To the Point

Prairie Point Staff Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue #3: Tuesday, September 1, 2015

This newsletter will house all of the important information for Prairie Point staff throughout the year. Please review every section below in order to have information that you need.
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Some thoughts....

As many of you know, I like to read. A lot. Lately, I've been reading a book called Thive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching by Meenoo Rami. I was particularly interested in a section called "Myths that Move Us Away from Listening to Ourselves" and wanted to share it with you. I'm quoting some parts, summarizing the key points, and adding some of my own thoughts.

Myth: If you are prepared, everything should go as planned. Logically, we know that it doesn't. We all want and strive for a controlled classroom where we are able to present our most confident selves and create an appearance that we have everything together at all times. Who wouldn't want that? And, it's one of the things that makes a new curriculum so scary, especially for those of us who are planners. But I've also found that sometimes, my need to have everything planned to the detail is paralyzing. I start to feel as though I'll never be ready. As Rami says, "It creates a huge burden, which can overpower even the best teachers." I almost didn't teach a unit that I created because I was afraid of some of the kinks I might run into with students, and it turned out to be one of my best experiences as a teacher. There are a lot of unknowns with our new ELA curriculum. Don't be afraid to begin. Have a plan, but don't become mired in it. Give yourself time and permission to figure some things out along the way. And if something you have planned is a disaster, well then, you can refer to the next myth...

Myth: Perfection is the goal. This is the one that bites us most often. I love what Rami says here - "We create conditions in our classrooms that allow our students to find resiliency and a new opportunity to learn when they fail at a new skill or task. However, we do not extend this kindness to ourselves. Because our actions and planning impact the lives of our students, it is understandable that we feel an immense pressure and duty to do right by them. However, instead of feeling inadequate, we should be humbled by the task before us, and let go of the expectation that we can perfect every lesson, every interaction with each student, and every conversation with a parent." (p. 66) From me, you have permission to try something new and fail. You have permission to improve your craft and become a little better each day. Take risks with purpose and intention - what's best for kids - and you can't go wrong. You have that permission from me, but you need to give that permission to yourself.

And finally...

Myth: Administrators have the final say and they shouldn't be questioned.

Please, question me and have that conversation with me. Sometimes I'm lacking in perspective and I need another point of view. Sometimes I don't have the right answer. Sometimes, I am so completely off base you would wonder how I ever got here to begin with. I make mistakes. Those of you who were here my first few years as principal know that I made a lot of them. Let's work together through some of the things that are difficult this year - one of my core beliefs is in collaboration. In collaboration we can professionally question one another, discuss points of view, and ultimately create a stronger partnership and stronger school because of it.

Thank you for all you do...I admire each and every one of you.

Senior Center Partnership

Classroom Readers, Listeners, and Partners


Last spring, we were fortunate enough to establish a community partnership with the Oswego Senior Center. Some of you had a senior come and read to your class, or have students read to them in the hallway.

The goal of this program is to develop a two-way relationship across generations.

We will be continuing this again this year. I am meeting with interested Seniors on September 14th at the center. Please let me know if you would like to have a classroom visitor weekly to partner with your classroom as a volunteer, read to your students, or listen to your students read.

Wednesday Morning Meetings

Wednesday Morning Meeting Schedule

The file below contains all of the Building, PLC, and SIP day meetings for the year. It will be updated regularly as the plans or schedule changes.

Agenda for this week's meeting

This week is a PLC Meeting. Please be ready to meet from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.


  • Make sure to choose your PLC Agenda and share your notes with me and others who need the information.
  • Spend some time talking about your collective commitments, or norms, that will allow your team to function as a high performing team. Page 138 in the organge PLC Book - Learning by Doing is a great resource.
  • Decide what you will discuss and address at your next collaborative meeting which will take place next week.
  • Enjoy this time with one another.

PLC Agenda Options

The link below contains files for 3 different templates for PLC agendas/notes. Please utilize them for your team meetings and share them with Heidi/Jen and any specialists that you have working with your team.

The video below shows you how to save the agenda templates to your own Google Drive.

SD 308 PLC Agenda Video

News & Info

ReadyGen Rev Up

Thank you, Maureen, for the ReadyGen Rev Up from this morning! For those of you who weren't able to attend, Maureen has put together a video going through all information that was shared, as well as an informational handout addressing questions that came up. I have included both here.
Unit and Module Overview Session 15 16

An Invitation...

This year, Edward Hospital's 'Fraidy Cat 5K, Ghost Run 10K, and Meow Mile will be held in Oswego on Sunday, October 25th from 9-11. The proceeds are being donated to Celebrate Differences, a support group for special needs parents and children.

Kate and I are signed up - who's joining us? I'm signed up for the 5K, Kate for the 10K.