Spartan Scoop #32

May 1, 2016

Thought for the Week:

A focus on the work of Stephen Covey:

This week we will focus on Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood-

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Stephen Covey believes this principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.This habit is about communicating with others. It's about developing the habit of listening carefully and really understanding the other person BEFORE giving your thoughts. This is not easy to learn to do. In my practice I've often heard people saying that no-one really understands what they're feeling. If you're a parent you might hear that from your teenage son or daughter (I do!).

This is because we often feel compelled to give an opinion or to give advice to someone in need. Couples in counselling typically spend more time trying to get their partner to understand their position than they spend listening and understanding their partner's position.

I really enjoy the examples that Stephen Covey shares to demonstrate this habit, especially the conversations between a father and his teenage son.

Listening to these on the CD version of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People really captures the humour that becomes apparent when we realise the ways we often "listen" and respond, even when we have good intentions.

So start practicing this right now. Have fun with it! In your next conversation with someone put your natural and automatic responses aside and focus on genuinely understanding them.

Ask questions such as "Tell me more..." or "What happened next...?".

Spend time with your children, your partner, your colleague, or even your boss, working to genuinely understand them before you respond.

You'll find that when you 'seek first to understand' your response might be different to what you expect, and that you start finding the creative solutions and third alternatives described in habit 4.

By Mark Connelly, Copyright 2008-2016

Building Items:

Floating Work Day Form & PD Log is due to Dave by Monday, May 2nd, if you have not already completed this task.

Parent Involvement Logs turned into Angie by the end of the year.

May 5th is the last day staff can take personal days. Please keep this in mind when planning your days.

I still owe our Specials teachers and 5th grade teachers a Sonic drink-- these will come up soon!

The final week for EAGLES Gifted Program classes will be the week of May 9th.

Info From the Library!

The last day for students to checkout books in the library will be Friday, May 6. All student books will be due no later than Monday, May 9. Please assist us in getting library books back by providing reminders to students when lists are sent to you. Teachers can remain checking out books and other materials until the last day of school. All items will be due before checkout. If you are teaching summer school and want to keep materials, please let us know.

Calendar Items:

Monday, 5/2

  • CLT @ 8 a.m. in the Music room;
  • Spring DRA's are being given and updated in SIS promptly-- window closes 5/6 Bikes for Books Reading Competition Continues until May 13th.
  • Teacher Appreciation Week Begins-- Breakfast for Teachers from Mr. Samuel and I.
  • Exit Forms from those not returning to GBE due to Mrs. Doss
  • 4A Field Trip

Tuesday, 5/3

  • 7:45 BLT Meeting-- cont. with Vision and Mission work
  • 5th grade Middle School Transition
  • Support Staff Carry In food for Teachers

Wednesdy, 5/4

  • 3rd Grade Field Trip
  • 5th Grade Field Trip
  • 7:45 SPED Staffing
  • 3:45 to 5:15 RTI Team meeting with Dr. Erica Lembke- Katelyn's room
  • Hand Massages from Merrill University for Teachers-- Melissa will have a sign up sheet for teachers-- we can flex for coverage if needed.

Thursday, 5/5

  • Stretch and Flex Day
  • 5th Grade Middle School Transition
  • 7:45 PBS Team meeting
  • 4:00 PDC District Team meeting at CO
  • Soda and Sonic Ice-- for teachers

Friday, 5/6

  • Donation for Denim-- money to Relay for Life
  • 7:45 Team Grade Level Meetings
  • Mr. Samuel out at Admin meeting
  • 3rd Grade Banana Split Party
  • PTO providing a meal -Pto will be providing fried chicken, potato salad, green beans, rolls and deviled eggs.

Please access the Google Calendar for future dates regarding GBE-- this will be updated in the newsletter week by week from this calendar.

Vision Items:

CLT- Teams meet @ 8 a.m.

Meet in the Music Room and bring items from last Monday's CLT.

Assessment Items:

CWG Data is due to Sheila Thurman and myself by the end of the year for our 5th Data point for CWG.

As you enter scores for your last assessments, please update the Data Wall for Math.

Star Testing has begun, remember to stay in the Lab with your class to ensure that the results are valid and students are adhering to the expectations.

DRA Assessments need to be updated in SIS as you complete these-- the window closes on May 6th.

Retention: Have an administrator present for these final retention meetings. These MUST be completed before the end of the school year.

Remember to have hard copies of the scale and the checklist placed in my mailbox before the end of the school year. I have changed this requirement-- I am going to use these scales along with the checklist form to communicate and make decision regarding detention at the end of summer school.

Staff Birthdays:


Carrie Thompson - 3rd

Emily Custer- 3rd

Amy Gilmore-4th

Becky Mann - 12th

Beth Sander-27th

Jessica Mountain-28th

Emily Seiner 30h


Kimber Greene - 2nd

Laura Quesal- 11th

Barbara Thomas-14th

Dave Samuel-28th


Debi Swetnam - 2nd

Sam Martin- 16th

Stephanie Mefford-16th

Vicky Snodgrass- 16th

Ashley Buxton-22nd

Angie Doss-24th

Krystal Taulbee - 27th

Carrie Baysinger-28th

Megan Lucas-31st


Della Cochran-4th

Gabe Burris- 5th

Miranda Easley- 8th

Janene Mathis- 11th

April Messer-20th

Julie Wood - 22nd

Katelyn Wright-28th

Lollipop Moments:

This week we have seen examples of kindness, generosity and teamwork:

  • Thank you to those who have pitched in when we have staff shortages due to sub issues.
  • All of our team members that have graciously assisted and worked diligently until we have all of our make-ups and small group testing completed! Taking this time on top of all of the paperwork you have due at this time of year is a perfect example of how we are blessed with dedicated staff!
  • Organizing of our Appreciation days for the Secretaries and Mrs. Samuel and myself was outstanding. Thank you to all of you for your time and energy put into these days.
  • A big shout out and kuddos to Carrie, Janene, and Tessa for getting the DRA Assessments for the incoming third graders for next year completed a week early!! From Brandy (Kuddos to you too Brandy!)