Galloping Gazette

A newsletter for the Faculty and Staff - Week 2/25 - 3/1

Put Students First • Seek Growth • Be Open to Change . Do Great Work Together • Value Differences

Principal's Message for the week:

Now that mid-year assessments are over and we dig into this stretch of consistent instructional days, I always find myself reaching for a book regarding how to better support students' social emotional needs. This time of year, my office tends to become a tad bit busier with more students and I find myself always wanting to know more about how we can be more proactive in our approach to keep our students engaged and learning.

This year, I picked up a book that has been around for a couple of years but is a quick and an easy read - Better Than Carrots or Sticks by Smith, Fisher, and Frey. In one of the early chapters they raise the question: How do we invite students into learning?

When we invite students into learning, we engage in what the authors call "invitational education", which they content rests on the following four elements:

1. Trust that the environment will remain safe and consistent. This means that adults and students both are good to their word. In a trusting environment, we strive to be our best selves each day day, but don't live in fear that we will be ostracized on days when we are less so.

2. Respect that is mutual and unconditional, even when members of the school community are not at their best. Respect is a fundamental belief in the dignity of every person. When you show respect, it in turn is shown to you.

3. Optimism, which is at the core of why we all go to work every day. We believe that our students can learn and that communicating that belief will result in their progress. Optimism is grounded in a realistic (but not cynical) view of circumstances.

4. Intentionality, the key to turning optimism into results. Simple believing in something won't make it come true - you have to act upon it. We teach, we intervene, we reteach, we assess progress and then we teach again. Being intentional means that we consciously implement sound practices that get results.

It is easy to get caught up in the fast pace of our school year, especially now that we have turned the corner for our last two quarters. Please take some time, reflect on these four elements and consider how do these play a role in your classroom, in your instructional planning, in your instructional delivery, with your relationships with your students and with your relationships with your colleagues. Some might need some adjustment and some might need more attention than others. I look forward to seeing some intentional and exciting learning this week from you and our students!


Shout Outs

HUGE shout out to Patti C and Jackie C for putting their heart into an awesome school project and night! - Ally

Thank you Jenny R. for all of your great ideas! - Ally

Shout out to 5th grade for planning and implementing their first Power Hour this week! Jenny R.

A GREAT BIG shout out to Karen Ratner, Michelle Cannuli, Mikki LaRocque, Shawnee Green, Sandy Mealer, Ivory Knight, Joel Cannuli, Tina Petropoulos, Rudy Sandoval, Heather Watler, and all of the wonderful parent volunteers who gave of their time and energy to help out with the Book Fair this week. You’re the BEST, and the fair could not have happened without all your energy and help. - Anne Y.

Shout out to Abbe Torres for helping our students find their books at the Family Night Event! It was a LONG DAY for you, but very much appreciated!! – Anne Y.

Thank you to Mrs. Mercy who shared her snacks with 2 teachers who had missed breakfast and needed a pick me until lunch. – September

Thank you to the staff who complimented me on my reading of chapter 9. I am glad you enjoyed it! – September

Thank you to Mrs. Csenar for asking me to read a chapter from the Lemonade War. – September

Thank you to Anne Bussiere for doing such a fine job guest teaching for me. – September

Thank you to the Pucker Face Teachers. You made my day! – September

Thank you Mrs. Wisotsky for stepping in and helping with our little friends. – September

Thank you Mrs. O’Brien and Mrs. Wisotzkey for your help in the PM class. You both are AP! – September

Shout out to Robin Mounce for fixing my board. You're the best! – Liz

Thank you so much to all of the volunteers who helped out with Lemonade Night! -Patti and Jackie

Thank you to everyone for your help in making the one book, one school a success! -Patti and Jackie

Tuesday’s STEM NIGHT was amazing! – Kelly Z.

Students were excited about the Book Fair and Mrs. Young taking photo booth pictures! – Kelly Z.

Students loved you reading to them, Ms. Johnson! – Kelly Z

Thanks Tennys, Danielle, Stacey, and Claire for taking the time out of your busy schedules to participate in my pilot study. Really appreciate it! – Bevin

To ALL the amazing teachers and staff who make CFES AMAZING EVERY DAY!!! Thank you for all you do to make the Farm so special! - Jill

Tammy Willett- For wanting to put independent studies into her learning centers. She has been spending a lot of time “in the pool” this year. Go girl! – Anonymous Admirer

If you have any shoutouts, please send them to Ms. Backer and Mrs. Jacobs by Thursday.

Schedule for upcoming weeks

Feb. 25th - Mar. 1st

ACCESS for ELLs Testing Feb.27th - Mar. 8th

Monday, February 25th

· Feeder School principals at CFES to do learning walks

· 2nd Grade PLC

· 2:40 - 4:20 Girls on the Run (Rm 7)

· 2:40p - 4:00p Newspaper Club

Tuesday, February 26th

· Mrs. Backer out all day

· 4th Grade Planetarium Field Trip

· 3rd grade PLC

· 2:40p - 4:30p Talent Show Practice

· 3:00p - 4:00p PAC Meeting (Library)- flipped!

· PTA Zoup Cashola 5p-8p

Wednesday, February 27th

·Safe Schools Audit

· 8:30 - 10:30 Avid Interviews (Guidance Conference Room)

· ACCESS for ELLS Testing Begins


· 1st grade PLC

· 2:40 3:30 Tae Kwo Do (Gym)

· 2:40 - 4:20 Girls on the Run (Rm 7)

· 2:40p - 4:30p Talent Show Practice

Thursday, February 28th

· Ms. Backer at PD all day

· 4th Grade Planetarium Field Trip

· 5th Grade PLC

· 2:40 3:30 Tae Kwon Do (Cafeteria)

· 2:40p - 4:00p Stem Club Meetings (Rm 34/ Computer Lab/ Rm 38 Art Room)

Friday, March 1st

· 4th Grade PLC

· Progress Reports Go Home


Mar. 4th - Mar. 8th

ACCESS for ELLs Testing Feb.27th - Mar. 8th

Monday, March 4th

· 2nd Grade PLC

· 2:40p - 4:20p Girls on the Run (Rm 7)

Tuesday, March 5th

· 7:00 - 7:30 Donuts For Dad

· 3rd grade PLC

· 2:40a - 4:30p Talent Show Practice

· 3:00p - 4:00p Leadership Meeting (Library)

Wednesday, March 6th

·Spring & Class Photos


·1st grade PLC

· 2:40 - 4:20 Girls on the Run (Rm 7)

· 2:40a - 4:30p Talent Show Practice (Cafeteria)

Thursday, March 7th

· 5th Grade PLC

· 2:40p - 5:00 Eco Club (Cafeteria)

· 2:40p - 4:00p Stem Club Meetings (Rm 34/ Computer Lab/ Rm 38 Art Room)

Friday, March 8th

· Watch Dog Dad (Saulo Ortiz)

· 4th Grade PLC

· 6p - 7:30p Spanish Night Expo (Cafeteria)

Colt Tracker

It is back in action! Keep using them for tracking those major and minor behaviors.
Don't forget about trying out our Colt Tracker!

This link will, also, be in our handbook along with our flowchart!

Staffing Updates!

We received our allocations:

  • PreK - 1.0
  • Kindergarten - 4. 0
  • Grade 1 - 5.00
  • Grade 2 - 5.00
  • Grade 3 - 5.00
  • Grade 4 - 5.00
  • Grade 5 - 4.00 (This number is subject to change after the budget is approved.)

  • March 11 - Online registration deadline for Transfer Meet and Greet event for all voluntary and priority transfers who wish to attend.
  • March 14 - Transfer Meet and Greet event at Green Run HS from 4:30-5:45 p.m.
  • March 22 - Ms. Backer may submit recommendations for vacancies.
  • June 27 - Last date by which principals can make hiring recommendations from other area school divisions (Region II) – Teachers currently under contract with neighboring school divisions must resign from those divisions before 5 p.m. on 6/27.
  • July 15 - Last date teachers may voluntarily transfer without approval from HR and a Senior Executive Director or Director for School Leadership.
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Progress Report Timeline

Quarter 3 progress reports are sneaking up!!!

  • Specialists’ grades are due on Tuesday, February 26th by 5 pm.
  • Teachers’ grades are due on Wednesday, February 27th.

Teachers, do not generate your progress reports until I have told you the specialists are done.

Progress reports are emailed to parents on Friday, March 1.

  • Please note: Only students in academic need (DP or N) must receive a progress report; however, you may issue it to the class as a whole if you wish :)

Strategic Planning Survey

Just a follow up to the email that I sent out on Monday regarding a survey effort in support of the division’s strategic planning process. As a reminder, the planning process for the next strategic plan has been ongoing and has included meetings with a variety of stakeholder groups and a Virtual Town Hall hosted on The information gained from the input process has been incorporated into an online survey that went live Feb. 18 and will remain open until March 8.

You are encouraged to access and respond to the survey by March 8.

The survey link will be available on so that parents and community members may access the survey. Parents will be notified of the survey through an AlertNow email message sent by the Office of Planning, Innovation and Accountability.

PLP Opportunity to Provide Feedback

Teachers have the opportunity to earn one PLP point for each math unit they provide feedback on this school year. A course is set up in Frontline titled Curriculum Reflection and Feedback Opportunity. Teachers can access a Google form in Schoology in the Teaching and Learning Professional Development folder. One Google form should be completed per unit. This will help the math team revise curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year. PLP points will be awarded once the session closes.

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Papa Johns Night!

The votes are in!!! Our staff has selected April 25th as the Spring Papa Johns Delivery Night. Christina From Papa Johns will be here on March 29th at 11:30 am to discuss details.Get ready!

Career Day

Christopher Farms Elementary School will be hosting a Career Day on our school campus Thursday, March 28th from 8:00-10:00am. We are looking for men and women from a variety of occupations to share their careers with our students. If you know anyone who would be interested in participating please have them fill out the form below and return it to Mrs. Yoshida

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2/14 - Danielle Minehan

2/16 - Kelsey O'Hanlon

2/22 - Tennys Kane

2/27 - Heather Armstrong

Important Links from the principal packet

Our AMAZING Lemonade War STEM reading night!

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Our Spanish Immersion Teams discussing best practices to take back into their classrooms!

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Our Mother-Son Sock Hop was a blast!

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Keep these coming!

Please check out our form below to see how Mrs. Porter and myself will be celebrating our students and continuing our positive culture and environment.