Intermediate Staff Newsletter

For the Week of March 5, 2018

Dear Staff,

This week we look forward to connecting with many families! It will be a long week, but one of the most valuable weeks of the year. By this point, you know your students well including their strengths and areas for continued growth. As you meet with families remember that the people in front of you are doing the best they can for someone they love very much. Hold that in your mind while you celebrate and have difficult conversations about the work that still needs to take place. You are the professional, you do amazing work with all kids, you are an advocate for each of your students. It takes a village to raise a child, and we need strong relationships between school and families in order to help each child succeed. You will find a few tips for having difficult conversations in our “Supporting Our Students” section. If you need support for any of your conferences, please reach out to Katie, Kate, Barry or Kelley depending on your needs. There will be no morning meetings (with the exception of PAC) this week so you can focus on this important work.

With our third trimester beginning, we are seeing Spring Fever set in throughout the building. Students are testing limits and at times their short fuses can ignite. We are happy to support you on an individual student basis, a class discussion or a Wing Assembly. We need your help! Please review RISE expectation and hold students accountable to the classroom management routines you have set in place. As a reminder, we do have Friday Night School for students who are sent to the office multiple times. While we do our best to communicate between the three of us, if you feel a behavior has escalated to the need for a Friday Night School, please come talk with one of us. If you have documented behavior, contacted families and still do not see a behavior changing, we will support you with an appropriate response/consequence. This time of year can be challenging, but it does require us to teach students how to appropriately behave when they are bursting inside to have a break from each other and from school.

Here’s to a great week of conferences!

Katie, Kate and Barry

Supporting Our Students

Parent Teacher Conferences:

I liked this article for the tips they listed "During the Conference". Most were common sense but sometimes reading through them again helped me get my mind right.

If you know you have some hard conversations to have, you might like this article. It talks about several different types of difficult parents including Parent in Denial, Aggressive Parents, Uncooperative Parents, and Absent Parents.

And if you need a little comic relief check out this video by Gerry Brooks with "Patti the Parent Teacher Doll". If this doesn't make you laugh during a stressful time, I'm not sure what will! Enjoy!

Spring Fever on the Rise:

We've noticed an increase in office visits and overall disrespect among our students. Whether it is being unkind in the lunch room, disrespecting a lunch teacher or classroom teacher, or just generally not caring. Here is a copy of the Office Referral Form. Minor offenses can be handled in the classroom by filling out a form and contacting the parent. After the second minor then an office referral is made and the consequences can come from the office. Reviewing this plan with students may help deter some of the behaviors we have seen or heard about recently.

Let's not forget though that expected behaviors should be taught over and over again. This website has great ideas for how to address many types of behavior. One of the hardest parts, when a student is misbehaving, is avoiding engaging in a Power Struggle. If you want to know more about this topic, I thought there were some good ideas here.

Don't forget to have your class vote this week!

Don't forget to have your class vote this week!

News to Share

1. The final MAP testing window begins March 12th (which is a week away). Please click here to sign up for a testing time. Homeroom teachers please review the testing accommodations plan for any student on a 504 Plan. If you have students with testing accommodations, please touch base with the staff member assigned to support your student to ensure a smooth testing experience for your students. The accommodations document will be sent out to all staff this week and later linked here. (Remember 504 Plans are the responsibility of the General Education Staff and while our Intervention Team may help with testing, the General Education Teacher is the one responsible for ensuring that the 504 Plan is being followed.) You can begin creating test sessions as soon as tomorrow. If you are missing a student, please email their name to Kate. Here is the Google Doc Jess Mamais created to assist with MAP questions. A reminder if you are using the Text to Speech accommodation: Teachers are to set up the test session the day before. Text to Speech Accommodations need to be assigned the day of the test and prior to the student logging into NWEA. When a teacher clicks on their saved session, they can select the students that need TTS and then assign accommodations. Teachers will then have students login.

2. We are very excited for our Arts Inspired event coming up on March 12th and 13th. Please add this to your portals or other home communication tools to help get the word out. See below for a link to the flier.

3. Conference Dinners will be provided on Tuesday and Thursday. Head to room 137 to grab a bite to eat and fuel up for your conferences. Meals will be ready to go beginning at 3:00.

4. Until we track down the student(s) who has been misusing the restroom, please keep a restroom sign out log. We will send an email out with the time of an incident to see if you had students in the restroom. If you have concerns that it may be a student you know, please come and see us. Whoever is doing this, needs help! Please help us by keeping a restroom log in your classroom.

5. Don't forget to turn in your R Factor student groups to Kate. You can access the presentation from February 20th here. We are still trying to secure one more guest speaker. Do you have someone in mind that has a great story of how E+R=O applies to their real life? If so, please help us out!

6. All staff involved with giving the OST either in a large group or small group setting needs to plan to attend the staff meeting on 3/13 where we will go over OST information and testing procedures.

7. MARCH 14, 2018- Late Start and Peace Rallies at MS/HS

Our final two hour delay PD day is next week on Wednesday, March 14. An agenda will be sent this week. The middle school and high school will be holding peace rallies that morning at 10 am as an alternative to having students walk-out at 10 am which some national groups are encouraging in response to school violence. For fourth and fifth grade, students are not yet on campus due to the late start, arriving at 11am. For sixth graders, they will have the option to participate in the peace events happening at NAMS during their first period electives class. A message to sixth grade parents with more details will be sent soon. A local law firm prepared a document to help explain the issues for staff and students with walk-out events. If interested, you can read it here.

Science Super Stars: NAIS Science Fair

Week at a Glance

Announcements: S Wing- 4th Graders- See Pledge Schedule

Monday, March 5th- No Meetings

Tuesday, March 6th- No Meetings; 7:00 6th Grade Band Concert

Wednesday, March 7th- No Meetings; 6:30 6th Orchestra Concert

Thursday, March 8th- No Meetings; PTO Meeting after school

Friday, March 9th- PAC meeting