KP Friday Focus

January 16, 2015

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School News

Congratulations to the Gusy family!

Welcome . . .

Nolan James Gusy, born January 15 at 2:28pm, 7 lbs. 8 oz.

Everybody healthy!

The Half Way Point

Here we are at the official halfway point. As you prepare to wrap up grades and enter the 2nd semester, I want to share my appreciation for the passion and commitment you show every day to our students and your commitment to our Big Rocks. Mid-points give us opportunities to reflect and assess what we've done and celebrate progress and readjust for areas that need more focus. As we enter this season of reflection, celebration and readjustment, we as an administrative team are also committed to this process and we hope that you will complete the mid-year survey for all staff coming out in next week's KP News 4 You. This is a formative assessment of our practices with the intent to make adjustments for improved practice before the year's end.

Enjoy the three day weekend and I hope in the busyness of life, you will have time to reflect on Dr. King's legacy of hope, justice, and service and how we can live that out personally and in our school community.


  • Teachers using technology in creative ways by assessing student knowledge with Kahoot it and Explain Everything.
  • Space breaks between assignments so students can refocus on their tasks.
  • Students actively engaged in exploring various mediums of art and engaging in art dialogue with teachers and their peers.
  • Teachers supporting one another during this rash of stomach, cold and flu viruses by covering classes/duties, picking up plans, and supporting subs.
  • Morning Advisories committed to our Kindness Challenge through reading and discussing Wonder.
  • Visual and auditory reminders to change from one activity to the next which helped students focus.
  • Students demonstrating critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity as they visualized their thinking, participated in group projects, and shared their understanding.
  • Teachers greeting students enthusiastically every morning as they enter the building and Morning Advisory.
  • Teachers acting as facilitators monitoring student work by checking in with each student as they worked and modified lesson as needed.

Twinsie Tuesday - January 20

Twinsie Tuesday is January 20. Teachers, don't forget to wear your blue KP shirts!


Please come to the first meeting of the Community Service Club on Thursday, January 22 at 7:15am in room 219. Our first event will be Friday, February 20! We will serve dinner in West Hartford and will need 15 people to help! Email Nancy Barlow if you want to serve at the dinner but cannot make the meeting.

A message from Staff Wellness

"Soup"-er Bowl Sunday is fast approaching! All staff, please enjoy a cup of chicken noodle soup in the cafeteria's kitchen and wear your sports (especially football) attire on Friday, January 30 to get excited for game day!

FAQs about Reading Services

Cindy Rodriguez and Jennifer Slifer created this document of Frequently Asked Questions about Reading Services. If staff can read it ahead of time, they will do a brief overview and then answer questions at Tuesdays Faculty Meeting instead of going through all of this information during that time.

Gem Award to:

  • Susanne Torcasio, Deanna Johnson, and Karen Walsh from colleague Joy Wright for all you do to help me set up for our CSIs and Faculty Meetings. Thank you for helping me put my best foot forward.
  • Liz Anderson from colleague Justin Gusy for her extraordinary thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and sensitivity to a family's needs in a complicated case.
  • Kathy Condon from colleague Justin Gusy for explicating a rare student issue so that instructional staff can better understand and work with the student.
  • Maile Aleksa, Alana Cosgrove, Erin Rauseo, and Cheryl Pacyna from colleague Joy Wright for demonstrating the ultimate in grace and professionalism during a student meeting when conditions were not optimal.
  • Cynthia Asal and Matt Bannon from colleague Kathy Shoemaker for helping with some of the more time consuming details of the Geo Bee. Their help was greatly appreciated.
  • Alana Cosgrove from colleague Marc Kotler for developing innovative and patient ways to deal with "challenging" circumstances.
  • Kate Kiesewetter from colleague Marc Kotler for being an ALLY for a student who was having difficulty coping with a stressful situation.
  • The Garnet Team from colleague Marc Kotler for organizing students and parents/guardians to deliver and serve dinner at a homeless shelter.
  • Denise deMello from colleague Marc Kotler for her assistance in helping to create and publish MA surveys.

Staff Changes

Please welcome . . .

Ben von Mayrhauser, STRIVE TA. Ben grew up in West Hartford and went to Whiting Lane, KP, and Hall. He graduated from Trinity College with a degree in economics. He currently lives in West Hartford and coaches football, basketball and baseball at Hall.

Upcoming Events

January 19

  • Martin Luther King Day - no school, offices closed

January 20

  • School Improvement Committee
  • Department Supervisor Meeting - Bldg
  • Study Skills in room 224 - 3:00 to 4:00pm
  • 6th Grade Concert - 7:00pm

January 21

  • Team Leaders - Full
  • CSI - Department

January 22

  • End of Q2
  • Community Service Club - room 219 - 7:15am
  • Homework Club - 3:00 to 4:00pm

January 23

  • Grades in PowerSchool - 8:00am

January 26

  • Lunch and Learn -Socrative

Coming soon! Get prepared!

Superbowl Snack & Share is coming - January 28. More details to follow . . . .

Knitting to be Kind - A Community knitting/crocheting event to create baby items

St. Agnes Home in West Hartford provides residential care and supportive services for pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers and their infants.

If you have basic knitting or crocheting skills, please plan to join us on January 22, 2015, 4:30-6:15 PM, at King Philip MS. This is an invitation to all teachers/staff, students, parents, grandparents, guardians and friends of KP. We will focus on creating baby hats or squares to be sewn into baby blankets. We will have patterns and some supplies, but if possible, bring your own knitting/crochet tools and machine washable yarn. Squares for baby blankets will require worsted weight washable yarn. This is a great way to use up that stash!!!

To help us plan, please RSVP by email or phone to Cheryl Pacyna (ext 5261) or Kathy Shoemaker (ext 2276). Let us know how many people will be attending and if you need supplies or will be bringing your own.

Lunch and Learn - Socrative --January 26th available during all lunch waves Instructor: Kate Pearson

If you think Kahoot it is cool, then increase your instructional tool box and learn about Socrative.

Socrative is an online student response system that can be used with Chromebooks, iPads and student BYO Devices. Teachers can create polls, quizzes and other exercises to engage students and monitor their progress in real time. Quizzes can be set to "teacher-paced" or "student-paced". The program will collect the student data and send it to your Google Drive. "Quick questions" and polls are other great tools to enhance your instruction. Socrative is already being used by several KP teachers with great results and student excitement. Come join the fun!

Sign up with Susanne.


Professional Learning Opportunities This Summer

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The University of Connecticut, in collaboration with The Penn Center, Georgia Historical Society and other Sea Islands sites, announces Gullah Voices: Traditions and Transformations, two one-week NEH Landmarks of History and Culture Workshops to be held in Savannah, GA July 12-17 and July 19-24, 2015. Gullah Voices will examine the artistic expressions of the Gullah people, whose history, stories, beliefs, and creative expressions are critical antecedents to African-American culture and the broader American mosaic, as we know it today. We invite K-12 teachers, librarians, administrators and home schooling parents to apply. Participants will be awarded a $1,200 stipend toward the program costs. Application deadline is March 2, 2015.

Visit us on Facebook: Gullah Voices

For program description and application visit:

ISTE Conference --June 28-July 1

We'd love for 2-4 representatives from KP to attend this conference to further our integration of technology. We are able to cover the registration cost and mileage for a carpool vehicle. Wondering more about why I think this is such a cool conference then check out these presentations and if you want to know more about what is offered then click here. Time is of the essence. Let Joy know by Feb. 20th.

FAQs about Reading Services