Galloping Gazette

A newsletter for the Faculty and Staff - Week 10/8-10/12

Put Students First • Seek Growth • Be Open to Change Do Great Work Together • Value Difference

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Colts P.R.I.D.E in action

Principal's Message for the week

As many of you have found out, I am an earlier riser. Part of my morning routine, is scrolling through twitter. I get some great inspirational pick me ups, some awesome ideas, and most importantly it just gets my brain thinking. As observations start, naturally nerves rise up. Thoughts like, are my lesson plans what they want? Is my lesson on target? - all start creeping up. Its natural - however, as I was thinking about this - it made me think of a picture I saw earlier this week.

"The curriculum tells you "what", not "how". The "how" is the artistry in education." George Couros.

This stuck with me all week as I was in and out of classrooms watching some amazing instruction and through many conversations with teachers. Instead of focusing on the what, focus on the how.

*Focus on the how can I take this lesson and tailor it with my current student interests and learning styles in mind.

*Focus on the how can I extend this lesson, because my students proved that they already know it or how can I break this lesson down because my students aren’t ready.

The how is the magic, it is what Patti and myself look for.

His post goes on to say:

"The notion of being a “learner” first has shifted my thinking on education. It has helped me focus on the importance of being empathetic and thinking of the viewpoint of others, learning how to think instead of what to think, and how we create our own path in our growth and development. We can easily lose sight of developing the person in pursuit of the score but it is not an “either/or” scenario. The innovation in education is in the process of teaching and learning, not necessarily the product."

As we head into a week that starts with a day of PD, I hope you start to create your own path in your own growth and development. The breakout sessions are going to allow you to work alongside your colleagues to dive deep into a topic that you have expressed interest in. I can’t wait to see the fruits of this, that will be the inspiring instruction that you design for our students!



Please check out our form below to see how Mrs. Porter and myself will be celebrating our students and continuing our positive culture and environment.

Morning Meeting Moment

TIP OF THE WEEK: So many students want to share in morning meeting and it can be hard to allow for everyone to be heard. Consider having your students respond to a morning message in a notebook or in the picture on your white board. This allows all students to have a chance to share in another way than verbally. If you would like to see how this looks and is managed, check out Liz Pascual's class!

Colts Pride in Action

As part of our purposeful work to design a school culture where our PRIDE is encouraged and celebrated (Innovative Leadership Disposition, Transformational Learning), each week a staff member or group of staff members will be highlighted for demonstrating one aspect of P.R.I.D.E

Innovation, Design, and Engagement highlight:

BRAVO to Danielle M for reaching out to Al with a problem/idea and in return the two of them collaborated on an outstanding task leveraging technology and the innovation lab. Her students could identify the setting, but it was not carrying over into their writing. The idea of the students working in groups, to build a setting out of legos, then to use Google Slides to take a picture of it and add in speech bubbles to start writing their story. Students were collaborating, coaching each other on how to use Google Slides and their speech bubbles were on target. One student even told me, "I am making a castle but I only have ten minutes so can we talk after. " :)

Progress Reports Due– October 9th

The DOT timeline for progress reports is as follows:

  • Thursday, October 4th - Art/Music/PE grades/comments finalized by 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 5th - Homeroom teachers finalize grades/comments by 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 9th - Issue progress reports to students struggling or not meeting grade level expectations.

* Remember that you only have to issue progress reports for students struggling or not meeting grade level expectations. You do not have to send a progress report to all students, unless it is your preference to send a report home to every student. Please be consistent with your grade level.

Please send Robin a PDF of your progress reports when they are complete. Thank you!

Things that are worth a second look

Please consider checking this out - Equity Consiousness Workshop w/ Dr. Yvette Jackson

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Start the countdown!!!





Get ready for a day of CREATING.

Watch the live stream, ask the presenters questions

and MAKE all day.

Create what you wish existed!

Share what your students create using #GlobalMakerDay on Twitter.

Check it out here...


October 20, 2018 - 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM @ Salem High School

  • 7:30 Registration, vendors, & breakfast
  • 8:00 Welcome & featured speaker
  • 8:30 Breakout sessions
  • 9:30 Keynote speaker: Kelly Cartwright
  • 11:45 Breakout sessions

Featuring Dr. Kelly Cartwright-Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, & Teacher Preparation at Christopher Newport University; Expert on reading comprehension, children’s thinking, and the development of literacy processes. Author of Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension: A Guide for Educators and Word Callers: Small Group and One-to-One Interventions for Children Who Read but Don’t Comprehend

Shout Outs

Shout out to Robyn Backer for providing the staff with refreshing H2O, making our Fridays flavorful! - Anonymous

Shout out to Karen Cooley and Mary Stewart for helping out with Bus 143 (yellow)! - May

Shout out to Mrs. Wisotzkey and Mrs. Porter for assisting a VERY reluctant student to class. Bravo!!!! - Ceci

Shout out to Anne and Mary Ann in the library and Al for helping us promote and celebrate Disability Awareness month! - Ashley

Shout out to Jackie and Christine for their impressive brainstorming and teamwork to meet the needs of all the kids in their room! - Ashley

Shout out to Ms. Mercy for helping during the “ I Love Lucy moment in the cafeteria”. - Colleen

Shout Out to McNeely and Nicolosi for collaborating to set the stage to engage! Love your positive energy and willingness to take risks and share. - Debbie

Shout out to 5th Grade for helping to put together an awesome team to represent our school at the Creeds Annual STEM Airplane Challenge! -Debbie

Shout out to Al Doss for making a COOL space to engage kids in the Innovation Lab. - Debbie

Shout out to Al for providing monthly Potty PD posters in the restrooms. It gives me something to concentration on while taking care of business. LOL - Tammy

Shout out to Danielle Minehan for taking a big leap into the Innovation lab! She was the first teacher to embrace the space with an awesome activity on setting using Legos and Google Slides. Thank you for being a trailblazer! - Al

Shout out to Wende Phillips for keeping us well supplied and ready to teach and learn! She is the best Bookkeeper at the Beach! - Al

Shout out to Mrs.Rodriguez and Ms. Torres for helping to keep me straight with the Hispanic Heritage Month slides! - Al

Fatima Dorbin for helping out a friend in need of caffeine when I was short a quarter… you’re the best! Megan Z.

Lauren Griffin, Heather Armstrong, and Darlene Rodriguez… I admire your patience levels and appreciate you all every day! Megan Z.

Patti Csenar for teaching lessons and helping with DRAs, DSAs, word study, and planning! She rocks. - Katie

Tina Fritz for pulling kids to help reassess. I also appreciate her being so flexible

and jumping right in and teaching a lesson so I could work on DRAs. - Katie

The 2nd grade team for collaborating and digging into new curriculum. It's awesome to get to work so closely with these ladies! - Katie

Shout out to Patti Csenar and Tina Fritz for finding the time to give some extra reading support to one of our needy students! - Anna

Shout out to Michelle Johnson for rocking all the lesson plans I've been throwing at her! - Anna

Al, Thank you for an awesome Innovation Lab lesson, my kiddos loved it! - Danielle

Thank you to Ann Featherston, Beth O’Brian, Amy Goodman, and Lisa Gollihur for the dedicated bus duty this past week when a bus did not arrive until 3:15. - Patti

Kudos to Megan Jones and Jackie Cochran for “taking on “the leadership role of SCA co-chairs. Thank you to Michelle Cannuli for volunteering her time to assist with the SCA. - Patti

Shout out to Mary Anne Garland for all of her hard work in the library! - Anne

Shout out to Andrew for being a huge help to me after school. Thank you! - Claire

Shout out to my tribe Claire and Debbie - Kelly

Shout out to Bagnall, Fatima, and Kelly for always helping and thinking of new ideas to do together as teachers. Fatima, thank you for always helping with Spanish activities. - Karla

Sharon and Marissa I love working with you! Your passion for students is contagious. Room two is so lucky to have you!

Patti Csenar you are a rockstar! First grade is rocking and rolling this year thanks to your support with DRAs and awesome book study! - Mary

Shout to Al for all of his help with the student portfolios! - Cecilia

Thank you to everyone’s kindness, thoughts, prayers, and support following my surgery. It has meant a lot to feel like I was part of a team! A special shoutout to the awesome 5th grade teammates for going the extra mile. - Alainya

If you have any shoutouts, please send them to Mrs. Backer and Mrs. Jacobs by Thursday.

Hashtags of the week






10/11 - Michelle Nicolosi

Schedule for upcoming weeks

Monday, October 8th - Dress Comfortably :)

  • Virtual Learning Day

  • Staff Day

PBIS 8-8:50

Schoology I – Pre-K -2nd (Specialists) 9-9:45 – Innovation Lab

Schoology II – 3rd-5th (Specialists) 9:50-10:35 – Innovation Lab

Pathways 10:45-11:30

Tuesday, October 9th

  • PBIS Meeting @3p (Library)

  • Progress Reports Go Home

Wednesday, October 10th

  • Girls on the Run 2:40p - 4:20p

  • School Improvement Meeting @11:00 - 12:15

Thursday, October 11th

  • Spanish Grade Level Meeting @ 3:00p
  • Stay positive, work hard and make it happen today!

Friday, September 12th

  • Navy's 243 Birthday!!! ( If you would like a special guest reader in your classroom let Ms. Backer know.)
  • Today is "Free Thought Day". Inspire your students to be free thinkers!


Monday, October 15th

  • Girls on the Run 2:40p - 4:20p

Tuesday, October 16th

  • Faculty Meeting @ 3pm (Library)

Wednesday, October 17th

  • Girls on the Run 2:40p - 4:20p

Thursday, October 18th

  • PTA Meeting @ 3pm (Library)

Friday, September 19th

  • Airplane Rep Field Trip 9:15-1:20
  • PTA Fall Festival 6pm -8:30pm