Thomson Staff Newsletter

April 10, 2016

Important News & Notes

Welcome Back!

I hope all of you had a restful and reinvigorating spring break! It's always nice to have down time to get away and let our brains and body rest. Allowing our mind and body to relax and to take a break from the pace of countless decisions we make everyday in the classroom and school setting is healthy and necessary. While I was home this week in the wonderful Michigan weather (sarcastic smile), I had the opportunity to visit with friends, clean out closets (which feels great), and spend some real quality time with Matthew and Elena.

As we return for the fourth marking period, we can count on a need for our team to hit the ground running. Report cards, parent-teacher conferences,Data Days, Bike Helmet fitting, Farm Day, end of year assessments, and end of year activities are just a few of the things we can look forward to in the last nine weeks. Now that the finish line is in sight, our success and the success of our team depends on our resolve to get to the finish line. Note that I did not say ability. Ability is a given! We have the talent and we will finish the race with the success of our students the prize waiting at the end!

As we return fresh from spring break let's make it our united focus to stay positive in our dealings with students and each other. Jon Gordon comments that staying positive helps us finish. While there will always be challenges in our profession, we should focus on the fact that we have a talented group of individuals in our building. Working together through the strength of our talents and our determination to do what is right for kids will allow each one of us to find positive solutions to complex challenges. Solutions will bring about growth, and though it may be slow at times, growth brings about professional and personal accomplishment. That translates into a gain in student achievement...our ultimate goal.

As we start the run to the finish line please take a moment to view the following short video featuring a message from Jon Gordon after the "Important News & Notes' section. Thanks for all you have done and will do to work as a team in an effort to further our mission and put children first!

March is Reading Month-Pie in the Face Friday!

If you have students who return their Reading Calendars Monday, please allow them to place their 'pies' on the faces of staff. Please turn in all Reading Calendars to the office Monday before you leave and please be sure that a student name and room number is on each. We will finalize the five 'lucky' staff members and draw for the students who will get to do the pie throwing Tuesday. Since it appears that Michael will be one of the lucky ones and he teaches at Central at the end of the day Friday, we will hold the assembly at 1:15 p.m....immediately following the end of the recess/lunch period. All staff members may wear their Thomson Staff t-shirts and jeans on Friday.

Report Cards & Spring Conferences

Teachers will need to have all report cards completed by noon on Monday, April 11th. The office staff will print final copies and place in teacher mailboxes by the morning of Wednesday, April 13th. Please let the office staff know of any student who will need more than one report card given the request by a non-custodial parent for a copy. Those teachers wishing to have their own copy of the report card will need to make/print their own. All District Elementary report cards will go home Thursday, April 14th.

Thomson Spring Parent Teacher Conferences will be held Thursday, April 14th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. If you remember from the fall, we adjusted the November conference times to leave 4 hours for the February and April conferences. These conferences are walk-in style, however, you will want to contact parents who you'd like to see.

Data Day

I am so looking forward to our Data Days this week. All classroom teachers should have received the agenda prior to Spring Break. Please be sure that you have updated your student cards and moved them and that you bring all the assessment data listed on the agenda.

Feedback PD Follow-up

Given the very challenging task of presenting to all K-4 teaching staff just before break, I thought our Coordinators did a wonderful job preparing an engaging professional development session. I hope that you were present as a learner and were able to walk away thinking about how to better incorporate learning targets, provide your students with clear expectations of learning, and give them feedback to help them expand their thinking. Remember the questions:

  • Where am I going?
  • Where am I at?
  • How can we close the gap?
Remember, it is not about stealing the struggle, but about helping students become thinkers and owners of their learning by providing them the tools they need.

I encourage you to get out the 11 x 17 rubric and assess where you are as a teacher in the three areas Outcomes Based, Collection of Student Evidence, and Feedback and Analysis. I will not be asking you to share this with me or anyone else, but rather this is a great tool for self assessment and personal professional growth.

Thinking Ahead...

Very soon you will be getting your ordering information for next fall. Now is the time to really go through your cabinets and determine what you need. I was talking with Lisa recently and we laughed because there are items that she has never had to order because she is still using was left to her when she inherited her classroom and all the supplies that had been previously purchased. Just because ordered it last year may or may not mean you need it this year.

Jon Gordon - No Energy Vampires Allowed

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday, April 11th-Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. H.S. AMR

Tuesday, April 12th & Wednesday, April 13th-Data Days!

Wednesday, April 13th-Staff Meeting, 7:35-8:15 a.m. (Agenda: Behavior Data review, Upcoming events, etc.); State Wide Tornado Drill, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 14th-Report Cards go home; Spring Parent-Teacher Conference 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Friday, April 15th-'Pie in the Face' Day! Assembly at 1:15 p.m.

Week of April 18th-PLC Week

Monday, April 18th-Bike Helmet Day; ACC Meeting 4:15-6:15 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20th-Kindergarten/Early 5's PLC

Friday, April 22nd-Earth Day; Leadership Team Meeting, 7:30 a.m.; Author Visit

Monday, April 25th-Farm Day!; Fire Drill; PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 26th-Child Study Day

Quotes Worth Reading...

"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good."

-Roald Dahl

Birthdays and Celebrations

Welcome Back Staci Lambaria and Christine Henderson!