the RAH

Dec 4 - Dec 8, 2017

If Christmas Letters were honest...

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from J-

All staff will receive an email from Panorama Education, Inc. ( next week with a link to the Fall Leadership and Employee Engagement surveys (formerly referred to as the Climate Survey). Depending on role in the district, an opportunity to provide feedback about direct supervisor(s) and in some cases additional department leader(s) will be given. Staff feedback about leaders as well as their engagement and satisfaction levels in SPS is valued.

I've had some great discussions about math workshops with principals and teachers over the past few weeks. A few themes have developed, and I've looped Catherine Castillo in on the themes that we will discuss at our next elementary leadership team meeting. There is some great effort and work being done to support students in this content area.

As we enter December, we know that the holiday season (between Thanksgiving and Christmas) adds a range of emotions to students and adults alike. For too many, it is not a desirable season. Others look forward to it, but are unable to cope/manage/focus on what is right in front of them. Regardless, we see some evidences of the season with a greater range of behaviors. The time-tested response that mitigates these behaviors is following what we do day in and day out- keep high expectations in place, and learning routines predictable and positive. This sends the message to the students that while their world outside may be changing, that school is a place where they know what to do, know they can be successful, and they will have a caring adult advocating for their well-being, safety, and success. Thank you for using this time of the season to promote all of the warm wishes, peace on earth feelings WHILE still emphasizing learning, personal, and character development is what do while we are at school.

Have an amazing week! Let me know how I can support-

from Bret-

See the HR flowchart found here regarding Tower.

Please encourage qualified teachers interested in future administrator positons to apply for Explore administrative positions. We have several positons open.

About half the learning coaches and I visited Willard this week to talk about their coaching model (Jim Knight). Additionally, the learning coaches meet next Thursday and the agenda is here.

PTA Council meets at Sherwood on December 6th @ 9:15.

Setting Goals - NAESP's Report to Parents

The middle of the school year is a great time for families to check in w/ students on goals. Setting academic & personal goals helps motivate, energize, & focus students, and it is a valuable skill that will benefit learners throughout their lives.

BLM December training

The December Blended Learning Mentor training will take place Thursday, December 14 at Kraft Administration Center in Meeting Rooms A & B. Elementary cohort will meet from 8-10:45 and Secondary cohort will meet from 12:30-3:15. A full agenda and session sign-up will follow next week. We are requesting, in an effort to alleviate substitute shortages, all substitutes should be requested by teachers through Penmac no later than Wednesday, December 6 or a substitute will be assigned for them. Please let Nichole Lemmon know if you have questions.

From Innovation & Information-

Imagine Grants

Thank you for nominating teachers for Imagine Grants’ 12 Days of Innovation awards. We are excited to begin awarding the $500 grants to teachers on December 6th! Watch Twitter @ImagineSPS1, #ImagineGrant for the daily announcements. Winners will be surprised by a visit to their classroom the following day.


Here is the Proposed Calendar. Both the calendar and proposed site listings are in a final review by Cabinet. We will communicate a finalized calendar and site listing very soon. Be watching for all remaining Explore positions to be posted later this week. Principal placements will start as soon as we have a finalized site listing. Lastly, it is time for site principals to begin thinking about who their Explore liaison will be. Be watching for an email regarding liaisons in the coming days. Looking forward to Explore 2018!

Internet access, policy and waiver

The student handbook outlines the internet access policy for our students. In that section of the handbook is the internet access waiver. This waiver allows parents or guardians to opt for a more restrictive internet access for their students. The restricted internet access will include mandated online testing, such as MAP and iReady, and district adopted curriculum. The district adopted curriculum includes sites such as Google G-Suite, Canvas, Lexia, Dreambox, etc. Requests to add exceptions to this restricted list are vetted to ensure they are district adopted resources to ensure we align with the stated practice. As you work with parents in meeting the needs of individual students and have questions about the internet access waiver or how we provide filtering on district devices please contact Bruce Douglas.

Four minutes you will never get back-