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.