Principal's Update

Weekly Information for School Improvement

Week of February 10th, 2020

Key Calendar Items

  • Wednesday is a District Directed Late Start. Licensed staff will meet in Rm. 406 at 7:15am
  • Friday is an Assembly Schedule for Beardown Week
  • See the Athletics and Activities Calendar for amazing events

Quote of the Week

“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it, and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”

Mia Hamm

I don’t believe there is any greater feeling of success than to be part of a team that is willing to rely on one another, sacrifice for one another, support each other in difficult times, and celebrate when there is success. When a team functions in this manner, there is no way to stop their success. There has never been a single championship or winning team that has functioned as a group of individuals, it is not possible. What would it take for us to get there? I encourage you to reflect on this and identify how you can be a team player to help our school become a place of excellence.

All Staff

600th Win for Tom Johnson!

On Friday, February 7th, Tom Johnson earned his 600th career win as a basketball coach in the state of Oregon. TJ has done this over 41 seasons (3 at Lebanon, 38 at Barlow) and becomes one of eight other coaches to reach this milestone.

While the wins are always great, knowing that TJ has served as a mentor, coach, and role model for so many for so long is where the indelible mark has been made. Something that the record books and win-loss columns will never be able to highlight. Congratulations TJ.

Come to the double-header against Gresham on Friday in the Barlow Gym to see a formal presentation for this milestone.

It's Beardown Week!

"Beardown Week" was created to provide a homecoming type event during the winter sports season. There has always been a theme for the week, lunchtime activities, and assembly, and often times an after game dance. This has always been a great way to kickoff the second semester and get kids excited about being Barlow Bruins.

This year's theme is "Bruins Around the World" and is designed to celebrate the diversity we see in our building. Please see the included images to see each of our spirit days and we are hoping to see you all participate.

This year, there will be a "Beardown Bash" that will be starting at 4:30 on Friday and running until 6:00 before the start of our double header basketball game against Gresham. There will be vendors and clubs selling food and snacks, the football booster club will be grilling cheeseburgers, and the event is open to all community members. Come by and enjoy in the fun!

Second Week of the Semester

As we enter the second week of the semester please pay special attention to students that you know struggled last semester. We need to make sure that they have school supplies, are finding their new classes, and are ready to make a fresh start at the beginning of the term.

I suggest that everyone takes some time to build community in their classrooms regardless of the number of new students in each period. This is the perfect time to reset expectations, welcome new students, and remind all others that building a safe, welcoming, and academically focused environment is best for everyone.

Being Reflective and Setting Goals

I want to encourage all of you to think about your successes and shortcomings from the first semester. While we have many things to celebrate, there are still many areas we can improve upon. The only way to make those improvements is to recognize that we have room for growth. Once we identify those areas of growth, we must find ways to implement an action plan for constant improvement. Otherwise we will continue to get the same outcomes with our students. Think about it this way. We consistently ask our students to have a growth mindset, best practice would be to model that process for them.

Huge Success With Our Freshmen

For the past five years we have been working to increase the success of freshman as they transition to Barlow. The first key indicator is that they are on-track to graduate, which means they earn at least 6 credits. After the first semester, 86% of our freshmen are on-track to graduate, which is our best performance to date. The great thing is that our ninth graders usually perform better in the second semester, especially when given support.

The bulk of this lift and increase was directly related to our Freshman House Teams who have dedicated countless hours refining the way they work with our freshman. This work has included building strong relationships, implementing interventions for struggling students, and finding effective ways to engage students and forge strong relationships. This just goes to show that all that stuff we talk about really works.

For those who now have 9th graders in class, please continue to carry this torch and push them to be successful this second semester. Think about ways to engage them in the learning process, building quality relationships with them, and providing time in class to help them set goals and track their work. This is the foundation for building a culture of high expectations with coaching to meet those goals.

Remember, these kids are 14 and 15 year old kids who don’t always know how to approach the work. It is our job to bridge that gap for continued success.

Licensed Staff

Structuring your Lessons for Engagement

Is your classroom an engaging place where students are involved in the learning process? Here are a few things you can use to either confirm the level of engagement or add to your repertoire to increase engagement:

  • Make sure every student knows "What they are learning" and "Why they are learning the material". Giving a clear learning intention and creating relevance to the content is key for student engagement.
  • 10:2 For every ten minutes of instruction allow two minutes to process and apply.
  • Incorporate movement into your lesson.
  • Pick up the pace. One misconception is that we must go slow for students to really understand and engage in a lesson or story. There is quite a bit of evidence that shows when teaching and reading are done at a brisk pace, students have more opportunities to engage, respond, and move on to the next concept or idea
  • Provide frequent and effective feedback.
  • Allow students 5-7 seconds of ‘think time’ when asking a question.
  • At the end of a lesson have students use the 3-2-1 method of summarizing by having students record three things they learned, two interesting things, and one question they have about what was taught or read. Allow time to share their findings with a peer.

Check Your Classroom Rosters

As a reminder, please be sure to check your classes for students who are new to you that may have an IEP or a 504. It is critical to be aware of their accommodations and it is easy to overlook those details at the beginning of the second semester. If you have questions about students in your classes, don’t hesitate to contact their case managers for ideas or help with accommodations, as they are willing to help support the work you do with our students who need a bit of extra help.

To add a sense of urgency and perspective to this request, our four year average graduation rate for students who are on an IEP is only 58%. When you consider that the this is 24% points lower than our overall graduation rate you begin to see how we are underserving this population of students. The first step in understanding how to better serve our students who have learning disabilities is to know who they are, know their accommodations, and then use those accommodations to give them more effective access to the content we teach. This is serious business!

PRIDE Lesson

I wanted to thank all of you that took the time to go over our lunchtime expectations by using the PRIDE Presentation. Remember, these expectations are designed to not only help us manage the flow of students in the building, they are designed to increase your ability to teach during the lunch periods by having fewer interruptions.

Key Reminders:

  • Students are not permitted to take school lunches to classrooms to eat. Our garbage cans can't handle the volume of trash, we don't want to have food spills in all corners of the building, and we want students to be able to interact during lunch.
  • Students must have a pass to go to your classroom during lunch. If they do not have a pass, we will not let them move through the halls. You are entitled to a duty free lunch and this is the only way we can be sure that students are permitted to go to your classroom.
  • Students should be eating in the halls surrounding the courtyard and in the main commons except for the 700 Hall. This hall is for walking through only.
  • If students need to leave your classroom during a lunch period be sure they are using a hall pass. This enables us to see where they are coming from and if they are using the bathroom or just finding a way to "hang with friends" during another lunch.

We can only accomplish these goals with your support. While some may find these silly, it is the only way we can really manage our building as spread out as it has become. Providing structure and then following through will ultimately create the culture we want to see in the building.

Shout Outs

  • For those who don't know, Michael McFadden, our maintenance custodian finished his last day as a Barlow Bruin on Friday. He was a hard worker, became very involved in the Barlow community, and was a key player in transitioning this fall with all the chaos of construction. Thanks Michael for your work.
  • A big shout out to Rocky, Damon, and Lynette for their constant flexibility and adaptability. They are constantly faced with tough situations that can go off the rails pretty quickly and the three of them understand how to work as a team and utilize individual strengths for team success. Thanks for your work.
  • A huge thanks to Teresa and Stephanie for tag teaming a unique situation with our "Milk Wagon" this week. We were faced with a pretty tough situation and the two of them found a way to make things work and provide some key training dates for our staff so we can continue to drive that thing as a mode of transporting students. Great work.
  • Once again, Kim K. and crew save the day. We had three open jobs on Friday and the crew managed to check in all substitutes and find a way to cover all classes so students didn't miss a beat. Well done and pure grace under pressure.