Monday Memo

March 23rd - 27th

"One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." - Carl Jung


This Tuesday, PTA will be hosting a Family Education Night. At this event, parents will meet in the library for a presentation about financial planning. School aged children will meet in the gym for a Collin County Adventure Camp presentation. Please make sure that your team has representation at the event. By this time of year, everyone should have participated in at least one PTA event. If this is not the case, please make sure that you use this event to help balance evening obligations. Team representatives should go to the gym to help supervise the students. If you are not representing your team at this event, I highly recommend that you consider attending the financial planning portion for yourself. Last year, this program was well received and many people walked away with important information about retirement, saving for college, and what must be included in your will if you have children.

Our staffing numbers are in for the 2015-2016 school year. Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 5th grade will remain the same with six sections each. Second grade will increase by one to six sections, and 3rd & 4th grade will both reduce by one section. Based on our staffing surveys, we will not have to lose anyone to another campus. While it is still a little early, I can promise that Sylvia and I will be working closely with the teams experiencing change to identify the most workable solution possible.

I want to thank everyone who participated in data meetings last week. I believe that they all went well, and at this point in the year, it is nice to have the opportunity to start celebrating the results of your hard work. If there is anything we can do to help maintain your momentum and push through to the end, please let us know.

If you haven't already begun publishing STAAR testing days to your parents, please do so. Even if your grade level isn't testing, it is important for your parents to be informed. Communicating this early and often can help reduce the risk of a parent showing up on a testing day ready to have lunch with their child. It is never fun for Barbara or Stacie to have to turn parents away, and I know that all parties involved would appreciate anything you could do to prevent that from happening.

Make today count!


What Makes a Great Teacher?

Positive Relationships with Students

Highly effective educators project fairness, respect, and a genuine interest in students’ success in school, and on into their lives outside of school. The National Board for Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS) recognizes positive relationships with students as a commitment to the learners. It is also stated in terms of building relationships with learners that focus on success beyond school, and guiding students to accept responsibility for their own learning. In other words, effective educators understand themselves as leaders. They lead students to achieve in school, in their work beyond school, and in their relationships with their communities.

This dimension may appear difficult to quantify; however, one impact of positive relationships with students is realized in an increase in engagement, which is the critical component of empowerment. This dimension can be quantified, in part, by noting increases in student engagement—and like teachers, engagement matters. In the Gallup report, State of American’s Schools; the Path to Winning Again in Education (2014), of the 600,000 students surveyed, those who strongly agreed that their schools are committed to building strengths and that at least one teacher makes them feel excited about the future are 30 times as likely to be engaged learners as their peers who disagreed with both statements.

A future orientation is central to engagement. In the classroom, this sense of future belonging is critical to students understanding that the work they do in school today is relevant to what they will do beyond school. Undoubtedly, engagement is critical to student achievement, and it is nurtured through positive teacher/student relationships. The process to build engagement mirrors that of accelerating achievement. This first step is to measure its occurrence. Measuring engagement may seem out of reach; however, classroom observation as well as individual and small group conferences yield important information. Teachers who genuinely believe in their students’ potential for success inspire a sense of optimism and confidence in their ability to achieve.

Questions to Consider

  • How flexible are your small groups in reading and math? How often to they change? What do you use to determine each group?
  • How does your team utilize team members to support each other and own all students in your grade level?
  • For the students who aren't making adequate progress, how are you adjusting your schedule to ensure more small group instruction time?

Volunteers During After School Duty

If you would like to volunteer to help support our positive behavior notes during dismissal, please click on the link below. A jeans pass will be issued for each volunteer slot that you sign up to serve. Please note that if you are already scheduled to that location as a duty, it would not be appropriate to volunteer for a position the same time you have duty.

For a printable version of the calendar, please click on the "Calendar" title above.
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  • Lisa Barton – Thank you for the nourishment on Tuesday! Ha! I really appreciate you and your whole team for always being so welcoming. I always know that I will get a good laugh at planning time! - Michelle C.
  • Stacie – Thank you so much for helping me check on the yearbook and for ALL you do! -Michelle C.
  • Donna – Thank you for always being on top of it ALL! I know I have asked a lot lately and you seem to manage it ALL with ease(scheduling the needed subs, conferences, orders, budgets…the list goes on and on). -Michelle C.
  • EVERYONE – I never did officially thank EVERYONE who rushed outside to help when I called for "All Hands on Deck" at carpool duty when that winter blast came through Wednesday before Spring Break. Everyone helped tremendously (and froze together) and it was greatly appreciated! - Michelle C.
  • Melanie – I can never thank you enough for all that you do! Your patience is nothing short of miraculous and you always are understanding with everyone's level of knowledge and offer so much support. -Michelle C.
  • Sylvia – Thank you for the Sonic drink and for ALWAYS being there! -Michelle C.
  • I wanted to thank every team for your time, attention and collaboration at the data meetings on Thursday.:) -Michelle C.
  • Mike and JD – Thank you for meeting with us on Friday.:) - Michelle C.
  • Carin and Jean – All I can say is thank you. As a mom and as a colleague….thank you for being YOU! - Michelle C.
  • Mary Anne thank you so much for working to get ARDs scheduled/rescheduled and also working with middle school leads to get transition meetings set up. We are lucky to have!! ~Bonnie
  • Martha thank you for meeting with me and parents to discuss re-eval and working to get the re-eval completed before end of year even though your plate is full of testing. ~Bonnie
  • Jaime thank you for being my go to on STAAR accommodations! Glad we are in the crazy year together. ~Bonnie
  • Carin and Jean thanks for being amazing with all of your students! Brase is lucky to have yall. ~Bonnie
  • Melanie thank you so much for you last minute help with itunes u and district assessments. ~Bonnie
  • Melanie – Thank you for going above and beyond to record the reading assessment questions so that my students could work at their own pace! You do so much for McGowen and I appreciate you! - Trisha
  • Jennifer and Sylvia – Thanks for helping my sleepy student! I appreciate how you care for my students like they are your own! - Trisha
  • Coach Relle – Thank you for your amazing school spirit and for letting the staff kids play in the gym! - Trisha
  • Thank you to the most amazing team and friends that I could ask for caring so much about me, and checking in on me, you are my rock at school. Brooke, Bravo, Nash, JD, Bobbette, Lhauren, and Caballero, love you guys! Bodmer
  • Staci, thank you for being such a strong, sweet, witty, helpful lady! You are the best and I am so appreciative to have the pleasure of seeing your smiling face everyday! Bodmer
  • Burford – Thank you for being so flexible with filming 5th grade. You are always so chill and calm :) Bodmer
  • Thanks Donna JL and SL for the STAAR treats on Wednesday – what a great way to have a meeting. Bodmer
  • JL Thank you for your words, and taking the time. Honestly, I didn't mean to highjack it again. I am just passionate and I know you know that ;) Bodmer
  • Thanks to my team for the yummy birthday lunch! Mmac
  • Sherri, Kay, Jorge : Thank you all so much for helping me get through this week. You were all so flexible with the change in my schedule. I really appreciate it. -Jenny
  • Nick – Thank you for helping out with one of our science lessons and making that movie to show our kids when plan A didn't work out! You are always so supportive with helping other teachers in the classroom, and we greatly appreciate you! -3rd Grade Team
  • Carin & Ashley – Thank you for the Sonic/Starbucks drinks on Friday! It was a great start to my day! - Amber E.
  • Marley & Jean – Thank you for always being one step ahead in planning and being such a great asset to our math/science team. You are amazing to work with on a daily basis, and you make coming to work that much more enjoyable. -Amber E.
  • Laura – You are such an incredible partner and always very supportive. I appreciate the effort & care you put into our students every day and really appreciate you as a teammate. -Amber E.
  • Bonnie – Thank you for working out the scheduling and helping us all out with administering district assessments. You are always doing your best to support our students and us. We appreciate you! - Amber E.
  • Nurse Vicky – Thank you for helping out with a student before school even started on Friday. -Amber E.
  • Barbara- Thanks for working with me to ensure that our student data is always up to date! SL
  • Shiela- Thanks for running our RtI meetings last week! SL
  • Jen & Lori P- Thanks for helping us out! SL
  • Barbara & Stacie- Thanks for your wonderful attitudes and happy hearts through all of the crazy weather days! SL
  • Michelle- You amaze me with the instructional ideas that you have for teachers on the spot when discussing our RTI students! SL
  • Melanie- Thanks for organizing our Special Guest and creating the video of Dr. McDaniel for World Read Aloud day! SL
  • JL- I appreciate the ideas and learning that you bring back from your Principal Academy days! SL
  • Michelle, Amber, and Sheila- thank you all for staying late on Friday to help out with a conference. You are all amazing and I appreciate how supportive you all are! -LKam
  • Fifth Grade Teachers and Sharon Butler, Thank you for your hard work in getting Middle School Registration forms completed, signed, and turned in by the deadline of Friday. You did a great job of making phone calls, emailing, texting (even while you were home with a sick child of your own) to ensure everyone had an opportunity to turn in their form on time. I had fewer forms to complete this year for students who did not turn one in by the deadline. Thank you! ~Shiela
  • ~Vicky, Thank you for making yourself available for vision/hearing screenings for our homeschool and private school friends. ~Shiela

  • ~Martha, Thank you for your time in reviewing folders and records of our current students and of our child find friends. I appreciate and value your input. ~Shiela

  • ~Stacie, Barbara & Vicky: Thank you for being there for me. Some days it seems, even if you've said nothing at all, you are still wrong. So it's good to have friends who understand. Love ya! ~Shiela

  • ~Laura K, Amber & Michelle C: Thank you for taking the time to meet with a set of parents on Friday afternoon to effectively communicate your concerns. It is so important to maintain this level of open communication to keep the parents in the loop of how things are progressing and foster the relationship of the parents and teachers working together in the best interest of the student. ~Shiela

  • ~Melanie, Thanks for giving Abigail a ride on Friday when I couldn't leave after school due to a parent meeting. ~Shiela

  • ~Vicky and Jill, Thank you for your flexibility in scheduling and rescheduling with a child find parent for vision/hearing screening and evaluation. ~Shiela

  • Thanks AGAIN to my awesome team for being here for me and helping with things on a moments notice! Love ya'll! -Jen

  • JL,SL,MC & MB-thanks for listening on Friday and being supportive! I appreciate you so much! -Jen

Focus for 2014 - 2015

  • Providing all students with at least one year’s growth
  • Closing the achievement gaps in our subgroups
  • Utilize data to drive instruction
  • Collaborative team planning and lesson design to promote higher level thinking and student engagement
  • Posting learning and language targets daily in student friendly terms

Opportunities to Support Fundraising Efforts

Haylie Bullock is selling flats of flowers to help her Express Cheer Junior 2 team attend the NCA Summit in Orlando, Florida. The flowers are coming from a local nursery and are supposed to be very good quality.

Flowers are $18 per flat – each flat contains 20 4” pots

Grass is $10 per gallon – This is the Purple Fountain Grass only

If you are interested in purchasing any flowers the order form will be located on Stacie's desk until the end of Thursday, March 26th. Everything will be delivered to the cheer gym on Saturday, April 11th, and Stacie will deliver them to homes on that Saturday and Sunday.

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Gaby Shambo - 4th

Amy Harper - 10th

Mychel MacInnis - 13th

Colleen Everett - 17th

Valerie Larpenteur - 21st

Bad Dude Award

This week, we are a happy to award Marley Goodwin as the Bad Dude of the Week. Her performance in the data meeting and a difficult ARD last week alone make her worthy of recognition, but she doesn't stop there. Marley is knowledgable, flexible, effective, talented and fun. She maintains a positive attitude even when things get tough. She knows her students very well and consistently utilizes data to effectively plan instruction. She is a great team member and we are so grateful she is here.

Thanks for all that you do, Marley!

Remind for Staff

I have created a Remind for our staff in order to send out just-in-time reminders, last minute notifications of jeans/warm-up days, and/or emergency info. If you haven't already, please click on the link below to join the group.

McKinney ISD's Vision, Mission and Beliefs

Any time we have an idea, concern, solution and/or comment, this is the filter through which we should speak. Let's help each other live up to our vision, mission, and beliefs.


We are a cohesive, diverse community providing engaging learning experiences for all.

We will provide engaging learning experiences so students can become effective communicators, quality contributors and socially responsible citizens.

  • Partnerships between students, parents, community members and staff are foundational to educational success.
  • Positive school culture and a safe environment foster growth.
  • Everyone has inherent value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Learning is an active process requiring engaging tasks and engaging minds.
  • Relevant and authentic experiences ignite continuous, deeper learning.
  • Meaningful relationships enrich learning.
  • Confidence fuels risk taking and higher achievement.
  • Financial stewardship ensures a tomorrow for education.