Team Thomson News & Notes

April 24, 2017

Important Information for You!

Kindergarten Round-up Week

It is here, Kindergarten Round-up Week! This week we will be welcoming approximately 300 new Cardinals to Davison Community Schools. This is the highest number of Round-up appointments we have had since I began in January 2012 and I couldn't be more excited. It is, however, very hard to be out of the building for the majority of the week. I am so lucky to have a staff that I can count on to 'carry on' even when I am not physically in the building. In thinking about supporting each other, please remember to follow behavior procedures, including using your partner teacher. Remember, Jen Seal and Jen Webster are available for Tier II behavior issues/Majors and I am only a phone call and parking lot away.

Additionally, as you know, Cheri Nill will be out this week. While Megan Campbell and I both being at Round-up and try to make it back in time for dismissal, this could leave us short staffed at Parent Pick-up. Any additional help, maybe combining of classes once the first three buses are called, would be greatly appreciated.

Again, I want to thank you all for your help this week! I know that you will all work to maintain the high standards we have for ourselves and our students.

Reading Now Network

On March 31st, I shared with the building Reading SIP Committee information on the Reading Now Network. The Reading Now Network began when educators from five counties on the west side of Michigan began researching what made different schools in their area achieve at higher rates when compared to schools with like free/reduced percentages. Those that know me know that literacy runs in my veins and I am always interested to read about what is working, but I also do so critically. The amazing thing about the findings was that their was no 'magic bullet' or 'program' that made the top school was just really good teaching which adhered to the following five 'roots of reading success':

  1. Uncompromising Focus on Reading-everything revolves around reading.
  2. Relevant Data Used Deeply-Staff and students live the data.
  3. Shared Leadership, Sustained Commitment-Principals define the 'what', teachers define the 'how'.
  4. Classroom Management Focused on Learning-Engage students are partners.
  5. Collective Responsiblity to Every Child's Success-"We each feel they are all our kids".

Here is a link to the Reading Now Network: I encourage you to take a look at this website. You can watch short video clips from real Michigan educators talking about what they do and look more closely at the research. Our Reading SIP Team has worked to add professional learning in terms of school visits to one of the top schools in the Reading Now Network into our reading plan. Megan Campbell had an opportunity to visit North Godwin, one of the schools consistently out performing it's peers, and shared how powerful it was. I look forward to the opportunity to visit with other Thomson staff in the fall. I know that we are doing a lot of things 'right', but like so many of you, I am always looking to strengthen what we do and gain ideas for improvement. Again, I hope you will take some time to look around the website above...I think you will find it very interesting and find some ideas you can work on now.

5D+: THE "+" IN 5D

The 'plus' in 5D+ represents the Professional Collaboration & Communication dimension. This dimension features indicators such as:

  • Collaboration with peers and administrators to improve student learning
  • Communication and collaborations with parents and guardians
  • Communication within the school community about student progress
  • Support of school, district and state curricula, policies and initiatives
  • Ethics and advocacy
Why is professionalism so important to the vitality and success of an organization? Here are three main reasons taken from research conducted by the Australian Institute of Business (Professionalism is valued globally):

1. Respect is Increased- When professionalism is valued within an organizational culture, the majority of employees will behave in a similar professional manner. A professional environment establishes respect for not only authoritative figures, but also clients and fellow colleagues. It also helps to limit inappropriate personal conversations, or those which could be considered disrespectful. The level of respect for a customer or business partnership is also evident when an employee continually behaves professionally, despite inappropriate comments from the other party.

2. School Reputation will Flourish- A school known for its positive reputation and professionalism is one which will stand the test of time. When it comes to choosing one school system over another, the one with most positive feedback is likely to be selected. Employee interactions and relationships with key stakeholders are one of the most important contributors to this positive brand association.

3. Conflict is Minimized- In a professional environment, employees will be less likely to resort to conflict to solve an issue. Professionalism fosters a respectful culture, which should see conflicts be handled in the correct way. Professional employees tend to understand boundaries more clearly, and solve any minor issues in an efficient and respectful approach. Professional behavior also helps staff avoid offending clients and each other when they have a different perspective, as well as offending those from different cultures or backgrounds.

So how can we practice professionalism? An article from Rasmussen College suggests the following questions may help guide us in our professional practice. You know why it is important to be professional, but how do you do it? How do you demonstrate professionalism? You can demonstrate this through interactions that are appropriate, job-focused, team oriented and with a positive attitude. You want to treat all people with respect, and you want to be open and accepting of feedback. Can you control your emotions if something frustrates you? Do you storm out of a meeting if something is decided on that you don’t agree with? How do you behave if you are feeling stressed? Are you rude to others? Avoid a grungy appearance, inappropriate language/ volume of voice, missed deadlines, lack of motivation or care, blaming others, not respecting privacy and not holding up your end of the work. Demonstrating your pride in the company (our school) and your work, your ability to be non-judgmental, your self-control and your maturity will show the world that you are a real-life professional. You can start now in building your own high standards and appropriate working relationships. A point to remember: We cannot control all the stressors that come our way. We can control our reaction to those stressors. It takes grit, dedication and commitment to the profession. Keep up the good work!

UPDATE: STAR Progress Monitoring/Chromebook Cart

Well, we had hoped to have our Chromebook Cart last week, but it didn't arrive. It is, however, supposed to be delivered Monday at 9:00 a.m. Megan and I will both be at Kindergarten Round-up all week. I will work with Wendy to get the students working with them this week. Additionally, please watch for additional information on scheduling extra time with your students and the Chromebooks.

Employee of the Year Nominations

Do you know someone who works for Davison Community Schools who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty? Do you know of a staff member who exemplifies what it means to be "Kids First"? The Davison Educational Foundation is currently accepting nominations for the annual 'Teacher of the Year' and 'Support Person of the Year' awards. Winners will be announced at the District's annual End-of-the-Year Staff Recognition luncheon held in June. Four employees will be recognized: Teacher of the Year Elementary (Grades Preschool - 4), Teacher of the Year Middle Level (Grades 5-8), Teacher of the Year High School Level (Grades 9-12), and Support Person of the Year (District wide). Deadline for nominations is Friday, May 19.

DEF Mini-Grant Applications

Application forms for DEF Classroom Mini-Grants and the Professional Scholar are now available on our website. Click on the link below to access them.

Mini-grant applications are due to your building principal by Friday, May 5 and Professional Scholar applications are due by May 15. Winners will be announced at the annual End of Year Staff Recognition Luncheon in June. Good luck!

Personally Speaking

As you all know, I hate being out of the building especially for more than a day or so. However, the next couple of weeks are going to do just that...take me out of the building. While during Round-up week, I will be in and out, on Monday, May 1st my husband, Matthew, has to have surgery with an extensive recovery, Tuesday, May 2nd is our District Kindergarten PLC, and on Thursday, May 4th Elena has her annual appointment at U of what I am humbly asking is for understanding and help. I never have to worry about everyone chipping in as I have shared above, but I do hate being out and wanted you to know why it may seem like I am not around. I will be available by phone and email if I can not be reached in the building.

Quotes Worth Reading

"Be around the light bringers,

the magic makers, the world shifters,

the game shakers.

They challenge you, break you open,

uplift and expand you.

They don't let you play small with your life.

These heartbeats are your people.

These people are your tribe."

-Danielle Doby

Mindset questions: What implications does this have for you, for our staff, for our school? How can you use these words to make our school 'tribe' stronger?

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: Happy Belated Birthday to Anne Pariseau, April 20th! My sincerest apologies for forgetting to include it in last week's newsletter.

Also, a very heartfelt thank you for the gifts last week for Principal's Appreciation Week. As I shared in the email I sent Monday, I didn't even know it was Principal's Appreciation Week. I loved the daily tokens of appreciation, getting to have breakfast with those that were able to make it, and most of all the signs, letters, and books the kids made! I am very lucky to work with such a wonderful staff. Thank you!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of April 24th-KINDERGARTEN ROUND-UP
  • Monday, April 24th-PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 26th-Secretaries Day!; Staff Meeting,7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Behavior Data/Follow-up to March Concerns/Ideas; End of Year); Science Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Week of May 1st-Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week! And... PLC Week
  • Monday, May 1st-Bike Helmet Day
  • Tuesday, May 2nd-District Kindergarten PLC
  • Wednesday, May 3rd-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: SIP)
  • Thursday, May 4th-Elementary Principals Meeting
  • Friday, May 5th-Table of Honor