March 7, 2016

By Allan  


Hello Howard Staff,

This week is Classified Employees’ Week and I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of the hard work our classified folks do to help keep our school running. There are actually more classified staff on staff than licensed staff here at Howard, so it’s pretty clear that our school would grind to a halt without all of your work and efforts supporting students and staff. You all are the best and as a thank you, look for some goodies in your mailboxes all this week!

Thirteen items of note this week:

• Classified Staffing Update – ESS let principals know they will have individual hours and job assignments for SPED staff later this week. I’ll let SPED folks know as soon as I have that information. For Title 1 and building funded EAs, I wanted to let you know I don’t expect to reduce anyone’s hours, but I’m still working out some EA scenarios that will vary depending on the licensed staffing plan. At this point, I just wanted Title 1 and building funded EAs to know that no one will be losing hours. For kitchen and custodial staff there are no updates for next year at this point, but I would expect those to either remain the same or receive a small increase given that we’re moving into a new and larger building. Let me know if you have any questions.

• Superintendent Visit to BEST, Thursday, March 10th – Our superintendent, Gustavo Balderas, is visiting all of the BEST programs and will be visiting Howard’s program this Thursday. Dr. Balderas will be arriving at Howard around 2:30 and is scheduled to visit Madison at 3:45.

• Literacy Night Dinner Orders – We’ll once again be providing a meal for staff working at Literacy Night next week on March 17th. I’m trying something new this year and we’ll be ordering sandwiches and/or salads for dinner from Panera Breads. Choose a sandwich box, a salad box or a half-sandwich/half-salad box. See the linked Boxed Lunch options and then email Lori your order by Monday, March. 14th. I’ll also be buying an assortment of drinks, so if you have a particular favorite you’d like us to have, just let me know.

• March 18th and March 28th PD/Planning Days – For the district PD/Planning Day on Friday, March 18th, the day before spring break, I’m planning a shorter meeting from 8:00-10:00 instead of doing the 5.5 hour training I’m supposed to do with staff this day. I’m wanting to give staff some additional time to pack things up that can be moved into the new building over spring break. For classified staff, this is a good date to use any accumulate comp time, such as from the upcoming Literacy Night. For the Monday, March 28th, the day after spring break, this will be an all-staff meeting from 8:00-12:30. Since our staff has continued to grow, I think we’ve outgrown the library, so we’ll plan to meet in the cafeteria. I’ll send out agendas later this week.

• UO Doctoral Student Teacher Survey – If there are teachers who’d like to be entered into a drawing to win an Amazon gift card, a UO doctoral student sent principals a link to a 15 minute survey to forward to teachers about improving classroom practices. They said email addresses (for the drawing) and survey responses will be kept separate. Prizes range from $20.00 to $100.00 and forty-one people will be randomly selected to win. March 15th is the deadline if you’d like to participate.

• 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 Carrying it Forward seminar will be Thursday & Friday April 7th & 8th. The intention of the seminar is to build a greater understanding of issues of race, racism, and dominant culture and give us a common language and experience from which to build capacity for deeper, more authentic conversations about race across the district. Rae, Angela, AJ and Sarah are already planning to attend, but we’d love for more staff to join, particularly classified staff since it’s most often out on the playground or in the cafeteria when student-to-student issues around race most often come up. See the linked email for more details. The deadline to let me know if you’d like to attend is Wednesday, March 30th.

• New Building Updates – There was no Owner/Architect/General Contractor (OAC) meeting this week, but here are a few items of note:

• History Infographic Feedback – Linked here is an updated historical infographic Tree Ring Image that I shared earlier, located in the lobby of the new Howard. We’re currently trying to locate up to 3-4 historically significant black and white images per side to go with the display, along with a brief write up. Ideas previously presented were Dewitt C Howard, the original Howard School, major renovations, the new Howard, and others. We’d also talked about aerials and front shots of the original and new which would take up a couple extra spots of imagery if we have trouble locating good content. We’re checking whether this is something the UO library might have.We’re also working to come up with a good title. The best one so far is “Howard Elementary School…Where We’re From” but no one is all that wild about that one, so please let me know if you have any suggestions. Also, let me know by the end of the week if any of your have other ideas for images or write-ups or other thoughts on this display.

• Tours Continue to Be Delayed – Mid-March was the last date we’d been given by the district project manager as to when tours of the new building could resume, once they’d completed their punch lists. However, the Facilities staff in charge of all the new furniture, which will be delivered and assembled soon also has to go through it’s punch list process, so tours unfortunately cannot resume until that is completed.  I’ll keep you all posted when classes can get back out there.

• FAMILY RESOURCE: Family Check-Up – I’ve shared this before, but I received an email with an updated flyer for the UO’s Family Check-Up program. This program was developed by the UO to provide brief, family-centered interventions that identify strengths and weaknesses in family functioning and help participants become motivated to make positive changes. The program is for members of Trillium Community Health Plan (AKA Oregon Health Plan). Families can earn $150 (provided in gift cards) by attending three appointments, which take place over a four- to five-week period. Feel free to share this resource with any families who you think might benefit.

• FAMILY RESOURCE: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program – This is a program that DHS shared with us last week out of a family situation from the last Student Care Team Meeting. This is a paid on-the-job program where people can become a CNA1 or CNA2. Feel free to share the linked flyer.

• Care Team Referrals – Related to the above, the Student Care Team will be meeting the week after spring break, which means referrals to the team are due Friday next week. The Care Team can help with a wide variety of stations. DHS can also provide us with updates for any reports we’ve made. Linked here is the 4J Release Form (PDF or DOC) if you can obtain a parent or guardian signature, but you can also refer “hypothetical” student or family situations. Let me know if you have any questions about potential referrals, but if it’s a situation that’s on your mind, it’s probably a worth referring to the team.

• District Admin Updates – Brooke Wagner has been selected as the new Director of Elementary, replacing Sara Green when she retires at the end of the school year. She and I actually went to “principal school” together in the same cohort. Brooke taught at South and Churchill and was at Kelly as the assistant principal from 2002–2007. Since 2007 Brooke has been a principal in Springfield, first at Briggs Middle School and more recently Thurston Elementary School. BJ Blake has accepted the position of secondary education director, replacing Randy Bernstein when he retires at the end of the school year. BJ started her education career as an elementary teacher, then as a Churchill assistant principal in 2000, to six years as principal of Meadowlark/Buena Vista Elementary School (where I was her assistant principal for half a year), to five years as principal of Spencer Butte Middle School, to her return to Churchill as principal in 2014. One other district level vacancy that has yet to be filled is the Director of Technology. The first round of interviews were not successful and they are reposting the position. Kim Ketterer is currently the interim Director of Technology, though she too is retiring at the end of this school year.

• Teaching Women’s History With Perspectives – March may be officially designated as Women’s History Month, but you can celebrate the contributions of women all year round with readings, tasks and strategies from Perspectives for Diverse America. This webinar will explore texts and activities that allow you to go beyond “famous firsts” and teach about women from a variety of disciplines, cultures and backgrounds. You will also learn how these tools can help students connect the past to the present and even the future. Registration on the site is required.

• 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:

March 7 (M)
Classified Employees Week
Women in History Week
2:30-3:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Room 10)

March 8 (T)
International Women’s Day
7:45-1:45, Data Team Meetings (Staff Room)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Library)

March 9 (W)
Fluoride Varnish in Gym
9:00-10:00, Allan to OAC Meeting (Construction Trailer)
10:00-11:00, Allan to Punch List Walkthrough (New Building)
1:30-2:30, Site Council Meeting (Staff Room)
2:30-3:00, Allan Meeting with Kindergarten Team (Room 20)
3:00-3:30, Allan Meeting with 1st Grade Team (Room 2)
4:00-5:00, North Region Principals’ Meeting (Kelly MS)

March 10 (H)
8:30-3:30 Allan, Carla, AJ to LEL Meeting (Edison)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Room 6)
2:30-3:30, Dr. Baldaras Visiting BEST
2:15-2:45, Allan Meeting with 2nd Grade Team (Room 6)
2:45-3:15, Allan Meeting with 3rd Grade Team (Room 13)

March 11 (F)
Book Fair Preview
9:00, February Book Winners
1:00-3:00, Allan and Lori to Paging System Training (New Buidling)
2:15-2:45, Allan Meeting with 4th Grade Team (Room 17)
2:45-3:15, Allan Meeting with 5th Grade Team (Room 15)

March 12 (S)
9:00, Regional OBOB Competition (North Eugene HS)

March 13 (SU)
Daylight Savings Time (Spring Forward)

March 14 (M)
Progress Monitoring – Week 10
Book Fair
11:30-2:30, Allan and Robin to Title 1 Principal & Coordinator Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

March 15 (T)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 1)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Library)

March 16 (W)
Regular Day

March 17 (H)
Book Fair Ends
1:00-2:00, Tail Feather/Grade Level Reward
2:30-3:30, Safety Committee Meeting (Library)
3:45-5:15, Allan and KG Team to Monthly KG Meeting (Camus Ridge)
6:00-7:30, Literacy Night

March 18 (F)
No Students – District PD Day
8:00-10:00, Staffing Meeting/PD (Library)
10:00-12:30, Packing for Spring Break Move
12:30-3:30, Planning Time

March 21-25
Spring Break!

March 28 (M)
No Students – Howard PD Day
8:00-12:30, All-Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)

March 29 (T)
Classes Resume
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 1)

Have a good week, everyone!


'It's just until the head lice problem at school clears up.'