January 14, 2013

By Allan  

Hi Everyone,

It’s our only five day week of classes for January and the weather forecast sure looks like it’s going to be a cool one. Sadly, there’s no snow predicted (at least at this point!).

Twelve items of note for this week:

• Social Committee Dues – It’s time to replenish our Social Fund. We had a good amount of carryover at the start of the year, so we didn’t ask for social dues, but we’ve since used all of the funds and are now actually in the hole. We’ll stick with the same amounts and allocations that have been used in the past; classified pay $15 and certified pay $25. Please direct your dues to Lori as soon as possible. Thank you!

• PTO Meeting, Tuesday, January 15th – At our last PTO meeting, we didn’t have any staff reps besides myself, so it would be great to have one or two staff members attend. And if you can’t make it this month, please take a look at the PTO Meeting Sign-Up sheet posted in the mail room and see if there is a date you will be able to attend in the future.

• Feb. 1st Howard PD Day, 12:30-3:30 – Math Task Analysis –  It’s a couple weeks out, but I wanted to let staff know the plan for the Howard PD day on February 1st. We’re teaming up with Awbrey Park for a training with Chris Castillero, the new Associate Director of Curriculum and Professional Development – Mathematics. The day will focus on task analysis, looking at the complexity within a lesson and how to potentially use this as a differentiation tool. We’ll be meeting at the Ed Center auditorium from 12:30-3:30. The morning will be your time for planning. Classified staff, are welcome to attend, but if you are not attending, be sure to connect with your primary cooperating teacher and make a plan for how you can best use this time.

• Report Card Send Home Date, February 8th – I sent this out back in October, but as a reminder, we’ll be sending report cards home on Friday, February 8th. After talking with several teachers, this seems to be the best date, taking into consideration there are only three weeks of class in January before the grading day and then a short four day week that follows.

• State school report cards being sent to families – As an FYI, the district is emailing state school report cards home to families this week. I’ve previously shared our report card, which I feel we can be quite proud of, but here it is again. And if you’re curious, here is the email that was sent to principals and secretaries about this year’s report cards.

• Shelley Berman Visit to Howard, Tuesday January 15th – A repeat from last week, Shelley is visiting Howard on Tuesday the 15th. 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.

• Martin Luther King Jr. Day March, January 21st – Attached is a flyer with information about the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march happening Monday, January 21st if any of you are interested in attending. Danny Glover and other celebrities will be on hand for the event.

• Safety Week – As I’ve said earlier, I’d like to hold a Safety Week to practice all of the most common safety drills. I think this is a good way to bring awareness to staff, students and families about the various safety procedures. Originally I was planning to hold this in January, but with so many short weeks in January, report cards coming soon, and trying to limit interference with PE and Music time that’s ending soon, I’m going to hold this the week after report cards are sent home. The schedule for Safety Week will be:

⁃ Monday, Feb. 11 – Earthquake/Fire Drill, 9:30
⁃ Tuesday, Feb. 12 – Room Clear, time decided by teachers
⁃ Thursday, Feb. 14 – Lock Down, 10:30
⁃ Friday, Feb. 15 – Directed Relocation, 12:50 directed to the gym (right before the Roadrunner Assembly)

We’ll review the procedures at a meeting prior to this event, but I wanted to let folks know the dates and times to help with your lesson planning. All of these drills are listed in the “Emergency Procedures Manual” which is the rainbow tabbed notebook that should be hanging in every classroom. Please let me know if you do not have a manual or if you have any questions.

• Immigrant Students in Schools: ‘Always Scared’ – Here’s an EdWeek summary article covering a recent report, “Legal Violence in the Lives of Immigrants,” from the Center from American Progress, documenting the impact of law enforcement directed at our nation’s eleven million undocumented immigrants. With the US now spending $18 billion a year enforcing immigration laws, more than other federal law enforcement combined, the report states that families are avoiding interacting with officials in social service agencies, even when this means denying children the social, medical, and educational services they need and are entitled to. It’s a though provoking article and I’m sure this report is reflective of a number of our families.

• What is the appeal of tablets in K-12 schools? – Tablet computers are catching on in school districts nationwide, here in our own school district, and soon in some classrooms here at Howard. This article includes examples of how tablets are being used and tips for educators considering adopting the devices in their own classrooms.

• Latest Curriculum Craze: Making Stuff – I’m kind of fascinated by the whole maker subculture, so I found this EdWeek blog post rather fun, seeing maker ideas entering schools. Related to this, here’s a very cool video of a self-taught 15 year-old from Sierra Leone who taught himself electronics and got a residence at MIT. It’s inspiring and humbling — what a kid!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOLOLrUBRBY [/youtube]

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

Jan. 21 (M)
Reading Progress Monitoring Week 7
9:00-9:30, December Book Giveaway
2:30-3:30, Allan to Elementary Principal’s Meeting

Jan. 22 (T)
1:30-2:15, Shelley Berman Tours Howard
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting (Library)
3:30-4:00, Allan meets with Shelley
5:30-6:00, Parent Laptop Training (Room 6)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Library)

Jan. 23 (W)
7:30-11:30 Allan Meets with Data Planning Team (Room 12)
2:00-4:00, Allan to IEP Meeting

Jan. 24 (H)
8:00-11:00, Allan to Superintendent’s Cabinet Meeting. Melissa to cover. (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Room 6)

Jan. 25 (F)
2:30-3:30, Taking it Up Team Meeting (Staff Room)
3:30-4:30, Allan to Common Schedule Operations Meeting (Ed Center)
6:00-8:00, Family Movie Night

Have a great week and look forward to your three day weekend!