Monday Memo

April 20th - 24th

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." -Roger Bannister


It is that time of year again. For those of you who have me as their appraiser, please use this link to sign up for a summative time. At the time of your summative, you will need to bring your goal sheet as well as your professional development plan. I will email those two documents to you on Monday so that you will have plenty of time to complete them.

This week is a big week in regards to STAAR. Please make sure that you are aware of how testing days will impact your schedule and make sure that your parents are aware of any changes. Jeans with a staff shirt will be appropriate for all three days.

I would like for 3rd - 5th grade to carefully consider what they have planned for non-testing days, particularly on Thursday and Friday. Given the amount of quiet seat time they will have during the first part of the week, engaging and collaborative work should be on the agenda for Thursday and Friday.

As we begin to prepare for our Kinder and 5th grade EOY celebrations, please let Donna know if you have a personal child participating in either of these events. When possible, we like to provide coverage so that the parent may attend. However, this does take some effort, so knowing in advance is really helpful.

Make today count!




Volunteers During After School Duty

If you would like to volunteer to help support our positive behavior notes during dismissal, please click on the link below. A jeans pass will be issued for each volunteer slot that you sign up to serve. Please note that if you are already scheduled to that location as a duty, it would not be appropriate to volunteer for a position the same time you have duty.



For a printable version of the calendar, please click on the "Calendar" title above.
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  • Stacie – Thank you for the lunch order the other day on Tuesday. It was definitely timely and appreciated! - Michelle C.
  • Thank you to Destine', Bravo, JD and all staff that worked so hard on the STAAR video! I was so sad that I was not here when you did it, but was amazed at how wonderful it was and know that it took a lot to make it happen! I love the fact that I have the privilege of working with such dedicated and FUN people! - Michelle C.
  • Lynn, Melanie and Sylvia – I am thrilled that there is a week set aside to honor your greatness! You are appreciated and loved by all! - Michelle C
  • Barbara- Thank you for our Sonic drinks and remembering that I enjoy Strawberry and Pineapple Slush! DG
  • Barbara- Thanks so much for Starbucks! SL
  • Shiela- Thanks for all of your help with STAAR! You are a phenomenal testing partner! SL
  • Stacie, Barbara and Donna- I appreciate all of your help managing students this week while we went in and out of meetings! SL
  • Krystal- Thanks for jumping in to help out with STAAR! SL
  • Bonnie- Thanks for helping me problem solve about lunch coverage! SL
  • JL- Thanks for all of your leadership and guidance with some unique situations this week. SL
  • Donna- Thanks for jumping right in to help with a staffing issue last week! SL
  • Julie- Thank you for covering my class so that I could attend an ARD! ~KT
  • Kincaid – thank you very much for thinking of the PE people before your beverage run. We really appreciate it!
  • Amber, thank you for setting up my envelopes for my kiddos when I needed to leave early. You are seriously the best!!!! -Kam
  • McGowen: thank you to everyone who stayed after school Monday and Tuesday to film our surprise STAAR video. I know we were there late but it was so fun to be together and to do something special for our students! ~Grobe
  • Jess Bravo: Thank you for helping me put together ideas and for helping me organize our video!! I just loved working with you! Your positive attitude is so infectious! ~Grobe
  • Jen D. Bravo, Chitwood: Thank you for lending your singing voices to me and for singing with me on our STAAR video track! -Grobe
  • Little and Lloyd: Thank you for allowing me interrupt your day to film a special part for our video!
  • Kinder, 1st, and 2nd: Thank you for filming a small section for our video on your own time! Your kids are too adorable and I truly appreciate your time and participation! ~Grobe
  • P.E. Peeps: Thank you for teaching our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders a short dance and for filming them for the video! You guys ROCK!!! ~Grobe
  • Trisha: thank you for the yummy donut on Friday!! That sweet treat helped to start my day off right! ~Grobe
  • Brooke: thank you for keeping my kiddos while the ARD ran over on time! I know I can always count on you to have my back! Love ya! ~Grobe
  • Kristi and Trisha: THANK you both for being so willing to welcome my kids into your class for my morning ARD in May. You both never batted an eye when I asked and you both are always so willing to help without hesitation! I feel blessed to work with you both! ~Grobe
  • Samantha and Trisha: Thank you both for loving my girl and for being so wonderful with her! LOVE YOU! ~Grobe
  • Aly: Thank you for bringing all your blazers for our video shoots! You're always "All In" and always a wonderful team member!! ~Grobe
  • Thanks to my team for doing an outstanding job with the lockdown. Lisa
  • I just want to appreciate my kinder team for supporting each other and allowing us to laugh at the stresses of our daily life! Lisa
  • I want to thank Jen for always remembering what we need to appreciate! Lisa
  • Thank you LB for rescuing us from the creepy baby snake in our Kinder mess! -jen
  • Thank you to all the budding singers and dancers that made the STAAR video. Very fun to watch! -jen
  • Thanks Lisa and Keri for adding some Kinder talent to the video, especially since the rest of us forgot! -jen
  • KW – thanks for making our newsletter each week! -jen
  • Melanie – thanks for helping us figure out Animal Research tech ideas and for showing my kiddos how to research. They are really excited! -jen
  • Maria – Thank you for going above and beyond to get control of 2nd grade behavior while they were entering the cafeteria, as 5th grade was exiting. I was more than impressed to say the least! I think we could all take notes from you! Bodmer
  • JL, SL, Chitwood, Dickinson, Bravo, Nash, Sinclair, I have to hand it to you all for staying late to go ALL IN to help support 5th grade for getting control over grade level behavior. We all are putting so much into this and I have faith it will pay off in the long run if we keep it up. It takes a village and in this case, we have to hold them accountable immediately. Bianchetta, Relle, Shambo, Knall and Caldwell– we appreciate your dedicated support and glad we can all work together to implement the changes. Bodmer
  • Kincaid – Thank you for voluntarily stepping up and handling car pool duty as Relle– You were a PRO at it! And a special thank you for my ice cold drink on a much needed day! Bodmer
  • Ward – Thank you for the kind words and special treats. That rare Starbucks treat hit the spot and you made my whole day! Bodmer
  • Stacie – Thank you for the last minute copies and your flexibility to always go above and beyond your call of duty! You are always so patient and helpful to us all. I appreciate you. Bodmer
  • Thanks JD and Chitwood for all of your hard work editing the STAAR video! I know how much of a beast that was! Bodmer
  • Thanks Nash, Sinclair, JD, and Bravo for meeting me at the movies and 55 other Mavericks!! I had an absolute ball and love doing that each year!! It means so much to our students! Bodmer
  • JL – thank you for giving us the opportunity to switch up schedules and give us that flexibility option. I have been in hog heaven the last month teaching math only again! Bodmer
  • Destine and Jessica and the McGowen Staff who participated in the STAAR video – The STAAR video was awesome and the students LOVED it! Thank you for organizing the video! You are all rockstars! -Trisha
  • Aly – Thanks for the yummy cupcake on Monday! Your baking is so delicious and I love when you share! :) You also made the most beautiful Batgirl ever! - Trisha
  • Lynn – Your positive attitude during the book fair was amazing! Every time I walked into the library, it was packed and you were so patient with all of the students (and staff, as we picked out our books). You rock! -Trisha
  • Kristi – Your banana bread was so yummy on Friday! Thanks for sharing and for just being fantastical! - Trisha
  • Shana – Thanks for covering my duty a few weeks ago. And yes, I cannot remember if I thanked you in the appreciations previously, so if I did…thanks again. -Trisha
  • Jennifer –Thank you for your help with my friend on Friday! I appreciate the support and I love the relationships you form with the students! - Trisha
  • Melanie – Thank you for helping us all with our new computers! I know it must be overwhelming answering all of our questions and fixing all of our issues. You are such a treasure at McGowen! - Trisha
  • Samantha – Thank you for the Starbucks on Friday! It was so yummy and got me through the day! - Trisha
  • Brooke – Thank you so much for the Diet Coke on my desk Tuesday morning! You have no idea how much that made my day! - Trisha
  • 4th grade team – Thank you so much for all the fun over the past few weeks, dressing up for STAAR preparations! Our students loved it and I love that we all have fun together! You are amazing! - Trisha
  • Carin, thanks so much for letting me use a camo shirt for our 4th grade theme days! Kward
  • Trisha, thanks for always saying encouraging and positive words, and for my yummy drink!! Kward
  • 4th Grade team, thanks for supporting each other in helping our students rise to a higher standard with their behavior. Also for being willing to dress each other up and share what we have for all of our themed days!! You girls are so fun to work with everyday. ;-) Kward
  • Destine and Jessica, thanks for leading such a fun STAAR video, and for putting in lots of time and effort to make something fun happen for our kiddos! KWard

Focus for 2014 - 2015

  • Providing all students with at least one year’s growth
  • Closing the achievement gaps in our subgroups
  • Utilize data to drive instruction
  • Collaborative team planning and lesson design to promote higher level thinking and student engagement
  • Posting learning and language targets daily in student friendly terms



Vicky O'Brien - 8th

Lori Roof - 8th

Lisa Barton - 22nd

Bad Dude Award

Congratulations to Jen Dickenson! She is our Bad Dude of the Week! While I know that many people put in several hours on the STAAR video, in the end, it was Jen's production skills that made it possible. In addition, I'm not aware if you've noticed, but Jen is much like Superman. Any time you are in a jam, she ducks into her phone booth (aka her car) and brings out whatever is needed to save the day. The last time she saved me, she pulled out these self charging jumper cables that freed a parent from blocking the carpool lane. There are many other stories like this, but what always impresses me is her willingness to help where needed with a smile on her face. Her generosity and super hero skills are what makes her stand out as our Bad Dude of the Week.

Jen - Thanks for all of the things you do to take care of our McGowen family!

Remind for Staff

I have created a Remind for our staff in order to send out just-in-time reminders, last minute notifications of jeans/warm-up days, and/or emergency info. If you haven't already, please click on the link below to join the group.

McKinney ISD's Vision, Mission and Beliefs

Any time we have an idea, concern, solution and/or comment, this is the filter through which we should speak. Let's help each other live up to our vision, mission, and beliefs.


We are a cohesive, diverse community providing engaging learning experiences for all.

We will provide engaging learning experiences so students can become effective communicators, quality contributors and socially responsible citizens.

  • Partnerships between students, parents, community members and staff are foundational to educational success.
  • Positive school culture and a safe environment foster growth.
  • Everyone has inherent value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Learning is an active process requiring engaging tasks and engaging minds.
  • Relevant and authentic experiences ignite continuous, deeper learning.
  • Meaningful relationships enrich learning.
  • Confidence fuels risk taking and higher achievement.
  • Financial stewardship ensures a tomorrow for education.