BME Staff Update

January 22, 2019

Congrats, Sneaky Rascals!

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It's official! Garrett and Mary got married this weekend.

Team Meadow -

We're back at it after another wintery weekend. I hope everyone was able to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. No doubt, it has been busy for many on our team.

Congratulations to Mary and Garrett on their marriage this past weekend. Their little trip to the courthouse on Friday afternoon makes for a great story to share with family and friends. I told Garrett last week that my parents eloped over 60 years ago, and every year on their anniversary they split an order of fries and Coke just like they did on their wedding day. (It's all they could afford.) What matters is who you are with and the commitments you make to each other. Again, congrats, Garrett! We are thrilled for you as you continue "adulting."

In addition, congratulations are in order for Kathryn Watts and her new career adventure! As you may have seen in her email earlier today, she accepted an instructional coaching position in Pike Township. No doubt, Kathryn will do a fantastic job in this role. However, her departure does leave mighty big shoes to fill as we begin our search for a new team member. We'll miss you greatly, Kathryn.

I couple other items:

  • Staff meeting on Monday. We will begin as promptly as possible, so please meet in the Family Room shortly after dismissal. Heads up that we have a lot of content, so we may run a little longer.
  • Speaking of cold weather, the mid-week forecast holds potential for record cold temperatures. I am including E-Day tips and details again in the flyer. Please remember that our next inclement weather/snow day will be E-Day, which will require you to have your laptop/computer at home so you can be accessible to students.
  • "Souper Bowl" Pitch In on Friday. Sign up info to come...

Looking forward to a wonderful week with a fantastic team!

Stay warm -


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"Souper" Bowl" Pitch-in on Friday, Feb.1

Let's have a staff "Souper" Bowl pitch-in on next Friday, 2/1. We'll get more information out soon for everyone to sign-up and bring your favorite chili, soup, dessert, etc.

Calendar Items & Information


28th - Tom out in AM (@ PVE); Staff Meeting

29th - Tom, Lauren, and Bob out for meeting at ESC 9-11:00; District Discussion @ 4:00


1st - "Souper" Bowl - Staff Pitch-in

4th - RtI Redesign Mtg

14th - Valentine's Day (& parties)

18th - Presidents Day - No School

19th - PD Day at PVE

25th - Family Gathering

26th - Reject - Documentary Film @ PAC @ 6:45 w/ Dr. Kip Williams (see info below)


8th-22nd - DigiLab at BME

21st - Holi

22nd - PTO Boone Meadow Mixer (Cardinal Room @ Golf Club of Indiana)

26th - Kindergarten Round-Up (Pre-registration info will be available for families in mid-February)

29th - April 7th - Spring Break

Black History Month - February

As we approach Black History month, I wanted to reiterate the email that Christine Squier sent a couple of weeks ago in case you missed it!

Ideas: Do's and Don'ts of Teaching Black History

How do you ensure students get the most out of black history and Black History Month? Here are some suggestions.


  • Incorporate black history year-round, not just in February. Use the month of February to dig deeper into history and make connections with the past.
  • Continue Learning. Explore how to provide an in-depth and thorough understanding of black history. Textbooks are notorious for omitting information about the struggles of communities, and what they include is limited, so use the textbook as one of many resources. While exploring multiple resources, allow for opportunities to learn along with your students.
  • Reinforce to students that "black" history is American history. Make black history relevant to allstudents.
  • Relate lessons to other parts of your curriculum, so that focusing on a leader, like Fred Shuttlesworth, expands upon rather than diverts from your curriculum. By the time February comes around, the context of the struggle for civil rights and social justice should be familiar to students if you have already addressed such issues across the curriculum.
  • Connect issues in the past to current issues to make history relevant to students' lives. For example, ask students to gather information with a focus on what social disparities exist today and how a particular leader has worked to change society.
  • Include the political and social context of the community's struggle for social justice. For example, talk about Daisy Bates' political affiliations and her political ideologies. You see her bravery not as just a personal act but as coming out of community determination.


  • Stop your "regular" curriculum, to do a separate lesson on Rosa Parks, on the Civil Rights Act or on Martin Luther King Jr. This trivializes and marginalizes anything you are teaching, making these leaders a token of their culture and ethnicity. Students will get the message that the diversion it is not as important as the "regular" curriculum.
  • Decontextualize heroes or holidays, separating them from the larger social movement or historical place. Great leaders don't make history all by themselves. For example, if you teach about James Farmer, you must also address the work of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Freedom Rides.
  • Focus on superficial cultural traits based on stereotypes. It's ok to celebrate black music, but teachers should also explore the political and social contexts that give rise to musical forms like hip hop.
  • Talk about black history in solely "feel-good" language, or as a thing of the past. This fails to help students examine how racism manifests itself today.
  • Limit the presentation to lectures and reading. Be sure to allow students an opportunity for discussion and reflection.
  • Teach with little or inaccurate information. Review resources to make sure they don't promote a Eurocentric perspective, which may misrepresent historic figures and social movements.
  • Shy away from controversial, ambiguous, or unresolved issues. Share the real-life experiences about racial realities in developmentally appropriate ways.

Adapted from material by Pat Russo of the Curriculum & Instruction Department at SUNY Oswego.


Valentine's Day

  • Valentines Parties on Thursday, February 14th. You select the hour window you prefer for your Valentines Day celebration.
  • Please communicate your V-Day time to Beth and Barb so we can prepare accordingly (times expected for volunteer arrival, etc…)
  • As always, parents planning the parties need to share the snack plan with you at least a week in advance for your approval. Please keep in mind that this might include food items that are used in a craft. If items are not cleared with you in advance they are NOT allowed at the party.
  • Pre-registration of volunteers is needed. Beth will send an email soon with the pre-registration link and information.
  • Not required, but worth considering: Class parties are an excellent opportunity for classroom communities to engage in service projects. How can your students promote love, kindness, friendship, and care to those around them? (classmates, family, friends, others in community,…)

Please communicate the following in your classroom newsletters soon as we know many are already planning.

Blurb for your newsletters:

We look forward to celebrating Valentine's Day with our students at their classroom parties on Thursday, February 14th. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to emphasize the Lifelines of friendship and kindness with all of our students.

As you are preparing Valentine cards to share with classmates, please prepare cards void of candy. Due to many students with food sensitivities and allergies, we will be unable to distribute candy. We appreciate your cooperation as our main goal is to keep everyone safe.

If you elect to purchase cards that have contain something extra attached to them, please ensure they are inedible. This could include pencils, erasers, stickers, etc. Thank you for ensuring that all students can have a safe and fun celebration.

Let us know if you have questions

Free Event- REJECT Documentary Film

Who: School Staff, Parents, Students*, Community Members

(*recommended for students 5th grade and above but younger students are welcome to attend)

When: February, 26th, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Where: Zionsville Performing Arts Center

Click here to secure your FREE seats.

FREE childcare provided, register here.

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E-Day/Virtual Snow Day

Now that we've used our first Snow Day of the year, the next canceled day of school will be an E-Day Virtual Snow Day. Below are very helpful reminders and tips from Kyle for creating your E-Day Modules.

Things we have learned from our eDay experiences:

1. Physically go through your entire eDay module as a student (Student View) paying close attention to the following:

  • Does your eDay button work correctly?
  • Are there any modules/pages/links/documents that are not published?
  • Do my students know how to access the portal to get to all external tools (i.e. BrainPop, Raz-kids, Newsela,, etc.)
  • Do all of my students have accounts and have they logged in successfully?

2. Make sure you keep your Canvas content published until ALL students have submitted their work.

3. Content will look different on the Canvas app vs. website. Encourage them to use a web browser instead of the app.

4. Add a “YOU ARE DONE!” page to the end of the Canvas module so that students (and parents) know they have completed all of the work.

5. Include a reminder for your students to complete their Related Arts class work for that day.

6. Be sure to remind students to go to the Dashboard on Canvas to access the Related Arts course.

7. Your eDay should NOT include modules filled with worksheets that need to be filled out and turned in to the teacher (Ask Kyle how you can do these activities online). We continue to hear from parents about this topic.

Important Note:

Please remember that our eDays should be utilizing our online resources so that all students can access the content during an eDay. We have many online tools available that allow students to write, read, reflect, create, compute, etc. online. We don’t want to assume that students have materials at home, other than a device, to complete this eDay work. Below is a list of just some of the tools that you can use for a successful eDay.


  • Movie and Quiz (make sure to create an assignment for students)
  • Make a Movie
  • Make a Drawing


  • Discussions (can be written or video/audio recordings)
  • Quizzes.Next (great option for math)
  • Embed videos directly into Canvas

Raz-Kids (K-2nd):

  • Reading practice
  • Quizzes

Newsela (3rd & 4th):

  • Reading with attached Quiz
  • Writing

EveryDay Math (1st-4th):

  • Online activities
  • Online lessons (2nd-4th)

Please let Kyle know if you have any questions or would like him to help as you develop your next eDay. It may be here sooner than we think! Kyle Beimfohr -

Personal Business Leave Requests

For Certified Team Members:

To requests "personal business days," please complete the following process.

  1. Go to the following link, and complete the "personal business request" form.
  2. Once the form is completed, please send a brief email to me (Tom) that includes the date(s) of your request(s).
  3. Enter your upcoming absence in AESOP as soon as possible. (It can always be deleted later should plans change.)

Thanks -

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