Saturday, September 16, 2017

September 18 - 22, 2017

Together, we can.  Together, we will!


Bacon is officially off to a busy, fun, and productive start.  Students and staff have shaken off the dust (or should I say sand?) of summer, and we are well on our way to another fun and learning-filled year.  Our school truly has an uplifting, positive environment.  So many students arrive each day smiling and wanting to be here.  Our time with them is sacred, and we'll do everything we can to protect that desire to learn and grow.

Staff, you are off to a wonderful start.  Keep being positive, keep the expectations high, and keep being yourselves!

Weekly recap
On Monday, the district held its first DEAC (District Evaluation Advisory Committee) meeting of the year.  Staff from various district schools met to go over the teacher evaluation process and discuss ways to improve it for all involved.  

On Tuesday, the first Leadership Team Meeting of the year took place.  All the principals, supervisors, and other administrator from around the district met to go over beginning-of-the-year info, where we are as a district, etc.  As a district, we are off to a great start, students and parents are excited about the opportunities available at MPS, and we look forward to a future of continued trust and respect between the schools and the community.  2017-2018 is going to be a great year!

Linda Santiago from RAC (now part of the Comprehensive Support Network) visited Bacon on Thursday to review our school's goals for the year and to outline a forthcoming schedule for teacher training.  In addition to making sure Guided Reading and other centers are effectively occurring within the classroom, she will be providing training and support on how to gauge students' levels so they can receive targeted help as needed.


Back to school night is Tuesday, September 19th at 7 pm.  We hope to see all our parents here!

Staff, there is a meeting this Thursday (September 21st) at 8 am in the library.  Linda Santiago will be here, and she'll spend about 10 minutes going over our Language Arts goal, Guided Reading, and training on running records.  Please bring your laptops to this meeting.  

The Week Ahead
Monday (9/18): D day - lesson plans due, walk throughs begin

Tuesday (9/19): E day -  McREL Evaluator Training (12:30 at Culver - Mike only), Back to School Night (7 pm)

Wednesday (9/20): A day - Workout Wednesday

Thursday (9/21): B day - staff meeting (8 am in the library - Linda from RAC will be here to discuss upcoming training)

Friday (9/22):  C day - School Spirit Day - Wear Bacon gear

On the horizon
September 27 - 5th grade Kids About the Bay trip
October 4 - Staff development day (no school for students - staff report for PD)
October 9 - Columbus Day (no school)
October 26 - Fire Safety day

Pictures from around the School

Mrs. Bingham's class doing some strategic planning on setting expectations and how to have a great year 
Enjoying the beautiful start to the year

Ms. Spiels's class demonstrating excellent hallway conduct
Fair and foul weather friends

Bacon pride!

Birthday Selfies!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 11 - 15, 2017


And we're off!

Students and staff alike enjoyed a wonderful first three days of school.  The students were eager and ready to come back, and the staff were on their A-games to ensure a smooth reentry into another fun-filled, learning-rich school year.  New connections were made, old bonds were strengthened, and everybody in the building - everybody - is already moving, talking, and working with purpose.  It was great seeing the familiar faces of Bacon families in the car line or out front, and it was equally nice to get to know the newer faces.  This year, it seems all our Bears - families, students, and staff - are buzzing with excitement at the possibilities before us as we begin the 2017-2018 school year.

Weekly recap
Our opening days saw the students engaged in learning and getting back into the routine.  On the first day of school, we held a brief parent meet-and-greet in our library to give them an opportunity to ask any questions or address any concerns they have.

On Friday, we had our welcome back assemblies - one for grades K-2, and the other for grades 3-5.  We talked about what the students can do to have a great year, asked students to give good examples of what following the school rules looks like, and reminded them of our Bear Bucks and Paws Ups incentives.  Bear Bucks are "dollars" they earn for exemplary behavior in following the school rules (be safe, be responsible, be respectful).  The Bucks can then be spent at our school store. Paws Ups are shout outs we give the students if they are caught being awesome.  The students then get their names read on the afternoon announcements, and their names are entered into drawings we have during our PBIS Pep Rallies.  Students who have their names selected get to participate in a fun game or challenge during the assembly.

Beyond that, this week was basically about getting into the flow and jumping head first back into learning.  With the exception of opening day, the weather cooperated, and we had a beautiful, sunny Thursday and Friday for the students to run around outside during recess and burn off some energy while they soaked up some fun.

Back to School Night is on 9/19 at 7 pm.  We hope to see you here.  At this early point in the year, there isn't much to go over in terms of upcoming events, but please check out the important dates at the bottom of the page.

Pictures from around the School

Ms. O'Neill and Mrs. Gant are excited to be back! 
Welcome back assembly

Hanging on every word (right?)
Our newest Bears are ready to have a great year

Learning about Bear Bucks, Paws Ups, and how to be an awesome Bacon Bear 
Mr. Coyle's helpers

Good to go - let's do this

The ever-smiling Mrs. Gandy and Mrs. Markel rocking the Bacon blue.   
Mrs. DeVita explaining a STEAM assignment to her students

Mrs. Bingham's students getting it done on the Chromebooks

Birthday Selfies!

Weekly overview
Monday (9/11): D day - Bacon patriotic day - staff and students wear red, white, and/or blue 

Tuesday (9/12): E day -  Another great day of learning and fun

Wednesday (9/13): A day - Workout Wednesday

Thursday (9/14): B day - An awesome day of learning and fun

Friday (9/15):  C day - School Spirit Day - Wear Bacon gear

On the horizon
September 19 - Back to School Night at 7 pm
September 21 - Staff meeting in the library at 8 am
September 27 - 5th grade Kids About the Bay trip
October 4 - Staff development day (no school for students - staff report for PD)
October 9 - Columbus Day (no school)

Friday, September 1, 2017

September 4 - 8, 2017 -- Welcome Back Edition


As we prepare to embark on another school year, let's take a moment to remember those along the gulf coast and beyond who are living in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  At least 200 school districts have been impacted by the storm.  It's hard to wrap our minds around that, but here's what it means - more than 1 million public school students have been adversely affected and will have their education disrupted in some way by the storm.  Schools in hard-hit areas are still surrounded by water, and school and local officials can't access some buildings to see the extent of the damage.  All told, the storm affected about 20% of public school students in the entire state of Texas - and Texas wasn't the only state impacted.  Those are unbelievable numbers.  Let's keep those who are going through this unimaginably tough time in our thoughts (and we haven't even mentioned the tragic loss of life, towns still underwater, towns without drinking water).  Please consider donating or giving in some way.  We as a school will be looking at what we can do to help the schools and students affected by this tragedy.

Our school year is right around the (weekend) corner.  I can't speak for everyone else, but this summer went by in a flash.  It's already September 1st.  We are only four days away from welcoming back the big bears (our staff) and five days away from welcoming back the little bears (our students).  Make a commitment today - right now - to have this be the best year yet.  To paraphrase Henry Ford, whether you think this will be a great year, a so-so year, a bad year -- you're right.  Your mindset and attitude will predetermine your success.  It doesn't mean there won't be issues to resolve, problems to figure out, and it certainly doesn't mean you won't be challenged (hard work is still hard work).  But like anything else, you will get out of this experience what you put into it.  So...what are you putting into it??  Will you make a decision to be positive, to be productive, to be the best you can be, to be happy?  I read something recently that's easy to brush aside because it seems so obvious and so simple - people work better and are more productive when they are happy.  The author goes on to say that the trick isn't to let circumstances determine your happiness, but to let happiness come from within and determine how you handle circumstances.  Simple stuff we've probably heard over and over.  But are we letting that message sink in?  Make a quality decision right now, no matter what, to be successful, to be happy, to be amazing, and to be the best - not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of everyone around you.

This year, let's collectively re-frame challenges as opportunities, let's re-frame set backs as lessons and learning opportunities, let's re-frame difficulties as times of growth and stretching, let's re-frame the impossible as potential, let's re-frame happiness as a decision and not an outcome, let's re-frame positive thinking as a way of life and not something we force ourselves to do, let's re-frame learning as a privilege and not a chore, let's re-frame success as the standard and not the exception, and let's re-frame our jobs within in the school as noble callings and not simply "where we work."

Let's get ready.  Let's do this.

Enjoy your final weekend before the school year starts.  Staff, we'll see you Tuesday.  Students and families, we'll see you Wednesday.

And remember, we are in this together.  Together, we can achieve greatness.  Together, we can.  Together, we will.

The opening weeks at a glance:
September 5 - Staff first day (sign in at 8:55 am, meeting the library)
September 6 - Students' first day
 - 8:55 - 9:15 - student arrival
 - 9:15 - late bell and morning announcements begin
 - 3:40 - car and bus riders dismissed
 - 3:45 - walkers dismissed
September 19 - Back to School Night at 7 pm
September 21 - Staff meeting in the library at 8 am
October 4 - Staff development day (no school for students)
October 9 - Columbus Day (no school)

Pictures from around the school

Ms. Spiels is ready for September
Mrs. Lunemann's Disney themes are always a hit with her 1st graders

Mrs. Bingham is eager to meet her 3rd graders 
A great message to start the year from Mrs. Stowman (formerly Ms. Whilden), Mrs. Markel, and Mrs Pedrick

Will you accept Mrs. Gandy's challenge?
A huge thanks to our custodial team for getting Bacon ready for the school year.  The building looks great. Left to right: Danny, Glenn, Frank, and Ben.  Also, Jake (not pictured)

Kindergarten orientation was a success.  Welcome to our newest and youngest Bacon Bears!

This says it all

Weekly overview
Monday (9/4): - Labor Day, no school

Tuesday (9/5):  Staff first day

Wednesday (9/6): A day - Welcome back, students!

Thursday (9/7): B day - A great second day of school

Friday (9/8):  C day - Welcome back assembly (times and grades to be covered on staff first day)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer Update

Hello on this warm. sunny August afternoon.  I hope everyone is well.  We are still in the peak of the summer season, but it won't be long before hot days give way to school days and swimsuits get replaced with school clothes.  You still have a few weeks left, so enjoy it.

Summer Happenings
In July, Nancy Gandy (4th grade), Kara Lunemann (1st grade), Amanda Devita (3rd grade), Meganne Peck (art), Beth Rohaly (music), and myself went to the Educational Leaders As Scholars conference hosted by the New Jersey Principal's and Supervisor's Association and Foundation for Educational Administration.  For three days, we learned how to create and sustain an "arts infused" approach to teaching.  We had of plenty of hands-on activities to help get the creative juices flowing in order to experience how we can incorporate aspects of art, music, theater, dance -- you name it - into our instruction.  The purpose?  To create a more engaging experience for our students so they can learn key concepts from all subjects in fun, relevant, out-of-the-box ways.  If done properly, it's a win-win -- the kids love it, and the teachers have more tools at their disposal to help connect students to their learning.

Acquiring the knowledge needed for this program's success 
Mrs. Rohaly and Ms. Peck with Bacon's year-end project.  Nice work, ladies.

Mrs. Gandy is very excited about her drawing 
The Bacon team planning

Mrs. Lunemann already hard at work planning for the upcoming year

Also in July, Beth Rohaly and her husband, Derek, welcomed their first child into the world.  Theo Miles was born at 6:41 am on July 2.  He was 7 lbs, 5 oz, and 20.5 inches.  Congrats to the Rohaly's - we wish you and your new son nothing but the best.

Building News
Our fantastic custodial staff has been working hard all summer to get Bacon ready for another school year.  Everything is looking good and coming along nicely.  They are in the home stretch, and most areas will be ready to go by Tuesday, 8/15. We are asking that staff not come in until that time in order to make sure the work is completed on time and without interruption.

If you've been to Bacon over the summer or you've driven by, you probably noticed our new front steps.  They look great, and as Glenn Hunter commented recently, "We have steps worthy of our great building."  I couldn't agree more.  Thanks to the crew from Brian L Gifford and Co..  They did a fantastic job, and I'm looking forward to seeing students, parents, and other guests use them

Under construction

The finished product
Looks great (still drying off from the recent rain)

Staff Changes

This year, we welcome Stacey Gant and Rose Dalmasi to Bacon.  Stacey will be teaching 4th grade, and Rose will be teaching Spanish.  Amanda DeVita will be returning to the classroom to teach 3rd grade.  Rhonda Spiels will be teaching 1st grade, and Kathleen Pedrick will be teaching RTI.    

Upcoming Dates and Events
August 15th - Building open to all staff

August 23rd - Voluntary PBIS meeting at 10 am.  We will be talking about the upcoming year, some changes we'll be making, planning for the assemblies, and brainstorming ways to improve what's already in place

August 29th - Kindergarten Orientation at 10 am.

September 5th - Teachers's first day

September 6th - Student's first day

September 19th - Back to School Night

See you all soon! Have a great remainder of August.  

Title picture taken from