Beating the Odds

Lakeview Staff Newsletter - January 4

New Year's Goals

Welcome back, everyone. I love breaks as much as any educator, but I've never been as excited to get back to school with our students and with all of you as I was this year. I hope you had a nice holiday.


This is the time of year when people set New Year's goals. Here's my take:

The goals are nice, but it's the reflection underlying the goals that is really the key.

We look back at the past year and reflect on the times when we felt good and the times where we missed the mark. That's what leads us to make goals such as "I want to spend more time with family" or "I want to be a healthier person".


I am confident that the best way to build the learning culture we have set for ourselves at Lakeview is to foster reflective practice. The more reflective each of us is on a daily basis, the more impact we have on each other and our students. There is plenty to reflect on in a school:

• A single piece of student work

• A moment of positive student character (it didn't happen by accident)

• Questions that we asked in class

• How to be sure that one quiet student is fully engaged

• Did students hit the learning target? How do I know?

• Relationships with families

• An assessment given to the entire class

• And so much more ...


Let me be clear: I know there is solid reflection happening at Lakeview. Perhaps our New Year's goal is to make reflection a conscious, regular practice. Talk about your reflections with others. We know how valuable think-alouds are for students. They're valuable for adults, too.


I came to this realization far too late in my career. I probably reflect about my first years as a teacher more now than I ever did in the moment. What I do recognize now is that schools that are more self-reflective about their work seem to have better student, teacher, and family relationships and they seem to grow and achieve more. Here's to a reflective 2019.

For January 9 Staff Meeting

As we prepare for our January 9th staff meeting, please do the following:

1. Read this very short piece on learning targets and study the graphic. This is a snippet from the same, longer article you read for the December staff meeting.

2. Complete this two question survey on your experiences with learning targets so far - please do this by noon on Monday.

3. Bring the collection of learning targets that you have used so far in some type of format that others at your table can see - it could be a collection of digital photos on your laptop, a written document, etc.

Welcome to ...

DeAnna O'Grady is our new 4th and 5th grade paraprofessional. DeAnna worked at the middle school a few years ago, and we are thrilled that she saw South Milwaukee and Lakeview as a place where she wanted to be. DeAnna is working with Michelle Amich in Melissa Jastrow's former position. Please welcome DeAnna!

Bookroom Update

• Please do not take anything from the bookroom or return anything to the bookroom at this time. If you have materials to return, take them to Rachel's room.

• We are working at top speed to have the bookroom ready by January 28. At this point, we are up to 3756 books (with that number still rising) that all need to be individually handled and re-organized. We are swimming in adhesive labels ...

• I am really touched by all the ways people are pitching in to get the work done. If you can spare a few minutes to help, please let us know.

• Thanks to Jeff for cleaning and painting the bookroom over break!

Do you have a small table to donate to our bookroom? We could use a small table (about 24" diameter or 24"x24" square) for the middle of the bookroom. It would have to be tall enough as well. If you think you have one, take a picture of it and send the measurements to me.

Next Golden Lion Assembly

Friday, January 18 from 1:30-2:00 p.m.

We have another full wall of Golden Lions, so it is time to recognize these students and send them home. Do you have a student who hasn't received a Golden Lion yet this year? It's time to find a way to recognize him/her.

Upcoming Assessments

'Tis the season for Winter assessments:


MAP Testing window is open January 3rd through the 24th.

When your grade level has set dates and times for MAP testing, please enter them into this spreadsheet.


PALS testing grades - please be sure to touch base with Janice.


Spelling Inventory - In Fall, we noticed that many students have spelling inventories that do not correlate with their running record or MAP score. Since we know that the spelling inventory is a truly helpful indicator for us, would you please remind and stress to students that this is something that really matters to us and we want to know just how well they can do.

Looking Ahead

Wednesday, January 9

Staff meeting 7:15 a.m. - Learning targets, part 2 of 3 (see info above)


Thursday, January 10

PTO meeting 7-8 p.m.


Tuesday, January 15

Geo Bee for 4th and 5th grades from 9-11 a.m.


Wednesday, January 16

Sunshine Appetizer Luncheon


Friday, January 18

Golden Lion assembly 1:30 p.m.

Trauma Sensitive Article

The District Trauma Sensitive Leadership Team is reading this article for our upcoming meeting. I thought it was so good that I wanted to share it with all of you right away.


In my own reflection on Trauma Sensitive practices so far, I think the key word is consistency. Students who consistently experience the world outside of school in a negative or unpredictable manner assume that every experience inside school will be negative or unpredictable, too. These children need to see that every adult inside the school is consistently positive to combat that notion. Trauma sensitive is not about knowing anyone's stories or making excuses. It's about trusting that consistent and predictable will always eventually overcome inconsistency and unpredictability if we provide it.

Structural Items

Family newsletter - No family newsletter this week. Please be ready for January 10.


Brightbytes/Clarity survey - is open until January 8th. About 2/3 of our teachers and 2/3 of our 3rd-5th grade students have completed the survey. Be sure to complete by Tuesday.


Recess - Please remind students about coats outside. "No coats on the ground at Lakeview" is an expectation, even on surprisingly warm days in January.


Lockers - Please ensure that all students close lockers completely during the day. It just makes our school look cleaner and more inviting to people walking down the hallway.


Elementary Blackout Dates - Here is a link to the calendar

Character Dares & Trauma Sensitive Schools

Here is the character dare for next week. Maybe you're not able to attend something this particular week, but it might be possible at a later date. The key is asking and showing interest.
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