Poynter Patriot News

Weekly Staff Bulletin

January 4-8, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year!!!! We hope you all had a wonderful break. Believe it or not first semester is rapidly coming to a close and second semester off to full steam. That being said, we will begin our conversations regarding the following: SBAC, 2016-2017 scheduling/teaching assignments, as well as keep on our target on instructional practice within CCSS, AVID strategies, our new School Improvement Plan, and academic language.


We are looking forward to seeing everyone on January 4th.


Everyone, everyday is what it takes for a school to run smoothly and educate our students.


Jon and Katie

Framing a Quality Focus Question

This past week I have been reading a book on developing questions for students to lead to greater discussions in classrooms. The first part talks about how to "frame a quality focus question." A focus question is the frame of a good discussion you would want to have with your students regarding the content you are teaching. Crafting these can be challenging. I wanted to share some of the first part.


1. Identify an issue. What is it in the standard or content you want students to know about. Consider the breath and depth of knowledge come into your classroom with the issue and how "vested" they will be in the issue due to relevance, importance or interest.

2. Craft the question. Strong focus questions share these characteristics: Academic Vocabulary (age and grade appropriate), Strong VERBS to activate student thinking, simple and straight forward sentence structure, delivered in meaningful context.

3. Anticipate Student Response. Think ahead of how students at different levels, knowledge backgrounds will respond to your question.


The book I am reading is called, Questions for Classroom Discussion (Purposeful Speaking, Engaged Listening, Deep Thinking) by Jackie Acree Walsh and Beth Dankert Sattes.

General Information for all staff

*No Gum policy. Thank you for your hard work with this new policy. It is working. I have not noticed a few students chewing gum in class. Please keep an eye on that if you can. Katie and I will be reviewing this but at this point I am really thinking we are going to extend this to the end of the year. Please see Katie or myself if you have ideas, suggestions, etc.

*Great job on the Patriot Party. Thank you Nicole for the great organization of the Patriot Party. Also thank you for everyone who participated and helped. It went out without any major problems and was fairly low-key.

*Principal Directed Academic Seminar for Teachers will be this Wednesday. The Special Education Department will be doing a session on Accommodations and Modifications.

*Nuts and Bolts Meeting will be on Wednesday afternoon in the library after school. We will start the conversation on Homeroom for 2016-2017. Please come prepared to share ideas etc.

Current Week and January At A Glance

Monday-January 4

Gym Week: Macintosh, Griffiths, Keniston, Rivas

Trio-3:30-4:45

Basketball 3:15-5:00


Tuesday-January 5

Yearbook Club 7:50-8:45

Wildcats/Pilots mtg. 8:00-8:45

Attendance Team Mtg. 11:00

MESA 3:15-5:00

Bike Club 3:30-4:45

Volleball 3:15-5:00


Wednesday-January 6

Academic Seminar--Principal in the library 8:00-9:00

7:50-8:50 Chess Club

GSA 12:00-1:30 (1st lunch Ceccarelli, 2nd lunch Byrne)

Nuts and Bolts Meeting in the library @ 3:20

Basketball 3:15-5:00


Thursday-January 7

Boxer/Viking Team Meeting 8:00

Bike Club 3:30

Volleyball 3:15-5:00

Equity Team 3:30


Friday, January 8

7:45 Student Study Team Meeting in the conference room.

8:00 Department Coordinator Meeting


Upcoming Events:

January 11-15 BE CONNECTED WEEK (more information to come)

January 18, No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

January 19, Black Ticket event

January 22, Be Connected Patriot Out day

January 25, Grading window opens.

January 27, End of Semester

January 28, No school teacher prep

January 29, No School Grade prep


Remember Monday is AVID gear, Tuesday is Tie Tuesday, Wednesday is Poynter Gear, Friday is college or Liberty gear.

Thought of the Week

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.