Sunday Memo April 30, 2017

The garden called to me all weekend - in between clouds - and drizzle. I went to the Yamhill County Master Gardener's plant sale on Saturday and picked up some cool plants - including two more fig trees. You can't have too many fig trees in your yard. I also bought a carnivorous bog plant - a small pitcher plant- to welcome into my biosphere. They said it would eat ants. I'm pretty excited about that possibility. Digging in the dirt and reimagining our landscape is a particular human endeavor. We plan and organize our environment regularly - digging up old specimens, cutting down trees (4 this year for me) and reinventing our landscape based on new ideas and changing realities. I think that this process of continual change is an apt metaphor for education. Every year, we meet a new "crop" of students and some of our old habits need to change to meet their environmental needs. Nothing stays the same. That's the excitement of education - we are never bored. And that's also the challenge. When I look out the back door, I see a space where my beloved pine tree grew and flourished. I feel out of sorts when I realize it's absence. However, I'm already noticing the change in sunlight and animal habitat in my backyard. While I miss my beautiful tree, I know that this change will force me to look differently, to pay attention and to embrace the new plants and animals that take root in the midst of this change. It's always an adventure.

Weekly Reminders

  • Monday is the start of SBAC testing in Humanities. Students who have opted out of the test will be in the library. All others will be testing in their Humanities classroom. Our parent group is providing snacks for the week and our goal is to create a calm and nurturing environment over the next two weeks. An important detail to support this goal: Please keep your students in your classroom as much as possible - roaming students in the hallways are distracting to teachers and students in the testing environment. Students should be supervised at all times - do not allow students to work on projects in the hallways. Please follow the 15, 23, 15 rule: Keep students in your class the first 15 minutes, and the last 15 minutes. If they need to use the restroom or run an errand, send them with a pass in the middle portion of your class. This will keep the movement and noise in the hallways to a minimum.
  • Our staff meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday at 3 PM. We will be in a classroom - if you want to offer your classroom, please contact me. Otherwise, I will stalk you. This staff meeting is focused on professional learning.
  • This Wednesday late-start is a teacher directed late-start.
  • Casey, Cass and I will be at the last School Retool this Friday. We will have a substitute administrator. I'm hoping Mike Alpert will be able to sub for us.

Peace Village workshops

Staff, students and parents are invited to a series of workshops to learn skills to prevent bullying in our classrooms and common spaces. This is the number one issue our students report on our climate and culture survey every year. We are working to flip the discourse on bullying through our Upstander campaign. Staff are invited to attend two workshops (Wednesday, May 17 and May 31) from 7:30-8:15. These workshops counts for snow hour make-up time. This is open to all staff, including classified staff. This is the message in the flyer provided by Peace Village: Help stop bullying at CVMS. You can become an ally and help make this school a safer place for everyone. Come learn concrete tools in communication and conflict resolution.

I will have a sign up sheet at our staff meeting on Tuesday. In addition students are being offered a series of workshops as well - on May 3 (this Wednesday), May 17 and May 31. Students will be able to attend these workshops during basecamp on these dates. We will make announcements on Monday and Tuesday for these invitational workshops.

PBIS and Instructional Facilitator Updates

Here are the weekly updates from Casey, Bethany and Cass:


"Why did I want to be a teacher?" We all face burnout, sometimes on a daily basis, and in most cases, especially after fifth period. Most of the time, we can pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and go back to the drawing board to try another strategy to find success with student learning. It's that time of year when all of us are running on empty. Here are some suggestions for conquering end of year burnout:

cheers, Karen

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