Sunday, November 15, 2015

A “Paws” itively Wonderful Month !


            Once again the students of OQS have worked together to reach another behavior goal and thus earning an all school celebration. This time classes partnered with their buddy class to plant spring bulbs outside the building. With the help of Paul Sadowski, who dug furrows and left detailed instructions on the side of the garden shed as to how to plant them, we successfully planted over 200 bulbs! Not only are students working to demonstrate PAWS behavior but are working together to beautify our school. What a great way to celebrate success in a way that perpetuates more feelings of success!

            We recently had the good fortune to be contacted and visited by David Liben who has agreed to work closely with our district English Language Arts Teacher Leader, Madeline Carlock, who is also one of our 4th grade teachers. Together they are meeting with the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teams to study navigating non-fiction and teaching text sets. David is the Senior Content Specialist of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners founded by the lead writers of the Common Core. David has taught elementary, middle school and high school students in public and private schools, as well as community college and teacher preparation courses, in New York City and Vermont. Together with Meredith Liben, David founded two innovative model schools in New York City - New York Prep, a junior high school in East Harlem, and in 1991, the Family Academy - where he served as Principal and lead curriculum designer. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in school administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a nationally known presenter I have come to know through my work with Student Achieve Partners and our work with teachers around the country. You can find a few of his presentations on youtube.com. One of his most recent writings is found by following this link:
I look forward to this amazing yearlong partnership with David as he helps us learn new ways to teach our students.

            This year we have established a new student leadership team called the PAWS SQUAD. This is a team of students made up of 5th graders identified as having leadership potential and who could serve as positive role models for all of our students here at OQS. Their mission is to discover and create ways to promote PAWS behavior and help make OQS a safe and caring place to learn. Alisha Keel, our school counselor and I are looking forward to working with these fine students as we embark on this positive journey.