September 23, 2013

By Allan  

Hi Everyone,

I thought I’d let staff know that Howard is blazing a trail again, with our new approach to homework, that’s starting to spread to other schools in 4J. Denisa over at Chavez heard about what we’re doing from one of her teachers and was interested in doing something similar over there. Go, Howard!

Thirteen items of note for this week:

• Morning Announcements – Morning Announcements will begin this week. I’ll do it the first few days and hopefully have the 5th grade News Crew taking over Wednesday or Thursday once I’ve had a chance to consult with 4/5 teachers. For new staff, we do the Pledge of Allegiance the first day of the week and then do the Howard Roadrunner Pledge the rest of the week. If any teachers need a Roadrunner Pledge poster for your classroom, let me know and I’ll get you one.

• Counselor Interviews, Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 – I’ll be conducting interviews for our counseling position this Wednesday at 2:15, after teacher planning time. We’ll be interviewing two candidates. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are be able to help with interviews. This also changes my original date for the optional Building SMART Goals Committee Meeting to wordsmith our goals, which will be moved to the following Wednesday, October 2nd, 2:30-3:30 in the Library.

• Fall Writing Work Sample Due Monday, Sept. 30th – I’ve emailed the prompts (K-3, 4-5), guidelines and script, so see that email for details, but remember that all student final copies are due to me by the end of the day on Monday, September 30th. Copies should have the scoring sheet on top of your students’ work (no names, just numbers). On Howard’s October 4th PD day, part of the time will be dedicated to scoring the work samples.

• TalentEd Self Assessment Due Monday, Sept. 30th – HR has set a deadline of September 30th for teachers to complete the Self Assessment in TalentEd. Principals do not have access to view what you enter (just that you completed it), so it really is a true self reflection, but it does need to be completed by the end of the month. Let me know if you have any questions navigating TalentEd.

• Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Program Starting Monday – We just got word last Friday that the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program will starting this Monday. It will run the same as in the past, with Life Skills students delivering a daily fresh snack to your classroom in the morning. Kitchen staff will provide napkins and gloves for staff to pass out the snacks. If you run out of napkins or gloves, just let Carolyn know and she will get you more.

• Howard Design Committee Reps & Saphier Cohort 2 Teacher Leader – Lupe and Angela have stepped forward to be our two classroom teacher reps. Linda also volunteered as a third rep if downtown will allow it. Shelley W. volunteered to be the SPED rep, though downtown isn’t sure if the SPED rep will be from the building or ESS. Lupe has also volunteered to be our teacher leader for the Jon Saphier Cohort 2.

• EEF Grants – I mentioned this when I sent out the Site Council agenda, but right now I have only have two EEF grants (OBOB [$500] and 5th Grade OMSI Trip [$2,000]) currently submitted for Site Council review on Tuesday, and Howard can submit up to four (two $2,000 grants and two $500). I don’t need a completed grant by Tuesday, but let me know if you have an idea for one you’d like to submit later to EEF and Site Council can review and rank order our submissions.

• 2013 Oregon Inservice Bulletin – Attached you will find the 2013 Oregon Inservice Day Bulletin — a list of many different inservice opportunities for the October 11th Inservice Day. This is a non-contract day, not a furlough day, so staff may choose to attend a training this day or not.

• UO International Cultural Presentations for Classrooms – The International Cultural Services Program is once again making their student ambassadors from across the globe available for the 2013-2014 school year. Since the program’s inception almost 30 years ago, ICPS participants have brought cultural diversity to our community through group presentations, panel discussions, and demonstrations of regional dance, music, food and many other forms of cultural expressions. This program is K-12 and is offered free of charge. If you would like to invite an international student to speak to your class, please contact ICSP at (541) 346-1333 or at More information can also be found on the ICSP website.

• Put Central America on the Map in Schools – For Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), “Teaching for Change” has launched a campaign to encourage and support teaching about Central America. They have collected lessons, book lists, biographies of noted historical figures, and readings for free use by classroom teachers. See their website for resources and information.

• Howard Handbook and District Mandatory Policy Review Due Monday, Sept. 30th – A quick reminder that all staff must review the District Policy Memo and the Howard Staff Handbook, and then sign & return the acknowledgement forms (district form, Howard form) to Lori no later than Friday, September 27th.

• Do students benefit from field trips? – Even as many schools scale back on field trips, a new study shows that such “culturally enriching” school field trips, such as a trip to art museums, can yield academic benefits for students. One recent study of students who visited an Arkansas art museum found, among other things, improvements in students’ knowledge of and ability to think critically about art and improved “historical empathy.” The study found that 82% of students who saw Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” remembered the painting was about the role of women joining the workforce during World War II

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

September 23 (M)
Cookie Dough Sale Continues Through 10/2
K-5 Writing Work Samples Window Continues Through 9/30
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principal’s Meeting (Ed Center)

September 24 (T)
2:30-3:30, Site Council Meeting (Staff Room)

September 25 (W)
2:15-3:30, Counselor Interviews (Office)

September 26 (H)
3:00-4:30, Allan to Construction Meeting (Facilities)

September 27 (F)
11:00, Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Room 2)

September 30 (M)
K-5 Writing Work Samples Due in Office
TalentEd Self Assessment Due

Have a great week, everyone, and think sun!