Sunday Memo January 8, 2017

What a strange, incomprehensible winter. It seems like we've been inundated with freezing rain, snow and just generally irritating weather for weeks now. And we have. I think the part that I'm struggling with is the inconsistency. It's beautiful, sunny and absolutely beyond cold. It's sleeting, freezing rain and then it warms just enough to make the roads treacherous within an hour. The weather folks predict snowpocalypse but then it warms up to just enough to make me feel guilty for not going out and getting stuff done. I feel like doing some physical activity, but then I look outside and decide to stay in my PJ's and watch bad internet TV shows. What's up with the weather anyway? Most years, I want a couple of snow days in my pocket, just to give myself and others a respite in the dark days of winter. This year, however, I worry about June. How many additional days will we have? And what about the 8th graders? It's hard enough when we get out on time. What happens when we add 3 days? 8th grade armageddon? These are a few of the ridiculous thoughts racing through my head today, surrounded by freezing rain and just enough snow to make life difficult. I know that I can't control the weather, but this winter, I'd sure like to have some magic 8-ball with a prediction or two. I know that it's good when we are challenged to confront our lack of control - it's just enough dissonance to make us change and grow. But, when is enough, enough already? Philosophical quandaries and first world problems aside, I hope you are warm and snug in your abodes today. We'll see what the ever changeable weather of Oregon brings us tomorrow morning. As always, listen for the 5 AM text or if you are like me, perseverate on the school closure page online. May the weather force be with you and may you find peace in the midst of continual change. It's good practice!

Reminders for the Week

  • Care Team Reboot meeting @ 9:15 on Monday. After reviewing our current Care Team process, we are moving the Care Team meeting to Mondays at 9:15, connected to our regular attendance meeting. The attendance meeting is working very well, with a focused process and tangible results. So far, we are seeing positive changes in our attendance data because of the changes we have implemented this year. We are moving from a punitive SARB model to a problem solving model, including families and outside specialists in the process. Our goal is to practice using a similar process with our Care Team to improve our results. As we practice this new approach to Care Team, we will keep you all in the loop. Our hope is that we will begin to bring folks to the table to problem solve together, with positive results for kids.
  • This Wednesday late-start is a PLC late-start. Please connect with your PLC facilitator for location and agenda details.
  • Our last schedule workgroup meeting is on Friday from 11:30-3:30 @ the D.O. So far, the process has been very inclusive with very clear goals. We spent last Friday in small groups refining our scheduling criteria. I'm sharing the criteria brainstorm with you today. If you have any input, please connect with Cis, Aaron, Fer Hernandez or me before Friday.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Middle School Discovery meeting @ 1 PM. Both middle school principals are meeting with Bill Rogers, principal of Catalyst, about the current configuration of the Discovery program. CVMS students are not participating in Catalyst classes fall semester until we gain common understanding of the purpose and criteria for student participation in the middle school alternative program.
  • Grade Level Facilitator meeting @ 3 PM on Tuesday. This meeting supports the grade level PLC meeting facilitation process.
  • AVID meeting @ 7:40 on Thursday. We are discussing participants in the AVID summer institute and travel logistics.
  • Instructional Facilitator/Admin planning meeting @ 1:55 on Thursday. We meet weekly to plan Professional Learning and evaluate school processes in support of our School Improvement Plan.
Our Kindness Leaders get recognition and a wood-fired pizza!

Kindness Matters!

This week we recognized 16 students and 7 staff members who were voted as "Kindness Leaders" at CVMS. . In the fall, we sent out surveys to our entire student body and staff to identify students and staff who exemplified that kindness matters at CVMS. We asked if there were students or staff that were observed doing the following things:

going out of their way to help someone else

standing up for someone who was being treated poorly

responding with patience and kindness in a stressful situation

Using the survey responses, our parent group identified 16 students and 7 staff members to recognize as “Kindness Leaders” at CVMS. On Friday, we celebrated our 2016-17 Kindness leaders by hosting a wood fired pizza celebration catered by the Red Hills Market. It was a wonderful celebration and a great affirmation that students and staff are positively changing the culture at CV and making a difference for other people. This is one of our highest goals as a school and it is linked to this School Improvement Plan goal: Our goal is that every student who enters the building feels loved, respected, and confident that they have a special place in this school.

Our student Kindness Leaders are: Mercy Starling – 6th grade; Julian Ramos – 6th grade; Garret Chaffee – 6th grade; Carter Bass – 7th grade; Emma Vaughn – 7th grade; Kaelani Lewis – 7th grade; Anna Hinkle – 8th grade; Colin Bolek – 8th grade; Ella Moriarty – 8th grade; Fer Hernandez-Valencia – 8th grade; Landon Willems – 8th grade; Lydia Dennis – 8th grade; Malaki Amaya – 8th grade; Sydney Johnson – 8th grade; Shae Bland – 8th grade; Zach Starling – 8th grade

Our staff Kindness Leaders are: Mrs. Tofte; Mrs. Rainwater; Ms. McDonough; Mrs. Shine; Mrs. Halstead; Mr. Sanders; and Mrs. King.

Thank you to CV Parent Heidi Hopkins who has been volunteering weekly to teach mindfulness in many of our CV classrooms and was also the lead in creating the kindness survey and organizing this event. Over 600 students and staff responded to the survey. The recognized student and staff Kindness Leaders received the most votes in the survey. We are excited for the opportunity to show all CV students and staff how much we value kindness as a school and parent community by hosting this special lunch for some of our kindest CV kids and staff!


One of our stalwart parent volunteers (Carrie Simmons) is working to transform our school visually into a vibrant and colorful space. There are two projects that you will see coming to CV in the next month or so: 1. Carrie and a parent team will paint the wall in front of the counseling and office space in a teal ombre color scheme. The bottom color will be dark and it will graduate to a lighter teal at the top. This color scheme will fit into the current colors in our building design. In addition, Carrie will paint a community tree mural in our cafeteria. Students and staff will trace their hands, design an image to represent them and we will laminate the hands to stick onto the tree design. This is a wonderful way to celebrate students and staff at CV and acknowledge our unique qualities. The phrase that sticks with me is: "We are each unique and beautiful, but together we are a masterpiece."

Snow Days!

Enjoy the teacher centric Adele parody. It made me laugh - an important skill in the dark of winter. Have a great evening and dream of snowless days.

cheers, Karen


Created with images by Iqbal Osman1 - "Embrace change"

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