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News & Director's Notes

January 11, 2016

Director's Notes - 1/11/2015

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”  ― Abigail Adams   In order to be successful educators, that which we do must be done explicitly – with purpose, clarity, and constant reinforcement. It is not good enough that we expect to teach a lesson, but rather that students have learned it. Too often, we assume students know. This is particularly true of behavioral expectations. How often have we, as adults, responded to a child’s ill-advised behavior by saying that he or she “should know better?” How do we know if he or she “knows better?” Why is it that we assume he or she does? Imagine if we neglected to teach a fourth grade student who is struggling in math multiplication facts because this child “was supposed to have learned the material in third grade.” We would be remiss if we assumed he or she mastered multiplication facts and simply moved on. A successful student is one who achieves both academic and behavioral success. It is easy for us to explicitly teach academics. It is what is expected of teachers. Yet, without deliberately teaching and learning lessons about behavior, academic growth will never be fully realized. Last week, we began our CHAMPS journey in earnest. CHAMPS is a Tier I (school wide) framework that allows for the explicit teaching of expected behavior norms. The book CHAMPS, authored by school behavior specialist, Randy Sprick, provides a comprehensive approach to managing student behavior in a proactive, empathetic and supportive way to maximize learning throughout the school day. The acronym, CHAMPS, is used to convey very explicit instructions and expectations for specific activities and transitions that happen during the course of a school day. In moving forward, expectations will be posted throughout Bridges by using each letter of CHAMPS as follows:   C—Conversation:  With whom may I talk and at what noise level? H—Help: How do I signal that I need help? A—Activity: What is the intended activity around which we are building our expectations? M—Movement: Can I get out of my seat, with or without permission?  P—Participation: What should it look/sound like if I am “fully engaged"? S- Success: What is the successful outcome of the activity? Currently, we are identifying those activities to be “CHAMPed” both in the classroom (directed lesson, sustained silent reading etc.) and outside of the classroom (lunch time, after school pick up, etc.) We are building common language and understanding. For example, we have agreed that it that voice levels are identified as follows: 0 - silent or no voice 1 - spy talk or whisper or partner 2 - small group/ low flow/ quiet talking 3 - normal voice 4 - presenter voice 5 - outside, ok to play An example of an activity that is being “CHAMPed” is dismissal: Dismissal C (conversation) - positive peer interaction, voice level 3, 4, 5 H (help) – respectfully ask an adult A (activity) – watching for parent/ride/carpool M (movement) – walking and calmly waiting in one spot P (participation) – everyone looking for parents/guardians/carpools S (success) – everyone home safe Over the course of the weeks and months ahead, CHAMPS will unfold so all students (and adults) will have the opportunity to benefit from a framework that reinforces actions that lead to success! Rounding out the Director’s Notes: From Ms. Juliet: Reminder - The end of first semester is Friday, January 22nd.  Report cards will be printed and distributed the following week. Thank you for your valued partnership in your child’s education! From Marie McClain: Slow Food Ventura County presents: School Garden Meet and Greet in Thousand Oaks Thursday January 14th, 2016, 6:30 - 9:00 pm at the home of Charles Barth. Come meet the SFVC School Garden Team headed up by Christina Nelson. Chris Massa, Farm to School Operations Specialist for VUSD will also be on hand.  This is for any supporters of the school gardens including parents, teachers and volunteers. A seasonally appropriate dinner will be prepared by Chef Christopher Hollobaugh. $20. BYOB.  Tickets will be available on Eventbrite: Search-Slow Food Ventura County From Suzanne Knorr: The Food PMC features a healthy recipe each month. Anyone in the Bridges Community can submit a recipe. Visit the webpage at Thank you! From Nikki LaCrosse: PARENT INFORMATION NIGHTS Spread the news! Bridges has begun registering prospective 2015-2016 families for our Parent Information Nights. We only hold four PINs a year and space is limited. Parents of fifth graders who are interested in attending the CORE meeting are especially urged to register soon. Free child care is available for Parent Information Nights. K-5 Parent Information Nights 1/19 6:30-8:00 pm 2/16 6:30-8:00 pm 3/1 6:30-8:00 pm 6-8 Parent Information Nights 2/2 6:30-8:00 pm To sign up please go to: If you have any questions, please contact Nikki LaCrosse, Outreach Coordinator, at 805-492-3569, x106. Other Important Upcoming Dates 1/11/16 School Board Meeting 1/18/16 Martin Luther King Holiday – No School 1/22/16 End of First Semester Have a wonderful week! Mr. Jay

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