Bear Tracks

Weekly information for Bear Tavern - September 11, 2015

Note from the Principal

Happy Friday Bear Tavern Staff,

Congratulations on a great first week of school! Things are settling in really nicely and we are off to a fantastic start. I am very thankful for all of the help that everyone has given in the startup of the year. Your collective work has really paid off.

I'm excited for the whole school meeting this morning. While it will be a scaled down version of a whole school morning meeting, it will be a great chance to connect and to send some positive messages to the whole school.

The message for the students is going to be about one of the most important words that they will learn this year... "yet." Please take a look at this week's article (in video form). Carol Dweck talks about the growth mindset and that we have the ability to show students that learning is a process and that ability is not finite. It's not as simple as being able to do something or not, we are on a continuum and always learning and growing. That is precisely why it is so important to praise effort and not just final results. We want to challenge our most successful students and encourage our most struggling learners. We want our students' identities to be linked to the effort that they put in and to their persistence, NOT to a simple, stagnant, momentary level of ability or success.

Once students see that learning is a long-term process, they are more likely to continue to try and to persist with tasks, even when they struggle. It's not that they can't do something. They can't do it...YET.

Thanks for a great week and keep up the good work!

Have a great weekend; it is well-deserved.



Special Reminders & Upcoming Dates


Committee Sign Ups - Please click HERE to see the sign ups for this year's building committees. If left anything off, please let me know and I'll fix it. At the opening meeting we talked about the fact that some committees may merge depending upon need and membership. As of now we have the following committees:

  • Principal's Cabinet - to represent grade levels/departments and ensure a smooth transition for the building
  • Character Committee - to help with school-wide character / RC programs and help form our Den Groups
  • Sunshine Committee - Taking care of staff members and their families
  • Garden/Outdoor Classroom Committee - to revitalize our gardens and outdoor learning spaces to make them dynamic, exciting and easy to use.
  • PTO Liaison (monthly)
  • Beautification Committee - to make sure the building looks great and is safe
  • BT Green Team - (starting slow this year) to spearhead and streamline our sustainability efforts around the school and as they relate to maintaining & increasing student involvement.

Staff room - please do not put extra materials on the staff room tables. Items have been cleaned/disposed of. If you have extra items moving forward, please send an email stating "I have a (or some)...., does anyone want it (them)?" rather than putting in staff room.


  • *IMPORTANT* - If you receive notes regarding dismissal, PLEASE be sure to add students' first and last name as well as your name before sending them to the office if the parent has not included all of that information. This will greatly help the ladies in the office.
  • We'll be starting our video newsletter soon. If your class or grade level is doing something exiting or interesting, be sure to let Joanne Markulec or me know so that we can get pictures and video clips.
  • Don't forget about BEARing Witness nominations in the main office. Remember, these are just a fun and informal way validate each other's efforts and celebrate our school. They are not meant to be stuffy or formal and can be given for anything that you see fit!
  • Positive Student Referrals were put in your mailbox. If you want more, just get them in the office. If you see a student do something kind, show great improvement, etc., just fill out and send to the office. I'll call the student's parents and will talk with / thank the student. I have already received 2!


Friday 11-Sep - Websites must be created

Wear your BT SHIRT

Welcome Assembly (@30 min) after announcements

Monday 14-Sep - School Closed

Tuesday 15-Sep - Back to School Night

Pull Outs (BSI, ALM, EA) begin

Sept 15 - 30 - Universal Assessments

Wednesday - 16-Sep Grade Level Meetings

Friday 18-Sep - Field Trip Info due to Chris

Monday 21-Set - Faculty Meeting

PLC notes set up

PTO Back to School Picnic

Wednesday 23-Sep - School Closed

Friday 2-Oct - Emergency Sub Plans (guest teacher) due

Monday 5-Oct - Tier 3, WIN begin

Wednesday 7-Oct - Picture Day

Thursday 8-Oct - Picture Day

Monday 12-Oct - PD Day

Wednesday 14-Oct - Grade Level Meetings

Friday 30-Oct - SGOs due and entered in OnCourse


Quote of the Week:

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Article of the Week:

This week's article is a video to support today's whole school meeting.

It is about 10 minutes long, but definitely worth a watch. My plan is to incorporate it into a discussion and short activity for the kids. I may even follow it up with a bulletin board if we have an open one (let me know if you are interested in joining in).
Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve

*Bonus* Janelle Monae Sings "The Power of Yet" on Sesame Street

May be worth a watch with your class, even for our older students!
Sesame Street: Janelle Monae - Power of Yet

Tweet of the Week (to highlight great ideas & people to follow)

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Tech Tip of the Week

September 11

Please take a moment today to reflect, in your own way, about 9/11/01. I am extremely grateful for all of the first responders in New York, in our community, and around the country that are ready to help us in any situation. I'm also amazed at the resiliency that people have when they are really tested. Even in such a tragic event there can be silver linings if you look at it the right way.
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