Principal's Corner #21

February 7, 2020

Curriculum Order Requests

As we begin to plan for the 2020-21, if there are curriculum items you'd like to request, please use this purchase request form.


To Erin Wehrle for planning, and then rescheduling, our field trip to DMNS - you are amazing!

from Lisa Gelwick

To Gretchen Wilkinson for keeping the cafeteria fun and supporting both the students and teachers at Cottonwood! You are appreciated!


To Ken Martinez, Thank you for being so quick and helpful with a maintenance issue in my classroom. It saved my day!

From Shana Eilers

To Joan Salinger and Melissa Adler for being helpful, knowledgeable and engaging! I enjoy our conversations every week and appreciate the time and energy you both dedicate to making sure everyone gets everything they need at Cottonwood. Our office runs smoothly due to your efficiency!


Welcome to our Team

Please join me in welcoming Dorothy Speir and Lorraine Roden. Dorothy and Lorraine are our new para-educators; we are fortunate to have them join our Cougar family.

I appreciated the opportunity to meet with grade level teams to review district, school and classroom data in IRLA. Please read the message below from our office of Curriculum and Instruction, however also note that I am asking that between now and February 21st all teachers “recalibrate” and assign current Power Goals to each student. Hopefully the conference observation rounds on the 12th will help, and I encourage you to take advantage of the 19th, where Lois has opened her doors for anyone to drop in and ask questions.

Looking closely at our district data in School Pace, it has become evident that our Power Goals are not accurate based on the large amounts of time between conferences with individual students. The IRLA is a formative assessment that is meant to guide teachers in targeted and timely skill development for individual students. When the time between conferences moves past 14 days (we have students up to 100 days between conferences) the data becomes stale and conference times stay in the 20-30 minute range due to a need then to relevel the student each time.

In order to move into a consistent schedule of individual student conferences every 14 days, Power Goals must be up to date and accurate. This will allow teachers to be much more efficient in the 1:1 conferencing and each conference can actually take 5-6 minutes as intended. Therefore, we are asking that between now and February 14th all teachers “recalibrate” and assign current Power Goals to each student. After this recalibration we can then move systemically into 14 day cycles for every student. This is not a middle of the year benchmark (like we did with DRA) it is merely a “recalibration” to get us back on track now that we have had a semester to get our feet wet with this new tool.

Lois and I are here to support you. If there is something you need that you're not getting, please talk to us. IRLA is not optional, so if it isn't working for you, please ask for help. We're here to support you.

Lunch with the Principal

Do you have something on your mind? Are there celebrations you want to share? Do you have ideas you want to be heard? Or do you just want to talk? If so, join me for lunch on Friday, February 28th during your lunch time. This is not mandatory/required. I'll be in the collaboration room with light snacks available, so bring your lunch and let's chat.

2020-21 Intention Forms Due Soon

CLICK HERE to access the 2020-21 Staff Intention form!

As we begin to plan for the 2020-21 school year, it is important to capture your thoughts and plans for next year. This document is not binding nor legal. It is a way for me to gather information as we program for the needs of our students. If you would like to have a follow up conversation or have ANY questions, please let me know. Your input is valued and appreciated. Please complete this form by the end of the day Wednesday, February 12th.

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Please email me if you are interested in attending the PBL institute; see the information below.

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  • Wednesday, February 12: IRLA Conferencing Observation/Debrief Rounds CLICK HERE
  • Thursday, February 13: Collaborative Team Day, 2nd (AM), 3rd (PM)
  • Thursday, February 20: Collaborative Team Day, 1st (AM), 4th (PM)
  • Thursday, February 27: Collaborative Team Day, K (AM), 5th (PM)
  • Friday, February 28: Lunch with the Principal, Collaboration Room during lunch blocks
  • Friday, March 13: 1st-5th Supply Lists due to Katie
  • Thursday, April 2: Collaborative Team Day, 2nd (AM), 3rd (PM)
  • Thursday, April 9: Collaborative Team Day, 1st (AM), 4th (PM)
  • Thursday, April 16: Collaborative Team Day, K (AM), 5th (PM)
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