June 13, 2016

By Allan  



Hello Roadrunners,

We’ve survived another year and with all the packing and planning for the move into the new building, it’s been a very unique year that you’ll probably never experience again in your career. I’m sure next year will be another very unique year, implementing all of these new systems. You all are a great group to go through all this craziness with! Now enjoy the final installment of my weekly announcements for the school year!

Eighteen items of note for this week, along with a whole lot of new building items:

• PE and Music Staffing Update – David got word before I did that his current student teacher, Siera Kaup, was hired as Howard’s first semester music teacher for next year. David, Rachel and I were all part of the interview committee, and Siera was my first choice to come to Howard! Please welcome Siera to the Howard Team!

And in regards to our total allocation of PE and Music FTE, after doing some comparisons of Howard’s PE and Music allocations to other similarly sized schools, we’ve been given more specialist time for next year. Please thank David and Rachel for going to bat for us with downtown because our specialist time has been increased to include Wednesdays during the full-time semesters for both Music and PE. For first semester, this means Siera will will be our full-time music teacher five days a week. For second semester full-time PE, Rachel will teach MTHF and ChrisAnne Mehl (current PE teacher at Twin Oaks and Charlemagne) will be our PE teacher on Rachel’s PE TOSA Wednesdays. If you’re interested, linked here is a list of all the PE and Music teacher assignments by school and a list of the assignment by PE and Music teachers.

This year and last year, Howard had actually exceeded the district guidelines for how many specialist sessions we’d scheduled per day for David and Rachel (which should be eight classes per day and six classes on early release days), so this additional day will allow our specialist schedule to get back in compliance, at least for the full-time semesters.

For the master schedule, this means we will shift some PE/Music times to Wednesdays during the full-time semesters. My thinking is that times will stay the same and only the day of the week would change. We haven’t assigned names to the specialist schedule yet, but linked here the 2016-2017 PE/Music Schedule (Excel and PDF) with Wednesdays left open. Teachers should let me know if any of you are interested/willing to shift to a Wednesday instead of a MTHF and also let me know if you grade level as worked out if you are A, B, or C. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts on this.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 10.12.25 PM

• Rules Round-Up – See Rae’s email for information on how the new building Rules Round-Up will work. but the short version is there will be six stations that classes will last 5-6 minutes before rotating to the next. 4th grade will go Monday at 9:00. K/1 will go Tuesday at 9:00. 2/3 will go on Wednesday at 10:00. See the linked email for station assignments and the rotation order.

• Tail Feather Reward, Monday – I missed last week’s PBIS meeting, but stay tuned for details from the PBIS team regarding details of the Tail Feather reward happening this Monday on the playground. I did hear it will involve dipping water balloons in paint that will be thrown by classes at designated walls along the playground perimeter.

• June Fire Drill, Tuesday at 10:40 – Our June Fire Drill will be Tuesday next week at 10:40 (I moved it up by 5 minutes). If we’re rained out, we’ll try later in the day when there’s a break in the weather.

• Staff Last Day of School Ice Cream Celebration – Thursday @11:30 – It’s been on the calendar, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows our last day of school celebration will be this Thursday at 11:30 in the cafeteria. I’ll have ice cream, sundae toppings and root beer float fixings for a delicious way to close out the year and to say goodbye to staff leaving us at the end of the year. This year a number of folks added a salad pot-luck to the event as a way to wish Cheri a nice goodbye upon her retirement. See you all there!

• Class Lists to Specialists & EAs – This week we’ll share next year’s class lists with specialists and EAs to have another set of eyes on next year’s combinations of students. I’ll let classroom teachers know of any potential issues we may have missed.

• New Building Updates – Quite a few important items of note for the new building and the move:

• Moving Timeline Updates – Below is a calendar activities related to packing, moving and demolition. Details on several of these items have more details further down.

6/16 SMART Boards and projectors removed
6/17 Movers taking excess furniture to district storage.
6/17 Additional Paid Day #1 for Designated Classified Staff
6/17 Natural gas removal in east parking lot
6/17 Demolition of playground and quad/main building overhang begins
6/18 & 19, 9:00-3:00 Surplus Furniture Giveaway
6/20 Furniture left over will be put into metal recycle containers or thrown away, depending on what it is.
6/20 Additional Paid Day #2 for Designated Classified Staff
6/20, Additional Paid Day #1 for Licensed Staff
6/20 Movers will be there moving whoever is ready to go.
6/21 Last day staff allowed in old building
6/21 Additional Paid Day #2 for Licensed Staff
6/22 Asbestos abatement begins
6/22 EWEB power disconnect
7/5 Demolition of east wing beings
7/11 Demolition of west wing beings
7/27 Allan reports back to work & will start passing out ID badges

• Classified Extended Contract for Packing – Most every classified staff member is being given an additional 16 hours of extended contract to help pack. Please let me know soon if you are not planning to use this time, because we are allowed to shift this time to other classified staff members who would like the additional hours and I know in the end we’re going to have more to pack than we think.

And to clarify how the 16 hours will work, Thursday the 16th is the last regular day for classified staff across the district, but Howard classified staff get 16 hours worth of extended contract they can work. Monday the 20th would be classified staffs’ last day if they worked 8 hours on Friday, June 17th and Monday, June 20th, though you could actually spread your 16 hours over any time after the 16th that’s outside of your regular work hours.

• Surplus Furniture Giveaway, Saturday & Sunday – This Saturday and Sunday from 9:00-3:00, 4J public & charter schools, and non-profits will come to Howard to see if there is furniture they want that 4J does not take on Friday. See the linked email for details, but a 4J person (along with Lori, Crystal, and Mike) will be walking around with whoever shows up. It is Facilities hope that Friday after movers have taken the excess, the team who is working the weekend will be able to move stuff out of the classroom and into the hallway. They realize there may be staff working and we will be respectful of them and their space. If you are leaving personal furniture your in your classrooms or in other spaces over the weekend that you want to keep, be sure to mark it clearly (i.e. PERSONAL or DO NOT REMOVE) so it does not end up as part of the giveaway.

• COWs and Tech Boxes – All COWs should be delivered to the library. Leave your SMART Board cables plugged into your board and you pens & erasers in the trays. All other technology you are not checking out for the summer (i.e. document cameras, iPods, unmounted projectors, cleaning kits, etc.) should be boxed up as in the past, and also be delivered to the library. One change this year is to tape your boxes shut and also attach packing labels.

• Unpacking Date – My report back date is Wednesday, July 27th, so unless I’m told otherwise I’ll plan to start passing out ID badges on this date for any staff wanting to come into the building to unpack. Badges will let you into the building anytime you want and hopefully I’ll have keys to pass out as well. I’ll likely be in and out of the building when I return to work, so send me a text or email when you’d like to come by to get your badge.

• Northwest Natural Gas removal, June 17th – NW Natural gas is removing their equipment and disconnecting their main line from the old building on Friday, June 17th, meaning there will be no heat or hot water after this is disconnected. NW Natural equipment will be stationed at the entry point for the east parking lot, but staff at that end should still be able to park in part of the lot or in the grass by the classroom patio areas.

• Quad Power Outage, Friday, June 17th – Power to the quad is going to be cut on June 17th, but temporary lighting will be put in place the evening before. This is due to what I shared earlier about construction workers starting to demolish the playground area (asphalt and playground) on the 17th, the day after students leave. In order to access the playground area, they are going to remove the roof area that connects the main building and the quad, so construction vehicles can drive out there.

• EWEB Power Disconnect, June 22nd – All staff are supposed to be out of the building by this date, but on Wednesday, June 22nd, EWEB electrical services for the existing Howard building will be disconnected. This disconnect entails removal of the meters on each of the buildings above along with the transformer and power pole nearest to the main building entrance. EWEB will have some large trucks in there in order to remove the transformer and pole.

• Flag Location in New Building Classrooms – If any of you have strong feelings where flag holders should be installed in classrooms in the new building, join me in the front office of the new building on Tuesday at 2:30. I’ll be tagging where flags holders should be installed in classroom this day if any of would like to join and have some say.

• Writing on Old Building Walls – A few teachers have asked if kids can decorate, paint, or write on their walls. I’ve said this is okay, but there’s a fine line between decorating and vandalism. If you do this with you students, do not let things veer into making a mess or seeming like they’re getting to wreck stuff. Keep it positive, productive, and structured.

• Staff Room Fridge – The Staff Room refrigerator will be emptied of all contents the morning of Monday, June 20th. If you have any food, drinks, condiments or otherwise, please take them home by this Friday. Anything left will be thrown out.

• Library Rolling Shelves – Julie has two extra of her new library rolling shelves in the new building that she is not planning on using next year if any classrooms are interested in borrowing them. If you would like them, or would like to use them in place of the current mobile classroom storage, let me know by Wednesday and I’ll draw the lucky winners’ names out of a hat. But remember, these are still officially library furniture, so we do reserve the right to take them back in the future if needed.

• Laptop and iPad Storage Update – The Technology Department is pushing back on our plan to charge and secure laptops and iPads in our new locking cabinets instead of in COWs. Members of the TLT met with Tech Department folks last week and got them to agree to let us pilot two classrooms at the start of the year, one with laptops (in Jenny’s room) and one with iPads (in Angela’s room), and if it’s working, they’ll let us proceed with the plan for the rest of the staff who’d like to have this set-up in their classroom. This does mean most classes will start the year with your current COW in your classroom, though you’ll no longer be required to move your COW to a secure area at the end of the day and will only be required to make sure it’s locked.

• Heavy Lifting Safety Reminder – Risk Management sent a friendly reminder to all principals to share and it’s especially pertinent to us, saying they want staff and students to enter summer free of workplace related injuries and that as staff pack-up for the year, take care by lifting in the Safety Zone.

• Demolition Notification to Neighbors – The homes adjacent to Howard and Kelly received the linked notice on Friday for the demolition of the existing Howard school. Our project manager also passed out notices to River Road Parks and Rec, Head Start and Kelly. Head start has been aware of the summer disruptions and is not planning to be occupy their building during the summer. This notice is a requirement in order to obtain a demo permit from the City of Eugene and was reviewed by their staff prior to being handed out. Facilities asked that we don’t share the demolition dates too widely because so the contractor can focus their efforts and less on lookie loos during the demo. However, I may share the demo date on Facebook once we get closer. It’s not too often you get to see your school torn down.

• New Playground Markings – Linked here is a map of the markings and layout of the new playground blacktop area. Everyone will be glad to know that in a addition to tetherball, three basketball hoops, a wallball wall, hopscotch areas, and a funnel ball hoop, there are three areas for Four Square, so we can continue to use our favorite game to help student learn cooperation and sportsmanship. :)

• New Building Photoshoot – These aren’t the finished version of the photos, but linked here are two sets (set one and set two) of some of the photos taken of students from Shelly, Erin & Sarah, Carla, Lupe and Suzy’s classrooms over in the new building earlier this spring.

Moving in a Week

Don’t let this be you.

• Perfect Attendance Awards – Not posted here, but attached in my email is a list of student who’ve had perfect attendance this year. Let me know if you’d like me to come to your class sometime this week to present a perfect attendance award to your very healthy students or if you’d just like the award to present yourself. If teachers don’t see your name on this list, that means there wasn’t anyone from your class.

• Care Team Summer Resources – The DHS Community Resource Coordinator who works with our Student Care Team shared a few good resources staff can pass along to families as you see fit. One is the a schedule of meal site locations available over the summer, in both Spanish and English, and also another one sheet of Food for Lane County sites throughout Lane County. The other is a short list of 2016 Summer Resources for Families, ranging from 211 to Summer Reading Spots to Willamalane Parks and Rec District events. And a resource shared earlier that’s worth repeating is the Direction Services 2016 Summer Directory, which lists camps, diagnostic and treatment services, education services, employment programs, recreation, respite care and support, and website resources for families.

• Year End Checklist – A repeat from last week, linked here is the 2015-2017 Year End Checklist for Closing. A number of folks have already signed up for times to checkout with me on Thursday, Friday, next Monday or Tuesday. Tuesday next week is the last day any of us can be in the old building.

• Staff Technology Summer Checkout UPDATED – Related to the above item, if you are taking home any of your technology (laptop or iPad) over the summer, you may have seen the email from Ketterer that Risk Management now has an online summer checkout form they want people to complete instead of the paper forms. If you’ve already done a paper form, Peggy took care of entering it for you, but everyone else should now use the online form instead.

• 5th Grade Clap Out – Another repeat item. The clap out for 5th graders on their last day of school will run the same as in the past, but due to all the boxes in the hallway and also our growing enrollment, we are going to change the location from the east wing hallway to the grassy area in front of the east wing. Linked here is a map and directions. The map tells where classes should stand for 5th graders final exit from the hallowed halls of Howard, where staff and students can applaud and wish them well on their way to middle school. Here are the details:

• Wednesday, June 15th, classes begin lining up in front of the east wing at 1:50.
• At 2:00, 5th graders will begin their final walk exiting the building by the Room 18 exit.
• Students should clap and cheer appropriately as the 5th graders walk past.
• Staff members not assigned to students are invited to join in the “clap out” and give a final farewell.
• Once the 5th graders have made their way to the end of the clap out line, the remaining students can be dismissed.

If the weather turns bad, we’ll plan to cram ourselves inside the east hallway and breezeway, but that will only be if it’s raining pretty hard. We can have kids clapping if it’s only drizzling. My favorite phrase to tell kids who whine about being outside if it’s sprinkling is, “You’re not going to melt.”


• “Grab & Go” Sack Lunch Schedule, 6/16 – For lunches on the last day of school on Thursday, students will enter the cafeteria through the doors closest to the office. They will put together their own sack lunch, assembly line style. As students pass through the line, they should form a new line at the doors exiting to the breezeway. Once all the students have gotten their lunches, the class can leave the cafeteria. This process should takes about 5-8 minutes.

10:10 1st grade
10:25 2nd grade
10:35 3rd grade
10:45 4th grade

If staff not supervising students are available to help during this time, that would be terrific!

• Paid Research Study and Professional Development Opportunity for anyone working with Students – The UO is recruiting educational professionals for a research project being conducted by the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training at the University of Oregon. The purpose of the study is to pilot test a web-based training program called In the Classroom. In the Classroom was designed to help educators who are working with, or may work with, students that have had a brain injury. This is how the study works. Educators will come into their office at CBIRT [or another private location] and take part in two, three hour group sessions. Everyone will take an online survey, review the online training program on an internet connected device, then take another online survey (post-test). Each educator who participates will be mailed a check for $100 after the second session. Participants will also have the opportunity to earn professional development units. See the linked flyer and feel free to contact Jody Slocumb at the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training University of Oregon (541-346-0567 or slocumbj@cbirt.org) if you have any questions would like to join.

• 4J Wellness Policy Reminder – Superintendent Cabinet met this last week and it was decided that principals were to remind staff of the 4J wellness guidelines. The hope is that it will help guide the decisions made on snacks selected for classroom extravaganzas as the year ends. The short version of the wellness policy is that the only forbidden item is soda, but there are a number of other unhealthy treats that are “strongly discouraged.” See the linked Healthy Parties Guidelines for details.

• Microsoft to offer free version of Minecraft to schools Minecraft – Microsoft announced today that schools will be able to download a free education version of its popular Minecraft software. Microsoft is seeking a greater share of the education market. See this article if you want to learn about Minecraft this summer.

• Take your shoes off! Barefoot kids do better at school – It might be smelly, but you have my permission to follow the advice of this article Suzanna shared with me about how students who were allowed to take off their shoes in class performed better academically, were quieter, and were better behaved. :)

• 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:

June 13 (M)
9:00, 4th Grade New Building Rules Round-Up (New Building)
11:00-12:00, Allan to Preschool Planning Meeting (Ed Center)
1:00, Tail Feather Reward (Playground)

June 14 (T)
Last Day for Music and PE
9:00, K-1 New Building Rules Round-Up (New Building)
9:15-1:00, 3/4/5 to SPLASH
10:40, June Fire Drill
11:30-1:00, KG End-of-Year Celebration
2:30-3:00, Flag Location Meeting (New Building Lobby)
6:00, Emerald Park Public Hearing on Future of Skate Park (Emerald Park)

June 15 (W)
Last Day for KG and 5th Grade
All Student Body Fund Requests Due
10:00, 2-3 New Building Rules Round-Up (New Building)
12:00, 5th Grade Graduation (Gym)
12:50, Clap Out for 5th Grade (East Wing Lawn)

June 16 (H)
SMART Boards and projectors removed
Last Day of School – 11:05 Dismissal
Last Day for 192-Day Classified Employees (4J Date. Does not include extended contract days)
“Grab & Go” Sack Lunches (see times below)
11:05 Dismissal
11:30, Staff Last Day of School Ice Cream & Salad Potluck Celebration (Cafeteria)
4:00, Aden’s Going Away Party (2311 Lillian St.)

“Grab & Go” Sack Lunch Schedule
10:10 1st grade
10:25 2nd grade
10:35 3rd grade
10:45 4th grade

June 17 (F)
Additional Paid Day #1 for Designated Classified Staff
Last Day for Licensed Staff (4J Date)
All cum folder due
Movers taking excess furniture to district storage
Natural gas removal in east parking lot
Demolition of Playground and Quad/Main Building Overhang Begins
4:00, Allan to Admin End of Year Gathering

June 18 (SA)
9:00-3:00, Surplus Furniture Giveaway

June 19 (SU)
9:00-3:00, Surplus Furniture Giveaway

June 20 (M)
Additional Paid Day #2 for Designated Classified Staff
Additional Paid Day #1 for Licensed Staff
Movers begin moving boxes
Leftover furniture recycled
10:00-11:00, Allan Touring South Lane SD Sup. & Asst. Sup. (Ann’s husband)

June 21 (T)
Additional Paid Day #2 for Licensed Staff
Last day staff allowed in old building

June 22 (W)
Everything Out of East Wing – Asbestos Abatement Begins
EWEB power disconnect
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting

June 24 (F)
Everything Out of West Wing – Asbestos Abatement Begins

July 5 (T)
Demolition of East Wing Begins

July 11 (M)
Demolition of West Wing Begins

July 27 (W)
Allan reports back to work & staff can begin moving in

August 26 (F)
Additional Paid Day #1 for Licensed Staff

August 29 (M)
Additional Paid Day #1 for Designated Classified Staff
Additional Paid Day #2 for Licensed Staff

August 30 (T)
Teachers Report for Duty (4J Report Date)
Additional Paid Day #2 for Designated Classified Staff

August 31 (W)
Classified Staff Report for Duty (4J Report Date)

Have a great summer, everyone! You’ve more than earned it!

Now see below for this year’s staff summer book picks.




Staff Summer Book Picks!



Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography by Ian Carr

Miles by Miles Davis


My picks are mostly historical fiction since I love exploring other times, places, cultures/subcultures, and the navigation between and amalgamation of different cultures:

Cane River by Lalita Tademy (all 500+ pages to help get me thro’ an eleven-hour layover in LA ) Forgot to say that Cane River is based on the true story of four generations of African-American women, beginning in slavery and ending in freedom.

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks [more fiction than fact about the first Native American (Wampanoag), Caleb Cheeshawteaumauk, to graduate from Harvard in the 1600’s, so named for his crossing from one very different culture to another]

Belle, the Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne (the true story behind the movie–also interesting to read about that era and see the movie Amazing Grace, a biographical drama about William Wilberforce and the campaign to end the slave trade in the British Empire)



Debbie D.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown




East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Log of the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck


The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wold
The Life of Alexander Von Humbolt, the father of environmental conservation. Best non-fiction in years.



OBOB 2017 books,  as always

The Lake House by Marci Nault

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics & The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein

Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala

Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue

Velocity by Dean Koontz ( I haven’t read one of his books in long time)


Linda K.

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah


Linda L.


The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Vicki Lansky’s Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Your Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath by Vicki Lansky
I have several children dealing with divorce and found it helpful!

Special Education: What It Is and Why We Need It by James M. Kauffman and Daniel P. Hallahan




Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany by Hans J. Massaquoi

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes



Find Your Extraordinary: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms by Jessica DiLullo Herrin



3rd grade Investigations Teacher’s Guide – Unit 1

3rd grade Journeys Teacher’s Edition Volume 1

Practice with Purpose: Literacy Work Stations for Grades 3-6 by Debbie Diller



Circling the Sun by Paula McClain
This book is by the author of The Paris Wife (another great book)! I happened to read it in South Africa last summer, which was fitting since the majority of the book takes place in Africa (colonial Kenya). It’s based on the real life of Beryl Markham. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west, but she was also a horse trainer. It also has tie ins to “Out of Africa” since Beryl is friends with the woman who wrote it.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
The story follows two brothers from 1960’s Calcutta to present day in Rhode Island. I love how Jhumpa Lahiri writes. If you haven’t read one of her books, I highly recommend this one. It is a sad, yet touching story that had me engaged the entire time.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Another sad, but must read book. Have some tissues handy when you read his wife’s epilogue.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I’m not one to read a post-apocalyptic novel, but this one still has me thinking about it even though I finished it 6 months ago. A great read!

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
This book I couldn’t put down until I finished it! It was probably my favorite book that I read last year (and my husband’s too). If you like fast-paced thrillers, this one is for you. It follows Pilgrim on an international man-hunt to find his “counter-part” who was born in Saudi Arabia, a man nicknamed Saracen. I’m sure this will be a movie some day soon…



Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
Dystopian future with an unusual take on the zombie apocalypse. A number of friends really liked this book, and I’m a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic. A film version is due out later this year.

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) by George R. R. Martin
I’ve been reading one book from this series each summer and am now on book three, so I can keep watching the HBO series. I loved the first book and liked the second book, though I wasn’t liking the increasing fantasy elements (i.e. dragons, magic, etc.) and liked it better when it was closer to reality.

Z-Burbia by Jake Bible
A North Eugene High School Graduate who I went to school with wrote this series (along with other series about giant killer sharks, kaiju, and giant robots). This series is now up to book eight. He’s also written some young adult horror novels too.

Savage Season by Joe R. Lansdale
Landsdale’s “Mojo Storytelling” isn’t for all tastes, but I love his oddball genre pieces, ranging from horror, to mystery, to comedy, to thrillers, to westerns, to strange mash-ups of any of these. His books are gleefully pulpy, but some of his stories, like “Night They Missed the Horror Show,” I think border on literature. But if you were to read Lansdale, be warned. Even some of my friends find him too much to take. However, “Savage Season” is one of his more mainstream pieces and was actually made into a TV series recently (by low budget horror filmmaker Jim Mickle, who I think is quite underrated), so I figured it was time to start this series of books.

The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala by Kevin Costner, Jon Baird, and Rick Ross
Supposed to be a fun throwback to old style Rudyard Kipling adventure stories that’s uniquely part novel and part graphic novel.

The Martian by Andy Weir
Story about an astronaut marooned on a distant planet and forced to survive on his own. The book has a big science geek following because the science behind how the astronaut survives is all based on real science and not science fiction.



Whatever is the latest popular tween supernatural romance.