Tustumena Staff Newsletter

Week of December 3, 2012

From the Parent Newsletter:

The Turkey Bingo Night was a great success. This was my first experience with Turkey Bingo and I was impressed by the generosity of all the players as well as the level of competiveness. Our total profit on the night was over $700 which all goes to support school activities and projects through the PTO. Thank you to all who donated to and coordinated this event.

We have our largest fundraiser tomorrow, Saturday, December 1. The fun starts at 6pm. You do not have to present to win, but there are several prizes besides the $2500 Grand Prize at stake, so don’t miss the action. Our PTO also held a fundraiser/service project last week, a family portrait day, which went well. I would like to thank Mrs. Hayman for donating her photography skills.

Believe it or not, teachers are already thinking about assessments and report cards because the quarter ends in three weeks. For students, December 20 is the last day of the semester. Due to the holiday break, teachers will send report cards home during the week of January 14. This may be too late for bribing St. Nick, but remember parents can see how the kids are doing on Power School any time, so the Naughty and Nice list is available.

We will have a building level Spelling Bee on December 14th, so as you are helping your students with homework and projects, please hit the spelling lists hard the next couple of weeks.

Minutes from Staff meeting on 11/28/12

Did I forget anything?

We started the meeting with talking about report cards. More specifically, the quantifiable requirements/suggestions/guidelines of how many assessments each objective for the primary students makes for a reasonable and reliable measure of student progress. We found that we need a tighter, clearer vision provided by the district as well as skills in determining which pieces of student work should be recorded. If you look at the change matrix I provided earlier, you will see that if sufficient vision or skill building is not provided, people will feel confused and anxious. Does that about hit it? Of course if you don't have the resources to do what is expected, you will likely feel anger, and we want to avoid that, right;-).

We also decided on the Christmas Party. We will use the potluck time on December 21 for the party as well as the gift exchange. There is a $25 limit on gifts and the theme is fun. The gift exchange will follow the "Chinese Gift Exchange" tradition. Everyone who wants to participate brings a gift, we draw numbers for order of receiving them, and stealing is allowed. (We will go over all the rules before we actually start.) We will also be having the Reindeer Games on December 20th and this will be the day we have a "Dress up" contest. I am still not quite sure of what this will look like, but after hearing Dave won, and it was not his outer clothes that sealed it, I am a little scared, but still looking forward to it.

We will have a building spelling bee on December 14th and I will be registering us for a Geography Bee as well. I will publish the date for that.

Finally, we talked about the Soldotna area reconfiguration meeting I attended. As soon as the district has published the consistent talking points, I will pass those along. In the meantime, I have asked each wing of Tustumena (primary and intermediate) to nominate a teacher willing to attend a two hour meeting on January 10th (please note that I gave you the wrong date at the meeting, it is going to be January 10th at 9am) Thank you for being supportive, or at least not publicly flogging me, for volunteering teachers to be part of a meeting, I just believe wholeheartedly that teachers need to be highly involved in any change in instruction program.

Finally, reminder that the food drive ends December 20th, but the high school class that is picking up the bulk of the food will likely come a day or two earlier. I volunteer to bring anything that comes in the last few days to the Soldotna food bank myself.

Staff meeting agenda for 12-5-12

  • Update on Soldotna area school configuration discussion
  • Spelling Bee and Geo Bee information and clarification
  • Alert Now feedback
  • Free offer- I will grade a writing assignment ( I will bring it home at night like a real teacher even)
  • Brag about your family or a shining moment you are having this holiday season. (Only one grandchild story allowed per person)

Santa Claus is Coming to Kasilof! December 21, 5-7pm, Reindeer Games start at 4pm.