September 23, 2019

By Allan  


Howdy Rockin’ Roadrunners,

Twenty-three items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – We’re back to the drawing board for hiring a Life Skills EA and are conducting interviews this Monday at 3:30-5:30 if anyone is interested volunteering their time to help with interviews. I also got our candidate list for a new Kindergarten EA and for our 3-Hour Learning Center EA jobs and will set up interviews for those likely next week.

• Friday Early Release PD & PLC Info – This Friday’s Early Release PD is designated for Building Based PD, which we will use to prep for the Safety Week, including a review the required ALICE student Training. See below for more details on Safety Week.

• Safety Week, Sept. 30 – Oct. 4 – In two weeks is our annual Safety Week, which is a good way to bring awareness to staff, students, and families about the various safety procedures right at the start of the year. I like to do this when two months overlap within the same week, so we can take care of two monthly required fire drills all in one week, and the dates Site Council came up with last year are as follows:

• Monday – Directed Evacuation (i.e. Fire Drill) – 1:15

• Tuesday – ALICE Classroom Lesson – Time decided by teachers
• Wednesday – ALICE Lockdown: Evacuation Drill – 1:15
• Thursday – Room Clear – Time decided by teachers
• Friday – Earthquake/Fire Drill – 8:45

All of these drills are listed in the “Emergency Procedures Manual” the rainbow tabbed spiral notebook that should be hanging in every classroom. The manual has not been updated to explicitly mention ALICE, but ALICE tenants are present in the Lockdown and Evacuation procedures. I won’t be making any announcement before the drills outside or morning announcements, but staff are encouraged to prep your students for each drill.

MONDAY – Directed Evacuation (Fire Drill): Linked here is an updated Building Evacuation Map (a higher resolution version is on the Staff Shared Google Drive). The evacuation routes are the same as last year, but I’ve updated the spots where classes line up to include new classrooms and teachers. Evacuation procedures can be found in the Howard Staff Handbook (or ask a wily Howard veteran). Let me know if you have any questions.

TUESDAY – Classroom lesson on ALICE: Linked here is the Student ALICE PowerPoint presentation (and a PDF version with notes, which I’ll print for Friday’s meeting) that classroom teachers will use to teach the safety drills this day. After going through the PowerPoint, teacher will read the book I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared (let me know if you do not have a copy of the book) with the Sticky Note Guiding Questions that go with the book. The above links can also all be found on the Team Drive > MISC > Safety Drills Info. There’s also a PDF version of the book there if you’d rather project the book.

WEDNESDAY – ALICE Lockdown Evacuation Drill: For this drill I will press the office lockdown button (dropping curtains, locking exterior doors, and closing [not locking] hallway doors to each wing) and will announce the following:

Attention students, staff and visitors: This is a LOCKDOWN: EVACUATE DRILL, this is a LOCKDOWN: EVACUATE DRILL. Repeat, this is a NOT A REAL EMERGENCY. THIS IS A DRILL. We are pretending there is a dangerous person (or intruder) in the building on the other side of the building from your classroom. We are pretending there is a dangerous person (or intruder) in the building on the other side of the building from your classroom. WE ARE IN A LOCKDOWN: EVACUATE DRILL.

Teachers will then direct students to evacuate the building to the nearest location along the perimeter of the school grounds. In a real emergency we would run, but for the drill everyone should walk. Classes will stop at the edge of the property and wait for my all-clear announcement. For a real emergency, students and staff would evacuate well past the edge of the property, and keep going until you can’t see the school. Regarding a rally point, schools are still waiting for downtown, though if you talk to wily Howard veterans, we have an unofficial rally point.

THURSDAY – Room Clear: Room Clear Drills will happen at a time determined by classroom teachers and in cooperation with another classroom where students would go in the event of real room clear. Students should know the classroom they should room clear to in the event of an actual emergency since in most cases the teacher would need to remain in the classroom when the rest of the students moved out of the room.

FRIDAY – Fire/Earthquake Drill: For the Earthquake Drill, teach students to “Drop, Cover, Hold” meaning drop to the ground (so you don’t fall over), cover yourself by going under a desk (to protect yourself from falling objects), and hold onto the desk legs (so you stay under cover and don’t get bounced out). There are many resource on The Great Oregon Shake Out website, for you to teach students about Drop, Cover, Hold and earthquake preparedness. See the linked Evacuation Map & Lines for where classes should line up for the Fire Drill following the Earthquake Drill.

Please let me know if you do not have a manual or if you have any questions.

• Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Safety Unit – Related to Safety, downtown purchased one Second Step Child Protection Unit per grade level for classrooms teachers to use for meeting Erin’s Law requirements. For each grade level, there are six lessons, which are to be covered at three points in the school year, with Lessons 1-4 in the fall, lesson 5 right before spring break, and lesson 6 right before summer break. Teachers will have to share the one teacher guide, which I’ll pass out at this Friday’s Early Release PD, but there is a digital code in the front of each teacher guide to access online videos and other resources.

• Second Step Pacing Guide – Speaking of Second Step, a quick reminder to classroom teachers, Second Step Unit 1 (Skills for Learning for K-3, and Empathy & Skills for Learning for 4-5) are set to begin next week according to the Second Step Pacing Guide. Hopefully this will be easier for teachers this year since almost everyone has their own kit. I do realize Second Step is one more thing, but I’m a believer in explicitly teaching kids about social emotional topics in order to make them kinder people, so teachers should know that you have my full permission for skip even core subject areas to make time for Second Step lessons (being a good human is more important than fractions).

• 2019-2020 Mandatory Elementary School Bus Safety Training – As required by OAR 581-53-002, all students must receive instructions on bus safety before the end of December 2019. The intent of the rule is to reach the occasional riders who find themselves on a bus because of a field trip, activity trip, etc. Linked here is an updated Bus Training Info Sheet (English and Spanish) sent to principals, but all classroom teachers need to do is show one of two bus safety videos (the Newer Bus Evacuation Training Video or the quaint 1990s relic The Safest Way Out) and then tell Lori the date you showed it.

• School Bus PBIS & Positive Slips – Bus drivers have their own version of a PBIS positive slip, which teachers should honor just the same as our PBIS positive Beep, Beeps for weekly class drawings. FYI, linked here is an email describing the procedures of the Transportation PBIS Program.

• Observance of Religious Holidays – This information was included in the Back to School Memo, but please avoid scheduling tests, major projects, essays, special events, etc… during religious holiday and the surrounding dates. See the linked email or the above Back to School Memo for the key Jewish Holy Days, Christian Holy Days, and Muslim Holy Days.

• ORSA Spanish Night for Juniors, October 3rd – The Office of Equity would like to get the linked flyers in the hands of our Latinx families and students. October 3rd, 5pm – 8pm, they will have seven colleges with Spanish speaking representatives as well as 1:1 supports for students with parents needing to fill out the ORSA/FAFSA for financial aide. This event is specifically for mixed status families, families needing Spanish supports and/or who would like to speak to colleges directly in a smaller setting. Dinner and childcare will be provided. There’s a large stack of fliers under staff mailboxes for teachers to send home with your Spanish speaking families.

• Copier Reminder – In the last week we have gone through 8 full cases of white paper. This is equal to 40,000 copies or 80 per student, not to mention copies made on colored paper. Also quite a few colored copies are being made that are not being picked up. I’m not a fan of locking down copies with copy codes and strict copy counts, but I do hope these are for work needed

• Tech Presenters for Oct. 10th? – Would any teachers be interested in presenting a break out session during the Technology PD Day on Oct 10th? Topic could be anything from a formative assessment techniques to a lesson idea using a specific or combination of apps. Sessions will be 1 hour 15 minutes and teachers could even co-present on related topics. This district PD Day is set to take place here at Howard, so a heads-up that classrooms and other spaces will be utilized this day for breakout sessions. Let me know by the end of the week if anyone is will to present/co-present (I’d even join someone co-presenting!).

• EPD Community Awards – The North Region SRO, Nicholas Reich, sent principals an email that this year he’s focusing on developing positive relationships with our students and one way he wants to do this is by introducing a student recognition program. Nich is kicking things off by presenting a Community Award Certificate to a deserving student at each North Region school on a bi-monthly basis. Each month I’ll solicit from staff the name of two deserving students each month, who exhibit courage, integrity, selfless acts of kindness, volunteerism or any other characteristic we want to encourage.

• Bike Rodeo, Oct. 8 – After school on Tuesday, Oct. 8th, Howard is hosting a Safe Routes to School Bike Rodeo on the playground from 2:25-4:00, where students are invited to learn about bike safety, try out a bike obstacle course, enjoy free bike smoothies, and much more. Kids can bring their own bike or use those provided. Feel free to share this with students and get them excited for the event.

• Broadway in Eugene Theater Rocks Grant Application – Linked here is an Email and Info Sheet on a grant for students to experience live Broadway musicals for FREE at the Hult Center. Transportation is not provided, so you’d need to arrange for buses or parent/guardian drivers. The shows are Bandstand November 15-16, 2019, as well as STOMP February 19-20, 2020, The SpongeBob Musical March 6-7, 2020, or Les Miserables April 15-19, 2020. Times are on the above linked info sheet, but let me know by the end of the week if you’d like to take your class to any of these and I’ll fill out the application.

• UO Women’s Basketball-Field Trip Day 12/16 – Another freebie field trip, also without transportation, the UO Women’s Basketball season is offering a “Field Trip Day”. On December 16th, 11:00-1:00, schools will be provide free admission for students as well as math activity sheets for them to work on during the game (to add an educational element to the trip). If you’re interested, see the linked email, which includes the sign-up link.

• Duck Football Educator Appreciation – The next home game at Autzen Stadium for the Oregon Ducks Football team is on October 5th and is their Education Appreciation game! This 20% discounted ticket offer is for teachers, administrators, staff members, anyone with a passion for learning, and their respective friends and families. See this link for the offer.

• REPEAT: 4J Kindness & Crazy Hair Day, FRIDAY– 4J is partnering with a citywide Kindness Challenge, holding districtwide events to highlight kindness. The first of these is this Friday, 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.

• REPEAT: Classified & Licensed Goals and Self Assessment DUE FRIDAY – 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 (here’s a link to Optional Building SMARAT 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: Howard Staff Handbook Review DUE MONDAY – 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 MONDAY – 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.

• “I Thought I Understood What School Was Like for My Students of Color I wasn’t even close.” – See this WeAreTeachers article for links to a variety of equity related articles that offer perspective for white educators.

• Pop-up emoji keyboard – Here’s a tip for Mac users: Control + Command + Space reveals an emoji keyboard. Now your life just got better. 😉

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

September 23 (M)
Banned Book Week
2:45, Site Council (Conference Room)
3:30-5:30, Life Skills EA Interviews

September 24 (T)
Title 1 Groups Begin
8:15-11:30, Allan to Elementary Principal Meeting – Erin Gaston Covering (Ed Center)
2:45-3:15, Staff Meeting (Jenny’s Room, RM28)

September 25 (W)
Howard PLC – 2-hour Meetings (2nd, 5th, 1st)
2nd 8:10-10:10
5th 10:15-12:15
1st 12:20-2:20
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)
Crazy Hair Day – Kindness Challenge “Crazy Hair Because We Care!”
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)

September 30 (M)
Safety Week
BEST Starts
1:15, Directed Evacuation (i.e. Fire Drill)
3:00-4:00, Meet the Superintendent – Community Event (Library)

October 1 (T)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Bully-Proofing
ALICE Drill Classroom Lesson (done at time decided by teachers)
2:45-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, RM23)

October 2 (W)
Walk+Roll to School Day
National Custodial Workers Recognition Day
1:15, ALICE Evacuation Drill
2:30-4:30, Allan to Pay Grade Eval Committee (Ed Center)
3:00-7:00, Howard Only First Aid & CPR Class (Library)

October 3 (H)
Room Clear Drills (done at time decided by teachers)
8:00-4:00, Allan to Threat Assessment Training (Ed Center)

October 4 (F)
8:45, Earthquake Drill/Directed Evacuation
1:30, EA Supervisors Meeting (Title 1 Room, RM26)
2:30, Early Release PD – PLC

Happy Monday, everyone!