Team Thomson News & Notes

December 11, 2017

Important Information for You!

Returning from MEMSPA

First and foremost, thank you to everyone for your role in keeping the building running as 'normal' while I was gone last week. While it is not easy to be gone for three consecutive days, knowing that the building is in great hands is reassuring. During the MEMSPA Conference, I had an opportunity to listen and interact with some amazing presenters and colleagues across the state. The bulk of the convention centered on the importance relationships with students and families and the role this plays in the academic and school success of children. I also had the opportunity to attend sessions on using natural spaces like the Williams property to promote learning and child development, technology, and ways to rethink data days in terms of reading instruction. I am excited to share some of my learning with you in the coming weeks, but as with any new learning and insights, I want to mindfully process my learning and how if may be used to positively impact our work at Thomson.

It was also reassuring to learn that we are not alone in facing today's educational challenges. However, in a time where we could feel very defeated by this, there was a sense of 'rising above' and that if we all stick together, do what we know is best for kids, and continue to go above and beyond for our kids, build those strong relationships with the students, families, and communities and keep telling OUR story...we WILL come out ahead and our education system will be stronger for it. Our first keynote speaker, Dr. Steve Constantino said that during these challenging times, "There aren't bad teachers, but there are teachers who have lost hope." We as a Thomson staff are the only ones that can help each other rise above and keep our hope. "Every Child, Every Teacher, Every Family, Every Day!"

Cool to Care

Thank you again for your generosity and promotion of Cool to Care. While we may not have brought in as many items as in previous years, I am very proud to say that we did collect over 3,900 items for Outreach East and beat out building set goal of 3,500 items. If your classroom earned one of the 200, 300, or 400 item prizes, please get with the appropriate staff to schedule your prize.

Save the Date-Genesee County Literacy Conference

As Megan and I shared, the Genesee County Literacy Conference is Saturday, January 20, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. -2:30 p.m. If you are interested in going, please let me know and as soon as the registration is available I will let you know. The registration came out last week, but there were a few edits being made to the program/sessions. Once it is updated, I will send it out.

Responding to Challenging Behavior

Executive Director for Student Services Holly Halabicky recently shared a link to CPI's (Crisis Prevention Institute) Top 10 De-escalation Tips. I have listed them below, but more importantly, I will be passing out a copy with more details at our staff meeting Wednesday. I think it is important to remember these tips during this very busy and sometimes stressful time of year and always. Please take a moment to reflect on them.

CPI's Top 10 De-escalation Tips

# 10...Allow time for decisions;

# 9.....Allow silence for reflection;

# 8 ....Choose wisely what you insist upon;

# 7.....Set limits;

# 6 ....Ignore challenging questions;

# 5.....Focus on feelings;

# 4.....Avoid overreacting;

# 3....Use nonthreatening nonverbals;

# 2...Respect personal space;

...and the #1 tip: Be empathetic and nonjudgmental.

Please watch for a '5 Days of Christmas' Staff Flyer in your mailboxes later this week!

Quotes Worth Reading

"It isn't a child's background, it is our response to their background that makes the difference. You will never find a bit of research that says 'poor kids are stupid'."

Dr. Steve Constantino

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

No birthdays this week!

Staff sub lunch...make sure you are signed up and paid if you'd like to participate.

If you haven't already, please make sure the office knows when you will be having your classroom Christmas party.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of December 10th-PLC Week
  • Tuesday, December 12th-Child Study Day (please be sure to fill out the SIDR); DI Meeting, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 13th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Social Studies survey; Special Education Qualifiers; ELA Curriculum Mapping Update/Plans)
  • Monday, December 18th-Handsome Harry visits; PTO meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 19th-Handsome Harry visits; Staff Luncheon put on by the Office Staff
  • Friday, December 22nd-Christmas Vacation begins at the end of the day!