Sunday Shakedown

Weekly Memo for Washington Elementary

Principal Post

I hope everyone had a great week back from spring break. On Friday, I was helping a student out of the car in the morning. This family is often late. Mom is always on the phone, she doesn't speak except to tell them to go on. They want a hot breakfast, but almost always grab and go. Life isn't easy for them. Sometimes this little girl has a poor attitude and has even described herself as having anger issues at home. BUT on this day, she was all smiles...she said, "I love coming to school". I asked her why she loved it and she responded, "Well, at home you just sit around and maybe watch TV, but here you get to learn AND have fun". I began to think about all the project work I knew her teachers were doing with her. I also remembered a special task Kim Bradley asked her to do to prepare a display and help her pick more books to order in a series in which she had become interested. Then, it hit me, I had a letter on my desk from this student asking me to consider a "fun raiser" (intended to be fundraiser) where students at GWES would serve the animal shelter or create things for kids with cancer. I found her to motivate me this week. In a week I wasn't feeling so effective b/c I had to be out so much, she greeted me and changed me Friday morning. It was a reminder that each child is a gift. In spite of the challenges she faces in life, she pushes through with an open mind, because of all of you. We are called to influence their lives and you all do it better than any I know. Thanks for all you do-it matters, more than any of us may ever know. #proudpatriot

For Your Information:

Tennessee Educator Survey Launch

In partnership with Vanderbilt, the TDOE is launching the annual Tennessee Educator Survey. All teachers, administrators, and other certified staff in Tennessee's public schools are invited to participate in this voluntary survey. Invitations to participate in the survey will be distributed soon. The survey will close on Friday, May 27.

The TDOE is eager to learn from the perspectives of Tennessee educators about important issues impacting classrooms and schools. Survey results are used primarily for research purposes and to guide decision making. All individual responses are highly confidential and will not be shared; however, some aggregate results will be shared publicly.

Teachers who complete the survey will be entered into a weekly drawing for prizes that include iPad Minis, FitBit trackers, and $300 classroom grants. Schools that achieve a participation rate of at least 50 percent by May 5 will be entered into a one-time lottery that will award several grants of $500. Schools that achieve a participation rate of at least 90 percent when the survey closes will be eligible for a lottery that will award several $2,000 grants.

The State Board of Education launched the science standards review website (here) to collect public feedback on Tennessee’s newly revised grade K–12 science standards. This is the second and final opportunity for public review and feedback on the new science standards, which were first publicly reviewed in fall 2015 and then revised by Tennessee educators over the past several months. Data collected from the website during this second review period will again be given to a team of Tennessee educators to review and revise. After revisions, the committee will propose the revised science standards to the State Board of Education for first reading in July 2016. The state board's final reading of the revised standards will be in October 2016, and implementation will take place in the 2018-19 school year.

This is an important opportunity for educators, parents, and members of the public to share their perspectives and suggest revisions to our current science standards. The deadline for providing feedback is May 13.


Seeking Applicants

The TDOE is seeking applications from educators, higher education partners, parents, and community members to participate in subject and grade-level committees to determine the cut score ranges for each performance level on state assessments. Ultimately, this information helps them understand students' level of mastery of the state standards. This is called the “standards setting" process. The standards setting committees will meet this summer and share recommendations with the State Board of Education for approval.

They are seeking applicants for the following standards setting committees:

  • Math Grades 3–5
  • Math Grades 6–8
  • Math Algebra 1 and Algebra 2
  • Math Geometry
  • Math Integrated Mathematics 1, 2, and 3
  • ELA Grades 3–5
  • ELA Grades 6–8
  • ELA Grades 9–12
  • Social Studies 3–5
  • Social Studies 6–7
  • Social Studies Grades 8 & U.S. History
All interested applicants should complete an online application (here) by April 25, 5 p.m. CDT. The application link, along with a brief description of the responsibilities and time commitment for the committees, is posted on the website (here). All applicants will be notified of his/her status by no later than May 6.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs (OEP) is conducting two Energy Education Camps for K-12 educators in June. The dates and locations are Montgomery Bell State Park June 6-10 and Pickwick Landing State Park June 13-17. Selected participants will receive $200 of materials for their classrooms. Lodging and meals are provided. For more details, click here.

If questions, contact Angela McGee, Energy Camp Director at or 615-532-7816.


It's surplus time-if you have large items please mark them and then Vicki will remove when the time comes. Speak with her about smaller items.

If anyone has some tiered serving ware they would allow us to borrow, we will use them for donuts during the expo. Please bring them to the office by Tuesday.

From tech director Scott Pierce:

We enabled the restricted mode for YouTube to better provide appropriate educational videos for students. Unfortunately, this will block some videos that are appropriate. In order to enable the videos, you will need to be logged into chrome or YouTube with a KCS account. Once logged in there will be a blue bar at the bottom of the video to approve it. Any teacher or administrator can approve any video they deem is appropriate.

Education Expo

Thursday, April 14th, 8am

GWES Learning Centers Washington Elementary

Thursday, April 14th 8:05-8:35

We will have donuts in the lobby for parents after they visit the centers.

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Appreciations and Celebrations

  • Thanks to our IAs for being open minded about checking in and out on Skyward beginning April 11
  • Happy Assoicate Principals week to Amy Doran-we are so lucky to have you! We appreciate all you do.
  • Thanks to Howard Dale for taking the time to celebrate art and host our art show
  • Congrats to Virginia and Sam Barbour-our first place student winner of the ETSU science fair in the biological division.
  • Thanks to Laura Swearingen and our assistants for our Patriot Promise survey
  • Thanks to our teams who traveled to site visits for Leader in Me who will present at our faculty meeting
  • Thanks to Christa Nidiffer for her willingness to participate in a teacher roundtable with state representatives
  • Thanks to our Patriot Celebration students for their work...we're close to a finished product
  • Thanks to Vicki for being so open to noticing dangers and needs in our building and on our playground
  • Good luck to Thomas who's on an eternal hunt for a big turkey!
  • Good luck to our teachers who will do K screenings on Wednesday-you are the first impression to our new students and families.
  • Congrats to the Hayes family on the recent sale of their house

Week at a Glance


  • PTA board meeting 8:40
  • Faculty meeting

  • Instructional rounds at JAES and GWES (all day)


  • Kindergarten screenings
  • Fifth grade trip to Sevier
  • Assessment meeting for Doran, Ardire and Wolf
  • TNTP site visit debriefing with teachers involved

  • Education Expo 8:05-8:35
  • Faculty Luncheon by PTA
  • RTI data conferences (USE celebrate, recognize, consider format on Smartboard)
  • New teacher screenings at the ASC after hours

  • LCA and LCB to Swan Lake

Instructional rounds

Tuesday, April 12th, 8am

John Adams Elementary School, Kingsport, TN, United States and Washington Elementary

Kingsport, TN

Thanks in advance for being willing to alter your schedule a bit to accommodate our visitors and the process of instructional rounds. Those that participated in the past have found this to be the best of professional learning.
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