Thanksgiving Break

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Important Upcoming Dates

November 27 -29 – Thanksgiving Break
December 3 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30 in Melanie’s Room
December 4 – Faculty Meeting Library, 2:30 – 4:00 Food provided by 8th Grade
December 11 – Early Release Day
December 13 – School Dance Sponsored by the 8th Grade
December 17 – Leadership Team Meeting
December 18 – Faculty Meeting food provided by Allied Arts

Happy Thanksgiving

As I woke up this morning, a morning that seemed to come all to soon as a result of the glorious Patriots victory…, in overtime…, at 12:30 am…, for the second week in a row (alright, I am complaining here!), it seems hard to believe that we are planning for the Thanksgiving break and, of course, the Holiday Season. (Sorry ELA teachers for the run-on sentence!) #blamethepatriots!

It is that time of year when our thoughts turn to family and friends and sharing the good tidings of the season. For me, this year will be different in a couple of ways. For the first time in almost 29 years we have a new addition to our family. Unfortunately, this year, he will be 3000 miles away from us, in a place where he is loved with his Mom and Dad and her family. But, I still feel a bit melancholy when I think of him being so far away!

The joy of this new member of our family is tempered by his distance from us and that got me to thinking about our students and our staff. As we plan our celebrations, we need to be mindful that there will be some in our community who will be missing loved ones. Others in our community will not be as fortunate as others and will struggle to put a festive meal on the table or be able to gather family close.

As we celebrate in these last few days before the break, let us be mindful of all of our students. Teresa Merrill and our Student Council collect food for baskets to provide for those less fortunate. I believe that we will be delivering about 15 baskets this week, providing a traditional meal with turkey and all of the fixins’. For some of our students   school is the safest, warmest place for them and these 5 days will be difficult.

The thought of all of this makes me ashamed of feeling sad for myself, so, let us celebrate all that is good and give thanks for all that we have!

We hope that if you are traveling to be with loved ones, or they are traveling to be with you, all the roads are clear, the airways smooth and everyone makes it to their destination safe and sound. Enjoy this short 3-day respite from planning lessons and challenging your students, you have earned it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Laptops and the Break

Usually, we plan to perform routine maintenance suing the school breaks, but this break, we have nothing planned. Therefore, there is no reason to keep the laptops at school. Students may bring their laptops home, provided they have permission to regularly bring the device home.

If you have any questions, please see me or Susie.

Professional Development Extensions

At the last workshop day, we did a tremendous amount of work using technology to expand our reach and our networks as we endeavor to make ourselves ready for the advent of the Common Core State Standards in ELA and Math.

Many of you have already entered your findings in the Google Doc that Terri Dawson had set up to collect our information. If you haven’t done this yet, I would ask that you upload your search findings as soon as possible.

What many of you have found is really quite interesting. Some of the items that I have explored could be very useful to us as we plan our path to implementation of the Common Core.

I am also interested to hear if any of you have explored Twitter in the days since our meeting. I know that you all realize this (probably because I have “brow-beat” you with my findings!), but I find this particular social networking tool to be invaluable in my professional learning. The talents of many of the people who I follow are incredible and their willingness to share with my their experience is amazing.

I would love to hear from any of you who have begun to experiment with this medium how it is going for you. What have you found that surprised you? Is there anything you’d be willing to share with the rest of the staff?

Faculty Meeting Agenda

The Wednesday during the week that wee return we will have a faculty meeting. The food for this faculty meeting will provided by the 8th grade.

I plan to use the first half hour of the meeting to take care of some housekeeping activities and a quick technology check-in. The last hour of the meeting will be dedicated to grade level meetings. At these grade level meetings we will review 1st quarter grades for our students who demonstrated struggles, and perhaps, seemed to “cruise” through. I would ask that each grade have NWEA Scores available as well as NECAP scores as a resource.

Dismissal Time and the Front Foyer

It seems that over the course of the first few months we have gained quite a few “fans” of the front door. OK, I am being a little bit facetious here, but it is becoming a problem. We have gone to great lengths, and expense, to secure the building from unwanted intruders. The time at the end of the day, just before we dismiss students, gets quite chaotic and is of concern to me. It is not uncommon that some of the students who are waiting to be dismissed, open the door for a parent who has not checked in at the desk, in spite of me standing there telling them not to!

Students should be with their advisors until the buses are called, or, if they are not bus students, until the walkers are called. I am aware that some teachers on duty bring they students with them to their duty, this is not a problem as long as the students are with their teacher, not roaming and certainly not making the decision to stay inside while their teacher is outside.

We really need to clean this up and try to work our security plan!

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