To the Point

Prairie Point Staff Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue #7: Friday, November 27, 2017


I would like to thank each of your for the support and help over the last 4 weeks. While I have had support from DAC when I have been out of the building, it is not the same thing as having an assistant principal to problem solve with, bounce ideas off each other and divide and conquer with the little things that pop up. That said, I am thankful for the ways that many of you have stepped up and filled the gap created during the assistant principal transition. I know that some of you have carried an extra burden over the past month and taken on a little more. I am grateful for those of you that have had dealt with a little extra discipline in your classrooms knowing that we were swamped in the office. I am also thankful to those who have check in on me and offered to help out. Please know that your kindness does not go unnoticed.

Over the past month, I haven't had the presences throughout the building that I value and feel that I've come up short on quite a few things. I want you to know that these things sit heavy with me and I am really looking forward to being a full admin team and getting back into a rhythm.

I cannot wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving when we are, once again, a full admin team! There were several qualities that stood out during the several times I've met with Noelle. She is confident, enthusiastic and ready to jump in. I think that she will be very hands on with the students and continue to have the level of involvement that I valued with both Mrs. Kern and Mrs. DeMont. I can't wait to being working with Noelle!

I am personally looking forward to a few days off during the Thanksgiving holiday and hope that you too have time to relax, reboot and spend precious time with family.


As you may know, I had the opportunity to attend a three day workshop on Trauma-Informed Schools a few weeks back. It was also exciting that Noelle was chosen from her school and was able to attend that training as well. The week after that, I also had the opportunity to spend the day with Mr. Jim Sporleder, the principal from Lincoln High School - the school highlighted in Paper Tigers. I feel very fortunate to have had these opportunities and know that I have approached some students and situations with a different lens as a result of the training.

Next year we will be putting together a full team who will have the opportunity to attend the three day training and begin creating a Trauma-Informed Plan for our school. As we prepare for that plan, I would like to continue to provide you with information and resources to help build your capacity for supporting students who may have high ACE scores.

The following article was shared with me and was an easy read that was directly related to issues that impact classroom teachers. Number three resonated a bit with me. I know that I find myself making assumptions about situations, especially if I don't know all the details. It is a good reminder to remember that different situations can impact children differently and their perspective is what is important. If you have some time, please read through it.

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.

At our next Faculty Meeting, on December 6th, 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.

I have attached an article below that includes some fun call and responses that you might want to look through.

Important Information

Locks, Magnets and School Safety

I wanted to provide you with an update in terms of locks, magnets and school safety. Prior to Mrs. DeMont's transition, she completed the Prairie Point Emergency Response Plan (ERP). This is a comprehensive document that outlines exactly how to react in a variety of emergency situations. Over the school year, Mrs. Fahey and I will assure that everyone is up to date with updates in the new plan.

You may have noticed that the magnets have been removed. This is district required. While I know that these definitely made things more convenient - I also know that they put classrooms at risk during an emergency situation. The district expectation is that doors should remain locked during instructional times. The reason for this is that in an emergency, when adrenaline is pumping and you are beginning to panic (everyone will if there is an emergency), remembering to open your door and pull the magnet is not only something that you could forget to do, it is also creating a time when someone could potentially get into your room. Having doors already shut and locked could save precious seconds or minutes.

The district is in the process of re-keying all instructional spaces. This means that classrooms and offices where instruction takes place will be re-keyed so that one key will open all instructional classrooms. What this means is that all classroom keys will open all classrooms. Your key will open your classroom, as well as every other classroom. As all doors should be locked during instruction, your key will allow you to open any classroom door without interrupting instruction. We will also begin to provide teaching assistants with a key that will open classroom doors.

In the event of an emergency and you are not in your classroom, you will have the option of evacuating the building through an exit or using your key to open the door to the closest classroom and locking down in that classroom.

Our school is on schedule to be re-keyed before winter break. Please note that this will not apply to the main office or offices where confidential information is stored or where non-instruction takes place.

If you have questions or want to talk more about this, please stop by.

Technology Update

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 have attached the agenda below for our next faculty meeting below. We are still a few weeks out and there may be an item or two that I need to add to the agenda, once Noelle and I have an opportunity to collaborate.

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!