September 16, 2019

By Allan  


Howdy Roadrunners,

That was fun seeing folks at last week’s Friday at 4:00 and a big thank-you to Jenny for hosting!

Twenty-six items of note for this week:

• Friday Early Release PD & PLC Info – This Friday’s Early Release PD will be our first PLC session. Principals are to receive more information at our principal meeting on Monday regarding what we’re presenting, but I’m guessing it will be something of a review & reboot from last year and an overview of this year’s plans. On a related note, we’ll have our first grade-level PLC meetings in two weeks on 9/25 (2nd, 5th, 1st) and 9/26 (KG, 4th, 3rd) with roving subs. See the building calendar or the dates below for times.

• FREE Howard-Only First Aid & CPR Class 10/2 – I’m using building funds for staff wanting wanting to renew their First Aid & CPR cards at a Howard only training on Wednesday, October 2nd, 4:00-7:00 in the library. 4J RN Kim Roellig will teach the course. There are only 12 spots, so let me know by the end of the week if you’re interested in renewing your cards. If more there are more people than slots, I’m going to prioritize staff who work more with medically fragile students.

• 4J Kindness & Crazy Hair Day, Friday 9/27 – 4J is partnering with a citywide Kindness Challenge, holding districtwide events to highlight kindness. The first of these is Friday, September 27th, when elementary school kids all over 4J will recognize this day of kindness with kind words and CrAzY hAiR. Jordan Kent Skill Camps will award the “BEST HAIR” photo posted on social media using #crazyhairbecausewecare with a FREE admission to one of their camps. We’ll put the linked flyer in teacher mailboxes to send home this Friday.

• Say “Thank you!” to Bruce the Gardner – If you haven’t noticed the gentlemen working in front of the building and in the west courtyard this week, his name is Bruce and he’s a neighbor who complained to the Facilities department about the appalling conditions of the overgrown flower beds at our new building. He then followed up his complaint by taking things into his own hands and has committed to maintaining ALL of the flower beds in and around Howard throughout the year! Be sure to say thanks and ask students to say “Thank you!” to Bruce for volunteering his time to make our school look beautiful. Allison shared with me how she used Bruce as an example to her students as someone who is doing something kind and is not expecting anything in return, so celebrate Bruce and use him as an inspirational example to our students.

• Kindergarten EA and LC EA Postings Up – Our 5.5- hour KG EA Job Posting is up and closes Tuesday, and closing Sunday is our 3-hour Leaning Center EA Job Posting. If you know of any good candidates, please encourage them to apply.

• Enrollment Updates & Input on Class Size – Students continue to enroll and I’m continuing to advocate with downtown for additional staffing. Looking at butts-in-seats, Howard should have another teacher, not even taking into account that in prior years we’ve grown by 30-50 students from the start to the end of the year or given the level of need compared to other schools. As of Friday, we are 73 students over our projection, with 508 student enrolled (not including 18 preschoolers)

KG – 28, 27, 27
1st – 25, 24, 23
2nd – 28, 28, 27
3rd – 23, 22, 21, 20
4th – 28, 28, 27
5th – 30, 29, 29

If you’d like your voice heard regarding class sizes and funding, be sure to complete the linked Student Success Act Survey and/or attend the last Staff Input Forum (9/17, 4:15 @ATA) or one of the Community Input Forums (9/25, 7–8 @ATA, 9/26, 5:30–6:30 (English) & 7–8 (Spanish) @North). The district is required to document staff and community input before submitting to the state for the Student Success Act funds and there are a narrow set of things the funds can be spent on, reducing class size being one of them, so make sure your opinion is counted!

• Library Announcements – Notes from our fabulous librarian…

Library happenings :)

Well we made it, first week under our belt…. :) We have an amazing staff thank you for all you do!! I am working hard trying to get library circulation up and running. 500 plus students – it takes a little bit. Lots of new faces and more are starting.

As testing completes and we find out where kids are, please keep in mind I have several small books sets from past OBOB years available for you :).

We are learning about our kids and all their littleness and bigness. If you are experiencing a range of stressors in your class and would like a book to help address these, please let me know. I usually can come up with a good book or two that would be fun and helpful. Last year we purchased several books dealing with common behaviors. I also have been purchasing books about kindness and friendship. Please let me know how I an help you as teachers or be of help to support your students outside of library class.

Taking library books home. My general guideline has been in the past; new students keep books at school to start until we have an idea on responsibility and home situations. If a student can be responsible to bring back their Friday folders and other items sent home they may take their library book home. :). This has worked pretty well in the past. It tends to help get our Friday folders back.

Students who would like to exchange library books outside their library time – the answer is yes! Anytime as long as there is not a class in the library :) I am out of the library from 11:00-11:45 for lunch duty.

Here’s to a great week!

• Howard PTO Updates – Thank you to all the staff who were able to attend last week’s PTO meeting. Two items of note from the meeting:

• Fundraiser Updates – Our PTO Board is scaling back on a couple fundraisers, changing weekly popcorn to monthly popcorn the first Friday of each month (unless a parent volunteer steps forward) and also forgoing the Holiday Bazaar (although Ashley has stepped up and offered to organized this fundraiser and the PTO is considering selling table space for sellers at this year’s carnival). We’ll still do our biggest fundraisers (Tech Trot 10/9, Read-a-Thon 2/30-3/16, Penny War 4/20-4/24, McTeacher Night 5/TBA, and Carnival 6/5). The PTO is adding more Restaurant Nights to earn money for the school, the first of which is at Noodles & Co. on 10/10 and others in the future including Mod Pizza and Hot Mama’s Wings (I highly recommend the deep-fried dill pickle chips). And continuing from last year are the Duer’s ATA fundraiser (pay $49 for 1 month of unlimited lessons and 100% of the proceeds go to the PTO) and the Bottle Drop fundraiser (bring cans and bottles in Howard PTO Bottle Drop bags).

• Tech Trot, Wednesday, October 9th – Last year’s Tech Trot didn’t bring in as much money as we were hoping, so to keep cost down they are doing a superhero theme and providing all students with a cape instead of a t-shirt this year.

• Student Care Team Referrals DUE FRIDAY – Our first Student Care Team meeting is in a couple weeks on Wednesday, September 25th, so if you have any student situations you would like brought to the team, please let me know.

For staff new to Howard, The Student Care Team is part of DHS’s Self-Sufficiency Program. Meetings are intended for directing community resources and services to families looking for help, and avoiding families falling through the social services cracks. The goal of the team is to prevent child abuse and neglect by working together as a team to discuss concerns about children/families, problem solve solutions, collaborate, and assist in brokering resources for families. Families typically sign a disclosure form, which allows DHS to do a lot of research before we meet, looking into family history and what types of resources they would or would not qualify for. In addition to situations where families are seeking help, we’re also able to discuss hypothetical situations (not using names) with DHS representatives, which can be very helpful for how to address challenging situations where families will not sign a release. Our partnership with DHS’s Self-Sufficiency Program has been an extremely valuable resource for us and for our families.

Common referrals, though not limited to, are:

• Homeless or impending homelessness
• Medical concerns about the child or other family
• Extreme behavior issues – ­additional supports needed outside of school
• Mental health concerns (child or family member)
• Death of a parent
• Incarcerated parent -­ concerns about recent incarceration or pending release
• Unknown if open child welfare case but has concerns that were called in
• Domestic Violence
• Specific resource needed but unknown where to refer

DHS staff have been great about connecting families experiencing difficult situations with various community resources and in providing assistance, so please let me know if you have any students/families you’d like referred to the team. Linked here is the Care Team Release Form (English and Spanish) that families sign for their situation to be openly discussed by the team.

• Informal Observations – I’m going to start informal observations of Probationary and Contract Year-1 licensed staff and am planning to use the Behavior Framework Informal Observation Tool for classroom teachers. . I’ll most likely do these in the mornings, but teachers can let me know if you have a specific time you’d prefer I come by. Let me know if you have questions on this.

• Formal Observations – I’m trying to be more organized with formal observations and have them all finished before winter break. I’ll send an email to all Probationary and Contract Year-1 licensed staff for the week I plan to do your formal observation. I’ll propose a date and time, but let me know if that date doesn’t work for any reason.

• Ladders – DO NOT stand on desks or chairs- Use District Issued Ladders – 3 point contact – A reminder from Risk Management, staff should never stand on desks or chairs and should use the district issued ladders, making sure you are maintaining three points of contact (either 2 hands and 1 foot or 1 hand and 2 feet). Please let me or Crystal know if you do not know where your wing’s ladder is located.

• Leadership Plan Proposals – I received some input on potential 2019-2020 Leadership Plans for this school year from folks who attended last weeks optional meeting and from folks who shared ideas with me prior to the meeting. The three plans are similar with last years plan with one difference in each plan.

• Plan A:
School Climate Leaders: 3 people (3 days PBIS and 5 days x 2 IPBS Co-Leaders = 13 days)
Instructional Technology Leader: (3 days)
Literacy Leader: (2 days)
Math Leader: (2 days)
Equity Teacher Leader: (2 days)

• Plan B:
School Climate Leaders: 3 people (3 days PBIS and 5 days x 2 IPBS Co-Leaders = 13 days)
Instructional Technology Leader: (3 days)
Literacy Leader: (2 days)
Math Leader: (2 days)
Science Leader: (2 days)

• Plan C:
School Climate Leaders: 3 people (3 days PBIS and 5 days x 2 IPBS Co-Leaders = 13 days)
Instructional Technology Leader: (3 days)
Literacy Leader: (2 days)
Math Leader: (2 days)
Student Leadership/Climate: (2 days)

Details of the drafts can be found on the Shared Howard Drive under MISC > Leadership Plans/Positions > 2019-2020. Let me know if you have other proposals and we’ll discuss the options at the September 24th Staff Meeting and make a final decision at the October Staff Meeting.

• Building SMART Goals Meeting – A few folks met last week to develop and update the linked Optional Building SMART Goals (also on the Shared Howard Google Drive under MISC > Educator Effectiveness > 2019-2020) around math and our PLC work, which classroom teachers can enter into TalentEd. Goals #1 and #2 may look the same, but the “Target Population” is different. The first goal for your entire class (the state requires at least one be for all of your students) and the second goal is for a target population to a subgroup (i.e. students of color, students in special education, ELL students, etc.). The professional goal is similar to last year around our PLC work, although Rebecca Boyd told me TOSAs are developing a new suggested on teachers can also use. Licensed staff are, of course, welcome to create your own goals, but I know folks have appreciated this in the past. Non-classroom licensed staff are welcome to adapt the language of the above SMART Goals for any of your own related work, but please let me know if I can be of any assistance in crafting goals for anyone.

• Artist in Residence Survey Results – November and May were the top choices of dates for the two artists in residence. The top artist picks were Glass-Fusing Fun! (by a lot), Bugs, Bones & Botany: Exploring the Natural World through Art, and Bend it, Build it, Be Creative with Wire Sculpture. We’ll do a quick check in at the September Staff Meeting and make a final decision there.

• REPEAT: 3/4/5 ESYO (Strings) Recruitment Assembly FRIDAY @8:40 – The Eugene Springfield Youth Orchestra Program (ESYO) is opening up Strings Academy I classes up to 3rd graders this year, so 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms are invited to attend the annual ESYO Strings Recruitment Assembly this Friday at 8:40. See the linked Assembly Map & Directions for details.

• REPEAT: Classified & Licensed Goals and Self Assessment DUE 9/30 – All staff, both classified and licensed, need to complete a self assessment before the end of September in TalentEd. Licensed staff also need to also complete SMART Goals. Classified staff, will need to use a newer device to submit your form (older operation systems aren’t compatible with TalentEd), so I’d suggest borrowing a newer student iPad from a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade classroom if you are having trouble with your current devices. Let me know if I can help with any of this.

• REPEAT: Team Sign-Ups Google Sheet – Please follow the link to the 2019-2020 Howard Teams Google Sheet to add your name to a team you’d like to volunteer to be a part of; Equity, Garden, IPBS, PBIS, Safety, Site Council (one open classified spot), Social, or Tech (TLT).

• REPEAT: Howard Staff Handbook Review DUE 9/30 – Linked here is the updated Howard Staff Handbook. All staff must review the handbook and sign & return the acknowledgement form to the office by Monday, September 30th. Let me know if you have any questions.

• REPEAT: District Mandatory Policy Review for all Staff DUE 9/30 – Linked here is this year’s District Back-to-School Memo, which covers a variety of district rules, policies and guidelines. All staff must review the memo and sign & return the Check List Acknowledgment Form by Monday, September 30th to signify that you have read and understand the memo. Let me know if you have questions.

• REPEAT: SELCO’s SPARK! Creative Learning Grants DUE 9/30 – Don’t forget about the SELCO Educator Mini Grants for up to $1,000 to bring creative classroom ideas to life. Applications are due September 30. Visit for details and to apply.

• Looking Glass Community Services – Looking Glass Community Services provides counseling services, emergency shelter and housing assistance, educational and vocational assistance, and addiction treatment to young people. Linked here is a Looking Glass Brochure that summarizing their services if you every want to pass this along to families.

• Eugene Math Circle The Eugene Math Circle will continue offering classes for math loving kids in grades 2-12. The program has been operating for six years, and all classes are taught by the University of Oregon professors or instructors. If you have students who enjoy math and want to be challenged, please share the linked Eugene Math Circle Flyer.

• Experts: Put down the phone – I’ll note this is different from using technology as a tool, but when it comes to simply filling the void of “I don’t have anything to do,” research supports the benefits of learning to be bored versus spending time looking at a screen, according to this Edutopia article. Neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists assert that this “default mode” can improve creativity and problem-solving.

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

September 16 (M)
Title 1 Individual Diagnostic Screener Assessments
BEST Invites Go Home
3:45-5:45, Allan to Elem Principal Meeting (Ed Center)

September 17 (T)
2:45-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, RM23)
3:30, Allan to Super Boundary Meeting (Office)

September 18 (W)
Lori’s Birthday!
2:45-3:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, RM1)

September 19 (H)
Talk Like a Pirate Day
4:00-6:00, 4J K-2 Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Trainings (Ashley’s Room, RM25)
4:15-5:15, 4J Student Success Act – Staff Conversations – SPED (Cafeteria)

September 20 (F)
8:45-9:15, 3/4/5 ESYO (Strings) Recruitment Assembly (Gym)
2:30, Early Release PD – PLC
5:30-7:30, PTO Family Night – Secret Life of Pets 2 (Cafeteria/Gym)

September 23 (M)
Banned Book Week
2:45, Site Council (Conference Room)

September 24 (T)
8:15-11:30, Allan to Elementary Principal Meeting – Gaston Covering (Ed Center)
2:45-3:15, Staff Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)

September 25 (W)
Howard PLC – 2-hour Meetings (2nd, 5th, 1st)
2nd 8:10-10:10
5th 10:15-12:15 PE/MUSIC (Rock/Callihan to be rescheduled to Friday)
1st 12:20-2:20 PE/MUSIC (Corliss/Ward to be rescheduled to TBD)
2:45, Student Care Team Meeting (Conference Room)
4:00-7:00, District First Aid Class (Library)

September 26 (H)
Howard PLC – 2-hour Meetings (KG, 4th, 3rd)
KG 8:10-10:10
4th 10:10-11:55
3rd 12:05-2:05
2:45-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, RM24)
5:30-6:30, Student Success Act Community Conversations – Phase I (North Eugene HS)

September 27 (F)
Happy Birthday to Me!
10:25-12:45, August/September Birthday Lunches With the Principal (Community Room)
2:30-3:30, Early Release PD – Building Based PD – ALICE Training and Safety Week Prep (Library)

One full-week down. Thirty-five to go!