Tustumena Staff Newsletter

For the week of January 14, 2013

Part of parent newsletter

Believe it or not, we are already making some plans for next year. One thing we are planning is in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. Starting next August, we will have Boys and Girls Club “before school” supervision beginning at 7:30am. This means that B&C Club members can be dropped off in early enough for parents to make it to town by 8am if their job calls for it. It is possible that this extension of their program could start this spring if there is enough interest in it. If this program may benefit your family, please contact Michele Hayman at: mhayman@positiveplaceforkids.com. You can view other news from the Kasilof Boys and Girls Club by following the link: http://www.smore.com/yh9s-kasilof-club?ref=email

As many of you already know, we are now publishing an enhanced version of our newsletter electronically. I have been emailing the link to the email addresses we have on file. We will continue to publish this document in both formats for several weeks but will eventually convert completely to electronic except for families who request a paper copy be sent home. This change will save money, enhance our ability to include pictures and informational links, and provide you with instant access as well as the ability to share the newsletter with family and friends anywhere in the world. Not to mention it is the “Green” thing to do.

We just finished our Geography Bee and I am proud to announce that Laurel Glaves is our 2012/2013 Champion. Laurel won the honor of taking a test (I know, it doesn’t sound like much of a prize) to determine if she qualifies to compete in the Alaska State Geography Bee. Congratulations Laurel! Laurel won out over Holly Todd after several rounds of tie breakers. Thank You Holly!

Another piece of news on the district level, we are continuing to meet and develop ideas around school configuration in the Soldotna area. On January 10, elementary teachers and community members met with district administrators to discuss how to best meet the needs of our students and community. I will publish more information as it becomes available. There will be a community meeting here at Tustumena on February 10th to provide opportunity to receive information and to gather input. You are also invited to attend the Tustumena Site Team meeting on January 29th at 4pm.

Finally, I would like to thank John Solem for his support of our Tustumena Community. Mr. Solem is moving back to the lower 48 this weekend. He has supported our school through Peninsula Community Health Services since last year and has done an excellent job of leading the coordination of this agency and our school. Colleen Robertia from K-Beach will be replacing John. We are looking forward to working with her as she has 10 years of experience in the same type of position. Welcome to Tustumena Colleen and best wishes to you John.

Proposed Change

Outline of the change matrix proposal I mentioned last week.

Hopefully you still have the copy of the change matrix I gave you earlier in the year. I will be following this template to initiate a change in our collaboration time. Because I know there is no such thing as a small change, I am being very methodical and transparent. This is step one of the process, earning trust. The vision is to have teachers working together systematically using common data points to improve instruction and thus student learning. The skills are, the ability to have focused discussion on specific students and their skill set, the ability to determine which data points are valid in making instructional decisions, and the ability to determine which interventions will most benefit the student learning (much like I-Team meetings.) The resourse will time. We will trade, not add. Payoff will be that all students will receive quality instruction that has been formulated as a collaborative team, and teachers will receive support from each other instead of having to rely only upon themselves to create alternatives. The action plan is to:

  • collaborate as a whole team the process
  • have demonstrations of focused discussions and data selection so we all see it the same way and understand what the target is
  • and implement on as a "Draft" once a month during Feb, March, and April.

Shared Beliefs- Then decide as a team how best to alter/implement the concept into next year's "normal."Success.

So basically, kick the tires on this model this spring and see if it is of benefit to student learning and teachers.

Agenda for Staff meeting on January 16, 2013

  • Soldotna area schools configuration discussion- Lisa and John
  • Lynx Tracks activity - How kids qualify
  • Collaboration Change proposal
  • Good of the Order