April 25, 2016

By Allan  


Hi Everyone,

This Wednesday is Administrative Professionals’ Day, formerly known as Secretaries Day, and I’d like to take a moment to recognize our excellent office staff, Lori and Bianca, and thank them for all they do to keep our school running and also for the many things they do during the day that often go unnoticed and unappreciated. We’re all very lucky to have you here at Howard!

Sixteen items of note for this week:

• Friday, May 6th PD/Planning Day – Not this week, but next week will be a district PD/Planning day. There aren’t any required district trainings this day, so we’ll meet here in the building at 8:00 to go over some business items (preschool information, CAP updates, class lists process, 16/17 leadership plan process and master schedule process) and the main item will be to review our updated PBIS rules and teaching plans for the new building. I’ll send the agenda our later this week, but my plan is to end the meeting early to give staff more time to resume packing and cleaning out of old and unused items. There are only 34.5 student days left, so the deadline to get everything packed is approaching faster than you think!

• Classroom Spending and Reimbursement Deadlines – May 10th will be the last day for district credit card use or purchase orders against the general fund (stuff I might buy for out of building funds). May 25th will be the last day for district credit card use when coming out of student body funds (i.e. PTO teacher funds or grant funds). The deadline for staff reimbursements out of student body will be June 15th. And remember that student body accounts need to be spent down to as close to zero as possible. If you need to know your balances, please check with Lori.

• 2016-2917 Supply List Reminder – Please remember to review this year’s supply lists and let Lori know of any changes by the end of the week. A gold star to 1st and 5th grades already turning theirs in.

• 2016-2017 Zaner Bloser Name Tags – Lori also needs to know if classrooms want the Zaner Bloser name tags for next year or if teachers will be doing their own thing. Let Lori know your preference by the end of the week.

• Fire Drill, April 27th at 8:30 – Our last scheduled fire drill was rained out, so we’ll try again this Wednesday, April, 27th at 8:30. If it’s raining at that time, I’ll wait for a break in the weather and try to squeeze it in before morning recess.

• Staffing Updates – Our 2nd grade vacancy has been filled and former Howard teacher Ashley Pond will be coming back. For staff who do not know Ashley, she currently teaches 3rd grade at Gilham, before that taught 3rd grade at ATA and before that taught here at Howard. Please welcome Ashely back to the Howard family! Our counselor and facilitating positions are still vacant and will be posted for the third and final round of the Job EXPO.

• Revised Artist in Residence Schedule – Linked here is an updated version of the Artist in Residence schedule for next month. There was a field trip and an assembly that required an adjustment to the second and third weeks. Please take a look at your scheduled times and make sure they work for you. I’ll plan to share this schedule with Alex at the end of the week.

• NEHS Book Drive Update – The NEHS Key Club had a great first bookfair of us! They had about $1,700 in sales which is about $340 for the school on a Barnes and Noble gift card which we can use to buy books for the library with the 20% discount they give schools. They also have a full box of books that were purchased and donated which the NEHS students would like to present to us at a staff meeting.

• Putting in Tickets for Technology Help – The Tech Department sent a friendly reminder to principals, asking us to remind staff that when you need assistance with anything technology related, you should send an email to 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu, which creates a ticket, or call x7777. The reasons staff staff are asked to put in tickets are numerous, including but are not limited to:

• To get an accurate accounting of the workload for your schools
• To obtain statistics on the overall workload for all TSS
• To justify the existence of site-based TSS (!!!)
• To get statistics on the type of requests coming in, so they can target training and other resources.
• To see historical data for devices and problems
• Because TSS assignments can change at any time
• To better allocate TSS staffing. This is important because a low number of tickets could indicate that a school doesn’t need as much tech support time as it is currently getting. In looking at current data, they believe this is because the staff at some schools may be emailing to talking the TSS directly instead of putting in a ticket.

• “After ALiCE Next Steps” Training – Risk Management is holding an “After ALiCE Next Steps” training on Monday, May 16th, 3:00-5:00 at River Road Elementary School. See the email from Randi Bowers-Payne for the agenda and details. I’m planning to attend the training, but other staff are welcome to attend if you’re interested. Please let me know by the end of the week if any of you would like to attend. On a related note, linked here are the minutes from last month’s Safety Committee meeting, which already addressed some of the post ALICE training questions and next steps.

• New Building Updates – Just two items of note regarding the new building and move:

• Grand Opening, May 15th, Tentative Agenda – Details are still being ironed out and the date is still soft, but linked here is the tentative agenda for a community grand opening even on Sunday, May 15th. The general plan is to have some opening and closing remarks, serve some food and give guided tours of the new building. I’ll keep people posted as details become more solid. On a related note, I’m continuing to work with downtown on our goodbye event to the old building, but and still waiting for approval on the date from downtown. That event will start with some opening remarks, have old photos and memorabilia on display, we’ll open the time capsule a year early, and we’ll allow people to walk around the building one last time (no classrooms will be unlocked unless staff are present).

• Updated Class Assignments Map – Linked here is an updated version of the new building class assignment which includes the correct room numbers for classrooms. A few changes from the last map, 3rd grade and ELD classes shifted around in that wing and 2nd grade classroom assignments shifted a bit in their wing as well.

• Medications on Field Trip – With field trip season now upon us, one important reminder to staff going on field trips is that only school staff should ever administer medication. Unless it is a custodial parent, volunteers or other parents leading groups of students on a field trip should never be the ones to administer medicine.

• “Oregon Rising” Event WednesdayFlyers for this event went home last Friday and an email was sent to families, but if you missed it, on Wednesday, April 27th from 7:00-8:00 at Sheldon High School, which is a statewide public outreach effort to answer the question, “What do we want Oregon schools to be for our children and grandchildren?” All the information gathered will be presented to state legislators to tell the story of what we want our state’s education system to look like. If you cannot take part in the community conversation, you can respond online at oregon-rising.org

• Survey about Smarter Balanced – Teachers may have received invitations from the Audits Division of the Oregon Secretary of State to participate in a survey about Smarter Balanced. These surveys are part of an audit mandated by HB 2713, from the 2015 legislative session. Linked here is a copy of HB 2713 in case you would like to learn more about the context for the survey, but I did want teachers to know this survey is legitimate and is an avenue to directly let the legislature know your thoughts on SBAC.

• Election Rhetoric Takes its Toll on Students – Some students have suggested that they are fearful about what the outcomes of this year’s presidential election could mean for their families and friends, according to a survey of 2,000 teachers by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The anxiety is most prominent among immigrant students and Muslims. I usually avoid overtly political articles, but this something that’s been on my mind ever since a 4th grader came to me a couple months ago sincerely concerned that he would no longer be able to play with his Latino friend if Trump were elected president. Who knows what policies will or will not be changed following the election, but this article from NPR discusses the very real impact election rhetoric is having on students and families. Teaching Tolerance posted a similar article this weel as well.

• 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 25 (M)
Progress Monitoring Week 12
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

April 26 (T)
8:45-12:45, 1st grade to Mt. Pisgah
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 1)

April 27 (W)
Administrative Professionals Day (formerly Secretaries Day)
9:00-12:00, KG to Science Factory
8:30, Fire Drill
1:00-1:40, EA OAKS Test Security Training (Room 8)
1:30-2:30, PBIS Meeting (Room 21)
2:30-3:30, Care Team Meeting (Staff Room) CANCELLED

April 28 (H)
5th Grade Science Testing Begins
Papa’s Pizza Fundraiser for Howard Family (Coburg Road)
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
2:30-3:30, Site Council (Staff Room)
4:00-7:00, Allan to Elementary Job Expo (Ed Center)
5:00-6:00, 5th Grade Parent Preview of Planned Parenthood Course (Room 18)

April 29 (F)
10:45-12:40, Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Library)
3:30, Allan Touring Superintendent & 4J Directors at New Building

May 2 (M)
Teacher Appreciation Week
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Smarter Balance Testing Begins (No SPED/Title 1 Groups)
Children’s Book Week
1:00-2:00, Allan Covering Classroom
2:30-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee (Ed Center)

May 3 (T)
8:30-9:30, Tasha Katsuda Title 1 Visit
9:40, Allan Covering Recess Duty
5:00-8:00, North Region Baseball Event – Night at the Swede (NEHS)
May 4 (W)
Photoshoot in New Building
May the 4th Be With You
Wacky Wednesday – Mixed Up Clothes Day

May 5 (H)
Photoshoot in New Building
8:00-1:00, Data Team Meeting (Staff Room) CANCELLED

May 6 (F)
8:00-1:30, Professional Development Day – No Students

Have a great week everyone and enjoy the Tech Trot photos below!


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