January 7, 2013

By Allan  

Hi All,

Hopefully you’re not reading this until near the end of the break and you all are still enjoying your well deserved time off.

Twelve items of note for this week:

• January 7th PD Day – Caring for Kids Training, 8:30-11:30 at Chavez – If you missed Sara Cramer’s emails over the break, teachers from the Caring for Kids pilot schools will be meeting at Chavez in the cafeteria/gym from 8:30-11:30. Coffee, tea and a few breakfast type items will be available at 8:00 as well as small snacks in the break out rooms. You do not need to bring your Caring Schools Community curriculum materials. Classified staff, you are welcome to attend but not required. If classified folks are not attending the meeting, connect with your primary cooperating teacher about what you can be helping with during this time. Let me know if you have any questions.

Related to this, on the morning of Tuesday, January 8th, the DSC staff will informally tour a few schools to watch morning meetings or class meetings in action. I don’t know yet which schools they will be visiting, but these are informal tours, so do not plan anything other than what you would typically do on your first day back with children.

Lastly, as a reminder for certified staff, this is a partial furlough day. 3.5 hours are for PD (we can count drive time for the remaining half hour), 0.5 hours is for lunch, 2 hours for planning time and 2 hours are furlough, so plan accordingly.

• Welcome our new librarian, Julie Hopkins! – The Thursday before the break, we conducted interviews with three excellent candidates for our library vacancy. Over the break we offered the position to Julie Hopkins, who was very excited to accept the position. Julie has previously worked in elementary school libraries when she worked in the Bend-La Pine School District and this year, after moving to Eugene, she filled in at the Kelly MS library where her daughter goes to school. Julie will be able to continue our current library schedule (which will likely be readjusted after PE and Music ends). Schedule-wise, Julie will be here 4.5 hours Tuesday and Thursday (10:00-2:30) and 3.5 hours Wednesday (10:00-1:30). She will officially begin this Tuesday, but she’s planning on stopping by on Monday to learn our system. Please help Julie feel welcome as she joins the Howard family!

• Governor Kitzhaber Visit to 4J 1/8 – Governor Kitzhaber will be visiting 4J on Tuesday, January 8th, 1:15-2:15 to hear about the District’s progress towards meeting the new state requirements around teacher evaluations. I’ve already emailed teachers participating in the pilot, but to keep everyone else in the loop, downtown is requesting that each pilot school send a team to give a brief presentation about the pilot at their school. Pilot teachers should let me know as soon as possible if you’re willing to help present with me for our school. Subs will be provided.

• Shelley Berman Visit to Howard, 1/15 – Shelley is planning to visit every school between January 8th and the end of the school year. Shelley is scheduled to visit Howard on 1/15. He will tour the school 1:30-2:15, meet with everyone at our staff meeting 2:30-3:30 and will then meet with me from 3:30-4:00.

• Formal Observation Dates – For teachers who are part of the evaluation pilot, if you haven’t done so already, let me know by the end of the week if you have a preferred time and date for your formal observation. I’ve already completed a few, but still have several more to complete. If I don’t hear from folks by Friday, I’ll go ahead and assign a date and time (which may actually be some people’s preference).

• Schools Showcase, Saturday, January 26, 9:30 AM–12:00 PM – The School Showcase will be held again this year Jan. 26th, with some changes based on the feedback from last year. If this wasn’t on your radar before, it’s something new the district tried out for the first time last year where parents could learn about all 4J schools in one place at the same time. This year’s event is briefer, just 2.5 hours compared with last year’s 4 hours. Let me know if any of you are willing to help me promote Howard and tell interested families why they should come to our school! This year there will also be breakfast, including a vegetarian option, for staff helping at the event.

• MECCA Teacher Resource Room – MECCA (Material Exchange Center for Community Arts) here in Eugene would like to spread the word about their Teacher Resource Room. Attached is their e-flyer. If you’re not familiar with MECCA, they are a non-profit organization whose mission is to divert scrap materials from the land fill and make them available to the community for creative reuse, from artists and teachers, to children and their families. MECCA is also dedicated to providing low cost arts education and experiences.

• Tiburcio Vasquez School In California Named After Bandido Ignites Controversy – Here’s a great example of looking at an issue and having different lenses. Here’s the link.

• Community Gang Prevention Symposium – January 12, 2013 – Carmen Urbina asked principals to help get the word out about this symposium. It’s happening on the 12th if any of you are interested in attending or know of anyone else you’d like to pass this information along to.

• Recommended Children’s Books – I pulled this from Suzy Price’s Title 1 blog, but I thought folks might find this fun. These are the most recommended books in Reading Today’s 2012 roundup. I was excited to see one book on the young adult list that I really enjoyed, “The Dead” by Charlie Higson, which is the second in a series of British zombie books where anyone over the age of 16 has turned into a zombie. It’s “Lord of the Flies” meets “Night of the Living Dead.” And for the young reader books, I’ll also vouch for “Pete the Cat” but I’m sad they left off “I Want My Hat Back” which is my new favorite picture book of the moment

Children’s Choices
Teachers’ Choices
Young Adults’ Choices

• Why read-alouds matter more in the age of the Common Core Standards – “In addition to getting kids hooked on books, narrative read-alouds are an effortless way to help students acquire the academic language they will need to comprehend informational texts,” write ASCD authors William Himmele and Pérsida Himmele. In their ASCD Express article, the Himmeles make the case for carefully chosen read-alouds in a time of Common Core State Standards, emphasizing the crucial role this activity can play in building any student’s lexicon “in contexts that are painless and meaningful.” Read on.

• Schedule of Events for the Week – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for this week:

Jan. 7 (M)
Monthly Focus: Be Your Best
8:30-11:30, Teachers to Caring for Kids PD at Chavez (Gym/Cafeteria)
1:00-3:00, Allan to Caring for Kids Principal Training
Certified staff – 30 min. lunch, 2 hours planning, 2 hours furlough

Jan. 8 (T)
1:15-2:15, Governor Kitzhaber Visit Regarding Eval Pilot Progres
2:30-3:30, PBIS Meeting (Room 10)

Jan. 9 (W)
3:00-4:00, Allan and Kim meet with Brianna Stiller

Jan. 10 (H)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 10)
4:30-5:30,THURSDAY Forum with Jon Saphier (SEHS)

Jan. 11 (F)
8:00-4:00, Allan to All Principal PD with Jon Saphier
2:30-3:30, Taking it Up Team Meeting – Moved to Friday, January 18th Due to Saphier Principal Training Date Change

Have great first week back, everyone!