The Sunday Message

Announcements, Resources, Celebrations 4/17/17 ISSUE # 11

Happy Birthdays for This Week.

Happy Belated Saturday, April 15 Birthday to Child Nutrition Assistant Manager Lynshon Wilkerson and Saturday, April 22nd Birthday to Kindergarten teacher Kelly Stunda.

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What is the Wake County Public Schools Strategic Plan?

This week I would like to focus on an introductory discussion/overview of the Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS) Strategic Plan/Vision 2020 ("All Wake County Public School System students will be prepared to reach their full potential and lead productive lives in a complex and changing world.") A concise two-page PDF of the plan can be downloaded here.

The WCPSS vision includes six "Core Beliefs" that involve students, staff and the community. This vision and core beliefs will serve as the foundation for how schools align their instruction, staffing, resource acquisition and involvement of the community.

The WCPSS Board of Education has integrated input from WCPSS administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and community to create and approve a goal that aligns with the vision and core beliefs. "By 2020 WCPSS will annually graduate 95% of its students ready for productive citizenship as well as higher education or a career."

In order to accomplish this goal, WCPSS has created five key objectives. I have linked each to the strategies that the school system will be using to address this goal.

Today I will address one of the strategies titled "Progressive learning environments" that is included in the "Learning and Teaching" objective and how Pleasant Union is aligning to it.

What is a progressive learning environment? Wake County defines it as one which strategically integrates digital and physical resources, and emerging technologies, to support innovative learning regardless of location or age of facility. Examples at Pleasant Union include:

  • Mobile, flexible furniture: The environment in the modern classroom includes furniture that is flexible and mobile to meet the needs of the learners. Classrooms at Pleasant Union are combining new more flexible furniture and repurposing its current furniture to create an environment more responsive to student learning needs. It is becoming more commonplace to see classrooms with tables that have been lowered or heightened and new, more versatile furniture to better meet the needs of the learner. This is to enhance a more personalized, student-centered instructional approach versus the traditional "stand and deliver" approach that many of us grew up with but did not meet the needs of all students. Stop by our former computer lab that has been repurposed into a Makerspace. The environment is totally flexible for large group introductory activities as well as small group collaboration.

  • Digital/Physical Resources: Pleasant Union has long been a system-leader in the area of digital learning. We have SMARTBoards (interactive white boards) in every classroom, a high ratio of digital devices- an average of at least one device per 3 students (iPads, laptops, iPods, etc.) in every classroom. This has been enhanced by the addition of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in many or our classrooms. In addition, the staff is using state of the art web-based programs and apps (K-2 Links, 3-5 links). Our school is serving as one of the school system pilots for the use of digital portfolios (Seesaw and Google Sites). The Media Center and adjoining rooms are being repurposed into learning areas that will encourage individual, small and large groups to use for research, group projects, and Skype/Google Hangout conferences with classrooms across the nation and world. Students are using and will expand their use tools such as Nearpod on an iPad or with goggles to participate in a virtual field trips to any location in the world. How about that for promoting global intelligence?

In the upcoming weeks I will provide examples of how Pleasant Union is and plans to address the other key objectives in order to accomplish support for the school system goal to annually graduate 95% of its students ready for productive citizenship as well as higher education or a career."


What's Going On this Week?

  • The PTA Meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 18th has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, April 25th at 8:15.

  • Wednesday, April 19 from 4-5:00 Chess Club in Media Center or Cafeteria

  • Track 3 tracks out at the end of the day this Wednesday, April 19. Track 4 returns on Thursday, April 20

  • Thursday, April 20, 6th Grade Orientation, Wakefield Middle School


Jump Rope For Heart Program Comes to Pleasant Union

From the local Jump Rope for Heart Association:

We kicked off our Jump Rope For Heart program this past week and our school's event is right around the corner! We are thrilled to participate as we work together to raise money for the American Heart Association and learn how nutrition and being active can help us live longer, healthier lives.

First things first! We have an easy way for you to raise money ONLINE by having your very own fundraising page. Simply click on this link to go to the Pleasant Union Elem Jump Rope for Heart site!

Your School Page link

You may already be hearing your student talk about the Zoo Crew Ecard Challenge! This is a creative way for your student to choose a heart healthy habit to start doing today! By using the Zoo Crew Ecard Challenge your student will challenge others to do the same and help them reach their fundraising goal.

Once you have your fundraising page, login to your HeadQuarters to get started.

1. Take the Zoo Crew Ecard Challenge and pass it on to 10 friends! Your student will earn their very own Rory’s Zoo Crew Badge! Your teacher has them now.

2. Take the Zoo Crew Daily Mission to unlock cool things in your expedition!

Thank you so much for supporting our school and the American Heart Association. We know you can do this!


Important Legislative News of Note

Please familiarize yourself with the recently proposed Wake County Public School System Budget and Superintendent Jim Merrill’s letter that explains it.

Also of importance is to become familiar the NC House Bill 13 and its potential affects on the students and staffing of schools in North Carolina, including Pleasant Union. President Rick Childs has posted a helpful article on the PTA Facebook page that explains the bill. He has also posted two videos that explain the potential affects to our students. If you have further questions please contact PTA President Rick Childs or Principal Kevin Biles