Weekly Update: August 15, 2016

Oh my goodness there is so much to be proud of here at Emory. I have enjoyed visiting your classrooms and seeing you try on Reader’s or Writer’s Workshop structures. I received a congratulations email informing me Emory has that most students using ST Math in the entire district. And so many of you have created incredibly inviting spaces for students to read and learn. Thank you for your hard work creating incredible learning opportunities for our students.

Staff PD:

We will not meet this week. Please use the time to collaborate with your team or to begin entering your Fountas and Pinnell data into Illuminate. Next Wednesday, Aug 24th, we will need to meet to work collaboratively to build our collective Emory belief about Literacy. All schools have been asked to develop a site Literacy belief that will be used to develop the District belief about literacy.

Reading Assessment:

I have seen many of you assessing students during independent reading time, while students are using STMath, before school, after school etc. Thank you for getting down to the business of getting to know our students. As a reminder, you must have reading assessment data entered into Illuminate for all students by Sept 2nd. If you need any help using the Fountas and Pinnell assessment or entering data into Illuminate, please let Araceli or me know.

Entering Fountas and Pinnell Data:

Click here for instructions for entering Fountas and Pinnell data into Illuminate. Different than last year, you will select 2016- 2017 SBUSD Fountas & Pinnell 1st Administration to enter data.

As you enter student data, please be sure that for each student you indicate the Instructional Level, Independent Level, Accuracy, Fluency and Comprehension and note the Genre.


ELD and PLC:

ELD and PLC start date tentatively is August 22nd. I will continue to update you as the date approaches. 

ILT Thursday:

Thank you to Karina, Rebecca, Jeanne, Maria, Holli, Don, Dave, Erin and Araceli for representing us at ILT this Thursday. As many of us will be off campus, please work together to support each other. Let Eunice or Dani know if you need any assistance.

ILT members, please bring the following:

  • Student writing from your class from District Writing Assessment.  We will be conducting a “Norming Meeting” and will need papers to score.
  • The Continuum of Literacy from their Fountas and Pinnell kits.  We will be reviewing text levels and bands of difficulty.
  • Laptop

Let me or Araceli know ASAP if you cannot locate your Continuum or have any other concerns.

Clean out the Clutter:

As a rule of thumb – if you have not used it in the past 2 years – throw it away or donate it! Many of you have shifted your student’s learning environment (in really cool ways). As you make these changes to your classrooms, be mindful of the “stuff” you keep moving around.

Coach’s Corner:

In many cases, Back to School Night is the first opportunity we have to meet parents and begin partnerships between school and home.  But what about the parents who don’t attend? This year, I invite you to surprise your parents and make positive phone calls home. Parents don’t always expect good news when they get a call from their child’s teacher. Think about how they would feel if they received a call about their child meeting one of their goals, being kind to someone, or improving in any way. Positive phone calls home are a great way to set the tone for constructive parent-teacher relationships. They show parents that you care, and if you ever have to make a phone call that is not so positive, they may be less defensive and more disposed to support you with their child’s academic success. 


As I visit your classrooms, I am so excited to see students in comfortable places reading and sharing their stories after writing. A strategy which I have seen some of you use as you strive to keep mini lesson mini (and not maxi) is to time yourself or to have a student run the timer for you. As a reminder, mini-lessons should be about ten minutes. Watch this short video (less than two minutes) to hear from Lucy Calkins about mini lessons. 

Learning and Innovation will host their final session of round 1 optional grade level support meetings. Attendees have received their Units of Study Kits.

1st-2nd Teachers: Tuesday, August 16th

Please sign up here if you plan to attend.

ST Math:

Thanks to those of you who got your students going on ST Math (special thanks for your patience)! For those of you who missed the summer PD or have not yet gotten in. Teacher usernames are created by using the first 3 letters of the school, their first initial, and entire last name.Ex.Josh Cassel at Washington Elementary would be : wasjcassel

Here are the links to the first 3 online courses teachers should take before starting ST Math. As a reminder, if you take these courses outside of your contract day (Wed. min day time is a part of your contracted work day). The district will compensate you for your time.

Course 1

Course 2

Course 3

Furniture Budget:

As a reminder, you have a classroom Furniture Budget of $75.00 to be spent by Oct 12th. You may use this money to purchase bookshelves, rugs, flexible seating for students. If you are not sure if something would be appropriate, please see me to discuss in advance of your purchase.

Low Cost Computers for Emory Families:

Last year, more than fifty Emory families received computers through this program thanks to you for sharing the information with them. As you send information home to families, please again include this info. Click here to access the details about low cost computers for families.

Shared Leadership Meeting:

Our next Shared Leadership Meeting is Tuesday, August 23rd from 2:40-3:40. All are welcome to join us.

Cybersmarts Week Aug 22-26:

Save the date- check out the resources below.


District Champions Program:

These quarterly awards will recognize students, parents, staff, and community members who demonstrate outstanding work, dedication to the District’s mission and goals, commitment to our community.You may submit a recommendation via this link. Team Emory is amazing! Please submit names of your colleagues, students, family and community members who deserve recognition.

Room Environment and Student Safety:

This week representatives from the state visited various South Bay Campuses examining classrooms to ensure that we are compliant with the Williams’ Legislation. (see me if you’d like to hear more about Williams). Please review the list below and ensure that you take the necessary precautions to keep our students safe and be compliant with the law.

-Hand sanitizer AND handi-wipes that say “keep out of reach of children” must be stored high or in a locked cabinet. Many hand lotions have the same wording and must be stored accordingly

-Liquid paper also says “keep out of reach of children” on the label (big surprise!) – and cannot be left out on teacher desk

-The portable potty (white bucket with black lid) provided to each classroom for use in a disaster or lockdown contains a few items that have similar wording and should be stored high on a cabinet, not under a sink or desk

-Cleaning products must be stored in a locked cabinet – under the sink cabinet that does not lock is not sufficient

-If 75% of classroom walls are covered, it can be considered a fire hazard

 Quote of the Week:



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