Weekly Memo: April 4th-April 8th

"Overcoming Mediocrity & Redefining Excellence"

Principal Stewart's Message:

Theme of the Week: IRON SHARPENS IRON...

When we encounter difficult situations, we can be tempted to wonder if we are on the right path for our lives or if it is the right fit. And yes, sometimes we make poor choices that get us off course. But if our hearts are following after our Divine Purpose, if we’re determined to stay in faith and prioritize what should come first in life and work, we can be confident that we are right where you are supposed to be!

We might say, “That couldn’t be right. I’m uncomfortable. Somebody isn’t treating me right.” Every challenge that comes into our lives has a divine purpose for it. Truly, nothing in life happens to us; it happens for us. It takes those difficult things to grow us and stretch us and take us to another level. Remember, our steps are ordered and nothing happens by chance. Stay in faith, keep a good attitude, and be lead by your Spirit into the good plan that is destined for you!

One of the best things I’ve learned is that people are not brought into our lives so that we can make them just like us. We are all made uniquely so that we can sharpen one another and cause each other to rise up higher in life.

Instructional Coach Barrow's Message:

  • Due to the New York State Common Core State Exam Teacher Clinic and Common Planning is suspended.
  • The winner of the Biggest Loser Challenge will be announced In Morning Meeting by Ms. Constantine.
  • Grade Two will administer the NY ELA & Math Rehearsal Mock Examination on Monday and Friday respectively from 8:45am to 10:30am.
  • All Teachers must cover all instructional evidence in their classrooms no later than 3pm and thoroughly read and internalize the Teacher Direction Guide.
  • Desks must be in test formation by 3pm as well.
  • A testing compliance walk through will be performed by Ms. Barrow and Ms. Z. Stewart at 4:15pm.

School-Wide Instructional Expectations using Teach Like A Champion 2.0:

Note of Clarity: Implementation of the techniques identified last week should have begun in September 2015 unless you are new to Team New Hope. Here is a TLaC doc for "Dummies": https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnQXNBc1p3eHh2ZTQ to support efficient knowledge of each technique.

Chapter 6: Pacing (week of March 28th)

  • Change the Pace
  • Brighten Lines
  • All Hands
  • Work the Clock
  • Every Minute Matters
Chapter 7: Building Ratio Through Questioning (week of April 4th)
  • Wait Time
  • Cold Call
  • Call & Response
  • Break It Down
  • Pepper
Chapter 9: Building Ratio Through Discussion (week of April 11th)
  • Habits of Discussion
  • Turn & Talk
  • Batch Process

The Reflection & Practice at the conclusion of the chapters are due on the following dates and must be completed independently in your respective folder via Google Doc: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnbzdSU1NuRDFfMTQ

  1. Chapter 6: Pacing (Wednesday, April 6th)
  2. Chapter 7: Building Ratio Through Questioning (Wednesday, April 13th)
  3. Chapter 9: Building Ratio Through Discussion (Wednesday, April 20th)

The expectation is that BY (not on) Monday, May 2, 2016 all Techniques are fully implemented school-wide. Please creatively plan both within and across grade teams. Here is an example from Ms. Brady which is in draft form but exemplary: https://drive.google.com/open?id=13oT4Nn48uTZjSK2srP7bOSxC2l5bBpj0MapW3N_CkZo

Classroom Buddies Assignment & Expectations:

Team Alpha,

You were sent an email requesting you become a Classroom Environment Buddy because your ability to maintain a rich print, well organized, and highly structured classroom for learning has earned you the privilege to support a colleague in the area of Classroom Environment.

The foci will be:

  1. Visible and organized anchor charts
  2. Interactive word walls
  3. current student work
  4. organized and inviting classroom librairies
  5. organization of physical space
  6. Classroom Management Corner (voice check, SLANT, HALL etc)
  7. Technology Center/Access to Resources

Each week should focus on one or more of the following listed above. In the Buddy System you should conduct classroom walkthroughs together of your classroom and others to identify a model area. In turn, please partner to ensure the task is completed by week's end. To date, I have only received feedback from 2 buddies.

The Buddy Systems are as follow:

  1. Cheng/Chin & Watson
  2. Harry/Brady & Giarrizzo & Morrison
  3. Leroy/Nelson& Fynes
  4. O'Lewis/Saunders & Carter
  5. Lacroix/Avalon & Christian & Sterling
  6. Principal Stewart & Watts/Daniels

Ms. Barrow will work with you all to support your partnerships beginning Monday, April 4th but feel free to be proactive. Hosting Buddies will be provided with a list of perks to choose from including but not limited to copying/printing passes...

TEAM PLANNING FOCI: April 4, 2016-May 13, 2016

During Team Planning from April 4,, 2016-May 13, 2016, the expectation is that you will work collaboratively to ensure that the entire grade team has a thorough understanding of the following critical components:

  1. Student Engagement & Classroom Environment: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnSzNCd3FzQ05lR2c
  2. Understanding the Danielson Evaluation Process: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnWmw0Nlc2V0M1ZDA
  3. SUNY Renewal Benchmarks (responding to questions & providing supporting artifacts): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EMQo4kodoW63yQToLlRnDByExbY4ft6H6V1p8Zwt6V8

Point of Clarification: Each grade team is responsible for creating a Google Sheet with responses to the SUNY Renewal Benchmark questions and listing the artifacts to support the responses. Grade Team interviews will be conducted the week of April 18th during Team Planning.

Core Knowledge Unit & Lesson Planning

Each Grade Team is required to design a coherent 6 week Thematic Unit using all components of Core Knowledge. The plan is due Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Instruction begins Monday, May 2, 2016 and ends Friday, June 10, 2016. The grade team leads are as follow:

Kindergarten: Ms. Cheng

First Grade: Ms. Leroy

Second Grade: Carter

Third Grade: Ms. Giarrizzo

Fourth Grade: Ms. Hargrove

Fifth Grade: Ms. Lujan

A Leads meeting will be held on every Friday with Principal Stewart and/or Ms. Barrow in the Conference Room from 7:30am-8:30am. Please bring the Core Knowledge resources below.

Core Knowledge Resources:

  1. Using Question Stems to Enhance Rigor & Student Engagement Professional Development PPT: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnMVFiZWlXWFJkLXJ2MmdkS21xSC1pWnZWYWZR
  2. http://www.coreknowledge.org/lesson-plans
  3. http://www.coreknowledge.org/mimik/mimik_live_data/view.php?id=1833&record_id=269
  4. Text Resources: Distributed to K-5 Teachers
  5. Art Resources: Distributed to Ms. Gautier (request a copy from her if needed)
  6. Music Resources: Distributed to Mr. Romero (Ms. Romero kindly download if possible and share with respective teachers)
  7. Ready ELA Instruction Unit of Focus
  8. Ready Math Problem Solving or Instruction Unit of Focus

Monday, April 4th, 2016

FINAL BULLETIN BOARD EXTENSION: Revised Bulletin Boards Due. Feedback will be provided. For revised boards, a grade team walkthrough using the Common Core Writing Standards and the Standards Based Bulletin Board Rubric must be used as the basis for providing feedback.

  • Plan for scholars not attending the K-2 Extended Learning Experiences Tuesday-Thursday should be submitted to Ms. Barrow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016:

  • K-2 Common Planning - CANCELLED. All K-2 scholars will be on an Extended Learning Experience.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016:

  • All K-2 scholars will be on an Extended Learning Experience.
  • Teach Like A Champion 2.0 Reflective & Practice Assignment Due

Thursday, April 2, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016

  • Core Knowledge Leads Meeting 7:30am-8:30am in the Conference Room.
  • Walk-through Feedback provided using the Classroom Environment & Student Engagement Rubric: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnSzNCd3FzQ05lR2c
  • 2nd Grade Scholars will be administered the NY Math Rehearsal Mock Exam Book 1
  • All scholars should have been administered the iReady ELA & Math Diagnostic Assessments by Friday, April 8th. A copy of their detailed report should be sent to families and submitted to Principal Stewart.

Attendance & Dismissal Procedure Updates


  • All teachers should pick up attendance folders in the main office by 7:45am. Ms. Frankie will pickup completed attendance sheets by 9am. Remember to complete: 1) Teacher Signature, 2) Bubble Attendance Taken, and 3) double check ATTD in case students marked absence show up late.



  1. NYS Math Exam: April 13th-15th. Saturday Academy & After School Test Readiness continues.
  2. K-2 Formal Observation Reflective Questions Responses Due by COB. Please upload in the following folder on Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnNjk1RVBSNFNuT2c using the following form: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YSMTx6RONjwH2Y9Fk2EQ_j__ZPiony41aIMRFDo8Lzo. PLEASE MAKE A COPY. DO NOT TYPE IN ORIGINAL DOC.
  3. Effective Immediately, all teachers who do not submit their lesson plans for ALL content areas will have mandatory lesson planning times from 4:30-5:30 on Tuesdays and Thursday. Drafting plans for the week to come beginning on Wednesday will help with time management. Please do not wait till Sunday...
  4. Teachers bulletin boards who have been identified by Ms. Stewart as below grade level were required to have updated bulletin boards completed by Monday, March 28, 2016. An extension has been granted until Monday, April 4th by COB..
  5. Interactive notebooks with tiered vocabulary is vital to comprehension. Checkout this article: http://achievethecore.org/content/upload/Liben_Vocabulary_Article.pdf
  6. For scholars demonstrating academic & social behaviors that gets in the way of their learning the following Child Study Referral Form https://drive.google.com/open?id=1y6rvzA-q8HOb_ALUARn7nlxZHs5EbVuPNnLMxHcAMiw. In addition, the Classroom Intervention Referral Sheet must be completed: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1maeu39w2RlSw0qtrWNk2GwvcYNSA1xCTNj3shvPPQrw
  7. Please use the following document during Team Planning to begin studying and understanding the ELA correlation across grades:https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5hvcxjxlctnbC1xNmQtb1ZoeTA
  8. CSI Visit: May 18, 2016 & May 19, 2016