2017-2018 Back to School Staff Announcements

By Allan  

Greetings Howard Roadrunners!

I hope you all are still enjoying your summer (though I’ve seen too many of you already coming in to do work!). I got most of July off and spent my time taking short trips around Oregon with my family, reading books (I focused mostly on end-of-the-world stories, which I’m sure says something dark about me), and watching movies (best new movie I saw was Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, the best old movie I rewatched was Steven Speilberg’s Jaws, and the best old movie I’d never seen before was Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr).

The start of this year thankfully won’t be as crazy as last year when we had to open a brand new building and had a massive influx of new students. I’ll keep my announcements brief and will will send out a longer one the weekend before staff report back, but in the meantime, feel free to let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do for folks.

See you all soon, but not too soon. Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Nine items of note:

• Staffing Updates – Last year I shared several new hires, but to refresh everyone’s memory, this year we are joined by Samantha Kee (School Psych), Nicole Kerins (1st), Michelle Lampe (PE), Rhonda Lawson (Facilitating, 1st), Ronny Mason (PE), Chelsea Norris (Title EA), Becky Robinson (3rd), and Katrina Sugar (KG). Samantha is new to 4J and someone who SSD said would click well with the Howard SPED Team. Nicole is joining the 1st grade team, taking Linda Kirk’s position since her retirement. Nicole has taught for the past 17 years mostly in primary grades at Central Linn and Creswell to as far away as Abu Dhabi. Rhonda is joining the 1st grade team from Twin Oaks, where she was the Title 1 Coordinator, and will be facilitating part of the day, which is a new position we’re adding this year. Over in the gym, we’ll have two new folks, with Michelle Lampe teaching PE full-time in the spring and Ronny Mason teaching 2.5 days a week in the fall. Michelle previously taught PE at Holt and Gilham and Ronny most recently taught PE at River Road and Holt. Chelsea is coming to us from Family School where she has been a Kindergarten EA the past few years and is going into a new Title 1 EA position we added this school year. Chelsea has also worked at Howard’s BEST Program in the past. Becky is joining the 3rd grade team, taking Carla’s place as Carla joins the Title 1 and 4th grade teams. Becky taught 4th grade at Gilham this past year and before that taught intermediate grades in New Jersey. Katrina is coming to the kinder team from Holt, where she taught kindergarten for the past 19 years (including teaching Robin Vaughan’s kids). Please welcome all of these fine new folks to the amazing Howard Team!

One welcome change that happened over the summer is that Katie Gates is now full-time at Howard, working half-time Learning Center and half-time Comprehensive Learning Center. This additional CLC time will come with additional CLC students, but since we’ve grown so much as a school over the past five years, we have the added capacity for more students (some of whom are already Howard students awaiting their CLC placements). We’ll also get an additional CLC EA that is in the process of being hired by SSD.

Over in special education, we have a couple folks who moved over the summer. Rebecca Schmidt in Life Skills is moving to the east coast and Cass Baker in the CLC is moving to Portland, so SSD is currently working to fill their positions. We’re also in the process of hiring for Debbie Miller’s replacement for her Title 1 EA position since her retirement. Interviews for that position will be Wednesday, August 23rd, 8:30-12:00 if any of you are interested in volunteering your time to join me and Corianne with interviews. Lastly, we’re still waiting to hear who will be our new BEST Coordinator and new School Psychologist.

Below is a list of the gen ed classroom teaching assignments and linked here is a complete 2017-2018 Staff List (with 84 staff members, hopefully I didn’t miss anyone).

PK: Gretchen Baxter
KG: Shelly Silver, Katina Sugar, Robin Vaughan
1st: Justine Chunn, Jessy Corliss, Nicole Karins
2nd: Angela Larsen, Ashley Pond, Mellissa Swift
3rd: Allison Kreider (on leave 1st semester)/Stephanie Peterson, Natalie Niccum, Becky Robinson
4th: Amber Frank/Carla Zimmerman, Erin Gaston, Jenny Groshong
5th: Lupe Callihan, Suzy Rock, Jill Torres


• In-Service Week Schedule – The calendar for the first two weeks of school is the final item below and future dates for the school year are on the Howard Staff Google Calendar, but below are the highlights for in-service week before students arrive.

August 29 (T) – Teachers report back and this is a protected planning day. I’ll have some breakfast goodies, coffee, and drinks in the Staff Room at 8:00 to welcome folks back and meet new folks.

August 30 (W) – Classified staff report back this day, and all staff will be attending a PD session on Trauma Informed Practices, co-led by former Howard teacher Kim Reinhardt. We’ll be joined by Awbrey Park and Madison staff and will meet from 8:00-10:00 in the cafeteria. I shared this last year, but here’s a link to a short video on why we need trauma sensitive schools. Following that PD, we’ll hold a short Howard Staff Meeting, 10:00-12:00, for some nuts-and-bolts items. Later in the day at 3:15, the Technology Department is offering an optional training/refresher on how to use the classroom AMX System (cord set-up, connecting laptops for video/sound, whiteboard interactivity, voice amplification, ENZO, etc.). Any staff unfamiliar with these systems should attend. The Tech Department wants to get an idea of how many people will be there, so let me know if you are planning to attend.

August 31 (H) – The district Back-to-School Event at South Eugene High School is this morning, 8:30-10:30. Following that, there will be multiple trainings for licensed and classified staff (primarily specialists) this day. Linked here is the Draft Back-to-School In-Service Schedule that was send out back in June. I’ll share an updated one once I get it.

September 1 (F) – All licensed classroom, Title 1, and SPED staff will attend the the all-day Math/LearnZillion Training, 8:00-3:00. Grades K-2 will meet at Holt and grades 3-5 will meet at Howard. All Classified SSD (SPED) staff will attend a training this same morning 8:00-12:00 led by Student Services Department staff. Location is TBA. Also, at 12:00 this day, class lists will be posted.

September 4 (M) – Labor Day, No School

September 5 (T) – I have a placeholder Staff Meeting from 8:00-10:00 scheduled this day if anything comes up that can’t wait for our first regular staff meeting. At 10:00, I’ve scheduled a Q&A Session for New Staff Members to meet with me in the office to answer any questions you might have. I can get busy durning in-service week and may not always be easy to find, so I’ve set this time aside to be available for new folks. Also, “Meet Your Teacher” will be from 1:00-2:00, when families can come see their classrooms, drop off supplies, and meet with staff.

• Breakfast Burrito Orders Due 8/27 – We’ll continue our welcome back breakfast burrito tradition. Wednesday, August 31st, from 7:30-8:00 will be our all-staff breakfast burrito gathering in the Staff Room before the Trauma Informed Practices training. If you’d like a burrito (which you can then parade in front of Awbrey Park and Madison staff to make them jealous), please complete linked Breakfast Burrito Order Google Form. At the training there will also be some bagels and other breakfast goodies if burritos aren’t your thing. EDIT: If you’re having trouble with the link, you must be logged onto your 4J Google Account.

• 2017-2018 Master Schedule – Linked here is the 2017-2018 Master Schedule (PDF and Excel). Normally I like to have this finished well before staff leave for the summer, but since principals were told to hold off on having staff discussions about schedules, that slowed down our usual process. Let me know if you have any questions regarding the schedule. Minor tweaks may be possible, but major overhauls are not so likely.

• Carpets are Clean! – Teachers are welcome to start working in your classrooms anytime. Crystal said custodial staff still need to do windows and some dusting, but classrooms are otherwise ready for business. If you don’t want to deal with the security system, Crystal is disarming the building at 6:00am each day and Auburn is securing the building at 5:00pm.

• Updated Room Numbers – There was overwhelming support for changing our confusing classroom room numbering system, so if you’re wondering what your new room number is, linked here is an Updated Classroom School Map. Lori is in the process of ordering new room number plates that we’ll stick on top of the old numbers.

• Title 1 EA Interview Committee – Mentioned above, Corianne and I will be conducting interviews for our Title 1 EA vacancy on Wednesday, August 23rd form 8:00-12:00 if any staff members are interested in volunteering your time to help with interviews.

• OEBB Mandatory Open Enrollment – You’ve likely gotten multiple cards and reminders in the mail, but OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2017 unless you enroll before the deadline on September 15th. See the 4J Employee Benefits webpage to enroll. With the Sept. 15th deadline, it might be wise to do it now before you get caught up in the start of the school year craziness.

• 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:

August 29 (T)
Teachers Return – Planning Day
8:00-8:30, Welcome Back Breakfast Goody Gathering

August 30 (W)
Classified Staff Return
7:30-8:00, Welcome Back Breakfast Burrito Gathering (Staff Room)
8:00-10:00, Howard/Awbrey Park/Madison Trauma Informed Practices PD (Cafeteria)
10:00-12:00, Howard Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)
3:15-3:45, Optional AMX Training/Refresher (TBA)

August 31 (H)
7:30-8:30, District Staff Back-to-School Breakfast & Social (SEHS Lawn)
8:30-10:30, District Staff Back-to-School Event & Speeches (SEHS)
10:30, Specialist Staff In-Services (Various Locations)

September 1 (F)
8:00-3:00, K-5 Math Professional Development (K-2 Holt, 3-5 Howard)
8:00-12:00, All Classified SSD (SPED) Staff Training (TBA)
12:00, Class Lists Posted

September 4 (M)
Labor Day – No School

September 5 (T)
8:00-10:00, Potential Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)
10:00, Q&A Session for New Staff – Optional (Conference Room)
1:00-2:00, Meet Your Teacher

September 6 (W)
Classes Begin
PBIS Monthly Theme – Safety
7:15-8:00, Cup of Joe with the PTO (Front of School)

September 7 (H)
Regular Day

September 8 (F)
Regular Day