Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Night Memo 9/17/17

Faculty Meeting

Tomorrow, we will have a guest presenter, Michael Barolak, leading our Restorative Practices development.  Michael is the Coordinator of Student Discipline in the Parkway School District.  In this role, he has brought the restorative lens to schools to start transforming buildings from reactive practices to developing community.  He travels around the state, providing development and support in restorative practices for various school districts.

Our development will be led in the cafeteria right after school.

To prepare for tomorrow, please read the following article:

The Coming Days and Weeks

On Friday, there were a handful of students who were upset about some of the classroom conversations around the verdict.  Please be mindful that student's experiences and thoughts may look different and they may react in ways that may surprise us.  Please also know that the admin and counseling team is here to support you and provide any assistance and/or resources you may need.  Students will talk about the verdict and the protests that are taking place.  It's important that we don't discourage their conversations and provide them a safe place to talk.  In facilitating conversations in our classrooms,  we need to be mindful that our own feelings and beliefs don't overtake student conversations. 

REMINDER:  Responsive Spaces and Screenagers

Peter Lippman will be speaking tomorrow night at Steger, 6:00pm in the auditorium around Responsive Spaces.

The district is hosting a showing of the documentary this week on Wednesday, from 7-8:30pm in our auditorium.

This weekend was filled with a range of emotions for many folks.  I hope you were able to find space to process and take care of yourself.

With Gratitude,

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Night Memo 9/10/17

Faculty Meeting
For our meeting tomorrow, please wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to run intruder drills.  We will meet in the cafeteria and OC and the team will lead our refresher training.

Just a reminder that meetings were adjusted and we have another all staff faculty meeting next Monday, 9/18/17 and then our first SLT meeting on Monday, 9/25/17.

Equity Committee District Meeting
The first Equity meeting of the year will be on Tuesday, 9/12/17 in the WGHS Library from 5:30-7:00pm.  The meeting is open to all district and community members and dinner will be served at the meeting.

Calendar Committee
We need a Hixson voice at the table for the Calendar Committee.

The committee meets on Tuesdays at 3:45 for about an hour and half in the Central Office Board Room. Here are the dates:

September 19
October 17
November 14
December 5
January 16

If you are interested, please let me know and I'll contact CO.


The District is hosting a showing of the documentary "Screenagers:  Growing Up in the Digital Age" on Wednesday, September 20th from 7:00-8:30pm in the Hixson Auditorium.  I've heard great things about it and a parent shared that she saw it last year and it provided lots of insight and good conversation around technology and kids. Here's an article that was shared that you may also find interesting:

PTO Grants
The PTO will continue to award grants two times a year, once in the Fall and Spring.  They have not given me the dates when they will be accepting the grants but I'll let you know as soon as they share the information.

Hope's Role
As I shared from a couple of memo's past, the role of Jill and Hope will be shifting.  I know that Hope's time was used differently before and we are now at a place to problem solve how we meet the needs of our IEPs.  I've shared conversations with Mary Beth and our SSD Department Leaders on how to meet IEPs and 504s.  Please contact the student's case manager about using different resources or making arrangements for assessments and assignments.  Hope will be working with teams to problem solve around kid issues, work with teams on student data, work with administration and SLT leaders on student data and also providing coaching cycles.  There are many other things that she does, but these are the largest areas where I'll have her concentrating on.

Teams or individual teachers can also contact Tim Brown, Director of Instructional Technology, who will provide PD on how to use the applications in the Chromebooks to read an assessment to students, provide dictation options and many more instructional applications.  We have shared a conversation and he will carve out the time to meet with teachers as requested when it works for you.

Telling Hixson's Story
One of the things I appreciate most about Ambrose are the pictures they post every day on their classroom teacher's blogs.  Granted, it's a school for the littles but the pictures give me a glimpse into what Charlotte's day looks like so I can ask her questions about it.  Her responses are a hit or miss mixed in with a toddler's imagination but at least we have a somewhat focused chat.  Every other week, my blog to our families will be a narrative to share out what amazing things kids are doing in our school.  Please share with me things that are happening in your classroom, pictures, etc.  I don't think we can communicate enough with your team websites/blogs and my blog and it's nice to hear or see what's happening at school.  

We will be posting the Selfie Wall Project pictures in the coming weeks and creating a video of it so parents can see.  I'll send out some specific communication soon.  

This Week
On Tuesday, September 12th, I'll be out of the building all day at a Principal Leadership Training. Please don't hesitate to text or email if you need anything as I'll have access to my phone and email.

I hope you had a great weekend and will see you in the morning.

With Gratitude,