Monday Memo

December 14th - 18th

“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley


It seems so hard to believe that we are already moving into the last week before the Christmas break. While I know you have done a good job of integrating the holidays into your lessons, I want to encourage you all to stick your routines and levels of expectations as much as possible. This will be the key in maintaining appropriate classroom behaviors as well as your sanity.

In effort to help you weather the week with a smile, Monday through Thursday will be free jeans days with either a holiday or staff shirt. With so many visitors in the building on Friday, we ask that you are professionally dressed.

Thursday, as part of our Christmas gift to you, Sylvia and I would like to treat you to lunch. El Chico will be serving lunch in the conference room during your regular lunch times. We hope you enjoy not only the food, but not having to pack a lunch Thursday morning.

As you are entering grades for report cards, please remember to write meaningful comments. A well written comment should contain specific learning goals as well as a glow/celebration of something recently accomplished. This is an opportunity for the parents to see that you really know their child and are working to help them achieve their personal best.

As we continue to pray for The Prugh Family, count your blessings and make today count!


Eship Summit 2015 - Jon Gordon


Teacher Scales for Reflective Practice

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Fund For Teachers

Fund for Teachers provides educators, possessing a broad vision of what it means to teach and learn, the resources needed to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. FFT grants are used for an unlimited variety of projects; all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students and their school communities.


Warm-Up Wednesdays - Planning Ahead

Each January, we sell Warm-Up Wednesday passes to benefit Special Olympics. The passes are sold for five dollars each. These passes are only good during the month of January. If you would like to purchase a pass, you may buy them from Donna.


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Bad Dude

We want to recognize Stacie Bullock as our Bad Dude of the Week. When carrying out the responsibilities of her own job, she is amazing, but the support she has given Sylvia and me since Donna has been out has launched her into a new level of Bad Dudeness! She has helped order Christmas gifts and food, made sure everyone gets paid, assisted me in figuring out things that I have never done before as well as numerous other tasks that keep our building functioning with such a positive attitude. I cannot thank her enough!




Did you know that each week I give out jeans passes to those who are one of the top three participants on Shoparoo? I know that many of you have already joined, but if you haven't, it is not too late. Simply go to to create your account. If you use veft4467 as a referral code, McGowen will earn money for you just signing up. Please feel free to push this information out to your parents as well. Once you sign up, Shoparoo will give you a referral code for your parents to use when they sign up. Schools with just 40 supporters are earning an average of $1,000 every year.

Congratulations to Barbara Peebles, Lhauren Chitwood and Jennifer Little for being in this week's top three!


Focus for 2015 - 2016

In order to help every child their personal best, McGowen teachers and staff will:

  • Develop a common language needed to become High Reliability School.
  • Develop an understanding and process for effective Professional Learning Communities.
  • Engage in collaborative team planning and lesson design to promote higher level thinking and student engagement.
  • Present lessons in such a way that students understand and can speak knowledgeably about posted learning and language targets.


Remind for Staff

I have created a Remind for our staff in order to send out just-in-time reminders, last minute notifications of jeans/warm-up days, and/or emergency info. If you haven't already, please click on the link below to join the group.


Happy Birthday!


Barbara Peebles - 9th

Shannon Dophied - 12th

Danielle Fortenberry - 13th

Nick Relle - 13th

Cathy Haney - 21st

Krista Daniel - 24th

Aly Flint - 25th

Amber Evans - 26th

Kay Novosel - 27th



  • Many thanks to the Sunshine Committee for a fun Christmas Party! - JL
  • Burford – Thank you for getting back to me so quickly with the URL code that I needed Friday evening! You are truly amazing :) - JD
  • Chitwood – Thank you for filling out the majority of that form that was due Friday! You are the best teaching partner ever!!!!!! -JD
  • Reeves – Thank you for taking care of me. You are truly amazing dear friend! -JD
  • Shambo & Relle – Thank you for stepping up and taking car rider duty while we were at camp! I know it is not easy! -JD
  • Thank you, McGowen Staff, for your support! I hope you all have a Happy Healthy Holiday! Enjoy the break! Thanks, Laurie Leotaud
  • Thank you everyone for your time and attention at both our PLC staff meeting and RTI meetings this week! Your devotion to your work is very appreciated! - Michelle C.
  • Sunshine Committee: Thank you for all you did to create a wonderful staff party! It is always such a great time! - Michelle C.
  • Martha, Valerie and Maria: Thank you for taking so much time out on Thursday after school to meet so we could continue to collaborate on your students. I am so grateful for your dedication! - Michelle C.
  • PLC leadership team: Thank you for Wednesday's planning session! Sylvia, thanks for also bringing donuts. It was so thoughtful! -Michelle C.
  • Tracey and Peebles: Thank you for being my sonic fairy again this week! I love you both! - Michelle C.
  • Rhonda: I am so grateful to have you as my hall partner! Thank you for always being willing to share your expertise and lend an ear. You're amazing and McGowen is so lucky to have you! - Michelle C.
  • Lynn- thanks for taking our third graders for enrichment! We appreciate you're willingness to help in a bind! -Goodwin
  • Amber- thanks for getting our winter party room handled! -Goodwin
  • Bean- thanks for handing the whole Raytheon thing! You da bomb! -Goodwin
  • CaThomas- thanks for being the voice of reason..all the time. So much love! -Goodwin
  • Lisa - Thank you for hosting my friend on Friday! LP
  • Lisa – Thank you so much for helping me sort out my paper. You are incredibly helpful, and I am so glad you are part of our McGowen Family. -Amber

  • Sunshine Committee – You put together such a fabulous Christmas Party! Thank you for all of your time and effort you put in so we could all have such a great time. - Amber
  • Sylvia – Thank you for taking the time after school to talk about one of my students and how to handle a situation. I appreciated the support. -Amber
  • Kinder Team - thank you so much for the delicious dinner last Thursday. I now have a new favorite soup! Y'all are the best! - Donna

  • Gaby - dinner was amazing and seeing you brightened my day! - Donna
  • Stacie - Love you sweet friend for all you are doing for me at work & for delivering and placing my presents under my tree. -.Donna
  • Lynn - for your supportive texts and offer to shop for me! ;) - Donna
  • To all of you that have sent me texts & emails - your support and prayers mean the world to me! - Donna
  • JL/SL - even though you aren't telling me ;) all you are doing to fill in while I am out, I am sure I owe you both a big hug. - Donna
  • Thank you sunshine for organising our Christmas party. Lisa
  • Shannon Dophied – thanks for helping me out with the GT testing! - Tebo
  • Krista- Thank you for making every student in your class feel important and have success. We are lucky to have you!! -Bonnie

  • Martha- Thank you for your guidance and listening ear. -Bonnie
  • Jaime and David- I appreciate the teamwork we have ... it takes all of us working together. -Bonnie
  • Jenny- Thank you for offering to order and sharing resources! -Bonnie
  • Sylvia- Thanks for always being a positive voice and giving "doable" problem solving suggestions. -Bonnie
  • Dianne Bitter- I know she does not receive the Monday memo, but wanted to give a shout out anyway. Thank you for the time you put into the students and parents that you come in contact with here at McGowen. -Bonnie
  • MaryAnne- I am amazed at your organization. Thank you for figuring out the scheduling of our meetings-Bonnie
  • Holly B- You do such an amazing job with every concert!! -Bonnie
  • 5th grade team- thank y'all for being flexible and working together to make sure assessments are completed.-Bonnie
  • Mrs. Stevens and Mr. Sneller- words can not say how blessed McGowen is to have yall!! Brase and all your students are lucky! -Bonnie
  • Jennifer- Thank you in advance for the jeans days this week!! -Bonnie


Action Items

  • Complete Math and/or Science surveys by Monday, December 14th
  • 3rd-5th grade Social Studies data due in Award by EOD Monday, December 14th
  • Grades due by 8:00am on Thursday, December 17th
  • 3rd & 4th grade ELAR data due in Aware by EOD Friday, December 18th


McKinney ISD's Vision, Mission and Beliefs

Any time we have an idea, concern, solution and/or comment, this is the filter through which we should speak. Let's help each other live up to our vision, mission, and beliefs.


We are a cohesive, diverse community providing engaging learning experiences for all.

We will provide engaging learning experiences so students can become effective communicators, quality contributors and socially responsible citizens.

  • Partnerships between students, parents, community members and staff are foundational to educational success.
  • Positive school culture and a safe environment foster growth.
  • Everyone has inherent value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Learning is an active process requiring engaging tasks and engaging minds.
  • Relevant and authentic experiences ignite continuous, deeper learning.
  • Meaningful relationships enrich learning.
  • Confidence fuels risk taking and higher achievement.
  • Financial stewardship ensures a tomorrow for education.