Paw Talk: Keys to Excellence

Week of April 11th-April 15th

Principal's Message

Last week I came across a funny Direct TV commercial, The Settlers (https://goo.gl/VmYJ3F), which plays on the word, presenting a frontier-era family in a suburban neighborhood who stick to antiquated ways such as horse-and-buggy, making their own clothes, faceless dolls, and...cable TV. Although I have no idea as to whether Direct TV is better than cable TV, this ad campaign did cause me to wonder: In education, at our school, in our classrooms, are we in any way "settling" for less than the absolute best? If so, in what areas? And, in which areas is it imperative that we do not settle?


Our profession's customers--the children who attend our school--are simply too important to allow ourselves to settle for less than the very best we can provide. This got me thinking...what are those areas where we must give nothing less than absolute best?


  • One area for never settling is for each and every one of us to commit to giving our personal best every day when we arrive to work. This is easier said than done, of course, yet it is the one area over which we likely have the most control in terms of consciously deciding to not settle.
  • Another “no-settle” zone is to always ask, “What is best for kids?” when making any decision. We should never waver from this as the gold standard for decision-making at our school.
  • Another area where we must resist “settling” is in the area of school facilities and classroom learning environments. We may not have enough money to build new state-of-the-art schools or even equip our classrooms and offices with the most up-to-date furniture and equipment. What we can do is to never settle in ensuring that our facilities, classrooms, and offices, are safe, clean, welcoming, learning-focused places in which to teach, learn, and lead.


Each one of us is critical to the success of our school. As important as school programs and systems are, ultimately, you and me, the people, are what makes the difference. In the Direct TV commercial mentioned above, the father says to the son (when he asks why they cannot have the "better" technology), “We’re settlers, Son; that’s what we do.” Well, let’s not be settlers at Alice Birney. Never settling for less than the best we can do each and every day are ways we Teach, Learn, and Lead with Passion!


This week's discussion question on our Haiku page is, "What are those areas where we must give nothing less than absolute best at Alice Birney?" Please take a moment to add a comment to our discussion this week. I look forward to reading all the amazing thoughts and comments this week! Have a fabulous week Team! Thank you for being you!

Great "Happenings" this Week

Thumbs Up

-"Thumbs Up" to Mrs. D'Silva...she is having a Boy!

-"Thumbs Up" to Mrs. Deen for all her efforts and support of the Science Fair and students. 3 fifth grade boys made it to RIMS County Fair and brought home a Silver medal!

-"Thumbs Up" to Mrs. Jasso, Mrs. Okpara, Mrs. Sheafer, Mrs. Gonzalez, Mrs. Baragry, Ms. Urquhart, Mrs. Deen, & Mrs. Naddour for being active Twitter users and sharing all the great things that are happening in your classrooms! Thank you for taking that risk and leap of faith!

"Thumbs Up" to Denise, our counselor, for organizing the upcoming "College Making it Happen" Saturday 6th grade field trip! Our students will benefit greatly from this!

"Thumbs Up" to Ms. McFadden & Ms. Lizarraga for volunteering to be chaperones for Saturday's field trip!

"Thumbs Up" to Mrs. Naddour and Mrs. Sheafer for leading our Saturday School this year. We are officially done for the year! Thank you!

"Thumbs Up" to Rosie, Griselda and Diane for making Saturday School a success by handling all the paperwork for our school!

"Thumbs Up" to Sarina for being a tremendous help in finalizing the 2016-2017 school budget! Thank you!

Week at a Glance

Monday, 4/11
  • 8:00-9:00 District meeting-Jessica out
  • 8:15 IEP: B. Munguia: Peters
  • 9:15 IEP: H. Cardenas: Vasquez & Correa
  • 12:10 IEP: M. Barajas: Correa
  • 12:50-1:05 4th-6th Grade AR Nacho Party @ Cafeteria
  • 1:15-1:30 1st-3rd Grade AR Nacho Party @ Cafeteria


Tuesday, 4/12

  • 8:00-10:00-ESL Class @ Rm. 18
  • 8:00 SST: F. Condeyes-D'Silva
  • 8:45 SST: A. Munoz-Morales
  • 9:30 SST: A. Velasquez-Morales
  • 10:15 SST: A. Serrano-Jasso
  • 11:00 SST J. Serrano-Ayala
  • 12:45 SST: E. Lara-Correa
  • 6:00-7:00 GATE Parent Advisory Committee Meeting @ Board Room


Wednesday, 4/13

  • Minimum Day
  • Health Screenings recheck
  • 8:00 5th Grae CST Science Testing
  • 8:00-11:00 District Meeting-Jessica out
  • 8:00-1:00 Rosie out-District meeting
  • 8:00-10:00 Insight 360 Demo lesson & debriefing: Camacho, Gonzalez, Roper, Sexton
  • 10:00-12:00 Insight 360 Demo lesson & debriefing: Choudhry, D'Silva, Swanson, Francisco
  • 12:30-1:15 NEHS meeting
  • 12:40-1:25 Teacher Prep Time
  • 12:45 Guided Reading with Sherry @ Rm. 25
  • 1:25-2:50 Grade Level Collaboration


Thursday, 4/14

  • LEAD Conference-Jessica out Thursday & Friday
  • 8:00 5th Grade CST Science Test
  • 8:00-10:00: ESL Class @ Rm. 18
  • 10:00-11:15: PBIS Prize Closet @ Rm. 18 (10:00-Kinder, 10:20-1st & 2nd, 10:40-3rd & 4th, 11:00-5th & 6th)
  • 12:50 Fire Drill


Friday, 4/15

  • LEAD Conference-Jessica out
  • 6th grade visit to CMS
  • 7:00-1:00 4th grade Field Trip to Ramona Bowl


Saturday, 4/16

  • 8:30-1:30 "College Making it Happen" 6th grade field trip

Announcements & Looking Ahead

  • Please sign up for a Benefits Audit meeting time slot near the mailboxes-see Rosie for questions
  • Jessica will be out at the LEAD conference Thursday and Friday
  • Kindergarten field trip to Zoo Mon., 4/18, 8:30-4:00
  • NEHS Induction ceremony Wed., 4/20
  • CJUSD Health Fair Wed., 4/20

Happy Birthday...

4/9: Mary Ellen Aboytes, Cafeteria

4/19: Ana Torres, Noon Aide

4/22: Michelle Estrada, Cafeteria

4/24: Cynthia Rodriguez, RSP

Many of you have taken the leap of faith in setting up Twitter accounts and sharing the great things happening in your classrooms. Many of you would be open to setting up a Twitter account, but may not know how or would like more info on the benefits of setting one up. I would like to offer up a voluntary "Twitter 101" for educators professional development session. I want to make this worth your time by ensuring I address the questions you currently have about Twitter. If you would be interested in attending a voluntary "Twitter 101" session, please share the questions or topics you would like me to cover so I can best prepare for the PD. click on the "Twitter 101" title above or follow this link: https://goo.gl/1hdm5b. Thank you.

Common Core Resources

Blogs, Tweets, Pins, and so much more!

Quotes for the Week

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