Lincoln Lion's Local Buzz

February 1, 2019

PLC data work

Thank you for all the work that you did to be prepared for our meetings last Wednesday. Being prepared with your reflection sheet made a great difference in our discussions. I think we will use those forms again in the spring for our next discussion of DRA and 9 weeks data. Her are a few trends that I gleaned form listening to the discussions on Wednesday---and keep in mind I still have one grade level yet to meet with, but there are some common themes in the data and our goals to address next steps:

  1. Perceived lack of effort and ability to sustain focus and drive in longer and more difficult tasks came up in several grade levels. I think to address this it is important for us remember that effort is something that is taught. Our kids can work just as hard and as long as any other kid in any other school. We must hold them to high standards and expectations. That said, it would be unrealistic to say that they go from what we see now to working independently for 40 minutes on a complex writing assessment. Please reflect on your practices and ask yourself, are you dong most of the heavy lifting for your students? Do you allow the productive struggle and let them fail? What have you done to help them learn from mistakes and to make adjustments to their approach so the next time you give them a similar task, they are better at it. There is no magic pill for this concern that many of you are seeing, but reflecting and changing our practices and expectations to help our students have improved effort and stamina on difficult tasks is something we can do starting tomorrow.
  2. We have lots of kids who are on the cusp of becoming proficient. We need to truly focus on those students and do all that we can to keep them moving and in the proficient category by the end of the year. I heard some really interesting conversations about how as a school we have a hyper-focus (if you will) for the students in the red or second quintile. It is a mind set shift to think about the fact that we need to move the kids who can be moved. We can't ignore the others, but lots of focus on moving the kids who are close to making proficient.
  3. Our benchmarks are not connected from the first nine weeks to the second and in ELA because the test is based on end of year skills we do not have great benchmark data, however we are making gains and this hopefully will pay off in the spring.
  4. My gutsy goal of 65% of students in grades K=3 on or above their grade level's DRA end of year benchmark could be very close to achievement. It is clear that we are moving kids and several grade levels (and that includes grades 4 and 5) have 50% or better (one fifth grade glass has in the 70% on grade level) . This is great news. Let's keep going!!

These are just some of the big picture items that I came away from after Wednesday's meetings. Thank you for all that you are doing, teachers and IAs, because this is a team effort to get these kids academically ready for what ever comes their way!

February News Letter

Please have your grade level's monthly update to me before you leave next Thursday. Thanks.

Updating Emergency Sub Plans and Reminders For All Sub Plans

Now that we are in the second semester it is clear that several of you have used your emergency sub plans created at the beginning of the year. This is a good thing, because that is what they are for, but we have noticed that some teachers haven't replenished their plans. Please check with Judy or Kathy if you are unsure if you need to replace plans. Flu season is coming soon, please help yourself and be prepared--have emergency plans ready. Extra plans, if you don't have two full sets, need to be turned into the office

On a different note, but related to sub plans, we received some feedback from a substitute on Friday. This sub has accepted several jobs in our building he has never seen included in plans what to do in any of the rooms to address discipline concerns. Please create a document that can be added to all plans, or included in a sub folder that sits in your room that clearly outlines what to do if a students chooses not to abide by our expectations. This sub was frustrated that the member of the behavior support team pushed into the classroom and support the child. The sub expected that the child would be removed at their request. Since we have so many different subs that could be in our building it is important for us to be clear and informative about the procedures in your classroom and for the school when assistance is needed. With all KCS subs working in multiple buildings and each building does something different we need to include what we do here so subs are set up for success.

Reminders for Parent Conference Day on the 8th

For the upcoming parent conference day on Feb. 8 , teachers may work 1/2 of

the required time (3 hours) late afternoon/evening that same week ( Week of Feb. 4 - 8 )

and the other 1/2 of the time (3 hours) must be on the actual parent conference

day ( 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM. ).

Teachers can also choose to do the full 6 hours on the actual parent conference day—Feb. 8

Please send communication to parents regarding your time slot availability for the week.


Last week's four days felt like forty... Can I get a witness? This week's scoop is short and sweet with a couple of "housekeeping" items for quick review and a bite of food for thougth:

  • Friendly reminder for those of you who have duty this week: If you KNOW in advance that you will be out, please get a substitute to cover your duty.

Week of:Feb 4th

Cafeteria- Trapp (I'll see you there lady!)

Hall by Cafe Bathroom - Galloway

Hall by library/600 stairs - Branham

Hall by Atrium- Gragg

Flex Cafeteria/hall- Wyatt

Floater in needed area- Wallingford

  • When submitting a behavioral referral, the expectation is that you have spoken with the student (restorative questions) and made a honest effort to contact the parents. A "heads up" from you gives the parent a first hand account and time to process before I call. If you can't reach the parent, call the office or clinic for additional number options.
  • Thank you in advance for putting it the extra hours this week to meet with parents. For those of us imperfect parents old enough to have imperfect children that have gone through school, we can admit that parent-teacher conferences can sometimes produce anxiety. Taking the opportunity to reassure parents that we are in this messy thing called LIFE together- means a great deal to parents doubting their abilities. I have discovered that when I take a minute to share that I have been a single mother, parented a child who was strong-willed, or even that I had many days where I doubted my own parenting abilities- parents breathe in a sigh of relief. Parenting is SO VERY HARD. Thank you for taking the time to determine that our parents leave their meeting with you well- informed about their child's areas of strength as well as areas to strengthen, empowered to support their child's growth, and encouraged that they are not alone on this journey.

Following CICO protocol

I don't know any other way to say this, but we are only as good as the procedures that we follow. We know that CICO makes a big difference for many of out kids, but it does not work if you are not working the CICO system. We need the input of data. That is very important and vital to our ability to know what is happening in the building, with who, at what time, and with what frequency. Please know that we always need the data. However, the impact piece for the students are the conversations that you have with them throughout the day to feedback about their behavior. We need to say what we mean and mean what we say. If we tell students that they need to check in with you at the end of each block of time, then it is important that you take time to talk to each child for less than a minute most of the time, and provide quality feedback about the students behavior in your class. If we don't talk to them about their behavior and the changes that we are seeing then I have to wonder why we are doing all of this. It is a non negotiable that you talk to any student who is in your class and on a CICO at regular intervals. If the student has build in breaks/rewards, you must give them if they are earned. If we don't provide the rewards that are built in to the chart we loose face with the student. We didn't follow though.

If you are wondering why your child on CICO isn't doing as well as before you may need to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Are you providing meaningful and regular (at the end of every block) feed back to students who are on a CICO chart?
  2. Are you following the break schedule for kids who are on a 2.5 level CICO? We know several teachers are not doing this because your kids are telling us that they don't get breaks. This is part of the plan to help with their behavior. It is not a choice at this time for individual teachers/adults in the building to make regarding the charts. If the child has an earned break, give it to them. Do not withhold the break. It is only sandbagging the student.
  3. If you think about your kids with CICO who are not making behavior gains, have you reflected on your behavior toward the CICO protocol. Sometimes the contributing reason the child ins't behaving is because the adult isn't following the CiCO protocol with fidelity. You get what you put in. If you don't follow the protocol, don't put the time into talking to the student by holding them accountable for their actions when needed, and not give breaks when they are earned I would have to say that some of the reason the child isn't doing better with their behavior is because you are not following the CICO protocol.

Congratulations to Mrs. Sallee and Mrs. Gragg who had 90% completion of their electronic CICO forms in January. This duo had the highest percentage of completion among all teachers using CICO forms on line. Great job ladies. Keep up the great work because I know others will be giving you a run for your money next month.

Lincoln Lions are

Respectful, Responsible, Trustworthy, and Safe