April 3, 2017

By Allan  


Welcome Back, Roadrunners!

I hope you all took time for yourselves over the break and had time to recharge for the last part of the school year! Always remember to take good care of yourself so you’ll be in a good place to take care of others. “You can’t pour from an empty cup” (yes, I read that on a meme).

Twenty items of note for this week:

• SSD Staffing Update – I’ve already let SPED staff know, but we received our SPED staffing from SSD for licensed and for most classified staff. Bryan, Katie, Linda, and Rae will all be returning to their same positions and hours next year. For classified staff, we received allocations and job assignments for everyone except for one-on-one EAs, but all non-one-on-one SPED EAs will also be returning next year to their same positions and hours.

• Night Custodian Update – The Friday before the break we officially hired our new 10-month night custodian, Nigel Cottrell, who will start this week, but will be in and out with some required Facilities trainings. Nigel has been working as a custodial substitute and is also going to school right now to become a speech-language pathologist. Please welcome Nigel to the Howard Team!

• Job Expo Updates – Howard will have three positions going to the Job Expo next week, so please tell me if you know of awesome teachers who want to come to Howard. One position is a Carla’s 3rd grade job, now that she’ll be moving into ESC and job-sharing with Amber. We also have a half-time facilitating teacher position that we’re adding for next year. It will likely be to support 4th or 1st grade, but that could change. Lastly, and sadly, Kealy is taking a leave next year, so we’ll also have a vacancy at kindergarten and will be looking for someone to join Robin and Shelly. Please feel free to talk to any teacher friends and colleagues of yours and tell them that Howard is an awesome place to work!

• Erin’s Law Child Abuse Prevention Teaching Requirement – 4J is continuing to get into compliance with state and federal laws and one is the child abuse prevention law, Erin’s Law. Linked here is an Erin’s Law Info Sheet that we’ll be sending home soon to families. This requires that all classroom teachers annually teach students child abuse prevention strategies, including this school year. In the future, we should plan to add this to our annual Safety Week. The goals at the elementary level are to teach students:

• How to judge between safe and unsafe touch
• How to protect themselves
• Who to go to for help

To meet this teaching requirement, all classrooms teachers should should teach their grade level’s Michigan Model Health lesson on this topic. If you don’t have the Michigan Model curriculum, which is very likely between our recent move and our recent growth the past few years, linked here are the lessons for Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, and 5th Grade. These lessons do require a video from the curriculum, so if no one at your grade level has the DVD to share, let me know and I can get one for you from downtown. Let me know if you have any questions on this.

• PTO Updates – Here’s the latest from the March PTO Meeting:

• Penny War Results – You probably already heard that Jessy’s class won for the most point and Kreider/Shadwick’s class won for the most pennies. The fundraiser as a whole brought in about $1,449! If you’re interested, linked here are the classroom totals.

• Artist in Residence – Thanks for grants secured through LaneArts and $1,000 from PTO, we’re again able to provide local professional artists to work with Howard students. I’m working the the Blues in the Schools folks now on dates and a schedule.

• DreamBox Funding – The PTO said they can fund the $1,200 needed to license DreamBox for the rest of the school year once our two-month free demo is up. However, the funds would come out of next year’s PTO Teacher Funds, meaning instead of $17 per student, it would likely be around $14-15 per student for classrooms and specialists. We’ll plan to discuss this at a future staff meeting, although there is a possibility PTO will raise more funds than they are projecting, which is what’s happened for all of our fundraisers so far this year.

• 17/18 Staffing Shared – As an FYI, I shared the licensed staffing plan at the PTO meeting, so it’s officially public knowledge who will be teaching what next year. I’ll plan to put this in the school newsletter once vacancies get filled at the Job Expo.

• Tech Trot April 26th – Our Tech Trot fundraiser to support building technology (subscriptions, hardware, software, etc.) is April 26th. The collection envelopes and instructions will go home two weeks before the event. Free shirts will be available to all students, and if you’d like to have some say in what color of shirt is selected, classes can vote between LIME, RED, ORANGE SHERBET, ASH, or LIGHT PINK. Staff can also cast your vote on the PTO Facebook Poll. Go red!

• Ems Emazing Readers Incentive Kick-Off Assembly, 4/13 – Not this week, but Thursday next week is the kickoff for the Eugene Emeralds’ Reading Incentive program. The program will run the same as last year, which is classroom teachers set a reading goal for students and if students meet that goal they get two free tickets to attend an Ems baseball game this summer. For the assembly, the 3-5 assembly will be 9:00-9:25 and the K-2 assembly will be 10:00-10:25, where Sluggo will motivate kids to meet their reading goals (or at least get them wound up). See the linked assembly map and directions for details.

• Playground Rules: No Balls/Toys From Home – We’ve stated to see balls, hacky sacks, and other items from home make their way out to recesses. Please remind students that balls, games, and toys need to stay home and are definitely not be taken out onto the playground, which too often leads to problems when they get lost, stolen, damaged, or end up on the roof.

• March PBIS Focus: Safe Bodies – The March PBIS monthly focus is Safe Bodies. The PBIS team created a PBIS/CFK Cheat Sheet that matches our PBIS monthly themes with corresponding Caring for Kids (CFK) class meeting lessons. This is an easy way to tie the two activities together.

• White Water Fix Coming – An update on the classroom faucets causing “white water.” Replacement faucet parts are coming that are standard aerator style flow restrictors. Later this summer when Facilities Department staff replace these in the classrooms, the water will show air in the stream, but will clear immediately in a glass. The existing stream was clear flow, but had very fine air entrained bubbles when in a glass. There are no water quality issues, but this will fix the visual issue. I think we we got Facilities to fix this in part because the manufacturer offered to chip in on the cost.

• Monday, April 3rd PD Info – A quick repeat of previously shared information. All licensed staff who teach math (gen ed, Title, SPED) are required to attend the LearnZillion math training. All classified staff who teacher and/or support math instruction should also attend. K-2 will meet at Holt and 3-5 will meet at Howard from 8:00-12:00. See the linked Math PD Flyer for details.

• Instructional Minutes & Start/End Times Update – I mentioned in prior announcements that as a result of downtown discovering that elementary schools were not meeting required instructional minutes, there was talk of aligning recess, lunch, and start & end times across the district. Discussion on this is not over, but there will be no changes to Howard or other schools’ start and end times for this coming school year. This means we can plan on classes the same start and end times here at Howard for next year.

• School Choice Changes Next Year – The application window for school choice will change next year to just the month of January. This means we’ll have only one month of school choice tours instead of two, so fewer interruptions, and also more solid of school choice numbers before staffing allocations given out. Out-of-district applications would still be the same because those dates are part of the state laws governing inter-district transfers.

• District Admin Updates – Longtime Kennedy Middle School principal Charlie Smith is retiring at the end of this school year, as is Kennedy assistant principal Mark Bennett. Stepping into the Kennedy principal role will be Morgan Christensen. Morgan taught at Roosevelt Middle School and is currently assistant principal at Churchill High School. Casandra Kamens, current North Eugene High School principal, will move to Churchill to fill Morgan’s position. This leaves vacancies for a principal at North and assistant principal positions at Kennedy and ATA.

• First Friday Communities of Color Networking Event – Jill reminded me about the First Friday CCN Event that happens the first Friday of each month. The next one is April 7th, 5:30-7:00 at the Lane ESD. CCN is a safe space to relax, network, catch up, and meet new people of color and allies. All are welcome! See the linked flyer for details.

• Levi Strauss Community Day – Levi’s Strauss reached out to us about their 17th Annual Community Day on Thursday, May 4th. Their employees are looking for volunteer opportunities in the community this day, so if you could use a volunteer or volunteers this day, let me know before Tuesday.

• Eugene 4J 6K AVID Strides for Education Run/Walk – The 1st Annual Eugene 4J 6K Strides for Education run/walk to celebrate AVID and fundraise for the program will be on April 9th. This will be a professionally managed 6 kilometer run/walk on the bike path along the banks of the Willamette River. The proceeds will support having college tutors at our school, sending students on college visit field trips, and more. Online registration ($20 for adults; $10 for 4J students) is now available at the above link.

Many 4J middle and high schools are AVID sites (it’s being piloted at the elementary level this year at Awbrey Park and Spring Creek), a college and career readiness system that stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination.” Hundreds of 4J teachers have been trained to utilize AVID strategies to improve instructional practice. You can learn more about AVID at avid.org

• 15 Resources on Sparking Student Creativity – Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Here is a curated list of resources just released on ASCD myTeachSource that offer different ways to promote student creativity using practical applications and classroom assessments.

• Integrating Literacy into STEAM Lessons – Although written by a middle school teacher, much of this article still applies at the elementary level. Both Common Core and NGSS emphasize the importance of speaking, listening and communicating about mathematical and scientific concepts. Integrating literacy tools into STEAM subjects does more than help students and teachers fulfill objectives. Better literacy helps students identify and more thoroughly understand key concepts.

• Growth Mindset Is Not Enough – The author of this Edutopia article asserts that to help students face life’s challenges, teachers should seek to help them develop a broad set of skills.

• 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 3 (M)
No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
PBIS Monthly Theme – Encouragement
8:00-12:00, District Math PD (K-2 Holt, 3-5 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)
12:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Office)

April 7 (F)
9:00, March Book Winners (Conference Rooms)

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

April 10 (M)
Regular Day

April 11 (T)
Lori Possibly Out for Jury Duty
8:00-1:00, LCC Dental Clinic with Robin Wellwood
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, B203)

April 12 (W)
Wacky Wednesday – Mismatch Day
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
ODE Family Survey’s Due
1:30, Allan to Review Diastat Training
2:30-3:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, A101)
6:00-7:00, Howard Kindergarten Round-Up (Library)

April 13 (H)
9:00-9:30, 3-5 Ems Emazing Reading Assembly (Gym)
10:00-10:30, K-2 Ems Emazing Reading Assembly (Gym)
4:00-6:00, Allan to Elem. Job Expo (Ed Center)

April 14 (F)
2:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

And to get you all in the mood to return to work, below are some pictures from the PBIS Tail Feather Reward Assembly that show Howard staff know how to have fun!

See you soon!



And we almost got to see a RipStik Riding Roadrunner at the assembly, but we’ll have to figure out this giant mascot costume head first.