TOAST Weekly Newsletter

Week of: December 14th-December 18th, 2015

TAMARAC Everyone

This week we have many events taking place that allow us to step back and enjoy the small things in life that we tend to over look on most days. As we look forward to holiday breaks coming just around the corner, take a moment to remember why you chose to become educators and staff within an urban school district. Take a moment and really listen to your scholars share what family traditions they may take part in and then share yours with them, but most importantly, I would encourage you all to remember: TAMARAC ( Take A Moment And Reach A Child) As many of you know, Tamarac Middle and High School is where I went to school and I was sitting with my older sister this weekend who reminded me of what Tamarac stood for. I am thankful for that moment of clarity my sister provided and now I would like to share it with you. For me, this is why I chose to work in urban education. Albany is no different from any other urban city with its trials and tribulations in education. What helps me to focus through is a TAMARAC mindset. With that, everything else will always fall into place.

TOAST Winter Concert Monday, December 14th, 2015 6:30pm!

Grade Level Meetings For This Week

This week I will be meeting with grade level teams to discuss our districts curriculum for "Curriculum Conversations" around literacy and math. Karen Bechdol will be meeting with a cohort of staff at TOAST at a later time before our holiday break to discuss these items further. I will be using guided questions created by Karen to support the work the district is doing around curriculum and look forward to hearing from everyone on this topic this week.

Reminders: Ball Caps Permitted During School Day

Just a reminder of the following:

Scholars are not permitted to wear ball caps during the school day. This includes during recess. It has been brought to my attention that some staff are reinforcing this while others are not. This is a universal rule for all elementary schools and will be expected to be followed at TOAST. Thank you for your time on this matter.

Studio Classrooms at TOAST: Library Closed

Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 1-3am

Lincoln Park Road

Albany, NY

TOAST will be hosting Studio Classrooms this week for k-2 in Literacy. We will be welcoming colleagues from the following schools:




The Library will be closed during this time.

Courageous Conversations Continue: Discomfort lies ahead, but that's ok!

In the past week I have been fortunate to have some real courageous conversations around race, staff practices, and our work as a district as a whole. One thing that all these conversations had in common is that the level of discomfort people have around these discussions and work needed to move forward was high. When I think about that, I do not get upset or nervous to have these conversations or make excuses, I found these to be powerful because that means as a whole, as TOASTers, as life long learners we are all pushing our growing edge. The video below discusses how the power of discomfort can be powerful. I look forward to discussing this in more details with you all as we continue to push our growing edge together for the greater good.
The power of discomfort | Marc Chesley | TEDxFargo

Gingerbread Contest This Week!

Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 2:45pm

Lincoln Park Road

Albany, NY

Just a few days until building time! Reminders and Updates:

Each team can bring/use up to 5 items that are not brought by me

Items purchased by me will be available in the library for our meeting. Each team will build in the Library, but don't forget that each team will need a written summary of your structure as we did last year.

Thank you to everyone who sent items that wished for me to purchase. Make sure you have back-up plans for particular items the list sent were to influence my purchases...not to be definitely purchased by me..:-)

ASH is all set and they will be building on Thursday. The district may be around on both days to take photo's of each school and our little contest! Smile for the cameras!