Beating the Odds

Lakeview Staff Newsletter - Sept 14

Building Expertise

Thanks, everyone, for the thinking and conversation at our staff meeting around Educator Effectiveness and our Instructional Coaching plan. Both of these systems are simply about building expertise. I mentioned the quote "We just want to be the best at getting better."

That makes me think of a book I really, really enjoyed. It is simply called Better by Dr. Atul Gawande (library link here). Dr. Gawande explains that most of the innovations that happen in our world are the result of small, consistent improvements. We all hope and wish for that perfect "thing" to drop into our laps, and there have been a few of those in history. But we've made it where we are as a culture mostly through the daily work of just trying to do things better than we did yesterday. That's the focus of our work around EE and coaching as well.

Looking Ahead

Friday, September 21

Admiral's Kickoff Assembly at 2:30 p.m.

Monday, September 24

PD Day

Tuesday, September 25

Sports-themed clothes day for Homecoming week

Wednesday, September 26

Tropical-themed clothes day for Homecoming week

Staff meeting 7:15 (a Luau staff meeting?)

Thursday, September 27

Lakeview clothing or colors for Homecoming week

Luncheon for Mrs. Scales

Friday, September 28

Rocket clothing or colors for Homecoming week

Minutes from Staff Meeting

The staff meeting agenda will be a running document. I won't send out this link every time, but at least to start the year, please know that we will keep adding to the same document and you will be able to refer back to the notes.

Bits & Pieces

Family newsletter - Here is a link to this week's family newsletter. Thank you, everyone, for the work to create teacher newsletters. We email the newsletter to all families, post the most recent newsletter on the Lakeview homepage, and archive old newsletters on the For Families tab.

Flags - Thanks, everyone, for making sure you have a flag in your classroom. We are working on the issue with flag brackets. Until that time, please designate a daily flag holder for the pledge. FYI - there are a list of holidays that educators in Wisconsin we are required to recognize.

Morning Supervision - Easy change - please do not allow football on the blacktop in the morning. It is too crowded. Please move football to the grass. No scooter riding, either.

Copy Center - The copy center is not open on Fridays. Please plan accordingly. If you send something after noon on Thursday, it may not come back until Tuesday. If you are currently waiting for something that you need Monday, check with Cortney.

Grandparent's Day will be Friday, October 19th from 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Directory Data (Student Photos)

Now that we have a final list detailing which students may not have their photo posted online, please be careful about this. Sometimes families have very good reasons for this, and sometimes families are unaware that they opted out for photos. If you talk to a parent and he/she wishes to allow photos, please have that parent contact the office. As a rule, never provide family contact info to other families (i.e., "Can you give me Susie's mother's phone number?" Nope.)

Future Training Dates - ALL Staff

On August 27, all staff were required to attend training for Trauma Sensitive Schools. Everyone should please make sure you add the following dates to your personal calendars. Teachers - these are regular PD days. All other staff - this is a reminder that you should have marked January 28 and May 13 as dates you will need to be present for further training.

How Trauma Sensitive are your Assignments?

This video came to me from a colleague. It made me realize that some of our "go to" assignments might cause emotions and reactions in students that we may not expect. But the great thing is that the video also gives some really great suggestions for how to retool the assignment that actually makes it even better than the original version. The video is below.
Tips For Teachers

Lakeview PTO

On Thursday, I met with our representatives of the PTO. One of the goals for the PTO is to increase family engagement, especially through consistent meetings and opportunities. As mentioned in August, I would appreciate teachers showing their support for our PTO by signing up for a meeting or evening event at least once/year. I can't stress enough how much parents notice and appreciate the ways you support their efforts. We all know how much time it takes to put together PTO events, and we are grateful for the donations that our PTO made this week.

My suggestion is that grade levels sign up for a meeting together if possible - here is a link to the document to sign up.

Character Dare #3

Character Dare #3 is below. These come from a website called CharacterStrong. This week's is about positive phone calls home. When we talk about relationships, this is a big one, and one that I know I don't do enough. I do know that there are many families out there that have never received a positive phone call about their child and are overjoyed to hear it. This is a great time of year to make that call.
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Administrator Visits

On opening day, Dr. Olson talked about the AdvancED accreditation process we will undertake this school year. Mr. Wightman mentioned the administrator visits on August 30 and I explained the purposes further at our staff meeting Wednesday.

Part of the revised accreditation process includes system level observations which are to be completed internally by districts going through the accreditation process. At its core, AdvancED is about continuous improvement. The observation data we collect in the coming months will allow us to collectively analyze classroom practices and the results of those practices, engage in professional learning and dialogue, and take meaningful action and assume responsibility for our results as a district. The AdvancED observations are student centered and focused on observing the learning environment. These observations include 7 environments as can be seen and are further explained in the graphic below.

On Tuesday, September 18th, administrators across the district will be visiting classrooms and conducting observations utilizing the ELEOT observation tool, which is the tool AdvancED uses. Classrooms will be selected randomly. As the school year progresses, observations will continue periodically. Some classrooms may be observed while others will not. The entire process is random, just as the AdvancED observers visited random classrooms when they collected systems data in the 2013-2014 school year visit. During the 20-minute ELEOT observations, you may see a variety of administrators. It has been highly encouraged that building principals see classrooms in buildings that they would not normally visit and/or get the chance to see. So, please do not be concerned should you see a building principal other than your own step into your classroom for a visit.

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