Cordata Weekly Bulletin
Welcome back, Cordata team!
Wow, what a week! Take a look at what folks were up to below!
This bulletin is a combination of what was in last week's bulletin, with a few timely updates. If you didn't read what I sent out last week (which would make sense, with a week of snow days!) you'll find all of the relevant stuff in here.
When you see, Jim, give him a big high five and a thank you! He worked hard all week to stay on top of the snow, always prepared for school to be in session. And a big thank you to Margo and her Common Threads team-mates and to Erin and her kiddos, who helped deliver meals at Villa Santa Fe!
The week ahead - 2/19 - 2/22
Whether you are following the Positive Discipline calendar and just beginning to get to problem solving meetings, OR you are using Caring School Community and are well into holding class meetings, the lessons listed in this week's calendar are great for teaching/reinforcing the purpose of class problem solving meetings, and focusing on win/win solutions:
· Teachers – Teach lessons in the Buy-In for class Meetings section of Positive Discipline
o Exploring Power: Win/win p.95 in Positive Discipline
o Introducing the Class Meeting p.96 in Positive Discipline
o Why Have Class Meetings? p.97 in Positive Discipline (Can be combined with Introducing the Class Meeting above)
o 4th and 5th grade teachers – Look for modifications on p. 98 for older students, or the ideas for middle/high school to take this a step further, especially if you are already in the habit of doing class meetings in the style of Positive Discipline.
· All specialists – Continue to reinforce the idea of respecting differences, and the shape that may take in your learning environment.
- Feb. 18 - 22 - Pack the Paw - PTA fundraiser (see notes below for details)
- Feb. 18-22 - ELPA assessments - no ELL push-in or pull-out services (watch for updates from Shannon via email)
- Feb. 19 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
- Feb. 21 - This was formerly scheduled as the date for report cards to go home with students . . . stay tuned for post-snow-week updates
- Feb. 21 - 1:00-3:00 - 4th grade SGC
- Feb. 22 - 8:45 am - All School Assembly
- Feb. 25 - March 1 - ELPA assessments - Shannon will pull ELL students from a full grade level - No ELL push-in or pull-out services
- Feb. 27 - DESSA window closes
- Feb. 28 - 1:00-3:00 - 3rd grade SGC
- March 1 - Report cards sent home with all students
- March 4-7 - ELPA make-ups
- March 6 - Special staff meeting - Dr. Anthony Craig visiting
- March 7 - 1:00-3:00 - 5th grade SGC
- March 12 - 8:45 am - Assembly - The Real Food Show produced by the Ballingham Food Coop
- March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
- April 11 - 1:45-3:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff) (note that this time was originally published incorrectly, 1:45 is the correct start time)
- April 23 - 2:45-2:00 - FOURTH Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
- May 21 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
Other News and Information
- Feb. 19 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting
Note from Michelle: This meeting will focus on elevating our use of Seesaw and include ways to increase student voice and engagement with this tool. It will feature several of our colleagues’ ideas and will include worktime. Please bring your new computers and anything that will make your time most productive, such as photos or videos of students, or something you might like to learn about.
If you can’t come to this Choice Course, you can still fulfill your 7.5 hours by coming to the next 2 Choice Courses (or by choosing courses through the district workshops.)
You may remember from an email that our Feb. 5 staff meeting was rescheduled to Feb. 14 . . . which then ended up being a snow day. This staff meeting is now rescheduled for March 6, when Dr. Craig is available to come and join us. Below, you'll find a reminder of the details of that meeting:
Anthony Craig is currently a professor in the UW College of Education, and was formerly principal of Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary in the Marysville School District, where Nick taught under his leadership. He has a great deal of experience working in schools that are impacted by poverty and trauma. He also has a great deal of experience leading schools in the important work of developing culturally responsive practices, because this is one way to effectively address some of these very challenges. Our entire staff meeting agenda (after we draw tickets ) will be devoted to having Anthony share and engage in conversation with us. You may remember from our weekly bulletins that Dr. Craig is consulting with our district leadership team on issues of advancing equity, and our Cordata connection to him this year grew out of questions and concerns raised among our staff which have led to the work going on in our Firm and Kind committee. It is all about a driving question – how do we create a culture for learning at Cordata in which all students can feel the sense of belonging and significance that prepares them to take risks and achieve at high levels; the same kind of environment in which educators feel empowered, successful, and sustained!
Again this year, Susan will be our test coordinator for SBAC. The SBAC window runs from mid-March through June. In anticipation, Susan is working on some supports so that teachers can schedule their SBAC testing times. Please note that we will be designating Laptop Cart D specifically for testing. On the Cordata Intranet, in the left-hand menu, under Calendars, you will see a new calendar entitled COW D for SBAC. This will be the place to schedule Cart D from March through June, and will take the place of any Cart D scheduling in the regular laptop calendar. Teachers, you are welcome to use other carts as needed as well, simply schedule them in the regular laptop calendar.
Our Firm and Kind committee would like to gather some input from you. After working hard to surface the major problems and concerns regarding challenging behavior, looking for connections to the behavior systems that we have in place, and doing some reading about restorative practices and consequences, we have identified a focus for next steps. The focus is the overarching challenge of disrespectful language and actions from students towards staff, peers and property.
We will be focusing in particular on the following:
- Tier 1 – address the need for consistency in tier 1 instruction (CSC vs. Positive Discipline); identify explicit ways to teach respect and build into school-wide SEL calendar; Consider ways to make our large school feel smaller (e.g. relationships between students and staff across grade levels and specialty areas)
- Tier 2 – identify and implement interventions for students receiving repeated office referrals for behaviors where the repair process is not proving to be sufficient instruction to address the problem
As our Firm and Kind committee moves forward, we want input from all of you! Please watch the staff room for some chart paper holding questions from our committee. Take a moment to jot your ideas down, and reflect on other ideas that you see there. We've used this Chalk Talk protocol in staff meetings before, and we'll try it informally over the coming week in the staff room. Thanks for your input!
In closing . . .
February is Black History Month in the U.S. This is an important time for our community to pause and call to our attention the rich, important contributions that have been and continue to be made by members of our black community. This has national and political significance, which we may be seeing in our news and social media sources. And it also has local and personal significance, as it is a time to open up thoughtful conversations in our school and classroom communities.
Teachers, whether you are a classroom teacher or a specialist, I encourage you to think about how you will share the importance of Black History Month with your students. Maybe it will be a time for you to model your own inquiry for your students. Maybe a pertinent read aloud will open up questions for an Inquiry Wall that you and your students can explore together. Maybe it will link to Social Emotional lessons about how we are similar and different, and how we show respect and appreciation for one another.
The links below have many ideas for bringing Black History Month into your classrooms. I encourage you to explore these as well as books in our library, and find at least one way that you can raise awareness and understanding, and build a sense of respect for diversity with your students. I especially want you to notice the article (look for it in bold) by Zaretta Hammond, with whom we are all familiar because of her book and videos about Culturally Responsive Teaching. She reminds us that when we bring bring student voice into the conversation about Black History Month, we can ensure that we don't trivialize the historical experience or the current reality of an entire group of people. The quote above is from her article.
Resources for learning & teaching:
- “…Black History Month should be recognized as a crucial opportunity to broaden students’ knowledge and help them see how the past connects with their lives today—and how it has inspired movements for change.”https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/steve-king-shows-why-we-need-black-history-month
- Tips for teaching about Black History Month in English/Literacy and Social Studies: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/black-history-month-teaching-miseducation-or-empowerment
- Dos and Don’ts of teaching Black History Month: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/dos-and-donts-of-teaching-black-history
- 4 Black History Month Must-Haves…Centering student voice (an article by Zaretta Hammond) https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/four-black-history-month-musthaves
- Lesson Plans, book lists, activities for teachers:https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/collections/teaching-content/black-history-month/
- Origins of the Black Lives Matter School Day (and subsequent Week of Action) from Seattle: https://www.rethinkingschools.org/articles/how-one-elementary-school-sparked-a-citywide-movement-to-make-black-students-lives-matter
- Resources from Black Lives Matter at School:https://www.rethinkingschools.org/articles/how-one-elementary-school-sparked-a-citywide-movement-to-make-black-students-lives-matter
- The importance of being intersectional with Black History Month and including other voices: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/black-lgbtq-history-teachers-must-do-a-better-job
- Why it’s important not to white-wash the civil rights movement: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/five-ways-to-avoid-whitewashing-the-civil-rights-movement