Dunbar Dispatch

Week of 9-19-16 through 9-23-16

What's Happening

Writers Workshop:

Teachers completed the first of three days of training for Writers Workshop last Friday. Hosted by SVUSD, Dunbar teachers participated with new k-5 teachers throughout the District as well as teachers who were unable to train with their sites last year. We combined to create a collegial group with which to work and learn. Please mark your calendars for Wed. Sept. 28th and Friday, Sept. 30th for the second and third training days.

Coming Up This Week:

Here's what's on the calendar for this week: This week marks the sixth week of school!


Monday, Sept. 19th:

  • Grade level meeting: Prestwood, 3:30; agenda- choose a break-out session on technology; (acknowledgement that Dunbar teachers cannot get to site and in the room by 3:30- be safe and get there as soon as possible.)

Tuesday, Sept. 20th:

  • IEP Day: Please check your calendar for upcoming IEPs, SSTs, 504 meetings, etc. (You can check with Maria in the front office if questions regarding calendar.)

    Wed., Sept. 21st:
  • Common Planning Time- looking at math scores- SBA by teacher, STAR math, ADAM, etc. assess groupings- are students into differentiated groups? what early indicators do we have? Work in teams- Wendy- k-1, Susan 2-3, Melanie 4-5

Thursday, Sept. 22nd:

  • Blue conference forms going home in Thursday folders!!

Friday, Sept. 23rd:

  • Fire Drill- 11:00 a.m.
  • Happy Friday everyone!

Cycle of Continuous Improvement

Recently at a District Leadership Team meeting, I had the privilege of listening to Les Vedaz speak on principles of leadership. During his talk he mentioned the "Cycle of Continuous Improvement" and referenced the work we are doing here at Dunbar with GLPP as an example of cycles of continuous improvement. Les Vedaz is a co-founder of Intel and helped lead the organization to success in its early years. He credited his organization's success in part to their work with the Cycle of Continuous Improvement. So, what is this cycle? It is teams meeting regularly to inform their work. It is suggesting changes or adjustments to improve performance and works like this: team meetings; suggest a change; implement the change; record the change; meet again and see if the change helped; recommend additional adjustments, implement the adjustments, record the changes in performance after adjustments, use data to inform our adjustment-repeat the cycle. Sound familiar? It should. It is the work we are doing in our common planning :-) While Les pointed to GLPP as one example of this work, all our multi-age teams are "digging in" to the cycle of continuous improvement, making changes to instruction to enhance student learning, and then recording student learning (i.e. "data") via demonstrations of mastery- e.g. performance tasks, formal assessments, unit projects, classroom tests. The key is in the gathering and sharing of student results- checking to see what is working and what needs further adjustments to improve student learning...my lesson or teaching may be brilliant, but did the students show me they learned what I was teaching? Or do I need to adjust? Give more time , reteach the lesson, guide the practice or adjust the instruction? This is the heart of our multi-age model, and the heart of cycles of inquiry...continuous improvement for our students. Thank you for the work you are doing...it is proof over time, not overnight. It is the growth model upon which our current data and assessments systems are based.

A Look Ahead

  • Staff Meeting: originally scheduled for Sept. 26th for all elementary sites has been moved for Dunbar to Oct. 3rd! Please note the change on your calendar.
  • Vintage Festival and Parade: Schools are being asked to participate this year in the Vintage Festival Parade! Sat., Sept. 24th! We will be giving out glow stick bracelets to Dunbar students. Wear your spirit wear and join the fun! Students need to be accompanied by an adult :-)
  • Glen Ellen Village Fair and Parade! Sunday, Oct. 9th! Downtown Glen Ellen-Mark your calendar- fun for whole family! Children walk in parade :-) morning/mid-day. More information to come.
  • Dunbar Jog-a-Thon! Friday, Oct. 14th!!! Planning now underway! T-shirt design contest this week! Watch for more information on this important activity and fundraiser!
  • Parent-Teacher Conference Week- October 17-21. Sign-ups coming soon!
  • Dunbar Halloween parade- Friday, Oct. 28th;
  • Dunbar Halloween Carnival- sponsored by FODS/PTO- Saturday, Oct. 29th.

Dunbar Elementary School, Principal: Melanie Blake

Dunbar's Vision: Dunbar nurtures the creative, intellectual, physical and social growth of each student in a caring and supportive environment. We teach lifelong skills to prepare students for an ever changing world.