To the Point

Prairie Point Staff Newsletter

Issue #1: Monday, July 28, 2014

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Welcome Back!

Hello Prairie Point Staff! Welcome back to a new school year. This newsletter is the place for Jen and I to share all staff-related information over the course of the school year.

In this first Issue, we have included some important information for you as you begin planning for your return to school.

A Message to All at Prairie Point

For the Heroes: A Pep Talk From Kid President
If you look at nothing else in this newsletter, please watch the video above from Kid President. I believe this video is an illustration of our mission & vision at Prairie Point. I am asking that all teachers show this video to their classes at some point on the first day of school. Our message to all of our students, staff, and community is that all of us can, and will, do extraordinary things.

On August 28th, the message will continue in our first all-school assembly of the year. Our guest will be Amy Logan, the author of A Girl with a Cape: The true story about the superhero in all of us. Her story begins:

Can someone so small make a difference at all?

Can someone like you make the world seem brand new?

I'm not sure you know this, but I tell you it's true.

It's a story of a superhero...of a kid just like you.

So sit back, bundle up...take a breath...let it out...

A Girl With a Cape is what this is about.

News & Info

Building Information

You are officially able to get into the building to work in your classrooms on Monday, August 4th. During this time, you may get your keys and job from the office. Please note, our summer office hours are 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

When you are working in your classrooms, please recognize that the custodians still have several projects to complete prior to the start of school. If you need help with something, please send an email to Steve. Also, please make sure to bring any garbage downstairs to the dumpster in the hallway. Please do not leave it outside of your classroom.

Please check your mailbox regularly. Mail is starting to arrive, and several of your boxes are full already. Also, mailboxes were shifted, so double check in case yours has moved.

Save the Date: Preview Night!

Preview Night is Thursday, August 14th from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. This year's theme is a Luau. Home and School will be providing dinner for you in the staff lounge beginning at 3:30 p.m. We're using a similar format as in years' past - Grades K & 1 will greet their students in the Community Room; 2nd through 5th will be in the Gym. Classroom lights will be on, but doors will remain locked.

Class Lists

Class lists will be in your mailbox on Tuesday, August 12th, and will be available to the parents online at 4:00 p.m. Thank you to everyone who has come in to check groupings one more time. Please note: Many changes are still being made every day. Please do not plan on anything being finalized until students arrive.

Staff News

We've had some staff changes since school ended in May.

  • Welcome to the K/1 Team - Kerra McCoskey! Kerra joins us from Churchill & will be teaching a morning section of half-day Kindergarten.
  • Welcome to the 2nd Grade Team - Tristin Holman! Tristin is joining us from Old Post. She is replacing Lisa Paluch, who has moved up to teach 3rd grade.
  • We are excited to add the following staff members to TEAM:
    *Katie Lund! Katie is replacing Jessica Mateja as our half-time speech path. Jessica is now the building speech path at BH.
    *Mindy Long is the new building special education coordinator. Mindy is joining District 308 and Kendall County Special Education from the Eisenhower Special Education Cooperative.
  • Jake Austin has accepted a position as the full-time PE teacher at Bristol Grade School in Yorkville. We wish him all the best! We will announce Jake's replacement to you once that person is hired.

Tech Talk

Several staff members are interesting in utilizing this year for online lesson planning. I will purchase accounts for any teacher interesting in using this service. Please see the link below for more information. There are some videos that demonstrate the features and use of this product. Kerra McCoskey and Brian Wiesbrook both use this product already, so I'm sure they can give you information about it.

If you're interested in an account for the 2014-2015 school year, please let me know by Wednesday, August 6th.

We Got New Copiers!

And they are fancy! First, I wanted to let you know that this year we will NOT be rationing paper. We will keep a stock of paper available near both copiers.

In order to log in to copy, scan, or print, you will need to have your ID badge. You will scan your ID badge on the attached barcode reader, and will be able to release print jobs or do other tasks from there.

The copiers are pretty self-explanatory and easy to use. We will send you copier information and train you on it's use once school starts. Don't hesitate to ask Kim, Laurel, Jen, or I for help if you need it.

Upcoming Events

Writer's Workshop Chat

Wednesday, Aug. 6th, 9-11am

Community Room

Let's get together for our 1st Writer's Workshop of the year! We'll meet together at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 6th. The topic of our first meeting will be: Creating a Writing Culture at Prairie Point.

The topics discussed will be:

  • Overview of the Writer's Workshop Philosophy
  • Key components of Writer's Workshop
  • Ideas for Beginning the Year
  • Begin reviewing Unit #1
  • Set dates and topics for future meetings during Quarter 1

I hope you are able to join us! If so, I'll be providing snacks and coffee. If not, we'll make sure to have a record of the conversation and somewhere to access anything that is shared.

In preparation for beginning our journey together regarding Writer's Workshop, it would be helpful to review the following materials.

Grades K-2:

A Guide to the Common Core Writing Workshop - Chapters 1-8

Preview Unit #1 Guide

Grades 3-5:

A Guide to the Writing Workshop - Chapters 1-8 and 12

A Guide to the Common Core Writing Workshop - Chapters 1-4; and 7

Preview Unit #1 Guide

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Rising Star Meeting

Monday, Aug. 11th, 9am-12pm

Conference Room

Our Rising Star Meeting will be getting together to:

  1. Look back on last year
  2. Look ahead to this year's priorities & goals
  3. Discuss plans for the opening days of school.