Haas Elementary Staff Bulletin

March 2015 Vol. 1

Spring Conferences

Spring conferences are this Thursday, March 5th from 1:30 - 6:00 PM. This is a great time to re-visit the goals set during the fall conference via the Parent-School Compact. If you have any students that you are considering for retention, please make me aware of this prior to conferences. I would like to have a conversation with you before you meet with parents. The criteria that we consider when making decisions about retention is listed in the handbook.

Remember there is also a 12:55 dismissal on Friday. This is not a "work and meetings" early dismissal. You are free to leave after students have been dismissed and are safely on their way home!

Child Study Meeting

We will plan on holding another Child Study meeting this month on a day/time yet to be finalized. While we are unable to hire substitute teachers, we can use a combination of local staff to cover required classes, as well as cancellation of other supports/interventions, to allow us to meet. While I understand that the loss of interventions for the day is not ideal, not convening a team to develop and review formal plans for student intervention is also detrimental. I will provide more specific details and a finalized date in the next few days.

Behavior Supports

As you know, Mrs. Compton's role within the building has been adjusted in an attempt to better meet the needs of students and staff in our building.

Mrs. Compton has identified students who need Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions as supported by our behavior data. She will be forming small groups, or working with individual students based on that data to help them develop more socially appropriate skills. She will also be pushing into classrooms to assist with classroom-based needs, including assisting staff with strategies for working with all students, but especially those who need Tier 2 or Tier 3 interventions.

Major student referrals will be sent to the office, and students will remain in the office until Mrs. Compton or I meet with them and determine next steps. Minor referrals will be handled in the classroom. Mrs. Compton will provide support with minors as needed and requested.

If you need to reach Mrs. Compton, please contact the office.

Additional information, including an updated referral form will be released this week.

The Differences Between Males and Females: How Do Those Differences Affect Learning?

On Friday, a small group travelled to Bay City to hear Ruby Payne speak on A Framework for Understanding Poverty: 10 Actions to Educate students.

A key take-away was the impact of each groups' mental model and hidden rules on successful partnership in education. The mental model for poverty is centered on relationships, while the mental model for middle class is centered on achievement. If we don't recognize the differences and provide these student and parents with the tools to navigate in the middle class model upon which schools are based, we will not find success.

For example, the majority of discipline issues are about hidden rules. When students operating in the mental model for poverty respond to us in a casual way, we view it as disrespectful or defiant behavior (*Disrespect/Defiance is our #1 behavioral offense). To successfully reach these students, we must teach them that there are two ways to say everything, and teach them the formal language of school.

Another take-away included the differences in how males and females are "wired". The following link to a youtube video of Mark Gungor provides a humorous view of the differences between male brains and female brains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XjUFYxSxDk

Dr. Payne also shared some differences between boys and girls related to school:

  • The female retina is wired for color and detail; the male retina for movement.
  • Females take an emotional hit and it reaches the entire brain in 2 minutes; an emotional hit to a male will not reach the entire brain for 5 hours.
  • Females will typically give you 15 minutes of "talk time" to determine if what you are saying is worth hearing; males will give you 5 minutes. (Think: How much talking do you do at the beginning of a lesson?)
  • Dr. Payne suggested giving upset students (particularly males) 8-12 ounces of water to reduce the cortisol in the system before attempting to speak or reason with them. Other suggestions include sitting beside them rather than across from them, and giving them something to do with their hands (fidgets, coloring...) while speaking with them.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

NWEA Testing Window is officially "open".

Monday, March 2nd - Thursday March 5th: The Book Fair continues.

Thursday, March 5th: Parent-Teacher Conferences

Friday, March 6th: 12:55 Dismissal

Sunday, March 8th: Daylight Savings Time Begins...Spring Ahead!

March Tornado Drill sometime during the second week!