May 4, 2015

By Allan  


Hi All,

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank ALL Howard staff for your work and dedication, which is absolutely what makes our school the wonderful place it is. Though they may at times show it in unusual ways, I know kids and families really do love and appreciate the hard work you all do here every day of the year. Howard staff ROCKS!

Ten items of note this week:

• Staff Appreciation Luncheon and Treats – Our PTO is organizing some nice treats for staff each day in the mailroom, so be sure to stop by there each day. They are also planning a delicious luncheon of soup and salads for staff in the Staff Room on Thursday, which will go from 11:00-12:30.

• Wacky Wednesday! – Hawaiian Day – Just a reminder that this Wednesday is a Wacky Wednesday and this month’s theme is Hawaiian Day, so break out your flip flops, aloha shirts and assorted beachwear!

• Four Square Returns! – Rae already sent an email, but as a reminder to everyone, starting Monday at lunch recess students will be allowed to resume playing foursquare. Teachers are to review four square rules with students before lunch recess on Monday and EA’s who supervise lunch recess are to also do a quick rules review before sending students out to play. Don’t forget the fun video Rae found. Please see the rules Rae sent out and take special note that students who argue about a call will lose four square privileges and students are to report any issues/concerns to recess staff and not to their classroom teacher.

• Journeys and Other Curriculum Needs for Next Year – A number of people went through Journeys materials last Friday and let me know of some pieces they were missing. I’ve requested additional student books and consumables for all grade levels, but let me know if you are missing any pieces or if you ended up with other grade levels’ materials. Also, let me know if you are missing any other curriculum (BAW, CFK, Investigations, etc.).

• Final Artist in Residence Schedule
– The artist in residence schedule is now official. The only change from last week’s draft is that Suzy and Allison’s classes flip flopped times to avoid a conflict with PE/Music time.

• Smarter Balanced Opt Outs Deadline Change – Downtown emailed principals last week that the deadline for opting out of tests has changed and the district will now accept and approve forms for any student until testing concludes. If a student has already taken one test and we receive an opt-out form, then the student will not have to take the remaining test segments. The opt-out form can be found at the following link, and should to be turned in to the superintendent’s office. Note, the actual form is at the very bottom on the linked document.

• Construction & Furniture Updates – Construction & Furniture Updates – Attached are the minutes from the last Owner/Architect/General Contractor (OAC) Meeting and some notes from the last Design Team meeting. Here are some highlights:

• Additional Bookshelves for Classrooms – During last Friday’s furniture walkthrough (“ugly test”) a pervasive theme was not enough bookshelves, so Kay is having Liza from PiVOT look at getting additional shelving for classrooms.

• Library Shelves Change – One change in the library is the the shelves around the perimeter of the library will now be permanent shelving and not mobile. Those mobile shelves were not as wide as the other shelves in the library and we were concerned they would too easily tip over. The options to fix this were to use a cheaper maple laminate and add some volume to the mobile units or we would use real maple, like the rest of the library, and permanently install them. Julie, myself and Kay all felt using real wood and eliminating the wheels was the better option.

• EEP Moving Out of Portable – I met with ESS, Facilities and Instruction directors last week to discuss next year’s classroom locations. ESS was concerned about EEP (Early Education Program) being moved out of Howard and wanted us to look at other options for our classroom location next year, but after meeting it was pretty obvious we do not have any extra space, so EEP will be moving to another location for next year and will return to Howard once we move into the new building. As shared earlier, our third kinder class will be in the EEP’s current location in the portable, music will be next door where the curriculum library is currently located, the new first grade will be in the music room (Room 11), the 5th grade facilitating teacher will be in Room 12, and ELD will be in a location that is to be determined.

• New School Classroom Assignments – Attached is a map of the room assignments we came up with at last Friday’s meeting. It was admittedly an imperfect process, but I do like the idea of having the grade level wing assignments match with Buddy Classroom above and below. However, I am open to grade level teachers shifting within their wing. And note on the map that there were some changes to knuckle room and office area configurations since this plan. This map was just the most recent one that didn’t look like a messy architectural drawing.

• Specialty Playground Equipment – This one isn’t a done deal, but I’m pushing for it to happen. ESS agreed to pay for a couple pieces of adaptive playground equipment that Rae suggested we get for the playground. One is a Wheelchair Swing and the other is a very fun looking Roller Table. The one holdup is whether there is enough room on the playground for the additional equipment, which hasn’t been determined yet.

• May PBIS Focus: Positive Attitude – The May PBIS monthly focus is Positive Attitude. The PBIS team created a PBIS/CFK Cheat Sheet that matches our monthly themes with corresponding Caring for Kids class meeting lessons. This is an easy way to tie the two activities together.

• Spring Writing Work Sample Reminder – They are not due for a few more weeks, but attached are the K-2 writing prompts for the spring writing work samples. Grades 3-5 will use the written copies of the Smarter Balanced writing performance task. Intermediate teachers, be sure to keep these papers secure until we grade them on May 29th. Linked here is the teacher script and directions, which K-2 teachers should read before administering the assessment. The assessment can be given anytime, but all student final copies will be due to me by the end of the day on Thursday, May 28th. We will grade the work samples at the May 29th PD/Planning Day. Hard copies of K-2 Writing Prompts were already placed in teachers mailboxes. Let me know if you have any questions.

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

May 4 (M)
Teacher Appreciation Week
Smarter Balanced Testing Continues (No Groups)
Reading Progress Monitoring Week 13
10:00-11:30, Room 13 to Post Office
10:45-12:00, Human Growth and Development (5th Grade)
2:00-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Meeting (Ed Center) Cancelled

May 5 (T)
10:45-12:00, Human Growth and Development (5th Grade)
2:15-3:30, Allan to BSP Meeting (Room 9)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 7)

May 6 (W)
Wacky Wednesday – Hawaii Day
Library Last Week of Checkout Begins
Oregon Substitute Teacher Day
8:00-12:00, Allan & Robin to Title 1 Coordinators/Principal/ESC Work Session (Ed Center)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Construction Progress Meeting (Construction Trailer)
10:45-12:00, Human Growth and Development (5th Grade)
1:00-3:00, Allan to Educator Effectiveness – Summative Evaluation Meeting (NEHS)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)
4:00-5:00, Allan to Staff of Color Workforce Hiring Work Session (Camus Ridge)

May 8 (H)
11:00-12:30, Staff Appreciation Luncheon – Soup & Salads (Staff Room)
2:30-4:00, Design Team Meeting (Library)

May 8 (F)
7:30-6:00, 5th Grade Field Trip to OMSI
8:00-2:00, 4th Grade/Life Skills Field Trip to UO

May 10 (SU)
Mother’s Day

May 11 (M)
Smarter Balanced Testing Continues (No Groups)
12:00-3:00, Allan & Robin to Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) and Title 1 Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

May 12 (T)
10:00-11:00, Allan to Super Boundary Policy Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to Staff of Color Workforce Hiring Meeting (Ed Center)

May 13 (W)
Data Team Meetings
9:00-11:00, Allan to Construction Progress Meeting (Construction Trailer)

May 14 (H)
BOBO Scholastic Book Fair Begins
2:30-4:00, Design Team Meeting (Library)

May 15 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting

And I made a candy run to Costco this weekend, so my giant candy dish will be replenished on Monday. Have a good week, everyone!