April 15, 2013

By Allan  

Hello Howard Staff,

If you missed my email about our staffing allocations, it was generally good news, but there are still several pieces yet to be allocated. Although I’m sure folks are greatly relieved to know we will be able to have straight grades, I wanted to remind staff to be sensitive to the fact that other areas may still be facing cuts. Knowing that the decisions ahead will impact our friends and colleagues makes the staffing process often a difficult one. Remember to take care of yourselves and each other during this time.

Seven items of note for this week:

• Sprit Friday! – Team Spirit Day – Although a number of teachers will be with Jon Saphier this Friday, for staff who are here, remember that it’s Team Spirit Day!

• April PTO Meeting Tuesday at 6:00 – A quick reminder that this Tuesday at 6:00 in the library is the April PTO meeting if are any staff members able to join me at the meeting. They will likely be discussing carnival plans and looking to fill positions on next years board. See you there if you can make it!

• Pilot Evaluation Update to the Board, Wednesday at 5:00 – A repeat from a couple weeks ago, there will be a school board work session this Wednesday where they will receive an update on the teacher evaluation pilot. Principals have been asked to invite as many participating teachers as possible to share your thoughts on the new system. Let me know if you’re interested in attending. See Celia’s email for additional information.

• Technology Integration vs. Infusion vs. Immersion – There are varying degrees of educational technology adoption — integration, infusion and immersion. In this blog post, the author writes that technology integration — in which technology is considered an “event” in schools — is the norm, while infusion offers students limited choices. He suggests that schools work toward technology immersion, in which students have access to multiple technologies and use them at their own discretion. I certainly do not see staff here in what the author terms integration, but it’s a good question for teachers to ask where you see yourself on the infusion/immersion spectrum.

• Accidental Racist – I’ve found the recent focus on Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s song “Accidental Racist” to be bringing up some interesting discussions about race. Attached is a PDF with a couple of articles related to this recent discussion/debate. One point I would add to the debate, for those who argue that we are in a post-racial society, just read this article about a Georgia High School where just this year students are trying to hold their first ever racially integrated prom, or this article about a teacher who assigned his class to write an essay on “why jews are evil.”

• Wealth Inequality in America – This is a few weeks old in the viral video universe, but this powerful video by “Politizane” draws on a 2011 study by Dan Ariely and Michael Norton to show the difference between how Americans believe wealth should be distributed, what they believe the reality is, and what’s actually happening:



• Schedule of Events for the Week – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for this week:

April 15 (M)
Referral Free Window Continues
OAKS Testing Begins
2:00-3:30, Melissa and Allan to Title 1 Meeting (Ed Center)

April 16 (T)
9:00-2:00, Allan to Jon Saphier All Admin Training (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Library)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Library)

April 17 (W)
2:30-3:30, Allan to BSP Update Meeting (Room 10)
5:00-6:45, Allan to School Board Work Session

April 18 (H)
9:00-9:30, Allan at truancy hearing #1 (office)
9:30-10:00, Allan at truancy hearing #2 (office)
1:00-4:00, Allan to Superintendent’s Cabinet Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, Taking it Up Meeting CANCELLED
5:00-8:00, North Region McTeacher’s Nite at River Ave. McDonalds

April 19 (F)
Sprit Friday – Team Spirit Day
8:30-4;00, Pilot Teachers to PD with Dr. Jon Saphier (Ed Center)

Enjoy what’s supposed to be a sunny week!