Principal's Bulletin

Edition 6 11.13.15

Classroom Visits

I have not thanked you enough for allowing me to invade your classrooms this year. Every one of you have an open door policy and I have thoroughly enjoyed observing all the wonderful work you plan for the students to grow in multiple ways (socially, academically, and physically). Kevin Bruner and I were talking the other day and we were discussing the separation from the classroom an administrator has to have when they go to the “Dark Side”. As you notice, I am a principal that loves being with the students, hanging out in your classrooms, and being out of the office as much as possible. I have not said enough that if I am on my computer or on my phone, and I am not doing a formal observation with you, I might be just answering emails or maybe checking my football picks : ) I was in the classroom for over 15 years and know that all lessons are not in circle 1 (High Rigor / High Engagement). Please enjoy all that you do, because I am having a BALL watching and learning from you!! THANKS!

Hour of Code

All of TUSD students, staff and parents will be celebrating Computer Science Education Week again this year by participating in the Hour of Code during the week of December 7-13.

Elementary teachers should provide one hour and middle school science teachers should provide at least one class period of time dedicated to participation. All students and teachers have access to the Hour of Code Haiku site in their portals. These are self directed lessons and students can access any of the activities found on the site. The fourth grade page is the best place for a student to start if they have never participated in the Hour of Code before or just want to start from the beginning.

Honors Core Criteria

Academic Grade: A in current CP Core* class for 1st semester

*Core includes Language Arts, Social Studies & Reading (6th grade)

Citizenship/Work Habits: No N’s or U’s

As well as 3 out of 4 of the following measures:

Current STAR Reading Assessment: “Above Average”

Current Writing Assessment: “Exceeds Standard”

Current Checkpoints: 3 out of 4 “Above Standard” in Claims (Reading, Writing, Listening &


Spring 2015 CAASPP: 3 out of 4 “Above Standard” in Claims

Math Criteria

Academic Grade: 95% average

In-class Assessments: 95% average

Placement Test: 85% or higher

Citizenship/Work Habits: No N’s or U’s

Parent's Honors/Accelerated Letter

Honors Criteria - here is what I am sending out to the parents on Sunday.

This week current 5th, 6th, and 7th grade families will be receiving information about the criteria we will use in the Spring (April) to determine if their student will be recommended for Honors Core class or Accelerated Math class for next year. The paper will clearly display the criteria used and your signature is required to acknowledge that you are aware of the data points. Students that are currently in Honors Core and Accelerated Math will receive information about the criteria used to remain in their class. My administrative team designs the master schedule in May and June and our teacher assignments are established at that time. Class sizes are balanced and resources are provided in May and June, which makes it immovable in August and September.

Here are our Timelines:

November 16 - Receive criteria that we will be using for Honors and Accelerated


November 19 - 20 - Make a copy of form and return your signed acknowledgement.

Have a conversation with your student to make sure your family is all aware of criteria.

April 2016 - Elective requests and Honors/Accelerated placement form goes

out for students to choose new electives for the following year and view placement for following year.

April 2016 - Forms will have a due date to be returned. Please sign and return

on that date. Forms returned after that date, will be time stamped and the requested electives might be available.

May/June 2016 - Master schedule will be built and close when the the office closes

at the end of June. When we come back in August, we will be focusing on another successful new year.

Mid August 2016 - Middle School families will be able to view class schedules

through Aeries before registration day. Elementary families will receive an email from their teacher welcoming them to their new class.


Enrollment is down in the district elementary schools and they have a few plans. The schools in the southwest side of the district are in the area of focus. One of the plans is to possibly merge Lambert and Estock - no loss of jobs through the transition. Also, they are looking to possibly make Veeh a dual language school to increase enrollment from outside the district. Orchard Hills does not look to be affected by the changes nor are we going K-8 for this fall.

Calendar 2018 - 2019

The district is sending out a survey to the teachers to complete and send back about moving the calendar. In 2018 - 2019, the school year will start the 2nd week of August. They are asking for your input to see if you want to move the calendar one week at a time over the next two years, or to just move it two weeks starting in Fall 2017.

Math and ELA Checkpoints

Window for the assessment is Nov 30 to Dec 18

Math could possibly go the week Nov 30 to Dec 4

ELA could then give their assessment week 2, Dec 7 to 11

Late Start Days

Middle school starts at 8:55 am and elementary 9:05

The district will provide the different opportunities that you can choose from. I have heard they have good plans coming out, I just don’t have the plan yet.

TPSF Grant

December 15 is the deadline to receive the $3,000 instead of $2,000. All grants are due by January 31st.

December Staff Meeting

Since we only have one Wednesday in December to meet, we will meet as a staff and Mike Kim and Alison Bruner (our Admin Interns - YEA!) will be earning hours and presenting the first leg of our SPSA goal accountability results.

Incoming 6th Graders

May 18 is our date to host the incoming 6th graders. Put it on your calendar.

Speak Up Survey

TUSD has asked our parents and students to participate in the Speak Up Survey. This can be done on their own time through our website. This survey can be a significant source of information for the legislature and policy makers who review this data. After the survey closes on December 18th, the district will look at how we get our specific school site data.

The district is also asking all staff members to participate in this survey. Please click on the link below to get started.

Survey link for your website -

Guiding Definition of Rigor and Engagement

Rigor - Helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative and personally or emotionally challenging (Rick Jenkins, Jeff Goldhorn, Mike Webb, 2013).

Watch this video - I tried to find a fun video, but it was not out there. This video is a bit slow, but with the application of Depth of Knowledge (DOK) she is RIGHT ON IT!! We are going to have to make a custom one from Orchard Hills that is a lot more fun and has some kids involved!!

Student Engagement - Students are engaged when they are involved in their work, they

persist despite challenges and obstacles, and they take visible delight in the accomplishment

of their work. Student engagement also refers to a student's willingness, need, desire and compulsion to participate in, and be successful in, the learning process promoting higher level thinking for enduring understanding. (Schlechty, 1994)

Watch this crazy teacher engage his students - his students will never forget parallel

lines : ) Pretty low rigor for his high school student though : )

Remember, for student learning to be maximized, you can't have one without the other - Rigor scaffolded higher and higher with continuous high engagement.

Here is another visual I created to provide you more depth:

Big image

Upcoming Events November 16 - 20

Orchard Hills

Upcoming Events

November 16 – November 20, 2015

November 16 - Monday

Digital Citizenship – 5th Grade

Middle School Minimum Day @ 12:20

Middle School Conferences @ Gym

November 17 - Tuesday

Digital Citizenship – 5th Grade

Middle School Minimum Day @ 12:20

Middle School Conferences @ Gym

DARE @ 11:30 @ Multi

DARE @ 11:30 @ Multi

November 18 - Wednesday

Early Release

College Wear

Digital Citizenship – 5th Grade

DARE @ 8:45 @ Multi

Christian Club @ Lunch @ Room 5-114

Debate Club @ Lunch @ Room 5-102

Film & Writing Club @ Lunch @ Room 6-129

Rita’s Ice @ 1:00 @ Front of School

PBIS Store @ Lunch Tables @ 1:00

Basketball @ 1:15 @ Outside Basketball Courts

Chess @ 1:15 @ Lunch Tables

Youth Action Team @ 1:30 @ Room 6-213

Drama @ 1:30 @ Drama/Multi

November 19 - Thursday

Digital Citizenship – 5th Grade

Middle School Minimum Day @ 12:20

Middle School Conferences @ Gym

5th Grade Music @ 8:10

Band Club @ Lunch @ Music Room

November 20 - Friday

Spirit Wear

Turn in Attendance to Jackie

Digital Citizenship – 5th Grade

Middle School Minimum Day @ 12:20

Middle School Conferences @ Gym


Jennings, Julie - 11/16/15

Calvario, Eric - 11/18/15