Weekly Update: October 5, 2015

Welcome back! I hope that you enjoyed a fun and relaxing fall break.

Staff Professional Development:

We will meet this Wednesday, October 7th from 1:45-3:15 in room 23. Get excited, we will continue our professional learning about differentiated small group reading instruction.

Performance Task Assessment Window:

Monday, marks the opening of the Performance task Assessment window (10/5-10/20). You may wish to review the link below to ensure that you have administered your performance tasks in advance of the calibration workshops.

Calibration Workshops:

Ed Services will offer 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.

Classroom Visits:

I will visit your classrooms on Monday and Thursday. My hope is that all of our students understand what they are learning, specifically, that they know the objective or intended learning outcome of your lesson. Additionally, I hope that they will know your criteria for “understanding” or mastery of their learning. When I visit your classrooms, I will be checking in with students to see if they have these understandings. Asst Supt Ed Leadership, Cindy Wagner will visit on Thursday from 9:00-10:45 and Director of Educational Services, Amy Illingworth will visit Friday from 1:00-2:25.

Impact Teacher Update:

Impact teacher Kriza Casem accepted a full time position in the Chula Vista school district. We are happy for her, but sad for us. Cathryn will provide her art/literacy unit and Liz Desmond will continue with us. Marla Garcia will be with us Tuesday and Wednesday and will will find a different sub for Thursday.

PLNU Arts Education Partnership:

Some of you may have participated in the Arts Education partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). This year we are lucky to continue this partnership. You may recall that students visiting from PLNU have had limited experience in front of a class. As there are only 6 PLNU students available to visit our school this year, please let me know ASAP if you would like to participate. See additional information below.

The three dates this fall semester for our visit to Emory are proposed for:

Tues. Oct 27 –    Planning session with teacher (2:30PM)

Tues. Nov. 10 –  Teach Art Lesson #1 (1:30PM)
Tues. Nov. 17 –  Teach Art Lesson #2 (1:30PM)

Unity Games Save the Date:

The Unity Games are back. Saturday, May 2016 9:00-12:00 at Mar Vista High School. Emory students and staff will join all schools in the South Bay in a fun, celebration of athletic skill.

Question of the Week:

What is something new that you have tried this year, or are committed to trying this week?

Quote of the Week:

If we teach today’s students as we taught them yesterday’s we rob them of tomorrow.

John Dewey


Weekly Update: September 14, 2015

Thanks for your flexibility with the rainy day lunch schedule this week. Enjoy your weekends! Get rested and try to stay cool.


This week during your PLC time, Chris and I will join your team to facilitate a discussion about our Smarter Balanced Assessment/CAASPP results. Results from the 2014-15 administration of the Smarter Balanced (SBAC)/CAASPP are available in Illuminate and at the California Department of Education (CDE) website. Additionally, you may wish to discuss a timeline for administering the upcoming benchmark assessments.

English Learner Committee:

I am still looking for additional members of our English Learner Committee.  Responsibilities include attending release day meetings, reviewing student data/placement and discussing best practices or English Learners. Please let me know if you are interested.

Classroom Visits:

I will be on campus all five days this week! WooHoo! Amy Illingworth, Director of Educational Services will visit on Tuesday and we will be walking classrooms beginning at 11:00. Katie McNamara, Superintendent, will visit Wednesday from 8:45-10:30. She also intends to visit classrooms. I will join Katie and Amy on their visits and will come to see your classrooms on Thursday.

Reward/Party Schedule:

There is much to celebrate at Emory. Thank you for working hard to promote student attendance, positive behavior and PTA sign ups. See the reward schedule below. Let me know if you have any concerns about times/dates ASAP.

PTA Winners Popsicle Party Monday 9/14 at lunch

Blue Slips Monday 9/14 at lunch

Please send your blue slips with your students to lunch on Monday. TK/K I will visit your rooms with the wagon on Monday between 9:30-10:00

Attendance Reward Popcorn Party and Reading Friday 9/18

Kinder   Leon                                      8:30-8:405

Grade 1 Erlbeck                                9:00-9:15

Grade 2 Lobato                                 9:15-9:30

Grade 3 Ochoa                                  9:30-9:45

Grade 4 Kinnamon                          9:45-10:00

Grade 3 Castellanos                        10:30-10:45

Grade 4 Perkins                                10:45-11:00

Grade 5 Muniz/ Brizendine          11:00-11:15

Grade 5 Goulding                             11:15-11:30

Grade 6 Major                                   11:30-11:45

Grade 6 Molina                                 11:45-12:00

Rock and Roll Recess Friday 9/18 1:05-1:25 (send students with backpacks)

School Site Council:

Our first School Site Council meeting of the year is Tuesday, Sept. 15th at 1:40. Thanks to Angela, Erika, Angelica and Eunice for representing the Emory staff.

Calibration Workshops:

Ed Services will offer 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.

PTA Movie:

Encourage your students and their families to join us Wednesday, Sept 16th for a free showing of Big Hero 6. The party starts at 5:30 with the movie beginning at 6:00. Feel free to join the party, too.

Impact Update:

Please be sure to welcome Kriza Casem who joins our team this week as our newest Impact Teacher. Try to connect with and welcome all of our newly hired Impact Teachers. Eugenia Salazar is supporting English Learners and newcomer students. Gina Pierotti provides intervention to our primary students and support to combo classes. Cathryn Clabaugh and Kriza provide enrichment during your collaboration. We are still seeking our final Impact teacher and therefore will continue to have Liz Desmond with us until we find our final team member.

SDSU ELD Stipend:

Earn a $1,500 attend an online graduate certificate program at San Diego State University. Choose one of two certificate program options, Dual Language or English Language Development, and receive graduate level credit while preparing yourselves to better serve your English Language Learners and address the Common Core State Standards. November 1 deadline for the SPRING SEMESTER. Email scajigas@mail.sdsu.edu for more info or go to   http://go.sdsu.edu/education/projectcore/    

Food for Thought:

How engaging are your essential questions? Click here to read a summary of an article from Wiggins and Wilbur.

Quote of the Week:

Question of the week:

How will you spend your fall break?

Dear Teacher:Heartfelt Advice to Teachers from Students


Weekly Update: September 8, 2015

Enjoy your 3 day weekend!

Attendance Awards:

We will recognize classes with best attendance for the month of August at flag salute on Tuesday. Additionally, we will begin the practice of celebrating three students with perfect attendance for the week at Flag Salute each week. I will roll out the red wagon and we will announce three student names and have them select a prize from the wagon.

Parent/Teacher Conferences:

Conferences are Sept. 9 through Sept. 18 with Friday, Sept. 11th being a “no students” work day to allow for conferences all day long.  Please make sure to 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. If you have any students with attendance concerns tardies or absences, I encourage you to discuss this with the family. Click here to review tips from Attendance Works for addressing absences with families during your conferences.  Parent Handout English Parent Handout Spanish You received an email from Jen Olivera indicating that we will receive revised copies of the Report Card Parent Guides to share with all of students’ parents during conferences. Full versions of the document for ALL grade levels will still be available on the website for you and parents (Under Parents and Students > Report Cards). Please also try to remember to sign up parents to volunteer for fall carnival (Friday, October 30th).


Thanks for your feedback in revising the ELD rosters. As an FYI, two different students were injured during the rotation transition because of running with pencils. I will do my best to be in the hallways and ask you be visible at your doors as our students rotate to their ELD groups. We would like to establish a site EL committee and I am looking for committee members. Responsibilities include attending release day meetings, reviewing student data/placement and discussing best practices or English Learners. Please let me know if you are interested. As a reminder, please send your students to their ELD rotation between 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.

I was able to visit more classrooms this week than last, but I still did not make it to all of you. This week I visit classrooms on Thursday. Asst. Supt. for Ed Leadership, Cindy Wagner will visit on Tuesday, I believe that she intends to visit with me in the office.

Staffing Update:

Eugenia Salazar             Newcomer Impact Teacher

Gina Pierotti                   Primary Intervention Impact Teacher

Cathryn Clabaugh          Art/Literature PLC Rotation Impact Teacher

Thank you for making our new team members feel so welcomed. Substitute Teachers here this week to support PLC are Alan Salazar and Liz Desmond and I have Impact Teacher interviews (again) Tuesday morning.


As you may recall, our new state assessment system is called CAASPP. Results will be released publicly on September 9 and I expect we will have access via Illuminate next week. In the coming weeks, individual student score reports will be sent home. The video below will preview for you the individual student score report. Here is a very clear chart about Claims and the Achievement Levels in Math and ELA. and here  is a link to some Parent Guides with sample questions and test description.

If you receive questions from families here are some talking points:

  • This is baseline information.
  • This is one tool we use to measure student achievement.
  • We are asking students to show us critical thinking, reading, and writing every day.
  • These test results cannot be compared to previous state tests.
Congratulations to RoseAnn and Angelica our $25.00 gift card winners during our membership drive. Thanks to all of you who encouraged membership sign ups. Our next Fundraiser is the Jump Around fundraiser. Please encourage your students and families to purchase tickets.Thanks to Connie for arranging this for our families. Your students would love to see you at the PTA movie, Big Hero 6 at 5:30 (movie at 6:00) on Wednesday, September 16th.
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- 2ndgrade teachers, Principals, Coaches, and IMRTs wanting to learn more about using Google Apps (Docs, Slides, Forms) with their teams and school site.


You may have noticed that I set up a twitter account for Emory. I also added a feed to the webpage (well, actually Ken Quisenberry did when I couldn’t figure it out). I am hoping to use twitter as a vehicle to communicate with families and our community more about how great we are!! Please feel free to share pictures with me of student work or activities. Additionally, I use twitter as another way to access professional learning. I encourage you to consider getting your own twitter account, too.

Quote of the week:

Question of the week:

There is no question, please comment with a shout out to a colleague. Feel free to show gratitude or celebrate a success.

Bonus– Video of the week:

Change is the only constant in the 21st century: