Sunday, May 22, 2016

And it All Comes to a Close

It's crazy to me, as I sit here, knowing this is the last staff blog post that I'll write for the 2015-2016 school year.

I am so proud of the work that everyone has done this year.  I really feel like we transformed a campus and changed lives.  We brought joy, excitement, and love into this year.  And it was noticed and felt by everyone who walked through those doors.

I challenge you to take a few moments to reflect this year.  Think of all the things that went right.  Think of where your kids were at the beginning of the year and where they are now.  Remember them for their laughs, hugs, touching moments.  Think about the trials you faced this year and how you persevered.  Think of the others from around the country who came and gave up their time for free because they believed that strongly in what you were trying to accomplish in little old Navasota.

Stand with your head held high with all the work put in this year.  We are by no means a perfect school, but we're growing.  We're learning.  And we have a hunger to keep getting better.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you've done this year.  This has been probably the best year of my career yet, and that is because of you.  Because of this team.  I can't wait to see what we all do next!

We've got 5 days left to make a difference.  Let's take advantage of every opportunity.

Week At a Glance

Monday - FINAL Day of Camp
Tuesday - PPCD Water Day
PreK Field Day
K-2nd Field Day
3rd Kickball Tournament
Wednesday - 3rd-5th Field Day
PreK Promotion Celebration (in classrooms)
Thursday - Early Release at Noon
Friday - Early Release at Noon

Field Day

If the weather does not hold up, Field Day will take place in the gym.

Schedules were emailed out to teachers last week of the events to take place.  Please make sure you bring ice chests and things needed to fill water balloons and such.

Letters should have been sent home last week.  Please make sure you sent those home.

End of Year Awards

PreK and Kinder will have already done their End of Year Awards by Friday.

All other grades will do their awards in class (except for 5th).  You were told your class times, but they're also on the Webb Google Calendar.

Every child should receive an award.  Be creative.  If you need help let us know.

3rd-5th Grade teachers need to see me at some point on Monday for a special Presidential Award we were given to give out to some students.

Lunch Changes Tuesday/Wednesday



PreK - 10:30am
4th - 11:00am
5th - 11:30am
3rd - 12:00pm


PreK - 10:30am
Kinder - 11:00am
First 11:30am
Second 12:00pm


The final day of regular Camp is Monday.

Tuesday from 2:00-2:45pm, PreK and 3rd-5th grade teachers may bring their students into the gym for a movie so they can still have a conference time.

Wednesday from 2:00-2:45pm, Kinder-2nd and PreK may bring their students into the gym for a movie so they can still have their conference time.  

End of Year Check Out Sheet

HERE is where you can find your end of the year sheet you must get signed before you may leave on Saturday.


Thursday and Friday afternoons are for you to work in your classrooms.

You may take lunch from 12:30-1:30pm on Thursday. Friday is the Potluck on campus.  If you haven't signed up to bring something yet, HERE is the Potluck sign up sheet.

We will also have a brief, end of year wrap up at lunch on Friday.


Remember that Saturday you need to report to the High School at 9am.


Monday, May 23 - Gerry Williams

July Birthdays

July 2 - Becky Madison
July 14 - Marylee Argueta
July 31 - Susan Ballew

Kids Deserve It


Rockstar Educators

Nina Salazar - Nina is our PE IA.  Nina has a great personality and is so fun to be around.  Nina cares about those kids so deeply and is always willing to step into whatever role I need her to.  Even with her health setbacks this year, Nina has been a great asset to our team and someone who I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with.

Theresa Sanders - Theresa is our Life Skills 1 IA.  Theresa has so much patience and love.  She is also someone who isn't done learning. I've watched her attend EdCamps and more.  Theresa has a heart for some of our most underserved kids and she is someone we can't do without here on our campus. I am thankful Theresa is here with us!

We're almost there guys!  We are in the home stretch.  Let's bring our best this week and end this year with a bang!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Until the Final Bell

8 days and two half days left.  Can you believe it?  Man this year has just FLOWN by!

As we enter these last few days, everything moves at a breakneck pace.  It feels overwhelming at times.  I love this quote my friend Ben Gilpin shared with me this week... "Don't make a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion." That is so important for all of us to remember during this time.

This week I wrote two blog posts. One was called "I Don't Want to Leave" and one was called "Until the Final Bell" I highly encourage you to check both of them out.  They're short reads, but hopefully they'll provide you with a little more fuel to make it through these last few days.

The biggest thing I hope you take from those two posts are:

1.  Many times our kids are acting out right now because they're terrified to be home without you for two months.  Be more patient and understanding than normal.

2.  Don't post/mention countdowns to the end of the year.  As a family member of mine said "I don't understand teachers.  Why are teachers posting online and telling their families and students how they can't wait to be done with this year.  How they can't wait until summer break.  Do you know if anyone in my profession did that, they'd be written up and fired??  And do they even think of how it makes those kids and families feel to hear that?  I know teachers work hard, but come on."  I know we're excited about summer break.  WE'VE EARNED IT! But we have to be cognizant of the messages we're sending out when we're posting online, or talking about it with our kids.  Makes people feel unimportant or easily thrown away.

This week is going to be another BUSY week!

Week At a Glance

Monday - Staff Mtg - 3:45pm
Board Meeting - 6:30pm
Tuesday - 5th Grade Field Trip
Senior Hallway Walk - 9:30am
1/2 of 2nd Grade to Library
4th Grade Math/Science Mtg at HP - 4:00
Summer School Teacher Mtg - 4:00 at Central
Wednesday - Kickstart Performance 7:45am
Kjos Wedding Shower - 3:45pm - Library
Thursday - 1/2 of 2nd Grade to Library
Book Prom - 8:30-9:30
Campus Advisory Team Mtg - 4:00pm
Friday - Switch Day!
Kinder Graduation - 9-10am
F&P Must Be Completed

Senior Hallway Walk

On Tuesday at approximately 9:30am the NHS Seniors will walk through the hallways.  They will play graduation music over the announcements.  Teachers are asked to sit their students in the hallway to cheer the seniors on as they walk by. It won't last very long but will be a great celebratory experience.


All Fountas and Pinnell testing should be completed by Friday.

Kickstart Performance

Kickstart will be on campus Wednesday morning to do a performance for all kids.  It will start at 7:45am and should last about 30 min.  Please be in the cafeteria at that time to join your kids in watching Kickstart.

Book Prom

Kathy French is organizing Book Prom.  It is only for those students who have been a part of the Secret Society of Readers.  It shouldn't last but about an hour.


Deborah Gonzales - Sat. May 21

We will also celebrate our June Birthdays this week:

Susan Stanfield - June 9
Melissa Neumann - June 13
Alison Thomas - June 13


If you have NOT met with me about students you would like to retain, you need to do so Monday.


Tuesday, May 24 - K-2 Field Day, PreK Field Day, PPCD Water Day, 3rd KickBall Day
Wednesday, May 25 - 3-5 Field Day, PreK Promotion Celebration
Thursday, May 26 - Release at Noon
Friday, May 27th - Awards Celebrations for 1st-4th (in classrooms; will talk more at staff mtg); 5th Grade Awards Celebration in Gym, Release at Noon, End of Year Staff Celebration
Saturday, May 28th - 9am District Breakfast (HS), School Cleanup/WrapUp


End of the Year Awards Pack - great, already made awards, from Chris Pombonyo (Famous In First)

Rockstar Educators

Sue Meisel - I don't know how many of you have had a chance to interact with Sue but she is over Headstart.  She is one of the sweetest and most caring individuals I have ever met.  Every time I spend any minutes with Sue I leave feeling better.  She is the perfect person to have over our Headstart Kiddos.  I have also had the pleasure of watching her interact and teach our youngest students and she does a phenomenal job.  I am so thankful we have someone like Sue on our team.

Melinda Colin - Melinda is one of our 5th grade Math/Science teachers.  Melinda has brought a lot of drive and focus to our team this year.  She continually finds ways to work with kids, stay after school, and is a great team player with her other math teachers.  She is always looking for ways to do what's best for her kids and is passionate about keeping those kids who don't have a lot, at the forefront of her mind.  

Traci Colbert - Traci is our PPCD teacher.  Traci is one of those people who cares very much about her students.  She is never afraid to go to battle for them or make sure that we're all doing what's best for them.  Traci loves those kiddos with all her heart and they have all shown tremendous growth this year because of the work that she (and her team) puts in.  I am so thankful Traci is working with our students in PPCD because they are better for it.

As we begin the march towards our final days with our current students, let's make sure that we're taking advantage of every moment.  Yes, it's ok to have lots of fun with our kids these last two weeks, but let's also remember that we're educators and that we don't stop teaching until that final bell!  Find ways to keeping the schedule as normal as possible.  Use these days to push your students academically, creatively, and more.  Try something you've been nervous to try.  Attempt a PBL activity, use some new technology, now is the best time to take risks!  And if you're afraid or need some help, ask!  I've already had parents come and say "is it true that all these schools do the last two weeks is play because they think school is over?"  I assured them that no, we take our children's education seriously! Let's make these last days of school the best yet!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Shining Bright

If there's one thing that has been proven at Webb Elementary this year, it's that you all have helped this campus shine bright.  From the work you've done with kids, to families, to the campus as a whole, it has not gone unnoticed.

As we take our final STAAR tests on campus this year, our sole focus should NOT be on these once a year exams, that don't truly measure where our kids are and the growth they've achieved.  No, our focus should be on celebrating the accomplishments of every adult and student.  To those kids who have finally mastered four letters in the alphabet.  To the student who no longer cries when their mother drops them off in the morning.  To the little boy who's finally made some friends for the first time at school.  To the teacher who no longer feels like they're doing everything "wrong".

In every moment, in every day, there is something to be celebrated.  It's time that we stop focusing so much on what is wrong and what we could have done better and start looking at the results of the hard work that you have put into these lives this year.  We are far more than adults who education children with academic knowledge.  We change children's lives each and every day in so many unmeasurable ways.  Celebrate that.  Rest in that.  No test can ever show the impact you truly have.

Team Planning

None this week

Week At A Glance

Monday - 3rd, 4th, 5th Grade Math STAAR
Tuesday - 3rd, 4th, 5th Grade Reading STAAR
Wednesday - 5th Grade Science STAAR
Field Day Meeting; 3:45pm, Anyone interested in helping plan Field Day
Kinder Scope & Sequence Mtg, 4:00pm, Central Office
Thursday - Lang Baby Shower; 3:45pm; Library
Night of Praise; 6pm; Brule Auditorium
Friday - GT Field Trip


We have an enormous amount of people out on Friday.  FAR more than we have subs for.  Please be prepared to be flexible.


Bins can be checked out starting at 7am on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Marvel and Garrett will check out 3rd and 4th grade bins in the TP Room
C. Thomas will check out 5th grade bins out of Garrett's office.

Please remember that on Monday and Tuesday you MUST eat lunch with your students as we have zero extra hands anywhere.

The schedule, coverage, and so on for M/T/W is HERE.

Summer School

I have contacted Team Leaders about getting lists to me for students who we want to attend summer school.  Thank you First Grade for being the first grade to have everything turned in!  With 2nd grade being a close second!

I need those lists ASAP so I can give you paperwork to send home.

Kids Deserve It Shirts

Kids Deserve It is selling t-shirts again.  This time there are 6 colors to choose from and the style of the shirt is like the Webb Elementary shirt fabric.  

More info here:


How to Integrate Google Apps with the Rigor Relevance Framework

Rockstar Educators

Debbie Abke - Debbie is an instructional aide in Life Skills two.  I've had the pleasure of working with Debbie for two years now.  Debbie is a compassionate and loving human being.  She is patient and ever so kind. She's funny and has a huge heart.  I love watching Debbie work with her students because I can see how much they love and adore her.  The work Debbie does, isn't easy work by any means, but Debbie does it so incredibly well and I am thankful we have her on our team.

Aaron Marvel - Aaron is one of those people on campus who does far more work than most people realize.  Being an administrator on an elementary campus means that you are spinning twenty different plates all at the same time and trying not to let anyone down.  From parent meetings, to phone calls home, to discipline, to testing and more, Aaron has been a huge asset to our campus.  Aaron is also one of those people who always has a smile on his face and will always make time to listen to you if you need a moment.  Our campus is better because of people like Aaron.

Maria Alcantara - Maria is a PreK teacher at our school.  I love the relationships I watch Maria build not only with her students, but also with their parents.  I have never heard her raise her voice or get angry.  Her students absolutely adore her as well.  Even with the pressure of a new baby, and being out for a period of time this year, she takes it all in stride.  She is hard working, compassionate, and creative.  Our PreK time truly benefits from having Maria as part of it.

Since today is Mother's Day, I couldn't go by without mentioning a thank you to all our mothers.  Whether you have biological children or not, by working at an elementary school, you have more children then you ever dreamed you would have.  Many of those kids look up to you and see someone they wish was their mother (or father).  You pour love, forgiveness, education, and so much more into their lives every day.  Many times we spend more time with these kids then their parents ever will.

So today, sit back, and smile.  And remember, you make a difference.