Staff News and Views

Faculty and Staff News September 24, 2017

It's All About MINDSET - What activities are you developing for your students?

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

Remember, this was not just a gimmick for the beginning of the school year. This is a belief system that we need to be helping to develop in our students. They need to learn the power in the word, "yet". They need to learn to have rigor and grit. It is all of our jobs to make this happen.

We have survived and we are thriving.

As Kirsten has so aptly coined it, this is the YOE, or "Year of the Eclipse". We have survived an eclipse on the first day of school and a massive and inconveniencing hurricane. Yet, we are going strong because we have a great team. Remember always that our students will pick up on whatever attitude or aura you are giving out. If you are positive, enthusiastic and engaged, they will be. Likewise, if you are negative, frustrated or stressed, they will be. No matter what the situation, always remain calm and level-headed. We can solve just about any problem that comes our way.

Please note... we WILL have to make up lost school days thanks to Irma. Options include working the Friday before Christmas (half day), working the teacher's planning day on January 19th, working the Monday after Easter, working the teacher's planning day on May 25th, and going to school through Friday on the last week. It will be some combination of these options. I am waiting to see exactly how things work out but for now it appears that the governor will only waive two days.

This Week

Tuesday and Wednesday: Hip Hop dance begins. Hopefully we will have a schedule to distribute in advance so everyone is on board. These students should be sent to OOS and will be signed out by the dance teachers.

Wednesday: Our new band program begins. The schedule is completed and will be circulated. The first class (3 1st grade students) will begin at 3:10 PM and those students should be sent to the office at dismissal. We will determine which students in latter classes (there are four) are in OOS and which are car kids and will leave and come back or will stay here. More info to follow. Once they have their instruments, these students will need a safe place in your homeroom classroom to store them every Wednesday. There are 18 students enrolled in band.

Thursday: Early Release. I will not be here, I have to be at the conference early. I need for all non-home room teachers to participate in dismissal in the parking lot. Homeroom teachers, please create the most accurate lunch count possible. Talk to your parents and students. Take ALL your students outside for dismissal. Be on time. 1st thru 4th grade, please wait an extra five minutes. Take your students through the lunch line and get them signed in and totally settled before leaving the cafeteria. Work on your grades as we are sending mid-terms home next week.

Friday: There is no school. It IS a teacher's work day. You may be scheduled to work with the kids in OOS for two hours during the day. During the rest of the day, you should be working on your grades, in your rooms and on your plans.

Activities and Extracurricular Schedules

BEFORE sending home any flyer regarding a special activity or extra-curricular activity, it needs to be approved. There may be something going on that you are not aware of and after you send it home, it makes us look flaky if we have to back peddle.

Scheduling Field Trips and Field Trip Forms

All field trip forms need to be physically signed off on by Soraya or I for your own protection, effective immediately. All fields need to be completed on the field trip form. You must check these as they come in, do not just collect them and not look at them. you must have adequate chaperones for the particular activity. All field trips should be put on the google calendar. Please check there before planning a trip. Keep the capacity of the bus in mind. The cost of chartering a 2nd bus will range from $200-$300, depending on the distance and time involved. If you elect to charter a second bus, ( and that is fine) the cost will be shared among all of the students going on the trip. I am actively seeking additional bus drivers, if you know of anyone please share. Mr. Ferguson is heavily involved in sports seasons at Florida Memorial. My other driver had a change in schedule. I am very supportive of field trips that help our students develop a larger world view and that are educational or motivating in nature.

Things to be aware of and deal with this week

  • Please complete and turn in your green sub folder. This is for unplanned and unexpected days off, not planned days off. Those, you will leave detailed plans for. I have received only one green folder. I have sent a very specific list of items to include. Send only originals of dittos that may need to be copied for storage reasons. Include writing activities (except for math only teachers)
  • Please be sure to read your email in the morning and afternoon and respond if appropriate.
  • Please verify that you have your settings correct so that parents can see your grades.
  • I finally figured out how to gain access to grade books and lesson plans on Renweb 1 and suffice it to say, some of you have work to do in these areas. Everyone knows what the expectations are for lesson plans, grade turn around and number of grades. Taking out ample time for the hurricane, some teachers still have woefully too few grades. You will need to make this up during the 2nd half of the quarter.
  • Note the rescheduled back to school nights on the calendar. It will come up quickly. You should be working on things and saving things for both of the Back to School Nights.
  • Remember that your relationships with your parents will make or break your school year. What are you doing to cultivate them? How are you communicating? How often? Are you sharing positive information and class news? I find it to be of concern that excluding the first day of school note, some teachers have not communicated with their parents. This is not acceptable. Communicate well, communicate thoroughly and communicate often.
  • Where is the "Wow" book? I began circulating this book the 2nd week of school. It was given to a staff member with a note in it about something that made me go "wow" about this teacher or the class. If you receive the "Wow" book, you are to identify a teacher or staff member that you have been impressed with, write something in the book about this person and then get it to that person. . It went to three people and then disappeared. I think it is important that we acknowledge and celebrate each others accomplishments and this is one what of saying, "I see you and I appreciate you". If you have the book, please do your part and pass it on. Also, something new is coming.... be on the lookout.
  • For Friday - you will be informed if and when you are needed in OOS.

Conference - please let me know if I have missed anything question you may have

For those of you going to the conference....

1. Please download the app that was sent to your email.

2. You have been given driving information. Please be sure to leave early enough to make the opening. I do not want any Holy Cross people slipping in late.

3. Once you download the app, familiarize yourself with the schedule. There is a "banquet" but that simply means nice dinner. You do not have to dress up, business attire is fine. No jeans or shorts of course. We will go out for a staff dinner as well.

4. You are responsible for your lunch on the way up and to save time, you should pack it.

5. Does everyone have a red Crusader shirt? If so, wear it on Wednesday, it is more comfortable. Bring your new maroon shirt to wear on Thursday.

6. Some of you were not available when we needed to selected breakout sessions, but be assured that you can go to any session that you like. I do expect you to go to your breakout sessions.

September Birthdays

September 13 Pat Rix

September 14 Janet Lopes

September 15 Suika Stewart

September 18 Jamila Jackson

September 18 Miguel Canete

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Appreciations and Shout Outs

First, thank you to everyone who showed up to help on the first clean-up day after the hurricane (Janet, Sabine and husband, Shirley, Adria's husband, Roslyn, Beth, Pastor and Luis of course, Myriame, Karen, Kirsten and Stephen, Lisa, Eden, Soraya, Marie, Mary and Spencer. If I have forgotten anyone, it seems like a long time ago and a bad dream already. Also, thank you to those who came on that long hot day and helped serve the multitude. I believe all of your names have already been mentioned. We have a great team and because of it, we can do great things.

Holy Cross Vision, Mission Statement, Core Values and Beliefs

Any time we have an idea, concern, solution and/or comment, this is the filter through which we should speak. Let's help each other live up to our vision, mission, and beliefs.

This is updated and we will review at our next meeting. PLEASE READ.

Vision Statement: Holy Cross will serve as an example of exemplary Christian education in an urban setting.

Mission Statement: Holy Cross Lutheran School exists to assist students to reach their full potential, walk in faith and to serve others.

Core Values:

  • Develop a Growth Mindset.

  • Strive for personal growth and excellence.

  • Live a life of faith and service to God and others

  • Every student, Every day. Whatever it takes.

Motto: Learning in HIS love and care

  • Partnerships between students, parents, community members and staff are foundational to educational success.
  • Positive school culture and a safe environment foster growth.
  • Everyone has inherent value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Learning is an active process requiring engaging tasks and engaging minds.
  • Relevant and authentic experiences ignite continuous, deeper learning.
  • Meaningful relationships enrich learning.

Focus for 2017-2018 ( Keep reviewing)

In order to help every child their personal best, Holy Cross Students and Staff will focus on developing a growth mindset. What does this mean?

In a fixed mindset, people believe that their basic qualities of intelligence or talent are fixed traits. They believe that talent alone creates success. They are wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is necessary for great accomplishments. Instead of thinking, "I can't do that" instead you think, "I can't do that YET".

Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity. I would encourage you to take the time and do your own reading and research. There are marvelous resources available online including TPT and Pinterest and there are great books written just for teachers and for children of all ages about this topic.

This goes very nicely with our theme, which is Building Champions...through Goals, Growth and Grit. In Philippians 4:13, it states, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength". We need to instill this belief in our students, that with the help of God and their own hard work and determination, they can learn and will learn.