Thursday, August 25, 2016

Week of August 29

What an INCREDIBLE first week with children.  THANK YOU for making it memorable, FUN, engaging, and LEARNER CENTERED.  I appreciate you making "happy calls" to learners.  Since you have worked SO VERY HARD this week, please leave as soon as all learners are safely dismissed on Friday.  You deserve it!

  • that Apple is launching a new coding app in the fall called Swift?  Check it out here.
  • that the district has passed down 88 iPads for us to use?  These come with cases, but no chargers, so we will have to be creative with charging.  I have divided these out evenly based on number of learners per house in grades K-3.  We will deliver at the end of the week.  (24-Blue, 13-Purple, 13-Yellow, 24 Green, and 14-Red) Please know if these "die" they go to the graveyard and won't be repaired, so let's help them last as long as possible.
  • that you can sign up for email notifications when you have not taken attendance?  Check out these directions.
  • there is a new CBL Learning Guide in iBooks? If you choose to read it, please submit for 1 hour of flex time in Euphoria.
  • Jacque's IC blog is now on our Faculty website?  It has been updated, so check it out here
  • that you can print to the color printer? Please email the item to if you have a need.  All other printing should go to the copiers.

If you would like to buy an Ed Foundation t-shirt and get an extra jeans day the first Tuesday of each month, stop by the front office for an order form or go online to  Orders will be taken from Aug 29- Sept 21 and delivered the first week of October.

As mentioned in last Friday's time with Amy, here is information to help keep kids healthy and safe, in class and ready to learn.  Are you certified in CPR?  If so, please share your certification with Amy.  Also, the Student Accident Report is here.

Here is the link to this year's Faculty Favorites Responses in case you want to surprise a staff member.

Please request parents pick learners up by 2:45 pm for after school appointments.  After 2:45, we need to ask them to stay in the car loop.  Deepa is going to assist us with afternoon dismissal.

Curriculum Night times have been changed to 6:00-7:00, now!  Please start communicating to parents, now, that this is a PARENT event and that learners should stay home.  Also, please post your presentations as a PDF on your Lee Website.  THANK YOU!

Our first 2 sessions of Team Time are for Curriculum Talk.  We will come up with Agenda items in our first Leadership Team Meeting.  Until then, please work through norms, Curriculum Night presentations, and sharing stored electronic resources.

We will practice emergency drills next week.  Be READY.  If you do not know where to go ASK a housemate, or Admin, so we can give you directions.  All spaces should have a map posted at your door and a red/green card clipped inside.  If you do not have a red/green card,  please see the office.

Please work to get images up on your digital signage by September 1.

This week's courier is here.
     - 4th/5th will get Argument Inquiry Science training this year
     -In ESL Section they talk about posting content AND language objectives               in EVERY class.

            RtI and Universal Screener Informational Video for Mathematics

Respect- showing consideration for others

We will often have visitors in our school.  When a visitor arrives, look them in the eyes, shake hands, tell them who you are, and welcome the person to our school.

Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society" -Confucius

Aug 28- Stephanie S's Birthday
Aug 29- PE Student Teacher starts observing (Mr. Straka)
Aug 30- Unity Team meeting (flex space-3:15)
Aug 31- House Shirt with jeans
Sept 1- Amanda B's Birthday
            Ashley's Birthday
            Green House in charge of Lounge Cleanup

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Week of August 22

THANK YOU for a wonderful week of professional learning and design work together.  We hope you had FUN, learned a great deal, and feel ready to welcome your Lee learners on Monday.  I am gushing to anyone who listens about this year's INCREDIBLE staff.  Remember "You're Here for a Reason," and we want you to find "Joy in the Journey."

We are looking forward to being FRONT AND CENTER at Convocation on Friday.  Doors open at Irving Bible Church at 7:45 and the event starts at 8:30.  Plan to arrive at 8:00 so you can get a seat.  This is a FUN event where the whole district gathers to kick off the school year.  We will be inspired by Wendy, be entertained by our school board, and listen to George Couros (author of our book study Innovator's Mindset).  We will take a group picture on the stage at the conclusion of Convocation and are expected back on campus at 1:00.  We will cover some "Nuts and Bolts" (approx an hour) and then give you the remainder of the afternoon to work in your spaces.

Don't forget that all staff is on before and after school duty the second through fifth day of school.  It is about learner safety and showing our parents that this is a priority at Lee.  THANK YOU!  On the first day, learners and parents can come straight to your spaces upon arrival (doors unlock at 7:25).  We request that specials and all support staff help us by guiding learners and parents to their destinations.

Ashley and I would like to meet each and every learner the first week of school.  Please sign up HERE to bring your class to our offices.

Since parents have permission to walk their learners to your class on the first day of school, we thank you for being prepared to welcome them and to ready to leave a great first impression of their first day of school with YOU!  Remember that this first week is about building SOLID relationships with the children and their famiLEEs.  Please, by the end of the first week, pick up the phone and call EVERY family.  Tell them/leave a message sharing something special about their child.  It will pay huge dividends to take the time to do this!  My expectations for you, this first week, are to ensure that school is SO FUN and EXCITING, that the learners do not want to leave at the end of each day.  


  • Please plan to complete your Digital Literacy Lesson, cover Responsible Use Rules, and complete first log-in by September 5.  A reminder is on the faculty calendar.
  • Sign off on the Lee Campus Handbook in the front office

Thank you, Sam for sharing some questioning resources with me.  I put these in a folder for you to access when you need them.  They align beautifully with our CBL Training non-negotiables.  We can revisit these with questioning support throughout the year.

Each week Principals are sent this communication from the district.  I will share it in our blog for those interested or needing reminders.

Excellence- to stand out with valuable quality

Quickly learn the names of other designers and learners in the school and greet them by name.

Excellence is never an accident.  It is always the result of High Intention, Sincere Effort, and Skillful Execution" -Aristotle

Aug 19- Brief Mentor Mtg. after Nuts and Bolts
Aug 22- First Day of School
              Parent Yahoo BooHoo Breakfast (Cafe)
Aug 23- Kristen's Birthday
Aug 27- Sam's Birthday

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Week of August 15

Can you believe it?  We are one more week away from our sweet kiddos filling the building.  I hope you are as excited as I am!!  We are happy to share that "as of 6:00 Thursday Night" we have a complete FamiLEE of staff members.  We added a whopping 19 staff members this year with transfers, the addition of new positions, and people moving along.  Every corner of our building is impacted with the addition of new people in their house or program, including our front office.  Please take time to welcome our newest hires, Hannah Watts (Blue Kinder- 214-680-8081) and Jayca Bounkhong (Enrichment Designer- 469-744-9906), to our famiLEE.  They are going to fit right in!

I want to take time to thank some of you for helping to remind us how LUCKY we are at Lee. (I apologize if I have left some of you off.)  Let's start with our front office... Shanna and Deepa have been working NONSTOP to enroll and verify ALL of the new learners moving to our area.   Both ladies continue to greet visitors and staff members with a smile and helpful spirit, even when they are interrupted.  Can we get a power clap for these ladies?!

Thank you to our Kindergarten Designers, Jacque, and Stacey's children for coming in for two days to assess our incoming Kindergarteners and for class list creation.   This is still their summer break, yet they are working for the good of our entire school in order to put learners in balanced classrooms that will help ALL of us as they grow through Lee.  WOW!  THANK YOU, girls!

Muchos Gracias to Sam, Melinda, and Alli as they hosted our first Broadcast Camp this week.  They brought back learners who will be in middle school so they could mentor and teach others about the TriCaster system.  Even though they make it look easy, this is not an easy task!  Sam arranged for a REAL newsperson and cameraperson to coach our learners.  Melinda jumped right in and we couldn't be any more excited.  Because of these ladies, our morning broadcast will begin DAY ONE of school!  WAY TO GO!  We appreciate you!

Your fearless Leadership Team spent a full day (well...minus an Escape Room visit) working through a great deal of information.  They helped to update our 2016-2017 Campus Improvement Plan and Curriculum Night presentations.  This group's dedication and their efforts to bring ALL of our houses and teams together is massively inspiring.  THANK YOU for bringing UNITY and JOY to each of our journeys!  Thank you for being the communicators you are!  Thank you for leadership!

Shout outs to all of you that have put time in getting systems in place before we come back.  I know even if you weren't up here in person, you were working electronically, meeting for dinners, attending ARDS, orienting teammates, and MORE.  Please know that your efforts do not go unnoticed and are what help make this the BEST SCHOOL ON THE PLANET!

Lastly, can I get an AMEN for the blessing of an INCREDIBLE Admin Team?  Not a minute goes by that I am not reminded about the power of teamwork, collaboration, and servant leadership when I am with Angela and Ashley.  There is NO DOUBT in my mind that we are all #luckyatlee to work together.  I can only imagine how our school and staff will benefit from this fierce trio!  

You probably have a great deal of questions about next week.  Ashley, myself, and staff members have been designing learning experiences for you for next week.  It is our intent to deliver professional learning that mimics how you teach in your spaces.  You should expect to be engaged, moving around, and working on meaningful tasks.  Here is what you need to know about next week.  
  1. You can wear shorts and jeans (be comfortable!)
  2. Snacks will be provided each day.  Bring your own drinks.
  3. We will start at 8:00 and conclude at 4:00.
  4. Monday we will be in the cafeteria.  If you do not want to sit in the wooden chairs, feel free to roll down your design studio chairs or bring bean bags down.
  5. Lunch will be on your own each day.
  6. Agendas will be shared daily.
  7. You will have FUN!

The office is working to have up to the minute lists ready for you.  They should be populated in Pentamation, so that you can email your parents on Wednesday.   Please work together, as a house, to comprise a welcoming email to send out right before District Staff Development begins on Wednesday.  We want to be consistent, and send these at the same time, so that the office is not bombarded with phone calls.  In your email, please include a Google form to capture info so that you do not have to have all of your parents complete it at Meet the Designer Night.  PTO has requested you add a yes/no question on your form that asks if parents may be contacted by the PTO.  Also include the Volunteer Background Check link so that ALL parents can get approved to engage at school.   

PTO will be delivering school supplies to your spaces on Wednesday.  If there is a specific place you want these stacked in your space, please put up a sign in an easy to see place.  

Please plan to be at this event from 5:30-7:00 on Thursday night (except time clock employees).  Your space DOES NOT have to be completely ready for this event!  Stage it the best you can and remember that your space will come to life once the learners arrive and create work.  We will give you our 2016-2017 campus shirts to wear on this day and to our event.  We will take a staff picture on Thursday and these shirts will help parents to identify staff members in the building.  I am fine with you wearing shorts or jeans with your new shirt for MTD.  Designers, if you have a PTO board member's learner in your class...they will come to your space at 5:15, to meet you, so that they can work a table at our front entrance during the event.  Thank you for your flexibility with these volunteer parents.  

In an attempt to lighten your load, we have been strategically sprinkling out "to-do's" though the last three blog posts.  I want you to enjoy your journey this school year, so it will help if you get some of these tasks done, now, so you can focus on relationships and lesson design the first couple weeks of school.  Here are some items you can hopefully check off: 

Have you linked your account with our Outlook account yet?  If not, you may be missing some emails.  Check out the faculty website under Technology for HOW TO directions.

Aug. 12:  Stephanie R's Birthday
Aug. 15:  Campus Professional Learning (8:00-4:00)
Aug. 16:  Campus Professional Learning (8:00-4:00)
Aug. 17:  District Professional Learning (info coming from district)
Aug. 18:  Campus Professional Learning (8:00-4:00)
                Meet the Designer Night (5:30-7:00)
Aug. 19:  Campus Professional Learning
Aug. 21:  You will not sleep because tomorrow is...
Aug. 22:  The First Day of School!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Updated Learning Framework and MORE

It has been LOVELY spending this week on campus, enjoying time with our new hires, and catching up with those of you who have stopped by to visit.  I hope you are each enjoying the last week of your summer vacation as you prepare for #rjlyear3.  It is going to be a REMARKABLE year together.  Please take a moment to put some faces with the names of our new hires. (Thanks, Ashley for making this!)

Ashley and I will be interviewing candidates for our added Kindergarten and Instructional Aide positions this week.  As soon as we find the perfect fits, we will add our new hires to the faculty list shared with you earlier this summer.  THANK YOU, Blue House for taking on the additional Kindergarten section in your space.

We would like to get a clear picture of who does/does not or needs keys in the building.  If ALL of you would please take time to fill out this form, we will make sure that you have everything you need to start the year.  THANK YOU!

We are missing quite a few of you on our faculty favorites list.  Please take time to tell us more about yourself.

New folks reviewed the latest version of the CISD Learning Framework last week.  For those of you returning, there is information that is updated that I emailed to you earlier today.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU REVEIW IT.  We will continue to revisit this document throughout the year.

Cassie Knight (P4) will be serving as our ELAR Content Specialist this year.  We are so lucky- Cassie is a resident bookworm!!  While at Lit Camp this summer, Cassie created a Google doc with picture books and lesson ideas.   If you have a picture book and lesson ideas you would like to add to the list, please fill out this form.  THANKS CASSIE!!

Looking forward to seeing our Leadership Team and Instructional Coach at our meeting tomorrow.  We will start in room 120 at 8:00 and will conclude at 4:00.  We can't wait to continue on our "unity" journey as we grow together.  We will have bagels for you in the morning.  Please plan on going out to lunch, on your own, followed by and an off-campus activity in the middle of the day.  Dress is casual, and expect pictures!

Please take time to update your teacher website on our Lee homepage.  This is the first impression our parents have of you before Meet the Designer Night.  Please check out other webpages in the district or on campus to see how you can use your site as a communication tool this year.  Please include a photograph of yourself, information about your certification, our guiding purpose, and some fun personal information.  This needs to be completed by Wednesday, August 17.  Please use your house/grade team or the faculty website to help you complete this task.

Aug. 9:  Leadership Meeting (8:00-4:00)
Aug. 10: Broadcast Camp (THANKS Sam and Melinda!)
Aug. 10-11:  Kindergarten Assessment Days
Aug. 15-19:  Back to School Professional Learning
Aug. 22:  First Day of School