Bella Vista Staff Bulletin

01/26/2015 v.1 issue 17

Quote of the Week

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If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.


We Learn!

Balanced Literacy Updates

Balanced Literacy is happening in all classrooms!

  • Students are engaged in Independent Reading & Writing on a daily basis.

  • Guided Reading is at work in most classrooms, as is Writing Workshop. The goal for Trimester 2 is for teachers to meet with a minimum of 2 Guided Reading groups per day. If you need a thought/planning partner to meet this goal, contact Ms. Seaberg or Mrs. Cho.

  • During Independent Reading students should be reading books at their independent level. While it is tempting for students to attempt to read books that are more difficult, due to how they look (lengthy chapter books, older student chapter books, etc.), this will not help the students progress in their reading skills.

  • Check in with students during reading conferences about their choices if you think they are not reading books at their level.

  • In February, Mrs. Cho and Ms. Seaberg will lead a Wednesday PD on norming the comprehension portion of the Reading Record. We must look at this before we begin winter assessments, so we can accurately gauge our students' independent and instructional reading levels.

  • Also in February, teachers will be released during the day to meet in PLCs to use the Common Core State Standards in ELA to develop mini-lessons for Reading Workshop.

Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities

  • Since the Buy Back Day has been cancelled, we have lost a significant PD opportunity.
  • However, there will be other PD sessions – on Wednesday afternoons and on Saturdays – that are highly recommended. Please refer to the Email messages from Ms. Phillips for details.

We Live!

OEA Bargaining Update

  • The District and the Oakland Education Association, the union representing 2,700 teachers and other certificated personnel, have been working since last year on negotiating a new 3-year contract.
  • The District recently released an overview and FAQ on its website to inform employees and the public about the negotiations, and posted an update on agreements reached so far.
  • OEA members can visit the OEA website or check in with union leaders to review OEA’s position on the District’s latest offers.
  • To view the bargaining agreements in place with the eight unions representing OUSD employees, visit the District’s Human Resources website.

Planning for the 2015-2016 School Year

Here is a recap of the information that was shared during last week’s Faculty and Classified Staff meetings:

  • Our General Ed enrollment is expected to decrease by 35 students next year; SDC enrollment is expected to remain the same
  • Because of the enrollment decrease, we will lose three teaching positions next year.
  • Because of the enrollment decrease, we will have more empty classrooms next year and may have to share space with a charter school.

Over the next few weeks, Ms. Phillips will continue to meet with stakeholders – teachers, classified staff, School Site Council, Instructional Leadership Team, parents, partners and the community – to share updated information and gather input that will inform budget and staffing for next year.

Please see Ms. Phillips with any questions, comments or concerns.

Dismissal Reminders

With close to 400 students leaving at dismissal by foot, car or bus, there is significant traffic congestion at dismissal.

Teachers can help ease the congestion by:

  • making sure that students are promptly dismissed when the bells rings
  • Ensuring that parents who want to check in with you are not parked illegally.

The Things Kids Say!

A new column for the S'more version of the bulletin. We all know kids come up with the funniest sayings, quotes, & have great thinking going on & often times it's too good to not share! If one of your students says something notable, quotable, or just plain funny, drop Ms.Seaberg.

Our students are living a digital life! This comes from a 2nd grader in Mrs. Chu's class.

Ms. Seaberg: How do you mail a letter?

Students: blank stare

Ms. Seaberg: Ok, so say I want to mail a letter to my dad in Texas, what would I do?

Students: blank stare

Ms. Seaberg: How can I send him a letter?

Student: Turn on your phone and press send.

Ms. Seaberg: Yes, I could send him an email.


Ms. Seaberg: But what if I wanted to send him THIS book (holding up a book)?

Students: blank stare, then send it on an airplane.

We Achieve!

Showcasing Student Achievement Through Data Walls

  • OUSD is continuing its campaign to bring data and evidence to the forefront of decision-making, planning, and implementation.
  • Every school in the District will use Data Walls to monitor student performance and inform improvements.
  • Data Walls provide school staff with a clear visual representation of student progress based on key indicators, such as reading, attendance, and discipline.
  • On Wednesday, February 4, during PLC meetings, we will create the data walls using Fall assessment data and use them as a starting point to begin our next Literacy Cycle of Inquiry.

More information can be found here: OUSD Data Walls

Upcoming Student Contests

  • The California Writers Club Annual Fifth Grade Story Contest offers cash prizes for winning entries.

  • The Asian Pacific Fund’s Growing Up Asian in America contest will honor Bay Area students from grades K-12 who submit winning artwork or writing related to the theme “Celebrating Our Roots.”

  • The 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Fest kicks off in February. The theme this year is “A Call to Action”. Individuals, small groups, and classes are invited to prepare presentations of three minutes or less.

  • Bella Vista’s qualifying event will be held on Thursday, February 12.

  • Our first book giveaway of the year ends this week. Thank you, Ms. Lee, for coordinating this effort.
  • Recently our District’s Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Devin Dillon, joined Deputy Chief for Early Childhood Learning Ray Mondragon for a walkthrough of lower grades classes and gave great feedback that will be shared with teachers. Thank you Ms. Ruth, Ms. Xiao and Mrs. Schooling for welcoming us into your classrooms!
  • The Oakland Public Education Fund is sponsoring African American Read-In, a week long celebration beginning Monday, February 2, to kick off Black History Month. Bella Vista will join schools throughout the city in showcasing the works of African American authors and illustrators and engaging families of African American students to volunteer as guest readers.
  • SAVE THE DATE: OUSD Superintendent Antwan Wilson, along with Chief Academic Officer Dr. Devin Dillon and Chief of Schools Allen Smith, will visit Bella Vista on Tuesday, March 17, from 8:00 until 9:30.
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Mon., Jan. 26

Street Sweeping

LESSON PLANS DUE FROM: Chen, Garcia, Hansen, Morente, V. Nguyen, O’Brien, Rajanikanth, Schooling, Stone, Tai, Thai, Ung

  • 9:00 Book Giveaway – 5th Grade (Auditorium)

Tues., Jan. 27

Street Sweeping

  • 10:00 Book Giveaway – TK (Auditorium)

Weds., Jan. 28

Minimum Day

  • Crisis Prevention PD Day 1 (Tai, Yang are off campus)
  • 10:00 Book Giveaway – Kindergarten (Auditorium)
  • 2:15 Teacher Professional Learning

Thurs., Jan. 29

  • Crisis Prevention PD Day 2 (Tai, Yang are off campus)
  • 10:00 Coordination of Services Team Meeting (room 11)

Student of the Month Assemblies (Auditorium)
  • 12:45 Grades 3-5
  • 1:25 Grades TK-K
  • 2:00 Grades 1-2

Fri., Jan. 30

  • 1:00 TK/K Motor Skills

Next Week

Mon., Feb. 2


LESSON PLANS DUE FROM: Cho, Chu, Gibbons, Lee, C. Nguyen, Prchlik, Quach, Smith, Takeuchi, Webb, Xiao and Yang

  • 2:55 Reserved for OEA Business
  • 3:00 PBIS Planning Team Meeting (room 11)

Tues., Feb. 3

Weds., Feb. 4

Minimum Day

  • 2:15 Professional Learning-PLC Meetings (room 11)

Thurs., Feb. 5

Principals’ Meeting (Phillips is off campus)

  • 5:30 PTA Meeting (Auditorium)

Fri., Feb. 6

  • 9:00 Student Attendance Review Team (SART) Meeting (Auditorium)
  • 1:00 TK/K Motor Skills