North Side Paw Prints

Staff Newsletter

November 22, 2013

Volume 5, Issue 15

Mission Statement: "Maximize potential in all people every day"

Vision Statement: "To create a culture in which all children can learn lifelong skills to succeed"

Congratulations Becca Moore and Cori Valenti for Going the Extra Mile this Month!

Weekly Quote

Excuses are for those that need them. Don’t make excuses, make adjustments.

~Coach K

Weekly Reflection

Who has made a difference for you this month? Who can you reach out to that you normally would not?

Upcoming Dates


Nov. 25th - Acuity B (LA and Math) Window Opens

Nov. 26th - Going the Extra Mile Nominees due to the jar in the office.

Nov. 27th-29th - Thanksgiving Break


Dec. 4th - Acuity (Science/Social Studies) Window Opens

Dec. 5th - Staff Meeting 3:10 in library

Dec. 6th - Father/Daughter Dance 7:00-8:30pm

Dec. 6th - SOM names due to Venita

Dec. 9th - Breakfast with Santa 7 - 8:30 am

Dec. 9th-13th - 3rd Grade go swimming 9:00-10:00am

Dec. 10th - Acuity B (LA & Math); Window Closes PTO Meeting 5:30 in library

Dec. 16th - Leadership Meeting 3:10 in conference room

Dec. 17th - Acuity B (Science/Social Studies) Window Closes; Winter Program grades K-1, 6:30 pm

Dec. 19th - Fundraiser Prize Assembly 1:30 in gym

Dec. 20th - End of 1st Semester

Dec. 23rd-Jan 3rd - Winter Break

This Week's Case Conferences


Featured Instructional Strategy of the Week

Technology Idea!

Communicate with parents digitally

Teachers are always on the lookout for innovative ways to contact parents. Now, with access to a wealth of Web 2.0 tools, teachers can efficiently and effectively communicate. Consider utilizing one of these three powerful resources.

Text Message Reminders. Ensure that all parents know of tonight's homework, tomorrow's test, the permission slip deadline, or whatever important reminder you have. Remind 101 is an efficient way for teachers to digitally communicate with parents (and students) for free. It's a one-way text that students/parents cannot reply to. This text message is private--no phone numbers or email addresses can be seen by anyone on the list. Click to view a tutorial on how to set it up for your classroom.

Virtual Scheduling. Using a simple online group sign-up, post your parent-teacher conference schedule. Avoid playing phone tag. Omit the handwritten notes to and from parents. Even disband the back and forth emails. Virtual scheduling allows parents to see your available time slots and sign up for what works best for them. Free sites you might want to check out include:

Embrace Social Media. With the number of Facebook users reaching 1.26 billion and Twitter accounts at 500 million, it's likely your students' parents are already regular users. For that reason, start a classroom Facebook page or classroom Twitter feed. This is a great avenue for sharing your parent newsletter, featuring creative lessons, explaining class projects, even posting snapshots of assignment notebooks. Check out GilkisonClassroom or @gilkisonclass for additional ideas on how to incorporate classroom social media for parents.

Administrators could utilize HootSuite to expand their reach to parents/guardians across the district. Not only can pertinent information be relayed to parents in a timely manner, but administrators can schedule posts to go out at certain times. Watch this video to learn more about how to utilize HootSuite.

Dr. Flora Reichanadter, superintendent of Franklin Township Schools and HootSuite user, provides a valuable tip--"Be conscious of achieving a balance in the frequency of posts to parents. Post too much and they won't follow you any longer. Don't post often enough, and parents don't see the need to follow you."

Just as media and technology are integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to media are integrated throughout the standards.

Featured Video of the Week

In this video, Kristina Smekens does a book review for David's Drawings by Cathryn Falwell - great for Primary Students especially Kindergarten

David's Drawings

Character Counts Pillar of the Month

November: Citizenship