Team Thomson News & Notes

#ThomsonRocks August 25, 2018

Important Information for You!

Thank you for an amazing first week!

We all quickly remembered what the beginning of the year is like with our little ones. The building was filled with excitement, learning, joy, and wide-eyed amazement that left us ALL exhausted at the end of the week, but also happy to be back.

Here's to a wonderful second week!


When you receive your email from Eric Chorley and then NWEA, if you haven't already, please be sure to follow the link to create a password. From what I understand, this will expire 48 hours after the email is sent.

On Friday, I sent out the testing schedules for both the practice and actual tests. These will be printed for you as well and there is a link below. Additionally, you will see the link for the MAP Assessment Guidelines for Davison. Included in this document are links and YouTube video links that Dana Kholman from Hahn has shared that will be very helpful for you to review. Remember, Hahn has been using the NWEA-MAP Assessment for two years already. Please use your PLC time this week to review this information in preparation for practice and actual testing when we return from the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Link to MAP Assessment Guidelines:

Link to MAP Testing Schedule:

Speaking of PLCs

Please take a minute to determine who will be your PLC Team Leader at your meeting this week. Just as a reminder, PLC Team Leaders represent their teams at our Leadership Team meetings held once a month before school. It is very important that each team have a representative as I will continue to use this team to problem solve, answer questions, and disseminate information. Please email me your PLC Team Leader by Friday, August 31st.

Positive Parent Phone Calls

As you all know, making a positive parent phone call is a expectation within the first weeks of school. I was elated to have staff contact me that they have already completed theirs. I would like to remind even our non-load bearing teachers that they should be making positive parent phone calls as well...maybe you noticed someone following the Cardinal Code or they went from being sad the first few days to loving school or maybe it is a DK student from last year that you are seeing as a student leader already. I am even doing these myself and will be reporting out to staff how many I complete. You have no idea the positive impact these personal phone calls make in starting off the year on the right foot and in building relationships with our families. Please email or let me know when you have finished making your calls.

The Breakthrough Coach

After school finished last June, I went through The Breakthrough Coach training for the second time. I am working with the office and we are committed to implementing parts from the first training that we didn't get implemented fully the first time around. This means that Anna and I will be working to set true 'coaching' and 'office' days in my calendar. Coaching days will occur at least 2 full days per week. On coaching days I will be in classrooms. Not all visits to your classrooms will be formal observations, but don't be surprised if I have my iPad or computer. I want to be in classrooms where the magic is happening and am committed to making this happen in my schedule. What this also mean is that my time could potentially be far more 'scheduled'. While in no way do I want this to limit staff, student, or parent access to me, I want to be out in the building with students and staff. If there is ever a situation that requires my immediate attention, the office will always know where I am and how to reach me.

Daily Schedules

As you develop your daily schedule for the week, please turn in a copy. If you do not have a separate daily/weekly schedule typed up, you can print and turn in a copy of your lesson plans/template. While I know that things come up and that sometimes the schedule for the day changes due to those valuable teachable moments, if you make major changes please be sure to turn in a new schedule to me.

Reminder Cell Phones

Personal cell phones are to be used during non-work time only. When not in use, cell phones are to be either turned off or put on vibrate so not to disrupt instruction for students or the flow of the work environment (this includes staff meetings, PLCs, PD time, etc.). In case of emergency needs, please be sure to see me. This applies to all teachers, para-professionals, monitors, custodians, cooks and office secretaries. Note: Administrators, certain support personnel, and custodians are expected to monitor their cell phone and respond to regular and emergency "business communications" throughout the day. In certain emergency situations particular employees may be asked to assist with business matters and communications.

Cell phone use as a timer, noise monitor, and instructional tool may be appropriate in certain classroom situations. Accessing Facebook, conducting family or personal business (except in an emergency situations cleared in advance with your supervisor), texting among staff, or even replying or sending to Remind are not acceptable uses of cell phones when you are "on the job" and in the presences of students. Please restrict your use of personal cell phone use to your break or planning time. Note: Family can contact you via your work phone or our office in most instances. Cell phone reception in our building can be spotty so I ask that you do not text me if you need assistance. Please use the land line in your room.

Thank you for focusing on the kids in your charge and the tasks at hand during the work day.

Cardinal Code Teaching

Don't forget to continue teaching Cardinal Code and routines this week. Just because you taught it last week doesn't mean the students will remember or do it this week. Remember, these are 4 and 5 year olds...if students aren't 'getting it', it is most likely because they truly don't know, remember, or understand fully...please remember to reteach, not retell. There is nothing wrong with having kids practice something until they get it right, but why not make a game of it as opposed to getting upset or frustrated.


Lunches seem to be going pretty well. Two things that I would like teachers to note. Our playground staff do not arrive until 11:25/11:35 respectively. I know that we typically bring our students down a bit early to teach them the proper procedures for getting hot lunches, please do not come any early than 5 minutes for either set of lunches. This will ensure that our monitors are in the cafeteria and ready to go for the start of their shift or back from the previous lunch.

Also, please be sure to take moment to review with your classroom which side of the playground they will be playing on and remind them to line up right away when the whistle blows. Most of the students are doing a great job, some are still learning, and it is still a great reminder for everyone.

This week we will be introducing visual 'Quiet Voice' centerpieces (ok, they are really just pictures a stand) to help the students remember to use their quiet voice while in the lunchroom. Once they are ready, I will include them in the morning announcements...which will also begin this week.

Attendance Note for Hourly Employees

I made an error in the Paraprofessional/Support Staff Handbook and did not update the section regarding the half-sheet attendance slips. Hourly parapros, secretaries, playground monitors, or Challenge Coordinators do not need to fill out the half-sheet when you are absent. You will continue to record your absence on your time sheet as you did last year. My apologizes for missing this update.

Important Items of Information

  • ALICE Training-I would like ALL,meaning EVERYONE to participate in ALICE Training on September 11th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. ALICE training will replace our current lockdown procedures so you all need to be aware. Hourly staff will be paid for their participation. Only certified and office staff will need to complete the one hour online module prior to September 11th and you will get an email when it is ready for you to view. If you are an hourly staff member and cannot attend, please see me right away.
  • Handbook Forms-Please make sure that you turn in your district employee handbook forms asap. Anna included the directions for how to access the handbook and signature form in your welcome back folders.
  • Kids First T-shirt Order Form-This week each of you will be receiving the order form for the free 'I put kids first' t-shirt that is being provided to each Davison Staff member by the DEF. Please fill it out and get it back to me no later than August 29th.
  • Please turn in any paperwork that you get back right away. Please do not hold it.

Shout Out Board

A huge 'thank you' to Carly Morgan for creating a 'Staff Shout Out' board in our teacher's lounge. What a great way to positively recognize each other for all the awesomeness we are!

Big picture

Quotes Worth Reading

"Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times."


Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: Cheryl Nitzschke, September 1st! Happy Birthday to You!

Adult Lunch & Breakfast Prices for 2018-19:

Adult Breakfast: $2.54

Adult Lunch: $4.25

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of August 27th-PLC Week
  • Monday, August 27th-NWEA/MAP Testing Window Opens (we will begin testing September 4th)
  • Tuesday, August 28th-DIBELS Testing
  • Wednesday, August 29th-DIBELS Testing; PTO Yankee Candle Fundraiser begins; 'Kids First' t-shirt order forms due
  • Thursday, August 30th-Fire Drill
  • Friday, August 31st-No School for Staff or Students. The office will be closed.
  • Monday, September 3rd-No School for Staff or Students. Happy Labor Day!
  • Week of September 4th-Practice MAP Testing
  • Tuesday, September 4th-DK/K Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m. at (Thomson). All Certified Staff are strongly encouraged to attend.
  • Wednesday, September 5th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Safety procedure review, Curriculum Communication, NWEA/MAP Assessments)
  • Thursday, September 6th-General Admin Meeting (Natalie)
  • Friday, September 7th-5D+ Self-Assessment due by all Certified Staff
  • Week of September 10th-NWEA-MAP Testing
  • Monday, September 10th-PTO Fundraiser ends
  • Tuesday, September 11th-ALICE Training, 4-6 p.m.-ALL Staff
  • Thursday, September 13th-DIBELS Assessment window closes; Motor Moms & Dads Parent Training Meetings, 10 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
  • Monday, September 17th-PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 18th-Picture Day!
  • Wednesday, September 19th-Lockdown Drill with ALICE procedures; Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: ALICE, NWEA/MAP Testing)
  • Thursday, September 20th-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CMC 4-7 p.m.
  • Friday, September 21st-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:15 a.m.

Lucky Duck #39

If you do not have a 'Lucky Duck' or have no idea what I am writing about, please see me to get one.

Big picture