May 14, 2018

By Allan  

Hi All,

I’d like to congratulate Howard’s ACE Award Nominees, Ashley, Becky, Katie, and Rae! Each of your are very deserving of your nominations, so thank you for all your work! We have many folks in our building worthy of ACE Awards, and it always makes us look good when multiple people working at our school receive nominations. ACE nominees will be celebrated at the awards ceremony at Churchill High School on Wednesday, May 23, 5:30–7:00PM. The event is free and open to the public. Nice work, you four!

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• May 25th Howard PD Day – I’m still finalizing the times on the agenda for Howard’s final Academy Day (we won’t have any after this year with the new Standard School Schedule), but we’ll meet in a volunteer’s classroom from 8:00-12:00. Topics for the meeting will include Tech Sharing, Business Items (CTL Reports & Field Day Info), New Science Equipment Sharing, ECET2 Team Sharing, Homework Policy Review, and an introduction to the district-wide PLC model rolling out to all elementary schools next year. This is all pretty teacher-focused, so classified staff are welcome to attend, but not required.

• Tech Trot & All-School Selfie Wednesday – The Tech Trot is in this Wednesday and the schedule will be:

• 8:15-9:00 – 2nd & 3rd Grade
• 9:15-10:00 – 4th & 5th Grade
• 10:15-11:00 – Kinder & 1st Grade

Kids will run the track for 30 minutes and will collect bands for each lap they run/jog/walk around the track. Drinks and snacks will also be provided for students at the end.

Student t-shirts will arrive Tuesday, but DO NOT hand them out until Wednesday (additional shirts ordered by families may go home earlier). Please put all fundraiser envelopes you receive in Lori’s Office.

For the all-school photo, make sure your students are in their matching shirts. We’ll meet in the courtyard at 12:50. See the linked All-School Photo Map and Directions for where classes will stand to have their picture taken from the green wing balcony. We may need to adjust positions once we get out there, but I think we’ll all fit in frame. Let me know if you have any questions.

• Staffing Updates – Good news! Howard received additional staffing to add a fourth 5th grade classroom next year. It did come with the caveat that this will be a “district pool hire” meaning that that if in the fall we do not have the enrollment to justify an additional teacher, the district will move the teacher to another building, which is something I feel is completely fair and reasonable. Since this is a pool hire, I will not be the hiring administrator, but I will be on the interview committee, which should happen sometime this spring.

Where this classroom will be located is still to-be-determined, but the SSD Early Childhood Team (ECT) is having to move out of Howard to make room for our added classroom, and the confirmed moves are; Becky moving into Erin’s Room, Erin moving into the ECT Room, Katie moving into Jill’s Room, and Imelda moving into Katie’s Room.

• 18/19 Student Textbook Needs – Since we’re adding a fourth 5th grade classroom, I know we’ll need an additional set of teacher guides for reading, writing, math, and Caring School Community. If your grade level needs any additional students texts or teacher guides, let me know by Friday, so I have enough time to track them down between now and the end of the school year. To help teacher know what you’ll need for next year, our current student count per grade level for next year is: KG (75 projected), 1st (76), 2nd (87), 3rd (80), 4th (86), 5th (88).

• REPEAT: Journeys & Being a Writer Materials Order DUE FRIDAY – Related to the above item, orders are due this Friday by following this link for Journeys and Being a Writer Materials for next school year. See the linked Piktochart for details.

• EA Supervisor Meeting Updates – Recess supervisors met last week and clarified a few playground rules. The team will plan to review all of our playground rules before the end of the year to aww if there are any other changes we want to make before next fall.

• Twirling on Bars, NO – Students are not allowed to twirl (i.e. spinning around) on the playground bars because there are no actual twirl bars and all of our bars have attached rings.

• Flipping on Rings, YES – It is okay for students to hang by their hands and flip (as a kid, we called it “skin the cat”) as long as they are not hanging upside down for an extended amount of time. For the larger structure, only 4th and 5th grade students may flip due to the hight of the structure.

• Sitting on Spinners, YES – It’s okay for students to sit on the spinners if they are using it by themselves, though not if someone is trying to push them since the pusher would likely get kicked.

• Pencils, Papers, and Books on Playground, YES – It’s okay for students to bring pencils and papers onto the playground as long as they are not running with pencils and using them appropriately. It’s also okay for students to bring books out to the playground as long as they are not library books.

• Circular Crows Nest Sitting, YES for now – This was our controversial item, but the rule for now is that older students who can safely climb onto the “Crows Nets” may sit on the bottom ring as long as they are doing so safely. If they are not using it safely, or sitting on the top ring, they will not be allowed to use the crows nest.

• Class Lists/Student Info Formats? – It’s time to start thinking about next year’s class lists! Last year we used a Google Sheet for class lists instead of old timey placement cards. See the linked Sample Class List Sheet. If the headings look good (IEP, ELD, Behavior, Title, TAG, General Functioning/Ability) I’ll share a Google Sheet for teachers to start adding students. Let me know by Friday if there is anything you think should be changed, added, or deleted. One change I am making this year is to limit who has access to edit, because last year some changes were made that weren’t processed with everyone involved. All staff will have view access and grade level teachers will have editing access to the next grade level up.

• Updated Artist in Residence Schedule – Linked here is what is hopefully the final 3/4/5/ Artist in Residence Schedule for Merideth Ferrell (Silk Painting). There’s been a lot of negotiation on this one. Jenny and Carla/Zach are the ones who had changes from the last schedule. Hopefully none of you see a need for any further changes at this point. The schedule for the K/1/2 artist, Maiya Becker (ReUse Art) is the same.

• Master Schedule Recess/Lunch Survey Results – A majority of the response to the recess/lunch survey for next year were for a 20 minute morning recess and a 40 minute lunch/recess (with 5-minutes shaved off of each recess on early release days). There were 14 total responses, with 57.1% wanting the above option, 28.6% wanting the 15/30/15 minute option, and 14.3% wanting the 15/35/10 minute option. Broken out by licensed and classified staff responses, the 20/40 minute lunch option was the top choice for both groups, so this is the plan we will move forward with. Once the district standard schedule is finalized and once we know how PE and Music will work for next year, we’ll start the process for developing next year’s master schedule. I’ve shared earlier that that the master schedule development process will be that first, workshop staff will develop a draft schedule, and then a committee of interested staff will work on fleshing out the schedule. We’ll prioritize scheduling for grade levels with larger classes and higher needs.

• Pride Awards: Excellence, May 23rd – Not this week, but next week on Wednesday, May 23rd during lunchtime in the cafeteria will be our PRIDE Awards for Excellence. Teachers should remind students about PRIDE and the meaning of Excellence (“Do Your Personal Best”), and then pick 2-3 students who have demonstrated Excellence. Be sure to get the Excellence PRIDE Certificates to me before the 23rd so I can sign them and get them organized. And remember to send home the PRIDE Award Invitations to parents before the event.

• Fire Drill, May 24th at 1:35 – Also not this week, but next week is the May fire drill. We’ll make it easy on ourselves and hold the drill while two grade levels are on a field trips, so it will be Thursday, May 24th at 1:35.

• Howard PTO Carnival Info – The PTO emailed information about the annual Howard PTO Carnival to teachers, but didn’t include all staff, so see the above link if you’d like to read more about their Beep, Beep, Best Day Ever!

• Student Laptop Printing Disabled – I’ve had to ask Peggy to disable student printing from laptops to copiers due to unnecessary printouts continuing to get sent to copiers. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it’s unfortunately necessary. There was about five reams of “Hi” sent to a copier that was only stopped when the job got cancelled at the copier. If students do need to print something, have them share the file with their teacher.

• Preschool Promise Recruiting – If you know of any low-income families (they must be 200% below poverty level) who have preschool age children ages 3-5, please let them know about Howard’s Preschool Promise program. Information and application forms (English and Spanish) are available on the Howard website and in the office. If they have questions, encourage them to contact Gretchen by phone (541-790-4957) or email (

• Students Saving Hot Lunch Items – It was asked if students can take leftover food from the cafeteria back to class to take home. The answer is that it is okay to take unopened or uneaten items, such apples or string cheese that don’t make messes, if students are going straight back to class from the cafeteria or if they place the item in their classroom lunch basket before going out to recess, but students may not take food onto the playground.

• Window Tint Trial – Facilities is testing a more solid of window tint in Erin’s Room (RM27) if you want to check it out. You’ll also notice a cardboard triangle on the interior reflecting shelf, which is a trial to see about eliminating the direct light above that space. If it works, then it would be a section of metal or Plexiglas in the final configuration. PiVOT Architecture is coming by at some point to take light readings across the white board on one sunny afternoon.

• EA & Teacher Title 1 Summer School Jobs – EA’s, if you are interested in returning and previously worked at summer school you do not need to apply. If you are interested and have not previously worked as a Summer School EA, watch the 4J Jobs website because it will be post soon. Teachers, the posting for Title 1 Summer School Teachers is already on the 4j website and closes Tuesday.

• REPEAT: PTO Meeting Tuesday at 6:00 – Tuesday at 6:00 in the Community Room is the May PTO meeting where we’ll vote in next year’s PTO Board. It would be great if any staff are able to volunteer their time to come show support for our new board of parent volunteers!

• REPEAT: 2/3 Ukulele Club Assembly Friday, May 18th – This Friday is the 3rd Grade Ukulele Club Performance for 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. See the linked Assembly Map & Directions for details.

• Guiding Students to a Healthy Math Identity – Young mathematicians need to see that the keys to success are passion and dedication, not speed and always being right. Helping children shift from the fixed mindset—one that says some people were born to be great mathematicians while others are doomed to struggle—is critical to supporting the next generation of math students. See this Edutopia article for details!

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

May 14 (M)
Library – Last Week of Checkout (1 book per student)
Artist in Residence #2 (Maiya Becker, ReUse Art, K-2 & LS) Continues
3/4/5 Math Performance Task
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

May 15 (T)
3/4/5 Math Performance Task
11:00-12:30, Allan Leading PBIS Tour for New Zealand Principal
2:00-3:00, Allan Helping at KITS Interviews (Ed Center)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

May 16 (W)
8:15-9:00, 2/3 Tech Trot Event (Track)
9:15-10:00, 4/5 Tech Trot Event (Track)
10:15-11:00, K/1 Tech Trot Event (Track)

May 17 (H)
3/4/5 Math Performance Task Make-Ups

May 18 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
9:25-11:45, KG to Shedd Field Trip
11:00-12:50, All School BBQ (Cafeteria)
11:30, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Office)
1:30-1:55, Ukulele Club Assembly (Gym)
4:00-Sunday, Allan and Howard ECET2 Team to Portland
7:00-8:00, String Academy Concert (Kelly MS)

May 21 (M)
Library – Book Return Week
10:00-11:00, UO SPICE Visit to Jill & Lupe
3:30, 5th Grade Teachers Meet w/Kelly for MS Transitions

May 22 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
9:15-9:45, Kelly Students Visit Howard 5th graders
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa/Mariah’s Room, RM23)
5:00-7:00, BEST/YMCA Family Pizza & Movie Night (Cafeteria)

May 23 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
9:15-10:15, Howard Students Visit Kelly (KMS)
11:00-12:45, PRIDE Awards at Lunch (Excellence)

May 24 (H)
June Newsletter Article Due
8:00-5:00, 5th Grade OMSI Field Trip
8:00-5:00, 2nd Grade Zoo Field Trip
1:35, Fire Drill

May 25 (F)
Howard PD Day, No School
BOGO Book Fair Set-Up
8:00-12:00, Staff Meeting/PD (Cafeteria)

May 28 (M)
Memorial Day, No School

FUN FACT! This week is our last full 5-day week of the school year! There’s a PD day next week, Memorial Day the following week, Grading Day the next week, and the final week of the school year has an 11:05 dismissal on the last day, so it’s practically summer!