Friday Notes

Dare to be Different!

Blog: Take it Personally

"There is a huge amount of freedom that comes when you take nothing personally"

"Don't take it personally"

"Control the things you can control, and let go of those you can't"

Sound familiar? They do to me. I may have even written about one of these quotes before. But what if all of those quotes are dead wrong?

Teacher A sits in their classroom and reflects on the work each student turned in. Actually most of them did not turn it in. Teacher A wonders how a kid could be so irresponsible, how their parents could let them not complete a summative assignment, and wonders if the kid realizes they will never get through high school with their current attitude. "Don't take it personally. Some students just aren't going to do what you ask of them."

Teacher B sits at a very similar desk and reflects on the same assignments. Most of their students didn't turn it in as well. Teacher B wonders what it was about the assignment that turned kids off from doing it. Teacher B brainstorms ways to change the assignment, ways to make it more interesting, and thinks about trying some of these strategies on the next assignment. "What was it about what I did that made this situation what it was?"

Which teacher would our students be better off with?

As a leader, I take everything personally. Every last thing that happens here, I believe, reflects on me as a leader. Behavior stinks....that is on me. Attendance is below average.....what am I doing to cause this? Parents upset........what could I have proactively done to prevent the issue? If things are not going well at East, I need to do something to make it better. This goes against everything we have been taught....don't take it personally. It will exhaust you.

I am here to tell you to take things personally. It is the only way to go from good to great. If we are unable to see how we impacted the situation, we have missed out on a key part of the solution. I saw this firsthand over the course of the week. A couple of behavior incidents occurred that had me extremely frustrated. I immediately started with, "why can't they just...." At that point I realized that I was absolving myself of all responsibility for what happened. I ran everything back through my mind. I sent 4 supervisors out into the hallway, each with a specific location....check. I dismissed students by table, and as orderly as possible....check. What am I missing? I did everything right. At this point I could have been done. I did everything I could. They made a bad choice. But what if something we are doing systemically is causing these students to act out. How we discipline, maybe? The consequences we issue? It could be a number of things.

I'll stop there. There is ALWAYS something I can, you can do, we can do, to improve a situation. Take things personally and do everything to make it better. Not everything YOU CAN....everything....because there is always a next thing.

My final words.....take it personally, BUT.....go home and let it go. Leave it here at school. Do everything you can between 6:55 and 2:50. After that enjoy your family. Take it personally, let it go, and then take it personally again the next morning. That really is ALL we can do.

*****The above was written in 10 minutes to blow off some steam. I didn't fret over the wording, or reread it a couple of times. I am really curious to hear your thoughts. Is taking things personally the best way to do things? Can a teacher survive taking things personally all of the time?

Internal Controls

Just a reminder that the Internal Controls Training, located in Safe Schools, is due by the end of the year. It is significantly shorter than the other trainings.

Thanks for taking care of this!

Bowling Night Presented by the East PTC


Please Save The Date for next Sunday, November 12th from 6pm until 8pm. Our very own PTC is hosting a "Family Game Night" at the Expo Bowl in Beech Grove. This is a fundraiser for our PTC. Cost is $10 for 2 hours UNLIMITED bowling. Bowling shoes and bowling ball are included in the cost. Please share this info with your students. Flyers are posted in the hallways. This is being promoted as "family" game night so that parents attend with their students!

Then, to make it just a bit more interesting, the PTC would like to get teachers involved by holding a 3 vs 3 department competition! All you need to do is gather 3 team members from your department (departments can have multiple teams) and come bowl for our school! Previous bowling experience is not necessary. The highest combined team bowling score after 12 frames (1 complete game) will be declared the winners and will move on to face their next opponents. The over all winning team will receive an honorary traveling Bowling Pin Trophy! Team member's names and a team name need to be email to Nikki by end of day Friday, November 10th. A bracket will be made of all teams on Sunday. This tournament is open to all departments.


The November discussion thread has been posted. Thanks to everyone that participated in the October thread.

Documentation Purposes Only and Referral notification to Administrator

When submitting a “Documentation Purposes Only” in Infinite Campus please be aware that those will be assigned the Resolution of “Documentation Purposes Only.” If you assign a classroom consequence please put that in the details section of the submitted form. All other referrals, that are office managed, will be assigned a resolution.

Please see the attached link on classroom managed and office managed behaviors.

As always, before writing a referral on repeated events, like not bringing supplies, please get in contact with the parent or guardian. Getting a parent or guardian involved or making them aware cures most of our issues.

Also a reminder, when submitting a referral please select the grade level Administrator to handle the referral. Infinite Campus defaults to contacting both Amy and myself as seen below. Please select the Administrator that needs to handle the referral.


All 6th

Last names A-M 7th


All 8th

Last names N-Z 7th

If you have any questions please see Rob.

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Sub Plan Reminders

Please review the sub plan expectations that were shared on day 1. It is imperative that our visitors have all the tools they need to be successful. Thanks for your help with this!

  1. Sub plans should be specific, typed, and include: a seating chart, reliable students, and enough work for the ENTIRE class period. The plans should clearly state what items should be taken up and where they should be placed. Leave nothing to guess.

Model Sub Plans

BYOD Meetings

See the flyer for dates and times for district BYOD meetings. This same information will be presented to you during our November 13th staff meeting.
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Please pay special attention to the instructions below. It is expected that the procedures set for the Chromebooks are followed exactly as stated. If you use the Chromebooks and fail to adhere to the information outlined, future use of the Chromebooks may be denied.

#1 - Review the document located at PLEASE PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE DROP OFF AND PICK UP PROCEDURES. You must drop off the cart after use (between 2:15-2:30), and carts need to be picked up the DAY BEFORE they are used (between 2:30-2:45)

#2 - YOU MUST have a system in your classroom to determine what kid is using what Chromebook. As I have mentioned previously, I would just number your roster and require students to use that Chromebook. Why? When we need to track down what happened to a broken computer, or pull a log of what a student accessed, we have to have the Chromebook cart # and computer #.

If you have any questions about any of this let me know.

School Closing/Delay Information

School Closing Info:

It is about that time of year where everyone gets excited about the weather and how it is going to impact our school day. I have attached updated flowcharts (for internal use) showing the process we follow to determine if school will be delayed, open or closed and who does what in relation to the decision making process. Attached are the following flowcharts:

1. Inclement Weather when school is in session

2. Inclement Weather when school is not in session such as a holiday break

3. Inclement Weather Early Dismissal

4. Cancellation of After School Events when school is in session

5. Cancellation of After School Events when school is closed

Our goal is to have made a determination by 5:30am in regards to school closings or delays. A two-hour delay could be used for extreme cold weather. A factor of making this decision includes whether or not it is predicted to have rising temperatures throughout the morning. While it may be very cold at 5am, rising temperatures throughout the bus travel/waiting times for students might be sufficient to not warrant a delay. We will continue to use our Connect Ed (robo call) system to notify parents as well as social media and news outlets as soon after 5:30am as possible if there is going to be a closing or delay.

When schools are delayed, teachers and support staff should begin their day according to the delay. A 2-hour delay means that school begins…2hours later. If an employee is scheduled to arrive at 7am they should arrive at 9am in this example.

When schools are closed/delayed all custodial and maintenance staff will still report to their assigned work locations as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so. If those staff members are NOT to report to work, they will receive information from their immediate supervisors.

All twelve-month staff members and Central office staff members should report to work as soon as reasonably safe for them to do so. A twelve-month staff member may choose to take a day from their available personal days.

Principals please review your two-hour delay schedule and share it with your staff. Also review what information you would share with your parents and post on your website.


1. We will clear snow from designated entries in the morning. Please make sure your staff knows which doors/entries will be cleared first. (If you are not sure, contact facilities.)

2. Parking lots are not plowed unless there is more than two inches of snow. Remind staff that appropriate footwear is needed.

3. Please try to use the walk off door mats in the buildings. However, even if this is done the tile/terrazzo floors can still become very slippery when wet.

4. Middle School East DOES NOT serve breakfast on two hour delay days

Our 2 hour delay bell schedule can be found here:

Counselors Corner

Kyle McClarnon

All 6th Grade

7th Grade Last Name A-M

Sarah Ready

All 8th Grade

7th Grade Last Name N-Z

New Graduation Requirements

The Graduation Pathways Panel submitted their final recommendations to the State Board of Education. Many new changes that will take effect with our current 7th grade class.

November Canned Food Drive

East will host the annual Canned Food Drive NEXT WEEK, November 13-17. All canned goods are used to support the SPARC Center. There will be a grade level competition: the grade who brings in the most cans will win a DJ during lunch on November 20th and 21st. Students should place their cans on the designated grade level area on the stage in the cafeteria. A huge thank you to Student Council and BPA for their help with this! STAFF: wear your jeans for a donation of 2 cans per day! PLEASE encourage your students to bring in canned goods.

Counselor Sign Up Process

Counselor Request Forms are now 100% electronic. Students can sign up to speak with a counselor from any device that has internet access. Chromebooks are set up in the office for students to make a request. Teachers: you can save this link on your computer or ipad, and students can sign up directly from your room! As always, if a student is in crisis they will be seen by a counselor immediately.

Child Abuse & Duty to Report

An individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of abuse or neglect shall make a report to DCS or local law enforcement immediately. This applies to every staff member in the building. Please review the Child Abuse & Duty to Report information by clicking here.

High Ability Identification Process

The high ability identification process is outlined here. This process applies to current 6th and 7th grade students; with placement decisions for the 18-19 school year. Recommendations can be made from now until January 12th. If you have questions, please see Kyle or Sarah.

Tech Monday

Monday, Nov. 13th, 2:30pm

10440 Indian Creek Road South

Indianapolis, IN

Tyler will be here to present on BYOD. This is the same presentation that will be provided to our parents on November 15th.

Internal Controls Training Due

Sunday, Dec. 31st, 11:45pm

10440 Indian Creek Road South

Indianapolis, IN