Beating the Odds

Lakeview Staff Newsletter - Nov 30

What a week!

This was quite an interesting week. Instead of putting it all into one article, I'll chunk it into smaller articles below. Read on ...

Tuesday: Lock-and-Hold

Here's how the lock-and-hold started:

I put my lunch into the microwave. Officer Dave walked into the workroom and told me we needed to go into lock-and-hold. I looked at the clock. It said 11:25. Nobody is in their classroom at 11:25. Kids are all moving in hallways, to multiple playgrounds, through multiple doors. 11:25 really?

But that's when these things tend to happen. If we can handle it at 11:25, we can handle it at anytime. Thank you, everyone, for your patience and "go with the flow" attitude. A special thanks to Ms. Maes and Ms. Chmela in the 4K room because it looked like O'Hare airport in there. Lots of kids, lots of parents, and nowhere to go.


A few notes:

• Lock-and-hold means ensure doors are locked and closed, close your window shades, keep students out of hallways, and continue teaching.

• Bathroom issues were certainly common and understandable since nobody was able to use the restroom at 11:50. No students may be in the hallway unsupervised during a lock-and-hold. If there is an emergency need, students must be chaperoned.

• During these events, the office is not available to take calls. The office is busy with other issues. You would be surprised how busy the office was for that 95 minutes. In these situations, please only call the office if there is a health/safety concern, and we promise to do our best to communicate out to you.

• I did not have any negative feedback from parents about the incident. In fact, I had several grateful emails and the feedback on local Facebook groups seemed positive as well.

Wednesday: Diane Sweeney

On Wednesday, Rachel and I attended a conference with instructional coaching guru Diane Sweeney. (True story: We were called "exotic" by Diane because we were the only two who came from Wisconsin to Chicago for the event.) This year, Lakeview has been building our understanding of Rachel's new role as our AGR Instructional Coach and how that is alike and different than other coaching roles. Since Summer, Rachel and I have been using the work of Diane Sweeney to design an impactful coaching system for us at Lakeview. Having the chance to see and hear Diane this week affirmed the work we are doing as a school around instructional coaching and gave us some structure and clarity for next steps. Soon, we will revisit the "why" and the beliefs around instructional coaching as a school so we continue to make it a transparent, impactful strategy.

Thursday: K-2 Literacy Lab Day

Congrats to our K-2 staff on their first Literacy Lab day! Thank you to Janice for leading the event for us (which is really a difficult event to pull off) and to Roxanne for coordinating subs. Although the format may seem foreign at first, this is the same way Teachers College trains people. I don't want to give away too much since 3-5 has their Literacy Lab day on Tuesday, but there is SO MUCH expertise in our building. Seeing and hearing master teachers (that's you) work is always inspiring for me.
The picture below was an impromptu conferring session with R.B. It was just one of the many moments that probably should have been videotaped as a great example. This is Therese conferring with him.
PM Group in Mrs. Busalacchi's Room

Looking Ahead

Monday, December 3

Report cards due by 8:00 a.m.

Smart Smiles Assembly from 2:40-3:00 p.m.

Lakeview Day at Cousin's Subs from 4-7 p.m.


Tuesday, December 4

3-5 Literacy Lab day

Elementary Social Studies committee 4:00 p.m. in PDC


Wednesday, December 5

Instructional Vision Committee 7:30-8:15 a.m. (anyone welcome)

We will work on the last two categories of the vision document


Thursday, December 6

Chris is out most of the day for Admin Council & other meetings

Trauma Sensitive School Committee 3:30-5:15 in the board room


Friday, December 7

Report cards sent home


Tuesday, December 11

GOLT meeting 3:45-4:45 p.m. in the PDC


Wednesday, December 12

Staff meeting 7:15-8:15 a.m.

The focus of this and the January staff meetings will be on a common understanding and use of learning targets at Lakeview. Why? Because in order to know our impact as educators, we have to be very specific with ourselves and our students about what it is we want students to learn each day. Being specific about outcomes drives every other decision we make (how to engage, how to group, what materials to use, what evidence we are looking for, etc.) Rachel, Beth, and I will be facilitating these sessions. More info will come out in next Friday's staff bulletin about this.


Friday, December 14

Smart Smiles visits begin today and go through the next week leading up to Winter break.

College Swag

I have your SLO Door signs. And I have gifts. The colleges and universities that everyone attended have been contacted. Most of them have sent college swag back so far. Although I asked for pennants and lanyards from each school, each college responded a little differently - usually with MORE. Starting Monday, Roxanne and Jeff will be putting the pennants above your classroom doors. I will deliver your other swag and SLO door sign. Please post your SLO door sign next to your classroom door so others can read it.

Structural Items

Family newsletter - Here is a link to this week's family newsletter.


Postcards - We have Lakeview postcards available in the office for your use at any time. We have postage ready to go, and the mailbox is in the office. It doesn't get much easier than this to brighten someone's day!


Elementary Blackout Dates - Two weeks ago, I wrote about blackout dates for elementary personal days. Here is a link to a calendar that will stay up-to-date with blackout dates as we continue to add/adjust days. Please also try to avoid scheduling medical appointments these dates if possible. This is what will help make opportunities like "LT" meetings and Literacy Lab days meaningful because we should have better sub coverage.


Observations - Congrats to all year 3 staff who have completed their formal, announced observations. They are nearly all completed at this point. There are three different ways I might come into anyone's room in the future:

• Walkthroughs - same as I have been all year (128 and counting)

• With quadrant data in hand - I haven't done this so far, but I like to come into your room with data in hand. If I come in with a paper/clipboard, I'm not doing any type of EE observation. In fact, I'm concentrating 100% on the kids.

• Informal, unannounced observation. I would never try to use this as a "gotcha" moment. Just know that I will be doing more of these going forward. Unsure if this is you? Check the EE category of Google Classroom.

SDSM Literacy Night

Please mark Friday, February 8 on your calendar for SM Literacy Night. I'm sure many volunteers will be needed, and it is always a big event. Please see this flyer for some preliminary details.

Character Dares & Trauma Sensitive Schools

Here it is ... the next Character Dare. I know they're called "dares" but we really do want everyone to try them. And I know many of you do this one already - Make every day a celebration at Lakeview!
Character Dare