Mustang Message

November 20, 2017; November 27, 2017

A Principal's Perspective

I wanted to share an email conversation that I believe captures powerful reflections from two teachers about students and teaching. I hope as we begin this Thanksgiving season, that you take time to reflect on the awesome job that you do! What you do matters to your students, your grade level students, your team, your colleagues, and our school family. You each deserve to "Take a Bow!" I hope you enjoy this season full of family, friends, rest, fun, and yes, food! Happy Thanksgiving!

Teacher 1:

I’m sure you’re familiar with this movie, and while the techniques of the principal are questionable...I am inspired by the risk-taking of the music teacher and students!!

God had been talking to me a lot for two weeks about re-designing some of my classroom procedures. I had already set aside today to work on that. Then my own kids asked me to play the song “Lean On Me” on the way to church. That led me to look up this scene from the movie. I’m so inspired by music and when I re-watched this scene for what must be the hundredth time, I wanted to share with the 3 of you my thankfulness for your leadership in taking risks and always being reflective in my teaching. Just because something worked with my kids last year doesn’t mean it will this year. My kids are learning a lot and performing well on tests, but there is a frustration level I feel - and therefore, I’m sure they feel it - with the constant chattering in the room. Both classes are very talkative and have yet to find that “sweet spot” of when to quiet that down to allow others to think and speak. In fact, I hear this frustration across the grade level this year. I’m diving into an article on Cult of Pedagogy about talkative classes and hope to share soon anything I discover that helps us all turn that corner to our “just right” classroom environment.

Please don’t hear discouragement in my words! If anything, it’s the opposite. I’m challenged - which is something I thrive on. It’s just that all of you have given me to freedom to say this isn’t working. I’m taking a risk and trying something new. I would hope that you, Teacher 2, have seen a change in my Homeroom lately as far as being a family. We’ve had two major breakthroughs in that area recently and it’s showing. Later than my class last year, but that’s ok.

Thankful for you,

Teacher Two Response:

Truths from the clip you shared:

- everyone sings best in the bathroom

-sometimes we have to let kids rewrite the song

-the focus is on the harmony of the group and in helping them clearly voice their song in an effective way!

You, Teacher 1, are making a family with this class. Families are messy! Families are built over time with shared life experiences. Keep on keeping on! I have seen this group of [students] as challenging. They have been hard since kindergarten in some ways. I also have seen that sometimes that is because they are afraid to fail or try things. Even their parents ask me a million questions in emails when getting them ready for musicals each year. Anxiety about details cause them to quit or to worry endlessly. Their chatty behavior could be rooted in a need to have more confidence in themselves?? Just a thought!

Principal's Response:

Both of your insights are very powerful! As the principal says, "Take a Bow!" Not only do we have to let kids rewrite the song, teachers need that freedom, opportunity for risk taking, and ability to voice their song in an effective way as well. Thank you for sharing!

Be Innovative - Design the possibilities!


Morning Duties of the Week

November 20-21

Gym & Morning Assembly (7:20): S. Anderson

Gym (7:20): 3rd Split

Parent Drop Off Direct Traffic (7:20): Kinder Split

Parent Drop Off Car Doors (7:20): 1st Split & 2nd Split

Parent Drop Off Car Doors (7:50-8:00): Felder

Cafeteria (7:20): Specialists Split

Bus (7:15 - 7:55 Buses/ Car Drop Off after all buses arrive): Specialists Split

Counselor Schedule: - Classroom Support/Individual Student Support

Librarian: PC & GP

November 27-Dec. 1

Gym & Morning Assembly (7:20): Gibbs

Gym (7:20): Piscacek

Parent Drop Off Direct Traffic (7:20): McMurray

Parent Drop Off Car Doors (7:20): Owen & Craigen

Parent Drop Off Car Doors (7:50-8:00): Felder

Cafeteria (7:20): Bartosh

Bus (7:15 -7:55 Buses/ Car Drop Off after all buses arrive): Holecek (Tutt)

Counselor Schedule: - Classroom Support/Individual Student Support

Librarian: PC

Week at a Glance

Saturday: Chrissy's Closet taking clothing donations at College View High School 9:00-12:00. FYI-You don't even have to get out of your car! Curbside service!

Monday: Spelling Bee 3rd & 4th Grade @ 1:30 in Cafeteria; No leadership team meeting after school; Bake sale items ordered from cafeteria - pick up by 2:30

Tuesday: Kinder Thanksgiving program @ 9:30 in Cafteria; 3rd Grade ELA/Grandparents Day @ 10:30 in 3rd grade pod; No 3rd grade CAMP; 2nd grade Spelling Bee @ 1:30 in Cafeteria; PTO Gifts of Gratitude for Staff; Fried Turkey Day & Staff Thanksgiving Luncheon - Link to Sign Up: Thank you Social Committee!!! Great day to wear jeans!; Calendar comments/feedback due to Charla Anderson

Monday: 3:05-4:00 Choir; The Other Wes Moore Book Club meeting @ 4:30



Thursday: Data Team Thursday Group #3; Fall Picture Day Retakes; Chess Club 3:15; REACH 3:15-4:15

Friday: Data Team Friday Group #3; Staff Social at Carney's 4:00

News & Notes

PTO Grants:

Grant Guidelines:

Grant Application:

Have a great idea that you want to implement in your classroom but need some funding? Want grant funding but do not want to complete a complicated application? Then the GP PTO grant is just for you! Grants are due Monday, December 4th. Please e-mail to Donna by that date. Grants will be awarded Monday, December 18th, in Morning Assembly.

Tuesday Tidbits: Thank you to Chris Parr for frying up the turkeys! Sign up to bring something for the luncheon ( Thank you to our PTO for providing the Goodies of Gratitude. Just as a reminder, please don't serve your PTO Goody of Gratitude for the luncheon. Don't want to hurt parent feelings when they see their baked good out for the lunch.

Soccer Goals: The maintenance department is ordering the soccer goals. I am hoping they can be installed soon!

T-Tess Coaching: If you are evaluated under the T-Tess instrument this year, please don't forget to schedule your coaching conference/observation/ follow-up conference with your assigned coach. Coaching opportunity is scheduled for one observation in the fall and spring along with one SWIVL reflection.

2018-2019 School Calendar: Please take a look at the posted, proposed calendars for next year. Provide feedback on calendars or e-mail Charla by Tuesday.

Hour of Code: Hour of Code is coming December 5-9th. See CSISD link for resources and information:

Tell Me Something Good!

Celebrating the Thanksgiving holidays! Now that is good!

Mustang Yee Haws!

Happy Birthday:

Janna Nail, November 22nd

Vicki Murphy, December 2nd


Congratulations to Julie Holecek who will be returning after the holidays as Julie Tutt! Congratulations Julie!

Welcome back Taylor Leblanc! Taylor will be returning from maternity leave on Monday, November 27th. We missed you!