Weekly Update: 3/16/15

Good morning! Here are the updates for our last week before some much-deserved R and R:


Please look for your email from Chris regarding PBS and Guest Teacher expectations.

Instructional Rounds:

On Monday, today, TK and K teachers will visit first grade looking at instruction and learning from a different perspective.

ELD/Golden Eagle:

As we have Golden Eagle awards this week, please plan to end ELD a little early if your ELD affects a grade level that has Golden Eagle since we begin the assemblies at 8:45a.m.


Please use this week in your PLCs to focus on one of more of the following:

Unpacking future standards/Units of Study chaptering, planning lessons based on unpacking, analyzing student work, or discussing/working on report cards.

PLNU Art Students:

The PLNU Art students will be visiting Tuesday, March 17th to discuss their planned lesson with their respective teacher.  This round they will be working with 1st, 2nd, and a couple of 3rd grade teachers.  Please plan to be available at 2:30 to discuss with them.  If you have duty, please arrange to switch with someone.  I will be sending teachers their student’s name and topics once I receive it from Dr. Sangren today.  They will return after Spring Break to teach the two lessons on Tuesday April 14th and 21st at 1:30p.m.

Staff Meeting/PD:

There will be no meeting this week.  Please use this time to complete report cards.

We will have some PD on Monday, April 6th.  I will send out an agenda on April 4th or 5th.  Please expect to meet in the morning of April 6th and have grade level planning time on your own in the afternoon.

Placement Cards:

Please, please, please pay close attention to the return of placement cards from your students.  We need them all returned by this week and given to Martha so we can get a more realistic understanding of projected enrollment for next school year.  We do not need you to complete any academic info on the students at this time.  We will return the cards to you after break and discuss the new plan for this information.  At this time, we simply need your help to get an emergency card back from each of your students with info on whether they plan to return or not.

Lounge Clean Up:

We all appreciate your continued efforts to keep our lounge clean by cleaning your dishes, and taking them home or putting them away, and cleaning the microwave after usage.  Our refrigerator will be cleaned out over break so make sure to throw away or take your items from the fridge and freezer this week.

Question of the Week:

Which focus standard/topic did your students show most success in mastering this past trimester? Why do you think this was?

Quote of the Week:

“Know what you are doing.  Love what you are doing.  Believe in what you are doing.”

-Steven Musseau



Weekly Update: 3/9/2015

Good morning.  Here are the updates for this week:


PBS will be postponed until Tuesday morning and instead, we will have ELD Monday morning. Please plan to send your students to their respective ELD classes on Monday.  On Tuesday, we will NOT have ELD so please use this time for our weekly PBS lesson.


We will continue to unpack standards and plan lessons this week in PLCs.  Additionally, please take some time to discuss the lesson that you planned last week together and if you have any student work from that lesson it would be good to bring samples of that work as this is our ultimate goal for PLCs- designing lessons and learning from those lessons via analysis of student work and formative assessments.

We do need to once again switch PLCs this week:

5th grade will have PLC on Tuesday and 4th grade will have PLC on Wednesday.

Thank you to your hard work around unpacking a standard and planning a well-designed lesson in your PLCs.  Your collaboration was inspiring and is indicative of the great learning opportunities for our students and teachers through strong collaboration.  Thank you to all grade levels for participating in this work and we hope to do more of this in the future as we become more and more familiar with the new CC standards and can then spend more time in lesson design and analysis of student work.

Staff Mtg/PD:

We will have a short staff meeting this Wednesday in Rm. 21 at 1:40p.m.  Please bring your journals. Afterwards, you will have time to work on report cards.  You will also have time to work on report cards next Monday after school and next Wednesday in lieu of a staff meeting.

Site Reassignment:

On Monday, you will find a yellow sheet in your cubby if you are a permanent certificated employee. This is known as a site reassignment form.  IF you are interested in teaching something other than your current grade level, please turn this into Eunice.  As of now, our projected numbers are lower than last year and it is very hard to determine what our classroom configurations are.  At this time, we are projected to have a 4th grade GATE and a 6th grade opening, which may or may not be a combination class.  We will have one less TK most likely and one less 2nd grade class.  As Kim Phifer and I sat down again last week, we looked at projected numbers and realized that we could potentially have as many as three to four combination classes or as few as none.  Please turn in your yellow sheet to Eunice by March 18th should you be interested in being considered for another grade level position at Emory for next year.  Your requests are not guaranteed but will be helpful for me in making assignments for next school year.

Placement Cards:

More than ever, your help in getting the grade placement cards returned by families by Wednesday, March 18th will help us know what our numbers look like next year.  (You will be getting these this week so please distribute them promptly and maybe offer a little incentive within your class for those students who bring them back right away.)

Voluntary Transfer Form:

This form, along with a description of the process, will be emailed to you and this form is ONLY for anyone who is interested in transferring to another site.  I always encourage you to complete this as your “insurance policy” in case you find yourself being assigned to a grade level that is not your preference and would like to be considered for other options at another site but this is an optional form.  It is due to HR by March 20th.

New Trees:

If you have or haven’t noticed, we have 3 new trees planted on our grass area.  This is thanks to our PTA who wanted to ensure that we have more shade on our playground in future years.  These trees our expected to grow much more quickly than the little ones that were planted by our district a couple of years ago.  However, due to the root patterns of these new trees (in the Fig family), they needed to be planted a certain distance away from structures such as the sandbox, cement, or asphalt. Please make sure to inform your students to not hang on or bother any of our trees.  Thank you to Emory PTA!

Question of the Week:

What is your favorite time of year and why?

Quote of the Week:

“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side”.  -Margaret Carty



Weekly Update: 3/2/2015

Wow, and here we are in March already!! I hope you had an opportunity to stay warm and dry and read a good book or watch a good show this past weekend.  Here are the updates for this week:

Read Across America week:

Our kick off that is scheduled for today has been postponed until tomorrow, Tuesday.  Our special guests were contacted this weekend and fortunately are able to attend Tuesday morning.  We will do flag salute, attendance announcements, and Reader’s Oath all on Tuesday.


Please, please review Rainy Day Expectations this morning as rain is sure to come today and with our old but beautiful school, pudddles are sure to be in abundance!  Thanks again to Melinda for providing a flip chart.


Please continue to work on unpacking relevant focus standard/s and designing a lesson in your PLCs this week.  This work will spring board us into our “best hopes” for PLC work in the future.  Right now, we are spending a majority of time unpacking standards and don’t always get to the lesson design components and that’s ok.  Unpacking and really understanding the standards is critical work and if done well, will make the designing of lessons that much easier, so thank you for taking the time to do this!

Wednesday Staff Mtg/PD:

We will meet for a few minutes together this Wednesday in Rm. 21 at 1:40p.m. and then you will spend the rest of your time with your grade level team learning about some great ideas and resources that were shared in our ILT last week.

Newcomer Group revisions:

For those of you who are sending students to our Newcomer group with Ms. Acosta, I wanted to remind you to read her email from last week as there are revisions to the groups based on ability levels of the students in English.  To truly meet their needs, the groups are now mixed grades even more.  I know this might affect your instructional plans with students being pulled out and we very much appreciate your patience with this.

Instructional Rounds:

We will have our next Instructional Rounds next Monday, March 9th.  Chris will be sending an email out to the grades who will participate this time.  I appreciate the positive feedback from those who have participated and want to especially thank all the teachers who have been observed as I know this can be an anxiety-filled experience.  But just ask your peers, we spend more time watching and talking with students than watching the teacher AND we learn a lot through the process.

Supt. McNamara visits Emory:

As you know, Supt. Mc visits this Friday from 8:30-10:00.  We will be visiting different grade levels, I don’t know which ones yet, sorry.  Please remember that ELD will be cancelled on Friday.

CAASP testing info:

Our CAASP testing window will be here before we know it! (April 14th-May 9th).  If you are a 3rd-6th grade teacher, your students will participate in this.  4th-6th grade teachers, please read Chris’ email from last Thursday as we will be relying heavily on use of the Chromebooks for the assessment and need to make sure they are all in good working order, headphones included.

Military Partnership:

Next Tuesday morning, our 5th and 6th grade students will participate in a special event with our Military Partnership in the morning.  At the end of this hour or so, NCTS will present our students with uniforms that can be used for our Lunch League sports program.  Sssshhhh, this will be a surprise for the students.

Due to this event, we are going to SWITCH ELD to take place on Monday, March 9th and then do PBS on Tuesday.  This will allow some flexibility on the part of our 5th/6th teachers to do PBS next week when they have some time and most importantly, eliminate the need to cancel ELD again.

Question of the Week:

What is one area of PBS expectations that you have seen yourself reflect and act upon more this year than in years past?

Quote of the Week:

“….hours is a long time to go without the positive affirmations of a caring adult.  By Monday morning, many of our students will have done just that.  On Monday morning, don’t let another hour pass.  Let them know, ‘I see you'”.   – Stephanie Frosch