Monday Memo

January 4th - 8th

When team members connect and build strong relationships, they don't just work with each other, they work for each other. - Jon Gordon


Like most years, the two weeks off of work seems like such a huge amount of time as it is lingering out in front of me but then passes quicker than a blink of an eye as I am living it. Regardless, I am happy to report that I had a fabulous break. I slept, read, ran, cleaned, shopped, reorganized, played games, reflected, saw movies and spent time with family. While there is never enough time to get everything done, I was careful to balance my days so that as I look back on them, I can feel like I spent enough time with all of my goal/priorities/responsibilities and have no regrets. However you spent your time, I hope that you feel the same and are able to come back reenergized, refreshed, focused and ready to help each of your students reach their learning goals.

As you can see by the announcements below, we have much to celebrate in the days ahead as a few team members welcome new lives into their families. Sadly, a few of our team members have also experienced tremendous losses in their families. For those of you who may not know, over the break, Barbara Peebles' father and Aly Flint's grandfather both passed away. As a McGowen Family, please keep all of these team members in your prayers, and support those who prepare to welcome new family members as well as those who struggle to define a new normal as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.

Tuesday will be such an exciting day as our students return to us. While most children will be able to jump back into your routines without skipping a beat, some will struggle. Never underestimate the value of reviewing your processes, routines and rules. The time you invest in reviewing your expectations will be well worth the time you save in dealing with discipline. In addition, we have several new students joining us for the spring semester. This review will also help them as they transition to a new school and your learning community.

As we continue to pray for The Prugh Family, count your blessings and make today count!


January 4, 2016 Agenda

7:45 am- Breakfast

8:15 am- Welcome/Minute to Win It

8:30 am- ELL Update

9:00 am- 11:30 am- PLC’s in Action

11:30 am-1 :00 pm-Lunch

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm- Grade Level PLC’s- Digging Into Data/Digging Into Content


Teacher Scales for Reflective Practice

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Fund For Teachers

Fund for Teachers provides educators, possessing a broad vision of what it means to teach and learn, the resources needed to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. FFT grants are used for an unlimited variety of projects; all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students and their school communities.


Warm-Up Wednesdays

Each January, we sell Warm-Up Wednesday passes to benefit Special Olympics. The passes are sold for five dollars each. These passes are only good during the month of January. If you would like to purchase a pass, you may buy them from Donna.


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Did you know that each week I give out jeans passes to those who are one of the top three participants on Shoparoo? I know that many of you have already joined, but if you haven't, it is not too late. Simply go to to create your account. If you use veft4467 as a referral code, McGowen will earn money for you just signing up. Please feel free to push this information out to your parents as well. Once you sign up, Shoparoo will give you a referral code for your parents to use when they sign up. Schools with just 40 supporters are earning an average of $1,000 every year.

Congratulations to Jen McCartney and Jennifer Little for being in this week's top three!


Focus for 2015 - 2016

In order to help every child their personal best, McGowen teachers and staff will:

  • Develop a common language needed to become High Reliability School.
  • Develop an understanding and process for effective Professional Learning Communities.
  • Engage in collaborative team planning and lesson design to promote higher level thinking and student engagement.
  • Present lessons in such a way that students understand and can speak knowledgeably about posted learning and language targets.


Remind for Staff

I have created a Remind for our staff in order to send out just-in-time reminders, last minute notifications of jeans/warm-up days, and/or emergency info. If you haven't already, please click on the link below to join the group.


Happy Birthday!


Mary Ann Miller - 7th

Laura Garro - 10th

Martha Gordon - 15th

Lisa Pedersen - 15th

Jean Possehl - 16th

Holly Bianchetta - 19th

Stacie Bullock - 19th

Krystina Ticehurst - 24th



  • A-Team: Thanks so much for the yummy lunch and McGowen thank you cards! —K.Ward

  • Michelle: Thank you for helping me with my precious one! Love you!! —K.Ward
  • 4th Grade: You are all simply incredible, and I am so thankful for the fun we shared before break. Thanks for always being so easy to work with, and willing to do what is best for our students. —K.Ward
  • Jen D.: Thank you for being so considerate and helpful in a time of need. ;-) —K.Ward
  • Trisha-thank you for being an awesome secret Santa, especially when you went the extra mile and provided me with a much needed Diet Coke Friday morning !! Angie

  • Jennifer and Sylvia - thank you so much for yummy lunch on Thursday ! Angie


  • Mcgowen Staff- hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing break !!

  • Michelle- Thank you for covering my class so I could visit The Holiday Exchange and see Sidney. Shannon

  • 4th Grade- Thank you for helping the kids and making the Holiday Exchange a great success!! The kids had a blast!!! Shannon

  • Kristi- Thank you for being such an awesome teacher!!! You are so loving, caring, and patient. We love you so much!!!! Shannon

  • Melanie and Lynn- Thank you for helping me with all my technology issues. Shannon

  • Shiela & Michelle C.~ Thank you so much for your diligence in getting everything going for my friend in my absence! I am confident that with your help we (or you!) can get her the help that she needs!!!!!!!!!! It means so much to us both ;-)

  • Maria~ I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for all that you have done to support my class while we waited for Tanya! 2 sets of report cards?!?!?! You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Relle – Thank you for blowing up my yoga ball!! lp


Action Items

  • Send Report Cards home on Wednesday, January 6th
  • Schedule assessments for open testing windows with Bonnie
  • Submit grade level budgets by EOD Tuesday, January 12th
  • Submit committee budgets by EOD Wednesday, January 13th


McKinney ISD's Vision, Mission 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.


We are a cohesive, diverse community providing engaging learning experiences for all.

We will provide engaging learning experiences so students can become effective communicators, quality contributors and socially responsible citizens.

  • 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.
  • Confidence fuels risk taking and higher achievement.
  • Financial stewardship ensures a tomorrow for education.