Union Weekly Staff Update

Volume 17- December 6, 2015

Our Mission

Union Elementary strives to create a nurturing and kid focused learning environment where teachers, students, and parents work together in supportive and collaborative partnerships so all students can meet their potential.

A Message from Jen

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! A big thank you goes to Stacey Off, who spent most of her Saturday working with our student council at the Eagle Elementary Vendor fair. Our kids raised over $130 by wrapping PTO Spirit Wear that was purchased. They will be using the funds to purchase stuffed animals for Payton Manning Children's Hospital.

In other news...The current 10 day forecast is looking pretty balmy for December. However, plans are underway for if/when Mother Nature does decide to rebel. I will be sending you a separate email regarding our plan for snow make up days. Remember, our first day off will be tacked on at the end of the school year. If we were to have a second day off anytime in the year, then we would make this day up digitally. On Tuesday, Carly will be joining us at our staff meeting and digital learning days are currently the only agenda item, so please review the email and bring any questions that you may have.

By glancing at the calendar, it looks to be another busy week. The countdown to break continues, so look for little surprises in your mailbox or email inbox throughout the week.

This Week's Events

Monday, 12/7- Wear Jeans today!

8:00 in Conference Room, Initial Eval- VanCuren, Ioannacci, Manna

OLSAT Practice Tests:

Purple Lab:

9:15-10:00 Smith

10:00-11:00 Hamelmann

11:00-12:00 Clark

Green Lab:

9:15-10:00 Beiermann

10:00-11:00 Off

Tuesday, 12/8

8:00 in Green Lab- Staff Meeting

Adamson's Karate at PE: (Note altered times)

9:15-9:45- Fremion

10:15-10:45 Dunn

10:50-11:25 Sorgen

11:35-12:15 Williams

12:20-1:00 Abbott

Chaucie's Place:


SECOND GRADE: 10:20-10:50AM

FOURTH GRADE: 11:00-11:30 AM

Wednesday, 12/9


Purple Lab:

9:15-10:30 Hamelmann

10:30-11:45 Clark

Green Lab:

9:30-10:45 Off

9:15 in Conference Room, PTO Exec Board Meeting

10:50-12:30, Star Student Lunches in Conference Room- Jen

6-8 in Gym/Cafeteria- Dads Club Winterfest

Thursday, 12/10


Purple Lab:

9:15-10:30 Smith

1:30-2:45 Beiermann

8:00 in Conference Room, ACR- Bowlin, Raycroft, Stewart?

10:00, Office Meeting

Friday, 12/11

8:00 in Conference Room, Initial Eval- Meyer, Clark, Duhn, Roy, Ioannacci

7:30-9:15 1st Grade Coffee with a Cause Fundraiser in Cafeteria

9:15 in Project Room, PTO General Meeting

AM- District STEM Meeting, Trish and Erin

Calkins Reading Units of Study Pilot


In conjunction with our Academic Services and Literacy Coaches, we have an exciting opportunity! The only downside is that for this maiden voyage, we are limited with the amount of participants. Grant dollars have given us the opportunity to purchase per elementary building, five sets of the NEWEST Units of Study for Teaching Reading, K-5, recently released from the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project.

As quoted by Lucy Calkins: “This series builds on decades of teaching and research—in literally tens of thousands of schools. In states across the country, this curriculum has already given young people extraordinary power, not only as readers, but also as thinkers. When young people are explicitly taught the skills and strategies of proficient reading and are invited to live as richly literate people do, carrying books everywhere, bringing reading into every nook and corner of their lives, the results are dramatic.”

If you are interested in piloting this Unit of Study for your grade level, please carefully read below the details & light FAQ’s, and then email your principal on or before Thursday, December 10th. Your principal will take into consideration everyone’s interest and make his/her final selection of the five teachers. The ordering of 25 kits will be made on Friday, December 11th, so therefore, our timeline is tight and time-sensitive.

Will there be training?

  • Yes. In fact, in order to receive your kit, you must commit to attending the training session from our Literacy Coaches.
  • The date of the training will be on Wednesday, January 27th from 4:00 - 5:30pm @ ESC.
  • The title in PD express will be called: Making Units of Study Work for You!

What if I already have a Units of Study (UOS) Reading kit - can I still attend this training?

  • Yes! In fact, ANY elementary teacher can attend this training. However, please know if you were selected as the pilot teacher, only the pilot teachers will get the kits. But again - if you’re interested and/or have a kit of your own and would like to learn more, then please join us!

So does this mean I can “forget about” the National Geographic adoption materials as a pilot teacher and/or if I have this kit already?

  • No. As a friendly reminder, this is our school board-approved materials + our parents have paid for these materials to be implemented through their textbook adoption fees. As good stewards of these funds, please ensure you are still using the NatGeo materials.
  • Also, when you attend this training, you will need to bring your NatGeo materials so that the Literacy Coaches can train you on how BOTH resources will harmonize together.

I have received the training . . . now what?

  • You will get your kits at the end of the training. HOORAY! An early holiday gift for you! And YOU get a kit! . . . and YOU get a kit! . . .
  • Take time to digest everything you have learned and take small steps towards implementation.
  • Have a growth mindset! Lucy Calkins did not build these materials in a day!
  • Your literacy coach and principal(s) will be key resources for you as start this in January 2016.
  • Last but not least . . . remember that Units of Study works for YOU, you DON’T work for Units of Study! :)