Team Meadow Update

Staff Update - August 11, 2019

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Thank you!

Team Meadow,

Thank you for facilitating a fantastic start to the 2019-2020 school year for our 560 young scholars. Every single day, I think about how much I love our team! You are the absolute best pros in the field, and your artful creation of community within your spaces bears witness to the talented people you are. Thank you for keeping your students first and relationships a priority. After the amazing week we experienced, I hope you were able to refresh and rest over this beautiful weekend.

A few items:

  • We have our first staff meeting on Monday after school.
  • We will have a fire drill at 1:35 on Monday afternoon. Second floor teachers and staff, please note that we will have the EvacuTrac located on the center stairs to build familiarity with the device during emergency situations.
  • Communication is the key to success. Obviously, we know that early, positive communication goes a long way with a family. With the million and one items on our to-do lists, let's try to make an effort for individualized emails and phone calls in addition to your weekly classroom updates when possible. Unexpected positive messages to a parent is definitely a way to their heart and expands impact with parents as partners.

Also, a few reminders and expectations with your classrooms:

  • Remember that windows on classroom doors must remain uncovered unless we are in a lockdown/emergency situation. You will need to be prepared to rapidly cover the window should an emergency necessitate, but otherwise, visibility to the room must be accommodated. If you haven't done this yet, please make it a priority to complete asap.
  • When I walk through our classrooms, I see a number of learning spaces that communicate so much expectation and joy in the environment. Amazing! Absolutely fantastic! As you continue to create beautiful learning spaces for your students, be intentional with the environment serving as an important influence on learning. Everything in the space should be driven by purpose and what it communicates. Do students see that you care and tend to the spaces, or are they neglected? Are learning targets, big ideas/concepts conveyed for students? Are agendas present so students know what the day holds for them? Does your space reflect sensitivity to the diversity represented in your classroom community? In a nutshell, look at your space and ask, "What does my space communicate to the people that inhabit it?"
  • Life Goals "Treat People Right" and "Do the Right Thing" should be clearly visible within the classroom. These Life Goals serve as our filter for classroom agreements, procedures, and routines within the daily life of our classrooms, hallways, and school family at large. These also serve as simple entryways to support restorative practices in our classrooms.


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Important Dates & Information

August 12 - FIre drill (1:35) & Staff Meeting (2:40); School Board Meeting @ 6:30 ESC Board Room

August 15 - Picture Day

August 16 - PTO Luncheon (Chick-fil-A)

August 21 - EvacuTrac Training w/ ZFD - All 2nd floor staff req'd to attend. All others welcome

August 22 - Curriculum Night

  • Kindergarten: 5:30 - 6:00 PM
  • Grade 1: 6:00 - 6:30 PM
  • Grade 2: 6:30 - 7:00 PM
  • Grade 3: 7:00 - 7:30 PM
  • Grade 4: 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM (Camp T meeting to immediately follow)

August 23 - Bus Evacuation Drill (@ dismissal)

August 29th & 30th - 4th grade to Camp Tecumseh

September 2 - Labor Day (no school)

September 25 - Jog-a-Thon (PTO fundraiser)

October 14-18 - Fall Break

November 11 - Veterans Day Program

November 13 & 14 - Student Conferences

  • November 13th - 3:00-5:40
  • November 14th - 11:00 AM-7:00 PM (also an E-Day)
  • Teachers will be allowed to leave at 2:45 on a few days surrounding conferences (more info/details at a later date)

November 27-29 - Thanksgiving Break

December 23-January 3 - Winter Break

January 20 - MLK Jr. Day (no school)

February 5 - Global School Play Day

February 17 - Presidents Day (no school)

February 18 - Staff Professional Development Day (no school for students)

March 25 - Kindergarten Round-Up

March 27-April 3 - Spring Break

May 22 - Last Day of School

Restorative Practices

I'm going to leave this here in case you haven't had a chance to read.

As the year unfolds, we will dig more deeply, but I wanted all to have access to these items as we welcome the new school year. I know you might not be inclined to read these right away, but I wanted them a click away for when you are ready to open them. Keep in mind, "restorative practices" is a collection of practices and beliefs that are driven by relationships.

Restorative practices prioritize TEACHING and GUIDING young learners through a filter of empathy, rather than focus on punishments and consequences to stop negative behavior. As a building, we already employ a number of restorative practices when we:

  • conduct morning meetings and class circles.
  • we engage and empower students with classroom agreements and take it further by guiding them with repairing relationships when agreements are broken.
  • greet students at the door and assure them they are welcomed, seen, and known
  • partner with parents to understand and seek solutions, rather than simply inform them of a consequence
  • focus on the dignity of the human and their relationship in our (school/classroom) community. (Clip charts, publicly calling out individuals in front of peers, shaming, making students move to the hall out of frustration or for punishment undermine our vision and goals for students.)
  • respond to conflict with a respectful conversation
  • model compassionate and empathetic qualities we hope to build

Better Than Carrots and Sticks - Here's an excerpt from the book that overviews the position of restorative approaches/practices. (Click on the title to link to the ASCD article)

Proactive Approach to Discipline - Edutopia article

Video - (Brief overview)

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