Principal's Paw Print, Nov/Dec 2016

November/December, 2016

Greetings Wildcat Families!

As we shift from the November virtue of gratitude to generosity in December, I see so many connections between these two concepts. A sense of gratitude often fol- lows generosity and generosity can be the outcome of feeling grateful. In the midst of the crazy holiday season, I am reminded that generosity is not just about presents and tangible gift giving, but about gifts from the heart and the thoughtful things we can do for others, just because. Simple things can be so powerful.

A Few Announcements:

PTA voted at the last community meeting to allocate funds for reading assessment kits in every classroom, upgrades to the school sound system, and playground modifications. Words cannot express how grateful we are for this gift. The kits are a necessity for us to adequately track reading growth over time and we’ve only been able to purchase one or two per year. Anyone who has attended our performances knows how important a good sound system is, and our playground is long overdue for a makeover! I cannot thank you enough for supporting our staff and students needs.

Staffing: Welcome to Favio Saavedra who is the new first grade teacher in room 206, replacing Ms. Petersen. We are grateful to have him and wish Ms. Petersen the best in her new endeavors. We now have an English Language Learner Team serving students in which English is not their first language. Welcome to teacher Jim Grunewald who will be in the building on Mondays and to Liliana Gomez who will be providing tutoring services for ELL students throughout the week. We would also like to officially welcome Monica Ganyard in her new role as Elementary Office Assistant. We are so excited to have her be a permanent member of our office team!

Our Building Leadership Team (BLT) led the staff in updating our Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP). This plan allows us to focus our goals into a few key areas for the next few years and track our progress. We are paying particular attention to literacy and how students feel about their classroom environment. This document is available on the SPS website (there is a link on Whittier's Home page, under "Resources"). 

In preparation for budget season, which starts in February, the BLT will be generating a series of surveys to assist in planning for the following year. The CSIP drives our decision making, and we align our budget decisions within these goals. Our strong partnership with the PTA and parent community at large allows us to think creatively and combine our resources as effectively as possible.

I would like to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season. See you in 2017!

Melissa Schweitzer

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