Weekly Update: 8/11/2014

Thank you everyone for your hard work and positive energy in getting the first two weeks off the ground.  I have heard many of our new, and returning, parents comment on how happy they are to have their children at Emory.  Here are the updates for a busy week #3:

Monday fliers:

We have finally received the Parents rights/Tech permission slips packets from Print Shop.  It is very important that these go out on Monday and I am sorry to say, you will need to be in charge of monitoring the return of several permission slips from this packet.  We have placed an extra packet in your boxes and I highly encourage you to look through it quickly.  It won’t take more than a couple of minutes for you to familiarize yourself with the forms that need to be returned.  Pay close attention to page 2 of the packet and the forms at the back of the packet.  These all need to be signed and returned.  I know many of you offer “incentives” for bringing important forms back quickly– please consider doing this again.

We also  begin our Fall Fundraiser on Monday so please HYPE this up with your students.

Tuesday Rock ‘n’ Roll extra recess:

I will be sending you a list of names of those students whose parents attended the special PTA meeting last Monday.  These students were given a “free homework” pass and were promised a special extra recess.  This extra recess will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 12th at 1:15p-1:30p.  Please release the students on the list to attend.  We will have music playing and equipment out there for them to use.  I will supervise this recess.  I am sorry that they will miss 15 min. of your instruction but please honor this time for them.  They should be back in your classrooms by 1:35p.

Please avoid bringing your class out for P.E. at this time on Tuesday.

Staff Meeting:

Wednesday we will have our first staff meeting in Rm. 21 at 1:45p. We will review PLC scheduling changes as well as changes to our library schedule and discuss our new computer lab.  We will take at least 15 minutes for Roseann and Angela to introduce IXL Math and give you some training and tips from their piloting of the program last year.  For this reason, please bring your laptop and current roster.  Thanks to Roseann and Angela for their support!  If you haven’t responded to the email/survey that Roseann sent out last week regarding IXL, please do so as this will help them plan for Wednesday.

TK morning recess:

After reviewing the schedule, we have realized that it would be best for our TK classes to use the big playground for their morning recess (proximity to their class, less disruption for kinder classes, etc.)  To avoid conflicts with primary recess, they are going to recess from 9:20-9:40 Mon-Thurs. (keep in mind it takes at least 5 min. for 4 and 5 year olds to line up, get drinks, etc.) and from 9:10-9:30 on Fridays.  Please make note of this on your recess schedule, planner, etc. and please make sure that your class is not taking P.E. or running breaks during these times as it interferes with the little ones who are trying to get to and from playground, get to bathroom, get to drinking fountains, etc.  If you absolutely feel like your students need a special break prior to their upcoming morning recess, then please use the dirt field only.

End of Unit Assessments:

Everyone should have received a detailed email recently from Ed. Services Coordinator, Michelle Syverson, explaining the Math End of Unit Assessments.  If you have not had a chance to read that email, please do so as it may well answer some of your questions.  We know that many of you are finding some challenges with implementation of Common Core Math and that’s to be expected.  I am thrilled to see so many of you jumping in and dealing with the same “cognitive dissonance” or struggles that your students are facing with regards to this “new” math.  Keep facing those challenges and fears as it will only help all of us to grow and be better teachers of math.

In spite of our anxiety, End of Unit 1 assessments are arriving in our office.  These end of unit assessments are a great way to get a picture of our students baseline data- What do they know/understand? What don’t they know/understand?  We will be placing them in your boxes.  Keep in mind, these are to be given after Unit 1 but NOT entered into our Illuminate (our new DataDirector).  Only Unit 2, 4, and 6 assessments will be entered.  However, all end of unit assessments should be administered.  Please remember, if we are looking for authentic information, prepping students with problems right off the assessments will not give you accurate info on your students.  Please refrain from doing this.

Classroom Visits:

Barb Montfort apologizes for her need to reschedule from last week.  She will now be visiting on Thursday from 10a-12noon. Additionally, Amy I. will be visiting with Chris and bringing Lisa Celaya (from Ed. Services) and Nancy Walters (from Student Services) along as the 4 of them will work on calibrating their understanding around Common Core math expectations.  They will be visiting Friday from 8a-10a.  During this same time on Friday, I will be meeting with Asst. Supt. Cindy Schaub to discuss our school goals and my professional goals.  We will not be visiting classrooms as she will be scheduling another time in the near future to visit classrooms.

Epi Pen training:

We have several students who have allergies which could require the need for epi pen intervention.  Thank you to those teachers who have already attended an inservice provided by Nurse Sharon.  Nurse Sharon realized there are more teachers who have expressed interest to be trained as they know they might run into this issue on the playground, in group rotations, etc.  Therefore, she is generously providing yet another short training after school on Friday, Aug. 15th based on request of one of our teachers who was not able to attend the previous trainings.  If you are interested in attending, please email Sharon Jacques.  If you are unable to attend, but would like to be trained on how to administer an epi pen, please also email her as she is always willing to make time for these trainings.  Note: This year, Emory has more students with epi pen plans than any other school in our district.

New Hire:

Congratulations and welcome to Karina Rodriguez who was hired last Friday to be the job share teacher in TK (Room 4) with Maile! This was an interview process that involved a question portion with panel on Wednesday as well as a “demo lesson” with the students in Room 4 on Friday.  It was a difficult decision for the panel as there were several highly qualified candidates.  Karina comes highly recommended with some background experience that will serve our students well as she has taught multiple years in Kindergarten and primary grades.  She will begin this week by shadowing/co-teaching with Maile for a couple of days and then will begin on her own next Monday.  Please join me in welcoming her to our school.

Question of the Week:

“Where were you born and how long did you live there?”

Quote of the Week:

“Every child deserves a champion; an adult who never gives up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they possibly can be” -Rita Pierson

20 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 8/11/2014

  1. I was born in Albany CA, right next to Berkeley, as my dad graduated from UC Berkeley and stayed in the area. I don’t think we lived there for more than a few months after my birth.

  2. I was born in Roseville, a town outside of Sacramento. I didn’t live there until later but my Grandma did and my mom was visiting when I decided to be born. My Parents actually lived in Sonora. I have lived all over California as I am a prison brat. My Dad was a CC3 and my mother a teacher in the California State Prison systems. This meant a lot of Prison towns in order for them to promote. My Dad now resides on 400 acres in Redding California on my families ranch which is where I usually spend the holidays.

  3. York, PA until I was two, then Pensacola, FL for the next four years. My mom insists that the reason we moved back to York (where I lived until college) is because of my counting. Apparently, it went something like this… “one, two, thu-ree, foe-er, fahv.” She told my dad half of those words aren’t really words, and we needed to go back where people spoke correctly.

  4. I was born in San Diego (Mercy Hospital) and have lived here all my life except for my college years + a couple (Humboldt State in Arcata, CA) for 7 years.

  5. I was born in Baja California, Mexico and I lived there for a whole 17 days. I decided to be born two months early. In order for my mom and me to return home to San Ysidro, she needed to get the necessary paper work in order. So when I’m asked how long have you lived in California? I reply, “All my life except 17 days!”

  6. I enjoyed growing up in an agricultural community,Oxnard, CA. Oxnard was known for its lemon orchards, strawberry fields and other crops. I even worked in the strawberry fields as a young person. My grandparents were migrant workers who followed the crops. FYI: Cesar Chavez family lived in Oxnard in the early years.

    Memories…..I remember the crowds of people who eagerly awaited to see Robert Kennedy who visited my neighborhood church in 1968. I was in awe when I saw him! (I was only two years old at the time! 🙂 He was a big supporter of migrant workers and the working-class community. Oxnard was my home sweet home…. until I moved moved away to attend college at age 17.

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