Whitford's Weekly Update



November has arrived and as usual I turn my thoughts turn toward Thanksgiving. I have to admit, for me it first brings on thoughts of the wonderful food that I get to enjoy each year as well as the chance to sit and talk with relatives that I rarely get to chat with. Then as I reflect a little more, I remember what this holiday is all about. Thankfulness. Counting and sharing blessings. Gratitude. These things are what bring us together at this time of year and I hope that we take the time to count the blessings in our everyday lives as well as those larger than life blessings that often are so wonderful we rarely forget them. Don't forget to be thankful for those people in your life that do the little things for you. These are easy to pass over and take for granted, as sometimes we feel as though they should be expected. But take the time to dwell on how our lives are enriched by these small acts on a daily basis. Be thankful for the smiles on the children's faces we work with each day. How eagerly they share their lives and ideas with us. Keep in mind that not all students come from happy homes where food, joy and support are bountiful. On an even more timely note, be thankful for our veterans and all who serve to protect our country and help spread peace. Some of these servicemen and women make the ultimate sacrifice for our country and some come back torn apart, emotionally and/or physically. They are forever deserving of our respect, assistance and gratitude.

Educator Effectiveness – You should hit the submit button when you are ready for your EEP meeting with me. When we finish the meeting I will go in and hit Request Revisions so that you can make any changes. Deadline Reminders:

Summative Year Teacher Meeting w/Evaluator: November 21

Supporting Year Teacher Meeting w/Peer: November 21

Just a reminder that I will begin coming around for mini-observations soon. These will be 15-20 minute observations. When I complete the mini-observation the results will be e-mailed to you.

Miller, Camp & Oak Staff Meetings – we will be meeting this week to go over a few things on Ed Effectiveness, AESOP reminders, Personal Leave, Dates for next year’s P/T Conferences, SIP plan progress check, and a SCRUM activity.

Report Cards – just a reminder that report cards go home on Tuesday, November 11th with the students. Report Cards will be printed off by Noon on Monday.

AESOP Reminders – Just a reminder that you still need to enter into AESOP that you are taking a day off even if it is a non-student attendance day. If, on a grading day/Collab day or Inservice day, you wake up sick or with a sick child, you still need to go into AESOP and enter that you are taking that day off. You will need to mark it as a “No Sub Needed” day, but that is how we will be tracking time off. Or if you have a Workshop or Conference out of district on a Collab/Inservice day then you still need to enter it into AESOP but just mark it as “No Sub Needed.” Also, please make sure to go in and set your “5” preferred substitutes.

Personal Leave – Just a reminder, when you are taking personal leave please send an e-mail to Meredith but please also copy me and your building secretary. Meredith just checks to make sure you have the availability to take that day off (not too many others have already requested that day) but final approval comes from your building principal. A reminder that personal leave cannot be used on Grading Days/ Collab Days or Inservice Days. If leave needs to be taken on those days it would be considered “unpaid leave.”

Support Staff Training – the district will be providing professional development training for support staff on either the January 19th or 28th Collaboration Day. I will be asking the support staff to let me know what they would like training on for that day. I know you mentioned a variety of things in the survey we did in the Spring of last year, but I want to make sure we are addressing what your current needs are. We have not decided if we will be training the support staff in the morning that day or in the afternoon, so I would like your input on that as well.

Mr. Ali Classroom Visits – Mr. Ali, the Arabic teacher at the High School, would like to come and do classroom presentations. It is actually one of the requirements of his exchange program, so we are looking for classes that would like him to come and speak for 30 – 45 minutes. It would be good to have the students generate some questions before he arrives and that we can make sure to prepare for them. Maybe what school life is like in Egypt? What kids are like in Egypt? Daily life in Egypt? etc…. If you are interested please let me know so I can pass that on to Mr. Paris at the high school and we can get that arranged.

Conversations in Compassion – "Conversation in Compassion" is next Thursday, November 13th at the 1012 Building in downtown Tomah (near Phillip's Pharmacy) from 5 – 7pm. The speakers will include Tim Gnewikow from Tomah Area School District, Jennifer Livingston from WKBT, Tina Thompson from the Tomah Chamber of Commerce, and Pastor Phillip Enderle from St. Matthew's Church. I would encourage everyone to attend. If you have any thoughts on "Compassion in Education" that you would like to share with Tim I would ask that you please send them to Tim as he is looking for inspiration in writing his speech. What does "Compassion in Education" mean to you? His e-mail address is: timothygnewikow@tomah.k12.wi.us

Great article – Providing Feedback as Formative Assessment –


Kudos -

A big THANKS to Tina & Sherry for taking the time and making the effort to do a home visit for a student that needs our support! – Tom

Kudos to Elizabeth L for asking the right questions about grading and assessment in an informal discussion we were having. Loved your thought process!! – Tom

Kudos to Mary P for being that trusted friend and mentor to a new staff member. So glad and proud that she felt she could come to you and share personal side of her life as well! It’s all about relationships! – Tom

Thanks to Sue G & Amy S for asking me to participate in the Reading Challenge activity!! I am looking forward to this and I hope the kids are as well!! – Tom

Kudos to Vicki for contacting a vendor and arranging for us to get a new ball cart for our playground equipment! - Tom

"All About Those Books" MDIHS Library

Calendar of Events


10 Playground Rules Review @Miller Playground (7:30am)

Talk w/5th Grade Boys @Miller Library (11:15am)

Tom - EEP Review Meeting - Wells @Miller Office (3:20pm)

11 Veteran’s Day Program @Camp Douglas (11am)

Miller Staff Meeting @Miller Library (3:20pm)

12 Miller Pizza Luncheon @Miller Library (11:15am)

Tom Out in PM - Ed Eff Principals Webinar @DO (2pm)

Camp/Oak Staff Meeting @Oakdale (3:15pm)

13 IEP Meeting (AG) – Gonia @Miller Office (8:15am)

Tom - Lunch w/Oakdale Staff @Oakdale (11:30am)

District PBIS Meeting @RKLC (3pm)

Conversations in Compassion @1012 Gallery, Tomah (5-7pm)

14 Principals Reading Challenge Day

Tom – Lunch w/Camp Douglas Staff @Camp (11:30am)

Camp & Oak Family Movie Night @Camp Douglas (6:30pm)

17 Miller PBIS Meeting @Miller Library (3:20pm)

19 Hand out Crucial Conversations Articles

Camp/Oak PTO Meeting @Oakdale (6pm)

20 Tom out in AM – Admin Team Meeting @DO (9am)

Tom Out – STAR Webinar @THS room 146 (12:30 – 1:30pm)

BIT Meeting (HK) – Szeflinski @Miller Office (1:00 – 2:00pm)

Camp/Oak PBIS Meeting @Oakdale Library (3:15pm)

Camp/Oak IRT/BIT Meeting @Oakdale Library (3:45pm)

21 Tom – Lunch w/Camp Douglas staff @Camp Douglas (11:30am)

Tom Out – Elementary Principals Meeting @DO (1pm)

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