October 14, 2016


At Waterford Elementary we believe in all students and staff learning and growing together; where innovation, diversity, and relationships are valued.


We will be working on this during our whole school cluster on November 21st.
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Choose Your Attitude, Make Their Day, Be Present, Play

Choose Your Attitude

Allie for having a positive attitude and already trying a Pre-Emergent Guided Reading Lesson with her kids!! Way to "step it up!"

The 2nd and 5th Grade Teams for really "digging into" the Lucy Calkins materials for Informational Writing and teaching the "craft" of writing with these materials!

Make Their Day

The PTO for providing dinner to the staff during Parent/Teacher Conferences on Tuesday and Thursday evenings this week!

Be Present

I want to thank each and every one of you for "being present" for your parents during Parent/Teacher conferences this is week! I appreciate your hard work in preparing for conferences, completing report cards, and spending extra time to support student learning and achievement. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I know that our first quarter has been filled with much new learning, adjustments in instruction in order to address student needs, and developing relationships with your grade level teams. Each of you have earned a well-deserved vacation to rest, relax, and recharge in order to prepare for the 2nd nine weeks of learning. I want you to know how much I appreciate and value your hard work, dedication, and willingness to spend the extra time each day, in order to help our students be successful and increase student achievement! You are an awesome, caring team of educators and I am honored to have you on my team! Enjoy your time off!


We had two princesses at school yesterday. What a great idea Joy to have Tiffany and Promise go around the school and grant us good wishes with their magic wands. I know that it helped me have a good day.

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Book Fair

Thanks to all of the parents and staff that helped make our book fair a success. There was a lot of excitement in the gym as students were picking out books during the school day and with their parents in the evening.
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Using the mimio in Laura's Classroom

Laura's students have been using the mimio each morning for their calendar work. What a great way to utilize the technology to impact student engagement. Great job Laura!

Lucy Calkins Units of Study

Please remember that we are all teaching the "craft" of writing through the Lucy Calkins Units of Study. (This is a building level expectation.)

Tracey and Lisa provided us with professional development at the beginning of the year on these materials and Julea has woven the learning into this cluster cycle.

Your teams should be planning using these materials along with the Instructional Calendar. Tracey and Lisa will be back in January/February for another PD day to focus on "Conferencing with Students."

Collaborative Team Reflections

Thanks for a great morning of collaboration and reflection with your grade level PLC's! Below are the Reinforcements/Refinements for each team and their goal for 2nd Quarter:


Collaborative Team Score: 3

Area of Reinforcement/Why:

Share in open communication, hold each other accountable, and ensure that all ideas are heard.

This norm has grown since the beginning of the year. The K team feels that they are sharing openly (resources, ideas, thoughts). They are holding each other accountable and ensuring that all ideas are heard, communicated, and implemented. They are sharing students and thinking of Kindergarten students as their students. The norms are present during the meetings.

Area of Refinement/Why:

Focus on student needs

Focus on student needs by bringing student work to planning to share needs of students. Narrow the focus when analyzing student work – not overwhelm ourselves. Begin with writing focus – this will pull in the two standards identified during Data Day and align with Guided Reading.

Goal for 2nd Quarter:

Plan is to dig into the SW after school when planning each week.

First Grade:

Collaborative Team Score: 3

Area of Reinforcement/Why:

Productive Collaboration is evident in practice.

We share and listen to each other's ideas and concerns. We have also taken more shared responsibility in planning.

Area of Refinement/Why:

Set more short terms wins and use more student work to drive decision making.

Our differentiation hasn't been as focused as it could be.


As a team, we will provide more focused differentiation for student groups in Success and word work.

Second Grade:

Collaborative Team Rating Scale: 3

Area of Reinforcement/Why?

Be willing to collaborate by supporting and encouraging each other when giving grace.

Because we share ideas and materials, trust each other, keep conversations confidential.

Area of Refinement/Why?

Honor time and be prepared

Because - arriving late and not always prepared.

Goal: Arrive on time and be prepared.

Third Grade:

Collaborative Team Score: 2.5

Area of Reinforcement/Why:

Respect each other’s ideas, complete tasks, and positivity

The 3rd grade team works really well together. We now have a ‘resource center’ outside of Lindsay and Kristy’s room that we put all of the resources being used for the standards of that week. Working together during planning time is a safe place where we get stuff done, but have fun while we are doing it – work hard, play hard! During planning we are thinking of all of third grade students as OUR students and helping each other deal with the make-up of the classroom to ensure our students’ success.

Area of Refinement/Why:

Using that first 5 minutes to catch up.

Respecting the process.

Goal for 2nd Quarter:

1. Using that first 5 minutes to catch up.

  • This will help us to stay focused and get the tasks done.
  • We decided to add this on the celebration part of the agenda so we don’t forget.

2. Respecting the process.

  • In order for everyone to have a voice and be involved, it is imperative that all members look ahead at the window and the sketch. This will help with creating innovative lessons for our students.

  • We thought naming the roles and responsibilities will help the process

  • Tom: filling out agenda as we go

  • Sherida: 3rd grade newsletter/Googledocs format

  • Lindsay: 3rd grade newsletter/Googledocs format

  • Kristy: Facilitator

Fourth Grade:

Collaborative Team Rating Scale: 3.8

Area of Reinforcement/Why?

Ask questions for understanding and clear communication.

This is an area of reinforcement because of the way they are constantly talking with each other about grouping, Success, etc. They have even started a tally sheet in each of their rooms for when they come in to ask questions or give information about their students.

Area of Refinement/Why?

Be on time with all necessary agendas and materials.

This is an area of refinement because they don't always think ahead of what to bring material-wise. They will sometimes leave their PLC to go back to their rooms to gather things. This takes time away from planning.

Goal: We will come fully prepared to PLC with all materials and agendas.

Fifth Grade:

Collaborative Team Score: 2.5

Area of Reinforcement/Why:

Collaborate well with reading and writing.

This norm has grown since the beginning of the year. 5th grade feels that they are sharing opening (resources, ideas, thoughts). They are holding each other accountable and ensuring that all ideas are heard, communicated, and implemented.

Area of Refinement/Why:

Focus on Instruction and Assessment in Math

The teachers felt they have autonomous collaboration with reading and writing but run out of time for math. They want to specifically focus on math to make sure they are all on the same page with interpreting expectations for assessments.

Goal: To focus on math to make sure they are all on the same page with interpreting expectations for assessments.

TLT Update

Our TLT visited West Goshen's TLT on Monday, October 3rd. After the observation, TLT members had an opportunity to debrief with them and then personally reflect on their team's purpose, responsibilities, and leadership in the building. The reflections will be used during our next TLT on October 27th.


WINDOW B: 9/19-11/4

Monday, October 24th:

Real Men Read Begins

Cluster 3-5 - 7:05 -8:05 a.m.

Cluster K-2 - 3:05-4:05 p.m.

Happy Day Club

PTO Meeting 6:00 p.m.

School Board Meeting 6:00 p.m. - Board room

Tuesday, October 25th:

Staff Meeting from 3:10-3:30 - Steele Benefits

Grade Level PLC Meeting 3:40-4:10 p.m. in the TAP Room

4:30-5:30 - Yoga at Waterford

Trivia Night 6-9 p.m. Peddler's Village Event Center

Wednesday, October 26th:

Admin. Cabinet Meeting 7-8 a.m. - Katrina

Newbie Cluster 3:05-4:05 p.m.

Thursday, October 27th:

TAP Principal's Meeting 8:30-10:30 a.m. - PV

TLT 3:10-4:30 p.m.

Friday, October 28th:

Data Analysis Meetings (D.A.M.) - TAP Room during Grade Level Planning time

October 25 - TRIVIA NIGHT

November 1 - Co-Teaching PD with Karen from 12-3 p.m.

November 2 - 6 Week Sketch Planning Time - Randy will be sending out the schedule

November 8 - Great Books Training Grades 3-5


News from Central Office

1. The Indiana Region 2 Homeless Coalition is a group of agencies and organizations interested in homelessness who meet regularly to share data and information on homelessness, facilitate dialogue among service providers, and to coordinate community resources and services for the benefit of individuals and families who are homeless or in imminent danger of becoming homeless and thus reduce homelessness. Stella Garcia, Registrar, is the consistent member of our team who attends on behalf of GCS. We would love to have one guidance counselor and one parent liaison attend as representatives, so that information could be taken back to their respective departments and shared. Attached is a copy of the meeting schedule for the year and the agenda for the October meeting. Feel free to encourage others to attend.

2. The United Way Campaign is ending soon! Turn in your PLEDGES. If you have not turned in a United Way pledge forms to the Admin Center, please do so by the end of the week! Send them to the attention of Lori Martin. Thanks in advance for your support of our neighbors in Elkhart County!

3. Attached is the Newly Created Professional Leave Request/Reimbursement Form. Beginning after Fall Break, this is the form that staff should use to request approval for professional leave and for reimbursement of expenses related to the professional leave. You will want to have the secretaries copy the form and procedures, back to back, on green paper.

4. A Retirement Planning Workshop sponsored by Elkhart County Retired Teachers’ Association will be held on Saturday, November 5th: 8:45 – 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Goshen. Whether your retirement is months or years away, you will gain valuable information needed to help plan for a successful retirement. Spouses are welcome and are encouraged to attend. Prior registration is not required. This is a no cost program for attendees.

Open Enrollment

5. The Steele Benefits Team will be here in October for group meetings and November for individual appointments related to Open Enrollment. This is the time to sign up for insurance and voluntary benefit products. Every employee that works 15 hours or more needs to meet with a representative or sign up through the ONLINE process. We are excited to offer an ONLINE option this year. Instructions will be given out at the group meetings. Please watch for the group meeting at your school and then choose the ONLINE option or sign up for an appointment. Please call Susan Stiffney or Marlene Penner at the Administration Office if you have any questions.


GCS Mission: Inspiring Innovation… Empowering Potential… Enriching our World