Spartan Scoop #21

February 7, 2016

Thought for the week:

At our meeting this last Friday we were given some PD centered around Stephen Covey and The Habits of Highly Effective People. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with The Leader In Me-- movement for schools that has grown from Stephen Covey's original work. The funny thing is that many of these concepts are ones that we have as normal thoughts and ideas every day. The work of putting the thoughts into practice with the time and focus it takes to really live by these principles. This act is the difficult part. The First one is To Be Proactive--

Habit 1 — Be Proactive

You're in Charge

I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.

This is something we ask our Gratz Brown students to do every day as they say their school pledge. One that I can say as an adult, I may not always follow. More specifically the part that says to choose my actions, attitudes and mood. We were given the comparison on Friday, that it is like "carrying your own weather around with you". I love this thought, and have had a very wise, dear family member remind me of this often. You are in charge of you and no one else. Remember you have the capability of turning your day or situation around from within yourself. You just have to see it the way you want it to be... choose happy. I felt this week the "week of Love" this was a fitting thought. I challenge each of you to "choose happy". Remember being proactive rather than reactive is a choice. The following video may help you find this happy, as we did on Friday ,try to put it into practice. I promise you may have some tears, but in the end you will smile.

Building Items:

Positive Thinking - Use PBS language and strategies. I want to see every teacher hand out 50 or more PBS tickets this week. This is only 10 per day. Each class averages 23 students. Classroom teachers see the students for roughly 5 hours a day, or 300 minutes. This is 1,500 minutes per week. 1,500 times 23 equals 34,500 chances to see positive things going on in a week. Surely we can give a PBS ticket out 50 of those 34,500 chances. You have chances to hand tickets out in the hallways, the gym, classrooms, at recess, in the bus line, in the walker line, and at lunch. If we want students to repeat positive behaviors, we have to show the students that the positive behaviors are appreciated by us. I know we give verbal praise often, but a PBS ticket is something students can hold in their hands. Remember that the students in our school are still very literal thinkers, especially the students who require most of our attention. The argument exists that as our students get older they care less about PBS tickets. This may be true, but anytime I’ve seen PBS tickets get handed out many students in the immediate area began to follow the behavior that you just praised. It works.

Student Behaviors Over the Past Two Weeks

We have had high numbers of discipline referrals over the past two weeks. Prior to the last two weeks we had four consecutive weeks where 98.1 to 98.9 percent of our students went without a referral. The last two weeks it dipped to 96.1 and 96.9. What does this mean student numbers wise? 98.1 percent of our student body is roughly 10 students. 96.9 is 22 students. This is huge. The biggest behavior problems have been the following: cheating on homework and Reading Counts, Physical Contact, Poor Bus Behavior, Theft, Out of the Assigned Area, and Disrespect to Staff. PBS Lessons will be tailored to these behaviors over the rest of the school year. I would like you to give pre-corrects for students on these things daily.

Recent Common Behaviors

Pre-corrects for those behaviors


We can assume that a student should not use books while they take Reading Counts quizzes, but I want you to remind them of this prior to testing. When giving assignments be very direct on whether students should be doing this on their own or if they may work with a partner or partners.

Physical Contact

Prior to recess or going in the halls, remind students to keep hands to themselves for safety purposes.

Bus Safety

Before going home remind students to have a safe ride home and to follow our guidelines of being respectful, responsible and safe.


Remind students that if something does not belong to them that they cannot take it. This is stealing.

Away from the Assigned Area

Remind students that they must take the most direct route to another location. In fact, if a student is going to the office, tell them exactly how you want them to get there.

Disrespect to Staff

Let students know that as adults you ask a lot out of them. One thing you will not do is ask them to do something that is unsafe. Any request you give is a reasonable request and they should follow it without rolling eyes, making a noise, or refusing to follow the request. Let the students know that they have a choice to follow the request or not. Following the request results in a positive outcome, choosing not to follow the request will result in a negative outcome.

Work together as professionals. Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it can seem like the longest. This is the time of the year when patience can run low for you, your co-workers, parents and students. We must remember that we are the professionals and every situation should be handled professionally. One of my non-negotiables is being respectful to people and maintaining professionalism. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Keep in mind that it’s not just our words that speak. Your actions speak louder. We must also follow the PBS mantra. We as professionals must be respectful, responsible and safe or else we are not professionals. I'll leave you with one more important quote that I found recently. "No matter how educated, talented, rich, or cool you believe you are, how you treat people ultimately tells all. Integrity is everything."

Calendar Items:

Monday, 2/8 - CLT; MAP Mtg. 7:45

Tuesday, 2/9 - BOE Mtg. 5:30; Angie’s Coaching Day

Wednesday, 2/10 - SPED Staffing 7:45; Grades for Progress Reports Due to Office by 10 am; Dave’s Coaching Day

Thursday, 2/11 - Wellness Mtg. 7:45; SHINE 1 Little Dixie Regional Library; Handbook Committee Mtg. 4:00 in GBE Library; Angie’s Coaching Day

Friday, 2/12 - Faculty Mtg. 7:45 with Tara Link; Valentine’s Paries; Bowl For Kids’ Sake $2 Jeans Day; Progress Reports go Home

Teacher Resources:

Don't forget Scholastic has great resources for teachers-- check it out-

Vision Items:

CLT Agenda-- Tomorrow we will first gather together as a large group in the Music Room-- Mr. Samuel will go over some Personnel Items that we need to review and clarify. After this, I will give you information on what you will do together in teams. Our focus will be: MAP accommodations for students that have the need; training these students to use the accommodations; training videos teachers need to watch prior to February 29th- CLT.

Data Wall- We will be continuing to update the Data Wall as we assess. This week most of you are focused on Progress Reports. At the end of this week my goal is to give teachers information in regards to CLT for the following Monday and if we will be using this time for Data Discussions OR Scoring of your last SLO's-- focusing on scoring consistency within your team.

Journey's Reading Program- After we met with the representatives on Thursday. They were able to send contact information of two districts using Journeys and coming from a similar background as we have in the past. Mrs. Stoddard and myself will be meeting and going over the district questions many of you had. We will also get the full grade level kits into your hands as soon as we receive those from the reps. Both schools that we are going to contact have stated that they have seen growth in their students as learners and test scores since making the change. With that said, we do know that the program we would be purchasing would be the most up to date Journeys Program- 2017.

Thank you everyone that attended. Your well thought out and thorough questions are proof that you care about giving your students the best.

CWG Dates- these are still set and have been sent out to the teams writing the new SLO's for 2016-17. I will have an agenda for the February meeting. This day and a half will be a full and afternoon half day. Dee is getting subs lined up for this day.

RTI Committee- Those of you that have volunteered to be a part of this group should be putting in your input for dates to meet. The Co-Chairs will be working with me on the agenda and steps we will take to start the process of re-vamping RTI for next year.

Staff Birthdays:


Dawn Rasdale-8th

Brandy Forsyth- 12th

Tessa Rivera- 16th

Dee Noel-17th

Melissa Slater - 21st

Ashley Patrick-21st

Lollipop Moments:

I want to give a lollipop moment to Mr. Burris for being a WONDERFUL administrator in charge while you and Dave were out today. He has made sure everything has been flowing smoothly and been ready to assist whenever and wherever he is needed. I am very grateful for his frequent pop-ins for my friend, too! :) Laura Herron

I also want to give a lollipop moment to Mrs. David for her Problem-Solving Report resource she gave my class. It has cut back on the girl drama already! Love it! Laura Herron

Finally, I want to give a lollipop moment to Ms. Cher. She has been assisting me with math RTI this week and her small group ADORES her! Each morning, students were begging to work with her! She is a great asset to my room during this time! :) Laura Herron

Thank you to all of our students that are getting so excited about the Reading Counts hearts and building challenge! It is great to hear them expressing how excited they are about the reading. Angie Doss

Thank you to Jackie St. Clair for helping us this week with the lunches for our students that earned the McDonalds lunch! We appreciate you going and getting the orders when Mr. Samuel and I were unable to leave the building. Angie Doss

Thank you Emily Seiner for taking time to get the plastic tablecloths for Mr. Howen to use in his room to filter the light for his students. Angie Doss

Thank you Amy Gilmore for taking time after tutoring to walk a student to the YMCA. The parent appreciated it! Heidi Freeman

Thank you to our ladies in the office, Dee and Melissa, for always wearing many hats in a day! We could not run the school without each of you! Angie and Dave

Cher works diligently behind the scenes to keep our library in order, shelving books, assisting students, and processing books quickly when an order comes in so they can find their place on the library shelves. Cher is an awesome book nurse and makes sure books are marked with Reading Counts information and updates the Marc records and our online catalog as soon as new quizzes come in the first of each month. Thank you, Cher, for all you do and for doing a great job everyday! (Jackie)