Busy Bee Leader Board

See the Good. See the Need. See the Whole. See the Possible.

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Collaboration is the key!

As I interview candidates for various positions, I ask questions that come directly from the 5 evaluation standards for teachers: Leadership, Learning Environment, Content, Differentiation and Reflection. Though I never directly ask it, I am always looking for their responses to contain one very important word: collaboration. I consider collaboration to be at the heart of our school culture and a critical component to learning--both adult and student learning. The video below is an example of the powerful effect of collaboration: a group of people coming together to break a Guinness World Record: Largest Live Nativity. When you see the final image, it is important for you to know that this image is live--not computer generated. Again--amazing things can happen when a group of people work together to accomplish a shared goal.

As this is our last newsletter for a couple of weeks, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for the exceptional collaboration that is happening on our campus. We have amazing things happening for our students because of the exceptional teamwork at Southern Pines Primary. Thank you so much for your dedication to doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of every child, every day. I hope you have a wonderful break and get the rest that is well deserved! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Over A Thousand People Spent 10,000+ Hours Making This Christmas Song. It Will Give You Chills!

Leaders of Learning

This week's nominees:

Alicia Nazar: Thanks to Alicia's leadership, we have about 100 of our disadvantaged students who are receiving new clothes for Christmas. Our Belk shopping trip was a huge undertaking and one of the members of the United Methodist Church thanked me for how well organized the shopping trip was. I acknowledged Alicia's efforts and wanted to make sure everyone recognized her for her efforts on behalf of our disadvantaged students.

Shelli Boes: Thank you to Shelli for her tireless work in bringing the joy of music to others. Our kindergarten students performed at the Rotary on Friday and our 1st graders are eager to perform this coming Tuesday. We appreciate her leadership!

Thomas Tidbits

Referenced from Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success By Baruti Kafele

Let’s work together to close the attitude gap……

Do you have a mission and vision for your students?

We have students who have many deficits in which affects their mindset. Have you ever asked yourself the question why?

Is it biological, mental, cultural, economic, or political? Or do you even want to know the answers?

There is a big push on closing the achievement gap, but first we must close the attitude gap. Attitude gap? Yes, the attitude gap!

Attitude Gap: the gap between those students who have the will to strive for academic excellence and those who do not. Will=Attitude.

Everyone wants to experience success, so what makes your students any different? So how can we unleash it?……more to come!

And remember, "Every kid needs a champion." --Rita Pierson

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STEM Fellows and Discovery Place Studio

Teachers that have at least two years of teaching experience and a passion for STEM education can be part of a high-impact professional development opportunity sponsored by Discovery Place Education Studio. STEM Fellows equips educators with an in-depth understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content and best practices. Year One participants build foundational knowledge of inquiry-based learning and STEM education through hands-on workshops, immersive naturalist field research and collaborations with STEM experts. STEM Fellows will be invited to continue with Year Two after completion of the first year's activities. For additional information, visit http://educationstudio.org/stem-fellows/year-one.
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Partnership with Discovery Place Kids--Rockingham

I am so excited to announce a partnership with Discovery Place Kids!! Our STEAM team has been providing us with feedback on this partnership and we will be sharing our plans with SIT on Wednesday. Stay tuned for more information to be shared by your SIT representatives!! Hint...hint....this partnership is going to result in free professional development, free field trips and free visits from the mobile Science center! Woo Hoo!

Dress Rehearsal for 1st grade Program

Please join our 1st grade students on Tuesday in the auditorium for their dress rehearsal. They will begin their rehearsal at 1:30. Please follow the assembly procedures outlined by Alicia Nazar in an earlier newsletter. We look forward to an outstanding performance!

January 26 Professional Development

We are scheduled for a DreamBox Math Webinar on Monday, January 26 at 8:00. We have decided to make this an optional webinar. I will send the link out in the newsletter as it gets closer. If you plan on attending, please register. If not, feel free to work in your classrooms.

We are very excited that Discovery Place Education Studio has agreed to offer us some Professional Development to support our efforts to build a culture of STEAM at Southern Pines Primary School. They will offer 2 sessions on January 26: 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-3:00. The sessions will focus on using the "Engineering is Elementary" kits. SIT will be discussing these kits on Wednesday and providing us with feedback as to which kits we would like to explore during the PD. Unfortunately, the Education Studio is only able to offer these sessions to teachers at this time. We are hoping to have them back to work with our assistants on another day. Please use the following link to register for the session you would prefer. There are only 20 spots per session, so once a session is full I will move the remaining teachers to the other session.


Walkthrough Focus

Now that we have celebrated the growth of our students so far this year, it is time to focus on goal-setting with our students. As most of you know, I am a big fan of Robert Marzano and his books on effective instruction. In his book The Art and Science of Teaching, Marzano articulates a model of 41 elements that describe classroom expertise and he chunks them into 9 design questions. The first design question is: What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress, and celebrate success? Our walkthrough focus in December and January will be to look for the 3 elements that fall under this design question: providing clear learning goals & rubrics, tracking student progress, and celebrating success.

Upcoming Dates

December 16: First Grade Celebration of the Arts--dress rehearsal at 1:30; performance at 6:30.

December 17: Southern Middle School Orchestra to perform @ 10:30 followed by School-wide Sing-a-long

December 18: YR Break begins

December 19: TR Break begins

January 2: Optional Workday

January 5: All students return from Break

January 5-16: SRI MOY (Important information to come from Jennifer Beck regarding a new preliminary test that our students must take prior to the actual SRI test.)

January 5-14: Teachers complete Mid-Year Review of PDP

January 7: Marci off campus for Principals Meeting

January 8: Alvita off campus for Skill Observation & Coaching--8:30-11:30

January 12-February 3: mClass MOY

January 12-23: Math Benchmark for TR

January 14: School Improvement Site Visit

January 14: Staff Meeting

January 15: Last day for Mid-Year PDPs to be signed by Marci & Alvita--No data PLC team meeting on this day as it is in the middle of the mClass MOY assessment. PLC teams can use this team meeting for whatever is needed. Marci & Alvita will be available in the multipurpose room to sign PDPs for anyone who has not completed theirs prior to the 15th. All teachers PDPs must be signed by the end of the day.

January 16: Early Release day--Vertical Teams--same teams as previously--Lisa Neal to present PD to Science and Math teams on assessement probes in K-2 classrooms. ELA and SS will be digging further into the standards and planning with support from district or school leaders.

  • SS: Culbertson, Michno, Bonner, Scales, Lee, Earhart
  • Science: Kolean, Meadows, Hively, Nocton, Futral, Crabtree
  • ELA: Blanchard: Davis, Myatt, O'Connor, Brown, Beadell, Osterman, Carrington
  • Math: Bauer, Crosby, Lovett, Mumper, Dunn

January 19: No School

January 21: 1st and 2nd graders to Pinecrest @ 12:30 for Encore Kids! performance of the Carolina Philharmonic

January 21: Marci working with Dr. Rutherford--8:30-11:30

January 21-22: Marci at Friday Institute in Raleigh

January 21: SIT meeting

January 23: Volunteer Breakfast--Please make sure that Alicia has an accurate record of your volunteers

January 26: Required Teacher Workday--DreamBox Session 8:00-9:00 (optional) and "Engineering is Elementary" PD by Discovery Place Education Studio

January 28: Marci at Teaching Fellows Commission Meeting

January 30: Assistants at PD on Supporting the Literacy Framework--10:30-12:30