Sunday, December 15, 2013

Countdown to Winter-Break! December 16-20

Happy Holidays, We Are Counting Down....

Week At A Glance....

December 16th-Science Fair Tables Arrive Today and TRYLA GRADUATES!! Congratulations!
December 17th-Faculty Meeting- Don't forget your refreshment for faculty meeting and your white elephant gift.  Bring something you already have...if you decide to purchase something, don't go over 3 dollars. You can put from: on the gift.
December 18th-Administrator's Days of Holiday Cheer Begin-Day 1 - Hot Chocolate with all the fixins!
December 19th-Day 2 Reindeer Mix Treat and Cannon to Elem. Principal's Mtg.
December 20th-Day 3- Faculty Breakfast Treats with my world famous (just kidding, but our cafeteria staff thinks so...) Cinnamon Coffee Cake.  We will have fruit too for those who want a healthier alternative.
  • Summit 7th and 8th graders to visit Pre-k/k/1 classes to deliver gently used books and read to kids. They will be here for about an hour beginning at 10:45.
  • Holiday Sing-Along at 1:00

Remember to keep things as structured and normal as is all possible.  Hang in there, your much deserved break is within view. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

"It's Beginning To Sound A lot like Music!" - December 13-17th

Holiday Musical -Thursday at 7:00

Our holiday musical will take place this Thursday at 7:00.  All certified staff expected to attend. There will be a dress rehearsal for the school at 1:00. We will call for classes. Please talk to your students ahead of time about audience etiquette. Please seat near you, any students with challenges. 
Reminder:  due to the extreme generosity of  Home Moravian, we will be giving away 150 bags of food to the first 150 families who arrive and get a ticket. They can redeem their tickets at the end of the program. Remember that we need as much help as we can get Monday after school to pack up the bags. We will meet in Room 200. Thank you in advance to everyone who volunteers. We were done pretty quickly last year due to the help we received from you all.  Thank you.

Mid-Year PDPs- Due Friday, December 13th.

Your Mid-Year PDP is due to your administrator by Friday for review.  Sign in to evaluation system, go to My Observations and find mid-year PDP.  Type in the evidence that you are working on your goal. Please be specific with evidences.  Your PDP is a very important document that should be completed meticulously. Don't cut corners as this evidence is very important in your overall evaluation. When you have put in your evidence, save it and send it to me or Dr. Frazier, whoever your evaluation administrator is.  If you do not use our electronic evaluation system because you are a Guidance counselor, CC, Media coord., etc.. turn in a paper copy.  If you need help, Dr. Frazier and I are here for you!

Instructional Coordination (IC) Meeting Teamwork

I would like to personally thank and congratulate all faculty and staff that either presented or were videotaped for last Thursday's meeting.  Unfortunately, I got hit unexpectedly with the stomach virus in the middle of my leadership training and was unable to attend.  Fortunately, I have an incredible staff who stepped up to the plate and hit a home run.  Mr. Oates emailed me after the meeting to say how impressed he was with you all.  He thought you were awesome!  I am so proud of you and the work you do. You make me look good:) You are true leaders. Great Teamwork, I just wish I would have been there to see it.  A Very BIG Thank You to:
Dr. Cheryl Frazier
Amanda Gordon
Alisha Taylor
Kate McGregor
Gloria Pubantz
Sidonna Brown
Debora Snider
Beth Sapp
Kim Bersch
Allison Sechrist
Jennifer Hart
Andrea Slusher
Diana Adkins
Melissa Baccari (in spirit as the flu bug got her too!)
Lisa O'Brien
Abadesa Ochoa
UNCG Interns: Zane Doty and Harry Caines
Thank you Mr. Powelson for helping me to transition my Ipad videos into my powerpoint:)

Attention All Faculty and Staff: We will be Recognized for the John F. Kennedy Award at Tuesday's Board of Education Meeting at 6:30. Come on out, this is your Award:) You deserve it for all you do to support our school.

Peer Evaluations-

Do not forget that those assigned to have or conduct a peer evaluation, they are due January 31st. The sooner you plan and conduct them, the easier it will be for you as January is a busy month. January events include report cards, MLK holiday, teacher work day, EOQs and we don't return to school until the 6th.  So it really behooves you to get it done as early as you can. I know some of you are already done:)

Thank-You Hospitality Committee

An Ugly Holiday holiday shirt, sweatshirt or sweater?!  Sounds like a fun idea!  Thank you ladies for planning this.  Can't wait to see who wins!

ITBS/Cogat Testing this week for select 2nd and 5th Graders and there will be a SIT Mtg. on Tuesday

Don't forget to sign up in the lounge to bring a refreshment to Tuesday December 17th's Faculty Meeting Celebration.  Also, bring a wrapped white elephant gift to participate in the game.  It will be fun!

Kindness Goes A Very Long Way......

Reminder....Responding to students and each other with kindness can go a very long way.  As the holidays approach, children may be a bit distracted.  Please be a great role model and demonstrate kindness.  Don't react but be proactive and respond with love and kindness when faced with a difficult situation.  Keep your voice steady and always remember that children are learning from you.  Stay calm and just breathe.  Being well planned out and keeping the students actively engaged in the curriculum for the next two weeks will be crucial to classroom management. Routine is important.  Thank you for being great role models.

Have A Great Week!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello December......December 2nd-6th

Welcome Back!

I hope that everyone had an incredible and restful break:) I hope you had an opportunity to spend valuable time with friends and family. We have 3 very busy weeks of instruction ahead of us.  The next 3 weeks will go very fast:)  Our students are sure to be excited about the holidays so we will need to work extra hard to keep things as structured and normal as is possible.  Please push forward and be well planned. It is our responsibility to utilize every minute of instructional time to ensure that we accomplish our goals. We can do it:)  Don't forget to be working on completing your mid-year PDP evidence. If you need help with the evaluation software, Dr. Frazier and myself will surely assist.

Week At A Glance.....

  •  Cannon and Martinez to WSSU  for "It Takes A Village" Seminar with UNCG, Elon and WSSU interns, staff and parents. 
  • Home Moravian Gift Card Receipts and cards due Today. (Place in box outside of my office:)
  • CWT Grade Level Action Plans due to Cannon Today, (Place in box outside of my office:) I have received a few.  I will need these for IC Mtg. this week. Thank you.
  • OSTE Mtg. 3:15
  • Cannon-IEP Mtg. 3:15

  • Cannon-Diagnostic Site Visit/Dr. Emory/Parkland HS /12:30-1:45


  • Dr. Frazier and Cannon to NISL Leadership Training all day.  
  • Grade Book Training for teachers in Grades 3/4/5 (Setting up Grade Book for Q2) Melissa Edwards/3:15-4:00/Technology Lab

  • Dr. Frazier and Cannon to NISL Leadership Training all day.  We will return at 3:30 for IC Meeting. We will have many guests for this meeting.
  • Spelling Bee-9:30 Mrs. Pubantz will facilitate and Mrs. McGregor will call the words.  Can we arrange for a technologist or Mrs. Batten to videotape to be shown later?  
  • IC Meeting-3:30 in Room 200

  • All Newsletters due today. Give Cannon and Frazier the final, translated copy and then copy and send out on Tuesday if there are no corrections from us.  Please make sure we both get a paper copy:)
  • Cannon-Technology Leadership Meeting 8:00 am
Looking Ahead.......

12/9-Volunteers needed once again this year to help Home Moravian Volunteers fill food bags to be given to our families at Thursday Night's Concert.  Your help is very much appreciated as the more help we have, the quicker the task:) Room 200 at 3:15
12/10-Diggs-Latham to be recognized for John F. Kennedy Award at tonight's school board meeting (6:30). All are welcome and encouraged to come:)
12/10-It's Mid-Term!
12/12-1:00 Dress Rehearsal for Musical
12/13-Mid Year PDP information should be completed and signed off on by 3:00. Thank you to all of you who have already done this. After you complete the Mid-Year PDP review, send your administrator an email to review.
12/17 Faculty Meeting-Be Sure to Sign Up in the Lounge.
12/18-12/20 Administrator's Days of Christmas
12/20- Holiday Sing-Along

Family Affairs-Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers that have gone out to all of our families in need. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Diggs-Latham Has A Lot To Be Thankful For.........November 25-29

 Diggs-Latham Has A Lot To Be Thankful For:  Here are just a few who come to mind for me...........

  • Dedicated and Hard Working Staff who care about each other!
  • Teachers that talk the talk and get the job done.
  • Teachers who want to be here at Diggs-Latham!
  • Teachers and staff who work many long hours to help students succeed.
  • Faculty and students who put their hearts and souls into their jobs.
  • Joyful students who want to learn and try their best!
  • The humor you exude and the power of your smiles.
  • Students who are talented in Academics and the Arts!
  • Our own families who sometimes have to sacrifice so we can do what we do:)
  • Parents who care and support us!
  • Generous and kind Community and Business Partners that we couldn't do without:)
  • Volunteers who go above and beyond everyday!
  • An Assistant Principal who is smart, kind, caring and devoted to Diggs-Latham students and staff.
  • DL winning a state award that has shed some positive light on what we have been doing for years!
  • UNCG Interns WSSU  and UNCC Student Teachers who are great at what they do!
  • An office staff who work so very hard. They are all amazing!
  • Our nurse, social worker, guidance counselor, speech teacher, and our volunteer coordinator who go above and beyond and behind the scenes to serve our kids.
  • A Custodial staff that keep our building shining and a cafeteria team that keep our students fed!
  • I am thankful for each and everyone of you for helping to build shared leadership and a shared vision in which we take Diggs-Latham to a level in which all of our students are proficient or higher in all academics. We can do it. I believe in the power of  "us".
  • On a funny note, I am thankful for "Diet Coke and little Hershey bars" because they sometimes get me through my busy day!!!  and you thought I was naturally bionic!
I hope you take time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. We have a lot to celebrate.

"It Takes A Village Goes to Barnes and Noble!"

What a wonderful trip. Each of our students were able to pick out approximately $85.00 in books. The smiles on their faces said it all. This has been a wonderful program and we hate to see it end.  The students showed growth and have a renewed interest in reading!!!  I am so proud of all our students big and little!  Thank you UNCG, Sue Mercier, Barbie Brown, Nohora Martinez and all the Interns and students who participated!

 Home Moravian's "Hoe Down" for Diggs-Latham - A Great Success!

 Over 200 people were in attendance for this special event planned just for our school. there was delicious home made soup, bread, rolls and yummy desserts. The tables were decorated beautifully and it was a wonderful event.  I hardly had words to describe how moved and touched we were by Home Moravian's generosity.  The band was talented, funny and eager to play. Our own John Powelson did an outstanding job playing the "fiddle"!
We had about 35 staff members attend  and I thank each and every one of you who came. The church was very impressed. They do so much for us and we truly appreciate them. Thank you for coming out to support Home Moravian as they support us!  It was an incredible night and the soup was delicious!!!!!!!!

Who is MaDonna Anyway?!!!!!!

We had a wonderful time dancing with the principal. Classes who collected the most change were rewarded with a dance party from the 80s.  We played the Electric Slide, Chicken Dance, and on and on. It was great fun!!!!!!  Thank you kids for getting my blood pumping! I had a blast!

Reminders for Monday and Tuesday......

Let's be sure to bring our "A" game and stay focused on Instruction for the next two days. Keep things on target and make sure you are well planned and do not change your schedule.  Our commitment to educating our students is our top priority.  Give it your all the next two days as you challenge your students, we will have time to relax and spend time with our families over Thanksgiving Break after dismissal on Tuesday!

  • All Spelling Bee Class Winners should have their names given to Mrs. Pubantz by Tuesday.
  • CWT Grade Level Action Plans due to Cannon on December 2nd. I have received a few already. Thank you!
  • 12/4 Melissa (Technology)  will hold a wkshp. on setting up 2nd qtr. grade book for teachers in grades 3/4/5 in the Media Center 3:15-4:00.
  • 12/5 IC Meeting 3:30 Focus on Data
  • 12/6 Newsletters, translated, copied and due.
We will once again be packing up 150 bags of food (Room 200 3:15 December 9th) to be given away at the Holiday Concert 7:00 on December 12th.  Please come on the 9th and help us fill the bags. Home Moravian has donated all of the food.

Please take a moment to comment on what you are thankful for:)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Diggs-Latham Honored With Kennedy Center Award - Week of Novemeber 18th

Diggs-Latham Elementary School and Reynolds High School are two of only 5 schools in North Carolina receiving a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts School of Excellence in Arts Education Award.  The Award recognizes schools that have done a superior job of incorporating Arts into a quality education for all students.

It really is time to take a minute to enjoy and celebrate this prestigious honor.  The credit is yours.  I am so very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in creating a learning environment rich in the arts that is integrated throughout the curriculum, school and community!  With limited resources, we have been able to keep the arts alive here at Diggs-Latham, thanks to an incredible faculty and staff, volunteers, community partners and of course talented students with a passion for the Arts! 

I feel we have been successful because of your collaborations with each other. You respect each other and offer resources as needed. I hear music in the classrooms and see kids dancing to math! Kids are learning fractions in dance, art, music, and PE. The Arts abound in every classroom. As an A+ school, that is what we are all about!

CONGRATULATIONS DIGGS-LATHAM ELEMENTARY MAGNET SCHOOL! You are the best!  We will be visited by the Education Editor and a photographer from the Winston-Salem Journal today around 10:00. They are doing a story on our school's accomplishment.

Congratulations as well to Jacqueline Pullen who passed her PRAXIS EXAM. We are so very proud of you.  She and Allison  (pre-k) both have a lot to be proud of as this is not an easy feat! Way to GO!!!!

Conferences Scheduled for the Next Few Weeks:

The next two weeks are dedicated to your completing conferences with your parents. Please note that it is a Best Practice to hold a conference with every student's parent/guardian.  However, if you have already met with that parent this year, and you feel you do not need to meet again now, then you will not need to.  You should try to meet with parents as often as needed but at least 3 times a year. I have sent you an important email with an attachment that gives you an abundance of tips concerning conferences. Whether it is your first conference or your one hundred and first, these guidelines should help.  Please make sure you document your conference, bullet important topics and strategies and possible solutions.  I wish you positive and successful conferences!

November 20th-Community Walk-In

WSFCS has a campaign running in which they invite the community to "Walk-In" our schools on November 20th anytime between 9:00-11:00.  Parents, grandparents, school board members, superintendents, neighbors, community partners and others are invited in to visit. We want the community to see the great work being done in our schools everyday.  November 18-22 is American Educator Week, and what a great way to thank an educator!  Visitors will need to stop in the office to sign in between 9 and 11. You'll be guided to a classroom by a staff member.  Visitors may visit several schools if they wish.  This campaign has been advertised. The school system has also created blank Thank you Cards that can be filled out by the visitor to thank a teacher or staff member for all they do.  I know you will be welcoming and encouraging.  Please talk to the students about this special day.

Home Moravian "Hoe Down"!

This Wednesday from 5:45 to 7:30, Home Moravian Church will host a fundraiser in our name to benefit our school. I cannot encourage you enough to bring your families out for some homemade food and great music. Mr. Powelson will be playing his "fiddle".  The cost is just a donation of whatever you want to give.  They will have homemade soup, breads, and delicious goodies.  This takes a lot of work and they are doing it for us. Please plan on coming and mingling with their members to thank them for all they do for us.  We really need to show our appreciation for what they do everyday for us as a school.

"It Takes A Village" Comes To A Close This Week

Our collaboration with UNCG has been very successful and this Wednesday it will come to a close with all students taking a field trip to Barnes and Noble. Each family will receive $75.00 worth of their choice of books. We have seen progress in the students and we are very proud of the UNCG students, as well as our students and parents. Thank you Nohora for assisting with translations and general help. Thank you to all staff members for being so collaborative in this effort.




Sunday, November 10, 2013

November is Flying By:) Week of November 11th-15th

Happy Veteran's Day!

 I would like to take this opportunity to thank and recognize all of our Veterans for their sacrifices for our country.

Classified Employee of the Year-

Below you will find all the information needed to nominate a Classified Employee from our school. We will honor all our nominees this year instead of choosing just one in cooperation with the protocol sent to us. Please take a minute to read the directions below and nominate one of our outstanding Classified Employees. They all work so very very hard for us and all deserve to be nominated.  It won't take long to do this and you will be glad you did. 
2014 - 2015 Classified Employee of the Year Nomination Process and Criteria
The purpose of the Classified Employee of the Year Award  is to annually honor a Classified Employee who displays exemplary characteristics while carrying out the duties of his or her job
 The Nomination window will open up and run starting on Nov. 1st, 2013 - November 30, 2013. .

Some characteristics for nominees to be considered include but are not limited to include the following:
  • Displays self improvement
  • Displays outstanding leadership
  • Uses work methods to increase efficiency
  • Is reliable and cooperative
  • Takes initiative/ going beyond their job description requirements 
C.E.Y Process - Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Should there only be one classified nomination per school/work location? No
2) Should my school/work location conduct an in-house election and only submit the name of our chosen C.E.Y nominee? No

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


Requirements for Nominating an Classified Employee




Home Moravian to host HOE DOWN FUNDRAISER for Diggs-Latham!

On November 20th (5:45-7:30), our wonderful Home Moravian Church will host a Hoe Down Supper with Bluegrass Music to benefit our school. Please plan on attending if you are able. They do a lot for our school as you know and it will be a fun event for all. Bring your families. I would love to see you all there at this great event.  Thank you all who have volunteered to work at Candle Tea. Please make sure you contact Mrs. Yarbrough to schedule your time:)

Spotlight on A Great Night.....Math Night for Moms! Thank you Mrs. Ochoa

Last Thursday night, Mrs. Ochoa met with many of her moms to help them help their children. It was a successful nightand the moms learned a lot. They worked problems and asked questions. They learned how to use manipulatives. This was a very successful night.  A very special thank you to the Y who volunteered to babysit students. Maybe next time we will get some dads!

Congratulations Julissa Knight!

Julissa was honored along with other Teachers of the Year last Thursday Night at the Annual TOY Banquet. We are all so proud of her!

Congratulations Amanda on your very first Art Show!
We are very proud of you. Your artwork was marvelous!!!

Items of Interest and Importance:

  • No School on Monday in observance of Veteran's Day
  • 11/12-Report Cards Go Home and Faculty Mtg. at 3:10 (Please be in your seats and ready to go at 3:10)
  • Fire Drill sometime this week in which some entrances will be blocked and you will have to exit another way in a calm fashion. Please talk with your students about this. They need to be able to do this in case this scenario would become a reality.
  • 11/14-TOY Reception at Old Salem 4:00-Congratulations Julissa!
  • 11/15-2nd round of Classroom Walk-Throughs end. You will get new walk-through schedule and a plan of action for you to respond to this round's results.
  • Observations continue
  • Please be sure to schedule parent conferences and get parent signatures on PEPs.  Ask our social worker, Mrs. Barger if you need assistance with transportation.  Ms. Studevent and Dr. Madison could also help.
  • 11/20 Hoe Down Fundraiser for Diggs-Latham 5:45-7:30
  • 11/26 Classroom Spelling Bee Info. turned into Mrs. Pubantz today.
Comments Encouraged.......
Take a minute to give a "Shout Out" to a fellow faculty/staff member who you believe earns a pat on the back or recognition for going above and beyond or just for being there. It is hard, to just choose one, so when I comment, I might have to choose you all.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday, November 4th

Happy November Birthdays!  We have several November Birthdays. 

  • Rti Training today during LTM and all grade level meetings.
  • Classroom Observations and walkthroughs continue...
  • Star 3 Observations continue...
  • Tuesday-Joint Principals' and Read to Achieve Mtg. for Cannon
  • It is Election Day on Tuesday. Our building will be used as a voter's polling place. (Toyota Literacy Room)
  • Tuesday-Report Cards to Administrators by 3:00
  • K-2 Report Cards to Cannon/3-5 Report Cards to Frazier
  • Please have a colleague read over your report cards for omissions, misspellings, etc... before you turn them in,
  • Wednesday-It Takes A Village
  • We should have every grade level's newsletter:)
  • Mrs. Ochoa-Parent Workshop-6:00
  • Systems Thinking Observations  on the 7th as well as TOY Fall Council PTA Dinner.  Our TOY Julissa will be honored along with TOYs all over the district. Hooray Julissa!
  • Make sure you are up to date with PEPs and have conferenced with all parents.  Talk to Robyn today if you have PEP questions.
  • Our faculty meeting is next week/If you need to be on the agenda, lease let me know.  
  • Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 28, 2013



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Festival A Huge Success! Go Team:)

Fall Festival was a huge success. I want to thank every single staff member for all your help in making this evening such a big success.  It takes a ton of work to pull an event such as this off and we appreciate each and everyone of you, especially our leader, Amanda Stevenson and her awesome team!  I loved the costumes, creativity and teamwork.  Both dance groups did an outstanding job in their first performances!  Thanks coaches!!!!  I sent some pictures to Theo Helm that I had taken during the evening to showcase on channel 2.  Many, many staff members showed up and I can't tell you how important that it is that you show solidarity and show the kids they matter. It also shows you in a different light and who doesn't like to see their teachers having fun OR Mr. Powelson with a lit Mohawk!!!!!  I appreciate you all!  Even Spence Ballus came, he is our Eagle Scout!

Not only was Friday Fall Festival, but it was a very important day for our school.  We were fortunate enough to be selected to host a very informative meeting with Dr. Beverly Emory, A.L. "Buddy" Collins (NC State Board of Education), Sara Riggins (Policy Advisor), Rachel Beaulieu (Legislative and Community Relations Director for NCDPI), Dr. Ken Simington, Dr. Janie Costello and via skype, Dr. Wayne Foster.  Our very own Connie Rogers and Sarah Huddleston were also present to add their expertise.  I felt the meeting went very well.  We received many compliments on the things we are doing here at DL.  Buddy Collins said that people in the community are "buzzing" about our successess. Your colleagues, Stephen Friel, Andrea Slusher, Julissa Knight, Beth Bostian, Debora Snider, Abadesa Ochoa (who volunteered to open her classroom) and Katie McGregor did an outstanding job.  I was just like a proud mama!  We also were joined by Celena Tribby and four teachers from her school. They were awesome as well.  The teachers served on two panels and were asked some very pointed, hard questions.  The questions ranged from those about professional development, class size, Dibels, TRC, Read to Achieve, and TWC.  We will put together a policy statement that we have been assured will be read in Raleigh.  Your colleagues proposed pay raises, appreciation and acknowledgement, more teacher work days where you can actually work and other key components that would be best practices.  they were articulate, poised and confident.  Thank you all for dressing so professionally. You looked great!  Thank you also for the quality of Bulletin Boards tied to CC in the hall. Let's keep that up as it is impressive.  I walked them down just about every hall in the school even though our time was limited by their schedule.  We had a chance to tell "Raleigh" what we thought and they listened.  I am so proud of all of you!!!!!!  Once again, team work paid off.

Week At A Glance.....

EOQ Continues as Monday is Math EOQ and Tuesday is 5th Grade EOQ-Science
Observations continue
"It Takes A Village" tutoring on Wednesday
Dr. Frazier and I will bt at NISL Training on Thursday and Friday
Please read last week's blogs for other important dates.

Last Week in the blog, I asked you to comment on why you do what you do or your choice of a few other things.  Besides Dr. Frazier, Connie Rogers and myself, there were only about 10 responses. Either people are not reading the blog or they are not taking it seriously enough.  We have 75 employees at least. Everyone should respond.  There are important dates that you need to know and the only place you will be able to find them is in the blog.  I thank all of you who read the blog, reflect on it and stay abreast of what is happening at our school.  You are helping to create a strong school community which we strive for every day.  I have a new challenge for this week's blog.
Leave me a comment on this topic, "Construct a quick response to: We want to know what we should include in our Policy Statement to Raleigh, What do you think they should know about real life in the classroom, school,  What do you love about your job and how can Raleigh help us to make it easier?"  To enter a comment, you scroll down to the bottom of the blog, youmay see 1 comment or no comments, click where it says comments or the word reply and add your comment.  Thank you!

Kennedy Center's Individual Schools of Distinction
Dr. Frazier and I and members of the Arts Team worked very hard to apply for this recognition. We had to include video footage of Arts teaching and performances that were uploaded to You-Tube, school academic and demographic data, arts via common core, and much more.  We made the deadline by 4 minutes but we did it!  Keep your fingers crossed.  So many great things are going on here!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Into October 20-25, 2013

It's Time for the BOOK FAIR!!!

Ms. Batten has been working very hard to get the Book Fair set up and ready to go. She gave out prizes to the 3 teachers who previewed her Book Fair. I hope that you all will get in there to see all of the hard work that went into the set up of the fair.  There are some great books! The fair will not be in the Media Center but in Room 202, the old band room.  We made this decision as it will be better contained and easier to manage and the media center can still house classes.  Book Fair will be open all week.  Make sure you see Ms. Batten to sign up:)

Picture Day is on Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dr. Frazier has sent out an updated picture schedule so be sure to check it to make sure you're there and ready to go. Just one class being late can throw off the picture and lunch schedule.Please remind students on Monday so they can look their best:) There will be two photographers.  

Classroom Observations are in Full Swing:)

Dr. Frazier and I are conducting classroom observations. Star 3 Evaluations are also being conducted.
Remember that the CWT Focus has changed to Focus on the Learner.  We will still check for EQs.  We have been noticing that not everyone is calling attention to the EQ and then revisiting it after the lesson.  The EQ is something the children should be familiar with and know where to find in the room if asked.


  • 10/23-Wear RED day
  • 10/24 Reading EOQ
  • 10/28 Math EOQ
  • 10/29 Science EOQ
  • End of Quarter 10/31 (Next Thursday)

Kim Underwood will interview Spencer Ballus this Tuesday at 3:00 to showcase his Eagle Scout Project.  If your class would like to make a thank you card for Spencer, I will be sure he gets it on Tuesday:)

Look at these Great Bulletin Boards I discovered! Remember that it is time to change your boards at the end of this month. Make sure your boards match a common core standard and they contain some student work. 

Yes, yes, I know these bulletin boards are sideways!  I couldn't get blogger to flip them.  It is probably an operator error:) There were many other boards that I saw in both buildings that were outstanding and I will publish them as soon as I figure out out to rotate the pictures.  I probably have to rotate them on my phone before I put them in the blog with no editing components.  I am trying:)  Love Technology!

Fall Festival is Friday!  Get Involved and Assist:)

Newsletters are due on the 31st. Remember to have your newsletter translated before you give it to us for approval.  You have to allow plenty of time for translation.

WEAR RED-Red Ribbon Week Celebration is October 23-31

Red Ribbon Week is celebrated October 23-31 with a focus on "Taking a Stand Against Cyberbullying" and "Say NO to Drugs".  We would like everyone to wear RED on Wednesday 10/23.  Please pass information on to your students and if you need any questions answered, please ask Linda Studevent:)  Display your red ribbons on your door or in your classrooms through October 31.

Parent Resource Room Opened to Standing Room Only Crowd!

The first Parent Session was held last week and facilitated by Ms. Barger and Nurse Hall.  The topic was "Being an Advocate for your child".  They did an outstanding job going over key points for parents. The room was packed and we were thrilled. Thank you to Suzanne for planning the event and Mr. T. for translating.

Coming Up.....

  • Report Cards due November 5th at 3:00 (K-2 Cannon & 3-5 Frazier)
  • Remember all grades levels need to plan to meet with Robyn Varga during you planning or LTM time on November 4th. Please make sure you mark your calendars and plan accordingly.  You can meet in your grade chair's room. We will have her here all day in order to train all grade levels in Rti. PEPs will be a topic that you can ask questions about.
  • Faculty Meeting on November 12 and Report Cards go Home that day
  • You should hold any needed Parent Conferences and PEP sign off conferences the week of November 17th or any time before that.  It is essential that you follow PEPs and create them for students in need. Parents are a big part of the process:)  
  • November 11-No School for Veteran's Day

Reflection from the "Lead Learner":

This weekend I have done some Reflection on Why I do What I do and Why you do What you do.  Goodness knows, we have very challenging jobs and very busy schedules.  We are teachers, moms and dads, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and on and on.  I have come to the conclusion that it is about dedication, devotion and a passion for the profession. I find this especially true when I am coaching teachers. It is one of my favorite parts of the job.  My job is really broken down into two areas. They are Management and Leadership.  Some might think they are the same but they are very different.  You all are both managers and leaders as well.  You Manage by planning, organizing, problem-solving and attending to the daily tasks of being a teacher.  However, you LEAD by example, establishing direction, and building and sustaining relationships. You lead by making every student feel valued and important and leaving no doubt in their minds that they "will" learn. I am consistently trying to inspire, motivate and energize not only you but the students.  I hope that I am succeeding. We have all been working through change and I am so impressed with the amount of shared leadership that has resulted from the change. I feel we truly are a team.  I would like you to leave me a comment on the blog as to your feelings about teacher empowerment at our school and your role as a leader.  Granted, many of you are emergent leaders because you are new to our school or to teaching and haven't quite gotten your feet wet in the leadership pool. OR leave me a comment about why you do what you do. OR any thoughts you have on how I could be an even better leader.  Diggs-Latham and all that entails is my heart. I believe in you and I believe in our students. I am also thankful for all of our volunteers, sponsors, coaches, PTA, local churches, business partners, neighbors, and colleges and universities who believe in us as well. Have a wonderful week, it will be another busy one!   Donna

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Diggs-Latham is so BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

Diggs-Latham Walks to Raise Awareness of Bullying!

I would like to personally thank all staff members, parents, students and friends who showed up to represent and support our school on Saturday morning at BB&T Ballpark. We had a great time.  I would especially like to thank Ms. Studevent for all her hard work in helping organize the event and getting all the Acts of Kindness Chains to the stadium. Thank you to Mrs. O'Brien, Mrs. Gordon, Mrs. Adkins, Dr. Madison, Ms. Studevent.  We would also like to thank Ross' mom. She cheered for our team and was an official Tiger!  There were several parents and lots of kids!  It was great.  Thank you to Amanda for painting our banner. It was the best one there!  Bullying is a serious subject and can happen between children, adults, adults and children.  We need to stop it and this event helped kids and adults alike to find the right words to say when faced with a bully.

Thank You Spencer!!

 I can't even begin to tell you all how very proud I am of  Spencer Ballus .  There are beautiful Arts Cutouts mounted on the wall of our school.  They are bright and colorful and advertise that we are an A+ school of the arts! Spencer and his fellow boy-scouts, parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends came out to measure, saw, dig, plant, shovel and on and on for a whole day. The memorial portion of our front yard (dedicated to past Principal Larry Fields) has been beautified with flowers and a gorgeous Butterfly Bench.  You could take your classes outside and read to them.  Spencer's group also planted a dozen or so Knock-Out Roses throughout our front yard as well as ornamental grasses. There were also other surprises.  We are truly blessed to have this gift come our way.  It is all about RELATIONSHIPS:)  When Spencer proposed a project to several schools, I was the only response he received. We are so very fortunate to have Spencer, his family, friends and a group of boy scouts who want to help their community. We could have never afforded this on our own. The Greek Dinner Fundraiser he planned and executed paid for all of the work. I am so proud,  and I know you are proud, as are our families of this beautification.  It would be wonderful to do thank you notes from the children. Spencer and his friends kept asking me, Do you think they will like it?Mrs. Linda Wright's class has already done some and they are so cute. Spencer will be returning to Diggs-Latham to present us with money that was actually left over from the project.  I have called Kim Underwood and he will be doing a story on Spencer. Go Spencer!

Thank You Hanes Brands for Caring About US!!!

Hanes Brands sent about 30 people to us a few weeks ago to plant, weed, organize, and beautify our gardens. We are so fortunate. The mums and violas are beautiful.  They also worked in the vegetable garden and cleaned all the old blinds out of the old green square metal container by the garden. We now have a locked container in which to store garden supplies. They even found the time to work in the Media Center for a bit.  Great things are happening at DL inside and out!


Thank you to Mrs. Pubantz, all of our Kindergarten teachers, assistants, PRTs, teachers and coordinators who participated in giving the ITBS Test and all that it entails. Thank you for your patience if you lost a PRT for intervention. It is a huge job and it takes a lot of people to pull it off. It is very hard to keep kindergartners still and focused.  We appreciate you all.  Now...on to the CoGat.

It Takes A Village Kicks Off-

Wow, I was so excited to see our parents learning alongside their children last Wednesday afternoon. The tutoring program taught by UNCG Interns is very successful.  The students were really engaged and motivated to work hard.  Thank you to everyone who helped identify the students who will participate for the next 6 weeks. Thank you Barbie, you were an instrumental liaison as always:)

Bulletin Boards-

Our school is a buzz with learning. Whats happening inside truly reflects common core standards being taught. Now, we need to move the learning to the outside walls as well. Visitors to our building need to feel the spark we all feel. We don't want to miss an opportunity to share knowledge. It is time for your Bulletin Boards to change (remember they should be changed every month).  We want students, visitors, volunteers, parents, etc.. to see a reflection of what is being taught in the classrooms.  Have a talk with your kids about respecting what is on the boards. Make your boards/work samples, etc.. match what you are doing in the classroom. Put the standard it matches on the board as well. Put thought into what you display. Your boards should have student work presented. Kids will get excited when their work is out there. I have seen some incredible boards and work posted, but we need to step it up a bit. Last week I was able to put some comments on a board in which the children did some writing. I want to do that throughout the school.  I will be sending you some samples and  information about expectations.  Thank you for getting on board and bringing the learning outside into the halls and foyers.  We will send out another Bulletin Board Assignment sheet in case you need it.

Candle Tea- Home Moravian

It is almost that time again and Home Moravian needs volunteers for Candle Tea. If you would like to participate and learn to make candles, be a hostess, sell candles, work in the kitchen, etc.. let me know asap. They are making the schedule now.  Home Moravian is always there for us.  It is important we give back too:)

Week at a Glance...

  • Administrative Observations and Star 3 Observations will begin this week.
  • OSTE Mtg. 3:15
  • CoGat window opens for us 10-15/16/17
  • It Take A Village Tutoring on Wednesday at 2:40
  • Jaymie Almaguer has a birthday on the 13th and Lisa O'Brien has a birthday on the 15th
  • Please give to United Way.  We want 100% participation, no amount is too small. (Let's get Dr. Emory out here to cook dinner for us:) We can do it.
  • Picture Day the 22nd of October
  • Fall Festival right around the corner, it is a week from Friday!
  • Please remember to plan for Nov. 4th. Our LTM and all grade level meetings will be a training with Robin Varga on RTi.
  • READ BELOW........You all are the BEST........


Sunday, September 29, 2013


Happy Birthday to all of our October Babies..........

  • October 3- Amanda Gordon
  • October 7-Stephanie Rice
  • October 13-Jaymie Almaguer
  • October 15th-Lisa O'Brien
  • October 21-Ann Farthing
  • October 22-Julie Magness
  • October 29-Skye Dorsett
  • October 31-Carleigh Joyce

An Update from the Lead Learner:) September 30th-October 4th

Hanes Brand's Day of Caring at Diggs-Latham!  We're so appreciative!

Reflections from the Principal's Desk!

Do you know when you have those days when you say to yourself, "I am so blessed that I am a teacher!"? Well, I have been having the "I am so blessed to be the Principal of Diggs-Latham Days...Everyday!"  Granted all my days are not perfect, but I just have to say that you all are amazing and I am so proud of you.  We have gone through a lot of transformations and the results are really showing.  I see happy students, teachers and staff everywhere.  I know you must be so tired as you navigate your day but you don't show it and you never let on to the children.  Thank you.  Remember, we have visitors, interns, student-teachers, parents, community members and WSFCS employees in our building on a daily basis. We are the face of our school so we always have to remember that people are looking up to us, listening to how we relate to and talk to children.  Continue to put your best foot forward:) We want our school to be known as an orderly safe place where we respect each other. We want our school to be just what it is, a happy place to learn!  You can definitely have fun and learn the standards at the same time, I see it happening everyday.  

Hanes Brand's Employees Share Their Talents!

About 25 employees of Hanes Brands came out to plant pansies and mums, help in the media center and weed the vegetable garden.  They paid for all the materials and we are so grateful.  The grounds look awesome!  We are so proud.  Please point the new flowers out to the children and make a point to say these were all volunteers who care about Diggs-Latham.

A Good Friend Retires-Good-Bye Susan Kimball

I spent 8-9 years teaching at Moore Magnet School as a 3rd Grade AG teacher before I moved into Administration.  I had 2 colleagues that also taught AG. Susan Kimball and Laurie Rhodes were and still are the kind of teacher that everyone wants to be; smart, creative, funny and engaging with their students.  They were also great mentors to me. I learned a lot from both of them. Most importantly, we laughed, supported each other during hard times and learned a lot of new stuff together.  Today will be Susan's last day of work after 25+ years.  I give this information to you because our theme is all about relationships.  You are making them now with your colleagues.  Are you a team player? Do you believe in our mission and vision?  Do you offer encouragement, support and humor when you can?  All of these things are important. You will make life-long friends if you let yourself be a friend and return the favor.  I am so proud of both my former colleagues.  I'll be joining Susan in another 6 years or so.....maybe..., I do love what I do!  Life is all about Relationships! You can choose to work together as a team or apart in a silo. I know my choice!

Important Information

  • By now, everyone should have completed their Self-Assessment, Signed of on Orientation Date and completed your PDP ready for review.  Today is the deadline.  If you need help, see me or Dr. Frazier.
  • All newsletters should also be turned in today to administrators.
  • Bookworms Meeting is today at 9:00
  • Tomorrow is Mid-Term:)
  • Parent Resource Room will open up October 1
  • Literacy Night is Thursday-Pizza served by Home Moravian at 5:30/Please turn in RSVPs to the office so we will know how many pizzas we will need.
  • Volunteer Orientation is Friday Morning from 9-10:30/Thank you Dr.Madison
  • Spencer Ballus will start putting up Arts sculpture and beautifying our campus on Sunday.
  • United Way Campaign starts the week of October 6th
  • ITBS the week of the 6th as well
  • Faculty Meeting the 8th -If you need to be on the agenda, please email me.
  • "It Takes A Village" tutoring starts on the 9th
  • October 11-Percussion Ensemble at 10:15 Grades 4 and 5.
  • Picture Day -October 22nd.
  • Fall Festival and Multi-cultural celebration October 25th
  • Please join PTA $5. We need 100% from our faculty and staff.  Please step up.  We are working to be strong to help our kids.
  • Book Fair is the week of Fall Festival:)

If you read this far, HOORAY! Everyone....Please leave me a comment about good things you have seen happening here at DL since the beginning of school. They can be positive comments about colleagues, lessons you've seen or done, random acts of kindness, collaboration, humor or support given to you.  You can be as creative as you like!  If you want to leave a comment, click on the no comments link or as a reply.