March 20, 2017

By Allan  


Howdy Everyone,

Just five days until spring break and thirteen items of note:

• Howard OBOB Results – Cash and the Bees represented Howard well this past Saturday at the Regional Oregon Battle of the Books competition at North Eugene High School. Our team won one game and lost the other in the “Pool Play” round, where it’s your total number of points playing round robin against two other teams that advances you to the next round. Great job, kids, and great job, Ms. Hopkins, coaching our team this year! We appreciate all your work!

• Spring Break Journeys Inventory/Barcoding (leave items out) – Over spring break, downtown is going to inventory and barcode all of our non-consumable Journeys materials (teachers guides, student books, big books, leveled readers, etc.) in classrooms and SPED & Title 1 Rooms. If you have any materials locked in your cabinets, be sure to leave them open over the break. If students have the student textbooks in their desks, have them leave them on top of their desks over the break. Generally speaking, make sure all of your non-consumable Journeys items are easily accessible and out in the open.

• Tail Feather Reward – Human Hungry Hungry Hippos – If classrooms have earned enough tail feathers, this Thursday at 1:00 in the gym will be the Howard version of Human Hungry Hungry Hippos! Each class should pick up to three students (1 hippo and 2 pushers). The hippos will ride on their stomach on a scooter with a laundry basket in hand to scoop up balloons. The fourth corner spot will be filled by two grown ups from that grade level or support staff. We’ll play until all the balloons have been scooped up and removed, then it’s the next group’s turn. Below is a video from the last time we tried this craziness a couple years ago.


• April 3rd PD Day Info – Two items regarding the April 3rd Math PD Day:

• EAs Who Teach/Support Math to PD – All EAs who teach and/or support math instruction (SPED, Title, Gen Ed) should attend either the K-2 (Holt) or 3-5 (Howard) math training this day to become familiar with LearnZillion. See the above linked flyer for details. An EA Extravaganza was originally planned for this day, but I haven’t heard anything regarding it, so I don’t know if it is happening or not. It was planned before all of the snow days and when the math PD was originally going to be science PD. If no emails come from downtown this week, my guess is that the EA Extravaganza is not happening.

• Howard Use PD Day – Howard will be hosting the grade 3-5 training this day and the current plan is to start with everyone in the cafeteria and then move to six classroom for the breakout sessions in the 3rd and 4th grade wings. Check-in begins at 8:00 and I’m guessing parking is going to be ugly, so come early if you want to find a spot.

• PTO Meeting Tuesday at 6:00 – The March PTO meeting is this Tuesday at 6:00. It’s always great to have staff members attend these meetings and we’ve had a very good turnout the past few meetings, so please think about attending this month if you’re able and willing. I know the parents appreciate it!

• Additional Classroom Needed for 2017-2018 – With us adding a half-time facilitating teacher next year, we’re going to need a new classroom for this teacher (who’ll likely get hired at the Job Expo, so feel free to recruit any good teachers you know). I’m waiting to see which grade level has the highest need and/or largest class sizes for this teacher to support, but it currently looks like it would be either 1st or 4th grade getting extra support. We have a number of options (consolidate BEST/YMCA, eliminate the STEAM room, move ELL into YMCA or BEST since they’re empty during the day, consolidate Title 1 classrooms), but please let me know if you have other ideas and also let me know which options sound better and/or which ones sound terrible. On a related note, EEP will be moving out of the kindergarten wing at the end of the year and Alicia Longoria will be moving into that classroom in her role as district Family Resource Coordinator. Alicia has worked at Howard in the past, so we’re very excited to have her back, and although she’ll be working in a district capacity, it’ll be great to have her in the building as an additional resource for Howard families to easily access.

• Earthquake/Fire Drill Monday at 1:10 – As of writing this, there’s only a chance of light showers, so at 1:10 this Monday we’ll plan for our second and final earthquake drill of the year, followed by our monthly fire drill.

• Supporting Undocumented Students Follow-Up – For anyone who was unable to attend last Wednesday’s all-staff training on supporting undocumented students due to the meeting falling outside of your regular work hours, please review the following linked information that was shared at the meeting. Linked here is the 4J School Board Resolution, which describes the school district’s beliefs and actions regarding this topic, a FAQ for Staff on Supporting Undocumented Students, and the PowerPoint (PDF) from the meeting. In addition to what I shared at the meeting, linked here is a guide for Responding to Hate and Bias in Schools and also a fact sheet on Limitations on DHS Immigration Enforcement Actions at Sensitive Locations (i.e. schools, hospitals, churches, etc.). I also recently received a document Eugene Area Immigration Attorney Referral Sheet and a flyer for a new community group, VITALS (Valley Immigration Training, Advocacy & Legal Serivces).

• Draft PBIS Forms – I shared in prior announcements that a districtwide committee led by Brianna Stiller is working creating common referral forms (Level IIs and IIIs) across the district and they have also drafted some useful guidelines for what constitutes minor and major behavior referral. This is still in draft from, so it’s not the final word on this topic, but I do like how they separated out behaviors and I thought it was worth sharing. For example, minor defiance/non-compliance is described as “student engages in brief or low-intensity failure to respond to adult request” versus major defiance/non-compliance, described as “Student refused to follow directions after repeated reasonabLe requests AND talks back or engages in behaviors that escalate the situation. Behaviors could include yelling, throwing things, leaving the room without permission, and/or threatening to or harming objects or people.” Read on for more examples.

• Language Link Translation Services – Downtown asked principals to share with staff that many of the translation requests the ELL office receives could easily be managed through the Language Link telephone translation service. It is very easy to use, especially when time is of the essence. See the linked Language Link Directions for how to access this service. I’ve used it a couple times and it’s worked well. I’ll plan to make copies of this to put in teacher mailboxes so you can post a copy by your phone so it’s handy when you need it.

How to Use the “Language Link” phone service

Step 1: Call 1 877-764-7999

Step 2: Enter Account Number 16206, followed by # sign

Step 3: Select 1 to be connected directly to a Spanish interpreter

Step 4: “Approval Code”-­‐Enter your school or department’s 3 digit “cost center” code followed by 1 or 2 (1-Parent phone call & 2-Parent conferences)

• Dept. of Ed Budget Proposal – If folks are curious what federal funding for education looks like for the future, here’s a Washington Post article from last week regarding President Trump’s budget proposal to congress for the Department of Education. The budget proposes significant cuts to many different grants and programs (including after school program, which partially funds BEST, and also subsidized student meals), although the budget does propose a $1 billion dollar increase to Title 1. See the above link for more details what is being proposed at this point.

• Is sitting too much harming students? – Here’s a reason teachers should be using GoNoodle and building in movement breaks for students throughout the day. Sitting for long periods of time in the classroom may be restricting students’ movement and play, and this could have harmful effects, asserts Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist. In this blog post, she writes that “children need to move much more than we realize.”

• 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:

March 20 (M)
1:10, Earthquake/Fire Drill
2:20-5:00, BEST Field Trip (1-2 BRING, 3-5 Little Hands Can)
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

March 21 (T)
7:50-11:45, Data Team Meeting (Conference Room)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:10-2:30, Allan Meeting with Parent (Office)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, B203)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

March 22 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
6:00-7:00, Howard Kindergarten Round-Up (Library)

March 23 (H)
9:30, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Office)
1:00-1:35, Tail Feather Reward
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, B204)
2:30-3:30, Allan to Eval Planning Meeting (Conference Room)

March 24 (F)
Bianca Out
6:20-7:20, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)
10:30-12:30, Birthday Lunches With the Principal (Community Room)

March 27-31
Spring Break – No School

April 3 (M)
No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
PBIS Monthly Theme – Encouragement
8:00-3:30, Elementary EA Extravaganza?
8:00-12:00, District Math PD (Howard)

April 4 (T)
Students Return
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

April 5 (W)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (YG/Corridor)

April 6 (H)
9:00-11:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

April 7 (F)
Regular Day

April 8 (SA)
10:00-2:00, PTO LulaRoe Multi-Consultant Pop Up

And if you want to start your week off right, Monday is Dairy Queen Free Cone Day! Get your first taste of summer on the first day of spring with one free small vanilla cone!