Staff Weekly Update

For the Week of February 1st, 2016

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Honoring Susan Jordan and the Amy Beverland Elementary Family

Friends, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the tragic event surrounding Susan Jordan. Many of you knew her personally and I'm sure still grieving over the loss of an outstanding administrator. I had the honor of meeting her at one of the first C.L.A.S.S. Summer Institute workshops hosted by ABE almost 20 years ago! She was incredibly ahead of her professional time and upon instant meeting you either thought, "I want to work for her, or I want to be an administrator like her." Her passing impacts many. As educators, we all feel some level of pain. What we do binds us so tightly. We feel for the staff, the students, her fellow administrative colleagues, her family, and let's not forget the bus driver involved. As I know you will, let's please continue to keep them all in our thoughts and prayers.

Her ultimate sacrifice was not done in vain. Please feel reassured that Dr. Robison in tandem with our transportation director has gone back to review bus safety protocols for ALL.

Chad Smith stated it best in his weekly Friday Focus to his staff and I'd like to echo his thoughts on this one . . . We are never 100% fool proof but we seemingly strive to be as close to this as we can each and every day. Thank you for EVERYTHING that you do for our students - how you love them, protect them, support them.


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Lisa is our counselor, but she means so much more to us that just that! She is like royalty to us – and to prove it she has on the right “hat!”

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But a hat you see, is simply not enough to showcase her royal flare. She likes to be head-to-toe in exotic wear!

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But what is on the outside of Lisa is simply just for show, what really counts is the love she has for staff and students that always grows.

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So let’s take this week to cheer on our brave counselor for all that she does for us. Stop by her office, give her a hug, and let her know she’s priceless!

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Tuesday Take-Away


Why is it important? What do we know?

  • Beginning readers have to be able to use words orally in order to read and understand them in print. Additionally, there is a strong correlation between vocabulary size and reading comprehension, and this correlation grows stronger the longer children are in school. You may have heard of the 30 million word gap. This comes from a study by Hart and Risley in 2003 that found that by the age of 4, children from high-income families were exposed to 30 million more words than children who came from low-income families. Since vocabulary is a predictor of reading comprehension success, you can imagine how that gap will impact those students in the years to come.

Vocabulary Instruction

  • Robert Marzano looked at many research studies to find out what is important to vocabulary instruction. One piece of information he found that is particularly useful to teachers is the 4-14-40 rule. Students who are the highest-achieving can learn and really know a new word after only 4 exposures to that word. Average students need 14 exposures to master that same word. Struggling learners, however, need 40 encounters with that word in order to truly know and own it. The key to students learning words, no matter what their academic level, is repeated exposures to new words and their meanings.

Marzano's 6 step process for teaching vocabulary that provides multiple exposures to the words students are learning:

  • 1. The teacher provides a description, explanation, or example of the new term. This might be done through a short story or anecdote that illustrates the meaning of the word or a description of the term or word.
  • 2. Students use their own words to restate the description, explanation, or example using their own experiences. Students explanations should come from their own lives and not merely restate what the teacher said. Research showed this step had stronger results when the students used their own lives to come up with their example.
  • 3. Students create a picture or symbolic representation of the word or term. This step is critical. When students do a good job of this, their ability to learn the new word is much higher. This can be drawn in a student’s vocabulary notebook.
  • 4. Engage students in periodic activities that add to their knowledge of the words and terms in their vocabulary notebooks. They could compare meanings of a new word to another word already in their notebooks.
  • 5. Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with each other. Students could again use their notebooks to compare explanations, etc.
  • 6. Involve students in games that help them to reinforce their knowledge of the words and terms.

Marzano’s 6 step process works best when all 6 steps are taught. This process can be used at any grade level. And, don’t leave out step 3. That symbolic representation is key to having the word or term sick in a child’s mind.

7-DAY FORECAST: Looks like we might have one (or two) days of indoor recess by middle of the week!

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ZCS 2015-2016 District Priorities

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*UPDATE* - PE Portable Speaker & Microphone . . . originally it was supposed to have been in by the end of last week, but we were told by our business department to please order it this week (Monday 2/1). I apologize that it is still NOT YET IN. Let's keep our fingers crossed for an arrival by the end of THIS week (2/5/16)!

Speaking of PTO $$ & Silent Auction . . . have you considered donating a Silent Auction item? This has now become another VERY big fundraiser for our school! PLEASE considering making a donation, such as your TIME! This financially costs you nothing, but it helps in raising dollars for our school! Thanks for your consideration!

On a personal note . . . our move to the new home was a success this weekend! The joy of living out of boxes has started, but regardless of this challenge, I continue to be grateful for what we have and continue to tell myself that living out of boxes is a nice problem to have. Life is good. Again, I can't thank you all enough for being SO incredibly patient and supportive!

Here are our beautiful birthday friends for February 2016!

*If you are NEW and we do not have your birthdate, please email Alison so we can recognize you on your special day! Thank you!*


6 - Allison Spillman

13 - Connie Largent

17 - Emily Clare

18 - Diane Herbst

21 - Abby Andries

22 - Jessica Luchenbill

2015-2016 Lifelines

August - Cooperation

September - Respect

October - Flexibility

November - Gratitude

December - Generosity

January - Responsibility

February - Friendship

March - Perseverance

April - Self-Control

May - Integrity