Falcon Focus

December 15, 2014

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Literacy Update

Thanks for welcoming Kelly last week! We received lots of positive feedback! Here are the upcoming events regarding next steps:

January 12th - Kelly Leach will be on campus to do Guided Reading Walkthroughs.

January 14th - Additional day for guided reading walkthroughts

January 15th - Kelly Leach will be on campus to follow up, support, and provide feedback on the walkthroughs observed on the 12th and 14th.

We need to create a schedule for Kelly. Please click here to provide information on when you will be doing Guided Reading on the 12th or 14th (since there is some MOY testing going on). Please have your information filled out before you leave for the Holiday.

Next Few Meetings at a Glance - working agendas

  • 12/16: No Meeting
  • 1/5: District Training on Transform, ELPS training, Data Analysis for Math Common Assessment and creation of next one (CIP#1 and DFG 4) We will meet at the Florence library from 8:00-3:00. (Lunch on your own)
  • 1/6: no meeting - it is combined with the work we will do on the 5th
  • 1/13: Kinder VESTED Showcase and Technology Apps and Integration (CIP#3 and DFG #2) Fourth Grade Providing Snacks
  • 1/20: Progress Monitoring Data Analysis and Writing Protocol and Analysis for Students' Writing that has gone through the entire Writing Process Analysis (CIP #1 and #2 and District Focus Goals # 1, 3, and 4)
  • 1/27: Math CFA Data Analysis on CFA (CIP# 1)

Thank you to.....

Thanks to Lynda Knagg and the co-curr for a great Nutcracker Day!

Thanks to co-curr for the great snacks during last week's meeting!!!

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Updates and FYI's

  • December Character Quality - Caring

  • If you would like to contribute to the custodian and cafeteria worker's holiday present, please contribute your money by the end of the day on Monday. The envelope is in the vault.

  • Please register for your Dec. 5th training in My Learning Plan. The Florence campus training for most of you is called "Transform". Please register before you leave for the Holiday Break.

  • Schoolview Walkthroughs and composition score collection - next week.

  • Turn in a hard copy or electronic copy of your CFA (common formative assessment) that you will be giving this next week. You can just drop it in one of our boxes or send it through email. Thanks!

  • In preparation for the January Faculty Meeting, please be sure to know your itunes password. Talk to Ann or Donna if you have trouble.

  • IMPORTANT LINK: Click here to access the collaboration calendar. School events, due dates, and important information is found on this calendar. We work hard to keep it updated. Thanks!

  • Salvage Pick up - If you have technology salvage (broken or out of date technology) please put it on the back counter in the computer lab, AND email Casey to let her know what you have put in there. She will be creating an itemized list to be submitted on Friday. All salvage items need to be the computer lab by Friday morning. We will not have another salvage pick-up until the summer, so after this pick-up any salvage items will need to be kept in your classrooms until we prepare for the summer salvage pick-up.

  • FESTIVE FUN FOR FLORENCE STAFF: Dec. 15th-19th Jeans Week

Monday Dec. 15th- Red and Green Day

Tuesday Dec. 16th - Holiday Hat Day

Wed. Dec. 17th - Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Thurs. Dec. 18th - Holiday Accessory Day

Fri. Dec. 19th - Holiday T-Shirt Day

Dec. 17th Double Co-Curr and treats provided by the office in the Conference Room.

Please have your Energy Checklist complete and posted on your door before you leave on Dec. 19th. We will print out the checklists and put them in your boxes. Keep in mind that docking stations must be completely unplugged from the wall and not just turned off. Also the refrigerators will be unplugged again. Please make sure to empty out anything you need before you leave on Friday.

2nd-4th grade need to load their grades in to the progress report before you leave on Friday. Progress reports will be made available to parents on Tuesday, Jan. 6th.

Winter Break Campus Availability

Dec. 20 and 21st - Closed

Dec. 22 - 24th - Open 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Dec. 25th - Closed

Dec. 29-31- Open 6:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Jan. 1 - Closed

Jan. 2 - 4 - Open 6:00 AM -7:00 PM

Teddy Stoddard - author unknown

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on her very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around." His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle." His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken." Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life. Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer-the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."