Staff Weekly Update

For the Week of March 26th, 2018

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Looking out the window on this snowy Sunday, it may be hard to believe our spring break is only four school days away, but it is just about here. I truly hope you all take the time to get the much-needed relaxation in whatever form that may be for YOU!

As we return back our weather should be a bit warmer and that also means that while we've just started Spring, our students will start to show the inevitable signs of the anticipated summer break. In some ways, it can be amazing! You realize just how far so many have come and grown, but on the other hand, it can be exhausting and tests your levels of patience and fatigue. Regardless, let's keep the two very important quotes above in our minds. You matter. Our students matter. And what we believe about them not only matters, it turns into truth.

With much respect,


Spring Break Cleaning & Energy Savings


James and his hard-working team will be working over spring break to clean SGE. The list provided to me is quite extensive and it's worth asking you all to please do the following in order to help the custodial teams AND to help save energy:

  • Please continue to keep the floors as clean as possible. Since the original email about this plea, it has gotten much better! Please continue this great work!!
  • Please clear out and/or clear off any areas that would allow for our wonderful custodians to disinfect to help keep everyone healthy.
  • LIGHTS!!! As Dr. Robison shared at our staff meeting, please be aware of turning lights off in areas when not in use. This one small step makes a huge impact on our operating dollars!
  • And . . . to take that another step further, if you have anything PLUGGED-IN that you won't need to be plugged in for an entire week, please unplug it! I have a few things plugged into power strips and before I leave on Thursday, I'll be making a conscious effort to unplug them for the week.


Instructional Insights from Allison & Jen

John Hattie: Piagetian Programs

This week we’re looking at #2 on John Hattie’s list of strategies affecting student achievement: Piagetian Programs. Since it’s probably been awhile since any of us took an educational psychology class, here’s a reminder: Piaget’s theory states that cognitive development occurs through a succession of stages:

  • 1. Sensorimotor (birth to 2 years)
  • 2. Preoperational (2-7 years)
  • 3. Concrete Operational (7-12 years)
  • 4. Formal Operational—a.k.a abstract thinking! (12 years to adulthood)

Why is this important to us? There are so many reasons! Studies have shown that there is a close correlation between primary school age children’s performance on Piagetian tests of thinking level and their achievement in math and reading. When we are choosing activities for students, we need to keep in mind where students are in the development of their thinking. If students aren’t getting a concept, it is worth thinking about their cognitive development and making sure our instructional approach matches their development.

View video below to watch examples of how young children think about a variety of situations.

You all know the importance differentiation, and Hattie proves it; teaching with Piaget’s theory in mind produces an effect size of 1.28! Remember, one year’s growth is equivalent to a .4 effect size. You all know students learn in a variety of ways. When we take into account the Piagetian stages of student progress, we are individualizing students’ learning to meet them where they are and move them forward. Remember—we can’t rush children through these stages of development or even “teach” it. It truly has to come as they grow.

If you would like some help in differentiating, please let us know! The chart below can help you get started with some ways to make lessons in any content area differentiated. Allison and I would be happy to sit and work through age-appropriate options with you.
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Calendar Items

Mon. March 26th

  • ASCD/Boston Group out all day - Farley, Skura, Benefiel, Lauer-Jones
  • 9:30 - Post obs. mtg - Largent
  • 11:40 - Lunch w/ 2nd grader
  • 2:45 - Retention mtg - for all staff members that filled out the retention form - conf. room

Tues. March 27th

  • 11:35 - HS Peers
  • 12:45 - KDG lunch group - Jessica's office
  • 1:30 - Principal's Office time - please send your Ss down during this time! Thanks!
  • 2:40 - Grade level mtg w/ Kyle Beimfohr - 3rd grade
  • 2:40 - KDG Round Up Mtg - Media Center
  • 2:45 - ACR for 4th grader - Watson, Farley, Knueven - conf. room
  • 6:00 - PVE's ZEF Family Book Club - Largent attending to help/support this event

Wed. March 28th

  • 8:00 - 11:00 - Literacy Training Initiative #5 - Andries, Watson, Spillman, Largent - ESC
  • 8:30 - Counseling lesson - Wetzel/Milam
  • 12:15 - SIEW 3rd Gr. Pilot Lunch group - Wetzel - conf. room
  • 12:45 - KDG lunch group - Jessica's office
  • 1:30 - Speech ACR for KDG'r - Kleeman & Largent - conf. room
  • 2:30 - ACR for 1st grader - Largent, Andries, Clare - conf. room
  • 3:30 - 3rd grade parent mtg - Wetzel/Lauer-Jones
  • 4:30 - Meeting w/ ZCHS student - Largent

Thurs. March 29th

  • Payday & Jeans
  • PTO Spirit Day - Vacation Wear!
  • 8:30 - Drama Club practice performance #1 - Cafe
  • 11:00 - Farley out at KDG recess duty
  • 1:00- Drama Club practice performance #2 - Cafe
  • 1:30 - Principal's Office time - please send your Ss down during this time! Thanks!
  • 2:15 - Bus evacuation drill - *CANCELED* - a new date will be sent out for after spring break. Thanks!
  • Miss Bourff's Eagle Rec/SGE Drama Club Play! BREAK A LEG TONIGHT!!

Fri. March 30th

  • SPRING BREAK BEGINS! Have a *wonderful* Spring break!!!

New Fundraising Program with PTO!

SGE is now part of the Coca-Cola Give program. This opens up Stonegate Elementary to new funding opportunities to help improve learning environments for students. The best part? Donations don’t come out of your own pocket.

When you make Coca-Cola purchases, you simply enter the product codes (found on bottle caps or paper packaging) here: and our school receives a donation.

Enter the code yourself or drop off your product codes at the front office and PTO will enter for you. Codes are found on all Coke products which include Dasani bottled water. Find the codes on the case packaging or bottle caps. START SAVING THOSE BOTTLE CAPS!

Important Announcements & Reminders

Reminder - Restroom Procedures:

  1. BEFORE your class starts a RR break in that location, please check (adult/teacher) BOTH girls and boys RR area and the stalls to ensure they are free of any objects (ie - lots of toilet paper stuffed in the toilets, crayons, etc . . . )
  2. Have one responsible boy and girl be the RR monitor the entire time and once your class is done, have him/her use the RR last
  3. Before the class leaves, please check (adult/teacher) the RR area all stalls one last time to ensure they are in good condition.
  4. Send students in PAIRS to use the RR, so that one student can be the "monitor" to ensure nothing inappropriate happens
  5. Please have a community circle w/ your class about the restrooms and to underscore if they notice something wrong to tell us immediately

ABM - Nightly Floor Pick-Up Request:

  • Can you please ensure your students help at the end of the day with picking up as much as possible off the floor so the evening team can vacuum in an efficient manner?
  • It's a domino effect. Typically, the custodian(s) have to stop while vacuuming and pick-up larger objects that clearly should have been moved . . . this delays their timeline in getting to the next classroom to clean. And then, IF the vacuum picks up a smaller foreign object, it could get "stuck" and causes the custodian to stop and try to repair the vacuum on the spot or go back downstairs and get a different vacuum. In extreme cases, they have had to call another building and ask to borrow their vacuum. All of this has a ripple effect in getting to the next room and/or multiple rooms.

ZEF Spring Grants - Due Tuesday, April 10th at 4:00 PM

  • The 2018 Spring Classroom Grant applications are due on Tuesday, April 10 at 4:00pm in the ZEF office in the ESC.
  • Application information can be found on the Grants tab of our website at

Technology Work Orders - Reminder from Dan Layton

  • It is always extremely helpful if you can submit actual technology work orders for any help you need. Please refrain from picking up the phone or emailing a question.
  • The link is provided under the teacher section of the ZCS website or by clicking this link:

Leaving EARLY afterschool and you've gotten permission from Connie/Martha . . .

  • If this is the case for you, please help us by always emailing the entire office team to let them know you've gotten permission and also leave your cell # in the email message, in case we need to contact you.
  • Who is the "office team?" Connie, Martha, Angie, Jen, Jessica, Hailey

Reminder About ABM Workorders

  • Did your trash not get picked up? Does it seem the carpet didn't get vacuumed? Please help Angie & Jen out by filling out an ABM workorder on your own. Thanks!

  • 1. Go to the Zionsville web site

    2. Click on Teachers/staff tab

    3. Scroll down about halfway

    4. You’ll see a section “Workorder Requests”

    5. Click on Custodial workorder.

Personal Business Leave Google Form

  • Please click here to access this form and then don't forget to SAVE this page under your "favorites."
  • Finally, as a friendly reminder of our ZCS Personal Business Leave + good information to know for our newest staff, I have copied/pasted the email about personal days sent by Becky Coffman on 5/8/16. This is per our CBA - Collective Bargaining Agreement
Section 9.03 Personal Business Leave
  • A. Amount – Each employee shall be entitled to be absent from work three (3) days each school year for the transaction of personal business or the conduct of personal or civic affairs. Such leaves may be used in whole or half day increments. Requests for personal business leave should be made 48 hours in advance in writing to the building principal. In cases of emergency or other similar unforeseen circumstance, requests may be made orally to both the substitute coordinator and the building principal.
  • B. Employees are discouraged from using personal business leave on staff development days or to extend a school vacation. If used on a staff development day then the employee remains totally responsible for securing the learning lost from their being absent during that activity.
  • C. Accumulation – If an employee does not use all of the personal business leave in a given school year, the remaining personal business leave shall be accumulated for use in later school year, except that no more than a total of two (2) days may be accumulated from earlier school years for use as personal business leave, so that the maximum total personal business leave available in any one school year is three (3) days earned during the school year and up to two (2) days accumulated from earlier school years or a total of five (5) days.
  • D. Conversion to Sick Leave – Any unused personal business leave not accumulated for use in later years as personal business leave shall be added to the employee’s accumulated sick leave.

PTO Wish List Google Form

  • Please click here to access this form and then don't forget to SAVE this page under your "favorites."
  • Please use this form to list ANY items you would like to request for purchase using our Fall/Spring PTO Enrichment Fund. Per the email sent out last week, we cannot guarantee every item will get purchased but you will get contacted by Connie/Martha to inform you of the status of your request.
  • WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU FILL THIS FORM OUT? Great question asked by Jessica Luchenbill! Every other week, Jen Evans, Martha, and I get together to look over what has been submitted. We look at the prices, compare with other sites, look for coupons, etc . . . From there, we decide if we can afford to purchase or if we need to wait. Jen will contact you with details after our meeting.
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WELLNESS UPDATE: Kinesthetic Classroom Course - IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Feel free to join this course ANYTIME! The link is below and just like a commuter bus - you can jump on/off depending on how relevant it is to you - personally or professionally!

As we head into spring and the excitement and anticipation of spring break begins to build, let's take the next couple of weeks to learn from each other! Mike Kuczala highlighted the 6 Purposes for Movement in our classrooms and I know many of you are implementing what you learned. I would like to ask you to video an activity you do in your classroom and send it to me via e-mail or text. Great things are happening and we want to highlight all of the "moving to learn" our students are experiencing! If you would like me to come in to your classroom to video or support, REACH OUT! I would love to see what is happening in your classrooms.

Spelling/Math Tag: (2-4)


  • Teacher hands out a piece of paper to each student, with half getting one color and the other half getting another.
  • Students write spelling list on the piece of paper, while teacher writes an activity on the board: *Jumping jacks *Marching *Knee lifts *Scissors (feet apart then cross in front, feet apart then cross in back) *Hopping *Twisting
  • Students will help each other tape spelling lists to backs of shirts.
  • Students divide into 2 groups based on color of paper.
  • On signal, students will circulate and select a partner with another color.
  • When selected, the student will pick a word from the spelling list and request that the other student spell that word.
  • While spelling, the student will perform the activity written on the board.
  • Partner checks the back of the other student’s shirt to make sure that word was spelled correctly.
  • Teacher can change activity on the board as desired.


  • Reduce spelling list to limit the time of activity.
  • Students can write vocabulary list and definition instead of spelling words.
  • For Math-Number sentences on the back and they have to answer by doing the number of exercises etc.


Balloon or Beachball Spelling/Math - Say a word and students work in partners or small group to toss/hit ball/balloon for each letter or number.


TEAM IN TRAINING - Please join our team for the Indy Mini 5K or 1/2. You do not have to "run". If you have not seen the links to join our District Team, I am including here. It is NOT TOO LATE!

District Information

Mini-Marathon/5K Registration

Personal Fitness

Many have reached out to share frustrations about knowing they need to exercise, wanting to exercise but don't know what to do, and/or looking for resources they can use at home. I highly recommend you check out the following link, called DAREBEE. It's a free online global fitness resource. There are workouts/challenges for EVERYONE and EVERY GOAL. Please reach out and I would love to help you get started, work with you, and/or complete a challenge with you!

March Birthdays . . . Happy Birthday to You!


6 – Mandy Keller

12 – Kelly Shaw

17 - Vicki Watson

23 - Marilyn Voelker