Weekly Update: August 31, 2015

Stay Cool! Literally and figuratively.

Legoland FREE Admission for Teachers:

2015 – 2016: Saturdays and Sundays: Sep. 5 – 27, Nov. 7 – 22, Jan. 2 – 17, Mar. 5 – 13, Apr. 30; May 1, May 7 – 15. Valid for K-12 California classroom teachers. Reservations and advance tickets required. Full day Park admission. Family and Friends $52. Call (760) 438-LEGO.

School Day and Minimum Day PLC:
I am excited to confirm that we will (FINALLY) begin our collaboration during the school day. To accommodate our district sub schedule, this week’s schedule is different than what we will use for the year. Click here to see the schedule for this week ONLY. Please have rich conversations with your colleagues about the upcoming units of study or student outcomes/assessment from the first five weeks of school. Additionally, we have PLC time this Wednesday, September 2nd. Please email me the location where your team will meet and submit minutes/notes from your PLC to the binder (or via google docs) in room 23 within 24 hours of your team PLC time. One document for both Wed afternoon and your time during the week will suffice.
Thanks to Chris for working so hard to learn about and organize what is best for our students learning English. The links to your homeroom and ELD rosters are below.  Chris finalized your rosters Friday afternoon. Please review them and let him know of any changes so that we are ready to go on Tuesday, September 1. Send your students to their ELD rotation betwen 8:10 and 8:12 so that they arrive and are ready to go by 8:15. Please release students at 8:55 and expect them to be back in their home room classes, ready to learn by 9:00 Third grade, I will connect with you on Monday to discuss the specific student moves as things are a bit crazy for your kiddos. 

Rotation rosters

Homeroom rosters

If you have have a group of English Learners, and have not already done so, please see Teresa to obtain your assigned SELD Unit Assignments.

We will be in the halls on Tuesday morning assisting students as they transition to their ELD group. Thanks to all of you for your patience and support!

Student Concerns/Yellow Folders:

If you have concerns about your students (academic, behavior, language development etc) please sure to connect with our specialist team (Tracy, Lindsay, Laura, Rorie) to hear about strategies to support your student and/or to obtain a yellow folder to begin collecting data.

Classroom Visits:

Sorry for not making it to some of your classrooms this week. It is my goal to be in your classroom each week and this week a shortage of subs (both certificated and classified) prevented this. At our ILT/PBS meeting, this week (thanks to those who attended!!), I was asked what I am looking for when I am in your classrooms. At this point, I am trying to get to know who each of you is, who our students are, what we know and what makes us great. I am so proud to be here at Emory with you. Our students are thinking about and discussing their ideas with their peers, writing- on white boards, in journals and on chromebooks, all while mastering the ELD and Common Core Standards. I appreciate that you post objectives as it is helps our students connect their learning and provides me with a tool to use on a brief visit to “see” where you are. This week I will be at the district office from 8:30-4:00 on Wednesday and Thursday, therefore, I will only be able to visit your classrooms briefly. I will join Amy Illingworth, Michelle Syverson and Chris on Monday (midday) and hope to spend all of Friday with you and the students. Additionally, Dr. McNamara will be on campus Tuesday afternoon to visit with me in the office.


Some of you have been interested in learning more about Remind. It is a free tool to use to communicate with your families via text message. Feel free to check it out if you are interested. remind.com

Student Council:

Thanks to Angela and Angelica for coordinating our Emory Student Council. Elections for students in grades 4-6 grade classrooms will be the week of Aug 31-Sept 4 (forms due to Ms. Muniz by Tuesday, Sept 8). We are looking for 2 students from each class – one boy and one girl. The first Student Council meeting is THURSDAY, SEPT 10 in Rm. 18 during upper grade recess (10:10-10:25).

Box Tops:

Thank you for encouraging your students and families to submit box tops and to Erin and her students for collecting and remitting them to our retired teacher Phyllis. We will make $250!!! Our next collection date will be just before fall break. Please continue to collect and remind students to bring them in to you.

New and Returning Staff:

Please join me in welcoming our newcomer teacher Eugenia Salazar and our primary intervention teacher Gina Pierotti. We are excited to have them join the team. Melina Waltl will also be returning to provide enrichment activities for our students in your classrooms and in room 16. Liz Desmond, a regular sub and teacher credentialed in the state of Virginia, will join us to support our PLC’s this week. Alan Salazar, district substitute, will also join us this week as we support your team’s collaboration. I have two possible candidates to finalize our staffing for 2015-16. I will keep you updated.

Update your website by Friday, Sept. 4:

Thank you to those who have already updated your teacher webpages. By Friday, September 4th, Please be sure to update your welcome message for the 15-16 school year and one additional thing from the list below.

    • List web resources for practice at home
    • Advice for parents/families
    • Post Assignments
    • Link to other (Class Dojo, Edmodo, Jupiter Grades etc)
    • Update Calendar
Fall Break Professional Development Opportunities:

Monday, Sept 21 and Tuesday, Sept 22

ELA/ELD Framework and ELD Standards

Wednesday, Sept 23

Systematic English Language Development (SELD)

Thursday, Sept. 24

Google Boot Camp 2– from 8:30- 11:30 AM. This training is for 3rd – 8th grade teachers, Principals, Coaches, and IMRTs. We will have opportunities for Basics and Beyond. Some content will be repeated from the summer Boot Camp.

Friday, September 25th

Google Apps for Teacher Productivity– from 8:30- 11:30 AM. This training is for TK- 2nd grade teachers, Principals, Coaches, and IMRTs wanting to learn more about using Google Apps (Docs, Slides, Forms) with their teams and school site.

Calibration Workshops:

Ed Services is pleased to offer another round of calibration workshops during your Benchmark Assessment Window this Fall (10/5-10/20).  These are optional [paid] workshops teachers may attend to get support with scoring student writing. See email from Amy Illingworth for the fine print.  Please click here to see the dates and register yourself for the Math and/or ELA calibration workshop.

Notes from the IT Team:

You received an email a little more than a week ago from the district sharing that we are provided Internet connectivity via SDCOE and have recently experienced some outages or slowdowns. See the email for more information about the reasons for the slowdown. However, I’d like you to consider the tips included below.

Bandwith Conservation Tips:

  • Use audio or video streaming services only as instructional tools, when absolutely critical and only for brief periods (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
  • Consider methods for minimizing the need for multiple concurrent student streaming instances whenever possible. A full class of 32 students streaming content adds a lot more traffic congestion than whole-class viewing, students in pairs, or staggered student viewing times (DiscoveryEducation videos, Youtube for Education, etc.).

Promethean Board/Projector Servicing Reminders:

To avoid “projector burn-out” – please try to shut down projectors whenever not in use for over 15 minutes. This may help extend lamp & projector life.

Question of the Week:

What is something that works well for you as you conference with your students’ families?

Quote of the Week:

It’s so important to realize that every time you get upset, it drains your emotional energy. Losing your cool makes you tired. Getting angry a lot messes with your health. Joyce Meyer

Song of the Week:

Video of the Week:

This week at the district leadership meeting we had the opportunity to view the video at the link below. It is long (about 20 minutes) but it makes an interesting case that our society may be unfair to introverts. A takeaway that I have is about ensuring that we allow students time to process and complete their own work. It really made me think. Feel free to view if you have the time and are interested.

Weekly Update: August 24, 2015

Enjoy your weekend!! Or Happy Monday if you are reading this at that time.

Staff Meeting:

We will have a staff meeting this week in Rm. 23. Please click here to complete the survey about your preference for the start time. To have your input included, please complete this survey by Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.

CyberSmarts Week:

This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with all students about both their school and home life access to the digital world – and to make sure that safety and security are not afterthoughts as students swim in these powerful and evolving currents.

REMINDERS: Click the following links for your Teacher Agenda and an Overview of Cybersmarts Week for more detailed information.

Check out the CyberSmarts website at http://tinyurl.com/becybersmart  for your classroom instructional planning. Thank you for helping to keep all South Bay kids safe and ‘cybersmart!’

Positive Behavior Support:

Have you found yourself struggling to motivate a particular student? Or needing to constantly remind him or her of our procedures? Check out the helpful advice at this link which Lindsay provided for us. http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/2014/10/the-2×10-strategy-a-miraculous-solution-for-behavior-issues.html

Classroom Visits:

Cindy Wagner enjoyed her visit to our campus very much this week. She remarked on seeing small group instruction, use of technology by our newest ILC members, plenty of opportunities for writing and lots of great partner talk. My favorite part about my days here at Emory is seeing you with your students. Your lessons are creative and engaging. You and your students have fun learning together. I have seen you really pushing yourselves and taking risks. This week, I plan to visit your classrooms on Monday and Friday. I do not intend to email you after my visits to your classroom. Please let me know if you would like any feedback. You are welcome to email me or catch me in the hallway to let me know.

Visits to the Health Office:

Please review the document that our nurse Timea Wegener placed in your mail boxes this week which includes tips about appropriate students to send to see the nurse or more likely, Dani and Eunice. Click here to check it out in case you misplaced it.Every moment in your classroom in precious and when students are here in the office, they are not benefiting from your hard work and well planned lessons and activities.


The ILT and PBS team have merged.Our first meeting of the year is this Thursday, August 27 from 2:40-3:40 in the lounge. All are welcome to join.


Start date TBD- possibly 9/1. I will update via email and white board


Start date TBD-possible 9/1. I will update via email and white board.

Impact Teacher Update:

No new hires. Two possibilities, keep your fingers crossed 🙂

ELA/ELD Framework Professional Learning:

In case you missed it, Ed Services is offering ELA/ELD Framework and ELD Standards professional development over Fall Break 8:30 – 3:00 in Conference Rooms 1, 2, & 3:

  • (September 21, 2015: Day 1: September 22, 2015: Day 2) – Out of contract pay will be provided for those who attend during these full day workshops during fall break.
  • (September 21, 2015: Day 1) – This day is offered to teachers who attended day 2 and missed day 1.  Out of contract pay will be provided for those who attend during this full day workshop during fall break.
  • (September 22, 2015: Day 2) – This day is offered to teachers who attended day 1 and missed day 2.  Out of contract pay will be provided for those who attend during this full day workshop during fall break.
  • Please sign up here


Please encourage your students to sign up for our PTA. PTA funds a field trip for each grade level, our awards and incentives, supplies, etc. I encourage you to consider joining, too. As a reminder, we are having a contest. The Tk-3 grade teacher with the most sign ups by Friday, August 28th will receive a$15.00 gift card. The 4-6 grade teacher with the highest number of sign ups will also receive a $15.00 gift card. ** winning teachers must also join PTA themselves.

Box Tops for Education:

Please promote the Box Tops for Education Program. Each one of those little box tops (they are on over 10,000 different products) is worth 10 cents. Last year we earned over $1,000 from collecting box tops. Phyllis, one of our retired teachers will visit on Wednesday to collect your envelopes.

Social Committee:

Members serving on this team are: Shelly, Erika, Connie, Erin, Tracy, and Holli. We are being led by the lovely Angela. The social committee is responsible for organizing and planning different events throughout the year, however, the major ones are the annual Holiday party, Classified/Certificated Luncheon, and End of the Year Happy Hour. Other events sponsored by the social committee are: Boss’ Day, 1st Wedding/Baby shower gift, condolence card/gift, etc (a detailed list coming soon).

Social dues are as follows (cash only and Shelly will collect):

  •         $30- Full time employees
  •         $20- Part time employees


Question of the Week:

As we work to develop students who are “cybersmart”, what is something  you want to be sure they learn this week?

Quote of the Week:

“Alone we can do so little, together, we can do so much.”

Helen Keller



Weekly Update: August 17, 2015

I hope you survive the hot weekend and find somewhere to stay cool and relax.  Here are the updates for this week:


I’d like to extend a big thank you to Chris for establishing our ELD groups. Thank you also for checking your rosters and letting him know the best placement of your TBD students. The tentative plan is to begin school-wide ELD on Thursday, August 20th from 8:15-8:55. Chris will finalize rosters by Tuesday. Please take time on Tuesday and Wednesday to share your expectations/procedures for student movement with your kiddos in anticipation of a smooth Thursday.

Impact Teachers:

At this time we only have two impact teachers who plan to return. After attending interviews last week, I thought that we had secured two new Impact teachers. Unfortunately, one declined the offer of the position and the other was not properly credentialed. If you know of any teachers who have a multiple subject credential, please send them my way.

PLC Start Date:

Not having enough Impact teachers will likely lead to a delay in starting our PLC during the school day. I will update you via email and the white board this week. Please look for an email with a PLC start date and a possible revised calendar. If we start on August 25th, the third grade team is out at ILC and will need to switch to a different day.  Please send me names of any highly qualified subs, as we may begin with subs in place.

Staff Meeting:

Our next staff meeting is Wednesday, August 19 1:40-3:10. At this meeting, Ken Quisenberry will provide a 30 minute review on updating your classroom website. Please visit our school website before Wednesday and attempt to log in. If you are not able to log in, let Teresa know by Tuesday so your screen name/password can be reset before the meeting. In case you forgot, your screen name is your district email and your password is sbusd and the last 4 digits of your ssn.

We will also meet as a staff on Wednesday, August 26th from 1:40-3:10.

Safe School:

Below (in italics) is a copy of the message which was sent to all District families regarding a possible stranger danger incident in our community. If any of your students share that a stranger approaches them please confirm that this actually happened to the kiddo and is not something that they have heard about on the news or from a friend and then IMMEDIATELY send them to speak with me. Thank you for your efforts to keep our students safe.

Good evening parents,

We received a report from law enforcement today that a Mar Vista High School student and an elementary school student reported a man was approaching students after school on Monday afternoon.  The man was stopping and asking students to sign-up for extra credit and they would have a chance at earning a free iPad.  The man was not a school employee and did not have any identification.  The man was described as a white male adult, 35-40 years old, long slicked back hair in a ponytail, bad teeth, unkempt appearance, wearing a while polo shirt and blue jeans.  The man was holding a clipboard in an apparent attempt to look official.

Please discuss safety with your children as age appropriate and notify law enforcement and your school principal if you have concerns or if another incident occurs.

Classroom Visits:

Thank you for those of you who hosted our first set of classroom visits from district personnel. They were excited to see engaging content, partner talk with high level thinking, use of math manipulatives as well as new ILC/Chromebook teachers who are jumping in and engaging students through Chromebook use. This week Lisa Celaya will visit on Monday, August 17th from 9:30-11:30 and Cindy Wagner (formerly Schaub) will visit on Thursday, August 20th from 11:00-12:45. I will be in classrooms on Monday and Thursday. I will focus on grades 1 and 2 and will pop in to visit all other classrooms.


Thank you for teaching and reinforcing our school-wide expectations. Our first blue slip prize party will be Friday, August 21st during lunch. Please deliver (or have a responsible student deliver) your blue slip receptacle to the lunch area on Friday. Thank you to Chris and Melinda for sharing our PBS lesson via email. Please communicate our expectations with your kiddos Monday morning.

Systematic English Language Development (SELD) professional learning:

You may have seen an email from Lisa Celaya regarding SELD. If you have not done so previously, I  encourage you to attend. We all have at least one English Learner in our classroom and SELD will assist in supporting these students as well as all of our learners. See SELD options below:

  • (September 23, 2015: Day 1: January 7, 2016: Day 2; March 21, 2016: Day 3) – Out of contract pay will be provided for those who attend during these full day workshops during our vacations.
  • (August 31, September 14, October 12 & 26, November 9 & 30, December 7,2015; January 25, February 8 & 22, 2016) – Out of contract pay will be provided for those who attend these after school Monday workshops (3:30 – 5:30) over the entire series.

If interested, please click here to sign up. Direct any questions to Lisa Celaya.

Student Attendance:

Regular attendance is important (like you didn’t know that). Tips for reinforcing this message include:

  • Welcome each student (and when possible, their parent) when they come into your classroom every morning.
  • Notice when a child is absent and when they return, tell them you missed them and ask why they weren’t at school.
  • Make sure both students and families feel welcome and comfortable in your classroom. Relationship building is fundamental to any strategy for improving attendance.
  • Incorporate daily and/or weekly rituals that celebrate attendance and being a part of the class community every day.

Principal Roundtable:

We will meet Tuesday, August 18th from 7:30-7:55 in the lounge. Please submit questions in the green box located on the counter behind the copier. All are welcome to join us.

Chromebook Open House:

Thanks to Angelica and K.C. for sharing their expertise and to those who made time to attend.

Back to School Night:

Thank you primary grade teachers for your work to help our families support their student’s learning.

CyberSmarts Week:

Please remember that the District-wide “CyberSmarts Week,”  is scheduled to be a focus by all teachers in South Bay USD classrooms during the week of August 24 – 28, 2015.

 Question of the Week:

“What is a strategy that you use to help your parents/families support their student’s learning at home?”

Quote of the Week:

Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won and all the fears you have overcome.” Unknown


Weekly Update: August 10, 2015

Thank you for a great start to our new school year. It was nice to visit your classrooms this week. Our families are lucky to have you working hard for our students.

Classroom Visits:

Sorry to those of you that I missed this visiting this week. Chris and I saw students talking to their “elbow”, “cookie and cream”, “s’more’s”  etc partner in many of your classrooms. It is evident that you have been practicing this routine and providing sentence frames/starters. I appreciated seeing your frequent checks for understanding: thumbs up, white boards, moving through the room etc. By the end of our second week, you have created environments where students are respected, show respect and understand our expectations. I saw students who were engaged in the learning and having fun. I hope you were, too.

I will be out in classrooms (and observing lunch and dismissal) on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week. I will be spending time getting to know our tk/kinder students and plan to visit all classrooms that I missed this week. I hope to pop into all classrooms for at least a brief visit. I do not plan to send you an email if I just pop in, please email me or find me if you would like me to provide feedback.

Thank you for, once again, making me proud to be the Principal for Emory.

CyberSmarts Week:

Please remember that the District-wide “CyberSmarts Week,”  is scheduled to be a focus by all teachers in South Bay USD classrooms during the week of August 24 – 28, 2015. Click the following links for your Teacher Agenda and an Overview of Cybersmarts Week for more detailed information. Please take some time to review your grade level content at the posted CyberSmarts agenda website at http://tinyurl.com/becybersmart  for your classroom instructional planning.

Chromebook Resources:

Full disclosure– I found this at Twitter…I know that some are great, however, use at your own risk 🙂


Positive Behavior Supports:

Thank you for teaching, practicing and reinforcing our school-wide expectations. Primary teachers, please spend a few minutes each day reminding students to keep hands and feet to themselves. All teachers, please remind students of the power of their words and to use kind language when speaking to friends. Please continue to follow the PBS expectation schedule and devote time toward setting the stage for a successful year.

Primary Resources-funny video about listening,  funny video about following directions (optional- show if works for you 🙂

Goal Setting Meeting with Jenn:

Thank you to those of you who I have met with already, please remember to contact Eunice to schedule a meeting with me to help me learn about your strengths and areas where you would like to grow this school year. I would like to meet with each of you for 10-15 minutes before August 31. During this meeting, I would like you to share with me an area of professional strength as well as an area where you would like to grow in your teaching practice.

Back to School Nights:

Thank you upper grade teachers for hosting a great evening for our families. We have our “Back to School Night” this Wed. Aug. 12  for grades 1-3.

Old School Meets New School:

Thank you to RoseAnn, Daishanna, Cindy and her volunteer crew, Eunice as well as Daishana’s dad for providing us with a great opportunity to socialize. Please enjoy the flipgram that RoseAnn created.


Our first Instructional Leadership Team meeting of the school year was Thursday, August 6th. Thank you ILT for creating sub plans, engaging in the learning and participating in honest conversations. Thanks to everyone else for watching our students and keeping the ship afloat in our absence.

A focus for the district this year is improving our wellness. Whether reducing stress, promoting resilience or increasing happiness, we will be talking about how we can be our healthiest, happiest selves, so that we are able to give our students and our own families and friends our best.

At ILT we practiced Mindful Breathing. Click here if you would like to try this yourself or with your students.

If you’re interested in reviewing all that we did, click here to see the ILT presentation. Image credit to RoseAnn on slide 7.

PTA, Box Tops for Kids, Labels for Education:

I know that you have a lot of your plates as you work to meet the needs of our students, however, I urge you to remind your students and families to sign up for PTA. Please also encourage students (you can do it, too) to collect box tops and labels for education. You should have envelopes in your classrooms and Cindy created boxes for the auditorium.

Epi Pen training:

Reminder: Epipen Training Wednesday, August 12 at 1:40 in lounge. Our new nurse, Timea Wegener emailed you directly if you have a student in your class with an epipen. Feel free to drop by if you would also like to be trained or to meet our new nurse.

Question of the Week:

“What is a strategy that has worked for you to support English Learners in your classroom?”

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

Bonus Image:


Weekly Update: August 3, 2015

Good morning! Thank you for a great first week. Here are our week 2 updates.

Positive Behavior Supports:

Thank you for teaching, practicing and reinforcing our school-wide expectations. I appreciate all of your efforts to keep our campus safe. Please continue to follow the PBS expectation schedule and devote time toward setting the stage for a successful year. I encourage you to continue to distribute blue slips to help reinforce the expectations for our students. 

Goal Setting Meeting with Jenn:

Please contact Eunice to schedule a meeting with me to help me learn about your strengths and areas where you would like to grow this school year. I would like to meet with each of you for 10-15 minutes before August 31. During this meeting, I would like you to share with me an area of professional strength as well as an area where you would like to grow in your teaching practice.

Back to School Nights:

We have our “Back to School Nights” on Wed. Aug. 5 (grades 4-6) and Wed. Aug. 12 (grades 1-3) (TK/Kinder already had their orientation/open house.)  Be thinking about some of the info you might want to provide to parents:

-checking in with ID at the office

-Common Core Math and ELA  now (have samples of CC Math examples and/or handout to give them of grade level standards)

-combination classes (if you are lucky enough to have one 🙂 and explain how neither grade level will “miss out”)

-discuss the classroom supplies that you would appreciate them donating if they care to

-review PBS main rules

I will also be reviewing much of this in my “spiel” before they head to your classrooms but I will be speaking quickly to cover a lot of info and it will be even more powerful if they hear it again from you.

Establish Instructional Routines:

This is the time to explicitly teach routines around embedded standards (ie partner talk, fluency writing, etc.) As well as math routines (writing to explain, number talks, games, etc.).  Doing this now will provide time later for differentiated instruction. This will pay off in the long run.

Impact Teacher Update:

At this time, Laura Acosta and Malina Watyl are scheduled to return and we need to fill three open positions.  I will be out on Wednesday at interviews to fill our open Impact teacher positions. Devin was hired by Keillor Leadership Academy and Caitlyn by San Ysidro.

Dismissal Time:

Thank you for walking students to dismissal and staying to supervise every day last week. This week we will begin our regular supervision schedule. Please walk your students to their dismissal area. I encourage you to stay at least one extra day this week. This will provide extra adult eyes and order as we ensure students leave campus safely.


Our first Instructional Leadership Team meeting of the school year will be this Thursday, August 6th. Thank you to our leaders for their commitment to learning and sharing back with the team—Karina, Rebecca, Jeanne, Maria, Holli, Angela, Erin, Dave and Chris.

Classroom Visits:

Chris and I will visit classrooms on Tuesday and Friday this week. I cannot wait to see you in action with your students!

Question of the Week:

What was a highlight from your first week of school?

 Video of the Week:

If teachers were treated like pro-athletes……