Weekly Update: 4/27/2015

Hi everyone! Monday is upon us and here are the weekly updates for this week:

Flag Salute:

On Monday, I will announce information about SBUSD Padres Night and the ticket-selling and poster contests.  I will do this after the flag salute while all students are still on the blacktop.  Please promote this event in your classroom as well.


Please see your emails from Chris and Melinda regarding our PBS lesson, Bullying Part 3.


Please continue to do the hard but valuable work of unpacking standards during your PLC time.  As your team continues to dedicate time to learning more about the CC standards and what they really mean for students, your investment will pay off for you and students.  Next year, your team will be able to move up the PLC ladder into lesson design and creating formative assessments.  This will lead to even more learning on the part of teachers and students.  Thank you for your commitment to our students.

CAASPP updates:

I can’t say “thank you” enough for all of your flexibility and patience as we work our way through our first “true” year of CAASPP assessments.  Based on our first week, we have become aware of issues that require some tweaking.  Please read Leslie’s email from last Friday immediately as it gives the latest updates including A CHANGE IN SCHEDULE for some of our grade levels.  Don’t shoot the messenger as this was based on team discussion about how to avoid some of the challenges that we faced in Week 1 around the order of the assessments and how this affects the rest of the week, including make ups.  I also sent a Connect-Ed phone call this past weekend to all 3rd-6th grade families reminding them about the importance of attendance and offering a special treat to all students who are not absent for any testing days in the next two weeks.

Staff Mtg./PD:

We will not have any staff PD on Wednesday.  Please use this time to plan with your grade level team.

Attendance Winners-Reading and Popcorn:

I will have a sign up in the lounge for reading and popcorn.  Please keep in mind that I will need everyone to buddy up with another class for this month as my time is limited and I cannot squeeze in 11+ individual visits.

Question of the Week:

What is your favorite dessert and why?

Quote of the Week:

Mr. Rogers quote



Weekly Update: 4/20/2015

Good evening, good morning, or good day to all of our Emory staff depending on when you are reading this.  I hope you enjoyed a beautiful San Diego weekend and are well rested for another busy week.  Here are the updates:


This week we will focus on Bullying, Part 2.  Thank you to Chris and Melinda who have emailed you the PowerPoint and flipchart for this.  Please keep in mind that you are expected to teach the weekly PBS lesson from 8:15-8:45 a.m. on Mondays.  This “sets the stage” for the week ahead when we might later reference our learnings from the lesson in the classroom or on the playground.  You don’t need to spend too much longer than 30 minutes unless you are integrating this with another part of your curriculum, such as ELA, which is more than ok.

CAASPP testing begins:

Our testing begins on Monday for our 3rd and 4th grade students.  Most students will be testing from 9:00-11:00 a.m. so please remind your students about hallway and bathroom expectations each morning.  Thank you to the 3rd-6th grade teachers for your dedication in preparing our students and special thanks to Leslie and Holli for helping our teachers to be prepared!  Thanks to Chris who will be available for tech support each morning and who will also be supporting with make-ups.  Thank you to Adriana who will open her doors to any students who need extra time taking the test.  Please send those students with their ChromeBooks to Rm. 21 with information for Adriana on what test they need to finish up.  If you have RSP students, please reference the email that Nora sent last week regarding their schedule.  Thank you to Anna Wheeler, Connie Ruiz (Tracy’s sub) and Nora for organizing this schedule and supporting certain students with testing.


This week in PLCs please continue your work on learning more about the standards in your Units of Study.  If your students have recently taken an assessment, this would also be an appropriate and related agenda item.  I know some grade levels have expressed their frustration at not being able to review ELA standards, which were our primary focus last year, as Math CC has been the major focus this year.  Should your team decide to, you can make a team decision to spend 45-60 minutes on Math and the rest of the time on revisiting ELA.  This is totally acceptable and some teams are already doing this.  Our primary focus of PLCs is to unpack standards and move towards lesson design.  Deciding which standards to explore is entirely up to your team.

Placement Card information sheet:

I highly encourage you to print out your placement card info sheets for each student on Monday.  I sent everyone the directions on how to do this last Friday and you should have also received a similar email from Barb Montfort on Sunday.  If you follow the step by step directions for printing them via Illuminate, this should save you some time in completing the forms but you can also choose to print out blank ones and fill in all the student information.  Regardless, you will be expected to fill in some of the information.  (see my email for those boxes that are required even if you print from Illuminate)  These forms are due to Martha by Thursday morning before school AT THE LATEST.  We will not have a staff mtg/PD this Wednesday so you will have this time to finish them.  Martha and office staff will staple them to your placement cards for you.

PLNU Art Students:

Our PLNU Art Students will return for their second lesson this Thursday from 1:30-2:15 p.m.  Dr. Sangren wanted me to thank you on behalf of her and the students.  She spoke to me about how valuable of an experience this is for these potential future teachers as it gives them a great glimpse and perspective into the reality of planning for and teaching just one lesson….and then thinking about a future full of teaching for more than just one 45 minute lesson…..

Xerox Machine update:

As you know, our xerox machine was recently repaired and then again two days later.  The technician was one of the more astute technicians that has visited our copy room and took the time to show what is causing some of our issues–he showed us paperclips and staples that were found in the machine.  With that information, I need to remind you to please be EXTREMELY careful about leaving paperclips and staples anywhere near the copy machine.  If necessary, please remove these items away from the copier, maybe on the counter behind the machine, and continue to be extra conscientious with regards to the xerox copier.

UCSD eye exams:

I just wanted to give “shout outs” to Nurse Sharon, UCSD staff, and our patient teachers for a successful eye exam/screening day for many of our students on Friday, April 10th.  I know it was a busy day with JR4H but we managed to get it all done!

Fire Extinguisher check:

Please expect to have Carlos pulling your fire extinguishers from your rooms for their annual check up on May 4th.

Stars Under the Stars:

Please join in the fun and purchase your ticket for this great event which will be taking place on Saturday, May 2nd.

I’d also like to share my sincere appreciation for all of your generous donations.  We have raised over $250 already and there’s still time to contribute.  You can see our current “basket” in our school office and soon it will have some great gift cards too!

Busy time of the year:

As most of you know, this seems to be the busiest time of the year.  Just about every day in a school year is busy, but as we head into the “final stretch”, there seems to be more and more to do considering all of the special events, field trips, testing, etc.  For this reason, it is more important than ever to check your emails daily for important information.  If you spend 15 minutes daily to read your emails, you will be able to stay on top of important items and respond to requests in a timely manner.  Thank you!

Question of the Week:

What is your favorite part of “Spring Time” or your favorite memory of this time of year?

Quote/Picture of the Week:

what if i fall 4-2015



Weekly Update: 4/13/2015

Hello Emory Eagles Staff- Here are the updates for this week:


Chris has sent out the latest PBS lesson which is regarding bullying- Part 1.  This is one of our biggest challenges in schools so please take the time to discuss this with your students.

BoxTops and Campbell’s Labels:

These will be collected on Monday.  I urge you to continue (or begin) encouraging your students to bring these to school.  In light of our budget challenges around supplies, this is a very easy way to raise money for our school.  The first step is for our staff to promote this with our students.  Thank you!


We will be posting our two classroom openings for this upcoming year on Monday for 4th grade GATE and 6th grade.  These openings are open for site reassignment to any current Emory teachers will probationary or permanent status.  The postings will be open for 5 days.  If you are interested, please let me know.

Ultimately, I will be making final decisions about site assignments and will be discussing with teachers my intentions for 2015-16 assignments in the next couple of weeks.  However, please keep in mind that most assignments could be subject for change should our numbers change from now until the beginning of next school year.

G.A.T.E. testing:

G.A.T.E. testing will be administered to our 2nd grade students on Tuesday at 1:00p.m. in the auditorium.  Please do not plan to use the auditorium for dance practice on Tuesday afternoon.

Staff Mtg./PD:

We will not have a meeting this Wednesday.  IF Leslie and Holli have anything important to share regarding CAASPP testing, 3rd-6th grade teachers will be notified if we need to have another short meeting.  It is highly encouraged for 3rd-6th grade teachers to have your students take the practice test this week to help them become more familiar with the upcoming assessment.

PLNU Art Students:

Our Art student teachers will be on campus on Thursday to teach their first lesson at 1:30 to most 1st-3rd grade classrooms.

Special Visit:

This Friday at 3p.m, Emory’s Extended Learning program will be visited by Board Members, Supt. McNamara, Extended Learning Director Melissa Griffith, a representative from the Children’s Initiative and special guest Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez .  We will be reserving several parking spaces for their visit and will also be making sure that our auditorium/cafeteria is looking it’s best.

Stars Under the Stars:

We have had $20 collected for our Stars Under the Stars basket for this event.  Please consider donating so that we can create a wonderful gift basket for this event.  Cindy would like to continue to purchase items but needs to be reimbursed for what she has already purchased as well as buying some gift cards to include.  If every staff member donated just $5 we would have more than enough money to build a top notch basket!  We would like to have donations by the end of this week so we can finalize purchases by next week.

Jump Rope 4 Heart:

Thanks again to everyone in supporting this cause and great event which teaches our students not only about heart health but also about giving to a worthy cause.  Special thanks to Karina Martinez for all of her efforts to make this happen and a shout out to DJ Chris as well!

Question of the Week:

Most of us received two years of professional development around the area of Writing.  Which element of that PD or what part of teaching Writing is most challenging for you? We are hoping to revisit ways that we can support this.

Quote of the Week:

“Very few burdens are heavy if everyone lifts.”  -Sy Wise


Weekly Update: 4/6/2013

Hi everyone- Welcome back and thank you teachers for a productive day today (Monday) or yesterday depending on when you read this.  Special thanks to Leslie, Holli, and Chris for leading our PD.  Here are the updates for this short(er) week:

Tuesday flag salute:

Please remember to bring your trophies to flag salute as we will be announcing March attendance winners.  Due to the short month, testing, and formal observations, my time may be very limited for reading and popcorn.  Therefore, I might ask teachers to double up and join classes together or maybe even have a few “assemblies” where winning classrooms come to the auditorium and I read to 3 or 4 classes at one time.  Stay tuned….


This week in PLCs you will have some time to keep unpacking standards but we will take the first part of the meeting to look at where each grade level is, in terms of pacing and dates around your Units of Study.  We will also spend some time looking at Illuminate and talk about how we are using our benchmark assessments to inform us about our students and guide our instruction. For this reason, please plan to bring your laptops to PLC.

Tuesday and Wednesday:

Both of these days are minimum days and we will not be meeting together as a staff.  Please plan to use one of these days to meet with your grade level and then use the other day for your own individual planning and prep.  Please let me know when and where your grade level is meeting.  For TK-2nd grade teachers, please use some of this time to read more from your Fountas and Pinnell assessment kit.  You can do this together as a team and discuss together any understandings or questions.  For 3rd-6th grade teachers, please use some of this time to explore the wonderful resources that Leslie and Holli have provided to you with regards to CAASPP.  The more you explore right now, the less anxiety you will face when testing begins.

Library and Computer Lab schedules:

Please see the email Teresa sent today (Monday) with new schedules.

Stars Under the Stars donations:

As mentioned, Cindy P. has begun to work on creating our “basket” for the exciting gala that will take place Saturday evening, May 2nd.  I know times are tight but please see if you can find a little money to donate to this cause which goes directly back to our students.  Eunice will have an envelope and at some point, we can send someone around as well.  I believe they are hoping to pick up baskets between April 20th and May 1st but let’s plan to have all $ collected sooner than later so Cindy can know the budget with which she is working.

Jump Rope for Heart:

As mentioned, our JR4H event is this Friday! (Thanks Karina for your support with this!) I will not be able to Emcee so Chris has “jumped” at the opportunity to help us out with that.  Please remind your students about this every day this week.  There will be no ELD on Friday due to this event.

Vision Screening:

We are lucky enough to have UCSD doing free vision screening for us and that is also taking place this Friday.  They will be working around the JR4H event but please be prepared to have some interruption during your day for this to happen.  I know it’s one more interruption but this is so valuable for many of our students who don’t get regular vision check ups.  Nurse Sharon will be helping to facilitate this.  6th graders have already been screened so they will not be seen by UCSD.

Question of the Week:

What is one of your favorite memories from this past Spring Break?

Quote of the Week:

“Change begins with a culture where everyone is elevated to the status of learner.”

-Sarah Brown-Wessling