October 16, 2017

 

Howdy Everyone

Open House was a terrific success! Minus running out of pizza, that is, but we ordered almost 700 slices (same s what we ordered last year) and were out by 6:30! Still, it was so great to hear from many, many families how their kids are loving Howard and love their teachers and the staff. It’s at these types of events where you really hear how much families appreciate all of your hard work. You all are amazing!

Nineteen items of note for this week:

• Google Classroom and Read&Write Follow-Up – A quick follow-up to last week’s Google Classroom and Read&Write Training:

• Google Classroom Quicksheets – Linked here are the quicksheets Kellyclare shared on Thursday for Google Classroom Basics, Google Doc Basics, and Google Drive Organization. If you don’t have this bookmarked already, here’s a link to former Howard TSS extraordinaire David Nelson’s Tech Tools for Schools webpage, which has an entire section of quicksheets on Google, including general tips, team drives, forms, and so on.

• 4J Google Link – There is now a link to 4J Google Apps for students on the Howard website Links for Learners, which is where students would log in to Google Classroom.

• Student Google Classroom Log-In – Students log in using their 4J email and their Mealtime PIN. These can be found in the Synergy admin report “Class List (Elementary) with Student Usernames – School.” Linked here are directions for Printing Reports in TeacherVUE I shared earlier. You can also use this to see which of your students are already approved to to use Google apps. Let me know if you need help. I can also run the report for you.

• Google Student Permission Forms – Linked here is the K-8 Google Permission Form (English and Spanish). We’ll add this to our registration packet for new students and I’ll leave copies of English and Spanish forms by mailboxes for teachers if you’d like to send them home with students who do not already have permission.

• Read & Write Info – Here is the link to the Read & Write Resource Page Kelly Moriarty (wilson_ke@4j.lane.edu) and Jordan Gentzkow (gentzkow@4j.lane.edu) shared at Thursday’s training. Read & Write is already installed on all student iPads. On the laptops, students just need to open Chrome and log into their 4J account. The plugin is associated with their account and will automatically download. Kelly and Jordan said to feel free to contact them if you have any questions.

• Read & Write iPad Training Thursday at 2:30 – If you’d like to learn how Read & Write works on iPads, Kelly Moriarty is coming back to Howard to Thursday’s Technology Leadership Team Meeting at 2:30 in Angela’s Room (RM 24). Everyone is invited to attend!

• Charis McGaughy, 4J Assistant Superintendent, Visiting Howard Wednesday – Charis, 4J’s Assistant Superintendent, is visiting Howard on Wednesday from 8:30-11:00. She’s planning to meet with me for a bit and will then wander the school and visit classrooms, so don’t be surprised if she stops by your classroom this day.

• Conferences Info Coming Soon – Believe it or not, it’s time to start getting read for Parent/Teacher Conferences. Lori is prepping parent sign-up sheets for conference to go home soon and she will again schedule conferences for everyone, coordinating translators, siblings, specialists, and such, but to do this teachers will need to take the same breaks, lunches, and dinner times. We’ve grown too large as a school with too many variables for teachers block out different times, as some folks have done in the past. Let me know if you have any questions.

• Halloween Costume Parade, Oct. 31 – We’re not doing Thrill the World this year, but we are continuing the annual Howard Costume Parade. One suggestion I heard that I liked quite a lot was to move the parade to the start of the day at 8:10 instead of the end of the day, which might allow for more families to attend. Linked here is the Costume Parade Route & Directions, but we’ll do the parade entirely on the bottom floor to be inclusive of students who can’t use the stairs. Upstairs Buddy Classrooms will join their downstairs Buddy Classrooms at 8:05. At 8:10 Suzy’s class will lead the “Parade Train” from Blue-Wing to Green-Wing to Yellow-Wing. After classes complete their parade loop, they will re-enter their classroom or stand along the edges of the commons area to watch the parade. Families may watch from the courtyards or commons areas (or join the parade). Classroom parties may be held at the teacher’s discretion. Linked here is a flyer we can send home to families (Bianca will translate it when she returns).

• Classified Comp Time & Trade Time Clarification – Several folks had questions after my classified comp time item in last weeks announcements, so here are some clarifications and additional notes:

• Comp Time vs Trade Time – “Trade Time” is what staff most often are really using, though most people refer to it as “Comp Time.” Trade Time is when you work extra one day and then trade those hours out working less another day. Trade Time is hour for hour and not figured as time and a half which “comp time” does when it goes above the 40 hours of work per week.

• Using Trade Time – From article 11.3 of the contract: Trade time is equal time exchanged within the same workweek. Trade time is available by mutual agreement of the supervisor or building administrator and the employee.

• Work Beyond Regularly Scheduled Hours – From article 11.1.3 of the contract: Work time beyond scheduled work hours will be pre approved in writing, and where pre-approval is not possible, the administrator or supervisor will be informed in writing by the end of the employee’s next work day.

Contract language can be confusing, so let me know if you have any questions on this.

• PTO Wayback Burgers Fundraiser Monday 5:00-8:00 – Need dinner plans Monday night? Head over Wayback Burgers at Santa Clara Square between 5:00-8:00 and a percentage of all sales will be donated to Howard!

• Music & Dance Assembly with Los Arribeños – Through her work with the annual Día de los Muertos event at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Jill has again arranged for a group of musicians and dancers to perform for us next week, the morning of Friday, October 27th, with a K-2 assembly 8:10-8:35 and a 3-5 assembly 8:45-9;10. See the linked Assembly Map and Directions for details.

• Student Care Team Referrals, Oct. 25 – The Student Care Team will meet in two weeks, which means student/family referrals to the team are due this Friday. DHS has been great about helping quite a few of our families, pointing them towards resources for a variety of different situations (homelessness, assistance with bills, incarcerated parents, counseling resources, and many others), so please consider referring a student or family in need. Try to get a signature on the 4J Release Form (editable PDF and non-editable PDF) so we will be able to openly discuss the student(s) by name and also so DHS can research the family situation to see what services they would qualify for. If there’s a situation where you can’t get a signature for whatever reason, you can refer “hypothetical” student or family situations. Let me know if you have any questions about potential referrals, but if it’s a situation that’s on your mind, it’s probably a worth referring to the team.

• SMART Readers in New Year – Now that we have Alicia Longoria, the 4J Family Resource Coordinator, located in our building I’ve been working with her on some opportunities and one thing Howard used to have back when I was a teacher here is we had SMART Readers, who were community volunteers who would come in a couple days a week to read one-on-one with primary grade students picked by teachers who might need extra reading practice and/or time supportive adult. Alicia contacted the organization and found out Howard is actually the most requested school in all of 4J by volunteers! All we need is a parent or community volunteer to coordinate the readers. If we find someone soon, we might be able to get started as soon as January. I have some ideas who we might ask, but me know if you have ideas for who might be able to take this on.

• ODE School Report Cards Released – As an FYI, ODE is released school report cards last week. Linked here is the ODE Report Card Download website. I already shared some of this data at our back-to-school staff meeting. In terms of overall achievement (students meeting benchmark), we’re about the same as or better than similar 4J schools, but our Academic Growth (how well student scores improve 3rd to 4th grade and 4th to 5th grade) and in Student Group Growth (our subgroup data) is where we are lagging. I have additional data I can share at a future Staff Meeting, but let me know if you have any questions.

• Howard Staff Social: Movie Night! – It may not be Janet Jackson, but see Matt’s email if you’d like to join in on some pre-Halloween fun! This coming Sunday, October 22nd at 2:00 is a showing of the 1984 Wes Craven horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which features Johnny Depp’s film debut! The following weekend Saturday, October 28th at 9:30 PM is the 1974 Tobe Hooper grindhouse classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Both are showing at the Cinemark 17 at Gateway with reserve seating in their luxury loungers. Click the above links to reserve your seats now! And maybe we’ll do this too.

• REPEAT: PRIDE Awards, Perseverance, Oct 25th – The first PRIDE Awards will be Wednesday next week. Teachers should start talking to their class about PRIDE (Perseverance “Never Quit,” Respect “Honor Yourself and Others,” Integrity “Be Honest,” Discipline “Work Hard at Everything,” Excellence – “Do Your Personal Best.”) and thinking about 2-4 students who have been demonstrating Perseverance and a “Never Quit” attitude and behavior. Be sure to get certificate to be before the 25th so I can sign them and get them organized.

• Bring an artist into your classroom – Patricia shared with me a flyer from Clayfest offering a FREE opportunity to have an artist come lead a project with you class, though a regional non-profit named Local Clay. They offer demonstrations, workshops, and art projects. See the linked Local Clay Flyer for details.

• Produce Distribution Day, Oct. 27– Fresh produce is available for FREE to families once a month out of River Road Elementary School. This month’s distribution will be on Friday, October 27th from 3:00- 5:30. It is open to all 4J families but is advertised in the North Region. Feel free to spread the word.

• Know Your Rights Workshop – Thursday, October 26th, 6:30 p.m. Churchill Auditorium is a workshop intended for immigrant families and support staff interested in knowing the rights of undocumented families. There will be a 30 minute presentation on the rights of immigrant families followed by a question and answer time with a local lawyer. Families will also have the opportunity to pick-up a family preparedness kit and to sign-up for a one-on-one appointment with a district employee to organize their family preparedness folder. For more information or to make an appointment contact: Marcos 541-790-5151 (at Churchill) The office of Equity, Instruction & Inclusion is planning a follow-up to their Know Your Rights Workshop for an event to take place in Mid November or Early December, but feel free to share the Churchill event with interested families.

• From Dull To Creative With One Simple Trick – From the blog Byrdseed, which is focused on gifted learners, but is really great stuff for all learners. This Brydseed post discusses how building a creative and complex task seems like it should take enormous work, but teachers have found great success with this simple trick: ask students to personify things that don’t have a personality. Here’s a close-ended and boring (but very common) question students are asked: What is Brian, from Hatchet’s, main character trait?

• It’s close-ended because everyone will answer with the same word: perseverance.
• There’s no room for creativity or fun final products.
• It’s boring, because kids who have mastered this already know how to do the thinking. They’ve done it since 1st grade.

Add A Point Of View – What would Darth Vader think about Brian? Suddenly we have a question with many right answers. Students who want to go deeper can go deep. Now there’s the possibility for lots of cool products (imagine a comic book, a skit, a piece of art, or a short movie), not just a one-word answer. Bonus: switch Vader to another character (or real person) and the question reinvents itself! What would Hamlet, Susan B. Anthony, or Katniss think about Brian?

• Math Creativity Warmup Resources – Here’s another post from the October Byrdseed Newsletter titled Math Creativity Warmup Resources that pairs nicely with Number Talks, providing four different ways to frame math questions in more interesting ways that require students to justify their answer. This post also links to a related earlier post on Creative Math Warmups that’s also worth checking out.

• Halloween: Characters Dressed As Characters – Last Bryrdseed blog post. Here’s a fun activity that can span all grade levels and can be taken in a variety of directions. It’s Characters Dressed As Characters, which could be a simple art project or an opportunity for students to compare, contrast, discuss, and debate character traits.

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

October 16 (M)
First Day of BEST
9:00-1:00, Swift (2nd grade) to Mt. Pisgah
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)
5:00-8:00, PTO Wayback Burger Night Fundraiser

October 17 (T)
Fluoride Rise Starts
2:30-3:30 Staff Meeting (Ashley’s Room, Room 25)
3:30-5:00, Allan to BEST Coordinator Interviews (Conference Room)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

October 18 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
School Pictures
8:30-11:30, Charis McGaughy, Assistant Superintendent, Visiting Howard

October 19 (H)
12:00-6:00, Cookie Dough Fundraiser Order Pick-Up (Gym or Community Room)
9:00-1:00, Larsen/Pond (2nd grade) to Mt. Pisgah
2:30-3:30, iPad Read&Write Training/TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, Room 24)
2:30-3:30, Allan to SPED Eval Planning Meeting (Conference Room)

October 20 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
10:00-12:15, KG/Life Skills Field Trip to Deterings

October 22 (SU)
2:00, Howard Staff Social – A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984 (Cinemark 17)

October 23 (M)
2:30-3:30, Site Council Meeting (Conference Room)

October 24 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30 IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)

October 25 (W)
11:00-1:00, PRIDE Awards at Lunch (Cafeteria)
2:30-3:30, Student Care Team Meeting (Conference Room)

October 26 (H)
2:30-3:30, Optional ALICE Staff Refresher Training (Conference Room)

October 27 (F)
8:10-8:35, K-2 Assembly with Los Arribeños (Gym)
8:45-9:10, 3-5 Assembly with Los Arribeños (Gym)
11:00-1:00, Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Community Room)
1:00-1:30, Tentative Musicians and Dancers from Mexico Assembly (Gym)

October 28 (SA)
9:30, Howard Staff Social – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974 (Cinemark 17)

If any of you are wondering when the next short week is, we have three full weeks until Veterans Day Nov. 10th. Have a fab week, everyone!

Allan

October 9, 2017

 

Hello Roadrunners!

It’s a short week with kids coming Monday through Wednesdays, with a Howard PD Day Thursday and State In-Service Day Friday.

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• AESOP Job Note for Classified Subs – Classified staff, please enter your job title into the “Notes to Substitute” section of AESOP when you put in for a sub. AESOP is not good at giving subs a clear idea of what jobs they are picking up and this helps clarify.

• Licensed Staff Sub Folders – Most all classified staff have tuned in their sub folders to the office, but we’re still waiting on a number of licensed staff member sub folders. If you haven’t completed and turned yours in to Lori, please do so by the end of this week. Linked here is HR’s recommended list of Guest Teacher Folder Content.

• Classified Comp Time – Overtime and Compensatory “Comp” Time must have prior, written approval from a supervisor, which is most easily done by emailing me before to the date(s) you’re planning to accumulate comp time. Some additional notes regarding comp time:

• Overtime or Compensatory (comp) time (time and a half) for any time worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.
• Comp time requests must be submitted in writing (or email) prior to being accumulated.
• Only for occasional and irregular overtime work.
• Maximum of 240 hours may be accumulated.
• Must be used or paid within 26 months of earning.

Let me know if you have any questions.

• Number Talks Tips/Reminders – I wanted to highlight the Number Talks Cheat Sheet on page 1 of the Number Talks Packet (the green spiral) teachers were given at last week’s training. These are the golden rules for number talks, which everyone should try between now and our next Number Talks training on Tuesday, October 17th:

What does Number Talks look like?

o Students are near each other so they can communicate with each other (central meeting place)
o Students are mentally solving problems
o Students are given thinking time
o Thumbs up show when they are ready
o Teacher is recording students’ thinking

Communication

o Having to talk out loud about a problem helps students clarify their own thinking .
o Allow students to listen to other’s strategies and value other’s thinking
o Gives the teacher the opportunity to hear student’s thinking

Mental Math

o When you are solving a problem mentally you must rely on what you know and understand about the numbers
instead of memorized procedures
o You must be efficient when computing mentally because you can hold a lot of quantities in your head

Thumbs Up

o This is just a signal to let you know that you have given your students enough timq to think about the problem
o If will give you a picture of who is able to compute mentally and who is struggling
o It isn’t as distracting as a waving hand

Teacher as Recorder

o Allows you to record students’ thinking in the correct notation
o Provides a visual to look at and refer back to
o Allows you to keep a record of the problems posed and which students offered specific strategies

Purposeful Problems

o Start with small numbers so the students can learn to focus on the strategies instead of getting lost in the
numbers
o Use a number string [a string of problems that are related to and scaffold each other)

Starting Number Talks in your Classroom

o Start with specific problems in mind
o Be prepared to offer a strategy from a previous student
o It is ok to put a student’s strategy on the backburner
o Limit your number talks to about 15 minutes
o Ask a question, don’t tell!

The teacher asks questions:

o Who would like to share their thinking?
o Who did it another way?
o How many people solved it the same way as Billy?
o Does anyone have any questions for Billy?
o Billy, can you tell us where you got that 5?
o How did you figure that out?
o What was the first thing your eyes saw, or your brain did?
o What are Number Talks and Why are they

Additionally, linked here is an electronic version of the complete Number Talks Packet given to folks at the Number Talks training last Wednesday. And linked here is a Number Talks Lesson Planning Template, which is certainly not required to be used, but may be useful. All of the above documents are also on the Howard Google Team Drive under Curriculum/Instruction > Math > Number Talks.

• Math Updates – Linked here is an email update sent to Math Teacher Leaders, but the short version for math teachers is:

• Rekenreks – For K-2 teachers, you DO NOT have to use these but may. If you won’t be using them, please put them in your plastic tub.

• Printing Assessments – Assessments are on the grade-level pages of the 4J LearnZillion website and Jaimee will add them to the LZ Assessment Page as well.

• Optional TalentEd Goals Assistance Meeting Tuesday at 2:30 – Mentioned at last week’s Number Talks Training and in Gretta’s email, Gretta and I will be available on Tuesday at 2:30 to assist teachers with your TalentEd goals. Linked here are Shared Building Staff Goals that teachers are welcome to cut-and-paste into TalentEd. The math goal pre and post assessment are the main part teachers may want to come by for clarification/assistance with, but linked here are some K-2 examples and 3-5 examples of the types of questions grade level teams might want to use for your pre and post tests. Teachers are also welcome to develop your own goals, but all goals are to be entered by the end of this week, October 15th.

• Wacky Wednesday, Rainbow Day – This Wednesdays the first school spirit day of the year, know around Howard as a Wacky Wednesday. This time it’s Rainbow Day, so remind kids Monday & Tuesday to wear their most fabulous rainbow colors or rainbow duds on Wednesday. Personally, I ordered an excellent Rainbow Dash t-shirt I plan to wear. Future Wacky Wednesdays are:

• Nov. 8th — Favorite Sports Day
• Dec. 13th — Mismatch Clothes Day
• Jan. 10th School Color Day
• Feb. 7th — Favorite Character Day
• March 14th — Funky Sock Day
• April 11th — Favorite Animal Day
• May 9th — Extreme Hair Day
• June 6th — Day at the Beach

 

 
• PRIDE Awards, Perseverance, Oct 25th– The popular choice on the PRIDE Awards Survey is for awards to happen at lunchtime with family members invited to join their child for lunch. Dates for the awards will be:

Perseverance “Never Quit” – Wednesday, Oct. 25
Respect “Honor Yourself and Others” – Wednesday, Nov. 29
Integrity “Be Honest” – Wednesday, Jan. 17
Discipline “Work Hard at Everything” – Wednesday, Mar. 21
Excellence – “Do Your Personal Best” Wednesday, May 23

December, February, April, and June will be our big tail feather reward events. For new staff, linked here are copies of the PRIDE Award Certificates (Thank-you, Erin!). We’ll have hard copies run off ahead of time and available in the office before each assembly, but teachers should start talking to their class about PRIDE and thinking about 2-4 students who have been been demonstrating Perseverance and a “Never Quit” attitude and behavior.

• New Level 3 Form – Linked here is the new 4J Major Behavior Referral Form (i.e. Level 3) we’ll begin using once they are delivered sometime this week. The content of the form is pretty much the same as what’s on our current Level 3 form, but the format is fairly different.

These will be printed in triplicate, white on top (parent), pink in the middle (homeroom teacher) and yellow on bottom (office). As you can see on the form, there is a section of information that gets filled out on the second page, which does not go to the parent on the first page. Downtown is in the process of having the form translated into Spanish.

• Stop, Walk, Talk Review – I shared this last year, but below is a good video teachers can use for a class review of Stop, Walk, Talk at a Caring School Curriculum class meeting. Also, linked here is a Stop, Walk, Talk step-by-step Stop, Walk, Talk Lesson on teaching this strategy, which I believe was created by Brianna Stiller.
 

 
• Equity, Instruction and Partnerships Website – The 4J Office of Equity, Instruction and Partnership has a new website! The purpose of the website is to provide teachers, staff and administrators with community and district events, family resources, free/low cost professional growth opportunities in our area, and links to interpretation services and an application form (to a very small pot of money from the Equity, Instruction and Partnerships’) for student enrichment opportunities in our area (for bus, materials…). Dr. Karen Pérez-Da Silva said to let her know if there are articles, video, film, event, etc. that you recommend for the website, so feel free to email me anything you think should be posted to the website and I will forward it on. The website will be updated bi-monthly so please bookmark it for future reference.

• Commingled Recycling – In light of recent local news stories (one and two) about recycling, here’s a quick reminder of what can an cannot be placed in the blue commingled recycling containers. See the image below and click to enlarge for a printable poster. YES to paper, cardboard, foil, cans, tin cans, plastic bottles, tubs & jars, but NO to napkins, waxed cardboard, plastic pouches, styrofoam, plastic lids/caps, or plastic wrap. If you’d like to review this with your class, SaniPac has a Recycling Slide Show of what can be recycled, which is who 4J contracts with.
 

 
• Track Work Postponed – The rubber installation I mentioned last week has been deferred to later due to disagreement on the price for installation. There’s timeline for when it will be done at this point.

• UO The International Cultural Service Program Presentations – The International Cultural Service Program (ICSP) is now open for 2017-18. ICSP provides free presentations and classroom visits by specially trained international UO students. They can give cultural presentations, participate in panel discussions, and introduce activities from cooking, song, dance, and crafts, to martial arts, yoga, traditional sports, and storytelling. An updated ICSP Brochure is coming soon, but for an up to date list of available ICSP students, please visit the International Cultural Service Program website (or this link to request visits) or watch is video to see them in action.

• REPEAT: Open House (formerly Curriculum Night) Wednesday, Oct. 11th– Linked here is a English/Spanish flyer for the 2017 Howard Open House. Classrooms and specialist areas will be open 5:45-6:45, pizza will be served in the cafeteria 6:00-7:00, and a Title 1 Presentation in the library at 6:00. Classroom teachers will get Pizza Tickets (Thank you, Angela!) in your mailboxes this week.

• UPDATED: Howard PD Day, Thursday, Oct 12th – Linked here is the agenda for Thursday’s Google Classroom PD. We’ll have our usual breakfast goodies and drinks, and will start at 8:00 in the cafeteria and will go until 11:30. Charge up your devices the night before and bring them to the meeting along with a charger. Classified staff are invited, but not required to attend.

• REPEAT: State In-Service Day, Friday, Oct 13th – Friday, October 13th is State In-Service day. This is a regular work day for administrators and 192 & 196-day classified staff. This is a non-contract day for licensed staff. For classified staff, you are requited to attend the ALICE training below if you have not already been trained. If you are ever wondering about work year dates, most all of your questions can be answered on the 4J Employee Work Year Calendars webpage.

• REPEAT: District ALICE Training for New Staff, Oct. 13 – 4J is holding an ALICE training October 13th, 8:30- 11:30 at Churchill High School for staff new to the district who have not previously received ALICE training. This is a required training for any untrained classified staff, but this is a non-contract day for licensed staff, so it is an optional training for licensed staff members. Registration is required, so to do so, just click this ALICE Training Registration link.

• Classroomscreen.com – A teacher from the Netherlands made a simple tool with all their favorite digiboard widgets. They couldn’t find such a thing, so they made it it themselves. classroomscreen.com Just project the website on your board full-screen and you can:

• choose a background
• type your instructions in the textbox
• choose a work symbol
• set a timer or show the clock
• use the traffic light
• pick a random name
• do some simple math
• draw in-screen or full-screen
• generate a qr-code
• drag and drop the icons in the right place

It’s a pretty cool simple tool for interactive white boards!
 

 
• How positive language improves student learning – Positive language can help empower students and boost academic success, asserts teacher Alyssa Nucaro. In this Edutopia blog post, she outlines her strategy, which includes eliminating the word “don’t,” being honest and direct, choosing your words wisely, practicing positive vocabulary, and conveying faith in student abilities.

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

October 9 (M)
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
7:50-11:45, Data Team Meetings (Title 1 Room, Room 30)
9:25-11:05, 5th Grade Natives Presentations (STEAM Room)

October 10 (T)
Bianca Out Until Oct. 18
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30 IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)
2:30-3:30, Optional Teacher Goal Assistance Meeting (Conference Room)
4:00-8:00, District First Aid/CPR Class (Library)

October 11 (W)
Wacky Wednesday -Rainbow Day
2:30-3:30 PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, Room 1)
4:00-5:00. Allan to North Region Principals Meeting SKIPPING
5:45-7:00, Open House

• 5:45 Classrooms Open
• 6:00 Title 1 Presentation (Library)
• 6:00 Pizza Served in Cafeteria
• 6:45 Classrooms Close
• 7:00 Pizza Dinner in Cafeteria Closes

October 12 (H)
No School – Howard PD Day
8:00-11:30, Howard PD w/Kelly MS Staff (Cafeteria)
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

October 13 (F)
No School — State In-Service Day
Regular Workday for Classified Staff
Non-Contract Day for Licensed Staff
8:30-11:30, ALICE Training for New Staff (Churchill HS)

October 16 (M)
First Day of BEST
9:00-1:00, Swift (2nd grade) to Mt. Pisgah
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)
5:00-8:00, PTO Wayback Burger Night Fundraiser

October 17 (T)
2:30-3:30 Staff Meeting (Ashley’s Room, Room 25)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

October 18 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
School Pictures
8:30-11:30, Charis McGaughy, Assistant Superintendent, Visiting Howard

October 19 (H)
Cookie Dough Fundraiser Order Pick-Up
9:00-1:00, Larsen/Pond (2nd grade) to Mt. Pisgah
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, Room 24

October 20 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
10:00-12:15, KG/Life Skills Field Trip to Deterings

October 22 (SU)
2:00, Howard Staff Social – A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984 (Cinemark 17)

October 28 (SA)
9:30, Howard Staff Social – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974 (Cinemark 17)

Have a good short week, everyone!

Allan

October 2, 2017

Hello Awesome Howard Staff!

Monday is National Custodial Workers Recognition Day, so I’d like to take a moment to recognize the work of Crystal, Nigel, and Auburn for keeping our building running smoothly. You’re the best!

Eighteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Susan Schueller, a new Life Skills EA, is taking a leave, so SSD is working to fill the position. For now we’ll have subs, but I’ll let folks know once we have someone more permanent in place. Also, our new BEST Coordinator, Joshua Wrolstad, has left his position for another opportunity. The position will be posted this week if you know someone good, but do know there is a possibility the start date of BEST may be delayed.

• Monthly PBIS Focus: Bully-Proofing – The Howard October PBIS monthly focus is Bully-Proofing, so remember the PBIS/Caring School Community Cheat Sheet, which matches our PBIS monthly themes with Caring School Community class meeting lessons. This is a nice way to tie the PBIS and CSC together

• Walk + Roll to School Day, Oct 4th – Ronny sent a couple emails earlier, but remind your students that this Wednesday is Walk + Roll to School Day, where students are encouraged to walk, skateboard, bike, scooter, or use another non-motorized mode of transportation to get to school this day. There will be stickers and tattoos for all students who participate as well as a raffle for two helmets, two sets of skate-pads, and a scooter! I’ll announce the winners at the end of the day.

• Open House (formerly Curriculum Night), Wednesday, Oct. 11th– Linked here is a flyer for the 2017 Howard Open House, formerly known as Curriculum Night. Office staff will put class sets, back-to-back in English and Spanish, in teacher mailboxes to go home in Friday Folders. The start and end times will stay the same as what we’ve already advertised, with classrooms and specialist areas open 5:45-6:45, pizza being served in the cafeteria 6:00-7:00, and a Title 1 Presentation in the library at 6:00. Let me know if you have any questions.

• Howard PD Day, Thursday, Oct 12th – Our first Howard PD day of the year will focus on Google Classroom. I’m waiting on the final agenda from the Tech Department, but we’ll start at 8:00 in the cafeteria and will go until 12:00. Classified staff are invited to attend, but not required.

• State In-Service Day, Friday, Oct 13th – Friday, October 13th is State In-Service day. This is a regular work day for administrators and 192 & 196-day classified staff. For classified staff, you are required to attend an ALICE training (see item below) if you have not already been trained. If you’ve already attended a training, this would be a good day to take any accumulated comp time (which officially is not supposed to be accumulated without giving me prior notice). For licensed staff, this is a non-contract day. If you are ever wondering about work year dates, most all of your questions can be answered on the 4J Employee Work Year Calendars webpage.

• District ALICE Training for New Staff – 4J is holding an ALICE training October 13th, 8:30- 11:30 at Churchill High School for staff new to the district who have not previously received ALICE training. This is a required training for any untrained classified staff, but this is a non-contract day for licensed staff, so it is an optional training for licensed staff members. Registration is required, which you can do by clicking this ALICE Training Registration link.

For staff unfamiliar with ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate), it is a response protocol to emergency situations, such as an active shooter, which 4J and many other Oregon school districts have adopted and are now teaching students. This is a difficult and emotional matter for adults, but for students who don’t have the perspective we have as adults, this is simply another emergency dill.

• Student ALICE Training & Staff Refresher – With Safety Week coming up at the end of the month, I wanted teachers to note on the calendar that on Wednesday, November 1st, all classrooms are to teach the ALICE Drill Protocols before we conduct the drill on Thursday, November 2nd. I’ll hold an optional refresher training for staff on Thursday, October 26th at 2:30 in the Conference Room for new staff and anyone who wants to review how to teach the ALICE Protocol Student Lesson.

Linked here is the PowerPoint presentation (and a PDF version with notes) that classroom teachers will use to teach the safety drills to students on Wednesday, Nov. 1st. After going through the PowerPoint, teachers 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 linked guiding questions. The following day on Thursday, Nov. 2nd at 9:00, we’ll practice the Lockdown: Evacuation Drill. For that drill I will press the office lockdown button (dropping curtains, locking exterior doors, and closing [not locking] 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 on the perimeter of the school grounds. Classes will stop at the edge of the property and wait for my all-clear announcement. In a real emergency, students and staff would evacuate well past the edge of the property, getting much further away. I’ll share more details at the refresher training, but those are the basics. Please let me know if you have any questions.

• 17-18 Leadership Plan Proposals – Linked here are three Proposed 2017-2018 Leadership Plans for distributing 22 sub days among no more than 7 licensed staff members. Plan A is the same as last year except it eliminated the Science Leader and moved those days to the Math Leaders. Plan B is the same as Plan A except it moves two additional days from the Tech Leader to the Math Leaders. Plan C is the same as Plan A except it instead moves two additional days from the PBIS Leader to the Math Leaders. If anyone has other proposals for new positions or different sub day allocations, let me know soon so I can send it out to everyone before the October Staff Meeting where we’ll vote on a final plan.

Plan A:
PBIS Leader: 3 days
IPBS Co-Leaders: 10 days
Technology Leader: 4 days
Literacy Leader: 2 days
Math Co-Leaders: 3 days

Plan B:
PBIS Leader: 3 days
IPBS Co-Leaders: 10 days
Technology Leader: 2 days
Literacy Leader: 2 days
Math Co-Leaders: 5 days

Plan C:
PBIS Leader: 1 days
IPBS Co-Leaders: 10 days
Technology Leader: 4 days
Literacy Leader: 2 days
Math Co-Leaders: 5 days

• ThinkCentral Teacher Log-In – A few teachers (and tech savvy ones at that) contacted me last week having problems with the teacher log-in for ThinkCentral. Username and passwords are:

USERNAME: your full email address (i.e. chinn@4j.lane.edu)
PASSWORD: Capital first and last initials, followed by _t, followed by your 6-digit employee ID number (i.e. AC_t654321)

If you continue to have trouble logging in, you can also reset your password (though it may revert back to the above password after the nightly sync with Synergy). To get a new password, select your state, district, and school from the pull-down menus on the login page, enter your full email address for the username (chinn@4j.lane.edu), and click Reset Password. You will receive an email with instructions on resetting your password.

If you do not get an email or get a message that it can’t find an account, send an email to 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu that includes the school name so Tech Department staff know where to give your access. Also, I still have admin access to ThinkCentral from when Howard piloted Journeys a few years ago and can reset your password.

• Track Closed a Few Days – Facilities staff are going to add some rubber to the synthetic turf field this week. This will put the field out of commission for at least a day or two while it’s being prepared and installed. I haven’t gotten firm dates when this will happen, but I’m sure it’ll be obvious when they’re working and I’ve asked them to post signs or tape for when it’s closed.

• Instructional Technology Fall Workshops – A few staff members have asked where go to register for any of the Instructional Technology workshops this fall. Just go the the 4J Workshops webpage. There is an Introduction to SMART Notebook workshop here at Howard on October 16th, which I’d encourage anyone to attend who is not familiar with the applicaiton. All workshops have PDUs for attending. If you need help registering, just call or email Misty Jackson (x7567 or jackson_misty@4j.lane.edu) for help.

• Oregon College Savings PlanBe College Ready brings the Oregon College Savings Plan directly into elementary schools, providing school supplies promoting the college savings to families. I’ve placed an order for the free homework folders, pencils, and bookmarks for every student, along with brochures, which teachers can send home. Also, 20 families from each of the five congressional districts will be eligible to win a $100 Oregon College Savings Plan account.

• School Choice Calendar Changes – As an FYI, there will be some changes to how the school choice process works this year. Linked here is the complete email sent to principals and secretaries, but she Reader’s Digest version is that the visitation and application period will be only in January and not February, with an application deadline of January 31st. The School Showcase will still happen, but will be earlier in the year and only 2 hours.

• NEHS Run to Stay Warm! – North Eugene High School staff are organizing a North Region presence at EWEB’s Run to Stay Warm, a race that benefits EWEB customers who are having difficulties paying their utility bills. The race has a 5k, 10k, and Half-Marathon. The NEHS community is offered a $5 discount code for the race. You can register online at their website or in person at EWEB’s office at 500 E. 4th, and use the discount code HSRTSW17. Feel free to use the discount code and share it with families and students.

• Talk Time: Conversational English – Feel free to share this Eugene Public Library event with families as you see appropriate. “Learning English? Come meet other learners and practice together! Drop in for ‘Talk Time,’ a casual, conversational gathering at the Downtown Eugene Public Library on Thursday, October 5, 4:00 p.m. Everyone’s welcome and admission is free. For more information, contact Eugene Public Library at 541-682-5450 or http://www.eugene-or.gov/library.”

• What’s Rigor Anyway? – In this Edutopia article, New York teacher Brian Sztabnik notes how often the word “rigor” crops up in faculty meetings, educational conferences, and worried chats with colleagues (“Is this book rigorous enough?”). But what does rigor mean?

• Making students’ work more difficult?
• Giving them more homework and classwork?
• Assigning work further up Bloom’s taxonomy or deeper on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge?

Hold on, says Sztabnik. “Rigor is a result, not a cause… Rigor is not defined by the text – it comes from what students do. It is not standard across a curriculum – it is individual to each student’s needs. It is not quantified by how much gets crammed into a school day – it is measured in depth of understanding.”

Sztabnik describes how novelist David Foster Wallace taught his literary analysis course at Illinois State University. Wallace used seemingly middlebrow works like Lonesome Dove, Carrie, and Silence of the Lambs and said to his students, “Don’t let any lightweightish-looking qualities of the texts delude you into thinking this will be a blow-off-type class. These ‘popular’ texts will end up being harder than more conventionally ‘literary’ works to unpack and read critically.”

That’s the point, says Sztabnik: “Rigor is the result of work that challenges students’ thinking in new and interesting ways. It occurs when they are encouraged toward a sophisticated understanding of fundamental ideas and are driven by curiosity to discover what they don’t know… Let us aspire to something greater than making difficult work for our students. Let’s take them to that intersection of encouragement and engagement, where they confront ideas and problems that are meaningful. Let’s stretch their thinking. Let’s unleash their sophistication. And let’s foster a love of deep knowledge.”

• 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:

October 2 (M)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Bully-Proofing
National Custodial Workers Recognition Day
easyCBM Testing Closes

October 3 (T)
Vision Screening
9:00-11:30, Allan Meeting with SRO Supervisor (Office)
2:30-3:30, Student Care Team Meeting (Conference Room)

October 4 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
Walk + Roll to School Day
2:30-3:30, Teacher Team Time – Number Talks Session 1 (Volunteer’s Classroom)
2:30-4:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Meeting (Ed Center) SKIPPING
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

October 5 (H)
9:00, Monthly Book Winners (Conference Room)
12:35, Safety Patrol Training (Community Room)

October 6 (F)
Kindergarten Hearing Screening (Room 1)

October 9 (M)
7:50-11:45, Data Team Meetings (Conference Room)

October 10 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30 IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)
4:00-8:00, District First Aid/CPR Class (Library)

October 11 (W)
2:30-3:30 PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, Room 1)
5:45-7:00, Open House

• 5:45 Classrooms Open
• 6:00 Title 1 Presentation (Library)
• 6:00 Pizza Served in Cafeteria
• 6:45 Classrooms Close
• 7:00 Pizza Dinner in Cafeteria Closes

October 12 (H)
No School – Howard PD Day
8:00-12:00, Howard PD w/Kelly MS Staff (Cafeteria)
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

October 13 (F)
No School — State In-Service Day
Regular Workday for Classified Staff
Non-Contract Day for Licensed Staff
8:30-11:30, ALICE Training for New Staff (Churchill HS)

We made it through the first month of school, everyone!

Allan

September 25, 2017

 

Howdy Everyone,

Sorry, I thought these would get shorter, but…

Thirty items of note for this week:

• Math Updates – Jaimee Massie sent a lengthy email with updates to Math Teacher Leaders and principals, but the abridged version is:

• Parent Communication: Linked here is a Parent Math Info flyer explaining the new adoption, which we’ll send with the October newsletter and also run off copies to distribute in classrooms at Open House/Curriculum Night. I’ve asked downtown if this will be translated into Spanish and if it’s not, we’ll do it ourselves. 4J has also launched a Family and Community Math Resource webpage that will be updated over the year.

• Manipulatives: Let me know if you DO NOT want to store your math manipulatives plastic tub in your classroom. Also, rekenreks are coming in class sets of 50 for each K-2 teacher, and are to be considered part of the manipulative kits for primary. Why 50? Kits will have extras to replace lost or broken items over the years.

• Printing: Unit 2 will be in buildings early this week, but is already available in PDF on the Math Full Lesson Plans section of the 4J LearnZillion website, as are the student workbooks. The goal is to get teacher’s guides out for the first half of the year to assist planning by early October and have 2-3 units of student materials delivered a month. Exit Tickets (one pager/two per page) can be found on each Unit page under the Unit Planner, next to the Games. These are a building/teacher print budget responsibility IF teacher’s choose to use them. Printable Summative Assessments are currently housed on the Grade-Level Page but will slowly be incorporated into Unit Pages, as they are currently only one large file for all units per grade.

• Planning & Prep: Some teachers have wondered about prepping games or tasks when blacklines are located in the student workbook. Alternatives to cutting out pages/resources out of student workbooks? Consider using a set of Investigations Cards when possible, make a cardstock partner/class set before the lesson, assign part of the work to a set of students rather than all students assembling individually, or set up as morning work. Downtown will take feedback on where resources are best located for next year. They wanted to ensure teachers and students had any resources they needed this year. Also, emphasize preparing for a KEY CONCEPT rather than a lesson. Consider previewing slides and videos for all 2-4 lessons of the key concept to know the target. And as we move into Unit 1, consider leveraging routines from Unit 0 and exploring the Curriculum Guide. Some questions to ask when planning; What hands-on tools do my kids need from the kit? What questions from the Curriculum Guide should I be ready to ask? How will students share their thinking?

• Student Accounts: All students are uploaded (and updated) nightly. Passwords for LearnZillion are student lunch numbers. If teachers wish to make rosters, directions can be found in the PD Library under Tips and Tools.

• Restraint & Seclusion Policy – SSD sent the following linked email to principals, which is a reminder about district policy and state laws regarding restraint and seclusion of students. Restraint is defined as the restriction of a student’s movement by one or more persons holding the student or applying physical pressure upon the student (which can mean as little as holding a student by the hand or arm when they do not want held). Seclusion is defined as the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room from which the student is physically prevented from leaving (which could mean blocking a student from leaving the Quiet Room or another enclosed space). Restraint and seclusion are not forbidden, but can only be done if there is an imminent threat to safety and can only be done for a very short duration of time.

If a student has an incident of physical restraint or seclusion, either by trained or untrained staff, the following steps must be followed:

1. Contact the parent as soon as possible; schools must provide verbal or electronic notification of incident by end of school day
2. Complete required documentation and provide written documentation to the family
3. Within 48 hours, hold a debriefing meeting with administrator, staff members involved in the intervention, and invite the parent/guardian. Written notes must be taken and a copy of the written notes must be provided to a parent or guardian of the student, whether or not they are able to attend.
4. If there have been 5 or more incidents of restraint and seclusion a team must convene to revise the FBA/ BSP
5. Make sure that you are in communication with your SSD administrator and behavior consultant if interventions are not effective
6. If your school needs more training and assistance with conducting FBAs and BSPs, please register for the trainings offered this fall and/or reach out to your behavior consultant for coaching.

Please see the linked Guidelines for Restrain and Seclusion for more information.

• Mandatory Bus Safety Training 2017-2018 – As required by OAR 581-53-002, all students must receive instruction on bus safety before winter break. Principals were sent the linked email and Lori forwarded it to staff, but the intent of the rule is to reach the occasional riders who find themselves on a bus because of a field trip or other activity. Linked here are bus safety information sheets (English and Spanish) classroom teachers can teach from, but to meet the training requirement, the easiest method is by showing the the quaint 1997 bus safety video The Safest Way Out. Once classroom teachers have completed your chosen method of meeting the requirement, please email Lori the date and the training method you used (video or teacher created lesson).

• Fire Drill, Wednesday at 8:45 – Linked here is the updated Fire Drill Evacuation Map, which shows the paths different wings should exit by and where classes should line up. . The drill will be at 8:45 on Wednesday.

• Teachers – Have a red and green card to flash Lori or myself to indicate if all your students are all accounted for (green) or not (red). Let Lori or I know who your missing students are and we will try to locate them. If you have students at Title, ELD, SPED, or another pull-out, those students stay with that group and classroom teacher hold up greet if all of the students you’re in charge of at that time are accounted for. If your class is at Music or PE, meet your class at the PE and Music locations to make sure all students are accounted for. I have a few extra red and green cards that I will leave on the downstairs workroom table (though a thumbs-up or thumbs-down works in a pinch).

• Specialists (minus PE & Music) – Have a student lists of who is in each of your groups to determine if anyone is missing.
Let me know if you have any questions.

• Emergency Procedures Manual – Related to the above, if you do not have or have been unable to locate your Emergency Procedures Manual (the tabbed, rainbow colored, spiral bound, document), please let me know and I’ll get you one. These should be clearly posted in your classroom near your door or by your phone.

• Larry Soberman Subbing on Thursday – I’m out of the building this Thursday at an all-day training, but retired Twin Oaks principal Larry Soberman will be covering for me. I’ll be over at the Lane ESD, so if anything out of the ordinary comes up, I can zip on back pretty quick.

• Howard Roadrunner Pledge – It’s come to my attention that the Spanish translation of the Howard Roadrunner Pledge is a rather awkward translation. We now have a more accurate translation that we’ll begin using once we get updated signs and/or translations to stick on top of our current signs. I’ll keep you all posted once we figure out the best way to update our classroom pledge signs.

Soy un correcaminos de la escuela Howard.
Yo soy prudente, amable y responsable.

Soy un individuo único,
y soy parte de la familia de la escuela Howard.

Tomo buenas decisiones
y me emociona aprender.

Somos los correcaminos de la escuela Howard,
¡y el día de hoy será un éxito!

• LearnZillion, Number Talks PD, and let me know if you need a book – In support of the LearnZillion implementation, all elementary teachers are participating in four hours of PD related to Number Talks before winter break. We are holding our trainings at a mix of Staff Meetings and monthly Teacher Team Time Meetings. The first session will be Wednesday, October 4th, 2:30-3:30, following teacher’s one hour of uninterrupted prep. The following meetings will be Tuesday, October 17th, Wednesday, November 8th, and Wednesday, December 13th. Howard did some PD around Number Talks several years ago, so some teachers already have books, but if you DO NOT have a copy of Number Talks: Whole Number Computation by Sherry Parrish, let me know by the end of this week and I’ll make sure you have a copy for the October training.

• Building SMART Goals – Linked here are Shared Building Staff Goals that teachers are welcome to cut-and-paste into TalentEd as your own goals if you would like. The math goal likely requires a bit of an explanation, but it’s aligned with the Number Talks PD mentioned above and is something classroom teachers will already be doing. I’ll give some additional explanation at the Oct. 4th. meeting. Teachers are also welcome to develop your own goals, but all goals are to be entered by October 15th.

• Open House/Curriculum Night Plan – At last week’s Staff Meeting we decided to change the format of our Curriculum Night and are rebranding it Open House in hopes of improving our family turnout. Below is an article going out in the October Newsletter describing the event. I’m working on updating the flyer so we can send that home soon.

Open House, formerly known as Curriculum Night, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11th. We’re changing the format of this event to be less of a formal presentation by teachers to being a more casual chance for families (both kids and adults) to visit classrooms and to get a chance to connect with teachers. After families visit classrooms, you’ll be given a class passport your family can redeem for a pizza dinner in the cafeteria. Classrooms will be open from 5:45-6:45 and pizza will be served in the cafeteria 6:00-7:00. Howard hosts a school-wide Title I Program. As such, this evening will also provide families with an opportunity to learn more about the academic services provided through Title I. A presentation will be offered at 6:00 in the library and families are encouraged to attend. Hope to see you there!

Click image for Pinterest Open House scavenger hunt ideas

• Natives Program Information – Brenda Brainard, the Natives Program Director, shared this information at our last Staff Meeting, but linked is a scan of the Title VII Student Eligibility Certification form, the NATIVES Program brochure, flyer, and the latest newsletter . I’ll leave a pile of certification forms and flyers under staff mailboxes. Not posted here, but attached in the email is the list of our current students who are identified as Native American. And lastly, here’s a link to the 4J NATIVES Program website, which lists the different services available to students, classrooms and schools, along with contact information for how to access these services.

• Oct 12th Howard PD Day – The first Howard PD Day will be Thursday, October 12th. I’ll send out a more detailed agenda after confirming times with the Technology Department, but we will meet starting at 8:00 in the cafeteria for a joint training with Kelly Middle School staff on using Google Classroom.

• Tech Department Troubleshooter Available 9/25 – Misty Jackson from the Technology Department will be at Howard all day again on Monday, September 25th to help troubleshoot, train, or assist staff on any technology related topic. Continue to send any tech issues you have to our TSS, Peggy, at 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu, but if you’d like to work with Misty on Monday, email her directly at jackson_misty@4j.lane.edu

• Classroom Audio Tech Tip – When you switch between Enzo and HDMI or VGA video inputs, Enzo automatically changes your laptop audio preferences to soundflower. If you plug the computer back into the wall (HDMI or VGA), you’ll have to go into your System Preferences and switch the sound output to headphones.

• Seesaw – Angela shared the excellent home/school communication app, Seesaw, at last week’s Staff Meeting. Here’s a link to step-by-step instructions on Setting Up Your Classroom and another for Adding Students to Your Class.

• Tech Subscription Survey Results – The results of the Tech Subscription Survey are in and the winning subscriptions in order are Tumblebooks, Spelling City, News-o-matic, and in last place Bookflix. Survey results are posted in the TLT folder on the Howard Google Team Drive. We will purchase a site license for Tumbebooks and also Spelling City for teachers who want it. With the remaining money, I’ll see how many teachers want News-o-matic and see what we can afford. I’ll come around this week to check in with teachers, but also feel free to email me if you want Spelling City and/or News-o-matic.

• PTO Cookie Dough Orders Due Wednesday – Classroom teachers, please remind your students that cookie dough orders are due this Wednesday. As envelopes get turned in, please place them in the box on the counter under staff mailboxes. Orders will be delivered and available for pick-up Thursday, October 19th.

• Teacher Classroom Funds – The PTO cut us a check for teacher funds and they gave us significantly more this year, so even though we have far more students and staff than we did last year, and thanks to the generosity and fundraising efforts of the PTO, we are able to increase the per pupil allocation for classroom funds from $17 per student to $20.50 per student. We’ll continue doing a per pupil allocation to differentiate between larger and smaller classes, which isn’t a perfect system since class sizes fluctuate over the course of the year, but I believe it’s the fairest way to divide the funds and to account for differences in class sizes. Specialists will again receive $125. See the linked PTO Funds List for the amount breakdown. There is some left over in this amount that goes into a principal slush type fund, that we typically use for things like buying shoes, backpacks, and such to help student/family in needs.

• Birthday Lunches with the Principal – For staff new to Howard, each month I do “Birthday Lunches with the Principal” for all the students who have birthdays that month. This Friday I’ll have lunches with students in the Community Room who have August and September birthday. Not linked here, but attached in my email is a list of all the students who have August and September birthdays sorted by grade level and teacher.

• Optional Leadership Plan Meeting – Monday at 2:30 will be an optional meeting to create draft Leadership Plans, which we’ll vote on at the October Staff Meeting. Linked here is last year’s plan. The one suggestion I’ve heard so far is to allocate more days for our Math Teacher Leaders to compensate for all of their duties related to the LearnZillion implementation.

• Instructional Technology Visit – Kim Finch, 4J Instructional Technology Administrator, is visiting all elementary school to co-observe a 20-30 minute lesson in a classroom with a teacher that is comfortable and willing to have us see how students are using the technology. For this co-observation, the teacher does not need to do anything special, or do anything that requires additional planning. Please let me know if any of teachers are willing to volunteer, specialists included.

• DHS Reporting Form – Sadly, we’ve already had to make a few child welfare calls to DHS this year, but I wanted to remind staff that when you make calls to be sure to notify me and to also complete an Abuse Reporting Form (Word and PDF) so I can track dates, concerns, and how many calls we’ve made for individual student. Forms are also available in the filing cabinet by Bianca’s desk. All school employees are mandatory reporters, so if you need to call, the phone number is (541) 349-4444. Feel free to talk with me if you’re ever unsure about how to handle a particular situation.

• District & Howard Staff Orientation Check-Lists Due Friday – The checklist acknowledgment forms (District and Howard) to indicate that you have read and understood the District Back-to-School Memo (PDF) and the Howard Staff Handbook are due to me this Friday. I’ll plan to start bugging individual staff members Wednesday who haven’t turned in their acknowledgement forms. This is a requirement of all classified and licensed staff.

• Classified & Licensed Self Assessment Due Friday – All staff, both classified and licensed, need to complete a self assessment by this Friday. Licensed staff need to complete their self assessment in TalentEd. Classified staff need to complete the Classified Employee Self Assessment form, unless you completed one at the end of last year.

• District Items – Downtown asked principals to share several items of note with staff:

• Facilities Improvement Request (FIP) – Please do not begin any facilities changes or additions to school property without getting approval from the Facilities Department. There is now a form you need to complete first to submit a request. If you begin a process without getting approval, you will be asked to remove the facility change.

• Verify Government Agencies before Providing Student or Staff Information – The proper protocol to follow if an outside agency (FBI, CIA, another police department from another city or state, Homeland Security, etc.) calls and asks you for information about one of our students and/or staff members, is to take their name, number and agency name and call the Eugene Police Department at (541) 682-8189 to ask them to verify the caller.

• 4J FAQ for Supporting Undocumented Students – Please review and familiarize yourself with the linked 4J FAQ for Supporting Undocumented Students 2017.

• Trauma Informed Care Resources – There are some excellent resources (articles, infographics and other) at the ECHO Parenting website, which included many downloadable resource materials for both parents and educators.

• DACA Renewal Clinic – Please share this flyer with families as you see fit. ClinicLatinx Alliance of Lane County (of which Eugene 4J is a participating member) is hosting this clinic. The time with lawyers is free but the US government charges $495 dollars for each renewal form. There will be some partial and full scholarships available for the government fees. Call Centro Latino Americano at (541) 687-2667 to make an appointment.

• Grant Opportunities – Here are a few grant opportunities folks can feel free to apply to, but let me know if you are applying for anything over $5,000 as we have to submit an approval form to downtown. Quite a few staff members have written grants before so you might save yourself some time by asking/emailing colleagues if they have written a grant for _______ that you might copy. I have quite a few myself if anyone is thinking of applying for anything.

• SELCO SPARK GrantsSELCO SPARK Grants will fund most any school based projects with the exception of paying for food, prizes, field trips, or salaries. No deadline for application is listed.

• Lowe’s Small Toolbox for Education Lowe’s Small Toolbox for Education grant program funds grants from $2,000-$5,000 for facility renovations and safety improvements, technology upgrades and tools for STEM programs. They do not pay for stipends, salaries, artists in residence, field trips, or third party funding. Applications are due September 29th.

• Northwest Community Credit Union’s Mini GrantsNorthwest Community Credit Union funded one Howard grant last year for art supplies. They provide grants for $100-$1,500 for specific items/resources needed to engage students and facilitate learning, but not for professional development, incentives or rewards, or facilities/grounds improvements. Applications are due October 15th.

• Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund – The Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund will provide grants of an unlimited amount with a $1,000 minimum. They list their focus areas as Affordable Housing and Shelter, Education and Youth Development, Environmental Stewardship Human Services, and Civic and Cultural Growth. Applications are due October 30th.

• Three Rivers Foundation – The Three Rivers Foundation grants open December 1st. They do not list a minimum or maximum amount and simply list “Education” as their top program priority, so you can probably ask for most anything from them.

• Franz Bakery Foundation – The Franz Bakery Foundation focuses on Families and Youth Development and Hunger Reduction. They offer both product and cash donations and do not seem to have a minimum or maximum. No deadline was listed, so it must be ongoing.

• District Admin Updates – HR Administrator Randi Bowers-Payne is moving up and on. She is taking on a leadership position as the City of Eugene’s Director of Risk Services. Bernadette Adeniran will fill her role on an interim basis, until the position is posted and filled.

• Tips for student-centered learning – Student-centered learning should consist of giving students “voice and choice,” asserts Katherine Goyette, educational technology and integrated studies consultant for the Tulare County Office of Education in California. In this article, she offers several tips for student-centered learning.

• Use these apps to enhance math lessons – There are many apps available that math teachers can integrate into their lessons to enhance student learning and give them real-world math experiences, writes educator Fang Wang. In this EdWeek blog post, Wang outlines five apps that provide interactive math lessons.

• 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:

September 25 (M)
Banned Books Week
Misty Jackson from Tech Department Available for Troubleshooting
8:30, Allan Meeting with Kim Finch (Office)
2:30-3:00, Optional Leadership Plan Development Meeting (Conference Room)

September 26 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)
4:00-8:00, District First Aid/CPR Class (Library)

September 27 (W)
Cookie Dough Fundraiser Envelopes Due
8:45, Fire Drill
10:00-5:00, Allan to Oregon Ed Tech PD (Lane ESD)

September 28 (H)
Larry Soberman Subbing for Allan
8:00-3:00, Allan to Oregon Ed Tech PD (ESD)
11:00, Preschool Office of Child Care Inspection
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

September 29 (F)
First PTO Popcorn Friday!
9:00, Open House Translations Due to Bianca
11:00-12:50, Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Community Room)
8:00, Janet Jackson Concert (Moda Center)

October 2 (M)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Bully-Proofing
National Custodial Workers Recognition Day
easyCBM Testing Closes

October 3 (T)
Vision Screening
9:00-11:30, Allan Meeting with SRO Supervisor (Office)
2:30-3:30, Student Care Team Meeting (Conference Room)

October 4 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
2:30-3:30, Teacher Team Time – Number Talks Session 1 (Volunteer’s Classroom)
2:30-4:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Meeting (Ed Center) SKIPPING
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

October 5 (H)
Regular Day

October 6 (F)
Regular Day

To reinforce my quote at the top of this post, I would have posted pictures from last week’s Friday at 4:00, but that may not be appropriate for a 4J blog. 🙂 Have a good week, everyone!

Allan

 

September 18, 2017

 

Hello Rockin’ Roadrunners,

Nice job, everyone, making it through our first full week of school, smoke filled indoor recesses and all.

Twenty items of note for this week:

• Staffing Update – Nutrition Services has added Maryann Eggert to our amazing team in the Howard Kitchen, with Joan, Laura, and Diane. Maryann is here all day in a position that last year was split between one person in the morning and another who was here in the afternoon. Please welcome Maryann to the Howard Family!

• LearnZillion Video Troubleshooting – Howard gets credit for solving this problem for the district before the Technology and Instruction Department. Several teachers had problems getting the videos to play last week and we figured out certain necessary websites were being blocked by web browser security preferences that did not “trust” those websites. Network Services is “whitelisting” these websites, so the problem should be fixed for most computers, but some newer computers are going to have to set their web browsers to trust these sites for the videos to work. To find out if your browser is compatible with the LearnZillion site:

1. Go to https://learnzillion.com/troubleshooter
2. It takes about 20 seconds:

If your browser is compatible, you’ll get a message saying, “Everything looks good!”

If you browser is not compatible, you’ll get a message saying, “Your browser isn’t able to reach LearnZillion’s video hosts… Your browser needs to be able to reach these URLs”

https://fast.wistia.net/bandwidth_check.png
https://embed-ssl.wistia.com/deliveries/f37fc8935b17ed1114210ef9f13d2531f769bd83.jpg?image_resize=100
https://embedwistia-a.akamaihd.net/bandwidth_check.png

Cut and paste these individual URLs into your web browser and then tell your browser to “Trust” these websites. Depending upon which browser you’re using, this process can differ, but Chrome is the recommended browser for LearnZillion, in which case you click “Advanced” to see options that will allow your laptop to always trust these sites.

• Misty’s Tech Tips – Misty Jackson had some important tech info to share after helping folks last week.

• Put Away Your Projector Remotes – The most important one is DO NOT use the projector remotes for anything other than Freeze and AV Mute. Do not source search or turn the projector on and off with the remotes – it will get the 8-button panel and the projector out of sync (including sound).

• Classroom Sound Fix – If teachers are have issues with their sound as a result of using the remote to source search or power the projector on and off, if you cycle through with the wall panel input button several times it will usually clear up the issue and get everything back in sync.

• AMX Panel Input Tip (patience) – One “issues” in a few rooms turned out to be related to people not being patient when using the buttons on the keypad. Do not push Input on the keypad until the blue light is solid on the Display on/off button on the keypad.

• Restart Laptops Weekly – Restart your computer at least once a week. Not restarting the computer will eventually slow down programs but will also start to cause issues with interactivity.

• Interactive Pens – There were quite a few of the interactive pens with dead batteries. The pens work much better for interactivity than a finger. Misty recommends teachers keep those batteries charged and utilize the pens.

• Keep Submitting Tech Help Tickets – If teachers are having any type of technical issue – sound, interactivity, 8-button touch, cables – submit a ticket to 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu Several people reported problems to Misty but there was no ticket in the system.

If you’d like help and/or training on any of this or any other technology topic, Misty will be back again at Howard all day on Monday, September 25th. Just send her an email at jackson_misty@4j.lane.edu with what you’d like to meet about and if there’s a particular time you’d like to meet. You can also always email Peggy at 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu

• Student Pick-Up/Bus Reminder – If a student is a bus rider, they need to ride the bus every day unless they have a note saying they are getting home by other means. DO NOT take the student’s word for it. We had quite a few kids last week tell teachers that “so and so” is picking them up when they were in fact supposed to ride the bus home.

• Cookie Dough Fundraiser Prizes & Info – If you want to get your students excited about the PTO Cookie Dough Fundraiser, let them know:

• The top selling class will receive a bowling field trip with pizza lunch
• The 2nd place class will get a lego themed classroom party
• The 3rd place class will get an ice cream bar during lunch recess
• And if we raise $10,000 dollars total, every student will receive a roadrunner goody bag with a pencil, water bottle, button, sticker, and a toy all with the Howard roadrunner logo.

All orders are due Wednesday, September 27th.

• Informal Observations – I’m determined to get observations done earlier this year, so this week I’m going to conduct informal observations for teachers who are Contract – Year 1 or Probationary/Temporary. I’m hoping to come during math instruction and am going to try to get into classes of Contract – Year 2 folks as well.

• Optional Building SMART Goals Meeting Thursday at 2:30 – This Thursday at 2:30 in the Conference Room will be an optional meeting to discuss potential building wide SMART Goals. My current thinking is to continue to use reading and math easyCBM as the two academic goals with adjustments to how we measure growth, and also to change the professional goal to focus on either something around the math adoption or possibly a technology goal around teachers specializing/getting certified in a particular piece of educational software . Teachers are, of course, welcome to create their own goals, but it’s nice to have everyone with the same goals and I know it also saves teachers time of drafting their own. Linked here are last year’s Building SMART Goals.

• Student Care Team Info – Our first Student Care Team meeting is not until the first week of October and we already have on family situation referred to the team, but I did want to extend the offer to staff 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:

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

DHS staff have been great about connecting families in difficult situations with various community resources and helping out with difficult situations, so please let me know if you have any students/families you’d like referred to the team. Linked below are the release form that families sign for their situation to be openly discussed by the team. One release form is editable with Adobe and the other is a standard PDF (editable and non-editable).

• 4/5 Strings Recruitment Assembly, Friday at 1:30 – This Friday at 1:30 in the gym is the annual strings recruitment assembly for the BEST/Eugene Springfield Youth Orchestra Program. See the linked Assembly Map & Directions for details.

• Tech Subscription Survey – We were awarded an EEF grant to support our Dreambox subscription this year. This leaves us with some found money to purchase additional online subscriptions. I went ahead and renewed BrainPop, BrainPop Jr., and BrainPop Español, which was far and away the next highest priority from our Tech Subscription Survey last spring. This leaves us with about $2,600 for additional subscriptions. In terms of cost, News-o-matic is $10 per student (or about $2,500 for three grade levels), Spelling City is $2.25 per student (or about $560 for three grade levels), Bookflix is $1,299 for a site license, and TumbleBooks, depending how many books you want access to, Premium is $799 and Deluxe is $599. Please complete the linked Technology Subscription Survey by Thursday if you want to have some say in what subscriptions are purchased. NOTE that you’ll need to log onto your 4J Google Account to complete the survey.

• Tardies Definition – To make sure everyone is on the same page for when to mark a student as tardy, here’s the agreement staff made a couple years ago. Any student not inside the classroom before the 7:55 bell rings is considered tardy. Lori begins giving out tardy passes and recording tardies in Synergy after 8:00. For any students in the building before then who are not yet in class, teachers need to record that as tardy in Synergy.

• Positive Referrals – Remember that we have Positive Office Referrals for students who have a “major” positive behavior you’d like to recognize. Just complete the form and leave it on my desk or in my mailbox!

• Level 2 Forms Coming The new Minor Behavior Referral Forms (Level II) should be delivered by InstaPrint later this week. No update on when the new Major Behavior Referral Forms (Level III) will be finalized and sent out to schools.

• Air Quality Guidelines – I’ve mentioned this to quite a few people, but so everyone knows, the guidelines schools are following in regards to air quality in and whether to allow or not allow outside activities is done by monitoring the Air Quality Index (AQI). If the AQI is above 100, schools are to hold indoor recess and limit any outdoor activities. There is to be NO outside exertion between 100-150. Kids should not be running around or breathing hard until the AQI drops below 100. If you want to monitor the AQI, you can go to the Lane Air Protection Agency website.

• REPEAT: PTO Meeting Tuesday at 6:00 – This Tuesday from 6:00-7:00 will be the September PTO Meeting. It’s typically the best attended meeting of the year by families, so it’s great if any staff can volunteer their evenings to come show support. See you there!

• REPEAT: Howard Handbook & District Policy Review – If you haven’t done so already, please review the updated Howard Staff Handbook and the District Back-to-School Memo (link or PDF). Signed acknowledgement forms (Howard and District) are to my mailbox next week by Friday, September 29th. Copies of the form were put in mailboxes earlier and extras are located on the counter under staff mailboxes.

• Managing Concussion in the Classroom – Principals were asked to share that the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team for 4J wants to get the word out about a free 3-hour presentation on Tuesday, October 3rd, titled, Community of Care for Managing Concussion In and Out of the Classroom, featuring nationally recognized presenter, Gerry Gioia. The sponsor of this free training for educators is the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training.

• A Classroom Full of Risk Takers – See this Edutopia article for state teachers of the year explaining how they make students feel safe enough to take risks—and then push them to do so. Some of their suggestions include celebrating perseverance, sharing your mistakes, allowing retakes, discovering “the power of yet,” and Failure Fridays.

• Helping Children After a Natural Disaster – Children watching the news about natural disasters can feel anxious and afraid. As an educator, there are a number of ways to support both the students and families immediately impacted, as well as those watching from afar. Linked here are resources offering guidance to families and schools for offering support following a natural disaster.

• 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:

September 18 (M)
Lori’s Birthday!
9:00, Allan Meeting w/Global Delights Rep (Office)
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

September 19 (T)
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
9:00-11:30, Allan to Zaretta Hammond PD (LaneESD)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Amber/Carla’s Room)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Gym)

September 20 (W)
1:30-2:30, Allan to 504 Plan Meeting (Conference Room)
2:30-3:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

September 21 (H)
2:30, Optional Building SMART Goals Meeting (Conference Room)

September 22 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
1:30, 4/5 Strings Recruitment Assembly (Gym)
4:00, Howard Friday at 4:00 (Blairally Vintage Arcade)

September 25 (M)
Misty Jackson from Tech Department Available for Troubleshooting

September 26 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)
3:00-7:00, District First Aid/CPR Class (Library)

September 27 (W)
Cookie Dough Fundraiser Envelopes Due
8:45, Fire Drill
10:00-5:00, Allan to Oregon Ed Tech PD (ESD)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

September 28 (H)
Data Team Meetings (Conference Room)
8:00-3:00, Allan to Oregon Ed Tech PD (ESD)
11:00, Preschool Office of Child Care Inspection
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

September 29 (F)
First PTO Popcorn Friday!
11:00-12:50, Birthday Lunches with the Principal (Community Room)
8:00, Janet Jackson Concert (Moda Center)

Fingers crossed for a smoke free week!

Allan

September 11, 2017

 

Howdy Roadrunners,

Thank you, everyone, for making our first week back such a good one for students and families, and also for going with the flow on the unexpected inside recesses the first couple days due to hazardous air quality.

Twenty-nine items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Bridgette Blakesley is sadly leaving us at the end of this week, which means SSD will be filling her CLC 1:1 EA position ASAP. I’ll keep staff posted once we know who fill be taking Bridgette’s spot or if it’s going to be posted. SSD also filled a 1:1 EA position for a 1st grade student last week with Kittie Stratton, who has been a CLC-B 1:1 EA at Awbrey Park, but her student moved out of district. Please wish Bridgette well on her new adventures and please welcome Kittie to the Howard Family!

• Updated 2017-2018 Master Schedule – Linked here is an updated 2017-2018 Master Schedule (XLS and PDF). There was a mistake on the 5th grade lunch schedule and this also has the updated library schedule.

• Howard Staff Handbook Review – Linked here is the updated Howard Staff Handbook. All staff must review the handbook and sign & return the acknowledgement form to the office by Friday, September 29th. I’ll place hard copies of the acknowledgement form in mailbox on Monday. For Howard veterans, I haven’t made any changes outside of updating PBIS to match our current practices, the lockdown section to match ALICE practices, and a few other minor tweaks. Let me know if you have any questions.

• REPEAT: District Mandatory Policy Review for all Staff – If you haven’t already reviewed the District Back-to-School Memo (link or PDF) and returned the acknowledgment form to me, make sure you turn it in to my mailbox no later than Friday, September 29th. See the 9/4 announcements for a summary of policy changes.

• LearnZillion Unit 1 Begins This Week – To stay on track with the LearnZillion Pacing Guide, all classes should begin with Unit 1 this Thursday. It’s important teachers keep up with the pacing guide so that all material is covered by the end of the year, and that grade level teams stay in the same place so Title 1 and SPED can better support core. Pacing guides can be found on the 4J LearnZillion website. I’ve also linked them here; KG, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade.

• LearnZillion Student Workbook Distribution Plan – After some confusion last week over whether we’d received our Unit 1 Student Workbooks and since we will continue to receive individual units over the course of the year, I wanted to have a clear plan for when they arrive. Each time we receive a delivery, we will email howard_cert that the boxes will be delivered to the commons area and placed against the exterior wall of the middle classroom for grade level team to distribute.

• Dreambox Info – In addition to Erin’s Dreambox Email Tips for leveling your student up to their current grade level and changing their passwords to pictures clues (and thank-you, Erin, for making the class names something more recognizable for kids), I wanted to make sure everyone had the school login code, which is q22w/nu8g. Also, to save teachers time finding it, linked here are the Dreambox Invitation Letters to Parents (English and Spanish), explaining how families can access Dreambox at home.

• 2017-2018 Leadership Plans – HR just sent an email to principals that Elementary Leadership Plans will be due November 8th and will follow the same process as in the past, so I was wrong to say we should hold off to see if something new gets bargained. The current contract gives us 22 teacher release days not to exceed 7 teachers. Linked here is last year’s plan, which compensated teachers for School Climate, Technology, Math, ELA, and Science leadership roles. If you have thoughts on this year’s plan, please let me know. I’d like to share Leadership Plan proposals at the September Staff Meeting in a couple weeks and then vote on a plan at the October Staff Meeting.

• Fire Drill Info – Our September Fire Drill will be later this month on Wednesday, September 27th (my birthday) at 8:45, but just in case we need it earlier, linked here is an updated Building Evacuation Map. The evacuation routes from the different wings 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. Let me know if you have any questions on this.

• Playground Recess Lines – We were thankfully able to have recess last Friday and I placed the T-squares with teacher names along the playground number line to show kids where to line up. I’ll plan to put these out again on Monday and Tuesday, but would like teachers to remind students where they are supposed to line up at recess. These spots are important for the before school recess when we have students 1st through 5th grade all out on the playground at once. Teachers are welcome to choose other spots for recesses during the school day, but for the before school recess classes should line up as follows:

1. Chunn
3. Corliss
5. Kerins
7. Lawson
9. Pond
11. Swift
13. Larsen
15. Robinson
17. Niccum
19. Peterson/Kreider
21. Gaston
23. Groshong
25. Frank/Zimmerman
27. Callihan
29. Rock
31. Torres

The Building & Grounds Maintenance Supervisor said extending our playground number line was supposed to have gotten done on Thursday and would try to get it finished soon, so hopefully we’ll have actually numbers on the ground past 20 for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.

• Howard Google Team Drive – I over estimated the amount of time I would have last week, but you should all now have received an invitation to the Howard Google Team Drive. Everyone has access to add to the drive, so feel free to add resources. I kept the organization fairly simple, so let me know if you’re not sure where to add or find something. “Curriculum/Instruction” has a resources organized by subject area or topic (including Math, ELA, Science, trauma informed practices information, kid friendly CCSS posters, and more). “Teams/Meetings” has a folder for each of our building teams to add minutes and other information (most are empty now, but IPBS has CICO info and referrals forms, Site Council has our CAP, and Student Care Team has an enormous folder of community resources that I’ve shared over the past few years). The “Technology” folder has a mix of instructional technology resources (such as ISTE Technology Standards, SAMR information, and the Howard Student Technology Agreement) as well as more technical of items (like how to set up your voicemail or quick sheets on how to run reports in Synergy). Last, there is a “MISC” folder that’s a grab bag of handbooks, schedules, safety drills, and other procedural items. Feel free to explore and let me know if you run into any issues or have any suggestions or questions.

• Trauma Informed Practices Materials/Resources – Linked here are the Slides from the Trauma Informed Practices Training during in-service week. And linked here is a partial List of Trauma Resources, which includes books, video clips, and online resources/websites, etc.

• Tech Department Troubleshooter Available 9/13 & 9/25 – Misty Jackson from the Technology Department will be at Howard all day on Wednesday, September 13th and on Monday, September 25th to help troubleshoot, train, or assist staff one-on-one for any technology related topic. Continue to send any tech issues you have to our TSS, Peggy, at 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu, but if you’d like to work with Misty on 9/13 and/or 9/25, email her directly at jackson_misty@4j.lane.edu

On a related note, James Grubic let me know Peggy’s hours this year. She will be at Howard 10:00-1:30 MWF and 7:30-10:30 TH.

• Team Sign-Ups – Don’t forget to sign-up for Building Teams in the Staff Room. We have our first IPBS meeting this week, with a TLT meeting soon after, and need to make sure we have grade level reps. Sign-up today!

• PTO Meeting Next Week – Not this week, but next week on Tuesday, September 19th from 6:00-7:00 will be the first PTO Meeting of the year. It’s typically the best attended meeting of the year by families, so it would be great if any staff can volunteer their evenings to come show support for parents who made time to come be involved in their child’s school. Mark your calendars and hope to see you there!

• New Slider Door Badge Reader – You may have missed it, but there is a new card reader between the two slider doors if you want to bypass walking through the office to go down the hall. On a related note, a card readers is in the process of being installed on the elevator and will be finished soon. We will have elevator passes for upstairs classrooms to give students carrying lunch baskets, library book wagons, or other large items. 

• Class Name Plate Template – Teachers, feel free to use the linked Classroom Name Plate Template I made last year if you want something to go outside your classroom door with minimal effort.

• TAG Identified Students – Teachers, if you have any TAG identified students in your class this year, you’ll have already received an email naming the kiddos and what you need to do. If you didn’t see an email, you’re off the hook.

• Sub Folders to Office – For both classified and licensed staff, if you haven’t already, be sure to give your completed sub folders to Lori. If it helps in completing your folder, linked here is a list of suggested sub folder information/items HR said staff should consider when making lesson plans. Lori has extra folders if you don’t have one.

• SSD Health Services Info – SSD sent principals an email with several pieces of information related to school nurses and health services, but I wanted to highlight a couple points. One is that nurses need adequate notice for field trips (10-14 days) so that they can train persons to cover the field trips, have medications ready, etc. Often they are asked to go on field trips with no notice and this puts other students and schools at risk. And two, for teachers to require that permission slips be received back to the school 3 days in advance of a field trip so that the nurse and teacher has adequate time to review the list of students participating for critical medical concerns. Nurses serve multiple buildings and need adequate lead in these matters.

• AESOP Absence Data – HR sent principals an email about AESOP Absence Data that was interesting. The one thing I wanted to highlight for staff, particularly for teachers, is that if an absence related to PD was entered within 4 days of the PD, the chance a sub would pick up the job starts is much higher. If it is entered within 2 days the chance of a sub taking the assignment drastically drops. So if you have any planned absences, please don’t wait to put in for a sub and prearranging with one of our regular subs, both classified and licensed, is always the best way to go.

• REPEAT: Principal Visits to Classrooms – I’d like to again visit every classroom sometime during the first few weeks of school to greet students. I’ll read a favorite story to your class and chat with the kids a bit. Teachers, please let me know a good 10-15 minutes block of time I can come and visit. Thank you!

• REPEAT: Classified & Licensed Goals and Self Assessment – All staff, both classified and licensed, need to complete a self assessment before the end of September. Licensed staff need to complete their self assessment in TalentEd. Classified staff need to complete the Classified Employee Self Assessment form, unless you completed one at the end of last year.

• Enrollment Updates – As usual, we had a number of student no-shows and also some last minute move-ins, which in the end only brought our enrollment down by 7 students from last week’s 495 to 488 ( we’re still 10 over our projection). The breakdown by grade level is PK (16), KG (72), 1st (84), 2nd (83), 3rd (80), 4th (85), 5th (84), so including preschoolers we can still say we’re a school of over 500 students (and a school with more staff than any other elementary or middle school in 4J).

• DACA Info Night – Monday, Sept 11 @ River Road Elementary – Quick notice on this if you know of families to share this with. The 4J Office of Equity, Instruction and Partnership is coordinating a DACA information night Monday, September 11th from 6-7pm at River Road Elementary. This night is open to all families and students who are interested from 4J and neighboring districts. The organization CAUSA will be providing Information followed by a question and answer time facilitated by a local lawyer. This is the first of several information nights for our immigrant and undocumented families that 4J will be hosting this year around the district. Linked here is a bilingual flyer for staff and others in the community to distribute as they feel is most respectful to our families and students.

• eScrip, SmileAmazon, Fred Meyer Rewards – We’ve shared this with families in the newsletter in the past, but to also share it with staff, an easy way you all can support Howard is by signing up for eScrip and Smile Amazon. With eScrip, you link you debit and/or credit cards and when you make purchases around town at places like Market of Choice, Sizzle Pie, El Tapatio, or Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, it supports Howard. eScrip also supports purchases through a number on online retailers including Best Busy, Target, and Amazon if you first go through escrip.com. And speaking of Amazon, if you link your Amazon account to the “Howard Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization” through Smile Amazon, a small percentage of you Amazon purchases support Howard. Fred Meyer also has their own rewards program that Howard is a part of. Sign up for the Fred Meyer Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Howard Elementary School. You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number #88934.

• A Phone Call Home Makes All the Difference – You don’t have to reserve phone calls to parents or guardians for bad news. Try the tips in this article to deepen communication with families, which include introduce yourself by your first name, begin the conversation with a positive, describe only actions— avoid labeling, ask questions seeking support, calling with good news, and tips on sending texts and emails.

• The Impact of Students Reading Culturally Relevant Texts – In this Teachers College Record article, Kathleen Clark reports on her study of the impact of African-American elementary school students reading books featuring culturally familiar characters and settings. The study compared a study group and a control group (reading books without African-American characters and settings) over a semester of instruction. What were the results? Students who used culturally relevant texts significantly outperformed students in the control group. See the above link for more details. 

• 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:

September 11 (M)
Library Begins
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Begins
Morning Announcements Begin
9:00, Allan to SSD Meeting (Conference Room)
9:00, Allan to Preschool Fire Inspection
2:30, Allan to BEST Meeting (BEST Room)

September 12 (T)
8:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting CANCELLED
2:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)
2:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

September 13 (W)
Cookie Dough Fundraiser Begins
Misty Jackson from Tech Department Available for Troubleshooting
2:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, Room 1)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

September 14 (H)
12:00-3:30, Allan to ILT (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, Room 24)
2:30-3:30, Allan to KG Transition Meeting (Conference Room)

September 15 (F)
9:00-1:00, OSEA Site Visit w/Members (Staff Room)

September 18 (M)
Lori’s Birthday!
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)

September 19 (T)
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
9:00-11:30, Allan to Zaretta Hammond PD (LaneESD)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Gym)

September 20 (W)
1:30, Allan to 504 Plan Meeting

September 21 (H)
2:30, Optional Building SMART Goals Meeting (Conference Room)

September 22 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
1:30, 4/5 Strings Recruitment Assembly (Gym)

Have a great first full week back and let’s make our kids’ hopes for the year come true!

Allan

 

September 4, 2017

Hi Everyone,

It was great getting to see everyone last week on our first week back to work. It’s going to be a busy week, but thankfully nowhere as crazy as last year opening a new building. Read on for this week’s news-you-can-use!

Thirty-three items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Introduced at our BTS Staff Meeting, Lisa Dover has been hired as our newest Title 1 EA, filling the vacancy left by Debbie Miller when she retired. Lisa has been working the last seven year in Springfield as an Educational Assistant in Gen Ed and SPED. Over at the YMCA after-school program, Emma Knox is taking over at Site Coordinator and will be partnering with BEST this year. If you ever need to get ahold of her, her email is emma@eugeneymca.org Lastly, we now have a new BEST Coordinator, Joshua Wrolstad, who has experience working as a Truancy Prevention Case Manager, a Youth Care Counselor, as well as at After School Programs. Please welcome these fine new folks to Howard!

• Updated 2017-2018 Master Schedule – Linked here is an updated 2017-2018 Master Schedule (XLS and PDF). Folks effected by any changes already know. And one tech-tip. Some staff told me they couldn’t see the tabs along the bottom of the Excel file to switch between the Master, EA, Music/PE, and Library schedule. If you don’t see them, go up to WINDOW and down to ZOOM WINDOW. You should then see the tabs along the bottom.

• PE & Music Start Date – Siera and Ronny have said they are ready to start seeing classes the first day of school, but they also understand if teachers want to wait a few days before starting. Please let them know if you WILL NOT be going to specialist times this week.

• Library Start Date – Classes will begin visiting the library at their scheduled times the week of September 11th.

• Meet Your Teacher – During Meet Your Teacher on Tuesday at 1:00, I’d like to repeat what we did last year, having all non-classroom staff available to direct families, passing out school maps with highlighters to help guide families, and also passing out a flyer about parking lot procedures. We’ll also arm people with a complete set of class lists to be used this day and also on the first day of school.

• First Day of School – The morning of the first two days of school I would still like to have all-hand-on-deck. At 7:25, when the doors first open, all available staff should help guide students to the cafeteria, help supervise on the playground, and then when the first bell rings at 7:50, help students find their classrooms. Staff helping should again hold onto their class lists and maps from the day before to help guide families. Linked here is a map of where everyone will be stationed. Anyone who can’t flex their hours to come in earlier these two days, please let me know so I can adjust where people are stationed. See that attached First & Second Day of School Map for where people will be stationed.

• District Mandatory Policy Review for all Staff – Linked here is this year’s District Back-to-School Memo (PDF), which covers a variety of district rules, policies and guidelines. Section 1 is the portion that staff are required to review. I covered much of this at the BTS staff meeting, but as I shared there, all staff must review the memo and sign & return the check list acknowledgment form signifying that you have read and understand the memo. Forms should be returned to me no later than Friday, September 29th. I’ll place hard copies of the acknowledgement form in staff mailboxes this week. Looking over the memo, take note of updates to the Notice Requirements for Leave section, which is regarding sick days, personal days, various leaves, etc. An addition was also made to the district’s non-discrimination policy, clarify how the policy applies to supporting undocumented students, adding the policy, the PowerPoint, and a FAQ.

• PBIS First Week Teaching Plan – See Rae and Jill’s email for the PBIS teaching plan, which is very similar to last year. All classrooms should use the Recess Rules Slide Show (PDF and PowerPoint) before the first recess. Linked here is the PBIS Teacher Checklist, the PBIS Back-to-School Rules, and the PBIS Rules Matrix. This recess rules slide show linked above is different from the one emailed earlier and is the more specific of one we made in November after we’d lived with the new playground equipment for a couple month. Linked here is the earlier recess review emailed one which is also good for reviewing more general of playground behaviors, but make sure to teach the first more complete one first.

• New Level 2s and 3s – I shared last year that all schools across 4J will be using the same minor (Level II) and major (Level III) behavior referral forms. The new minor forms are finished and being sent to schools this week. The formatting is different from our form, but the content of what it’s asking for is pretty much the same. We’ll continue to use our own Level 1s referrals (Uh-Ohs) this year and the the major referral forms are almost ready to be sent to schools. Linked here is a preview of the new Minor Behavior Referral form (English and Spanish).

• School Bus PBIS – Just as last year, school bus drivers are handing out Transportation Dept. PBIS positive slips and schools are asked to treat them the same as our positive Beep, Beep slips. The same also goes for the bus Incident Reports, with teachers talking to student if they receive a Minor Referral and the principal talking to students if they receive a Major Referral.

• Student Bus Routes – Not linked here, but attached to my email is a Student Bus Route report. This report includes the bus routes for all students who the Transportation Dept. has a bus route for. I’ll run an updated report Tuesday and will email that to teachers in the afternoon, but I thought teachers may want this earlier.

• LearnZillion – Here are a few notes from Friday’s LearnZilion PD:

• Website – If you haven’t already, bookmark the 4J LearnZillion website. On this website is the 2017-2018 Pacing Guide for each grade level, individual lessons and units, the videos, additional supports, and other resources. Additional math resources can be found on the 4J Curriculum Server.

• Unit Zero – Unit Zero is a suggested (not required) lesson. If teachers have a different back-to-school refresher/team-building type of math lesson for the start of the school year, it’s fine to continue using that, although Learn Zillion Lesson Zero does introduce students to some of the LearnZillion routines.

• Pacing Guide Start Date, 9/14 – The pacing guide for Unit 1 starts on September 14th, so everyone should start the new math curriculum on this date.

• ThinkCentral – If anyone has tried to log onto Journeys’ web portal ThinkCentral, you likely noticed it did not work because students and teachers are being uploaded this weekend. It should be up and running by Tuesday.

• Science Notebook Orders – If you didn’t already click the link in Erin’s email, please enter how many science journals you need to order this year (zero or otherwise) on the Howard Science Notebook Order Spreadsheet.

• Principal Visits to Classrooms – I’d like to again visit every classroom sometime during the first few weeks of school to greet students. I’ll read a favorite story to your class and chat with the kids a bit. Teachers, please let me know a good 10 minutes block of time I can come and visit. Thank you!

• Classroom Newsletters – I’d love to have copies (email is best) of classroom newsletters when teachers send/email them home to families. This helps me get school events on the building calendar, keeps me up to date on what’s happening or going to happen in classes when families ask, and it also lets me know details of any class activities that I might be able to get the local media to come out and cover. I love promoting our school!

• Student Username/Passwords and Other TeacherVUE Reports – If teachers need a reminder how to find your students’ usernames and passwords, linked here is a quicksheet on Printing Reports in TeacherVUE. There are several reports teachers can generate from TeacherVUE. For example: To see which students have permission restrictions. A list of student user names and passwords for testing. To print a class list, student/parent directory, health conditions, emergency contacts etc. To print labels to send mail home.

• Seesaw App – Speaking of parent communication, the 4J Technology Department told me Howard has more teachers using Seesaw than any other school in the district. If you’re not currently using it, I’d encourage you to give it a try. Teachers sign-up for free on the Seesaw website. Parents download the free app and get access to your class from a secure code you share. From there, students can upload videos, audio, photos (approved first by the teacher), and and families then get a personalized window into their child’s school day! Teachers also have a fast easy communication tool to your families, where you can quickly push out a message to all families, where it shows up on their phone like a text instead of an email, getting their attention right away.

• Howard Google Team Drive – Wikis are kind of going out of fashion and Google Apps are increasing in usage across 4J, so I’m switching us over to a Google Team Drive for sharing meeting minutes, handbooks, resources, and other information. Later this week you’ll receive an email giving you access to the Howard Team Drive, which is essentially a shared folder that will show up in your Google Drive. To log onto your Google Drive, just follow this link to 4J Google Apples (also linked on my blog and under Links for Staff on the Howard webpage) and log in using your 4J email username and password.

• Staff Parking Areas (not the front row) – Starting this week, I’d like staff to go back to using designated staff parking areas, which is anywhere in the parking lot except for the front row of parking spaces, which I’d like to reserve for families. With 93 adults working in our building this year and 94 parking spots it’s a pretty tight fit.

• White Paper Copier Refill Reminder – With lots and lots of copies being made at the start of the year, please remember to keep the white paper tray filled so it doesn’t dip into the colored paper tray, causing copy sets not to match and have to be run over again. It’s also a good idea to keep the color paper tray empty so we can avoid unnecessarily running up our building copy count.

• Howard Staff Apparel to Jenny! – If you’d like an embroidered Howard Staff logo put on a shirt, jacket, pullover, hoodie, or whatever, give the clothing to Jenny and for (I believe) $7 her friend will put on the Howard Staff logo. Personally, I like going to Costco and getting something inexpensive and Howardizing it.

• Door Locks and Bells – I’m pretty sure I’ve got all the bells and door lock timers correctly set for this year’s schedule, but let me know if you notice any doors that are locked or unlocked when they shouldn’t or if there are bells that ring or do not ring when they should. On a related note, if anyone wants to change our bell sounds, it’s just an MP3 file that I can easily swap out, so feel free to scour the internet for a new 5-10 second bell tone.

• Howard/Kelly Track Use Schedule – We’re sticking with the same plan as last year for sharing the Kelly Track at recesses, cutting the track and field in half, where Howard uses the east end (the half closer to our building) and Kelly will use the west end (the half closer to their building) each day. The one exception is if Kelly PE classes are using the track and field, in which case Howard students should stay off the field.

• Morning Announcements Start Monday, 9/11 – I won’t do morning announcements the first three days of school, but we will start regular morning announcements the first full week of school on Monday, September 11th with a couple 5th graders who were trained up at the end of last school year. On a related note, I’m considering doing a YouTube livestream of morning announcements that teachers could project in their classrooms each morning instead of the intercom.

• Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program – The Fresh Fruits and Vegetable program will be continuing this year and is set to start on Monday, September 11th.

• KITS at Howard – As an FYI, the 4J KITS (Kids in Transition to School) Program is going to use our building on Saturdays 9:00-11:00 this month (Sept. 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th) as they finish up their summer program. They’ll be using the Preschool Classroom (Nollie, one of our preschool EAs, is teaching the class), the Family Resource Center (Room 5), and the Community Room. Howard was originally going to host KITS over the summer, but they had to move to Corridor due to the construction happening at our building over the summer.

• Enrollment Updates – If you’re curious what our enrollment looks like, we’re once again over our enrollment projection, but nowhere as much as last year. Our K-5 projection was for 478 students. As of Friday we have 496 students fully enrolled (along with a few packets still out), so including our preschoolers we can say Howard now has over 500 students. Grade level totals are PK (16), KG (73), 1st (85), 2nd (85), 3rd (81), 4th (83), and 5th (89). Holt and Gilham are still larger than us by quite a bit, but we’re creeping up on Willagilespie as the third largest school in 4J and would be even closer if we accepted all of the students on our waiting list (which I’m not planning to do). Everyone wants to come to Howard!

• 4J Vision 20/20 – I mentioned this at our Back-to-School Staff Meeting as being a major focus area of the school district this year. Linked here is the school district website 4J Vision 20/20 website as well as the 4J Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan Framework, which details the 3-5 year guiding plan. If you attended the District Back-to-School Event at SEHS, this was a major focus of Superintendent Balderas’ speech to staff. During his speech he actually used the What Do You Hope? video I shared at our meeting, but he ended his speech with a video I hadn’t seen before that I liked quite a lot, which was a nice reminder of why we all work in education.

• Learning About Learning Network – For several years, 4J has had Learning About Learning (LEL) Networks. Each school has the principal and two teachers participate, where a team of school meets at one school to onduct classroom observations, which this year will focus on math instruction. Teachers commit to the LEL for two years. Carla is rotating off this year and Ashley is continuing for her second year, so I am looking for a volunteer for this school year.

The purpose of a Learning About Learning network is to orient members to the Instructional Rounds process and to begin the process of building teams of leaders who are able to learn from one another around the craft of leading instruction. The goal of instructional rounds isn’t to provide feedback to the teachers being observed, but for LEL members to compare their own instructional practices with those of the teachers they observe. The chief benefit of this approach resides in the discussion that takes place among LEL members at the end of the observations as well as in subsequent self-reflection. This short post from Edutopia has a nice overview of what the process looks like. Feel free to ask Carla, Ashley, or myself if you have any questions. Let me know if any of your are interested.

• REPEAT: Classified & Licensed Goals and Self Assessment – All staff, both classified and licensed, need to complete a self assessment before the end of September. Licensed staff need to complete their self assessment in TalentEd. Classified staff need to complete the Classified Employee Self Assessment form, unless you completed one at the end of last year.

• Setting Routines for the First Days of School – I shared this last year, but it’s a good one. In the latest issue of ASCD Express, UC Berkeley philosophy professor Alva Noë state “An environment, natural or human-made, reflects a compromise between design and habit.” When setting routines, teachers look for easily integrated procedures that relate to students’ needs but also help the class achieve some greater learning objective—whether that be setting expectations for independent practice, technology participation, or a respectful classroom culture. As Noë alludes, classroom habits will be shaped by the user experience. Use the first days of the new school year to draw a clear and flexible path to success for those who will travel it. This issue includes articles such as “Setting the Tone for Technology Use,” “Focus on Feelings, First,” and “Six Strategies to Support a Safe, Inclusive, and Respectful Classroom.”

• 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:

September 4 (M)
Labor Day – No School

September 5 (T)
8:00-10:00, Potential Staff Meeting CANCELLED
10:00, Q&A Session for New Staff – Optional (Conference Room)
10:00-12:00, Preschool Open House
1:00-2:00, Meet Your Teacher
2:00-3:00, Allan to Student Meeting (Conference Room)
3:15-3:45, PBIS for New Staff (Rae’s Room, Room 1)

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

September 7 (H)
Regular Day

September 8 (F)
10:10, Allan Reading to Class

September 11 (M)
Library Begins

September 12 (T)
8:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting CANCELLED
2:30, IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)

September 13 (W)
Cookie Dough Fundraiser Begins
2:30, PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, Room 1)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

September 14 (H)
12:00-3:30, Allan to ILT (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, Room 24)

September 15 (F)
9:00-1:00, OSEA Site Visit w/Members (Staff Room)

Let’s make the first week with kids a great one!

Allan

 

August 28, 2017

 

Welcome Back Howard Roadrunners!

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone this week! Here’s the first edition of my weekly staff announcements. For new staff and as a reminder to Howard veterans, it’s my intent with these announcements to share informational and business items here rather than taking up Staff Meeting time. It’s also my intention to avoid cluttering up your inboxes throughout the week and to instead send only one email per week to all staff (though I don’t always achieve that goal). Typically I send these out Sunday morning and my hope is for staff read them by Tuesday evening.

A whopping thirty-one items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Michelynah Anderegg is our new part-time Speech Teacher who will be working to help our full-time SLP, Shelley, with her growing caseload. Michelynah will also work part-time at Willagillespie. Over in Life Skills, SSD has hired Susan Schueller as a 1:1 EA, and has also hired Alison Stewart and Cindy Winkle as general Life Skills EAs, filling vacancies left by Rachel and Rebecca. In the CLC, SSD has hired Melva Smith as a 4-hour CLC EA, which is a new position to support our additional 0.5 licensed CLC time, and has also hired Melissa Lake as a 1:1 CLC EA, filling Cass’ vacancy. Linked here is the complete 2017-2018 Howard Staff List of all the folks working in our building this year, all 93 of them. We’re still waiting on HR to hear who our new BEST Coordinator and new Title 1 EA will be, but please welcome these fine new folks to the Howard Team!

• Updated 2017-2018 Master Schedule – Linked here is a slightly updated 2017-2018 Master Schedule (PDF and Excel). At the request of Kindergarten and 5th grade, some of their core times shifted around and one PE class changed times, but everything else is the same.

• Library Times Sign-Up – If teachers would like to set a time for your class to visit the library each week, please contact our stellar librarian, Julie Hopkins, in person or by email at hopkins_j@4j.lane.edu

• Classroom Schedules to Lori – Speaking of classroom schedules, as teachers finish up your daily schedules, remember to give Lori a copy. The master schedule has most of this information, but it doesn’t always reflect Classroom Buddy times, Library times, or other regularly scheduled activities outside of the classroom.

• Class Lists Posted Friday, Sept. 1 – Like we did last year, class lists will be posted on Friday, September 1st at 12:00. This year I learned a trick from another school to stay in compliance with district privacy rules, while making it easier for families to see the lists, which is to post the lists on an exterior window, but only list first name and last initial.

• Meet Your Teacher Plan – During Meet Your Teacher on Tuesday next week, September 5th at 1:00, I’d like to repeat what we did last year, having all non-classroom staff available to direct families, passing out school maps with highlighters to help guide families, and also passing out a flyer about parking lot procedures. We’ll also arm people with a complete set of class lists to be used this day and also on the first day of school.

And since we got too busy with opening the new building to do this last year, this year I’m planning to copy this very cool viral video of What is your hope? and will be out front during Meet Your Teacher with a white board doing this.

• First Day of School Plan – Last year we had a fairly involved plan for the first day of school since we were opening a brand new building, but this year we can scale things back since kids and families are now more familiar with the new building. However, the morning of the first two days of school I would still like to have all-hand-on-deck. At 7:25, when the doors first open, all available staff should to be on hand help guide students to the cafeteria, help supervise on the playground, and then when the first bell rings at 7:50, help students find their classrooms. Staff helping in front of the building should again hold onto their class lists and maps from the day before to help guide families. In my announcements next week, I’ll have a map of where everyone will be stationed.

On a related note, at our Back-to-School Staff Meeting, I’d like to know if teachers would like to to some sort of all-school kick-off assembly the first day of school. It might be a good time to kick-off PBIS, PIRDE, the Roadrunner Pledge, or just a fun Let’s-Make-this-a-Great-Year type of assembly to launch the year. Feel free to let me know your thoughts or ideas on this before our Staff Meeting Wednesday.

• Classroom AMX Refresher/Into Training – 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.) this Wednesday at 3:15. Any staff unfamiliar with these systems should attend and anyone wanting a refresher is also invited to come. 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.

• New Room Number Plates Coming Late – We’re having trouble with the company making the name plates for our new room numbers, so it’s possible we won’t have them installed by the first day of school. In any case, we’re sticking with our simplified Classroom Re-Numbering and for now teachers should put a room number in your “Slide-In” name plate outside your classrooms.

• Preschool Promise Update – I think most people assumed our preschool program was continuing this year, but we actually were waiting with baited breath over the summer for the legislature to reauthorize the Preschool Promise Grant that’s funding our program. The legislature did reauthorize the grant and actually funded it for two years, so that is fabulous news!

• Artist in Residence – More good news! I don’t have to scramble to secure grant funds for an artist in residence this year and instead the Eugene Rotary is working with downtown to bring Artists in Residence to the ten schools in 4J with the highest poverty and to offer matching funds for the remaining schools. The only thing they ask for in return is that schools (or at least some classes) make a larger project instead of individual ones that the Rotary Club can auction off at a future Art Spark fundraiser to continue supporting artists in schools. I’ll get more information on this later, but in the meantime, feel free to browse the Lane Arts Artist in Residence website for artists we might want to select and also think about when you might want them to come. In the past we’ve scheduled artists toward the end of the school year. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this.

• Classified & Licensed Goals and Self Assessment – All staff, both classified and licensed, need to complete a self assessment before the end of September. Licensed staff need to complete their self assessment in TalentEd. Classified staff need to complete the Classified Employee Self Assessment form. However, a welcome change for classified staff is that if you completed an end-of-year self assessment last school year, you do not need to do another self assessment this fall. I know all classified folks who were at Howard last year completed this form, but if you’re new to Howard, please complete the self assessment and return it to me or let me know if you completed the form at a prior school and I will contact that administrator.

• Building Google Calendar – For new staff, at the bottom of my weekly announcements is a two week calendar and also a link to the Howard Building Google Calendar for the entire school year. If you use Google Calendars yourself, you can add the Howard Building Calendar to your list of Google Calendars by clicking one of the calendar links in my blog and then clicking the +Google Calendar icon located at the bottom right of the calendar webpage. This will add the building calendar to your list of Google Calendars if you’re logged onto your Google account (whether that’s your personal account or your 4J Google account). You can also add this calendar to most any calendar app you might use. Let me or our TSS, Peggy, know if you would like any help with this.

• Friday Folders/School-Home Communication – Also for staff new to the building, we made an agreement last year that all classrooms will send home information the same day (Fridays) in the cleverly named Friday Folders. This makes communication easier for families and for people needing to send home school wide information.

• LearnZillion Resources – This may get reviewed at Friday’s math training, but linked here are the LearnZillion Handouts and LearnZillion Presentation from the introduction training we had last spring. One item to highest is the LearnZillion website for teachers at http://eugene4j.learnzillion.com. Just go to that address on any device and click “Log in with Clever.” Then enter your 4J email username (no @4j.lane.edu) and password. From there you will be able to access all of the units, lesson, and a variety of video, links, and other resources.

• Science Reminders – Last year, the district adopted the FOSS Science curriculum. You can access all teacher guides and student information through their website – FOSSweb.com. You will first need to register for an account using your 4J email and password that you will create. Once you have registered, send Allison an email at kreider_a@4j.lane.edu with the grade that you will be teaching and she will send you a code that will allow you to view all of the “kits” that you will be teaching this year.

You can also access many valuable resources through the 4J Elementary Science Blog. One nice resource is the Questions/Answers page. These are all questions and answers that teachers had the first year of teaching science and hopefully will help you in your first year.

• PBIS Team Leaders – I accidentally left it off my final announcements last school year, but Rae and Jill will be the PBIS Team leaders this year.

• Monthly PBIS Focus: Safety – The September PBIS monthly focus is Safety, which all classroom teachers should take time review with students. Remember that you can use the PBIS/CSC Cheat Sheet, which matches our PBIS monthly themes with Caring School Community class meeting lessons. This is a nice way to tie the PBIS and CSC together!

• Relationships Matter More Than Rules – Related to the above, here’s an article from Edutopia on the importance of building positive relationships and creating positive community within the classroom at the start of the school year. Meaningful relationships matter for learning. The rules and policies you enforce are important for keeping a well-managed class, but rather than emphasizing control over your students, developing community and connection is a surefire ingredient for a good school year for all. Try the strategies in the linked article to begin forging strong relationships.

• Free Meals for All Students – Just as we did last year, all Howard students, along with Chavez, River Road, and McCornack, will receive free lunch and breakfast without their families having to complete any paperwork. This was a four year grant and does not need to be renewed until the 2020-2021 school year.

Frank sent me this photo from his summer travels of a principal at a Masai elementary school showing their free meal program of beans and maize, which certainly gives perspective.

• How to Hang Things on Walls – If you want to hang anything on the walls or other surfaces, be sure to use either tape (but not duct tape, which leaves sticky residue), sticky tack, command hooks, or most anything that doesn’t poke a hole in the wall or will leave behind imperfections when they’re removed. If you have something heavy you want to hang, like a picture frame, let our lead custodian, Crystal, know and she’ll install a district approved wall-hanger.

• Display Case Keys – We finally have extra keys for the glass display cases in the commons area of each wing. I’d like each wing to have a designated “Key Master” who will be the keeper of the display case keys, so let me know once folks in your wing have decided who that will be.

• Building Facilities Updates – Here are several facilities related items that are simply for your information:

• Window Tinting – An ongoing issue with the new building is too much light shining onto boards when when trying to use the projectors (and in the faces of students in classrooms with east or west facing windows). Facilities and PiVOT Architecture have been working on a solution over the summer and are now getting pricing. I’m still trying to get a clear answer from our project manager if this means dark curtains or window tinting or both (he’s pretty busy right now trying to get River Road to open on time). The timeline for this is also up in the air.

• Playground Numbers & Lines – Facilities is supposed to extend our number line around the playground to 100. Once they finish this I’ll make a new map of where each classroom will line-up, which will now allow us to space lines apart more easily.

• Playground Benches – Benches are going to be installed soon around the playground perimeter, which will be a nice improvement for recess and also for community use.

• New Fencing – Additional fences are being installed to enclose the playground area. There is one fence behind the school to limit traffic from the park entrance, one fence limiting access from in front of the school, and one small fence connecting the track fence and a neighbor’s fence. These should be completed this week.

• Playground Rubber Mats – Rubber mats are being installed under the swings, slide and the large spinner. This should be finished early this week. I’m waiting to hear when the wheelchair swing will be installed.

• Rain Swales – This is the fancy name for the ditches in the parking lot. They are going to get fresh soil and get seeded this week, so hopefully it will look nicer out front soon.

• Bongos on the Playground – The new Beat Club piece of playground equipment was installed over the summer where the rainbow ball piece of equipment was originally installed last year before it had to be removed for safety reasons.

 

• Putting in Tickets for Technology Help – As a reminder to staff, if you ever need assistance with anything technology related, you should send an email to 4jdesktop@4j.lane.edu or call x7777, but not emailing Peggy directly. The reasons staff staff are asked to put in tickets are numerous, including but are not limited to:

• To get an accurate accounting of the workload for your schools
• To obtain statistics on the overall workload for all TSS
• To justify the existence of site-based TSS
• To get statistics on the type of requests coming in, so they can target training and other resources.
• To see historical data for devices and problems
• Because TSS assignments can change at any time
• To better allocate TSS staffing.

This is important because a low number of tickets could indicate that a school doesn’t need as much tech support time as it is currently getting. In looking at current data, they believe this is because the staff at some schools may be emailing or talking directly to the TSS instead of putting in a ticket.

• REPEAT: Inservice Week Calendar – A repeat from last week, but below is a summary of Inservice week activities. Take special note of the district sponsored event on Thursday and Friday, as there are a number of required trainings for both licensed and classified staff:

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 staff members.

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 staff (Madison had to drop out but SSD may allow another school to join) and will meet from 8:00-10:00 in the cafeteria. 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 updated Back-to-School In-Service Schedule.

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 the 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.

• REPEAT: Breakfast Burrito Orders Due 8/27 – If you haven’t already, the deadline to order a breakfast burrito is today (Sunday, August 27th). On Wednesday we’ll have yummy burritos in the Staff Room from 7:30-8:00 before the Trauma Informed Practices PD. If you’d like a burrito, complete linked Burrito Order Google Form ASAP. If you’re having trouble getting access to the Google form, make sure you’re logged onto your 4J Google account using your 4J email address and password.

• FREE Architects in Schools Program – For over 40 years, the Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s Architects in Schools program has matched professional architects and engineers with 3rd through 5th grade teachers for a FREE 6-week classroom residency. The curriculum uses architecture and engineering concepts to teach math, science, social studies, language arts and other disciplines, includes sustainable design concepts and can incorporate the engineering and design standards. Follow this link for Additional Information and follow this link to the Teacher Application. Deadline to apply is October 6, 2017.

• Health and Safety Reminders – Downtown asked principals to remind staff of some health and safety reminders as we start another school year. See Risk Management’s email for the complete Safety Reminder List, but here some highlights:

• Rugs/Carpet/Mats – All throw rugs not on carpet should be adhered to the floor with custodial department approved tape.
• Linens: pillows, animals, blankets, etc. – Create a housekeeping plan to ensure proper hygiene (i.e. bed bugs, mites, and other allergens).
• Food/Storage – All food must be kept in an identified sealable plastic container. Alternatively, closed bags may be stored in drawers or other pest preventable areas.
• Clutter – Electrical panels need to have direct access and at least 36 inches of clear space in front of them. To prevent fire, power cords should not be “daisy chained.”

• District Admin Updates – Several admin changes happend around the district over the summer. Peter Barsotti is the new principal at Madison Middle School, as Scott Marsh moves to Edison. Peter was previously a middle school principal in Fern Ridge. Jim Moore is the new principal at Edgewood Elementary School, as Larry Williams moves to ATA. Jim was previously the assistant principal at Thurston Middle School in Springfield. I don’t usually share assistant principal changes, but since it’s North Region, Trinity Welch-Radabaugh is the new AP at North Eugene High School, as Tracy Ross is moving to Sheldon. Trinity was previously an assistant principal at Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis. At the Ed Center, Susan Lorow is a new SSD administrator, taking the place of KC Clark as the HS SPED administrator. Susan comes from Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland where she was a principal, school psychologist, and most recently in a similar student services position. Sue Wilson will is joining the Instruction Department as a K–12 curriculum administrator, replacing Maddy Ahearn, focusing on math, science, health, and PE. Sue is had been working at ODE as the applied math/STEM education program specialist.

• Classrooms That Close the Digital Divide – “Overall, students who are black, Hispanic, or low-income are more likely to use computers for drill and practice, whereas students who are white or high-income are more likely to use computers for simulations or authentic applications,” says Molly Zielezinski in this article from American Educator. Her suggestions for more equitable outcomes:

• Use technology to engage students. Authentic tasks grounded in relevant, ongoing work with a real purpose. A few high-quality tools:

– Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) – An open-source platform for concept mapping and visual representations: http://vue.tufts.edu

– Canva – A content-creation tool that allows users to design presentations, social media graphics, posters, book covers, and business cards: http://www.canva.com

– Declara – An educator’s tool to curate collections of learning resources and collaborate within collections by sharing insights and posing and responding to questions: https://declara.com

These types of applications are preferable to those that have students memorizing facts, applying rules, and drilling basic skills.

• Let students create original digital content. This might include crafting multi-media stories, filming and producing documentaries, designing posters, leveraging social media as a tool for teaching and learning, and publishing wikis, blogs, or websites.

• Pick digital tools that promote interactivity. Zielezinski recommends that teachers and administrators “engage with the digital tool – get your hands dirty with the technology and use it the way students will… Does the app or program allow students to construct their own understanding of complex phenomena? Does it encourage students to represent thinking in multiple forms (text, pictures, videos, digital interactions, or some combination of these)? Will students engage with data or true-to-life simulations? Will they use sensors to measure real-life phenomena? These are some of the markers of digital tools that support learning.”

• Let students share their expertise with an authentic audience. Students do better work when they are communicating with people outside the classroom, locally or globally, who have shared interests, questions, and goals.

• Find the right blend of teaching and technology. Teachers “must play a crucial role in supporting the content students get through digital learning,” says Zielezinski. This includes real-time feedback and orchestrating productive peer interaction.

• 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 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)
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 (Volunteer’s Room)
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

Enjoy your final Monday of the summer!

Allan

2017-2018 Back to School Staff Announcements

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!

Allan

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

 

June 21, 2017


 

Hello Amazing Staff,

A few announcements for the last days here:

• Staffing Updates – For our 1st grade vacancy, from a very large and very strong candidate pool, we’ve hired Nicole Kerins. Nicole has taught for the past 17 years in a variety of positions ranging from teaching primary grades at Creslane Elementary, to teaching at Central Linn Elementary, to most recently teaching 1st grade in Abu Dhabi (she did a Skype interview that was 1:30AM her time). Nicole holds degrees in psychology and special education, and had glowing references, so we definitely hired a highly skilled person to join the Howard Team!

• Class Lists Revisit in August – I know some folks are still wanting to tinker with class lists, but I’m going to say we should wait until August until after we’ve seen who all has moved and who all has moved in and at that point finalize the class lists. We’ll plan to post class lists on Friday, September 1st at noon, so we have some time.

• End-of-Year Checkout – If you haven’t already, be sure to sign-up for a checkout time on the sign-up sheet located in the Staff Room on the white board. I’ll be in the building fairly late Thursday and am hoping to leave by 3:30 Friday, but I’ll be around all next week for anyone needing a later checkout.

• iPad and Laptop Imaging Requests – If grade levels have any requests for apps to be added or removed from laptops or iPads over the summer, shoot me an email and I’ll make sure they get updated.

• Schedule of Events for the Week – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are our last few dates:

June 22 (H)
Last Day of School, 11:05 Dismissal
10:10, Grab & Go Sack Lunches

“Grab & Go” Sack Lunch Schedule

10:00 Kindergarten
10:10 1st grade
10:20 2nd grade
10:30 3rd grade
10:40 4th grade
10:50 5th grade

11:30, Staff Last Day of School Ice Cream Celebration (Cafeteria)
3:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

June 23 (F)
No School Day — Grading Day
Last Day for Licensed Staff

June 26 (M)
Last Day for Classified Staff

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

August 30 (W)
Classified Staff Return

Have a great summer, everyone, and please enjoy the photos below of all the fun we’ve had this week!

Allan

 

Water Balloon Launch Tail Feather Reward!

 

Graduating Preschoolers

 

4th Grade Play


 

Kinder Fun!

 

3rd Math Booster Last Day

 

5th Grade Graduates