4 tips to ease back to work!

Monday Memo, April 4, 2016

Welcome Back!!

We all love our jobs, but nostalgia can set in, dreaming about time away with family and friends. Here are some tips about easing back into a work schedule after some time away!

Dates to Note:

Monday, April 4:
  • No Golf Practice (cancelled due to weather)
  • Track Practice 3:45 @ Middle School

Tuesday, April 5:

  • Positive Discipline classes start 6-7:30 @ Green Farm House

Wednesday, April 6:

  • Golf Practice 4 pm @ Cobblestone

Thursday, April 7:

  • Track Practice 3:45 @ Middle School

Monday, April 11:

  • Primary Soccer shots after school
  • Track Practice 3:45 @ Middle School
  • Golf Practice 4 pm @ Cobblestone

Easing back into work Tip #1:

Get to the office as early as you can so you can have some quiet minutes to catch up before the hustle and bustle begins.

Congradulations Lemmon Family!

Welcome Baby Isaac!

Congratulations to the Lemmons for their new addition! Isaac Alexander Lemmon was born on Monday, March 28th. He was 7 lbs 1 oz. He is loved!!

Easing Back into work Tip #2:

Have a special routine for the office that morning. When you are organized and have a plan with a time schedule, you can tackle more of your work load.

Megan's Minutes

Monday, April 18th In-Service Plan:

Meet @ Middle School

  • 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Teachers Helping Teachers (Elementary and MS work together, I/T and Primary work together)
  • 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. AMS Conference Share-Outs and discussion
  • 12 - 4 Work in your classrooms, work in your teams.

I will not be joining you all for this one. I will be in Ann Arbor on an accreditation team for the Daycroft Montessori School. Have a great in-service day!


Dear Colleagues,

Let your faculty meetings be a time when information and conversation spark innovation.

The ISACS Spark is an initiative to provide our member schools with quick and engaging professional development opportunities to spark conversations in 15 minutes or less. These “sparks” can be used as food for thought or as opportunities to engage in larger conversations among peers. ISACS sends Sparks throughout the school year and we hope you will find them helpful in stimulating conversations around exciting research related to teaching and learning. As we head into the month of the school year often referred to as “the dip” in optimism, we offer the following videos to lift your spirits!

April’s Topic – Math Awareness Month

Communicating a growth mindset helps students believe that everyone is a “math person”. Innovation is an increasingly important factor in the growth of world economies. It is especially important in key economic sectors like manufacturing, materials, energy, biotechnology, healthcare, networks, and professional and business services. The advances in and applications of the mathematical sciences have become drivers of innovation as new systems and methodologies have become more complex. As mathematics drives innovation, it also drives careers. For more information, visit www.mathaware.org

(Length of time for the four clips: approximately 23 minutes)

We hope these ideas ignite thinking and conversations in your school!


The ISACS Professional Services Committee & the ISACS Professional Development Team

The ISACS Spark has been developed by the Professional Services Committee (PSC). The PSC is comprised of teacher leaders from around the region who are passionate about professional development. All sites and clips have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for sharing.


March 2016 Spark:
March’s Spark focuses on dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that includes poor sight word reading, decoding, oral reading fluency and spelling. 20% of the total population struggles with symptoms of dyslexia. According to the U.S. Department of Education more than 2 million students ages 3-21 have learning disabilities and many of them are associated with reading.

  • Clip #1: The Big Picture - Rethinking Dyslexia - This trailer offers a glimpse at the movie directed by James Redford and featuring personal stories of children, experts, and famous individuals who struggled to overcome the implications of a dyslexia diagnosis. (1:48 minutes)
  • Clip #2: Overcoming Dyslexia, Finding Passion: Piper Otterbein at TEDxYouth@CEHS - Piper Otterbein was diagnosed with a learning disability in first grade. She struggled all through elementary school and was finally diagnosed with dyslexia in seventh grade. Finally in high school she had an epiphany and decided to focus on her strengths rather than all of her challenges. (7:12 minutes)

(Length of time for the two clips: approximately 9 minutes)

Additional articles of interest:

February 2016 Spark:
February’s Spark focuses on Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 14-20, 2016 with an emphasis on EMPATHY.

  • Clip #1: “Unsung Hero” - Thai Life Insurance Commercial - This three-minute spot follows a good Samaritan whose daily deeds go largely unnoticed - mainly because he’s not looking to be recognized. Instead of searching for recognition, he places himself in the shoes of those who need his help, expressing empathy toward their position. Eventually, though, the man’s kindness is rewarded when he sees the power of his actions. (3:05 minutes)
  • Clip #2: Understanding the Difference between Sympathy and Empathy - For educators, this animated video acts out a well-articulated section of Dr. Brené Brown’s lecture on the difference between an empathetic and a sympathetic response. It wraps up a difficult subject to pinpoint the consequences of both responses. Empathy is the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes and to understand relate as best as you can to how that person feels in the situation. (Make sure to scroll to the middle of the page to view the video) (2:52 minutes)
  • Clip #3: Sesame Street: Mark Ruffalo: Empathy - For students, this Sesame Street video with Mark Ruffalo provides an easy to understand explanation of empathy. The best part: at the end, you can do the happiness dance with Murray and Mark! (2:28 minutes)

(Length of time for the three clips: approximately 8 ½ minutes)

January 2016 Spark:
January’s Spark focuses on Millennials. Who are the Millennials and what is their impact on our school communities? Hear about the unique circumstance of hosting 4 generations in our workplaces, and then learn about the values and behaviors of our students, our youngest employees and parents who may be millennials!

  • Clip #1: Four Generations in the Workplace. What's That Like? - Is there really a generational divide in the workplace? Find out what it’s like with millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists all working in the same place. (2:06minutes)
  • Clip #2: How are Millennials Different From Other Generations? - Right now, Millennials are between the ages of 15 and 34. This year, they are set to outnumber the baby boomer generation, which is in decline. Are Millennials set to take over the world? (3:15 minutes)
  • Clip #3: Millennials or Generation Y, Who They Are and Why They're Hated - Discover, distill, and understand who they are. Generation Me. Trophy Kids. Generation Stuck. Whatever they are called, Millennial Generation is changing the way people think and work. They're poised to be the most educated generation in American history. (10:06 minutes)

(Length of time for the three clips: approximately 15 ½ minutes)

This email has been sent to heads of school, division heads, assistant/associate heads, deans of faculty, deans of studies, directors of professional development and ISACS teacher representatives.

Pixar: The math behind the movies - Tony DeRose
The Big Picture Movie Trailer
Overcoming Dyslexia, Finding Passion: Piper Otterbein at TEDxYouth@CEHS
"Unsung Hero" (Official HD) : TVC Thai Life Insurance 2014 : โฆษณาไทยประกันชีวิต 2557
Sesame Street: Mark Ruffalo: Empathy
Four generations in the workplace. What's that like?
How Are Millennials Different From Other Generations?
Millennials or Generation Y, Who They Are and Why The're Hated

Family Summit

The Summit is pleased to share information with you regarding the upcoming Family Summit on April 21st. We have partnered with Lifeline Youth and Family Services and Crosswinds in order to create a full-day program for parents, educators, and community members at our Fort Wayne campus located at 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd. The Family Summit features national speaker/author, Mark Gregston (radio host of Parenting Today’s Teens), who will be speaking at three different times throughout the day on the topic of parenting today’s challenging teens. The Family Summit includes several breakout sessions to connect parents of children and teenagers to a variety of community partners, including representatives from mental health, education, and a variety of community-based social service agencies. The Family Summit has been structured to allow parents and community members to come and go to the Family Summit as their schedule permits.

As a former school administrator, I want to encourage you to share information about this event with your parents and students. Parents and community members may wish to attend the entire day or simply come to the evening session. While a cost of $15/person for the full day and $10/person for the evening session is listed for this Signature Event, we want parents to attend and don’t want cost to be prohibitive. Any parent who can’t afford the admission price will be provided free admission thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors (e.g., Well Fargo Bank). You can view the entire program schedule and learn more about the Family Summit by visitinghttp://thesummitfw.com/programs/family/ or registering for this event at https://familysummit.eventbrite.com/.

An electronic flyer is attached and we would appreciate your sharing with school families and/or for printing and posting in your parent volunteer/community room. We would appreciate your participation in the Family Summit on April 21st as the information presented will be of interested to local school leaders and educators. Parent sessions and exhibitions will be provided by several community partners including The Literacy Alliance, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Foundation, Lutheran Social Services, Parkview Community Nurses, National Alliance on Mental Illness, etc. Michelle Clouser, Title I Director with South Adams Community Schools, will also be leading a session in the afternoon for parents on strengthening the home/school relationship, emphasizing how education has changed since the time parents were last in school.

Our hope is that area schools will view this opportunity as both beneficial and complimentary to existing school efforts to increase parental engagement and strengthen family units. For more information, please feel free to email or call me (my information is below).

With appreciation,

Brad Oliver, Ed.D.

Director of Education

Copies of the flyer will be near the mailboxes in the Vic House.

Easing back into work #3:

Communication is Key! By e-mailing and letting your team of co-workers know how your time will be spent when you come back makes it easier for everyone achieving a common goal.

A Moment with Macy....

Student Pictures from Gala

If you have any of the black&white pictures left over from conferences, please do one of the following:

a. pass them back to Macy in her mailbox, please

b. place a single picture and letter from the Gala Commitee in an envelope and send home with the child. Contact Macy if you need a copy of this letter.

EARTH FEST - April 22

Stay tuned for a separate email with all the EarthFest details that you will need. This will be in your inbox early this week.

Newsletter - REMINDER!

April will fly by! Please send your newsletter submissions to Macy no later than Monday, April 18. REMINDER - Specialists who have not shared something yet this year - please be sure to submit something this month or plan on doing so in May!

InService - April 18 - Faculty Childcare

We won't be needing to use Monday, April 18 as a make-up day. So, let Macy know by Monday, April 11 if your child(ren) will be on the farm for faculty childcare. REMINDER - Specialists - I believe this will be a day for you to help cover childcare again (thank you!) I will let you know as soon as possible of the schdule - please let me know ASAP if you will not be on campus this day.

Yearbook Info

Thank you for your help with pictures... the yearbook has been finished and is currently being printed. They will be delivered to the school in time for us to get them to the students the last week of school. We have sold over half of the copies ordered, but there are still some available. Please be sure to get the forms & payment to Nan if you have any students hand them into you. If you would like a copy for your classroom please fill out one of the order forms and mark your classroom on it.

Small Fry Banter.....

Student trying to zip up his coat......

Teacher, "Do you need help?"

Student, " I may be small, but I can do BIG things!"

- Vic House

The Importance of Disaster Prevention.....



An intruder is when there is an unauthorized person on school property.

Intruder - IN General:

  • Ensure the safety of students, faculty and visitors in the area.
  • Notify administration using a phone call, phone page or radio.
  • Ask another faculty member to accompany you before approaching the intruder.
  • Politely greet the intruder and identify yourself.
  • Ask the intruder if they need help finding the administrative office and/or the purpose of their visit.
  • If the intruder does not cooperate or if the purpose of their visit is not legitimate, ask the intruder to leave.
  • Accompany intruder to the exit.

Intruder - If Intruder Refuses to Leave:

  • Warn of the consequences for staying on school property. Inform intruder that the police will be called.
  • Notify administration if the intruder refuses to leave. Provide a full description of the intruder and any vehicle they may have.
  • Walk away from the intruder if a threat of potential violence is made. Be aware of actions, location, weapons, or packages.

A Jingle with Janet....

Compost News:

With the warmer weather (in theory), the compost areas around campus are ready to take on more food waste. Please encourage students to remove the PLU (the price look up stickers) first and put them in the trash, as they do not biodegrade in a timely manner. Small paper scraps can also go into the compost. If there are any composting problems or concerns, please let me know.



Easing back into work #4:

Don’t schedule any out-of-the-office meetings on your first day back. The piles of paperwork and unanswered emails, as well as spending time with your team, will keep you busy. Adding outside meetings will add more stress than it is worth.

Lifting it up with Lori Z!

We are down to the final 2 months of cross level observations. If you are interested and have not filled out your observation line, please be sure to fill in your slot on the faculty cross level observation sheet on the W drive. If it is not filled, a sub will not relieve you for observations.

Faculty Cross Level Observation Rotation.xlsx


Spring Sports are here.

If you have an hour to spare in April or May, Oak Farm coaches and athletes would appreciate your support at the meets! You might be surprised how fast our students can run, how far they can jump or how well they swing a club. You can find the sports calendar for track and golf meets on the web or watch the Monday and community memos.

April Birthdays!

4/1: Tricia Weiss

4/27: Brenda Huth

4/30 Andrea Deihl

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