The Buzz 10/5/15

What you need to know to be in the know...

Our Mission:

Chandler Elementary will create a safe and positive environment where all students and adults work together using 21st century strategies to achieve high academic growth.

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Small Efforts...

Rome really took about 1,009,000 days to build, the ocean is made up of many small drops of water, and Purdue University says it takes 364 licks to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop. This year has seen a lot of changes, new curriculum maps, new report card process, new assessments, new programs like PLTW and Tools of the Mind, just to name a few. Keep in mind, that all of these will take time to get good at. Journeys was a good example, 3 years in and we were finally at a place where we were feeling comfortable! Small efforts, over time, will lead us to proficiency with these new tools. What is now uncomfortable at times is helping us grow as professionals, as teams, and as individuals.

Please let the office staff know how they can support your efforts. We have many layers of support with Laura and I, TLT members, Leon, office staff, and even some central office folks being willing to do anything we can to help out in any way we can. It takes everyone on Team Chandler working together to ensure our kids are meeting their goals and growing as learners.

Thank you for your efforts and your work every day. We have come a long way, been through many firsts, and have overcome many obstacles to get where we are today. Your growth mindset is appreciated, and the key to our success. I look forward to working with you further throughout this year and beyond!!!

New Staff This Week

Well sorta new... Clara Fry has been filling in for Mrs. Fecher since she left in late September. She has also agreed to fill in for her as long as needed. She has 18 years of first grade, and many long term leave experiences. Thank you Mrs. Fry for answering the call once again, and welcome to Team Chandler!


As we progress with PLTW implementation, I hope you are finding the value in the work being done. I think everyone who has completed modules will agree that students are doing great thinking, creating, and enjoying the work!

As we move forward, we are looking to expand the number of leaders in our building. There are a couple PD opportunities coming up that could help build leadership capacity in this area, if you would like to learn more about these opportunities I would love to talk with you.

P/T Conferences

Thank you in advance for all the preparation you put into successful parent teacher conferences, especially this year! We are all experiencing a learning curve, and this does not go unnoticed. Please let Mrs. Schwartz or I know if you have a conference that you would like someone to attend with you. We will be happy to be at as many as possible.

We will be asking parents to fill out a brief survey (to help with the school improvement plan) while they wait, the office will take care of all the details, signage, etc. However, it would help to have a desk to set a laptop on.

We report the % of students who we conference with to the school board. Please note how many you meet with, whether it be by phone, in person, skype, etc... If you meet, you count.

Dinner will be provided by the school on Tuesday (if you have a request for dinner let me know). Thursday PTO will be providing some soups, bread, and other goodies. The food will be available after 4:00, and be located in the lounge.

Bus Driver Shortage Hits Home

The Transportation Department has been having trouble locating field trip bus drivers, even with a 2 week notice. If you are planning a field trip, please send in the transportation notice as soon as you have a date. The earlier you get your request in the better the odds at getting a bus. There have been field trips that have ended up needing to be rescheduled, even with a 2 week notice, because of not being able to secure a driver. If you don't want this to happen to you, then you need to get notice in early!!!

Daily Attendance

Reminder that you need to submit Attendance in after 8:00, but before 9:00. We still send out robo-calls for absences every evening at 5:00. If you fail to submit attendance, all of your parents will get a call! In other cases we have parents who call their child the next day only to find out they were marked present. Thanks for helping keep our attendance accurate.

Deanna Fecher

I wanted to make you all aware that, with students, we are not being specific about the reason for Deanna's leave, other than to say she is being treated for an illness. We do not have a specific time frame for her return, but that she hopes to rejoin her class as soon as possible.

We are continuing to collect items in the lounge to support her, and there is a site to use if you would like to provide meals. Cheryl Woodlee will provide dates as they are available. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

World's Largest K-5 Streaming Sing-Along Concert

I came across an article about this and was intrigued, so I thought I would share. I know some of you are always looking for a good brain break!

Really good stuff...

“student questions are seeds to student learning.”

Here are three rules, which while not intended to, definitely support the use of formative assessment:

Curiosity comes first

Embrace the mess

Practice reflection

These three “rules” are really three steps or components to consider in using formative assessment instructional strategies to activate students as learners and as resources for one another. Let’s take a look.

Central Office Listening Day

On November 2, Central Office personnel will be spending time in the building talking with staff. Their goal is to get feedback on how things are going, and have an open forum. To help make this time more meaningful. Attached you will find a list of questions they will be asking. Most sessions can occur during a normal prep period, and last 40 minutes. Support staff are encouraged to join a meeting time to provide feedback also.
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Growth Mindset

Huge Thank you to Leon Bauman for sending in these great reminders:

One of the most powerful ways we have discovered to encourage each other and our students to develop a growth mindset is to use the word “yet.” If we find ourselves saying, “I can’t do!” simply add the word “yet.” “I can’t do it yet!”

“The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” –Josh Waitzkin (chess champion featured in the book and movie Searching for Bobby Fisher)

Here’s another link to a 3:50 minute video to help define growth mindset:

From Central Office...

Today’s Focus: Talent

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
– Mary Lou Cook

New Contracts & Timeline

On Monday, September 28th GEA membership ratified the master contract for the 2015-16 school year. On Tuesday, September 29th the Board approved the agreement. We have already started working to implement this new agreement.

Our first goal is to clean up any/all errors in the current payroll system by the October 9th pay date. This way we can begin making the adjustments to the pay with an accurate foundation. The target date for including the salary increase in teacher pay is the October 23rd pay date. By the end of October, it is our goal to have written contracts out to all teachers.

One of the changes to the contract was an hourly rate increase for teachers who provide “in-house” subbing services. The rate increased from $20.48/hour to $25.00 per hour. Attached is the NEW payroll voucher to be used for in-house subbing. Please STOP using the old ones and remember to print/copy these on YELLOW paper. Thanks!

Subs for Paraprofessionals

Although our substitute pool is a little wider and deeper this year, we are in no way “out of the woods” in terms of potential shortages. Please remind your paraprofessionals and other classified staff that they should NOT be calling Jamie UNLESS their position REQUIRES a sub for the day in their absence. Remember that this applies to those 1:1 paras or program paras that are required to implement a student’s IEP and/or program. They do not need to report their absences to Jamie. Rather, they just include that on their timesheets or in Time Force, if applicable. If a para calls in for a substitute, Jamie will do her very best to find someone, but our first priority MUST always be to provide subs for teachers first. Let Tammy know if you have a question.

Horace Mann Student Loan Reduction Workshop

Please remember that next week, Wednesday, October 14th, GEA is sponsoring the Horace Mann Student Loan reduction workshop for all GCS employees. This will be at the GHS Auditorium at 4pm. Below, is the email for Andrea Thalheimer, please RSVP with her by this Friday so we can have an accurate count for materials. Walk-ins are welcome, but an RSVP will ensure that we will have enough materials for everyone. Also, Andrea would like you to bring some things to aid in this workshop. What those things are, I do not know. Andrea will contact all who RSVP and tell you what to bring. This workshop is not just for your student loan, but will address your children’s loan(s) as well. Also, this is not just for GEA members or just teachers, ALL are welcome. If you have questions, please feel free to contact:

Scott Garvin


GHS Ext 2470


Thalheimer, Andrea

eSuite HR Portal

Please share this information with your staff again: To access eSuite and paystubs, go to the GCS website under Staff Services, you will see that the first tab listed is eSuite HR Portal. When you click on that, you will find directions and other information.

TLT UPdate

TLT is working on creating our overall school goal. In years past this has been based on ISTEP+, mClass, and SRI data. This year our team has decided that NWEA is timely, frequent, and normed referenced, so we will be looking at building our school goal around this assessment.

This week we spent time creating preliminary goals with numbers. TLT members will be coming to your grade level to talk about any changes that you feel might be necessary based on your Teacher Knowledge of Students (TKS). You input is valuable. They can also explain how we chose our goal, and set cut scores.

Our specific cluster cycle strategy focus this year will be on non-fiction and text features/structure. More to come on what these may look like as we move through the process.


Mrs. Katie Gerke - Wednesday, October 14

Mrs. Erin Behan-Morillo -Friday, October 16

Calendar Items


Chandler TLT 3:15-4:15

Running Club 2/3 2:50-4:00


Joy Hill Visits Kindergarten 8:30-10:00

Parent Teacher Conferences 3:00-8:00

Dinner provided after 4:00 - Lounge

Running Club 4/5 2:50-4:15


Orchestra 3:45-4:45 (GMS)


Parent Teacher Conferences 3:00-8:00

Dinner provided after 4:00 - Lounge

Terry Aukeman Visit - PLTW

Orchestra 2:55-4:00 (Music Room)


Success/Support Staff Meeting 8:35

Just in case you forgot...

Family Nights

This year we would like to continue each grade level hosting families one night during the year. These nights last year served many purposes: Building relationships with and within families, helping them understand different ways that they can support their child at home, and completing a fun activity! This week 4th and Kdg will kick off this year. As your grade level knows when they will host their night, please let Mrs. Romero, Mrs. Mast, Mrs Schwartz, Mr. Bauman and I know.

PBIS Update

There have been many issues in the student restrooms over the past couple of weeks. These issues include clogged toilets, defecation in inappropriate places and generally messy floors. Please review the PBIS procedures. Also, make sure students know the proper use of the urinal and toilet.

PBIS MATRIX -- Restrooms

Be Respectful

- Voice level 0 to 1
- Flush the toilet
- Place or drop paper towels in the trashcans
- Turn off water after washing hands
- Return to classroom or line up with class

Be Responsible

- Give others personal space and privacy
- Pick up after yourself
- Keep hands and feet to self
- Use one pump of soap and 2 paper towels
- Use the restroom for its intended purpose

Be Safe

- Report problems to an adult
- Leave student materials outside of the restrooms

against the wall

Voice Levels

0 - No talking
1 - Whisper
2 - Partner voice
3 - Classroom speaker voice
4 - Outside voice

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