Weekly Update: February 1, 2016

Hope you enjoyed the gray days and all your plants enjoyed the rain.


Beginning on Monday, I will make brief morning announcements at flag salute each week. Please let me know if there is anything you would like me to share with our students. Also, our student council will make daily announcements most days. Announcements will occur between 8:05 and 8:15. Thanks for your support.

Performance Task Assessments (PTA):

Administration Dates: February 1-16. Enter scores by Friday, February 19. 

3rd– 6th grade: directions to access the online assessment as a teacher, preview the assessment, and login as a student. USE ONLY SIMPLE LINED paper for TK-2 Assessments. Videos and job aides to access assessmentmaterials and scoring are available on the Units of Study websites. Visit the Educational Services website to view Anchor Papers for your grade level.

To better coordinate support for our students with disabilities, please communicate when you intend to administer the PTAs with Tracy. She and Nora are available for pull out or push in support.

Response to Intervention/Multi Tiered Systems of Support/Intervention/Learning Center/Co-teaching Task Force:

We would like to establish a team to explore best practices related to intervening for our students without disabilities and emerging and best practices for students with identified disabilities. If you are interested in participating in a release day on Monday, February 22 or in learning more about what this all means, please let me know.


PBS/Connect with Kids Lessons/Character Education:

Monday we will use Connect With Kids to work with our students on developing patience. We will revisit this theme each week in February as we teach our familiar lessons. The video is available at (http://sbusd.connectwithkids.com/).  Our organization code is 601ELM. The video can be reached by going to Student Resources-> Elementary->Character/Life Skills. Lesson plans to use/modify are right below the video and the K-2 lesson plans are available on the previous page. Contact Lindsay for assistance.

I will be in the lunch area on Friday, February 5th distributing prizes from the wagon. Please bring your blue slips to lunch on Friday.

Discipline and Contacting Parents:

When we find that our students are not making appropriate (safe, respectful, responsible choices), I strongly encourage you to call home. I find that when I take the time to personally connect with our families, we have a conversation about how we both want the child to be successful, but need their behavior to change. Making the call, allows for the parent to ask questions and get clarification. We ensure that they hear our version of the incident and not from their child what happened. Also, when we mail things home, the concern is rarely communicated in a timely way and may feel impersonal.




During the winter months, the bad weather and common illnesses that keep kids from getting to school can boost absenteeism. That is why during the winter months it is even more important to remind parents about the value of school attendance. Just missing two days each month, even if they are excused, can make it hard for children, starting in the early grades, to keep up with the learning in the classroom. Click here for more resources to share with families.

We will initiate two new programs to support student attendance. Dani will share details this week.

Family/Parent Involvement:

Thank you for all that you do to welcome and support our families each and every day. I learned that we have had the most families (in the entire district) submit Connect to Compete reduced cost computer applications. Thank you for promoting the program! Please keep in mind that this program is only for families of limited incomes who do not currently have technology. We had more than 35 family members at our school on Tuesday. 20 attended coffee with the principal and 15 attended the San Ysidro Health Center self esteem class. Please let me know if you have anything that you would like shared with our families. Our next coffee with the principal is Thursday, Feb 25th. 

Please continue to promote Remind text message notification service. Click here for the full instructions or see below (this is on the Emory School web page). This is a way for us to text message our families.

Sign up to receive text message reminders from Principal Grondek. See instructions below. Send a text message to the number 81010 with the message @jgron

Coach’s Corner:

From the time that I have spent in teaching writing and (unfortunately) helping with our guest teacher shortage, I am reminded how quickly instructional time goes.  Sometimes, the lesson doesn’t go exactly as planned.  This is very stressful.  What can we do to make sure we get to our objective in the time we have allotted?  I have thought about using a timer.  The alarm would remind me that my time is over and now it’s the students turn.  Something I want to get better at is to stick to the time I planned for direct instruction.  I need to get kids to participate in the learning faster.  Any suggestions?


Thank you for promoting our current Cheesecake Fundraiser. This will continue through Wednesday Feb. 17th and will provide funds for new library books. Pennies for Patients  Feb 15-March 4 will collect money to prevent leukemia. See emails from Angelica for more detail. Beginning March 7 and lasting through March 7-18 we will also participate in a fundraiser for the Jose Montano foundation called Change for Change. Details to follow.

Quote of the Week:

Question of the Week:

As we prepare for our English Learner Task Force meeting on Tuesday, what sort of assistance, professional development resources etc, would you like to better meet the needs of our English Learners?

5 thoughts on “Weekly Update: February 1, 2016

  1. Imagine Learning is such a valuable resource and with Chromebooks in the classroom it would be nice to have access for ELLs to use it in the classroom. If not Imagine Learning but something like it.

  2. In regard to time, In the past I have had students or the “time monitor” give me a silent signal, such as an “X” with their arms, to politely remind me that my time is up (this is assuming you have students who can tell time). It work well because it is not as disruptive or alarming as a timer can be. I hope that is helpful. 🙂

  3. Ditto on the students accessibility to “Imagine Learning.” I have also found very useful for the primary students having accessibility to ABCMouse.com or Starfall.

  4. Various activities that can help them (maybe physical movements with dialogue)!


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