November 30

Kindergarten Start Up

I know it seems early to be thinking about kindergarten start up, but… many of our schools have started to think and act differently around the beginning of school for kindergartners. About 2/3 of schools have done some form of a ‘kinder camp’ where they get to know students a bit through a variety of activities before placing students in classes. At our January horizontal meeting, we will have some discussions about this aimed at helping schools improve what they have done and answering questions for those that haven’t done anything but are thinking about it. Please come prepared to share the following:

  • What your school has done to place kinder students and start the year. Please keep it succinct.
  • What positives have come from this
  • What challenges are you still trying to solve
  • What changes are you considering for next year

Some of you may need to discuss this further with your kinder teams if you haven’t already. Some of you may not be doing anything different than you have in the past. That’s OK. You are by no means required to change what you are doing or adopt a ‘kinder camp’ approach. With so many schools working on it, I thought it would be a good idea for us to share what’s working and what we still need to address so that we can all make the transition to kindergarten a smoother one.

Drill Log- Don’t forget to log all of your drills. The Training and Drills manual reminds you of requirements. Please complete a Drill and Emergency Evaluation Form when you have an unplanned emergency response.

SBA OPT Out Letter- The deadline for notifying parents of their right to opt out of SBA is December 9. Below you will find information regarding opt outs.

  • Letter on SBA from principal. Shay has asked all schools to include this letter from the principal with the form. Note: this letter is signed “Your Principal.” Principals, please replace it with your actual name and signature.
  • Spanish version still to come
  • Opt out form
  • Spanish opt out form
  • Brian’s Letter  Brian said he may make a couple of changes to this for this year. He also discusses it at his site council and PTA meetings. Some of you have also shared that you are contacting parents who opt out to discuss the reasons for participation.
  • Feel free to share any other ideas you have for encouraging participation. Thank you for all of your work on this. I believe we will stem the tide and make progress this year.

Co-Teaching- A couple weeks ago, I shared this opportunity for learning more about co-teaching. Take a look if you haven’t already. If you have any questions about this, contact Josh Marks. I know that Elk Meadow and Bear Creek are already doing some co-teaching and can probably answer some questions as well.

Newspapers in Education-If any of your teachers participate in the Bulletin’s Newspapers in Education, you may be receiving a call in January from Russ Donnelly of the Bulletin. The Bulletin is hoping to transition to a digital format for this program and he will be contacting you about the transition. No need for you to do anything, just a heads up.


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