Beating the Odds
Lakeview Staff Newsletter - Oct 19
I truly meant what I said on stage this morning. Here is the text:
The Brewers are in a "must win" situation tonight.
We are in a "must win" situation for our children in this building and across SM every day.
You see, when I put this Brewer's sweatshirt on today, I HOPE that I get to wear it again during the World Series. I HOPE I'm not going to put it away until next Spring. But that's all I have - hope. I'm not on the field, I'm not on the Brewer's staff, I'm not a talent scout - nothing. All I can do is hope.
You are here today because you realize that our students need more than just "hope".
You are here today because none of us are spectators just watching this game play out.
You are here today because you are players - valuable players - on this team that we call Lakeview.
We have incredible players on our team, and you're going to meet them in our classrooms today. The teachers we have here are the very best. And they play like every day is a "must win" for our students. Why? Because 86% of our high school students tell us that they want to go to a 4-year college or university, and we want to keep every door possible open for 100% of our Lakeview students.
So here's where you come in. Don't be a spectator in this game. All of you are here because you love a kid in our school. Make sure they are reading. Buy them books and games that make them think. Talk to them. Take them to the library - any library - when they come over. Don't waste a minute with them because our students are up to bat and every "at bat" we have is a chance to score.
If you still have pre-school aged kids in your family, please make sure your family is doing four things:
• Talk to them
• Read to them
• Sing to them
• Make sure they have social experiences outside of home
If our youngest "batters" had those four experiences, they would be in great shape when they get to the major leagues here at Lakeview.
Hope is great for the Brewers tonight, but it's not enough for our students.
Thank you for coming today - I hope you enjoy your visit!
Five years ago, when the entire district received accreditation for the first time, the AdvancED visiting team recognized many positive things happening in SDSM. Then they went on to give us five suggestions to guide future growth as a system. And, although we may not use the name "AdvancED" on a daily basis, their five suggestions have become part of our daily practice.
#1 - Establish practices for teacher leadership teams to ensure equitable learning opportunities for all students
Our committee structures (GOLT, LLT, MLT, ILT, GTALT, etc.) are a result of this first suggestion, which all feed into our first district goal of Curriculum Expectations.
#2 - Align literacy program
At the elementary level, our adoption and continued learning of the Calkin's reading and writing workshop is a result.
#3 - Construct systems for analysis of student work to establish high expectations
The time we spend analyzing student work and having conversations around consistent expectations for students is the result.
#4 - Develop a process for designing systemic professional development
Our personalized PD and GOLT time is a rethinking of what PD used to be.
#5 - Establish procedures for collecting and analyzing assessment results to increase achievement
We use student data to make decisions at the classroom, building, and district level in a much more effective way now.
So, even though we might only speak the term "AdvancED" once every few years, when you hear it this year, please think:
leadership teams ~ literacy ~ analyzing student work ~ PD ~ data.
These items are on our lips and in our minds as much as school safety and trauma sensitive schools.
Tuesday, October 23
District Character Ed Team 4-5 p.m.
Wednesday, October 24
Lakeview Staff Meeting 7:15-8:15 a.m.
District Trauma Sensitive Team 3:30-5:15 p.m.
Friday, October 26
Chris out all day
Monday, October 29
Admiral's Reader in 5th grade 2:00 p.m.
Please wear blue Admiral's shirts this day (we'll try to do this every time an Admiral's player is coming) - tell students about this - if you use a Remind/Dojo app, consider sending a reminder on Sunday, October 28 about shirts.
Bits & Pieces
Family newsletter - Here is a link to this week's family newsletter.
Spirit Wear - If you are ordering Lakeview spirit wear, the orders are due by Friday, October 26. There are order forms in the workroom. Student orders are due at the same time.
Social Studies - Thank you to Janet for being a lower elementary representative on the social studies committee. The committee as a whole is really in need of upper elementary representation, and if there is someone at Lakeview that is interested, please talk with me.
Evaluation documents - Please submit your beginning-of-year documents (teaching staff and paras). Hitting "submit" is preferred - I know there were questions in the past about "submit" vs. "save and notify".
1st trimester report cards - report cards will be opened for teacher entry starting approximately October 30. That would be 3 weeks before the end of the trimester. See last week's newsletter for report card due dates.
Key fobs - As we continue to tighten up our school safety practices, we have found that some key fobs were issued to a group (such as a basketball team or the Y-program) rather than to individuals. SDSM employees should not need to be concerned about this. These "group" issued fobs will be deactivated after November 1st if the group does not come forward and provide an individual name (i.e., basketball coach's name) for the fob. If you know of anyone that might find themselves in this situation, please tell them to contact the Lakeview office and we will put them in touch with the correct people.
1. I have met with Diane Konjura. Diane is truly an expert in this area and has a multitude of resources and ideas when we are talking about creating equitable, interesting classroom libraries with books at a variety of levels. Diane will be involving Jen, Janice, and Rachel in the discussion.
2. At some point soon, we will be asking classroom teachers what books/series are needed in classrooms. We know that different rooms have different needs.
3. After that, we will figure out what we can order and make purchases.
I am going to keep the project moving along quickly, but it will take a little bit of time to do it "right". I appreciate your patience.
In the meantime, there have been questions about leveling libraries. Thank you to Rachel, Janice, and Jen for putting together this document which explains a project you might think about for the future.
Finally, some people have asked about the Literacy Leveler app, which may be able to identify reading levels for books that are not in the Scholastic library (see document above). We plan to install this app on several library iPads, which you may check out when not in use if desired.
Character Dares & Trauma Sensitive Schools
Here it is! Character dare #8. Time for a little relationship reflection.