Tidbits

Ratcliffe Weekly Newsletter May 31, 2016

Relationships are still Key!

With three weeks to go until the summer, it can be easy to find oneself at wits end. Cumulative folders, parent calls, reports cards, testing, packing up...can leave us feeling stressed out. Add to that the lives we all live outside of school. But as educators, we have a personal obligation to cultivate positive relationships with students, parents, and staff. Say good morning to everyone you see. Smile as the student who has the most referrals comes into class, encourage the student whose parent always calls to complain. In the School Climate survey, the informal survey provided by Johnna, and in the meeting with Dr. Hall, most of us said we wanted a positive and professional environment. And guess what, it starts with each of us! If we want positivity, we have to give positivity. Our students deserve our best, so let's give them our best right up until the end of the year! And have fun with each other as we do it. A smile lights up a room and sets the tone for the day! Let's make the last few weeks radiate with positivity!

SOL Testing Updates

The bulk of SOL testing is complete and we are beginning retakes for eligible students. When working with students on retakes, look at the strands where they scored less than 34, then look at individual questions. Use the information from fully aligned curriculum ONLY, such as Measuring up, or the Performance Analysis documents right from VDOE found here. We are fortunate to have a lot of support and we want each student to be successful. A few students need to turn in forms. Please work with the families to get the form signed.
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End of the Year Reminders

Supervision of Students

Thank you so much for the supervision of students. We will need to continue to be diligent with bathrooms, playground, cafeteria, and whenever you send students through the building. Remember, supervision is key and students should not be unsupervised at any time, including when you are sending them for a time out.


HR Information

Please be reminded that June 17th is the final day for all teacher resignations. If a situation arises where you are offered a promotion or move out of state, Human Resources will verify the information and work to find a replacement PRIOR to you being released from your contract. Only the Superintendent can release you from a contract over the summer. This message is directly from Human Resources. May 31 is also the last day for internal transfers.


Personal Leave Requests

As the end of the year approaches, it is challenging finding substitutes. In order to ensure we have coverage, please notify Johnna and/or Cassandra as far in advance as possible for absences. We will be following the HCPS HR policies for all Personal Leave Requests.

Personal leave, which is subject to the conditions set forth in item #3, may be used in full-day or half day units with the exception of Fridays when full0day use only shall be applicable. Arrangements for personal leave shall be made DIRECTLY with the principal at least three days in advance of the proposed absence. Personal leave may not be used in the following instances unless approved in advance by the principal at least five working days before the proposed absence:

a. The last contractual day or workday that precedes or the first contractual day or workday that follows a vacation or holiday

b. On the opening or closing day of a school session

c. In the absence of an approved substitute when required. This means if we cannot get a substitute, your leave will not be approved.


Signing in and Out

It is absolutely necessary for you to sign in and out of the office every single day regardless of the time you arrive and leave for the day. Thank you for remembering to do this daily!


Social Committee

The Social Committee is continuing with Countdown to Summer. Thank you to third grade for an oh so creative popcorn bar! This week is fourth grade! 3 weeks 'til summer!


Talent Ed News!

Johnna will send out a form that is helpful when calculating your student growth information. Please come to your meeting on time and ready. All teachers will be considered Proficient (or below if there are developing areas) unless an appointment is made with Johnna or Cassandra to provide evidence that clearly demonstrates performance above the description for that standard. First person to say the newsletter was chock full of information to Mrs. Willis on Tuesday will win a gift card for a free entree at Chick Fil A. To date, only one person has made an appointment with us. Keep in mind that our professional standards reflect high expectations and a rating of “Proficient” is an indication of excellent performance.


Newsletters for this Week

Please include all of the applicable ceremonies and times in your newsletters this week as well as a blurb about Dress code and cell phones. The Code of Conduct states that students may not wear dresses, skirts, shorts, athletic shorts, and other similar clothing that are shorter than finger tip length, arms straight with palms flat-measured by the ball/tip of the longest finger) even when worn with leggings or tights. The dress code also includes no spaghetti straps and no flip flops.


Cell phones should not be visible or used from the point of entering the bus at the morning pick up stop to exiting bus at drop off. Students will have their phones confiscated and only a parent can retrieve it.


Testing celebrations!

As testing concludes, the Admin Team will be putting together some celebrations for the students! They have been working so hard and we want to celebrate with them. Stay tuned!

Calendar of Events

May 31st- June 3rd - Mrs. Griggs' Class Morning Announcements

June 1st-June 16th - Expedited Retakes

June 8th and 9th - Title I Bookbag Distribution

June 9th- Field Day

June 10-- Classroom Meeting Forms

June 13-June 17th-- Teachers eat with Students*

June 14th--5th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 6pm, Henrico Theater

June 14th- PreK Ceremony

June 15th- Junior Achievement

June 16th- Final Awards Ceremony (Incorrectly listed last week)

June 17th--Final Classroom Meeting Form Due

June 17th- Last Day of School, Early Dismissal


Please continue to check School Space for any changes and for Staff Birthdays.

*We are looking at providing coverage to continue duty free lunches! Stay Tuned!

Thinking of you...


...Ms. Hill whose grandmother and great uncle passed last week.

...Mr. Ridle whose uncle passed last week.


Please know each of you have the support and love of your colleagues.

https://youtu.be/aWjMdcm8Bx4