January 23, 2017

By Allan  

Hello Roadrunners,

Twelve items of note for this week:

• School Choice Visitation Week – We have a handful of tours scheduled for this week, so don’t be surprised if I bring families around and into classrooms this week. And it’s certainly not a have-to-do, but hanging up student work, art projects, and such always looks great to incoming families.

• PE/Music Semester End and Start Dates – Downtown shared the expectations for PE and Music specialists when they transition schools over the semester. Specialists will get Thursday, Feb. 2nd and Friday, Feb. 3rd off to pack and set up and will begin teaching on Monday, Feb. 6th. I’m checking into the possibility of getting a music sub for Thursday the 2nd so classroom teachers still get their prep. I’ll keep you posted.

• United Way Campaign – You should have received your pledge sheet in your mailboxes. The campaign this year runs through Friday, February 3rd. Completed pledge sheets can be put in my mailbox. Please consider donating a small amount this year. You can even donate directly to your own school, grade level, or classroom through EEF on the form, which is a good thing to do since the “Educator Expenses Tax Deduction” was eliminated a few years ago and donations through the United Way and EEF are still tax deductible. For more information on how United Way of Lane County is assisting in Eugene, please visit United Way website.

• PTO Updates – Linked here are the January PTO Meeting Minutes from last Tuesday’s meeting. Two highlights are:

• McTeacher Night, Feb. 16 – This year’s McTeacher Night will be February 16th if any staff are available to volunteer to serve, cook, and greet families for this greasy fundraiser. All proceeds will go towards more books for the library. If you haven’t seen it on the PTO Facebook Page, here’s a link to the official Howard Library Amazon Wish List. Feel free to share!

• Penny War, March 13-17 – The Penny War fundraiser will be March 13-17th. Proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards our artist in residence in the spring. Linked here are the Lane Arts 2016-2017 Arts Education Teaching Artist Roster.

• Copier Repair Updates – The office color copier is back up and working again, though I’m really just wishing it would finally give in and downtown would buy us a new one. In the meantime, remember there is also an upstairs copier if you’d like to avoid the lines in the main workroom.

• Report Card Grading Day, Classified & Licensed – 4J is again putting on the Elementary EA Extravaganza on the elementary report card grading day next week on Friday, February 3rd. SPED and Title 1 EAs were sent the linked email, but I wanted to make sure all EA who provide instruction got this information. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

For licensed staff, report card grading day is a regular work day. I haven’t heard of any policy changes around expectations for this day, so going with past practice, teachers are allowed to work from home if you notify your administrator (me) in advance, but be sure to make plans ahead of time if you need to collaborate with colleagues for grading. Also, be sure to use this time for grading and not use it to run errands around town. Teachers are highly visible members of the community, so keep in mind public perception. HR has said in the past if working off-site on grading days is abused, we will not be allowed to continue the practice.

Report Cards will go home Friday, February 17th. The deadline to give Bianca report cards to be translated is Friday, February 10th.

• Learning Targets Math Resources – Follow this link if you’d like a clean electronic version of the Achieve the Core Math Focus by Grade Level. If you want a direct link to your grade level, here they are broken out by grade: Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, and 5th Grade. Also remember there are quite a few resources broken out by grade level on the 4J Teacher Resources website (you’ll need to use VPN if you’re accessing it from home.

• School/District Report Cards & Info Sent Home – Information about state testing and our school & district report cards were sent to families recently. This is a state-mandated parent notification. Parents received the following: (1) Howard’s 2015–16 state report card (2) The district’s 2015–16 state report card (3) The state’s 2016–17 state testing notice and opt-out form. Linked here is the email. I just wanted staff to be in the know should any parents ask you about these.

• Help Diversify 4J’s Teaching Staff – HR sent an email earlier about the Pathways in Education Scholarship Opportunity, but there are scholarship funds available for adults interested in perusing a teaching career and are from under represented groups in our workforce. Follow the link to the Teacher Pathways webpage for details.

• Grant Writing/Approval Process – I know we have several regular grant writers on staff, so I wanted to remind folks of the district grant approval process for grants $5,000 or more located on the district Grants & Opportunities webpage. If you are applying for a grant of this size, please, look closely at this process before beginning any grant writing process.

• No-School Days Make Up: Stand By – Cydney Vandercar shared that Eugene School District 4J already has had an unprecedented number of no-school days due to an unusual amount of severe winter weather—6 full days plus one 2-hour delay so far—and winter is not over yet. We do expect to restore at least 3 school days in June. However, the district is looking at possible alternatives for recovering lost instruction time. All options for meeting state instructional time requirements will be considered in collaboration with the employee associations, including possibilities such as adjusting daily schedules or making up school days before the end of the year. When these decisions are made and an adjusted calendar is approved by the school board, you will be notified and the plan will be widely communicated to parents and the public.

• 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:

January 23 (M)
School Choice Visitation Week
2:30-3:30, Site Council (Conference Room)
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)
7:00-8:00, School Choice Informational Meeting (Ed Center)

January 24 (T)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, B203)
3:30-5:00, Allan or KG Rep to Kindergarten Task Force Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-6:00, EEA Google Classroom Seminar (Ashley’s Room, B205)
6:00-7:00, Howard School Choice Evening Presentation & Tour (Library)

January 25 (W)
8:30-12:30, Lions Club Health Vision & Dental Screening (Gym and Community Room)
2:30-3:30, Care Team Meeting (Conference Room)

January 26 (H)
9:00-11:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)
10:30-12:30, January Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Community Room)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, B204)
2:30-3:30, Allan to IEP Eligibility Meeting (Conference Room)
4;30-5:30, PERS Education Session (Ed Center)

January 27 (F)
8:00-4:00, Allan to LEL (Gilham)

January 30 (M)
7:50-11:45, Data Team Meetings (Conference Room)
2:30-3:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

January 31 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
7:00-8:00, School Choice Informational Meeting (Ed Center)

February 1 (W)
No Title 1 Wednesday
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

February 2 (H)
Science Kits Due Back
9:00-11:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

February 3 (F)
No School — Semester Grading Day
8:00-3:30, Elementary EA Extravaganza (Ed Center)

Sorry if there are more typos and errors in my announcements than normal, but I’m suffering from a bit of a man-cold this weekend. You can check with my wife if I was a baby about it or not.