GRE Staff Newsletter

For the Week of March 17, 2019

Dear Team,

Hopefully you found time over the last week to do what makes you happy. I took the kids many different places and enjoyed seeing them interact with new experiences. I finished a good book and worked out and took naps in between:) Make sure you take time this week to check in with each other and hear about other's breaks. This is a long newsletter so I appreciate you taking the time to read and digest it all! For those of you who make it to the very end...you will love reading a special note about tomorrow's work attire!


This week we will kick off a new campaign that will run until the end of school. Tomorrow, I invite YOU to join in the fun! Along with finding some surprises in your mailbox, I encourage you to talk with students about how we will "Race to the Finish" of this school year. So where did this idea come from? Glad you asked...in marathon running, the final 6.2 miles is said to be the most difficult. In part it's because you are so close to the finish line but can't yet see it. For those that cross the finish line successfully, whether they run, walk, crawl or are carried, it's an opportunity to look back at how hard you worked for that moment. Over these last few weeks, when it is most difficult to dig in and do the work, we must Race to the Finish! To accomplish an even stronger end to the year than the beginning, we will challenge our students to:

  1. Give my best effort on all I do

  2. Be respectful, responsible and safe

  3. Use kind words and take care of each other

  4. Make myself proud

This doesn't mean our Keys to Success go away, it means that we want to recognize the specific behaviors above by highlighting that a student is ending the year stronger than they began. You will be given quarter sheet tickets that look like this. When a student earns 5 tickets, they come to the office and sign the "Race" Wall of Fame which will be hung next to my office. When they sign the wall, a staff member will ask them what they did to end the year strong and then make a positive phone call home! Every time a student signs the wall, they will get a raffle ticket to enter a drawing for many different things such as: extra recess, water balloon contest, pizza lunch, chalk art time, and many others (if you have an idea and are willing to host or run a reward, come see me!). In each staff newsletter, you will be given a link to a short video to show your class that week and to talk about how to "Race to the Finish". For this first week, you will discuss with students that Race to the Finish doesn't mean finishing first, but to think of the school year as a marathon, and we are in the last 6.2 miles! Here is a link to this weeks' video (please read it aloud as the video plays)!


And because we should never ask something of students we aren't willing to do ourselves...here is how we, as adults will Race to the Finish:

1. I will give my best effort to my students, parents and colleagues everyday

2. I will stay student first focused

3. I will be disciplined in how I respond to what is going on around me

4. I will lift others up in encouragement

5.

I left number 5 open, because I challenge you to choose something personal that will result in you finishing the year stronger than you began it. For me, my number five will be to enter classrooms every single day and encourage both the students I can talk with AND the teacher in the classroom. In your PLC's this week, share what your number five will be and help each other be accountable to "Race to the Finish"!


Kate

News to Share

1. Thank you to DeAnne and Christine for their hard work the week before break. Art Day was amazing as was the recorder concert! We appreciate all the work you did to create a very special day for students!


2. Purple Up Big Walnut! April is the month of the military child. This year we will be honoring this day on Friday, April 12th. BW Apparel has the new design up and running on their website. I have attached the link below, the shirt sale ends on 4/3. Money raised from this sale helps us with events such as the fall and winter military appreciation nights. These are both great events to recognize those actively serving our country. Let's see that purple Big Walnut!

http://purpleup.bigwalnutapparel.com


3. Big Walnut Student Council would like your support for the second annual Law Officer Night of Appreciation. Last year, with your help, we were able to honor our men and women in blue with a ceremony and dinner. Attached you will find the activities we would like your students to complete. In trying to keep it simple for everyone, you will find that the projects are the same as last year. As always, if you have other ideas we would love to hear from you. Please consider being a part of this wonderful event. Email angiestooksbury@blws.net if you are willing to help, or if you have any questions.


4. The Board of Education approved a one-time employee retirement incentive package known as the 2018 -2019 Employee Severance Plan (hereinafter “ESPTM” or “Plan”) on February 21, 2019. The Plan is available to certified professional staff (hereinafter “Employee” or “Employees”) who will have a minimum of ten (10) years of service with the Big Walnut Local School District (hereinafter “the District”) as of June 30, 2019.”


5. Seriously...mark your calendars for this! I know I am planning to attend. Big Walnut Local Schools will be hosting a screening of the documentary, Screenagers. This event will be held at BWMS on April 11th starting at 6:30 pm. This event is free and all are welcome! Screenagers is a documentary that focuses on the habits that children develop by using their mobile devices. Throughout the film, families are seen dealing with the consequences (often serious) related to excessive screen time or screen time without boundaries. The film focuses on the connection between mental health and how much tech time can impact a child’s development. This documentary also highlights the benefits of finding the balance of screen time and screen- free time and offers some solutions for parents. For a sneak peak of this film, click here.


6. PAC notes can be found here, and PTO meeting notes are here.


7. BWMS Service Day is coming! Check out the following information from Josh Frame. We are excited to announce our 4th Annual BWMS Service Day on Friday April 26th, 2019. Once again, we anticipate that Assisting Teachers at various schools within Big Walnut will be a popular choice. There are two main programs at our Schools:

1. Reading Program (Grades PreK-1) Students will read a story and complete corresponding activities to support comprehension and social skills development

2. Teacher Assistance (Grades PreK-12) Students with an interest in Education will be available to support a classroom with needed areas from 9:20-12:00 as selected by the teacher.


8. Our staff meeting that was scheduled for this Tuesday, April 3rd at 7:30am is being moved to Thursday, April 11th. There are a few members that will be at central office on Tuesday and we'd like to make sure we have as many staff members there as possible for our important BAS calibration work. I apologize for the change and appreciate you making adjustments to be there. See me if you have a question or concern. Here is the DRAFT agenda for this meeting.

Idea Gallery

Big picture

Week at a Glance

*Happy Belated Birthday to Jody Greiger who celebrated on the 23rd!


Monday, April 1- B Day; Happy Birthday DeAnne!; Dress Comfy for Race to the Finish!

Tuesday, April 2 C Day; No staff meeting-moved to 4/11

Wednesday, April 3 - D Day; Yoga at 4:15

Thursday, April 4- A Day

Friday, April 5- B Day; Eagle's Nests; Party Wagon

*We are behind on Party with the Principal and will have a BIG party with winners who have not celebrated on Monday April 8th. You will be contacted directly if you have students who will participate in this.


Upcoming Important Dates:

April 9 Box Tops Due

April 9 & 10 3rd and 4th Grade Ohio State Test-English Language Arts

April 11 Screenagers at 6:30

April 12 Kindergarten Field Trip & Purple Up!

April 16 & 17 3rd and 4th Grade Ohio State Test-Mathematics

April 19 No School

April 22 No School

April 25 Art Show

**Along with the surprises in your mailbox-feel free to wear "Race" gear tomorrow!**