Beating the Odds

Lakeview Staff Newsletter - Nov 16

Doors Open

Grandparent's Day and Math Drop-in day really moved me. I'm glad that the rest of the world gets to see what your students experience every day and what I see every day - strong relationships and impactful instruction. In coming weeks, we have Literacy Lab days coming up where we get to see each other. Thank you to our coaches for organizing this work and thank you to all of you for opening your doors to visitors.

I will share a success of my own this week which relates to classroom visits. You probably wouldn't be surprised if I told you that I use a spreadsheet to track my own visits to classrooms. This week, I crossed 100. Since the beginning of the year, I have had 116 classroom visits. That doesn't include short, fly-by visits or visits for student behavior, and I didn't count any visits the first week of school. The visits I am counting are 10+ minutes to be with you and your students to learn about Lakeview and building-wide instructional practices. Thank you for opening your doors to me.

Articles catching my attention

Since next week is a 2-day week, there will be no staff newsletter next week. But I have saved some articles that have caught my attention recently. Perhaps take a breather from report cards and see if these articles might speak to you as well. As always, I welcome your article suggestions.

When This 7th Grader Lost All His Friends (link here)

You wouldn't believe the number of tough 8th grade boys (almost always boys) who have sat in my office in a puddle of tears because they have come to realize their cumulative choices have left them with few friends. And even tougher to hear is that these same students often feel teachers have shut them out as well (I'm not speaking of any teacher at Lakeview - it's just a good thing to keep in mind). It's hard for adults to make changes in life. But it's even harder for children. #relationships

Does the key to success lie in believing you can achieve? (link here)

This article talks about the concept of self-efficacy, which is the trust in your abilities to accomplish a desired outcome. If we want students to "own" their learning, they must develop self-efficacy. How do we do that? See the article for four components. Take this a step further and remember that "collective teacher efficacy" (what we think we can achieve together as a school) is a very high-impact Hattie strategy. #culture

What Learners Really Need (link here)

Eric Sheninger is really pushing the Rigor-Relevance framework, which is something that speaks to me as a leader. It's sometimes difficult to define what exactly we are wanting our students to be as learners, and this article attempts to answer that question. (If you want to know more about the Rigor-Relevance framework, here's another recent article about it from Sheninger.) #expectations

Evidence-based Behavior Intervention Guide (link here)

The question I am asked most often by both parents and teachers is "What strategies can I try for ______?" Here is a list from the University of Washington that aligns with the PBIS philosophy, with a long list of strategies for both classroom use and individual students. #behavior

Finally, instead of an article, this one is a quote I saw lately:

"Terrific teachers have teeth marks on their tongues." (Alfie Kohn). We are educators. We love to talk. But it's the students who need to be talking more than us.

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, November 20

Admiral's Reader in 5K - 2 p.m.

Please plan to wear blue Admiral's shirts this day. Remind students about this on Monday - let's see how many blue Admiral's shirts we can get in the building on this day!

End of 1st Trimester

November 21, 22, 23

Thanksgiving break

Tuesday, November 27

District Character Ed team 4:00 p.m. in PDC

Wednesday, November 28

No Staff meeting. Chris & Rachel will be at a conference with Diane Sweeney who is an instructional coaching guru. This also provides an extra hour of time for report cards.

Thursday, November 29

K-2 Literacy Lab day

Monday, December 3

Report cards due by 8:00 a.m.

Tuesday, December 4

3-5 Literacy Lab day

Elementary Social Studies committee 4:00 p.m. in PDC

Structural Items

Family newsletter - Here is a link to this week's family newsletter. There will be no family newsletter again until November 30th.

Postcards - Thank you to all who have written postcards for Thanksgiving mailings. They will be mailed on Tuesday after school so they arrive home on Wednesday or Friday. Postcards will remain available for your use any time in the office. We are happy to pay for postage to send home these special notes.

Illuminate Data - Please be sure all of your students are fully "Illuminated" (meaning all data is entered into Illuminate for each student) by 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20th. See me or a coach if you have questions or have particular data that might not make it into the system on time.

Safety Drill

Thank you for the well-done safety drill on Thursday afternoon. It was 13 minutes long because Michael Goldman, our district safety director, and I not only checked the entire building, but we debriefed as we walked. A few things to keep in mind:

• All doors were locked - thank you. The only time your door should ever be unlocked is when you open it to get into your classroom (and then immediately lock it again).

• Did you have your cell phone with you during the drill? I know many of you probably keep your cell phone in your desk, purse, coat, etc. Start making the shift to always having your cell phone on you when you teach and at recess. In a real emergency, you could communicate your location and students by school email.

• Window shades - the rooms that put window shades down were completely dark. First close your door, then ensure student safe locations, and lastly put the shades down.

• Consider alternate exits (including windows) and improvised weapons. You always want options.

Substitutes & Personal Days

We all know how difficult it is to have substitute positions go unfilled, and I truly appreciate the way staff help in these unforeseen circumstances. In order to be more proactive about this issue, the elementary principals have looked ahead at the calendar for the remainder of the school year and marked dates when we already anticipate a higher numbers of subs will be needed, usually due to internal Professional Development opportunities (especially the "LT" groups). Other dates will be be added to this list as we continue to look ahead and stay proactive. By doing this, we hope two things result:

• Our "LT" groups can meet with all members present as much as possible,

• We have fully staffed classrooms as much as possible.

Therefore, personal days will not be approved on the following dates. Please try to avoid pre-planned appointments on these days. Hopefully our collective awareness of these dates will reduce the stress we all experience when a sub is not available. Please be sure to see the employee handbook for guidance on personal days.

Nov 29

Dec 4, 6, 11, 12, 13

Jan 9, 15, 17

Feb 6, 14, 18

March 14

April 3, 11

May 7

Character Dares & Trauma Sensitive Schools

For the short week of November 19-20, please pick any of the past Character Dares and do it again.

When we get back after Thanksgiving, the Character Dare below will be our Dare for the week of November 26-30. Let's see if we can make this a 100% building-wide staff dare! You could always put them on the inside of student lockers as a surprise, too.

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