Beating the Odds

Lakeview Staff Newsletter - March 28

Advanc-ED

I am proud of the learning culture we have set for ourselves at Lakeview. Part of being a learning culture is continuously growing and improving. We want to be the best at getting better. AdvancED represents part of that voluntary continuous improvement effort. You will hear a lot more about AdvancED on Monday morning, especially how so many of our efforts these past years have been a direct result of our last AdvancED visit in 2014.

But I also want you to have an idea of Lakeview's portion of the AdvancED visit as well. This is the link to our building narrative. A narrative tells a story, and this narrative tells the story of our efforts to contribute to the 4 CE's of our district and address the recommendations of the 2014 AdvancED visit. I think, when you read the narrative, you will be proud of our group efforts. You will also notice there are many things that could be added to the narrative, but the visitors just want a "snapshot" of us ... not the whole story. Each school's narrative, plus the visits on April 16, shape their district recommendations, which are likely to guide our future work together.

We will talk more about the AdvancED visit at our April 10 staff meeting.

Lakeview TSS team

I am happy to report that our building-level Trauma Sensitive Team has met for the first time to begin their work. We are creating one team to be a "clearinghouse" for all things social-emotional in our building. Rather than create separate teams for PBIS, character ed, TSS, and so forth, we are creating one team to coordinate all efforts with a unified perspective. Here are the members and their specific areas of expertise on the team:

Heather H, Craig T, Amy D, Chris S - Members of both the district level and the building level teams

Therese H - building wide rep

Courtney S and Jen B - members of the team that will focus on PBIS efforts

Sarah W - member of the team focusing on character ed/student council integration

We will also take time at our April 10 staff meeting to talk about Trauma Sensitive topics as a staff. Thank you to these members for their willingness to lead!

2019-2020 Changes

I had many individual and small group conversations with people about changes for next year. How we position teachers - the most important resource we have as a system - is the most important and most complicated decision that a principal makes. I do not take this responsibility lightly.

At this point, everyone can know what changes are coming:

• We will have the same number of total sections, but the number of sections at each grade level will change to keep pace with student enrollment trends and student needs.

• AGR affords us the flexibility to choose class size reduction, instructional coaching, or 1:1 tutoring at each grade level (not by the building). This allows us to have two sections of some grade levels and three sections of others because we choose our AGR strategy by the grade level. For example, this year, 1st and 2nd grades used the "class size reduction" strategy and 5K and 3rd used the "instructional coach" strategy. We value the role our instructional coach has in impacting all teachers and students, and therefore, Rachel will continue her current role.

• Next year, we will have the following classroom sections and teachers:

4K - Maes

5K - DeBruin, Chmeliewski, Hirthe (we have a large group of incoming 5K students)

1st - Brever and Logisz

2nd - Benn and Busalacchi

3rd - Craig Tinsen, Manthe, Sodemann

4th - Carrier and Schwaab

5th - Wilke and new person

• We are posting the new 5th grade position on WECAN and will hire in late April.

• I am not looking at automatically changing configurations every year. That has been a common question. Deciding how many sections of any grade level is a combination of enrollment and student needs.

• The next question many people have is "What room will I be in?" That is a valid question. Anyone who is interested in providing input into this question can meet at 7:45 on Thursday, April 4 in the library. I have appreciated getting to know how the building functions this year, and I would be interested to know your ideas about how to utilize space effectively. I'm even happy to provide some blank school maps to you if you need something to write on. Just let me know.

Finally and most importantly - THANK YOU to everyone here for your understanding during these conversations, especially those people most impacted by these moves. The culture here is devoted to students, and it comes through in every conversation I had.

Three students this week

This week, three kiddos in the midst of behavior issues said the following:

• "I'm not smart. I don't deserve to learn."

• "I'm stupid."

• "I'm not good at math."

I've never heard any student at Lakeview say anything like this until this week. It hit me pretty hard to hear it three times in a few days. I know how hard the adults at Lakeview work to create growth mindsets. It reminded me that the self-talk students have is very powerful - even more powerful than the words we tell them. This is a good time of year to pump up students who are struggling, and make sure they hear it over and over. (It's also a good time of year to pump up each other!)

Forward

I have compiled much of the info you need about Forward into one document (link here). It also talks about testing environments. Please be sure you are doing the Online Tools Training with students weekly as you prepare for testing. 4th grade starts with testing right after our long weekend. Please plan for a very quiet south hallway throughout most of April.

Dates:

4th grade - April 2, 3, 4, 8

3rd grade - 8, 9, 10, 12, 15

5th grade - April 15, 17, 18

Article about Supporting Readers

I recently came across the article about supporting below-level readers as they grapple with difficult texts. It deals with some common misconceptions and some suggestions.

Looking Ahead

Monday, April 1

PD Day (link to schedule) - No students

Be sure to complete PPD log (in Google Classroom) at end of day


Tuesday, April 2

Wear blue for Autism Awareness Day


Wednesday, April 3

Lakeview AdvancED team 7:30-8:00 a.m.


Thursday, April 4

Building spaces meeting 7:45 in library

Social Studies leadership team 4-5 p.m.


Friday, April 5

Field trips - 5K to Museum and 4/5 to First Stage


Wednesday, April 10

Staff meeting 7:15-8:15 a.m. (most likely about AdvancED and TSS)


Thursday, April 11

Kohl's Wild Theater assembly for grades 1-3 from 2:30-3:15

District Trauma Sensitive Team meeting 3:30-5:15 in board room

PTO Luau dance from 5-7 p.m.

Structural Items

Time sheets - There is limited turn-around for time sheets the next two cycles. It is always good practice to fill out/initial/sign time sheets promptly, but this week and the next cycle are especially important.


Summer safety updates - I've mentioned that we will be moving our lobby doors to create a secure entrance. That work, as well as some improvements to the office, will be done this summer.


Crowdfunding policy - The district does have an updated policy on crowdfunding (i.e., DonorsChoose, GoFundMe). Here is a link to the new policy. Here is a link to the pre-approval form for anything $500 or more, which requires school board approval. Here is a link to the pre-approval form for anything under $500 - this requires building principal approval. I encourage teachers to put projects out there - thank goodness for generous people like former Senator Herb Kohl who comes through for teachers multiple times per year. But it is essential to have an approval process that includes all stakeholders. Let me know if you have questions or need help.


Family newsletter - Link to this week's family newsletter


Elementary Blackout Dates - Here is a link to the calendar

Character Dares & Trauma Sensitive Schools

Big picture