January 25, 2016

By Allan  



Howdy Everyone,

Twenty items of note this week:

• Welcome Second Semester Specialists – Our second semester PE teacher, Justine Delaine, made a visit to Howard last Friday to start her transition over to Howard. Justine is coming to us from teaching PE at Edison and adds to our Howard tradition of like-named staff members (Jutine & Justine, Carolyn, Carolyn & Carol, Debbie, Debbie & Debby, Jessi & Jessy, Jennifer, Jennifer & Jenny, Kelly & Kelly, Linda & Linda, Rachel & Rachael, Rebecca & Rebecca, Robin & Robin, Shelly & Shelley [and for new staff, believe it or not, there used to be multiple Allans, Angelas, Jennifers and Suzys]). For staff new to Howard, David Adee is our Music Teacher. Like Rachel, he’s the Elementary Music TOSA for 4J, so we really do have the rockstar Music Teacher of 4J. Please welcome Justine and David to Howard!

• Specialists Schedule – I’ve had a number people ask for clarification on the specialist schedule for second semester (I probably didn’t explain it well the first time) so here goes:

• Current PE days/times will be your Music days/times second semester.
• PE will be Mondays and Tuesday.
• If you have Music on Mondays, you will have PE that same time on Tuesdays.
• If you have Music on Tuesdays, you will have PE that same time on Mondays

Although the overall workshop and master schedule isn’t changing next semester, we did have a few specialist times change (those effected already know), so as an FYI, linked here is an updated master schedule (Excel and PDF). Let me know if you have any questions.

• Music & 4th Grade Math Class Location – David will be teaching Music in the north side of the portable, which will displace AJ from where she’s been teaching her 4th grade math group for the 4/5 blend, so the only large enough of spaces I could come up with were either the cafeteria or the Staff Room. The cafeteria is really not a good option for a variety of reason, so starting this coming week, there will be a 4th grade math group in the Staff Room from 9:40-10:25, which means it would be helpful if staff can avoid going upstairs during this time.

• School Choice Visitation Week – This week is School Choice Visitation Week #1. We have a few families signed up for tours, so don’t be surprised if you see me walking visitors around the building and into classrooms this week. We managed to sign up a few tours at Saturday’s School Showcase, so hopefully Lori and my time there this weekend was worth it.

• Carrying it Forward (formerly Taking it Up) Seminar Opportunity – I wanted to remind everyone about this opportunity and also make sure everyone knows this is open to both classified and licensed staff. Subs are provided. 4J’s Taking it Up seminar has been re-branded “Carrying It Forward” (4J is taking it over and running it themselves now) and it’s scheduled for two different times this year, February 18th-19th and April 7th-8th. Their hope is to bring together staff from across our district to build their awareness and understanding of racial inequity and privilege in schools. Why race? Because it is a place where we are seeing disparities in our district and it’s also a topic we sometimes don’t know how to openly discuss in constructive ways. See this linked email for details. We already have six staff member going, so let me know as soon as possible if any more of you are interested in attending.

• TSS Wednesday Schedule Change – In talking with Peggy, we’re switching her Wednesday time to be in the afternoon, 2:00-4:00, instead of mornings. This will allow Peggy to perform laptop and iPad updates and other tasks during non-student hours.

• New BEST Coordinator
– With Irene leaving us at the end of he month, downtown has hired a new coordinator, Shawn Peterson. Shawn is currently a student supervisor at Sheldon High School and in the past was a Rec Team Leader for BEST here at Howard (and got a thumbs-up from Title 1 staff who knew him). Shawn will start on Monday and will work with Irene during her last week, to make for a smooth transition when he officially takes over next week. Please welcome Shawn back to Howard!

• PTO Updates – Here are two updates from last week’s PTO Meeting.

• McTeacher Night, Feb. 18th – The PTO is planning the McTeacher Night on Thursday, February 18th 5:00-7:00 (broken up into two one-hour shifts) at the River Ave. McDonalds if any staff are able to volunteer. Their plan for the funds is to copy another PTO here in town who pays for an artist from Young Rembrandts to do a one-shot lesson with every classroom. I’m guessing most teachers would like this, but let me know if any of you think otherwise. Spring Creek made $1,800 with one of these fundraisers and giving our homework free passes, which I think we should do too, unless I hear any objections. PTO said they’d put up a sign-up sheet in the mailroom sometime this week.

• Student Internet Safety – If you’re interested, linked here is a copy of the presentation (PDF and PowerPoint) the 4J Risk Manager, Randi Bowers-Payne, shared at the PTO Meeting. It was good information and had plenty of advice for parents to keep kids safe and appropriate while on the internet and social media.

• Artist in Residence Update – At Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, staff selected Portraiture on Tile/Mosaics/Ceramics with Alex Lanham and I’ve not confirmed with LaneArts that he’s available and is schedule to be at Howard beginning May 16th. Alex would like to do the tile portraiture project where kids learn to draw and paint on a ceramic tile, which kids would take home at the end. Let me know if people had something else in mind. One change of plan from Alex and LaneArts is that in order for him to see all classes, he will meet each class for 3 sessions with the exception of kindergarten which he would do 2 sessions. This will allow Alex to do all the prep work he needs to do and all the kiln firing at the end of the residency. He also wanted to make sure that all the teachers know that it takes 9 days to fire the tiles for all the classes after he finishes the residency, which should work with our schedule.

• New Building Updates – The Owner/Architect/General Contractor (OAC) meetings are now bi-weekly since construction has slowed down at bit, so there was no meeting last week, but there were a few items of note:

 • Student Tours Delayed Until Mid-February – Although construction has slowed down a bit, there is still a fair amount of work going on, so we’re now having to put off student tours off until mid-February.

• Shelving Container Option for New Classrooms – Jenny found some plastic containers that stack nicely on the classroom shelves in the back of the new classrooms. After talking to a few different people, I’m going to make the assumption that most all teachers would like to have these containers for their new classroom. Unless I hear from teachers by the end of the week that you don’t want these containers for your room, I’m going to look into ordering these for classrooms out of our BoxTops funds, which need to be spent by the end of this school year. Let me know if any of you think this is not a good idea or if any of you do not want these containers.



• 2016-2017 Staffing Timeline – HR has given principals a general timeline for staffing, which has us getting staffing near the end of February and staffing plans due near the end of March. Principals also got a very preliminary enrollment projection, which had us at 413 for next year (we’re currently at 399). Even though it s more than we have now, I think our projection should be higher considering the new housing going in at the end of Howard and especially the opening of the new school. More to come on all of this.

• Leadership Plan Approved – As an FYI, our Leadership Plan for this year was approved last week by JCAC.

• On the Job Injuries – Risk Management sent an email to principals about some recent on the job injuries. They shared a warm up activity reminding staff to stretch throughout each day, particularly prior to any task that requires significant exertion. Though warming up and stretching may not prevent an injury from occurring, it can help reduce the severity of the condition. See this link for details.

Safety Awareness - Poster

• District Title 1 Newsletter – Here is the latest district level Title 1 Newsletter that went out to Title 1 Coordinators and principals. As usual, this month’s newsletter is mostly coordinator specific information and tasks, but there is a good article on the importance of honoring students’ names, often a critical link to identity.

• Report Card Grading Day Expectations – I shared last week that Friday is a regular work day for all staff. HR gave permission for licensed staff to work from home if you notify your administrator (me). For classified staff, I scheduled a meeting at 8:30 in the library to go over a few topics, though I did change plans a bit to accommodate staff who had accumulated comp time or had already made other plans. For classifies staff attending the meeting, Rhonda had a good suggestion that following the meeting, anyone who wants to can go out to the new building on a tour. So if you’d like to checkout the new building on Friday, be sure to wear some shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy.

Related to this, and also competing with my classified meeting, downtown is holding just sent an email they are holding their annual EA Extravaganza this same day from 8am to 2:30pm at the Ed Center. I’ll leave it to you all if you’d like to attend or not since I have a already scheduled a conflicting meeting.

• Safety Inspection – A repeat from last week that our annual safety inspection is this Friday. Please check your areas for the most common safety violations:

• Unlabeled spray bottles.
• 3 foot pathway to all of your exit doors.
• Cord covers for all power cords in walk ways.
• Power strips plugged into another power strip.
• Use of extension cords.
• Items hanging from lights or the ceiling.

• SBAC Participation Rules Change – Now that states have more control over assessment and accountability, one change ODE and its external Accountability Reporting Advisory Committee have made is around the minimum requirement for what constitutes student participation on SBAC for 2015-16. Previously, students had to respond to at least five CAT items AND at least one PT item, but now students students need to respond to at least five CAT items OR at least one PT item. Note that this change does not affect the participation rules for the Science assessment or for the statewide Alternate (Extended) Assessments.

• PEAK Internet Science Engineering & Art Day – It’s not here in town, but if anyone is looking for a big end-of-the-year field trip, here’s a flyer (and the email) for one in Corvallis on June 1st and is put on by OSU and OMSI for elementary age students and culminates in a baseball game by the Corvallis Knights.

• Yong Zhao on the Talent Show – I thought this was a timely article with BEST holding a Talent Show this Thursday. According to Yong Zhao, the Talent Show is the great and lasting impression of the United States Education system. In this video, Dr. Zhao explains why the Talent Show is what makes the US great. He says it is inclusive, as it enables everyone to participate. It encourages initiative and responsibility. Finally, it gives a strong message to children that the community values their unique talents and that their peers are talented in different ways.

• 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:

January 25 (M)
School Choice Visitation Week
2:30-3:30, Site Council Meeting (Staff Room) Cancelled
3:00-4:00, Allan to Preschool Promise Grant Meeting (Ed Center)

January 26 (T)
Last Day of PE with Rachel
1:00-2:00, Allan to Operable Wall Training (New Building)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 1)

January 27 (W)
8:00-1:00, Vision Screening (Gym)
9:00-11:00, Allan to OAC Meeting (Construction Trailer)
9:30-10:30, School Choice Tour
1:30-2:30, PBIS Meeting (Room 21)
2:30-3:30, Student Care Team Meeting (Staff Room)

January 28 (H)
2:30-3:30, School Choice Tour
3:15-5:15, Allan and KG Teachers Monthly Kindergarten Meeting (Gilham)
4:15-5:00, BEST Talent Show (Gym)
7:00-8:00, BEST Strings Concert (Kelly MS Small Gym)

January 29 (F)
Grading Day – No Students
8:30-10:30, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)
10:45, Annual Safety Inspection
1:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin OSEA/HR Training (Ed Center)

February 1 (M)
National African American History Month
Progress Monitoring Week 7
2:30-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Meeting (Ed Center)

February 2 (T)
2nd Semester Music & PE Begins
9:00-10:00, Tasha Katsuda Title 1 Visit

February 3 (W)
Favorite Character Day
2:30, Allan to Mid-Year Conference

February 4 (H)
Regular Day

February 5 (F)
Regular Day

Have a good week, everyone!