Sunday Memo March 19, 2017

Spring is officially here, even if the rain returns. On my walk today, I saw my first Trillium on Harvey Creek Trail. Yes, it will continue to rain this week and yes, we are all ready for Spring Break, but the harbingers of spring make it almost impossible to be grumpy. The pansies are blossoming in the yard, the plum tree is budding up and small, tentative leaves are beginning to unfold. It has been a long, hard winter - with snow, ice, and incessant rain. That makes this spring ever so much more delightful. In addition to the arrival of spring, our parents gave us a wonderful present over the weekend - the beginning of our cafeteria mural project. Three parents came in to paint on Saturday. I met them in the morning and helped get them organized in the building. When I returned several hours later, the wall was painted in a lovely impressionistic gradient of blues. The next step is painting a tree and then we will have students trace their hands and watercolor images on art paper for the "leaves." Once again, our parent community is contributing positively to our school by bringing beauty and creativity to our spaces. Much thanks to project leader Carrie Simmons and volunteers Lodell Johnson Halvorson and Michele LaVeine!

Weekly Reminders

  • The Teaching and Learning Council is meeting on Monday, March 20th from 4-8 PM at the D.O.
  • Taking it Up! workshop #1 is scheduled in the CV Library on March 21 & 22. CV participants include:Aaron Gapasin, Maddie Kozloff, Debbie Tofte, Heidi King, Cassandra Thonstad, Gabriela Allen, Jessie Rainwater, Carol O'Halloran, Kim McDonough, Shana Dixon and Casey Petrie. This the first of two equity workshops offered by NSD. The next workshop is scheduled in April.
  • We have a staff meeting on Tuesday at 3 PM. Location TBA.
  • Wednesday is a PLC late-start.
  • Wednesday is also Fun Fruit/Veggie Day in the cafeteria. This month, the special treat will be carrots. Our parent volunteers will be at all three lunches to offer healthy veggies to our kids.
  • Kym Leblanc-Esparza will be visiting on Thursday fro 10:15 - 12. We will be dropping into classrooms to work on our observation protocols.
  • We have another optional Professional Learning Workshop scheduled for this Thursday @ 3. More details to follow.
  • Our monthly Principal's Nuts and Bolts meeting is scheduled at the D.O on Thursday @ 2:30. Casey and I will be out of the building until 4:30.
UDL at Dayton Grade School


As part of my School Retool workshop last Friday, I got to spend some time at Dayton Elementary. I went in looking for evidence of ways the school environment helped meet the needs of diverse students - and I found so many examples. Every classroom had elements of UDL, and some of them were fully converted into flexible spaces. I loved the way kids got many different seating and standing options and I also learned how they "hacked" some older computer tables into standing tables, without a ton of investment. I was very impressed with the students and staff at Dayton Grade School - a school with 85% of students in poverty and a 45% Hispanic student population. They are making some amazing moves in and out of the classroom. Let me know if you are interested in bringing UDL options to your classroom to meet the needs of your diverse learners.

Schools are typically designed to serve the average student, and those with learning differences — such as dyslexia or trouble with executive functioning skills — usually make up a smaller part of the population. Estimates find that 5 to 20 percent of Americans have learning differences. If struggling students don’t find the help they need in school, keeping up with the rest of the class can be an enormous challenge. To learn more about strategies to meet the needs of our diverse learners, check out the link below:

cheers, Karen

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