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!!!!


  1. This is the most exciting time of the year! Thank you for giving us the time ahead of school to complete all of the "have to do's. It is so nice to not have to worry about them next week.:-).

  2. I am so excited about this year! Just finished Reading-Writing Classroom and can't wait to implement the amazing thugs I leaned!!!

    This has been an amazing summer filled of reading and learning for me. Can't wait to spread this love of learning and reading to my kiddos!

    1. No doubt Your contagious love of learning is going to enrich lives of people around you!!!

  3. Appreciate the sprinkling of the to do list tasks. I'm happy to say that I've done them! Love doing things ahead to stay in the game.

  4. So I typed a message but obviously didn't post it correctly because it's not there!! Thank you for the "to do" list, it helps me oh so much. I can't wait to meet all of our new familee-so excited year 3 is gonna rock!

    1. I have to approve comments. Since we are a "public" blog, some advertisers try to post comments. NO WORRIES! Glad the "to do" list, helps!

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  6. In the class Lists section, what is the information you want us to capture (that parents fill out) in a Google form, besides the PTO contact and background check? Thanks!

    1. Can you check in with Kylie. she has a Google form created already.

  7. Love the "to-do" list!! Only have two left on there to do!! So excited for this year!!!!

  8. I've tried posting so many times on different posts with no luck, but giving it another go...

    First & foremost, thanks for providing all of our most important communication in one spot - super helpful! Also, I'm BEYOND excited to meet along our new FamiLEE members and start building our teams. It's always exciting to learn new ideas from a fresh perspective :)

    And as others have stated, LOVE getting these BOY tasks in advance so they can be knocked off the to-do list before we get started. THANK YOU for advocating for us!

    #RJLyear3 is the #placetobe

  9. I agree LEE is the place to be!!! Between our blog, faculty website, and faculty calendar every person should be in "the know"

  10. Thank you for the shoutout about Broadcast Camp, but I have to SHOUT from the ROOFTOPS that all credit goes to the incredible Sam and Melinda. It was a joy to be able to see it in action. We are lucky at Lee to have them both. Our learners are going to rock the broadcast because of their design and hard work. :)