Woodlawn Principal's Blog 2/21/20

Short week Friday is here!  This week really went by quickly.  We had a fun Special Lunch today with Subway sandwiches and an assembly with the Jump Rope Warrior, Mr. David Fisher.  I am proud of our students and how engaged they were in the assembly.  

Information Parents Should Know- New Social Media Challenge- Dangerous!  

The newest social media challenge is a physically dangerous one.  This one is called the Tripping Jump Challenge. The idea is that three people line up and they are being filmed in slow motion jumping up and down.  When the person in the middle jumps, one of the people next to them sweeps their legs out from under them, causing them to fall backwards. You can see the catastrophic potential here.  I have not seen any of this at Woodlawn and spoke to each of the grade levels at our assembly today.  

Please CLICK HERE  if you would like to read about this concerning trend that is popular with Middle School Students. 

Spring Conferences are coming on Thursday, March 12th from 5pm-8:30pm and Friday, March 13th from 10am-1:30pm .   

Click here for the link for the sign up.

Spring Conferences are Collaborative Conferences!  

Collaborative conferences means that your child will be leading the conference.  The purpose of collaborative conferences is for educators, students and families to discuss, reflect and celebrate student work, and for families to experience school through their child's eyes.  Students have been working hard to prepare for the conference, and we are excited for you to learn about your child’s progress directly from your child!   

Teachers will be available in the room as guides and will be available to answer student questions or elaborate on a point a student is making, but we ask that all participants respect that this is the student’s opportunity to lead the conference by sharing progress and reflections about their own learning.  

Please read below to learn specific information about how collaborative conferences will be structured at the middle school.

Grades 6-8

Families will sign-up for a 15 minute conference. Grades 6-8 collaborative conferences will be structured with up to 4 students in the classroom at a time. Student/Family partnerships will sit in a private space to engage in the conference. The grade-level team of teachers will be in the classroom to greet families and guide the process, but students will lead the conference.  Exploratory teachers, PE, Health, Spanish and Band and Orchestra teachers will host an exposition of their courses. More information coming soon.  Students should plan to bring their iPad to the conference. 

What is the Role of Families during Collaborative Conferences?

Provide reinforcement, encouragement and praise

Listen and ask questions 

Help students look realistically at quality of work

Facilitate student’s self-reflection and goal setting

Be a partner in learning

See school through their student’s eyes

Questions Families Can Ask During the Collaborative Conference

What is your favorite piece of work? Why? 

Describe your favorite activities or subjects.

What experiences at school do you find the most exciting?

Are there experiences that frustrate you, if so why?

What goals have you set for yourself for this spring?

How can I help you at home?

 Click here for the PTO Monthly BLOG!  

Guiding Coalition of InterculturalismSurvey

The GCI is looking for student voices in the weekly staff blog! Click here to access a short survey that your child can complete if they are interested, and their answers may appear in the staff newsletter.  

GEOGRAPHY BOWL at Stevenson High School

Last Tuesday, Stevenson's Geography Club hosted the inaugural Middle School Geography Bowl.  Students from Woodlawn MIddle School competed on teams with Stevenson students in 6 rounds of competition. 

The Geography Bowl was the brainchild of Ishaan Khullar (Junior) and Sahan Yalarthi (Sophomore). Their goal was to share their love of geography trivia with middle school students and open the doors of SHS to these Future Patriots.  

The Future Patriots from Woodlawn that competed were Ryan Barua (7th grade), Noah Hanif (6th grade), Sarah Kogan (8th grade), Diana Tang (7th grade) and Jingyi Wu (6th grade).



Click here for the Woodlawn Daily Announcements!  

Finally, I had my evaluation this week.  D96 has a thorough process where many, many aspects of the school are examined.  For the last 14 years, I go into my evaluation meeting with my keys and badge in hand, just in case things go poorly.  It is at this point that I realize how fortunate I am. This community is so supportive of the school and I honestly believe that we have a shared vision for what we want from our students.  In my 14 years as principal (plus two years as an assistant principal), I can count on one hand the conversations that have gone astray. This level of commitment and trust is amazing, especially when you hear the horror stories from other school districts.  I am also surrounded by the most amazing staff. I will take some of that credit because I get to hire this motley little crew, but the work they put in and their commitment to our students is commendable. Our staff, top to bottom is awesome! I would be lost without my office staff and the people most parents see when they come to Woodlawn.  Mrs. Kupsco is the brains of the operation and Mrs. Garlick is as good as it gets as an assistant principal. The sky's the limit as she progresses in her career. We have a common vision which includes our district office and school board. I sometimes think of myself as the general manager of a sports team, working with all of the contributors to have the best organization possible. If this sounds like an acceptance speech, it should.  We are a great school because of the commitment and relationship we have throughout our organization and community. My favorite part has been, continues to be and always will be, the students. I laugh every day at something that happens in middle school. Thank you and yes, I will be back for another year. I can now put my keys and badge away.  

Have a great weekend!