Monday Memo

January 18th - 22nd

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. -Japanese Proverb


The vast majority of the time, if I include a video in the newsletter, it is for learning and/or inspiration. This week, and for a few more weeks to come, videos will only serve to give you a good laugh. Much like many of you, I saw the 'apparently' kid a while back and enjoyed his interview on the news. What I didn't know is that Ellen has since sent him all over the place and he is still just as funny in interviews. If you have already seen these, I apologize for not being more current on pop culture. If you haven't and you have the time to watch them, I hope you enjoy Noah as much as I do.

Just in case you haven't already noticed, we have a slight change to our master calendar. Originally, we had scheduled a faculty meeting for after school on Wednesay, January 20th and nothing scheduled for January 27th. However, due to a scheduling conflict with the presenter, we needed to swap those weeks. So now, we will not have a meeting this Wednesday, but we will have a faculty meeting next Wednesday. This change is reflected in the calendar below.

As we continue to pray for The Prugh Family, count your blessings and make today count!


Ellen Meets the ‘Apparently’ Kid, Part 1


Teacher Scales for Reflective Practice

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Jon Gordon's 20 Tips for a Positive New Year (6-10)

6. Choose faith instead of fear. Faith turns adversities and dead-ends into detours to a better outcome than you thought possible. {Tweet This}

7. Don't chase dollars or success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships and success will find you. {Tweet This}

8. Get more sleep. You can't replace sleep with a double latte.

9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in your purpose, people and the positive present moment.

10. Build your life and career with the 3 greatest success strategies of all. Love, Serve and Care.


Fund For Teachers

Fund for Teachers provides educators, possessing a broad vision of what it means to teach and learn, the resources needed to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. FFT grants are used for an unlimited variety of projects; all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students and their school communities.


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Texas ASCD is accepting proposal submissions for 90 minute Innovative Highlight sessions at our ignite16 conference! Don't miss the opportunity to share your talents and insight at this exciting professional learning event. This year's conference will be held June 13-15, 2016 at the Irving Convention Center in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Texas ASCD's ignite16 is a conference focused on transforming curriculum with technology. This popular conference is unique in that attendees leave sessions with end products - something they can take with them, to implement or apply in their districts or classrooms. Attendees of the conference choose sessions that cover all interest-areas of education.

When submitting a proposal, please keep in mind that attendees will come with their own devices and will be leaving your session with a product or program to implement/apply in the 2016-2017 school year. Please make sure to indicate what your end product is in your proposal. This year's strands/pathways include:

• Reaching All Learners

• Engaging the Learner

• Advancing Literacy

• Leading Digital Teaching and Learning

Click here to submit your proposal by Leap Day - February 29, 2016.

Proposals will be reviewed by a program committee and the presenters will be notified of the committee's decision before April 30, 2016.


Warm-Up Wednesdays

Each January, we sell Warm-Up Wednesday passes to benefit Special Olympics. The passes are sold for five dollars each. These passes are only good during the month of January. If you would like to purchase a pass, you may buy them from Donna.


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Important MAP Info for 2nd - 5th Grade Teachers

Rather than utilizing an open Wednesday afternoon for MAP training, Michelle has created super short informational videos that you can watch on your own. Watching all of the videos will take you about ten minutes, but they contain valuable information. Getting this information to you is a district expectation, and Michelle has gone out of her way to respect your time and is happy to answer questions that you may have.

Because the videos are so short, if you haven't watched them already, I ask that everyone takes care of this by the EOD on Friday, January 22nd. In order to document our compliance, once you have viewed all of the videos, please utilize this link to verify completion.

MAP Assessment Overview:

Class Report:

Learning Continuum Overview:

Summary with Quadrant Report:


McGowen Dance

On February 5th, we will be hosing our annual dance. PTA is decorating for us and wants to use the theme, "Enchantment Under the Sea" to align with their "Back to the Future" theme they have used this year. Like always, they have gone over the top in planning for this and it should be very exciting for the students. Given that the dance in the movie was set in the 50s, we are calling it a sock hop and encouraging the students to dress accordingly. The expectation is for every teacher to work a 30 minute shifts. Paras may also volunteer if they are still in need of comp hours, but must get approval for comp time through Donna. Below is a link to sign up. Please let me know if you have any questions.





Did you know that each week I give out jeans passes to those who are one of the top three participants on Shoparoo? I know that many of you have already joined, but if you haven't, it is not too late. Simply go to to create your account. If you use veft4467 as a referral code, McGowen will earn money for you just signing up. Please feel free to push this information out to your parents as well. Once you sign up, Shoparoo will give you a referral code for your parents to use when they sign up. Schools with just 40 supporters are earning an average of $1,000 every year.

Congratulations to Lhauren Chitwood and Jen McCartney for being in this week's top three!

Teacher of the Year Nominees

Congratulations to...

Valerie Larpenteur

Jen McCartney

Lori Petersen

Bonnie Taylor

Kristi Ward

These five fabulous people have been identified as teachers who exemplify:

  • Instructional Delivery/Improvement of Academic Performance
  • Campus-wide Involvement/Community Involvement
  • Professional Growth/Development
  • Management of Student Discipline
  • Professional Communication

Given that Bonnie Taylor was our Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014, she is not eligible to continue on in our voting process. However, I completely agree with her nomination and thought she deserved the recognition of being included on the list above.

Please utilize this link to cast your vote. Voting will remain open until 4:00pm on Thursday, January 21st.


Focus for 2015 - 2016

In order to help every child their personal best, McGowen teachers and staff will:

  • Develop a common language needed to become High Reliability School.
  • Develop an understanding and process for effective Professional Learning Communities.
  • Engage in collaborative team planning and lesson design to promote higher level thinking and student engagement.
  • Present lessons in such a way that students understand and can speak knowledgeably about posted learning and language targets.


Remind for Staff

I have created a Remind for our staff in order to send out just-in-time reminders, last minute notifications of jeans/warm-up days, and/or emergency info. If you haven't already, please click on the link below to join the group.


Happy Birthday!


Mary Ann Miller - 7th

Laura Garro - 10th

Martha Gordon - 15th

Lisa Pedersen - 15th

Jean Possehl - 16th

Holly Bianchetta - 19th

Stacie Bullock - 19th

Krystina Ticehurst - 24th



  • JL- Thank you for caring and being concerned about my health.-Laura G.
  • Sifferman and Daniel-Thank you for taking my kiddos and making me go to the doctor-Laura G.
  • 5th Grade – Thank you for your perseverance! Your ability to take each challenge in stride has been amazing! - Michelle C.
  • SPED team – Thank you for your flexibility and tireless dedication! - Michelle C.
  • Relle – You ROCK! This campus is what it is because of people like you! - Michelle C.
  • K&1 – Thank you for just listening and always willing to do whatever it takes! - Michelle C.
  • Thank you to everyone for all the work you put into the budget. Donna, we are all so grateful for all you do when it comes to keeping our campus in great “balance”! - Michelle C.
  • Donna & Pebbles – I can’t thank you enough for all you tackled and managed upon your return. You both manage it all with such a positive and happy heart! WE ALL LOVE YOU BOTH and I don’t know what we would do without you! - Michelle C.
  • Stacie – You are amazing! Thank you for all you do each and every day! You are much appreciated!! - Michelle C.
  • Melanie – Thank you for all your hard work on the professional budget. I am grateful for all you do! - Michelle C.
  • JD and Tracey– Thank you for all the collaborative hours! Your dedication and determination is inspiring! - Michelle C.
  • Lynn – Thank you for all your guidance with the literacy library and the countless other ways you make our campus better! - Michelle C.
  • My Team - Simply put….“Thank you”! Your endless time and support make me want to be better each and every day! - Michelle C.
  • Trisha - Thank you for the fabulous decorations for the TL mtg on Monday! -JL
  • Lynn and Melanie - Thank you for your help in clearing out the lit llibrary on Tuesday. I really appreciate it! -JL
  • Melanie and Michelle - Many thanks for the extra help with budget decisions this year. -JL
  • Shiela - Thank you for keeping an eye on a special friend on Friday! -JL
  • Donna - Thank you for all of the time and energy you put into the budget behind the scenes. - JL
  • Barbara - Many thank to you for figuring out a way to make our plan work and making it look like it wasn't a big deal. -JL


Action Items

  • Submit MVM names by 8:00am Thursday, January 21st
  • Vote for Teacher of the Year by 4:00pm Thursday, January 21st
  • Watch MAP videos and sign off on the Google Doc by EOD Friday, January 22nd
  • Schedule assessments for open testing windows with Bonnie


McKinney ISD's Vision, Mission and Beliefs

Any time we have an idea, concern, solution and/or comment, this is the filter through which we should speak. Let's help each other live up to our vision, mission, and beliefs.


We are a cohesive, diverse community providing engaging learning experiences for all.

We will provide engaging learning experiences so students can become effective communicators, quality contributors and socially responsible citizens.

  • Partnerships between students, parents, community members and staff are foundational to educational success.
  • Positive school culture and a safe environment foster growth.
  • Everyone has inherent value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Learning is an active process requiring engaging tasks and engaging minds.
  • Relevant and authentic experiences ignite continuous, deeper learning.
  • Meaningful relationships enrich learning.
  • Confidence fuels risk taking and higher achievement.
  • Financial stewardship ensures a tomorrow for education.