Team Thomson News & Notes

September 18, 2017

Important Information for You!

Kindergarten District PLC

Tuesday is the first DK/Kindergarten District PLC Day. As you know this takes all of our regular classroom teachers and myself out of the building for the day. Classroom teachers, it is very important that you set clear expectations for behavior and write clear and thought out lesson plans for your guest teacher. For all the staff that remains in the building, I sincerely appreciate all the extra help you give our students and guest teachers. It is going to be a very meaningful day for classroom teacher to collaborate and work on developing themselves professionally.

Early Release-Wednesday

As you are aware, this Wednesday is our first Early Release PD of the year. Certified Staff, Parapros, and Challenge Coordinator will participate in PD from 1:45-4:45 pm. Our agenda will begin with a video that for some of you will be a revisit and for others it will be new, Megan Campbell will then share some initial reflections from her conference last week and lead us in a practical Read-aloud activity, the we will finish with a focus on our School Improvement plan and it's connection to the 5D+ Rubric and Instructional Framework. Please watch for the formal agenda on Monday.

Watch DOGS Kick-off

I want to thank all of you that were able to volunteer your time to help make our Watch Dogs Kick-off a huge success. We welcomed over 160 fathers and children into the building last Wednesday night and started building stronger relationships with them and to our school. You have no idea how much I sincerely appreciate the time and effort that is given after school hours and out of willingness to make our school better for events such as these.

Coffee Maker

You may have noticed a new Keurig in the staff lounge, well, this was a generous donation from Sara Howes and her husband Scott. In order to keep supplies of coffee, water, and such, we will put a donation container next to it for those who use the Keurig. Thank you again to Sara and Scott!

5D+ Growth Plan Meetings

I look forward to meeting with each of you to review your Growth Plans. As we continue through the year we will be working through the 5D Instructional Framework and its connection to our School Improvement efforts. As stated above, we will begin some of this work Wednesday during our Early Release. Since the District has adopted the Framework, our efforts to improve our school must align with the framework. What’s exciting about that is the fact that the Instructional Framework is research based best practice. Additionally, it is already broken down into the vision statements for each dimension and contains the guiding questions that we as educators need to reflect on for school improvement already. Also remember, that once you Growth Plan meeting is held, we will begin the observation/feedback portion of the cycle.

New Elementary Referral Form

Effective Monday, we will be moving to a new DCS Referral Form. I will be reviewing it at our upcoming staff meeting Wednesday. Changes in the form were necessary due to new legislation regarding restorative practices to be used in the discipline process. Most of the changes on the form will be documentation areas I will complete. However, you need be aware of the questions I will need to answer when handling behavior referrals and deciding on discipline and how that impacts documentation of the work you initially do in the area of restorative practice.

All completed referrals will now be scanned into a student's records. As we have reviewed in year's past (and will review again) it is important that referrals are legibly written, dates and times are accurate, and the description of the incident is factual. Factual means it is descriptive and free of emotion.

Thus far, staff should be proud of the way work is being done to "reteach" students so they learn how to behave through a realization that they are connected to a community of people. We have a few student behaviors needing more intervention, however, more students are responding to reteaching regarding "annoying" behaviors before they grow into major issues. Principal Theresa Wendt once posed three questions to principals during a discussion on discipline. She took this from ideas she came across in her prior reading and study.

  • If a child doesn't know how to read, what do we do? We teach the child how to read.
  • If a child doesn't know how to swim, what do we do? We teach the child how to swim.
  • If a child doesn't know how to behave, what do we do? We punish the child! No, our answer as educators and human beings should be: We teach the child how to behave!

Quotes Worth Reading

"To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions."

-Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teacher them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

-Antonie de Saint-Exupery

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: I apologize, but I did not have the birthday list with me...

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of September 17th-Christine will be doing Trading Post mini-assemblies in the libraries.
  • Monday, September 17th-Constitution Day (Wear your Red, White, & Blue); Lock Down Drill; PTO, 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 18th-Kindergarten District PLC; Crisis Team Training, 4-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 19th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Restorative Practices/Referral Form, Writing Rubrics, 'Purpose', Halloween); Early Release Day, dismissal at 1:28 p.m., PD for certified staff, parapros, and Challenge Coordinator from 1:45-4:45 p.m.
  • Friday, September 22nd-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:15-8:15 a.m.; PINK OUT Day
  • Week of September 24th-PLC Week
  • Monday, September 25th-Data Day, Fundraiser Begins
  • Wednesday, September 27th-Data Day
  • Thursday, September 28th-Elementary Principals Meeting