JM Staff Bulletin

Week of September 21, 2015

SEL Walk-Through and Context Learning Walk-Through Feedback

Dear Incredibly JM Teachers,

Both of the walk-throughs we had this past week made me all the more proud of our school's dedication to the social and academic success of each of our students. Mary Hurley, Mary Tevagia, Ms. Tarica, and I thoroughly enjoyed their time in classrooms. In our debrief conversation after the walk-throughs, we noted the following:

  • students helping one another
  • student voice
  • student leadership
  • student and teacher flexibility
  • students talking to each other while working
  • a feeling of being welcomed into every classroom

A few things we talked about as being areas to help us further develop students involvement and participation included:

  • having universal hand signals used across our school site to improve student engagement and participation
  • increasing the number of times we use the "turn and talk" strategy to increase student voice
  • having students repeat or restate what they heard their partners say to encourage more listening during class discussions

My visit with Kyla was also successful. She was impressed to see students engaged and focused in the four classrooms we visited. In our debrief conversation, we reflected on what we saw in our brief visits:

  • teachers reinforcing expectations for student behaviors
  • teachers asking probing follow-up questions to determine student understanding and reasoning
  • teachers engaging students in reflective conversations about their progress with reader's worksshop

Kyla also asked me to reflect on what instructional practices I thought could be our focus for this year. I shared my thoughts, but also expressed that these would be determined through collaboration with the ILT. Some proposed instructional practice goals we discussed are:

  • increasing opportunities for student-to-student discourse
  • increasing student equity of voice
  • using time efficiently to maximize learning

In closing, I'd like to say just how much I appreciate each and every one of you. I feel so fortunate to be your principal. :) I'll stop now before I start weeping...

With love and gratitude,


This Week

Monday: ILT Meeting 3:00

Tuesday: COST Meeting from 8:00 - 9:00 in Portable 21; Diane Ferlatte assemblies: 1:00 - 1:45 and 2:00 - 2:45.

Wednesday: No PD...collaborative planning time? I will be available to you during this time.

Thursday: Principal off-site at PD; Ms. Cohn is TIC, available only for emergencies

Friday: 1:00 - K-2 Pride Assembly; 2:00: 3-5 Assembly

Weekly Deliverables (To-Dos)

  • Input F&P scores into Illuminate by October 2nd! If you need help with this, contact Sue Scott or Kira Gleghorn, as they are our Data Teacher Leaders. :)
  • Let me know if are not planning on attending the NO Bully System training on October 8th from 4-7. You will be paid for your time.
  • Submit COST referrals as needed.
  • Submit any appreciations, shout-outs, or concerns to be mentioned at the Pride Assemblies on Friday.
  • Try out Konstella if you haven't done so already. You might need to resend invites to some of your parents.
  • Do something nice for yourself. :)

Talk Moves Video

Check out the link below to see a brief video on the impact of Talk Moves!

Upcoming Dates

9/29 Family Reading Night from 5:00 - 7:30. (See calendar for day assembly times)

9/29 New Principal Meeting from 2:30 - 4:30

9/30 No PD (5th Wednesday of the month)

10/1 Principal PD

10/8 No Bully System Coaches Training (1:00 - 3:00); whole staff No Bully System Training (4:00 - 7:00)

10/9 Latino/a Literature Read-In