To the Point

Prairie Point Staff Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue #8: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Welcome to Noelle!

I hope that you have enjoyed getting to know Noelle as much as I have over the past week. We have such an amazing school community and I am excited to afford Noelle the opportunity to get settled and start learning all about Prairie Point.

As I believe that I shared with most of you, I am continuing the all of the evaluations that Janet and I had scheduled before Winter Break. When we return from Winter Break, Noelle will begin to pick up Janet's teachers and continue the evaluation process. Both Noelle and I are committed to collaborating and supporting you throughout the evaluation process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

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This year, we are committed to learning more about ACEs and what we can do to support students who come to us with trauma. This will be a primary focus of our Building Leadership Team work over the next several months. We will be collaborating as a BLT and working through the book "Help for Billy - A Beyond Consequences Approach to Helping Challenging Children in the Classroom". This resource was written by Heather Forbes, who has collaborated with Jim Sporleder over the years to support students with high ACESs scores.

I have shared a link to the Beyond Consequences Institute below, as well as a link for a video that talks about the work that we will be doing on our BLT. My hope is that this work will be brought back to PLCs and provide opportunities for all teachers to support students with challenging behaviors in the classroom.

AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination

We have hit a major milestone in our AVID implementation. Next week, Maureen (our AVID Site Team Leader) will submit our Initial Self Study (ISS)! This is a study of the initial steps that we have taken as we implement AVID.

While we are only at step one in our implementation, it is impressive to go through the ISS process and see all of the things that we have already done this year. Thank you to the AVID Site Team for the hard work and time put into the implementation: Maureen, John, Sara, Mary, Lisa and Tena!

I wanted to clarify and assure that everyone knows what our plans are for this school year with AVID implementation. This is what we hope to accomplish this year:

1. Implement an organizational tool in 5th grade (binder and agenda-planner)

2. Begin to use WICOR strategies in 5th grade instruction

3. Provide opportunities for all students to learn about or colleges, careers or post-secondary educational opportunities (seeing bulletin boards, college pennants, knowing what colleges their teachers attended, our alumni walk etc.)

4. Providing PD for all teachers about WICOR strategies

If you don't recall, WICOR is an acronym for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading. Obviously, there isn't an order to the acronym, as each of these disciplines and strategies are equally important to our instruction.

Tomorrow morning, at our Faculty Meeting, we will learn about another WICOR strategy: Call and Response. I know that many of you use call and responses as a form of classroom management. We are eager to share a few more and provide some resources for implementing some call and response strategies.

Important Information

Copiers and Copying

As you will notice throughout the day today, our copiers are being replaced. I wanted to share a bit about the new copiers. There is a need to replace the old ones because they have exceeded their life expectancy due to high usage. We have a new lease for these copiers that does not increase the cost to the district. Further, they are more cost efficient machines, so in the long run should be a benefit. We will be inserviced on these machines in the next day or so.

I do need to make us all aware that as of this month, we have exceeded our annual copy budget for the year. I have looked through the amount of copying that we are doing at the building and it is pretty significant. We have also had a significant uptick in color copies at the building, which is very costly. When we exceed our copying budget, we have to pay the difference from our building budget. I know that the much of the copying that is done is necessary as a supplement to the curriculum and that we are all doing our part to keep the copying as minimal as possible. That said, I do want to remind you of the need to put copy requests in to the copy center. We will also need to limit color copying.

At this point, please note that copying should all be done at the copy center, where it is most cost efficient. Copying in the buildings should be reserved for those times that you are unable to send something in advance to the copy center (things such as reports that you need immediately, information for meetings, etc.).

We also need to significantly decrease our color copying. If you need to make a color copy for a specific reason, I will need to approve it before you copy it. You can put that request in to either Kim or to me directly (you can just talk with me or send an email). If you have an ongoing need to make color copies, for something that cannot be done in black and white for instructional purposes, please come and see me so that we can talk that through.

Technology Update

Technology Update - I wanted to share with you that our Home and School Association has offered to cover the entire cost of the Chromebook cart and Chromebooks with funds that remained from last year's budget as well as from fundraising from the Panther Fitness Challenge. This is so generous and exciting for our school. Home and School still plans to do teacher grants in the spring.

It has been exciting to see how often the Chromebooks are being used throughout the building. I am excited to share that we will be purchasing another Chromebook cart with 36 more devices! This is due to the fundraising that we do throughout the year. We are hopeful that the new cart will arrive in January/February. This should increase the amount computers available for students to use and help streamline assessments.

December 6th Faculty Meeting

I shared the agenda for tomorrow morning's faculty meeting a few weeks back. I have included it again, in case you have not had an opportunity to review it. I'm looking forward to our time together tomorrow morning.

In Every Issue...

Field Trip Information

MTSS Problem Solving Request Form

Wednesday Morning Meeting Schedule

The Wednesday Morning Meeting Schedule has been shared with you and is available by clicking below.

PLC Agenda Options

You should have a PLC Agenda Template in your Google Docs.

The link below contains files for 3 different templates for PLC agendas/notes. You are able to choose to use one of these as well. Please remember to share them with Jennifer/Jen and any specialists that you have working with your team.

The video below shows you how to save the agenda templates to your own Google Drive.

SD 308 PLC Agenda Video

Prairie Point Family Celebrations

Remember to send me any celebrations that you are celebrating or that your family may be celebrating so that I can share them!