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August 16, 2019

Words of Inspiration

"Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher."

-Japanese Proverb

A Special Applause to...

Wow! What an incredible opening week to the 2019-2020 school year! I am so impressed with each staff member's dedication to ensuring students feel safe, comfortable, and understand expectations. Thank you for spending time teaching students about the Greene School. I am grateful to be able to serve the students of the Sycamore Community School District by your side. Speaking on behalf of the administrative team, we have all been in multiple districts. As we are out in the building and observing how you work with students in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom, and one recess, it is clear what sets us apart from other districts. This staff is special. You put students first and spend time developing meaningful relationships with students and more importantly with each other. This is going to be a special year because of YOU!

PD on the Fly...

I have been so impressed with how you have opened this school year. Spending time to build relationships will set the tone for the rest of the school year. I found this article by Thomas Guskey very interesting as we think about transitioning into academic work. I was able to see the author speak at a conference once. He is a former student of Benjamin Bloom and one of the most respected professionals when it comes to examining how we assign grades to students in the nation.


In this article, Guskey states, "This means that teachers must do everything they can to ensure students’ success during the first two weeks. At every level and in every class, teachers must do whatever is necessary to help students experience success in learning during this critical period. And not fake success, but success on something meaningful and challenging. It should be something that makes students feel good about what they have achieved and confident in their abilities as learners." Think about the first impressions you allow students to make on you, academically. Enjoy!



https://medium.com/inspired-ideas-prek-12/the-importance-of-the-first-two-weeks-336de8213bfe

Information for the Staff

Certified Staff Meeting about Building Goals

On Tuesday, August 20, we will meet in the Media Center as a certified staff at 7:20. We want to discuss the building goals for the 2019-2020 school year. This year, we will have a building goal and you will continue to work on your individual professional growth goal as you have have the past couple of years.


This year's building goal will revolve around goal setting and conferencing with students. I know many staff members already do a great job with this and we will be leaning on you for best practices.


Your professional growth goal will be on FIP - Learning Targets, Assessment, or Feedback. The process will remain the same as you will self-assess to choose an area and then write a goal. We will check in each month in our group as well as host Whatever Wednesdays. This year, Lisa will align Whatever Wednesdays to the topic you choose.


Collaboration Time

As you settle into the school year and begin working in departments before school, I want to point out a slight change we have made to the collaboration schedule. We have moved the administrative rounds to Wednesday. The purpose of this is to give you permission to collaborate outside of your teams on Mondays (and Fridays).


Last year, we felt teams waited for us on Mondays to make our rounds. Often, we did not have any major announcements, but were more likely to just be stopping by for a morning “hello”. We also struggled to make it to every team. The move to Wednesdays allows us to quickly check in with you when you are with your department; a time that you use very well.

Mondays and Fridays should be used to meet with other colleagues who you are unable to connect with or who you want to touch base with regarding students you share to see what they are working on with students. Please work to plan ahead to be able to use this time to best serve our students.



Finally, I want to remind you that collaboration time starts at 7:20. 7:20 means 7:20. We are fortunate at Sycamore to have a significant amount of collaboration time. It is essential that we respect our district’s commitment to supporting the need to effectively plan for our students. If you are late, it hurts not just your students but also your colleagues. Meetings should last as long as there is meaningful work being done. It may be twenty minutes or the whole time. That will be determined by you.


Admins Meeting with Teams/Students

Mr. Meno indicated in a previous email that the admins would be around to talk to teams. We have observed the outstanding job you have done teaching students explicit skills and tools to help them be successful this year. Rather than take class time away, we are going to address expectations on the morning announcements. We are willing to come to your team if you would like. Please send me a message and we will schedule a time to come and talk to your students.


Intervention Students During Flex Time

Teachers will need to send students to Intervention class during Flex Time everyday beginning Monday.


Join the PTO

Our PTO is amazing! HERE is the form for you to show that we support them as they volunteer to provide so much for our staff and students. They will again be providing breakfast for staff on Friday, August 16.


Share Your Story

I want to share you twitter handles with our parents. If I am missing any or your team has made a change, please send it to me. I am going to put them in my newsletter next week. If you are tweeting, please tag us @EHGreeneSchool so we can share it out.


@SycamoreRed

@PBLGreenTeam

@GreeneYellow

@orangeaviators

@EHGWhiteTeam

@PBLwithPurple

@ehgcounselors

@EHGreenecfe


Interpreters

HERE are updated directions for calling interpreters. Please know that Tim and Kelly are willing to sit in on calls if you need assistance.

For the Week of August 19, 2019

Tuesday, August 20 - Certified Staff Meeting - 7:20 am - Media Center

Wednesday, August 21 - PTO Welcome Back Coffee with Parents - 9:30 am - Media Center

Wednesday, August 21 - PTO General Meeting - 10:30 - 12:30 pm - Media Center

Thursday, August 22 - Grade 5 Curriculum Preview - 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Friday, August 23 - Safety Committee Meeting, 7:20 am - Media Center


Upcoming dates...


Thursday, August 29 - Grade 6 Curriculum Preview - 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Friday, August 30 - SPED PLC Meeting - 7:20 am - Media Center

Monday, September 2 - Labor Day - No school

Wednesday, September 4 - MAP Testing

Thursday, September 5 - MAP Testing


Are you an early planner? Here is the building calendar. You can view events more than a week at a time.

Happy Birthday!

Evan Lykins - August 24

Brenda Whisman - August 24

Becky Sloan - August 25

Anita Harris - August 28

Lewis Perry - August 31