & 1st Orientation
3:15-4:15, 1st Grade Orientation

March 19 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Board Meeting (Zoom)
10:45-2:00, Food Box Distribution (Cafeteria)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)
1:00-2:00, 1st Grade Orientation

March 22-26

March 29 (M)
K/1 Begins Full Hybrid
Grades 2-5 Orientation Week & continue hybrid classes on CDL schedule
2nd Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this day)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30-6:00, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

March 30 (T)
3rd Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this Day)
3:00-4:00, PBIS Meeting (Zoom)

March 31 (W)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – SEL – Trauma Informed Module #3 (Library & Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

April 1 (H)
4th Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this Day)
3:00-4:00, Allan to SSD Elem SPED Meeting (Zoom)

April 2 (F)
5th Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this Day)

April 5 (M)
All Grades in Full Hybrid

It’s the first day of school again the last third of the year.

Ready or not, here they come!



March 1, 2021


Hello Team Bolts,

This week is Classified Employee Appreciation Week, where we honor our hard work and efforts by our fabulous classified staff. Without you all, our school could not function and you will be even more important very soon once students return. Thank you, all, for your dedication and tireless work here at Holt!

In honor of your hard work, classified staff should look for some surprises in your honor this week. One you can mark on your calendar is to swing by The Human Bean across from Costco on Tuesday for a free drink of your choice, courtesy of PAHS. Just mention you are a Holt staff member. PAHS is also extending this offer to all staff, both licensed and classified.

Thank you, Holt Classified Staff! You rock!

Seventeen items of note for this week:

• Hybrid Return Updates – Linked here is the Superintendent Email, Brooke’s Follow-Up Email, and the 4J Parent Communication about all the hybrid updates. Here’s my CliffsNotes version:

March 15-19: K/1 CDL stops and this week is an on-site kinder orientation for small groups of students scheduled over the course of the week.
March 15-19: Grades 2-5 will shift into hybrid classes, but will continue following the current CDL schedule.

March 22-26: SPRING BREAK

March 29-April 2: K/1 begins full hybrid schedule with in-person students.
March 29-April 2: Grades 2nd-5th continue with hybrid classes and continue following the CDL schedule.

April 5: All grades in full hybrid schedule with in-person students.

PE/Music and interventionists (Title, SPED, ELD) will follow the CDL schedule through April 2nd and will start the hybrid schedule April 5th.

SSD knows this may cause an interruption to services the weeks of March 15 and 29 for some students, but said we do not need to adjust IEPs or write any PWNs.



• Which Staff Report for On Site Work? – Everyone, minus SSO teachers, will need to work in the building starting Monday, March 29th. We very likely will need to call in other individuals to assist getting the school ready before then, so I wanted give people that heads up now.

If for some reason you are not comfortable or able to work in the building in-person, contact me IMMEDIATELY. We will need to contact HR and begin either an ADA or leave process.

• Hybrid Instructional Options – At Friday’s Optional Hybrid Model Discussion, I believe there were two good takeaways to share with everyone:

• Instructional Models – There was no support for “Same Page for All” for a variety of reasons, but there was a good discussion on the differences between “In Person Focus” and “Teacher and Practice.” Although the wording is a big clunky, we interpreted them as:

In Person Focus: Teacher makes two sets of lessons for the on-site students and the off-site students do work that is not necessarily connected to the on-site work, such as choice boards, Dreambox, Lalilo, independent reading, etc.

Teach and Practice: Teacher makes two sets of lessons for the on-site students and when that cohort goes off-site the next two days, they will have assignments that provide additional practice for what they learned on-site. Where we got hung up was the last sentence of this description “The work students do pfff-site is important and should be completed to be ready for their in-person time.” We decided this did not mean there was new material being covered off-site days or that kids would be behind if they did not complete all of off-site assignments, but that the work they did these days was additional practice to help get them closer to mastery, which is what the group on Friday preferred.

We’ll discuss more at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, but it’ll be important to have a shared understanding before we make a decision which model we want to follow.

• Intervention Models – I’d previously mentioned my preference for interventionists to remain online to provide students consistency four days a week and for scheduling purposes. However, there were some legitimate concerns about students trying to Zoom from the classroom, so Jenny hatched a plan where we think we could space students out in the library (1st choice) or the gym (2nd choice) and Zoom to their groups from there, which allows both the on-site and off-site students to meet four days a week and to cover more material, while not disrupting the gen ed classroom when they need talk and participate.

For your reference, linked here is my Wednesday Hybrid Presentation and below are links to the primary source documents I pulled all that information from.

Instructional Options
SAMPLE DISTRICT Hybrid (In-person only) Schedule
Holt DRAFT Hybrid Schedule (largely plagiarized it from Howard)
Elementary Hybrid Planning/Prep
Preparing Your Space for In-Person Learning
4J Return to In-Person Protocols Voice Over Presentation
4J Return to In-Person Protocols source presentation with live links

• Schedule & Instructional Model Survey – Linked here is a Schedule & Instructional Model Survey to do a barometer test of what people are thinking when it comes to the Draft Master Schedule and the Instructional Model Options for classrooms and interventionists.

• Hybrid/SSO/COVID Updates – Several hybrid/SSO/COVID items of note and follow-up to questions from meetings last week:

• Science Kits – Let me know by Friday if you’d like your science kit delivered to your classroom. Any kits left after Friday will be shipped back to the warehouse.

• Talking at Lunch – I’d gotten some bad information on this. Students ARE allowed to talk while eating breakfast & lunch. Now we don’t need to break kids spirit like they’re in a Pink Floyd Music Video.

• Tech Wipes – Brian is getting Tech Wipes for each classroom, the front office, and extras to have on hand.

• List of Teacher Responsibilities – I’m working on a Quick Sheet of all the teacher responsibilities in terms of cleaning, contract tracing, student screening, etc. I’ll have it by next week.

• Loose Paper Towels – Ryan has about 12 packs of loose paper towels and is ordering more. If you’d like some for your classroom, send Ryan an email.

• Alternate Locations – If your room becomes unavailable because a student is exhibiting COVID symptoms or you need to room clear for any other reason, classes will need to relocate for about 30 minutes while your classroom is cleaned. Each wing will need a designated “Alternate Location” for their class to go to. My thinking is there is one SSO classroom in each wing (and use Gloria & Kim’s room in the 5th grade wing), which we can set up desks and chairs if a classroom ever needs a relocate temporarily.

• Badge Access – I’ve emailed Facilities to reactivate badges a few days before hybrid starts. I’m assuming this will happen, but I haven’t heard an official answer back yet.

• Seesaw-Clever Cohort Sync Justin Huntley Emailed me back on this question. The short answer is, yes, Seesaw and Clever will will sync and classroom teachers will have two new classes in both Seesaw and Clever for each cohort. See the above linked email for details. One unknown he mentioned is they are not sure what a midyear change like this will do to student progress in every app (especially if they are not district purchased and supported.)

• Electrostatic Spray Schedule – I checked with the Custodial Service Supervisor and classrooms will be sprayed down nightly, so it’s important that anything you consider valuable is safely stored or covered. Linked here is his email with more detail on the cleaning plans.

• Class Lists Parent Notification, Friday – The latest 4J Parent Communication says that elementary families will be notified of classroom and cohort assignment this Friday. Stay tuned for details on how and what time on Friday we will send this email. Downtown is also providing an optional email template (in English and Spanish) teachers can use if they would like.

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• Hybrid Utility Support EA Posting – Elementary schools are getting a temporary 5.5-hour classified “Hybrid Utility Support EA” to help wherever we need. My initial thought is this person will be helping with a lot of supervision and then helping in the younger grades during non-supervisory times, as well as helping with any sick students or other out of the ordinary hybrid situations, such as supervising Title 1 students while they’re online spread out in the library. This is a temporary position through the end of the year, but please tell any excellent people the posting closes this Tuesday.

• YMCA After School Openings – If there are any EAs wanting more hours, YMCA is hiring for after school child care. The posting is linked here as AFTER SCHOOL TEACHER – Youth Development. The program will run here at Holt until 6:00 and Holt’s very own Ben Duncan is the new YMCA Site Director for our after school program.

• Recess Supervision EA Interviews , 3/10 @2:00– I now have the applications for our Recess Supervisor EA Position. I’ll plan to hold interviews on Wednesday, March 10th from 2:00-3;30. Interviews will be over Zoom. Let me know if any of you are interested in volunteering your time to help with interviews.

• Supply Distribution Thursday – This Thursday is the March Supply Distribution from 8:00-3:00. If you are available to help, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet. This will be our final school wide distribution and starting April 1, we’ll just do SSO Supply Distributions.

Pleas remind you class we’ll be passing out Jumpathon T-Shirts and Holt Bolt Jump Ropes and don’t forget to stop outside between 11:00-1:00 for a FREE Kona Ice Shave Ice! Just show your school ID and it’s on the house!



• School Supplies for Hybrid – For on-site students, we have a set of school supplied provided by downtown that we held back from handing out to students earlier in the year. Katie and Melanie will start counting out the following supplies for classes:

• Rulers
• Pencil Boxes
• Pencil Pouches
• Primary Composition Notebooks (K-1), 2 per child
• Wide Rules Composition Notebooks (2-5), 2 per child
• Manual 2 Hole Sharpener
• Sheet Protectors, 3 per child
• Book Bins
• Colored Pencils
• Washable Markers
• Ticonderoga Sharpened Pencils
• Glue Sticks
• Scissors
• Dry Erase Marker
• Pink Pearl Eraser
• White Glue
• Crayons

Schools are not to ask for supply fees or give parents supply lists, so let me know if there are essential supplies you need for the remainder of the year.

• Student Health Alerts – Now that students will be returning in person closer to spring break, Nurse Cathy will email any relevant student health alerts that teaches and staff need to be aware of. Most teachers already know if they have a student with needs because she’s already talked with you, but she’ll make sure you get any information you need to know, so watch for that email.

• Childcare Resource List – Buried in Cydney’s hybrid update email, was the linked Childcare Resource List, as well as a link to Employment-Related Day Care program (ERDC), which helps eligible staff pay for childcare while they are working. Downtown is also working on a program to provide partial subsidies for childcare costs for 4J staff using federal funds, and will share more information if this becomes available to help staff with school-age children.  

• February Student Services Newsletter – If you’re interested, linked here is the February SSD Newsletter that was sent to SPED Teachers and principals.

• REPEAT: Read Across America – This week is Read Across America. This year’s theme is “Create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers.” See the above linked NEA Website for loads of resources for this annual event. Don’t forget about Jacque’s Virtual Reading Corner (here’s a link to an editable version)

• It’s Time to Talk About Dr. Seuss – In this article from Teaching for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance), author Gabriel Smith discusses a study done 2 years ago that analyzed Dr Seuss’s writing from an anti-racist lens. The findings highlighted a number of concerns in Dr Seuss’s work, especially in how people of color are depicted. The author does not suggest abandoning Seuss’s work entirely, although there have been serious calls in the last few years to pull Seuss back from the relative idol status he currently holds in education. The author instead recommends we closely analyze the materials we provide students to determine if a) it should be presented at all given the students’ age and b) if it is presented, what kind of critical conversation students should engage in around the text.

• Anti-Racism Over “Tradition” – Alternatives to Dr. Seuss and Racism – This article from Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon at Colorful Pages elevates anti-racist texts that fill the same needs people have when they turn to Dr Seuss books – namely rhyming patterns, ease of reading, and illustrations. Included are texts like Ada Twist, Scientist and No Kimchi for Me along with many more suggestions.

• White House: Testing to go forward this year – I shared earlier that ODE applied for a waiver for federally required state testing, but the Biden administration said last week that states must administer federally required standardized tests this year, but schools won’t be held accountable for the results — and states could give shorter, remote, or delayed versions of the exams. See this ChalkBeat Article for details and stay tuned for what Oregon decides testing will look like this year.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

March 1 (M)
Classified Appreciation Week
8:00-9:30, Allan to Hybrid Walkthrough w/Joyce & Dawn Strong
12:30-1:00, SSO Team Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

March 2 (T)
Read Across America
Human Bean Classified Staff Appreciations (Free drink for ALL staff!)
8:00, Allan Meeting w/Facilities RE: Evacuation Plan
12:30-1:00, Interventionist Team Meeting (Zoom)
1:00, PBIS Video Creation for Hybrid
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

March 3 (W)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
1:00-2:00, Classified Recess Protocols Meeting (Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 4 (H)
8:00-3:00, School Supply Distribution (Front of School)
11:00-1:00, Kona Ice Fundraiser (Front of School)

March 5 (F)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day (Async Only)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

March 9 (M)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

March 10 (T)
12:30-1:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)

March 11 (W)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
1:00, Holt Jumpathon! (Zoom)
2:00-3:30, EA Interviews (Zoom
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 12 (H)
11:00-10:00, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream – Holt Night Out Fundraiser
2:30-3:30, IPBS CDL Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Site Council (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

March 13 (F)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day (Async Only)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Monthly Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

Two more Mondays until spring break after this week!


October 15, 2018


Greetings Everyone,

We had a great turnout for our Open House this past week. I haven’t tallied the sign-in sheets yet, but based on pizza slices we had a ton of families attend. Nice work, everyone, making Howard such a welcoming place for families!

Twenty items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Anita Beiker has been hired as our newest CLC 1:1 EA, which has currently been filled by subs. Anita has worked in Bethel as an EA in their equivalent of a CLC-B. For the student she’s working with, she has experience from her time working at Head Start assisting a student with the exact same medical conditions. Anita will start this Wednesday, so please welcome her to the AWESOME Howard Team!

• Friday Math PLC – This Friday’s Early Release PD is earmarked to be a PLC Meeting Time. Downtown hasn’t given principals direction on this day yet, but my plan in the meantime will be to finish up the Collective Agreements portion of the Mission/Vision work we ran out of time on last Thursday. I’ll email teachers an updated Vision Statement once I finished summarizing the green dot high priority items.

• Oct. 11th PD Follow-Up – Three items from last Thursday’s PD:

• Meeting Documents & Posters – The slides, handouts, and posters from Thursday’s PD are located on the Howard Team Drive under Meetings/Teams > Staff Meetings > 2018-2019 > Minutes > 2018-10-11

• Student Supervision Going to Recess and Dismissal – Classroom teachers, remind your students to walk in the hallways, stairs, and courtyards when going to recess and at the end of the day at dismissal. This was a concern brought up at the Active Supervision training. Older grades may continue to allow students to walk themselves at these times, but teachers may need to start escorting students if problems persist. Daily reminders will likely help.

• Keep Support Staff in the Loop on Kids – Another ask from the Active Supervision training, please keep classified staff in the loop on any big changes kids might be going through (I.e. incarcerated parent, death in the family, placed into foster care, etc.). Email may be the easiest method. Linked here is the Supervision Schedule, listing who is on which recess and lunch.

• Roadrunner Assembly Details Coming – In light of most schools no longer doing PRIDE (it was originally a North HS thing they no longer do) we’re cancelling Friday’s PRIDE Assembly (also due to an already busy week), so stay tuned for a new date and for new details on a rebooted Roadrunner Award Assembly!

• 18-19 Leadership Plan Proposals – We’ve had a third Leadership Plan submitted, so linked here are Updated 2018-2019 Leadership Plans Proposals (linked here is a short version with just the day distribution) for distributing 22 sub days among no more than 7 licensed staff members. Plan A is the same as last year. Plan B keeps the same days for PBIS & IPBS (13 days) and for the Literacy Leader (2 days), and has an Equity Leader (3 days) and Technology Co-Leaders (4 days). Plan C keeps PBIS & IPBS (13 days) and Literacy (2 days), and has an Equity Leader (2 days), one Technology Leader (3 days), and a Math Leader (2 days). If anyone has other proposals, let me know soon so I can share them before the October 23rd Staff Meeting where we’ll vote on a final plan.

• Halloween Costume Parade, Oct. 31 @8:10 – Howard’s Annual Costume Parade will again be at the start of the day, at 8:10 which last year allowed for more families to attend. Linked here is the Costume Parade Route & Directions, but note that we are NOT GOING INTO CLASSROOMS, which slowed things down considerable last year. Upstairs Buddy Classrooms will join their downstairs Buddy Classrooms at 8:05. At 8:10 Suzy’s class will lead the “Parade Train” from Blue to Green to Yellow wing. After classes complete their parade loop, they will re-enter their classroom or stand along the walls of the commons area to watch the parade pass by. Families may watch from the courtyards or commons areas (or join the parade). Classroom parties may be held at teacher discretion. Linked here is a Costume Parade Half-Sheet we’ll send home to families.

And staff, remember to keep your costumes on after school for our annual staff picture in the Library Story Cove!

• REPEAT: Safety Week, Oct. 15 – Oct. 19 – This week is Safety Week. Below are the dates/time of the drills:

• Monday, Oct. 15 – Room Clear- Time decided by teachers
• Tuesday, Oct. 16 – ALICE Classroom Lesson – Time decided by teachers
• Wednesday, Oct. 17 – ALICE Lockdown: Evacuation Drill – 8:20
• Thursday, Oct. 18 – Directed Evacuation (i.e. Fire Drill) – 8:10
• Friday, Oct. 19 – Earthquake/Fire Drill – 8:45

See my announcements from two weeks ago for details and let me know if you have any questions.

• October PTO Meeting Tuesday – The October PTO Meeting is this Tuesday at 6:00 if any staff are able to volunteer your time to come support the work of our hard working parent group. Hope to see you there!

• Student Care Team Referrals Due FRIDAY – The Student Care Team will meet next week, which means student/family referrals to the team are due this Friday. DHS has been great about helping quite a few of our families, pointing them towards resources for a variety of different situations (homelessness, assistance with bills, incarcerated parents, counseling resources, and many others), so please consider referring a student or family in need. Try to get a signature on the 4J Release Form (English or Spanish) so DHS can research the family situation to see what services they would qualify for. If there’s a situation where you can’t get a signature for whatever reason, you can refer “hypothetical” student or family situations. Let me know if you have any questions about potential referrals, but if it’s a situation that’s on your mind, it’s probably a worth referring to the team.

• New Care Team Resource: Sleep in Heavenly Peace – For children between 3-17 who are sleeping on the floor, couch, sharing a bed, or other uncomfortable sleeping arrangement, families can apply for a twin-size bed and mattress, pillow, sheet set, and comforter through Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Whatever the situation; a family the has fallen on hard times, domestic violence, returned from military service and starting over. Families can apply online at the above link refer to the linked flyer.

• Bike Rodeo, Oct. 23 – After school on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd, Howard is hosting a Safe Routes to School Bike Rodeo in the bus loop from 2:30-4:00, where students are invited to learn about bike safety, try out a bike obstacle course, enjoy free bike smoothies, and much more. Kids can bring their own bike or use those provided. Feel free to share this with students and get them excited for the event.

• Student Accident File/Documentation – Principals were recently sent an email reminder that whenever a student has a major accident it is important that we document what happened and follow up with parents/guardians within a timely manner. Downtown has seen an uptick of student accidents turning into claims against the district. To protect ourselves, it’s best practice to document serious injuries and to contact parents right away. The most common complaint HR gets from upset parents is: “Nobody has contacted me when my kid was hurt!”

• More Synergy Student Reports – There are many canned reports teachers can print from Synergy using this Quicksheet on Printing Reports in TeacherVUE. However, it doesn’t have everything you might want, in which case you can run many other reports, such as school website or news media restrictions, you can run these reports by clicking:

Reports > STU401 Student Lists (click the icon to the right of the words to “Open Report Interface”) > Conditions tab > +Add button > select from the dropdown “SchoolWebSite” or “NewsMedia” or whichever you want > change Operator to “Equal to” > change condition to “N” > press return to run the report. 

• Staff Responding to Subpoenas – This doesn’t happen often, but the district rules around responding to school related subpoenas are linked here. The main thing you need to know is if you were to received one, do not share any information until you’d contacted me, so I can contact the appropriate district level administrator.

• OMSI Guest Presenters & Field Trips – Most teachers know about the many OMSI Field Trip Offerings, but you may not know about their outreach program where they will go out to schools for assemblies, classes/labs, and even a giant inflatable planetarium, which may be something fun for grade levels to spend their PTO enrichment funds on. OMSI offers discounts for low income schools. See the linked OMSI Outreach Flyer or the OMSI Outreach website for details.

• Papa Murphy’s Student Awards – Papa Murphy’s brought us three kinds of student achievement awards. There’s not too many of them, so probably just take a few, but I’ll put them out underneath staff mailboxes.

• 2019 Oregon Blue Book Essay Contest – The 2019 Oregon Blue Book Essay Contest for Oregon’s Elementary, Middle, and High School students is now open. The 2019–2020 Oregon Blue Book theme is “Celebrating Oregon’s Local Festivals.” Therefore, essays should answer the following question: What is your favorite local community celebration, festival, carnival, fiesta, or fair and why? Contestants are also encouraged to illustrate their essays with drawings. The winning essay(s) and drawing(s) will be printed in the Oregon Blue Book, and the author(s) and artist(s) will be invited to the Capitol for the official Oregon Blue Book release party and celebration in early 2019. See the above linked website for details.

• Program helps teachers pronounce students’ names – Mispronouncing a student’s name can be interpreted as disrespectful and even discriminatory, says Tiffany Young of the Washoe County School District in Nevada in this District Administrator Article. The My Name, My Identity campaign, developed in partnership with the National Association for Bilingual Education, offers best practices to help teachers pronounce students’ names correctly, including greeting students at the door on the first few days of school and asking them to say their names. Teachers should then repeat each name, and ask if they are saying it correctly. Also, a teacher who struggles repeatedly with a name should not do so during roll call, but should practice the name with the student one-on-one.“It sends a very important message—that your name and your identity matter, and we want to get it right. It says, ‘We want to get to know you, and we respect you.’”

• Welcoming Students With a Smile – Greeting each student at the door with a positive message brings benefits for both students and teacher, according to a study. See this Edutopia Article for details.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the rest of the year:

October 15 (M)
Safety Week – Room Clear (Time decided by teacher)
Lori Out
SMART Goals Entry into TalentEd Due
12:20, Safety Patrol Training (Community Room)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (ATA)

October 16 (T)
Safety Week – ALICE Classroom Lesson (Time decided by teacher)
8:30-12:00, Allan to All-Admin/Elem Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:40-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Erin’s Room, RM22)
4:00-6:00, 4J Grade Book Training (STEAM Room, RM16)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Conference Room)

October 17 (W)
8:20-8:40, ALICE Evacuation Drill
11:35-12:40, OBOB Lunches (Community Room)

October 18 (H)
School Pictures
8:10, Fire Drill

October 19 (F)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
8:45, Earthquake/Fire Drill
1:30-2:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, RM1)
2:30-3:30, Early Release PD – Math PLC (Volunteer’s Classroom)

October 22 (M)
Tech Trot Pledge Envelopes Due
Newsletter Articles Due
7:30-3:30, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee Training – Travis Sheaffer subbing (Ed Center)
8:40-12:30, Howard PLC – Half-Day (5/2/1)

1st – 8:30-9:30
2nd – 10:00-11:00
5th – 11:15-12:15

October 23 (T)
7:30-2:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee Training (Ed Center)
8:15-12:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
8:30-1:00, Half of 2nd Grade to Pisgah
9:00-1:00, OSEA Visit to Howard (Staff Room)
11:10-2:25, Howard PLC – Half-Day (K/3/4)

KG – 11:10-12:10
3rd – 12:15-1:15
4th – 1:25-2:25

2:30-4:00, Bike Rodeo (Bus Loop)
2:40-3:30, Staff Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)

October 24 (W)
8:00-12:00, Smarty Ants Pilot Training (STEAM Room)
11:35-12:40, OBOB Lunches (Community Room)
2:40-3:30, Student Care Team Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)

October 25 (H)
8:30-1:00, Other Half of 2nd Grade to Pisgah
2:40-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, RM24)

October 26 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
9:00-1:00, Kindergarten to Detering
10:30-12:40, October Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Community Room)
2:30-3:30, Early Release PD – Math PLC CANCELLED (Make-Up Day for Oct. 12)

Okay, back to some routine five-day weeks for a while. You got this!


April 16, 2018


Greetings Roadrunners,

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week, so be sure to give an extra thank-you to those amazing parents and volunteers you see working in our school on a regular basis!

Eighteen items of note for this week:

• Job Expo Update – The person we were hoping to hire for our 5th grade vacancy at the Job Expo decided to stay in their current position and declined the job offer. This means I’ll be back at the Job Expo this Thursday, so if you know of any strong candidates for the position, please encourage them to apply.

• 2018-2019 SPED Staffing Updates – Principals received our SPED classified and licensed staffing for next school year. For licensed staff, Bryan, Katie, Linda, and Rae are all staying the same. For classified staff, there were a number of changes. Learning Center EAs, Suzanna and Janet, stayed the same. CLC EAs, Maria, Jolene, and Rebecca, are all 6 hours next year, which is a 30-minute reduction for two positions. Melva is retiring from her CLC EA position, but Jamie is shifting from her 1:1 position into Melva’s vacancy. The CLC is also getting one additional 6-hour EA position, which someone will be placed. Life Skills EAs, Cindy, Debora, Jessi, Rhonda, Shawna, and Tina, will stay the same, but Tamara was displaced due to seniority and the position eliminated, and Allison is moving into a different job and someone will be placed into her position, but it will be 4 hours instead of 6. For LC, CLC, and Life Skills 1:1s, Kittie and Lyndsey will stay the same. Navneeta has been displaced due to seniority and the position eliminated. Jackie has been hired as Spring Creek’s Life Skills teacher for next school year, and someone will be placed into her Life Skills 1:1 position. Lastly, one CLC 1:1 position and one Life Skills 1:1 position currently filled by subs will have people placed into those positions.

The reason behind these SSD staff changes were several. One is a need for more effective services (graduation rate and other key indicators are falling, such as levels of inclusion in gen ed continuing to drop). Two, sustainability has become an issue. The district cannot sustain the rate of staff adds they have been doing. Third is beginning the process of changing our SPED delivery models, which will involve SPED classified EAs (1:1, Program, CLC and CLB) being collapsed into one job category in order to facilitate job preservation and ease of staffing. CLBs at Kelly and Roosevelt are being dissolved and students will be served in their home schools. Fox Hollow will close FHIP and add a separate behavior classroom much like Lane School. High school behavior EAs are being dissolved and learning center classified time has been added. In implementing these changes, SSD is making it a priority to sustain jobs (seeking a MOU with OSEA to collapse 1:1, program EA, CLC & CLB classified jobs), maintain time block rights, and maintain location/level if possible.

• PTO Meeting, Tuesday at 6:00 – The April PTO Meeting is this Tuesday at 6:00 in the Community Room if any staff are able to come out to show support our for our small but hard working parent group.

• 2018-2019 Calendar Approved – Kerry Delf sent an email earlier regarding the 2018-2019 School Calendar, but a couple items worth noting are:

• Conferences Nov. 8 & 9 – There are shared district wide dates for Parent/Teacher Conferences on November 8th and 9th. I have not yet heard the parameters for these days, although the new teacher contract says that, “principals will collaborate with the school’s unit members before deciding when and how to conduct all-school parent conferences“ and that “all-school parent conferences after 4:00 p.m. will be compensated with an equal amount of workday hours off,” which sound like school will have flexibility to decide conferences times around these established dates. If we did it as we have had in the past, we could do evening conferences Wednesday, Nov. 7th, 4:00-8:00, all-day conference Thursday, Nov. 8th, 8:00-8:00, and a comp day on Friday, Nov. 9th (making a four-day Veterans Day weekend for most staff).

• Semester Two Grading Day – The final grading day on next year’s calendar is AFTER the last student day. The plan is for downtown to print and mail report cards home after the grading day. However, teachers will still need to print a copy of report cards for when you complete student CUM files. The first semester report cards will go home with students, the as we have done in the past.

• 2018-2019 Master Schedule – I’m not planning to do much work on the master schedule until after the start/end times are settled (also the plan for the additional PE/Music times), but if you’re interested, linked here is a Draft Sample Master Schedule schools could use with the 6 hour 40 minute day schedule. See the linked district website for updates on the 4J Standard School Schedule. And on a related note, a second draft of start/end times for schools is being worked on and will be going out soon for feedback before the community forum Wednesday.

• Classified Self-Evaluation Forms Due May 4th – As we approach the end of the year, all classified staff need to complete the Classified Employee Self-Assessment form (PDF or DOC) and give me a copy (email or hardcopy) by Friday, May 4th. After I get a copy we will meet briefly sometime before the end of May, where I will go over the evaluation form I have to complete for each classified staff member. Let me know if you have any questions.

• PBIS Kindness Challenge & Assembly – We are in the midst of our school-wide kindness challenge and there are lots of kind acts being recognized and celebrated. See Rae and Jill’s emails for details, but linked here is the Assembly Map & Directions for the PBIS Kindness Extravaganza on Wednesday, April 25th with K-2 at 8:45-9:10 and 3-5 at 9:20-9:45. I did change the original plan of one big assembly to instead having two assemblies, which helps Title 1 staff with progress monitoring this day and is also easier management-wise during the assembly.

If you want to incorporate a kindness lesson into a Morning Meeting, Class Meeting, or Closing Meeting, remember the kindness videos shared earlier on Color Your World with Kindness, What does kindness mean?, Kindness is a muscle (dance along and sing), and Thai Doctor (for older kids). And remember the focus should be on highlighting the acts of kindness, showing kids examples of kindness, and celebrating kind acts (not about getting a slip of paper).

• Tech Trot Prizes/Incentives Volunteers? – The PTO is sending info out soon about the annual Tech Trot (i.e. jog-a-thon to help cover student technology fees) and as with the cookie dough fundraiser the new school board policy no longer allows us to offer individual prizes as incentives. Instead we’ll have a menu of progressive prizes, which you can preview on the linked Tech Trot Prize Sheet. There are a few that are school-wide rewards, some that are classroom only, and some that are names pulled out of a hat from each class. Most rewards won’t interrupt instruction until they progress high enough to earn doing a pie in the face to a staff member at $4,000, or earn an extra recess at $5,000, or all staff wearing a clown wigs for a day at $6,000 (they said it’s okay if there are bashful staff members and we have at least half of us wearing wigs), or a PJ Party and (short) movie at $7,000, or duct tape someone to a wall at $8,000, and a lip synch battle at $9,000. Most all of these would be done all at one assembly.

I’m willing to do all of the crazy above items, but kids may like to see a variety of staff on the rewards sheet when it goes out, which means we are looking for volunteers for the following:

• Be a special guest at a fun lunch with 2 kids from each class in the Community Room
• Get a whip cream pie in the face at an assembly
• Get duct taped to a wall or post
• Do a lip synch battle at an assembly (I’m most excited for this one!)

Multiple volunteers for these would be great, so let me know if any of you are wiling to get your crazy on!

• 2018 ACE Awards—Nominate Now! – In case you missed the Ace Awards nominations email, they are now accepting nominations. If you’d like to nominate any of your colleagues in one of the five categories (teachers and licensed specialists, administrators and supervisors, classified staff, volunteers, and a special lifetime achievement award), follow this link to the Ace Awards Nomination Form. Nominations are due May 1st. Linked here is the ACE Award Nomination Criteria and a link to the news release. Submit a Nomination by May 1, 2018

• Foundations In Math – Summer 2018 – 4J’s excellent Foundations in Mathematics course is again being offered this summer! A number of Howard teachers have attended this in the past and it’s gotten great reviews. The class typically fills quickly, so talk with your colleagues if you’d like to go as a team. A few of details:

• It will be a 3 day course held from June 26-28.
• Teachers will be paid extended contract for 2 of the 3 days.
• Teachers can receive 1 U of O credit at a reduced rate.
• See the Foundations in Mathematics flyer for details and click here to register.

• Earth Day, Sunday, April 22 – Earth Day is observed around the world annually on April 22nd. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, and is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. If you’d like ideas for student activities, linked here are Earth Day resource from Scholastic, Education World, NEA, and the EPA.

• Title 1 Parent Survey – As an FYI, Title 1 schools sent out the annual Title 1 Parent Survey last week. It’s being done electronically and the due date for families to complete the survey is Monday, April 23. This is a fast turnaround for Howard, River Road, Chavez, McCornack, and Kelly because downtown wants to incorporate our results into their BEST grant application (the current BEST grant expires this school year).

• BEST & Strings Next Year – The district BEST Coordinator let me know that BEST is no longer partnering with Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras (ESYO) after this school year, which means that our String Academy program next year would have to be fee based. Howard has typically had the highest participation rate of any school in 4J, but the increase in cost will likely price a number of families out of the program. However, one idea I have is we could write an EEF grant to provide scholarships for students. I’m not sure that would be a high priority grant, since it doesn’t serve a large number of students, but it may be worth writing if we don’t have many grants submitted to Site Council. Right now I only know of two being sumbitted.

• REPEAT: EEF Grant Applications Due to Allan April 23rd – Grant proposals are due to do me by next Monday, April 23rd. Grant proposals do not need to be completely written out before the 23rd, but at least tell me the title and general idea before Site Council. May 15th is the deadline to submit the final grant applications to EEF. Take note that EEF prioritizes requests that support educational enrichment, equity and/or access programs, and that impact the largest number of students possible. EEF prioritizes grants that relate to the Arts, Literacy, and STEM. Grant requests may be requested in any amount up to $5000. Schools may submit up to 5 grant requests total. See the linked EEF website or linked email for details.

• REPEAT: Volunteer Appreciation Week & Volunteer Appreciation Doughnut Day, 4/19 – Volunteer Appreciation Week is this week, so please take time to recognize any volunteers. Also, please give to your volunteers the invitations for the doughnut themed Volunteer Appreciation on Thursday, 12:00-3:30, in the Community Room. Volunteers can stop by anytime for doughnuts, treats, and appreciation. Invitations in English and Spanish are underneath staff mailboxes and feel free to do more for your classroom volunteers if you wish!

• District Admin Updates – Chris Mitchell has been appointed Cal Young Middle School’s new principal for next year. Jericho Dunn, who started the year as Cal Young’s principal, resigned this spring and the assistant principal is filling the role for the remainder of the year. Chris has been principal at Roosevelt Middle School for the past six years. Chris’s replacement at Roosevelt Middle School will be Eric Anderson, the current principal at Charlemagne, who has previously been principal at North Eugene High School and also at Roosevelt form 2009-2012. Lastly, the Food Service Director for 4J Nutrition Services (and Howard parent) Kaylynn Olney’s last day was last Friday, in order to take a new job, and in the interim, the current Operations Manager will take over until Sodexo finds a replacement.

• Modeling Assertiveness With Students – See this Edutopia article about how simple role-playing exercises can show students how to stand up for themselves without being unkind to others. Strategies include the “nice no”, setting a boundary, asking for some thinking time, stating your needs, using an “I feel” message, and knowing how to respond to aggression.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

April 16 (M)
Volunteer Appreciation Week
Julie Out – No Library
8:00, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

April 17 (T)
8:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Office)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Angela’s Room)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

April 18 (W)
5:30-6:30, 4J School Schedule Community Forum (Ed Center)

April 19 (H)
9:00-9:30, Allan to ABA Meeting (Office)
12:00-3:30, Volunteer Appreciation Donut Day! (Community Room)
4:00-6:00, Allan to Job Expo (Ed Center)
5:00-7:00, PTO McTeacher Night Fundraiser (River Ave. McDonalds)

April 20 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting

April 22 (SU)
Earth Day

April 23 (M)
EEF Grants Due to Allan
May School Newsletter Articles Due
3/4/5 ELA Performance Task
8:30-2:30, Allan to Report Card Revision Team Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, Site Council Meeting (Conference Room)

April 24 (T)
3/4/5 ELA Performance Task
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
8:30-12:30, LCC Dental Clinic
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa/Mariah’s Room, RM23)

April 25 (W)
Administrative Professionals’ Day (formerly known as Secretaries’ Day)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
3/4/5 ELA Performance Task
8:45-9:10, K-2 PBIS Kindness Extravaganza (Gym)
9:20-9:45, 3-5 PBIS Kindness Extravaganza (Gym)
2:30-3:30, Student Care Meeting (Conference Room)

April 26 (H)
3/4/5 ELA Performance Task
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

April 27 (F)
3/4/5 ELA Performance Task
9:00-12:00, 1st Grade Near By Nature Field Trip – Chunn/Kerins
11:00-12:50, April Birthday Lunches With the Principal (Community Room)

Have a fabulous week, everyone, and fingers crossed for a much drier week!


April 2, 2018


Howdy Howard Staff,

I hope you all took time to relax and get ready for the final two and a half months of school. I relaxed with a short family trip to the coast and by binge watching the Hannibal TV series (which is an AMAZING horror series everyone should watch) and finishing Lovecraft Country (which is being made into an HBO series from the creator of the Oscar winning horror film Get Out). I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s spring break adventures!

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• April 2nd PD Day Plan Update – Jaimee Massie already emailed the linked April 2nd PD Communication to licensed staff and I forwarded it to classified staff, but please see the attached document for details regarding the April 3rd professional development day. The short version is:

8:00-12:00, Classified Staff: Math Foundations PD (River Road)
8:00-12:00, Licensed Staff: Grade-Level Math (K-2 Holt/3-5 Chavez)
12:00-12:40, Lunch/Travel Time
12:40-2:00, Licensed Staff: Building Math Design Time (Howard Library)

For the licensed staff Math Design Time Collaboration time back at our building 12:40-2:00 we will start in the library. I went through a few different iterations of how to structure this time, but landed on having this time be more directed by grade level team needs/interests. We’ll start in the library, but most of the time will be for grade level and workshop teams to collaborate and share around math instructions (creating anchor charts for upcoming lessons, sentence frames around academic language, talk moves for the upcoming unit, analyzing unit assessments, sharing what’s worked, what’s been a challenge, etc.), and then returning to the library for a share-out of what you accomplished. Let me know if you have any questions.

• 2018-2019 Schedule/Calendar Updates – I CC’d staff on a district email that went out families regarding the draft schedule for next school year, which had some additional information about the proposed schedule. Below are a few FAQs I’ve gotten about the schedule:

What are other schools’ start/end times?
Linked here is the Draft Schedule of School Start/End Times for all 4J schools. The times by level are:

ELEM: MTWH, 7:55-2:35 or 8:30-3:10, FRIDAY, 7:55-12:10 or 8:30-12:45
MIDDLE: MTWH, 9:05-3:55, FRIDAY – 9:05-2:45
HIGH: MTWH, 9:05-4:10, FRIDAY – 9:05-2:55

What will be work hours be for an 8-hour employee?
Currently most full-time employees work 7:30-3:30 with our 7:55 start time. With an 8:30 start time, equivalent work hours would be 8:05-4:05.

Can we schedule a third recess?
To keep within mandated state requirements for student seat hours, buildings can schedule up to 60 minutes of lunches and recesses MTWH and 45 minutes on Fridays. These times can be divided any way schools choose, either 2 longer recesses or 3 shorter recesses.

What time will be the protected hour of prep?
The hour right after Friday early release will be the protected hour of prep. I haven’t seen it in writing, but was told at a principals’ meeting that it will start right at dismissal and that teachers on Fridays would not have any supervision duties, making Howard’s protected hour of prep 12:45-1:45.

Why Friday early release instead of Wednesday?
Friday was chosen to work better for more families, align with key early learning programs that operate Monday through Thursday, and minimize impacts on student learning—Wednesday is our highest-attendance day, so having the shorter day on Wednesdays means more students lose that learning time.

If you have any questions or concerns you’d like me to pass along to Brooke, let me know by this Friday. Also, if you missed it in the email to families, the school board is voting on the 2018-2019 School Calendar at the April 4th meeting if you want to take a peek at that.

• Staffing Updates – A few staffing updates for next year school year. One, Jill already announced that she is taking a professional leave next year to pursue a counseling degree, so we’ll have a 5th grade opening at the April 12th Job Expo. Two, over in the preschool, Megan is leaving her Preschool EA position at the end of the school year to pursue a teaching degree. Please wish Megan and Jill the best on their new adventures and also feel free to start recruiting excellent folks who’d make fine additions to the Howard Team! And one repeat from last week, please welcome Navneeta Medart, our newest CLC 1:1 EA staring Tuesday, to the Howard Team!

• Spring Artist in Residence Schedule – Linked here is Spring Artist in Residence Schedules. Grades K-2 and Life Skills will have Maiya Becker for ReUse Art, meeting for four 45-minute sessions from May 7 – May 18. Grades 3-5 will have Merideth Ferrell for Silk Painting in the STEAM Room for four 60-minute sessions from May 28 – June 8. I tried to avoid workshop times, specialists, and field trips as best I could, but let me know if you spot any conflicts with your schedule.

• April PBIS Focus: Encouragement – The April PBIS monthly focus is Encouragement. The PBIS team created a PBIS/CFK Cheat Sheet that matches our PBIS monthly themes with corresponding Caring for Kids (CFK) class meeting lessons. Besides being an easy way to tie the two activities together, this month’s theme also nicely dovetails onto our school-wide kindness campaign.

• Wacky Wednesday – Favorite Animal Day, 4/11 – Not this Wednesday, but Wednesday next week is Favorite Animal Day, so start getting kids pumped up for this day and starting planning your wacky animal shirt, hat, costume, or other animal themed regalia. Be sure to remind students that our Halloween no-mask rule also applies to this day.

• Fire Drill Wednesday, 4/11 at 8:30 – Not this week, but next week on Wednesday at 8:30 will be our April Fire Drill. If we get rained out, I’ll reschedule for next week. Only two more of these for this school year!

• EEF Grants Due to Allan by April 23 – A quick reminder that EEF Grant Applications are now open and grants need to be given to me by April 23 for Site Council to rank order our grant submissions. I haven’t seen an official email from EEF this year, but last year we could submit up to five grants in any amount up to $5,000. EEF puts a higher priority on grants related to Arts, Literacy, and STEM. One additional request from EEF was that if you’ve submitted the same grant for multiple years in a row, that you add in why that particular program is important and should continue. Linked here is the EEF Grant Application website, which contain all the details and can answer most any question you might have.

• PTO Meeting Updates – I’ve mentioned before that this year’s excellent PTO Board are all ending their terms this year and we are need of new board members. Please feel free to recruit any parents you think might be able to take this on. Classroom teachers can also feel free to include the short article below in any classroom newsletters:

2018-2019 PTO Board Members Needed!

Howard’s PTO Board is in need of a new President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer for next school year. We are encouraging any interested parents to come to the April PTO meeting, Tuesday, April 17th at 6:00 in the Howard Community Room. Nominations will take place at that meeting. At the May 15th PTO meeting, a vote to finalize the new the board will take place. If you’re unable to attend the April meeting, please email or contact principal Allan Chinn. We would love to keep our amazing PTO up and running to provide support for Howard students, families, and staff. Without these positions filled, the PTO’s charter will sadly dissolve. Please consider applying for one of these positions!

• Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 16-20 – Volunteer Appreciation will is coming up in a couple weeks, so please take time to recognize any volunteers you work with this week. Last year Allison put on a fabulous doughnut themed appreciation, which we might make an annual tradition, but let me know if any of you have another idea we might try this year.

• Informal Observations – I’m close to finishing up all of my formal teacher observations for the school year, so heads-up I’m moving on to the final round of informal observations. I’m hoping to finish most of them up this week or next.

• Library News – Here are some dates of note from Ms. Hopkins, which are also on the Howard Google Calendar:

• School Library month (Normal check out for the kids all month)
• 4/6 – Find out if I have jury duty :)
• 4/8 – National school library week
• 4/30 – Children’s book Day!

• 5/14-18 – Last week of check out 1 book per student
• 5/21-24 – Book return week last week of classes (kids will receive a fun book mark for returning their books) working on a classroom reward for 1st class with all books returned :) I will reschedule Friday classes for earlier in the week since we have a PD day the 25th.
• 5/25 – Hopefully setting up BOGO fair
• 5/29 – Hopefully student preview (waiting to confirm dates with Scholastic)
• 5/30-6/1 – BOGO fair in the library

• 6/4-15 – Inventory and library close out for the year!
• 6/5 – All student library books due back to the library (this should catch up the stragglers from May)
• 6/12 – All staff library books are due back to the library

• Student Care Team Resources – Linked here are a few resources that came out the last Student Care Team, as well as a couple oldies-but-goodies that were shared with a family before the break:

• Little Children Big Challenges: Incarceration DVD packet – We’ve shared before about the Sesame Street Resource Packet for families with an incarcerated family member, but they also offer a DVD packet that is available for free, along with the mobile apps and printable activities for student service providers.

• Love Inc. – Their primary focus is to offer practical, hands-on assistance in a variety of areas. The type of help they can offer is ever changing as new volunteers step forward, desiring to help others with the talents, hobbies or skills they possess. They’re regularly updating their data base of volunteer teams of people willing to help in these general areas: prayer, meals, rides to appointments, yard work, packing, painting, firewood, and stocking pantry shelves as folks transition from being without homes. They can be contacted through their website or at Living Hope Church 2801 West 18th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97402, 541.653.8537 or email to register.

• Bags Of Love – The sole purpose of Bags of Love is to provide necessities and comfort items to children who are in crisis due to neglect, abuse, poverty or homelessness. Through their unique distribution model, they address the immediate needs of these children and help support the community agencies caring for them. Bags include the bag, quilt or blanket, toiletry kit, toys, and clothing. The can be contacted at 710 Commercial Street, Eugene, OR 97402-5348, at (541) 357-4957, at, or

• Food For Lane County – A county-wide distribution of emergency food that offers food boxes, no-cost meal sites, gardens, nutri- tion education, children’s and senior programs. They are located at 770 Bailey Hill Rd., Eugene and can be reached by email at or on the web at

• Produce Plus – The Produce Plus program is in all of the DHS offices on Mondays. The program is for anyone living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. There is no program enrollment; all who come can be served, as long as they sign the self-declaration statement that they meet the income requirement.

• Food For Lane County Map of Food Pantry Sites – Here’s a link to a complete list of Lane County Food Pantry sites.

• Walk & Roll to School Day “Walking School Bus” Opportunity? – For the May 9th Walk & Roll to School Day, the Safe Routes to School Program Manager emailed me offering to help organize a “Walking School Bus” where buses will park a short distance away from school and kids walk the rest of the way. To do this, we’d need staff stationed along the walking route, so I was wanting to know if there are staff members interested/willing to volunteer their time to do this? I was thinking buses could drop kids off at Kelly and they could then walk along the sidewalk to Howard. I’m thinking we’d need at least four volunteers. Let me know by the end of the week if you’d be willing to supervise 7:20-7:45 to greet bus riders as they “walk” to school.

• 4J Outdoor School Minutes & Info – Based on recommendations from the Outdoor School District Planning Team, which included one representative from every elementary and middle school, downtown has decided to meet the voter passed outdoor school requirement by having all 5th grade students attend outdoor school instead of all 6th grade students. This will start next year and many details are still being worked out, but if you’re interested, see the linked minutes for current details. The plan is to create a menu of options for schools. The minimum requirements is a 3-day camp (although not necessarily overnight). Next year downtown and EEA will go through a process to establish a memorandum of understanding regarding outdoor school. The plan will also includes designing something to go out to vendors, so teachers will not be required to create the curriculum or run the programs.

• Escalation Cycle Tips & Reminders – This is a long item, but please take a few moments to review the key points below from our training last month with Kim Reinhardt and Shasta Quigley regarding the Escalation Cycle and how we as educators can choose to respond. Below are the Cliff Notes version from the meeting and linked here is a copy of the Escalation Cycle PowerPoint as well as the Meeting Minutes.

Educator Mindset and Philosophy
• In order to change student behavior, we have to first look at our own behavior.

• All behavior has a purpose: get attention, avoid attention, get a desired object or activity, escape an activity, situation, or environment

• “Kids do well if they can.” This is contrast to the alternative of “kids do well if they want to.” It’s our job to figure why kids aren’t doing well and helping them move toward a place where they can do well.

-Find stressors and try to reduce them
-Find unmet needs and try to meet them
-Find skills deficits and try to teach them

• Our relationship with students is the single greatest influence in helping students to change their behavior. Kids who believe their teachers like them, do better across the board.

Escalation Cycle: Baseline, Trigger, Escalation, Crisis, De-escalation, Post Crisis Drain, Stabilization
1.  Most people will stay at Baseline 80% of the time.

• If you start your day with big stressors, you’re not as well able to make decisions, do your job, etc. and are more likely to escalate quickly
• We teach at baseline as kids will accept feedback

2.  When kids get Triggered, try removing or modifying to prevent further escalation. Reinforce what’s been taught (ex: take a break)

3.  As kids get more Agitated (get more off task, fidgety, withdraw), make environmental modifications (break, take a walk), provide reasonable options and choices. Don’t remind of potential negative outcomes. Offer two things that are reasonable (ex: you can do this or miss recess vs would you like to cross off 2 problems or have me help you get started)

4.  Acceleration happens as behavior intensifies. Intervention is focused on safety of students. Use safety plan if one is written.

5.  Peak is when students are at their most of our control. Don’t talk a lot. Use short, practiced phrases.

• Check your own reaction. Try and relax your body position. Remind yourself this isn’t personal to you. Take a deep breath and try to slow your own heart rate. Regulate yourself so you can help regulate the student.
• When a student is escalated, stop talking.
• Give a couple seconds of quiet and then give clear directions or visual prompts.
• When in doubt, give space and call for help.
• If someone asks you to step away or offers to swap with you, please do, especially if the student’s behaviors are directed towards you.
• You can tap out if you are frustrated. Ask someone else to take over. The kids know when you are feeling negatively toward them.

6.  De-escalation happens after the peak and students are confused but their behavior is decreasing.

• Don’t blame or tell what they did wrong
• This isn’t the time to teach.

7.  Recovery – student is willing to return to activities.

• This may not happen until the next day.
• Kids may need to sleep or withdraw until their back to baseline.
• Follow through with natural or logical consequences and focused on re-teaching.
• Positively reinforce any displays of appropriate behavior.
• Focus is to reteach a positive behavior, not to “stick it to them.”

• Future Howard Road Safety Projects – I’d recently contacted Safe Routes to School Program Manager about setting up a radar speed sign to slow down drivers in front of our school and Kelly and learned about a number of safety improvements in the works. First, we will be getting a temporary radar speed sign. The Safe Route Manager is also looking to potentially add speed cushions or some other kind of traffic calming, or perhaps even a sidewalk on the south side of the street where there are now very few large trees left. There is a neighborhood planning process happening over the next year, and that will guide bigger projects like the sidewalks. There’s support for a shorter sidewalk on North Park alongside Kelly. There’s also a sidewalk planned to go along Grove Street, though it’s not quite official.

• District Admin Updates – Two district admin updates. Sebastian Bolden will be the new Spring Creek principal next year. He is coming from Bethel, where he has been assistant principal of Meadow View (K-8) for five years and a middle school teacher before that. Andy Dey has been selected as 4J’s Director of Secondary Education beginning July 1, replacing BJ Blake when she retires. Andy has been principal of South Eugene High School since 2015 and has experience as a middle and high school teacher and administrator, K–12 curriculum director, track coach, and earlier as a non-profit conservation organization director.

• Extinct Versions of Animals – Just for fun, here’s a cool comparison of current animals and their extinct ancestors from the NPR Science Tumblr account, which kids might enjoy seeing. The “largest known rodent” is probably my favorite.

• Howard Staff Social: Alvvays Concert Sunday! – Last chance to get your tickets for the Alvvays concert this Sunday at 9 PM at the Hi-Fi Music Hall here in downtown Eugene. Come hang out with your colleagues while listening to some excellent indie pop! Hope to see you there!

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

April 2 (M)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Encouragement
No School – Professional Development/Planning Day
8:00-12:00, Classified Staff PD: Elementary Math Foundations PD (River Road)
8:00-12:00, Licensed Staff PD: Grade-level Collaborative Math PD (K-2 at Holt & 3-5 at Chavez)
12:00-12:40, Lunch/Travel Time
12:45-2:00, Licensed Staff: Building Math Design Time (Howard Library)

April 3 (T)
Classes Resume
Artist in Residence #1 (last day)
3:00, Allan Meeting with Carl Stubbs (Office)
4:00-5:15, Allan to Report Card Committee Meeting (Ed Center)

April 4 (W)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

April 5 (H)
12:35, Matt & Allan at 5th Grade Safety Patrol Meeting (Community Room)
2:30-3:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

April 6 (F)
Regular Day

April 7 (SA)
10:00-2:00, PTO Spring Bazaar (Gym/Cafeteria)

April 8 (SU)
9:00PM, Howard Staff Social – Alvvays Concert (Hi-Fi Music Hall)

April 9 (M)
National Library Week
2:30, Allan to FBA Meeting

April 10 (T)
Library Worker’s Day
Wacky Wednesday – Favorite Animal Day
8:15-11:30, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa/Mariah’s Room, RM23)

April 11 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
8:30, Fire Drill
1:15-2:00, Classified EA Supervisors Meeting (Room 26)
2:30-3:30, PBIS Team Meeting (Rae’s Room, RM1)

April 12 (H)
7:30-11:30, Data Team Meetings (Conference Room)
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, RM24)
4:00-7:00, Allan to Elem. Jobs Expo (Ed Center)

April 13 (F)
Fluoride Varnish – Community Room

Now on with the sunny springtime weather!


February 12, 2018


Hello Awesome Howard Staff!

We had a good turnout for the PTO Valentines Day Family Craft Night. There were free snacks and drinks, and everyone enjoyed making the fun crafts. Be sure to thank our fabulous PTO Board for their work when you see them!

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• REPEAT: 2018-2019 Staff Survey, Due Feb. 19 – With staffing allocations coming out Tuesday next week, I’d like staff to complete the linked Google Form Staff Survey or on the linked Word file by Monday next week. I’d like to know staff members’ individual plans and preferences for the future as well as your general thoughts on next year’s staffing plan and master schedule. Please complete the survey by Monday, February 19th. All answers will be kept confidential and please let me know if you have any questions.

• MyON / News-o-Matic Optional Training Wed. at 1:30 – News-o-Matic (an excellent Weekly Ready-type news app/website) was bought out by MyON, so I’ve arranged for a 3-month demo and an optional webinar training this Wednesday in the STEAM Room at 1:30. Besides news, MyON also has a large digital library of books, much like TumbleBooks and TumbleReadables. Not here, but in a separate email is info about staff and student username and passwords. Students are already be attached to classroom teachers and I’ve added a link to MyON/News-o-Matic on the Howard website Links for Learners. Feel free to start using the website now ahead of the training and let me know if you need any help with it.

• Report Card Notes – Two items of note regarding report cards going home this Friday:

• Email Lori when Report Cards Completed – Teachers, let Lori know when you are finished with your report cards. She has to run a report that saves the report cards to the student information in Synergy, but it would lock teachers out if she does it before you’re done.

• New version of the winter parent reports – I’m not printing new versions of the parent reports, but downtown sent a second batch of parent reports after the winter benchmark testing window closed, so let me know if you had any students with missing information or need a new parent report for any reason. Downtown also sent principals a Spanish version of all the parent reports, so let me know which students need those and I’ll email you their reports.

• Playground Rules Reminders – Following last week’s Classified Supervisors meeting, there were three items to take note of:

• Notes for Recess “Helpers” – If teachers are sending students to the playground to help, please write a note or communicate with recess staff ahead of time if students are coming. We want to make sure kids are where they are supposed to be, and will send them otherwise.

• No Sitting on Top of Structures – We clarified the rule that there is no sitting on top of either the small or large play structures, if staff can remind students and remember to enforce this rule. Some recesses had been letting kids sit on top of the small structure.

• Off Grass Along South Fence Line – Students are to stay off the grass on the south side of the playground (the side bordering neighborhood properties). The playground boundary for students is the edge of the blacktop and the concrete circle area. There have been issues with students being out of sight behind trees and plants in this area and also issues with mud on the slope.

• Building Facilities Issues – Two items you can help with:

• Send Me Your Worst Sunlight Pictures – Anyone with a south facing window is well aware that natural light continues to be an issue, so please email or text me your worst pictures of sunlight disrupting instruction by shining in students’ faces, or blowing out anything being projected, or anything else. This will help me in pushing Facilities to get going on fixing this.

• Notify Me of Blinds Issues – Let me know if you ever notice blinds that do not retract all the way, are not going down all the way, coming down too far, or are crooked. They’re still under warranty and we want to get these fixed now before we have to pay to have them fixed later.

• OBOB Final Battle & Awards Assembly – Linked here is the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) Assembly Map & Directions for the final OBOB battle this Wednesday at 9:00 in the gym. I mapped spots for grades 3-5, but if younger grades would like to attend, you’re welcome to join.

• REPAT: FOSS Science Survey – Linked here is a FOSS Survey for teachers to fill out as to where you are in meeting your goal of teaching the first investigation of your second science kit by March 1st. If teachers need support, Allison and Instruction Department folks are here to help and can arrange for support in anyway teachers need.

• Formal Observations Email – Probationary, Temp, and Contract Year-1 Teachers, look for an email from me regarding formal observations. Related to the above, I’m hoping to schedule an observation of a science lesson between now and the end of the month, and it’s perfectly fine if it’s the first investigation.

• Laminator Reminder – Do not use the laminator if you, your volunteers, or practicum students have not been trained how to use it. We’ve had some ugly laminator jams that take quite a while to fix after untrained hands have jammed it up. If you’d like someone to laminate for you, just can put the papers/posters into Christina’s mailbox with a note and she’ll do it for you.

• Extra Class Pictures – Lifetouch sent us extras of the class composite photos, so let me know if you’d like an extra picture of your class or for a deserving student and I’ll put it in your mailbox.

• Earthquake/Fire Drill Next Week – Not this week, but Thursday next week at 1:30 will be our February Fire Drill and also our second and final required earthquake drill of the school year. For the earthquake drill, if you want to review with students ahead of time, there are many resource on The Great Oregon Shake Out website to help you teach students about Drop, Cover, Hold and about earthquake preparedness. See the linked Evacuation Map & Lines for where classes should line up for the Fire Drill following the Earthquake Drill.

• Howard Pinterest Page – During the design phase of our school, I’d created a Howard Pinterest account for staff to share their ideas for the new building. Later I added add some curricular Pinterest boards (ELA, Math, Science, Arts, Specialists) where staff can share internet finds if you are a Pinterest user. To pin to these boards, just follow the Howard boards and then I will “invite” you to be a “collaborator” on the boards. Let me know if you’d like access!

• Let’s Hear it for Empathy! – Here’s a great article that has some strategies for teaching empathy. Here is an excerpt from the article:

In order to be successful with academic standards, students need social-emotional skills. Research tells us that the process of learning is 50% cognitive and 50% social-emotional. An unwrapping of standards across disciplines K-12 reveals that social-emotional learning is implicitly embedded in the academic work of students. For instance, in English Language Arts our students are asked to consider multiple perspectives and cultures, engage in collaborative discussions with diverse partners, communicate effectively, and demonstrate a social awareness. Similarly, in social studies, students are making global connections, studying diversity, and exploring relationships. The Standards for Mathematical Practices are all built on social-emotional learning and emphasize important skills like perseverance in problem solving, critiquing the reasoning of others, and constructing viable arguments.

• Disrupting Poverty – In this free ASCD webinar based on their recent book, “Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices,” authors William Parrett and Kathleen Budge discuss the five classroom practices that permeate the culture of successful high-poverty schools: (1) caring relationships and advocacy, (2) high expectations and support, (3) commitment to equity, (4) professional accountability for learning, and (5) the courage and will to act. And in a related ASCD article, “Push, don’t pity, students in poverty,” says Linda Cliatt-Wayman, who worked in one of the most dangerous high schools in America. She says students in poverty don’t need educators’ excuses. They need a lot of love and unimaginably high expectations.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

February 12 (M)
11:00-12:00, Allan to Eval Planning Meeting (Conference Room)

February 13 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
8:30-11:00, LCC Dental Clinic
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa/Mariah’s Room)
3:45-6:30, 4J Staff of Color Affinity Group (Community Room)
4:00-8:00, 4J First Aid Class (Library)

February 14 (W)
Valentine’s Day
9:00-9:45, OBOB Final Battle Assembly (Gym)
1:30, MyON/News-o-Matic Training – OPTIONAL (Angela’s Room)
2:30-1:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room)

February 14 (H)
7:50-10:40, Data Team Meetings 3/4/K
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

February 15 (F)
Report Cards Sent Home
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting

February 19 (M)
Presidents Day – No School

February 20 (T)
10:30, Allan to 18-19 Staffing Allocation Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

February 21 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
EEA Visits to Howard
Tailfeather Reward – PJ Day

February 22 (H)
Book Fair delivery to library
1:30, Earthquake/Fire Drill
12:00-3:00, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room)
5:00-6:00, Human Growth & Development – Parent Preview (Community Room)

February 23 (F)
Book Fair Student Preview
11:00-12:30, February Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Community Room)

Have a good week, everyone, and an even better three-day weekend!



February 5, 2018


Hello Rockin’ Roadrunners,

This week is National School Counseling Week, so please take a moment to recognize the hard work of our rockstar school counselor Mr. Matt! School counselors fill a unique and vital role in schools and in the success of all our students. Be sure to give Matt a pat on the back this week for all his skills and hard work!

Fourteen items of note for this week:

• FOSS Science Survey – Linked here is a FOSS Survey for teachers to fill out as to where you are in meeting your goal of teaching the first investigation of your second science kit by March 1st. If teachers need support, Allison and Instruction Department folks are here to help and can arrange for support in anyway teachers need.

• 2018-2019 Staffing Timeline – Principals will receive staffing for next school year on Tuesday, February 20th at 10:00. I’ll send an email to staff later that day with all the details. Howard is currently 20 students above what we were staffed for this year (498 enrolled and projected for 478) so I expect that our projection will be higher for year (although we do have a larger exiting 5th grade class than our current KG class).

• 2018-2019 Staff Survey, Due Feb. 19 – With staffing allocations coming out in two weeks, I’d like staff to complete the linked Google Form Staff Survey or on the linked Word file. I’d like to know staff members’ individual plans and preferences for the future as well as your thoughts on next year’s staffing plan and master schedule. Please complete the survey by Monday, February 19th. All answers will be kept confidential and please let me know if you have any questions.

• Report Card Items – Four items/reminders regarding report cards:

• Parent Reports Coming – The new parent reports for K-1 were sent to principals late Friday, so I’ll put those to K-1 teachers’ mailboxes Monday. Downtown is having technical issue with the reports for grades 2-5, but said they are working on it over the weekend. There’s a separate explanation sheet (English & Spanish) about the easyCBM and OAKS scores. I’ll run sets of the English version for grades with 2-sided reports and print it on the back of the parent reports for grades with 1-sided reports. I’ll leave copies of the Spanish version under staff mailboxes.

• LZ Parent Support Sheets – I put class sets of these in teacher mailboxes to be sent home with report cards. I realize not everyone may be in the same place with the Learn Zillion pacing guide, but I’d still encourage teachers to send this information home.

• Spanish Translations Due Friday – If you need any report card comments translated, they are due to Bianca by Friday.

• Report Cards Sent Home 2/16 – All report cards will be sent home in Friday Folders on Friday, February 16th

• 4J Policy Reminders for Staff – Principals were asked to review the following items with staff:

• Restraint and Seclusion – Falling under Board Policy JGAB, this linked document covers the procedures regarding Use of Restraint and Seclusion. EEA has shared concerns that staff who are not trained in restraint and seclusion (OIS or MANDT) are not fully aware of the procedures and expectations, so principals have been asked to review the policy and procedures regarding restraint and seclusion before spring break, along with training staff regarding the escalation cycle. We’ll plan to do this at our Howard Academy Day, Friday, March 2nd, along with OAKS Test Security Training.

• Building Visitors – Per Board Policy KK, all visitors and all visiting district staff must sign in with the front office at all times. If you have a large group come, have the leader sign in and provide you a list of all participants attending with them. And if you see a visitor without a sticker, please direct them back to the office to sign in.

• Perfect Attendance Awards – Lupe reminded me about recognizing students who have had perfect attendance first semester (no tardies or absences). If you’d like me to give a 30-second award presentation to perfect attenders in your classroom, just give me a date and time to come in and I can make a big deal about regular attendance. Attached in my email is a list of all the students with perfect attendance first semester. Also, if you know of any kids with “near perfect” attendance who you’d like to recognize, let me know and I can award them as well. I’ll plan to do the same at the end of the school year for perfect second semester attendance and for students with perfect attendance all year.

• New 4J VPN – If you ever need to log onto the 4JNet from home, 4J recently changed their VPN. An email was sent to staff earlier this year who had logged on with the old Cisco VPN recently, but linked here directions on how to install the new FortiClient VPN for Mac. Also, you’ll need to be on the 4JNet (at school) to download the new VPN.

• Library Announcements – Julie has a few items of note from the library:

• Remind kids library is not a shortcut – I have noticed kids are starting to cut through the library in the morning and after school to avoid the crowded hallways. I would prefer nipping this in the bud, if too many kids start doing this it will become very unsafe (my chairs sneak out and trip you) and helps to keep students from messing around where they shouldn’t be. :)

• Open Library Times – Here are open times for staff and students to come to the library to exchange books, special check out, etc…

M, W, Th, Fr 8:00 – 8:10 & 8:40 – 9:10
M-F 11:00 – 11:30
M & Tu 12:15 to 1:15
W 12:30 -1:00

I have hall passes in the works to give to each classroom. On short weeks I may have a class, just let your students know that if there is a class in the library to check back at a later time and I will be happy to help them.

• No Unattended Students in the Library – A gentle reminder that students should only be in the library during school hours if an adult is working in the library. Our library is closed to students after 2:15 in the afternoon.

• New books in the Library – Here are new titles for teachers and EAs:

ADA Twist Scientist (2 copies)
Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers
Iggy Peck Architect
The Invisible Boy
My Mouth is a Volcano!
Don’t Squeal Unless it’s a Big Deal
What if Everybody Did That?
Do Unto Otters A book about manners
Rude Cakes
You Get What you Get
A Little Book of Manners
The Crayon Box that Talked
Too Shy for Show and Tell
Lying Up a Storm
Jessica’s Box
Have Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
More behavior books on the way!

• OBOB Updates – OBOB games start this week. Monday Morning 8:10 – 8:40 & 12:30 – 2:00. Students participating should come down to the library 5 minutes before their game is scheduled to start. We will be sending them back to class when their game is over. Thank you for all your support and encouragement!

• Dental Kits for K-3 Students – United Way is providing dental kits this year to all Lane County K-3 students. Kits will be delivered to buildings during the week of February 12. United Way’s hope is to get them into students’ hands during February, which is National Children’s Dental Health Month.

• Homeless Resource Guide – The City of Eugene created the Outreach Handbook: Eugene’s rest stop & car camping programs HOW TO guide to provide information on rest stop programs, car camping programs, outreach strategies, resources, outreach materials and other items. I’ve also uploaded a copy to the Howard Google Team Drive, but please feel free to share with families as necessary.

• Free Math Apps – Misty Jackson shared with principals the website Free Math Apps from The Math Learning Center. These are web apps as well as iPad apps. She said several schools are already using the Geoboard app, so if you want any of these installed on iPads, send a ticked to 4jdesktop, or if you want a like added to the Howard Links for Learners, let me know and I’ll add it.

• REPEAT: Wacky Wednesday: Favorite Character Day – Remind your students that the February Wacky Wednesday is this Wednesday and the theme is Favorite Character Day, where kids can dress up as a favorite character from books, TV shows, movies, or video games. The office staff plan is for me to dress as a male version of Cruella de Vil (internet Rule 63), with Lori and Bianca dresses as Dalmatians, so feel free join and dress as one of the dogs I’m trying to make a coat out of.

• District Admin Updates – BJ Blake, 4J Director of Secondary Education, will be retiring at the end of the school year. BJ was principal of Buena Vista and Meadowlark (where I was her assistant principal one semester), Spencer Butte Middle School, and Churchill High School, and most recently as the district’s secondary education director. Downtown will post the position and undertake a search process to select the next secondary education director.

• Howard Staff Social: Alvvays Concert! – So heavy metal isn’t your thing. How about indie pop? The excellent band Alvvays (pronounced Always) is playing Sunday, April 8th at 9 PM at the Hi-Fi Music Hall here in downtown Eugene. The lead signer was asked to describe their style and her response was, “If old people ask, I say it sounds like the Cranberries. If young people ask, I call it jangle pop. If a punk asks, I say it’s pop.” The show is general admission, so you can get your tickets anytime. Advance tickets: $15, Day of Show: $18. I’ve already got mine!

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

February 5 (M)
National School Counseling Week
Second Semester Begins
easyCBM Testing Closes
Allan Out at ODE Tech Cadre Meeting (ESD)

February 6 (T)
Regular Day

February 7 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
Wacky Wednesday – Favorite Character Day
1:15-2:00, Classified EA Supervisors Meeting (Room 26)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Admin Meeting (NEHS)

February 8 (H)
7:50-10:40, Data Team Meetings 5/1/2
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

February 9 (F)
Deadline for Report Card Translations
Allan, Angela, Ashley to LEL (Holt)
6:00-7:30, PTO Valentine Family Craft Night (Cafeteria)

February 12 (M)
11:00-12:00, Allan to Eval Planning Meeting (Conference Room)
3:30-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

February 13 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
8:30-11:00, LCC Dental Clinic
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa/Mariah’s Room)
3:45-6:30, 4J Staff of Color Affinity Group (Community Room)

February 14 (W)
Valentine’s Day
9:00-9:45, OBOB Final Battle Assembly (Gym)
2:30-1:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room)

February 14 (H)
7:50-10:40, Data Team Meetings 3/4/K
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

February 15 (F)
Report Cards Sent Home
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting

February 19 (M)
Presidents Day – No School

Have a good week, everyone!



January 29, 2018

Greetings Howard Staff,

Want to hear my theory why kids are kind of nuts right now? It’s because we’re nearing a total lunar eclipse, colloquially know as a Blood Moon, this Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. If you want to be a science geek, it’ll be visible from 4:51am to 6:07am, and see the last item below for more lunar eclipse info!

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Report Card Grading Day, Classified EAs – An email was sent to Title 1 and SPED EAs, but this also includes other EAs as well. 4J is putting on an Elementary EA Extravaganza on the report card grading day this Friday, February 2nd. There will be sessions happening from 8:00-4:30 at the Ed Center (you only need to attend the length of your regular work hours). The specific offerings are still being finalized and will be shared soon. Life Skills and CLC EAs, watch for an email from Seth or Leila regarding a MANDT training this day. Let me know if you have any questions.

• REPEAT: Report Card Grading Day, Licensed – For licensed staff, report card grading day is a regular work day. If you are working from home, remember to notify me in advance, but be sure to make plans ahead of time if you need to collaborate with any colleagues on grading.

• LZ Report Card Alignment & Parent Support Sheets – I had a couple teachers ask about Jamie Massee’s LZ Report Card Alignment email. This is not something teachers have to do in addition to the regular report card, but is a document to help teachers know which standards on the report card were taught to mastery, are in progress, or not yet taught if you’re keeping up with the pacing guide. Jamie shared them in a Google Drive Folder and I also put them on the Howard Google Team Drive under Curriculum/Instruction > Math > LZ Report Card Alignment. The link also includes grade level specific Report Card Family Support sheets that I’ll run off for classroom teachers and put class sets in your mailboxes on grading day.

• Want parent reports printed for you? – A few teachers mentioned it was nice to have the parent reports printed for them in the past, but that was done for teachers because only ESCs and principals had access to the Quickbase Parent Reports. However, let me know by Friday if you’d like me to run the new easyCBM Parent Reports for you. I’ll run them on grading day and will put them in your mailboxes. If you’d like to run them yourself, go to the easyCBM website > REPORTS > INDIVIDUALS > DOWNLOAD in the Parent Report column for each of your students. Never mind! Downtown just said they are printing them for schools and will be delivered on Wednesday. 

• Updated LZ Parent Math Resources – I’ve shared this link before, but the 4J Elementary Family and Community Math Resources webpage has new information posted, including some good short videos by grade level on “What does success in math look like at the end of the year for my child?” I’m planning to share one or two of these videos at the next PTO meeting.

• New Spanish Howard Pledge – Our new and improved Howard Roadrunner Pledge signs with a more accurate Spanish translation have arrived. I’ll deliver the new signs to classrooms on Monday if teachers can have students begin practicing the new Spanish version, which we’ll do over the intercom starting Wednesday. Thank you, Jill and Bianca, for the updated translation!

Soy un correcaminos de la escuela Howard.
Yo soy prudente, amable y responsable.

Soy un individuo único,
y soy parte de la familia de la escuela Howard.

Tomo buenas decisiones
y me emociona aprender.

Somos los correcaminos de la escuela Howard,
¡y el día de hoy será un éxito!

• No Hoods Up Inside the Building – Please do not allow students to wear hoods inside the building. We’ve seen more and more students doing this, so we need to be consistent in enforcing this rule across the building in all settings. If some staff allow hoods up while other do not, it sets students up for unnecessary negative interactions with staff and sets up your colleagues for unnecessary negative interactions with students.

• February PBIS Focus: Cooperation – The February PBIS monthly focus is “Cooperation.” The PBIS team created a PBIS/CSC Cheat Sheet that matches our monthly PBIS themes with corresponding Caring School Community class meeting lessons, which is a nice way to tie the two activities together.

• Setting School Culture With Social And Emotional Learning Routines – Speaking of Caring School Community, this Mind/Shift article highlights the importance of starting each day with a class morning meeting. Building students’ social and emotional skills with daily routines and regular class meetings is an important part of setting classroom and school culture.

• Student Care Team Resources – Thought I’d share a few resources shared at last Wednesday’s Student Care Team Meeting. Some have been shared before, but to highlight a few that you can feel free to share with families if situations arise:

• Therapist for Youth OffendersKelly Crane is the therapist who founded Sage House. She works with juvenile sex offenders and their family.

• Womenspace Survivors Support Groups – The Survivors Support Groups are a series of seven weekly sessions and is an open, on-going group, repeating every seven weeks. This process group offers survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) on-going support and education in a safe non-judgmental setting. An evolving curriculum provides clients with an understanding of the dynamics of IPV, safety planning, relationship red flags, healthy relationships, PTSD, self-care, and self-empowerment. Available in English and Spanish.

• First Place Family CenterFirst Place gives crucial assistance and support to families with children who are in transition due to homelessness, job loss, health issues, or other critical problems.

• Overnight Parking Program – The Overnight Parking Program (OPP) provides legal camping, free garbage disposal, and portable restrooms to homeless families and individuals living in their vehicles or campers. Parking for families is administered by First Place Family Center. Parking for adults is administered at the Eugene Service Station.

• Interfaith Night ShelterNight Shelter is a consortium of approximately 32 faith communities offering night shelter, food, recreational activities, and comfort to 10 families per night, from the start to the end of each school year.

• Family Court Assistance Office – The purpose of the Family Court Assistance Office is to help the increasing number of self- represented litigants in domestic relations cases (divorce, custody, or parenting time proceedings). Office staff can inform self-represented litigants of court procedures and available court forms, review documents, and provide information about legal services and other resources available in the community.

• Wacky Wednesday: Favorite Character Day (next week) – Please remind your students that the February Wacky Wednesday is coming, not this week but next week, on Wednesday, February 7th and that the theme is Favorite Character Day! Kids and staff can dress up as a favorite character from books, TV shows, movies, or video games. The office staff plan is for me to dress as a male version of Cruella de Vil, with Lori and Bianca dresses as Dalmatians, so feel free join in and dress-up as one of the dalmations I’m trying to make into a fur coat.

• BEST Coordinator Update – Esther Flynn-Purvis has been offered and accepted the Howard BEST Coordinator position, which Bryan has been filling in as for most of the school year. Esther has been the #2 person at the Spring Creek BEST program and is familiar with the BEST/YMCA hybrid program we started this year. Esther is going to begin transitioning into the coordinator role here at Howard, but won’t officially start here until her replacement at Spring Creek is hired. In the meantime, Bryan will continue to coordinate the Howard BEST Program. Please welcome Esther to the Howard Team!

• Updated Incident/Accident Report – 4J has a new Incident Report Form that should be used to document employee or volunteer on-the-job-injuries and/or staff concerns related to extreme student behavior. The information provided will enable both the school and district to learn about what contributed to the incident and discover potential system failures so they can be corrected. If possible, the form should be completed and submitted to your supervisor (me) within 24 hours of injury or encounter. The first page must be completed by the injured/concerned employee or volunteer. The second page must be completed by supervisor.

• Total Lunar Eclipse Tues. Night/Wed. Morning – Wednesday morning is a Total Lunar Eclipse from 4:51am to 6:07am. A Total Lunar Eclipse is when the full moon travels through the Earth’s shadow and turns a deep red color for a couple hours. The next one isn’t visible in Oregon until 2019 and then not until 2021. The Eugene Astronomical Society is holding a local event. If you want to share about this with students, kid friendly information can be found at the NASA Kids website and the YouTube video below.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

January 29 (M)
10:00-11:45, Christine Nesbit Visting Howard
12:00-1:30, Oregon State Senator Manning Visiting Jill’s Class
3:30-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

January 30 (T)
Regular Day

January 31 (W)
In District School Choice Applications Due
1:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

February 1 (H)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Cooperation

February 2 (F)
Grading Day – No School
8:00-4:30, EA Extravaganza (Ed Center)

February 5 (M)
National School Counseling Week
Allan Out at ODE Tech Cadre Meeting (ESD)
Second Semester Begins
easyCBM Testing Closes

February 6 (T)
Regular Day

February 7 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
Wacky Wednesday – Favorite Character Day
1:30-3:00, OPTIONAL: 4J Elementary EA Behavior Workshop (Ed Center)
1:15-2:15, Classified EA Meeting (Room 26)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Admin Meeting (NEHS)

February 8 (H)
7:50-10:40, Data Team Meetings 5/1/1
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

February 9 (F)
Deadline for Report Card Translations
Allan, Angela, Ashley to LEL Meeting (Holt)
1:30-3:00, OPTIONAL: 4J Elementary EA Behavior Workshop (Ed Center)
6:00-7:30, PTO Valentine Family Craft Night (Cafeteria)

Have a good 4-day week, everyone!



January 15, 2017


Greetings Roadrunners,

Thank you to all the staff who came out for the PTO Spaghetti Dinner/BINGO Night! It wasn’t a huge turnout of families, but there was yummy food and lots of fun!

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Science Investigation #1 by March – One science item I left off last week’s science kit notes is the goal for all 4J elementary students to complete Investigation #1 before March 1st. Downtown is follow up with principals to measure Kit #2 implementation, as well as scheduling some times for school walk-throughs. Please let me know if there are supports that will help you with science implementation.

• PTO Meeting, Tuesday at 6:00 and Board Members Needed for 18/19 – Tuesday at 6:00 in the Community Room will be the January PTO meeting. On a related note, most of our current PTO Board is moving on next year, so if you know of any parents who’d be good, willing, and able to help out next year, please encourage them to become involved. We have a dynamite PTO right now who does a lot more than is necessarily expected, but we really just need one or two fundraisers and a school carnival. Hope to see you there and also any potential future board members!

• PE/Music Semester Transition – Ronny and Siera’s last day teaching will be Thursday, Feb. 1st (Ronny is headed to River Road and Siera going to Spring Creek) and starting Monday, Feb. 5th, Michelle Lampe will begin teaching PE and David Adee will begin teaching Music. The second semester schedule is the same as first semester except that PE and Music slots will flip-flop, meaning your PE time is now your Music time and your Music times are now your PE times. Linked here is an updated Second Semester Specialist Schedule (XLS and PDF) and is also on the Howard Google Team Drive. Ronny & Siera, we’ll miss having you here, and Michelle and David, welcome to Howard!

• Major-Minor Behavior Matrix – Linked here is the 4J Elementary Behavior Matrix, which includes a handy grid on pages three and four with guidelines on when we should respond to misbehavior with a Redirect/Reteach (Uh-Oh/Level 1), a Minor Referral (Level 2), or a Major Referral (Level 3). For example, for Disrespect/Noncompliance, a Level 1 is appropriate for passive refusal to participate, with very slow response to request, a Level 2 is appropriate for ignoring a reasonable request with a prolonged refusal to participate, and a Level 3 would be appropriate for repeated refusal that leads to substantial and ongoing disruption. Other guidelines are for Disruption, Inappropriate Language, Fighting/Aggression, Teasing/Harassment, Property Damage, and Lying/Cheating/Theft. And as we all know, the referral forms mean nothing and it’s all in our reteaching, reinforcing, and consistency that helps to improve student behavior.

• 19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies – Related to the above, this Edutopia article has some excellent behavior management reminders (even if it was written by a 12th grade English teacher). A good reminder I know I sometimes forget is #2, which said, “Keep your consequences as minimal as possible – When a rule is broken, assign the smallest consequence possible and see if that gets the job done. Don’t use up big consequences too fast.” There’s also plenty of good small reminders, like never punish an entire class or give students choices or publicly announce classroom management goals. Read on for more!

• TeacherVUE Synergy App for Attendance – The TeacherVUE Synergy app (iOS and Android) a few years ago was discouraged from being used to take attendance because of reliability issues, but Jenny gave it a try this week and it seems to be working now. Using the app on your phone or tablet can be easier for taking attendance than on your computer if teachers want to download and use it. In setting it up, just use the URL

• Copier Printing on Tag Paper – The downstairs printers were jamming multiple times last week and when Steve the repair guy came to look at it, he said it looks like people have been putting tag paper where regular paper goes and that is the cause of the jamming. If you want to print on tag paper, remember to put the paper in the tray for tag paper or select the specific setting to print from the drawers. It is happening with both printers downstairs and my guess is it’s happening with the printer upstairs as well.

• Staff Use of Library Computers – Two reminder for staff using the library computers to check email. One, remember to log out of your email so students don’t have access to your information (closing the window or tab does not log you out). Two, please leave the web browser how you found it (with the library student search webpage open).

• No Slime! – It’s okay for teachers to make or use slime in your classroom, but we can’t have slime leave classrooms. It’s getting to be a mess in the library, cafeteria, playground, and other areas around the building. If kids ask, you can tell them this falls under the no-toys-at-school rule.

• Superboundary Change for Next Year – River Road and Howard have a shared “superboundary” where students can get bussing to either school and receive a priority when doing school choice. For next year, the superboundary is opening up so that students living in either the River Road or Howard attendance areas can attend either school without having to go through school choice. For Howard, this means we may see a jump in the number of students coming here, as we have a few River Road student on our wait list. In the past, the school choice process allowed us to control our class sizes from getting too big, but for the past two years the expectation has been that we take all new non-Spanish speaking students grades 2-5 from River Road, so this change essentially matches the policy with the current practice. I did warn downtown that this could potentially open the flood gates (we get at least a couple calls a week from River Road families wanting to come to Howard) and that they need to be prepared to provide additional FTE.

• Seesaw Update & Tips – I wanted to let teachers know we’ve purchased a 3-year license with Seesaw for the pro version, so please feel free to use this amazing communication tech tool with your families! We have several teachers who are VERY active users of Seesaw who I’m sure have plenty of good advice for anyone wanting to know more, but linked here are some useful step-by-step grade-specific Get Started Guides that have everything you need to introduce Seesaw to your students including the Seesaw Student Challenge, task cards, badges, and certificates. Seesaw also offers an in-app, self-paced online course once your accounts is setup. I’ll likely plan to do a Seesaw review/training at a future staff meeting, but feel free to let me or any of your techie colleagues know if you have any questions.

▪ District Admin Updates – Cydney Vandercar, Director of HR, is assuming additional leadership responsibilities for the district’s operational departments in the reinstated role of Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services. As Assistant Superintendent, Cydney now oversees the district’s operational departments and services, including human resources, business services, financial operations, food services, technology, transportation, and facilities, while the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Dr. Charis McGaughy, oversees instructional services. Another change down the road from us is Spring Creek Elementary School’s principal, Raquel Gwynn, has accepted a position with the Oregon Department of Education and will be leaving 4J in early February. Larry Sullivan, 4J’s prior special education director, will step in as interim principal at Spring Creek for the remainder of the school year.

• REPEAT: Care Team Referrals Due Friday – The January Student Care Team is next week, so any new referrals are due to me this Friday. Linked here is the 4J Release Form to get signed, but you can also refer “hypothetical” student or family situations. Let me know if you have any questions.

• REPEAT: PRIDE Awards, January 17th – This Wednesday during lunchtime in the cafeteria will be our PRIDE Awards for Integrity. If you haven’t already, teachers should remind students about PRIDE and the meaning of Integrity (Being Honest), and then pick 2-4 students who have demonstrated this trait. Please get the PRIDE Integrity Certificates to me before Tuesday.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

January 15 (M)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No School

January 16 (T)
Fluoride Varnish
Howard Winter easyCBM Benchmarking Begins
8:00-8:30, Allan Meeting with Parent (Office)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Ashley’s Classroom)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

January 17 (W)
9:00, December Book Winners (Conference Room)
11:00-12:45, PRIDE Awards at Lunch (Cafeteria)
1:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)
2:30-3:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, RM1)

January 18 (H)
9:15-9:45, 5th Grade Music Performance (Gym)
10:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)
12:00-12:30, KG Music Performance (Gym)
1:00-1:30, 4th Grade Music Performance (Gym)

January 19 (F)
7:30-11:30, 5th – Number Talks Peer Observations
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
10:15-10:45, 1st Grade Music Performance (Gym)
12:30-1:00, 3rd Grade Music Performance (Gym)
1:30-2:00, 2nd Grade Music Performance (Gym)

January 22 (M)
School Choice Week #2
9:30, Allan leading school choice tour
2:30-3:30, Site Council (Conference Room)

January 23 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa/Mariah’s Room)
6:00-7:00, School Choice Evening Presentation (Library)

January 24 (W)
7:30-11:30, 2nd – Number Talks Peer Observations
1:30-2:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)
2:30-3:30, Student Care Team Meeting (Conference Room)

January 25 (H)
February Newsletter Articles Due
7:30-11:30, KG – Number Talks Peer Observations
6:30-7:30, KG (Sugar) Read In Your Jammies

January 26 (F)
Howard Winter easyCBM Benchmarking Ends
7:30-11:30, 1st – Number Talks Peer Observations
10:30-12:45, January Birthday Lunches with the Principals (Community Room)

January 27 (SA)
8:00, Staff Social – Queens of the Stone Age/Eagles of Death Metal Concert (Hult Center)

Have a great week, everyone!


January 8, 2018


Howdy Everyone,

It was great seeing folks at the Staff New Year’s Party Friday night. Thank you, Angela, for hosting the shindig. We have a pretty fun crew of people working here at Howard!

Eleven items of note for this week:

• Science Kit Info – I wanted to highlight a few items were shared at the principal science training last week:

• Life Science is Optional – In an effort to be responsive to hearing how overwhelmed elementary teachers are feeling with new curriculums and materials, downtown is making the FOSS Life Science kit optional and simply a pilot this year for teacher who choose to teach it.

• When to teach science? – Principals discusses many of the barriers for teaching the kits. Schedule is often mentioned as a barrier, so I wanted to reiterate that it is okay to teach science during core reading time because science does include a good amount of literacy. Writing times would also be appropriate. For next year’s master schedule, I think we may want to look at creating an hour-long Writing/Science block to make this less of a barrier, but we should wait to get direction from downtown on the common start and end times that will be in place for schools next year before we wade into those weeds.

• Kit Priorities and Key Concepts – This has been shared before, but there is a wealth of information on the 4J Science Blog (vocabulary cards, word walls, learning targets, etc), but in particular is the Priority Matrix for each of the science kits. The matrix rates each lesson as a high, medium, or low priority, which if you’re not able to get to all the lessons can help you decide which ones are the most important.

• PTO Spaghetti Feed/Bingo Night – Be sure to pump kids up for the PTO Spaghetti Feed/Bingo Night this Friday, 5:30-7:30 in the cafeteria. Dinners are $5.50 a plate for the first 3 plates and $3.50 a plate after that ($1 for three meatballs and $1 for drinks). BINGO cards are $0.25 each and there will also be a 50/50 raffle. We had a great turnout last year and hopefully it’ll be the same this year!

• Care Team Referrals Due 1/19 – The January Student Care Team meeting is in two weeks and any new referrals to the team are due the Friday, January 19th. Linked here are the 4J Release Forms (editable PDF and non-editable PDF) to get signed if any situations where the Care Team might be able to provide assistance. Common referrals, though not limited to, are:

• Homeless or impending homelessness
• Medical concerns about the child or other family
• Counseling or mental health needs
• Death of a parent
• Incarcerated parent
• Unknown if open child welfare case
• Domestic Violence
• Extreme behavior issues
• Specific resource needed but unknown where to refer

Try to get a signature on the 4J Release Form, but if you can’t, you can also refer “hypothetical” student or family situations. Let me know if you have any questions.

• Wacky Wednesday – School Color Day – Blue and White are our official school colors, so remind student to show their school pride this Wednesday by wearing our school colors or by wearing their other Howard gear.

• Jan. 2nd SSD PD Materials – SSD staff were already sent this, but if others are interested, here is a Google link to all of the presentations from the SSD “Addressing Challenging Behaviors” training from last week. You’ll need to be logged into your 4J Google account (use your 4j email) in order to access the folder, but if you have trouble here’s a link to a zip file of all the materials and I also put a copy of the folder on the Howard Google Drive under Meetings > IPBS > Jan. 2 SSD PD

• PRIDE Awards, January 17th – Not this week, but next week on Wednesday, January 17th during lunchtime in the cafeteria will be our PRIDE Awards for Integrity. Teachers should remind students about PRIDE and the meaning of Integrity (Being Honest), and then pick 2-4 students who have demonstrated Integrity. Be sure to get the Integrity Certificate to me before the 6th so I can sign them and get them organized and also send home the PRIDE Award Invitations to parents before the event.

• December McKinney-Vento Student Data – Linked here is the district-wide December McKinney-Vento Student Report. These totals represent students for the entire school year, not necessarily who’s in buildings now. As was last year, Howard serves more homeless students than any other elementary or middle school in 4J (and only exceeded by two high school programs).

• REPEAT: School Choice Visitation Week – A reminder, School Choice Visitation Week is this week, so be prepared for families to drop by classrooms over the course of the week.

• REPEAT TaeKwonDo Demonstration Team Assembly Friday – This Friday the U.S. TaeKwonDo College Demonstration Team will hold their motivational assembly we discussed at last month’s Staff Meeting. The K-2 assembly is 8:10-8:35 and the 3-5 assembly is 8:45-9:10. See the linked assembly map and directions for details.

• The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources – Get a roundup of educational grants, contests, awards, free toolkits, and classroom guides aimed at helping students, classrooms, schools, and communities. Check this Edutopia page weekly to get the latest updates.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

January 8 (M)
School Choice Week #1

January 9 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa/Mariah’s Room)
5:30-7:45, SSD Early Childhood Open House (English)
6:00-8:15, SSD Early Childhood Open House (Spanish)

January 10 (W)
Wacky Wednesday – School Color Day
9:30, Allan leading school choice tour
2:30-3:30, PIBS Meeting (Rae’s Room)

January 11 (H)
7:30-11:30, 4th – Number Talks Peer Observations
9:00-11:00, Vaughan & Silver to Firs Bowl
11:30-2:30, 3rd – Number Talks Peer Observations
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room)

January 12 (F)
8:10-8:35, K – 2 Taekwondo Assembly (Gym)
8:45-9:10, 3 – 5 Taekwondo Assembly (Gym)
10:00, Allan to DHS Hearing (Lane Circuit Court)
5:30-7:30, PTO Spaghetti Feed/BINGO Night (Cafeteria)

January 15 (M)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No School

January 16 (T)
Fluoride Varnish
Howard Winter easyCBM Benchmarking Begins
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

January 17 (W)
11:00-12:45, PRIDE Awards at Lunch (Cafeteria)

January 18 (H)
9:15-9:45, 5th Grade Music Performance (Gym)
10:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)
12:00-12:30, KG Music Performance (Gym)
1:00-1:30, 4th Grade Music Performance (Gym)

January 19 (F)
7:30-11:30, 5th – Number Talks Peer Observations
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting SKIPPING
10:15-10:45, 1st Grade Music Performance (Gym)
12:30-1:00, 3rd Grade Music Performance (Gym)
1:30-2:00, 2nd Grade Music Performance (Gym)

We survived our first week back and are onto our first 5-day week of the new year. Thankfully we have a 3-day weekend to help us readjust to a regular work week!


The School Secretary Grinch