April 1, 2019

By Allan  


Howdy Friends,

Hope you all had an enjoyable spring break. I had a fabulous break visiting Seattle, getting time to read, and other fun stuff. Now I’m feeling pretty good about the next two and a half months!

Eighteen items of note for this week:

• 18/19 Staffing Updates – Two changes to this year’s staffing (not next year). One, Anita Bieker has been temporarily moved to Edison. Anita’s 5th grade 1:1 student has been out for medical reasons and will be for the foreseeable future, so she’s been temporarily transferred to Edison until he returns. Two, Adrian Wolf has been hired as Howards 10-month night custodian (the upstairs night custodian) and will likely start in the building next week. Adrian comes with many years of experience working in Seattle Public Schools as a custodian and a Facilities staff member, as well as being something of a world traveller. Adrian also lives here in the Howard neighborhood. Please wish Anita well as she leaves us and please welcome Adrian to the Howard team! And on a related note, Mati Murdock is returning from her medical leave for light duty (she will still have a sub for her regular duties) this Monday and can help with any production needs staff may have. She’ll be working out of the Staff Room and Downstairs Work Room 4-hours a day Monday through Thursday and 2-hours on Friday.

• 19/20 Room Configuration Suggestions – Linked here is a map of my first stab at 2019-2020 Classroom Assignments. I tried to keep most everyone where they are at to limit workload, but I’m certainly open to suggestions. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on my current plan.

• April PBIS Focus: Encouragement – The April PBIS monthly focus is Encouragement. The PBIS team created a PBIS/CFK Cheat Sheet that matches our PBIS monthly themes with corresponding Caring for Kids (CFK) class meeting lessons. Besides being an easy way to tie the two activities together, this month’s theme also nicely dovetails onto our school-wide kindness campaign.

• PLC Meetings this Week – Tuesday and Wednesday this week are Grade Level PLC Meetings with roving subs. Dates and times for teams are:

Tuesday, April 2
1st – 8:30-9:30
2nd – 10:00-11:00
5th – 11:15-12:15

Wednesday, April 3

KG – 11:10-12:10
3rd – 12:15-1:15
4th – 1:25-2:25

• Friday Early Release PD – If you ever want to see what the topic of upcoming Friday Early Release PDs are, they are all posted on the Howard Staff Calendar. This week’s PD will be a presentation by Seth Pfaefflin on Self Care. This was an offering on the last districtwide PD Day and I’d heard from multiple staff member who attended that this was a terrific session, so I thought this would be something good for folks to hear going into the last part of the school year. We’ll plan to meet in the library at 2:30.

• Library News – Here’s some library updates from Julie:

• Dates – April is school library month, first celebrated in 1985.

April 12th is Drop Everything and Read Day D.E.A.R.
7th-13th National Library Week
9th Library workers Day – Say thank you to your favorite library person. Our downtown public library has so many hard working people.
30th Children’s Book Day

• Monthly Book Review I Am Not A Chair! by Ross Burach – A funny and cheerful story about a Giraffe who must find the courage to stand up for himself. Playful illustrations help show the emotions of the characters in a cute and comical way. Does Giraffe have the courage to tell his friends he is not a chair in a kind way? Why, yes he does! We read this story during library classes for the younger grades and they loved it!

• New Display for New Books – I moved some things around and freed up an entire bookshelf for the new books. It should be easier for the kids and staff to see. I’ve been in my library for some time now and am still struggling with were to put things :). I have also created a display for historical fiction and will be working on a fictional Genre display also.

Thank you for all your continued support, I hope you had a peaceful and regenerating vacation…. – Julie

• Care Team Resources – Below are three items from the last Student Care Team Meeting, which can also be found on the Howard Google Team Drive at Howard > Meetings/Teams > Care Team > Resources

• SWIFT (Students with Involved Families and Teachers) – For students transitioning out of intensive treatment (mental health, behavioral, etc.). They coach parents with the transition. They will advocate with the parents at meetings. They can help with accessing social services, as well as offer fun activities available in the community. Linked here is a more detailed SWIFT Info Sheet.

• OHP Sign-Up – Monday, April 1 4:00-7:00 and Wednesday April 10, 9:00-11:00 – This program offers children up to the age of 18 medical, dental and vision coverage. The program also offer their parents emergency coverage. Everyone who attends is eligible. No need for state ID or immigration documents. Is intended for all North Region students and families. Another Churchill region event will happen later for families in their region. 

• Updated Child Wraparound Process Policy & Procedure – Linked below is information about a few changes to the Trillium Child Wraparound Process Policy & Procedure, as well as an updated referral form. Wraparound is a process that assists families in meeting the needs of their child by gathering a team which includes members from the family’s whole life. This allows everyone the family would like at table at the same time- focusing on the family strengths, coordinating services and reducing the amount of meetings the family needs to attend. Wraparound supports include identifying strengths and needs, creating and implementing a plan of care and creating a transition plan identifying potential resources if help is needed in the future.

• PTO Updates – The complete minutes and slide show from last week’s PTO meeting can be found on PTO Webpage, but here are the highlights:

• Readathon Ends – The Readathon ended on the 31st, so students should turn in their logs this Monday if teachers can enter minutes one day this week. Kids had read 29,000 minutes so far. 200,000 minutes from the whole school will win a lip sync battle between Mr. Chinn and Mr. Matt. No prizes have been purchased, all donated.

• Penny War, 4/15– 4/19 – Paige volunteered to chair the committee and this year’s theme is pirates. Get students excited for this! It’s a fun, easy, and quite successful fundraiser.

• McTeacher Night, 4/18, 5:00pm-7:00pm – Mark your calendars and save your appetite for the annual McTeacher Night Fundraiser!

• New STEM After School Program – Starting this Friday is a new STEM focused after school program for students, Play-Well (flyer), which runs much like Young Rembrandts. Kids who signed up will meet at 1:15 in the Community Room on Fridays. We’ll send a list to teachers of who all signed up later this week.

• Walk + Roll to School Day, April 3 – This Wednesday is the Monthly Walk + Roll to School Day, so remind your students that they might try to walk, skateboard, bike, or use another mode of transportation to get to school this outside of riding in a car.

• 4jguest Wireless – Downtown is phasing out 4jwireless and replacing it with 4jguest. All staff should continue to use 4jsecure, which will give you wider network access and will filter fewer sites, but all non-4J staff should begin using 4jguest instead of 4jwireless.

• Earth Day, April 22 – Not for a couple more weeks, but Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day. Linked here are some Earth Day resources from EarthDay.org, NEA, and Scholastic. There’s also some good stuff on BrainPop.

• 7 Surprising Classroom Triggers for Students Who Have Experienced Trauma (and How to Avoid Them) – There are students in every classroom, every day, who have experienced trauma. Many times typical classroom routines and occurrences can trigger stress reactions in these students, making it difficult—or even impossible—for them to learn. See this WeAreTeacher Article for the triggers that might be hiding in your classroom and how to minimize them.

• Keeping Girls in STEM: 3 Barriers, 3 Solutions – Stereotypes and cultural norms dampen girls’ interest in STEM, but educators can counter the disparities with small changes to their practice. See this Eduoptia Article for details.

• How to use video clips to deepen learning – Video clips can provide students with a deeper understanding of content, but the clips need to be used in a purposeful way, writes Rebecca Alber, instructor at the University of California at Los Angeles’ Graduate School of Education in this Edutopia Article. Alber shares some curricular reasons and tips on using video clips in class.

• Here’s What Happens When You Give Students a Pile of Cardboard – Windmills. Puppet theaters. Cars that go. Students across the country were challenged to do STEM explorations with cardboard, and the results were amazing. Take a look at this WeAreTeachers Article to see some of the wildly innovative projects these kids did with their teachers, and know that you have my full permission to do “fun” stuff like this.

• 7 April Fools’ Pranks for Teachers That Will Melt the Minds of Students – Forget the old tricks like filling Oreos with toothpaste or hiding rubber bugs in students’ desks. This WeAreTeachers Article has seven pranks that will require a spatula, because afterward you’ll need them to scrape your students’ minds off the floor.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the rest of the year:

April 1 (M)
Classes Resume
PBIS Kindness Challenge Beings
PBIS Monthly Theme – Encouragement

April 2 (T)
Allan w/HR to Oregon Educator Fair – Portland (Travis Schafer subbing)
8:30-12:15, Howard PLC – Half-Day (1/2/5)
1st – 8:30-9:30
2nd – 10:00-11:00
5th – 11:15-12:15

April 3 (W)
Monthly Walk & Roll to School Day
11:10-2:25, Howard PLC – Half-Day (K/3/4)
KG – 11:10-12:10
3rd – 12:15-1:15
4th – 1:25-2:25
2:30-4:30, Allan to Pay Grade Eval Committing Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

April 4 (H)
9:45-11:45, KG to Firs Bowl and Abby’s Pizza
2:45, Allan meeting w/UO Practicum Students & Supervisors

April 5 (F)
1:25-2:00, EA Supervisors Meeting (Title 1 Room, RM26)
2:30-3:30, Early Release PD – Self Care Presentation – Seth Pfaefflin (Library)

April 6 (SA)
7:00-10:00, Staff Social: Weezer/Pixies Concert (Moda Center)

April 8 (M)
PBIS Kindness Challenge Continues

April 9 (T)
8:30-12:00, Allan All Admin & Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:45-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Erin’s Room, RM22)

April 10 (W)
Wacky Wednesday -Silly Hat/Hair Day
8:30-10:30, Symphonic Safari, 3rd-5th (SEHS Auditorium)
9:55, Fire Drill

April 11 (H)
Regular Day

April 12 (F)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
8:45-9:10, K-2 Ems Home Run Reading Challenge Assembly (Gym)
9:20-9:45, 3-5 Ems Home Run Reading Challenge Heart Assembly (Gym)
2:30-3:30, Early Release PD – Trauma Informed Care Module (Library)
5:15-8:00, Kelly MS Benito Juárez Celebration

Make our first week back a great one! Looking forward to seeing everyone!