Lincoln Lion's Local Buzz

December 14, 2018

Reminder for the last 5 days until break

First, may I emplore you to keep as much to your routine as possible this last week. The further we stray, the more off routine we become, and the more intense our behaviors will become. As adults I think we are all excited about the break, but we have kids who aren't excited due to unstable situations at home, separation from us and our predictability, which for some kids is difficult to manage. Please, keep your routines, expectations, and schedule. You'll thank yourself on Friday if you do.

Here is the reminder of the themes for the last week of school for our modified 10 days!

December 17: Everyone wear green! (Highlight this with your kids! Have them wear green too!)

December 18: Ugly Sweater Day

December 19: Cookie Party! Bring cookies to the conference room to share with everyone!

December 20: Best Classroom Snowman--With your class create a snowman and post it outside your classroom door. Make it as big as you would like. Our esteemed judge, also known as our illustrious Mr. Stokely, will go around to view snowmen after 1:30 to identify the winners in the following categories:

  • Snowman with the most Lincoln Lion Spirit
  • Snowman with the most holiday spirit
  • Most creative snowman

(You can start building your snowman over the course of the week if that is better with your schedule)

December 21: Snowball Fight: Write a compliment or kind thing in a piece of paper about a person or kind things that would be thoughtful for anyone to read. Then crumple the paper into a "snow ball". Individually or as a class/team throw your snowballs at the person/class that you want to share your kind words with before we leave for break!

White Elephant Party

When: Monday, December 17 3:30-5:00

Where: Lincoln Library

Who: All staff are invited--that includes IAs, Cafeteria staff, custodians, office staff...everyone!

What to bring: If you would like to participate, we will have a white elephant gift exchange. We welcome all ridiculous gifts and know that serious gifts are welcome too--but keep it under $10. Otherwise, bring room for some Barberitos in the belly!!!

What to wear: GREEN!!! It is green day for our 12 days!!

Just one person can make a difference

This Sunday I was able to watch 60 minutes and this segment came up. It made me think of some of our kids and what each of you do daily to be "that person" who provides the support and love to show a child that they are "worth it" and (as you'll see in the video) "better than this" when they are behaving below expectations. It is a great story about a man who at one point could have easily been one of our lions.

Tennessee Policy Report

The link below is the State of Tennessee Policy Report. Typically I wouldn't find this a priority read, but with a new governor coming in, an new commissioner, and new priorities (for example providing Tennessee Families with vouchers for school choice), I found it to be an interesting read. The document contains helpful information that informed my thoughts about the next state level administration's approach to supporting education in Tennessee.

Grade 3-5 conversion to online CICO

Grades 3-5 teachers have received an email from Mr. Stokely regarding a desk top app that he will put on your desk top to ensure that your computer is ready for the online CICO that we will start in January. Please email him directly if you have questions about his email or need clarification.

Mr. Stokely will also join us for part of the grade 3, 4 and 5 PLC on Tuesday so we can go over what we hoped to when we were out for snow.

Lions leaving the Pack

As we transition to winter break we have two IAs that will be leaving us and not returning in January. Sarah Gibson has accepted an interim position in Charlotte, NC, teaching second grade. Caitlin Johnson will also be leaving us to accept an interim position in Sullivan County also in a second grade class. We are very excited for both ladies as they move forward to reaching individual carrier goals, but at the same time sad to see them leave us. We are appreciative of the dedication they have shown to us at Lincoln. We wish them nothing but the best as the move on to the next part of their journey.

Data and Goals

This past Tuesday during our PLC meetings I had hopped to talk to you all about our TVAAS data, our state report card, and share with your my goals and our progress towards those goals. Compliments of the snow we didn't get to meet about that. I'm going to attach links to our data below. I"ll summarize main points from each element so you can get the broad overview and take-aways for our data. Keep in mind--this will be VERY broad and a big picture if you have questions that are specific, we can discuss them during our next PLC for a few minutes before our book

TVASS Data--link to power point is below

The big things here as you look at our data is to see that we have some great things happening in ELA. We have growth in 4th and 5th grade with ELA and we need to continue this trend. I feel very confident that we have the tools in place to do this. Our work in grades K-3 with Read to be Ready and our strong phonics work with Benchmark fidelity will pay off in coming years. We need to continue to grow our intermediate students, but we are doing the right things to set up our students for success in reading. In math, we are struggling. 4th grade math was a high point. We had great gains there and that means that this year's 5th graders are set up and ready to also continue making growth. It is important for us to continue to work with our students from the beginning to build strong number sense, master basic facts, and push for our students to understand conceptually what they are doing not just procedural math.

One final thing that our TVAAS data is telling us is that we are very good at moving the low students. We have good growth with our second quin-tile (so not out lowest of the low, but the next low group of performing students). We are able to make good growth with them at a higher rate than our students who are projected to be at or near mastery (third and fourth quin-tile)--we just aren't moving them as well. What this tells me is that as a collective group we need to do better with our tier 1 instruction. I'm not talking about the RTI Tier 1--that is just part of it. We need to do better with our main, bread and butter, tier 1 instruction so we are truly challenging students and pushing them to learn/do more. Our data shows us that we are not doing that and we are really teaching to the lower group of students in our building and not as well with the on or above grade level kids. We will continue to discuss this last point in January at our next PLCs but in a very fast and quick "nutshell" that is what our TVAAS data is telling us.

Tennessee State Report Card--

Well. It isn't pretty. But it is a reflection of our start. Our vision is to really make a clear difference in the next 5 years and we can call this our bottom. It is only up from here. We know we have things in place to make significant growth for our students. We will improve upon this and use this as motivation to keep pushing and working to get our students achieving at the level that we know they are capable of meeting.

Lincoln Goals for 2018-2019--link below

As part of my evaluation with Dr. Moorhouse I needed to identify three measurable goals for our school that supported our big rocks. As you know, our rocks are directly tied to our vision that we worked on and adopted last spring. We are focusing on raising our reading achievement, following our district curriculum with fidelity, and improving our climate though positive discipline/behavior models (Restorative practice/Zones) The second link below is a copy of my goals and where we were in our work towards those goals when I met with the superintendent right after Thanksgiving. The data will be updated soon since we are completing testing now for winter benchmarks etc, but it gives all of us a clear picture of where we are in connection to our goals.

The one goal that needs explanation would be our behavior goal. When you take a look at our data you'll see that we will likely not meet that goal. One reason that we will not make that goal is because I'm not sure that last year was a true base line for our data. What I think it could be thought of as is a reset year, but this year might truly be a better base line. We will continue to monitor and look at our data though out the year and use that to help us to improve. With chronic behaviors being our highest area and reason for suspension, I believe that points to our use of restorative practices and address thing the top 3% of our students who are continuing to have difficulty with our expectations and policies. We are talking about 15 students. That is really just 15 students school wide that are increasing our suspension numbers. Perspective on this is good.

Lincoln Lions Are

Respectful, Responsible, Trustworthy, and Safe

Big picture