JAN. 18, 2013 (VOL. 4)


  • Classified Employee of the Year Nominations are due Jan. 25th
  • No School on Monday - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Enjoy the long weekend!


As always, it was wonderful to have Terri Davis, Terry Decker and Lisa Platt observe the great teaching and learning that is occurring at Highlands! Dr. Robert Marzano has said that the most important factor in student achievement is having a "guaranteed and viable curriculum." You can see this more and more at our site as one goes from grade to grade and room to room. From the gen. ed. classroom, to the Learning Center, to the intervention work done by Jeanne and our aides; we are all reinforcing the same skills and strategies being taught in Treasures. It's really powerful to see. Other exciting observations from the walk-through:

  • Active learning and level of engagement was very high throughout the school
  • Students getting academic support from the environment - e.g. GLAD posters
  • Evidence of collaboration by grade level teams
  • Using Technology in meaningful ways - Edmodo, iMovie, Fluency Practice, and other collaborative projects that support learning
  • Great small group instruction in all grade levels
  • Lots of examples of students doing writing
  • Academic discourse amongst students
  • Rigor demonstrated during seat work in many classrooms
  • Clear objectives posted and understood by students in many classrooms

Keep up all of the wonderful teaching. It's is extremely gratifying to see the high levels of learning and engagement that is going on everyday and Solana Highlands!


  • Thank you Susanna, the Student Council, and all of you who have helped make our inaugural Kindness Challenge a huge success! Class posters look amazing too!
  • Thank you to all of the teachers who attended the evening Dinah Brown Training: Tarri, Debra, Johanna, Donna, Lisa Sturt, Ashlee, Jessica, Kimberly H., Julie, Tracy, Katy, Christine, Lisa Salley, Heidi, and Debbie. Our students are benefitting from this great shift in practice.
  • Not only do we have the most committed staff, we also have the most fit. Way to go Judy, Debbie K., Hollis, Felicity, Lisa, S. Tracy, Sherry, and Emily for doing the exercise class after school!
  • Thank you Katie and Lauren for helping with the 3rd and 4th grade Family Science Night
  • Dr. Lynch for doing a well-attended parent workshop at Solana Pacific on Bullying Prevention.
  • Baby Shower - Congratulations to Ashlee, Karen, and Ryan! Thanks to all who brought in goodies and to all who made the lounge look cute!
  • To all of our wonderful aides who continue to do amazing work with our students: Marcy, Mary, Paula, Marla, Jenelle, Amir, Linda T., Tamara, Linda B. The support that you give to our students is invaluable!
  • Lisa Sturt for helping take a class full of kindergartners (40 students!) on Monday afternoon.

EDUCATION CORNER - "Replacing Round-Robin Reading with Better Practices"

This summary of an article written by Katherine Hilden and Jennifer Jones, discusses that there are better ways for students to practice their reading than by having students take turns one at a time. As we have learned from our training from the Essential Elements of Instruction and Dr. Fisher, we want to maximize student participation; even in small guided reading groups.


One way to create more happiness is to write down three gratitude's every day. "Yes, 3...and yes every day...this is one way to train your brain to notice and seek out things that you appreciate."