Team Thomson News & Notes

January 16, 2017

Important Information for You!

Report Cards & Thinking About Early Conferences

Please remember that all grades must be entered by Tuesday, January 17th at 4:00 p.m. Report Cards will be printed on Wednesday, January 18th and should be send home Friday, January 20th. You may want to include in your weekly newsletters that parents need to sign and return the report card envelope, but the report card is theirs to keep.

Now is also the time to be contacting parents who you'd like to meet with during our Early Parent-Teacher Conferences on Tuesday, February 7th. These conferences are not going to be published to parents, but should be scheduled by you. Conferences will run from 4:30-6:00 p.m. You should be meeting with parents of students who you are concerned about both academically (especially those you are concerned about needing a growth year) and behaviorally.

Behavior Expectations Continued...

With the short first week back and the two days off last week due to weather, it has been difficult to get into a rhythm. Please remember to keep reteaching, not re-talking, behaving expectations at the forefront. I will be meeting with the PBS & Behavior Chairs to discuss and finalize our plans for relaunching Cardinal Code in February as we did last year. If you have any ideas, please share!

STAR & DIBELS Testing Results

There is much to celebrate when we look at our mid-year DIBELS scores. In the fall, students scored 66% At Grade Level on the Composite Score. However, on the winter DIBELS, 78% of our students scored At Grade Level. While we still have nearly 30 students to finish STAR Testing, in the fall 57% were At/Above Grade Level. With students still to test, our preliminary score is 68% At/Above Grade Level. So, there is much to celebrate as in looking at these numbers!

As we continue to look at data, especially our STAR data, we will be looking at individual student growth percentiles. Once we dig into this data, we will truly have a picture of how our kids are doing when compared to other students scoring like them from across the country. We will do this work both at our upcoming data days and during a portion of the Early Release Day on February 8th.

*As an aside and to be noted, because the Early Release on February 8th is a District Focused PD, the time will be from 2:15-5:15 p.m. for all teachers and paraprofessionals. This time allows for out of town school dismissal and travel. Please watch for agendas and locations.

District PLC-February 1st

On February 1st, we will hold the second district Kindergarten PLC. All Developmental Kindergarten and Kindergarten teachers will meet with Dena, Matt, and myself to continue to work through unpacking standards like we did at our building early release day in November. As I shared earlier, the work that both Thomson and Gates did will continue as a district focus including input and work from all buildings at all grade levels. A full agenda will be forthcoming. If you have not yet put in a prearranged absences form, please do so no later than Thursday, January 19th. Additionally, our next district PLC for Developmental Kindergarten and Kindergarten will be held on May 2, 2017.

5D+ Self-Assessment & Goals

When completing your self-assessment to begin the Second Inquiry Cycle please remember to follow the steps below:

-Log on to PIVOT

-The last button across the top menu bar is Evaluations

-Put your cursor there and you’ll get a drop down menu

-Click on My Evaluations

-A new page will open and you’ll see “New Self-Assessment” in a green box at the top.

-Click there to complete your self-assessment

Your new Self-assessment should be completed by January 27th . Remember when completing your Self Assessment that this is for you and your professional growth and will not be used in final evaluation. It is important to use the rubric and think about your practice. Just as in the fall, when marking yourself above 'Basic', you must provide specific evidence from your classroom. Please do not use the 'canned' comments that just restate the rubric. Anna has began scheduling mid-year reviews and Growth Plan meetings.

As far as Growth Plans go, I am sure that many of you will want to keep most, if not all of your current Areas of Focus. However, I encourage you to really look at these Areas of Focus and ask yourself if it is really an area that you need to continue to focus on or if there are other areas that would grow you professionally? For the most part, I would ask you to consider Areas of Focus from Purpose, Student Engagement, and Assessment. We will review your Growth Plans and rework any that need reworking when we meet.

Box Top Challenge is ON

Don't forget the Box Top Challenge is on! The classroom that brings in the most Box Tops will receive a class prize of their choice and the teacher will get a gift card and the second and third place classrooms will get a prize of their choice.

Purchasing Cut-off

The purchasing cut-off for classroom General Fund Accounts is Monday, January 30th. If you have money left in your classroom General Fund Account and plan on using it to make purchases, please do so soon. Please refer to your account sheets given at the beginning of the year that you are responsible for keeping up to data. Anna does not have time to look up the classroom account balances as she is busy preparing for report cards, supplemental count day, and Kindergarten addition to her regular daily duties. The purchasing cut-off does not apply to your A-74/PTO accounts. If there are large purchases you would like for your classroom (furniture, class sets of an item, etc.) that may be outside of your classroom allocation or that you think should be considered for the building, please let me know as I will be finalizing building general fund purchases as well.

Transfer Requests

While I would be sad to see any of you leave, I also understand the need for professional change. Please note that Transfer Requests are due no later than March 1st. Transfer request forms are in the office if needed.

Quotes Worth Reading

To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, here are two quotes to ponder from this great man...

"We may have all come on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now."

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'."

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: Missed January Birthdays: Mickie Ybarra, January 12th and Maida Demo, January 13th...Wishing you both a Very Happy Belated Birthday!

You may have noticed a new face around Thomson. Jessica Dean is completing her internship with Jennifer Webster. Jessica will be with us for 12-15 weeks as her internship is based on contact hours. Please join me in welcoming Jessica to Thomson!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, January 16th- No School-Teacher Work Day (Teachers may do records from home)
  • Tuesday, January 17th-Report card grades must be entered by 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 18th-Child Study Day (please send any new Child Study names to Maida Demo and Natalie Miller); Report Cards will be printed
  • Friday, January 20th-Lockdown; Send Report Cards Home; Box Top Challenge ends
  • Monday, January 23rd-Math Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 24th-PTO Pals; Flushing teachers visiting Developmental K classrooms
  • Wednesday, January 25th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 p.m. (Agenda: Amy Chorley-Behavior continued); Data Day
  • Thursday, January 26th-Data Day
  • Week of January 29th- PLC WEEK
  • Wednesday, February 1st-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda:TBA); District Kindergarten PLC all day