BME Update & Staff Mtg Content

September 10th - Staff meeting today after school

Welcome September

"That old September feeling... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
― Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Important Items

Team -

I have certainly enjoyed the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with many of you for our BOY (Beginning of Year) conferences. I look forward to continuing conversations this week! It is very inspiring to hear how you are spending time in research, conversation, and observation of students to make yourselves even better educators for student benefit!

Please note:

  • I am out all day Monday and most (if not all) of Tuesday for the School Safety Specialist Conference. Feel free to contact me if you need anything, and I will respond when possible.
  • Except for Monday afternoon, Lauren will be at the school on both days, so feel free to contact her as well.

Very Important:

Our staff meeting is today after school! Instead of meeting together as a collective group, we are a staff meeting in multiple locations. This is to be completed after school today.

I am providing the agenda for you to meet with your teams and go through the information. (In other words, we are a staff, meeting in multiple locations.)


As a group, determine a location to meet and break out into the following groups after dismissal is completed today (10/10/18). This needs to be a location where access to internet/YouTube is available for viewing a couple of videos.

  • Kindergarten & Lisa Wagner (Preschool attendance is optional. Preschool may join the Kindy team for ALICE review)
  • First grade & Kristi Sloan (possibly Diane Weddle, Kris Barksdale for ALICE review)
  • Second grade, Kim Gray, & Laura Aguillon (possibly Erica Moore for ALICE review)
  • Third/Fourth grade & Abby Fox
  • Related Arts Team

Agenda: (all information needed for your staff meeting is embedded in this update and email to which it was attached.)

  • Review ALICE/Lockdown procedures as a team (videos, cheat sheet review, scenarios)
  • Review and discuss student conference/E-Day information


Every year, we take time to review ALICE procedures and protocols as this is our district’s approach to student safety in lockdown situations.

In the near future, someone from our safety team will schedule a time to meet with your class and review our LOCKDOWN procedures.

Today, as a team, please go through the ALICE safety protocols together by engaging and participating in the following experiences.

Video #1 - Watch this brief 2 min. video for an overview and purpose of ALICE & I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared, a book about teaching children about ALICE. This is the book we use as a foundation for our discussions and dialogue with our younger students. Although geared towards younger learners, it is important for all staff to be familiar with this language and content.

Video #2 – Watch the video of the book, I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared. Once again, I recognize this is geared toward younger students, but we need to be consistent with understandings. The point is to understand the content details of what happens during an intruder lockdown.

  • Note: The book addresses the approach when you are in a classroom (not other parts of the building).
  • We always connect the instruction of ALICE/Lockdown as another way we practice being safe. (Usually connected to fire, tornado, earthquake, evacuation drills, etc…)
  • When we go through the training with students, we reference “Lockdown” (drill) vs. Sheep, Shepherd, Wolf (drill.) We simply call it what it is.
  • We do discuss “counter”, but we generally don’t overemphasize the “counter” measures with lots of practice of throwing objects. When I discuss this with students, we do often say that whether it be an animal in our room or a person, we need to be prepared to defend ourselves by throwing objects to confuse them.
  • Note: When students evacuate, notice that the teacher sends the students ahead and out of the building while the teacher follows - rather than students waiting for her before they leave. Why might this be important? I’ve often encouraged teachers to not “lead” their class to locations. Why?

ALICE PowerPoint – (see original email) As a group, briefly (very briefly) review the PowerPoint we often use when sharing/reviewing ALICE. The gaps in content are filled via dialogue/discussion.

As a group, walk through the Safety Cheat Sheet. (see original email) Discuss any questions your colleagues may have. Remember, you are empowered to make decisions as you gain information and insight on the current situation. Evacuate when possible.

Varied locations: Notice the various rooms and alternate locations throughout the building that have “lock smocks” on the doors. Are you aware of alternatives when you are in other locations of the building? After reviewing the Cheat Sheet, consider the following, “What would you do if a ‘lockdown’ was called when?” scenarios

What would you do if a lockdown was called…

  • as you are ascending/descending the center stairs with your class? Where would you go, and what do you direct your students to do?
  • while you are preparing to be on lunch duty for your grade level? Some students are still washing hands, some students are going through the lunch line, and some are already seated at tables? What does your team do?
  • as you are exiting the building for recess?
  • while your class is taking a restroom break? Upstairs restrooms? Any of the downstairs restroom locations? What are your alternatives to find safe spots?

Please have all present team members sign off on the checklist/form. This counts toward your staff meeting attendance and verifies this portion of ALICE review.

Student Conferences and E-Day

Student Conference & E-Day: Suggested Timeline and Preparations: What is your team’s plan of action for Conference/E-Day on October 4th? Please review the attached “Timelines and Suggestions” (located in original email)

A few key points:

  • If you haven't already sent out your Student/Family Conference Sign-ups, they should go out no later than this Friday, September 14th.
  • Last year, 14 of 21 BME K-4 teachers facilitated student-led conferences. We have many experts in the building. I boldly encourage all to give it a go this year, and please reach out to me, Lauren, or colleagues for assistance as needed. We WILL find a time in the near future for a “coffee talk” and share approaches, structures, and successes. In the meantime, network.
  • When students participate in student-led conferences (reflection, goal-setting, communication skills, etc…) the conference should count toward a solid portion of student work for that day.
  • Articles regarding SLCs are embedded in the update.
  • E-Days should go live on Oct. 3rd vs. waiting until the 4th for release.

As a reminder:

  • Elementary Family/Student Conferences are to be held on October 3rd (2:30-3:30) & October 4th (11:00-7:00). Please be sure to connect with Tom or Lauren should you need to schedule conferences outside of that window. We are already aware of some families where the parent is out of town for business/work and may need consideration for a different option. Also, some of you have more students in your classroom and may need a little more flexibility. These are all understandable considerations and my door is open for questions/dialogue.

Shade Structure Dedication on October 10th

A couple years ago, Boone Meadow was the recipient of an Adopt-a-Shade Program Grant by the American Academy of Dermatology. Through the combination of the $8,000 grant by AAD and the generosity of our PTO, we were able to install the shade structure this past summer.

On October 10th, we will celebrate this partnership with a dedication of the structure during our monthly PTO meeting at 6:00 PM. More info to come regarding the dedication.

In the meantime, we are working on getting a few picnic tables for the area, as well as, some landscaping to help spruce up the area.

Important Dates & Information


10th - Rosh Hashanah (aka: "Jewish New Year" - begins at sundown on day before); Tom out for School Safety Specialists training; Staff Meeting (meet with teams in varied locations)

11th - Tom out for School Safety Specialists training

12th - PTO Meeting

17th - Meyer's class to Public Green

18th - 1st & 3rd grade vision screenings; NVCI training (select staff after school)

19th - Yom Kippur (aka Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism.)

24th - Staff Meeting

26th - Jog-A-Thon
28th - Second Step Assembly


3rd & 4th - Student Conferences (E-Day on 10/4)

8th - Staff Meeting

9th - Picture retakes and make-up day

10th - PTO meeting (6:00PM); Dedication of Shade Structure with AAD

15th-19th - Fall Break

22nd - Staff Meeting

November 12th - Veterans Day Program @ 9:30.

Personal Business Leave Requests

For Certified Team Members:

To requests "personal business days," please complete the following process.

  1. Go to the following link, and complete the "personal business request" form.
  2. Once the form is completed, please send a brief email to me (Tom) that includes the date(s) of your request(s).
  3. Enter your upcoming absence in AESOP as soon as possible. (It can always be deleted later should plans change.)

Thanks -

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