Hello Creekside Families ~
I thought I’d use this newsletter note to share a little bit about the ongoing learning opportunities that the Creekside teachers are regularly engaged in throughout the year.
Each year we do a book study as a teaching staff. The teachers get to pick the book that they feel best meets their teaching needs for the school year. This year, we tied in our book options to our School Improvement Plan’s (SIP) focus of literacy. We get help from our AWESOME PTSA to fund these important professional tools. Teacher leaders lead the book studies with their peers while Denise and I oversee each of the book study sessions. Here are the books we are using this year. Feel free to check them out along with us.
In addition to these books, we have many other professional development topics that are visited throughout the school year. Some of those topics include…
· Emergency preparedness and Trauma Informed Practices
· Social Emotional Learning (SEL)/Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS)
· Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM)
· Guided Language Acquisition Development (GLAD)
· Curriculum Content Support
· Formative and Summative Assessment Support
· Inquiry-Based Learning Practices
· Technology Learning for Instruction
· Cultural Competency/Equity
Speaking of our Cultural Competency/Equity work, we need your help! We are hoping to create a parent panel to work with our district’s Equity and Family Engagement Specialist, Lorna Gilmour. This parent panel would present to the Creekside school team in late April. This presentation will help our teachers be more aware of educational systems in other countries and cultures to best support students (and families) in their classrooms each year. If you are interested in helping in this way, please reach out to Lorna via her email: GilmourL@issaquah.wednet.edu
This is just a quick snapshot of some of the ongoing learning that our teaching staff participates in throughout the school year. Many of the Creekside teachers are also working on their National Board Certification (first time through and renewals), masters programs and other outside learning opportunities. I can’t begin to tell you how incredible it is to work with professionals that want to continue to learning and growing as educators and that want to take their learning seriously with the thought of how they can apply their new learning with their students.
I feel blessed to work with this team!
Thank you to our PTSA and families for supporting this work!
Family Author Night Event - rescheduled!
Come and hear what kept our Otters enthralled during Simon’s assemblies!
Wednesday, February 12th, 6:00-7:00 pm Creekside Multipurpose Room
Children’s author, Simon Calcavecchia, will discuss the power of positivity & the Growth Mindset. His message promotes ideals of inclusion, which mirrors a key focus of the Issaquah School district. Join us for this inspirational night as we continue to build a school environment where all feel welcome and celebrated. The stories of Frank and Mustard are based on his personal experiences.
RSVP at: http://bit.ly/creeksidesimon
Books can be purchased in advance for signing at https://www.frankandmustard.com/books/
Kindergarten Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year Begins Online Starting February 3.
The window to register your child for kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year begins February 3, and must be completed by March 6. Students who are turning 5 years old by August 31, 2020, are eligible for enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.
Please visit the ISD New Student Enrollment website to begin enrollment February 3. The link will be live at that time. Once the online portion is complete, you will be required to visit your neighborhood school to pick up additional forms that must be completed in order to finish the enrollment process.
Additional Kindergarten information available at this link.
As we get into the second half of the school year, the academic work often becomes more challenging. When students face a challenge, their mindset can make a big difference in their experience of that challenge. Teaching students to have a growth mindset is an evidenced based approach that can help students be successful and build resiliency.
According to Carol S. Dweck, one of the leading researchers on growth mindset, one way that parents can really help their children is by carefully choosing the words that are used when they praise them. Every word parents say and action they perform sends a message to their children. These words and actions tell children how to think about themselves. Parents should try to praise their child’s effort instead of praising accomplishments. The following table includes some examples:
Avoid these statements:
You are really athletic!
You are so smart!
Your drawing is wonderful; you are my little artist.
You always get good grades; that makes me happy.
Instead try these:
You really word hard and pay attention when you are on that field!
You work hard in school and it shows!
I can see you have been practicing your drawing; what a great improvement!
When you put forth effort, it really shows in your grades. You should be so proud of yourself. We are proud of you!
During this time in the school year, students can also experience more conflicts with friends. All Creekside students learn how to use Kelso’s Choice Wheel to manage and solve their friendship conflicts. Students choose two solutions to try. All Creekside students also use the Problem Solving Steps to work through friendship problems or any other problems that may arise. If your student needs additional help solving a friendship conflict or any problem at school, please feel free to contact me.
· Mindsets in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci
· Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Kindness Week is coming! This year Kindness week is Feb 10th-14th. Our Kindness Club will be working on some activities to promote kindness at Creekside. Stay tuned for more information!
The Issaquah Food Bank has a program to provide food for families over the upcoming mid-winter break. If you would like to donate to this program or if you would like to access this great resource for your family click on the link for more information.
Lauren Hopp, School Counselor
Waste Free Lunches
Join us in helping Creekside become a waste free school by packing a waste free lunch for your child everyday. Here a few tools you will need to get started:
Tools for packing a waste free lunch:
- Reusable lunchbox
- Reusable food containers and water bottle
- Reusable fork and spoon
- Cloth napkin
Thank you from the Creekside Green Team
Did you know that our school has a waitlist for VOICE Mentors?
Currently 5 Creekside students are waiting for mentors. I’m hoping you might be able to help me fill those slots by referring local friends and Skyline High School students to the VOICE Mentor Program.
VOICE is an in-school mentoring program that matches caring community members with students who need a little extra social, emotional, or academic support. Last year, the program supported 466 students at all grade levels and at all schools in the District. Currently there are over 300 mentors with 162 students on a waitlist. As of 2019, VOICE is now part of Issaquah School District and is a Tier 2 intervention so we expect those numbers to increase.
For more information and a link to the VOICE application:
Our local VOICE Mentor Program Specialist is Creekside parent, Tanya Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org), and she is happy to speak with you if you have any questions.
Thanks in advance for your help!
You have likely seen in the news or on social media that Washington State has had one confirmed case of coronavirus. We know this kind of news is worrisome to families. The District has an emergency response plan and protocols in place for health risks that we will enact if needed. The Washington State Health Department is generally the lead agency in health crisis situations and they provide direction to school districts. While it is a serious illness, at this time the Washington State Health Department considers it a low risk to the public.
Cold and Flu season is here! We respectfully ask that if your child is sick, please keep them at home. If you're not sure whether or not to keep your child home, please check your child’s symptoms with this handy chart. Ways to protect yourself, your family, and others from colds and flu are to get a flu shot, wash hands thoroughly, drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and stay home when ill. We have information in multiple languages about how to stop the spread of germs and the flu on our website.
STEMPOSIUM: SAVE THE DATE
WHAT: Showcase of STEM learning hosted by teachers and students from the Issaquah School District. Teachers and students through interactive booths and demonstrations share how they learn STEM skills and knowledge through classroom projects, afterschool clubs, and student competitions. In addition to teacher/student booths, there will be various STEM related industries invited to share their work in the area of STEM.
WHEN: February 13, 2020 - 5:30-7:30 pm.
WHERE: Issaquah High School Commons – 700 2ndAvenue SE, Issaquah 98027
Everyone is welcome to attend! More information and event program can be found here.
Weather Make Up Days and Future School Calendars
Our snow and ice event last week has resurfaced requests from the community to build weather make up days into our school calendars. In an effort to enable students, families, and staff to plan, we make every effort to post calendars three years in advance. As a reminder, our school calendars are developed and adopted as part of the bargaining process with the Issaquah Education Association (IEA) who represent our certificated staff. As we shared with the community last spring, while the current 2019-2020 school year calendar was established in 2017, because of the weather experience last year and because calendars for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years were not established, the District would explore opportunities to build in more weather make up options for future calendars.
To that end, District staff members negotiate with IEA’s leadership and gather input from the other labor organizations regarding calendar refinements. As part of negotiations, we shared with IEA the results of the community survey we conducted last spring asking for input on preferences. It is important to note that while 81.8% of survey respondents stated that they want built-in make up days, there was no clear majority favoring options to refine the calendar by starting the school year before Labor Day or making changes to winter, mid-winter, or spring break. While a majority of parent responders did favor taking time from teacher professional development and prep time on Wednesdays, it would take four Wednesdays to recoup one snow day. In order for us to insert weather make up days, we need to adjust one or several of those factors or extend the school year; all of which have competing desires. See survey here.
We do make every effort to use all options available to us, including application for waiving the school day if we have met the state minimum for instructional time. Meanwhile, calendar negotiations are in process now, and we expect to bring 2021-22 and 2022-23 calendar proposals to the school board for approval at the February 13, 2020 regular meeting. We will announce the approved future calendars through our usual communications channels, like E-News and websites, when the process is complete.
Creekside Elementary partners with Peachjar, an online bulletin board system, to help families see all the opportunities happening with community partners in the greater ISD community.