May 9, 2016

By Allan  



Howdy Everyone,

Twelve items of note for this week (and a bunch regarding the new building & moving):

• Staffing Update – HR has officially completed the staffing and bumping process for classified staff for the 2016-17 school year, which means no classified staff from our building are getting bumped or displaced this year.

We’ve also been given our PE and Music allocations (same amount of FTE as this year) and teacher assignments for next school year. Both David and Rachel will be returning, though David will only be here during the off-semester and downtown will be hiring for a a music teacher to start the year when classrooms have music twice a week. Rachel will be with us both semesters, but only half as much first semester. As I shared earlier, classes first semester will get two sessions of Music and one session of PE. Second semester that will flip, with two sessions of PE and one session of Music. If you’re curious to see PE and Music assignments across the district, linked here is the spreadsheet that was shared with principals.

• Building Leadership Opportunities – Shared at Friday’s Staff Meeting, we will be deciding leadership positions for next year by the end of this school year. All position will be considered vacant and anyone can sign up for one, with the exception of Math (which downtown wants reps to stay the same, which is Lupe) and Science (which downtown wants to keep consistent as well, which is Allison for the 3-5 rep and Justine for K-2 [which I emailed primary teachers about a couple weeks ago]). The current list of leadership/rep positions are; IPBS, PBIS, Technology, Literacy, Site Council, Garden Team, Social Committee, and I added Taking it Up/Carrying it Forward, which I’ve led, but am willing to turn that over to another building leader if someone is interested. I’ve left Being a Writer and Caring for Kids on the list, although no meetings for these rep positions were held this year. If you would like to sign up for a leadership or rep position, follow this link to the 2016-2017 Leadership/Building Rep. Positions on a Google Sheet. I made this a public document, so you don’t need to do any kind of log on to access the document.

If there is more than one person interested in a leadership position, those people can decide to be co-leaders or one can decide to step aside or staff can vote. I’ve also left a blank section where people can add a new leadership or rep positions if there is one people think we need to add. I’ve also included the duties for our compensated leadership positions that are in our building Leadership Plan. Once leadership positions are settled, we will begin the process for developing our building Leadership Plan, which is 20 sub days that can be distributed between up to seven licensed staff


• Master Schedule Survey – Linked here is the 2016-2017 Master Schedule Survey. This time I decided to give Google Surveys a try instead of SurveyMonkey. As shared at Friday’s Meeting, 5th grade will get priority since they will have the largest classes next year. Also, all grades wanted Tier II & III back-to-back, so we will work to make that happen. There were also a number of suggestions, ideas and other thoughts floated by staff throughout the year (science times, adding transition times, no group Wednesdays etc.) that I’d like to get input on from staff. Responses will be kept confidential, but I would like to know names so I can know who I’m getting input from and so I can follow up with individuals.

The process for the master schedule will be to solicit input from staff here and draft a schedule accordingly . That draft will be shared with staff for additional input at the May 28th PD day. Following that meeting the schedule may or may not be revised and the schedule will be set for 2016-2017. Please keep in mind that the schedule will never be perfect or all things to all people, but we’ll do what we can make it as close as possible.

• TalentEd End-of-Cycle Goals Reflection Due May 27th – Thank you to those teachers who have already completed their End-of-Cycle Goals Reflection (gold star for you!). For those who have not finished yet, the deadline to complete the form in TalentEd is Friday, May 27th. Spring benchmarking begins this week, so you can wait until those scores are completed to finish your goals reflection, but you can also go ahead and complete it before then using just fall and winter benchmarks. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the form or if you’d like a copy of the Grade Comparison Report that gives you an easy to read overview of how your class has done this year.

• Tech Trot Updates – The PTO asked me for a date for the Limo Ride, so I was going to tell them Thursday, May 19th or Thursday, May 26th. Let me know by Wednesday if any of you see why those dates would not work, but I’ll let people know the final date and will send out times (we’ll split them into two groups) along with permission slips once the date is settled.

Regarding how much the fundraiser brought in, it amazingly brought in just over $7,000 (before expensed), which is quite a lot more than when we first started the Tech Trot three years ago and brought in just over $2,000. This should go a long way towards reducing technology fees for families next year!

• Fire Drill, Friday at 9:00 – I’ll take advantage of some classes being on field trip this Friday to hold our May Fire Drill instead of on our usual Wednesday times, so we’ll plan to our drill this Friday at 9:00 if the weather looks good.

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

• Excess Classroom Furniture – If any of you are ready to start ridding you classrooms of excess furniture, just tag it DISCARD and Crystal will remove it for pick-up by the warehouse.

• Complete Map of New Howard Site – I’ve shared earlier versions of this, but linked here is a complete site map of the landscape surrounding the new building, so you can get an idea of the soccer/softball field orientation, playground and parking lots.

• Non-Classroom Area Packing – Please take note of areas around the school that need to be packed but don’t necessarily have anyone in charge of, because I’d like staff to begin figuring out who will be packing/recycling/tossing items in areas like the Staff Room, curriculum closets, and other areas I might be forgetting. Please start working on these areas because the default is going to be the dumpster for items left behind.

• Farewell Event for Old Building – This week I’ll be emailing families the linked flyer advertising our closing event (note the 1970s letterhead) A back-to-back version of the flyer will also be in teachers’ mailboxes to be sent home this week. I’ll also share this information with some different alumni groups and it will be in the Education Extra section of the Register Guard, but please share this info with anyone you know who has a past connection to Howard who might want to say goodbye to the old building!

• Demolition Update – Our old building is going to become a construction zone the day after students leave. Friday, June 17th will have construction workers starting to demolish the playground area (asphalt and playground). In order to access this area, that morning they are going to remove the roof area that connects the main building and the quad so construction vehicles can drive out there. Folks working at that end of the building should be aware that there will be heavy equipment working that day and for staff who are thinking of bringing your own kids to school might want to think twice with all the construction happening that day.

• Packing of Containers & Boxes – If you have classroom items to pack that are already in boxes or containers, you do not need to put these items in one of the district provided boxes. You just need to make sure the box or container has the lid taped down, labeled along the long sides (just like the standard boxes) and that the box or container is strong enough to have either boxes stacked on top of it. I shared this earlier, but a number of people asked on Friday, so I figured it’s probably worth repeating.

• New Entrance to New Building Site – Some of you who went out to the new building on Friday already saw this, but if you’re taking your class out to the new building, there is now a break in the fence located outside the exit doors by the gym and workroom. This will be locked most of the time, but if you’ve scheduled a tour time with me, I can unlock it for you ahead of time.

• New Building Open for Tours – If any teachers would like to take their class on a tour of the new building, just let me know a date and time and I can take classes out to see the new building. I can also take staff out as well.

• Aerial Video of Old Building – Linked are two aerial videos of the new and old buildings I just got from our project managers. The videos were made back an January, so the new building video (YouTube link) is nowhere as complete as it is now, but the video of the old building (YouTube link) looks just about the same as it always does and is a really nice way document the old building before it gets torn down. I also added some music to the videos for dramatic effect (nerd points if you can identify the music in either video without Shazam).

• Building Calendar vs. Howard Family Calendar – I had a couple people this week tell me they couldn’t find something on the building calendar, but in both cases they were looking at the Howard family calendar, which does not include all of the events staff need to know. If you click the calendar link in my weekly announcements email or at the bottom of each of my blog posts, that will take you to the building calendar. If you use Google Calendars yourself, you can add the Howard Building Calendar to your list of Google Calendars by clicking one of my calendar links and then clicking the + Google Calendar icon (this   ) located at the bottom right of the screen. This will add the building calendar to your list of Google Calendars. Let me know if if any of you would like help with this.

• District Admin Updates – Jeff Johnson has been selected to be the district’s federal programs administrator, replacing Tasha Katsuda who will be principal of Spencer Butte next year. Jeff has been the principal of Arts & Technology Academy, a Title I school, and also at Coburg Elementary. Linda O’Shea, currently assistant principal at Arts & Technology Academy, will step into the principal role next year. This year Linda has had a dual role, spending part of her time at ATA and the rest as part-time principal of Family School. Jericho Dunn will be the new principal of Cal Young next year, replacing Kim Watry who has accepted a position in her home state of Colorado. Jericho has been assistant principal at South Eugene High School since 2013. Finally, former Howard principal Kim Finch will be technology administrator next year, replacing Kim Ketterer when she retires. Kim has experience with all school levels and with STEM learning and technology in our district and beyond. At Howard she worked with staff to establish the instructional technology focus, launching Howard as a technology immersion program, so it will be very nice to have a a champion of Howard once again in leading the Technology Department.

• District Title 1 Newsletter – Here is the last district level Title 1 Newsletter of the year that went out to Title 1 Coordinators and principals. As usual, this month’s newsletter is mostly coordinator specific information and tasks, but one interesting item is the revised CIP videos I mentioned in an earlier post. In the past we’ve held an annual meeting with Title 1 Coordinators, principals, and parent reps from across the district, but these meeting were poorly attended, particularly by parents, so 4J is trying something different, which is to instead share informational videos in English and Spanish at Title 1 buildings during different school-wide events throughout the year. We’ll wait for some direction from the new district Title 1 Coordinator, but we’ll likely share one of these videos during Curriculum Night, Literacy Night and/or other school wide events, and we might also play them in the background during other school events. I’ve looked at a couple of the videos and they do provide some useful information for families.

• Teaching and Learning Under the Next Generation Science Standards – Kim Finch shared a Smart Brief on teaching and learning with the new Next Generation Science Standards. Our new curriculum will require a shift in how elementary science looks in each classroom in Eugene, including more time spent teaching science K-5, and an integration with CCSS math and ELA.

• Tips to liven up lessons with YouTube – YouTube offers more than animal videos, education-technology and curriculum consultant Monica Burns writes in this blog post. She highlights four strategies for using YouTube in the classroom, including tips about “finding the ‘right’ videos.”

• 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 9 (M)
Smarter Balance Testing Continues (No SPED/Title 1 Groups)
Spring Benchmarking Begins
8:15, Allan Touring 1st Grade Class (New Buidling)
8:40, Allan Touring 4th Grade Class (New Building)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

May 10 (T)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 1)
6:00-7:00, ODE Reimagine Education in Oregon Community Forums (SEHS)

May 11 (W)
2:45-4:00, Allan and Lori at Attendance System Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Administrators Meeting (Howard)

May 12 (H)
7:30-4:30, 2nd Grade to Hatfield Marine Science Center
3:00-4:00, Allan Taking River Road Design Team to See Furniture (New Building)
6:30-7:30, North Region Latino Family Night (NEHS)

May 13 (F)
7:30-4:30, 5th Grade Trip to OMSI
9:00, Fire Drill
10:45-12:30, April Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Library)

May 16 (M)
Artist in Residence Begins
Larry Soberman Covering for Allan to finish End-of-Year Evaluations
3:00-5:00, Allan to After ALICE Training (River Road)

May 17 (T)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Library)

May 18 (W)
10:00-10:15, 5th Grade Class Photo (Front of Building)

May 19 (H)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Room 6)
3:45-5:00, Allan and KG Teachers to Full-Day KG Meeting (Holt)

May 20 (F)
10:45-12:30, Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Library)

Keep on teaching and keep on packing! And enjoy a few aerial photos of our new and old buildings.