Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Successful Week at Diggs-Latham to Begin September 9th!

Happy Birthday!

A very Happy Birthday this week to:        

  • September 9-Linda Studevent
  • September 13-Nurse Kim Hall    

Don't forget our school theme for the year:

 Relationships, Risks and Results  

I was able to witness some great relationship building this week. Thank you to Mrs. Ochoa and Miss Greenlee who were sharing ideas on classroom management in the hall afterschool on Friday.  Love hearing that valuable "teacher talk". Thank you  to Ms. Pullen and Mr. Powelson who have been building relationships all over the building by helping to troubleshoot in technology areas.  Thank you Mary Winterhalder for pitching in with a smile by helping with Dibels, technology, and something to do with a mop, I'm told! Julie Wright has been smiling as she has assisted students and teachers in their execution of curriculum! Ms. Wynns deserves a special thank you for sharing a great leveled reader lesson planning website with us all. It utilizes many of the books we have in the bookroom. We need team players and that is what we all have to be.  Kindergarten, Second and Fourth Grade Teams, way to work together and plan.  You really are a joy to watch.  It is hard work and we all face challenges but everyone is trying to work through roadblocks with a "can do" attitude. I am proud of you. A special Kudos goes to the Pre-K teams.  They have to follow new procedure in which all of their 4 year old children must handpick their breakfast and lunch choices, and then they are recorded and taken to the cafeteria.  Each tray has to be made individually. You can only imagine how much patience you need for this task! That team deserves encouragement from us all.  The 5th grade team is on fire as they are executing the standards in many creative and constructive ways.  There are smiles and enthusiasm all around the fourth and fifth grade hallways. Thank you Third Grade for the work you all are doing, you have really pulled together to help Mrs. Bracken.  I saw some great team building activities on your grade level.  Building relationships has to be the motto for Maeretha Hopson.  She didn't even flinch when asked to cover a class for a few hours next week.   I appreciate her collaborative spirit. Thank you to Jaymie for being in lots of place and doing lots of things to help our kids:) Way to go Sidonna Brown, Debora Snider, Elena Guevara and Lynsey.  Their Leveled Reading Workshop was excellent.  They took risks and asked hard questions.  The training was informative! Our whole ESL team has been very busy assessing kids and working out schedules under very tight constraints.  They have to use brainpower and creativity to work out schedules. We appreciate you all.  Our specialist team has always been a happy, strong and collaborative group and that is no different this year. Getting to know all the kids and jumping right in to the thick of things is what they do so well. The Media Center looks awesome, thank you Leslie and Veronica!  Our Assistants in Kindergarten deserve special recognition for going to specials with the students to help ease those first quarter jitters. They work very hard all day long in all they do and are much appreciated.  The floors are shining and the building is clean, our office staff has the office running smoothly amongst many parent and teacher requests.  Our social worker, guidance counselor, nurse, speech teacher and home school coordinator have all been an incredible support to us all. I treasure them. Let's not forget our wonderful cafeteria ladies and gentlemen. Their hard work made the first two weeks of school a snap. HI Teachers and team, and Ms. Taylor, you rock!  Way to go. You are facing challenges and planning to meet the needs of all your students. ALL of our interns and students teachers have really worked hard to be a part of our DL family. We are so blessed to have them all here.  Lastly, thank you to Mrs. McGregor for leading great LTMs and the challenge of Dibels. The LTMs  have been awesome due to great planning and grade level participation.. Thank you to Mrs. Pubantz for the training opportunities and making yourself available to help teachers Your expertise is valuable and will benefit our staff. I know we are all thankful for Connie and Barbie. They continue to go above and beyond.  Dr. Frazier HEMINGWAY is my right hand and I am most grateful for all she does.  I  am planning to spotlight staff going that extra mile to help students, parents and colleagues. (it won't be as long as this article, I promise but I will look for specific random acts of kindness and collaboration in action) I am just very proud of the work you are doing, the planning, the thinking, the collaborating and the execution of common core while at the same time having a positive attitude.  Do you feel it?  It is the feel of a successful team and a great school!


The ballots are counted and the five Leadership Positions have been voted on.

They are:
  1. Intervention Specialist
  2. Rising Star Tutoring Facilitator Grade k-2
  3. Rising Star Tutoring Facilitator Grades 3-5
  4. Parent Involvement Facilitator
  5. Differentiation Specialist
It was by a large majority that Teacher Retention Advocate was removed. Several of you have given me an indication that you want to apply for these positions. I will put applications in your mailboxes. There is at least one application for every position with the exception of Parent Involvement Facilitator. This leader would help with the planning for the Parent Resource Room and help to be a liaison between parents and teachers in planning parental involvement activities.  We have started on the planning of the Resource Room and there are a team of people who can offer support.  This will not take time away from being in the classroom.  Someone who has not had a lot of leadership experience, please step up and apply:)  We need you.  We asked for an extra position and were granted it so we need to use it:)  Thank you everyone for making this an easy process this year. Applications due by Tuesday and we can vote at the faculty meeting.

We need a TAC Representative.  Come prepared to the faculty meeting to nominate someone or yourself for this very important position.  We already have our Arts Council Rep., Our United Way Co-Chairs and our UNCF Rep. We need to fill Danielle's position.  We also need someone to chair Fall Festival in Ms. Faqih's absence.  Let's make her proud. PTA will assist and there have been people who have signed up for the committee.  The date is late October so there is plenty of time.


Communication issues can sometimes be a cause of frustration and lead to ineffectiveness as a school. I would like to be very clear with my expectations. As you know, we only have faculty meetings once a month on average.  It is imperative that you read your emails twice daily and the blog every week. I intentionally only write the blog once a week to help you manage time.  It is your professional responsibility. Today, to  put our communication system to the test, I have hidden my maiden name "Hemingway" in the blog.  If you have read down this far, you would have seen it and said, "What in the world?" as it is out of place.  It is written in red letters.  Also, if you read the emails with attachments sent out by me this weekend, you can answer this question.....When is our Annual Title I Parent Meeting to be held? So, if you have read the blog and emails, without saying a word to anyone, write the word Hemingway in red and the date of the Title I Parent Meeting on an index card with your name, put it in the yellow basket outside my office door by noon on Monday and you will get a raffle ticket for a drawing, the prize being: Having one of your recess periods covered by me or Mrs. Frazier this week or if you don't have recess, we will cover a duty!  We will choose two names each. There will be a roll of raffle tickets, take one and put the other half in the yellow basket with your answer card.  This is just a way to gauge communication efforts. I know we can all do better with this  including me:) I will do this periodically for incentives. I just want to be clear that the following are expectations of mine.
  • Read the blog every Monday Morning (A lot of times, I will have it up by Sunday evening) I write it with you as the audience as an information tool. 
  • Always read email in the morning and before you go home.
  • Return parent emails and calls within 24 hours
  • Make those positive contacts home. Keep a record of who you contact via note, call, email, postcard, etc...
This isn't meant to be a "gotcha" as I will not make known or talk to those who don't give me a card, but my hope is that word will get around and this will serve as a refresher for those who need to remember to read and return communications.  Thank you for your help with this as it has an effect on us all:) I know we will get better.

Evaluation Assignments-

You will get an email from me letting you know who your evaluator is for this year.  I will also match all mentors and mentees. There may be some changes in mentor/mentee assignments from last year for logistical purposes.


Once again, Home Moravian has adopted us. We can vote on your choices for the top 3 stores as we did last year. I believe the winners were: Target, Kaplans and the education store in the mall. I will put sign-up sheets in the lounge so that  teachers can once again sign up for a gift card after we determine locations.  Mallie has asked that all gift cards be completely spent by October 15th for church record keeping purposes. Remember that only school items can be put on the receipt. Put your name on the receipt and place it an envelope with your name and grade level. She said juice boxes, and snacks for the class are ok. 

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