the RAH

Feb 12 - 16, 2018

Big picture

from J-

I hope this finds you all doing fantastic. I have spoken and visited with a number of you this week, more around challenging issues at your sites. I'm grateful for the calm, wisdom and common sense in your approach to leading and resolving the various issues.

There's' a fair amount of information in this edition. Please let me know if any clarification is needed. I'm looking forward to see you on Wednesday for Leadership Team.

The Humility-Confidence SeeSaw

What’s the line between the two? It seems to be humility. True confidence can stand up to a lot, and the biggest thing it can do is stand back and make room for others’ thoughts and ideas.

from Bret-

The AP Cadre meets next Thursday at Disney. Shawn will be joining us to discuss the capital planning process.

J and I are going to do our best to get you back to your schools quickly on Wednesday due to Valentine’s parties.

We’ve finished Tier 1 interviews for Sunshine, Harrison, and Jeffries. Thanks to all principals who helped us.

Senior Leadership followed by Elementary Leadership Team

Wednesday, Feb. 14th, 8:30am

1359 East Saint Louis Street

Springfield, MO

Nothing says St. Valentine love like all-day admin meetings...

BrightBytes Survey

The second collection for BrightBytes for this school year will open Monday, February 12. The survey will stay open through Friday, March 2. An email will be sent notifying staff the survey has opened. The first elementary, middle school and high school sites to reach 100% of staff and statistical significance in student collection will win a hot catered breakfast for their staff from the Innovation and Information department. Please notify Nichole Lemmon if you have any questions.

from Bruce Douglas - Instructional Technology

Meet Diane!

Diane Chambers has joined our staff in the Information Technology Department and one of her tasks is working with One2One Risk on our device fees and damage waiver enrollments. She has hit the ground running and her focus has helped improve our response times already.

If you need help with changing a fee amount or gathering information to respond to parent questions you can email both Diane Chambers ( and Julie Kulan ( for assistance and the first available will respond.

You can also find answers to FAQ on the student device fees for Principals & Secretaries at this link:

Clearing Chrome History

A new process has been put in place for clearing Chrome history on student Chromebooks. Simply call the help desk and they will clear it on the phone. We do need an administrator, principal or assistant principal, to ensure an evaluation of the content has occurred.

The Power of Being Seen

Children behave differently when they are known. Relationships matter.

All Things Curriculum

Upcoming Learning Support Events

  • February 1 - Split Grade Level Classroom Teacher Support (8:30-11:30)

  • February 7 - Fractions, Fractions, Fractions - (4:15-5:45)

  • February 22 - K-2 Super CDC Meeting (8:00-11:00)

  • February 22 - 3-5 Super CDC Meeting (12:00-3:00)

  • February 23 - Art - K-5 Department Meeting (8:00-11:00)

  • February 26 - Elementary Music Department Meeting (8:00-11:00)

  • February 28 - Elementary Art CDC Meeting (8:00-11:00)

  • March 5 - TenMarks Follow-Up Training (8:00 - 11:00 or 12:00 - 3:00)

Guided Math Connection

Graham Fletcher Workshop:

Final reminder to sign up your teacher representatives for Graham Fletcher on 4/3/18 using this form. The deadline to sign up is February 15th. After that date, registration will be closed and I will begin reaching out to people on the waiting list.

Math Competition Update:

Many of you know that Math Club is new this year. As with any new initiative, it is a learning experience for each of us. Thank you to all of the sites that are holding math club and encouraging students to become Mathletes. Check out this video highlighting the great work that teachers and students are doing to get students involved and excited about math.

If you are a building that offers math club, seek out a time to visit and encourage students, they are listening! If your building decided not to participate this year, consider recruiting a sponsor now for next year. We have seen and heard such great success getting students more excited and involved in mathematics that we’d love to see that excitement grow to each and every site! This is a stipend position and the only requirement is that some of the math club students compete in a qualifying math competition. Our plan is to hold a competition in Springfield next year. We hope to see you there!

Our final qualifying Math League competition was held on Saturday 2/3/18. We sent students to three different testing sites this year. We had over 40 students in grades 4-5 qualify for regionals with MathLeague and many more spent at least one Saturday competing for SPS. These students will again represent SPS in March at Regionals in Bolivar, MO. There they will get the opportunity to qualify for State competition.

  • SBU - 11 students from Wanda Gray, Wilson’s Creek and Jeffries

  • Branson - 3 students from Wilson’s Creek

  • Republic - 31 students from Harrison, Rountree, Sequiota, Sunshine, Walt Disney, AOE, Jeffries, Sherwood, Wilder

Notes on MAP testing:

  • As you begin the practice tests for MAP at your building, be sure to allow time to review answers and elicit student strategies for solutions as a class. This is an excellent opportunity for students to be exposed to and review strategies that will help them be successful on test day (and every other day). This is also a great chance for students to reflect on their work and revise or affirm prior understanding.

  • Remind students of the importance of using scratch paper to solve problems and check their work when taking the test. Encourage students to do a final check when they get done with each of the questions. It is very helpful to have them fold their scratch paper into sections and label them with the question numbers so that they can go back and check their work easily.

Literacy Connection

MAP Resources

Writing Feedback

  • We have asked CDC representatives to gather feedback from buildings and grade levels regarding the district writing scoring guides and district writing prompts. We will use our End of Year meeting on February 22, 2018 to revise and update our district resources so the reflect changes to the Missouri Learning Standards.

  • Grade levels at each building can use the ELA Writing Prompt and Scoring Guide Feedback form to provide input.

from Marty Moore-

Faith-based Partner Supports - Back to School 2018

Our Faith-based Partners continue to seek ways to support sites and equip students and teachers with back to school needs. A group, which includes representation from James River, High Street, Second Baptist, Victory Mission, the Council of Churches, Crosslines, Freshwater Church and Life 360, have suggested a move to site-based distribution in August 2018.

What would that mean? Depending on your input, it might include:

  • Distribution of supplies typically given out at churches and community events would shift to distribution at your site.

  • Class lists of supplies generated by your staff that would be filled by partners working together. These supplies would be boxed and delivered to teachers classrooms to ensure that all student needs are met.

  • Student supplies (backpack) would be distributed at a back to school event scheduled by the site and supported by partners.

  • Less duplication.

This represents a major shift in process, but is one that the leaders above feel might provide more support to teachers and students. Please let our group know your thinking and questions regarding this approach via this Google Form. If you do not feel it would enhance supports, will work to direct our partners in a different direction.

We recognize, too, that initially there will still be events apart from this focused initiative (school supplies given out at businesses and organizations beyond this group), but early messaging and planning efforts in the spring would support this work in August.

Equity & Access Champion Update

Equity & Access Champions continue to grow their understanding of ways to support educational equity in SPS. By that, we mean that EVERY student has access to the resources and educational rigor they need at the the right moment in their education despite race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, family background or family income. Each session provides them with additional tools to support staff, students and families at their sites. Session participants note that one of the most popular features are the roleplaying scenarios that provide the opportunity to practice responding to and refining responses to authentic situations logged by the Equity & Access team. The Leadership Series, Championing Equity for SPS Students, will provide site leaders with parallel learning experiences tied to your leadership role.

Many of you are taking advantage of the new professional learning offerings which are now scheduled via this Google Form. Remember, too, that we can customize these based on your site needs.

  • What’s in Your Backpack (A monthly program for middle school Latino Hispanic students featuring guest speakers and themes to empower)

  • Empowerment (A bi-monthly program for middle school African American Males featuring guest speakers and themes to empower.)

  • Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts! Communicating Respectfully in a Diverse World (Avoiding Microaggressions) – 1-hour minimum/2 hour preferred

  • It’s Not JUST About Being PC (Politically Correct) - 1 Hour minimum

  • Supporting LGBT Students…What’s Your Role? 1 Hour minimum

  • Building Relationships with Diverse Parents - 1 Hour minimum

  • We Sang and We Marched (A 1-hour interactive presentation on the Civil Rights Movement which can be adapted for grades 1-8).