Sunday, June 7, 2015

Diggs-Latham Closes Out Another Successful Year! June 7-12th

Farewell to Dr. Frazier

Dr. Frazier still has two weeks with us but since this will be the last blog of the year, I thought I would take this opportunity to honor her.  As you all know by now, Dr. Cheryl Frazier is the new principal of Bolton Elementary School.  They are extremely blessed to get her and I know in my heart that she will do an outstanding job working with their students, faculty, staff and community. Dr. Frazier has all of the qualities that a good leader should have, she is is a Visionary Leader. Her actions consistently align with our school vision.  She works hard to build Community. She has done this effectively and has built strong relationships with students, staff and families. Many of you know that she has great Emotional Intelligence.  She thinks before she acts. She treats everyone fairly. Our students know that she will always listen to them.  She is a champion for helping students understand that despite any barriers they face, they can be successful if they work hard.  She is my partner in working hard to improve teaching and learning as we navigate through common core and new programs.  Not only is she my colleague, but she is  my friend.  I know many of you feel the same way. Join with me in congratulating her and wishing her all the best as she embarks on this new journey.  We will truly miss her.

A Warm Diggs-Latham Welcome to our new 

Curriculum Coordinator... Mrs. Kelly Ryan!

Our school Interview Team had a very daunting task interviewing qualified candidates for this very important job.  ALL the candidates did an excellent job and it was a very hard decision that the interview team did not take lightly.  They were very professional in analyzing every aspect of the process. I am pleased to announce to you that Mrs. Kelly Ryan will begin her tenure with us in August.  She has a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction and BS in Elementary Education. She is Nationally Board Certified and and has served at Ward Elementary as a Learning Team Facilitator where she was  the IST Chair and Grade 3-5 Testing Coordinator.  She has been Teacher of the Year at Speas Elementary twice in 2005 and 2011. She has experience in teaching both 2nd and fifth grades. She is experienced in Data Analysis, PBIS and Lesson Plan Development. She has worked on several district teams writing curriculum and assessment.  She is thrilled to be joining us and I know you will give her a warm Diggs-Latham welcome:)  Kelly will bring a wealth of knowledge to our school.

Farewell to Mrs. Gloria Pubantz and Ms. Chris Barger

How do we even begin to say good bye to these incredible ladies?  Gloria Pubantz has served as curriculum coordinator for many years and her absence will surely be a huge loss for our school.  She has worked diligently to be a champion for our students.  She cares about them and makes every effort to be sure that they are given the resources they need to succeed.  She served as Testing Coordinator for many years and testing was always successful due to her planning and expertise. She works closely with our faculty and staff to make sure that they too have the resources they need.   She has been a leader in our school and in our district as well, as she has served in many leadership roles throughout the years. She knows her data and has a great attention for detail which has helped us many times in creating our SIT Plan.  It is now time for her to enjoy her family, especially her adorable grandchildren.  We wish Gloria the very best as she too sets off to start a new chapter in her life.  We will miss her very much!!!!

  Chris has been with us for the past four years and we will surely miss her as well.  She works very closely with Nurse Hall to make sure that our students have a strong advocate for all their social and emotional needs.  She is proactive in helping curb attendance issues and is a liaison between our families and school.  She cares about our students and their families and is always willing to seek out resources.  We thank her very much.  She too, will now have more time to spend with family.  Good Luck Chris in all of your future endeavors. We will miss you!!!!!!

**************I will have a few more farewells before the week is over****************** 

Last Call for Committee Sign-Ups for Next Year....Room 200

Please do this by noon tomorrow if you have not done so already. I will transfer information from board tomorrow afternoon.  We also need to vote on TAC, and CAC at our Faculty Meeting.

Classroom and Hallway Procedures for the EOY

Please make sure that all Hallway Bulletin Boards and wall and door displays are completely taken down. New paper and border will have to be put up next year.  All classsroom bulletin boards should be taken down as well.  It is possible that there could be some room changes.  Word walls and resources should be covered as thorough cleaning and possibly painting will be taking place.  For information concerning storage of technology, see Ms. Pullen.  All Media Center books should be turned in as should all leveled readers. Please make sure that they are returned using the procedures outlined.  All desks should be cleaned out and wiped off. They should be stacked on one side of the room as should the chairs.  PLEASE TAKE HOME YOUR PERSONAL ITEMS.  We can not be responsible for things left out.  Budd and our custodians have to move things when cleaning and things may get accidentally misplaced if they do not have identification on them of some kind, masking tape works well.  We are also collecting all keys. We want you to have a summer:)  If you absolutely need to get in your room this summer, we will give you the key.  Please clean and de-clutter the best you can:)  

End of the Year Celebration-

Mrs. Rice and her Hospitality team are working on planning our End of the Year Celebration. I am sure more details will follow soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Heading for the Home Stretch Week of June 1-5

Kudos to Mrs. Perry and ALL of YOU for making EOG Testing go so smoothly!  I am so very proud of Mrs. Perry for all the planning and attention to detail that went into preparing for testing.  She had a great mentor as she learned so much from Mrs. Pubantz but this was her first time solo. Please congratulate her on a job well done!  Also, I would like to thank all of you for your role as well.  You were patient as schedules were turned upside down. You followed testing protocol and did an outstanding job administering the tests. Our lower grade teachers were awesome in their flexibility with support staff being pulled and no recess, etc...  Thank you all.  You are so professional:)

Hooray for Dr. Cheryl Frazier...

We all knew that it was inevitable, but still so bittersweet.  Dr. Frazier will become the new Principal of Bolton Elementary school on June 22nd. She will be a wonderful and effective leader and I know that we are all so very proud of her.  She has that special way about her that makes everyone want to do their very best.  She is kind, caring, and ALWAYS puts students first.  I will miss her smile, sense of humor and professionalism.  As we prepare to say farewell, we start the process of finding a new Assistant Principal.  I have heard from most every grouping. I am still needing the names of representatives from a few more groups.  Please send me your rep's name Monday morning as I will be pulling the Interview Team together this week for planning purposes.

FIELD DAY was AWESOME!!!!  Congratulations to Ross for the planning and execution of a phenomenal Field Day! I believe it was our biggest turnout of family members yet!!!  What a great day.

Thank You to Miss Stevenson, Mrs. Farthing, Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Thomas for incredible Concerts and Dance Presentations to end the year.  Thank you to Mrs. Gordon for representing us so beautifully on the Arts Council Panel, for the yearbook and creating performance scenery.  Thank you Mrs. Batten for orchestrating Karma Wilson's visit to our school. She was a great role model for our students. Thank you Mrs. Pullen for administering the district survey to our students.  I really need to thank everyone of you (ALL FACULTY AND STAFF).  You all go above and beyond every day.  Whether it is pre-k presenting their Transition Night or all grade levels who have held parent engagement nights.  I know this is a busy time of the year yet you all continue to go above and beyond.  Thank you!  


  • Our Y After school Program will be extended until the last student day which is June 12th.
  • We WILL have a Faculty meeting on Tuesday, June 8th. I will send agenda out late this week.
  • RTA testing is scheduled this week.
  • Summer School starts June 29th
  • We are a WSFCS Summer Feeding site.

As we head into the final 2 weeks of school, please take every opportunity to enjoy and treasure your students.  You have made an impact that will be everlasting.  Keep your schedules as normal as possible as students do much better without a lot of transition. We will have feedback from Dibels/EOG etc.. so use that information to spiral your teaching curriculum and teach up to the last minute as we know that summer slide does occur.  Have a wonderful last few weeks.

As you read this blog, I have one more opportunity this year for you to give me feedback. Please respond to this statement:

"This year, I believe my greatest achievement was..........."

Sunday, May 17, 2015

LEARNING-Barbie shared this great article on Facebook. I thought it was great timing as we face the home stretch for a great year. This time of year is demanding and an easy time to become frustrated, tired and quick tempered. Please read it as there are some great tips and strategies to help us sail through June with a positive attitude in which we can enjoy the final days with your children. Hope you enjoy it as I did.  Keep on bouncing!

Keep That Bounce: 5 Ways to Nurture Your Resilience as a Teacher

by Samantha Cleaver
This is the first blog in the three-blog series “Building Resilience in the Classroom.” Thank you to Apperson, our sponsor for this series.
From the morning scramble to the final dismissal bell, teaching is high-impact and high-intensity work. As a special-education teacher, I’ll never forget the days that started out calm and quiet but quickly escalated with student temper tantrums and the frustration when a child said he “still doesn’t get it,” even as IEP meeting paperwork loomed. Those are the days when you have to breathe deep and draw from your reserves of energy, optimism and a good sense of humor.
Let’s face it, teaching takes resilience—the ability to “bounce back” from an unanticipated change or disaster. Fostering resilience will help you keep your head up as a new teacher and keep you going in the years ahead. The more you nurture your own grit and resilience, the more you’ll be able to help do the same for your students.
Here are five incredibly important pillars of resiliency and ways you can strengthen them:
  1. Strengthen your school relationships.
    It’s not how many relationships you have but how strong and stable they are. When our personal relationships, marriages and friendships are strong, we laugh more, feel more supported and are healthier. At school, mentoring a new teacher—or finding a strong mentor—improves confidence, increases motivation and builds optimism.

    What You Can Do:
    Nurture your relationship with your colleagues, especially the ones who really “get it.” If you are having a hard week, reach out to your coworkers. Prioritize a happy hour, group outing or Saturday movie night. Even a short coffee break in between lesson planning on a weekend can make an important difference.
  2. Emphasize the positive.
    The ideas we hold about ourselves, along with our values and core beliefs—create the foundation that we use to respond to change. When we approach the world positively, we’re better able to learn from mistakes, handle challenges and follow our instincts. Operating from the belief that you’re an important part of your students’ lives and that you can tackle whatever challenges come your way is important for your day-to-day resilience.

    What You Can Do: 
    Take time to reflect on how you benefit your students’ lives as well as how teaching benefits you. Keep this front and center by writing those benefits on a piece of paper and putting it in a place where you’ll see it every day. That could be tucked into your right-hand desk drawer or on a Post-it on your computer. When you keep the reasons you’re teaching front and center, they’ll bolster your mood and confidence when you need it most.
  3. Take the initiative.
    In the face of challenge, resilient people act purposefully and creatively, often finding multiple solutions for any problem. As teachers, we’re masters at this. Think of all the ways you’ve solved disagreements between students or taught and retaught concepts. The ability to take the initiative through problem solving, laughter and setting limits translates into our being able to respond to change and handle difficult situations. In particular, by being able to take initiative in a way that’s meaningful for you, you’ll expand your impact on the people around you.

    What You Can Do: 
    • Try to reframe how you think and communicate your frustrations and it’ll impact how you feel. Rather than saying “I can’t reach this student,” reframe it as “I’m frustrated with how long it’s taking for the student to understand.” Saying “I can’t” puts up a roadblock, while identifying the frustration creates an opportunity to move forward.
    • Make time for laughter. Laughter is like a reset button: It reduces stress and helps clear our emotions. Take one week and jot down all the funny things that your students (or coworkers or parents) say. Then, in a moment of frustration, take out that list to reset your mood.
  4. Keep priorities in focus. 
    Stay in the classroom long enough and you’ll be inundated with requests—everything from managing the book fair to spearheading a district committee.

    What You Can Do:
    During particularly busy times, or when you’re feeling overwhelmed, make a list of things you want to do (manage the book fair), things you have to do (enter course grades), things you can delegate (ask a parent volunteer to help organize the next Grandparents Day), and things you can stop (it’s not imperative that the kids have an extra quiz in math—let’s make that a practice sheet).
  5. Keep emotions in check.
    Self-control is the ability to manage our emotions in productive ways, so that we control our behaviors rather than letting our emotions run the show. The fifth time a student breaks a rule or the moments after you get a maddening report from your principal are the moments when self-control is most important. Controlling how you respond in that moment makes all the difference.

    What You Can Do: 
    Think outside the box. Particularly for recurring frustrations, sit down either in a quiet space or with a friend and brainstorm: What is the problem? Who can you ask for help? How can you find humor in the situation? What new approaches can you try?
This blog article is adapted from Building Your Bounce from the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, a partner of Apperson in supporting teachers in integrating social and emotional learning into their classrooms. Learn more about Apperson’s support ofsocial and emotional learning.

TIP- In the back of your planner/calendar, we gave you at the beginning of the year are some tips for Preventing and Diffusing Student Conflicts. They are really helpful:)

Saturday's Recruitment Fair went very well.  Our table was slammed with candidates wanting to be a part of our our great school. Thank you Katie for assisting me in Dr. Frazier's absence.  You have been able to have many Administrative Intern experiences this year!  At this point in time, we had one surplus teacher. In order to keep the teachers we have, we will need to utilize Title I funds.  Of course, as numbers fluctuate from summer into August, anything can change.  Because Miss Prato will be leaving us (so sad) to get married (so joyous), we will able to cancel out the one surplus and not lose anyone at this time.  With this being said, there could possibly be some grade changing.  Keep you posted:)
Week At A Glance
Monday-Karma Wilson Visit-So Exciting for us!  PM CC interviews
Tuesday-Cannon to Board of Ed. Curriculum Committee Meeting @ 4:00. SIT Meeting/Changing of the Guard so to speak. There will be teachers rolling off their terms and teachers rolling in.  All should attend.
Wednesday-PM CC interviews
Thursday-Dance Recital
Friday-Field Day
Summative Conferences held throughout the week

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week of May 11th-15th

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day and were surrounded by those you love.  

Week At A Glance.....

5/11-Dairy-O 5:00-8:00  Come on out for dinner and support our school!
Science EOG Training
5/13-Bridger Field House-Our students will perform 2:00-5:00 Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Event
5/14 Art Show (Gordon)
5/16 Recruitment Fair
5/18 Author Karma Wilson to Visit

Congratulations to Leslie Batten for GRADUATING from UNCG!!!!  She finished up her degree and we are very proud of her.  Congratulations to Sarah Huddleston who finished up her MSA from UNC Chapel Hill!!! Wonderful News. Congratulations also to everyone who has had family members and friends graduating from high school and college this spring!!  I know how proud you must be.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Employee Recruitment Fair

2015 WSFCS Employee Recruitment Fair-

Saturday, May 16th 9:00-12:00 @ Career Center 

910 Highland Court

WSFCS is recruiting for all positions/Bring your resume.

If you have questions, please see me.

Our Teachers and Staff Make A Difference Every Day! May 4th-8th 2015


We APPRECIATE our Faculty and Staff!!
 Dr. Frazier and I have a great week planned for you during Teacher Appreciation Week which is May 4th-8th.  We hope that our gestures will show how very much we care about all of you and appreciate all of the effort and dedication you put into your work. We know that we have the hardest working staff in the district. Please know that we know how dedicated and caring you are. You are the BEST!!!!!!
  • Monday-Mrs. Cannon will make  home made Cinnamon Coffee Cake and we will have juice as well.
  • Tuesday-LUNCH from the new restaurant on Stratford in front of LA Fitness called PDQ.  For Teacher Appreciation, they will provide us with a meal consisting of 3 Chicken tenders, a bag of Chips and a Bottled Water.  They are donating this for us so I hope you will patronize them in the future. I plan to :)
  • Wednesday-This will be a "You can wearJeans day!"
  • Thursday-Chips and Salsa and Dip Day
  • Friday-A Variety of Bagels from Bagel Station in the lounge in the morning:)

 Mrs, Irma Jackson has won a "cube" of bricks from a raffle at Pine Hall Brick and is donating them to us to build a little patio or walk-way out by the garden this summer. Isn't that just wonderful?!

Thank you to everyone who participated in both the Volunteer Breakfast and our Family Fitness Night.  They were both awesome and very well attended. Our volunteers and parents were very complimentary. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

SIT Plan Vote:  Our two SIT Chairs will be putting the final touches on the plan so that we may vote on it. They will be sending the CNA and Plan out to all of you electronically this week and will set up the voting station. When you vote, you will need to sign the cover sheet if you are a SIT Representative. Please take your time to read over both plans.  It is a two year plan and this is the plan we presented to the district review committee a few weeks back with the addition of new testing data, Dibels, etc.... Remember this is a working, living breathing document so it may be revised at any time we as a school see the need. Based on feedback from SIT, we will keep the third goal the same only adding more evidence to support it. 

Committee Sign-Up for next year-

All of the committees for next year are written on the board in room 200. Please sign up for 2 committees.  If there is a committee you see the need for or that we may have forgotten, that is not listed, please see Cheryl or I and we will add it. Youur feedback is important to us. Please sign up for committees by Friday.

PDPs-At this point in time, everyone should have completed their PDP/both electronically or on paper for those of you who do not have electronic pdps.  Make sure that you have signed off on it after your administrator has approved it.

Week at a Glance.....

Monday- Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
Tuesday-Faculty Meeting SIOP Training- last modules 7 and 8. (I will present my make-up vocabulary strategies in June so we have time to finish SIOP this month.) District PTA Banquet/Lunch from PDQ.  I need a volunteer, is there anyone that can go over to PDQ on Monday after school and pick up the water and chips ahead of time.  Please let me know. You would just need to bring your school ID. See me if you can do this.  This will speed up the process for our lunch on Tuesday.  Thank you!
Wednesday-3/4 Transition Staff Development 3:30-5.  Wear Jeans Day!
Thursday-Chips/Dip Day

EOG Training for Science-October 11
Band and Orchestra Concert-May 14th and Art Show/Mrs. Gordon
Karma Wilson Event is on May 18th
Dance Recital-May 21@6:30
Field Day 5/22
Memorial Day 5/25

5/27-Reading 3-5
5/28 Math 3-5  and 6/2 Science EOG

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April Showers Throughout The Week! April 27-May 1

We APPRECIATE our Faculty and Staff!!!

Dr. Frazier and I have a great week planned for you during Teacher Appreciation Week which is May 4th-8th.  We hope that our gestures will show how very much we care about all of you and appreciate all of the effort and dedication you put into your work. 
  • Monday-I will make my home made Cinnamon Coffee Cake and we will have juice as well.
  • Tuesday-LUNCH from the new restaurant on Stratford in front of LA Fitness called PDQ.  For Teacher Appreciation, they will provide us with a meal consisting of 3 Chicken tenders, a bag of Chips and a Bottled Water.  They are donating this for us so I hope you will patronize them in the future. I plan to:)
  • Wednesday-This will be a "You can wear jeans day!"
  • Thursday-Chips and Salsa and Dip Day
  • Friday-A Variety of Bagels from Bagel Station in the lounge in the morning:)

Upcoming Events:

Book Fair
May 1- Volunteer Breakfast-Dana Caudill Jones-Chair of the WSFC School Board will be our guest speaker. We will have many visitors in the building that morning:)
May 5-Faculty Meeting
May 6-EOG Training
May 11th-Second Dairy O Night. Part of the proceeds come back to our school PTA. Come on out and bring your families!
May 13- Our Honors students have been asked to perform at Wake Forest University at Bridger Field House 2-5.

PDPs-Your EOY PDP should already be submitted to your Administrator:)  Thank you!

KUDOS....Shakila Faqih who hosted the State Power of K Meeting here at Diggs-Latham on Saturday.  There were representatives from DPI and teachers, coaches, from all over the state. It was a very successful meeting. Great Leadership Shakila.

KUDOS....... To Mrs. Farthing and our ALL County Chorus Students. They did an INCREDIBLE JOB and we are very proud of all of them!!!!
KUDOS........To Ms. Batten and Mr. McNeil for creating and executing the 5K Training Program for our Honors Students.  They represented us so well at the WSSU 5K to raise money for scholarships. 14 students participated and they really did "rock it"  I was so very proud of our students and teachers.  They had wonderful attitudes and showed true sportsmanship.  We  had a lot of families out there supporting us and cheering us on! Thank you to Clinard Grants, (of which Ross applied for) for providing the funds for us to participate, and to Fleet Feet who donated 20 pairs of running shoes for our kids. I am just beginning my training for a 5K to be held in June through Fleet Feet's No Boundaries  Program.  So excited.  Will train 2x a week with them and 2x on my own during the week.  Pray for me that I don't break anything:)  Dr. Emory encouraged all of her principals to try to do something for ourselves like running, walking, hiking or any activity that interests you. She said it will balance you out.  I encourage you to try the same thing.  Walking really helps to rid stress and makes you feel great so that you can tackle all of the other things that come your way.

KUDOS......To Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Farthing and Mrs. Morris. Their Honors students participated in Home Moravian's Original play , "HOME". In addition, Zenyth sang, "Deep River".  It was gorgeous. The students sang and played beautifully.  Everyone in the audience was very impressed.  These teachers took on this additional task on a weekend on top of the many other things they have had to do.  All of you repeatedly give up your weekends for our students. Thank you! You all do it for the children so that they may experience community events.  We all thank you for your devotion.

KUDOS.....Miss Prato and Ms. Batten for the very COOL Living Museum. Our Assistant Superintendent, just happened to drop in and was very impressed when students could answer pointed questions about their character.  Well Done Ladies!!

KUDOS....To Mrs. Ochoa and her whole team of teachers, students and parents who did an OUTSTANDING job cleaning, raking, planting, etc... to make our school look beautiful.  It really does look awesome. Her husband even carted in mulch.  They gave up their Saturday as well.

KUDOS....To ALL of our First Grade Teachers  (Ms. Brown, Miss Guevara, Miss Greenlee, and Mrs. Snider) and Mrs. McGregor for hosting Career Day for their First Graders last week.  You might have heard the Fire Siren! They were visited by a nurse, firefighters and the City Manager. Everyone had a great learning experience. Our District Social Studies Program Manager, Andy Kraft was here as well.

KUDOs...To Katie McGregor, Mrs. Bullin, Mrs. Faqih, Miss White, Mrs. Blasini and Mrs. Bostian and Connie Rogers and Nurse Hall and Ms. Barger, Mrs. Ochoa, Mrs. Wolfe, Ms. Almaguer, Dr. Frazier, Home Moravian Volunteers, Sarah Huddleston, Gwen and Jennifer (translators),  Gloria and Juliet for the planning and executing of a very organized and successful Kindergarten Registration .  Thank you to our wonderful Teaching Assistants who kept things productive and engaging in K and to our office staff who kept things moving in the office. I hope I didn't miss anyone.  I truly enjoyed meeting the children and their families!  We have some very bright students entering Kindergarten.  Our students that were screened did a fabulous job. Mrs. O'Brien, Miss Shoaf, Ms. Beaver and Ms. Smoot are really helping our Pre-K kids to succeed.  Way to Go!  Katie, you left no detail undone, a sign of a good leader:)

KUDOs to our Fifth Grade Teachers who held a Student's Author's Chair last week.  I heard a creative story about "cats".  Sharing Writing is a great idea!

KUDOS to Ms. Perry who has done a phenomenal job as Testing Coordinator. I am very proud of you.  Thank you to everyone who has assisted, been patient and flexible during what seems like continual testing.

KUDOs to Mrs. Sapp for getting 3 more of her transitional students successfully through the assessment. This is a great accomplishment. Several others were very, very close,  Beth is dedicated and determined. Great Job Beth!

KUDOS to all of our STAY teachers who have almost made it through their first year of teaching!!!!

KUDOS to Amanda Gordon as she has been very busy with Art Shows, mentoring, sets, etc.....!

Our Arts students are all preparing now for end of the year concerts and recitals as well as performing at the Volunteer  Breakfast.  Thank you TEAM!