au courant

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Big Ol' Shout Out to...

  • Kaye and Betty for having the school building shining and clean for start up
  • all staff who stepped up to support Lorelie/Heather for the school start up
  • Antoinelle for taking it upon herself to weed the front entry gardens and plant some colourful flowers, so the entry looked pretty for the first day of school
  • all the support staff who've been covering here and there to ensure all our new students have coverage
  • Karen W and Ana T for putting 12 km each on their step counters the first two days of school (and maybe every day all week), while they went room to room checking on kids and staff
  • the teachers who graciously welcomed new students who showed up at the last minute
  • the teachers and EAs who read up on their students in advance and ensured accommodations were in place for Day One
  • Marlene M for getting Café.calm going
  • classroom teachers for having chairs stacked and things picked up at the end of the day
I know there a million reasons to say thank you to people around the building, so if I neglect anyone here at any time, please make sure the thank yous get said one way or another. Send me messages for this publication any time, so the wonderful folks of JSM are acknowledged for all the things that get done so often behind the scenes.

New SRO!

Our new school resource officer is Bryan Zens. He was our SRO a few years ago, and the kids really enjoyed him. The following message is from the Chief of Police, Steve Murray.

We believe the role of an effective SRO is critical to not only you and your students, but also to our success as a police service and we view this as one of the most important positions within LPS (Lacombe Police Service).

Bryan brings a strong skill set and a wealth of experience, both as a police officer and a parent, into this role and we believe the positive working relationships he built with many of you during his previous tenure as the SRO will be beneficial for everyone. Bryan’s enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to rebuilding a successful SRO program for Lacombe youth is something which we can all share.

Fire Drill Results

The school was vacated in about one and a half minutes, which is fairly typical. So, good job on fire drill #1. The big news is that we were able to determine everyone was safe in just under the 5 minute mark. A record-breaking performance! The quick reporting and running with results made all the difference. Thanks team!

Message from Jayson Lovell

As you know, there has been communication regarding EAs and leaves (ie. sick leave, personal leave). Ongoing conversations have taken place to determine the most appropriate direction in this area given the shift to a district approach.

Just so there is a clear and consistent understanding across the jurisdiction please share this following with your staff so they understand:

1. EAs and personal leaves - in this scenario the school principal has the option of calling in a casual EA to fill in for the regular EA on leave. This is cost neutral for the division since the EA is deducted for personal days.

2. EAs and sick leave, family sick leave, bereavement or critical illness - in these situations the school principal has the option of calling in a casual EA to fill in for the regular EA or to internally cover by shifting an EA from their assignment to assist with covering for the EA on leave. This is a cost item to the district and as such, a limited pool has been created to cover these costs.

In the past many schools have chosen to cover internally due to the skills and expertise of the other EAs in the building while others have a solid pool of casual EAs that are skilled to cover duties. We believe principals are in the strongest position to make this determination thus we will leave this to the discretion of each principal.

Another important point is this fund only applies to EAs and not other support staff in your school. If a replacement is hired to cover for an admin assistant or librarian the school's operational budget covers these costs. In the event of any support staff is off 5 consecutive days the district long term illness fund covers.

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The JS Team Needs You... Join a Committee or a Club

Each year we need everyone to help out with the extras that help round out the school, creating its climate and enriching opportunities for students and staff. Please see the sign up sheet in the staff room for opportunities to contribute to the school as a whole. If you have other ideas, add them on!

Healthy Schools Committee

Is health and wellness your thing? Here are some things the Healthy Schools Committee is involved with:

- Pep Squad (grade 3 student leadership team)

- Staff Wellness

- Pillar One: Physical activity (eg., family fitness nights, family bike night, fun in the sun)

- PIllar Two: Healthy Social Environment (eg., bucket filling, buddy benches, assemblies, Cafe.calm)

- PIllar Three: Nutrition (eg., smoothies during portfolio nights, food tasting challenges, soup day)

Join Marlene M, Melissa, Sylvie and Kim (FLSW) on this committee by adding your name to the sign up sheet in the staff room.

Message from Roger Hall re PD $

- PD activity must be completed prior to the final expense claim being done. I know some of your forms have a budget amount and an actual amount on them. If this is the case and you would rather use your own form instead of the BU211 - Employee Expense form for reimbursement please ensure that it is approved for use. These forms may have to be amended somewhat once we have our PD tracking system set up and going.

- All detailed receipts must be retained and remitted with the request for payment. An expense request without proper receipts will only be reimbursed for items with proper receipts.

- Currently only teaching staff are reimbursed through the PD budget system.

- As indicated the reimbursement total will be maximum of $6oo for a full time teacher and $1,000 for a full time administrator in the first year. A teacher with less FTE will be pro-rated accordingly. A 0.5 FTE teacher receives $300.

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Collaborative Response Model (CRM) Meetings

These dates have been set by Wolf Creek:

September 11 - see plan below

October 9 - bring STAR data and any F and P diagnostic information

November 20

January 22

February 16

March 4

April 8

May 6

June 3

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Collaborative Response Model Schedule for Every CRM Day

The admin team (or members thereof), the inclusion coach, the FSLW (when present) and the learning coach (when available) will all attend CRM meetings whenever possible. However, once the teachers have reported updates and brought up new students, these attendees will leave the grade level teachers to do their brainstorming and strategy planning for another 30 to 60 minutes. (Meetings are to be 60-90 min long.) They will move on to the next CRM meeting.

9:00 - Grade 3

9:45 - Grade 2

10:30 - Grade 1

11:15 - French Immersion (except Carole)

1:00 - Kindergarten (If for some reason the K meeting can't take place at this time, it will likely be postponed to the next Friday prep day.)

On CRM days, please plan any meetings with your grade level team you might want to have. The meeting times will stay static so you can plan around them. As well, use these days to work on APPs, and IPPs, research information on student needs, and design plans for intervention strategies.

September 11 PD Day

While September 11 is one of CRM days, we've been given permission to use the day to focus on literacy based topics rather than hold CRM meetings (since it's too soon for us). Instead, we are holding sessions on the assessment we'll use in advance of our first CRM meetings.

9:00 - STARS with Marica McWhinnie

At the end of last year, we had feedback from many teachers who wanted to know more about the STAR data and how to interpret it. Marica will speak to this.

10:15 - WEEBLY with Marica McWhinnie

Marica will walk teachers through this program, so it becomes another tool to use. Those who want to create a classroom webpage can use this teacher-friendly option (ie., it's not super time consuming) and get started during the session.

1:00 - Fountas and PInnell with Lorelie (if she's here), Chandra, and Tracy D

Each teacher needs to bring his or her kit to this session. Now that everyone has had training in the running record end of things - and we are all hopefully talking the same language about the same books/levels now - we are going to do a follow up session with regard to the rest of the material in the kits.

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Intervention Team

The meetings concerning students with more severe needs and/or behaviour concerns will take place each non-student Friday. Typically, the meetings will start at 2:00, so individual teachers needing to attend the intervention meetings are available.

Anyone wanting to be a participant on the Intervention Team should let me know by Wednesday, September 9 at noon please.

Important Dates and Deadlines

September 9 - Timetables due to Tracy D.

September 10 - Swifty Assembly @ 10:45

September 10 - Meeting @ 3:40 for anyone who missed the staff mtg on Aug 26. This is to go over the handbook to ensure everyone knows expectations, policies and procedures.

September 11 - Staff Collaboration Day

September 14 - 3:40 meeting for any new staff (and anyone else) to go over expectations for class handbooks, interviews, LRPs, etc.

September 16 - Fire Drill @ 10:15.

September 21 - Class Handbooks due to Tracy.

September 22 - Fire Drill @ 1:45.

September 25 - Tech Symposium

October 2 - Long Range Plans due to Tracy.