The Principal's Office

Dexter Park Staff Weekly Roundup

Dexter Park Core Values

We believe that all students can learn

We believe that all students should feel:

  • safe
  • welcome
  • respected
  • successful

December 28, 2015 -January 1, 2016

Dexter Park Educators,

I am hoping this newsletter finds you in the midst of much relaxation and celebration of the holiday season. If your house in anything like mine, you are still recovering and cleaning from the various festivities. Our house is slowly turning into a toy store, though people are telling me it's only going to get worse (or better, depending on how you look at it)!?! Though this week's newsletter will be brief, I did want to use it to welcome you back and kick start what I think is going to be a tremendous new year for the staff and students of Dexter Park.

Yours truly,


New Year's Resolutions

Although not the start to a new school year, the start of a new calendar year gives us as professionals and our students a perfect opportunity to reflect on the goals we set at the start of the school year, celebrate all the progress made, and make any adjustments needed for the future. Take some time this week in a PLC to look again at your SMART Goals (both Student Learning and Professional Practice) and reflect with your team. Ask yourselves:

-Are we making expected progress? Why or why not?

-What is going well? What are the challenges?

-Do we need to make any adjustments to our goals?

-What do we need to ensure we meet/exceed our goals this year?

I spent the break reflecting on the school year, my own progress towards my goals, and connecting with colleagues for some personalized PD via Twitter and Voxer. I attended an online EdCamp with leaders and educators around the country, who have pushed my thinking and given me new ideas to grow in my practice. My New Year's resolution is to spend more time each day where our work truly matters: in the classroom. I am going to strive to be in your rooms and visible on campus more than I have previously have. You can expect me around often, working with students, learning from you, and supporting you in any way I can. This could be in my 5 minute pop-ins, walk throughs, or extended visits. It is so important for the community to see all the great things you do so expect me also to be sharing this work out in various ways such as parent newsletters, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am going to hold myself accountable to make this happen and I ask that you please hold me accountable if you feel I need to more present to staff, students, and parents of Dexter Park. As always, feel free to invite me in any time to observe, work with students, or even teach!

While we are on the subject, I will make a recommendation that each of you perform the same activities with students and the Hope and Dreams they created at the beginning of the year. It is the perfect time to remind them of the goals they have set for themselves and check-in on their progress. I think you will find the article below from Responsive Classroom helpful.

All School Assembly

I will be welcoming back students and staff on the morning of January 4th. At this time, we will review our school rules, reflect on our Hopes and Dreams, review our year-long theme of growth mindset and "YET", a student share, and our student recognitions. Students will return from break needing a refresher resulting from a week and half hiatus. Spend some time in your classrooms next week reviewing classroom rules, routines, and procedures- you will find that it will be time well spent.

Upcoming Dates

January 4th: School reopens; All-school assemblies @ 9:00 (grades 3 and 5) and 9:30 (grades 4 and 6)

January 12th: Staff Meeting @ 3:15 p.m.

January 18th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 20th: Early release (Math PD at Dexter Park @ 12:30)

January 22nd: Marks close

January 29th: Report cards sent home

Quotes of the Week

"Is this hard?” “Will I look smart?” “What will happen if I don’t do this?” “I’m not good at math.” Carol Dweck on the math worries of students with a fixed mindset

“The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known as STEM, are a messy tangle of experiments, misunderstandings, dead ends, insights, collaborations, accidental discoveries, desperation, triumph, and the rest of the human saga focused on understanding the world around us.” Jedidah Isler

“More than ever students need teachers who are stewards of deep and respectful learning and who are hopeful and critically curious learners themselves.” Margery Ginsberg

“[I]n my class, I make failing harder work than passing.”Angela Campbell

“Childhood fears and adult traumas are stored differently in the brain than happy memories. They are buried like porous capsules deep in the primitive regions, below awareness and beyond easy reach of conscious thinking and talking. They are buried so deep that they are separated from the normal flow of life, and so time cannot work its natural healing powers.”David Brooks