News You Can Use

Harris ES

Messages from Erin

Happy Monday!

GCPS ESOL Endorsement Program:

The deadline to apply to the Spring ESOL Endorsement Program has been extended to Friday, February 12, 2016. There will be a new cohort structure and teachers will move through as a cohort, but will have some time between classes. Teachers who start the program this spring will be able to serve ELs in the fall.

The course sequence is as follows:

I. Cultural Issues- Spring 2016 then Summer Break

II. Applied Linguistics: Fall 2016

III. Methods and Materials I (Spring 2017 with the option to complete Methods and Materials II, Embedded Practicum) at the same time

IV. Methods and materials II (option 2) Spring 2017

Please see Ashley if you would like additional information about this opportunity.


Lara Schiefelbein, our eCLASS specialist, will be at Harris Monday, Feb. 8th and Tuesday, Feb. 16th to support us with any and all things eCLASS related. I plan to start my Monday with her so I can learn how to better support your use of eCLASS. Please see the email from Tracy to sign up for a time to meet with her.


Midterms get sent home on Friday. Thank you for your work on this!

I wanted to share a summary of the article: Three Key Factors that Nurture Student Resilience. It made me think of the great work you all do in your classrooms every day. Thank you for creating a learning environment that makes a positive difference for our students!

In this article in Kappa Delta Pi Record, California consultant/researcher Sara Truebridge addresses the central question about resilience: Why do some children who are exposed to high-risk environments successfully adapt while others do not? Truebridge challenges the notion that resilience is a trait that students either have or don’t have. All people have the capacity for resilience, she says, and there are three factors that tap and nurture that potential: (a) caring relationships, (b) high expectations, and (c) meaningful opportunities for participation and contribution. The three factors help develop children’s social competence, problem-solving ability, sense of self and internal locus of control, and sense of purpose and optimism about the future – all of which are key to dealing successfully with adversity.

“When these protective factors exist together in any one environment – home, school, community, or peer group – the climate in that environment becomes one that is optimal for nurturing the resilience of a child, youth, or any individual,” says Truebridge. “Applying these approaches does not cost extra money, but rather requires a focus on re-culturing schools in a unified vision to create, nurture, and sustain important protective factors that provide a positive influence and buffer students from adversity, threat, stress, and risk.” Having all three factors present in a school can compensate for their absence in the family, community, or peer group. And a school with these factors can be resilient as an organization in the face of challenges and traumatic events it may face.

What do the three key factors look like in schools? Truebridge lists these specific actions and characteristics:

Caring relationships – This is all about providing a sense of connectedness and belonging, “being there,” showing compassion and trust. Teachers get to know the life context of each student and model empathy and compassion. Principals engage students, staff, and parents in school climate surveys and have an open-door policy that makes students comfortable dropping in if they need help or just want to talk.

High expectations – Teachers make appropriate expectations clear and recognize progress as well as performance. They also encourage mindfulness and self-awareness of moods, thinking, and actions. Principals orchestrate a curriculum that is challenging, comprehensive, thematic, experiential, and inclusive of multiple perspectives. They also provide training in resilience and youth development, and work to change deeply held adult beliefs about students’ capacities.

Meaningful opportunities for participation and contribution – Teachers hold daily class meetings and empower students to create classroom norms and agreements. Principals establish peer-helping/tutoring and cross-age mentoring/tutoring programs and set up peer support networks to help new students and families acclimate to the school environment.

“Resilience: It Begins With Beliefs” by Sara Truebridge in Kappa Delta Pi Record, January-March, 2016 (Vol. 52, #1, p. 22-27). (As summarized by Kim Marshall in The Marshall Memo.

Staff Development Day (February 15th):

I will send the agenda out later this week. Stay tuned!

Have an awesome week! I can't wait to be in classrooms this week!!!