Holy Cross Staff Memo

Monday, January 28, 2019

2nd Half of the Year....HERE WE COME!

Now is the time to be re-energized, refocused and recommitted. Our kids deserve it. We are doing all that we do to the Glory of God.

So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision - you'll see it yet!

Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. Philippians 3: 15-17

Recommending students for summer school and retention

Last week I sent an email to all faculty requesting the names of students who you feel at this point in time may have to go to summer school or may need to be retained.

I would like to be very clear that it is TOO SOON for this determination to be made right now. You cannot tell any parent anything definitively at this point. You can and should say that based on your observations and the students grades at this point, the child is not making sufficient progress and summer school or retention is an option. The number of red stamps that were put on report cards was daunting and if that many kids are being referred for summer school and/or retention, the problem is within. My thought is that some were put on there as a scare tactic and I am okay with that.

It is also important to be realistic about expectations. For example, a child cannot be retained in kindergarten simply because the child cannot read. While desirable, reading in kindergarten is not a requirement to go to first grade. Some kids will learn to read in kindergarten, some are not developmentally ready and will learn in 1st grade. All students should have reading readiness skills and many of them are in fact reading. All variables of development are taken into consideration when making these decisions.

Please send me the email as per the instructions given last week, by this Friday at the latest.

Grading and Renweb Issues

I feel like a squeaky wheel that needs to be oiled, but once again I find myself needing to remind some teachers about the GRADING and LESSON PLAN POLICIES that have been put in place by Holy Cross. I know that some of you are shaking their heads over me having to repeat this over and over again.

So, once again with gusto:

Grades must be put in WITHIN 3 DAYS of any assignment or test. Only exception to this would be term papers or other larger projects that take additional time. Those need to be done within ONE WEEK.

There must be at least TWO GRADES PER WEEK in all CORE CLASSES and at least ONE GRADE PER WEEK in non-core classes.

There was a lot of conversation about Grade 1 thru 5 are figuring out conduct and effort grades. To be clear, you must input one grade per week using whatever apparatus you are using to determine conduct grades. I will be changing the 4th-5th grade gradebooks this week to reflect the new system.

LESSON PLANS must be done by Monday for the week. Lesson plans need to give enough information that a parent, substitute teacher or anyone else who looked at them would be able to understand and follow along.

If you are scheduling a test or other long-term project, you cannot just put it in once and forget about it. It does not carry over. Put in reminders.

100th Day of School

We are celebrating this on Friday. Kids can wear 100 of any items to school or dress as a 100 year old person. I encourage the staff to participate, it makes it much more fun for the kids. Find some fun activity to do in class as well, especially in math.

Sorry, but I could not order those tshirts. By the time I called to place the order and inquired about the delivery window, they told me that it was unlikely we would have them in time.

We will once again be making at least 100 POSITIVE PHONE CALLS HOME.

I will send a googledoc around with 100 boxes and teachers names in the boxes.

You will type in the name of the student that you called about. We should be making positive contacts all of the time so this is a perfect opportunity. Soraya and I will be making phone calls and also giving 100 hugs.


Our Gala is coming soon on March 1.

Please be working on your baskets. Put the theme on the googledoc.

Parent(s) can sponsor your ticket, either in whole or in part. The cost is $100 per ticket.

Please invite others that you know and if you have contacts in businesses, please try to get silent auction items.

Here is the evite


We have been having connectivity issues with the chromebooks. We have discovered that this is due to a bandwidth issue with Comcast and also due to a chrome management update that took effect on November 10th. We are working to resolve both issues. I apologize to those that have been affected and thank you for your patience. We are working our way through the sessions with the goal of finishing by the end of next week.


Field Trips

Recently, we have had several issues with field trips. We will discuss field trips at the meeting but please be aware of the following issues that need to be addressed:

1. If you are going to be late coming back, you must let the office know as soon as you know this. Letting us know a few minutes before 3 that you are running late does not give us time to notify parents. They show up to pick up their kids, clog up the pickup line, etc. As soon as you know that you are doing to be late (such as when you are getting on the bus to come back) let the office know as well as your ETA (googlemaps or Waze can estimate this for you).

2. Field trips are a privilege and not a right. You can withhold a field trip from a student with a serious behavioral issue given the proper conditions. First, you need to have been communicating to parents about the child's behavioral problem. They should not hear that a child cannot go on a field trip due to on-going misbehavior without first hearing about the misbehavior through whichever means you use (Dojo, email, letter, phone calls, etc.). If you are leaving behind many of your students because of behavior, there is another issue going on. An administrator can remove a child from a field trip as well, but we will take care of that communication should it become necessary.

3. When you request a field trip, the price is based on the number of students that you state will be going. I have to cover the cost of the driver and also a mileage charge based on where you are going. This total is then divided among the total number of children you state will be attending. I usually deduct a few kids when computing the cost. However, if you tell me that 40 kids are going and it ends up being 30 (your decision or the parents) then we will not cover our expenses for the trip. We are not trying to make money but we do need to cover our expenses. So, bear this in mind.

4. If you are a younger grade teacher, please note that we cannot manage at school numerous kids that are left behind on a field trip. Unlike older students who we can put anywhere with work to complete, a kindergarten or early primary student cannot be expected to sit quietly for hours in another classroom and we can also not place them in an upper elementary or middle school classroom. Therefore, a few younger students only can be accommodated.

5. Remember that you need enough chaperones for your age and the destination of the field trip. The day before the trip is not the time to take note of how many chaperones you have.

6. Send Lisa an email when you schedule the trip, letting her know that you will not need lunch, or will be back late for lunch.

7. If you are leaving kids behind, send the office an email letting us know where they are.

Thank you for addressing these issues.

While these situations have happened with specific groups/classes, they could have happened with anyone so do not take this personally if you feel that it applies to you.

Rummage Sale coming soon

There will be a rummage sale on Sat. February 9th to benefit the church youth group.

Nathan and Roslyn are planning this. Donations will be accepted and in addition, you can rent a table for $25 and sell your own things. Please see Roslyn if you want to rent a table. More info to follow about how and when donations can be brought in and where they should go.

If you see something on the stage that you may be interested in, please see Roslyn.

Do not take anything off of the stage without doing this.