January 18, 2016


*Kudos to the TLT for their hard work and support in implementing the new "follow-up" learning from last week! Your dedication to making "follow-up" worthwhile for everyone will pay off huge dividends as we begin our work on Close Reading!

*Kudos to the entire staff for taking on new learning and supporting the TLT with their implementation of the new "follow-up" format to help each of you become more proficient in your area of refinement and the cluster learning. This will ensure application and transfer of learning in your classrooms! You are to be applauded for your dedication to classroom instruction and student achievement!

*Kudos to the Gary, Jama, and Jennie for being open minded and willing to give myself, Randy, and Julea an opportunity to explain Close Reading and how it fit into their worlds. It also allows all of us to know that art, music, pictures, and video clips can support students to learn to critically think and "dig deeper!"

*Kudos to Sarah and Mark for allowing the MS to come and view a Co-teaching Lesson on Wednesday afternoon. We appreciate your willingness to share your new learning with others!


Beginning next week, a GOLDEN SHOVEL will be awarded to a staff member in the Monday morning cluster and in the Monday afternoon cluster. This will be awarded to a staff member who is "digging deeper into the learning" each week. The winner of the golden shovel will get to proudly sign and display the shovel outside their classroom for the entire week until it is awarded to new staff members the following week.


January 18: No School - Martin Luther King Day Holiday

January 19: Cluster 7:05-8:05 a.m. for 2-5; Cluster 3:10-4:10 for K/1; Boy Scouts 3-4 p.m.; Child Study 3-4 p.m.

January 20:

January 21: TLT 3:10 p.m.

January 22: Co-Teaching PD

January 25: Whole School Cluster - Close Reading Experience 3:10-4:10 p.m.; School Board Meeting; PTO 6:00 p.m.; Happy Day Club

January 26: WIDA Testing Begins; Boy Scouts 3-4 p.m.; PBS 3-4 p.m.; IPLI Meeting Indy - Katrina Out; Chess Club

January 27: Strategic Plan Meeting Parkside 3:15-3:45 p.m.

January 28: TLT 3:10 p.m.

January 29:

Window D: 1/4-2/12

NWEA Testing Window: 1/11-2/1

New Cafeteria Support

We have a new cafeteria support person to replace Robin. Please welcome Doug Long to Waterford. Doug has previously worked at the HS and also has Crossing Guard duties. His wife is an art teacher at the HS. We are excited that he is now part of Team Waterford!


This week in TLT we focused on the "model" portion of the post-conference in order to strengthen our refinement plans and provide a concrete model with well-thought out suggestions in order to improve in the identified area of refinement. This will help to strengthen teacher instruction and increase our inter-rater reliability from one post-conference to another so that you can expect a similar model no matter who does your evaluation and post-conference.


Mr. Hawkins needs to streamline the textbook rental process – what is considered “textbook” vs. “consumables”. The state is asking him to tighten the reins! So, we need to have a list of your grade level “consumables” (i.e., journals, notebooks, crayons, etc.) that you order each year. Please get this list to Randy by the end of January in order for him to send it to central office.

GCS News & Notes

Today’s Focus: Growth

“Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.”
– Babe Ruth

What strategies do you use to recover from failure and try again?

What is it about failure that scares you? How can you overcome this?

How does your team help build your self-confidence?

How do you support others in overcoming their fears?

Master and Mentor Teacher Addendums will be sent to out to the schools early next week. Each leadership team member will receive two copies of the addendum. The teacher AND the principal should sign both copies, keeping one and one returning the other to the HR office for our records. Please convey our thanks to these folks for their patience. [NOTE: Master and mentor teachers have been receiving the salary augmentation; this is just the paperwork part of the process.]

Principals, please post/share this information in locations where classified staff receive mail/school announcements. Thank you.

Attention Classified Employees:

The School Board approved wage increases for 2016. This is the first time we will make these changes in the New World payroll system. The new hourly rates will be realized on the January 29th pay check. Between now and then, our systems are being updated to reflect the new wages and experience levels. Please be patient as it will take some time for all of this new information to be rolled over. In the near future, you will be receiving an Employment Acknowledgement letter. You will not need to sign and return this to the administration office this year, unless there are inaccuracies. Please double check the information when you receive the acknowledgement. You may refer to the classified wage scales for 2016 on the GCS webpage in Staff Services, Benefits section. Thanks for your attention to these matters.

Strategic Planning:

All GCS Staff are invited to one the following meetings to learn more about the Strategic Plan (GCS 2025 Plan) on which the school district is currently working. We hope you can attend one of these!

Wednesday, January 27, 7:30 a.m. at GHS Auditorium

Wednesday, January 27, 3:15 p.m. at Parkside Cafeteria

Thursday, January 28, 7:30 a.m. at GMS Media Center

Thursday, January 28, 3:15 p.m. at GCS Board Room

The reason that we are not holding meetings at every school is that when we do that, it takes about six weeks to make it around to every building when coordinating schedules. This Strategic Plan has some urgency to it, as Marketing & PR, Academics & Programs, Facilities, and Resource Utilization are all topics that the plan will be addressing. We are really hoping that many of you will be able to attend one of the meetings. Thank you for your understanding.

Snow Days

An issue about designated snow days has arisen. The old contract stated that school had to be canceled 10 days prior to a designated make-up day in order for the corporation to use it. However, that is no longer the case. The snow day language is no longer in the contract. So, any day designated as a make-up snow day will be used in the order stated on the calendar. For example, if school is canceled on February 9th we will make it up on February 11th. This means all staff is expected to be available for the designated make-up day and vacations should not be planned for them.

Attached are the 2016-17 and 2017-18 School Calendars that were approved by the board. We are trying a different format that will hopefully be a bit easier to read.