Principal Update

April 8, 2014

Welcome Back BSE Staff

This is Volunteer Appreciation Week. Special thanks to Maggie McCarty for creating the awesome banners displayed at the front entrance, in the office and library. The office will also be giving a special “thank you” pen to volunteers as they arrive at school this week. Please take a moment to thank your classroom volunteers this week!


As we look forward into the final quarter of our 2013-2014 school year let's continue to commit to the school improvement process at the team level. If we focus on the four essential questions below we will be certain to sustain and increase our student achievement school wide.


What is it we want our students to know?

How will we know if they are learning?

How will we respond when individual students do not learn?

How will we enrich and extend the learning for students who are proficient?


At this point in the year I only have two remaining evaluations scheduled and look forward to scheduling every certified end of year meeting soon. I'll target May to review evaluation figures that will not be finalized until next year after our school data comes in. I'll send all certified staff an email with details of what I'll need to complete domain 1 and 3. Also I added the "quiz" to Understanding by Design (UBD) to Bb. The quiz is not actually a quiz, but will be one question for you to write a statement or whatever you wish about the first chapter of UBD. Essentially it will recognize that you have participated and remind me to note that as a positive in both domains 1 and 3.


Here is how you can access it in Bb:


1. Open Bb

2. Click on HSE Prof. Development

3. Click on Building Prof. Development

4. Click on Brooks School

5. Open Understanding by Design Preview

6. Click around the links and learn a bit about UBD

7. Click the "quiz"

BSE Visitors...simply put...they notice something and it is VERY good!



"I am so motivated to change how my classroom will function and look for the 4th quarter of this school year. I have taken before pictures and will have the kids take ownership of their their space to truly show and reflect on their current learning and understanding of units of study in literacy, numeracy, science and social studies."


"Student centered EVERYTHING!"


"There is a sense of student focus and student application that is unique and special!"


On April 17th we will have another group of teachers (CRE) visiting our halls and walls. While we walk the halls feel free to wave anyone into your classroom if you feel like sharing the wonderful learning environment you provide your students!

Suicide Prevention - District Policy/Procedures have changed.

The district recently released new policy procedures for "Suicidal Ideation" that is currently in effect. The majority of the policy changes are specifically geared to both mine and Bridget's response. In order for us to follow procedures and keep our students safe here is what ALL staff need to remember to do.


  • If a student makes and mention of suicide or a statement that they will harm themselves (anything) please notify the principal or counselor to come collect the student.
  • The procedures do not require any staff to "evaluate" the level of the possible threat, instead require that ALL and ANY "suicidal thoughts or comments" are reported immediately.
  • A key reminder is that we NEVER send a child who has made mention of self-harm to the office or counselor without an adult (STAFF Member) escort.


In summary: All Staff who hear a student mention anything of suicide or harming self.


  1. Contact the principal/counselor or office immediately.
  2. Keep the child supervised the entire time prior to an office person or staff comes to escort the child to the office/counselor's office.
  3. Report ALL or anything that is in relation to self-harm or suicide.

Dates to remember:


  • April 9 - A representative from Gemmer Benefits Group will be in the Office Conference Room from 3:30-4:30 on Wednesday, April 9 to discuss retirement plans. A flyer has been placed in your mailbox with additional information.

  • April 16th - Staff Meeting - PBIS, Youth Assistance League, and Suicide Prevention Procedure Review - 7:50AM LGI

  • April 17th - Kinder Round Up - 5-7PM

  • April 28 - ISTEP grades 3 and 4.

Other simple but important items:

  • Respond to parents in 24 hours - Sensitive subjects are always better via phone.
  • Log your communication with parents - A notebook, App, or whatever is easy for you.
  • Major discipline infraction....contact DK via radio and or send student with a formal referral.
  • Repeated "minor" infractions...contact DK via radio or send student with a formal referral.
  • The school board "should" finalize the budget cuts for the district next week. After they do so I believe we will get our teacher projection figures from Dr. Beresford. I won't start thinking or talking about next year until we have 100% of our staffing details figured out. Please continue to focus all of your energy on the end of this year and we will talk about next year when it is very appropriate to do so!
  • Planning an end of year "learning showcase?" Please email DK and Julie to get the date and time approved. We want to plan with greater precision this year to limit too much cross over.

From the desk of TJ

Payroll Forms - Many of you will find one or more forms from Payroll in your mailbox today (Tuesday 4/8). These include Summer Pay Forms, Sick Day Buy-Out forms and Personal Day Carry-Over Forms. Please fill these out promptly and return them to TERESA in the office. She will send them over to payroll all together. If you have questions regarding the forms, please see Teresa.


Science / Activity Fee Monies - Some grade levels have already spent their Science/Activity Fee Monies however some have not. We are in that downhill run to the end of the year, let’s get those spent asap. Get with Teresa on placing an order or collecting a reimbursement. Teresa has the amounts that were sent to you if you have misplaced them.


Awards Program Thursday, May 29, 2014 - If you need awards ordered for the end of the year, please get with Teresa.


PTO Allotments $$ - If you have not spent your PTO Teacher Allotment yet, the deadline of May 1 is quickly approaching. If you are not sure if you have spent yours or not, please get with Teresa.

Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion