Hilcher Herald

GES Staff Update-Week of 2/15/16

A Heartfelt Thanks & Some Humor

As part of our Happy Heart is a Healthy Heart challenge, I want to take a minute to tell each of you how much I appreciate your efforts with PLCs and Data Days. We've worked hard as a district over the last few years to create Professional Learning Communities that are productive and meaningful. I know that having PLCs during your conference time can be challenging from time to time with all that you have on your 'platter'. I appreciate the efforts you make to attend each one with an open mind and with your information prepared. It sounds like last week's 1:1 PLCs were a positive experience for all. I hope you will try some of the new task cards that Kerissa shared with you during Shine Time. I also need to give a huge shout out to Kim Ray & Nancy Hale for their organization and facilitation of these learning opportunities. Terri Eubank shared the following video clip with me...you may have seen it on Facebook. This principal provides many laughs and hopefully will make you smile while he shares a few 'tongue in cheek' moments. I do want to say that I know you all take our PLCs seriously...this is clearly making fun of PLCs outside of GCISD and specifically GES! Thanks for your dedication to our students!

Paraprofessional of the Year

It's the time of year to select our GES Paraprofessional of the Year. All paraprofessionals are eligible for the 2016-2017 Campus Paraprofessional of the Year Award. When selecting your candidate remember the following criteria:

-Demonstrates professionalism and continually exceeds expectations

-Inspiration to peers

-Respected, loyal, trustworthy, and a dedicated team player

-Interfaces or communicates effectively with students, parents & staff

-Exhibits compassion and respect for ALL students

-Must not have been a campus paraprofessional of the year winner for 2015-2016

Please use the following form to vote for your nominee: http://goo.gl/forms/tiSe8gAq39

You may vote through Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

Early Dismissal Lunch Schedule

As a reminder, the following will be our lunch schedule for this week:

Wednesday, February 17

Kindergarten MAPS 7:55-8:45 a.m.

First Grade MAPS 8:50-9:40 a.m.

Second Grade MAPS 9:45 –10:35 a.m.

Thursday, February 18

Third Grade MAPS 7:55 - 8:45 a.m.

Fourth Grade MAPS 8:50 – 9:40 a.m.

Fifth Grade MAPS 9:45 – 10:35 a.m.

*There will be no formal lunch periods on these two days. Lunch will need to be taken care of in the classroom.

**The cafeteria will be open from 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. Sack lunches will be provided to those students who preorder or need a lunch.

Friendly Reminders

  • If LaToya cleans your classrooms along the primary hallway, please leave your students' chairs down on Thursdays. She will be cleaning desks on those nights!
  • Don't forget to schedule your mid year PLP meeting with Kim & Liz. Sign up sheet: http://bit.ly/20iutpk
  • Please be sure to leave messages on voicemails when calling parents from your school phone. This will minimize the number of parents we have calling the main line asking to know who called them. Also, students may use your phone with your guidance if it is a school related call that you've approved.
  • STAAR training for ALL GES staff will be on Monday, 2/29. Please notify Kim about serious circumstances that keep you from attending. Please make arrangements to be here 3:10-4:10pm.
  • Don't forget to offer compliments for outstanding hallway behavior when you observe a class working hard. We want to honor the effort our students are making to honor a quiet learning zone in the instructional hallways, as well as the front foyer. Together, we can keep our high expectations on all students as they transition.


  • You may have noticed, but the laminator in our workroom is acting up! It is trying to roll back into the machine so be sure to watch your work closely!
  • We have received a permission form to use allowing our students to participate in tasting from the garden. You should have gotten copies in your mailbox. Please send these home as soon as possible as the WOW volunteers are anxious to harvest some of the vegetables. In our google folder, you will also find information from the USDA on best practices for school gardens and handling of produce. I have shared this information available to Betsy Marsh anyone that is working or preparing produce for tasting from the garden. Please let me know if you have any questions. https://drive.google.com/a/gcisd.net/folderview?id=0B90_DLAhTR6Mfk02bVN3aXJDSldZYm50NXN2Z3N6eDJvX1RMb0RoSUdiT1liTlowcVdic28&usp=sharing
  • VALOR 5.4 applications went out last week. VALOR is a GCISD program for innovative, growth-minded teachers who seek to advance student achievement through academic study, self-reflection, and collaboration with other change leaders in the district. It is job-embedded professional learning for teachers at its finest! To learn more about VALOR, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW-cgCBTHbY&feature=youtu.be You can also contact Phillip Lentz at phillip.lentz@gcisd.net.

CORE visits

Our next CORE visits are schedule for Thursday, February 25. Please refer to the following schedule: https://docs.google.com/a/gcisd.net/document/d/1kAgnOLi_zQ17rEHJiCLCTXZWI4XtfY7_pD75qH0tzhU/edit?usp=sharing

See Nancy if you have any scheduling conflicts. Please remember to choose two of the nine common campus goals prior to being observed. Thanks for participating in this campus learning opportunity!

Upcoming Dates

Monday, 2/15 Professional Learning Day at GES (8-4); Skate Town event (GES fundraiser for 5th grade from 2:00-4:00pm)

Monday, 2/15 Behavior RtI information due in Eduphoria

Tuesday, 2/16 Ensemble auditions for 4th & 5th grade (2:50-3:30pm)

Tuesday, 2/16 GCISD's Special Program EXPO (5:30-8pm at CTMS)

Wednesday, 2/17 & Thursday, 2/18 11:45 dismissal for student led conferences

Thursday, 2/18 PTA meeting & Media Madness parent program (6:30-8pm)

Monday, 2/22 & Tuesday, 2/23 PLP meetings with Liz & Kim

Monday, 2/22 VALOR 5.4 applications due; Ensemble practice (2:45-3:45pm)

Monday, 2/22 - window closes at 10 p.m. for progress report grades

Monday, 2/22-Friday, 2/26 GES Book Fair

Tuesday, 2/23 Campus Excellence Committee meeting (3:10 in the Learning Commons)

Wednesday, 2/24 - Progress reports post to Skyward

Wednesday, 2/24 World Read Aloud Day; Running Club & NEHS (2:45-3:30pm)

Thursday, 2/25 Ensemble practice (2:45-3:45pm)

Friday 2/26 GES Bank; College Colors day

Friday, 2/26 Lunch With a Loved One & Book Fair shopping

Monday, 2/29 STAAR training-ALL staff!!! (3:10-4:10; if you cannot attend, you will need to attend on another campus)

Monday, 2/29 Ensemble practice (2:45-3:45pm)

Wednesday, 3/2 Running Club (2:45-3:30pm); AVID parent night at the PDEC (6:30-7:30pm)

Thursday, 3/3 Ensemble practice (2:45-3:45pm)

Thursday, 3/3 Kendra Scott fundraiser at the Southlake location (5-7pm benefitting our 5th grade end of year activities)

Where We Will Be...

    • Monday, 2/15- Wednesday, 2/17 - Ray out at Assessment Conference
    • Wednesday, 2/17- Liz at communications training
    • Thursday, 2/18 - Horn at Counseling PLC
    • Friday, 2/19 - Ray out 12:30-2:00 pm

    Monday Message to Parents

    The following link will take you to the parent newsletter that will be sent out Monday morning: https://www.smore.com/mg24v

    Disclaimer: It will be a work in progress until late Sunday night!!

    Information from Nancy Hale

    iStation testing in the Labs

    It has come to our attention that it is taking a great deal of time for students to get logged into the computer lab computers and then find the istation application for istation testing. In an effort to avoid both the loss of instructional time and the frustration, Josh will be helping us out by logging in to the lab computers using the testing ID for istation testing. However, he will need to know when you are planning to go in for testing in advance. Please use the Google calendars for the mac lab and dell lab to sign up for a time and title your event "istation - your name." For example "istation - Hale" so Josh will know that you are planning to go in for testing on that day/time. It would also be helpful to invite Josh to the event on the calendar so he gets an email about it. Josh will check the calendars each morning so he can help you prepare.

    Information from Angela Horn

    Big image

    February 15-19th is Random Acts of Kindness Week!

    In conjunction with our Rachel’s Challenge program at GES, we challenge you to complete at least 1 random act of kindness each day this week! What do you get in return? Besides the satisfaction of knowing you left someone happier than before they received your act of kindness, your kindness has many personal benefits:

    1. Kindness makes us happier. On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain's natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, so we get a natural high, often referred to as "Helper's High."

    2. Kindness gives us healthier hearts. Emotional warmth produces the hormone, oxytocin, in the brain and throughout the body. Of recent interest is its significant role in the cardiovascular system. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which dilates (expands) the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and therefore oxytocin is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone because it protects the heart (by lowering blood pressure). The key is that acts kindness can produce oxytocin and therefore kindness can be said to be cardioprotective.

    3. Kindness slows aging. Aging on a biochemical level is a combination of many things, but two culprits that speed the process are free radicals and inflammation, both of which result from making unhealthy lifestyle choices. But remarkable research now shows that oxytocin (which we produce through emotional warmth) reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system and thus slows aging at its source. Incidentally these two culprits also play a major role in heart disease, so this is also another reason why kindness is good for the heart. There have also been suggestions in the scientific journals of the strong link between compassion and the activity of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve, in addition to regulating heart rate, also controls inflammation levels in the body in what is known as the inflammatory reflex. One study that used the Tibetan Buddhist loving kindness meditation found that kindness and compassion did, in fact, reduce inflammation in the body, mostly likely due to its effects on the vagus nerve

    4. Kindness is contagious. A recent scientific study reported than an anonymous 28-year-old person walked into a clinic and donated a kidney. It set off a ‘pay it forward’ type ripple effect where the spouses or other family members of recipients of a kidney donated one of theirs to someone else in need. The ‘domino effect’, as it was called in the New England Journal of Medicine report, spanned the length and breadth of the United States of America, where 10 people received a new kidney as a consequence of that anonymous donor.

    I’m not suggesting you donate a kidney. Simply donating a few minutes of your time to go out of your way for someone else (stranger or not) can reach the same, if not more, people as a kidney donation. :-) Watch out; you may be RAK’d!

    Rachel's Challenge Rally

    We are ready to join TOGETHER in representing GES at our district’s Rachel’s Challenge 5K & Community Fair in showing our commitment to the chain reaction of kindness!
    Big image

    Information from Erin Wahpekeche

    Groovy Book Fair

    Friday, 2/19 Wish lists will be created by students & teachers in grades 3-5

    Monday, 2/22 Wish lists will be created by students & teachers in grades K-2

    Monday, 2/22-Wednesday 2/24 Book Fair open for shopping 8am-3:30pm

    Wednesday, 2/24 World Read Aloud Day (more info on how you can participate to follow)

    Thursday, 2/25 Book Fair will be open 8am-7:30pm; *We are planning an evening family event that will bring in more shoppers! Details are coming...

    Friday, 2/26 Lunch With a Loved One; Book Fair open from 8am-2pm

    GCISD Information

    Handwriting Feedback Opportunity

    As you know, we purchased handwriting resources for grades K-3 in August of 2014. The publisher, Zaner-Bloser, has asked if any of our campuses would be willing to convene a focus group of teachers to gain insights about the product and its use. We may soon be having another ELA-related adoption in TX, and this could help guide the decisions that are made. IF you would like to participate in this opportunity, please email Liz.

    Save the date for The GCISD Innovative Teaching with Technology Conference - June 14

    Rather than EdCamp this year, the instructional technology team is hosting a true conference for GCISD teachers. George Couros will be the keynote speaker. GCISD teachers and instructional coaches will lead breakout sessions. Eduphoria registration, Call for Presenters, and more information about George Couros may be found here: https://goo.gl/ZwmpyD . Please consider registering for this special opportunity!

    Google Links

    • Lesson plans, or links to your plans, should be saved to our Google drive folder in the GES Faculty and Staff folder:http://bit.ly/1LqQ4sg
    • Newsletters, or links to newsletters, should be saved to the Google drive folder in GES Faculty and Staff: http://bit.ly/1MAJbWP