Whitford's Weekly Update

December 1, 2014

Reviving the Spirit? Not here.....

I know the saying goes, "it's time to get in the spirit of giving," but I think in our district, it really is more of a revving up of the spirit rather than a revival of the spirit. Yes, this is the time of year that we put a special emphasis on giving and being kind to our neighbor, but I see this spirit within our buildings all year long. We always have groups raising money for a good cause, collecting food for those in need, and finding clothes or other household items for those that are less fortunate. We rally together with positive thoughts and prayers for those that are facing hard times or health concerns. It's not a time of year reminder in our schools, it's a constant state of serving and doing for others that makes teachers such a special breed. While I believe that almost anyone can learn to teach, it takes a special person to put others first. To care so much for another person that you will sacrifice time, family, rest, money and mental peace to ensure that others have the opportunity to be successful people. By not only teaching them to read and do math, but also teaching them the lessons of life and the importance of caring for others so that the world becomes a better place for everyone. No, caring and giving is not a season here, it's a way of life. It's the way we do things. Day in and day out. I am proud to work in a place that has "the spirit" 24/7, 365 days a year. Here, the spirit doesn't die until December the next year. Here, the spirit just goes into Hyperdrive for the 3 crazy weeks of December. Thanks for making this a special place for our students, their families, and me. Hope you have your seatbelts on!! :-)

Ed Effectiveness - I found out (thanks to Lynette) that there is a quiz and a certificate to print off after watching the Module 4 Deep Dive Mid-Year Review. I think the easiest way to do this (if you haven't already) is to watch this at our next staff meeting. I will not be at the staff meetings next week as I will be at the SLATE Tech Conference in Wi Dells, but I will share the link so it can be watched as a group. The Quiz can be taken as a group and I will just print off the certificates for all of those that attend the meeting. We will do the same thing at the Oakdale & Camp Douglas staff meeting.

Winter Program - I think I recall us planning to have a special winter (Christmas) program at Miller on December 19, but I have not heard any details yet. How are things coming on that? Do we have Santa lined up? Did we get in touch with Rick to see if he would come and sing with the kids? Just checking in....

Spelling Bee - The spelling bee word lists will be coming out soon and I just wanted to plant the seed to start planning for that and let you know that the regional bee will be in Bangor this year and it will take place on January 29th. We will need to plan to have our school bee about 2 weeks prior to that, and then our Tomah bee will be somewhere around the week before the regional bee on the 29th. I can't believe I am talking about January already!

Winter Concert Rehearsal - I know Kendra is planning to have some rehearsal time for the K-2 students to work together and practice on the stage for the K-2 Winter Concert on December 11th. We have arranged for buses that day to take the kids down to the High School and back because we were unsure of the weather and we wanted to maximize practice time instead of walking time.

Benchmarking - We will begin benchmarking students on December 1st. We have a tight timeline again as we need to have all assessments given, scored and entered by December12th. The following week the Title I team will be working on organizing data and meeting with teachers to make ICE groups that should begin when we return from Winter Break on January 5th. If you have any questions about the process or the assessments to be given, please refer to Linda Mattison's e-mail that went out on 11/24/2014.

Math Knowledge Contest - The 5th grade students will be taking the Math Knowledge Contest Exam soon. All 5th grade students should take it. The test will have a 30 minute window to finish. Please turn in the scored tests to Mr. Whitford when finished. Tomah is able to send 3 teams to the regional competition, so 12 students will be able to attend.

Camp Douglas Elderly Christmas Meal - Camp Douglas has scheduled their Village Elderly Christmas meal on Dec. 16th. We will be visiting the elderly from 12:30-1:30ish on the 16th. I know this is a tech class day and music day, however we didn't have a choice in scheduling.

The power of yet | Carol S Dweck | TEDxNorrköping

Calendar of Events


1 Camp Douglas PBIS Assembly @Camp Douglas Gym (9:50am)

Miller PBIS Team Meeting @Miller Library (3:20pm)

New Teacher Support Seminar @THS (4:30pm)

2 Miller BIT Meeting (CC) - Long @Miller Office (1pm)

Miller Building Leadership Team Meeting @Miller Office (3:20pm)

Miller PTO Meeting @Miller Library (6pm)

3 Conversations w/Cindy @Oakdale (11:30am)

4/5 Unit Meeting @Szeflinski's Room (11:15am)

8 Tom Out in PM - SLATE Tech Conference @Wi Dells

Conversations w/Chocolate @Angie White's Room (3:30pm)

Holiday Train comes to Tomah

9 Tom Out all day - SLATE Conference @Wi Dells

Miller - Chinese Take Out Luncheon @Miller Library (11:15am)

Miller Staff Meeting @Miller Library (3:20pm) - watching Deep Dive Mid-Year Review

10 Tom Out - SLATE Conference @Wi Dells

Oak/Camp Staff Meeting @Oakdale (3:15pm) - watching Deep Dive Mid-Year Review

11 Tom - Lunch w/Oakdale Staff @Oakdale (11:30am)

District PBIS Meeting @RKLC (3pm)

Oak/Camp Staff X-mas Party @Deb Granger's New House (4pm)

Miller K-2 Winter Concert @THS Auditorium (6:30pm)

12 Tom Out in AM - Elementary Principals Meeting @DO (7:45am)

Smiles4Life @Miller Julie Zingler's Room

Tom - Lunch w/Camp Douglas Staff @Camp (11:30am)

Miller Messenger Articles Due to Vicki by 10am

15 Miller PBIS Meeting @Miller Library (3:20pm)

16 Tom Out - Ed Effectiveness Training @CESA 4 (9am - 3pm)

Camp Douglas Elderly Christmas Meal (11:30am)

17 New Day Residents & Handishop Residents Holiday Event @Oakdale (1:30pm)

18 Story Time - Tom Reads to Camp Kids @Camp Douglas (11am)

THS Honor Students to Oakdale for Stories & Projects @Oakdale (8:30am)

Tom - Lunch w/Camp Douglas Staff @Camp Douglas (11:30am)

Camp/Oak PBIS Team Meeting @Oakdale (3:15pm)

19 Miller PBIS Sing-a-long @Miller (1-2:45pm)

Oakdale & Camp Douglas Sing-a-long @Camp Douglas (2:00pm)

Idina Menzel & Michael Bublé - Baby It's Cold Outside