Staff Weekly Update

Week of January 28th, 2019

Big picture
Big picture

It's almost here . . . February, chapter 2 of 12. It's hard to believe that this is our last week of January and as much as I never want to wish away precious time, I'm a bit partial to getting through the January/February freeze and hopeful that in March, we will start to thaw out.

Just like many of you, with a New Year, I've tried to restart some new habits, which include working out. As 46 draws nearer and nearer, I've conceded to the mindset that working out just has to be a part of my daily routine (Deb Torrance, wipe that tear away from your eye right now!!). So, I did a few workouts and also did some meal prepping for the week. I've decided to that I need to "gift that time" to me. I hope you did something great for yourself, too!

With much respect,


Calendar Items

Mon. Jan. 28th

  • AIMSweb - 1/7 to 1/31
  • WIDA - 1/14 to 3/1
  • Janelle Drisko at SGE all day
  • PTO's Box Top Collection Week - 1/28 - 2/1
  • 7:00 - Elementary Principals Mtg - Largent - PVE
  • 8:05 - Morning announcements + Morning movement minute
  • 8:30 - OLSAT Make-ups - Wetzel
  • 8:30 - 10:30 - Melanie Bowlin at SGE
  • 10:00 - Elem. Handbook Mtg. - Farley & Erin Kay - SGE
  • 11:00 - Largent in Parent mtg - Connie's office
  • 11:40 - HS Mentors
  • 1:00 - Move-In CC for KDGr - Largent, Dowers, Piotrowski (Farley will cover Piotrowski's room) - conf. room
  • 2:30 - SPED CC for 1st grader - Largent, Dowers, McDaniel - conf. room
  • 2:30 - Bi-Weekly Gr. Level Mtgs.
  • 3:40 - Parent mtg for KDGr - Largent & Luchenbill - Jessica's room

Tues. Jan. 29th

  • AIMSweb - 1/7 to 1/31
  • WIDA - 1/14 to 3/1
  • Technology Integration Mtg. - Kyle Beimfohr
  • PTO's Box Top Collection Week - 1/28 - 2/1
  • 8:05 - Morning announcements + Morning movement minute
  • 9:00 - Student Information Sharing Mtg. - Largent - ESC
  • 9:30 - K-12 Counselor Mtg. - Wetzel - PVE
  • 11:35 - Zeek Squad w/ Kyle Beimfohr
  • 11:45 - Autism Team Mtg - Wetzel - Location TBD
  • 1:00 - USS Team Mtg. w/ Dr. Slonaker - conf. room
  • 2:40 - Gr. Level Collaboration Mtg. - Beimfohr + 2nd & 4th Gr.
  • 4:00 - District Discussions Mtg. - ESC
  • 5:30 - 6:30 - Elem. Handbook Committee Mtg. - Farley/Erin Kay - ESC

Wed. Jan. 30th

  • AIMSweb - 1/7 to 1/31
  • WIDA - 1/14 to 3/1
  • PTO's Box Top Collection Week - 1/28 - 2/1
  • 8:05 - Morning announcements + Morning movement minute
  • 8:15 - 12:30 - Randee Kleeman at SGE
  • 2:30 - 3:30 - Connie/Martha in mtg - Connie's office
  • 4:00 - District Cultural Understandings Mtg. - Largent - ESC

Thurs. Jan. 31st

  • AIMSweb - 1/7 to 1/31
  • WIDA - 1/14 to 3/1
  • PTO's Box Top Collection Week - 1/28 - 2/1
  • 8:05 - Morning announcements + Morning movement minute
  • 1:00 - PAR Notetaking Mtg. - Largent, Wetzel, Farley + Christina Moore - conf. room
  • 2:45 - Farley in MOY mtg.

Fri. Feb. 1st

  • AIMSweb - 1/7 to 1/31
  • WIDA - 1/14 to 3/1
  • PTO's Box Top Collection Week - 1/28 - 2/1
  • K-4th RtI PLC Mtgs w/ Largent & Farley - all day - conf. room
  • 8:05 - Morning announcements + Morning movement minute
  • 11:30 - Counseling Lesson - Wetzel/Strawmyer
  • 10:30 - 1:15 - PTO Staff Luncheon - Superbowl Snacks Theme
  • 1:30 - Counseling Lesson - Wetzel/Clare

Upcoming Events . . .

February 2019:

  • 4th - 8th - School Counselor Week
  • 5th - Elementary LT Mtg.
  • 8th - 3rd Grade Specialty Fair
  • 11th - 15th - PTO Food Drive
  • 12th - LT Mtg. w/ Dr. Robison
  • 14th - Valentine's Day Parties
  • 18th - No School - President's Day
  • 19th - Staff PD Day at PVE (no school for students)
  • 22nd - 3rd Gr. Field Trip to Children's Museum
  • 22nd - PTO Spirit Day - ZCS spirit wear
  • 25th - Elem. Principals Mtg.
  • 28th - Family STEM Night

FEBRUARY IS AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH "Know the past, shape the future."

As we approach Black History month, I wanted to reiterate the email that Christine Squier sent a couple of weeks ago in case you missed it!

Ideas: Do's and Don'ts of Teaching Black History

How do you ensure students get the most out of black history and Black History Month? Here are some suggestions.


  • Incorporate black history year-round, not just in February. Use the month of February to dig deeper into history and make connections with the past.
  • Continue Learning. Explore how to provide an in-depth and thorough understanding of black history. Textbooks are notorious for omitting information about the struggles of communities, and what they include is limited, so use the textbook as one of many resources. While exploring multiple resources, allow for opportunities to learn along with your students.
  • Reinforce to students that "black" history is American history. Make black history relevant to all students.
  • Relate lessons to other parts of your curriculum, so that focusing on a leader, like Fred Shuttlesworth, expands upon rather than diverts from your curriculum. By the time February comes around, the context of the struggle for civil rights and social justice should be familiar to students if you have already addressed such issues across the curriculum.
  • Connect issues in the past to current issues to make history relevant to students' lives. For example, ask students to gather information with a focus on what social disparities exist today and how a particular leader has worked to change society.
  • Include the political and social context of the community's struggle for social justice. For example, talk about Daisy Bates' political affiliations and her political ideologies. You see her bravery not as just a personal act but as coming out of community determination.


  • Stop your "regular" curriculum, to do a separate lesson on Rosa Parks, on the Civil Rights Act or on Martin Luther King Jr. This trivializes and marginalizes anything you are teaching, making these leaders a token of their culture and ethnicity. Students will get the message that the diversion is not as important as the "regular" curriculum.
  • Decontextualize heroes or holidays, separating them from the larger social movement or historical place. Great leaders don't make history all by themselves. For example, if you teach about James Farmer, you must also address the work of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Freedom Rides.
  • Focus on superficial cultural traits based on stereotypes. It's ok to celebrate black music, but teachers should also explore the political and social contexts that give rise to musical forms like hip hop.
  • Talk about black history in solely "feel-good" language, or as a thing of the past. This fails to help students examine how racism manifests itself today.
  • Limit the presentation to lectures and reading. Be sure to allow students an opportunity for discussion and reflection.
  • Teach with little or inaccurate information. Review resources to make sure they don't promote a Eurocentric perspective, which may misrepresent historic figures and social movements.
  • Shy away from controversial, ambiguous, or unresolved issues. Share the real-life experiences about racial realities in developmentally appropriate ways.

Adapted from material by Pat Russo of the Curriculum & Instruction Department at SUNY Oswego.


2019 Guide to African-American History Month "History that Shapes Us All" from SGE Parent, Mrs. Charise Shoffner

Team, please take the time to look at this document, which is attached to this email. You can also find it here, on our Stonegate Staff Office 365 Shared Drive. It is truly excellent.

Mrs. Shoffner has a 2nd grader in Mrs. Delp's room and she has also been an advocate of our SIEW human capital campaign, particularly our third domain: developing cultural understandings.

Finally, she has created this resource with a total of eight sections (see image below). Not only is this for the classroom teacher, but also a wonderful resource for our related arts staff, too!

Big picture
Big picture


Who: Parents, Students*, Staff and Community Members

(*recommended for students 5th grade and above but younger students are welcome to attend)

When: February, 26th, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Where: Zionsville Performing Arts Center

Click here to secure your FREE seats.

FREE childcare provided, register here.

Big picture
Big picture

2019-2020 CALENDAR

I know . . . I know . . . it's hard to believe that we are thinking about next year already, but as we all know, this spring semester will fly by!

You may have noticed on the large wall right by my office door, I have stapled the 19-20 calendar for each month. Our ZCS calendar is also right next to it.

As you and your team start making plans for annual events and/or any new events, please go ahead and write in your event on this calendar. This will give us a full year-long visual of all of our school events and also help us to "balance" out events if some months simply look too busy! The deadline for this will be Friday, May 3rd. The goal will be to give you our 19-20 SY calendar before you leave for summer break!

Valentine's Day Party Details

Please click here to fill out this quick Google Form to share out the details of your Valentine's Day Party! It's the exact same format as the Winter Party Google Form.

Be sure to remind your parents to please purchase cards that DO NOT have candy attached to them. You're welcome to use this statement I've written below:

We look forward to celebrating Valentine's Day with our students at their classroom parties on Thursday, February 14th. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to emphasize the life skills of friendship and kindness with all of our students. As you are out shopping for Valentine cards to share with classmates, please select cards void of candy. Regretfully, we will be unable to pass out the candy. We have many students with food sensitivities and allergies and as always, our main goal is to keep everyone safe. If you elect to purchase cards that contain something extra attached to them, please ensure they are inedible. This could include pencils, erasers, stickers, etc. Thank you for ensuring that all students can have a safe and fun celebration.

Additional Announcements & Reminders

ZTEP Middle of Year (MOY) Conferences

  • Be on the lookout soon for an email from your ZTEP primary evaluator about our MOYs in mid to late January!

Color Printer Reminder

  • REMEMBER . . . PC1-Front Office = Color Printer

Please Join Our REMIND Group

  • SGE (staff only) has an all-staff Remind text messaging group called: 18-19 SGE (all staff).
  • To simply *receive-only* the text messages, please text the number 81010 and in your "message line" type in the code: @k29hfe.
  • If you'd like to be able to text back and forth w/ me via REMIND, please download the app or create an online account.
  • As a friendly reminder, please do not share this code with non-SGE staff members.

Leaving EARLY afterschool and you've gotten permission from Connie/Martha . . .

  • If this is the case for you, please help us by always emailing the entire office team to let them know you've gotten permission and also leave your cell # in the email message, in case we need to contact you.
  • Who is the "office team?" Connie, Martha, Angie, Jen, Jessica, Hailey


Professional Development Requests

  • If you would like to attend any type of professional development, please click here.

Technology Work Orders - Reminder from Dan Layton:

  • Click here to access this link.
  • It is always extremely helpful if you can submit actual technology work orders for any help you need. Please refrain from picking up the phone or emailing a question.

Above & Beyond Nomination Form

  • On our ZCS website, any ZCS staff and/or community member can nominate the work of any ZCS employee that has done extraordinary work. If you've experienced professional support that is above & beyond, feel free to recognize them through this nomination! Please click here to nominate.

Marquis Work Orders:

  • Did your trash not get picked up? Does it seem the carpet didn't get vacuumed? Please help Angie & Jen out by filling out the Marquis work order on your own. Thanks!

  • 1. Go to the Zionsville web site

    2. Click on Teachers/Staff tab

    3. Scroll down about halfway

    4. Look for: Custodial Work Orders by Building

    5. Click on Stonegate

  • Click here to access the Teachers/Staff tab


Personal Business Leave Request - NEW GOOGLE FORM LINK!

  • Please click the NEW LINK HERE to access this form and then don't forget to SAVE this page under your "favorites."
  • Finally, as a friendly reminder of our ZCS Personal Business Leave + good information to know for our newest staff, I have copied/pasted the email about personal days sent by Becky Coffman on 5/8/16. This is per our CBA - Collective Bargaining Agreement
Section 9.03 Personal Business Leave
  • A. Amount – Each employee shall be entitled to be absent from work three (3) days each school year for the transaction of personal business or the conduct of personal or civic affairs. Such leaves may be used in whole or half day increments. Requests for personal business leave should be made 48 hours in advance in writing to the building principal. In cases of emergency or other similar unforeseen circumstance, requests may be made orally to both the substitute coordinator and the building principal.
  • B. Employees are discouraged from using personal business leave on staff development days or to extend a school vacation. If used on a staff development day then the employee remains totally responsible for securing the learning lost from their being absent during that activity.
  • C. Accumulation – If an employee does not use all of the personal business leave in a given school year, the remaining personal business leave shall be accumulated for use in later school year, except that no more than a total of two (2) days may be accumulated from earlier school years for use as personal business leave, so that the maximum total personal business leave available in any one school year is three (3) days earned during the school year and up to two (2) days accumulated from earlier school years or a total of five (5) days.
  • D. Conversion to Sick Leave – Any unused personal business leave not accumulated for use in later years as personal business leave shall be added to the employee’s accumulated sick leave.


Big picture


Big picture
Big picture

Check out this Smore Newsletter from Beth Brent: A Collection of Connections

It's filled with fantastic literacy and math resources! She has also linked past newsletters she has done, in case you'd like to read what else she has shared. ENJOY!