Cordata Weekly Bulletin


Good morning, Cordata!

In this first full week of second semester, we are deep in learning all around Cordata. I am seeing inquiry make its way into classrooms through science and social studies units, we are meeting for Student Growth Collaboration to look at recent literacy assessment data, and this week we will open up the DESSA to check in on social emotional progress for our students. But even though we've just hit the half-way point, as part of a larger school district, we also need to be thinking ahead to the future.

If you are considering a change for yourself in the coming year, or just want to talk about possibilities, please schedule a time to come and talk with me. Teachers, perhaps you're interested in trying out a new grade level or you are wondering about looping grade levels with a group of students. Maybe you are interested in pursuing some new professional development, or you are considering applying for an in-district transfer using the process that Laura recently forwarded to you. Classified staff, perhaps you are wondering about new or different roles, or pursuing professional learning as well. Whatever the case, if you are interested in a potential change for next year, please arrange a time to come and talk with Minh or myself. This is a strong and connected team, and we rely on each and every person to do this important work and build strong community at Cordata, and that includes supporting change and growth! Please keep Minh and myself informed so that we can support you.


The week ahead - 2/4 - 2/8

Big picture

At this week's staff meeting, we will be checking in on our SEL work school-wide, and hearing an update from our Firm and Kind committee. Please be ready to check in on what SEL instruction is looking like in your teaching and learning space at this mid-point in the school year.

This week is a continuation of last week in the SEL calendar - a catch-up week for those following the Positive Discipline and Zones curricula, or an opportunity to dig into the resources in EVO that are specific to your class' needs. Of course, for those following Caring School Communities curriculum, you should be continuing to use the CSC resources.

Specialists, please continue to practice and apply concepts from Respecting Differences. Use the format of the You Decided lesson on p. 91 in Positive Discipline to address possible differences that may come up in your learning environment.

Upcoming Dates

  • Feb. 4-8 - ELPA assessments for ELL students - Promise K screener and kinder practice test - ELL push-in and pull-out services will be disrupted
  • Feb 8 - Assessment window closes
  • Feb. 4 - winter window for DESSA opens
  • Feb. 4 through Feb. 8 - Pack the Paw - PTA fundraiser (see notes below for details)
  • Feb. 5 - 2:45-3:45 - Staff meeting in the library
  • Feb. 7 - 1:00-3:00 - Kinder SGC
  • Feb. 8 - 4:00 pm - report cards due for grades 1 through 5
  • Feb. 11 - NAEP testing for 4th graders
  • Feb. 11 - 2:45-4:15 - Firm and Kind committee meeting
  • Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day - remember to follow the Food Policy as described in the staff handbook and the 1/14/2019 staff bulletin
  • Feb. 14 - 2:00-3:00 - Cert staff PD and collaboration time
  • Feb. 14 - report cards due for kindergarten
  • Feb. 18-22 - ELPA assessments - no ELL push-in or pull-out services
  • Feb. 19 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
  • Feb. 21 - report cards go home with students in grades 1 through 5
  • Feb. 21 - 1:00-3:00 - 4th grade SGC
  • Feb. 25 - March 1 - ELPA assessments - Shannon will pull ELL students from a full grade level - No ELL push-in or pull-out services
  • Feb. 26 - report cards go home with kinders
  • Feb. 28 - 1:00-3:00 - 3rd grade SGC
  • March 4-7 - ELPA make-ups
  • March 7 - 1:00-3:00 - 5th grade SGC
  • March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • April 11 - 1:45-3:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff) (note that this time was originally published incorrectly, 1:45 is the correct start time)
  • April 23 - 2:45-2:00 - FOURTH Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • May 21 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)

Other News and Information

  • This Tuesday we will be having a staff meeting for cert staff. Classified staff, you are invited to join us as well! Our two main agenda items will be 1) use of Libby, an online library of electronic and audio books, free through your public library card, and 2) an update and information gathering from our Firm and Kind committee. Please bring your laptop if you have one, and your public library card!

  • I would like to introduce two new members of our Cordata team! Angie Schrock recently joined our preK staff and is working in the afternoon program with Marta, Rachel and Christina. Sarah Morin will be joining our intermediate Life Skills team in Alyssa Bowhay's class, with a start date early next week. Welcome to both Angie and Sarah!

  • We are working on doing some clean-up of common spaces around our school building, including clearing the extra chairs out of the space under our middle stairwell. Please think carefully about chairs in your classroom. If you were to receive a new student or two, would you have enough chairs? If not, do you have space for a few additional chairs right now? We have very limited space for storing large stacks of chairs, but if each classroom keeps somewhere from 26 to 30 chairs, we will have plenty in our building! See Jim for additional chairs if you need some and/or have space to store a few extras. Additionally, look around the there a common space that you and your students could adopt and keep tidy? Many hands, light work!

  • There are some wonderful opportunities for professional learning related to English Language Development going on! You've heard about them from Shannon, but I wanted to put dates here as a reminder. The ELD course has been going on monthly since November (free clock hours if you attend at least three!), and the translanguaging course began last month (25 spaces available, talk to Shannon if you're still interested!). Thank you to all who are taking advantage of this PD - you learned in last week's bulletin just how many of our students are English Language Learners (hint: more than 1 out of 3!), and these strategies benefit ALL learners! Thanks to Shannon for her leadership in this learning!

    ELD course (vocabulary, Visuals, sentence Frames):

    Feb 13th

    March 5th

    April 17th

    May 14th

    June 5th


    Feb 13th

    March 13th

    March 27th

    *If missed, there will be a choice course in May as well.

In closing . . .

Zaretta Hammond is the author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain:

Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Last year, many of us read Hammond's book, and in staff meetings and learning time, we explored some important concepts from her work that is relevant to our very diverse population at Cordata.

  • shallow culture and deep culture - what does it really mean to be responsive to our students' culture?
  • individualism and collectivism - how do the cultural norms of the dominant culture (that many of us grew up immersed in) differ from the cultural norms of many of our children who are growing up in non-dominant culture? What can we learn from a collectivist understanding of the world?
  • Building learning partnerships - how do we set up communities of learning in which children feel safe, and the knowledge they bring is valued?
  • Building intellective capacity - how do we support our students in being information processors?

Take a look at this three minute video of Zaretta Hammond in an online interview. It is an excellent reminder of the connections between our deep dive into Social Emotional Learning over the past three years, and a Culturally Responsive approach to teaching and learning that meets the needs of diverse learners.