Maybell Update

Team Meeting

Dear parents,

Carol, Taylor, and Amber will begin a cycle of "team meetings" every other week when Amber visits Maybell on Monday's. We had our first team meeting this week!

The purpose of our team meetings are important for more reasons than just getting the job done.

1. They provide regular communication between Carol, Taylor, and Amber, which leads to common understanding of team activities, needs, roles, and responsibilities.

2. They provide an opportunity for problem solving, innovation and creative brainstorming to make sure Maybell's students get the very best instruction.

3. They help us develop common expectations, deepen interpersonal relationships, and boost the team's effectiveness.

4. They help lighten the load that everyone is carrying independently, by carrying the load together.

We have the following strategies in order to ensure our team meetings are effective.

  • Share what is working and what is not working to get/keep everyone on the same page
  • Always presume positive intentions
  • Maintain focus on solutions
  • Be action oriented
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S.S.R. as an purposeful activity

One of the topics we discussed as a team is the need for Carol and Taylor to have time to plan together.

1. Carol needs Taylor's help in preparing materials for lessons.

2. Taylor needs Carol's in deeply understanding the curriculum so she can be effective as a para.

This cannot be accomplished without daily time together.

Our plan. . . . .Modify the school's schedule

Currently the students have a silent read time in the middle of the day. We will move this to the end of the day from 2:30-3:00. During this S.S.R. (Silent Sustained Reading) time Carol and Taylor can quietly plan together while still supervising the students and ensuring they stay on task.

SSR will be for 25 minutes and will wrap up with a 5 minute discussion (Read-Pair-Share) time with partners at the end. Read-Pair-Share is an intentional learning strategy that SSR has been shown to be most effective when there is follow-up to ensure accountability and that students were engaged in their reading. The discussion time helps students:

  • build relationships
  • reinforces internal monitoring of their own comprehension
  • promotes reading as a dynamic process of conversation among reader, peers, and author
  • motivates readers to read more as they anticipate sharing out their learnings.
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Starting and ending the school day with integrity

A second topic of discussion at our team meeting was the importance of the school day.

We are asking your help in maintaining the integrity of the school day. We have a vision of a school day that starts promptly at 8:00 a.m. All students in their seats and ready to learn in a peaceful environment without distractions is the key to getting started on the right path each and every day.

We courteously and respectfully ask that classrooms have only students in them at 8:00 am so we can begin our day. We will start to close classroom doors to limit distractions to help students adjust to this new expectation.

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Just as being late results in lost learning, ending school early results in lost learning. We are very hopeful you can help us keep kids focused on reading and discussing what they have read without distractions by deciding not to enter the school to pick up kids till on or after 3:00 p.m.

This will be an adjustment for everyone, and again to help students learn the routine we will have the classroom doors closed till 3:00 p.m. to limit distractions. At 3:00 p.m. we ask parents to enter the school to pick up kids.

Carol and Taylor have plans to effectively utilize their time together from 3:00-3:30 p.m. to get everything ready for the next day. In order to do this, the classrooms need to provide a quiet place for them to work together. We ask your understanding in keeping classrooms clear at the end of the day so Carol and Taylor can work together. To limit the distractions, they will be closing the classroom doors and request that no cleaning of classrooms occur until after 3:30 p.m. to ensure they have uninterrupted time together.

We fear closed doors may lead parents to believe that Carol and Taylor do not want to engage with you and your family. Our intention is truly to maximize instructional effectiveness and we are hopeful no one will be offended by the request for quiet and uninterrupted time. Your support and understanding help will make the difference in how effective Carol and Taylor's planning time together will be.

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This fall, maintenance set all thermostats in the Maybell School to ensure even heating. Over time, the heating system at Maybell has been adjusted by building users and now the building is not heating evenly. This is causing some heating segments to run nearly nonstop.

When the school as a whole is an even temperature, the heating system kicks on and off. When some rooms, including the gym, are cooler than other rooms in the school the heating system continuously runs to raise the temperature across the entire building. Some rooms end up very warm while other rooms stay cold and the heater has to work harder than it needs to. In addition, we have to protect the building from freezing water lines. Walls in the gym, entrances, and janitors closet have been exposed and hidden water lines. If one of these line were to break, it will be very costly to repair. Schools in town direct janitors to open all cupboards and the first set of doors at all entrances on cold weather days and especially on nights and weekends, as we have had many lines break from freezing. This is a practice that we should probably consider at Maybell.

Maintenance will be coming out to reset all thermostats. Please help us by teaching students and all building users to not touch the thermostats as this affects the whole heating system.