MIS Monday Message

January 4 - 8

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Welcome 2016!

It's the start of a new year and many are reflecting on their accomplishments of the past year while setting goals for the future. Sometimes it's hard during the craziness of the holidays to find a few solitary moments to reflect and unwind, but I hope you've had a chance to rest and re-energize for the coming year!

I began the process of reflecting on my goals for this year early in December. I spent a lot of time analyzing our student achievement data and looking for patterns in preparation for the State of the Building Address and after getting our PARCC scores. Although I've analyzed data for years, it took on a new meaning this year as I began to reflect on where it's leading us. We will continue this process together and I look forward to the conversations we will have about where we are and where we are going. One thing is clear - we must constantly make changes in order to meet the needs of our students.

My focus for this semester is student achievement. Of course, as a principal that's always going to be my focus, but I'm sharing it with you because it will require me to do things differently than I have been. In order for me to focus on achievement, I will be in classrooms daily. I will be in there to see how our students are responding to instruction, gain ideas for how to help us stay aligned, and most importantly, to support you in helping our students achieve.

Here are a few other changes that you will see:

  • Offices on the move: Blake and I will not be in our traditional offices much. Instead, we will "office" from around the building in classrooms, hallways, etc. This will help us be more visible for students and staff and get a first-hand view at how our students are doing.
  • Questions and conversations will be more focused on student achievement, including team meeting agendas, partner teacher conversations, staff meetings, and RtI meetings. Other school business not related to student achievement will be handled through email and the Monday Message.
  • Focus on the future - it's time to dream! What do we want for our school in the next 5 years? 10 years? Where is MIS headed?
  • It's time for tough questions about student learning. You know this is my favorite part. :) I will be asking tough questions of you and I hope you'll start asking them of each other and yourself. In order to get where we want to be, we need to know what really makes the difference in our students' learning and what doesn't. We need to be ready to let go of those things that don't move us closer to our goal.

In order for Blake and I to be able to focus more on instruction, we need your help. Here are some things you can do to help us get into classrooms daily:

  • Spend time this week reviewing and practicing classroom procedures with your students. You know it's going to be like the first week of school again for your kids, so go ahead and plan now on reviewing procedures and behavior. Instead of having RtI meetings this week, please use that time to focus on procedures with your students.
  • Use the SAR consistently with all students. Blake sent out a few reminders before we let out for Christmas, and I want to reinforce what he said. The SAR is only effective for helping students learn to control their behavior if we use it consistently and make sure parents know when it's getting marked. You've done an excellent job contacting parents this year and it really does make a huge difference! Our discipline system works very well when the steps are consistently followed and deters most students from misbehaving.
  • Only call the office requesting an administrator for serious discipline issues. When they tell us someone has called for admin, we come running. However, this will pull us from a classroom, so please make sure it's an emergency! Any other issues or questions can be handled through email or texts.
  • Don't hesitate to email or text us if you have a question. We have our phones and Chromebooks with us, so we can stay in touch with the office and staff at all times.

I'm looking foward to the spring semester and to all the learning that will happen here at MIS. We have great students and a great staff. The possibilities are endless!

Have a great week!

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Professional Development

Jan. 4th - Meet at MHS cafeteria at 8:00 am. Please make sure you know what sessions you signed up for and where they meet before meeting in the cafeteria. You can click on the matrix below to see where each session will be held. If you aren't sure which sessions you signed up for, click on the second link. It will take you to a spreadsheet and you can see who is signed up for each session by clicking on the tabs at the bottom.

PGP Meetings - We will schedule mid-year PGP meetings in the next few weeks. Please make sure you've documented what you've done to achieve your goals in the Notes section of the PGP. If you aren't sure how to do this, stop by and I can show you.

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Where are we going?

Our staff meeting this week will focus on where we are headed as a team. Start thinking now about the next 5 years and where you believe MIS should go. In preparation for the meeting, please watch this video and be prepared to discuss our "why."
Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound


Monday, 1/4

  • Professional Development, 8 - 3

Tuesday, 1/5

  • Paraprofessionals in training at Co-op
  • Fire drill (unannounced)

Wednesday, 1/6

  • Staff meeting, 3:20, MIS Library

Thursday, 1/7

  • MIS Leadership Team meeting, 7:50 - 8:45

Friday, 1/8

  • Honor's Assemblies (8:30 - 3rd grade, 9:15 - 4th grade, 10:00 - 5th grade)


1/11 - Next round of Academy begins

1/22 - Donuts for Dads