Staff Weekly Update

For the Week of March 23rd, 2015

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The Power of Expectations - and how you can become BATMAN!

Well, kind of. Let me step back for just a moment & give a quick "plug" for NPR's podcast called Invisibilia. They are fascinating stories of how invisible forces in our lives impact human behavior. When doing dishes or folding laundry, podcasts are what I listen to and this particular one was amazing & relevant. It's called: How To Become Batman. Each podcast is about an hour long, so I certainly won't be able to share its entire contents below, but the link to it is here, if you'd like to take a listen. However, I've shared a few parts that I hope will intrigue you to want to listen to it, but more importantly, will shift your mindset regarding what expectations do we have for our students? our colleagues? our families and community?
  • One evening, psychologist, Bob Rosenthal, hung signs on all of the rat cages. Some signs said that the rat in the cage was incredibly smart & some signs said that the rat in the cage was incredibly dumb, even though neither of these things was true. They were very average rats could buy from a research institute.
  • Next, Bob brings a group of experimenters into his lab & says for the next week, some are going to get the very smart rats & some the very dumb rats. Their job is to run their rat through a maze & record how well it does. The results were so dramatic. The smart rats did almost 2X as well as the dumb rats.
  • Bob figured out was that the expectations that the experimenters had in their head actually translated into a whole set of tiny behavior changes. Expectations subtly changed the way that the experimenters touched the rats & then, in turn, the way the rats behaved. So when the experimenters thought the rats were really smart, they felt more warmly towards the rats & touched them more carefully.
  • And in people? It turns out that this kind of dynamic happens in people, too. Carol Dweck (author of Mindset), states: You may be standing farther away from someone you have lower expectations for, you may not be making as much eye contact. And it's not something you can put your finger on. We're not usually aware of how we are conveying our expectations to other people, but it's there. Teacher expectations can raise or lower a student's IQ score.
  • These expectation effects exist on a continuum. As we come to understand things that are possible and mechanisms through which a belief affects an outcome or one person affects another person, that line can move.


So . . . how can you become Batman out of this podcast? You'll have to listen to get the full understanding of this implication. :)

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Epic! eBooks for Kids

Calendar Items & Reminders

Mon. 3/23

  • 7:30 - Office Team Meeting - Connie's office
  • 8:00 - ACR (Fure) - conf. room
  • 12:30 - 2:30 - Literacy Coach meeting - SGE conf. room
  • 2:30 - 504 Meeting - Lisa's office


Tues. 3/24

  • PTO Staff Luncheon - BRUNCH items will be served! - staff lounge
  • 4th Grade - Famous Hoosiers Wax Museum - gymnasium
  • Martha - Out all day for PD regarding IEP's
  • 9:30 - 11:30 - Connie in Leadership Team meeting - PVE
  • 6:30 - 7:30 - 4th Grade Parent Preview Night for Human Growth & Development - ESC


Wed. 3/25

  • 6:00 - SGE Drama Club Spring Play - PorridgeGate!
  • 6:30 - Connie in meeting with freshman students from Butler University's COE - Carolina Grill


Thurs. 3/26

  • 8:00 - RtI/PBIS - K-4th - Please bring any students to this meeting regarding behavior supports.
  • 10:00 - 12:00 - Elementary Principals mtg - Connie/Martha - ESC


Fri. 3/27 - Fri. 4/3: SPRING BREAK!

April 14th - 8:00AM in the Media Center! All staff will need to attend this benefits meeting regarding Supplemental Insurance Options. ZCS has a new provider - All State. Please attend this meeting to find out more details! Thank you!

Outdoor Recess Time!

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Teachers, just a friendly reminder to please ensure you are walking around the playground during outdoor recess. While we know we cannot have eyes in the back of our heads, walking around and maintaining playground proximity will be our best defense for helping to minimize accidents and negative behaviors. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Important Notes from Our School Treasurer!

Have you worked hard at a grant? Have you ever received a donation of any kind in your role as teacher? If so, please read the bullet points below . . .

  • Any donations you receive through Donors Choose, ZEF Grants, other Grants, or donations of any kind must be reported to the Board of Trustees.
  • When we receive donations such as Chrome Books, iPads, (technology)., IT needs to be notified at the same time as the Board, so they can pick up, tag, and return those items to SGE. The IT department will never be aware unless we signal to them of such donations.
  • Ultimately, it is important to realize the Board accepts the gifts on behalf of ZCS, and they become the property of Zionsville Community Schools. So, you may ask, I do this work and get a grant or a Chromebook and it is the property of the school district? Yes.
  • Always notify Connie, Martha, and Jen of such donations and/or grants/DonorsChoose items for pre-approval.

Custodial Needs? Feel Free to Call Kathy!

Just wanted to make sure you knew that Kathy Boyne is happy to help out if you need her assistance. I highly advise you enter these two numbers in your contacts ASAP:


  • Kathy's personal cell phone: 1-765-894-0606
  • Sodexo cell phone: 1-317-590-3479 - Kathy has this phone during the day & Rose has this phone during the evening!

SPECIAL THANKS TO . . .

1st Grade team, USS Team, & Instructional Assistants! Our Cafe staff, bus drivers, and custodians were spoiled by your loving notes and warmly-served breakfast! WELL DONE!


3rd Grade team - Birthday Breakfast was a FEAST! Thank you for setting up such delicious goodies for everyone to enjoy all day long!

Here are our beautiful birthday friends for the month of March!

March 17th - Vicki Watson

Monthly Lifelines

September - Respect

October - Flexibility

November - Gratitude (I am grateful for ALL of you!)

December - Generosity

January - Responsibility

February - Friendship

March - Perseverance

April - Self-Control

May - Integrity

Beautiful video. Compassion and kindness are languages we can all understand. Enjoy!

Entire neighbourhood learns sign language so they can talk to deaf man - and it moves him to tears