Weekly Update: 9/15/2014

Good morning- I am out sick today, Monday, and Tracy will be admin. designee.   Here are the updates for this week of mininum days…


You should have an email from Chris for “Hallway Expectations” this morning.  I appreciate how many of you are reinforcing this expectation as I see more and more classes walking nicely and quietly walking in the hallways.


Thank you for making unpacking standards a priority for your PLCs along with other items that are listed on your meeting minutes.  A special thanks to the ILT members who contributed to the possible agenda items that are listed on the “Meeting Minutes” that are in Rm. 28 and will also be sent via email to everyone.  Please note that PLC time is NOT a time to be discussing field trips.  You will have some Wednesdays devoted to individual grade level meetings to discuss these types of items.

Please use this week’s PLCs to continue to unpack standards and follow your agreed-upon normsn and expectations from last week’s PLCs.  Keep in mind that our catergorical money and site plan are now supporing PLCs for 105 minutes weekly for “teacher planning to increase student achievement” so we need to use this time wisely in order to stay in compliance.

Impact Teachers:

Many of you have shared with me that you are leaving a door block in your door instead of leaving your rooms unlocked for the Impact Teachers who come to your room.  This is a great solution if you’d prefer not to leave your door unlocked or share your keys.

Box Tops:

Our first collection of Box Tops brought us just under $400!! Thanks to Dana who sent her students around and a huge “thanks” to Phylis who does the time consuming behind-the-scenes work of counting all of them and sending them in for us.   Phylis made collection envelopes for every classroom at the beginning of the year.  If you don’t have one, please let us know.  If you DO have one, please use these for your Bpx Tops as it makes it easier for everyone.

Shout out to the following rooms for being “top” Box Top collectors:

Rms: 3, 9, 17, 19, 24, 26

The more you as a teacher “hype” this or have a small incentive (possible blue slip) for students who bring these in, the more money for our school! Thanks everyone!

Classroom visits:

Asst. Supt. Cindy Schaub will be visiting Tuesday from 8:00-11:30 and we will be visiting classrooms looking for objectives, teaching, and student tasks that are aligned with CC Math and ELA.  In the time that I have been in classrooms, I have been excited to see more and more student talk and tasks that are asking students to “struggle” through questions and tasks.  Keep it up! Please remember that your objectives should reflect what you are teaching for that particular lesson and what you “hope” that your students will learn in that lesson and please communicate with students why they are learning this.  Ask yourself when you are planning or writing that objective, “What are the students going to do/show me to indicate their learning?” “How am I going to differentiate?”

Mindset Curriculum:

Before she “retired”, Asst. Supt. Burgess purchased Mindset Curriculum for 3 of our schools to pilot.  Emory is one of those schools.  There are 5 PD modules for our teachers and then curriculum for our 4-6gr. students to work through on their one-on-one devices.  We will jump into this for part of our day when we return from Fall Break.  Chris and I spent time reviewing the curriculum last Friday and found it to be very user friendly and it ties in nicely with the work we have already been doing with CC.

Question of the Week:

What fun plans do you have for the Fall Break?

Quote of the Week:

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”  -Yogi Berra


Weekly Update: 9/8/2014

Hi everyone- I hope everyone survived another HOT weekend in San Diego! Here are the weekly updates:


Monday, Sept. 9 will be our first official School-wide PBS lesson in the morning.  Please see Chris and Melinda’s email for your powerpoint or flipchart lesson on “School-wide Expectations”.

Navy Partnership Meeting:

I will be meeting at 3p.m. at a district Military liaison meeting from 3-4:30 on Monday.  We will be partnered with our same Navy unit as last year and I look forward to setting up opportunities for them to help our school in various ways.

ILT meeting:

Thank you to our ILT members who will be meeting with Chris afterschool on Monday at 2:45p. in Rm. 28 to review and discuss PLC expectations, PLC minutes form, and best hopes.


PLCs finally begin this week.  Please read my email from last week with expectations of what information you should leave for the impact teachers and look at the schedules so you know what content area your students will be involved in first.  If you are Gr. 1-3, the impact teacher will be taking roll and teaching ELD along with their special content area. (Tech, Art, Science).

Bikes for Kids:

A special student from Angelica’s class will be suprised and honored with a new bicycle on Tuesday.  Maria from Salvation Army and Ch. 7 Weatherman Whitney will be visiting in the morning in Rm. 25.

Parent/Teacher Conferences:

These begin this Wednesday and go through Friday, Sept. 19th.  (All minimum days with Fri. Sept. 12th being a full day of conferences with no school for students) Please make sure to send your conference schedule to Eunice if you haven’t already.  Also, it would be very efficient for you to have your yellow folders with you for these conferences.  (for students who already have one started and also for students who you believe should have one initiated) This is a great way to document your meeting with parent and sharing of possible support/interventions that you and parent have agreed upon.

Imagine Learning:

Imagine Learning will begin this Wednesday- only in the morning, before school, for the time being.  Adriana is sending out invitations.  Until we find a Newcomer Impact teacher, we do not have someone to run after school Imagine Learning.  Therefore, we only have limited spots for our before school program which will be supervised by our impact teacher, Melina Waltl.  I know that we have many students that can benefit from this but for the time being, Adriana is using our most current CELDT data to determine the most needy candidates.  Hopefully, we will soon find another impact teacher who can serve our Newcomers and supervise after school Imagine Learning.  At this time, there have been no BCLAD applicants for our Impact teacher positions.

Behavior Support Open House:

A huge “thanks” goes out to Tracy and Lindsay for taking their time last Friday to offer an “Open House” with suggestions and resources for working with challenging behaviors.  We plan to have another opportunity like this in a future staff meeting as well.

Classroom Visits:

Chris will be doing Instructional Rounds with other academic coaches at Emory on Wed., Sept. 10th.  This is an opportunity for the coaches to calibrate the way they collect data around District goals and Common Core instruction/expectations.  Chris and Amy I. will also be visiting classrooms for similar purposes on Thurs. Sept. 11th in the a.m.

Question of the Week:

Name 3 of your all-time favorite movies.

Quote of the Week:

“Quality is not an act.  It is a habit.”  -Aristotle




Weekly Update: 9/1/2014

Happy Labor Day to you all! Hopefully you are enjoying more rest than labor.  Here are the updates for this short week:

Attendance Awards:

We will recognize classes with best attendance for the month of August at flag salute on Tuesday.  If you still have a trophy in your classroom from last year, please bring it to the table Tuesday morning before flag salute.

Impact teachers and PLC:

I am excited to announce that we were at least able to secure 2 more impact teachers (we are still in need of a bilingual Newcomer teacher) so we are able to begin PLC collaborations.  Due to timing, we were not able to get their calendars and contracts completed last week so our PLC’s will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 9th.  Our new impact teachers are Ms. Caitlin McCarty who will be teaching a blend of art and theatre arts and Mr. Devin Roach who will be teaching tech and computer based graphic design.  Ms. Ann Linn will be returning and teaching a combination of Science and Soc. Studies but may not have as much time to do “hands on” projects with the younger students as their primary rotations will be a blend of ELD and their content area subject.  The three teachers will be here Friday and Monday to prep and be ready to begin on Tuesday.  Please keep in mind that if you are Gr. 1-3, they will be picking up your students and taking roll before they begin ELD.  You need to decide if you want them to collect homework and do morning routines or if you’d prefer to do that when you return to your students after morning recess.

I will send the PLC schedule and rotation schedule out to everyone sometime this week.


As you know, our fundraisers are a great source of added “income” for our school which will go directly to the needs of our students.  Please remind your students that Tuesday, Sept. 2 is the end of our Fall Fundraiser, so please remind your students to bring their money and orders to Teresa in the library.

On Wednesday, our 6th graders begin their fundraising for 6th grade camp so please do what you can to promote this as well.

Staff Meeting/PD:

This Wednesday, we will meet once again in our new computer lab in Rm. 16 at 1:40 and will be guided through the process of creating our own class webpage by one of our tech dept. experts.  Please remember to bring your compostion book with you so you can take notes.  It’s more user friendly than the last one, but it would still be a good idea to take notes.

Computer Lab sign-up:

The computer lab sign up is one white board.  Once we begin PLCs, this will change slightly since one 2nd and one 3rd grade class will be assigned to the PLC slot but for now, please sign up for a time slot if you are gr. 1-3 and remember to touch base with Teresa at least 24 hours ahead of time to decide on a plan for when she is with you in the lab.


If you are assigned to “Week 1” of library, this is your week to bring your class to library.  For TK/K who missed your library this week due to the holiday, there are a few open slots available that you have priority to.  I will place the libary schedule on the white board as well and you can fill in your name in one of the open slots if you’d like to.  Just make sure to let Teresa know.

Student Council:

Student Council dates have been scheduled, subject to change.  This Friday, please send your student council reps to Rm. 18 during a.m. recess to discuss Spirit Days.  Thanks to Angela, Erika, and Angelica for coordinating and facilitating.


We have removed the large blue recycle bins as Carlos and Alex informed me that they were used as trash all too often and were therefore not able to be dumped into the large recycle bin near the warehouse.  For the time being, it was suggested by a couple of upper grade teachers to assign two responsible students to take your classroom recycle bins a few times a week to the large receptacle by the warehouse.  For primary grades, our student council will discuss how they can go around and collect your recyling a few times per week and take it the the large recycle bin.

Music Lessons:

Please make sure to read the email sent last week by Mike Pretzer regarding music lessons.  He has attached a list of students and the time they will be called to music on Tuesdays.


Thank you to Tracy, Lindsay, Holli, Erika, and Chris who have volunteered to be part of our PBS committee that will be attending special PD during Fall Break.

A big thanks also to Lindsay and Tracy who have offered their services in an “Open House” format this Friday after school to anyone who is interested in coming to Rm. 1 for a few minutes to check out different behavior systems or learn some new tips for dealing with challenges with regards to academics and/or behaviors of some of your students.

Draw Along Assembly:

This is a first but we are always up for trying new things for our students’ assemblies.  Our Draw Along assembly will be Friday morning.  Please make sure each student has a white board or something hard upon which to draw, a pencil, and a few sheets of paper.  You are encouraged to bring extra pencils along in case a student has a broken pencil.  Please see Connie’s flier and the bulletin for times.

Parent/Teacher Conferences:

These begin next week, Sept. 10 through Sept. 19 with Friday, Sept. 12th being a “no students” work day to allow for conferences all day long.  Please make sure to begin setting up your conferences and to give a copy of your conference schedule to Eunice as you cannot imagine how many calls we receive from parents needing reminders about what time their conferences are, even though we know you have sent them the information in at least one form of communication.

Board Visit:

I wanted to congratulate you all on a very well received visit from our SBUSD Board and Exec. Team.  Their intentions were to stop in briefly to every classroom to connect with teachers and students without majorly interrupting instruction.  They were excited to see the amount of energy and risks being taken with regards to CC Math and also enjoyed viewing some engaging ELD lessons.  If Chris or I didn’t get a chance to give you some feedback in person, you should expect to receive an email from one of us if you haven’t already.  Thanks again!

Question of the Week:

What has felt like your biggest “success” or “a-ha” so far with regards to CC Math instruction?

Quote of the Week:

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” -Eric Hoffer