Welcome Bryant Families!
I hope your summer was all that you hoped it would be! Mine was great! One highlight was attending a “Professional Learning Communities at Work” conference in Tampa. Research shows that when teachers work collaboratively and shift their thinking from “my “students to “our” students, everyone benefits. Grade level teams at Bryant have been developing a model for professional learning communities (PLCs) for a year now that has been closely aligned with the content of this conference. This grade level team work has developed around 4 essential questions that may sound simple but run deep. The questions are:
- What is it we expect our students to learn?
- How will we know when they have learned it?
- How will we respond when some students do not learn?
- How will we respond when some students already know it?
We will be sharing much more about this work in the near future. In the interim, any of you that are curious and would like more information can Google -PLCs or go to the “Solution Tree” website.
Driving our professional development work this year will be 3 guiding principals
- One year’s growth for every student (in math)
- Challenging and engaging our advanced learners (in math)
- Deepening our understanding of PLCs
At Bryant, one other new development this year that directly aligns with the work of our PLCs has been the establishment of our specialist intervention/extension team of teachers and tutors that will work directly with grade level teams to provide support for students. We have been granted an additional instructional position and Brian Matthias has accepted it. He will be a full time intervention/extension academic specialist serving 3rd-5th grades. Brian will also be serving to coordinate and align the efforts of this new team of specialists. We are in the process of hiring a new teacher to carry on Brian’s great success at second grade and we have some truly outstanding candidates.
With this type of intentional work happening at Bryant, I am asking a favor of all of you around taking your students on vacations outside of regularly scheduled vacation days provided throughout the year. Please keep your children in school. Our teachers are super conscientious and are working hard to provide instruction tailored to the specific needs of your children. Being absent makes that extremely difficult. In the past we have granted educational trips as excused absences but this has been very challenging for teachers and extremely disruptive to instruction. We really need your children present to help them learn to their full potential. We are all asking for your support, cooperation and partnership in working on this adjustment for some.
This year teachers will be emailing or calling you starting this Thursday afternoon with your student’s classroom placement. If you are not contacted by Friday afternoon please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
On that note, we have exciting teacher news at Bryant with some significant changes and additions. Please welcome Carrie Eeds to 1st grade, Leah Kumar as our new primary math specialist, and Diana Diamant as our new special education teacher. Jennifer Ward has accepted a position at Thurgood Marshal and we wish her the best of luck.
Our configurations and teaching assignments are as follows:
K: Kevin G. Gallagher, Alex Jones, Carleen Confer, Kathy Kereluck, Chara Johnson
1st: Lynn Masunaga-Fahselt, Sheila Davies, Ann-Marie Spata, Carrie Eeds, Amy Alphin
2nd: John Arrowsmith, Nicole Richard, Kristine Duncan, new teacher
3rd: Tiffany Bodine, Huong Nguyen, Connie Bernard, Clare Johnston
4th: AJ Benaltabe, Susan Kearney, Katrina Salisbury (with Jennifer Shete subbing through December)
5th: Craig Arango, Steve Garlid, Elizabeth Day
Library: Anne Aliverti
Specialist Team: Coordinator and Intermediate (3-5) Academic Specialist Brian Matthias
K-2 Reading Specialist: Teresa Elhardt
K-2 Math Specialist: Leah Kumar
Special Education: Judy Miller
Special Education: Diana Diamant
PE: Tate Loftin, Kathy Weinman
Music and Drama: Michaela Koerner
Administration: Dan Sanger and Julie Pearson
In closing, on behalf of the staff and teachers at Bryant, let me be the first to wish your children and you the best school year ever!
Thank you and I look forward to seeing you on September 9th.
Principal, Bryant Elementary
(206) 252 5200