Cordata Weekly Bulletin


Welcome back, Cordata Team!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family!

I had two different conversations last week that I think you all should know about, because both involved acknowledgment of this amazing team:

The first was with Bob Kuehl, Assistant Superintendent overseeing Human Resources. He was here delivering those ginormous apples the week before last. He said, "I visit a lot of schools, and I want you to know that there's something about your staff at Cordata. They're just so welcoming and positive! It is really fun to visit!"

The second was with a frequent guest teacher. She said, "I've subbed in a lot of schools, but I always jump on the chance to come back to Cordata. It's not always easy, but the staff is so kind and supportive. I always know people will step in to help me out at Cordata."

Team, when I think about what I'm grateful for, this outstanding team is among the top on my list!

The week ahead - 11/26 - 11/30

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For those of you focusing on Positive Discipline and Zones (or combining Positive Discipline and Caring School Community), this week (like last week) has some flexibility. The following lessons are recommended for review. In addition, there is a long list of lesson ideas in the SEL calendar (linked from the title above).

  • Communication Skills lessons in Positive Discipline
  • Mutual Respect and Cooperation lessons in Positive Discipline
  • Mistakes and How to Fix Them lessons in Positive Discipline
  • Zones: Expected and Unexpected Behavior (focusing on a challenging time of day)

Upcoming Dates

  • Nov. 26 - Unity Care Dental clinic at Cordata
  • nov. 29 - 1:00 - 3:00 - kindergarten SGC
  • Nov. 30 - Family Glow Dance Party in the cafeteria and gym - a family fun event sponsored by our PTA
  • Dec. 4 - 2:45-3:45 - staff meeting
  • Dec. 4 - 6:30-8:30 - Family Engagement evening - dinner and Darkness to Light presentation. See Dan for details.
  • Dec. 6 - Sunshine treats in the staff room!
  • Dec. 6 - Sound Discipline consult for behavior data team (1:00-2:00), and Tier 3 behavior team (3:00-4:00)
  • Dec. 11 - 2:45-4:00 - FIRST after school Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff. (This was listed as tentative in the last bulletin - times have now changed, but it is confirmed! Please mark your calendars!)
  • Dec. 13 - Festive holiday sweaters, and staff holiday party at Brandywine from 5:00 -8:00 - watch for more details to come!
  • Dec. 14 - 8:45-9:15 - School-wide Buddies event!
  • Jan. 15 - 2:45 - 4:00 - SECOND Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • April 23 - 2:45-2:00 - FOURTH Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff

Other News and Information

Most of the info bulleted info items below are updates from last week's Cordata Leadership Team meeting. You can see the notes in full in the Staff OneNote notebook. Look in the Collaboration Space under the Leadership Team tab.
Please be sure to read bullets 6 and 7 below. These are opportunities for you to participate in a school leadership opportunity, and help to shape our future work together!

  • We have a schedule for our Technology Integration PD time!
    Cert staff, remember that in the new contract, there are 7.5 hours of collective PD time, and 7.5 hours of individual time devoted to technology integration. For the collective time, we are planning 4 sessions of 1 hr and 15 min, intended for all Cordata cert staff to participate (topics TBD - watch for a survey from Michelle to help inform this decision). For the remaining 2.5 hours, you will be able to choose from a variety of options, some here at Cordata, and some elsewhere in the school district.
    Please note: the times for these sessions are 2:45-4:00. You are paid under the new contract for 1.25 hours on each of these dates. Therefore, for the 15 minutes that overlaps with your contract time, we are assuming that you will move that portion of your planning time outside of the school day. Please see Analisa of your Leadership Team representative if you have questions or concerns about this!
    Classified staff, watch for topics - you may choose to attend those that will help you in your role, and will be paid for the additional time.
    Dates are in the upcoming dates above.

  • Cert staff, watch your mailboxes this week, I will be distributing copies of the 2018-19 Technology Integration and Professional Learning Verification form. It is not due until spring (after we have completed our collective 7.5 hours of Tech Integration PD time). However, you may want to track your individual time as we go through the year. Individual time can include the time that you take to try out or further explore the things we learn in our collective Tech Integration PD.

  • Leadership Team spent some time reviewing the results of the Teacher SEL Fidelity of Implementation survey. You can see the full results yourself - the document is attached to the Leadership Team notes in the staff OneNote notebook. In a nutshell, the results show a strong commitment to holding class meetings and teaching SEL lessons in all classrooms. There is variability among classes in terms of curriculum - some are using the Positive Discipline/Zones calendar, some are using Caring School Community, most are using a combination of the two, and a few are pulling from other resources. A few recommendations to come from Leadership Team include:
    - for 2019-20, when CSC will be an expectation in all classrooms, identify the Positive Disicpline lessons that we should continue to teach because of the benefit of the common language/
    -continue using Zones, particularly where self-awareness and self-management needs are high
    -create videos of students using the language and skills that we want to encourage school-wide (Bugs and Wishes is an example). Creating these could be a service project for some students.

  • Leadership team also spent time reviewing the Needs Assessment portion of the Title 1 plan for the 2018-19 school year. The Title 1 plan is a required document for a Title 1 school, and is a working document that is built over the school year. You are welcome to view the Title 1 plan in its current draft form as well. Cert staff, you will find it in the staff OneNote notebook. Pages 2 through 9 hold the needs assessment data, which includes academic achievement data, behavioral data, and perception data from a variety of sources, all of which paint a picture of our school and its population.

  • Finally, Leadership Team shared reflections on a recent meeting between several certificated staff and members of the district's executive team to address staff retention at Cordata. We talked about concerns and possible next steps. Full notes are in the Staff OneNote as described above. But several of those next steps, with options for your participation are in the bullet points below:

  • Committee to review our responses to challenging behaviors - what does it mean to be FIRM AND KIND? If you would like to be a part of a committee to review our systems and procedures, please email Analisa with your name! This committee can include both certificated and classified staff. We will review existing documents and practices, consider case studies, consult with outside resources and research on the topic. Our purpose will be to refine and improve upon current practice at Cordata.
    Tentative meeting times: 2:45-3:45 on 12/10, 1/7. 1/21 and 2/4

  • Committee to meet with math consultants to discuss concerns and supports regarding Bridges curriculum for mathematics. Questions about the Bridges curriculum have come up in SGC's, grade level meetings, and at the recent leadership team meeting. I would like to invite Rey Ramos and any other district specialists knowledgeable about the Bridges curriculum to meet with me to review Cordata's math data and our questions about the Bridges curriculum. I would like to open this up to classroom teachers who would like to participate in this conversation. I will wait to schedule a meeting until I know who is available, and when.

  • Staff, thank you to all who have completed the school culture survey ! If you haven't done so yet, please do - I hope to receive responses from everyone! Your input matters!

In closing . . .

This week's news and info was long, so I'll keep this learning link short . . . just one info graphic for you! It's a little blurry in the image below, so zoom in, or here's a link to the same graphic online. I bet that you can find at least 5 down-regulation strategies that you have already taught your students to use. And I challenge you to find 3 more that you could teach your students to add to their toolkit. If you'd like a hard copy of this to use as a teaching tool, and to post in the calm down space in your classroom, see Analisa.
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