March 2, 2015

By Allan  


Hi Everyone,

Monday, March 2nd through Friday, March 6th marks the celebration of Classified Employees Appreciation Week! Contributions by classified staff to our school, students and families are immeasurable! Not only would our school be unable to operate without our classified staff, our school is by far a better place for the classified folks we have here at Howard. Your dedication and hard work, whether it’s going that extra mile for a student or taking over a classroom (like our Life Skills team did this last Friday) or taking over a group in a pinch, know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Howard is a better place for having you all here!

Sixteen items of note this week:

• 2015-2016 Staffing Survey – With 2015-2016 staffing allocations coming out next week, I’d like staff to complete a short staffing survey, either here on a Survey Monkey or on a Word file. I’d like to know staff members individual plans and preferences for the future as well as your thoughts on next year’s building-wide staffing plan and master schedule. Please complete this by next Monday, March 9th so I can hear from folks before I draw up potential staffing scenarios to share next week. All answers will be kept confidential and please let me know if you have any questions.

• Ems Emazing Readers Assembly Incentive Assembly, 3/4 at 9:00 – This Wednesday at 9:00 will be the kickoff for the Eugene Emeralds’ Reading Incentive program. The program will run the same as last year, but Shelly will distribute information to classroom teachers on how the program works, which is essentially classroom teachers set a reading goal for students and if students meet that goal they get two free tickets to attend an Em’s baseball game this summer. For the assembly, we will meet in the gym at 9:00 so Sluggo can motivate kids to meet their reading goals (hopefully it’ll be better than last year’s oddly unmotivational assembly). See the attached assembly map for logistical details.

• Supply List for Next Year – Teachers, please look over the attached 2014-2015 Supply List and let Lori know of any changes for next school year by spring break. I know this seems early, but we need it for stores and new enrollments for next year.

• Scholastic BOGO Book Sale – Julie shared with me an opportunity to have a Buy-One-Get-One-Free Scholastic Book Sale later this year. This sale is good since it can cheaply put books in our students hands and the library also gets a nice big Scholastic credit to buy more books, but the trade off is that we would have to end library for the year a couple days earlier than planned. The book sale would be from Thursday, May 14th to Monday, so the classes with library times on Thursday and Friday would need to be rescheduled earlier in the week, but Julie thinks she should be able to make that work. Since Julie thinks she can get all of the Thursday/Friday classes rescheduled, Since that is the last week of library, that is book return week. The week of May 26th – May 28th or June 1st (depending on Artist times) would be library Movie Week for the classes who have most all their books returned.I’m thinking we should go ahead and do this, but please let me know by the end of the week if there is anyone who does not think we should do this.

• Literacy Night Dinner Orders – We’ll once again be providing a meal for staff working at Literacy Night next week on March 12th. We’ll be ordering individual Cornucopia boxed lunches for dinner. Choose your sandwich (which comes with fruit, chips and a cookie) and then decide if you’d like to add a green, fruit, potato or Hawaiian macaroni salad. Email Lori your order by Monday, March. 9th.

• New Before School Breakfast & Recess Routine – The breakfast supervision crew is trying something new starting this week. We’re going to have myself and Marguerite start on the playground at 7:30 and we will now release all grade levels to the playground and not just three grade levels. Debbie will supervise in the cafeteria with assistance from Lori when she is available and they will release students as soon as they are done eating. Cheri will also come out onto the playground after her crossing guard duty is over. This routine is actually how Cheri and Lori (when she was a Howard EA) managed students in the morning back when Howard had around 500 student enrolled.

• Wacky Wednesday – Crazy Socks Day! – This Wednesday is the March Wacky Wednesday and the theme is Crazy Socks Day. Please remind your students about this fun event and let’s see how how clever our staff can be!

• Artist in Residence Project Update – Thought I’d let folks know that from staff I heard back from, all wanted students to have their own product at the end of their time with our artist, Samuel Becerra, so we’ll plan on students making the clay flutes, which will be fired in our new kiln.

• Construction Updates – Attached are the minutes from the last Construction Progress Meeting and are the highlights:

• Furniture Selection Meetings – I spoke with Kay Mehas last week, who will be working with our Design Team when it comes to making decisions around furniture selection for the new school. The timeline we’re looking at is to start the discussion next month, likely the last week before spring break, and to have decisions on amounts, styles, colors and types by the end of May. Kay is also the one in charge of the “Ugly Test” for what furniture can move with us into the new school, but you can let me know now if you’re wondering about any particular furniture and maybe I can help influence some of those decisions.

• Main Entrance Double Track Slider vs. Single Track Slider Doors – The main entrance of the new school currently is planned to have a double slider door, where there are two tracks for a wider entrance. However, these types of doors have a history only working for a year or so (while under warranty) and then later having problems, so right now the project manager, Ryan Spain, and I are suggesting to Facilities that we should instead do an automatic door with two doors on a single track and also a set of manual double doors. That set-up worked well when I was at Cal Young and provided plenty of room for their 600 students at arrival and dismissal each day.

• Library Slide Costs – The cost of installing the slide (the steel structuring and the slab are the big ticket pieces) came in higher than expected, so there is some dickering going back and forth between district, architects and construction people, but as of now they are still planning to make it happen.

• Teacher Pathways Program – 4J is participating in the Lane County Teacher Pathways Program, which will pay tuition costs for the licensure program on a Pay-It-Forward, Pay-It-Back system. The Pathways program is working to diversify the teaching force in three ways: linguistically, culturally, and socio-economically. They are actively seeking people who speak multiple languages, are culturally-diverse, and/or are first-generation college students. Meeting one of these descriptors is a bonus but not a requirement. Please share this information with anyone who you think would be a good candidate for the program. Attached is the Lane County Teacher Pathways Program brochure and applications. The deadline to apply is March 13th, so it’s a fast timeline if there is anyone you plan to share this with.

• R is for Rosie the Riveter- Class Presentation Opportunity – A member of the McKenzie River Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association came by the office last week to donate a book to the library titled R is for Rosie the Riveter. She also offered to do a classroom presentation on the subject and the book, including having guests come who were actual Rosies during WWII. If you’re interested, please contact Yvonne Fasold, President of the McKenzie Chapter of ARRA at or (541) 343-4223.

• TalentEd Password & Login Update – HR let principals know that Netchemia, the organization that provides TalentEd Perform, made upgrades to the system last week. As a result, when you log into TalentEd for the first time since then, it will look different. The different systems available for purchase within TalentEd are Discover, Recruit & Hire, Perform, and Records. Netchemia has now made it possible for their customers who use more than one system to log in using one password, though 4J only uses Perform and not the other systems. So the next time you log onto TalentEd, follow the directions given to you when you login and remember the following:

1) You are not required to change your password, necessarily. You will be prompted to change your password, but can “change” it to the same one you were using before IF that password had a “special character” in it and meets all other requirements they set up for passwords.

2) Put at least one “special character” in your password. These are such symbols as: @ # $ % ! …etc.

3) To make your password more secure, you may want to create one that has at least eight (8) characters in it and has a combination of lower case letters, upper case letters, and numbers.

4) If your attempts to log in don’t work – PLEASE CALL HR AND THEY WILL CONFIGURE YOUR PASSWORD ON THE SPOT TO GET YOU IN. The “Forgot your password?” feature doesn’t seem to be working too well since the upgrade. Please don’t keep trying and end up frustrated.

• Spring PBIS Newsletter – ESS sent out the Spring PBIS Newsletter, which has some helpful spring reminders from the 4J Behavior Team. Brianna and Melissa took the lead on this one.

• New Nutrition Services General Manager – 4J has a new Nutrition Services General Manager and it’s our very own PTO president, Kaylynn Olney. Many of you know Kaylynn has worked in 4J as the Operations Manager since 2012 and worked for Oregon State University Catering for six years before coming that. Be sure to congratulate Kaylynn next time you see her in the building!

• New Arts Standards Include Animation, Computer Science – Since we’re a technology focused school, I found an interesting article about how some states, including Arkansas, Nebraska and Kansas, have adopted a version of the National Core Arts Standards, which includes media arts, such as animation, computer design, film and gaming, among the additions in the new standards.

• 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:

March 2 (M)
Classified Employees Appreciation Week!
Superintendent Finalists Announced
2:00-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee (Facilities)
6:30-8:30, Allan to Noche Informativa Para Padres de Habla Hispana: Nuevos Exámenes “Smarter Balanced”

March 3 (T)
2:15-3:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Room 9)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 7)

March 4 (W)
Wacky Wednesday – Crazy Socks Day
8:00-11:00, Allan to Skillful Teacher Co-Observation (Camus Ridge) SKIPPING
9:00-9:30, Ems Emazing Readers Assembly (Gym)
9:30-11:00, Allan to Construction Progress Meeting (Construction Trailer)
1:30-2:00, Allan to Glucagon Training (Office)
4:00-5:00, Allan to North Region Principals’ Meeting (NEHS)

March 5 (H)
2:30-3:30, Taking it Up Meeting (Staff Room)
6:00-8:30, Superintendent Finalists Public Forum (Ed Center)

March 6 (F)
12:15-5:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Superintendent Interviews (Ed Center)

March 9 (M)
Book Fair Begins
Reading and Math Progress Monitoring 10
Dinner Order for Lit. Night Due
10:00-11:30, Allan to 15/16 Staffing Allocation Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

March 10 (T)
Regular Day

March 11 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Construction Progress Meeting (Construction Trailer)

March 12 (H)
2:30-3:30, Optional 115/16 Staffing Plan Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)
4:45-5:30, Cornucopia Dinners with Drink & Deserts are Served (Staff Room)
5:30-7:30, Literacy Night

March 13 (F)
PD/Planning Day – No Students
8:00-12:00, K-2 HM Journeys Training (Ed Center)
12:00-4:00, 3-5 HM Journeys Training (Ed Center)

3 week (14 student days) until Spring Break!