Team Thomson News & Notes

#ThomsonRocks Week of: October 15, 2018

Important Information for You!

Data Days Follow-up

I want to thank you for your thoughtful and focused conversations during Data Days. While I will be reviewing the overall data at our staff meeting, I wanted to let you all know that our building scores for DIBELS for the beginning of the year are 58%. Our NWEA scores for the beginning of the year are 87%. As you can see there is a big difference in our DIBELS and NWEA scores. As we discussed these two assessments measure very different things. DIBELS is focused only on phonics and phonemic awareness, whereas the NWEA is far more comprehensive, focusing on Literature & Information, Vocabulary Use & Functions, Foundational Skills, and Language & Writing.

Also, don't forget that you need to document both Title I and IRIP information in the SIDR. Title I student should have this documented on the 'Intervention' under 'Staff' tab. When documenting Title I, be sure to specify if the student recieved Title I for Reading, Math or Reading and Math in the box labeled 'Other'. Students with an IRIP will also have this documented under the 'Staff' tab 'IRIP'. Since I do not expect you to reenter data, please fill out the following in the IRIP section: SCHOOL YEAR, GRADE, PARENTS, DATE OF DATA DIALOGUE, then press 'save' button. By putting this information in, any future staff will be cued to look in the CA-60 for the actual IRIP documents.

5D+ Classroom Observations

I am looking forward to getting into classrooms this week for documented classroom observations. Classroom observations will consist of a 15— 20 minute observation in which I will be scripting everything I see and hear or at least all that my typing skills can record. Once complete, I will code this scripting and provide some thoughts/questions/wonderings regarding your areas of focus. As a teacher, your job is to be sure to respond to these wonderings so that I can help understand where your skills and thinking are in regards to teaching and how I might be able to help you move forward. Please remember you must respond to noticings and wonderings within 48 hours.

Title IX

As you know, Title IX is a very serious topic. The district has very specific policy regarding sexual harassment, Board Policy 5517. As an employee of the district, you have a responsibility to report Title IX complaints. Holly Halabicky shared a document with administrators that will be summarized below and that will also be reviewed at a staff meeting.

A complaint is any written or verbal notice given to any school personnel of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment. (See BOE Policy 5517 for examples, but know the list is not inclusive) Building staff should report complaints to the building administrator who will in turn report the complaint to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinators for our district are as follows: staff related complaints are reported to the Assistant Superintendent and student related complaints are reported to the Executive Director of Student Services.

Cardinal Code Focus of the Week: Bathrooms

As you know, the bathrooms are one area of the building with the least supervision and therefore one of the areas in general that we see the most 'silliness'. This week, please intentionally reteach the Cardinal Code for the bathroom focusing on:

  • Get in, do your business, wash your hands, and get out.
  • Bathroom privacy.
  • Making sure that all paper products end up either in the toilet or in the waste basket.

Thank you for intentionally revising and reteaching the Cardinal Code focus of the week.

October 26th Professional Development Preview

Remember that all certified staff will have 3 hours of professional development on Friday October 26th from 7:30-10:30 a.m.

Our focus for this professional development will be Instituting Practical Restorative Practices (based on a book study I am doing with other administrators) and Literacy Essentials/Balanced Literacy. I will provide more details at our staff meeting.

Literacy Essential-Return Focus to Essential 1

Deliberate, research-informed efforts to foster literacy motivation and engagement within and across lessons. How's it going? How motivated and engaged are your students when you lead them in literacy activities? Why are they or aren't they?

Bullet 3 in Essential 1 focuses on literacy collaboration with peers, specifically it states: offers regular opportunities for children to collaborate with peers in reading and writing, such as through small-group discussion of texts of interest and opportunities to write within group projects. How can you give opportunities for your students to work together to develop their literacy skills? While they may not be ready for book clubs just yet, how can you get them working together to partner read or engage in literacy activities? Please take some time to watch the video below focused on literacy motivation and engagement and think about the opportunities you can provide for your students now and into the future. Don't give up watching just because you are thinking 'book clubs are way beyond them'...remember it is all about collaboration and how you can have kids collaborate in all areas of literacy.

Quotes Worth Reading

"A book is a dream that you hold in your hands."

-Neil Gaiman

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

-Dr. Seuss

Thomson Elementary


Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: My apologies to Hillary Vroman who's birthday I missed last week, October 12th...Happy Belated Birthday to you Hillary!

Don't forget we will celebrate the MSU/U of M Game on Friday with a Tailgate Pot Luck lunch and by wearing your favorite college attire. Also, staff may wear jeans with your favorite team colors. However, I have to say...Go GREEN!

I would also like to take a moment to welcome Jill Stanley and Stacey Wolf to our Thomson Team. Jill is a retired Davison teacher and also grandmother to Finley Walroth a kindergartner in Lori O'Brien's classroom who will be subbing for Megan Campbell doing literacy intervention groups in the mornings until Megan returns in January. Stacey will be joining our Thomson Team as a playground/lunch monitor. Stacey is also the mother to C.J. in Andrea Bell's classroom Please join me in welcoming both of these ladies to our team!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, October 15th - DK-Kindergarten Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, October 16th-Lockdown/ALICE Drill

  • Wednesday, October 17th- Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Scheduling Follow-up, please bring your reflections and any updated schedules; Balanced Literacy Push-in; NWEA Student Goal Setting Descriptors); Word Study Learning Lab

  • Thursday, October 18th-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CMC Meeting, 4-7 p.m.

  • Friday, October 19th-GISD Elementary & Literacy Principal Meeting (Natalie)

  • Week of October 22nd-PLC Week

  • Monday, October 22nd-ACC Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.

  • Wednesday, October 24th-Baffling Bill visit

  • Thursday, October 25th-Halloween Costume Parade, 10:30 a.m.; Classroom Parties in the afternoon

  • Friday, October 26th-No School for Students; 1/2 Day Teacher PD, 1/2 for Records (teachers may do records from home if they would like)