West Goshen News

April 8, 2016

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Welcome Back!

I hope you all are having relaxing spring break. For those of you who went somewhere warm, I lived vicariously through your Facebook pictures! I did, however, have a relaxing break. I did not do much school work until Wednesday - that is a record for me! :)

It was nice to spend time cleaning my house - which was well overdue. I cleaned out Ellen's old room to get it ready to become Will's new room. It was a very emotional process to pack up dolls, Barbies, and high school volleyball awards knowing that she will most likely never be moving back into her childhood home! It was a two day cleaning process which consisted of me texting her pictures of different items asking her if she wanted them. Goodwill either loved me or hated me for the two truckloads I made over those two days! It was worth it...the trim/doors have a new coat of paint, the lavender walls are now blue and orange (Will's a HUGE Florida Gators fan), the carpet is all new, and the girly pictures/dolls/Barbies will be replaced with basketball jerseys and all kinds of Florida Gators memorabilia! The Florida room is joining the North Carolina room (Joseph's bedroom) in our house. (Joseph didn't talk to anyone for two days after that North Carolina loss.) Oh, the joys of raising boys who LOVE basketball.

I'm feeling blessed that we are in a profession where we can have breaks. It was so nice to slow life down and enjoy bonding time with my family and friends. I hope you, also, had time to slow down and enjoy life!

Something to think about...

As you are getting back into the swing of things again for school remember this:

We have approximately 35 days of school left.

That equates to 19.4% of the school year left,

Approximately 245 hours of instruction,

14,700 minutes of learning.

However you look at it - let's continue to make every percentage/hour/minute count!

TLT Update

We are winding down our unit of study on Motivating and Questioning - two areas on the rubric that are key moving into IB and units of inquiry next year. It has been exciting process over the past 4 weeks bringing back critical pieces in making inquiry and exploration powerful for our students. We are anxious to roll this out to you in cluster cycle 3.

On Monday, we are going to reflect on the TAP processes in order to get us ready for the school review on May 6th. We will reflect on our reinforcements and refinements in the areas of: Post Conferences, Master and Mentor Coaching/Support, Cluster Observations, Master/Mentor Instructional Leadership, Cluster Meeting Records, and Leadership Team Meetings. From this meeting, we will be coming back to all of you for your input before we submit our reflections for our review.

IB in Indy

Next weekend is the weekend when 17 West Goshen teachers invade the IB conference in Indy. I am so excited for the new learning for all of us! Remember we will be leaving from West Goshen at 4:00 on Friday. We will be driving the corporation van, corporation car, and Aimee's van. If you don't want to leave your car in the parking lot, you might want to make plans for someone to drop you off. Everyone who is going should have received an e-mail from the IB this past week. If you didn't, let me know.

Would anyone who is going be willing to drive the corporation car? Let me know if you would be willing... I need to get a copy of your driver's license to central office for insurance reasons!

Skyward

You should have received, or will be receiving, an e-mail from Skyward with information about how to sign in and complete training. Please save this information. Remember we will be doing this training on May 3rd and 4th. You will need the e-mail to do the training.

Central Office News:

Today’s Focus

Service & Purpose

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reflections to Guide Your Journey

What is the last thing you have done for someone else?

What is the best thing you have done for someone else?

How did helping someone else affect your quality of life?

How are you doing the same for someone else?

Who is someone in your life that may need help?

How can you go about making a positive impact on them?



TAP Update:

Performance Based Compensation: The 2nd part of your 2014-15 bonus has now been calculated based on the "hold harmless" legislation that was put in place. Principals will be scheduling meetings and the bonus pay will be received on the first pay in May.


· April District-wide meetings: Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the date/times for our April meeting. Given the feedback, the plan will be as follows:

-- District wide administrator Leadership meeting – Thursday April 28, 2016 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the Board Room

-- District wide master teacher meeting – Friday April 29, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. in the Board Room


· All District Leadership Team Meeting: On June 2, 2016, we will be holding a district leadership team meeting day for all members of school leadership teams. This will be held at the West Goshen Church of the Brethren, more details will be coming soon. In the morning, teams will have an opportunity to reflect on their goals and the improvement efforts that have been implemented in 2015-16 and begin thinking about next school year. The afternoon session will be devoted to the topic of coaching. This will be a great session to launch new learning in preparation for TSW.


· Leadership Team Member Vacancies for 2016-17: If you anticipate or are aware of potential vacancies on your leadership team for the 16-17 school year, please let Tammy know. Master teacher vacancies will still have a district-level component to the process; filling mentor positions will be done through the schools. Erin Foster and Patti Terlep have agreed to support schools and the district in these processes. By now you have received the announcement of CORE Training date for this summer. There will be three different locations/offerings for this training, one being in Goshen. (If the dates in Goshen do not work for a new team member, he/she may attend another session.) Please make sure that this information is provided to new team members as a job expectation. Unfortunately, this year there is no stipend for new team members to attend training.


Changes at the Admin Office:

· As all of our schools work diligently to create and maintain a safe and secure environment for students and staff, we recognize the need to change some of our visitor protocol here at the Admin Center. Beginning April 11th, we will be having visitors check in at the Receptionist’s desk, or if entering from the west doors, you may check in with Stella at registration. Those wearing school IDs will not have to use a visitor badge, but those without will be asked to do so. This procedure will be extremely helpful for the new staff in our office as they work to get to know our employees as well as our visitors. Thanks for your help as we work to implement these new procedures.


Skyward Implementation

I have compiled a list of all the data that is being converted from SMS into Skyward. That conversion is taking place now and should be complete by the end of Spring Break. If you have questions, please ask and I will update the documentation so it can be clarified for everyone.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WieEQKEYR2CfdXjD-IoHyAW4MPSQ4cje9z6GNqg14xs/edit?usp=sharing

I have also posted a timeline for the Skyward implementation that you may find helpful. This document will be periodically updated.

\\goshenschools.org\shared\District\Projects\Skyward SIS 2016\Skyward Implementation Timeline.pdf


Lastly, we will be communicating with teachers directly regarding online training via the PDC (Professional Development Center). We want to ensure every teacher is aware that they can and should be working through the gradebook coursework. Building-level training needs to be led by our teacher trainers in May, so it is critical that all teachers have completed this coursework by then. Expect an email to teachers shortly after we return from break.


Turn Around Award Winners

This year, we will be recognizing ONE Turn Around Award winner from each school at the first Board meeting in May – May 9th. Remember, you may recognize as many “finalists” as you wish at the building level, as we know that you have many deserving students, but only one per school will be recognized by the Board. This means that you must get the winner’s name and parent information to Vickie Grant no later than April 11th – when you return from spring break! (Please make sure to double check the spelling of the student’s names). Your help in meeting this deadline will give us time to order the student plaques. As in past years, we will have a reception for the students and their family members at 5:30, immediately prior to the board meeting. We would also like to have a Power Point with pictures of the students. Please provide Vickie with 2 – 3 pictures of your winner so she can create this slideshow. Thanks!


TELL Survey

The TELL Indiana Survey window will open April 11, 2016. Packages should arrive to schools this week.

Reminder to building administrators to check that they have the correct amount of code letters as that is the same "headcount" number that is reported for response rate purposes.

Also, you are strongly encouraged to follow the protocols that are included in the instruction letter and listed in the FAQs on the tellindiana.org website.

If you all have any questions prior to the launch please don't hesitate to contact Dawn Shephard at the New Teacher Center. Contact information is below:

--

Dawn Shephard
Associate Director, Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) Initiative
Phone (919) 246-5485
Email: dshephard@newteachercenter.org
Click Here to Learn More about TELL


Personnel Updates:

· All temporary contract letters have been delivered and hopefully by now you have been able to have a conversation with those teachers in your schools who are receiving the letters. Once delivered, you may send the postings to Sarah Deegan and to me. However, we need to take this next part of the process slowly, because we have some schools that are: reducing the number of temporary contracts; reducing the number of classroom sections; and/or are “rethinking” how they will be using FTEs. Once we have the FINAL word on number of sections and approval of staffing plans, then we will post vacancies. There is a slight possibility that we may have an involuntary transfer situation OR that one of our schools may be asked to maintain a temporary contract spot for another school. Please be patient as we work through these situations.



· Jeans for Troops ·



My name is Sgt. Joe Pace and I enlisted in the Marines the morning after 9/11 and served three tours in Iraq. After coming home the GI Go Fund was there for me and now I am proud to give back by serving on their board of directors. I am excited to announce that you can now register for "Jeans for Troops", where schools host a dress down day to support our Troops and honor Memorial Day. If you would like to be a part of America's largest dress down day for Veterans by offering each employee the opportunity to donate $5, please register on our website so we can send you the program materials!

To date, millions of Americans have participated in this program making it possible for the organization to assist military veterans in finding jobs and get homeless veterans off the streets, as well as provide tens of thousands of dollars in financial assistance to veteran families in need. We hope to continue providing even more programs and services in your community and throughout the country for our nation's heroes.

As a program that was started for schools and teachers, we hope that you support "Jeans for Troops" on May 26 and if this date does not work you can choose another date to show your support. To learn more or be a part of this, visit our Jeans for Troops Page or call us at (866) 389-GIGo (4446) Ext 701.


Sincerely,

Sgt. Joe Pace

Member of the Board of Directors
USMC Combat Veteran
O) (866)-389-4446




Spanish for Educators

No matter what model of English Language Acquisition your school district uses, best practice says that culturally-competent educators are the most effective. Spanish4Educators' summer program in Guatemala allows for your educators to become immersed in the Latino Culture and Spanish Language in order to return as more culturally-competent educator for your students.

We are forming a great cohort for our trip to Guatemala from July 10-23. We offer re-certification and graduate credits, and will accept groups from 4 to 15 (including a group discount). We also offer extended programs for up to two weeks, as well as a culminating excursion to the majestic Mayan ruins of Tikal.

We have been taking groups of teachers to Guatemala for the past three years, and would love to have your educators included in this year's cohort! Please forward this email to the educators in your district who would benefit from our program. I would love to answer any questions that you have.

Best wishes,

Steve Foster

Program Coordinator - Spanish4Educators.org

Email: Info@Spanish4Educators.org

Mobile: 970-412-7245

Upcoming Dates:

April

Monday, April 11th:
TELL Survey taken between April 11th-May 16th
7:30 - data meetings in TAP room

Tuesday, April 12th: Lori in Indy all day for IB visit
Before School - Related Arts cluster
After School - 4/5 cluster
4:00 - Strategic Planning Meeting (Lori)
6:00 pm - 5th grade parent night at GMS

Wednesday, April 13th:
Before School - K/1st cluster
After School - 2/3 cluster
4:00-5:15 - Strategic Planning Academic Sub Committee (Lori)

Thursday, April 14th:
6:00 pm - 5th grade parent night at GMS

Friday, April 15th
:
8:45-10:30 - Principal's Meeting (Lori gone)
IB groups leaves for IB conference in Indy (Friday-Monday)

Monday, April 18th:
ISTEP testing begins - April 18 - May 6
Data meetings on your own (for those of you who will be here) since 17 of us will be in Indy for IB