Principal's Newsletter

January 15th, 2016


Thank you for a great first day back with our break out sessions. I appreciate all the input and ideas for moving forward and your willingness to look at some data on our first day back. At the next administrator meeting we will follow up with comments and concerns and put together some action steps.

Thank you for all the time and effort that you put into your report cards. You did a nice job providing parents with specific feedback on their child. I appreciate you taking the time to also add positive comments reflecting items that a child is doing well. You know your students well and you did a great job of letting parents know exactly what their child still needs to work on.

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Next week we will have more student teachers joining us from UMSL. We have one host teacher in every grade level. Please give them a warm welcome as they are looking forward to working at Harvest Ridge and are eager to learn. They will only be here on Tuesdays and Thursdays for this semester and will return in the fall for full time student teaching. Their names and host teachers are listed below.

Kindergarten- Marjorie O'Brien (Gorris)

1st Grade- Lydia Hlinka (Bayne)

2nd Grade- Caitlyn Cockrell (Lewis)

3rd Grade- Christine Klem (Liscombe)

4th Grade- Alyssa Max (Klimkewicz)

5th Grade- Molly Jasper (Beerman)

Art- Heather Ward (Giammanco)--she is here everyday

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Schedule Change Communication

There have been a number of questions about how to handle and how to communicate schedule changes to the office and administration. First and foremost, please make sure that you have submitted your most updated daily schedule to administration. We use this to plan our observations and walk throughs. We use your schedules because we want to make sure we are equitable in the subjects that we observe and there are times where we want to make sure we see the beginning of a lesson. The schedule we currently have will be the one that we follow. If you have a new schedule it is due to administration by Wednesday, January 13th.

The administrators understand the need to move things around in daily schedules. Those are not changes that you need to communicate ahead of time. For example, if a math lesson took longer than expected so more time is needed and that extended into another subject. You do not need to send any form of communication about that. However, if a walk through of observation happen to occur you could just tell the administrator/administrators when the come for the observation of walk through. Another example might be that students have an extensive writing project to complete and you are going to be using your reading block to provide students the time to finish the writing. That does not need to be communicated ahead of time. Again, you could just let the administration know if they were to come for an observation or a walk through.

We also understand the need to do assessments. If a walk through or observation takes place we typically can tell if students are taking an assessment. In that case we will just leave and no data will be collected. If the visit is an observation and students are testing then the observing administrator will return at another time. Please don't stress about those situations. Testing happens.

When schedule changes involve sending students to different classrooms please make sure the office is made aware of the changes. This does not include counseling sessions, but does include buddy activities or situations where you might be doubling up classes for a special project or movie. The office needs to know where to find students, especially if there were an emergency. If students are being divided into other classrooms and you have made a list then you could just email a copy of that to the office.

Major schedule changes that you know about ahead of time should be communicated to administration. For example, showing a movie or a special event. Class parties should be placed on the building calendar. Field trips and movies need to be approved by the principal ahead of time. See board policies below for both.

Field Trips

Students taken on field trips or excursions within the vicinity of the school in the interests of class activities must have the approval of the principal/designee in advance; and whenever transportation is involved for such excursions, the consent of the parent(s)/guardian(s) must be obtained prior to the excursion.

School groups, teams, or school organizations may not take trips involving out of state travel, overnight stays, or more than one day from school without prior permission from the superintendent/designee.


Selection criteria for audiovisual materials:

When selecting audio visual material, teachers should ensure that the materials are age appropriate, are related to the curriculum or unit of study in terms of subject matter, are appropriate in length given the age and attention span of students, and the time normally allocated to the subject area; have a high degree of appeal to students; are valid, accurate and objective.

Teachers who wish to use commercially produced movies for instruction in the classroom must dhere to the following guidelines and procedures. Use will be subject to the following rules.

Commercially produced movies must be directly related to the curriculum in order to be shown legally in the schools. Commercially produced movies include those with and without Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) ratings. According to Title 17, U.S. Code, Sect 110 et. seq., such copyrighted materials may not be used for entertainment, recreation, or other outside activities.

Selection of commercial movies will be based on the Board of Education approved selection policy used to determine purchase of all instructional materials (Regulation 6310). Teachers will be responsible for selecting movies appropriate to their curriculum and for previewing the movies prior to use. Teacher should be able to justify the relationship of movies to their curriculum.

Rating Limits
Movies with the following ratings may be shown in the District if they relate to the curriculum and approval has been received by the principal/designee:

G (General audiences, all ages admitted)
G rated movies may be shown in any school to any age student without signed parental permission.

PG (Parental guidance suggested, all ages admitted)
PG rated movies may be shown to students at the elementary school with signed parental permission. (See Permission Slip 6330)
PG rated movies may be shown to students at the middle school high school levels without signed parental permission.

PG 13 (Parents strongly cautioned, some material may be inappropriate for children under 13)
PG 13 movies may be shown to students at the middle school with signed permission.
PG 13 movies may be shown to students at the high school without signed permission.

Unrated (those made prior to the advent of the MPAA rating system, foreign films, and videos produced specifically for educational purposes)
Teachers must use their best professional judgment in showing these films as it relates to the curriculum and the age level of the students.

R (Restricted, under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian)
R movies may be shown to students at the high school level with signed permission.

Administrator Approval
Individual teachers are required to submit Video Approval Form 6330 and obtain written approval from the principal/designee at least one week prior to using MPAA rated videos in the classroom. Individual teachers may choose to submit a list they intend to show during the entire course for approval at one time. Movies may be added to the list with principal/designee approval. A copy of video approval forms will be kept on file in the office. This list must be submitted annually.

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January 12th PLC

During PLC time on January 12th each PLC will be discussing student data as it relates to Harvey Support and making decisions about moving forward with students who need additional support. Sherry and LaTonya will bring the data to each PLC. These PLC meetings will also include reading teachers, ELL teachers, a SPED teacher, and the interventionists. Below are some guiding questions to help you in those data discussions.

Teachers will need to bring data and progress monitoring data to January 12th meeting.

· Review the updated spreadsheet from counselors

· Look at student who were started in HST last year or who have 3 academic data triggers

· PLC Conversation

o Where is the student struggling?

o What skills are lagging?

o What interventions have been tried?

o What does the Progress Monitoring data say?

o Do interventions seem to be working/not working?

o How is the student responding during interventions? Interventionists input.

o Do you need to start HST, begin next steps with HST, or continue interventions?

Melinda Scheetz will be visiting the building that day also. She will be visiting classrooms with literacy coaches to help support learning for the literacy coaches. She will also sit in on a few PLC teams just to observe. She will not be providing input she is just listening in order to help us next year with our data team and how we make decisions.

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Tech Fest

I hope that everyone enjoyed tech fest and that you were able to walk away with something new to do in your classrooms. Many of you have already stopped by to share what you learned at tech fest. If there is time, please make sure you share with your PLC teams all your new learning.

My mind was a little on overload, but I am excited about everything I learned about using videos to flip classrooms, google, Mastery Connect, and Galileo reports.

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Where is Your Principal?

Monday, January 11th- Administrator Weekly Meeting

Tuesday, January 12th- PLC Meetings

Wednesday, January 13th- Math Lesson Studies and Math PD, SPED PLC

Thursday, January 14th- Behavior Check In Meeting

Tuesday, January 19th- PLC meetings

Wednesday, January 20th- EDM, SPED PLC, 3rd Quarter Site Visit

Thursday, January 21st- Assistant Principal Superintendent Interviews, Nests

Friday, January 22nd- Curriculum and Instruction Meeting

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Class List Procedures

That time of year is quickly approaching to start making class lists for the 2016-2017 school year. I have already placed a message in the Soaring Hawk regarding parents requesting a teacher. If you have parents ask, the policy is remaining the same. They may submit a learning environment request to me by February 26th. They may not name a specific teacher. I will do my best to honor all request, however, sometimes not all of them are possible. Please make sure if you receive any letters regarding request for a classroom next year that you get those to me.

In the building we will start by placing SPED, ELL, and Spectra students. Once those students have been placed we will work with PLC teams to create a draft list. During those PLC meetings the counselors will join to provide any additional input. Once those draft list are created special area teachers will have an opportunity to review the lists. If you have any questions regarding the process or creation of lists please let me know.

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Time for Kids

I met with the Tim Haskins, representative for Time for Kids this week. During the week of January 25th we will participate in sending home booklets for parents to fill in seven addresses. For every booklet that is returned students earn a key chain and we earn free subscriptions to Time for Kids magazines. These are already and some grade level budgets for next year so to save money we will be participating in this to get them for free. It's very easy and all you have to do is send the books to the office. Tim Haskins will be here on January 25th to kick things off at our Marvelous Monday Assembly. Time for Kids is a great educational tool and it's even better when we can get it for free!
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Math Lesson Studies

Don't forget that next week we have our Math Lesson Studies. On Wednesday we have the after school PD portion from 4:30-6:00.
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Active Supervision

It is absolutely imperative that you know where all of your students are at all times. You must always be actively supervising students and you are accountable for the location of your students. Please make sure that you are checking each time you are away from your students that you have them all back. For example, after recess, specials, or counseling. Special area and counseling please make sure you take attendance each time you get a class. Communication is imperative between all teachers to let each other know if a student is absent.

Please make sure you have a system in your classroom for knowing the location of students. Two years ago the district asked that classroom teachers have students sign out to go to the restroom. That is still a practice that should be happening. It not only ensures safety, but if damage takes place in the bathroom we can narrow down the culprit.

Under no circumstance should a student or group of students be left without adult supervision. Not only can it be a safety issue for the student, but it can also turn into a Human Resource situation for the adult in charge of the students. If you are sending a student to another room or to another adult please make sure that you call ahead and make sure the adult is there and aware that the student is coming in situations that are not routine or regularly scheduled.

The safety committee will be reviewing policies and practices in place and whether any changes need to be made at a future meeting. We do a great job during drills, but we need to be more vigilant in our day to day active supervision.

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Contracted Time

Please make sure that if you are not going to be on time for work that you let the office know. Certified staff is contracted to be here at 8:35 and to stay until the buses leave. As always if you have situations that you need to leave earlier than the buses please just let me know ahead of time. In the office we need to know when locating students who are not in the location they need to be for dismissal.

Assistant Principal Interviews

Please read the following message from Dr. Griggs regarding the Assistant Principal Interviews.

District administration has made the decision to postpone the hiring process for the assistant principals at Becky-David, Harvest Ridge, and Henderson until after the Board approves the staffing plan. The current interview/hiring schedule will be modified and candidates who will be moving forward in the process will be notified. We apologize for the change, but believe this is the best course of action.