January 28, 2013

By Allan  

Hi All,

Nine items of note for this week:

• Staffing Timeline and Survey – The typical staffing timeline is being changed this year to more accurately project enrollment, taking into account open enrollment with out-of-district transfers. Principals were notified last Friday that we will receive staffing allocations April 12th and will need to turn in completed staffing plans to HR by April 25th. You can read the email if you’re interested. I was originally planning to survey staff this week about staffing for next year and I think I’ll go ahead and do that, even though it will be more than two months away before we know where we stand staffing-wise. Generally speaking, with the district facing $21 million dollars in cuts ($10-11 million of that being offset by onetime funding sources, leaving about a $10 million hole to fill), I think there is a good possibility there will be staffing reductions, even though I believe Howard will likely be projected at a higher enrollment for next year.

In any case, each year I like to survey staff prior to drafting potential schedules and staffing scenarios. Attached is a survey asking for your thoughts on next year’s staffing plan and also what you would like to be doing next year and beyond. I’d like to hear from all staff, both classified and certified. All answers will be kept confidential. We will have a more in-depth discussions as a staff regarding next year’s staffing plan, but this is a place to start that will help me create some draft plans once we do receive our staffing allocations. You can reply to me via email or by returning a hardcopy to my mailbox (although I prefer email). Please return completed surveys to me by Monday, February 25th. Please let me know if you have any questions or if would like to discuss anything in person.

• Feb. 1st Howard PD Day, 12:30-3:30 – Math Task Analysis –  This Friday we’re teaming up with Awbrey Park for a training with Chris Castillero, the new Associate Director of Curriculum and Professional Development – Mathematics, focusing 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.

• Social Committee Dues – I know the last time made the announcement about Social Dues, it was coming on the heels of an often expensive holiday time and in the middle of the month, so since this week has the start of a new month, I wanted to remind everyone about paying your social dues. We’re sticking with the same amounts and allocations that had been used in the past; classified pay $15 and certified pay $25. Please direct your dues to Lori as soon as possible. Thank you!

• Friday at 4:00, Sam Bond’s Garage – Speaking of being social, I think we should have a Friday at 4:00 this week. Following our training at the Ed Center, let’s plan to meet up just down the street at Sam Bond’s Garage. Hope to see you there!

• Fire Drill, Monday at 1:00 – As long as it is not raining, we’ll hold our January Fire Drill this Monday at 1:00. Please plan accordingly.

• School Choice Week – Just a reminder that this week is School Choice Visitation Week #1. We have a few families already signed up for tours (mostly at the younger grades), so don’t be surprised if you see me walking visitors around the building this week. We managed to sign up a few more tours at Saturday’s School Showcase, so maybe our time there this weekend was worth it. And a big thank you Lori and Melissa for coming out and giving up part of your weekend to help promote our school!

• Will Your Black History Month Be Memorable? – Black History Month, which begins February 1st, dates back to 1926 when educator and historian Carter G. Woodson started a weeklong observance in February, the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event was expanded to a month in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. This year’s theme for Black History Month is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.” The editors of this blog offer a list of online resources for educators teaching related topics to students. The Teaching Tolerance website also offers many excellent ideas resources for educators. Scholastic and BrainPop also have some related resources and classroom activities. I’m planning to take some advice from Teaching Tolerance and incorporate a black history “Fact of the Day” during morning announcements.

• Measuring the Quality of Math Instruction – Here’s a good one-page article reporting on the “Mathematical Quality of Instruction” tool (MQI) for evaluating K-8 mathematics teaching. It’s aim is to get teachers self-assessing and bringing more mathematical substance to students. Checkout the article to learn the five key components the MQI measurements of math instruction.

• A Pep Talk from Kid President to You – And just for fun and for a bit of inspiration, “Who do you know who needs some encouragement?” That’s what Kid President, the “self-appointed voice” of our childrens’ generation asks in his latest video. And remember, “What will be your ‘Space Jam’?”



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

Jan. 28 (M)
Second Semester Begins
9:00-10:00, Allan touring potential new families
10:15-11:15, Allan to Teacher Formal Observation
1:00-1:15, Fire Drill
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principal’s Meeting (Ed Center)
5:15-6:15, Allan to Saphier Book Study Group (Ed Center)

Jan. 29 (T)
8:30-12:30, Wellness Check-Ups (Room 2)
10:30-11:30, Title 1 Visit from Suzy Price
1:15-2:00, Allan touring potential new families.
2:30-3:30, Site Council (Staff Room)

Jan. 30 (W)
Kindergarten – Creating Common Formative Assessments in Math PD (Ed Center)
8:40-9:20, Allan to Teacher Formal Observation Pre-Conference
10:10-11:10, Allan to Teacher Formal Observation
12:30-1:30, Allan to Teacher Mid-Year Goals Meeting

Jan. 31 (H)
1st Grade – Creating Common Formative Assessments in Math PD (Ed Center)
11:00-12:25, Birthday Lunch with Mr. Chinn (Room 2)
2:25-3:25, Allan to Teacher Formal Observation Post-Conference
2:30-3:00, Parent Laptop Training (Room 6)

Feb. 1 (F)
Howard PD Day – No Students
2nd Grade – Creating Common Formative Assessments in Math PD (Ed Center)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Teacher Formal Observation Post-Conference
12:30-3:30, Howard Professional Development – Math (Ed Center)
3:30/4:00 – Friday at 4:00 at Sam Bond’s Garage!

Have a fab week, everyone!