Team Meadow

Staff Update - July 2019

Great Things to Come!

We are diligently working to prepare for a strong launch into the 2019-2020 school year. I see children and families each day that tell me how excited they are to get back to school. I gently remind them to "simmer down" and enjoy their summertime with family and friends. I hope you are still able to do the same.

A few items:

  • Postings went live last week for additional instructional assistant positions. In order to support students more fully, I am looking to hire 4 individuals to join Team Meadow.
  • Read below to see introductions of Emma Bleakman (3rd grade), Cindi Hamlow (3rd grade), MacKenzie Orbaugh (Kindergarten), and Ehrin Howe (Media Center). These intros will be shared in our next Summer Update/Friday Flyer for families.
  • Important Dates and Back to School info is below as well for your reference.

Also, as you are setting up your classrooms, please remember:

  • deep cleaning is scheduled for next week. You are welcome to organize shelves, cabinets, work on bulletin boards/class themes, etc... but keep in mind that furniture will be moved and surfaces will be cleaned. Please be sure to have counters and window sills cleared for cleaning.
  • minimize clutter and freshen up well-used spaces and resources
  • due to new safety guidelines, windows on classroom doors must remain uncovered unless we are in a lockdown/emergency situation. You will need to be prepared to rapidly cover the window should an emergency necessitate, but otherwise, visibility to the room must be accommodated. More details and explanations to come later
  • classroom libraries are a critical component of our literacy structures and beliefs - please organize for student use and engagement. Consider genre, series, categories as you organize. I've also placed some additional books in many classrooms for you to fold into your collection, as we always want to freshen up and give priority to classroom collections.
  • post an updated biography with photo at your door before back to school events
  • make sure you add (or update) a photo to our BME Family Tree if you haven't already done so. I've noticed that I need to update mine, as my kids have grown quite a bit over the past few months.
  • Life Goals "Treat People Right" and "Do the Right Thing" should be clearly visible within the classroom. These Life Goals serve as our filter for classroom agreements, procedures, and routines within the daily life of our classrooms, hallways, and school family at large. These also serve as simple entryways to support restorative practices in our classrooms.

A few priorities for the coming year. Some are specific to Boone Meadow, which align with ZCS priorities as well. I'm including a few items to view/read prior to our return.

  • SEL/Restorative Practices - Over the years, we are continuing to grow in our understandings of restorative practices for our school family. (See info below)
  • Writing - (and understanding genres and the reciprocal processes in literacy understandings)
  • Cutural Understanding and Diversity

I'm looking forward to seeing each of you as we saddle up for a fantastic year. Amazing things will happen with such a phenomenal crew standing side by side doing this noble work together. I'm proud to stand with each of you.

Great things are coming our way!


Welcome to the Family

Emma Bleakman - 3rd grade

Hello! My name is Emma Bleakman, and I am so excited to be joining the Boone Meadow Team.

I recently graduated from Purdue University with a major in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading and a minor in Global Studies. During my time at Purdue, I had the opportunity to teach in Haiti, Honduras, Austria, Germany, and Lafayette. Though my passion of teaching has taken me around the world, there is no better place for me than right where I started, here in Zionsville Schools.

I was born in England and moved to the United States as a baby. Although my family is scattered around the world, I am grateful to live in a community like Zionsville, where friends become family. Sunshine, playing cards, running, and a cup of tea are a few of my favorite things. I am looking forward to meeting all of you!

Emma Bleakman

Cindi Hamlow - 3rd grade

Hi, Everyone! I'm Cindi Hamlow.

I live in Zionsville with my husband, Ben, and our 4 sons, Josh (17), Camden (15), Kasen (12), and Kian (10). Originally, from Southern California I love the beach, the mountains, and of course, Mexican food. In California, I worked in the legal field for a motion picture studio, a career that was fun and had some awesome perks. In 2007 our family relocated to Indiana, and I went back to school to earn my teaching degree. I began teaching in 2010 and learned what it is to have complete joy in a career. I am so blessed to have been called to work with kids! I am passionate about teaching global awareness, social emotional skills, and helping kids figure out just how powerful they are. In 2016 my husband and I, along with our older boys, took a mission trip to Kenya to take school children there on their first field trip ever, a visit to an elephant orphanage. Talk about a teacher's dream come true!

When I'm not teaching, you will usually find me on a ball field. All of my boys play baseball and it keeps us busy year round. We also enjoy spending time together at church, going to zoos, watching movies, and eating ice cream. We have a humble little life, but man, is it good!

Cindi Hamlow

MacKenzie Orbaugh - Kindergarten

Hello, Everyone. My name is MacKenzie Orbaugh, and I feel so honored to be joining the kindergarten team at Boone Meadow.

Zionsville Schools have a special place in my heart since I grew up attending here K-12. It is such a gift to be back. In May, I graduated from Butler University with a major in elementary education and minors in early childhood, as well as, mild intervention (special education). I am a lifelong learner and am currently taking classes at Butler University to receive an Applied Educational Neuroscience certificate. When I am not in school you can find me coaching the freshman cheerleading squad, doing anything outdoors, or trying to learn how to cook!

I am so blessed to be a part of this team and am excited for the year ahead.

MacKenzie Orbaugh

Ehrin Howe - Media Center

I am super excited to be joining the BME staff! My husband, Chris, & I moved our family to Zionsville in the summer of 2013, & our two oldest started at BME when it opened that fall. Grace was a third grader at the time & Owen a kindergartener. It’s crazy to think that Grace will now be a freshman at ZCHS & Owen a 6th grader at ZWMS! Our youngest son, Seth, will be in 1st grade here at BME.

My background is actually in school counseling so I’m really looking forward to getting back into the school setting. I have worked with kids for most of my life in one capacity or another & am thrilled to be able to combine those experiences with my love of books in my new role in the media center.

Ehrin Howe

Restorative Practices

More information to come, but I'm including a few items worth visiting as you think about the year ahead. I know you might not be inclined to read these right away, but I wanted them a click away for when you are ready to open them. Keep in mind, "restorative practices" is a collection of practices and beliefs that are driven by relationships.

Restorative practices prioritize TEACHING and GUIDING young learners through a filter of empathy, rather than focus on punishments and consequences to stop negative behavior. As a building, we already employ a number of restorative practices when we:

  • conduct morning meetings and class circles.
  • we engage and empower students with classroom agreements and take it further by guiding them with repairing relationships when agreements are broken.
  • greet students at the door and assure them they are welcomed, seen, and known
  • partner with parents to understand and seek solutions, rather than simply inform them of a consequence
  • focus on the dignity of the human and their relationship in our (school/classroom) community. (Clip charts, publicly calling out individuals in front of peers, shaming, making students move to the hall out of frustration or for punishment undermine our vision and goals for students.)
  • respond to conflict with a respectful conversation
  • model compassionate and empathetic qualities we hope to build

Better Than Carrots and Sticks - Here's an excerpt from the book that overviews the position of restorative approaches/practices. (Click on the title to link to the ASCD article)

Proactive Approach to Discipline - Edutopia article

Video - (Brief overview)

Back to School Dates & Information

July 29th, 30th, & 31st - New Teacher Orientation (M/T: 8-3 at ESC; Wed 8-10 at ESC; 10-3—at BME)

Monday, July 29th - New Family Orientation - (5:30-6:30) - Updated/corrected time/date

Thursday, August 1st - ZCS Professional Development Day

Certified Employee/Teacher Work Day (8:30-3:30)

  • 7:30-8:30 Optional Continental Breakfast (HS Cafe)

  • 8:30-10:30 - District Welcome to 2019-20 School Year

*ALL employees/IAs are invited and will be paid if they come to the breakfast and district welcome event in the PAC.

  • All certified BME staff/teachers will report to BME at approximately noon following the 2019-20 kickoff at ZCHS. (Lunch on your own.)
  • 12:15-3:30 - Team Meadow Informational Staff Meeting - This is the meeting where we go over all the district and school information.

Friday, August 2nd - All teachers report to BME in AM for PD.

  • Lunch will provided prior to afternoon session with Cornelius Minor at PAC.
  • Special Education Training for IA’s (half day) - report to ESC Board Room from 12:30-3:30.
  • Classroom assignments are emailed from ESC to families @ approximately 4:00 PM

Monday, August 5th -

  • Teachers work in classrooms, and IA’s work full day;
  • Meet and Greet (Open House) 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 6th- No school. Front office staff and Counselor work day - School offices will be open normal hours.

Wednesday, August 7th- First student day

NOTE: Completion of all HR Portal checklist items must be done by every staff member by the first student day of Wednesday, August 7. The link to the HR Portal will be made available to teachers by August 1st via email from HR so that teachers who wish to begin on these items early may do so. Otherwise, these items will be completed during the Teacher Work Day time on Monday, 8/5.

Curriculum Night: August 22nd

  • Kindergarten: 5:30 - 6:00 PM
  • Grade 1: 6:00 - 6:30 PM
  • Grade 2: 6:30 - 7:00 PM
  • Grade 3: 7:00 - 7:30 PM
  • Grade 4: 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences:

  • November 13th - 3:00-5:40
  • November 14th - 11:00 AM-7:00 PM (also an E-Day)
  • Teachers will be allowed to leave at 2:45 on a few days surrounding conferences (more info/details at a later date)
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