To the Point

Prairie Point Staff Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 5: Friday, October 14, 2016

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Every Kid Needs a Champion

Many of you have probably viewed this TED Talk at one time or another, but I always find it such an inspirational one to revisit.

Those connections that we make with our students may be the single most important thing that we do all year. Many of our students seek out classmates, teachers, and other adults at the school so easily while others are harder to connect with. During the craziness of the school day, it is easy to forget about those kiddos who fly under the radar or are disconnected. I truly believe that we are doing a great service to our students and to ourselves when we are intentionally finding ways to connect with all students, as well as cultivating an environment where students are connecting with each other.

As our 1st - 3rd graders are in the process of taking the SEL survey this week, I realize how fortunate we are to have such a powerful tool to look at students and begin to identify those students who might not have a lot of connections or who might be flying under the radar. We will take time on Friday afternoon to look at some of our preliminary data, but more importantly start those conversations about what we will do with the data.

If you have not had a chance to view Rita Pierson's TED talk...or it has been awhile, please watch it. It is one that always inspires me to do better!

Important Information

Friday SIP Day

As a reminder, students dismiss at 12:45pm on Friday.

Certified Staff: Following student dismissal, you will have time for lunch and then have teacher initiative time. The last hour of the day will be a one-hour faculty meeting. Please see the attachment below for the district list of certified staff options for initiative work time. I do not believe that it has changed significantly from last year.

Secretaries and Teaching Assistants: Please see the attached agenda specifically for TAs and for Secretaries.

Thank you for all that you will do to make this time meaningful and beneficial for students.

Wednesday Team Days

As I shared at our Faculty Meeting and followed up with last week, our admin team is working really hard on identifying and streamlining our Team day. Our goals are two-fold. First, we want to make sure that we are providing solid problem-solving support for our teachers. Second, we want to assure that we are using our limited time in the most efficient way that we can.

As I shared last week, we have a very solid plan for where we are going. Ultimately, we want to provide the tools for teachers to be able to do some problem-solving for struggling students during your PLC time. This should be time when you are able to invite Katie and Maureen or other support staff to discuss Tier 1 and 2 interventions. You will also be able to begin progress monitoring before coming to Team. We will work, over the next year, to provide you with resources and tools, so that this can begin to happen. In the meantime, however, we will continue to run our Team days with the same structure that we have in the past - with only a few minor shifts to account for some of the Student Success Plan changes that are coming midyear.

Thank you for our continued feedback and ideas! Below is an updated draft, based on what feedback I received, that outlines what our Team Days will look like.

In Every Issue...

Wednesday Meetings


TEAM is up and running for the year. As you may recall from last year, RTI is now called MTSS - Multi-tiered Systems of Support.

As we reviewed during the August Institute, we will be updating the process and paperwork a bit midyear. Please don't stress about this - there will be time and training that is given for this transition.

In the meantime, if you need to bring a student up to TEAM, please complete the same paperwork we've had in the past. You can find that at our building TEAM website. Link is below. If you're unsure about how to bring a student up for support, or have other questions about the problem-solving process, please don't hesitate to visit a member of TEAM.

One little adjustment, that will hopefully streamline the process, is that if you have a student who is on the TEAM calendar you will receive an invite to the meeting on your Google Calendar. Not everyone has full access to the weebly calendar, so you should rely on receiving those email invites through Google Calendar.

Wednesday Morning Meeting Schedule

The file below contains all of the Building, PLC, and SIP day meetings for the year. It will be updated regularly as the plans or schedule changes.


Next Wednesday is a PLC day. Please be ready to meet from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

Enjoy your time together!

PLCs and Agenda Options

Please know that any specialist, Jen, or I can join your meetings to discuss important topics or answer questions. If you'd like one of us to come to your meetings, don't hesitate to ask. I love to see all the great work that your teams are doing. Go Prairie Point!!!

  • Please remember to share your agenda and notes with me and others who need the information.
  • Before the meeting ends, decide what you will discuss and address at your next collaborative meeting which will take place next week.
  • Enjoy this time with one another.

The link below contains files for 3 different templates for PLC agendas/notes. Please utilize them for your team meetings and share them with Jennifer/Jen and any specialists that you have working with your team.

The video below shows you how to save the agenda templates to your own Google Drive.

SD 308 PLC Agenda Video

News and Info


Congratulations to Kate Mosher on finishing the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! We are all so proud of your AWESOME accomplishment.

In case anyone was wondering - the 40th Anniversary BoA Chicago Marathon is next year and the lottery to register starts on November 1st. Are you in?


A little bit of an up and down weekend...that's all I'm going to say about that.

I am still looking forward to continuing my #FlytheW column in two weeks and I am a firm believer in not jinxing as we move into the best of five series this week, I am just keepin' the faith!

I will share with you that I recently told my dad that I was running a #FlyTheW column at work and after spending quite some time explaining that it is a hashtag, not a pound sign...he laughed that the W flags have become such a big deal over the past few seasons. My dad grew up on Wayne St., just a few blocks from Wrigley Field. He was a huge Cubs fan and has tons of stories of going to Wrigley Field after games to stack chairs for a Bleacher ticket or cutting school to watch games ;)

One of the stories that he told me was that back in the day, he would be at school during the games and one of the only way that he would know if the Cubs had one or lost was by going to the ballpark and looking up at the flag! Funny in a day of phones, Internet and endless media coverage that there was a time we relied on a flag over a field to let us know who won!

Go Cubs Go!

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