Blue Haze Bulletin

Weekly Newsletter 4/11 - 4/15


I want to congratulate our third and fourth grade teams on our great benchmark scores! These two teams are shining in so many ways! We are seeing so much collaboration within their teams, co-teaching/combining classes, playing on each team member's strengths, targeted small group instruction, increased alignment, high expectations, rigorous lessons...and our students are benefiting from all of their hard work. We still have work to do, but our students are on the right track! GREAT WORK to Kim, Allison, Lindsey, Chauntel, Courtney, Caldwell, Ashley, Marissa, Alden, Maegen, Megan, Jessica, Jayme, Liz and Catie!

I also want to lift up our interventionists who give so much additional support to our 3rd and 4th grade students...Angela, Amber, Lara, Nicole, Crystal, Nikole, Darla and Erin. Every moment you spend with our students positively impacts their success!

Met Standard % (including STAAR A)

  • 3rd Reading: 81% met standard
  • 3rd Math: 75% met standard
  • 4th Reading: 73% met standard
  • 4th Math: 85% met standard

Student Retention Referrals

Due to the high response for student retention meetings, we are putting together a process for retention referrals. We are looking at a very high number of referrals, upward toward 20 or so. Central administration and campus administrators discussed retention and summer school during our Leadership Meeting last week. The average rate of 1-3 student retentions per campus, per year, is typical for WSISD. Although there are certain situations when retention is the best decision for a student, this should be a very rare occurrence. It will often help short term goals such as success in the next grade or two, but research strongly supports promotion over retention when looking at the long term effects on student achievement. I know this is very different from the norm at BHE, so I ask that we all keep an open mind and look at the research. We do not simply retain a student due to immaturity or struggling a bit in academics, and we must look at every piece of data to determine what is best for each child.

We are putting a process into place for this spring. If you've already discussed retention with parents or parents have made a request, no worries, simply hold off on any further retention discussion. Admin and Interventionists will collaborate as we facilitate this process:

  • Teacher submits Google Retention Form
  • Teacher submits Student Plan for Success Form
  • Grade Placement Committee Meetings (late May, or after STAAR scores return for all 3rd/4th)

Articles on Retention:

Staff Dress-up Fun

At UIL on Saturday, a few of us were discussing staff dress-up days for the upcoming weeks. We were thinking we could call next Monday (18th) "Manic Monday" and dress-up in 80's attire! (For our younger staff members, search "The Bangles" Manic Monday on YouTube.) If you choose not to participate, that's fine as well! Does everyone like that idea? Jim, you could bring back some Rick Astley? #nevergonnagiveyouup #justanothermanicmonday

Additionally, what are your thoughts on "Throw Back Thursdays" during the month of May? Each Thursday we could dress up in "Throwback Attire"...60's one week, 70's, 80's then 90's? Team Leads/Communicators, please chat with your teams and let me know what you think!

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LiiNK Project

Last Friday our awesome K/1 teachers attended the first of three LiiNK Project trainings. Dr. Rhea has shared very interesting and exciting data with our teachers, and I can't wait to get this project started in the fall! Dr. Rhea's hands-on educational experience in Finland (one of the strongest and most progressive educational systems in the world), in addition to her credible research and positive results with schools across the country, gives her a wealth of knowledge to drive the LiiNK Project here at BHE. Jumping on board with the LiinK Project will require trust and a risk-taking/growth mindset, but I truly believe we will see great student success as a result! We will also hold a training day in August for our K-1 Life Skills teachers and regular K-1 subs! Click this link below for more information, and to see a few of the TCU LiiNK Project members you may see around campus next year.

THANK YOU to Fara, Evelyn, Meredeth, Ashley, Belen, Carrie, Renee, Toni, Lara, Beth, Rachel, Cherise and Pam for taking on this new adventure!

UIL Greatness!

Thank you to our awesome UIL coaches who volunteered their time to support our UIL participants! We are so proud of our little Bears!

Crystal Dryden: Creative Writing

Joanie Burns: Storytelling

Lindsey Vinson: Spelling

Music Memory: Cherise Goen

Oral Reading: Breanne Ingram

Ready Writing: Allison Speer

Art: Deneise Rothenberger

Chess Puzzle: Courtney Button

Maps, Graphs and Charts: Marcy Deaton

Number Sense: Liz Toms

Workshop Model Closings

In the classroom it usually feels as though there is never enough time in the day. This makes it difficult to slow down, bring the class back together, and close a lesson. However, the closing of a lesson is often the most important and beneficial part of the workshop model. During a 5-7 minute closing you may allow 1-2 exemplars to come up front to show their thinking using the iPad/projector, students can share their ideas/questions, or you can take the learning a step further with an extension--a different perspective, a bigger idea, etc. Closings are critical for self-reflection and for retaining information. Let's commit to closing each lesson each day, and using those moments to allow students to reflect on their learning and deepen their understanding of the lesson.
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Love My School Day 2016!

Jump on Twitter Monday! Monday is #LoveMySchoolDay #BHEBears

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Upcoming Dates

Tuesday, 4/12: Interventionist Mtg CANCELLED, 2nd Grade Music Performance 6:00 (PTA Meeting at 5:30)

Wednesday, 4/13: Team Lesson Collaboration Mtgs 3:05-4:00, College Blitz/Jean Day

Thursday, 4/14: Grade Level PLCs, ELA Alignment Mtg CANCELLED, $1 Flip Flop Day

Monday 4/18: Manic Monday/80's Attire Day!

Tuesday 4/19: Team Lead Mtg 3:05

Wednesday 4/20: Birthday Lunch/Salad Theme, Alden's Baby Shower MPR/3:05

Thursday 4/21: Grade Level PLCs, Go Green/Jeans Day

Friday 4/22: 5th Six Weeks Ends

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Have a great week everyone! Make it awesome!