Eagle Updates, Week 6
September 28th -October 2nd, 2015
Learning to Embrace Vulnerability
“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” ― Wai Lan Yuen
While looking through some of my previous commentaries from my Eagle News, I came across this one on vulnerability that I wrote on October 13, 2013, and thought it is highly relevant as we begin classroom walk-throughs and providing feedback.
In this piece, I informed staff that while launching the Internet on my desktop computer over the weekend, my awareness quickly drifted to a video which appeared on my AOL homepage that featured Brene Brown and Oprah Winfrey.
For those of you who may not have heard of Brene Brown, wikipedia describes her as an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Over the last twelve years she has been involved in research on a range of topics, including vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
The video that I refer to in this piece had recently appeared on OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network) and the two ladies were having a discussion about “vulnerability.”
In the video, Brown states that humans have this great desire to “connect” with others and in order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen (Video can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi0IEOBDRpQ).
Brown reports that “shame” and “fear” come from feelings or concern of being disconnected. This got me to thinking about vulnerability in the workplace and specifically in our school. How do we learn to be vulnerable in an environment that is constantly appraising and judging our performance? How do we create a learning environment where the adults can be vulnerable without feeling these limitations will hold them back from being promoted or even keeping their jobs.
I find it ironic that in a profession where our jobs are to assign scores to the performance of others -- our students, we have a difficult time accepting the critique of others when it comes to our own areas of opportunity.
In fact, educators (including those in leadership roles) seem to try hard not to show vulnerability. We seem to hide our vulnerabilities underneath the blankets of blame, fear, and guilt. Yet in order to have a learning environment that we all dream of, where we can be free to practice in our strengths and reveal our limitations, we must all learn to show vulnerability. Think about it- when we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities, only then are we open to those opportunities that will make our lives better. Therefore demonstrating vulnerability and using feedback as a strength, instead of a weakness, you demonstrate courage. The power of knowing that you are not perfect will enable you to be a learner and to become a better person, a better educator.
Remember, vulnerability does not mean “weak” in fact it demonstrates courage to admit when you’re wrong or when you don’t know. It gives us the opportunity to be imperfect which allows us to take more risk. In what ways will you show vulnerability this week? To your students? To your team members? and Ultimately to yourself?
With something to think about, this is your vulnerable leader Ms. Spears, make it a great week or not. The choice is yours!
Show Your QVE Spirit and Purchase Your Sugar Shindig Ticket This Week!
Would you like to postpone paying your faculty fund?! Yes?! Then purchase a Sugar Shindig ticket instead!!
So what exactly is the Sugar Shindig? I thought you’d never ask!
This is a fundraiser sponsored by the Fort Bend Education Foundation who awards thousands of dollars in grants for teacher’s each year.
On Friday, October 9th – you will join your QVE team members for a fun evening as we enjoy a fajita dinner, dancing to music of a live band, and most importantly an opportunity to showcase your QVE spirit.
The school with the most attendees will be treated to a grilled luncheon by our superintendent, Mr. Dupre and his leadership team!
What are you waiting for? Purchase your tickets today!
Please see our Sugar Shaker, Ms. Portugal for more information.
Welcome Ms. Waid, our new Part-Time Receptionist/Lunch Monitor
Please help us welcome our newest team member, Julia Waid!!! Ms. Waid will be running the cafeteria so that we can enjoy having lunches with our grade level teams. Julia will also help in the front office after lunches and cover day care and car rider duty from 3:30-4:00. Please make sure to make the time to introduce yourselves and make her feel at home and part of the team.
Best team ever!
Clinic Updates from Nurse Kerri
Clinic Friendly Reminders…Safety First!
· All students must have a yellow Nurse Pass to come to the clinic.
· Please send only one student at a time.
· Let us know if your first aid kit needs supplies! Bandaids should be handled in the classroomJ.
· We have entered Flu season…please disinfect your surfaces EVERY DAY!
· Be sure there is a two-way radio outside for all recess periods.
· Place the Clinic Number by your phone…4-5045.
Health Screenings Have Begun…Every Wednesday and Friday Mornings!
Please remind your students to wear their glasses if they have themJ.
Message from Ms. Portugal
What's Happening at QVE?
Thursday, October 1st Ms. Blevins Baby Shower after school
Thursday, October 1st - Last day to pay for Tip of the Spear-BBQ Plates
Thursday, October 1st PTO Meeting at 6:30 pm in the library
Friday, October 2nd, Last day to purchase Sugar Shindig Tickets! Please see Ms. Portugal for more information!
Tuesday, October 6th QVE Bowling Night at 6:00 pm at Stafford Lanes
Wednesday, October 7th Faculty Meeting from 3:30- 5:00 in library
Friday, October 9th Parent-Teacher Conferences/Early Release for Students
Friday, October 9th - Sugar Shindig! Show your school spirit and sport your red, white, and blue!
Monday, October 12th Student Holiday/District Professional Development
Tuesday, October 13th PLC Lead Meeting
Wednesday, October 14th SLT
Wednesday, October 14th Chick-fil-a Spirit Night with the Enrichment Team
Monday, October 21st Committee Meetings after school
Tuesday, October 22nd Report Cards sent home
Saturday, October 24th Color Run 9:30-11:00
October 26th - 30 Red Ribbon Week
Wednesday, October 28th QVE 40th Anniversary Celebration at 4:30 pm in the cafeteria
Thursday, October 29th Team Leader Meeting at 3:30 in conference room
PAPI Window: The PAPI window is open from 8/24-10/2
DRA Window: The window opened 8/24 and closes 10/2. You have plenty of time to complete; starting tomorrow, you have 26 school days. J
Math DNA: The window to administer the performance Math DNA is Aug. 31-Sept. 11
Grade Reporting Information
- August 24th Start of Grading Period #1
- September 11th Progress Report #1
- September 15th Progress Report #1 goes home
- October 2nd - Progress Report #2 (end of 1st six weeks)
- October 6th - Progress Report #2 goes home
- October 16th - End of Grading Period: REPORT CARD #1
- October 20th - REPORT CARD #1 Goes Home
*Please subscribe to activities calendar to review other important dates and information. Need help subscribing? Contact Ms. McKinnon at email@example.com
Benefits and Wellness Committee Meeting Summary from Ms. Hubbard, our Representative
Biometric Screenings and Health Assessments
· Have physician form or lab voucher completed by 10/30/15 and take online Health Assessment by 10/30/15 using your screening results
· Complete requirements within 60 days of insurance enrollment
· Have physician form or lab voucher completed, and take online Health Assessment using you screening results
*Compliance required. Otherwise, employee will be assessed a $20 surcharge per employee and/or spouse per paycheck in 2016 and thereafter………
Employee Flu Shots
· Onsite flu shots for employees and dependents will be provided as most Fort Bend ISD campuses (refer to attached calendar locations/dates/times)
· There is no cost for those employees covered under FBISD medical insurance (bring your UHC member ID card with you)
· A self-pay option of $25.99 exists for those Fort Bend ISD employees that are NOT covered by the medical insurance
· Please refer to your on-campus nurse or Benefits and Wellness Champion for more specifics.
· A survey is being sent district-wide to determine employee interest in fitness classes and cycling programs
· All employees are encouraged to complete the survey so that we can determine the level of interest and identify locations for these programs
· The survey is expected to be released the week of September 28th. We will send a district-wide communications with survey access information.
Marathon in a Month
· Marathon in a Month is a Million Mile Month sponsored event specific to Fort Bend ISD employees.
· Participants log physical activities during the month of October, which are then converted to miles
· Registration opens in mid-September at Marathon In A Month Registration, and is only $5 per participant.
Health Awareness Day (HAD)
· HAD is being held on Wednesday, November 11th 4:30 – 6:30pm at the Wheeler Field House (refer to attached flyer)
· Over 25 vendors will be participating (fitness clubs, wellness checks/screenings, supplemental employee programs, etc.)
· Fabulous door prizes include bikes, electronics and gift cards
· Food and refreshments will also be available
· Event is open to all Fort Bend ISD Employees and Family
* employees must show their employee ID to obtain a raffle ticket for the door prizes.
Benefit Open Enrollment Period
· Open Enrollment starts October 26, 2015 – November 8, 2015 (midnight Sunday)
· New Kelsey Seybold Plan Option Available
· New ID Theft Protection Plan Available
· New Employer Sponsored Programs
ØActiveCare (Diabetic Program)
ØSurgeryPlus (Surgical Program)
· Monthly increase of $0.20 - $0.50 in Vision (VSP) rates due to Affordable Care Act Fee Provisions
· Teledoc Copay increase from $40 - $45
· District-wide employee communication will be released on October 12th with specifics (benefit guide, videos, open enrollment meeting dates, etc.)
Update on iNGAGEDhealth and iNGAGED Mobile App
· iNGAGEDhealth is a nurse-coaching program focused on individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions but have gaps in care ( example: failure to visit physician routinely or failure to fill prescribed medications
· Target population for Fort Bend ISD is approx. 350 members (including spouses)
· A non-engaged surcharge of $40 per month is assessed if the member opts-out of program OR fails to participate during nurse outreach (refer to attached flyer)
· All Fort Bend ISD employees will have access to the iNGAGED Mobile App. While we encourage as many employees as possible to download the app, it is NOT mandatory.
Creating an Environment that Supports Student Learning
One of the greatest factors of our GREAT school are the high expectations we have for students as well as ourselves. We are always being proactive (doing the right thing even when no one is watching)!
We believe that if we teach the curriculum each day- we don’t have to concentrate on teaching to the test or test results because we are always providing opportunities for our students to be successful.
So I want to remind you that movies are not an appropriate form of instruction. If you would like to integrate a video into instruction that is longer than 5 minutes – it should be included in your lesson plans and you will need to complete a permission form (*please see page 22 of your handbook under the heading “Movies and Videos Shown in Class).”
Movies, parties, or free days are not appropriate rewards for good behavior as we are always reinforcing good learning habits. We do have a variety of great ways to celebrate good behavior to reinforce our expectations such as – Synergize celebrations, earning eagle bucks and other incentives that will not take away from instruction.
If you have questions about appropriate rewards, showing movies, or other expectations, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to support you and ensure you have a great school year.
We appreciate all you do!
Classroom Walk-Through Focus - Week of September 28th
Each week I make an effort to walk through the classrooms after hours to determine needs and observe the learning taking place on our GREAT Campus! Here are a few things that you need to be aware of:
- Organization is key to effective classroom management and instruction. Please make sure your classrooms are well organized and prepared for learning each day.
- Student work should be posted as it demonstrates to students the importance of their hard work. Please make sure to post student work so that we can see all the great things you're dong in your classroom.
- Hallway Bulletins should now be updated. Please update outside bulletins monthly.
- Student Data Binders/Goal Setting should be up to date. You can set goals with students prior to performing their DRAs or PAPIs.
This week’s walk-through focus is:
Daily 5/Daily 3
We will be looking for the following:
· Is there evidence of Daily5/Daily 3 (i-charts, stamina charts, daily5/daily 3 stations)?
· Are stations being utilized (Read-to-self, Work on Writing, Math by myself, etc.)?
· Are materials ready and organized?
· Is there student choice?
· What is the teacher doing during this time?
Remember – feedback is the breakfast of champions and helps us align our practices as we strive to exceed in our goal areas!
Printing Progress Reports in Skyward
Please see the steps below to print progress reports for Skyward.
1. Log into Skyward.
2. Click on Teacher Access.
3. Click on My Gradebook.
4. Scroll over Reports for All Classes and a drop down menu should appear.
5. Scroll down until you see a section labeled "Progress Reports."
6. Under "Progress Reports" click on "Enhanced Multi-Class Progress Reports." This will open a new screen.
7. On the right side, click on "Add a new Template."
8. Name the Template "Progress Report" and click save.
9. Click on each of the following for each sections:
Grades and Students to Print
- make sure to select current term, and the rest of the boxes in this section are unchecked.
- Check the box for "Display Student Name" AND "Display Student ID"
Leave both Free Form Headers blank ( it says Label 1 and Label 2)
Click on "Print All Classes"
Check box for "Do Not Print Categories or Assignments" - everything should become greyed out in this section.
Check box for Display Display Signature Line
10. Click Save to save your template. This will then return the user to the screen that says "Report Templates" at the top left corner.
11. Click on the template that you just created.
12. Click print on the right side, which will cause a new screen to open. You will see the report says "Running" in yellow under status.
13. Once the status changes to "Completed" in blue, a smaller screen will pop up stating "Report Finished Processing."
14. Click "Display Report." This will open all of the progress reports for your students ( both classes for those that are split.)
I hope this was not too confusing. I tried to be as specific as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions.
TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY
Brought to you by Fort Bend Corrective Health Center
OCTOBER 20TH, 9AM – 12 NOON
FREE 10 MINUTE MASSAGES
OFFERED TO THE FIRST 19 TEACHERS WHO SUBMIT 10 PRINCIPAL BUCKS!
YOUR CLASSES WILL BE COVERED FOR YOUR 10 MINUTE TIME SLOT!
*Must submit Principal Bucks to Ms. Hall and be signed up by October 15th.
The message below comes from Mr. Pham, FBISD Chief Information Officer
I am writing today to make you aware of an issue we are experiencing with online resources made available by one of our textbook providers. As you may be aware, some Fort Bend ISD teachers and students are reporting challenges in accessing online textbooks, and are receiving error messages when they try to log on to these online platforms.
At this time, our IT staff members are actively working with a particular publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), to resolve a programming issue that has not allowed the vendor to accurately download our student and teacher data files. This issue is not unique to Fort Bend ISD, as other area Districts are reporting similar challenges with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s myHRW platform.
The identified issue impacts the online textbook access for teachers and students across the District in all levels – elementary, middle school, and high school. For now, some students and teachers are able to log in to this platform, while other teachers and students are not able to log in.
Please communicate with your appropriate staff members to let them know that our programming and reporting team is working diligently with the Publisher to ensure they rectify this situation as quickly as possible. We understand that access to these online resources is important to teachers, students and their parents and hope to have the issue resolved soon. In the meantime, if you have any additional questions, please contact Rick Sanders at Rick.Sanders@fortbendisd.com.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Our theme this year is “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!”
In an effort to provide you with great service, each team has been assigned a Team Coach. The purpose of your coach is much like that of sports-team coaches as s/he is responsible for providing you with information and support that will help your team reach its full potential.
Your coach will meet with your teams periodically during your planning time or other times to clarify campus/district expectations – such as Response-to-Intervention (RtI), schedules, student expectations, data, and other information that is important to your team and ultimately student success.
Your coach is also responsible for providing feedback on lesson plans and performing periodic walk-throughs and leaving comments/suggestions that will improve performance while aligning our practices. A few friendly competitions will be planned along the way – so always be sure to have your best game on and represent your team well! You may start by posting your team score cards in the teacher's lounge to guarantee your team's points are recorded. If you are reading this message, please email me with the words "game on!" and receive a $20 gift card to a local restaurant.
Assigning Coaches to each team will assist us in better meeting your team’s needs and will help centralize whom you go to if you have questions or need more information . So without further ado- here are your team coaches:
Kindergarten – Ms. Rodriguez
1st Grade- Ms. Eapen/Ms. Vasquez
2nd Grade – Ms. Portugal
3rd Grade- Ms. Jones
4th Grade/Special Education – Ms. Spears
5th Grade/Enrichment – Mr. Strutton
We’re looking forward to a fabulous school year!
Message from Mr. Strutton
We are off to a fantastic start!!! As we continue to develop successful habits in the classroom and other areas of the building, please keep the following expectations in mind:
- In the morning, students should all be in class prior to 8:10. If a student comes to class after 8:10 they should have a tardy slip. If they don't have tardy slip, please send them back to the office to get one
- As you transition to lunch, it is important that each grade level check with the office to ensure all lunches have been picked up. It is the grade levels responsibility to assign a teacher or a student to go to the front office and check prior to the start of your team's lunch.
- It is important that all classes have outdoor recess. The district has emphasized the importance of all students having the opportunity to engage in physical activity. Because of the number of students moving, running and playing on the playground and the potential for injury and/or incident it is just as important that ALL teachers from each grade level be outside on duty actively monitoring recess activity.
- If you are reading this message, email me with the words "I'm reinforcing expectations!" and receive 10 principal bucks!
Let’s make sure that we are all doing everything in our power to make this the best school year ever.
Thank you for everything you do!