Monday Message

9.21.15

As you may have guessed, I'm changing things up a bit with my weekly newsletter. It turns out that less time in the main office this year and more time at my mobile office means that I am in more classrooms, interacting with more students, and talking with all of you much more often than I was last year. Make no mistake, this is a very good thing in my opinion, as it helps me to focus on the instructional and social-emotional side of my role. However, it leaves me less time during the week to spend on the less exciting administrative aspects. Switching over to a Monday Message gives me time over the weekend to get my thoughts together rather than trying to scramble at the end of the week. Some of you may have been very concerned that you wouldn't be able to read little bits of wisdom from the Principal's Office each week, but you can breathe a sigh of relief and rest easy. I wouldn't dream of depriving you of that opportunity! As always, if you have something that you'd like to share with our staff, I'd love to include it here. Just let me know.

Calendar (AKA Where Will Tim Be This Week?)

Monday, Sept. 21:
  • ITLs w/ Les Loomis about Results First and District goal setting, HS LGI, 12:00 - 3:00 PM
  • BOE Meeting, Moreau Elem, 6:30 PM

Tuesday, Sept. 22:

  • Admin Cabinet Meeting, HS LGI, 9:45 AM

Wednesday, Sept. 23:

  • Curriculum and Assessment Council Meeting, Gick Rd., 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Thursday, Sept. 24:

  • Parent Open House, 6:30 PM start time (more info below)

Friday, Sept. 25:

  • Final fire drill, 2:15 PM

Links that Spoke to Me This Week:

  • When Home Is Tough, Making Students Feel Good At School: NPREd is a great source of interesting articles about education across the country and throughout the world. This story speaks to those things that can't always be seen but certainly affect a students school day, and how one school in NYC provides more stability for their neediest of students.
  • How to Build Your PLN on Twitter: When is a good time to start exploring Twitter as a PD resource? Now! This is a great summary of how developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) can benefit all educators.
  • Teacher Favorites - 20 MiddleWeb ELA Articles: Check out this compendium of resources pertaining specifically to the middle level. While geared toward ELA, these are certainly useful to all as we continually consider those Common Core shifts in instruction.

Classroom Coverage

One of the best parts of my role as a building leader over the last several years has been the opportunity to visit many different classrooms throughout the school year to witness the wide variety of lessons and instructional styles that you utilize to engage students. Sure, the APPR process can be a bear, but at its heart is an opportunity for growth through feedback, something we all should embrace. In an ideal world where time constraints don't exist it would not be just the building administrators that get to see what colleagues are doing in their classrooms. Instead, everyone would pursue this as an opportunity to learn from each other. That being said, in an effort to encourage building-wide collaboration, I'm offering up my time to you. I am ready, willing, and able to cover any of your classes this year to provide time for you to observe your teaching colleagues throughout the school day. I do truly hope that you take me up on this offer. So often in schools we feel the need to bring in experts from the outside to talk to us about good instruction and innovation, but the fact is that great things are going on right in our own buildings, sometimes right nextdoor. We just have to take the time to see it, talk about it, and work on it together. Let me know if you're interested.

Open House

Our Parent Open House is scheduled for this Thursday beginning at 6:30 PM. The reason for the 30 minute time change is to create a uniform start time for all open houses across the district. A letter will be distributed in homerooms and sent home with students tomorrow detailing the plan for the evening. You can view a copy of this letter here. I will also be making an all-call through our SchoolMessenger system to remind parents about this evening. The schedule will remain the same as it was last year with a five minute homeroom, three minutes transition time between periods, and nine 10-minute periods for a total of 122 minutes for the evening. Parents will be following an A Day schedule only to cut down on the confusion we saw last year with parents choosing to follow A or B. Additionally, we will be broadcasting a short YouTube video in all homerooms about the District Capital Project that will be up for a vote in December. Instructions for showing that video will follow.


The schedule is -

Homeroom: 6:30 - 6:35

Period 1: 6:38 - 6:48

Period 2: 6:51 - 7:01

Period 3: 7:04 - 7:14

Period 4: 7:17 - 7:27

Period 5: 7:30 - 7:40

Period 6: 7:43 - 7:53

Period 7: 7:56 - 8:06

Period 8: 8:09 - 8:19

Period 9: 8:22 - 8:32

Act With Respect Always Schedule

A reminder that our AWRA student assemblies will be happening on Wednesday, September 30th. Coach Johns will be here to present to each grade level in the LGI for 60 minutes with a 5 minute buffer for settle time. Please let me know if you have any questions. The assembly schedule is as follows:


Grade 6 - 8:35 - 9:40

Grade 7 - 10:45 - 11:50

Grade 8 - 12:40 - 1:45

Academic Targets

This afternoon our 6-12 ITLs and administrators will be meeting with Les Loomis from Results First to discuss how we all can support our District Academic Targets. Let's keep these at the forefront of our thoughts as we move through the year. We will talk more about these in the coming weeks.
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What does "Progressive Education" look like?

Progressive Education in the 1940s