12-19-13 (Vol. 16) Final Edition


This quote leading into the Staff Lounge says it all! Thank you for making a difference through your dedication to be the very best staff for our students and each other.

I will miss Solana Highlands greatly and am grateful for each of you. Sincerely, Jerry

Common Core Math - Way to Go!!!

Fallbrook Principal Visit

This week, three principals from Fallbrook came to observe our Common Core implementation. We were able to visit a few teachers and the quote from Julie Norby sums the visit up so well:

"The principals from Fallbrook were absolutely blown away with our implementation of Common Core Math Standards and the shifts in instructional practices. They commented on the high engagement of students in Real Life Application of Mathematics; the consistency of instruction across the grade level; the use of math manipulatives in all classrooms; the rigor of instruction, activities and conversation; the use of academic vocabulary and high levels of critical thinking! There was incredible evidence of students making the shift from standard algorithms to deeper understanding of mathematics-Not to mention that every classroom had examples of the Standards for Mathematical Practice being valued and encouraged! The team was quite in awe of all that you have accomplished in such a short amount of time!

My own personal observation today was centered around a genuine excitement for mathematics and numbers. Not only were the students excited about doing math, the teachers were genuinely engaged in the meaningful and purposeful teaching of mathematics! Such a shift from "turn to page 54, watch me, practice, repeat!" I'm so proud to be in a district where teachers model life long learning and are continuing to refine our practice and our craft! Our students reap the benefits!!"

High Tides

  • Matt - For being named Interim Principal at Solana Highlands. I know that Matt will be amazing!
  • Lisa Salley, Kirsten, Lauren, Hollis, Matt, Shaina, Marcie, Marie, Kristie - for your participation in the Lucy Calkins Pathways to the Common Core Book Club. What great discussion. I know that this group and our Lucy Calkins Units of Study pilot group will take writing to new heights at Solana Highlands!
  • Office and Support Staff - Thank you for the delicious soups and salads!
  • Nancy - for helping serve lunches during our rainy day recess
  • Debra and Christine - For attending the Common Core Workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday. Your dedication is so appreciated and it is making a difference with our students. Just yesterday, Melinda shared how her students are doing better than they have ever done. Just think by the time our Kinders and First graders reach 4th grade. They will be amazing!
  • Susanna - For having students spread our pillar of caring to our Support Staff through their making Holiday cards!
  • Hollis and Adriana - Great job producing DNN
  • School Site Council - Thank you Lisa Salley, Jen Battaglia, Hollis Lefkowitz, Kirsten Oliver, Marie Schultz, Rob Bell, Matt
  • Office Staff - Thank you for the gifts - White Out, Hot Chocolate, Candy Cane, and Nice Packaging (thank you Kathy for your efforts!)


  • Happy Birthday - Julie Paris - 12/25, Judy Alpert -12/28, Lisa Salley 12/30, Murphy 12/31, Jillian Esoldi - 12/31

Happy Holidays to All! Enjoy your vacations, your families, and your friends.

Education Corner - Growth Mindset and the Common Core Standards

The key difference between fixed mindset and growth mindset teachers is in how they view struggling students. The fixed mindset teacher perceives these students as not sufficiently bright, talented or smart in the subject, whereas the growth mindset teacher sees struggling students as a challenge -- as learners who need guidance and feedback on how to improve. Growth mindset teachers see the challenge as an opportunity for students to learn when their efforts and mistakes are highly valued.

See full article below

Who Am I?

  • Middle child of 6 children
  • I have traveled to most continents
  • Loves Indian Food
  • I love to fix and build things
  • Fan of Rock music

Answer: Joe Parsons