Welcome Back! monday memo January 2, 2017

It's been a long, much needed break - a time to restore and re-energize. I hope you had the time to read, reflect, enjoy family and friends and unplug a bit. Like all great work, it can be stressful at times (like before Winter Break!) so time away is imperative to keep up energy and recommit to our shared mission. I look forward to the next few weeks and months ahead of us - we have great learning opportunities, plans to dig deeper into student work with our collaborative teams and a chance to make real differences for our students every day. 2017 is upon us and I don't know about you, but I'm glad I can say farewell to 2016. What a hard year it was! Here's to light, passion and joy in the year ahead.

Reminders for the week

  • Staff meeting on Tuesday @ 3:00-4:00. This is a professional learning staff meeting and we will focus on teaching strategies connected to learning cycle 1 and 2 - CM and structured student talk. Reminder: attendance at staff meetings and professional learning sessions is expected.
  • Learning cycle 3 begins this week.
  • In case of late-start tomorrow, we will follow our regular 2 hour delay schedule. Check on weather updates on the district website. If we have a delayed start, please come in when you are safe to travel prior to the start of school. School will start at 9:40 if we are delayed.
  • Wednesday is a teacher directed late-start.
  • Our district scheduling committee will reconvene this Friday afternoon from 11:30-3:30 at the D.O. The representatives to this committee include Cis Brower, Aaron Gapasin, Fer Hernandez, Susan Deventhal and myself. We have some homework to do in preparation for the meeting and we will share information about the process and timeline at our staff meeting tomorrow.
  • Make-up movie day? I will meet with student leadership students and Kim this week to decide on our holiday movie make-up date. We will send out details as soon as we make a decision.

Curriculum Highlights

  • This Thursday, secondary principals will meet for their PLC at MVMS. We will practice observational protocols, share strategies and refine our practices. We meet monthly in a four hour professional learning session to collaborate and align our work at the secondary level.
  • Each week we meet in a leadership team with Instructional Facilitators (Cass and Beth) and Admin (Casey and I) to review our professional learning sessions, evaluate effectiveness and plan for future learning. In these meetings we also collaborate to bring in new ideas and innovative practices. Our meetings are scheduled on Thursdays at 3:30. We meet in the conference room if it is available.
  • The 6th grade Humanities team will meet this Friday for a quarterly planning session. The team meeting agenda is directed by the team and funded by our building professional learning funds.


2016 was quite a year - and we learned a lot. Educational research is always shifting and growing, reflecting our changing student population and a profession with changing expectations. The following link includes the best educational research for 2016. Please take a few minutes to take a look - and to read at least one of the research bullets. Find one that challenges you, or one that confirms your current perspective. We will share out at tomorrow's staff meeting.


Happy New Year! May 2017 be full of adventures, connections and deep learning! Cheers, Karen

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