Millbrook Elementary Staff Notes

Week of Jan. 18-22, 2016

Thought For the Week

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. ~Woodrow Wilson

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Recreating and Refining our vision

Last Monday, the leadership team had a productive and inspiring session focused on recreating and refining our school vision. We will all be participating in these conversations - both in small groups and whole-school - as we write our school improvement plan this spring. Several teams already had their own conversations around these questions:

1 - What is your vision for what MEMS children will know and be able to do? (Beyond elementary school but also beyond high school)

2 - To realize this vision for our students, where are the gaps between what we are doing now in school and what we would need to do to make the vision reality?

The leadership team charted their ideas in small groups, and we've posted them in the office around the corner from the mail boxes. Please take a look if you haven't already! In February, we will be doing some whole-group work around vision-setting and gathering your input about how we can create the school we want to become. The instructional assistants will have sessions scheduled to meet their needs, and certified staff will have a two-hour session on the next teacher workday (Feb. 15).

SURVEY SAYS...Please take 10 minutes to complete our mid-year feedback survey. We have had 13 responses as of this morning, and we want to hear from you! This spring is also the next Teacher Working Conditions survey administration - but we don't want to wait until the end of the year to hear your needs. Please be specific and constructive :) - all the data will be shared with the admin team, coaches, and transparently with everyone. The survey can be accessed via your email or at this link:

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Logistical Updates

  • REPORT CARDS THIS WEEK: Report card grades are due Jan. 20, to be sent home with students on Jan. 22. Marilu will print them on Jan. 21 for you. If you need extra report card envelopes, please see Abby. Remember in the HOMEROOM course you are to enter a current grade for conduct and work as well as comments for every student.
  • MATH SUPPORT - WHAT DO YOU NEED?: Abby wants to know your math needs! Please click the link to share your input:
  • PD/COLLABORATION ROOM: As of this week, we will have the furniture set up for collaborative planning, etc. in Room 101 in the 3rd grade building. The classroom was recently thoroughly cleaned, the carpet was removed and replaced with new tile.

Spotlight on Best Practices

SIP Implementation Data Points

SIP GOALS: 60% proficiency; 10 percentage point improvement
Key Process 1: MEMS will implement a common instructional framework for balanced literacy that is vertically aligned K-5.
Key Process 2: MEMS will implement a consistent math instructional framework (WCPSS model/CMAPP content) that is vertically aligned K-5.

As part of our 2nd quarter review, one action step developed was for the admin team to collect walkthrough data on implementation. This week's walkthrough data collection focused on use of the lesson plan template/agenda:
*Plans were completed and visible in 32/33 K-5 classrooms - 97% - Thank you!
*Reflection question for your individual and PLT planning:
How can the agendas be used to help with pacing and increase the ratio of student talk/work?

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Schedule of Events

Monday, 1/18: MLK Holiday

Tuesday, 1/19: Protected Teacher Workday; Building open @ 7:30 AM

Wednesday, 1/20: A Day; K PLT 1:30 - 3:30; MTSS Team Meeting, 2:45 - 3:45 (Room 101)

Thursday, 1/21: B Day; 5th Grade Collaborative Planning Day; 4th PLT 1:30 - 3:30; Introduction to PYP Course, 3:30 - 5 (Media Center)

Friday, 1/22: C Day; 2nd PLT 1:30 - 3:30
Looking Ahead:
Tuesday, 1/26: Our 4th graders will perform their culmination of their Arts in Action experience. I've been able to see some of their rehearsals - and you will be blown away with the energy, creativity, and talent! They will have an in-school performance at 1:00 and an evening performance for families at 6:30 PM.

Learning Corner

This very short video gives some great ideas about how to shift the responsibility for problem solving and following directions to the students:

This Week's Inspiration

Revisiting a key question: What's your why?
Michael Jr: Know Your Why