Cordata Weekly Bulletin


Happy Tuesday, Cordata!

As many of you know, we have a ‘data team’ that meets monthly to review behavior referral data. Our team works with a consultant from Positive Discipline to trends in the data that we can address. We identify a problem statement and a response or intervention with the hope of reducing problem behaviors. This month, our focus is on the playground. This week, we would like to reteach playground expectations during morning meetings with the goal of reducing incidents by 20%. We have asked our playground staff to partner with our classroom teachers to facilitate this learning together, as a team. Playground teachers will have a visual displayed during morning meeting and will talk about the expectations on the playground and how best to respond to any challenges.

Teachers: Please sign up for a morning meeting time this week. The sign up sheet is in the staff room! Please do this on Tuesday if possible.

Scenes of learning and community around Cordata last week . . .

Clockwise from top left:
Practicing Spanish vocabulary with a game and a mentor; learning to keep a steady beat in music class; a little one on one help with a math challenge; 5th grade musicians at the MLK assembly; Judah sharing his guitar music at the MLK assembly; a VIP lunch for some very important 2nd graders.

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The week ahead - 1/14 - 1/18

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On the SEL calendar, this short week is a continuation of the focus from last week. See below for details. As you can see above, we are also focusing on reteaching playground expectations and how to resolve small problems safely. Teachers, please remind and reinforce this in classrooms! Thank you!

· All general ed teachers – Review dismissal and bus expectations

· All general ed teachers – teach Positive Discipline lessons in Respecting Differences section

o It’s a Jungle out There p.85 in Positive Discipline – this lesson may take several days to complete. There is a suggestion to invite older students to be recorders for students who are not yet fluent with writing. Perhaps this is a lesson to do alongside a buddy class?

o Experiencing Differences p. 90 in Positive Discipline

o You Decided p. 91 in Positive Discipline

· All Specialists – If appropriate for your learning environment, review and reinforce the idea of forming a circle quickly, quietly and safely (see Forming a Circle: Quickly, Quietly, Safely lesson, p. 150 in Positive Discipline). Review encouragement, and practice what this sounds like in your learning environment (Encouragement Activities over several days, p. 81 in Positive Discipline).

Upcoming Dates

  • Jan 7 - Feb 8 - Assessment window opens - see winter column of district assessment schedule below
  • Jan. 28 - 2:45-3:45 - Firm and Kind committee
  • Jan. 29 - Semester break, no-school day
  • Jan. 31 - 1:00-3:00 - 1st grade SGC
  • Feb. 4 - winter window for DESSA opens
  • Feb. 4 through Feb. 8 - Pack the Paw - PTA fundraiser (see notes below for details)
  • Feb. 5 - 2:45-3:45 - Staff meeting in the library
  • Feb. 7 - 1:00-3:00 - Kinder SGC
  • Feb. 8 - 4:00 pm - report cards due for grades 1 through 5
  • Feb. 11 - NAEP testing for 4th graders
  • Feb. 11 - 2:45-3:45 - Firm and Kind committee meeting (This is a change from previously published Feb. 4)
  • Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day - remember to follow the Food Policy as described in the staff handbook and the 1/14/2019 staff bulletin
  • Feb. 14 - 2:00-3:00 - Cert staff PD and collaboration time
  • Feb. 14 - report cards due for kindergarten
  • Feb. 19 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
  • Feb. 21 - report cards go home with students in grades 1 through 5
  • Feb. 21 - 1:00-3:00 - 4th grade SGC
  • Feb. 26 - report cards go home with kinders
  • Feb. 28 - 1:00-3:00 - 3rd grade SGC
  • March 7 - 1:00-3:00 - 5th grade SGC
  • March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • April 11 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
  • April 23 - 2:45-2:00 - FOURTH Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • May 21 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)

Other News and Information

  • Tuesday morning we will be practicing a Lock Down drill. Please prepare your students in advance. (Hopefully, this is a simple reminder, as you previously prepared students in December but then we had to reschedule the drill). Whether you are in the staff room, on your planning time, or with students, please follow the steps for securing doors and windows in your location, then check email and respond to the questions that come your way. This will help us plan ahead for communications that would be needed in the event of an actual lock down.

  • At the top of this bulletin, I mentioned that our playground coaches want to come join your for a morning meeting to reteach behavior expectations. In addition, as we focus on playground behaviors this week, we will also be teaching and practicing the playground emergency signal. Each grade level will practice responding to the signal (three long whistles mean to come and "bunch up like grapes" around the supervisor whistle-blower) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We will time their response, and look for improvement over the week. We can use everyone's help with this - help to monitor if you're on the playground, and ask kids about it and reinforce if you're in the classroom.

  • As I mentioned last week, report cards for our students in Life Skills are handled outside of Skyward. If you are a specialist or a general ed teacher working with students in Life Skills, you received a link from Laura this week. Please look in this folder for a document for your student or students, and enter your comments there. The typical 1 through 4 scores aren't always appropriate, but your comments about students' performance and growth are important and meaningful for families!

  • Our Firm and Kind committee meets next week for the third time, continuing to work on defining the problem that we wish to address. You can take a look at the concerns raised, and you may add your own concerns that you wish for us to consider through this Friday.

  • In early February, our PTA will be holding a fundraiser called Pack the Paw. We knew this last year as the Penny Wars. This year's fundraiser will be similar, asking kids and families to fill jars with pennies and spare change in a little friendly competition. Our wonderful PTA has changed the rules a bit (as well as the name) and there will not longer be any sabotaging or negative points. And for fun, I'll have rolls of pennies in the office - staff, you can pick up a roll and add pennies to a grade level jar. Make it a thank you, or a congratulations, or recognition of a group's hard work, and get them in on the fun of adding it to their jar. Watch for more info to come and gather up your spare change too! Pack the Paw begins Feb. 4.

  • As a reminder, cert staff, you need to document 7.5 hours of collaborative tech training this year, and 7.5 hours of individual tech learning. Michelle has helped to put together four "required" all-staff tech meetings (2 already complete!), and those will total 5 hours. For the remaining 2.5 hours, you may choose from a variety of choice courses, including three choice courses that Michelle will host here at Cordata. See the dates in the list above. (The 7.5 individual hours can be used however you choose! Think of it as the time that you spend trying out/experimenting with/implementing the new things that you learn during the collaborative tech learning time. Any questions, just ask!!)
    A visual that sums this all up is below:

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In closing . . .

34% of our Cordata Bobcats are learning English as they learn all of the other content that we are teaching!

Think about that for a minute . . . one in three of our students are English Language Learners, and our work helps them to build their academic vocabulary each and every day. Fortunately, this work benefits all kids, including those with learning disabilities.

Here's a quick article with four simple ways to help our students who struggle to understand the information we share when it comes to them through English language alone. The first in the list is to add the language of visuals! English Language Learners and kids with receptive language delays can easily misinterpret verbal directions and find it hard to follow multi-step directions. Look around our school this week. Where do you see instructions given both verbally and visually? Where can we add visuals to help our students build their understanding and their vocabulary?

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