Team Thomson News & Notes

February 11, 2018

Important Information for You!

Literacy Essential #3 Continued...

Small group and individual instruction, using a variety of grouping strategies, most often with flexible groups formed and instruction targeted to children’s observed and assessed needs in specific aspects of literacy development.

This week, I'd like you to watch the video in which small group fluency instruction is explored. Not only is small group instruction a great place to teach fluency, but should be a focus for all reading instruction. We should model and practice reading with fluency each time we read to, with, or ask students to read. One easy way to do this is through rereading. Please take time to watch the video in the link below.


Well, these two additional snow days have not helped with Growth Plan meetings and observations...but hopefully this will be the last of the snow (fingers crossed) and we will be able to get back into a regular school rhythm that will be helpful for everyone. I do plan to hold the scheduled Growth Plan meetings this week and complete some observations, but my goal of getting everyone's second observation in prior to intersession may not be realistic. I will be asking Anna to schedule Growth Plan meetings that need to be rescheduled for the week we return from intersession.

Review of Bullying, Policy, and the Law

As you are aware bullying is a topic that we all need to be mindful of. I will be meeting with Amy Chorley, Jason Vannest, and Christine Gretch to review in detail our protocols for investigating reports of bullying, but there is information that all of you need to be aware of and up to speed on at all times. "Bullying" is defined as any written, verbal, or physical acts, including cyber bullying (i.e. any electronic communication, including, but not limited to electronically transmitted acts, such as internet, telephone or cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), or wireless hand held device) that, without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus, is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one (1) or more students either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

A. substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one (1) or more students;

B. adversely affecting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school district's educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress;

C. having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a student's physical or mental health; and/or

D. causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, or a combination of all three. Some examples of bullying are:

A. Physical – hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, pulling; taking and/or damaging personal belongings or extorting money, blocking or impeding student movement, unwelcome physical contact.

B. Verbal – taunting, malicious teasing, insulting, name calling, making threats.

C. Psychological – spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, coercion, or engaging in social exclusion/shunning, extortion, or intimidation. This may occur in a number of different ways, including but not limited to notes, emails, social media postings, and graffiti.

Please take time to review the information below. I've included the Board of Education Policy (This is where you will find the definition of bullying), MI Law on bullying, and the Student Code of Conduct. We will spend some time at our next staff meeting reviewing and discussing the report of bullying investigation protocol.

BOE Policy:

MI Law:

Student Code of Conduct:

Cardinal Code Focus of the Week:

This week the Cardinal Code focus is DISMISSAL. While dismissal usually goes very well, it is important to review with students. A few key points are to move quietly in the hallways, just as they would with you, and to stay in line.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters Jean Day

This Thursday, February 15th will be a $5 jean day to raise money for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. If anyone would like to make a $15 donation to this great cause, I would happily give you a jean day coupon to use as you wish.

PLC Day & Intersession Note

As you all know, Intersession for students and support staff begins at the end of the day Thursday and for all certified staff following the PLC day on Friday. For the most part Certified Staff should plan to report to GATES Elementary Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. and we will finish at 2:30 p.m. There are some groups that may be meeting elsewhere but the report times are the same. If you are unsure where you should be, please let me know.

As for the Intersession Break, I hope that you all have a wonderful week off. Matthew, Elena, and I will be traveling to Florida for the week to visit my parents who spend part of the winter there. I am very much looking forward to a week of relaxation in the sun. Whether you are traveling or staying close to home, I wish you a great week!

Quotes Worth Reading

"Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be."

-Rita Pierson

I have shared this quote before and we have watch the Ted Talk by Rita Pierson on more than one occasion, but it is important to revisit and keep in the forefront of our minds. A question that was asked at our last General Admin meeting was: Who would a kid go to if they had a problem? If you asked every student that in your room or that you would with, would they have an answer? Do they feel connected to school and the adults charged with their care? Things to think about...

Thomson Elementary

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Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays... Megan Romanik, February 11th; Julie VanEvery, February 19th; Kay Tessner, February 20th...Happy Birthday to you all!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday, February 13th-Early Spring Conferences from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Please schedule these and turn in your schedule to the office.
  • Wednesday, February 14th-Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Thursday, February 15th-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CMC Meeting 4-7 p.m.
  • Friday, February 16th-Elementary PLC Day-All Thomson Certified StaVff should report to Gates for grade level/department PLCs.
  • February 19th-23rd-Intersession II
  • Week of February 25th-PLC Week
  • Monday, February 26th-Cardinal Code Relaunch Week; PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 28th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Family Reading Night/March is Reading Month, School Improvement); Family Reading Night, 4:45-7:15 p.m. for certified staff, 5-7 p.m. for families
  • Thursday, March 1st-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie)
  • Monday, March 5th-Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. HS AMR
  • Tuesday, March 6th-Tornado Drill
  • Wednesday, March 7th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: SI-Building Visits & Planning); Early Release Day (Agenda: Literacy & Math)
  • Thursday, March 8th-General Admin Meeting (Natalie); ELA Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.