Hawk Talk

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Hello team! Seven days left in first semester....can you believe it? Take a moment to think about where our students started out this year....now look at how much they have grown! Thank you to each of you for continuing to push yourself as a professional throughout the first semester. I am really proud of our team for looking for ways to challenge ourselves for the benefit of our students. Here we are in December and I am hearing our staff talk about new things you are trying in your classroom to improve writing conferences...mathematical practices...reading workshop...culture...technology...and the list goes on. Each of you brings something special to our team and it is fun to work with a group of professionals who love to ask questions, challenge themselves, and challenge one another! What a great example to set for our students!

As we prepare for second semester...remember how important it is to set goals. What goals are you continuing to work on as a professional? What goals would you like to help your students work on during second semester? This week I want to ask you to reflect on how things have gone so far with student data notebooks. How is it impacting students? What feedback have you heard from parents? How are you using it to communicate with students? As you reflect, are there things we can look at as a team to help one another with data notebooks?

Looking ahead to plan for this week and next:

*It is assessment season --- thank you for ensuring that your students are completing Evaluate tests, STAR test, Dibels, end of quarter assessments...all of these provide valuable feedback to students and to our team so we can look for ways to continuously improve.

*Wednesday early release is grading time this week. We will have a staff meeting at 4 pm, which Amy Porter plans to attend. Dr. Porter will be checking in for the first portion of the meeting and then we will continue with our agenda as planned.

*This Thursday: We have our character awards assembly in the morning beginning at 8:30 am. Harry the Hawk will be stopping by. Then in the evening, we have the winter concert for grades K-2. They will have a group rehearsal on Thursday afternoon, while grades 3-5 will go back to their normal specials schedule this week. (We may ask classes to meet in the gym depending on how many families have picked up their Toys for Tots items...stay tuned.)

*PTO is providing dinner for staff on Thursday -- pizza and salads from Backroads. They plan to deliver it here between 4:30 and 5:00 pm. Please RSVP to Janette ASAP so that PTO can plan accordingly. We are so lucky to have such a supportive PTO!!!!

*Next week: Yes, we are in session on Monday and Tuesday. :) Tuesday will be an early release --- the office will prepare a reminder to go home with students, but I would appreciate it if teachers could include reminders in classroom newsletters as well.

*Wish Kendra good luck as she waits to meet her newest family member over the break! When we return from the break, Rhonda Nichols will be serving as her long-term sub.

*Certified staff return to work on January 4 for a full PD day. We will spend the full PD day at HPE ---- read for more details in sections below regarding some specific directions. Classified staff return on January 5 when we welcome our students back from break.

*Grades --- please reference your staff handbook for due dates for grades (you can find this info below in important dates). Parents will receive an email on January 6 with first semester grades --- we will need your help in ensuring that your grades are turned in on time.

Tech Corner

Anyone else completely in love with their MacBook? I have to say, I was not an apple user prior to this experience and I am sure my PC is a little jealous nowadays....the MacBook is amazing! I still find myself learning where to click, how the programs are different, and I know there are more capabilities of the MacBook that I need to learn --- but that is where the fun part begins! Don't be afraid to explore --- click on things and see what happens! I promise nothing will explode! Sharon Schlup will be offering some training to our team here at HPE on the MacBook and questions you may have about Canvas, so be thinking --- what would you like to learn? What can we learn together? I can't wait to see all the new tools we add to our toolbox as we learn together!

Team Reminders

A few reminders for the team:

*If you have not started your NEE Unit of Instruction, please be thinking of what unit you will choose. Remember, all teachers are completing the full Unit of Instruction form this year. The student growth data is required to be reported for all teachers (this is a state requirement). As you plan for your Unit of Instruction, remember that you will need to meet with me to discuss your upcoming unit and provide the range of dates for your unit. Please feel free to ask questions and set up a time for us to chat about your Unit of Instruction as you begin navigating the forms. Also, I will come in for a full observation during your Unit of Instruction. All Units of Instruction must be completed and turned in to me by February 25, as I will need to include them in summative evaluations. This means that you must be finished teaching the unit prior to February 25 in order to provide student growth data and the necessary components of your Unit of Instruction. Please take a look at your calendar and your lesson plans for December, January, and February --- as these are critical pieces to consider when planning your Unit of Instruction.

*Thank you for your work on updating and adding the mid-year check components to your NEE Professional Development Plan. I have not been able to meet with each of you individually yet to check in, but will be setting times for us to check in and chat. I have spoken with staff about how the NEE form is functioning (regarding toggling the switch for implementation approval, then having to change it back so that you can make edits, providing feedback) --- so I want to say THANK YOU for your patience as we work through the updates on the NEE website and the troubleshooting they are doing with their forms. Your patience and hard work is very much appreciated!