The Pillow Page


Testing Is Over...Learning Isn't.

Hello Pillow Panther Staff!

I hope you had a great weekend. Caitlin was out of town today, so I got to experience a full day of taking care of Everett by myself. It's been a while and let's just say my respect for stay-at-home moms went up even more after today. Hard to get work done when your son wants to play trains every second of the day!

I also got a chance to go for a trail run on Saturday. There is something about being in the woods and running that is so amazing. When there is no one else around and you can hear every footstep you make or the sounds of water running or deer jumping through the grass. It's a relaxing way to get some exercise...which isn't always relaxing. If you don't normally get outside and enjoy nature very often, I'd suggest doing it. We are fortunate to live and work in a city that has so many parks and trails near by. Even if it's just to go for a short walk, try and make time to do it and get away from it all. I'd also suggest you check the forecast before you head out, which is something I didn't do before my run on Saturday! A 5 mile run (2.5 out and 2.5 back) went from quiet and peaceful to a little scary in no time. Right about the time that I got to the turn around point, the rain started pouring down. I was in the middle of the woods with flash flood rain coming down, and nowhere to go for shelter. The ironic thing is that on the way out, you have to cross a creek that doesn't have a bridge. I took my time jumping from rock to rock to make sure my shoes didn't get wet, which is funny, because when I crossed that same creek on my way back in, I ran straight through it since I was completely drenched. Lightning, thunder, torrential was't what I had in mind. But, it was my own fault because I didn't plan out my run ahead of time. If I had just stopped to look at the forecast before I left, I would have known better and I could have adjusted my plans.

This made me think about the next few weeks at Pillow. As the title of this post states, testing is over (thank god) but learning isn't. We didn't work hard all year long just for a test. We work hard to prepare our students to be successful and to be ready for the next grade level. This doesn't stop now that testing is over. We still have 12 days with the kids and that should be 12 days of teaching and learning. We need to make sure we are planning out our days for the next few weeks and that quality instruction and activities are still happening. As soon as we start to slack off, the kids do as well. Let's make sure we have a clear plan in place for what's going to happen in our classrooms for the next few weeks or else we're going to be stuck in the woods in the middle of a storm...if you know what I mean.

I want to thank Coach and all of the people that helped make sure we had a smooth and successful field day. It was so much fun watching the classroom cheers and seeing the kiddos active and having fun at all of the stations. It's so important that they get that experience. I also want to thank all of the 3rd-5th grade teachers, Ms. Hendricks, Ms. Cardenas, and all of the small group testers for making sure that we had a smooth round of STAAR testing as well. Only one student out of all of 3rd, 4th, and 5th didn't get to test due to illness! That's pretty impressive. Remember that the results won't come back until after school is out, but I will definitely let you know how we did when I get them. Also, thank you to Ms. Finnegan and Ms. Burghart. They have been working tirelessly this past week, and will continue to, in the library in order to move in all of the books, furniture, etc., and get things set up. Thank y'all for all of your hard work.

Lastly, as we prepare for the end of the school year, Ms. Cardenas and I will be sending out a teacher checklist and some other documents to help guide you through the necessary closing procedures. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible and to avoid any confusion. Now, it is the first time we've closed out a school year with y'all, so mistakes will happen. So, thank you in advance for working with us. Also, the plan for the PD day on the 27th has changed. Originally we were going to have stuff to do as a campus during the morning and then release you to work on your own in the afternoon. Now, we are only going to meet for about an hour or so and then release you to work on our own. This will give you plenty of time to get work done that you need to do for the closing of the school year. The plan is to have breakfast from 7:30 to 8:00, and then meet from 8:00 to 9:15ish as group before turning you loose. Please plan accordingly. Thanks.

P.S. You'll notice that TEA is here on Monday. They will be visiting PreK classes all day for a study. Also, someone from Dell will be here on Wednesday. There is something that they need to fix on all of the teacher laptops that you received. I don't have all of the details, but from what I understand, they will set up somewhere in the school on Wednesday morning and they are asking all teachers to drop off their laptops with them in the morning. They will fix them and return them later that day. So, please make sure you bring your school laptop to work on Wednesday and be prepared to not have access to it that day. Thanks.

-Mr. Hill

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Upcoming Events

5/16/16 - Mon

Police Officer and Security Appreciation Week

5th Technology Testing Window Opens

TEA Visits PreK

LPAC Annual Reviews Begin

5/17/16 - Tue

AM - B. Hill Out

11:40am - 1:40pm - Austin Symphony Young Person's Concert

6:30pm-8:00pm - Salute! Awards At The PAC

5/18/16 - Wed

Teacher Laptop Repair

11:00am-12:00pm - Volunteer Lunch

5/19/16 - Thur

AM - B. Hill Out

9:00am-10:15am - 5th Graders Visit Burnet MS

5:00pm-8:00pm - Spirit Night At DQ

5/20/16 - Fri

8:30am-9:15am - Fun With Chemistry (3rd-5th)

9:30am-10:15am - Fun With Chemistry (PreK-2nd)

10:00am-2:00pm - 5th Grade Field Trip

PM - B. Hill Out

5:30pm - 7:00pm - Pillow Dance Party

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