West Goshen News

April 29, 2016

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Moving into Inquiry

As we have noticed from this past week in cluster, moving into a true inquiry model in your classroom is not always easy. What I loved about how you all were churning through the development of the "big question" was the reflection you were doing. It does mean we have to "give up" some things we may want to control. I loved the growth mindset I heard as we move into this cluster cycle - you know the impact it will have on our students' problem solving and thinking skills so you are willing to "put yourselves out there" for our students. Thanks so much for always being willing to trust the process and push yourselves in new ways of thinking! Like I tell everyone, I'm lucky to work with the best educators!

Week in Review

TLT Update

This past week we dug into the IREAD sampler questions that the IDOE has provided for grades K-3. The mentor teachers made instructional plans based on the questions that were asked on these samplers. They are coming back to each grade level to share their findings and ask for more input. FYI: IREAD results are still embargoed. Once I hear the ok that we can share the results with parents and students, I will let you know!

Next week, the TLT will be looking ahead to next year for how cluster cycle 1 will work. We will be looking at the IB Learner Profile pieces and connecting them to the TAP instructional rubric. We will start mapping out the pieces!

IB Updates:

Here are some things, as we enter the last month of school, that I want you to be aware of:

1. The IB parent information night is coming up - planning on having it May 24th at 6:00. I would like to have a "dessert bar" set up in the cafeteria for parents after the informational meeting is done. Instead of the typical cookies, I think different dessert options would be more appealing. I am going to put a sign up sheet in the lounge for staff members to volunteer to make a dessert for that night. If you would be willing to donate a dessert, feel free to sign up!

2. Karen, Jodie, and I would like to create a "student leadership team" made up of 4th and 5th graders. These students would meet with us periodically (probably 1-2 times a month) during lunch to discuss and give input on decisions that are being made in our school. I would like to start with these students yet this year (we would choose 3rd and 4th graders this year that would be 4th and 5th graders next year). Our first agenda item with them would be to get input on our vision statement. We also want to have them help out on our IB parent night (maybe serving desserts, welcoming parents, etc) 3rd/4th grade teachers - please send me names of students who already have or have the potential to take on the Learner Profile pieces - approximately 2 per class.

Staffing Update:

Things are beginning to fall in place. Here are some staffing updates, as of right now:

-- Lindsay Rheinheimer is moving from 2nd grade to 1st grade
-- Ben Doyle will be 60% PE/40% Intervention (per board approval)

As I begin filling more positions, I will keep you posted! Thanks to everyone for your patience through this process!

HUGE Thank you!

Thanks again to everyone for your patience and flexibility during ISTEP these past few weeks. Many people adjusted schedules to make the weeks flow well. Thanks to Robert and Melissa for creating the schedules, tracking problem areas, and scheduling make-ups.

NWEA starts this week...

Robert sent out an e-mail a few days ago letting you know about NWEA testing. Remember that you can take this during your regularly scheduled computer times (or sign out the mobile labs). Let Robert know if you want to sign out another time (his sign up sheets are hanging in his room).


Week 1 is E/LA
Week 2 is Math
Week 3 is Language Usage (for grade 3-5 only)

The tests need to be completed in this order. If you need help assigning your class, let Melissa, Holly, or Jenn know!

McTeacher Night was a success!

It was great to see so many families and staff members at McTeacher Night! It was a fun time spent with each other to help support our PTO. Thanks to everyone for your help!

Teacher Appreciation Week

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. We will be celebrating all of you with something special each day! You are so truly appreciated - thank you for all you do!!!

Central Office News:

Today’s Focus: Culture

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
– John Wooden

Reflections to Guide Your Journey

How do you practice positivity in your daily life?

What can you do to support your team in creating a more positive culture?

Some Changes at ECSEC

In February, the Governing Board of Superintendents for the Elkhart County Special Education Cooperative agreed that, effective at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, Life Skills paraprofessionals will be employed by the home school corporations that houses the Life Skills classrooms. In March, all Life Skills paraprofessionals were notified of this decision by Bev Krabill, Director of Special Education. For Goshen Community Schools Life Skills paras, there will be no changes to their assignments or pay or benefits. However, there may be some Life Skills paras who work in other school districts (within ECSEC) that may be seeking employment in a GCS school or assignment. As principals work to fill vacancies for the coming school year, please give these individuals consideration.

TAP Bonus worksheets

Please share with teachers: As administrators are meeting with teachers regarding the second part of the TAP bonus, there may be a question about the calculation. In some situations, when we pulled the data from the financial spreadsheet into the individual teacher worksheets, rounding took place and this makes some of the calculations appear to be off by $1.00. The actual amount for the TAP bonus will be to the penny.

Email Migration to Office 365

We will be transitioning our staff email system to Office 365. Student email accounts will continue to reside in our Google Apps Domain.

The primary advantages for us:

· It's free for education

· Way more space in your mailbox (50 GB)

· Larger attachments (150 MB)

· We don't have to maintain the system, Microsoft does

· Uses your regular username and password

· May continue to use Outlook as usual

With roughly 1000 mailboxes, this will take some time to do. While our initial testing has shown the process to be relatively smooth, that does not mean everything will work perfectly. So, in order for us to keep up with issues, we will be staging the migration. We will be sending an email to all staff once that schedule is complete and all technical staff are up to speed.

CPR/AED Class Offered

Susan Stiffney will be teaching a CPR/AED class on May 12 and May 18 at Goshen High School from 4 to 5 pm. It costs $20. You only need to attend one class.

If you are interested, please email sstiffney@goshenschools.org and indicate which day works for your schedule. Classes are limited to 20 people.

These are the last classes for this school year.

End of Year Celebration

This year’s End of Year Celebration will be on Tuesday, May 31. Retirees and their families are invited to an open house in their honor in the high school cafeteria. The open house will be from 12:45 PM to 1:15 PM immediately followed by the staff recognition in the GHS auditorium where employees will be recognized for their years of service at GCS. Please encourage your staff to attend to support their fellow employees.

“Jeans for Troops”

The GI Go Fund is once again honoring Memorial Day with “Jeans for Troops,” America’s most popular school dress down day to support our troops. As always, we are grateful for the support we are receiving from thousands of schools and school districts from across the country who give the opportunity to their employees to donate $5 and dress down in jeans and patriotic attire for the day.

We hope you can join the dress down program to benefit military personnel and veterans, including recently returned Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, as well as veterans of previous generations suffering from homelessness and other challenges. This year's national dress down day is May 26, the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, but you can change the date while registering if another day works better. After registering, you will be mailed all the program information/stickers to host a great Jeans for Troops Day. Please sign up on our Jeans for Troops Registration page.

We are grateful for your support. If you have any questions please reply to this email or call our main office at 866-389-4446.

Thank you

Alexander Manis
Deputy Director and Co-Founder
The GI Go Fund

Upcoming Dates:


Monday, May 2nd:

ISTEP make-ups continue through May 6
NWEA window opens (E/LA this week)

3:00-4:30 - TLT meeting
4:30-5:30 Strategic Planning Meeting (Lori gone)

Tuesday, May 3rd:
3:00-4:00 - 4/5 cluster

Wednesday, May 4th:
3:00-4:00 - 2/3 cluster

Thursday, May 5th:
3:00 - Meeting with all teachers who are interested in planning the IB parent meeting

Friday, May 6th:
7:30-11:30 - NIET Site Review (a schedule sent in an e-mail)
9:20-10:20 - K/1 cluster
PM - Lori at Central Office for Teacher Recruitment Fair

Monday, May 9th:
NWEA window (math this week)
6:00 - School Board Meeting - recognizing "Turn Around Award" Winner Melvin Ayala

Tuesday, May 10th:
3:00-4:00 - 4/5 cluster

Wednesday, May 11th:
7:00-8:00 - K/1 cluster
9:00 - 4th grade orchestra recruitment
1:00-2:30 - 4th grade to public library
3:00-4:00 - 2/3 cluster
4:00-5:15 - Strategic Planning Academic Subcommittee (Lori)

Thursday, May 12th:
1st grade to the zoo

Friday, May 13th:
8:45-10:30 - Principal's Meeting (Lori gone)