Monday Morning Bearcub Brief

Volume CXXXI-23 March 2020

"Every CUB stepping up, reaching out, moving forward!"

Kleb Kudos

Hey Bearcub family, I hope you are doing well and have been keeping yourself and your family healthy during the COVID19 pandemic. Like I said last week in my video, the good news is that this week, while the building is closed, Kleb Intermediate is back to being open for business! While it isn't the same, I think there is something comforting in starting to create routines and see our Bearcubs, at least virtually. I have several kudos from before our impromptu break (which seems like years ago!) and then in the highlights I will talk a little about what to expect in the coming weeks. So let's take a look at some of the good things at Kleb:
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The Friday before Spring Break Kleb Intermediate’s application for PLC Model Campus was accepted, so we are now officially a PLC Model Campus!!! This accolade celebrates the hard work that our Professional Learning Communities have been doing for the past several years. This is a huge honor, and there are only nine middle schools of our size in the nation that have been selected as a Model Campus! Thank you to Assistant Principal, Ellen Hodge, for the many hours devoted to gathering data and applying for this accomplishment.

Three choirs from Kleb attended the UIL Concert and Sight Reading assessment the week before break and all three choirs received a sweepstakes rating from the judges on the panels. This is the highest rating a choir can achieve! Mrs. McDonald is so proud of their musicality, focus, and drive to always accomplish their best. Congratulations Kleb Choirs and thank you Mrs. McDonald for your dedication and always celebrating your student's progress!

Our third round of the IXL challenge is complete! Students were given 3 weeks to practice math skills relevant to their course and grade level through the interactive and self-paced IXL program. Over 150 students completed the challenge and were awarded snacks, Cub Cards for being Continuous Learners, and an entry into a raffle for a special treat. We can’t wait to have even more students participate in our next round! Students are always encouraged to practice their skills through IXL at home to gain a better understanding of their course, or, to enhance their math knowledge in concepts beyond their current course.

The week of March 2-6 was Educational Diagnostician Week. Ms. Shartle and Ms. Hewes, Kleb's diagnosticians, work tirelessly with students, parents, and teachers to help ensure that our special education students are provided the most appropriate programs. They rigorously analyze data and care for the whole learner. Thank you both for all that you do for Kleb Intermediate.

Youth Art Month (YAM) is celebrated during the month of March across the United States to recognize and promote school art programs. The focus is to develop educational experiences in problem solving, creativity, observation, and communication.


One of Texas YAM celebrations includes an exhibit in the State Capitol in Austin of the top 100 premier works of art across the state. A work of art by one of Kleb’s Bear Cubs, Evie Berend, has been selected as one of the 100 works exhibited in the State Capitol. Congratulations to Evie and her art teacher, Dr. Fridley Hereford!

Finally, I know it isn't technically before the break, but I would like to celebrate our campus nurse, Michelle Manning and her willingness to jump in and initiate our medicine return last Friday for our Bearcubs with medical needs. She is just one example of the many, many staff who are flexibly working in ways they never have before to make sure our students' needs continue to be met. Thank you so much for all you do for our kids, Nurse Manning!

Huggins Highlights

Parents, thank you so much for partnering with us to ensure your students learning continues! Hopefully you have been able to keep up with the updates from Klein ISD for the last few weeks, but if not, here are the Cliff's Notes version to get you up to speed:


Last week (3/16-20) schools were technically closed--an extension of spring break--while the district formulated a plan to continue learning virtual to ensure social distancing. Resources were provided by the district and some teachers in order to help give our kids something to do and maintain some sense of normal.


This week (3/23-27) the buildings are closed but school is up and running virtually. Curriculum this week is provided by the district through kisd.us/athomelearning. This should go live to the community at some point Sunday evening (if you are an employee in the district you already have access at this time). The curriculum for the week includes the four core content areas only, but some teachers will still give supplemental resources as a convenience to you (like our fabulous PE department--my flipgrid is still in the works, Coach!) It is also mostly review of standards from right before break...so if your kids say they've done it before, that may be true, but they'll need that skills review before the next week.


Next week (3/30-4/3) students will begin coursework over the essential standards we have not yet covered through Schoology. They will access this work just like they did during the school day before the shutdown--by going to their teacher's schoology page. This week they will have work in all subjects, not just the core academic areas.


The district has given a general guideline for you as to how to give your kids some structure to their day:

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This schedule goes by overall minutes rather than times of the day so that it can be flexible for your family's needs. I have not personally used the intermediate schedule because my personal kiddos are 7, 9 and 11, but as soon as I saw the elementary schedule I tried it with them at the end of last week and it works well for our family, even with me balancing work-at-home and Huggins Homeschool.


Need help with your technology? The district has a plan! Let your needs be known at kisd.us/familytechsupport

No internet at home? Comcast is providing free internet. Click here for details.


The Klein ISD page dedicated to the pandemic situation has lots of helpful information as well, such as technology delivery for those without devices, mental health resources, meal pickup schedules and much more. You don't have to search through your email to find everything, the updates are all housed at kleinisd.net/COVID19. If you have any questions or concerns above the campus level, there is also a link on that site to communicate your concerns directly. (It really does work--I have used the link to ask questions and gotten a response within 24 hours).


Finally, as staff starts to communicate with you, we will be having to reach out using our personal communication devices in some instances. This means that there is a good chance that if you get a call from a blocked number, it is one of our staff trying to get in touch with you. I know this is inconvenient in the day and age of robocall spam, but it is the best plan we have, so consider answering blocked numbers while the building is closed. If you need to get in touch with a staff member, email is by far the easiest. However, staff will have remote access to check voicemail, so you may still leave a message for them at their school number.


Staff, thank you so much for your continued positive attitude and willingness to meet the needs of our students--even when it seems crazy in the outside world! Hopefully you have been able to keep up with the staff updates, but (along with the info for parents above) here are the main points you need to know:


Building access: everyone did a great job of getting what they needed on Friday! Mrs. Lammers said everyone had a positive attitude and worked to be mindful of the social distancing protocols. At this time, the buildings are now closed. Very closed. KPD is monitoring access and they are taking the closure very seriously...no one should enter without my express consent, and you are required to have administrative escort. That being said, if you have something ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to student learning that you missed during Friday pickup, let me know and I can work with you to come up with a way to retrieve those items.


Staff expectations: professional staff (those that hold certifications and are on a contract) were communicated as follows:

  • Continue to respond to emails within 24 hours.
  • Check work voicemail daily and respond as needed (instructions available here)
  • Familiarize yourself with virtual meeting software and online learning tools as needed https://kisd.us/meetvirtually Our campus will be largely using Zoom.
  • Be available for virtual meetings and to answer student/parent/employee questions during regular operating hours.
  • Follow specific guidelines and expectations from your supervisor.
  • All other duties as assigned by your principal/supervisor.


So what does that look like? We will talk about specifics at our faculty meeting tomorrow for all professional staff. I want to remain flexible, since I know many of you, like me, are balancing increased responsibilities at home, but here are some of the basics. During the building closures:


  • We will have a weekly faculty meeting on Mondays at 10am. These will be recorded in the event of an emergency, but if you are not going to join the Zoom meeting I need to know (Amanda is taking attendance for me)
  • The leadership team will meet weekly on Tuesdays at 10am. We will continue to house our agendas on the Kleb dashboard (they aren't secret meetings!) and if you have questions or concerns you would like us to work through for our campus, let me know.
  • PLC's will be expected to continue to meet at least once per week. Collaborate with your PLC to decide what time is best for your team...it does not have to be during normal operating hours, but your admin contact needs to be invited and so do I.
  • Teachers should have some sort of system for touching base with all of their students at least once a week to check on them and see how they are making progress in the curriculum.
  • Teachers should have some sort of "office hours" availability for students and parents to be able to ask questions and get help.

I know those last two bullet points are somewhat nebulous, but the district is giving us flexibility on how we accomplish those items as a campus. We will talk on Monday about how this could possibly look.


Finally, I want you to continue looking for the positive in our kids and consider nominating some of our Bearcubs as Cub of the Week as you interact with them this week! You can access the form here or from our Kleb dashboard.


Non-exempt staff (secretarial staff, aides, paras, etc.), please continue to stand by as we get clarification on how we are allowed to incorporate you into our distance learning plan. Because of your hourly status, as of now I am required to log and get approved any official campus work you are doing. If you typically work closely with any of these invaluable people, you will have to be very mindful of how we use our paraprofessionals. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this and I will do the best I can to answer!


Thank you all again for being flexible and working hard with our parent community to help our Bearcubs both academically and social/emotionally. This could be a scary time for them, and helping them process and giving them a sense of routine are the best thing we can do for them!

Cubs of the Week

Teacher of the Week--Don Malone--Science Teacher

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I am nominating Don Malone for kindness and being an understanding citizen because he works hard to build relationships with his students and supports those relationships by being intentional through the conversations he has and by regularly attending sporting/extracurricular events to cheer his students on.


-Kaci Mallett
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Staff Spotlight --Amy Smith-- PHS Teacher

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The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why~ Mark Twain

Where did you grow up?

Near Pearland, Texas in Southeast Houston- Sagemont.


How many years have you been in education?

2.5 years


Where did you go to school?

I went to Dobie High School, San Jacinto College and Sam Houston State University


What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?

I can type about 75 WPM with less than 1% error.


What are you really good at, but kind of embarrassed that you are good at it?

I'm a good singer but don't really like doing it in public.


If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken Gnocci Soup from Olive Garden.


If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?

Sleeping- I'm pretty good at that! :)


Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? Why?

Reese Witherspoon. I tend to have a "Legally Blonde" personality sometimes but deep down I'm really clever and intelligent.


If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join? Why?

I just love George Strait. I'd sing with him all day long. He's an amazing artist and I love his music.

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Next Year's Calendar

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Have a great week, Bearcubs!

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