March 21-25, 2016

"Under The Surface" - Empathy Film

What has your child done or seen that would stretch — or shrink — his or her empathy growth?

News from Kim...

SPS Summer Academy

The Blended Learning, Curriculum, and Professional Learning departments are teaming up to offer learning opportunities throughout the summer. A June and July Summer Academy will be held to offer 8 days training around PBL, adaptive software, tech integration, and more! Many sessions will be offered again at SPS Now in August. Staff will receive an email in April with registration information. Stay tuned!


I attended the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals conference where I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Spurgeon, Superintendent of Riverview Gardens School District in St. Louis, where they are involved in the Missouri School Improvement Grant (MOSIG) project. Their district had some of the lowest performing schools in the state, and are now showing some great gains. On Wednesday, March 23rd, Mrs. McBroom, Mrs. Patrick, Ms. Faughn and Mrs. Cramer will be going to St. Louis with me to observe initiatives, collaborate and network with school leaders to gain a perspective outside of the SPS district.

There were some great sessions that combined a healthy mix of new learning and reminders of good stuff. I was particularly moved by Manny Scott (from Freedom Writers), and wish to share of few of his statements.

  • "Trust in someone else's belief in you until you believe it, too"
  • "You will never reach anyone if you vilify what is important to them"
  • "Poverty is not lack of money. Poverty is the lack of access to people who can support and help you"
  • "On your worst day, you can still be someone's best hope"

To review so much more learning, checkout #maesp16 on twitter.

I also attended a session titled: Three Small Steps Producing Great Gains for School Turnaround. In that session Jessica Bassett shared a 30 day planning format to track attendance, discipline, Literacy and Numeracy during team meetings. It may be a tool worth considering next year to help us monitor progress on our accountability plan.


Five teachers have also been selected to serve on the Site Professional Learning Systems (SPLS) to support Westport in creating a systematic approach to professional learning. This system keeps standards high and provides common language around how teachers collaborate. We hope a focused day of reflection and planning will allow our team to increase their capacity to grow the culture of site professional learning. If you’d like to review district expectations and resources for Site Professional Learning Systems, we invite you to visit the SPLS page. As I made my selection, It was important to me to consider building capacity by including teachers who haven't yet had the opportunity to attend along with our Literacy Coach and Math Interventionist. Teachers selected are Mrs. Mashburn, Ms. Faughn, and Mrs. Jackson. The date has not yet been confirmed. Subs will be provided, made possible through Title IIA grant money.

TECH Resources

  • Pebble Go - Research Tool for K-2 that reads the research to students. There is a link in Canvas.
  • Scholastic News - It is written by grade level and by reading level. There are digital and print version for students.
Stephen Colbert has great humor and is a huge supporter of education and pushing Donor Choose opportunities. In fact, a number of celebs have come behind this, labeled under #BestSchoolDay, and over 200 projects in Missouri were funded, including some from SPS. Check out the related video below, and have a fantastic week!
Stephen Visits His Favorite Teacher

Events for the Week

Monday - Dr. Jungman visit in the afternoon. We will be visiting classrooms.

Westport Warehouse Shopping Day

Springfield Regional Opera K & 1st

Appy Hour - 4:30-6:00 p.m. Glendale Commons

5th Grade Music Performance featuring Blast From the Past - 6:30 p.m. - 7:00

Tuesday - Parent Involvement MAP Breakfast 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. for ELEM 3rd-5th and MS

Parent Involvement MAP night 5 - 6 p.m. for ELEM 3rd-5th and MS

Staff meeting rescheduled for Tuesday March 29th / Paras and

secretaries will also need to attend.

Wednesday - Teacher team departs after school for St. Louis

Thursday - Teacher team observes Riverview Gardens visit in St. Louis

Friday - Lifetouch Spring pictures

PBL Exhibition - Teft

Looking ahead... there will be a bus evacuation drill on Monday, March 28.

Spring and class pictures will be taken this Friday. Spring pictures will be taken first, followed by the class photo. Two photographers will take Spring pictures in the commons and an additional photographer will take class pictures in the court yard (weather permitting) or on the common's steps. It is not possible to provide an exact time for classes to report for pictures; a class order schedule will be emailed to teachers before Friday. Classes will be called to the commons over the intercom - every attempt will be made to call classes in a timely manner so the photographer does not have to wait. We must be finished before lunch begins at 10:30. For class pictures, it always helps the photographer if you can have students lined up tallest to shortest.

Thoughts from Wes...

I Remember When... students were not given a choice at lunch. Lunches were plated; students went through the line and picked up a plate and a milk. No chocolate, strawberry or 2% milk; just whole white milk. Snack milk cost a nickel.

Thought for the Week: We should resolve now that the health of this nation is a national concern; that financial barriers in the way of attaining health shall be removed; that the health of all its citizens deserves the help of all the nation. - Harry Truman