Peek at the Week

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sparks Elementary

Our MISSION is to know every student by name and need in order to ensure that all students learn at high levels.

Our VISION: Sparks Elementary is dedicated to developing a collaborative community of life-long learners where individual needs, high standards, academic success and cultural diversity are valued for all.

Bus Evacuation Video

Please make sure to show this video to your students next week in lieu of the Bus Evacuation Drill.

Bus Evacuation Drill

Sending Kids to the Nurse

We are having large numbers of students going to the nurse just before dismissal. Please remember:

  • After 2:15pm, please only send kids to the nurse if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Students must have a nurse's pass from a teacher when they are going to the nurse.

Baby News!!!!!

Our Sparks family continues to grow! Congratulations to Elizabeth Fox on the news of a new baby in her family due to arrive at the end of March!

Congratulations to Sparks' Art teacher, Michelle McClendon who has been named "Teacher of the Month" by radio station 97.5 KLAK!

Michelle was honored this morning at the 97.5 KLAK radio station for being September's Teacher of the Month. Congratulations, Michelle, on this great honor and achievement!
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Rainy Day Dismissal

The Rainy Day/Heavy Snow Dismissal policy has changed.

  • In the event that it is storming or lightening, we will hold our students who are walking home until the danger passes.
  • Yes, we will get calls at the last minute from parents no matter what policy is in place, so we will handle these situations on a case by case basis as we watch the weather closely.
  • Please encourage parents to also watch the weather on questionable days and inform us as soon as possible if they want to change their child's dismissal plans.
  • Any change in our regular dismissal will be communicated via School Messenger by me once the dangerous situation has passed.

Cyber Responsibility and Citizenship

It came to my attention this week that many of our older students are openly discussing their usernames and passwords with one another. In some cases, kids are even daring each other to hack into their school Google accounts. While I know that birthdays are openly celebrated here at school making that information easy to access, please be sure to:

  • Discuss with your students during a Class Meeting the importance of keeping usernames and other log-in information private (except with their parents). I don't think our students truly understand what can happen by sharing this information.
  • Remind them that they are not to ever log-in to a FISD Google site, istation, etc... as another student or encourage anyone else to do so. A student logging into another student's school account is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Be on the lookout for Hoodie's Tech Tips next week, as she will be reminding us about how we can support digital citizenship every single day with our students.

If you need help from a custodian....

If you need help from a custodian after school, please schedule it through Teresa. Our custodians are very sweet and they LOVE to help teachers, but we must be mindful of the fact that they have a pretty big to do list each evening. The only exception would be if there was a mess or something to clean up. Thanks!

Parent Conference Window: October 3rd-November 18th

Please send me a copy or list of when your parent conferences are scheduled once you have them set up. Remember that Mr. Dawes, Mrs. Salmon and I are here to support and help you with any questions or concerns you have with an upcoming conference. Thank you for the way you are continuously investing in doing what's best for kids, including having great conversations with parents.

Curriculum Night: September 27th

  • The attire for Curriculum Night is Professional Dress
  • Grades K-2 (5:30-6:30)/ Grades 3-5 (6:45-7:45). Non-Classroom teachers will be monitoring Pods guiding parents who may have questions. For a copy of the Curriculum Night schedule, click here.
  • Administrators will be in the cafeteria. Please be sure to wear your badges so parents can tell you are staff. :)
  • This is a time to emphasize the great learning opportunities students will have in your grade. It is not a time to discuss procedures such as homework. Refer parents to your grade level websites for procedural questions.
  • Be sure to help parents understand how they can help their child at home. This is often a source of confusion and stress for families

From Mrs. Salmon:

Safe Schools Compliance Training

Complete prior to Thanksgiving Break

All staff must complete additional online Compliance training for Safe Schools before you leave for Thanksgiving. Please click on COMPLIANCE ONLINE TRAINING for the link to the directions.

  • At-Risk teacher documentation sheets were sent last week to the team leaders. These are due to me by October 3rd at 3:00.
  • Kindergarten has the Character Skit on Grit for October during the September 30 assembly. When it is your month to "perform" the skit, please get with Coach Gressett regarding the assembly so she can add you to the agenda.
  • I will be completing the Grit Classroom Meeting ideas and suggestions this next week and will send them to your grade level representative. It is my understanding that we decided to have classroom meetings on Monday mornings from about 7:50-8:20 so that Student Council will be able to participate periodically. The weeks that we are out on Mondays, you can find another time during the week to meet.
  • 9 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude this link provides ideas for additional ways to develop gratitude in ourselves and others. I included this in the Sparks News that is sent out to parents.
  • Here is the Veterans Day Flyer that is going home in the Parent Sparks News.


Instructional Support Team PURPOSE: To provide teachers with instructional support by increasing student achievement and engagement through resources, enrichment, intervention, technology and curriculum.

Instructional Support Team Members:

Rebecca Sedigghi - Library

Elaine Ariola - Library

Kirsten Hood - Technology

Laura Morales - Technology

Michele Chapa - ESL

Melanie White - Dyslexia

Wendi Johnston - GT

Melanie Roberson - IC


K - 2 Teachers - During your next WPT meeting, Rebecca Seddighi would like to speak with you briefly about the benefits of using Pebble Go Next.

3 - 5 Teachers- Be on the lookout for an email from Rebecca Seddighi about Pebble Go Science.


Please carbon copy Rebecca Seddighi and Kirsten Hood when you email out your agendas for WPT. There are occasions when the content isn't applicable to Mrs. Seddighi or Mrs. Hood. They can help out other grade levels at that time if they aren't needed during WPT. Mrs. Hood has rearranged her schedule to come from Pink to sit with us during WPT. Both are a huge asset to us and we want them to know that we value their time.



BOY assessment results are due in Aware by Friday, September 30th.

New Writing Partnership Menus in Eduphoria!

First Grade Writing Workshop Partnership menus with question stems have been added to Eduphoria. You can locate the new menus in Eduphoria- ELA Resources-Small Group/Conferring Resources-Conferring Resources-Writing Partnership Menus.

What Can I Work On as a Reader? A Self Reflection Tool for Finding Goals

Check out this new resource from Jennifer Serravallo designed to be used with students as teacher work to find and establish goals for students. Teachers can involve students in the goal-setting process by offering them the opportunity to identify with statements that align to different goals from the “Hierarchy of Possible Goals” on page 3 of The Reading Strategies Book (Serravallo 2015).


Exemplars Update: Any new to FISD teachers will not be in the Exemplars system until October 10th. Therefore, returning FISD teachers/ICs may need to help the new teachers access Exemplars tasks prior to October 10th. Resources for Exemplars are located on each grade level's cluster planner. Exemplars Resources are found on each grade level's cluster planner.

Administration Windows for ESTAR/MSTAR:

  • Fall: Now–October 14, 2016
  • Winter: January 9, 2017–February 10, 2017
  • Spring: April 3, 2017–May 5, 2017

Connecting Processes in Math to Literacy Strategies

The graphic was created by a 4th grade math teacher at Corbell - Mirey Yu


  • STEMscopes:
    • To assist with getting kids on STEMscopes at home a parent letter has been created that you can use as a template: Parent Letter Template
    • Students need to be assigned activities in STEMscopes in order to have access to information at home. If your team needs help setting up their classrooms in STEMscopes Laura Lee and Jamie would be happy to meet with grade level teams.
    4th and 5th Grade Collaboratives:

    • All collaboratives for the year are available for sign up through eduphoria workshop. The Science Department encourages earlier enrollment so participants can add the dates to their calendars.
    • The first 5th grade science collaborative had a get turn out for thier first 5th grade collaborative of the year with 48 in attendance.
    • All teachers that teach science in 4th and 5th grade are welcome to attend these informative collaboratives from 3:30-5:00 throughout the school year. Dates can be found on eduphoria workshop and are always at the Maple Street Annex in room 220.

From Teresa:

Please take a moment to check your flashlights and let me know if you need new batteries.


There are no staff birthdays this week.

Next week at Sparks...

Monday, Sept. 26

· 8:30-10:45 ILT mtg.

· 9:00 504 meeting for D.M.-conf. room

· 3:00-3:45 Stuco meeting-room 504

Tuesday, Sept. 27

· 8:30 Fire Drill

· 9:15-11:30 4th Gr. FFST-Coker/Cornell

· 12:30 ARD for K.W.-conf. room

· 3:15-4:30 SST Reconvene for K-2nd –conference room

· 5:30-6:30 Curriculum Night (K-2)

· 6:45-7:45 Curriculum Night (3-5)

Wed., Sept. 28

· 8:00-10:00 Mrs. Baker @ CIA mtg.

· 9:15-11:30 4th Gr. FFST-Knox/Rebel

· Paperwork due for Oct 4 SST (5th)

· 3:15 CIA meeting-Library

Thurs., Sept. 29 Progress Reports go home

· Mr. Dawes at AP meeting in am

· 9:15-11:30 4th Gr. FFST-DeLaCruz/Foy

Friday, Sept. 30

· 7:30-8:30 PTA Spirit Store

· 7:55 Assembly

Coming Soon!

Oct. 3 StuCo Class meetings

Oct. 3-7 Custodian Appreciation Week

Oct. 4-6 5th Gr. CoGAT testing

Oct. 4 PTA luncheon

Oct. 4 SST Meeting-5th grade

Oct. 4 & 5 PTA Spirit Night at Spring Creek BBQ

Oct. 5 National Walk to School Day

Oct. 5 2nd grade study trip to Frisco Heritage Museum

Oct. 5 Baby Shower for Lizeht

Oct. 6 Flu Shot Clinic

Oct. 6 Sky Ranch Parent meeting

Oct 7 Staff Development Day

Oct. 10 Holiday

Oct. 10-14 Fire Prevention Week

Oct. 11 Boosterthon Pep Rally/Staff meeting

Oct. 12 Staff Meeting

Oct. 13 Drill Day

Oct. 13 PTA Movie Night

Oct. 14 Storytelling Festival-4th Gr.

Oct. 14 Frisco Fire Clowns (K-2)