Beating the Odds

Lakeview Staff Newsletter - Nov 9

AGR Goals

Over the past weeks, people sporadically asked me, "Do we need to do anything for you about AGR goals?" My answer has been "no" because as the incoming building leader, I really wanted to take some time to wait for the most valuable student data and wrap my own brain around it. I know who Lakeview is: it is our students and staff, the culture of high expectations for character and achievement, the instructional strategies, the family support, etc. The AGR goal-setting process gave me a chance to view Lakeview through yet one more facet, and that took more time this year than you may have been used to in the past.

Remember that AGR stands for "Achievement Gap Reduction" so the question forefront in my mind was "Where is the Gap?" That's a different question than asking who is performing at grade level or not. The idea is that if we can identify the specific gap, we focus our efforts on that spot to fill it and see growth. It's like our student on the bike: if some students are missing a link on their bike chain, we notice it, fix it, and celebrate when they start zooming off down the sidewalk.

So ... here is a link to the AGR presentation from Wednesday night. Rachel and I appeared together to inform the board of our goals for this year. On June 5th, we will return to tell the board how we did at meeting our goals. Our AGR goals are meant to reflect the work you are doing in classrooms and on SLOs this year, and it is data we can directly impact through our deliberate day-to-day choices as professionals. No need to collect additional data. Go through the presentation and we'll talk about this briefly at next week's staff meeting.

Classroom Door Signs

Last week, I mentioned that I would create a Google Form that would automatically create a sign to post by your door. Here is the link to the survey. Please complete by the end of the day on Monday, Nov 12. The picture shows what the sign will look like when complete. When you complete the survey, if there are blank entries, that's ok - we will delete those parts on the sign so only the answers you provide show up.

Book Room

On Wednesday, two representatives from Custom Education Solutions visited all four elementary schools to look at school book rooms. They originally intended to visit some classroom libraries as well, but did not get that far. I know that Lakeview has worked hard on the book room over the past years and that people use it frequently. But the "health" of our book room is not good. In fact, it is pretty urgent and we need to do something about it. The good news is that we are going to do something about it pretty fast.

We've been diligently implementing Reader's and Writer's Workshop, but if we don't have the high-quality instructional tools that are designed to move our kiddos from A to B to C to Z, we're going to feel like we are spinning our wheels. This is likely going to be a multi-year process, starting with a focus on the book room, then pushing out to classroom libraries over the coming years. This was discussed at PTO last night because the PTO has graciously agreed to help us with this urgent project. Thank you to our PTO! The PTO continues to recognize the personal funds that teachers spend on your own classroom libraries and the inequity that exists, so the PTO will allocate some funds for classroom libraries as well as a larger share to the book room.

There will be many more discussions about this in the next two months, but I want to at least give you an assessment of the situation.

Safety Drill Nov 15

On Thursday, November 15th, we will conduct our first safety drill of the year at 2:05 p.m. Our new district safety director, Michael Goldman, will be with us to see our procedures and provide recommendations. We practice this type of drill to give you one possibility of how to react in an emergency. In the event of a true safety emergency, you are empowered to make the decisions that are in the best interest of your students depending on the situation. For Thursday's drill, please follow normal guidelines, including locked doors, students out of sight, lights off, everyone silent. If someone knocks on your door, you should not answer. On a regular basis, you should keep your door locked all day, every day so it could be shut quickly and already locked.

Google Expeditions

I know many classes have been taking an "expedition" lately - keep it up! These are amazing opportunities that fit with our evolving vision of high-quality instruction. Here are some requests:

• Use it at the beginning of a unit (instead of the end). Look to do an expedition in the first few days of a unit. It builds curiosity, inquiry, and engagement into the unit right away.

• Don't just think of it as a science thing. Look at your next math and literacy unit and see how you could incorporate an expedition.

• We need more teachers to become experts in how to set up and use the devices. It's not difficult at all, and it means you don't have to depend on someone else's schedule to take your class on an adventure.

Here is a link to list of Google Expeditions that you can use! Have fun! It's a long list, so if you have a key word, use Control+F to search and find your key word(s) instead of scrolling through it all.

Looking Ahead

Monday, November 12

Math drop-in day at Lakeview. Please be ready for families to join you during your math block.

Cherrydale fundraiser pick-up from 2:00-5:30 in the gym.

Tuesday, November 13

Sunshine hosts a sandwich luncheon!

Wednesday, November 14

Staff meeting 7:15 a.m.

Thursday, November 15 - Lakeview Movie Evening.

This is a Thursday dinner-time event. Thank you to our PTO for sponsoring this event!

Here is a link to the flyer that went home.

Safety Drill 2:05 p.m. - see below

Friday, November 16

Vision screening for 5K and 5th grades in the morning

Tuesday, November 20

Admiral's Reader in 5K - 2 p.m.

Please plan to wear blue Admiral's shirts this day.

November 21, 22, 23

Thanksgiving break

Structural Items

Family newsletter - Here is a link to this week's family newsletter.

Illuminate - (Illuminate itself is not a "structural" piece, but the following information is) As mentioned in a previous email, all student data should be entered into Illuminate by November 20. If you are unsure which data or if you might need more time, please talk to Jen, Janice, Beth, or me. Why? Because Illuminate is only as good as the data we enter into it, and it will be important that we have solid data on every student to draw upon moving forward.

Outdoors - Please be consistent with the following 3 items:

#1 - In the morning, please be sure one supervisor is on the south side of the building (by the 2nd & 5th grade doors). This person should peek around the corner to be sure no students are on the east playground in the morning.

#2 - Students must have both boots AND snow pants to leave the blacktop when there is snow.

#3 - No coats on the ground at Lakeview (I never let students hang coats on fences or playground equipment, either).

Character Dares & Trauma Sensitive Schools

Here is this week's character dare. It is a week early for Thanksgiving.
Character Dare #11