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Principal Shares Quarterly Update

Hance Elementary Principal Quarterly Update
October 26, 2018
Dear Hance Elementary Parents & Guardians,
The first quarter is quickly coming to a close. It’s hard to believe how quickly the first two and a half months of school have gone by. In that short amount of time, we have accomplished so much together for our students. The year started off rather unconventional, but rather than allowing it to curb our excitement for the start of the school year, we leveraged it as a positive opportunity. This kept us focused and helped us come together as a school community to ensure that our students were able to start the year off successfully. Through it all, we continued to focus on learning. We collectively taught our students a life lesson in resiliency as well as the importance of being flexible and adaptable in the face of a problem. Through this experience, we were also able to use our building theme, “There’s no place like Hance,” to invite our students back for our “second first day.” Thanks to everyone who shared photos on Twitter and via email. It was truly a great way to “enHance” our experience of transitioning students back to our home building after a wonderful stay at Eden Hall Upper Elementary. 
Since we have been back at Hance Elementary, the focus on learningcontinues to prevail in a multitude of ways. For the 2018-19 school year, we will be focusing on two specific building goals. Our goals include using the new math resource (MyMath) to address individual learning needs and utilizing a writer’s workshop approach to help us build positive relationships with students so they can receive feedback to improve their writing. Many action steps have been taken across each grade level to ensure consistency and fidelity of implementation in relation to the math resource as well as writing. We are learning from each other and exploring each resource to make sure we are meeting the needs of each of our learners every day. In the area of writing, we are working to improve each student’s writing fluency through journaling and providing specific and actionable feedback.
Although we spend a lot of time thinking and acting on academic learning, we also understand the importance of educating the whole child. In September, we had an all-school assembly to review the building rules and help students understand the importance of positive behavior throughout their school day. Students are rewarded with a green emerald at the end of each week for earning the most golden bricks in the cafeteria by grade level. We are also having students earn golden bricks to be hung in the hallways when we see acts of kindness and other positive behaviors. Everyone in the building has a stack of golden bricks that they can distribute to students to reinforce positive behaviors throughout the school day.
In order to focus on positive behaviors on the bus, we are also communicating with drivers to get a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on a daily basis to determine which bus has the best behavior for the month. Each month, the bus with the most thumbs up will get called to the office and will get their picture taken with a “Wizard of Oz” themed cut out frame created by the Hance PTO to be displayed in our front office area. 
Throughout the past two and a half months, I have continued my listening tour incorporating ideas from teachers, parents, guardians, and students as stakeholders of Hance Elementary. The information and ideas gathered from these conversations and group meetings have been priceless. Thinking about thePRIDE values, one of the areas of opportunity is to integrate more innovation and diverse opportunities into our approach at Hance. Over the coming year, I look forward to working with everyone to brainstorm and integrate opportunities for our students that will target these specific PRIDE values. 
In Collaboration,
Greta Kuzilla