September 2, 2013

By Allan  

Hello Howard Roadrunners,

Reflecting upon all of our accomplishments last year, the sheer volume of the initiatives Howard was a part of was really overwhelming. However, more importantly, through it all, I was impressed and appreciative of everyone’s willingness to learn and implement these new programs and systems. This coming year at Howard, most teachers will have already done the new teacher effectiveness model, TalentEd, and Caring for Kids, which the rest of the district will be learning for the first time this year. Synergy and the Investigations math implementation will be the two district-wide initiatives that will be new for everyone (although there is also the new Kindergarten Readiness Assessments for kinder staff and the 2nd and 3rd grade pilot of the digital version of the HM language arts curriculum). Howard truly has an amazing staff and is a VERY exciting place to work!

Eleven items of note for this week:

• News on Investigations Materials – Downtown let principals know that they have ordered all materials, teachers editions and student consumable workbooks, for this next year. Unfortunately, the order for student consumables was not processed until last week. That means that your consumable workbooks will not show up until the week of September 9th. We’ll get these out to classrooms as soon as fast as we can get them inventoried and distributed.

• Sept. 4th District Teacher Training, 8:30-3:30 at SEHS – See last week’s announcements for details for the training at SEHS, but teachers should remember to bring your laptop for the Synergy portion of the training. Classified staff are not required to attend, so please connect with your primary cooperating teacher beforehand on how you can help this day.

• Alicia’s Schedule for the Year – Alicia Longoria, our fabulous Family Resource Coordinator, will be in the building all-day Tuesdays and Wednesdays this year, so we get her an extra day this year. Yea!!!

• Discard and Other Unwanted Items – It looks like folks are doing a nice job of starting to clear out old unwanted items! If you have put items in the hallway to discard or that need moved somewhere like the Curriculum Library, please label them as “Discard” or “Move to…”. This will help Randy and Mike know what is going out to the recycle/dumpster and what is being stored.

• Principal Visits to Classrooms – I’d like to again visit every classroom sometime during the first couple weeks of school to greet students. I’ll read a favorite story to your class and chat with the kids a bit. Teachers, please let me know a good 15-20 minute block of time to come and visit. Thank you!

• Emergency Sub Plans – A reminder to teachers that two days worth of “Emergency Sub Plans” are due to the office no later than two weeks after the start of school. This folder should contain at a minimum:

• A daily schedule, current seating chart, recess/lunch/bus or other duty
• Procedures for arrival/dismissal, classroom rules/routines, school procedures
• Lesson plans and the location of materials needed for the lessons
• Bell schedule
• Map of school including the locations of helpful staff members
• Pertinent information regarding children that need medication, have special needs, or receive special services
• Names of responsible students who can be counted on for assistance
• Important characteristics of the class

Teachers may also include special assignments or projects that a substitute could use if a lesson does not go as planned. The inclusion of “canned” lessons is also suggested in the event of an unexpected illness or emergency on the part of the teacher.

• 2013-2014 Schedules and Calendars – I know a couple people had trouble opening the ZIP file I sent containing all of the schedules and calendars. Let know if you also had problems and I can resend the individual files.

• District Mandatory Policy Review for all Staff – A quick reminder that all staff must review the district policy memo and sign & return the acknowledgement form to Lori no later than Friday, September 27th. Hard copies of the acknowledgement form have been placed into staff mailboxes.

• Howard Staff Handbook Review – One last quick reminder, for all staff to also review the updated Howard Staff Handbook for 2013-2014. A signed acknowledgment form for the staff handbook must also be returned the acknowledgement form to Lori no later than Friday, September 27th.

• Three Myths About Today’s Students – Here’s a thought provoking article from Educational Psychologists, Paul Kirschner and Jeroen van Merrienboer, who attack three common beliefs about teaching and learning of today’s students.

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

September 2 (M)
Memorial Day – No School

September 3 (T)
Teachers and Most Classified Staff Return – Planning Day
8:00-8:30, Welcome Back Breakfast Burrito Gathering (Library)
10:00-2:00, Kindergarten Interviews (Office)

September 4 (W)
8:30-4:00, All-day teacher professional development (South Eugene High School)

September 5 (H)
Planning Day/PD Day (though I’m not scheduling any meetings his day)

September 6 (F)
8:00-12:30, Howard Back to School Staff Meeting & PD (Breakfast provided)

September 9 (M)
8:00-10:00, Staff Meeting – potential meeting for any needed business (Library)
10:00, Q&A Session for New Staff (Library)

September 10 (T)
First Day for Students
PBIS Focus: Safety
2:30-3:30, Grade Level Collaboration Time

September 11 (W)

September 12 (H)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Room 6)

September 13 (F)

See most all of you Tuesday morning at our Breakfast Burrito gathering in the library!