Thomson Staff Newsletter

March 21, 2016

Important News & Notes

What a week it was...

Last week was a very busy week in many ways...Kindergarten Round-up went extremely well. Whether you were at Thomson as normal, worked Round-up, or went back and forth, you all helped to make this a welcoming experience for our new families. A special thank you to Lyn and Sue for handling all the craziness in the office and an extra special thank you to Anna for all her work at Round-up and ensuring that her work back in the building was done as well. These three ladies put a lot of time, effort, and care into Round-up to ensure it goes off without a hitch. Congratulations on a job very well done!

I also want to thank Jen Seal and Jen Webster for working through the difficult behavior issues that came up Thursday and Friday. While there was definitely an uptick in aggressive behavior that we all need to be aware of and mindful of, these two ladies knew what to do before calling me and handled the situations professionally and in the best interest of the kids, even when it was difficult. As we head into the next two weeks before Spring Break, please be sure that you are following procedures and keeping a careful eye on the students that we know are experiencing difficulty. While we have child studies already scheduled for this week, if there is a child that you would like team problem solving on, don't forget to use your PLC team members and know that I am happy to schedule a team meeting to help. Like Christmas vacation, not all students are looking forward to the break from school as it means that they may be in a stressful home situation without school to provide them the structure they crave. Thank you for being mindful of these kiddos and their individual situations!

School Improvement & Mini QAR

The Thomson Mini QAR is this Thursday, March 24th from 4:15-5:15 p.m.! I am so proud of the work that you all do each day and the results that we get. Mini QAR is our time to highlight our School Improvement plan, the work we do, and get feedback from those outside our building. While attendance is not required on March 24th, I have cancelled our Staff Meeting on March 23rd to ensure that all are in attendance. In addition, PD hours will be granted for certified staff in attendance. Certified Staff that are not able to attend, please let me know. Also, hourly employees that attend will be paid for attending. Please know how important it is to those presenting that we show are support of them and our support for all the hard work that each and every one of you is doing. Hope to see you there!

March is Reading Month

Keep encouraging those little ones to read and record their reading minutes on their reading calendars. Don't for forget, today is 'Black Out Day'. 'Black Out Day' is really about turning off those electronics (black screens) and spending the time that would have been spent playing games reading instead. In order to support this at school, again, please ensure that your lesson plans for next Monday reflect 'no electronics'.

DRA Testing Window

While subs will NOT be provided for this DRA Testing Window, the window opens today,, Monday, March 14th and stays open through Thursday, March 24th. Any student who is not reading at grade-level, DRA 3 or above, must be tested during this time. However, please remember that teachers may test any student they'd like for instructional purposes. As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask,

Early Release Make-up

As Mr. Brown shared this past Friday, the Early Release Day that was missed due to snow will be made up Thursday, March 31st. Students will be release at 1:28 p.m. and our PD will begin at 1:45 p.m. and last until 4:45 p.m. This PD session will be for all Certified Staff, Paraprofessionals and Challenge Coordinator. We will have March 31st to work on School Improvement as a staff which will be wonderful to gain full staff input. I will be working with Melissa Baracco to develop an agenda.

Gmail Training for ALL STAFF WHO USE EMAIL

As I shared in an email earlier this month, on Monday, March 28th we will have a staff training from 3:45-4:45 p.m. for ALL STAFF WHO USE EMAIL. This training will take place at Thomson and while not mandatory all staff with a district email are highly encouraged to attend. The change over from our current Outlook to Gmail will take place Tuesday, March 29th. All Certified Staff will receive professional development for attending and hourly employees will be paid for attending. Please look for an rsvp later this week to ensure that we have enough devices for everyone to have one.

Dimes for Diapers

How is the Dimes for Diapers drive going? Please record your classroom total so far on the whiteboard in the lounge just so we can get a feel for how we are doing as a building. Also, don't forget that the classroom that raises the most money in Davison will get a pizza party courtesy of ELGA Credit Union and that the classroom at Thomson that raises the most money will get a pizza lunch courtesy of me.

Cardinal Code Focus for the Week: Arrival & Dismissal!

Teachers please be sure that you are intentionally teaching the Arrival & Dismissal Cardinal Code lesson. Please be sure to include the lesson in your teacher lesson plans and intentional teach the lessons as they are written. Remember, role playing is one of the best ways for students to demonstrate their is the time to actually practice this and the procedures for beginning and ending the day!

DEF Mini Grants & Processional Scholar

Once again the Davison Educational Foundation (DEF) is providing grant opportunities for classroom mini grants and a professional development experience. All DCS staff are encouraged to apply. For additional details, please view the application forms. the forms can be found on the district website at:

The application form for the 2016 DEF Classroom Mini Grants are are May 6th. The application form for the 2016 DEF Professional Scholar award is due May 27th. Please be sure to follow all the application directions and requirements closely.

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday, March 21st-'Black Out Day'; PTO meeting 6:30-8:00 p.m., Lori and Melissa B are the representatives for March

Tuesday, March 22nd-Lock Down

Wednesday, March 23rd- Child Study Day

Thursday, March 24th-DRA Testing Window Closes; Thomson Mini QAR 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Friday, March 25th-Good Friday-No School for Staff or Students!

Sunday, March 27th-Happy Easter!

Monday, March 28th- 'Read with a Stuffed Animal' Day; Gmail Training 3:45-4:45 p.m.

Wednesday, March 30th-Tornado Drill

Thursday, March 31st-Jean Day ($5) for Dines for Diapers; Early Release for all staff 1:45-4:45 p.m.; End of the 3rd Marking Period

Friday, April 1st-No School for Students; Teacher PD in the morning, records in the afternoon (records/report cards can be completed from home)

April 4-8th-Spring Break...Relax and Enjoy!

Quotes Worth Reading...

"Be brave enough to travel the unknow path, and learn what you are capable of."

-Rachel Wolchin, Author

Birthdays and Celebrations

Here are our upcoming birthday: Nancy Tiernan, March 20th...Happy Birthday!