Staff Memo

Sept. 6, 2013

Classroom spaces

“It has been said that the environment should act as a kind of aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and cultures of the people who live there.”

-Loris Malaguzzi, Reggio Emilia

It has been a delight to visit classrooms and observe how you carved out whole group areas so you could gather students around you for read-alouds, teaching, and conversation. This is one way to encourage bonding in your classroom. Eye contact is important for students with each other and students with you.

Thanks for taking time before school started to reflect upon how you might use your classroom space in new ways. I am grateful for the attention you paid to your classroom environments. Thank you.

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Half-Day PD time expectations

From Dr. Niedermeyer concerning half-day PD:

There have been questions about the times for the afternoon PD sessions. We are planning on 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. for the elementary schools. This allows for the 30 minute duty free lunch and a shortened prep for all teachers.

More info from me:

  • There will be no specials that day. DeAnn, Donna, Denise, and Beth A will be going to SCE for PD all AM.

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Classroom management plans

It is extremely helpful for me (and Melissa) to have a copy of each teacher's classroom management plan or Social Contract. Classroom teachers, it is so helpful to know your expectations. Specials folks, same goes for you. When we work with kiddos who need more support with behavior, it is helpful to refer to a copy of your classroom plan.

Also, the expectation is that classroom procedures and/or expectations are posted on your classroom walls so that anyone entering the room understands the expectations for behavior. This helps guest teachers, parents, and other observers who visit us at CRES.

Please make sure your students know and understand your classroom expectations. Reviewing your plans daily is still quite appropriate in the coming weeks.

Please email your plan to me (photos, word docs, etc.) by Sept. 18. A copy in my mailbox is also fine.

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Goal setting and evaluation meetings

Yes, it is that time of year. I would like to sit down with each certified staff member and talk about goals and evaluation procedures. Please schedule 15 minutes with me. I am here by 7:00 most AM's and try to leave by 4:30 or so. We can meet before, during, or after school. Either stop by or email and we'll get something on the calendar.

A Pep Talk from Kid President to You

Quotes on which to end

"Wise teachers create an environment that encourages students to teach themselves."
~Leonard Roy Frank

"Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants."

~John W. Gardner

"You are the product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?

~ W Clement Stone

"The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer."

~Alice Wellington Rollins

"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn."

~Ignacio Estrada

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Looking Ahead

Monday, Sept. 9 Day 2

  • Pledge - Greiwe
  • NWEA testing for grades 3-4 Sept. 3-16
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab - Team 4 - PD room

Tuesday, Sept. 10 Day 3

  • NWEA testing for grades 3-4 Sept. 3-16
  • 7:30 Learning Leadership Team - PD room
  • 9:45 Admin meeting at FJH - Lisa gone
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab –Team K – PD room

Wednesday, Sept. 11 Day 4

  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab – Team 1 – PD room

Thursday, Sept. 12 Day 1

  • Lockdown drill sometime today
  • 8:00 Office meeting
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab – Team 2 - PD room
  • 5:30-6:30 Beginning of the Year EC picnic

Friday, Sept. 13

  • Team Sports Wear Day
  • 8:00 Staff Meeting - Revised Teacher Effectiveness Rubric and Handbook - PD room
  • 12:01 Students released for the day
  • 12:01-1:00 Lunch/Prep on your own
  • 1:00-4:00 Half day PD - PD room

Monday, Sept. 16 Day 2

  • Pledge - Cook
  • NWEA testing for grades 3-4 Sept. 3-16
  • 8:00 RtI Committee meeting
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab - Team 3 - PD room

Tuesday, Sept. 17 Day 3

  • NWEA testing for grades K-2 Sept. 17-30
  • 1:00-3:00 Elementary Principals' Meeting at CRE
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab –Team 4 – PD room

Wednesday, Sept. 18 Day 4

  • NWEA testing for grades K-2 Sept. 17-30
  • Learning Clubs begin
  • 10:30-12:30 Spec Ed. Compliance training at CRE
  • 1:35 Fire/Storm Drills
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab – Team K – PD room

Thursday, Sept. 19 Day 1

  • NWEA testing for grades K-2 Sept. 17-30
  • 8:00 Office meeting
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab – Team 1 - PD room

Friday, Sept. 20 Day 2

  • $1 Hat Day
  • NWEA testing for grades K-2 Sept. 17-30
  • 3:10-4:00 Team Collab – Team 3 - PD room
  • 5:30-7:30 PTO Grillin' and Chillin'