Hilcher Herald

GES Staff Update-9/7/15

Curriculum Showcase

After reading over your input on the google doc we created...it seems like it would be in our best interest to go back to only having 2 sessions for Curriculum Showcase: 6:30 - 7:00 and 7:00 - 7:30. My original thought was to incorporate as much of your work from last year into this year's night. The sessions you all were offering in addition to your nuts and bolts were still grade level specific. I don't get the impression that you all are utilizing previous plans as I read over your suggestions. I don't want to cause any unnecessary stress on this short(albeit long) week. Therefore we thought we could combine those into one grade level session that's 30 minutes instead of 15. I believe it is important that our families receive pertinent information to their child's specific grade level(s) and the expectations we have for them this year.

Items to include in your grade level sessions:

  • Writer's Workshop
  • GCISD Technology Best Practices (airplane mode, etc.)
  • Learning Platform Philosophy
  • K-2 Standards Based Report Cards (use Suzanne's slides that were sent to you)
  • GCISD book challenge
  • Math and reading homework
  • Home access to technology programs (iStation, Education Galaxy, etc.)
  • STAR Behavior & hallway incentive
  • STAR reading and math TIPS strategies
  • Restorative Practices

You can still offer more than one session, but it isn't a necessity. Please discuss your team's plan and team leaders will share with us at Tuesday afternoon's meeting. This includes which rooms/teachers are covering which parts AND where! I would encourage you to present this information to your parents in the way you would teach your class. Use various forms of technology, maybe a Kahoot, or a poll everywhere to gather their thoughts/misconceptions. Have your parents download an app for their child on the iPad, complete a google form, be creative! While a one-page informative handout is appropriate, packets of information are not acceptable. You may want to include a QR that links to information parents can access throughout the year. Please be sure to clearly communicate your plans for that night with your parents in your newsletters and emails so they can plan accordingly! Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have. DRESS for that evening will be professional, please!

Dismissal Changes

Thank you for your continued patience as we alter the afternoon dismissal in the front loop of the school. A few reminders as we start week 3:
  1. Daycare bus riders will be escorted to the cafeteria. Teachers-please continue to provide me feedback with how this process is working since I'm unable to witness it.
  2. K-2 & Older Sibling Walkers:
  • Students walking to the north crosswalk (Hall Johnson & Hazy Meadow-aka: RED) will be dismissed from the picnic table area only
  • Students walking to the southern crosswalk (Hall Johnson & Hughes-aka: BLUE) will only be dismissed from the area near the front entrance to the school
  • These changes hopefully eliminate the cross traffic we currently have with walkers and car riders and ensure a safer dismissal process for the front loop students.
  • Please remember to send older siblings out the proper door depending on which front walker station they will be using.

It takes all of us working together to ensure that students are safe and parents understand the routines. Please do your part at dismissal to keep car riders quiet and sitting down. If you witness a parent crossing the driveway...please direct them to use the crosswalk. if students aren't in their dismissal location, please direct them to their spots. Students at walker stations should be encouraged to reunite with a sibling or parent quickly and make their way to their designated cross walk.

As I've been saying, our hope for less teachers/staff on dismissal duty every day after school. This will only happen if we work together to improve the process listed above. Your support and feedback is appreciated as we work to improve dismissal out front!

Parent Newsletter

The following link will take you to the parent newsletter that will be sent out Tuesday morning:



  • Teacher Self Report I is due 9/8/15!
  • Homework starts on 9/8/15
  • Invitations for the summer reading/math challenge will be distributed. Kona Ice party will be held on 9/10 and students will be called down to the picnic tables area...
  • STAR reading and math TIPS strategies should be utilized this year!
  • Newsletters should be proofread by Kim Ray and/or a team member prior to being sent out to parents on Mondays. Please send them to Kim by 5pm on Saturdays!
  • Newsletters should be mailed to a teacher created group contact or listed in the BCC section as to avoid sharing email addresses with people inadvertently
  • Newsletters, or links to newsletters, should be saved to the folder in GES Faculty and Staff: https://drive.google.com/a/gcisd.net/folderview?id=0B90_DLAhTR6MQUVGMUlZdGx1VWc&usp=sharing
  • GES Campus Calendar should be added to your gmail calendars. Please check it regularly! See Josh or Nancy if you need assistance with adding this calendar.
  • IF you haven't completed the Staff Favorites form...please fill it out today! Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/a/gcisd.net/forms/d/1H1j-CToHZ3dWqcSLFZhX3CtpEaN0JVUYQEcagC2pIn0/viewform?usp=send_form

Telling our Story

Twitter: You guys are doing an amazing job of tweeting each week! You all are constantly getting re-tweeted and favorited (I think I just made up a word!). Please remember that Twitter is a way for us to 'tell our story' and share with our stakeholders the behind the scenes actions of GES. I would prefer that we not post pictures of students posing. Action pictures are a better way of showing how our students collaborate with one another and how they interact with their learning. PicCollage offers a great way to post more than one picture to your tweets as well. I overheard two students discussing how they got to help construct the class tweet and it made me smile. They were so proud and owning their learning at the same time! I would encourage you to solicit the help of your students as much as possible.

PICTURE RESTRICTIONS: Please note that we have a third grader and a first grader who cannot be photographed at GES. We will be posting a little camera icon outside the classroom doors of these students to signify that pictures cannot be taken of them. Please be sure to ask the classroom teacher if you are photographing in a room that is marked with the "no photos" icon. Thanks!!

Duty Times

Please be mindful of your duty times and locations. If/when you cannot perform your assigned duty, please be sure to arrange for another staff member to cover for you. If you cannot find anyone to cover for you, or if you are running late, please notify Liz or Kim as soon as possible! Thanks for your help.

Yearbook info...

Our wonderful PTA has arranged for GES to once again use TreeRing as our yearbook vendor. TreeRing offers a unique opportunity to eliminate waste by only printing as many books as ordered, and also plants a tree for every yearbook sold. Did you know that you can contribute photos to our GES yearbook? Watch for more information from our PTA in your mailbox within the coming weeks.

STAR Parties

A few of you have inquired about STAR parties for this year. Instead of tying these to nine weeks conduct grades, we will tie them to hallway behavior charts and class behavior incentives. Once your hallway chart is complete, or your class behavior goal is met, your class can participate in an activity to celebrate their efforts. Please remember that food cannot be a part of these celebrations. Free time on iPads or devices brought from home is also not allowed. STAR parties should be no longer than 20 minutes in an effort to preserve weekly instructional time. A few examples of STAR parties: no shoes while in class; bring a book from home; bring a small stuffed animal from home; sit where you like; eat lunch with the teacher; short video; treasure box; pillow/book/snack time; free homework pass; picnic lunch. I know you all have a long list of student favorites that your class can vote on for rewards so feel free to use those. I look forward to hearing all about how your class is celebrating their collective efforts!

Upcoming Dates

9/7, 9/14, 9/21 & 9/28-get a free medium HOT or iced coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts with your ID

Tuesday, 9/8 Homework begins at GES

Tuesday, 9/8 Teacher Self Report I due

Tuesday, 9/8 Team Leader meeting in Nancy Hale's room

Thursday, 9/10 Summer challenge celebrations (1:30-students will be called down)

Thursday, 9/10 GES Curriculum Showcase (6:30-7:30pm)

Thursday, 9/17 PTA meeting & Spaghetti Dinner (6:30pm)

Friday, 9/25 GES Rachel's Challenge Rally

Tuesday, 9/29 Campus Excellence Committee (3:00pm)

Friday, 10/16 GLOW DANCE! (6:30-8:30)

GES Club Applications Deadlines

Clubs-As listed on the information sheet, club application go to the following people:

Safety Patrol - Greene or Basil by Wednesday, Sept. 2nd

KC Club - Horne by Thursday, Sept. 3rd

Student Council - Hale by Friday, Sept. 4th

*Must have 2 teacher recommendation signatures BEFORE turning in

KGES - Wahpekeche by Friday, Sept. 4th

Running Club - Basil or Greene by Sept. 23rd

Choir - Lambert ONLY accepting Sept. 21st - 29th

Food for Thought...

Teachers Say What's Wrong With Education In The U.S.