Union Weekly Staff Update

Volume 31- April 3, 2016

Our Mission

Union Elementary strives to create a nurturing and kid focused learning environment where teachers, students, and parents work together in supportive and collaborative partnerships so all students can meet their potential.

A Message from Jen


Welcome back...and a special welcome back to Emily, Julia, and Cyneka, who are returning after extended leaves!! We have missed you! I hope that everyone had a Spring Break that was relaxing and full of memory-making with family and friends. The Raycroft family survived the RV trip and maintained happy camper status...mostly :)

This week's update has several action items that are in bold print. Have a great last night of vacation and see you all in the morning!


This Week's Events

FitKidz during PE- the entire month of April- Yippee!!

Digitarium in STEM this week

NWEA Begins April 7th- Check Schedule from Maggie

Monday, April 4th

8:00, Transition Conferences in Conference Room (Andrus, Ruthsatz, Ioannacci)

ZEF Grants due to Dr. Robison's office by 4:00.

Tuesday, April 5th

1st grade to Zion Nature Center (Kurtz, Boggs, Steward)

8:00, Literacy PLC in Kathy's room

9:30-12:30, Erin and Jen at LT meeting

4:00, District Discussion at ESC

7:00, Dads Club Meeting in Teachers Lounge

Wednesday, April 6th

1st grade to Zion Nature Center (Michener, Smith)

9:15-10:15, PTO Exec Meeting in Conference Room

12:30-1:05, Star Student Lunches- Last one for the year

4:00, District Safety Meeting at ESC (Jen, Erin, Maggie)

Thursday, April 7th

8:00, ACR in Conference Room (Meyer, Raycroft, Zucker, Swenson, Lockhart, Tisch)

8:15, Speech ACR in Small Conference Room (Van Curen, Ioannacci, Sorgen)

10:00, Office Meeting

Friday, April 8th

Maggie Out

60s Spirit Day

8:00, ACR in Conference Room (Andrus, Munley, Van Curen, Lockhart, Raycroft)

9:30, ABM Meeting

Looking Ahead....

Monday, April 11th

Maggie Out

ZMS Music Visits

Tuesday, April 12th


Kindergarten Round Up

Wednesday, April 13th

Thursday, April 14th

10:00, Office Meeting

Friday, April 15th

9:30, ABM Meeting

April Birthdays

The happiest of birthdays to the following STARS who will be celebrating another year during the month of April:

Courtney Beiermann, April 2

Tonya Clark, April 27

Cyneka Hooks, April 27

Teacher of the Year

It is time for us to recognize and honor one of our peers for her outstanding impact on Union Elementary. Please send me your nominations, with your colleague's name and a brief explanation as to why she should be honored, no later than Wednesday morning. On Wednesday, I will send out an anonymous survey to vote for the nominees and the Union Elementary Teacher of the Year will be shared on Friday afternoon.

Article to Read and Discuss

As we look ahead to next year and the addition of a wellness teacher to our staff, I am excited about the possibilities that exist to develop students that are "strong in every way."

The article below provides examples of how a group of schools in Texas are integrating more movement into their school day through multiple, shorter recesses. It came across my Twitter feed on the same day as an article in the Harvard Business Review article about looking critically at the "why" behind practices. It made me question our traditional lunch/recess block. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Can you please put this discussion item on the agenda of your next team meeting? Please chat about what you like about the idea of multiple, shorter recesses throughout the day, what concerns you have, what questions you still need answered, what other creative ideas that expand upon this, and what solutions that you have to potential problems. You are welcome to send me your thoughts as a team and/or as an individual. Below is a link for using DeBono's 6 Thinking Hats as a way to structure your conversation. This is certainly not something you have to use, but is a nice resource. I first came across this in master's classes, then again when taking courses for teaching high ability learners and find it a useful way to think critically about an issue.

PBL Summer PD

Interested in learning more about PBL? The Summer Institute will be held from June 20-23. I would love to have a team from Union attend! If you are interested and would be able to commit to attending these four days, please send me an email by Thursday. See the link below for additional details or Erin/me with any questions.