Staff Memo

Dec. 12, 2014

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A Book I'm Reading

ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) recently sent the book Authentic Learning in the Digital Age - Engaging Students Through Inquiry to our house the other day. Every so often a book will show up, and most every time Phil and I wish there were two copies instead of one.


I began reading this book silently, but soon found myself reading aloud to Phil on our 30 minute drive to church on Sunday. As I read, much resonated with me. The book is about the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. The school was built on the concept that students can ask powerful questions and create meaningful artifacts of their learning in a caring environment. Powerful questions. Meaningful artifacts. Caring environment. That's it. That's what education should be doing with kids.


The opening chapter sucked me in when the author wrote this:


"If you are reading this book, you are likely already committed to (or are at least in interested in making the shift to) working in an inquiry-based classroom. You believe that students should be constructing knowledge instead of having teachers hand it to them. You avoid delivering lectures and like to give students some kind of choice in their assignments, favoring projects and papers over tests and quizzes. You create opportunities for students to teach and learn from each other. When you were preparing to be a teacher, you read the works of John Dewey, and you agreed with him: "'Knowledge,' in the sense of information, means working capital, the indispensable resources, of further inquiry; of finding out, or learning, more things" (Dewey, 1916)."


Who is interested in helping create this kind of school classroom by classroom? As we look at getting our Roadrunners ready to be active, positive, caring contributors to the great big world awaiting them, I believe we must be willing to ask our own powerful questions, create meaningful artifacts, and create a deeply caring environment so we aren't afraid to fail, get up, try again, and grow. Anything is possible because we can create it.


Stay tuned. Next week I'll introduce you to a short text you can purchase for $2.99 on your Kindle or iPad called Why School? If you are interested in reading this over break and being part of a conversation about how we can more intentionally build a school where students ask powerful questions and create meaningful artifacts in a caring environment, please let me know. The future of education is looking really exciting.

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How We Can Help with Redistricting

Attitude influences so much of our life. Dr. Carnes asks that all of us choose helpful, positive attitudes when we communicate with families about redistricting. We can break it or make it. Soon the strongest plan for redistricting will be voted on by our school board. No matter what happens, CRE will take in new students, families, and staff. We may say good-bye to a few that we know well. I like to think of this as an opportunity for us to show what we believe about welcome and inclusion. . .arms to hug those leaving and arms to hug as we say "We are so glad you are here."
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Skyward Minimum Expectations - Revised December 2014

K-2

· Skyward’s Family Access is where parents look for current scores and report cards
· Teachers enter all scores in a format that’s communicated with parents
· All scores and comments are entered into the grade book prior to grades locking
· All report cards are proofread prior to grades locking
· There are no expectations on the number of assignments required before entering a score. This can be addressed as a team with building principals if further guidance is needed.
· K-2 does not have averaged semester grades/scores

3-4

· Skyward’s Family Access is where parents look for current grades and report cards.
· Teachers enter all scores for assignments, quizzes, and tests into the grade book within 5 school days of being received
· All scores and comments are entered into the grade book prior to grades locking
· All report cards are proofread prior to grades locking
· There are no expectations on the number of assignments required before entering a score. This can be addressed as a team with building principals if further guidance is needed.
· 3-4 has semester grades

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Kindness Quotes

Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back. ~Marcel Proust


The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention. ~Unknown


I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship. ~Louisa May Alcott


On the best portion of a good man's life, his little nameless, unremembered, acts of kindness and of love. ~William Wordsworth


By perseverance, the snail reached the ark. ~Charles Spurgeon


I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another. ~Thomas Jefferson


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Upcoming PD Revisions/Reminders

Jan. 5 9:00-11:00 SRI PD - (PBL PD cancelled that day)

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Looking Ahead

Monday, Dec. 15 Day 1

  • Pledge/MOS - Reese
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4


Tuesday, Dec. 16 Day 2

  • 9:35 Stakeholder - Emma - Head
  • 9:50 Stakeholder - Caleb - Hale
  • 10:10 Stakeholder - Antonio - Hale
  • 10:30 Stakeholder - Jason - Snyder
  • 3:10 Collab Team K


Wednesday, Dec. 17 Day 3

  • First day of Channukah
  • 7:30 CIT
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1


Thursday, Dec. 18 Day 4

  • 8:00 Office meeting
  • 2:00 Winter music program in the gym
  • 3:10 Collab Team 3
  • 4:10 Collab EC
  • 6:00 First grade Winter Concert
  • 7:00 Second grade Winter Concert


Friday, Dec. 19 Day 2

  • 2nd 9 weeks ends
  • $1 Hat Day


Monday, Jan. 5

  • 9:00-11:00 SRI training in the PD room
  • 11:00-4:00 Teacher work time


Tuesday, Jan. 6 Day 2

  • Pledge/MOS - Knutson/Carrell
  • 3:10 Collab Team 2


Wednesday, Jan. 7 Day 3

  • 3:10 Collab Team 3


Thursday, Jan. 8 Day 4

  • 8:00 Office meeting
  • 9:45 Stakeholder - Thomas
  • 10:05 Stakeholder - Huston
  • 12:00-3:00 Elementary Principals' meeting
  • 3:10 Collab - Team HA


Friday, Jan. 9 Day 1

  • 7:35 Staff Meeting - Topic - TBD
  • 3:10 Collab Team K