Lance's Ledger

October 19 - 23 at Central Elementary

Positives In Our Building

Michigan has the slogan...If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you. I believe Central staff are building their own slogan...If you seek to bring about positive change for children, look within you. I couldn't be prouder to serve with so many who have stepped up in personal leadership and responsibility this year to help bring about positive change. As Counselor Maida Demo commented at a recent staff meeting, "I sense a real positive this year. We are through construction and are taking back our school. We make things happen." Yes, indeed, WE make things happen as a team and by BELIEVING we have the ability and determination to make a difference. We have only been in school for six weeks but have accomplished much already. Below are some of the highlights we have seen in just six weeks thanks to involvement of teachers, parapros, other support staff and our PTO.

  • Implemented our new school-wide behavior plan
  • Successfully implemented the Watch Dog Program
  • Planned and begun the identification of Sunrise participants (for November kick-off)
  • Arranged our first book distribution
  • Held a successful fundraiser & purchased an additional Chrome Book Cart (it's in!)
  • Held our first assembly with a real author (Thanks Cindy and Rene)
  • Mapped out an assembly program proposal for the year (thanks assembly committee) for proposal to the PTO on October 20.
  • Reduced discipline incidents through a consistent classroom and school effort to reteach expectations for behavior and achievement to ALL children.

These accomplishments are a MAJOR reason to CELEBRATE our success. Your efforts have made and continue to make a huge difference. Be proud of your teamwork. Be proud of the responsibility each of you take for your school. Be proud of the shared leadership shown by staff members willing to take the risk of putting action behind their suggestions. By putting kids first and pushing ourselves to the next level we should also feel the satisfaction of accomplishment. I believe this will show in what we do throughout the year as reflected in the achievement of our students. Stay the course.

Continue to believe in yourself and in our team. We are off to a great start!

Fourth Grade Chefs

Students in Mrs. Stuart's class are trying their hand at the culinary arts. This started as a way to bring mathematics to life. Students began by researching types of recipes they might use with the resources available in their classroom. Since they do not have an oven that meant they needed to rely on chemical reactions to create heat or mixtures. From there they considered measures of ingredients which meant they also had to adjust for portions. Students were so enthused about the project that they managed to check out many of the "recipe books" in our library.

The excitement continues as groups continue to present their masterpieces. As pictured, I had the great fortune of being chosen as the taste tester for the "cheesecake" recipe. It was great and the kids have officially been designated as "dessert masters" for the year!

What a great way to connect the relevance of mathematics to everyday life. Hooray to Mrs. Stuart and her students!

Walking Club A Big Hit!

Our walking club has begun and students are stepping right into the activity! The walking club got extra support from Physical Education Teacher Tim Rutkowski as he introduced students to walking the "track" during physical education class. Not only are students setting goals; they are also socializing in a constructive manner as they walk the route during recess. Challenge Coordinator Mrs. Hale reports fewer students needing to visit the yellow wall for "reteaching" as the club offers more "engaged activity" for students. Thanks to the committee and our PTO for working together to get the club off to a great start!

Future Leaders in America

It's Election Central in our fourth grade wing as students campaign for student representatives or senate. Some crafty politicians are offering tokens with special slogans and voting reminders. Getting their name in front of their constituents appears to be a strategy learned early as the school is peppered with campaign signs. Some politicians have become a little vocal about the placement of their signs and "infringements" of space by other candidates. It is rumored that others actually wanted to stage a debate. Hmmm! I wonder who will get the center spot!

Balanced Calendar Surveys

Please take time to access the survey link and complete the Balanced Calendar Survey emailed last week. Your input is important in planning the implementation for this August. Also, there is a link that will be coming for all third and fourth grade students. First and second grade students will have a paper survey and teacher help will be needed and appreciated. will be following up with grade level teams on more specifics this week. Thanks!

This Week at Central

Monday, October 19
  • DRA FAll Window; Subs for Grade 1 only starting Tuesday; Grade 2-4 assess below or approaching grade level only (no subs)
  • ACC (4:15 - 6:15 PM) Monica, Melissa & Lance
  • After-school Prep Class 3:30 - 5 PM (Lounge)

Tuesday, October 20

  • Lance out of office (8-10 AM)
  • Table of Honor (11:30-1:25) Maida & Lance
  • Meeting (1:30 - 2:00) Lance
  • CMU Student Teacher Presentation: 4:45 - 5:30 PM (Lapeer East) Lance & Natalie
  • After-school clubs
  • PTO Meeting in Library (6 PM)

Wednesday, October 21

  • After-school clubs

Thursday, October 22

  • Principals' meeting (9:30 - noon) Lance @ admin. bldg.
  • Blueberry Ambassadors Kick-off in Flint (Keri and team) @ 10:30 - 1:30

Friday, October 23

  • Lance out of office all day. Co-Head Teachers are Kris White & Becky Romzek. I will be available to Kris,Becky and my office by cell phone as will another administrator covering for me in an emergency. As always I appreciate the work everyone does to hold the fort down through consistent expectations and routines. Thanks so much!
  • PTO Book Distribution (8:40 AM - 12:30 PM)...schedule was emailed to staff

Looking Ahead

  • October 26...Suggested date for completion of DRA; Supt. bldg. visit
  • October 27...PLC (Data Item- Student needs by Grade level)
  • Oct. 28...Staff Meeting 7:35-8:15 AM - (Agenda: DEF Presentation-15 min + breakfast pizza; Halloween Parade & Party Update- 5 min; ACC Update- 5 min.; September Behavior Data-10 min. ); CAP PLC Grades 1-4 (Data Item- Student needs by Grade level)
  • Oct. 29...CST Meetings
  • Oct. 30...DRA window closes; Halloween Parade & Celebrations
  • Nov. 1...Daylight Savings Time ends (fall back 1-hour!)
  • Nov. 2...Parapro CMC from 4:15 - 6:15 (Lance)
  • Nov. 3...Election Day; Data Day: Grade 3 AM & Grade 1 PM
  • Nov. 4...Staff Meeting- (Agenda: P/T Conferences- 5 min.; Behavior Committee & PPSC Presentation on Major & Minor Behavior Incidents - 35 min.); Data Day: Grade 4 AM; Grade 2 PM
  • Nov. 5...Team Leader Meeting from 7:40 - 8:10 AM; Admin. Mtg. (9:30-Noon) Lance
  • Nov. 6...No School for Students; Teacher PD 8:30-11:30 AM; Possible Para-pro PD in AM; Teacher Work Day PM-Teachers may complete PM work at home.
  • Nov. 10...PLC Grades 1-4; PTO Meeting 6 PM in library
  • Nov. 11...Veterans Day; P/T Conferences 5-8 PM (full day of school for students)
  • Nov. 12...P/T Conferences (8:30-11:30, 12:30-3:30;5-8)/No school for students
  • Nov. 13...No school for students or staff (conf. comp. day for teachers)
  • Nov. 17...Grade 3 Music Concert; CSTs TBD
  • Nov. 19...Principals' Mtg. in AM; CSTs 8:30 - 1:45; CAP PLC 2-3:20 PM
  • Nov. 24...PLC Grades 1-4
  • Nov. 25...Staff Meeting 7:35 - 8:15 AM
  • Nov. 26 -27...Thanksgiving Break/ No school

Frames of Mind...a.k.a....MINDFRAMES

John Hattie says a major problem in education is that we become engrossed in the "distractions' or all the things we can't control. Whether distractions are representations of personal or professional frustrations, political mandates, or changing demographics, distractions are inevitable in a rapidly changing educational landscape. As professionals we can combat distractions by stealing ourselves against negative thought.

Seeing the glass as "half-full" or viewing challenges as opportunities affords us practice that builds and reinforces a mindset that will best serve our students and help us further develop our personal and professional expertise. Hattie identifies eight "mindframes" or beliefs as key to successful student learning and achievement. The short video which follows touches on Hattie's mindframes.

Hattie's 8 Mindframes

"Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long… We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." ... Walt Disney

Behavior Emphasis & This Week's Focus

Our monthly behavior report released for September shows referrals were down from last year. This is a direct result of the efforts staff is putting into reinforcing our school-wide behavior plan. Of the referrals we had most were for bus infractions. I can share that I have received a couple of additional bus referrals for October already. Accordingly, on Monday, October 19, I have arrange for a bus to be parked at Central during the recess hours. I will be reviewing bus guidelines with several invitees and reteaching the bus lesson as some of the referrals were repeat offenders.

During the month of October we typically see an uptick in behaviors. Therefore, it is very important for us to continue our focus on proactive teaching and discussion during class meetings. This will go a long way in really establishing expectations for the year as just when kids are getting "relaxed and testing the waters they will also hear the consistent message. Remember that research supports the notion that when kids seem to be getting "sick of hearing the repeated message" they really do not tune us out. rather they begin to understand that is the way things are and they choose to rise to the level of expectations rather than rebel. Yes, there will be the outliers but CONSISTENT EXPECTATIONS will become the practice. BELIEVE!

The Cardinal Code Focus for this week is: Behavior expectations in the cafeteria. Please take extra time to reinforce cleaning of eating areas upon dismissal.

Thinking Good Thoughts

During her presentation regarding significant disproportionality in September, Executive Director of Student Services Holly Halabicky encouraged us to keep pushing through when we encounter the "bumps in the road" when working with kids. October is a time when we begin to see a need to revisit and work even harder to reinforce our classroom and school-wide Positive Support Behavior Plan. Key to our success is our own positive outlook and true belief that we will overcome obstacles because the kids need us to stay the course. Recently, I was reminded of the "Optimist Creed" and share it with you as this week's reflection. Following the creed will build upon a positive spirit. It will also support our own mental health! :)

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself:
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.