the RAH

Dec 5-9, 2016

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Tower Time

Just a friendly reminder to regularly finalize your observations and other feedback entered in Tower. After you release an observation or feedback to an educator, they have a week to review the feedback and reply. After that point you are free to finalize the data, which is the last step. A recommended best practice is to schedule weekly or bi-weekly “Tower Finalize Time” on your Outlook calendar. To gauge where you are with your In Progress vs Finalized data, go to the Reports tab and click on Observation Count by Educator.

Years of Experience - Minimum data points

1-2 years - 8

3-5 years - 5

Tenured on cycle - 4

Tenured off cycle - 2

4 Things We Need to Always Remember in Education

There are some things that we always need to remember that can help us navigate the complexities of the work that we do as educators. Great read!

from the Mayor-

Based on your input at the last Elementary Learning meeting, below are the DRAFT definitions of Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction. Please be ready to share your thoughts about these at the next Elementary Learning meeting:

Tier 1 Definition: Core instruction that is researched based, data driven, and differentiated to meet the needs of the majority of students.

Tier 2 Definition: Instruction that addresses specific individual needs. This instruction is individualized and different for all students.

During my rounding for the next few weeks, I’m only going to visit the sites whose evaluations fall on my “to do” list. My first round focused on collecting Tower information on growth plan indicators. The focus of my next rounding will be on Standards 1.1, 1.2 and 2.1.

For year three Ignite principals, here is a quick read for your teachers about redesigning learning spaces.

Here is a list of the Top 30 educators to follow on Twitter.

Pedagogy Trumps Curriculum

"Think about what we could do in schools if we would have more conversations and learning focused on a deeper and shared understanding of desired learning environments and pedagogy rather than the programs or curriculum that are to be implemented."

Secretary Work Calendar

There has been some recent question around the Secretary Work Calendar. Some false assumption was made around being able to choose between Aug 11 or Jan 3, as this was an option for SPLS as a teacher contract day. This is not an option for secretaries; both August 11 AND January 3 are required as paid work days for secretaries. Thank you for clarifying this with your secretary.

PTA Council Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 7th, 9:15pm

2814 North Fremont Avenue

Springfield, MO

SPED Update - from Amy Phipps

Hiring Reminder: The special education office processes all action forms for special education staff. Please make sure you notify Rachel Howard when an employee resigns or when you have selected a candidate for a vacant position. Feel free to copy me when you notify Leslie of any personnel changes.

New Process – Student Records: Last November the Special Education Office merged student records and eliminated the third copy housed in the SPED Office. Our next task was to work with the Records Office to develop processes for how we will maintain inactive student files. We will be sharing this information through the following methods: Missy Lucas and Ann White will be sharing detailed information with your secretary/registrar in the coming weeks, the process will be discussed during the SPED Principals’ Cadre on the 16th, and further information will be shared with principals via email. If you have questions after reviewing the information, please don’t hesitate to contact Amy Phipps or Missy Lucas.

The Hubb's Happy Dance

Hubb's Happy Dance

Hour of Code - Dec 5 -11

Monday, Dec. 5th, 8am to Friday, Dec. 9th, 3pm


Are any of your classrooms participating in the Hour of Code during this designated week? Please encourage and share experiences on Twitter by using #HourofCode. Find out more at or visiting

from J-

Kelly Services/Substitute Staffing: Lisa Turner has been having a weekly call with Kelly Services to discuss issues that are occurring with substitute requests. Here is a current update:

1. They have 23 new substitutes going through orientation today.
2. Effective on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, all of our calls will continue to go through the 800# but will be routed to the local Springfield team (our two reps are Roxanna and Jennifer – both have worked on our account for a while). If both are on another call, the caller will receive their voicemail and they will return the call promptly.
3. A new Springfield manager has been hired and will also return voicemail rollover calls.
4. Hours of coverage will continue to be 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; however, messages will continue to be picked up and worked throughout the evening.
5. They have also hired two additional employees to handle the SPS call/request load on Fridays – this is the busiest day.

I appreciate Lisa's work to resolve some recent concerns. I know first-hand how difficult it is to cover staffing, at all levels, when no one is available or interested in picking up the job. That is one side of this coin. The other side of this coin falls upon us: What is the customer service we are providing to substitute employees? I have quite the occasion to talk to substitute staff. I regularly ask them about their experience. Most are great - they appreciate the opportunity, they love students, they love teaching, they care, and they try. Most appreciate being left with plans and being treated as professionals (vs being left a series of movies for the day). Knowing we couldn't do our work without them, consider the starter list of questions below, and then add what you believe is necessary for them to be successful, to help them help students be successful, and create conditions for a return opportunity.

*Do you make it a point to know there is a substitute in the building, seek them out, and welcome them to your school?

*Does a member of the grade or content level team (if appropriate), introduce, welcome, and offer assistance?

*Are plans updated from teacher, that besides updated content, include emergency plans and who to call information?

*Do you have a mid-day check-in or end-of-day check-out with you?

*...add your thoughts here...

I'm aware there is the occasional substitute that doesn't work out, and there is a process for those situations. While it's easy to focus on those negatives, please invest more on the positive by creating conditions and opportunities for substitute staff who support us in our teaching & learning endeavors.

Make it a great week! Let me know how I can support you-

only to reinforce the stereotyping... :)

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