Winfield Weekly

November 16, 2015


Monday, November 16

Tuesday, November 17

Jillian OOB @ Safety Training

Pie Pickup @ 5-7 pm (Gym)

Wednesday, November 18

Jillian OOB @ Safety Training

Thursday, November 19

Student of the Month Breakfast @ 8:05 a.m. (Cafeteria)

Friday, November 20

Grade Level Meetings @ 8:05 a.m. (Team Leader's Classroom)

*Upcoming Dates

November 24 @ 5-8 pm-McSchool Night

December 1 @ 8:00 am-Academic Behaviors Meeting (Grades 1 and 2)

December 2 @ 8:05 am-DCS Presentation (all staff invited)

December 4 @ TBD-Christmas Party @ Lori Taylor's house

Notes and Other News...

  • Congrats to Kelly and Staci for recently having DonorsChoose projects funded!
  • Please remember to only send what is necessary to the COLOR PRINTER. We have recently re-inked the printer at a cost of $1,000. Things printed in color should be things that are being used/maintained for a while. Things to go home with students should not be printed in color.

Teacher To-Do's

  1. Continue recording Parent Contacts on Google Form.
  2. Submit your weekly newsletter via email (preferred).
  3. Learning Goals and Tracking Student Progress are embedded in your daily work. New teachers: speak with your mentors about this. We will schedule time next week to discuss this topic more.
  4. Please make sure your students are ready and packed at dismissal time. If you have the last special of the day, they should be packed before they go to their special.

Adjusting BUZZ-due by Wed. the 18th

Important – Settings Adjustments Buzz Courses

1. In order to make 1st and 2nd quarter grades visible in RDS and Buzz, teachers need to adjust Buzz settings in their courses per the directions attached and below.

2. By Wednesday, November 18th please have teachers adjust their Buzz settings for semester or year-long courses. Be sure to note the RED notes in steps 2 and 6.

When these steps are completed:

· In Buzz, the 2nd quarter grade will reflect only 2nd quarter achievement, not cumulative for the semester.

· 1st quarter grades will be seen on the RDS parent access screen.

· School offices (guidance, principal, secretary/treasurers) will be able to generate RDS grade reports for Quarter 1 to give to social services, health professionals, child protective services etc.

The email with attachment was sent to you on Friday 11/13. Please email me if you need it resent.

Thanksgiving Curricular Ideas!

Check out the link for passages about Thanksgiving for readers at all levels!

Pint-Sized PD- For adults!

Addressing Various Parent Concerns

In this article in Principal Leadership, New Jersey social worker/family therapist Brett Novick lists some troublesome parent behaviors and suggests ways to deal with each one:

My child is never at fault – “Stick to the facts,” advises Novick. “Document your conversations… Documentation can help clarify facts, reduce emotional exaggeration, and avoid legal disputes.” To prevent teachers, administrators, and other adults being played off against each other, he suggests including the student in meetings.

The teacher or administrator must be wrong about what my child did – Let the parent have his or her say first, says Novick. “Encouraging parents to share their worries first enables you to remind them in a firm-yet-understanding tone that the rules of the school apply even if they don’t necessarily agree with all of them.” It’s helpful to have another educator present at the meeting.

He’s your problem now – “Some parents are drowning in a world of financial despair and/or emotional, physical, or family issues,” says Novick. “First, see if these survival concerns are being met.” If the parent isn’t in a position to help with a child’s issues, work with the school counselor to find rewards, motivations, and consequences within the school.

Second-guessing teachers and administrators – Don’t always assume the worst and avoid getting defensive, says Novick. The parent may be using questions about the curriculum and other matters to understand what’s going on and feel part of a child’s education. “The more information that these parents have on the front-end, the less apt they are to question how things were handled on the back-end,” he says.

Harassing, intimidating, or bullying behaviors – When parents are in this mode, Novick advises against using e-mail (it can come across as confrontational) or picking up the phone while angry. Timeliness is also important – getting to the parent with the school’s side of the story before the child has a chance to stoke anger at home.

My child will attend school when he or she chooses to – Look for patterns in children’s absence, advises Novick, as well as signs of abuse or neglect, and provide missed work for chronically absent children.

Passive-aggressive behavior – Becoming too friendly with parents – accepting a daily cup of coffee or a bagel, chatting on social media or the soccer field, accepting a compliment that includes an invidious comparison with another educator – can come back to haunt you, says Novick. Maintain appropriate boundaries at all times.

My child is being victimized by teachers (or other students) – Steer the conversation away from blaming or victimizing, says Novick. “Remind them that it is the behavior that you are addressing. You are not condemning their child’s character or, consequently, their parenting skills.” In addition, it’s important for the school to work toward consistent discipline policies from classroom to classroom.

Helicoptering – Be proactive in contacting these parents and affirming their deep and passionate concern for their children’s well-being. “These parents are concerned that their child will not be able to handle the proverbial ‘real world’ without their intervention,” says Novick. “When you report successes to the parents, it helps them to realize that they do not have to do everything for their child.”

Distrustful of public schools, administrators, and teachers – “Don’t focus on being right or wrong,” says Novick. “Focus on what is right for the student.” And look for face-saving “win-win” solutions.

“The 10 Most Challenging Types of Parents – and How to Work With Them” by Brett Novick in Principal Leadership, September 2015 (Vol. 15, #1, p. 44-48), no e-link available