October 28, 2019

By Allan  


Hi Everyone,

FUN FACT! This is our last full 5-day week until November 18th and the next full week after that isn’t until December!

Sixteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – We conducted interviews this past Thursday for our fourth kindergarten teacher, which will bring kindergarten class sizes down to 20, 20, 20, and 21. We’re happy with our candidate and I’ve submitted a candidate name to HR to make the job offer, so hopefully the person will be able to start as soon as possible. Timeline-wise, we’ll give the new teacher three days to set up their classroom and plan, I will notify families of students changing classrooms, and students will start the following day.

• EA Extravaganza Nov. 7th – For classifieds staff, Conference Days Nov. 7th and 8th are regular work days. See Marlee Litten’s Email and Directions for a list of the workshop opportunities as well as the registration directions. Follow this Registration Link and do a search for “K-8 EA PD.”

• Conferences Updates – Nine items of note for conferences next week:

• Student Profile Sheets – Teachers, be sure to have your families review and update contact information on the Student Profile Sheets Lori put into mailboxes.

• Parent Report Update – Parent reports are being generated and will be ready before conferences to share with families. For new folks, these include information on attendance as well as SBAC and fall benchmark scores. I’ll put these in teacher mailboxes as soon as I get them.

• Licensed Specialists Expectations – The district expectation for licensed specialists (Title, SPED, ELD, Music, PE, etc.) during conferences is they need to be working during conferences in some capacity and are to be available to families if they would like to meet. 

• Title 1 Compacts – Title 1 compacts were put in teacher mailboxes last Friday. Please remember the following:

1. You sign the Teacher section
2. You have the students read (or you read it to them) the Student section
3. You have parents/guardians sign their section at conferences
4. If a Compact is in Spanish (the student’s name is at the top on that side), please sign the Teacher section and have the student sign their section on the Spanish side. This is helpful for the parents when they get sent home.

If a conference is a “no-show”, please give me the Compact back with your signature and the student’s signature. I will get copies made and put a sticky note on it before we send it home. That way if we never get it back, we still have a record of trying.

• Allan Available for Conferences – If teachers have any tricky conferences and would like me to attend, just let me know and I’ll put it on my calendar.

• PTO Provided Dinners – Our awesome PTO is again providing dinner for staff working late during parent teacher conferences. I believe the current plan is for a “Soup Contest” along with salads and breads.

• Compensation for Large Class Sizes – Per section 10.1.9 of the contract, teachers who have greater than twenty-eight students for conference, will be compensated for one half (1/2) day at their per diem rate. Following conferences, I’ll put extended contract in teacher mailboxes for classes of 29 or more students.

• What Teachers Want Parents to Know – Here’s a nice reminder before conferences from an Edutopia article by a teacher who has worked in a variety of schools, reflecting on what teachers want parents to know:

• We care about your child’s well-being.
• We want your child to succeed.
• We know that learning is difficult.
• We know your child has other responsibilities.
• We care deeply about what we teach.

• Parent-Teacher Conference Tips from NEA – There are quite a few resources available on the NEA website to assist teachers in preparing for and conducting conferences. My own favorite advice is to just listen to parents, which is something I learned from my mentor teacher back in my student teacher days. He started every conference by saying “How do things look on your end?” which I copied and always thought was a good way for families to share whatever was on their mind, instead of me launching into my spiel and making them wait to share.

• Friday Early Release PD – This Friday’s Early Release PD is designated as PLC Meeting time. Downtown hasn’t given principals details on this yet, but I except this will be a continuation of what we worked on two weeks ago on 10/18. If that’s the case, we’ll plan to meet in the library for grade level teams to share where they are at and continue working on your Math Essential Standards document and make sure your PLC Meeting Notes are finished, especially your Next Steps section, so that we are ready for our next PLC meeting time with Rebecca.

• Artist in Residence Schedule – Linked here is the a Draft Schedule for the First Artist in Residence (Glass fusing Fun! with Rachell Jarvis) from November 4th – December 13th. The only things I held sacred on the schedules were recesses, lunches, and specialists times, but let me know if you have suggestions how to make the schedules work better or if you noticed any mistakes (I’m sure there are some). The only constraints are the artists need at least 15 minutes between sessions and are limited to no more than five classes per day, but I think the schedules worked out for the most part.

• MyOn (i.e. News-o-Matic) Access – Howard veterans will remember a great app we used to have called News-O-Matic, wgucg was purchased by MyOn. Carla wrote an EEF grant to get us a schoolwide subscription to MyOn, which we just got the funds for an submitted. I’ve uploaded students (USER: 4J email username PW: 4J six digit password) and teachers (USER: 4J email username PW: roadrunner) last week and they will hopefully be loaded soon.

If you’re not familiar with myON, it started as vast a collection of online books, which is still has, and once they purchased News-O-Matic, they deliver authentic reporting on timely topics and current events through a series of five daily news articles, 52 weeks a year. Articles are written by professional journalists and reviewed by a child psychologist for age-appropriateness. Every article is written at 3 Lexile® levels, with audio supports and engaging multimedia to further student understanding.

• Site Council Date Changes – At the Elementary Principals’ Meeting last week, principals learned that it is acceptable for Site Council groups to meet on a quarterly basis. In light of that, Site Council will meet in January, April (for EEF grant approval), and in May (end-of-year warp-up items). Some years Site Council will need to meet more often, such as last year when we worked on our 3-year school improvement plan, and there may also be times when items come up we’ll need to meet, but this makes sense given that most years Site Council has less to do in the School Improvement off-years.

• Winter Fire & Pest Control Reminders – This is your annual reminder that the risk of fire grows as temperatures drop and heating systems start to operate. 4J has had fires in the past caused by combustible materials placed too close to heating sources. With this in mind, please take the time to visually inspect that all combustible materials are at least three feet in all directions from heating sources. Even if you have a heater that doesn’t appear to run during normal operations please maintain the required clearances for materials as it might run if the building cools to a specified point overnight, over a holiday or school break. Additionally as it gets wet and cold outside the mice and rats begin looking for warmer places to hang out. This underlines the importance of pest prevention in order to provide our desired work/learning environment. We need your help to prevent pest problems by learning proper food storage techniques which can be found in the attached Integrated Pest Management (IPM) document. Please report any pest sighting or signs of a problem to your building custodian.

• REPEAT: Costume Parade Update – Linked here is the plan for the 2019 Costume Parade Directions & Map, which also includes an indoor rainy day parade route.

The Halloween Parade will start at 1:40 PM on October 31st. Classroom parties may run prior to or after the parade at the teacher discretion. At 1:40, upstairs classrooms will begin a single file line down their stairs and will pick up their downstairs buddy classrooms who will follow behind out to the field where we will parade around the track and cross the field at the 50 yard line. Here is the approximate schedule:

1:40 – Upstairs classrooms walk single file downstairs
1:45 – Downstairs buddy classrooms follow upstairs buddy classrooms
1:50 – Classes proceed single file onto the track area following the red arrows
2:10-2:20 – Classes return back to their rooms.

• Halloween Staff Photo, 2:40 in Story Cove! – Remember to keep your costumes on after school for our annual staff picture in the Library Story Cove!


• Student Care Team Resources – There were a few resources that were shared at last week’s Student Care Team Meeting:

• Section 8 Housing Opening Up, Nov. 12 – On Tuesday, November 12th at 8:00AM until the following Tuesday, November 19th at 4:00PM. Terra will email the flyer to Allan, who will distribute later.

• Energy Assistance – There are several energy assistant programs coming up:

• Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – Opens Nov. 1st at 9:00 at the Eugene or Springfield office at Catholic Community Services (CCS) or go online to https://lanecounty.org/LIHEAP. In Eugene, call (541) 345-3642. In Springfield, call (541) 747-8349. Applicants need to talk to a staff member, and not leave a message to get on enrolled. To get on the list, they have to talk to a human, apply online, or enroll in person. Last year the list filled in 15 minutes. This year they are opening it up the first business day of every month
• EWEB Customer Care (ECC) – ECC is adding clients to a waiting list the first business day of the month starting at 9:00. People can apply by calling the Eugene CCS office at (541) 345-3642. going online at: https://lanecounty.org/ECC

• OLGA – Oregon Low Income Bill Assistance – NW Natural – Program is funded by Northwest Natural. This program is available to all Northwest Natural (NWN) customers who meet the income qualifications. The OLGA program provides a one-time payment that is applied directly to the applicant’s NWN account. To apply, in Eugene, call (541) 345-3642. In Springfield, call (541) 747-8349. Or visit the OLGA Website.

• Dovetail – Dovetail Project (formerly known as Project 250) was developed for integrating services provided by Department of Health and Human Services Divisions to achieve better outcomes for chronic clients (families, individuals, and veterans). Contact is Laurel O’Rouke, Social Services Liaison for Dovetail Program at Lane County Government, (541) 682-8778 or visit the Dovetail Website.

• Roseburg Therapy – Roseburg Therapy began as a provider in schools throughout Douglas County and is expanding into Eugene and Springfield school, so children can access mental health services in their school without the obstacles of parents needing to leave their jobs and children needing to leave school. More information and the referral form (under “Services”) can be found at their website: https://www.roseburgtherapy.com/

• November PBIS Focus: Appreciations – The November PBIS monthly focus is Appreciations. The PBIS team created a PBIS/CSC Cheat Sheet that matches our monthly PBIS themes with corresponding Caring School Community class meeting lessons, which is a nice way to tie the two activities together.

• United Way Annual Campaign – United Way Campaign Forms were put in staff mailboxes this past Friday. If you’d like to donate, return forms to my mailbox by Friday, November 16th. United Way of Lane County supports many Lane County community programs that assist our students and families. Linked here is the email sent to principals. You can learn more about what all they do by following the above link.

• The Power of the Positive Phone Call Home – We all know this, but this Edutopia article serves as a good reminder that calling students’ parents or guardians with good news encourages more good behavior and creates strong teacher-student bonds.

• Identity-Affirming Schools Need Race-Conscious Educators – Inclusive environments are catalysts to students’ success. In this ASCD Express Article, an equity and inclusion specialist shares four steps necessary to foster belonging and dismantle systems that marginalize students, which are:

1) The Colorblind Approach Is Damaging
2) Disproportionalities Send a Message to Students
3) Singular Stories Are Dangerous
4) Students Want to Be Heard

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

October 28 (M)
2:45-3:30, Site Council CANCELLED

October 29 (T)
8:10, Allan to Formal Observation
9:00-11:00, Jeff Out of Building at Synergy Training
9:10, Allan to Formal Observation
10:00-12:00, Allan to ESSA Planning Sessions (Office)
2:45-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Matt’s Room, RM23)

October 30 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
2:45-3:30, PBIS Meeting (Ashleys Room, RM25)

October 31 (H)
1:40-2:15ish, Halloween Costume Parade
2:40, Staff Halloween Photo!

November 1 (F)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Appreciations
Popcorn Friday!
1:30, EA Supervisors’ Meeting (Title 1 Room, RM26)
2:30, Early Release PD – PLC (Library)

November 3 (SU)
Daylight Saving Time Ends

November 4 (M)
Roadrunner Tail Feather Challenge Begins
Artist in Residence – Glass-Fusing Fun! – Rachell Jarvis Begins
2:45, Allan to IEP Meeting (Conference Room)

November 5 (T)
Regular Day

November 6 (W)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee (Ed Center)
4:00-8:00, Parent/Teacher Conferences
8:00-4:00, K-8 EA Extravaganza & MANDT

November 7 (H)
8:00-8:00, Parent/Teacher Conferences
3:40, Allan to Conference

November 8 (F)
Teacher Comp Day – No School
Classified Staff Regular Work Day
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting

November 11 (M)
No School — Veterans Day

Have a fun week of making fun school memories for kids!