April 4, 2016

By Allan  



Hello Roadrunners,

Congratulations to our ACE Award nominees! Carla and Mellissa were nominated teaching category, Rebecca Hanson was nominated in the classified staff category and Sarah Hathaway was nominated in the volunteer category. We have many talented staff here at Howard, so it’s always nice to see some of our folks getting district-wide recognition. Congratulations Carla, Mellissa, Rebecca and to all of our talented Howard staff members!

Seventeen items of note for this week:

• Wacky Wednesday: Crazy Hat/Crazy Hair Day – This Wednesday is Crazy Hat/Crazy Hair Day, so be sure to remind your class to join in on this fun community building school spirit day!

• Informal Observations Monday – Retired Twin Oaks principal Larry Soberman will be covering for me on Monday while I complete some informal observations for probationary teachers or teachers on Year 1 of the observation cycle.

• Charis McGaughy, 4J Assistant Superintendent, Visiting Howard Tuesday – Charis, our Assistant Superintendent, is visiting Howard on Tuesday from 9:00-10:30. Just like when Gustavo visited in January, Charis doesn’t need to attend a staff meeting and will instead walk around unescorted after meeting with me for a quick check-in, so don’t be surprised if Charis stops by your classroom. CANCELLED

• K-2 and 3-5 PRIDE Assemblies, Wednesday – Wednesday is the PRIDE Awards Assembly for Discipline (“Working Hard at Everything”). The K-2 assembly will be 9:10-9:35 and the 3-5 assembly will be 9:40-10:05. See the linked map and directions for details and watch for further information from the PBIS team soon.

• Ems Emazing Readers Assembly Incentive Assembly, 4/13 – Not this week, but Wednesday next week will be the kickoff for the Eugene Emeralds’ Reading Incentive program. The program will run the same as last year, which is essentially classroom teachers set a reading goal for students and if students meet that goal they get two free tickets to attend an Em’s baseball game this summer. For the assembly, the 3-5 assembly will be 8:40-9:5 and the K-2 assembly will be 9:15-9:40 so Sluggo can motivate kids to meet their reading goals. See the linked map and directions for logistical details.

• New Building Updates – Three items of note for the new building and move:

• Poster Tubes – If any of you have posters you need to pack that won’t fold or fit into boxes, Lori has poster tubes you can use to pack. Be sure to label them the same as you do boxes.

• Clocks and Not LCD Displays in Classrooms – Many of us were surprised to learn earlier this year that there were going to be LCD displays in classrooms instead of traditional clocks, but as staff may have noticed when we’ve gone out to the building recently, we now have traditional clocks and not LCD displays. We would have had videoconferencing capabilities with the TVs, but we are still going to have that with our regular projectors and most of the time the LCD displays would have just displayed the time. I was also a little weirded-out by there originally only going to be the digital displays and not “real” clocks, so I’m fine with this change.

• Buddy Bench – As part of a community service project, some North Eugene High School students are building us a “Buddy Bench” for our new building. If you haven’t ever caught a viral story about Buddy Benches, the idea is that if a student needs a friend to play with they can sit at the Buddy Bench so other kids know they’re in need of a buddy.

• More New Housing Proposed – We recently received in the mail a public hearing notice for a rezoning of property off of Maxwell Road for medium density residential housing (single family homes) and retaining some of the current commercial spaces. It’s essentially the area across from Community Market where the restaurant equipment place is currently located. Looking at the application on the city website, they are planning to building 35 homes on the site. There isn’t a construction timeline that I could find, but I’m guessing we might see construction stating next school year, which I’ve made sure to tell downtown about in regards to our enrollment projections for next school year.

Click the above image and zoom in on the entrance. We now have signage for “Howard Elementary School.” 

• Staffing Update – No big updates here, but when I shared the above information about more new housing in regards to my arguments for increasing our enrollment projections and staffing, I was told Gustavo has indicated that no additional staffing will be added until late June (if any) and later in August or start of the year. So for us this means we will start making our master schedule once we have our SPED allocations and job assignments, along with PE and Music staffing. I think this also means we should wait to tell families next year’s class lists until the fall rather than the start of the summer, which if we got more staffing in the fall would allows us to rearrange students without upsetting families. Waiting would also allow us to rebalance classes for move-ins and move-outs over the summer.

• Draft 4J School Calendar, 2016-2017 – This isn’t official yet, but linked here the DRAFT 4J School Calendar for the 2016-2017 school year that was in the last School Board minutes. Tuesday, August 30th will be the first day back for most staff. Students will start on the Wednesday, September 7th, the week of Labor Day. There are three district PD Days scheduled in January, April and May. Once the district calendar is official and approved by the School Board, we’ll start building our meeting calendar for the following year.

• Weyerhaeuser Community Giving Grants – Weyerhaeuser is accepting grant applications now through August 31, 2016. The minimum grant amount awarded is $1,000. For those of you writing larger EEF grants, which you need to tell me about before the April Site Council meeting, you can mostly cut-and-paste your EEF grant into the Weyerhaeuser grant along with some additional information they ask for which I can provide to anyone wanting to apply. Just let me know if any of you are applying and need that additional info.

• Field Trip Reminders – With field trip season fast approaching, Risk Management wanted to share a few important reminders:

• The field trip guide is available on the Google Risk Handbook (look for revisions in the Fall);
• Non-Local trip forms must be completed and approved prior to taking the trip;
• The chaperone guide is also available on the Google Risk Handbook.

Please spend some time reviewing the handbook and you’ll find many valuable resources. Let me know if you have any questions.

• Local Apple Event: Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) – At the Ed Center on Wednesday, May 11 from 2:30-4:00, Apple will be presenting a free hands-on event where you’ll see how educators can use iPad and Mac laptops to create and deliver engaging STEM content. Follow this link to register. And you’ll learn how digital content can personalize learning and help students of all learning styles grasp challenging concepts. Participants will:

• Use a range of engaging STEM apps on iPad that enable anytime learning.
• Explore a variety of Multi-Touch textbooks and learning materials available for iPad.
• Learn how educators are using iTunes U, an ever-growing collection of free educational resources, to deliver an amazing array of interactive STEM content.
• Experience a variety of tools for developing STEM projects for your students.
• Discover why iPad and Mac are the ideal tools for creating and sharing STEM content.
• Don’t miss this opportunity to discover how Apple products can enhance STEM learning.

• 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 an interesting TEDTalk by Peter Benson entitled “Sparks: How Youth Thrive.” Dr. Peter Benson shares the idea that sparks (a child’s hope, meaning and a purpose are in life) will impact his or her future.

• District Admin Updates – As I shared earlier, Tom Maloney, current principal at Camas Ridge, will retire in June. Wes Flinn, current principal next-door at Kelly Middle School, will replace Tom as principal of Camas Ridge. In addition to being a South region parent himself, Wes has a passion for project-based learning, which is an important component of the Camas Ridge program. Juan Cuadros, principal at Buena Vista, will be Kelly’s new principal. Juan is a veteran bilingual/bicultural school leader with dual language program expertise, middle school experience, and even relationships with some Kelly families since he stepped in as River Road/El Camino del Río principal in 2013–14. This leaves building principal vacancies at Buena Vista, Cal Young and Churchill.

• NEHS Book Drive – The NEHS Key Club fundraiser at Barnes & Noble is happening this weekend on April 15, 16 & 17 if you can mention this to your students. Present the linked voucher prior to making your purchase and a percentage of the net sale will be contributed to Howard! Flyers in English and Spanish will be put in teachers mailboxes early this week.

• Google Kid Safe Search Engine: Kiddle – Although certainly not foolproof, Kiddle is a visual search engine for kids that is powered by Kiddle editors and Google’s safe search, allowing kids to do a Web, images, news or video searchs. Once a child enters a query into the search bar, Kiddle will pull up a list of related links. The first one to three results will include safe sites and pages that are written specifically for kids that are handpicked and checked by the editors. The next four to seven results will feature sites that include content that is written in simple language so that young children are able to comprehend what they are researching. These too are handpicked and checked by the editors. Results eight and onward include sites written for adults that are still filtered by Google safe search but are a bit harder for children to comprehend.

• Bloom’s, SAMR, and Beyond: A Practical Guide for Tech Integration – Using technology to redefine learning tasks and get students engaged in higher-order thinking need not be a lock-step progression through pedagogical frameworks. Discover user-friendly tips in this ASCD article to get students choosing how to creatively showcase their knowledge.

• 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:

April 4 (M)
Progress Monitoring – Week 11
4:00-6:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

April 5 (T)
9:00-10:30, Charis McGaughy, 4J Assistant Superintendent, Visiting Howard CANCELLED
10:00-11:00, Allan to Water Treatment System Training (New Building)

April 6 (W)
Wacky Wednesday – Crazy Hat/Hair Day
9:10-9:35, K-2 PRIDE Assembly (Gym)
9:40-10:05, 3-5 PRIDE Assembly (Gym)
2:15, Allan to IEP Meeting (Room 9)

April 7 (H)
10:00-11:00, Kindergarten Orientation (Library)
1:00-2:00, Allan to Window Shade Training (New Building)

April 8 (F)
6:00-7:30, PTO Family Movie Night: “The Peanuts Movie” (Gym)

April 11 (M)
National Library Week
National Volunteer Week (AKA Volunteer Appreciation Week)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

April 12 (T)
Classes Resume
8:30-2:30, Site Council CAP “Retreat” (Staff Room)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 1)

April 13 (W)
8:40-9:05, 3-5 Ems Emazing Readers Assembly (Gym)
9:15-9:40, K-2 Ems Emazing Readers Assembly (Gym)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principal’s Meeting (River Road)

April 14 (H)
7:30-4:30, 2nd Grade to Oregon Zoo (Portland)
8:30-8:40, Fire Drill
4:00-7:00, Allan to Elementary Job Expo (Ed Center)

April 15 (F)
Barnes & Nobles Fundraiser Begins (ends Sunday)

Have a good week, everyone!