the RAH

Sept 3-7, 2018

Big picture

from J-

Kudos on the short but intense run from the first day of school until this first observed holiday. By and large, the majority of sites had their best start yet. I love the focus on relationships, the establishment of routine, and the insistence of connecting to purpose.

Our rounding has started, and I'm already picking up that the theme of insistence is going forward. With a few of you, and with the Delta team yesterday, part of the discussion included the concept of the difference between Buy-In and Ownership. I'll be asking where you think you are on this continuum when I come your way for a site visit. Here's some food for thought to begin with:

Buy-in occurs when a stakeholder of a school is asked to adhere and implement the vision and goals that the leader has established. While a great starting point, this strategy may diminish teacher and other stakeholder motivation, because the teachers were never involved in determining what is important for all members of the learning community. For teachers, this may comparable to when we forget to engage students as active learners, and hope that they inherit the love of the subject from us. It eliminates creativity and motivation, and fosters confusion and resentment. Contrarily, ownership establishes relationships and fosters commitment to the shared-vision. Ownership utilizes teacher, parents, administrator, and community members’ expertise. The stakeholders are a part of all phases of the shared-vision: development, communication, implementation, and continual stewardship.

Getting buy-in from your staff is certainly important; but please consider that as entry point of any directive(ish) action with ownership as the desired outcome.

Have a great, well-deserved 3 day break. No Working!

Instructional Configurations (ICs) Expectations

What is the expectation for using the ICs this year? Minimum of 4 for all teachers:

Math - BOY & EOY (BOY - before end of 1st quarter)

Reading - at any time

Writing - at any time

And when the phrase "at any time" is used, please consider that feedback from the IC has always been intended as a feedback opportunity to improve instruction. Waiting until EOY won't give teachers the opportunity to reflect and change course if needed.

We will be talking ICs at our Sept 12 Job Alike.

Why Kids Should Keep Using Their Fingers to do Math

And adults too. I feel better about myself already...

Special Services Updates from Brady

Point of Contact

I mentioned at the Elementary Principal back to school meeting that we had established a leadership team point of contact for each feeder pattern for when issues rise above the process coordinator level. Unfortunately this caused some confusion. Each member of the Special Services leadership team has specific districtwide duties, so if your issue or question lies with a particular person, feel free to contact them directly for the sake of efficiency. Utilize your assigned point of contact if you are not sure who to call, OR if your question/issue does not land with a particular person. The whole idea is more efficient communication and quality customer service for sites! Here is a link to the districtwide duties assigned to the Special Services leadership team as a reference.

FAQ’s on Dyslexia Screening

As with any new initiative, there have been many questions surrounding dyslexia screens. Please share the following links with staff as needed. For a quick FAQ guide, check out the 10 Things To Know About The New Dyslexia Requirements. Linked here is our detailed SPS Plan for Identifying Students at Risk for Dyslexia. For additional questions, please reach out to Amanda McCaleb at or 75423

Finally, a friendly reminder to register at Employee Self Service for our fall Special Services Professional Learning Series – our first session on special education discipline is September 21st. See you there!


The 4th season of #iTeachMO is just around the corner. The theme for the year is Make an Impact. Each month the chat will be aligned to Growth Plan Indicators. The first chat is Make an Impact: Build Real Relationships. (Indicator #2.1, 5.3) The power of the chat comes from a variety of educators learning together. Please encourage participation as you seem fit!

Tuesday, September 11, 8CT by following #iTeachMO on Twitter.

Strategies for Motivating Reluctant Learner

When students are engaged, predicting answers, talking w/ one another and sharing with the class in ways that follow safe routines and practices, they not only achieve more but they also act out less

from Mike-

First City-Wide PTA Meeting

Mark your calendars! The first monthly city-wide PTA meeting of the year is on Wednesday, September 5, at Gray Elementary School starting at 9:15am. Each year we ask that all elementary principals from across the district attend this first meeting as a show of support for the organization and the many volunteers who invest in our schools throughout the year. The topic for this first meeting is school safety with a presentation scheduled by Bret Range and Travis Shaw.

Hotline Process

Thank you for the great communication regarding hotline calls that are made from your building. To help with uniformly collecting this information the district asks that all hotlines are reported on the Mandatory Reporting Checklist (Word Doc) and emailed to me as an attachment upon completion of the hotline. Any hotlines that involve staff should also be emailed to J, Amber Salsman, and Penney Rector. Complete guidelines for reporting hotlines can be found here.

AP Cadre

Our first AP Cadre meeting for all A2P/APs will take place on September 18 from 9-10am at KAC. We will plan to meet each month during the week after district job-alike meetings. We will set the remaining schedule for the year on that first day and plan to vary the day of the week and the location for our meetings in order to minimize the impact at the building.