Superintendent's Monday Memo February 13, 2017

Class of 2016

Over the past week I have checked in with a number of principals about the questions, comments and plans for the snow days. Most seem to have staff working through plans for a combination of collaborative planning as professional development, work with instructional facilitators as professional development and specific trainings as PD that meets the needs of each teacher or team of teachers. Our goal really is to let adult learners define the collaboration and learning you need in order to continue developing our craft.

I also wanted to be sure to share a few opportunities toward the end of the year that may be of interest to you. As you think through the lens of “All Means All” and we work collectively toward the success of every student, there are some end of the year celebrations that are very important to our students, their families and our community. With that in mind, graduation is that big celebration at the end of a K-12 educational journey. It took MANY people along the way to help our students reach this important accomplishment. One of the coolest things that happens at graduation is the “tunnel” of educators that get to “high five” and hug our graduates once they have walked. We would love to have as many NSD educators and staff on the field with our graduates to congratulate them and celebrate along with them. So, any educator who wants to attend and be a part of this great event should count a half-day of make-up time toward their snow days. For the same reasons, we also suggest that staff can attend the senior project night that has come to be known as TigerCon. Again, this is a great opportunity to congratulate students that you may have worked with along their path.

2016 Crystal Apple Award recipients

Finally, we see Crystal Apple as an opportunity to cheer on colleagues for all the great work this year. We would suggest that any educator or staff member who would like to use Crystal Apple attendance as part of their make-up time for snow days, we fe el it is important enough to have that count for a half day toward our snow days as well. Hopefully we will have great staff presence at all of these events celebrating not only the collective responsibility, but the collective success of our work as well.

Visits with Representative Post and Senator Boquist

The past week I was able to meet with two of our State Representatives Post and Boquist. I was able to share our concerns about the budget and how that effects K-12 education. We talked about all of the innovative programs we have and how that impacts our ability to sustain those programs and/or support forward momentum in a way that would be meaningful.

COSA and OSBA are sponsoring a day at the capitol on March 13th for school board members and district level leadership to advocate with elected officials. This is an opportunity to meet with legislators to talk about how important stable, adequate funding for K-12 education is, and how they can be strong advocates for our district. I am planning to be there that day.

The new Oregon Rising website can help you locate your legislator’s name and email so that you can encourage them to increase school funding. It also provides tips for writing an effective message to your lawmaker.

School visits

The theme of this week was primary. I got to visit kindergarten through second grade classes at both Mabel Rush and Edwards. At Mabel Rush, students were learning about rocks and minerals and working on their mathematical computation skills. It was great to see evidence of how teachers are making the 5 C’s of 21st century learning come alive for kids.

At Edwards, I spent time in the dual language classes. I was pretty sure I could function safely at that level of Spanish proficiency, so it was a good opportunity for me to observe. It was great to see students working on their mathematic skills. One of the math fluency games involved matching pictures of quantity with the number. I noticed that one of the children was not counting the blocks in the picture, but instead matching up the cut lines to see if they matched up. I asked her about counting the blocks and how she would know if she was right. She proceeded to tell me that her teacher, “failed to tell them there was a trick to the game that meant they didn’t always have to count the blocks. If you just match up the cut patterns, you know if it is a match.” I asked her if the teacher had stacked 2 or 3 cards and then cut, they would all have the same pattern. I asked her how she might solve that issue. She responded, “In that case, I can simply count them.” I love kindergarten!

Ski league

I met with Laura Gentry, President of the Metro Ski League, last week. We had an informative discussion about the league. I communicated my concerns about cost for economically disadvantaged students. Newberg does have about five students training with Tigard-Tualatin and competing this year. I am interested to see how they are able to accommodate our students now and in the future.

Calendar this week

2/13 - Senior Staff 9:30 am

2/14 - Happy Valentines Day! MVMS school visit at 9:30 am, Chamber Board Meeting 4:00 pm

2/15 - Catalyst visit 10 am, Graduation Report review 11:00 am

2/16 - Secondary Assistant Principals PD 7:30 am

2/17 - OSEA Contract Maintenance 7:30 am, Dundee school visit 9 am

Reflection

Celebrating school counselors!

After a very soggy week, I must say the sun is a very welcome sight. I am also getting excited to see signs of spring.

I know we took a moment to honor our counselors this week at our board meeting with a proclamation, but I also wanted to be sure to thank them here as well. Counselors support, guide and help staff, students and families. They are often trusted with very sensitive information about a student or family’s struggle. We have such a thoughtful, hardworking team of counselors in the Newberg School District. I just wanted to take one more opportunity to thank you for all you do to make a difference for kids. I enjoyed seeing the many ways that schools made sure to thank their counselors this week. You are greatly appreciated!

Have a great week! Kym

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