Nuts & Bolts

September 16, 2019

Thank you!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and what I'm thinking are the last few days that feel like summer. Thank you for recording behavior incidences in Aspire as requested last week. Thank you for your patience and understanding as Lana was out of the building and I handled all discipline issues.

I know I mentioned it in our staff meeting and I think that it's worth my asking again - please try to use your best to use grace and courtesy when interacting with your colleagues. We need to build each other up and support each other. There is no one else in the world that quite understands what we deal with on a daily basis - other than your co-workers. We are like a family in so many different ways. We share this same life experience of working in MMA, we love children and share so much in each others' lives, and we may also get on each other's nerves and disagree - like families.

Let's try to assume that other people's intention are positive and ask for clarification from that person directly if you feel otherwise. Let's keep the positive feeling and staff morale high as we continue into this school year.

I love each of you and am happy to work alongside each of you each day. Have a fantastic week,


Staff Update

Welcome Ms. Julia, who will be serving as a special education teaching assistant beginning on Monday. We are continuing to interview for the other open teaching assistant positions - 1 more for special education, and ones for Karen, Vanessa, and Stacey. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Staff Meeting Feedback

Thank you all for engaging in Monday's staff meeting. I apologize that the technology was not working as I had hoped for the teachers to begin their MAP test training. Thank you, Lana, for your MANDT moment and Nicoletta for the new library procedures tour and Kim for the reading groups presentation. A big shoutout to the Sunshine committee, especially Ms. Jen, for the awesome treats!!

Your feedback is listed below; thank you for providing this information. Remember 1 = strongly disagree, 3 - disagree, 2 = agree, 1 = strongly agree.

Also to address some of the open-ended feedback - We will have more extensive proctor training for MAP, as all teachers will eventually proctor this assessment. Monday's training was supposed to be an intro and then allow you all to complete additional training on school time, even though it was online and I know that could have been done on your own time.

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Updated Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan

The board approved updates to the Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan. Please update your paper and digital files to reference this, updated document. See René if you have any questions or concerns about the edits. I have unshared the older document to prevent confusion. Thank you all for reviewing this updated plan.

Staff Dress Code

At last week's board meeting, staff dress code was discussed. The board examined our staff dress code and asked a few questions. What came up, specifically, was staff wearing leggings. Some board members said they directly observed as well as heard from others that our staff were not following the staff dress code as outlined in our Employee Handbook. I am not sure, however, exactly how/when these observations were made as it is the time of normalization and parents have not been in the building extensively.

I replied to the board that I have not heard any complaints (from parents, students, or anyone) regarding staff dress code this year. I said that as far as I have noticed, our staff are following the dress code and I haven't even had to address staff not following dress code - as I have had to do in previous years. I did admit that when I'm running around the building dealing with issues, I am not checking out your butts to see how tight your pants are. . .

I am asking each of you to please review the dress code section of the Employee Handbook and please follow what is written. Please see me if you have additional questions or concerns.


Kindergarten and 1st and 3d grade hearing screenings continue this week at MMA. This testing will happen in the south learning lab near early childhood. Here is the schedule:

  • Monday, September 16th hearing screeners for 1st and 3rd graders 9 am -3 pm
Order of teachers - Pat, Shauna, Krista, Jalee, Holly, Mikaela, Leslee, Karen
  • Tuesday, September 17th hearing screeners for 1st and 3rd graders 9 am -3 pm
  • Thursday, October 3rd hearing re-screens (1 hour)

Kindergarten screenings take about 10 minutes per child. This time includes checking their language, articulation, and hearing skills. Hearing screenings for the 1st and 3rd graders will take about 20 minutes for each class/teacher.

We ask that the class assistant help shuttle students back and forth to optimize everyone's time and be most efficient. The order of classes testing is listed above. When the first class is finished, we are asking that the assistant go to the next teacher testing and tell them they may begin shuttling students back and forth.

PE Location Change

Beginning Monday, PE will take place in the large gym. Please plan accordingly.

Key Cards and Fabs

Please use your key card or key fab when entering the building. Access is open for all teachers and assistants to get in the front door during school hours. Please let Megan know if you are having issues. Thank you, Megan, for updating TAs' access.

Students in the Workroom

This is a reminder that students are not allowed in the teacher workroom for any reason. I understand that sometimes our kiddos need a walking break and accompany you to this workspace, which is wonderful. Please ask students to wait outside the room. Student data and other sensitive materials may be out and in view.

Increased Student Accountability

In the past few weeks, we have had reports of food being stolen out of student lunch bags in their lockers as well as reports of students' belongings being moved from one locker to another. There has also been one poo incident where poo has been found in areas it should not be in the bathroom.These incidences have happened on both sides of the building. This is extremely frustrating for parents as well as all of us who have to deal with upset and hangry children as well as their parents. We will have to hold students more accountable for their whereabouts and have a written record for us to reference in the case of an incident. I realize that some of you already have these procedures in place and I thank you.

When a student asks to leave the classroom for any reason, the student will fill in the student check in / check out sheet noting when the student leaves and then when they return.

Teachers or assistants need to accompany their class when they are walking/moving as a group - while in line heading to specials and especially when they go to their lockers to retrieve lunches or change shoes, as examples. I realize that some of you already follow these procedures and I thank you.

If you notice anything abnormal - a child with two lunches, please kindly investigate and inform the office if you have any information. Thank you all!