Monday Memo

September 7th - 11th

We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience. -John Dewey


MEF is coming to speak to us for a few minutes after school on Thursday. We will meet in the Learning Commons at 3:15pm and should be finished by 3:30pm. In order to thank you in advance for your flexibility and positivity, Tuesday, September 8th will be a free jeans day.

In addition to that calendar change, I need to notify you of one more slight change of plans. Initially, we had Wednesday, September 16th scheduled for Vertical Team meetings. However, the chairs of those teams will be in PLC training that day. Since we are converting Vertical Teams to Content PLCs, we will need some time to process that information and plan for what our PLCs will look like. Therefore, we are canceling the meeting scheduled on the 16th and bumping it to Wednesday, September 23rd. We hope that the advanced notice will help you plan accordingly without an inconvenience.

This weekend, Sylvia and I attended a funeral for the father of one of our students, and the experience revealed to me something that I feel compelled to share with you. I hope you don't mind reading the ramblings of my heart.

This student is new to McGowen this year. She is a precious girl, but someone we are just getting to know. Initially, we were not aware of the what was keeping her from attending school for a few days, but her mother explained in a note that was sent to school with the child when she returned. Naturally, her teachers have kept a watchful eye on her and are loving her as much as possible while trying to give her a place to escape and feel normal. Each time the teachers share with us how she is doing, it aligns with what we have seen when we look in on her. She appears to be a beautiful, happy girl who doesn't seem to have a care in the world. However, she is also fairly active, easily off task, and someone in need of frequent reminders of any given expectation.

Her behaviors mirror several who often get lumped into a "behavior issue" category. She is not one who intentionally crosses a line or intends to distract/disrupt others, but in spite of her precious smile, she could be one who could wear down and frustrate her teacher.

As I was listening to her sob in her mother's arms at the funeral, I couldn't help but think of how a child could possibly process and cope with losing her father, and the lasting impact that would have on her life. I thought about how she looked at school the days before and how nobody would have ever believed that she was the McGowen student who just lost a parent. Then it hit me. I began to think about the number of McGowen students who might be experiencing unimaginable tragedies in their own life, and we never know about it. I thought about the students coping in ways that misguide our interpretation of them and thus misguides our response to them, and I wondered how those responses coupled with their private tragedies influenced their path in life.

At the end of the day, what I realized is that we may never know the burdens weighing on the students who have been entrusted in our care, nor can we always explain/predict how the details of a someone's story influences our interactions with them. All I can do is work on being slow to assume, be mindful of my approach and respond in manner that communicates love and a genuine desire to work towards a more successful experience for everyone.

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



Teacher Scales for Reflective Practice

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MISD is Giving Back to the Community

Last week, Dr. McDaniel sent out a letter to the staff describing a new alternative to our previous tradition of solely supporting United Way. In that letter, he mentioned one option would be to support North Texas Giving Day on September 17th. While participation in this event is totally voluntary, I thought it would be a great event for McGowen to support with minimal effort on your part.

Here's my idea... On September 17th, by going through the North Texas Giving website, you may donate whatever amount you feel comfortable with donating to any organization you choose. After you have donated, we will take your picture with a sign reading something to the effect of "I supported North Texas Giving Day" and will have an additional option of you being able to publicize the charity of your choice. We will post your pictures periodically throughout the day on Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness for the day and/or your charitiy in hopes of encouraging our community to do the same.

If you are in need of some suggestions of local charities to support, I would be happy to suggest a few, or the North Texas Giving Day website has an extensive list as well.


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Compliance Trainings Must Be Completed By September 25th

The District is utilizing the SafeSchools Training system to provide and record safety and compliance training for all McKinney ISD staff. This school-focused training system is set up to email employees and record training completions eliminating the need to print completion certificates.



Tebo and Evans - I wanted to say THANK YOU to your administration and staff at McGowen. Our kids, Adalyn (Ms. Tebo's class) and Kallon (Ms. Evans class) just transferred to MISD. I told Ms. Evans, but Kallon has loved everyday of school. I read the email last night that was sent out from the 3rd grade team about the new approach they are implementing with the homework menu. I was ECSTATIC when I read the goal of this process. I work in Early Chilhood and can't express my gratitude with your school coming together to make learning more successful for the children. It's great to see how it changes the kids attitude about learning along with the teachers. Teachers work in education because they have a passion for kids and watching them develop. I see that in you as well, allowing this concept to be incorporated. You are opening doors for individual children to succeed in ways that work for them along with preparing young kiddos for the world and community that they will soon step into as adults. Your school has made a HUGE step that I hope continues and spreads. I wish the government would understand the concept too so that teachers can enjoy teaching again and not always be wrapped up in paperwork! YEAH MCGOWEN. Thank you again! We are so happy to be at McGowen!

Ticehurst- John is just loving your class, so thank you for all that you are doing for him!!


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MEF Grants

The MEF Grant application is open for all McKinney ISD staff. There are two different applications: a classroom grant and professional development.

Find the link for the online application on our website: You can also find tips for writing your MEF grant on this site.

The deadline is September 30th at 5:00 pm. No exceptions will be made for this deadline.

Please contact Ashley Sine, with any questions.



  • Donna & Stacie - Thanks for being my Sonic Fairies this week! - JL
  • JD & Chitwood - Thank you for going out of your way to show one of your students that we love and care about her Friday night. -JL
  • Relle, Bonnie, Jamie, Sylvia, Shiela, Sharon and Melanie - Thanks for jumping in when needed and helping to keep a student safe. - JL
  • Sharon, Krystal and Jenny - Thank you all for investing your time after school to build the case for more support. -JL
  • Lisa and Amber - Many thanks for your time and the laughs on Tuesday afternoon. Next time, we'll conduct the audit at my house! -JL
  • Barbara- thank you so much for lunch on Wednesday! - Donna
  • Stacie - loved having my sonic fairy Thursday morning! - Donna
  • Maria - I appreciate having you & our much needed chat! - Donna
  • Lhauren - you make my day with you visits. - Donna
  • JD - for all your details! - Donna
  • Bonnie - always there quickly when I call for our little friend! - Donna
  • Krystal - Thank you for all your hard work and planning to getting our class running smoother. You're a great teacher and I love working with you. Lori
  • Sheila for helping w a situation in my class and working with a particular child to help him take the next baby steps in his social development. The time she took with these children and the communication and follow up she provided to me was above and beyond! It takes a village and I am so impressed by the love and support McGowen has given and continues to give this particular child!
  • Second Grade Team- Thank you for all your help, sharing and support over the last 2 weeks! Definitely best 2 weeks ever!
  • Kay – Thank you so much for being flexible and awesome in the classroom. The schedule has changed so many times, and you are able to go with the flow every time. Thank you for these past 2 weeks! -Jenny
  • 3rd Grade Team- Thanks for always being willing to take things off of my plate!
  • 4th grade team - Thanks for an awesome first week! I'm blessed to have a job I love and to get to work with such amazing people! - Trisha
  • Melanie - Thanks for the awesome library orientation! The students loved Plickers! - Trisha
  • Shiela - Thank you for helping my friend perk up on Friday! I appreciate your help! - Trisha
  • Thanks again, Angie, for being so patient with me while we figure out how to run our classroom more smoothly! We are getting closer! -Butler
  • Krystal-the T-shirts you created and ordered are awesome! I can’t wait to wear mine! Thanks- Butler
  • Nicole-Thanks for working around everyone’s schedule…I know this has to be a nightmare for you, but you’re doing a great job! -Butler
  • Nurse Vicky and Danielle-Thanks for checking up on us with our friend who has to be hooked up for feeding! It’s good to know that we have back-up if we need it. -Butler
  • Kristi Ward- Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you taking such good care of my friend in your class for a 30 minute block? I do appreciate your patience with him and us. Hopefully help will be on its way. Thanks again! -Butler
  • Jennifer-thanks for helping all of Sped! Hopefully help will be just around the corner! Maybe one day we will begin a school year with more ease! -Butler

  • Bonnie and Jenny Snyder- Thank you for jumping into action to learn more about our new student and getting things set up for him to be successful! SL

  • Shiela- Thank you for supporting and checking in on our students that are new to McGowen! SL

  • JL- Thank you for your continually being a model of grace and patience. I learn something new from you every day! SL

  • Michelle Cab- I appreciate all that you do to support ALL of our teachers especially our new teachers! SL



Focus for 2015 - 2016

If you would like to have a voice in determining our focus for this school year, please click on the link and share your thoughts. The deadline to complete this will be extended to next Sunday at noon in effort to hear from more .

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!


Jessica Bravo - 1st

Rico Sneller - 5th

Jaime Hyde - 9th

Tara Zappe - 9th

Jen Dickinson - 12th

Angie Cochrum - 14th

Tara Jackson - 25th

Bad Dude

While she is one of the worst for owning her Bad Dudeness, Michelle Caballero is one of the Bad-est Dudes I know. Along with supporting teachers, she is also a tremendous support for the A-Team as well. In addition to the normal beginning of the year rush, she has been working countless hours on ironing out the details of K-2 ELAR that have thrown us all for a loop. She is a master teacher who daily models MISD/s Vision, Mission and Beliefs. She is approachable, encouraging, supportive, collaborative, flexible, easy to connect with, extremely trustworthy and a work horse. I am always amazed at her ability to maintain a positive attitude no matter how much is on her plate, I am blessed to work with her and grateful for all that she teaches me. She is an amazing asset to McGowen and one very worthy of celebrating as a Bad Dude.

Michelle, thanks for blessing us with all of your many gifts and talents!

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.