October 14, 2019

By Allan  


Howdy Everyone,

Wow! We had a great turnout of families for Open House and we had a record breaking number show up for the Annual Title 1 Parent Presentation (the free ice cream coupons seemed to help). Thank you everyone for staying late to show families our school and program and to make them feel welcome in our school!

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Last week was jam packed with interviews and we’ve hired five new folks listed below, are waiting on HR to finalize our Upstairs Night Custodian hire, and are reposting our KG Classroom position. Please welcome the following new staff members:

• Cheyenne Carpenter (5th or 4/5 Classroom) – Cheyenne comes to us from the Portland area, where she’s been a popular long term substitute in Beaverton the past two years, having worked at Title 1 schools similar to Howard. We’re still waiting for final word from downtown if this position will be a straight 5th grade classroom or a 4/5 blend, which impacts our timeline for creating class lists and notifying families.

• Michael Hatch (Life Skills EA) – Michael joins the Howard Life Skills team working as a direct support professional with students with disabilities in their home. Michael also holds a degree in Psychology from Wester Oregon University.

• Christina Wagner (Kindergarten EA) – Christina is already pretty well known at Howard as a longtime Howard parent and longtime volunteer. Besides having a prior connection to Howard, Christina is currently working towards earning her teaching degree and will bring the skills from that program to our kindergarten classrooms.

• Justin Wisner (Learning Center EA) – Justin has subbed at Howard since the start of the school year in a few different positions and will join the Howard Learning Center Team as our 3-hour LC EA. Justin was also recently hired as an EA for the after school BEST Program.

• Rebecca Wright (Kindergarten EA) – Rebecca has subbed in this position most of the school year and will also be familiar to anyone who’s spent time int he Kindergarten wing this year. Rebecca comes to Howard with experience as a retired teacher from California, so she brings her years of experience to the Howard Kindergarten Team.

We did not not hire anyone for the Kindergarten Classroom position, so we are going to repost that position. The posting should go up this week and will post for five days, so please encourage any excellent subs, former student teachers, or terrific part-time teachers who’d like to go full-time know they should apply!

All of these folks have orientation meetings scheduled this Tuesday and should be able to officially start this Wednesday, so please welcome these fine new folks to the AWESOME Howard Team!

• Friday Early Release PD – This Friday’s Early Release PD is designated as PLC time for classroom and interventionist teachers. Downtown hasn’t gotten principals details about the format of this session, but my guesses it will be something similar to last year and I’ll plan to keep that same format if I don’t hear otherwise.

• Costume Parade Planning Meeting, Wednesday @2:45 – Several ideas were thrown around at the end of Thursday’s Behavior Framework PD, so I’ll hold an optional planning meeting this Wednesday at 2:45 in the conference room to finalize plans for our annual Halloween Costume Parade. Linked here is Last Year’s Parade Route & Directions and here is Last Year’s Parade Half-Sheet Flyer we sent home.

• PTO Meeting Updates – Thank you to staff who came out to support the PTO at last week’s meeting. Linked here is the PTO Slideshow Presentation and below are a few highlights. Also remember that they livestream their meetings on Facebook if you’d like to watch from home live or watch the meeting later.

• Tech Trot Updates – The PTO has already raised quite a bit online for the Tech Trot and will hopefully get more once students return envelops, which teachers should return to the office.

• Noodles & Co. Fundraiser 10/24 – The PTO is trying monthly resturaunt events as an easy low-key way to fundraise that doesn’t involve collecting donations or selling people anything. The next on will be Thursday, November 14th at MOD Pizza.

• Popcorn Twice a Month – Popcorn is currently scheduled for the first and third Friday of each month. I’ve added these to the building calendar.

• VRC School Cents Fundraiser – Help Howard earn up to $2,000! Shop, dine or see a movie at Valley River Center October 1 – March 31 and save your receipts. Submit receipts at shopandlog.com/VRC or drop off receipts at school in the receipt collection box by the volunteer sign-in computer.

• PTO Parent/Teacher Conferences Meals – The PTO loves our teachers and would like to show their appreciation by providing meals during conferences. Look for yummy meals these the evening of November 6th and 7th.

• Bruce the Gardner Thank-You Gift – I continue to be impressed by Bruce, the gentlemen who has been weeding, pruning, and cleaning up our many flower beds in the courtyards, the parking lot, and in front of the building. He’s asked for nothing in return, but I think we owe him some sort of thank you, so I’m taking up a collection for Bruce to buy him something nice. If you’d like to donate, I’m going to put an envelope in my mailbox labeled BRUCE. And let me know if you have any good idea what we might get him, though I was thinking a few gift cards and a signed card from staff would be nice.

• Paper Cost Increase – I mentioned earlier the cost of paper has increased this year, but people may not realize how BIG this increase is:

White Paper – Used to be $2.50, now $3.50 per ream
Colored Paper – Used to be $3.50, now $5.50 per ream
Tag Paper – Used to be $3.50, now $8.50 per ream

Due to the cost of paper, it is now cheaper to use InstaPrint for your print orders, but try to go digital when you can.

All of this is due to the fact that warehouse no longer buys and stores paper for the district so we have lost bulk pricing. If we could really concentrate on using white paper and very limited use of tag we will be able to stretch our budget further this year.

• Student Care Team Referrals Due FRIDAY – The Student Care Team will meet next week, 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 (English or Spanish) 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, you can also 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.

• UPDATE: Roadrunner Award Assembly, Friday @8:15 – Our first round of Roadrunner Awards (Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Responsible) will be this Friday at 8:15 (note this was moved 5-minutes later that previously stated). Each teacher will choose one student for each of the 3 PBIS expectations. Awards need to turned in to me by Thursday and make sure you have sent home invitations to families of your winners. See Mellissa’s Roadrunner Awards Email for details on what the PBIS Team came up with for the assembly and see the linked Assembly Map & Directions for where classes should sit.

• REPEAT: Fun Friday! – Favorite Color Day, FRIDAY – Our first School Spirit Days is this Friday and it’s Favorite Color Day! Get kids pumped and encourage them to deck themselves out in their all-time favorite color(s)!

• Fiesta Cultural Celebrates Latinx Arts & Culture – Lane Arts Council’s 5th Annual Fiesta Cultural is Lane County’s largest celebration of Latinx arts and culture, featuring over forty multicultural events happening September through December. See the linked flyers (English and Spanish), the images below, and the above link for event dates and details.


• Check Calendars for Board Meeting Conflicts – Downtown asked schools to make sure no evening events are scheduled the same night as any School Board Meeting Dates. I’ve added school board meeting dates to the building calendar and Howard doesn’t currently have any conflicts outside of parent/teacher conferences, which an exception is being made for since nearly all elementary schools scheduled conferences that evening. Be sure to keep this in mind when any classes or grade levels are scheduling evening events.

• Resource for Kindergarten Families – Although very primary grade focused, the The KITS (Kids in Transition to School) Blog has bilingual English and Spanish articles intended for families of kindergarten students to support their development. This work comes out of the Oregon Social Learning Center and looks like a nice resource for families of preschool and primary grade students.

• Trauma Stewardship TEDx Talk – In this talk, Laura Vandernoot Lipsky offers a window into the cumulative toll that can occur when we are exposed to the suffering, hardship, crisis or trauma of humans, other living beings, or the planet itself. Held within a larger context of systematic oppression and liberation theory, she dives into what gets hard and how to work toward reconciling it both individually and collectively.

• 5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students – Writer and teacher Rebecca Alber in this Edutopia Article outlines strategies for teachers to have more productive discussions with their students by asking simple questions and giving students the time to think about the question before they attempt to answer it.

#1. What do you think?
#2. Why do you think that?
#3. How do you know this?
#4. Can you tell me more?
#5. What questions do you still have?

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

October 14 (M)
Digital Citizenship Week
9:00-12:45, Kerins to Mt. Pisgah

October 15 (T)
11:15, Allan to Formal Observation
2:45-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Matt’s Room, RM23)
3:00-5:30, 4J Flu Shot Clinics (Ed Center)
5:45-8:45, EEA Listening Session (Library)

October 16 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
11:15, Allan to Formal Observation
2:45-3:15, Halloween Parade Planning Meeting (Conference Room)

October 17 (H)
School Pictures (Gym, PE in STEAM Room)
1:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Office)
2:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Office)
3:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Office)

October 18 (F)
Fun Friday! – Favorite Color Day
8:15-8:40, K-5 Roadrunner Award Assembly (Gym)
9:10, Allan to Formal Observation
2:30, Early Release PD – PLC (Library)

October 21 (M)
9:00-12:45, Larsen and Pond to Mt. Pisgah

October 22 (T)
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principal Meeting (Ed Center) – Gaston Covering
9:00-1:00, OSEA Visit to Howard (Staff Room)
2:45-3:30, Staff Meeting (Charissa’s Room, RM17)

October 23 (W)
8:00-11:25, Data Team Meetings (Conference Room)

5th 8:00-9:00
KG 9:10-10:10
3rd 10:25-11:25

2:40-3:30, Student Care Team (Conference Room)
4:00-6:00, Allan to Administrator of Color Monthly Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-8:00, District First Aid Class (Library)

October 24 (H)
8:10-11:25, Data Team Meetings (Conference Room)

2nd 8:10-9:10
1st 9:30-10:30
4th 10:55-11:55

4:00-9:00, PTO Noodles and Co. Fundraiser

October 25 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
9:00-12:00, Life Skills to Detering
10:30-12:30, October Birthday Lunches With the Principal (Community Room)
2:30, Early Release PD – Behavior Framework (Library)

Enjoy the normality of this week, everyone!