Pirate's Crew ~ Weekly Preview....

Staff Newsletter for Ray Childers Elementary 10/17-10/21

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OUR FOCUS FOR 2016-2017

Thoughts for the week . . .

As we draw this week to a close and reflect on what's happened throughout the week- for many of us we look at the amount of work we have completed, the number of meetings we had to attend, the late nights of checking papers and preparing lessons, the kids that pushed us to our max, etc. etc. However, I want to share with you a conversation I had with a mother this morning . . .

While on car duty, Mrs. King stopped me to share how appreciate she was for our school and the staff-- thankful that her kids have the opportunity to be at Ray Childers. She specifically mentioned Mrs. Hendrix, Ms. Smith, Mrs. Kerley, and Mrs. Anderson. She shared how thankful she was for the type of teachers and staff members that work in this building-- ones that "rally around her kids" and support them.

Wow! I love her statement of "rallying around her kids!" This is why we do what we do! I see many examples of this everyday and I value it even more when visitors and parents recognize the work you do-- day in and day out! It's never about what our role is-- it's how can we pull together and work hard to pull the weight of the team-- while growing and supporting "our kids!"

You are hard working folks and I appreciate all you do! Please enjoy your families this weekend-- rest-- and take some time for yourself!

Much appreciation--


I was originally scheduled to be away on Wednesday, October 19th to attend the Principals Ready Conference in Hickory. However, there are a lot of activities happening on campus that day-- so I will not be attending the conference. I have went ahead and scheduled several meetings for this day that have been sent to me.

WELCOME Mr. Steele!

Mr. Steele will be joining us on Monday! Please stop by the gym and welcome Mr. Steele to our Pirate Family!

Mrs. Lambert checks to see how she "measures up" to THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN!

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The One and Only Ivan

On Thursday evening we present our One Book One School selection, The One and Only Ivan with all certified staff assisting. There are so many connections that you can make to this text. I encourage you to not just make it an activity that is for home. Integrate it into your instruction, make valuable connections, and have conversations with your students during read aloud! It's also a great time to develop positive character traits that perfectly parallels our focus on citizenship and the Pirate Code for Success! Most importantly, have fun with it-- and make it a valuable experience for our kids!


Thank you for scheduling your EVAAS conferences with me. Remember to do this using GOOGLE CALENDAR. You should have already logged in and analyzed your individual information. I will be sending you a list of questions that we will discuss during our time together which will address where are you and how do you continue to grow.

Danny's Weekly Tech Tip

Customizing your Google Profile Icon

Several of you have expressed interest in creating class or grade level Google Sites with your BCPS Google accounts. Recently, the "New Google Sites" has become available for our district. The new version is very user friendly, and is easy to maintain. Creating a class or grade level Google Site is an excellent way to communicate with parents and other teachers. We can set it up so that important letters, documents and calendars are available for others to browse and access. Please let me know if you are interested in creating a Google Site for your class or grade level and I will be glad to help you.



Great article that discusses lesson planning . . .

Lesson Planning Feedback (YOUR INPUT)

What do you think should be included in lesson plans?

  • I can and I will statements (clarifies what students will learn and what steps they will take to understand)

  • Strategies to incorporate to improve understanding

  • Vocabulary or key spelling words incorporated to strength phonetic development and vocabulary development

  • games/ skills incorporated to development and improve learning goal

  • Links to websites, names of videos that will be used

  • Standards

  • Discuss the questions you could possibly ask to guide students in the right direction

  • Examples of what you want students to produce/learn in the lesson

  • What the students will do and what the teacher will do to facilitate

  • Homework

  • Materials

  • Groupings of students for small groups

Student Centered and Content Focused Activities Throughout the Week

Student Conferences

I will continue next week with conferences! I am having very interesting conversations with students. I always enjoy seeing their reaction to sitting down with me to discuss their grades. My favorite question is . . . "After looking at your interim report, tell me one thing you liked about it and one thing you didn't like." They will almost always know where they are struggling. These are great conversations for you to have with students as well. I typically remind them to be open with you and ask for assistance, ask how to improve, and inquire as to what their grades currently are. These conversations can be an eye opener for all!
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Changing and Growing

As visitors make their way through our beautiful campus the majority of their comments are directed to our murals. When we approach the mural that was on this particular wall- many would comment on how "outdated" it was--given it's focus on technology. Recently, Leadership vetted the idea with each area of our school and cast their vote to begin a fresh look for this hallway. Leadership's feedback was a "go!"

So, the next question from many of you---even the students--- has been . . . "What will we put here?" I am excited to share that the wall will now become an ART GALLERY to highlight student work and ARTISTS OF THE MONTH! Ms. Bewley and I are working on a plan to roll this out soon. Mrs. Hendrix is working to secure oversized wooden frames painted in black that will line the hallway. Be looking for this to come together over the next few weeks. I know it will be a great way to showcase student work! Thanks to all of you for your input and suggestions!

Bus and Car Duty

CAR: Lowman, Wittenberg, Ray BUS: Powell


  • Hearing Screenings Begin (Schedule emailed)
  • Book Fair Continues Next Week
  • Fruit and Veggie Challenge in Cafeteria Next Week
  • Monday, October 17: Battle of the Books 3:00-4:00
  • Tuesday, October 18: Chorus 7:25 AM
  • Tuesday, October 18: Leadership meeting @ 3:15 (SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN)
  • Wednesday, October 19: 1st to Devine Farms
  • Wednesday, October 19: Chartwells Characters with us for lunch
  • Thursday, October 19: Family Literacy/Curriculum Night
  • Thursday, October 19: Chorus 7:25 AM

BCPS District Goals for 2016-17

  • Customer Service

  • Ongoing and Specific Professional Development: technology instructional use, instructional rounds, Ed Camps

  • Developing district leaders via a Leadership Academy: Principals, Teacher Leaders, Beginning Teachers, assistant principals, and aspiring principals

  • District wide Anti-Bullying program

  • Utilizing the Central Office Instructional evaluation for 2016-2017

  • Establish BCPS Foundation with Charter Board members

  • Continue to promote Burke County Public Schools:

  • Family Magazine, Videos-See video, Postscripts, Putnam’s Pen, BCPS Website, Twitter, Facebook, & Accentuating the positive highlights

  • New promotion methods for 2016-2017:

  • Movie theater advertisements

  • New Billboards

  • 1st annual BCPS Foundation Golf tournament- Corporate sponsors: Chartwells, Pierce, Pepsi &…

  • 1st annual BCPS 5K race

  • Introduction to Project Lead the Way: Engineering in Patton and East Burke

  • Pilot Video Conference/Virtual classrooms: From Freedom High School to Draughn and East Burke High Schools & Heritage Middle to Hallyburton Academy

  • Continue to improve Child Nutrition program with Chartwells

  • Continue to promote staff education and certifications to add value to BCPS

  • Continue to work with local partners to prepare our students for the work force and for further secondary education

  • Seek input from Parents/Community/teachers via surveys on academic competitions: What to keep and what to go! Science Fair, Spelling Bee, Speech Contest, Battle of the Books, Robotics, 3D printing, and others

  • Advocate for all students through the lens of equity