Welcome Back Families
Kicking off the 17-18 school year - We ALL Achieve!
We ALL Achieve
If you haven’t realized it yet, this will be both an exciting and unusual year for our school. We are welcoming more new staff members at one time than I can remember and we will no longer have 6th graders here. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity to do things we haven't done, to get better at what we do well and continue learning. I know our newest staff members will add tremendously to our collective effort and skill. I think all these changes fit perfectly with a quote I found this spring by Carol Commodore, “What we know today does not make yesterday wrong, it makes tomorrow better.” I look forward to getting better.
Summer Learning: The first highlight for me this summer was the trip to Mooresville, NC. Our district leadership team visited this successful school district in July to attend their summer workshop program. Mooresville has championed an integrated technology model of instruction and seen impressive results in student learning and staff growth. The biggest single take away for me was the laser focus on teaching - how we teach is the driver to school success. In fact, in Mooresville, they say - Instruction first, Technology second. Their digital conversion has been a tool of improvement and essential piece of the puzzle for Mooresville, but they focus on teaching and learning and let technology support that work. This will be a great vision for how we integrate technology at Mount Erie.
I also read a book this summer called The Unstoppable Power of Momentum by Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards. In it, the authors look at case studies of districts that have made substantial changes in their schools in regards to technology with a corresponding result in achievement for students and substantial learning for staff. There’s a rich discussion on teachers, leadership and systems. Highlighting the recipe for success of one featured district, the authors cite the following key ingredients:
Collaborative culture of caring
Data informed and (standard) aligned lessons
Apply maximum efficacy
Cultivate reflection to grow and learn
I was struck by some of the similarities between their list and our school. In fact, I was glad to see the first two on the list as I believe we do an incredible job CARING for each other, our families and of course your children. There is a reason “Mount Erie C.A.R.E.S” is our school motto. High expectations is one of our core commitments and I know we strive to create them for our students. As for the others, I feel like we are in various stages of expertise or accomplishment with each. We do a lot of things exceptionally well. We are continually trying to get better. We want to learn. We want the best for our students. I’d be proud to have my kids go here, and in fact, they did.
The past few years our yearly theme has messaged hope and possibility - We Can, We Will - for example was the theme from last year. This year, we've selected the phrase, "We ALL Achieve." Our staff will work hard this year to improve systems, get even better at teaching, and finding just the right method for reaching every student. We're glad to partner with parents and families.
I believe it comes down to this - every student, every day - gets the best of what we can do. That's our promise to all of you. Hope you have had a great start to the year.
I've been working with my Teaching and Learning Team to talk more about what Achievement. What we have landed on is this: We ALL Achieve means teachers know the content for their grade level, teach the content so ALL the students learn the content and use data to understand where kids are in their learning. We're working toward helping every Mount Erie student be ready for next year, and ultimately, life beyond high school as financially independent adults.
Mustang Morning Programs
Mount Erie is fortunate to have several before school options for parents. We have a our Mustang Morning Program on Monday through Friday at 8:15 (8:30 on Wednesday). This is a quiet opportunity for students to read or be read to by a school adult or volunteer. It's free. We also have Chess club every Tuesday at 8:15 and Spanish Club on Thursday at 8:15. All of these programs meet in the library. Join us.
Bridgette Sahlin is back! Bridgette is at 2nd grade in Room 14.
Kim Hoofnagle is teaching 1st grade in Room 11. She brings 20 years of teaching experience from the Orondo school district.
Tammy Moehl joins the 2nd grade team and comes to us most recently from Mount Vernon. She is in Room 5.
KimMunoz takes over our Title 1 program and help coordinate the LAP program. She will work on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Kim held different teaching and coaching positions at her district in California.
Stephanie Rice is our new Administrative Assistant. She has been in private business and recently worked from home. Her son Evan is a first grader here.
Kim Peters is not really new, but after two years coordinating our intervention program, she takes over a 2nd grade classroom. She’s in Room 6.
Katie Auditor is also not new, but we are fortunate she decided to continue with Americorps for another year and returns to her position from last year.
Stephanie Brenner is a new para educator to our school. She works in support of students.
Mustang Morning Programs
Please feel free to connect directly with the principal - Peter Donaldson. If you need help from the office please call Stephanie Rice at the school number below.