Team Meadow Update

Week of May 5, 2019 - Happy Staff Appreciation Week

Team Meadow -

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reminded through a variety of circumstances that everyone has a story. Everyone looks through lenses of their own experiences, yet day after day we all come together in this common space, give our best to make it all synchronize, and make the most of our opportunities for the good of our students. We speak into the hearts of our learners so they get what they need. As we know them better, our eyes are opened to the fact that the needs of our students are increasingly diverse. Some kids make it easy, and some try every last thread of patience. Yet every day, you step up to the plate and serve our kids a menu of creative learning experiences that keep them coming back for more.

Let's be honest...It can be exhausting.

On Friday evening, I came across a new video of Andy Grammer singing “Don’t Give Up On Me” with the PS22 Chorus (Bronx, NYC). I’ve watched a few of the PS22 videos before, and I find that crew of kids to be inspiring. Viewing this video was timely for me on the heels of a couple of weeks where kids (and adults) have been showing their own struggles in varied, challenging ways. Yet time after time, I stand next to some of the greatest educators on the planet who are willing to explore different ways to help our kids through their struggle. Thank you for not giving up on our kids, our families, or each other. I’m grateful for you. Continue maximizing learning (academic and SEL) opportunities with your kids before they go away for summer break. We’ve only 16 days of opportunity with these little humans.

It's a busy week ahead, and I hope you feel lots of love this week from those around you! You are deserving of every bit of adoration.


p.s. You can click on the photo below to view the video of these kids sharing a great message.

The Week Ahead

Monday –Lauren and I have arranged lunch for you from Panda Express. I believe I’ve ordered plenty of Kung Pao Chicken and fried rice to go around, so come prepared to give your chopsticks a workout.

Tuesday – Dr. Robison has arranged a special sweet treat to show his appreciation for you and your hard work. I’m thankful for a superintendent that stays in touch with what’s going on in the classroom and recognizes the hard work you do!

Wednesday – PTO is planning a variety of sweet treats for dessert during your lunch time.

Thursday – Root beer floats during lunch from Tom and Lauren.

Family Gathering - (1:30-2:15) Our family gathering will include singing from the Boone Meadow Voices.

Friday – PTO is providing lunch from McAlister’s Deli.

ILEARN - 3rd and 4th grade classrooms wrap up I-Learn this week this week. A tremendously hearty thank you for those that demonstrated flexibility and steady calm during this new adventure.

Family Input Surveys were included in the this past Friday's Flyer. I will send directly to families this week, and you may also include in newsletters.(info and link located below)

STEM Visit (DOE) - May 21st (AM) - Please see information located below - Just keeping it on the radar.

ZTEP/ZTEP+ Update - A quick review of some upcoming (or past) items:

  • By May 1st - (ZTEP+) This was the last day for teachers to upload feedback forms and reflections
  • By May 5th - Last day for teachers to upload artifacts.

  • As you receive your SLO data, you may begin submission of documentation (post-work) in SFS.
  • SLO data is due to each teacher’s primary evaluator by 5 working days after the last teacher contract day for the school year. (Due June 5th)

Early Dismissals following events/programs/field trips - Please do not encourage early dismissal with students/families with programs/field trips at the end of day. I've included a few thoughts below.

Have a great day, team. Thanks for being flat-out amazing at this work that you do each day,


Early Dismissals

Please help by proactively discouraging early dismissal of students after field trips, programs, etc... If families decide to check students out early, we will assist. Even though it may not appear to be a big deal to let families check out students early near the end of the day, there is a ripple effect that I’m asking staff to consider.

  • When we encourage families checking students out early, we send a subtle (and at times overt) message that we don't maximize the time with our students. Even if you have only a handful of moments at the end of the day with students, this is a perfect time to reflect with students about their experience, to share compliments and encouragements, and end on a positive note (as a group in community circles, writing, with partners, etc...).
  • On occasion, we have found that some families have gone directly to other grade level classrooms to ask the teacher for their other children/students to go home early. (yikes!) Instructional time was interrupted by parents coming and asking for their student. The teachers had to explain for them to go to the office, etc… These made for awkward moments, for sure. By asking families to maintain our regular dismissal procedure would help us avoid that.
  • At the end of the day, the front office is navigating a variety of end of day matters. Last minute transportation changes, buses radioing in, families showing up for case conferences, teachers calling for clarification on matters, etc… A large number of last minute sign outs were also accompanied by requests for Beth and Barb to call other classrooms for siblings to leave early too. This puts them in a position of disrupting other classrooms when parents were requesting siblings to leave early.
  • During your “Welcome, and thank you for coming today” greeting before programs or experiences, could you respectfully request that families follow our regular dismissal procedures. Let families know that following the program/field trip, etc..., you still have a few items to wrap us with students at the end of the day. I’m not saying you have to squeeze in another science lesson or Second Steps (maybe you could), but I want to make sure that we don’t send a message to families that “we won’t be doing anything anyway.” It sets a precedent that has a cumulative effect. 45 minutes today, coupled with 45 minutes after the Kindergarten Sing, then 30 minutes after 1st grade Young Authors – and then families pulling out siblings… you can see the time impact across multiple rooms and the cumulative impact on instructional time. Families need to know in subtle and clear messages that we value the time with their students.

Thank you for your cooperation with this. It makes more of a difference than you may realize.


Team -

I've enclosed a portion of an email below that provides a little more insight to our upcoming visit from the IN Dept. of Ed on May 21st. Kara, Lauren, and I will be working on details of the visit. At this point, we don't have a lot of info to share, but I definitely want it on your radar.

Keep your eyes open for more information to come.


Dear Tom:

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has contracted with STEM Innovations, LTD to conduct an evaluation of the IDOE STEM initiatives and investments. A part of this work will include making site visits to randomly selected Round 1 and Round 2 STEM Schools and STEM K-6 Acceleration grant programs.

Boone Meadow Elementary School has been selected as one that will be included in this evaluation. We would like to conduct your site visit on May 21, 2019. This site visit will take place from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Prior to the visit, the first component of the evaluation will be a pre-visit phone interview with the principal (approximately 30 minutes). This will be scheduled with Dr. Carla Johnson, President of STEM Innovations, LTD.

The components of the site visit include:

  1. Observing one full class period of your choosing for up to 60 minutes;
  2. Conducting a walk-through to briefly visit two additional classes for 10-minute observation period;
  3. Interviewing a group of 3-4 teachers regarding the STEM focus at the school and their experience.

Thank you for your willingness to help support our efforts of continuous improvement at IDOE.

Andrew Melin

Chief Innovation Officer

Indiana Department of Education

115 West Washington Street

South Tower, Suite 600

Indianapolis, IN 46204

P: 317.234.3880

Calendar Items & Information


6th - 4th Grade field trip to Indiana State House

8th - PTO Meeting 6:00 PM

9th - Family Gathering (1:30) & Boone Meadow Voices Concert (7:00 PM)

14th & 15th - 3rd grade field trip Sullivan Munce/Lions Park 9:15 AM -1:30 PM

15th - BM Voices Hoosier Village 2:45pm

17th - Field Day - rain or shine! 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

20th - Kindergarten Sing

21st - DOE STEM Visit (8-10:30); Young Authors (Lamaster, Graham)

22nd - Young Authors (Kiel, Megli, Proctor)

23rd - Market Day - 2nd grade (confirmed)

24th - 4th Grade Celebration 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

27th - Memorial Day - No School

28th - Last student day

Personal Business Leave Requests

For Certified Team Members:

To requests "personal business days," please complete the following process.

  1. Go to the following link, and complete the "personal business request" form.
  2. Once the form is completed, please send a brief email to me (Tom) that includes the date(s) of your request(s).
  3. Enter your upcoming absence in AESOP as soon as possible. (It can always be deleted later should plans change.)

Thanks -

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