The Buzz 2/22/16

What you need to know to be in the know...

Our Mission:

Chandler Elementary will create a safe and positive environment where all students and adults work together using 21st century strategies to achieve high academic growth.

6 Instructional Days Until ISTEP!!!!

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Team Chandler Update

I want to take a moment to welcome Mr. Dustin Stutsman to Team Chandler!! Dustin will be working with 3rd grade starting the 29th, and will be starting with his own class the following Monday.

Why is setting goals with students important?

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NWEA Goal Setting

This week I got to observe some students completing a NWEA survey test in the computer lab. When they were finished I took a moment to ask them about their goal, and they didn't have one. In fact, after further conversation, I wasn't sure if they really even got the whole concept of what a RIT score was, what it meant, and why they should care.

The research above clearly states the need for students to be involved in setting their achievement goals. The beauty of NWEA is that it allows students to see their growth on a continuum that will go through high school, instead of starting over every year. Imagine the power in that possibility.

If you have not take time to set goals, or reviewed goals from the beginning of the year, with your students you need to do so. The sooner the better. Then have kids track their progress. I would encourage you to use a computer time to have kids check their progress and add a data point.

Miss Northeast Indiana

Emily Mishler, Miss Northeast (Indiana) 2016, has reached out to Chandler to see if any classrooms would be interested in having her come and speak to their student, read aloud, etc... She is currently serving the B&G Club here in Goshen, and has time during her day that she would be willing to stop by. Please let me know if you would be interested.

Full STEAM ahead...

This week I have been involved in many conversations about STEM. As a group we have many great questions, concerns, ideas, excitement, even some anxiety. All are normal reactions when embarking an a shift in pedagogy and culture, and it is ok to feel this way as long as we can support each other (which is no doubt a strength for our staff). This journey has no clear path, so it is vital that we ask questions, explore dark corners, be willing to wade through the mud puddles, as that is how we will learn and improve. Here are just a few highlights that I wanted to share from conversations we have had over the past 10 days...

1) Students benefits or instructional roadblocks -- One conversation I caught just a piece of after our staff meeting pointed out something that I hadn't thought of during our staff meeting activity, and if you look at the pages in the lounge it pretty well holds true. Looking at the left side of the chart, you see ways that students benefit from a STEAM program. These will all lead to students being successful. The right side are obstacles or roadblocks to overcome along the way. I hadn't noticed it at first, but it is true, that these are all teacher roadblocks. Nowhere will you read, student can't do the things on the left, or this group of students aren't capable... As we move through this process, these are all obstacles that we as a staff can overcome so that ALL students can have the benefits on the left.

2) STEM vs. STEAM -- A few people have approached me on this subject. STEAM is STEM plus the Arts. Not just art as in drawing, but the Arts as a whole. STEM doesn't dismiss or devalue the arts, but doesn't see it as an integral enough part to give it a letter... So the question was raised, do we value it enough. Great question! I think the answer is a resounding yes, and many of the people I have talked to do too! Our school offers some great arts resources! We truly have world class specialized areas teachers whom with we can collaborate and work together to incorporate their ideas and projects into our Project Based Learning Units. Our district supports the arts! Students in GCS have amazing opportunities in our district, from a world class band program, multiple amazing choir programs, orchestra starting in grade 5, anyone browsed or bought the awesome art work from the annual art auction. Wow! Our greater community certainly supports the Arts! I am amazed at the resources and arts opportunity available in a town of Goshen's size, world class musicians and artists visit and perform regularly! I believe that you will agree that we want to develop students who will well rounded, and see their work as a skill and a craft. With all of that in mind, based on your feedback, we will be moving forward towards becoming a STEAM school.

3) I encourage everyone to have a growth mindset, see what other folks are doing, ask questions, do some research, then be honest whether STEAM is a good fit for you. If you have reservations let me know. I know that everyone here is a piece of the STEAM puzzle, and without you we are incomplete. However, if after doing your homework you feel that this isn't the right place for you please let me know. I will be more than happy to help you find someplace that would be a better fit for you.

STEAM Resources

Kids as inventors, working with field experts, to solve real world problems. Sounds STEAMy! The website will allow you to access a variety of Primary/Intermediate design challenges.

I strongly encourage you to watch the video on at to find out more about this website. Then take a look around the site and see if there is a project that may be right for your students.

Blanket Drive

We will be having a blanket drive to support a local shelter at Bashor for children. This shelter is sponsored in part by Five for the Homeless and Bashor Children's Home, and directly impacts Goshen kids. There will be two boxes set up in the Main Lobby and in the Library. Blankets that are brought in need to be wrapped in plastic, or in clsoed trash bags.

Calling All Coaches...or at least A coach...

Here is a note from the GHS basketball coach, please let me know if you are interested.

It is time for us to start organizing our 5th Grade “May Madness” Basketball League for boys, as well as for girls. I’m copying Coach Krebs as well, since he’ll be organizing it from the girls side. This program will run for three weeks in May only. In the past we ran this program for four weeks but with this year’s calendar we do not want it to carry over into the last week of school. Therefore, we’d like to allow coaches to practice three times per week if they would like, but only practice for two weeks rather than three weeks.

Here is a schedule we are proposing:

· May 2-6, practice 2 or 3 times

· May 9-13, practice 2 or 3 times

· May 17 & 20, boys tournament & consolation games (at GHS), 6:00 & 7:00

· May 16 & 19, girls tournament & consolation games (at GHS), 6:00 & 7:00

The first thing we need to do is get our list of coaches. Please email myself and/or Coach Krebs with the name of a person in your building that would volunteer to coach the team. We really encourage a staff member to get involved as it builds great community for your school. This person helps recruit players and communicate with the students. If you do not have a staff member willing to do it please let us know so we can work on recruiting coaches for your team.

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from each of you soon.

Just for fun:

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From Central Office...

Today’s Focus: Sustained Excellence

“Success consists of a series of little daily victories.”
– Laddie F. Hutar

Reflections to Guide Your Journey

How often do you take time to stop and reflect on the small successes of the day?

How do the small victories add up over time to significant, lasting achievements?

What metrics do you use to create meaningful, quantifiable, short-term goals?

1. PLEASE SHARE with teachers: The section of the teacher contract that provided language related to teacher transfer requests was not included this year, due to the changes in the collective bargaining laws about what could/could not be included. However, our past practices will remain “in-tact”. Teachers who are interested in requesting a transfer should submit a request in writing to Tammy Ummel by March 1, 2016. As has been past practice, those names and interests will be shared with principals. Teachers interested in transferring should also make contact with building principals where and when desired vacancies occur, as they are posted.

2. Teachers currently on Leaves of Absence for the 2015-16 academic year will soon be receiving a letter from the human resources department asking them to declare their intention for the coming school year.

3. If administrators have personnel recommendations or status change forms for the 2/22 Board meeting, please submit that information by Tuesday morning (2/16) at 8:00 a.m. Due to schedules the board packets will need to be prepared earlier than usual next week. Thanks!

4. Turn Around Award Winners – Just thinking ahead……We are planning to recognize your Turn Around Award Winners at the first board meeting in May. (May 9th). More details will be forthcoming.


Ms. Jackie Evans - Tuesday, February 23

Calendar Items

Cluster 7:15 & 3:10

STARS 2:50 (Library)

Discussables 3:00

Board Mtg 6:00 (Admin bldg)


Chandler TLT 3:15 (observed)

Math Bowl Practice (Meade)
2nd Grade Reading Club 2:50STARS 2:50


STARS 2:50

Orchestra - 3:45 (GMS)


Math Bowl 5:30 (Pinewood)


District TLT on Math Process Standards 7:45 (PrairieView LGI)

High Ability Sleep-Over 8:00-7:00

Just in case you forgot...

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They Don't Let Pigeons Drive SPVs !!!!

....unless they've been trained!! If you want to drive the brand new SPVs (SPVs are really short activity buses), you need to be retrained!!! Anyone who needs this training, or just wants to learn to drive the short bus, read on...

College Career Readiness Resource

Here is a new resource that provides some practical tips and resources for teachers. It is worth a few minutes of time to check it out. Here is more information:

CCR is excited to release its first issue of "Teachers' Toolbox" a content-focused resource for teachers. February 2016 issue is attached or can be found at


We are running a 60 day trial of a program called Lexia for STARS. We have a site license, and it has gotten some really good reviews. It is a computer based, reading, intervention program. If you would like to have a small group of students work on this program, and can dedicate 40-60 minutes a week to this, I would love to have you help us pilot this program. Please let me know if you are interested.

You can visit for more information.

Thinking about the future...

A couple items to keep in mind...

1) Capital Projects (maintenance, facilities, furniture, technology, etc...) purchases are discussed and prioritized each year in February. If there is something you would like to see on the list, either purchases, improvements, or anything else you can dream up, please see Mr. Myers, Mr. Moist, or Mr. Hufford to put make sure it gets on the list! Anything not on the list will not happen :o)

2) Staffing - If you have a desire to try a new grade level or new position, please let me know. As we all know positions open, people like to take on new challenges, and sometimes a change can the spark that ignites a passion...If you have interest in a change please talk with Mr. Hufford.

Latest on our School Growth Score

Here is the latest update from Jen Oliver. No update yet on school/individual student growth payout, once the DOE sorts this all out TAP and CELL will work swiftly to get the info to GCS. Once GCS gets the info, they can turn it around quickly to payout the funds.

Each year, IDOE calculates a 1-5 school-wide student achievement growth rating for TAP schools that is used to determine teacher and administrator performance-based awards and that also can be used to inform your school improvement goals. This rating is primarily based on ISTEP+ median student growth percentiles in both mathematics and English/language arts.

For the 2014-15 school year, your school's school-wide student achievement growth rating is 3.

Please see the attached score report for your school's metrics used to determine your overall rating. Additional guidance, including the calculation that IDOE used to determine the overall rating, is available via the video found here:

Generally speaking, the rating can be interpreted in this way:

· 5=Significantly above typical student achievement growth

· 3=Typical student achievement growth

· 1=Significantly below typical student achievement growth

As a reminder, you should now also have access to all 2014-15 Individual Growth Measures (IGM) based on growth model data for teachers of English/language arts and mathematics in grades 4-8 via IDOE's online LVIS platform. Additional guidance from IDOE on accessing that information is attached here and can also be found via the video at:

In the coming days and weeks, we will be using this data and the other measures (i.e. SKR scores, TAP Leadership Team scores, TELL survey scores) to determine 2014-15 TAP teacher performance award amounts, pursuant with House Bill 1003 and Senate Bill 200, and then meeting with you to share that information so that the payout process can be completed as soon as is possible.