Thomson Staff Newsletter

February 8, 2016

Important News & Notes

Cardinal Code Celebration Week was a Huge Success...So, We are Going to Keep It Going this Week with a Focus on Kindness!

Last week's Cardinal Code Celebration was a huge success, thank you to all of you for your help. The students were so proud of their gold stickers and earning their red Cardinals for the tree. It was so cool to watch at parent pick-up as the students drug their parents and grandparents over to the tree to proudly show-off their Cardinal. Sara Howes shared a story about a little boy recognizing one of this classmates following the Cardinal Code in the hallway, so he took off one of his own gold stickers and gave it to his friend.

As I shared at the staff meeting last week, we are going to continue this week with a focus on being kind. Staff are encouraged to continue to discuss and point out acts of kindness. At the end of the week, each student will be given a yellow bird that they will give to another student who has shown them kindness during the week. These birds will be added to the tree as well. I think the plan will be to leave the tree up through the end of the month and then take it down and make sure the kids get their birds back...please make sure the students write their room numbers on them. Also, if you have left over gold stickers, please feel free to continue to pass them out.

Cardinal Code Focus for the Week: Playground!

Teachers please be sure that you are intentionally teaching the Playground Cardinal Code lesson. The weather does not look like it will be to bad this week, so taking the kids outside to teach this lesson, if you can, would make it even more powerful. Some highlights from the lesson include: taking turns, using kind words, asking an adult for help if needed, lining up right when the whistle blows, and using equipment properly and safely.

Thank you all for your support with behavior and the Cardinal Code!

Data Day Follow-up

Data Days were held last week, new groups were developed, interventions were reviewed, discussions were held around ensuring the top 20% are getting their needs met as well, and parent-teacher conferences were held...what a busy week it was last week!

When looking over our data from the first semester, there is lots to celebrate! Our DRA Data shows that 83% of our students are at or above benchmark for reading, up from 80% at the end of the first marking period. As a District, 84% of kindergarten students are at benchmark.

Our DIBELS data shows tremendous growth. In the fall, 61% of students were at Core (Benchmark). At the mid-year testing window, 74% were at Core. However, what is even more impressive is that our Intensive (Well Below Benchmark) percentages when from 22% in the fall to 9% in the winter.

All of this does not happen by accident. It happens because of the dedication of the staff to ensure that all student needs are being met, academic, behavioral, social, and emotional!

PPSC Survey

As part of the requirements of our participation in the Promoting Positive School Climate Grant, we must survey students, staff, and parents. This past Friday (February 5th) a link to the survey was sent out to all staff and parents by Michelle Edwards. A follow-up email was also sent as email was also sent as the survey was not allowing non-teaching staff to complete the survey unless you checked 'prefer not to answer' in some categories that did not apply (like the grade you teach). With the clarification of directions in the last email from Michelle Edwards, I encourage everyone to complete the survey. As with everything we do there are areas where we shine and areas which we would like to grow and improve. The input of a wide range of staff will help us pinpoint priority areas. Your particular experiences and perceptions can help us. Thank you in advance for your efforts and time in helping us gather the feedback we need for focused continuous improvement.

Mid-year Count Day

This Wednesday, February 10th is 'Count Day'. Students have been encouraged to wear clothing with numbers on them and to 'Stand Up and Be Counted'. Please be sure to read the directions from Anna carefully for reporting attendance on Wednesday.

Valentine's Parties

Please make sure that the office knows when your Valentine's Party will be held. Also, if you could remind parents that they will need to show id when they arrive and that all guest must be on the contact list, it would be very helpful. Also, if you get any great pictures please share with myself, Anna, and Michelle Edwards for use in the building and district publications.

Visitors & Observers

This is just a reminder that anyone who is asking to visit your classroom for an observation must come through my office AND go to the Personnel Office and complete an iChat background check. This includes requests from college students or universities or even parents who are currently taking courses for education. I know that many of you are willing to help undergraduate students fulfill coursework requirements, we just must be mindful of student confidentiality and ensure that the proper avenues and paperwork are completed. If you have any questions about this, please let me know.

Important Upcoming Dates

Thursday, February 11th-100th Day of School (Sorry about the mix-up and for understanding)!

Friday, February 12th-Valentine's Parties-Please give your party times to the office if you haven't already.

Monday, February 15th-No School for Students or Staff-President's Day!

Tuesday, February 16th-District School Improvement Meeting 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Week of February 22nd-PLC Week

Monday, February 22nd-PTO, 6:30 p.m. in the Thomson Lounge: Sarah D & Megan are the teacher reps.

Wednesday, February 24th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: SIP Self Assessment & Behavior Planning for 2016-17); Child Study Day

Thursday, February 25th-Family Reading Night-5-7 p.m. All Certified Staff this is one of your 5 evening meetings and you should plan to be here from 4:30 p.m. for set up until 7:15 p.m. for clean-up. If there is a problem, please see me right away.

Friday, February 26th-Lock Down

Looking ahead-I will be out of the building February 16-19th. Retired Davison Elementary Principal Ron Adam will be here all week. Please let me know if there is anything that you need from me prior to this week.

Quotes Worth Reading...

"Throw kindness around like confetti."


Birthdays and Celebrations

Here are our upcoming birthdays: February 11th, Megan Kellie; ...Happy, happy birthday to you!

Thank you very much to our Social Committee for planning a great End of Semester/Holiday Party. A great time was had by all who were able to attend!