Weekly Staff Memo – August 23, 2013

Great Things I Noticed This Week:

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-Students using higher order thinking skills (analysis and evaluation) to describe how scientists record information in their field journals.  Rather than teachers just telling the kids the steps of the process, students had to analyze sets of notes from actual scientists and determine the common criteria.  Obviously, this is much more intellectually rigorous than simply giving students the information.  Good work!

-Teachers setting clear guidelines and expectations and then practicing routines and procedures to ensure  students understand these expectations.

-Teachers holding students highly accountable for putting forth their best effort.  Always.  Even during the next-to-last last block of Friday afternoon.

-Students acquiring new vocabulary words in a hands-on, challenging, yet fun format!

-Artists coming to life by picking up markers, gliding across the floor, or picking up a new instrument for the first time.  Magic!

-Risk-taking, by both students and teachers, as they tried new things they’ve never tried before.

-Laughter.  Smiles.  Small gestures of kindness.  Everybody pitching in to help his or her neighbor.

-New friendships being made and new identities being discovered.  This week was “clean slate” mentality at its finest.

-A teacher connecting with a student who is particularly hard to reach, and then making him feel safe enough to express remorse and deliver a heart-felt apology – something that has been so very hard for him to do.

-Teachers greeting their students individually as they walked into the classroom, as well as stepping outside of their rooms during classes to help with hallway monitoring.

-Advisories that meet in the gym eating at tables – and not on the floor!  YAY!  I loved walking around at advisory and seeing all of the groups eating together “family-style.”  Keep up the great work!

Upcoming Events:

-CSD Sports Bonanza Event is this Sunday, August 25th from 5-8 at the High School.  We would love to you all come out and join the fun!  For more information, visit the crier:  https://www.facebook.com/CSDCrier

– Explore Electives start on Monday.  A HUGE thank you to all staff members involved in the organization or implementation of this program!

-Juli and Dana will visit grade level teams during Monday and Wednesday lunch/planning time this week to conduct EpiPen training and go through some back-to-school nuts and bolts.

-“How to Make Videos Using the Promethean” training by Chase Martin at the High School on Wednesday at 3:30.  Sign up here!  https://docs.google.com/a/csdnc.org/document/d/1CRB3U9zY2pjEFha8N2WkOleeBl6Ab-vsvtgL-N7gleM/edit?usp=sharing

-K-8 Ident-a-Kid on Wednesday

-6th Grade Teachers – Please be in touch with each of your advisees’ families about the TDap Immunization.  This is extremely important.  By State Law, we must receive the form by the 1st day of school.  Parents/Guardians must supply either the Immunization form or a Religious or Medical Exemption form (available on the CSD website under Forms and Documents).  If it is not turned in by September 15 (the end of the 30 calendar day grace period), we are required by law to suspend their child.  So I need you to reach out individually to your advisees’ parents to ensure this important paperwork has been taken care of.  When I last spoke with Pauline, we were missing MANY forms.  Please don’t reach out to Pauline to see who has turned in the form as this slows her down and takes her away from other time-sensitive tasks.  Maybe just create a quick survey for your advisory and then go from there.  Thank you for your help with this!

Nuts and Bolts Notes and Reminders:

-When you are outside on the blacktop with your classes, please make sure that one adult is in charge of helping students to remember to put away all equipment in the locked storage bin.  It is the kids’ responsibility to clean up after themselves, but it’s our responsibility to remind them and then hold them accountable for doing so.  Thanks for your help with this!

-If you’re looking for an extra set of hands in your classroom on Monday or Tuesday of this week, Juli would love to help!  Sign up by clicking here –  https://docs.google.com/a/csdnc.org/document/d/1iIicE2i7sEf95s5Ys2b-qa8o_-IsHEa9SrVsOfco-3k/edit?usp=sharing

-From what I am hearing, taking attendance in PowerSchool is going well!  The 8:20 dismissal from the gym seems to be working far better than 8:15, so we will keep it up.

Professional Development Corner:

Anyone interested in participating in a book study on Robyn Jackson’s Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching click here – https://docs.google.com/a/csdnc.org/document/d/1npzOiKFskw8SBNLvE8roYCheIJPjkZNxZpvCSJrbjkQ/edit?usp=sharing

I look forward to learning and growing with you!

Inspiration/Funny/Just Because…

~Thought for the week – Where are you?  What do you have?  What can you do?


Have a GREAT weekend.




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