February Dept Meeting BLOG

Great Thoughts on being Innovative…


Blogs as Portfolios – http://georgecouros.ca/blog/presentat…
School vs Learning – http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/…
Identity Day – https://www.diigo.com/list/gcouros/Id…

MEETING AGENDA (please comment & discuss in lieu of meeting in person):

  1. Next Wegmans Night?  Please take doodle poll
  2. Curriculum is due to me by March 31 for review.  Please try to meet with me if possible.
  3. New policy coming that schools are only allowed one fundraiser per year.  This affects Jump / Hoops for Heart and puts it in direct competition with THON.  Jump / Hoops is so important to our curriculum, I am wondering if we want to get together as a collective voice to discuss coexistence.
  4. Next year, I am likely to be doing the elementary PE budgets to allow for pooling of resources.
  5. Elementary, we have been asked to create a building inventory of our equipment.  I will create a Google Sheet for this to be done.  Can we achieve this by April?
  6. As field day approaches, we have been asked to have a standard form for the request of student helpers.  This form is where we left off last year.  Please review and comment so that this can be finalized and vetted with admin.
  7. SUMMER PD FOLLOW-UP:  Here is a great resources on portfolios both for students, teachers, and administrators
  8. New tech learning module coming soon.  Its called atomic learning.  I can run a demo for anyone that is interested.  This has courses for every level of tech.


Dec 28: Colleen Staton

Dec 28: Mike Langan

Feb 2: Eric Richardson

Feb 2: Seth Lehman

Feb 17: Mike Orfanos

Feb 26: Jamie Croft



16 thoughts on “February Dept Meeting BLOG

  1. Todd, what do you mean by pooling of resources? I do not want to sound negative but I do not forsee having time to complete an inventory of equipment by April. Especially during work hours. To actually inventory all of our equipment would take several hours. I already think we do a good job sharing our resources. Usually if someone needs something specific, they send out an e-mail asking for it and we respond. I have not found trouble borrowing or sharing with others.

    Does the fundraising policy also include PTO fundraisers? We have had three big ones this year, race for education, THON, and now jump rope for heart.


    • April was just an estimate, we could wait until next year. It was more so we can see what everyone has especially as they plan for the new elementary to come online. The inventory has nothing to do with how we are sharing. Having me do the budget pools resources so that a school that needs more can get it from a school that needs less. For example, if Steve needed $1200 for his budget, and you needed $800, we could slide Steve the extra $200.

      I believe that is correct about PTO’s. Stay tuned, it is still being worked out. The policy is still in the creation phase, but Dr. Withum did talk to Theresa about this too.


  2. I am ok with the field day permission slip to seniors. Are you going to be the contact person for us? I have used Jackie Orner in the past.


  3. What is the reason behind the only one fundraiser a year? If it’s for the good of the kids and it doesn’t really interrupt school time what’s the big deal? I always think that it brings community and school together.


    • I think it is to reduce the number of these things that go home to the community. Parents get bombarded with things like that, and kids feel like they cannot be a part of it if they do not raise money. Parents often just do buyouts. I can see both sides, so this is a toughy.


  4. I noticed toward the end of the video the keynote speaker mentioned digital portfolios. I know that Brian mentioned this exact topic at one of our in-services earlier this year. Is this something we are going to pursue in the future?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s all about connecting with your students and building that rapport with them. I think too many teachers are so focused on getting what they need to get done in class that they forget to actually spend time getting to know their students. I get it though b/c we are told to make sure we teach all of this info…but at the same time…build relationships with your students…it’s not easy…but I definitely tend to lean on the rapport side…like it or not

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lots of good ideas some make good sense. I feel we are seeing education is change before our eyes. We have to change along with it to keep things current and meaningful. Although some of the ideas are innovative we can’t forget about our personal connection with students. We all want things in an instant but most anything that is valuable takes time and effort. If students feel what they are doing is important or important to them it will hit home. Sometimes things dont hit home until once they are older or a life event that can change their outlook. I do believe a growth mindset is best for learning. We all can grow more and we all can learn more no matter the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really liked the video. I especially like the quotes about building on the students strengths and daily successes instead of focusing on failures or weaknesses. If you simply do that kids will respond, be engaged and you will build the connection that Shane and Seth are talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MY IDIOT MOMENT OF THE DAY…. from the Doodle Poll, the first date option is Feb 20 when we don’t have school. Please disregard that date, we WILL NOT meet that day. Geez! You’d think I could look at the calendar…


  9. Spoke to our building leader today. Each “organization” (school/PTO/Eagle Foundation/etc…) will be allowed to do two fundraisers each year. I love the idea behind THON at the high school, but bringing it down to the elementary school doesn’t seem to have the same impact as the Jump Rope For Heart has for/with our kids. Does the Middle School do anything for/with THON? Perhaps that is a better place for THON, which would then allow us to do the JRFH event. I would hate to lose the event!


  10. A very late reply here… A few things here:

    1) I like this format as a change of pace. Everyone can contribute at their own pace and in their own way- a nice thing to try in your classrooms as well.

    2) Note on human nature- the lead item was about innovation and the conversation turned almost instantly to logistics and management. There is nothing wrong with that as inventories and JRFH are important, but just interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point. Perhaps I need to make a memo for the logistics and management and keep this for the discussions related to PD and growth. I’m trying to balance the “stuff” I have tell the group with the inspirational and growth mindset stuff. Perhaps they should be in separate pods unless we are looking to make the “stuff” innovative. Thanks for the feedback.


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