There is an action to take here, only if you are interested in promoting your students become involved in a regional spelling bee. (I hope that some of our MS students do get involved!) Here is some information about this and a contact to learn even more: Jodi Lawrence Turner, editor with The Bulletin, is hoping we might partner with them as they would like to organize a spelling bee for students in Bend / Central Oregon. They are looking to start with grades 6-8 and would like to have the first round of competition in February 2020. From there, the competition would move to the county and state levels. If you or one of your staff would like to speak with Jodi to learn more – her office # 541-383-0308 and cell # 509-953-2957. _______________________________________________________

The Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation will be providing free vision screenings for middle school students. Currently, Lions screens all of our elementary students.  Volunteers of the Lions organization come to the schools and do the screenings. The process is free, quick, efficient and pretty accurate (optometrists are impressed). If you are interested, please let Tami Pike know very soon so she can help coordinate!


An important reminder/heads-up from Jon in HR: Principals/Supervisors, It is only December but it is time to start thinking about the renewal/non-renewal process. If you have an employee that you don’t want to renew, then we have some work to do in this area before the public board meeting February 11, 2019.  

By Jan. 10th: Please have a conversation with me about any certified employee that you have some concerns about.  If you have a concern about an employee, we need to start making a plan for how to move forward with that person.  We may decide to start with informal supports or go to our formal process.    

We have several options when we are talking about probationary employees of concern.  One option is to non-renew a probationary contract.  This is formally done at the Board Meeting in February and March.  If we decide to move toward non-renewal, we will need to have some discussions with the teacher, with the BEA, and with the board during Executive Sessions.  If you are having concerns with a probationary teacher, please make sure we talk about it.  Once a teacher becomes contract it can be a much harder process. 

I also need to know about contract teachers that you have a concern about.  You may only be supporting the person informally, which is great, but I still need to know about them.  If you have started the formal support system, which includes Focus Performance Review, Support Strategies, and/or a Plan of Assistance, you must contact me so that we can work through it together.  

Due by Jan. 2oth:  Please send the probationary three letters of support to Carrie Hulbert and Candy Gelatt .  We need to be hiring and putting the best teachers in front of students.  It is an important decision when moving an employee from probationary status to contract status.  (Please check this list for your staff in this situation.) After participating in the board process the last several years, I have a better feeling for what the board is looking for in these letters.  The board takes moving a probationary employee to contract status very seriously.  They really want to know that each of you have specific reasons why each one of these employees should move to contract status.  I have attached a spreadsheet of probationary three employees and the famous probationary three letter example (linked above) from Mr. Matt Montgomery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me (Jon) a call. ________________________________________________________

The high schools have selected the dates/times of their orientation night for current 8th-grade students/families. Here is a document that outlines when these will be taking place, and also includes important dates around the HS ACR process. ________________________________________________________

I had shared some information with you in a previous blog post regarding upcoming parent Connect Workshops (how parents might talk with their teen(s) regarding drug/alcohol use). I previously share an English version of the flyer and promised a Spanish version when it was available. Here is the Spanish version. ____________________________________________________________

As you likely are already aware, your teachers have access to Newsela, but they may not know that they do, may not know what it is, or how they might use it in the classroom. If you’d like a training with your staff, please reach out to Scott McDonald or John Craft – who just did a training at SVMS last week – for more info! Additionally, don’t forget that your math teachers have access to Dreambox and Skip can help you/your staff with support in getting this set up with students if you’d like. ______________________________________________________

From Misty Groom: There will be a Level 1 (only) Threat Assessment Training held on Friday, January 24, 2020, from 12:00-4:00 at the High Desert ESD (2804 SW Sixth Street, Redmond). This training is for School Administrators, School Counselors, School Psychologists, and School Resource Officers who have NOT previously attended this training and for any NEW staff who will be part of a Level 1 team at their school site.

Individuals must RSVP via email to [email protected] – for any questions, please contact Misty at 541-355-1012.

Please bring your laptop in order to access various documents.  _______________________________________________________

Your school should have received copies of the High School Choice Options brochure in English. Please display these in your counseling office or another relevant location at your school. The Spanish version is on its way from the print shop and should arrive shortly. If you run out of brochures or did not receive any, please contact Alandra Johnson – [email protected]  Learn more about the choice option application process and key upcoming dates at our website – http://bit.ly/BLSchoice _________________________________________________________

From Jackie Wilson, our district’s Sustainability Coordinator: With Christmas break coming, this is a great time to remind staff about waste and energy reduction. All classrooms should do their part to reduce the trash as much as possible over the holidays. When Friday rolls around and we are in a rush to start our vacations and spend time with families, please remember the classified staff clean the schools. Garbage cans should not be left overflowing. Make sure you put recycling in bins and try to reduce trash. If your school wants a 30 person party kit with washable plates, bowls, cups and spoons for classrooms or staff parties. please reach out to the Sustainability Coordinator, Jackie Wilson.
As for energy conservation, schools’ heat will be lowered to 58 degrees for our unoccupied mode during the break. If you have any Mods on campus, please have the staff manually lower the temperatures to 58. These are not on the district controls. Make sure to shut down computers and turn off electronics at the power switches. ________________________________________________________


Leadership meeting on January 13, starting at 3:15.

MS Horizontal at Realms MS on January 27, starting at 3:00. Please have chapter 3 read and be ready to share your thinking on it.



Please check your calendars – and with anyone else whom you might need to – and let me know (yes or no) whether May 19, 2020, will work for this year’s 5th grade Move Up day. Please let me know by the end of next week! __________________________________________________________

Please communicate the following reminders (from Skip) to your staff:

Over recent weeks a few incidents have occurred at different schools and classrooms that make me think that we need to review some basic but important iPad guidelines and practices.  Please take some time at an upcoming staff meeting to initiate a discussion with your teachers about safe internet use and proper iPad use with their students . If everyone can work to insure that the practices below are consistently applied and communicated, our parents and community will have a positive view of how we utilize our digital devices and resources.  If at any time the instructional technology department can provide advice, assistance, or coaching please don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

  • Google searches – The internet is a great place but just allowing students to surf unsupervised or without an academic purpose can sometimes lead to unexpected results and consequences.  Instead, have them utilize tools such as Discovery Education or World Book.
  • Image searches – Searching for images should be monitored and managed closely.  Just telling students to google an image should not occur.  The same applies to using other search engines such as Bing.  Instead, direct students to the image search page that was created by our department.
  • Free Time and Rainy Day Recess – At no time should students be given “iPad Free Time”  Whether it be during rainy day recess, snack time, waiting for the bus, before school, or when they finish their work, students should not have free time on the iPad.  There should always be a reason for using devices so that screen time is purposeful.
  • Apple Classroom – This tool allows teachers to monitor and manage student use.  All teachers should know how to use this tool.  If they don’t, schedule a coach to come over and conduct a staff or small group training or refresher.
  • AUP and Digital Citizenship Lessons – After returning from break it would be a great time to review the AUP and the digital citizenship lessons. A mid-year refresher never hurts.


This might be a good time to remind your staff about the dangers of extension cords. (This is also something the Fire Marshall will be looking for when random, unannounced visits occur in your building… and I hear have happened at some of ours this week.) Please remind folks to unplug extension cords in the evening/weekends whenever possible.


Most of you have already participated in our district’s administrator Learning Lab that focuses on observation/evaluation and feedback conversations (centered around Lipton’s book Learning-Focused Supervision.) This year’s group of new administrators is relatively small, so in addition to their involvement in this PD opportunity, we are opening this up to any building administrator who is desiring a refresher. If you are interested (and not a new admin.), then we ask that you commit to attend each training and let Lora N. know you plan on participating by Dec. 20 so she can make next step arrangements and have an accurate book order count. __________________________________________________________

The following information is from Misty Groom, who is introducing a new “non-Level 1” form which you may be hearing more from her about soon: As we continue to update and integrate more Best Practices into STAS, I wanted to pass along this form which is for cases that Do Not meet criteria for a Level 1 Assessment.  It is important that every threat is investigated but not every threat needs to have a threat assessment.  This form allows the School Site Team to determine why is was not necessary to move forward with a Level 1 Assessment but documents that there was a discussion and what the outcome of the conversation was.  ___________________________________________________________

Here are a few reminders regarding restraint and seclusion procedures:

1) Please print off the most recent version of the paperwork in the portal.  We have received some copies dated back to 2017. 

2) Please remember to complete the form in its entirety (even the small details please) The information we have on it is what’s required by ODE

3) Please observe that the required debriefing be held within 48 hours (to the best of your ability) after each restraint or seclusion.  Remember, everyone involved in the incident must participate, in addition to a building administrator (even if they were not involved)

4) Please remember, if a student is in a restraint or seclusion for 30 minutes or more, the building admin must complete and sign the Admin. Approval form which is attached to the paperwork.  

5) Finally, please remember to send the parent notification letter home if a staff participates in the administering of a restraint or seclusion and they are not CPI trained

Please feel free to contact Krista Baker or your building behavior coach if you have questions or need assistance with completing the forms. ___________________________________________________________


We’ll have our next Leadership meeting on Jan. 13.

Our next Horizontal will be Jan. 27 at Realms MS.



Watch this video shared by Decatur Public Schools. But let me advise you to not watch it the first time in a room full of people, any maybe have a Kleenex handy. “I Chose You” was the prompt teachers were given when considering one of her/his students who inspire them to come to work every day. This video captures the moments when some of these teachers shared with students why they are inspired by her/him. Amazing. A great reminder of why we do what we do. How might you remind your staff and your students (some need it more than others) that they are meaningful?


BLS and Deschutes County are teaming up to provide four free parent workshops (the same workshop, offered four times) starting in January. The Connect Workshop is a 2-hour training aimed at providing parents with skills to navigate conversations with their child(ren) around the topics of marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Please share this flyer freely both inside your building and within your broader school community. You will notice that childcare is provided for two of these workshops, and one will be facilitated in Spanish. Additionally, I’ll share a Spanish version of this flyer as soon as I receive it (being translated now). _________________________________________________________

There has been a new update to the Office Discipline Referral Form. You can find this newest update in the Staff Portal. Here is a link to the new update, which I’ve highlighted and can be found on page two. In essence, Jon would like to be able to track minor incidents of a sexual nature, but needs an email or phone call from you ONLY when they are Major incidents. __________________________________________________________

Another training that will be offered this year (and some of you have had staff attend previously) is Youth Mental Health First Aid. This training will be held on Friday, February 21st, 2020 from 7:30-4:30. This training is appropriate for front office staff, teachers, coaches, extra-curricular advisors, FAN advocates, building admin, and essentially anyone that works at the schools that does not have a background in mental health. If you are thinking of sending someone from your staff, and sub costs are a barrier to doing so, please let me know.

Here is a registration page for the training, which includes a description: https://22120blpsymhfa.eventbrite.com. __________________________________________________________

I think most of you are aware that there is a district safety team that meets regularly (about once a month) and discussed questions, concerns, ideas, and strategies connected to student and staff safety. Our MS rep this year is Nole Kennedy, Dean of Students at HDMS. If you have any big-picture questions/ideas or simply are curious about why we do something the way we do related to safety, please let Nole know and he can bring that to this group.


We meet as a Horizontal group on Monday, starting at 3:00, at CMS. Please be sure and have pages 23 – 50 read (my notes) and consider what caught your attention in this section. Here is the agenda.



If you have any certified staff of concern and have not communicated this to Jon yet, please do so immediately. Depending on where this employee is on Contract or Probationary status will depend on next steps – some of which take time to accomplish, but need to be completed by February, 2020.

I believe I have touched bases with all of you regarding my request to have you ask four questions of every one of your teachers (minimum, all staff if you’d like) prior to spring break (so obviously this is not a “to do” right away!). Here are the questions: 1. What is working well? 2. What ideas do you have for improvement? 3. Do you have the resources you need to do your job? 4. Is there anyone who has been especially helpful to you lately? As a reminder, I’ll ask that you each share themes from your building (in this Google doc) prior to spring break.


In a (relatively) recent blog post, Jim Knight (author of High-Impact Instruction) states that “sometimes key insights for educators can be found in books and articles about fields outside of education. Robert I. Sutton’s book, Good Boss, Bad Boss is written from a business perspective, but it contains many concepts that can be applied to the classroom as well.” I was intrigued, so I read Jim’s post from Instructional Coaching Group and thought it is worth passing along. As you read the five ideas that Mr. Knight highlights, consider where you are on a continuum of believing/doing these things – and how often they are visible in your classrooms. And finally, what might you be able to do to highlight and encourage more of these “bright spots?”

I’d like to highlight a few of our schools that have had some big news this week. First, PBMS had their first (ever!) IB/MYP accreditation visit. Obviously, this type of multi-day look behind the curtain is stressful, but because of the years of work on the part of the staff there, the visit went well and I would guess a little anti-climatic due to their meticulous preparation. Way to go Steve, Mary, Karen Corson, and the PBMS staff! Second, Realms MS was in the news this week for tangible learning performed a few years ago (the students are now sophomores) – they created informational kiosks along the Deschutes River (starting at 1st St. Rapids park and others as far north as Archie Briggs).

This is from Dana Pedersen: FAN Services during the holidays:  FAN Advocates are willing and able to assist families with basic needs during the holidays.  Please help support staff and Advocates to refrain from providing direct support that is connected to the holidays.  We will continue to connect families with cooperating partners that provide presents and the like during the holiday season;  FAN keeps our focus on the basics.  If schools, or school affiliated organizations want to help, they can coordinate efforts with FAN by collecting items that can be donated to a food bank, or by asking for clothing items that Advocates can pass out during the winter months.  These are but two ways to engage your larger school community if the desire is there.  I would also ask your help in supporting Advocates in not handing out gift cards to stores that sell tobacco or alcohol products.  Board Policy JFCG-AP specifically speaks to district staff not being involved in the sale of such substances.  By handing out gift cards to grocery stores, we are giving clients access to these substances.  There are many food banks, churches and outside agencies that can support families with food needs over the holidays.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  Thank you-


We have Leadership on Monday, Dec. 2 starting at 3:15. Jay sent out the agenda earlier this week.

We have Horizontal on Monday, Dec. 9, starting at 3:00 and convening at CMS. Don’t forget to have pages 23 – 50 read in High-Impact Instruction.



Here is a video that Lisa Birk shared with the staff at PCMS regarding the powerful effect that positive expectations of teachers for students have on learning. (Lisa wanted me to let you know that although the videography is a bit outdated, the study has been replicated a number of times in education to validate its findings.) ___________________________________________________________

The district’s Office Discipline Referral Form has a small update that I want to let you know about. On the second (back) page, near the bottom right, (just above “follow up comments”) we’ve added: Transportation Contacted. Obviously, you do not need to contact transportation for every type of behavior incident, but there are some that we hope you consistently will. For example, safety violations (require STAS, OSS, separation from other students), trespassed student, or more volatile than normal. In terms of whom do you contact in transportation, please reach out to Tina Bandy. __________________________________________________________

You likely have heard this news already, but if not, I thought I’d send it along to you. At this week’s school board meeting the question was posed as to what each board member thought the next step should be for filling our coming superintendent opening. Each stated (as reported here in the Bulletin) that they wanted to do a national search – and hire a search firm (although a few commented on not wanting to pay the price for this service) – to find our next district leader. The process to hire a search firm and start the process of posting and recruiting should begin soon. __________________________________________________________

Here is some information from Jackie Wilson, our district’s sustainability coordinator:

Thanksgiving week shut down of the schools During the Thanksgiving Break, school HVAC systems will be lowered to the unoccupied setpoints of 58. If you are coming in over the break, please plan on bringing a sweater, not a personal heater as they are a fire hazard.
As the schools will be unoccupied, this is a great opportunity for energy conservation. Please remind staff to turn off at the power switch all electronics. All personal fridges and sharded mini-fridges need to be unplugged as well. 
School Garden Information and Grant Opportunity If you’re interested in installing a permanent outdoor school garden in the Bend La Pine School District, please download and complete the School Garden Development Application (PDF) (Here is a fillable Word document version: School Garden Development Application Fall 17). We are available to assist with this process, just call 541-385-6908 x14 or email denise.

If your school has a garden or outdoor learning space, I want to learn more and help with lessons and funding. Please email Sustainability Coordinator _________________________________________________________


Starting this afternoon and through the weekend I’ll be at the OSBA conference in Portland. Monday I’ll be in a Cognia (formerly AdvancED) state board meeting all day – also PDX-area. If you need me, please send me a text and I’ll call you during a break in the meeting.

Next Friday (22nd) is College Day across the district.



As you know (9.6.19 TRIBE), your MS AD will be spending some extended time with Sal and other ADs digging into some work that requires more than an hour here or an hour there. During the course of this year, they will be taking (three) 1/2 days for this purpose. If a sub is needed, this should be paid for out of building athletics. If athletics cannot cover this please find another source to cover within your building. I learned today that they have decided to combine (two of the three) 1/2 days in order to meet all day on Friday (today). The other 1/2 day will be connected to a SIW down the road. Let me know if you have any questions regarding this. __________________________________________________________

Last week I shared a number of documents with you related to State Assessment communications. One that was shared included this one for principals to sign and distribute this letter – the same one we used last year. Last week I did not have a Spanish version of this letter, but this week I do! (Again, all of these letters can also be found in our shared Tribe folder in Google Docs – within the BLS Docs folder.) __________________________________________________________

Here is a reminder from Sean R. regarding private practitioners in our schools:

Bend-La Pine Schools does not allow private practitioners to conduct business in our schools during school hours.  This includes a private behavioral health therapist, clinical psychologist, occupational therapist, private behavior support skills trainer, observations by family advocates or any person hired by a student’s family to provide services.  Usually, this will come through as a request from a family to have their private provider observe the student in the school setting.  This does not include private folks related to contracts or partnerships we have with community partners (The Child Center, School-Based Health Center, Deschutes County Health).  Also, this does not include parents inviting a private practitioner to an IEP or team meeting, which is perfectly fine.  If you are approached by a family or private provider about observing or working with a student in your school, consider and try the following:

  1. Explain that BLPS does not allow private providers to conduct business in our schools.  In turn, we will not propose conducting academic instruction in their office.  
  2. Inquire about the type of information they hope to obtain, and offer to have a member of the school team provide that information.  Typically, with the permission of the parents, we can conduct an observation and share the results with the family and private provider.
  3. If the family requests that a provider come into school and perform their services in the school setting, inquire about those services and, if appropriate, explain that we have trained staff that can deliver those services.  If needed, convene and school or IEP team to consider the services requested by the parent.
  4. Offer to have our team members consult with the private provider to learn about their work and align services when appropriate.
  5. If asked about a specific policy, please refer to KK-AR: Visitors to District Facilities.  The most pertinent language in this policy includes:

Permission to visit will be granted if, in the judgment of the school principal or designee, the visit serves school interests. Permission to visit will be denied if the visit would be disruptive to the educational program or orderly school operations, would impede the work of teachers through interruptions or unreasonable demands on teacher or staff time, or if the visitor’s course of conduct would conflict with district policies or administrative regulations, building regulations, or the law. The school principal or designee may also deny permission to visit if he or she has reasonable cause to believe that the visit would compromise the safety or welfare of students and staff. The school principal or designee has discretion to limit the scope of the visit as to the duration or specific location of the visit in order to ensure the safety and welfare of students or the orderly administration of educational programs and school operations.

If you continue to get questions about this practice, please refer the parent to the Office of School Support or Special Programs. __________________________________________________________

You may not have one of your students receiving instruction via home tutoring very often, so I thought I’d refresh your memory (or fill you in if you weren’t aware) that your teachers are responsible for providing instructional materials to the tutor. There is no set format (e.g. packets, via iPad, an outline of and materials for what is to be covered, etc.) for what your teacher(s) need to provide the tutor – just that the instructional materials and lesson focus comes from your teacher(s) to the tutor. __________________________________________________________

Here is a letter describing a professional development opportunity for your teachers of writing. (Teaching argument writing through the visual arts.) Please pass along in a way that makes sense to you.


Veterans Day is Monday – no school.

A reminder that I’ll be out of the office from Nov. 14 – 18, but will be (mostly) available by cell/text or email.

Wednesday, Nov. 13 is a district SIW.

Wednesday, Nov. 20 is a teacher-driven SIW.



Please add a Leadership meeting to your calendar for Jan. 13 at 3:15pm. The focus of this meeting will be on our district’s investment priorities.

If you haven’t already, please send Lora your notes for your staff listening session activities no later than Thursday, November 14th. Earlier this week, Lora had received notes from about 12 schools (and I don’t know which ones).

I wanted to let you know that two board policies have recently been updated and these latest versions are posted on our website. These two are AC-AP (Non-Discrimination) and AC-AR (Discrimination Complaint Procedure). Please make sure you review/use AC-AR when processing any future complaints connected to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying, menacing, hazing, teen dating violence, and sexual conduct.


I had mentioned to you a comment I had heard at the Teacher’s College about principals not being “instructional leaders” in the sense that many have traditionally thought. This week I found my notes on this and want to clarify what was said. First, Mary Ehrenworth was telling the story of when Michael Fullen (not Doug Reeves – as I had remembered it) was attending a training at Teacher’s College and he made the statement that he was backing off of the principal being the instructional leader in a building. He stated that only one person could lead the building – the principal. Many people could be instructional leaders. This is not to say that principals should not be involved/support/help design PD around instruction in her/his building – but they do not need to be the point person for this. Hearing this definitely caught my attention…

Here is important Oregon State Assessment opt-out information from Dave VL: Schools need to distribute the following (Annual notice-Spanish, Annual notice, 30-day notice, 30-day notice-Spanish) statewide notices and opt-out forms in English and Spanish through their “regular communication channels” by December 8, 2019. Appropriate communication methods do include electronically distributing the forms or links to the forms posted on district/school websites. (All of these forms are also saved in the TRIBE Google Doc “BLS Docs” folder.)

Principals also will sign and distribute this letter – the same one we used last year. (We are working on a Spanish version now.)

In all communication related to opt-outs it is critical that parents are engaged in the communication and that non-adult students are not subjected to undue influence by educators or staff during working hours. Principals need to ensure all staff understand what types of communication has been deemed inappropriate by the state. Inappropriate communication would include:

Making repeated announcements to non-adult students (e.g., over school intercom systems, assemblies) during working hours reminding students to pick up ODE’s opt-out form 

Initiating a discussion of ODE’s opt-out form or process with non-adult students during working hours

Repeatedly reminding non-adult students to submit ODE’s opt-out form during working hours 

Encouraging students to submit ODE’s opt-out form during working hours

All student opt-outs again need to be entered into the district’s Google form for tracking opt-outs http://bit.ly/BLPoptout1920   

The opt-out forms apply only to ELA and Math. Exemptions for all other state assessments require parents to submit a written request based on disability or religion. Those students are tracked here http://bit.ly/BLPelpascience1920  

Here is an upcoming training that I was made aware of and asked to pass along to you: “Compassionate Conversation: Practical, empathy-based tools to work with people experiencing homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and trauma.”  This workshop takes place on 11.13.19 from 2-5pm in Bend. If you are interested in attending this free event, please RSVP at: [email protected]

The Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) annual meeting is coming up on Nov. 14-17 in Portland and I will be attending, along with our district’s Board members and a number of Cabinet members. Immediately following this (on Monday, Nov. 18) I’ll be attending an AdvancED state committee meeting in Salem. During this time feel free to email or call/text my cell if you need to reach me.


Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday… don’t forget to “fall back” an hour.

Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11… and there is no school that day.

One more reminder regarding the online survey that is connected to our Excellence and Equity Review. If you haven’t already, please pass this information on to your parents and/or student before the survey closes on Nov. 13:

Share Your Voice: 

Bend-La Pine Schools is conducting an Excellence & Equity Review to look deeply at our students’ experiences in school. Along with staff expertise, student learning results and research, the information gathered during this review will help inform our priorities for school improvement efforts, professional learning and funding.

Families, please take a moment to participate in two short surveys related to this effort:



I thought this might be a good time to share a great reminder about the power the adults in a building (and bus!) have on the experience a child has at school. Every Opportunity provides a student point of view look at what adults are teaching students every day and what students are “learning.”


You support students with a variety of backgrounds and physical, sexual, and emotional make-ups. In this light, you either have or will work with students/families of students who are transgender. At times, this brings up circumstances for you to work through that do not have clear guidance and need to be processed on a case-by-case basis. This guidance document from ODE on working with Transgender Students can be helpful and provides some boundaries for us to use. Although these should not be considered legal advice or laws to follow, our district does use these guidelines to help us frame our responses to situations that arise. Please take some time to read these guidelines. This document will eventually be posted on our district’s website. If you ever have any questions on this topic, please contact Jon Lindsay or myself.

Biz Kid$, an opportunity offered by Mid-Oregon Credit union, is a national financial literacy initiative that teaches youth about money and business. The Biz Kid$ Business Plan Competition provides the opportunity for credit unions to partner with local middle schools in offering economic and entrepreneurship education to youth, helping them build a solid financial future. Through this competition, students will showcase their hard work while practicing financial education, entrepreneurial, public speaking, and teamwork skills.  Culminating at the end of the school year, the Biz Kid$ Business Plan Competition participants will create business plans that put what they have learned in the classroom into action and provide hands-on, outcomes-based financial education to the students.  Mid-Oregon Credit Union will provide all necessary curriculum, materials, and support to credit unions and classrooms throughout the school year! Credit unions will partner with their local middle schools to bring Biz Kid$ curriculum into the classroom at least once per week.  We ask that credit unions work with schools to begin teaching the curriculum no later than mid-December.  After the 12-week curriculum is complete, students will develop and present their business plans to a panel of local judges (such as someone from your credit union, the school district’s superintendent, and a local elected official).  The winning students will go on to compete by video against students from across the region, and a winning business plan will be selected (and celebrated!) before the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Kyle Frick, at Mid-Oregon Credit Union, could help answer any questions.


Garra notified you of this by email earlier in the week, but thought it was worth repeating… Nutrition Services will be honoring veterans who are family members of a student or staff member by providing him/her with a free lunch on Nov. 8. For more information please refer to Garra’s email sent on 10/21.



For a number of years now, PCMS has sent out communication around Halloween dress-up to students and families in the weeks prior. Here is their flyer for this year. Other schools actively promote coming to school not wearing a costume at all. Whatever is decided at your building, thank you for communicating those expectations in advance!

As you know, on Monday we’ll be meeting as a Horizontal group at LPMS starting at 3:00. In the first half of our meeting, we’ll be discussing the beginning of Jim Knight’s book High-Impact Instruction. To provide a quick glance behind the curtain of who Jim Knight is, I wanted to provide you this video where he speaks about courage and confronting racist language of all kinds. If this is a topic that resonates with you (and possibly one to discuss with your staff), I suggest you look at the two “Looking Ahead” documents found on the bottom of this page for ways to continue or deepen the conversation. [Note: this video does not relate to the discussion we’ll be having on Monday.]

This is a document that I hope you will never need to think about or use. Here are our district’s protocols around student death. I’ll save it to the BLS docs in the Tribe folder.

As you are fully aware, two evenings of conferences make for very long days. I hope you plan on spending some time away from your building next Friday or are able to get a lot done if you come in to work. Either way, take advantage of your time on Friday to accomplish what you need most!

I hope to communicate your conference interpreter schedule (interpreter name and times) early next week.


MS Horizontal on Monday at LPMS, starting at 3:00pm. (Note the earlier start time!)



Here is an important message from HR that also has some follow-up communication expected on your part:

We have worked with our OSEA leadership to establish a new classified evaluation rubric (Word and PDF).  While the contract language has not changed around timing or frequency (at least once every two years), this new form will allow for a more meaningful discussion with your classified staff members. 

Additionally, here is the (fillable!) goal setting form to use with staff.  We would like for you to delete all previous evaluation forms you have used in the past with classified from your system.  This new form will be the only one that will be approved for use going forward.  We ask that you plan to discuss this new form with your classified staff and let them know this will be the form used in the spring for evaluations.  We want to avoid any surprises for our staff when you pull out a new form to use for their evaluation. 

As always, we are available for any questions you may have either via phone or when we see you at the next horizontal meeting.  ____________________________________________________

Here is an updated flyer from Meera at Bend International School. BIS still has openings for MS students. Would you consider posting this flyer in your office/on community display board/with counselors? BIS might be a great option for our students who are not being as successful as we know they could be/they would like to be at a larger, more traditional school. _____________________________________________________

And speaking of posting on your community display board (or sharing with counselors/others), here is a flyer from OHP (English & Spanish versions) regarding family health coverage. You may also be receiving additional copies of this flyer to have available at various parent events. (This will be made available by OHP – you do not need to make copies or hand these out.)


Next week (10/14) there will be a training for your 1st and 2nd-year teachers around Disciplinary Literacy. I think this article provides a great definition and understanding of what, exactly, Disciplinary Literacy actually is, as well as providing some great content-specific examples. Thanks to Dean Richards and Alex Child (part-time teacher at SVMS) for leading this work at the MS level. ________________________________________________________

As was mentioned a few weeks ago, our district policy around Mother Friendly Workplace (GBDA-AP) has received some updates. Of particular note are these two pieces:

  • Designate a room, other than a restroom, where an employee can express milk or breast-feed in private, concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public. Office staff should be aware of the room(s) that are available. 
  • The room should be within ‘close proximity’ or walking distance from the employee’s work area ________________________________________________________

As Shay referenced on Monday at our Leadership meeting, here are the full highlights from this fall’s administrator survey and listening session. ___________________________________________________________

Here is a message from Lora (and Jay) that is connected to the Listening Sessions that you’ll be (or just have) conducted with your staff:

Thanks to all of you for your willingness to facilitate SIW activities with your staffs related to the Excellence and Equity Review. I have received notes from a few schools who did the activity this week, and I have a request for those of you who have not done it yet. 

As I reviewed the notes for “areas for growth,” they are PRIMARILY addressing what resources will support your work: more SEL/behavioral support, smaller class sizes, etc. These are important factors and will certainly improve learning in your schools. However, we all know that even with all these additional resources, if the adults and the systems of the schools don’t grow and learn how to address all students’ needs more effectively, we will have limited success in changing the outcomes we already see. 

That is why the second question in the reflection section is so important. It addresses OUR ACTIONS AS ADULTS IN THE SCHOOL. Please help to emphasize this question in both the reflection and discussion portions of your activity. 

Thanks again, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions. _________________________________________________________

Alandra Johnson will be sharing some content with you later today around Excellence and Equity that you can use in your school newsletters. _________________________________________________________

If you have dress up days at some point during the school year, you might want to check out these unique ideas that Kinsey passed along. They definitely have a focus of inclusion and breaking down “walls” between students – while also looking for ways to build new bonds between kids where they didn’t realize they might already exist. ___________________________________________________________


I will be out of town next Tuesday through Friday at the Literacy Leadership Institute at Teacher’s College – Columbia University. If you need any type of assistance, feel free to reach out to me by cell or email first and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. If you need immediate support, Jay or Katie would be happy to help!