Futures W.A.G (Week at a Glance)



Did you know October is officially the lowest energy month for educators? According to research, October can be a real bummer.

We discussed this at the last principal meeting. We were shown a graph of the months. In one study, school personnel across the USA (around 5,000) self reported October as their lowest energy month worst, and March as their second worse.

What could be the reason? One theory is that the energy of initiative subsides. The new plans, ideas, and faces become regular, and a doldrum effect can set in.

How can we banish these blues?

I thought of a couple ideas:

1) Celebrate how far we have come: Think about how far we have come this year. In a short time we have accomplished much!

2) (Wabi-sabi (?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".[1] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), the other two being suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 ?).) (FROM WIKI PEDIA)

I was always fascinated by the idea of Wabi-Sabi. A friend of mine once gave me a mug with chips in the ceramic. It was a lopsided mug that he had made. He said " wabi-sabi" to me and then explained the concept. At our school we too are "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". There will never be a perfect support system for all of our kids. There will always be difficult days. (Picture day comes to mind). Transcending this is the beauty of our work: the relationships that we build, the importance of our knowledge, the enthusiasm of our students.

3) Having some fun with students: I recently listened to Ms. Harrell read a funny chapter book in class. Her expressions, tome of voice, and enthusiasm as a reader permeated the room. I left feeling that I had just been part of something special. On Friday I saw Ms. Wegner personally connect with every one of her students as they left for the weekend. Her smiles and positive messages to each students were very powerful.

I hope that you can take any of these ideas and make them your own.

A Definition: The "Futures Way" :

The "Futures Way" is to do whatever it takes to build up our students and their families for academic and social success.

Shout Outs!!!

  • Mike Gonzalez. For being a good sport about coming back on Friday. And for creating student council too.
  • Leah for her great work with student council. We are glad to have that part of our school culture.
  • Rachel Amsterdam for holding the fort for 2 1/2 days last week. Thank you!
  • Peacemaker Roberts for adding some new members to our team.
  • Aimee Pallidino, for going the extra mile with our students!

Reflection on what went well last week (school-wide)

Last week I saw some great reading workshop in Kindergarten. For so early in the year, it was amazing to see the students' stamina.


Subs not showing up was a real problem. If you know and appreciate a good sub, please tell Evodia so we can build a list.

Deliverable(s) for the week

by Friday , Data Cards : The red , yellow, and green cards are located in Ms. Amsterdam's second drawer if you still need a few more.

by Monday, October 27 Substitute folder: Please have one ready to give to Evodia . One idea is to make it a team effort and one person do math and another reading.

PLC during Fitness

We will have a math PLC. Agenda will be ready on Tuesday

Instructional Tips

Please see this great website OUSD had put together on balanced literacy :


Behavioral Tips

5:1 or 3:1 positive to negative ratio . Keep this in mind as you go throughout the day. 5:1 comes from PBIS, 3:1 from NNN. In any case the point is the same: human beings need more praise than criticism.

Core Waiver Day (Tuesday)

Off site all day Heather, Rachel , Leesa, Brian, Keya (SQIS) Communities of Practice Institute for ESEA (CORE) Waiver FOCUS Schools

A few districts in California applied as a group to be waived from the heavy constraints of NCLB. Because we are a lower performing school, we are required to participate in a core waiver day on Tuesday. I am going to request that we have a substitute administrator present.

Wednesday PD:

Rachel will do a piece from National Equity Project. I will lead committee work.

Meetings and Events

futuresinoakland@gmail.com calendar

Monday, October 20

Late Fall Testing Window

COLLEEN T. at Restorative Justice Training


I Will do "Meet me in the garden" today


OEA (union leadership) visits Futures @ C


SSC and title one night in @ C

Tuesday, October 21

Late Fall Testing Window

COLLEEN T. at Restorative Justice Training Day 2

First Grade: Marine Science Institute visits

Off site all day Heather, Rachel , Leesa, Brian, Keya (SQIS) Communities of Practice Institute for ESEA (CORE) Waiver FOCUS Schools


Parent Sub Committee: meets in A


Kinder/First Physical Fitness (Coach gets students from class, teacher meets outside at 1:45)


Culture and Climate Meets Portable Mr. Gonzalez room (Kevin Edwards, Jessica Gallagher, Peacemaker, Parents, Brian, Rachel, Colleen T, Representative of Fitness/After School Program, custodian, lunch staff, office Mendoza, OHA, Shannon, Leesa, Mike, Leah, Jenny (chair) , Heather

Wednesday, October 22

Late Fall Testing Window

Farmer Market On Campus: Classes welcome

Minimum Day ( Wed PD begins 9/17 1:45 @ Portable C)


Wednesday PD @ portable C : Bring Laptop

Thursday, October 23

Late Fall Testing Window


Location to be determined : COST meeting (starts 10/16)


Grades two /Three Physical Fitness (Coach gets students from class, teacher meets outside at 1:45 )

Friday, October 24

Late Fall Testing Window


Grades Four/Five Physical Fitness (Coach gets students from class, teacher meets outside at 1:45 )


harvest festival @ Lion's Creek

Save the Date:

Halloween is a minimum day. If you are new to Futures, you will see why:)