the Winskill Weekly

Stronger Together. Better Together.

It Matters

What I am about to say isn't anything new, it isn't anything that you haven't heard me say before, and it won't be the last time you will hear me express this belief: What we do matters.

I often tell children that we all have Super Powers. Like Superman, Spiderman, the Joker, or Lex Luther, we can choose to use our gifts for good or evil. Whichever we choose, a lasting impression will be left upon the hearts of the children we teach.

I received a note from the mother of a student that I taught many, many years ago, in honor of his college graduation. Pete was a member of my first-second grade multiage classroom, which meant that I had him first as a Younger, and then again the second year as an Older. Two years together really lets you get to know a child and his/her needs, strengths, and personality. Pete was an extremely bright child, inquisitive and interested in everything. He was especially talented in the area of math, which is not a strength of mine. I had to really challenge myself in order to challenge Pete. This often meant admitting my own weakness to others as I searched out resources to help me meet his needs. I remember worrying if I was actually contributing anything of value to this incredibly gifted child's education. (This was long before virtual classes, flipped classrooms, or Google.)

On May 1, Pete graduated from Georgia Tech with a Master's Degree in Engineering. (He earned his undergrad AND master's degrees in four years.) Next month, Pete will begin working for Boeing, after having had an internship with the company last summer. He just turned 22. The following is an excerpt of the note I received from his mom. I share this not to pat myself on the back, or to brag, but rather as an illustration of how while we may never know if what we are doing is actually making a difference, we must always operate under the assumption that it is.

"You were instrumental in helping Pete develop his writing and critical thinking skills. The multiage class gave him experience in leadership and friendship. His friendship with _____ was especially powerful and has played an important role in his life. Your encouraging nature helped nurture that special friendship and his growth as a learner and a friend. The entire year/years in multiage under your leadership helped to teach Pete to be part of the learning process for others too. A very important skill to learn- why be smart if can't communicate it or pass that knowledge on to others? Or use your talents to help someone else gain skills and grow in understanding? It was especially good that you had each student reflect on his/her work and ask themselves if there was more they could do, more for them to learn. This helped Pete maintain a higher standard- that he shouldn't expect to just get away with putting forth minimal effort to complete an assignment. It helped him become a more teachable and confident young man. All of those were important building blocks for his academic success in higher grades. Thank you."

I am not ashamed to say that I cried when I read this. I cannot take credit for Pete's success- he was not only born with incredible intelligence, but he was also blessed to have parents who guided, nurtured, and supported the development of his gifts. But to think that I may have played even a small part of the development of his self-confidence and his ability to communicate with others, to share his gifts? Isn't that why many of us went into education? To make a difference? To matter in the life of a child? We don't expect them to come back and thank us, but when they do...

As the school year winds down and our students get antsy, both from the anticipation of summer and the anxiety that comes with saying goodbye to all that is safe and familiar, please remember that you have made a difference in their lives. Your words, your smiles, your actions have had an impact on the children of our school. They may not show you today, but know it to be true none-the-less. And if one of those students should come back at some point in the future to let you know how important you were in their life, enjoy that moment. You earned it.

#HighFives & #Fistbumps

From Danielle: "I would like to thank Jocelyn for her 2 years at Winskill. She is a great teacher, dedicated to her students and co-workers, always has a positive attitude and is a wonderful friend. She is always there to lend a helpful hand or there to listen. I will truly miss her, but wish her the best in her next chapter!"

#Highfives to everyone who played a part in making the Race for Education 5K such a huge success! We surpassed our goal of raising $5,000 and had incredible participation on the part of both students and staff. A special #Fistbump to Missy for all of the work that she put into organizing this special event. Thank you to everyone who stood on corners or along the sidewalk, cheering our runners/walkers onward. #Kudos to Patty for helping to organize and create the signs posted around the route, as well as for the sidewalk art she created in the wee hours of the morning! #Highfives to Zach and Sarah for helping our students train in preparation for their 5K! An event like this can only be done with the efforts and support of everyone- so thank you, EVERYONE!

#Fistbumps to Jody and Kim for their part in organizing Wednesday's retirement celebration at Holiday Gardens. While Winskill did not have any retirees to honor, we were well represented Wednesday night. It was truly incredible to see so many retired staff members come back to celebrate their former colleagues.

#Highfives and #Fistbumps to all of the grade level teams for your collaborative efforts in putting together our preliminary class lists. It was really an honor to witness the conversations being held within each grade level- such a real life demonstration of how well you know your students. Not just the students in your class, but across each grade level. It was also touching to hear the concern many held towards their colleagues- understanding the impact that certain combination of students needs can have on a teacher and working to lessen that impact as much as possible. We have now completed all grade levels' initial lists and the specials team & I are preparing to meet to look them over.

This week:

6/01/2015 Monday

All School PBIS Celebrational Recess and Picnic

3rd Grade Bowling Trip @1:00

3-5 RtI Tina's Room (BK-Roesch; PO, KK- Addison; SH-Enloe )

6/02/2015 Tuesday

4K Book Give-away

5th & 6th grade Track & Field Day

First Grade to Schreiner's Park 9:00-1:00

2nd Grade to Memorial Park 11:15-2:45.

Mrs. Whitford's Annual Pig Kissing Ceremony with First Grade- 2:15

Schreiner Memorial Library Visits:
8:30 First Kindergarten
8:45 4K/ECE am group
9:00 Third Grade
9:15 Second Grade
9:30 Kindergarten

12:45 4K/ECE pm group

6/03/2015 Wednesday

K-5 Book Give-away ("YOU get a book and YOU get a book!"

6/04/2015 Thursday

June 4: (No specials)

End of Year Bonus Time:

8:15-9:45 4K-2 grade students to the gym; 4K assistants , Sarah, Bev, Jodi, Annie, and Leah to supervise, giving all 4K- 2nd grade teachers & Carrie time to work.

10:00-11:30 3rd-5th grade students to the gym: Patty, Zach, Tina, and Leah to supervise, giving all 3-5 teachers, Jean, Chas, & Miranda time to work.

**Special Education assistants should plan to come to the gym with the students they assist. (Chris and Micki will be working to close out the library.)

(classes will begin being called down at 1:00)

End of the Year Assembly

  • That’s Me- Year in Review
  • Winskill Video
  • FOW Award Presentation-SB fundraising award
  • FOW 5K Presentation
  • Lip Sync Battle- Winskill Style

Exit Gym for All School Recess- all staff should plan to join us outside for this final farewell fun!

*As students leave the gym through the doors to the playground, they should step to the side to create a "tunnel" for the 5th graders to travel through as a final farewell. 5th graders will be called out last and will then travel through the "tunnel" to the playground and their last recess as a Winskill Student.

*Students will line up and return to classrooms by 2:15

(Teachers have asked to have their students for the final hour of the day.)

All staff are invited to line up along the sidewalk and wave goodbye to the students as their buses pull away!

6/05/2015 Friday- Last Day for Certified Staff

Staff Work Day

*Powerschool grades are due by 8:00 am on Friday, June 5 This includes the "P" for the 4k-3 classes. Kim will deliver 4th & 5th grade report cards to you Friday morning.

Before you leave on Friday:

-Copy of report card along with any assessments need to be put in student CUM folder.

-Completed Assessment Folders for 4K-3 grade students (Pink/blue from last year also placed inside previous grade level's pocket)

-Folded report card along with any assessments, reports, notes need to be turned in to the office for mailing. (No envelopes please)

-Copy & label any 2nd parent mailing.

*Don't hesitate to ask for help or clarification, especially if this is your first End of Year at Winskill.

Teachscape Materials should be submitted by June 10, for both Summative and Supportive Year staff. Summative Year Staff, please notify Leah once you have done your final SUBMIT.

The cleaning crew will begin on Monday, June 9, beginning on the upper level at the far end by the library. Walls do NOT have to be cleared this year, but please pack up your classroom for the cleaning. EVERYTHING will be moved into the hallway as they prepare to clean/wax the floors, so please keep that in mind as you pack.

Thank you, Patty Francis, and everyone who helped make our awesome new shirts!

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Wonderful Opportunity

Winskill has been invited to participate in a special PBIS/Classroom Management Professional Development Program in conjunction with CESA 3 staff.

**A 3 day Classroom Management series has been scheduled for July 27th - 29th in the Dells. This training is free for the participating staff members.

Included in the program:

-3 Day training in the Dells (no charge to the 2 participating Winskill staff members)

- Provided approximately 6 hours of support to you as you implement the strategies.

-Attend the 1.5 day trainer session late fall. These dates will be determined once the registration process is completed

-Continued support given throughout the school year by members of the CESA 3 staff

**If you are interested in participating in this opportunity, please contact me immediately. I have been asked to respond to CESA 3 as soon as possible.