Principal's Corner #22

February 14, 2020


  • To Alison Berner, Joan Salinger and Melissa Adler for holding up the front office this week when I had to be out unexpectedly; it is nice to be able to focus on my children and know our school is in good hands.
  • To Andrea Aibner for being a team player. When we were short a substitute, she stepped up and filled in for a 1st grade teacher. It truly takes a village.
  • To Ken Martinez for the extra hours he has put in these last few weeks removing snow and trying to keep our sidewalks ice free.

From Katie Johnson

  • To Kori Shaiman for always being a person not only kids but the people she works with love and respect her!


Cougar Staff Shout Out: CLICK HERE

If you haven't submitted a shout out...consider doing so. It makes a difference!

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Literacy Notes from Lois

Thank you for your time during our conferring observation sessions this week. The past few weeks have been full of IRLA information, conferring, and data talks. It is a great deal of information but it’s necessary as we move towards the district goal of aligning our literacy instruction.

As we continue to work towards resetting our power goals, setting up equitable conferring schedules and entering data in School Pace, we are already seeing some gains in our data! Below is a screen shot of our latest conferring data from February 13. The week of February 3rd our conferring percentage was 75.7 The increase is reason to celebrate!

A reminder of Cottonwood’s goals going forward:

*Establishing appropriate power goals for our students based on our recalibration conferences.

*Equitable conferring with evidence entered in School Pace.

We will have our optional IRLA drop in work session on Wednesday, February 26th. Please drop in for all things literacy! I’m happy to help set up equitable conferring groups, discuss appropriate power goals, discuss how IRLA fits into the BOE, come up with strategies to make entering data in school pace manageable, balanced literacy, etc. The drop-in session will be held in the collaboration room.

Lois’ Schedule-Week of February 18th:

Tuesday, 2/18-Cottonwood AM, Creekside PM

Wednesday, 2/19-CRE Design Studio at Buffalo Trail

Thursday, 2/20-Cottonwood AM/Learning Lab at Arrowhead PM

My schedule will return to Wednesday/Thursday at Cottonwood beginning Wednesday, February 26th.

Thank you so much for all that you do! Enjoy the long weekend.

Please be sure to pick up your students from lunch on time. We need students picked up and returned to class promptly so we have time to clean between lunches. Thank you.

From the Desk of Alison Berner

New Recertification Requirement Questions???

During mid-year reviews, it came to my attention that there may be some confusion out there about the new ELA professional development requirement for renewal of teaching licenses. CDE explains all of the requirements in great detail here. A few key points are:

  • If you hold an active Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Education endorsement (or CLD Bilingual, LDE or LDE Bilingual) on your teaching license, you have already met this requirement and do not need to document 45 hours of professional learning.
  • If you were issued a professional license on or before August 31, 2018, you may renew your license once before you have to meet these requirements.(Please note: the designation still will appear on your license, so if you meet the requirements now, please take the time to complete and submit the matrix or obtain a certificate from an approved provider.)
  • If you were issued a professional license in these endorsement areas (elementary, math, science, social studies and English language arts) on or after September 1, 2018, you will need to meet this requirement the next time you renew your license. This means you will have at least five (5) years to fulfill these requirements.
  • For all other educators (including special service providers, principals and administrators): This is optional professional learning that you can meet during your renewal cycle and document on your educator credential.

I hope this helps clear things up. If you have any further questions, let me know. If I don’t have the answer, I’ll be glad to help you find it!

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Lunch with the Principal

Do you have something on your mind? Are there celebrations you want to share? Do you have ideas you want to be heard? Or do you just want to talk? If so, join me for lunch on Friday, February 28th during your lunch time. This is not mandatory/required. I'll be in the collaboration room with light snacks available, so bring your lunch and let's chat.
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Please email me if you are interested in attending the PBL institute; see the information below.

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  • Monday, February 17: No School
  • Tuesday, February 18: No School for students
  • Wednesday, February 19: Katie out - Breakthrough Coaching (PAC will be rescheduled)
  • Thursday, February 20: Katie and Joan Out Breakthrough Coaching
  • Thursday, February 20: Collaborative Team Day, 1st (AM), 4th (PM)
  • Thursday, February 20: Safety/PBIS committee
  • Friday, February 21: Katie and Alison out, EPC
  • Tuesday, February 25: Katie out, UIP
  • Wednesday, February 26: Staff Meeting
  • Wednesday, February 26: Optional School Pace and Power Goal Work Session, Collaboration Space during planning and/or after school
  • Thursday, February 27: Collaborative Team Day, K (AM), 5th (PM)
  • Friday, February 28: Lunch with the Principal, Collaboration Room during lunch blocks
  • Friday, March 13: 1st-5th Supply Lists due to Katie
  • Thursday, April 2: Collaborative Team Day, 2nd (AM), 3rd (PM)
  • Thursday, April 9: Collaborative Team Day, 1st (AM), 4th (PM)
  • Thursday, April 16: Collaborative Team Day, K (AM), 5th (PM)
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RSVP for District IRLA Workshop

For Grades K-2nd February 24th 4:00-5:30 Fremont Building