Bear Tracks

Weekly information for Bear Tavern - December 11, 2015

Our Time is NOW...

Note from the Principal

Happy Friday Bear Tavern Staff,

So yesterday I wrote a letter to several hundred families explaining that our trout tank has taken an apparent turn for the worse and that we are dealing with a big setback. Needless to say, it was embarrassing and unpleasant to write. In the letter, I worked hard to do two things: acknowledge the issues and explain what we are doing as a result of the setbacks.

Then something unforeseen happened. I received a number of positive emails, thanking the school for taking risks, for undertaking an innovative project, giving kudos for not giving up, each email offering support.

There was an email from a college professor saying that she sees her college students giving up when things get hard and putting an exorbitant focus upon trying to be perfect, which kept them from taking risks. She went on to say that she wished that her students were taught resiliency at a young age. Another email was from a professional scientist who echoed the importance of making mistakes into 'teachable moments.'

I have been thinking about it a lot and it is so important for us to model taking risks and putting ourselves out there, even into situations that may not end up clean and perfect. The best inventors, writers, leaders AND teachers have done great things because of, and as the result of, setbacks and small failures. As educators, we work so hard NEVER to fail because we want only the best for our students. But remember, failure is not a bad thing UNLESS we give up or do not learn from them and adjust.

So as we cruise toward Winter Break, give yourself permission to try something exciting and new in the next week and a half. Even if there is a chance it may not go as you hope; it just might. And the worst case scenario - you learn a lesson that has the potential to make you a better teacher. If we continue to move forward and reflect, we can't lose.

Let's take the collective excitement and confidence that has been generated by the PARCC results and use it to motivate us and continue to improve. Our potential as a group is unlimited.

Keep up the great work!


PARCC Resources for YOU

Letters will be mailed home next week.

Click for resources:

Parent Questions

ELA Information

Math Information

Special Reminders & Upcoming Dates

Important Information:

Holiday Hats - There have been some discussions about developing a policy toward the wearing of holiday, or "Santa" hats. I have spent the last two days monitoring and looking to note the amount of hats and if they appeared to have an impact. At this time, I am comfortable allowing classroom teachers and grade levels to have autonomy in setting guidelines for their classrooms. The important thing to remember is to deal with instances on a case by case/class by class basis. If a student or hat are causing a disruption or distraction in any way, please talk to the individual and address it. If we create a policy, then we have to define it clearly (i.e. are headbands allowed? and if no hats, then are necklaces allowed?, etc.), which leads to many questions and 'if this...what about..' scenarios. I would like to take a common sense approach and address any hat issues as they come or as needed. If you need my help in a specific instance or case, let me know ASAP. Just come see me if you'd like to talk further. I'll continue to monitor over the next 8 days.

Visitors - If you are expecting visitors/ guest presenters/ volunteers or are having a classroom party, be sure to let the ladies in the office know in advance, so that that they can greet and prepare the guests accordingly.

Den Group Future Dates:

  • Thursday, January 28 - PM Special Schedule Den Group Mtgs.
  • Monday, February 29 - PM Special Schedule Den Group Mtgs.
  • All plans and materials will be distributed in advance. March - June dates will be sent soon.

**Recreational Games Week Schedule**

When looking at the schedule use the tabs on the bottom to sort by time, by teacher or the overall schedule a a glance.


Please note there will be a breakfast on Monday 12/21 that I would like to provide to with everyone a Happy Holiday Season and say 'Thank You' for all that you do.


Friday 12/11 - Pre K Quaker Bridge Mall - 9:15 - 11:15 am

12/14 - 12/18 - Recreational Games Week

Monday 12/14 - Grade Level Mtgs.

Tuesday 12/15 - TMS visit to STEM

Wednesday 12/16 - Staff Breakfast

Thursday 12/17 - Grade 3 Winter Formal - 1:30 - 3:15

Friday 12/18 - Preschool Collab Day

Monday 12/21 - Staff Breakfast (A Holiday 'Thank You' from me)

Monday 12/21 - Staff Meeting (at Maureen Farina's House)

Monday 12/21 - Lopez - Holiday Party 10:30 - 11:30

Tuesday 12/22 - Pajama Day

Tuesday 12/22 - Grade 5 Winter Celebration 9-10 am

Tuesday 12/22 - K Winter Celebration 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Wednesday 12/23 - Early Dismissal

Quote of the Week:

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Article of the Week:

Tweet of the Week (to highlight great ideas & people to follow)

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Tech Tip of the Week